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Recent Articles Published by Palo Alto Software

managing

MassChallenge offers startups chance for funding, mentorship, and more

MassChallenge, now in its third year, is the largest-ever startup accelerator and competition. It’s open to high-impact, early-stage entrepreneurs from any industry and anywhere in the world, with no strings attached. The 2012 Startup Competition and Accelerator launched on March 1 and the final application deadline is on April 11 at 12:00 Noon ET (you’ll... Read more »

starting

Tax day is just around the corner. Are you ready?

If you’re a U.S. resident and you haven’t done your taxes yet, what are you waiting for? Why are you reading a blog about taxes when you should be compiling receipts, filling out forms, and scrambling to get it all done??? Taxes are due on April 17th this year, which means you’ve got just over... Read more »

planning

Why are local businesses so good for the economy?

Congressman Peter DeFazio (Oregon, D) stopped by the Palo Alto Software office yesterday and discussed the important role small businesses play in their local economies. While many cities and regions spend time and resources trying to attract and convince large corporations to relocate to their area, DeFazio says a focus on the local businesses can... Read more »

managing

How to Create a Niche: Small Business Spotlight

How many times have you thought “somebody should make…” or “why doesn’t anybody sell…”? Palo Alto Software customer Kelly Chaney had a moment like that, but instead of just wondering why nobody was making cake mix for dogs, she decided to solve the problem by becoming the somebody who does. And so Puppy Cake, innovative... Read more »

managing

7 Reasons You Have Trouble Getting Things Done (and 7 Easy Solutions)

Ever wonder why you don’t get more done every day? You might be trying to do too much, and competing demands in the office aren’t making it any easier to accomplish what you set out to do. One interesting study showed that after an interruption, it took office workers an average of more than 23... Read more »

managing

What makes a great marketing plan?

If you’re writing a business plan, you should at least be considering your marketing plan at the same time. A good business plan includes a marketing component, and most successful businesses have entirely separate marketing plans to guide them. So what makes a good marketing plan? Recently on Tim Berry’s AmEx OPEN Forum blog, the... Read more »

managing

How a simple change decreased costs and grew a business – Small Business Spotlight

With colleges receiving record numbers of applications each year, any edge students can get helps increase the chances of getting in to their chosen schools. And that’s where The Edge in College Prep comes in. Started in late 2005 by Palo Alto Software customer Jessica Brondo, The Edge in College Prep provides in-person and online admissions counseling and tutoring... Read more »

managing

Hard lessons lead to success – the story of RealLead

A few years ago, LivePlan customer Caroline Cummings considered herself an “entrepreneur in recovery.” After her first tech startup dissolved in 2009 (costing her a significant amount of money), she knew she needed some time to figure out what her next venture would be. “I’m an entrepreneur at heart, so I knew I’d eventually jump... Read more »

managing

6 ways to send the right signals with your website

It’s time for entrepreneurs to lift their game when it comes to website design and maintenance strategies, says Palo Alto Software UK General Manager Alan Gleeson. With countless options competing for Web surfers attention and more savvy users, the bar has been set a lot higher in terms of Web design and content, and if... Read more »

managing

5 ways to prepare for Facebook Timeline

If you’ve got a Facebook page for your business, you’re probably aware of the big change that’s coming on March 30, when all Facebook pages will switch over to the new Timeline design. The change will make your Facebook page a more visual representation of your brand. It will also allow you to tell your... Read more »

starting

Wanted: More women franchise owners

The Franchise King® Joel Libava says the franchise industry could use more women franchisees, so he’s  taken it upon himself to make sure that more women start looking into franchise ownership as a viable option to traditional corporate employment. Joel’s just announced a contest specifically for women that are interested in pursuing franchise ownership –... Read more »

managing

Microbrews and business plan competitions?

At Bplans, we’re proud of our home state of Oregon. We’re known in this part of the country for our casual way of life, great microbrew beers, and endless recreational opportunities. But there’s another way we’re unique, and that’s our abundance of business plan competitions and angel investment groups. Sabrina Parsons, CEO of Palo Alto... Read more »

planning

A small win for Bplans = huge win for small businesses

It was a close contest, but Bplans is happy to report that we won the Startup America Sign up Your Startup Master Challenge! Anita Campbell and the crew at Small Business Trends gave us a run for our money, and we want to thank all of them for joining us in this fun event. It’s... Read more »

funding

Get in on the revolution in venture funding

The social web is drastically changing the way young companies get noticed, and getting noticed by the right person or network can mean investment, growth, and ultimately business success. If you’re not keeping up to date on innovative new ways to find funding for your business, including crowd sourcing and  Internet-based campaigns, you’re missing golden... Read more »

planning

Join the Sign up Your Startup Challenge and get free tools to help your business succeed

Business is all about competition. If you’re not competing against other businesses for customers or market share, you’re competing against yourself, trying to beat previous revenue figures. To make it as a small business owner, you’ve got to have that competitive spirit. We’ve got the spirit here at Bplans. In fact, we’ve launched a fun... Read more »

managing

Build Trust With Your Customers to Increase Web Sales

Security and trust-mark badges are important elements to display on your website. Lots of testing has been done on the subject and results have shown that badges are signposts that shoppers look for when deciding whether a particular online retailer is a safe place to make a purchase. At Palo Alto Software we wondered, how... Read more »

planning

What does the price of gas have to do with your business?

This week, the national average price for a gallon of gas hit $3.57, according to an article in yesterday’s Chicago Tribune. Prices are expected to reach $4 per gallon by April, and may surpass the previous all-time national average high of $4.11 (July, 2008). High gas prices don’t just have an impact on our personal... Read more »

managing

Granola Business Keeps on Growing

Two years ago we introduced our readers to Business Plan Pro user Sarah Lanphier of Nuts About Granola. She was a young entrepreneur who turned a one-time fundraiser into a successful business. Today, the small business Sarah started with her mother, Gayle, is growing beyond what anyone, except maybe Sarah, might have imagined. In the... Read more »

planning

The Process of Planning

When is a plan not a plan? When it’s a tool. Perhaps the most important factor in achieving your desired result and turning your plan into a management tool is regularly reviewing the plan. In the final two videos of Tim Berry’s video series on how to write a successful business plan, he talks about... Read more »

funding

It’s all about the money, money, money!

Tim has taken us through what a business plan is, how to just jump in and get started, how to hone your strategy and focus… now it’s time for the reason why you started a business in the first place. Money! Knowing how much money you have and how much you need are two important... Read more »

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