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Established Businesses and Growth


  • Submitted on 01 December 2016

    While December is a busy time for small businesses trying to end the year on a high note, it should also be a time for introspection and review. After all, December is National Write a Business Plan Month!

    You might think this occasion is reserved for new, aspiring business owners. But a business plan is so crucial for success that it’s also a good idea to take time to review your plan on a regular basis. This month is a great time for that.

  • Submitted on 17 November 2016

    Any armchair economist will tell you that entrepreneurship is central to a healthy economy. What they probably won’t tell you is that the rate of entrepreneurship in the United States has significantly declined over the last several decades. Data from the U.S. Census Bureau shows that in the late 1970s, at least 15 percent of American businesses were startups. Despite the popularity of business-venture-themed TV shows such as ABC’s Shark Tank, the number of new businesses has fallen to just 8 percent of all U.S. business operations.

    The reasons are varied, with both new and historic challenges contributing to the problem. As you might imagine, the Great Recession of 2008-2010 has played no small role.

  • Submitted on 08 November 2016

    Small Business Owners Prepare for the Most Important Shopping Day of the Year

    Mark your calendar, now in its seventh year, Small Business Saturday (November 26) is a day where every shopper can play a part to support their local economy and the small business owners who provide the majority of our economic growth.

  • Submitted on 03 November 2016

    “Protecting Personal Information: A Guide for BusinessWant something old and something new, all in one? Check out the FTC’s updated “Protecting Personal Information: A Guide for Business.” It’s the same principles that we’ve relied on for years, but with a new twist.

    You’ll find the latest tips about technologies that have emerged since we last published the guide. And a fresh look to match the Start with Security business education campaign.

    The updated version relies on the same bedrock principles: (1) Take Stock, (2) Scale Down, (3) Lock It, (4) Pitch It and (5) Plan Ahead. And the new twist? Here’s a glimpse of some of the updated advice:

  • Submitted on 26 September 2016

    The decision has been made. You have decided that XYZ bank is the bank-of-choice to lend your company some badly needed capital. Now is the time to pay that banker a visit, right? Wrong.

    Once you sit down with a business banker, you will need to answer a variety of questions about your financial needs and business goals.  If you do a little homework before hand, answering those questions thoroughly may ensure a smoother, and possibly quicker, loan application process.  Below are a few of the questions that most commercial lenders will want answered before your loan application can proceed.

  • Submitted on 26 September 2016

    One of the most effective ways to grow your business is also one of the oldest: networking. While it may not get as much buzz these days as social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter, old-fashioned, face-to-face networking is still essential for building a business.

    If networking makes you nervous, try these tips to make it easier, more effective and maybe even fun.

    1. Set goals for networking. Like any business effort, you need to set measurable goals so you can determine the best networking strategy; such as making X number of new contacts or qualified leads per month.

  • Submitted on 15 March 2016

    Created on March 15, 2016
     

    As many of us know, Trade Shows can be a prime location to seal deals and make new connections. This is the first of a three part Tradeology blog series to help your business succeed at the next trade show. Stay tuned for part two.

    At the Show

    Anyone who has exhibited at one or more trade shows inevitably has a horror story to share: missing graphics, lost shipments, brochures lost in the mail, booths breaking during setup, etc.  While these are indeed terrible incidents, the real horror stories are those of companies from the United States traveling halfway around the world to exhibit at a trade show, spending $15,000 - $20,000 cash, plus countless employee hours…and then spending most of the show on their iPhone, or not taking the time after the show to properly follow-up on leads.

  • Submitted on 04 February 2016

    Created on February 4, 2016
     

    Seven-month intensive, executive entrepreneurship education series now available in 51 Cities and Communities Across the United States

    ONLY 3 WEEKS LEFT TO APPLY!

    The U.S. Small Business Administration’s Emerging Leaders executive-level training series is launching in 51 cities and communities across the country this year.

  • Submitted on 01 February 2016

    Created on February 1, 2016
     

    The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) increased small business size standards affecting businesses in 46 industries in North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) Sector 42, Wholesale Trade, and in one industry in Sector 44-45, Retail Trade.  SBA retained the current size standards for the remaining industries in those sectors.  The final rule was published in the Federal Register on January 25th and will be effective February 26, 2016.

    As part of the review of all size standards under the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010 (Jobs Act), SBA reviewed 73 employee based size standards in those sectors to determine whether they should be revised or retained. 

  • Submitted on 29 December 2015

    Created on December 29, 2015
     

    Small Business ScamsA small business or nonprofit gets what appears to be an invoice for a listing in an online yellow pages directory. On the face of it, it looks legit. It includes the name of an employee at the office, a copy of what the listing looks like, the “walking fingers” symbol associated with directories – and a demand for the $486.95 the business or nonprofit supposedly owes for the listing. What’s really going on? As an FTC case against Canadian scammers suggests, chances are it’s a fraud targeting small businesses, doctors’ offices, retirement homes, churches, etc. And your company or community group could be at risk.

    Earlier this year, the FTC sued Ivan Chernev, German Lebedev, American Yellow Corporation, and a host of Montreal-based entities for pulling a fast one on smaller offices. It was bad enough that they billed the businesses and nonprofits for unauthorized listings. But when the companies that got the phony invoices dared to fight back, the FTC says the defendants turned up the heat. Recipients who ignored the bogus bills were sent collection warnings demanding payment of more than $2,000. When they refused to knuckle under, the defendants masqueraded as third-party debt collectors. In March 2015, the court halted the operation and froze the defendants’ assets pending litigation. The defendants didn’t respond, so the court entered a default judgment. That order requires the defendants to pay more than $1.2 million and bans them for life from the directory business.

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