Experts Weigh In: How Do You Reward Your Employees at the End of the Year?

Gift_BirthdayWe all treat our employees in different ways at the end of the year. Some businesses give bonuses, some extra vacation days, and some give out turkeys as a means of thanks! We reached out to our pool of small business experts and asked them how they thank their employees at the end of the year. Here are our top ten answers:  Continue reading

ABCs of Small Business Industry: R is for Retail

Hippster_Drinking_Coffee_smHard to believe, but we’re already to the ‘Rs’ for our ABCs of Small Business Industry series! And today’s R is for… retail!

Now when we think retail we typically think of clothing stores. But retail can be broken down into a few different categories: store retail, specialty retail, non store retail, mail order retail, internet retail, and vending machines. Continue reading

Business Basics: End of the Year Prep

The end of the year is right around the corner, and every year we hear small business owners panicking about December’s rapidly approaching end, wondering what they have to do to end the year right. Not to worry – ending the year is actually pretty easy, as long as you don’t wait until the last minute to get everything done! So if you haven’t already, start thinking about…
End of Year Prep

Submitting any filings or dissolutions

Some of the most common questions we are asked revolve around the best time to form an LLC or incorporate. And while there are no ironclad answers to those questions, the beginning of the year is normally a good time to send in that paperwork. Deadlines and renewal dates are easier to remember, staying on top of your taxes is simpler, and you can even file your paperwork early and miss the beginning of the year rush if you opt for a delayed filing. Continue reading

Make Users Fall in Love with Your Brand

shutterstock_131437046First of all, what is a brand?

A brand is a company’s perceived “personality,” or set of values that are associated with a company, product or service. A brand may be described as being dependable, fast, exclusive, expensive, or friendly. Unfortunately, some brands earn descriptors like dated, inefficient, sloppy, and unprofessional.

In effect, a brand is the sum of all the perceptions about your product, service or company that many different people have. These perceptions are a result of the way your brand looks, feels, and communicates, as well as the customer’s experience with the product itself and the service. All of these have to work in sync for a brand to establish positive equity with all stakeholders. Continue reading

ABCs of Small Business Industry: P is for Publishing

We are onto the letter P in our weekly ABCs of Small Business Industry posts, and this week we are going to look at the publishing industry! The publishing industry has had its highs and its lows over the last few years. And, with a few major publishers facing rocky business, it is too easy to assume that the industry is on its last legs. However, small publishing agencies may be entering into a bit of a renaissance, and now could be a great time for new businesses to get into the publishing industry! But how do you do that? And what proof is there that the industry is doing better?publishing industry

What do you need to do to get started in the publishing industry?
Like most unregulated industries, you don’t need anything special to get started in publishing. A DBA and any local licenses and permits are, at the very least, what you need to open your doors. Continue reading

Business Basics: Dissolutions

Business Entity ChoiceIn today’s BB segement, we’ll be going over the basics of dissolutions. What they are, why someone would want one, and what to do if you accidentally dissolve when you didn’t want to.

First of all, what is a dissolution?

A dissolution is a formal closure of a business with the state. A corporation or LLC must file articles of dissolution in order to complete the termination of a business. Upon being dissolved, the business will no longer need to file annual reports, pay state fees, taxes, or be seen as active in the eyes of the state.  Continue reading

10 Business Management Skills for Entrepreneurs

Group of business associates looking and pointing at a chart put up on the wallEver wondered what business management skills a business owner needs to stand the test of time and run a successful operation?

Or maybe you’ve questioned your own abilities and wondered, “Are there things I should know but don’t?”

You’re not alone in that thought.

The truth of the matter is: entrepreneurs need many different business management skills, character traits, and habits to make them successful. But there are certain business management skills that seem to stand out as highly important—both in research and polls. Continue reading

What Your Accountant Wishes You Knew Before You Walked in the Door

Closeup_Calculation_PaperworkYour accountant goes through a lot. Every one of their clients demands their full, undivided attention and expects a miracle. What you may not realize is that every time you walk into their office there’s a long list of things they wish you were at least aware of before you signed up with them.

Want to really impress your accountant at your next meeting? We talked to some real tax professionals to find out what you need to do. Then take this advice we gathered from CPAs to heart. Continue reading

2015 Small Business Industry Predictions: An Infographic

2014 is about to wrap up, and, as is the case with the closing of each year, we can’t help but think about what the coming year will mean for small business. So we scoured the internet for predictions about 2015 and lessons learned from 2014 to create our latest infographic, “2015 Small Business Industry Predictions.”

One of the best things we found was this hopeful statistic: 58% of small business owners expect that they will experience growth in 2015. Entrepreneurs everywhere think it’s going to be a great year for business!

What are your predictions?

Continue reading