:: Small Business Survey
In a recent study conducted by the U.S. Chamber
of Commerce, small business owners stated their biggest
1) Economic Uncertainty- 49%;
2) The National Debt- 47%;
3) HEALTH CARE- 39%;
4) Over Regulation- 36%;
5) Taxes- 28%.
Next to the state of the economy and the debt, the most
specific fear for small business comprises the impending
health care regulations which are proving to be difficult
to decipher and threaten profitability.
:: Small Business Wrap Up
Tis the season for year-end wrap-ups and Top 10
lists. While condensing a years worth of events into a single
Best Of list can be daunting, looking back can also give
us a fresh perspective. In that spirit, we are highlighting
some major themes that came up in our small-business coverage
While it is impossible to make a single pronouncement about
the overall state of American small business in 2011, a
few general observations hold: The business climate is still
fairly bleak, as is the mood of many owners. Few companies
are planning hiring sprees for 2012, and the hurdles to
growing a business weak customer demand, tougher credit
requirements remain daunting.
That said, start-ups still started up this year and business
owners still invested in new ideas and strategies. Here
are some of the other small-business topics that resonated
with us this year:
:: Gift Ideas for Small Business Owners
Waiting to the last minute to buy holiday gifts
is often rite of passage in December. But no doubt a holiday
list is waiting in an iPhone, on a to-do list in the kitchen
or rattling around in your head. But when thinking about
what to get the loved ones in life, don't forget the small
business owners in your life. Being a part of a community
means frequenting local businesses that work tirelessly
year round to provide the highest quality products and services.
When you have a good relationship with a small business
owner, sometimes even a small gesture can mean the difference
between a good year and a great year for them.
But what do get a small business owner? Here are five suggestions
on both the low and high end, depending on how generous
you are feeling this year:
:: Snail Mail Slow Down
to Impact Small Businesses
Snail mail is about to trudge even slower, forcing
companies dependent on the postal service, such as prescription-medication
firm Express Scripts and thousands of small businesses,
to revamp fundamental business models.
The U.S. Postal Services plan to save $2.1 billion a year
and fend off possible bankruptcy threatens to end almost
all overnight delivery of first-class letters and postcards
:: Small Businesses Lacking Confidence
MerchantCircle, the largest social network of local
business owners in the nation, today issued the results
of its seventh Merchant Confidence Index, a survey of local
business owners across the country sharing their confidence
levels in the current economy, and their expectations of
future revenue, marketing spend and hiring. The results
of the 2011 Q4 survey of more than 2,500 local merchants
indicate that business optimism has decreased over the past
six months. The current MCI score is 59.4 out of 100, down
6 percent from the score of 63.2 in June 2011.
:: Tax Tip for Small Business
As 2011 winds down to a close, many small business
owners are scrutinizing year-end tax deadlines in a last-ditch
effort to lighten their payment to Uncle Sam come April.
One of the smartest moves they can make, including the self-employed
is to start a 401(k) plan before December 31st. It’s
important to note that while a few solo 401k plan providers
will allow purchases for a 2011 plan through December 31st,
a traditional plan for a business with employees would need
to be purchased a week or two earlier.
:: Tips to Identify Your Customers
In order to effectively target your customers,
you need to know who and where they are. Customers come
in all shapes and sizes, so how do you discern which customers
are the best to target?
to Identify Your Customers
:: Retirement a Far Cry
for Small Business Owners
Three-quarters of small business owners say so
many Americans are financially unprepared for retirement
it's reached crisis levels, a survey says.
A survey of small business owners by Nationwide Financial
indicates small businesses may add to the problem because
only 19 percent of these businesses offer their employees
a 401k or other employee self-funded retirement plan.
:: Financial Literacy
A recent study distributed by the Employee Benefit
Research Institute showed that Texans have the lowest financial
literacy in the country. The survey revealed that Texans
largely do not understand basic financial concepts like
interest rates, mortgages, and investments. But this knowledge
gap is not limited to Texas alone; it is issue throughout
the United States.
:: Small Businesses Should
We know the holidays are always hectic, but it
is an important time of year for your business. Not only
is this the season when retailers make most of their income,
it's also a good time to sit down and strategize, USA Today
:: Small Business Politics
Although they are some of the busiest people in
the country, small-business owners find time to get involved
in the democratic process. Many of them feel they have no
choice but to push back on a government that sings their
praises while dipping its long arm into their coffers. Not
to mention all the times they get nudged, pushed or slapped
by its misguided policies.
:: Monetizing the Holiday
Because gift-giving and many other aspects of the
Christmas festival involve heightened economic activity
among both Christians and non-Christians, the holiday has
become a significant event and a key sales period for retailers
and businesses. The economic impact of Christmas is a factor
that has grown steadily over the past few centuries in many
regions of the world.
How to Monetize Christmas some ideas!
Return Address Mailing Labels
Web Design Elements
:: Small Business Saturdays
While Black Friday may be known as the busiest
shopping day of the year for large retailers, independently
owned boutiques are hoping the next day, Small Business
Saturday, will be their busiest day of the year.
Small Business Saturday is a day that is designated nationally
to supporting local busineses.
:: Technology Review Sites
Technology product review sites can be a valuable
resource for small businesses that need to make purchasing
decisions. Sites offer expert and consumer opinions, as
well as how-to information, competitive pricing locations,
and the latest news on technology trends.
is a list of technology review sites.