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Small Business Blog - daily small business software blog

:: Seven Reasons Your Small Business Is Not Generating Sales

09/03/2018
Here are seven reasons why your business is not generating sales:

1. You are marketing, not selling.

Reaching out to a networking contact is a sales call when that contact has expressed a need and interest for what you are selling, and you actually discuss your offer, your pricing, next steps and or other ways to move forward. If your networking meeting is to introduce what you offer or to reconnect in general, that is a marketing call. Many small business owners are busy on social media, tweaking their website, writing blogs, and catching up over coffee – all of which is great for marketing and may lead to sales eventually -- but these activities are not directly generating sales.

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:: Secrets to Getting More Traffic for Your Small Business Website Revealed

08/31/2018
How to Get Traffic to Your Website

In building this strategy, it can help to get input from the experts who have been there before. Here are some tips and tricks ranging from content creation to SEO to social media from digital marketing experts around the web.

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:: A Small-Business Guide to Instagram Stories

08/29/2018
Instagram is a great source to build your brand’s identity, engage new followers and expand your reach. However, if you’re simply posting images to your business Instagram page, you’re missing out on a major opportunity on the platform: Instagram Stories. With Stories, you can show a behind-the-scenes look at your brand while developing its personality and building authentic relationships with your followers.

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:: Google Spent a Decade Researching What Makes a Great Boss. They Came Up With These 10 Things

08/27/2018
Those are the types of questions Google set out to answer. In 2008, they began research into what makes a good manager, code-named Project Oxygen. They originally identified eight behaviors that were common among their highest performing managers, and began training all managers to develop those behaviors. Over time, Google saw a marked improvement in key metrics such as employee turnover, satisfaction, and performance.

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:: Looking for Tips and Resources for Small Business Success?

08/24/2018
Business owners need to constantly learn in order to be successful. Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned entrepreneur, resources like business experts, books, tools and exercises can help you shape your strategies and cultivate sustained success. Here are some suggestions from members of the online small business community for resources and tips that can help you build a successful business and life.

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:: How to Escape the Tyranny of the To-Do List

08/22/2018
Overwhelmed leaders cringe at multiplying demands, such as identifying and recruiting talent, envisioning the next iteration of their product, or developing their public-speaking skills. There are only 24 hours in a day, they plead.

True. But there are 168 hours in a week, 730 hours in a month, and 8,760 hours in a year. View time in that way and many of the larger-picture, often open-ended tasks that are crowded out by in-the-moment demands appear more feasible.

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:: #MeToo Means You Too Need Small Business Coverage

08/20/2018
The #MeToo movement is making a major impact across industries, small businesses included. From reviewing internal policies to getting the right kind of insurance, these steps can help small business owners protect their companies and employees.

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:: 4 Ways a Small Business Can Give Back

08/17/2018
As a small business owner or manager, sometimes the sheer volume of things that need to be done makes it hard to remember to think about others. It's important, however, to give back to your community. In fact, if you own a small business that draws on local customers, it's important to do things that strengthen your bonds with your community.

Not all of these apply to every type of small business. A retail store can do things that a small service-based business can not, but at least one of these should apply to your business.

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:: The Keys to Building an Influential Personal Brand

08/15/2018
There is something incredibly important in life that I do not hear enough people talking about. It is called your personal brand and it goes far beyond your career.

I started learning about personal branding over 10 years ago when I got into the entrepreneurial world. I noticed a big difference between some peoples brands and others. So I started taking notes.

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:: How to Launch Your First Email Marketing Campaign and Get the Results You Want

08/13/2018
Email is not going anywhere. There are 3.7 billion global email users, and that number is expected to grow to 4.1 billion by 2021. What is more, this communication channel is supremely popular: People check their emails multiple times a day, and when you're trying to market your company, you can get your name into thousands of inboxes just by launching an email marketing campaign.

The cost? Email marketing is also super-affordable, which makes it great for small businesses.

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:: Small Businesses Share Their Best Marketing Moves

08/10/2018
Every business has to find the right marketing tools to engage its desired audience, and there doesn’t appear to be one magic widget that works for every company every time.

Some find amazing results with social media, SEO and influencer strategies, often combined with compelling online content, some with old-fashioned direct mail, as in messages on paper delivered by a human postal carrier.

Several small businesses recently shared their best marketing moves, which cover a broad range of approaches and media. Here are a few of their ideas in this first in a series of articles on the topic.

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:: 11 secrets of small business success

08/08/2018
No. 1: First, have a pretty good idea of what you are getting into before you start. Running a company is not a 9-to-5 occupation. And much, if not most, of running a business has little to do with the quality of the product or service you sell. You have to work long, hard and smart. And learn new things. Fifty percent of new businesses close (not fail) during the first five years, often because their owners didn’t realize how much time, expense and uncertainty would be involved.  

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:: Amazon Report Cites More Than 1 Million Small Business Sellers On Platform

08/06/2018
Amazon is often blamed for the demise of the Mom and Pop store and other local and cultural icons of Main Street USA. There may be some truth to this, but it is also just as important to say that the company has helped many small and midsize businesses to grow and thrive.

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:: Elon Musks Erratic Twitter Behavior Teaches 3 Brutal Leadership Lessons--And What Not to Do

08/03/2018
If you do not have something nice to say, don't say anything at all.

Remember this one, from, like, kindergarten? Apologies are one thing, but better to just avoid the whole thing altogether. Note: this is not the same thing as ignoring criticism. There are constructive ways of responding, though, that will not send your companys stocks plummeting.

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:: Smart, sensitive policies can help small businesses avoid a #MeToo moment

08/01/2018
Harvey Weinstein. Bill Cosby. Kevin Spacey.

No, there apparently is no shortage of accused sexual predators roaming Hollywood. And, while there are have been stories galore over the years about the creeps and their casting couches, it wasn’t until the #MeToo movement that women really were able to get the word out about the seriousness of the issue and, if not put an end to it, at least shine a light on it.

And that begs the question: Will there be a #MeToo moment for small business?

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:: Google Has A Secret Way To Protect You From Hackers...

07/30/2018
Here are five things in technology that happened this past week and how they affect your business. Did you miss them?

1 — Googles secret to protect its employees from hacking is physical keys.

Google has announced a robust solution for phishing cyberattacks against its employees. The company says the adoption of physical Security Keys has stopped the attacks. Security Keys are small USB stick devices made by companies like YubiKey that function similar to two-factor authentication (2FA) methods its employees may already be using.

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:: 3 Tech Tools That Can Have a Big Impact on Your Small Business

07/27/2018
Technology has started to feel like a four-letter word these days—especially in the business world. Stand by the water cooler and you might hear chatter among employees about what programs, such as machine learning and artificial intelligence, will mean for the future of jobs.

As this technology comes to life, many people fear for their professional future. They worry that robots will soon sit at their desks while they’re out on the street struggling to find work.

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:: Is Email marketing good for small businesses in 2018?

07/25/2018
Marketing has evolved significantly in last few years. Now is the era of demand-driven social marketing which makes email marketing a core part of successful small business marketing strategies. Technological advancements have given marketers no shortage of channels to leverage. Email marketing can be a powerful way for small business to market their brand and their website. It provides them with the flexibility to reach current customers, find new leads, and convert those leads into customers without making a big hole in their pocket. Email marketing can help small business to reach their subscribers and prospects as quickly as possible.

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:: 5 Email Marketing Tips to Grow Your Small Business

07/23/2018
Are you looking for ways to use email marketing to grow your business? Then you will want to take a look at these five email marketing tips to help boost your sales.

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:: How To Ensure Your Small Business Is Not A Failure Statistic This Year

07/20/2018
While two-thirds of Americans dream of opening their own small business, recent data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics reveals that approximately 20% of small businesses fail in their first year, and about 50% of small businesses fail in their fifth year.

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:: Small-Business Owners Name The Best Tools And Resources They Have Invested In

07/18/2018
Making the right investment in your small business can mean the difference between growth and stagnation. What that right investment is – marketing, training, technology, labor, personal development – will vary from business to business and owner to owner, depending on a variety of factors.

Several entrepreneurs recently shared their best business investment from the past year, or top planned investment for this year.

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:: The 5 Most Important Negotiation Skills You Must Master

07/16/2018
Intimidated by negotiations? Focus on these five simple negotiation skills first and get much better.

Think of all the times in your business week you negotiate:  with new hires and existing employees; with sales prospects and long-term clients; with vendors and suppliers. If you're a business owner or leader, you need to know how to negotiate. This is non-negotiable.

Here are the five most important negotiation skills you should focus on first. Each of these skills has proved to be worth millions to my clients and to me over the past 25 years. This all recently came to a head when I had 35 of my top business coaching clients join me for a day-and-a-half program on negotiation in my hometown of Jackson Hole, Wyoming. These were 35 of the most successful entrepreneurs and business owners in the United States.

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:: The Dos And Don'ts Of Growing Your Small Business

07/13/2018
Growing your business is an exciting task. It means customers are receiving your business well and you are bringing in a profit.

But, growing your business can be intimidating. Many things have the potential to go wrong. That’s why you need a plan. When you know what to do and what to avoid, you can avoid stumbling.

Use the following seven dos and do nots to successfully grow your business.


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:: The Never-Ending Struggle to Sustain a Small Business

07/11/2018
Delissa Reynolds, an actress, ran a popular local bar for years, until the neighborhood changed.

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:: The Retirement Income Source 42% of Small-Business Owners Are Relying On -- and Why It is a Mistake

07/09/2018
For most of us, that means establishing a nest egg in the form of an IRA, 401(k), or both. But a large number of small-business owners have a different sort of backup plan for covering the bills in retirement: their businesses.

An estimated 42% of small-business owners say that their businesses will serve as their personal pensions, so to speak, according to data from New York Life. But that's a dangerous proposition in several regards.

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:: The internet sales tax is going to pummel small businesses

07/23/2018
On Thursday, the Supreme Court overturned decades of law and precedent by allowing states to levy sales taxes on internet purchases. Like many things in life, the South Dakota v. Wayfair decision is a mixed bag. On the whole it was probably the right call, cleaning up an enormously incoherent and unfair tax regime that's only gotten worse as online retail has expanded.

But it will also hit many small businesses hard.

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:: 5 Ways to Improve Your To-Do Lists

07/04/2018
To-do lists should be an invaluable part of any small business owner's day-to-day productivity strategy. They do not just help you monitor your tasks, they help keep you motivated and on track. And they seem self-explanatory: Write down a task. Then do it. But, a to-do list can too easily take a wrong turn and become exhaustive and exhausting. Here are five quick tips to help you get the most from your to-do lists.

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:: Start a Small Business by Monetizing Something You Are Already Doing

07/02/2018
This transformation from hobby to business creates entrepreneurial avenues for people who might not otherwise have chosen this path. There are several types of activities that can be successfully monetized.

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:: The 7 Deadly Sins of Small Business Marketing

06/29/2018
Everybody makes mistakes, but some mistakes are worse than others. Some mistakes are almost deadly—to your marketing, at least.

The following seven mistakes are dire enough to make your marketing fail. But the good news is once you know how to spot them and avoid them, your marketing has a dramatically better chance of success.

So keep reading, apply what you learn here, and carry on. You’ve got a business to promote

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:: Supreme Court decision to allow more online sales tax worries small business groups

06/27/2018
Small business advocates largely grumbled after the nation's highest court overturned a decades-old decision on online sales tax.

The Supreme Court ruled Thursday that states now have the power to force online retailers to collect sales tax in states where they do not have a physical presence, reversing a ruling from 1992 in a 5-4 decision. The move also revives a 2016 South Dakota law that required large, out-of-state e-commerce companies to collect sales tax, one that big e-commerce players fought. Some online retailers, such as Amazon.com, currently collect state sales tax on products they directly sell but do not collect taxes from many of the independent sellers on the site.

The decision removes the sales-tax savings that consumers could reap by making purchases online instead of buying from local brick-and-mortar shops. Although the move does help to level the playing field for physical small businesses, it also places new burdens on small online retailers.

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:: Why Your Employees Will Love the 90-10 Rule--and So Will You

06/25/2018
Leaders of movements--entrepreneurial businesses included--incite followers to believe in a vision, in one another, and in themselves. To amass the power of many, they address the needs and dreams of individuals.

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:: Supreme Courts internet sales tax ruling may be a nightmare for small businesses

06/23/2018
In the wake of yesterdays Supreme Court ruling, e-commerce companies are understandably both concerned and uncertain of their future. The 5-4 verdict overruled a 1992 precedent set by the case Quill v. North Dakota that only addressed mail-order businesses at the time, but it became a powerful legal bedrock for the e-commerce industry. It let companies without a robust physical infrastructure thrive during and after the dot-com boom by exempting purchases from sales tax, so long as the seller did not have a physical operation in the state where the customer resided. Now, following the court’s decision, states can start charging sales tax on internet purchases even when a retailer has no physical presence in that state.

A number of retailers, from Amazon to Etsy to Overstock.com, may be impacted. It is not necessarily because those corporations have been skirting sales tax collection, but some enable thousands of third-party sellers to do so, largely thanks to Quill v. North Dakota. In fact, Amazon, which last year started collecting sales tax in all 45 states that require it by law, may have a substantial amount of work to do to help its Amazon Marketplace sellers stay compliant.

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:: What is PCI Compliance and Why MUST Small Business Owners Be Concerned?

06/08/2018
The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) is a set of security standards, designed to ensure businesses which accept and process credit and debit card information, do so in a safe and secure environment.

No matter what industry you operate in or what size business you have, if you accept card payments and process, transmit and store cardholder data, you must host your data securely with a hosting provider that is PCI compliant.

The PCI security Standards Council was formed in 2006 by the five major credit card brands — American Express, Visa, MasterCard, Japanese Credit Bureau (JCB) and Discover. While each credit card brand has its own compliance programs, the PCI standards are the foundation for all of them.

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:: More U.S. businesses are becoming worker co-ops: Here is why

06/06/2018
According to the Democracy at Work Institute (DAWI), a nonprofit that supports the development of worker co-ops, employee-owned small businesses see an average of 4% to 5% higher productivity levels and more stability and potential for growth. In contrast to traditional businesses, worker co-ops see much lower rates of employee turnover and business closure.

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:: 8 Money Management Tips For Small Business Owners

06/04/2018
Recently, American Management Services started working with the owner of a restaurant chain, made up of six locations spread across the Northeast. Since the first day they opened their doors, they approached paying vendors with a sense of loyalty by cutting checks the day the invoice was received. While being loved by their vendors, our client was receiving no discounts, and put themselves financially at risk by not safe-guarding their cash!

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