Turn 2015 into Your Best Year Yet in 33 Steps

shutterstock_107632895_sm2015 is well on its way to the end, with the first quarter already gone. However, it started on a high note in many circles – fuel prices and unemployment are on the decline, and entrepreneurship is in its all-time high. If you are an entrepreneur in 2015 (or not), here are a few powerful ways you can make the rest of this year stand out: Continue reading

Summer Business Tips That Will Make You More Productive

shutterstock_96137972_smallAs we all know, summer tis the season to be distracted. With the sun shining, holidays approaching and school terms ending, it can be all too easy to succumb to the notion that productivity will be waning.

However, when the sun has got his hat on, it is, in fact, possible to turn these distractions into positive ways to significantly improve your output.

Embrace summer in the office

If you’re worried about keeping your staff productive – as well as your own productivity – when a heatwave is looming, there are simple processes you can implement to boost business productivity, and morale with it. Continue reading

The Small-Business Owner’s Guide To Paid Search

LogoGardenPhotoPaid search marketing is an effective way for small companies to generate sales leads and e-commerce revenue. Whereas organic search marketing (SEO, for the most part) takes months or years to bear fruit, paid search marketing gives companies instant search engine visibility; an immediate opportunity to increase revenue.

While there are many types of paid search marketing, this article will focus on PPC (pay-per-click) advertising, and specifically Google AdWords, the most important, and most popular, and usually most effective type of paid search. Nevertheless, many of the ideas presented here apply to other forms of paid search such as Bing Ads and retargeting. Continue reading

Navigating July’s Sales Tax Perfect Storm

Florida BeachSummer is here and with it comes summer storms – of the meteorological kind and the business administration kind. We’re talking about sales tax. If you sell products, then July is most likely a busy time for you and your sales tax filing duties!

But never fear, at TaxJar we have your back when it comes to handling all the vagaries of sales tax. Here’s what you need to know to navigate July’s sales tax perfect storm. Continue reading

Making Sense of a Personal Guarantee

underwriterIf you’re in the process of applying for a bank loan for your small business, you may have been asked by your lender to make a personal guarantee for your loan. While making a personal guarantee can help you qualify for the loan or even get a better interest rate, there are a multitude of risks involved.

Just what is a personal guarantee, and how do you know whether it’s the right choice for your business financing needs?

Let’s break down what you need to know before making a personal guarantee for your small business loan. Continue reading

Should You Hire A Social Media Pro?

touchscreen interfaceSocial media has become a critical aspect of every successful business. It allows a more direct and casual form of interaction with customers and enables real-time updates on products, information and services. Social media outlets like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram aren’t just something we do on occasion; they’re woven into the very fabric of our lives.

Social media can make or break a business, especially one that’s just starting out. By now, nearly every business entity has a position that is responsible for social media management. And while you may wonder who will be a good fit for such a position, there’s another question you may want to ask yourself: should I hire someone in-house, or should I look for a social media pro?

There are many things to consider when deciding who will handle social media duties for your company. Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of both options. Continue reading

How to Successfully Start Your Own Business in 6 Steps

Come_In_Were_OpenAccording to Bloomberg, 8 out of 10 new small businesses will fail within the first 18 months. In other words, it’s not easy being your own boss. To make it as a company involves planning, making sound financial decisions and carrying out what seems to be an endless list of legal activities.

Of course, that’s just the beginning. Even after all your paperwork has been completed and you’ve given the first down payment to secure that business location you had your eye on; there are other things you need to figure out: Will you limit your online presence to a “simple” website or will you have some sort of social media presence? Will you buy a phone system or settle for a softphone? Will you hire any remote workers or you plan to keep your staff local?

Here are the key obstacles an entrepreneur must overcome to successfully start a new business: Continue reading

6 Tips That Will Help You Come Up With a Great Business Budget

income taxAs an entrepreneur starting out in business, you might know a lot of things about how to penetrate your market, but you can’t know everything. One of the areas that most start up business people find themselves lacking is in bookkeeping.

Budgeting is an aspect of bookkeeping that most people think comes naturally, but it doesn’t. Even though you are very good at maintaining a healthy personal budget, when it comes to a business, the principles change.

With a little training, though, you can learn tips that will get you started in creating a good business budget. Continue reading

8 Effective Tools for Powerful Social Media

Social media signsAs of last year, 72% of all internet users are now active on social media. Though, if you’re taking full advantage of each and every social platform you can get your hands on, , it can become difficult to monitor and stay on top of your entire social presence.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed keeping all of your social channels up-to-date, these 8 social tools may be able to help you out:  Continue reading

6 Surprising Secrets to Startup Success

Idea_Thinking_Woman2Let’s imagine you’re finally getting off that couch and building that company you’ve always dreamed of. One that sells non-embarrassing gym clothing to people who desperately need the gym. (Like me. Probably you too.) You’ve been smart about this and wasted no time in setting up a great looking DIY website. You have a couple of co-founders who share your passion for gym wear (and loathing for exercise). You even have a small seed fund that helps you get the basics in place – a small office, suppliers, a few employees, the works.

So you’re all set to beat the Lululemons of the world?

Maybe not. Because, as every entrepreneur knows, a successful startup is not about getting all the pieces of a puzzle together. It’s about getting all those disparate pieces to work together in a creative yet efficient manner. Continue reading