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:: How Is Launching A Startup Different From Starting A Small Business

Facebook and Walmart had one thing in common, they both built a product people loved. But their journey was different. Understanding how and why building startups is different from small businesses will help you make wiser business decisions. Here are the most important differences you need to know.

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:: Starting a Business

One of the great things about being in business these days – whether it is having a side hustle or a retail store or an online business – is that there is just so much free help available.

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:: Small business confidence rises, signaling a more positive outlook for the US economy

Small business sentiment is on the rise to kick off 2020, with confidence nearing all-time highs, according to data from CNBC and SurveyMonkey. The CNBC/SurveyMonkey Small Business Confidence Index climbed two points in the first quarter, from 59 to 61, as concerns over trade policy impacts lessened, thanks to a trade deal with China and the signing of the USMCA. This is a sharp turnaround from the lows seen last summer as trade turmoil weighed on Main Street’s outlook.

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:: Why Trade Shows Are Important For Your Small Business

In our hyperconnected digital world, trade shows can be seen as a bit of a relic, an outmoded business building tool that entrepreneurs shouldn’t waste their time on. Nothing could be further from the truth.

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:: 5 Best Practices for Small Business Owner Taxes in 2020

Spring may be just around the corner, but for accountants and tax professionals, this is crunch time. Here are five ways you can help smooth out the filing process for your small business clients (and, consequently, yourself) this tax season.

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:: Small Business Grapples with Uncertainty

Small business challenges for 2020 will not be easy as more than eight of ten owners indicate attracting new customers is their biggest problem, and nearly six out of ten report hiring or trying to hire qualified applicants has become frustrating. Overall, small business optimism during 2019 was a roller coaster ride for many, as potential threats, such as the on-again off-again trade war with China, potential trade wars with India and Europe, has made it nearly impossible to set long-term plans. Compounding the frustration is the potential impact of the upcoming national elections.

While the Republicans have loosened regulations for small businesses, the consequences of the ill advised 2017 corporate and wealthy tax cuts are beginning to bite, thus producing a walk back in 2020.

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:: Small Business Owners to Big Brands: You Do Not Get It

Insiders say the ability to appeal to the emotional side of the SBO will become more important, as so-called Millennials – those born between the years 1980-2000 – are the fastest-growing segment of SBOs and may be more inclined to own a small business than members of older age groups. A study released in 2017 found, among other favorable statistics, that Millennials have more experience with small business and greater desire to start businesses than previous generations.

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:: 7 Bad Habits Small Business Owners Should Avoid

As you take the helm and begin guiding your business into the future, you would be well-advised to listen to suggestions from people who have already made the mistakes they can help you avoid. By the way, you are going to make mistakes. If you can accept that and learn from your mistakes, it will all amount to nothing more than an on-the-job education.

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:: This Is The Secret Ingredient For Small Business Success

The research shows that the majority of small businesses believe their revenue growth underperforms their peers. Specifically, 60% of respondents ranked their revenue growth below the 50th percentile of similarly sized companies. Yet, when comparing their actual cash flow and revenue data with the analysis drawn from the Kabbage Small Business Revenue Index, the information indicates that the vast majority of respondents have healthy revenue performance. The question is, why are these business owners feeling pessimistic about their company's performance, and how is it impacting their decision making?

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:: This Company Says It Is the Airbnb of Boats

GetMyBoat, is a startup that calls itself the Airbnb of Boats. This app lets interested people rent boats in many different countries. Small Business Trends contacted Val Streif, marketing manager for GetMyBoat, to find out what makes this enterprise successful.

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:: Data Cleaning Steps for Small Businesses

While small businesses make a huge impact when put together, individually they are often operating on small budgets. Which means small business owners need to be aware of every penny.

If you look at the worldwide cost of bad data, it is overwhelming. $3.1 trillion. If you operate a small business, you might just brush that huge number off. But the reality is, when studies put the cost of bad data at $100 per data record, it can add up quickly. Even if you only have 100 contacts—because 20% of your database is likely bad.

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:: 7 Big Marketing Trends Impacting Small Business

What are the big marketing trends impacting small business? I turned to industry experts for insight. Below are seven trends that small businesses in particular should pay attention to.

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:: 2020 Tax Season Attacks Already Targeting Small Businesses

The deadline for filing taxes in the United States is eight weeks away, but new research has shown that small businesses are already being hit by tax season–related cyber-attacks.

Research conducted by Proofpoint indicates that attackers are aggressively jumping into tax season, with the deployment of two main attack strategies.

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:: 5 Deductions Small Business Owners Do Not Take Advantage Of

A lot of small businesses appear to be doing just that though. In fact, the National Federation of Independent Businesses found that tax compliance costs are 67 percent higher for small businesses than larger ones.  They add up to $18-$19 billion per year across the U.S small business environment.

With the complexity of filing taxes quickly each year, many small business owners miss deductions that can help lower their tax burden.

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:: Survey: 60 Percent of Small-Business Owners Think Their Revenue Growth Is Below Average

According to a new survey, the results of which were first published by Inc. on Tuesday, odds are good that you identify more with option A, even if option B is your reality. In a poll of 620 U.S. small-business owners, conducted by online lender and small-business cash-flow platform Kabbage, 60 percent of respondents believed their revenue growth underperformed that of their peers.

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:: Five effective small-business trends every business leader needs to check out

Small businesses are often on the cutting edge because they have to be. With smaller foundations and limited budgets, small-business owners have to think on their feet every day, developing strategies that boost productivity and the bottom line. Because a small business can not afford to embrace strategies that do not provide quick, measurable results, the trends that spring up among them are likely to make a positive difference in any company.

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:: 7 steps to starting a small business on a shoestring budget

One of the great things about being in business these days – whether it is having a side hustle or a retail store or an online business – is that there is just so much free help available.

To wit: Last week, I held my most popular webinar ever (almost 4,000 people registered!) for SCORE, called 7 Steps to Starting on a Shoestring. SCORE is an amazing organization; more than 10,000 business volunteers who can help and mentor you (physically or virtually) on almost any aspect of your business – marketing, sales, taxes, whatever. And, like my webinar, many of SCOREs offerings are free.

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:: 5 Small Business Trends to Leverage in 2020

If you have a small business, it is essential to keep up with the latest trends in technology, marketing, customer service and other areas that affect your business. Each business is unique, so every trend doesn't necessarily impact you equally. However, all major trends do influence your customers' expectations, so it is good to be up to date.

Here are some of the most significant trends I'm currently seeing that will impact small businesses in 2020 and beyond.

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:: Cybersecurity for small business

While cyberattacks facing large corporations and government entities may dominate headlines, small businesses are victim to the majority of cybersecurity breaches. In fact, nearly half of small businesses in the United States suffered a cyberattack in 2017, according to a recent study.

Cybersecurity attacks are constantly evolving to accommodate the latest technologies. Small businesses contend with several existing and emerging internet-related threats, including malware, ransomware, phishing and botnet infections.

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:: Get Motivated Going Into the New Year With These Top Small Business Stories

The first weekly roundup of 2020 starts with some motivational quotes to get you up and running for the new year.

Once you are all pumped up, an article about the economy should also get you excited. The report says all 50 states have improved their GDP since the 2016 election. And if the rally of the stock market on January 2, 2020 is an indicator of things to come you can expect even better numbers.

The optimism for the coming year is also being shared by business leaders. Over two thirds or 76% of them say they see similar or more profits in 2020. The data comes as part of a survey that polled 940 business owners in this article.

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:: The Power That Small Businesses Wield

Small businesses are the lifeblood of the U.S. economy and account for 99.7% of all employers.
Small businesses work with large enterprises as vendors, customers, competitors or partners.
Large businesses can learn from small business ingenuity, innovation, agile management, customer service, workplace culture and diversity.

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:: 10 Resolutions and Improvements for Your Small Business to Consider in 2020

The start of a new year provides the perfect opportunity for business owners to set new goals and find unique ways to improve their operations. There are plenty of different options for your 2020 resolutions, from shoring up your finances to organizing your online presence. Here are some suggestions and tips from members of the online small business community.

Grow Your Savings with Money New Mindset
If one of your resolutions for 2020 is to save more money for your business, you may need to shift your mindset. So how can you look at things a bit differently in the new year? Jamie T. Wiseman of Miss Millennia Magazine explores a handful of mindset shifts in this post.

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:: 2020 brings higher labor costs for small businesses

As of Jan. 1, there are higher minimum wages in a quarter of the states, and new federal overtime rules. The IRS has new W-4 forms owners will need to get used to. Plastic bags are on their way out at stores and other businesses in a growing number of places around the country. And California has new laws on freelancers and consumer privacy that can affect out-of-state companies.

A look at a handful of the 2020 changes in federal, state and local laws and regulations:

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:: Small business pay checks are growing at a fast pace as job gains slow

Small business pay checks are growing at a fast pace as job gains slow

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:: 2020s new taxes, regulations to clobber small businesses

Small business owners have plenty of changes to deal with as 2020 begins — higher labor costs for many companies and some owners will discover that they have to comply with new laws that aren’t on the books in their own states.

As of Jan. 1, there are higher minimum wages in a quarter of the states and new federal overtime rules. The IRS has new W-4 forms owners will need to get used to. Plastic bags are on their way out at stores and other businesses in a growing number of places around the country. And California has new laws on freelancers and consumer privacy that can affect out-of-state companies.

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:: Company Emerges to Help Small Businesses Compete with Amazons Same-Day Delivery—But With Green Cred

As companies like Amazon, Walmart, and Target begin to dazzle us with the growing possibility of same-day delivery, it’s becoming harder for small businesses to compete in ways that provide the same speedy delivery without relying on high-emission forms of commercial storage or transportation options like renting space in large warehouses and air delivery.

That is all now changing thanks to an organization called Ohi—a US-based warehousing and delivery service that allows small businesses to offer speedy, sustainable delivery options.

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:: These Shark Tank entrepreneurs turned a class project into a profitable small business

The loyalty to the series clearly inspired a smart pitch, because it didn't take long for the Sharks to warm up to the idea. Plus, offering cold beers in customized Kanga coolers didn't hurt.

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:: 10 Tips for Making Major Changes in Your Small Business

If you run a small business for a long time, you will probably need to navigate through a lot of major changes. Members of the online small business community are very familiar with these shifts. From getting started to deciding when to retire, here are some valuable insights for making big changes in your business.

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:: Small Businesses Must Take Advantage of the Democratization of Data

Learn how the easy availability of big data can help SMBs compete with big businesses.

- Data is now easier to collect and cheaper to host, making it accessible to nearly every business.
- The availability of data helps small businesses compete against big corporations, but they may still struggle to use that data in practical ways.
- Three ways small businesses can use big data to grow include checking on credit data about your business, monitoring supply chain data, and keeping an eye on artificial intelligence and automation innovations.

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:: 16 Creative Ways to Get Press Coverage for Your Small Business

In other words, press coverage is priceless, but where do you start? To find out more, we asked 16 marketing experts and entrepreneurs to share interesting and cost-effective ways to get media coverage.

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:: If You Say Yes to Any of These 6 Questions, Your Emotional Intelligence May Be Higher Than Most People

The World Economic Forum recently uncovered something that would not have registered on the radar screen of most HR leaders even ten years ago.

One of the top 10 job skills required for workers to thrive--a skill projected to trend in the year 2022--is emotional intelligence.

Emotional intelligence (EQ) has embedded itself in the business lexicon as a force to be reckoned with; it is by far one of the most desired qualities for personal and professional development.

Managers are hiring workers with more right-brained skills like EQ because they know these people contribute to the workplace on a relational and interpersonal level that is unmatched.

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:: Cyberattacks now cost small companies $200,000 on average, putting many out of business

- Forty-three percent of cyberattacks are aimed at small businesses, but only 14% are prepared to defend themselves, according to Accenture.
- These incidents now cost small businesses $200,000 on average, reveals insurance carrier Hiscox, with 60% of them going out of business within six months of being victimized.
- More than half of all small businesses suffered a breach within the last year.
- Today it’s critical for small businesses to adopt strategies for fighting cyberthreats.

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:: Keep These 4 Things in Mind Before Selling Your Small Business

Selling a small business for the maximum value to the right purchasers on the right terms can be a tremendous challenge, even for experienced business owners. Buying and selling an existing company is a complex process, but one that should be demystified. At its most basic level, the process is straightforward, just like the purchase of a single item. The small-business owner sells the object (in this case, their own business) to a potential buyer for an agreed-upon price and mutually acceptable terms. Yet, as always, the devil is in the details -- in this case how the deal is structured.

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:: A New Small Business Tech Ecosystem is Emerging

Embedded Financial Services is the Future

Another group of companies to watch are those that focus on one particular vertical. They can build out capabilities unique to a particular industry and while they will not have broad data sets they can go very deep within a vertical. Shopify is a good example of this as they become the go to platform for ecommerce companies. They have functionality they call Shopify Manage which is billed as the mission control for your business, wherever you go available on desktop or mobile. They also have Shopify Capital for lending and Shopify Payments.

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:: This Design Platform Is Great for Small Businesses

Graphic design is an essential aspect of any marketing campaign or emerging business. You can't brand a business without design tools. When you are starting a business, contracting designers for a website, marketing materials, flyers, a logo, and countless other business expenses can add up fast. At some point, you have to be willing to take on some of the creative challenges yourself.

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