Planning for the Year Ahead as a Small Business Owner

The Dog Days of Summer: What Small Business Owners Need to Know About Bringing Pets to WorkThere’s no let up in small business, is there?  There’s barely a pause between the end of one year and the beginning of the next.  As a new year begins, it’s tempting to just keep running, doing the same things all over again.  However, it’s critical to stop and reflect on last year and what you want to achieve this year. There are a number of areas you’ll find useful to focus on when planning for the year ahead as a small business owner. Continue reading

The Basics of Financing your franchise or Small Business

reasonable compensationLet’s face it, starting a new small business or franchise is going to have some startup costs. Some areas to be considered might include retaining professionals such as accountants, advisors, and attorneys, along with marketing and advertising costs, hiring employees, buying machinery or other equipment, maintaining physical space and buying insurance- it all seems to add up quickly! With this in mind, here are a few thoughts on financing your franchise or small business the best way possible. Continue reading

6 Tips for Creating a Great Business Plan

Copy of Job InterviewWhatever the aims for your business might be, there is a good chance that at some stage you will need to draw up a clear plan for its progress. The process of creating a business plan can be hard work but it  serves a variety of important functions, especially when it comes to potentially attracting the financing that small companies so badly need in order to get started.

With that in mind, here are 6 tips for getting it right when it comes to building a great business plan. Continue reading

Looking Back at the Winning and Losing Ad Campaigns of 2014

How to Use Emoticons Professionally in BusinessAdvertising is on the rise, quite an ascension if you look at the numbers. By 2016, it is estimated that ad revenue will double from 2011, hitting over 16.5 billion dollars annually, a 13.7% compounded annual growth. These figures are nothing to sneeze at, and we can learn from the successes and hiccups from 2014 when it comes to our advertising dollars.

No one sets out to fail and everyone wants to succeed, especially when it comes to advertising, but one may never know if something will flop or fly. While the road to a winning ad campaign can be paved with good intentions, it can sometimes fall short in the long run. Looking back at 2014, there were some real champions and a few chumps when it came to running a successful ad campaign. Continue reading

Top 5 Tips to Ensure Workplace Security

Copyright InfringementSecurity at the workplace is as important as it is at home. Most employees spend the better part of the day in their office. So it’s important that you, as an employer, look after their health and safety.

But security at the workplace means more than that. The most important step a company can take to improve its security measures is to close the internal gaps. Continue reading

5 Tips For Word of Mouth Marketing

shutterstock_141838129Even start-up tech companies that are seemingly rooted in the digital realm place value on the importance of word of mouth marketing. However, it’s important to remember that a business that offers a personal service should be naturally aligned towards a referral plan. If you think of a wedding photographer, virtually all of their business will come from referrals. Now think of a home swapping service for vacations, the company is completely different, but it still offers a personal service. All companies of this ilk should have a strong focus on referrals, but there is virtually no company that shouldn’t consider them at some level.

Referral schemes are often misunderstood, pushed to the side, or simply neglected and allowed to underperform. Below you will find a few handy tips that will help you to ensure that your referral scheme doesn’t suffer the same fate. Continue reading

5 Signs You’re Ready for Serious SEO

touchscreen interfaceWhile a lot of salespeople will tell you otherwise, search engine optimization (SEO) isn’t for everyone. It can be expensive and often takes months or years to develop a sizeable return on investment. For a lot of small- to mid-sized business owners, the expense of SEO, which often starts at around $1,000 a month, is a difficult burden to take on. While every site should do SEO, not every site should pay for it. If you answer ‘yes’ to the following 5 questions, you’re probably ready to hire an SEO company. Continue reading

You Don’t Know What You Don’t Know About Starting a Business

Group of business associates looking and pointing at a chart put up on the wallOver the years of working with startups and small businesses, we have come to realize there are a couple of common misunderstandings about starting a business that can seriously impact one’s chances for success. Knowing that you must address the following two key tasks upfront allows you to avoid a crisis down the road. Continue reading

How to Forget About Sales Tax (And Get Away with It)

Guess what? You have sales taxes due soon. Did you forget? It’s hard to blame you – it’s been a year since you last paid!shutterstock_107632895

Did that intro cause you to freak out a little? That means you’re one of the lucky business owners who only have to worry about sales tax on an annual basis. On the other hand, only having to deal with sales tax once a year has its downsides. Often this means you simply forget what to do when sales tax time rolls around. Continue reading