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Small Business Blog - daily small business software blog

:: Internet Sales Tax

Many online purchases could soon be more expensive, if a long-debated Internet sales tax law advances through Congress.

The law would allow 45 states and the District of Columbia to demand that online retailers collect sales tax on purchases. Estimates are that consumers would be spending between $12 billion to $23 billion more a year due to the increased tax collection.

Here is what you need to know about the current law on online purchase and what would happen under the legislation:

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:: Small Businesses Take on Minimum Wage

Small businesses represent 99.7 percent of all employer firms in this country. They pay nearly half of the U.S. private sector payroll and have created two out of every three net new jobs over the past couple decades.

Put simply, small businesses are our economy. Given that it is still recovering, the economy needs all the help it can get to make it over the proverbial hump and flourish. Small businesses will play a key part in that journey.

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:: Boston is Special

Idealistic, hard-working, creative, community-minded entrepreneurs are the Bostonians of the business world -- friendly and happy, no-nonsense and strong.

Boston strong.

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:: Why Reading is Important


Why Reading is Important Cartoon

:: Help for Seniors Going Into Businesses

As working during retirement years has become commonplace, so has the desire among older Americans to strike out on their own and start a business for themselves.

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:: Five Small Business Ideas

The growth potential of businesses varies widely. For example, some businesses that charge their customers hourly fees stay small because there are only so many hours in a day you can work. The revenue growth of other businesses is not limited by the time the owner puts in. Nearly exponential growth is possible with some ventures. The size of the market, trends in consumer tastes and needs, and your own skills and interests will guide you toward market niches with big potential.

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:: Competing With Businesses That Break The Rules

Sixty-eight percent of business owners surveyed last month by the advocacy group Small Business Majority said too many companies gain an unfair advantage by hiring immigrants who aren't eligible to work in the U.S. In 2008, the Pew Research Hispanic Center estimated that 8.3 million people were working in the U.S. without permission. Current estimates put the total number of people in the U.S. without permission at about 11 million.

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:: Technical Diagnosis Cartoon


Technical Diagnosis Cartoon

:: Small Business Social Content

As mobile usage grows exponentially, small businesses should optimize their website content to make it more digestible on mobile platforms. By 2015 more U.S. consumers will access the Internet through mobile devices than through desktop PCs, says the International Data Corporation

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:: The Scoop on Small Businesses

There are 28 million small businesses in the United States, and they do quite a lot to fuel the American dream. As drivers of the U.S. economy, small businesses give opportunities to people with entrepreneurial spirits and the will to work hard. They are the basis of what the U.S. is founded upon, and continue to push the economy even in tight times. They produce 50 percent of the non-farm gross domestic product in the U.S. in addition to being important in other ways.

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:: Pros and Cons to Being Self Employed

Many employees dream of someday being an employer rather than an employee. There is a lot to be said for being self-employed, but it is not always as perfect and wonderful as it may seem. In addition to benefits, there are also some distinct downsides of being self-employed.

Pros and Cons to Being Self Employed

:: Business Travel Gadgets

The real joy of many of these new portable pieces of technology is that they reflect both sides of the business travel balance by increasing productivity, while, generally, being pretty fun to tote along.

These are five business travel gadgets that will keep you and your staff productive in the air, at a conference and even from the hotel room.

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:: US Small Businesses Delay Hiring

US Small Business Owners To Delay Hiring

- Three out of four to hold off hiring during next six months

- Cautious optimism revealed in aftermath of U.S. government actions

- PNC forecasts moderate growth will persist in 2013

U.S. small and mid-sized business owners plan to delay hiring new employees or seek new loans amid cautious optimism about the economy, according to the latest findings of the PNC Economic Outlook survey.

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:: I Work on the Internet Cartoon


I Work on the Internet Cartoon

:: Do You Micromanage?

Micromanagement. It may seem like a little thing that is isolated to a few managers, or staff in your company, but the effects of micromanagement could have a huge long- and short-term negative impact on your ability to be effective as a manager, and your ability to achieve or exceed your company's goals. Take a second to think about these questions:

    Do you tell your employees what to do?
    Do you oversee all aspects of their projects?
    Do you direct rather than empower?
    Do spend more time on day-to-day tasks vs the growth of your company?

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:: 5 Tips to Prepare for Small Business Growth

You have worked hard to position your company for growth, so that when the economy improves, your bottom line keeps pace. Shoving insurance to the bottom of your to-do list threatens all that hard work.

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:: Seven Payroll Tips for Small Business Owners

Having a staff on payroll can seem very commonplace as well as essential to running a small business, but many owners get in trouble with Uncle Sam because they do not understand the complexity of payroll tax law.

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:: What are Your Employees Doing When You Think They are Working?

Sixty-nine percent of employees report wasting at least a half hour of time per workday. Another 21 percent report wasting at least some time each week. The other valiant, hard working 10 percent who report that they never waste time?

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:: Which Social Media Should You Use?

Facebook still may be the king when it comes to social media marketing for small businesses, but other social networking sites are making significant gains among small businesses owners and entrepreneurs, new research has found.

Overall, 80 percent of small business owners say they are using some form of social media marketing.

Those business owners have shown a preference for certain social platforms for marketing. Eighty-two percent of small business owners say Facebook is the most effective social media platform for their business, up from 75 percent in May 2012.

However, LinkedIn and Twitter saw the biggest perceived gains in effectiveness among small business owners. Twenty-nine percent of small business owners say LinkedIn is the most effective social media platform for their organization, up from 10 percent in May 2012.

:: Small Businesses Score on Social Media

Having customers who are also Facebook fans are more valuable to retailers than those shoppers who are not as social media savvy, new research finds.

A study by researchers at the University at Buffalo, Texas A&M University and Aalto University in Finland revealed proof that customers who engage with a business through social media contribute more to the bottom line than those who don't.

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:: Pricing Rules You Need to Know

Customers are irrational about prices. How can you make the most of their weirdness? This roundup of pricing rules of thumb based on research can help.

Pricing is notoriously hard. Simply asking your customers what they would pay sounds sensible, but often does not work. People frequently don't know what things are worth, and their stated preferences frequently do not match their real-world actions. But simply taking your best guess and slapping a price tag on something usually means you are leaving money on the table.

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:: Free Tools to Monitor Your Brand

There are a number of things that you can do to monitor your online brand, as well as monitoring the brand of a competitor. Being aware of what is said, and when it is being said, will allow you to react in a timely fashion. It is often a companies reaction to negative media that leaves the biggest impression. In order to turn a negative into a positive, you must first be aware that a conversation is taking place. Fortunately, there are a number of free tools that can assist companies with brand monitoring...

Free Tools to Monitor Your Brand

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