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Small Business Blog - daily small business software blog

:: Small Business Vs Personal Credit Cards

When Rep. Nita Lowey, D-N.Y., introduced the Small Business Credit Card Act of 2013 to Congress back in June, she was attempting to right a wrong that has persisted since the original CARD Act took effect in October 2010.

The landmark law, which has increased transparency and bolstered consumer rights throughout the credit card industry, does not apply to credit cards branded for small business use. And while Loweys bill has the potential to correct this oversight, it has only a 1 percent chance of being enacted, according to GovTrack.

The roughly 37 percent of small business owners who leverage credit card debt each year must therefore learn how to get by without important legislatively provided rights if they wish to achieve debt stability and avoid losing money. CardHub conducted a study analyzing the small business credit card policies employed by the nations 10 largest issuers, and the five major takeaways are listed below.

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:: How to Do Market Research

Market research will help you understand your customers, familiarise yourself with the competition and get to know what people are prepared to pay for your product or service.

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:: How to Write a Business Plan

The business plan is a map which every SME needs to navigate their way to success. Here are top tips from the experts on how to write the first part of this essential guide:

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:: IRS Cracking Down on Small Businesses

The Internal Revenue Service has sent out letters to 20,000 small businesses since fall 2012, notifying them of possible income under-reporting.

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:: Hiring Tips for Small Business Owners

Small business owners face a long list of concerns: taxes, health insurance costs, advertising, and state regulations. As if that was not enough, having to worry about growth of your company and how to add employees can add to the stress. There are a few things to keep in mind when hiring new employees that will help avoid any potential problems.

When thinking about your needs for additional staff, keep a clear focus on required skills, job descriptions, and expectations you have for a new employee.

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:: Brand Personality On A Small Business Website: Possible?

I scratched my head when a small business in New York City asked us to do just that: build a website with brand personality.

Then it occurred to me that small businesses should be even better at projecting their personalities online than big companies.

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:: Virtualizing Your Small Business

Virtualization. The word evokes complex, pricey technologies beyond the grasp of all but the biggest enterprises. But virtualization offers many benefits for small businesses, including cost savings and IT efficiency. And options such as Oracles VirtualBox and VMware Workstation have put the technology within reach of small business budgets.

Here are some suggestions for how you can leverage the power of virtualization in your small business.

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:: Arizona Small Business Growth

Arizonas small businesses posted the nation’s second-largest hiring gains in July, with 0.08 percent growth, according to the latest Small Business Index from Intuit Payroll.

That marks the second consecutive month of job gains, following a 0.03 percent increase in June.

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:: Mobile Trends for Small Businesses

Now is a good time to launch a small business and, in order to succeed, there are a number of technology trends small businesses should know about. Management author, columnist and consultant Gene Marks offered his ideas on tech trends to watch during the second half of 2013:

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:: Small Businesses Should Test Disaster Recovery Plans

As a rule of thumb, a small- or mid-sized business should test its disaster recovery plan at least yearly, or any time the business undergoes a major change. However, most businesses are unprepared for common disasters such as floods, hurricanes and cyber-attacks.

A recent survey suggests that 17 percent of businesses never test their disaster plans and one-third test only once a year, an article on reports. When they do test, 81 percent of respondents report problems, and 11 percent encounter major problems or complete failure.

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:: Social Media Tips for Small Businesses

So which social media site should you use? It depends on the type of business you own, says Shama Kabani, the founder of Web marketing company The Marketing Zen Group. You should be wherever your customers are. A restaurant, for example, needs to closely monitor online review site Yelp.

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:: How to Take Your Small Business to the Next Level

Is your small-to-midsized business growing? As a company grows, its needs grow too. While many companies tend to evolve from one stage to another, more successful leaders consciously guide their businesses through growth stages, with a focus on streamlining operations and expanding smartly and efficiently.

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:: An Entrepreneurs Guide to #Hashtags

Hashtags are a key to riding todays social media wave. But understanding what a hashtag is, let alone implementing one, can be confusing for many small business owners -- even ones that consider themselves tech savvy. #smallbiz

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