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Small Business Blog - daily small business software blog

:: How to Think Like a Brand

When you consider branding from this perspective, you will likely notice that as important as affinity and equity are, the place your brand occupies in one’s mind surrounds the feelings that connect people to it. Be sure to remember this particular fact when you contemplate where your brand is and where you want it to be.

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:: 11 Ways to Negotiate

Very few people actually like to negotiate. That's why so few people are good at negotiating; it's a task to be avoided or completed as quickly as possible.

Unfortunately, negotiating is a fact of life--especially business life. Fortunately, negotiating has less to do with competition than simply communicating: explaining the logic and benefits of a position, convincing others that an idea or premise makes sense, showing people how a decision will generate a desired return, helping people understand the benefits of change...

In essence, negotiation skills are communication skills.

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:: Your small business marketing sucks — here is how to fix it

The formula for business success is simple but not easy. At the core, once you have your product or service figured out, your marketing plan should be a natural progression.

In fact, we would challenge the thinking that your business plan and marketing plan are one in the same to a certain extent.

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:: 3 Legal Mistakes Every Businesses Should Avoid

Running a business is like running a marathon. You have the law, the government, and the competition all eagerly expecting you to make a mistake. Unlike in the marathon, any mistake you make cannot be forgiven. That being said, many of the mistakes businesses make are usually due to negligence and ignorance. Notwithstanding the intent behind these mistakes, you can be made to pay a huge price for committing them.

However, nothing can hurt your business as much as running afoul of the law in the process of running your business. Small business owners can pay the hardest for legal mistakes.

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:: 5 ways states are luring small business

Georgia is among many states that are working hard to lure businesses of all sizes — and entice them to stay put. There's no one set formula that makes a state business-friendly, say business owners and experts. Rather, it is a mix of ingredients that, when combined, make a state an attractive place to set up shop.

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:: Businesses try to keep calm amid uncertainty of Brexit vote

Britains vote to leave the European Union is already taking a toll on some small U.S. businesses, with canceled tour bookings in New York and U.K. retailers cutting back their orders from American suppliers.

The plunge in the pound against the U.S. dollar after the vote three weeks ago makes goods and services more expensive for those in the U.K. and means British tourists get less for their money while traveling elsewhere.

Many of the companies are trying to plot a course without clarity on exactly when or how a split may occur.

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:: Cheaper software puts small businesses in big leagues

Until recently, small businesses assumed that they could not access the same kinds of technology and opportunities that big corporations can with vastly greater resources. Rapid technology shifts have led many smaller businesses to expect more from technology.

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:: 5 Technologies for Small Business Success

Cloud computing has revolutionized the IT landscape for startups and smaller organizations by leveling the playing field and making advanced software capabilities attainable to businesses with modest technology budgets.

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:: 6 outsourcing tips for small businesses

As most (if not all) small business owners know, you can’t do or manage everything. And some tasks (HR and accounting spring to mind) are often better left to the experts.

Of course, not every small or midsized business can afford to outsource functions, though in many cases the benefits outweigh the upfront cost. But whether you are planning to outsource or are just thinking about it, it pays to do your homework and due diligence before giving over part of your business to a third-party. Here are six things to consider before you choose a business right partner.

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:: SCORE Infographic: How Can Technology Help My Small Business?

SCORE, the nation's largest network of volunteer, expert business mentors, has gathered statistics on popular small business technology, such as mobile tools and the cloud, while revealing a need for improvement in customer relationship management (CRM) and data security.

Mobile technology is prevalent:

80% of small business owners use a mobile device at least once a day
56% use it for communication and scheduling
30% take notes and create to-do lists
29% check social media
24% bank online

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:: Cloud Computing Helps Lift Small Business Valuations

It takes more than a solid business plan and gumption to succeed in business nowadays. Growing your company in a competitive businesses landscape—and attracting interested investors—requires a solid footing in technology.

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:: Small Business Startup Checklist: Do Not Overlook These Items

Some people think starting a business will be this great thing to do and then as they move forward with the process quickly learn it is not always rainbows and unicorns.

Sure, it has it perks - you become your own boss, choose your own hours and the clients you would like to work with along with how much to charge them. Then, theres one of my personal favorites - you choose the dress code!

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:: 13 Best Marketing Strategies for Small Businesses

The first step to marketing is defining your end-game and strategizing your budget. The first question consultants ask those big, bad corporations going through restructuring is, What do you want? This is when you need to decide what is important to you; do you want to extend your reach or maximize local exposure? Are you looking for brand awareness or conversions?

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:: Become A Data Genius: Track Everything In Your Small Business

As someone that has worked for small technology-based businesses for years, I have come to learn some of the best habits of small business geniuses. While most business owners are unique and every business is different, there is one very important trait that is shared by the most successful ones: they track everything.

Tracking is one of the key pillars of a successful business. Without tracking, the business owner simply cannot know what works and what does not. It is also difficult to see where the inefficiencies are and how they can be improved upon.

The best way to become a data genius is to get into the habit of tracking everything when it comes to your business, and that includes the website, customers, and employees.

Since my experience mainly covers online and web businesses, most of the tips in this article will be relevant to those types of businesses. However, they can be modified and applied to just about any business.

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:: 7 Offbeat Small Business Growth Strategies to Follow

Because small businesses have shoestring budgets, they lack all the privileges large businesses enjoy. Tilting the ground in their favor is incredibly difficult for them. It’s no surprise that 90 percent of startups fail.

Expert tips can help them lower the cost while keeping the quality of the work high and meeting deadlines. Here are some offbeat growth strategies for startups:

Working as Outsourcing Partner
Competition with large businesses is futile for a small business. Co-habitation, on the other hand, can drive growth. A small business can cohabit with a large business by becoming the latters outsourcing partner.

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:: 3 things every small business should do

Small businesses are a crucial part of Orlandos economy, but there's no denying that there are challenges in operating one, especially in the first few years.

In fact, there are more than 28 million small businesses in the United States. According to data from the Small Business Administration, in 2013 about 630,000 small businesses launched, and of those, close to 80 percent still had their doors open in 2014.

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:: 6 Daily Habits That Will Make You Look Smarter and More Powerful

Growing up in a large firm with a strong sense of history and culture, I heard a lot about executive presence--what it was, who had it, and what any aspiring leader would need to do to get it. Here is what I found.

What is executive presence?
Executive presence is the combination of communication skills, technical competencies, perspective, and temperament that instill a sense of confidence in a leaders viewpoints and decisions.

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:: 7 Email Marketing Best Practices

The content of your email message is important, but your design is the first element that recipients will see. If you want readers to see your message instead of clicking to the next email, it is essential to please their eyes and pique their curiosity. Here are a few keys to a winning email design:

1. Make it mobile friendly.
Two out of three emails are opened on a mobile device. Make sure that your email design is based on elements that work well in that environment.

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:: SCORE Tips - Pick a Niche and Own It

SCORE provides free mentoring to hundreds of business owners in Southern Arizona every year. Many of those business owners are just starting a new business. Here are some of SCOREs tips to consider before you open a new business:

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:: How to Automate Social Media and PR for Small Business

It  is not easy being a small business competing against the big boys. They have got the budget, the expertise, and the size to push you around. That said, it does not have to be half as hard as some small businesses make it. For example, for many businesses, their social media and PR plans can be a lot easier and communicate far more authority besides.

To that end, today we’re going to look at how you can automate both to make your efforts both easier and more fluid, using some simple best practice and strategic planning.

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:: How Small Businesses Can Make the Most of Big Data

Big data and business intelligence (BI) used to be only for enterprise companies. Now, however, thanks to the software as a service (SaaS) revolution, even small businesses can afford to track and tap into a wealth of information.

However, becoming a data-driven small business is not easy. Because you are dealing with complex troves of records that have multiple sources and are therefore highly unlikely to be structured uniformly, it can be difficult to process it all and interpret it into insights your business can actually use.

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:: (Counterintuitive) Tips to Run a Small Business

Being an entrepreneur or business owner is, for a lot of people, choosing to work 80 hours a week for yourself to avoid that 40 hours you’d be working for someone elses corporation. That was absolutely true for us when we first started. In our first few months as entrepreneurs we each got in a minimum of 80 hours per week - that’s a lot of work! We realized pretty quickly that we needed to change something. We were drowning!

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:: 20 Simple Tools Your Small Business Needs Now

Running your own business is no simple task. From hiring and payroll to other day-to-day operations, there are a million different responsibilities needing your attention throughout the work week. With a few of these tools, you can make your business run more efficiently and in turn, take the stress off of your shoulders.

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:: Small Business Administration suggests 10 steps before committing to a new business idea

If you think so, or at least want to explore the idea, SCORE and our mentors are ready to assist you confidentially and at no charge. It’s a long, winding road to entrepreneurial success. The more advocates you have, the better chance you have to realize your dream.

Do not go into business if you know little or nothing about it.

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:: Why Small Businesses Should Focus on Scaling Their Content Marketing

Having a small online marketing team doesn’t mean your company can not scale content marketing initiatives. It means you must know what the best strategies are and have your team focus on a few they can do well.

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:: 5 Marketing Hacks Small Businesses Tell Me Have Changed Their Lives

I work with a ton of small businesses, and I love it. I love seeing different business models, helping entrepreneurs with limited resources and experience, and getting unique perspectives that you just can not find in bigger, often more cookie-cutter business establishments. One-on-one, we can share information and insights, and build a strategy that is helpful for their business.

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:: Micro Businesses Love Independence, Worry about Cash Flow [Survey]

Ninety-four percent of independent workers love the control that independence provides, but 67 percent say their top concern has to do with inconsistent income in their micro businesses.

This is according to a recent survey of more than 600 independent workers conducted by the folks behind Invoice2go, an invoice app that allows small businesses to create and send professional invoices from any device.

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:: 5 small businesses to start after 50

The passion that spurs someone to dream of starting a business is not reserved for the techie Millennial in the torn jeans and hoodie. Even the person in the relaxed-fit khakis and reading glasses can feel the zeal.

Research shows Baby Boomers may have a greater passion for entrepreneurship than younger generations. One report showed that, in 2014, those ages 55 to 64 had a higher rate of new entrepreneurial activity than the stereotypical risk-taking 20 to 34 age group.

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:: 10 Free Tools Your Small Business Should Be Using Today

Although your small business needs a healthy amount of software to conduct operations, it's not necessary for you to spend a fortune on web-based products. In our comprehensive testing of business and consumer software, we have come across dozens of incredible and free solutions that can help you get the job done. We've tested free tools in almost all facets of business—from email marketing to endpoint protection to project management.

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:: 4 Ways to Boost Ranking For Your Own Branded Terms

You may have a list of specific keywords and phrases you're targeting, or you may be more in the add amazing content and see what happens, camp.

However, the idea of optimizing for branded keywords may not have crossed your radar. Branded terms are words or phrases that are specific to your company. They often include your business name, but also may include certain trademarked product names or your website name. For Apple, some examples of branded terms might be:

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:: Small Business Tools for Entrepreneurs

Starting your own business is exciting, hectic, and frightening all at once. You are laying it all on the line, and your to-do list stretches seemingly for miles. Whether you are still in the planning stage, writing up a business plan, or ready to open for business and hit the ground running, it’s tough to do everything by yourself.

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:: 50 Thoughts That Can Motivate You to Do Anything

Motivation can be hard to come by, especially in the face of challenges or difficult work. When you are thinking about implementing that new idea, or starting that new company or beginning that new regimen -- this is the new year, after all -- it is easy to talk yourself into procrastinating. Or worse, avoiding your goal altogether.

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:: How to name your small business: Keep it short and sweet

Deciding what to call your company is probably one of the most fun and exciting aspects of  starting a small business. You might have launched this venture by scribbling business name ideas on a bar napkin while hanging out with friends.

But naming your small business is also serious business. Your decision could affect your ability to reach a broader audience and grow. And making the wrong choice could even get you in legal trouble.

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:: 10 Ways To Cure Your Mobile Phone Bill

Cell phones are ubiquitous, and tend to be important if not necessary to own. Yet sometimes the cost of owning and using a mobile phone can get out of hand. And the prevalence of daunting cell phone bills only grows as more and more apps and functions that use data come into popular use.

The high cost of mobile data is a familiar problem for many; too many of us have run up against exorbitant bills after underestimating just how much data we have been using. And, for those with restricted monthly data allowances, exhausting the monthly supply of data can be irritating or even crippling for those who often depend on data.

10 Ways to Cure Your Mobile Phone Bill

:: 5 Tips Every Small Business Owner Needs To Know

1. Have a point of view and unique product offering

Commodity businesses such as books and electronics were the first to see e-commerce really squeeze out mom and pop stores. The product offering is uniform and easily comparable.

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