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:: How small businesses can navigate rising interest rates

The Federal Reserve says that the economy is doing well, so it has raised its key rates recently and is expected to do so again in the near future. The strong economy is great for most businesses, but higher rates will likely increase what it costs for them to borrow.

So what's a small business owner to do? Understand how the system operates and consider the ways they can manage.

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:: Is Amazon good or bad for small business?

This week is Small Business Week, and on Thursday Amazon released its first Small Business Impact Report. Its position? Amazon has been good for small businesses.

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:: More Than Half of Small Businesses Foresee Revenue Growth in 2018

Optimism appears to be rising among small business owners (SBOs): 53% of the SBOs who participated in TD Banks 2018 Small Business Survey said they expect their revenues will grow in 2018. That is an improvement over the 46% of respondents who said the same in 2017.

In addition, the number of small businesses -- defined for purposes of the survey as those with $5 million or less in annual revenues -- that plan to hire this year more than doubled. In 2017, only 9% of respondents said they expected to add staff. This year, 22% said they intend to.

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:: May Is For Small Business, Moms, Amazon And Mobile

The month of May begins with a focus on the importance of Small Business followed by the love for Mom. The charts and analysis that follow are from Prospers monthly survey of over 7,500 Americans.

We asked Deborah Weinswig, Managing Director of Coresight Research, to provide commentary on the data from the most important deciders for the economy… the consumers themselves.

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:: The U. S. Department of Energy Announces $34 Million for Small Business Research and Development Grants

U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry today announced that the Department of Energy will award 219 grants totaling $34 million to 183 small businesses in 41 states.  Funded through DOE’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs, todays selections are for Phase I research and development.  

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:: 8 Ways Leaders Waste Valuable Time and Energy

Time is a valuable, nonrenewable resource that is distributed equally to each of us. We all get the same 1,440 minutes every day. Are you using your time successfully, or are you wasting your time and draining your energy?

In coaching top leaders around the world, I have discovered some patterns in how people waste their time and energy. Here are eight of the most common:

1. Being distracted.
Leaders who have a lot to do are easily distracted. No one can stay on task 100 percent of the time, but distraction can pose a serious obstacle to getting things done. It eats away at your time and causes unnecessary stress. Limit distraction by being mindful of how you organize your time and work environment and by preparing yourself to accomplish what needs doing. Develop habits and strategies to minimize your access to distraction, keep your focus on the task at hand, and improve your overall ability to concentrate.

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:: 5 Highly Effective Negotiation Tactics Anyone Can Use

Want to be a better negotiator? Here are some simple tips.

1. Listen more than you talk.
It is easy to go into a negotiation focused only on what you'll say, especially when you are nervous.

The goal of a negotiation is not just to get what you want, but also to help the other side get what they want. (Otherwise, how will you ever strike a deal?) To do that, you need to actually know what the other side wants -- which means you have to listen.

Finding common ground means knowing common ground exists.

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:: Stop Propping Up Small Business

In our age of political polarization, the right, left and center agree on one thing: Big business is wicked, and small business is noble.

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:: Digital Marketing For Small Companies Becomes Big Business

Digital marketing for small shops like local bakeries, grocers and regional accountants is growing into big business.

Those small-and-medium-sized businesses (SMB) are increasingly turning to growing outside firms to handle their digital outreach, according to industry sources. Among their goals is to become more social media-savvy: for instance, drawing a Facebook user on their phone clicking on a business page into a local shop.

Several digital marketing startups focused on smaller companies are looking to capitalize on the opportunity, and they are hungry for venture capital to fund their efforts.

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:: A Small-Business Guide to Facebook Insights

Facebook is more than just status updates and photo albums -- it's a major marketing tool for businesses. However, if you don't know how to use it properly and take advantage of all it has to offer, you might as well not use it at all.

From engaging customers to entertaining them, Facebook Insights provides some of the best tips and tools for boosting your business. To start, Facebook Insights will tell you information about your customer base, such as the type of people who follow you, where they are located, how old they are and more. Another important area that Facebook Insights covers is your competition. Using the tool, you can track their posts and engagement in order to get ideas for your own business.

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:: Want to Be a Great Leader? Become a Great Identifier

Once upon a time I was a member of the most productive crew in the department, which meant we were considered to be the best crew, because numbers were everything. But we didn't need a Jobs or Bezos or Sandberg or (pick your personal epitome of effective leadership) to get us there.

Steve was our Bobby Hurley (yep, old school college basketball reference): Always pushing, always encouraging, always making assists. Lee was solid: Never made mistakes, helped out the entry level workers, quick to make repairs and get running again. Jeff was our glue, coaxing surprising up-time out of the least reliable machines on the line while also serving as our quality conscience. Doug was easily rattled but his nervous energy helped him catch up when he got behind, and also to help keep the end of line workers straight.

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:: Identifying What to Watch: 14 Key Performance Indicators That Matter

As a CEO, it is your responsibility to pay attention to every detail of the business. From employee satisfaction to growth indicators, you need to be on top of how your company is performing at every turn. While there is an extensive range of KPIs available to you, knowing where to focus your attention when it comes to evaluating your business can make you more effective and make the best use of your time.

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:: Here is how small businesses can benefit from online marketplaces

The majority of small business owners agree that online marketplaces have positively impacted their sales, according to a poll by Manta.

Nearly 70% of small business owners polled stated that marketplaces like Amazon and eBay have helped them increase sales, while about 30% believe they have had a negative impact. Most small businesses (81%) believe that online sales are critical to their companys success, but most rely on their own websites as an e-commerce channel. Sixty-six percent of small businesses sell products through their own websites, 24% sell on Amazon, and 22% sell on eBay.

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:: Employees Are 32 Percent Less Likely to Quit if They Get This 1 Thing From Their Boss

There are a lot of reasons to hate a job: annoying co-workers; bad working conditions; long hours for too little pay; the stress level; and more.

But one of the worst things -- arguably the worst -- is having a bad boss.

When you don't feel seen, appreciated, or listened to by your direct manager, it can have a dramatic impact on not only your work performance, but also your sense of self-esteem. Over time, you can begin to feel anxious, worthless, and demoralized.

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