Author: onEntrepreneur

onEntrepreneur is the go-to source for entrepreneurs looking to get ahead. Our online magazine offers practical, actionable advice to help startups succeed across key areas like business strategy, marketing, technology, leadership, management and more. Sign up for our regularly updated newsletter to receive our latest articles and insights directly in your inbox.

Adjusting entries are an essential aspect of accounting. They ensure that financial statements accurately reflect a company’s financial position and performance. In this article, we’ll discuss what adjusting entries are, why they’re necessary, and provide some examples of different types of it. What are Adjusting Entries? Adjusting entries are journal entries made at the end of an accounting period to update accounts that are not regularly updated during the period. These entries ensure that the financial statements accurately reflect the company’s financial position and performance for the period. Adjusting entries are necessary because some transactions are not recorded during the…

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The “war for talent” is a term that has become increasingly popular in recent years as organizations compete to attract and retain top talent. It refers to the intense competition among companies to recruit and retain highly skilled workers, often through offering attractive salaries, benefits, and perks. While this competition can certainly lead to positive outcomes, such as increased innovation and productivity, it is important to also consider the potential downsides that can arise from engaging in a “war for talent.” In this blog post, we will explore the potential downsides of the “war for talent” for firms, including increased…

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Personal finance is an essential aspect of our lives, and it is something we cannot afford to ignore. It involves managing your money, budgeting, and investing, among other things. While it might seem like personal finance is all about the numbers, it’s much more than that. Your behavior plays a significant role in how successful you are in managing your finances. In this blog post, we will discuss why personal finance is dependent on your behavior and provide examples of how your behavior can impact your financial health. Understanding the Psychology of Money One of the main reasons why personal…

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As a business owner, you are likely aware of the many tax deductions and credits available to help reduce your tax burden. However, you may not be familiar with bonus depreciation, a valuable tool that can help you save even more money on your taxes. In this article, we’ll explain what bonus depreciation is, how it works, and provide some examples to help you better understand how it can benefit your business. What is Bonus Depreciation? Bonus depreciation is a tax incentive that allows businesses to immediately deduct a percentage of the cost of qualified property from their taxable income.…

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As a business owner, you may have heard the term “capitalization policy” thrown around by accountants, financial advisors, or other professionals. But what exactly does it mean? In this article, we’ll define capitalization policy and provide examples to help you understand how it can impact your business. What is Capitalization Policy? Capitalization policy refers to a company’s decision on how to record expenses related to acquiring or improving long-term assets, such as buildings, equipment, or software. The policy determines whether these expenses are recorded as an asset (i.e., capitalized) or an expense (i.e., expensed). In other words, a capitalization policy…

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When it comes to financing your goals or needs, credit can be a useful tool. However, not all credit is created equal. There are two main types of credit – installment credit and revolving credit – each with its unique features and benefits. In this article, we’ll explore the differences between these two types of credit and help you decide which one is right for you. What is Installment Credit? Installment credit is a type of credit that involves borrowing a fixed amount of money, which is then paid back over a set period, with interest. The most common examples…

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As consumers, we often find ourselves taking out loans to finance various purchases, whether it’s a car, a home, or a personal loan for a large expense. When we take out these loans, we’re faced with the task of understanding the terms and conditions of the loan, including the repayment schedule. Two common repayment methods that are often used are installment payments and amortization payments. In this article, we’ll explore the differences between these two repayment methods and how they can affect the total cost of the loan. Understanding Installment Payments Installment payments are a form of loan repayment where…

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As artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) technologies continue to advance, it’s essential to understand the difference between generative and discriminative models. Both models play a vital role in the field of ML and AI and are used for various applications, such as image recognition, speech processing, and natural language processing. What are Generative Models? Generative models aim to model the joint distribution of the input features and the target variable. In other words, they try to understand how the input data is generated and then use that understanding to generate new data that is similar to the original…

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When it comes to software development, there are two primary approaches: Agile and Waterfall. While both approaches aim to deliver quality software, they differ significantly in their methodologies and principles. In this article, we’ll explore the differences between Agile and Waterfall, their pros and cons, and which approach might be best for your organization. What is Agile methodology? Agile methodology, which was first introduced in the 2001 Agile Manifesto, is an iterative and incremental approach to software development. It emphasizes collaboration, flexibility, and adaptability throughout the entire development cycle. Agile teams work in short cycles, typically two to four weeks,…

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Introduction In the world of project management, the terms Scrum Master (SM) and Project Manager (PM) are often used interchangeably. However, there are significant differences between the two roles, and understanding these differences is crucial for any organization that is adopting Agile methodology. Agile is a project management methodology that has been gaining popularity in recent years. Its iterative approach to project management emphasizes collaboration, flexibility, and adaptability. According to the statistics of 2023, a significant majority of U.S. companies, at least 71%, are utilizing Agile methodology, which boasts a higher success rate of 64% compared to waterfall’s 49%. Adopting…

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Public speaking has always been an important part of the business. Whether you’re an entrepreneur, a salesperson, or a member of the mailroom, speaking confidently to a room full of people can prove invaluable to helping your career or your business.  Good public speaking skill is considered an art form. Mastering an art form takes tons of practice. Getting the opportunity to speak in front of small, informal groups will aid you greatly when the opportunity arises to speak in front of larger, more formal groups. In addition to taking steps to improve your confidence, there are other things you can…

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At the heart of every successful business lies a compelling story. Storytelling is not only a powerful tool for building brand awareness and customer engagement, but it also plays a critical role in establishing your business as a thought leader in your industry. In this article, we’ll explore the reasons why storytelling is essential for business growth and how you can leverage it to achieve your goals. The Power of Storytelling in Business Stories have always been a part of human culture and have been used to convey ideas, morals, and emotions for thousands of years. While we typically think…

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Kaizen(改善, “improvement”), the Japanese philosophy of continuous improvement, has been widely adopted in many areas of life and business. Initiated by Japanese companies after World War II, this doctrine has now become a popular strategy worldwide. When applied to business, Kaizen focuses on improving all functions and employee productivity within each daily process. The goal is to make simple, small, or gradual changes to increase efficiency and productivity continually. This approach ensures long-term big changes and benefits, such as improved production, higher quality, and lower costs. To implement Kaizen effectively, company-wide cooperation from top management to lower-level employees is necessary.…

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Strategic partnerships are an essential aspect of business growth, providing businesses with opportunities to share resources and expertise and fill gaps for mutual benefits. In simple terms, strategic partnerships are formal alliances between two businesses working together to achieve common goals. However, it is crucial to understand that strategic partnerships are not joint ventures, mergers, or acquisitions. In 1993, Starbucks partnered with Barnes & Noble bookstores to open Starbucks coffee shops inside the storefronts. This partnership proved to be a successful move for both companies. More recently, Starbucks entered the Chinese market and turned an unlikely customer base that traditionally…

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This article is about one of the most hotly debated topics in the tech industry: the difference between cloud computing and on-premises computing. With the rapid adoption of AI and cloud technology, many people are wondering whether it’s time to ditch on-premises infrastructure altogether. In this blog post, we’ll shed light on the differences between these two approaches to computing and help you make an informed decision on which one to choose. First, let’s define what cloud computing and on-premises computing are. What is Cloud Computing? Cloud computing refers to the delivery of computing services, including servers, storage, databases, networking,…

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Introduction There are some difficulties in managing a fleet for a modest company. Compliance with applicable laws and ensuring the safety of your vehicles and employees are the most important aspects to handle. This article will provide a high-level overview of fleet safety and compliance, outlining concrete measures company owners can take to improve fleet management. Implementing a Comprehensive Fleet Safety Program Keeping your company’s workforce up to code is important for many reasons, not the least of which is safety. Staying Up-to-Date with Regulatory Requirements The cornerstone of sustaining conformance and safety is the development and implementation of a…

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Introduction Understanding the difference between gross pay and net pay is crucial for employees as it affects their take-home pay. It is also essential for employers to know the difference between these two terms when calculating their employees’ salaries. In this article, we will provide a detailed explanation of what gross pay and net pay are, the difference between the two, and how they are calculated. What is Gross Pay? Gross pay refers to the total amount of money an employee earns before any deductions are made. This includes salary or wages, overtime pay, bonuses, commissions, and any other forms…

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As technology continues to advance, so does the field of artificial intelligence. One particular type of AI that has garnered a lot of attention in recent years is generative AI. In this blog post, we’ll take a closer look at generative AI, its capabilities, real-world applications, and ethical implications. 1. What is Generative AI? Generative AI is a type of artificial intelligence that creates new data, such as images, text, and music, based on patterns found in existing data. It works by learning the underlying structure of the data and then using that structure to generate new content. Unlike discriminative…

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If you have bad credit, it can be difficult to find a loan that fits your needs and budget. However, it’s not impossible. With a little research and patience, you can find a loan that meets your financial needs without breaking the bank. In this article, we’ll share some tips for finding affordable short-term loans when you have bad credit. 1. Understanding Your Credit Score Before you start looking for a loan, it’s important to understand your credit score. Your credit score is a numerical representation of your creditworthiness, based on your credit history and other factors. A higher credit…

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Most of us are probably aware by now that you can’t recycle laminated paper. But you might be interested to know that there is a way you can recycle laminated paper if you’re looking for a way to dispose of this material responsibly. After all, many people throw out laminated papers with general rubbish because they believe it isn’t recyclable. So why not find out if that’s actually true? Here’s everything you need to know about recycling laminated paper. What is laminated paper? Laminated paper is a type of paper that is used in many different types of books, magazines,…

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Cryptocurrencies have been gaining popularity in recent years, with many people investing in them as a way to make money. However, this has also led to a rise in cryptocurrency scams, with fraudsters taking advantage of the lack of regulation in this market. More than 46,000 consumers have reported losing over $1 billion in cryptocurrency to scams since the beginning of 2021; this is around one out of every four dollars reported lost and is more than any other payment method. This article aims to educate you on the most common cryptocurrency scams and how to avoid them. 1. Phishing Scams…

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Small businesses are the backbone of the economy, and their success is crucial to the health of communities and the overall economy. However, small business owners often struggle to get the word out about their products and services and attract customers. This is where small business marketing comes in. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll cover the top small business marketing strategies to help you increase your customer base and grow your business. 1. Identify Your Target Market The first step in any successful marketing campaign is to identify your target market. Who are your ideal customers? What are their needs,…

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As a real estate agent, staying informed about the various tax-advantaged accounts available to you is essential. These accounts can help you save money on taxes and can also be used to save for retirement or other financial goals. In this article, we will discuss seven tax-advantaged accounts that every real estate agent should consider. 1. Traditional IRA A traditional IRA is a type of individual retirement account that allows you to save for retirement on a tax-deferred basis. Contributions to a traditional IRA are typically tax-deductible, and the money in the account grows tax-free until you withdraw it in…

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Hire purchase and installment systems are both methods of purchasing goods or assets on credit, but they have some key differences. Hire purchase and installment systems are both common ways to finance the purchase of goods. They differ in terms of the option to purchase, the option to terminate, and the transfer of ownership. Hire purchase involves an agreement between the buyer and seller where the seller allows the buyer to use the asset by making regular payments towards the purchase price. The buyer also has the option to fully purchase the item by paying all remaining installments. On the…

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The idea of entrepreneurship is becoming increasingly popular among individuals, as an alternative to joining a traditional job. To gain a deeper understanding of the world of entrepreneurship, it is essential to familiarize oneself with the various types of entrepreneurship and their respective examples. This knowledge can aid in making informed decisions when starting a new venture. What is Entrepreneurship? Entrepreneurship is known as the process of creating or starting a business venture with the motive of profit generation. It involves identifying a need in the market and developing a product or service to meet that need. The person who…

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When obtaining a loan, an individual is borrowing a certain amount of money. The overall expense of the loan is the sum of the borrowed amount and the interest that must be paid on the loan. The term “cost of borrowing” encompasses the principal amount of the loan, interest, and any additional fees associated with the loan. This total cost is what is referred to as the “cost of borrowing.” It is important for borrowers to fully understand and be made aware of it before finalizing the loan agreement. Importance of cost of borrowing The cost of borrowing is important…

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Many businesses rely on materials and services produced overseas in today’s interconnected industries and distribution networks. This is so they can stay competitive and even have the edge over other local businesses.  Of course, because of this trend, many businesses have benefited greatly due to the amount of business they can have, increasing their profits. However, this intricate network of people and businesses also means that any person or business that goes down in that supply chain will severely affect the network as a whole. It’s called supply chain disruption, and we’ll discuss it briefly. What is Supply Chain Disruption?…

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Interest also plays an important role in determining the overall cost of borrowing. The higher the interest rate, the more expensive it is for borrowers to access the funds they need. This can impact the affordability and feasibility of certain projects, investments, or purchases. There are multiple terms related to interest like interest earned, interest paid and interest accrual. In this article, we are going to discuss the difference between interest earned, interest paid and interest accrual. What is interest earned? Interest earned is the amount of money that is gained from an investment or savings account over a certain…

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Investors and analysts can use the cash flow adequacy ratio to gauge a company’s financial health and determine its capacity to generate cash and handle its financial obligations. It is typically used in conjunction with other financial ratios and metrics to get a more complete picture of the company’s financial health. What is the cash flow adequacy ratio? The cash flow adequacy ratio is a financial measure that compares a company’s cash inflows to its cash outflows. It is used to determine whether a company has sufficient cash to meet its short-term financial obligations and pay its bills. Divide the…

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Image Source: Wikimedia In short, yes, Alibaba is a safe and legit platform. It is a leading e-commerce company that has been in business for over 20 years and has a reputation for being a reliable and trustworthy platform for buying and selling products. Even though there are few chances of scams, Alibaba has strict policies in place to guarantee the reliability and safety of its products and sellers. It also has a strong system in place for handling disputes and resolving any difficulties that may arise. Additionally, Alibaba offers a secure payment system that guarantees the security of your…

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Financial literacy is the ability to understand and manage personal finances. It involves understanding financial concepts and being able to make informed decisions about financial products, such as investments, insurance, and mortgages. It also involves managing your own personal money, including spending, saving, and investing. Unfortunately, many people lack financial literacy, which can lead to poor money management and financial difficulties. Developing financial literacy is important for people of all ages, as it can help you make better decisions about your money and improve your overall financial well-being. It is even more needed in today’s world where we are facing…

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You’ve hit a wall in your business growth. You need more working capital. A small business loan may be the most secure and cost-effective approach to receiving the capital your firm need. The requirements can be stringent and the application process can be extensive. Here are five strategies for securing a small business loan. 1. Prepare to Explain the Reasons for Your Loan In order for a lender to approve your loan proposal, they will need to see a convincing reason for the funds. If you are just going to use the money to pay off other debts, lenders will…

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Inventory management is a fundamental factor in a business’s success. You can forecast future demand using your inventory and sales patterns, allowing you to plan your budget and, if required, begin implementing promotions. Finding the ideal inventory management accounting strategy is crucial for a business to flourish because it allows it to fulfill demand without under or oversupply. In this guide, we’ll go through the types of inventory reports and how they can benefit your business: What is Inventory Reporting? An inventory report is an overview of a merchant’s stock. It is a written or electronic record that lists available…

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You may have already identified the profitable business you’d like to invest in and drafted a business contract. However, do you have what it takes to make the most out of your new business venture? Investing in a business can be an enticing pursuit for individuals who wish to branch into the corporate world. However, getting a business off the ground requires a lot of things. For starters, you need to analyze the market to understand the idea/concept behind the company you’re putting your money into. In addition, you need to fully understand the terms of investment, seek financing, prepare…

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Although personal finance is a very important subject for life, you don’t get to see it in most of the syllabus, around the colleges, or even in universities. Since there is a very thin presence of personal finance in young adults, most of them are clueless about how to manage their money, track their expenses, and things related to finance. Lucky are those whose parents teach them at an early stage, but for those who have no idea, it’s not too late to learn about it. Most of the personal finance tips are learnt through the journey of life itself…

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Hosting your business at home instead of in an office offers a number of benefits for entrepreneurs. Not only can you avoid the costs associated with leasing and maintaining a commercial space, but you may also get more work done since you’re not spending hours each day commuting. Additionally, many business owners can deduct a portion of their home costs, including rent and electricity, on their income taxes. Entrepreneurs can then funnel these savings directly back into the business. Clearly, business owners can save money with a home office. However, if your business is successful, at some point, you will more than likely need…

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You might not know it, but your current job might be preparing you to work for yourself one day. Few people realize it, but some of the most thankless and demanding jobs actually prepare you for a lot of what you’ll face as an entrepreneur. While no one job will prepare you for everything, your current job is probably already teaching you valuable lessons applicable to things like supply chain management, customer relationship management, and even safety code compliance. So as your professional career wakes up to “I’ve Got You, Babe” for the umpteenth time, remember that your time isn’t…

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Traditional marketing focuses on acquiring new customers through individual sales. In contrast, relationship marketing is the employment of strategies that develop strong relationships with existing customers, which ultimately contributes to long-term business success by keeping customers happy and increasing customer retention and loyalty while decreasing returns. Good relationship marketing centers around addressing customer needs and interests and providing open communication. Social media in particular has made relationship marketing strategies easier to implement. Whether you do it online or over the counter, here are some approaches to relationship marketing that can build customer loyalty while driving revenue for your business. 1. Collect Feedback From Your Customers to Truly Understand Their Needs Know…

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Operating a home-based business allows entrepreneurs to be their own bosses while developing products and services that matter to them. While the idea of escaping the stress and competition of the traditional office setting is appealing, small business owners often struggle to mature their home-based businesses into more fruitful companies. Here are five tips for growing your home-based business while avoiding the “rat race.” 1. Start With One Product Want to ensure that your home-based business is a success? Start with just one product or service. Many new companies make the mistake of promoting too many products at the same time. By focusing on a single…

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Approximately 792,000 franchise businesses are predicted to exist in the US in 2022, producing an estimated 827 billion USD in economic production and employing close to 8.5 million people. As an established business owner, you naturally want to fulfill your growth potential. Knowing which path to take, however, is not always a clear-cut decision. Franchising can be one of the most rewarding experiences in your career, but getting there takes a lot of hard work. In fact, depending on certain circumstances, your business might be better off not franchising. But let’s examine why you might. When you consider whether or…

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As more entrepreneurs look to launch business ventures in increasingly crowded and competitive industries, many owners realize that using innovative business models can mean the difference between success and failure. The freemium model, which originated in the IT space, is one approach many startups are using to adapt to this fast-changing market. Contrary to popular belief, freemium (a term that combines the words “free” and “premium”) is not based on giving away all of your products and services for free. Freemium products simply provide users with the basic functions of an application or a limited number of service features at no cost while charging…

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Starting your own business, especially one that relies on your knowledge or experience instead of selling a physical product, can be highly rewarding, but it’s also pretty tough. You want to be able to share the things you’ve learned and offer advice to other businesses as a way to help them grow. However, putting an accurate price on that experience becomes a very nebulous proposition. Some experts would tell you to charge what you’re worth and never feel the need to apologize. Others would probably mention pricing your services based on what the market can bear, and still others might say that you should…

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Getting to the point where you can hire new employees is exciting. It means you’re succeeding—or at the very least growing—and that you need to increase your manpower to continue that success. You want to bring on experienced, highly skilled employees to help you take your business to the next level, but what do you do when you simply can’t afford the caliber of employee you want to hire? Tons of surveys and studies all point to one simple fact: money is not a top motivator for most people. While there will always be job candidates who refuse to budge on salary, there are many others who…

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Starting a home-based business is an alluring prospect for many entrepreneurs. You have the option to work for yourself, make your own schedule and do the kind of work you’re interested in. You can dress however you like, and your commute consists of walking from the bedroom to the office. However, running a home-based business is not without its own set of challenges. Many people fail to realize that running a business requires thorough preparation and a lot of planning in order to effectively deal with those challenges. To help you on your way to self-sufficiency, here are six eye-opening challenges…

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Most entrepreneurs already have an excessive amount of enthusiasm for their businesses. This enthusiasm lends itself to developing a fair understanding of how the worlds of sales, marketing, mergers and meetings work. However, any entrepreneur would probably admit that there is some skill or talent that he or she wishes they had mastered before starting up. These areas of relative weakness, or perhaps simply less obvious skills, are the ones that aspiring entrepreneurs should give a second glance. Below are eight of the most essential skills for entrepreneurs and explanations of why they are important. By mastering each of these skills, an entrepreneur will…

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You most likely understand the implications of starting your own business. A large amount of risk is definitely involved, including the potential for severe financial setbacks, but above all, you need to have a strong entrepreneurial spirit. If you’re reading this article, you probably have dreams of starting your own business. It’s fine to dream, but in the real world, you need to have some incredibly good reasons to ditch your day job and work for yourself.  When you think “good reason,” it needs to be more substantial than blanket value judgments like “my clients are horrible” or “I hate my boss.” For the majority…

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Do you learn better using visual tools, auditory tools, both or none of the above? The methods people employ to most effectively learn, teach and retain information have spawned countless pedagogies and methodologies in both academia and the corporate world. Since the first flow charts and pie charts were developed during the 1970s and 1980s, visual displays have been used to explain complex information in simple illustrations that people find useful and easily digestible.  Mind mapping is one method that helps people arrange ideas and concepts around a central theme or premise; it’s utilized in small and large companies alike to identify and achieve…

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Scenarios, in simple terms, are possible and plausible pictures of the future. Within the corporate world, scenario planning (also known as scenario mapping, reality mapping or design mapping) is a method used by organizations to collaboratively develop, discuss and communicate possible outcomes and solutions around different business scenarios. Large multinational companies have pioneered scenario planning to reveal connections between strategic planning, risk management, leadership development and innovation. Thus, scenario mapping helps organizations “think outside of the box” by challenging the industry status quo and by tapping into your team’s creativity and understanding of future business opportunities. What is Scenario Planning? Scenario planning (or…

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As an occupation, sales is not for everyone. Becoming great at it requires a willingness to put yourself out there, learn the ropes and be consistent and persistent. But if you can master these skills, you can make quite a bit of money. At the core of any salesperson’s worth, his or her salt is the ability to connect with people and form relationships. Good salesmanship begins with a sense of perspective about where the client is coming from and what their needs are. It ends with the skills outlined below. Although they appear to be simple, they take quite a bit of time to master,…

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Every business aims to sell its products or services to customers. To do this effectively, companies must guide potential buyers through each stage of the sales cycle, from initial contact to final purchase and beyond. Understanding and optimizing this process is crucial for sales success. What is a Sales Cycle? The sales cycle refers to each stage of the sales process, from initial customer contact to transaction completion and follow-ups. It’s the process a potential customer goes through from realizing they need a product to actually making a purchase. Sales cycles vary depending on your industry, the cost of your…

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Of the many gifts given by social media, none may be so fruitful as the ease of use for people to create and share their own work, especially if it features your business or brand. These pieces of user-generated content (UGC) are great for businesses and can be leveraged for promotional and other purposes. Savvy businesses can even use this content as part of relationship marketing, which can help draw new customers and earn return visits from existing ones. User-generated content is media produced by users and provided to publications and other platforms. Prominent examples of platforms that greatly benefit from UGC are TikTok, Instagram, and YouTube, where users…

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Successfully running a business partnership can be complicated, as there are lots of things to consider when operating a business with another person. There are many critical decisions to make, and you should make as many of them as possible before you enter a partnership and start running a business with someone else. It’s important for you and your potential partner to spell out the details of the partnership and to be prepared for such issues as sharing management duties, making decisions and withdrawing from the partnership. These things can be outlined in a partnership agreement, which lays out the terms and conditions of the…

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No matter how terrific your idea or service is, your business won’t get off the ground without adequate funding. Business startup costs can vary, but it’s fairly safe to say that you will always need more capital than you think. Forging relationships with financial institutions or investors who might come to your aid as your business grows might forego some sleepless nights. But where do you get your initial capital? In addition to the usual suspects, there are other funding resources available to business owners. Below are nine of the best sources of capital for your business. 1. Angel Investors Typically, Angel Investors invest early…

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As nearly every ambitious company knows, its growth potential lies in its business development efforts. Although business development seems like an easy concept to grasp on the surface, there are subtle nuances and finer points that many people gloss over, making it hard to properly understand. This difficulty, which in many cases can sabotage the most earnest efforts, can be attributed to five key symptoms of bad business development. Many of these symptoms can be attributed to selfishness or a lack of experience, but not addressing them could have major consequences for any business development professional and, in turn, their company. Read on as…

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In this article we are going to discuss the meaning and differences between Black Hat and White Hat SEO practices. If you want to grow the customer base of any organization, you have to become great at conducting and promoting your business online. And if you’re doing business online, it’s critical that you rank as high as possible in search engine results. According to a HubSpot study, 75% of users never scroll past the first page of search results, and 60% of users’ clicks go to the top three organic search results. This means that if your company is No. 5 or 6…

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While it was once commonplace to remain at a single company for an entire career, the market has changed, and these days most of the workforce changes jobs with some frequency. This doesn’t mean it’s wise, however, to quit a job without thinking through all the possibilities. To avoid making a mistake and possibly burning a bridge, it’s important to assess your current situation thoroughly.  To help make that assessment, ask yourself the following six questions to determine if leaving your current job is truly your best option:  1. Do I Have a Plan for Attaining a New Job? Before quitting…

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What Are Accounts Receivable? A healthy balance sheet in your business will always include an “accounts receivable” section under “current assets.” Accounts receivable is the money that customers or clients owe for services and products that have already been rendered. This takes the form of credit and is typically given in an invoice with a specified time frame for payment. This credit is treated as an asset, and customers are legally obligated to pay. To use accounts receivable, you must allow some sales to be made on credit, such as credit available for frequent customers or simply for higher-priced items. Most consultants,…

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To protect the health of your business, you must closely monitor your operating expenses in order to ensure that you are running efficiently enough to be profitable. Your operating expenses are pretty simply recurring costs (i.e. bills) you must pay in order for your business to continue operations. Operating expenses are critical to monitor since they allow you to plan for the future and help you forecast profits more accurately. Specifically for seasonal businesses, it’s important to know your operating expenses because you will still be liable for those costs even when you aren’t generating as much revenue. Knowing your average operating…

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When you’re starting a business, it is essential to have a handle on how much seed money you will need to get it off the ground. Typically, businesses need investments early on in order to position themselves for gains in the future. Properly understanding the startup costs of your business will help you determine an accurate amount of investment capital and lending you’ll need to launch your new venture. It will also help you increase production at a rate that is beneficial to your business. Some businesses will need considerable investment for significant inventory or equipment costs; calculating startup costs allows businesses to account and…

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While people often use the terms interchangeably, the roles of “executive assistant” and “personal assistant” vary greatly. If you are looking to hire an assistant, the preceding qualifier you use in your job title will set the expectations for whoever applies to the opening, so be sure to know exactly what you are looking for before you advertise the job. The roles vary depending on the organization and the supervisor, but here are some basic differences between personal and executive assistants. Executive Assistants Definition Executive assistants (EAs) typically report to high-level executives in larger organizations. They play an important role in supporting the…

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The practice of accounting is probably one of the oldest in relation to business. For as long as people have traded goods and services for money, they have needed accounting standards to maintain records and keep track of their accounts. Despite its age and utility, accounting can seem like a foreign language, an intimidating concept for laymen and small business owners alike. But like any foreign language, you’ll find yourself more versatile and aware of your environment after mastering it. To get started, let’s examine the eight basic principles of accounting.  1. Revenue Principle The revenue principle states that income should be recorded when…

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The success of your business is heavily contingent on the types of business development activities you spend your time on. Whether it’s prospecting through social media or following up on warm leads, business development “activities” can mean many things based on the situation. For this article, it’s just a fancy way to say “the things that you do to grow your business.” This includes forming partnerships, increasing sales, product expansion and finding ways to reach new markets. As a business owner, you likely spend a great deal of your time on those activities each day. The most successful business owners follow a basic…

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Taking a vacation as a small business owner and leaving the company in the hands of its workers can be difficult and a bit intimidating. Because of this, many owners simply forgo ever taking a vacation. However, everyone needs a break from time to time to avoid burning out. Vacations can prove to be good for your mind, body and even your business success. To get a real hiatus away from the office—one that isn’t plagued by constant second-guessing and worrying—work with your employees before you leave town. While this may seem difficult, it’s actually quite doable. With a little…

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Maintaining an appropriate amount of inventory is directly related to a business’s profit margin. Your supply of goods needs to adequately meet the demands of your customers. If you produce too little, you will run out of product, and producing too much means you will waste money on unnecessary inventory. Tracking and maintaining your business’ inventory in all of its stages is critical to the bottom line. For this reason, inventories are broken down into different categories to increase efficiency. All of these types of inventory must be tracked efficiently so your business can properly manage finances, sales, demand and supply. Familiarizing yourself with the…

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Apple’s range of smartphones, namely the iPhone lineup, has been a rage among the masses globally ever since the first model came out in 2007. Every year, the global tech giant launches a new range of iPhones, wherein each model features numerous upgrades and improvements compared to its predecessors. According to Apple, their latest range of iPhones, namely the iPhone 14 series, features tons of upgrades such as better and more capable camera systems, more powerful chipsets, better functionalities, etc.  To ensure that iPhone users have a phenomenal user experience for years, Apple rolls out a major iOS update every…

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Business travel can take many forms. Whether it’s to meet with prospects and clients, to attend industry conferences for networking or to enroll in a business seminar, travel can sometimes be a frequent but necessary expense to ultimately win and keep clients. Because you are responsible for covering your own travel-related costs, the IRS allows you certain write-offs to reduce your tax burden as a self-employed professional. The Internal Revenue Code is extremely complex, making even the most seasoned freelancer pause when distinguishing between business costs and personal expenses. As one of the most common expenses freelancers incur, travel is deductible if it meets…

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Billionaire and renowned investor Warren Buffett once said, “If you’ve got the power to raise prices without losing business to a competitor, you’ve got a very good business.” Most entrepreneurs would agree that one of the primary goals when entering a market is obtaining pricing power, or the ability to increase prices while maintaining consumer demand. Yet many entrepreneurs and small companies lack a formal strategy to guide their pricing decisions.  This lackluster approach to pricing is likely attributed to a fear of upsetting customers or (worse) losing them to competitors. Nevertheless, as a small business and entrepreneur, it pays to develop a solid approach…

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When it comes to asking the bank or an investor for money to sink into your small business, few things are as important as the financial section of your business plan. It demonstrates how financially viable your business is and how quickly stakeholders will recoup their investments. Even if you aren’t actively seeking capital, the financial section should establish a very clear and forward-thinking fiscal picture of the business. Armed with that information, you will be able to make smarter, more calculated financial decisions. As you create your business plan, include the following critical components in its financial section. 1. Operational Expenses The first thing you should…

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In its simplest terms, a business model is a plan for how your business will make money. It outlines how you plan to cover your expenses and how your business will become profitable when it is all said and done. Chances are that if you own a business, you already have a business model in place—even if you haven’t put it down on paper yet. But if you haven’t yet formalized your business model, take some time to do so. Your business model will help you flesh out your ideas and ensure that you have a winning formula to start with, as well…

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You might pride yourself on being a risk-taker, the kind of person who doesn’t feel the need to plan. And while agility and adaptability are critical skills in today’s business world—especially among small business owners—being reckless isn’t. If you don’t have a plan, then you are risking the health of your business. Creating a business plan can keep you focused, which will help you make better, more informed decisions. A well-drafted business plan also allows you to quickly convey strategies and goals to investors, partners and even customers. Here are eight reasons why you should start writing your business plan today. 1. Maintain Big-Picture Thinking A business plan…

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Finding top and qualified candidates for open positions is only half the battle. The other half is offering the types of compensation and benefits that will entice these candidates to join your organization.  But what type of compensation is the most desirable? What are the tangible and intangible benefits of your company that make it attractive to top candidates? Let’s find out.  1. Flexibility Few professionals want to sit at the same desk in the same office for 40 hours a week. Most people prefer to at least have the option to telecommute or work remotely from home from time to time. And with today’s technology,…

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A managing partner is a salaried position given to a senior partner or shareholder, most typically in a law, consulting, financial or accounting firms. His or her duties are similar to a chief executive officer (CEO) of a corporation, except the position is typically associated with general and limited partnerships.  Some businesses may opt to hire a managing partner in addition to a CEO in order to take care of day-to-day operations as well as other duties, often giving them a financial stake in the company. Preparing a Business Plan When taking on a managing partner, you’ll want to make sure to have a solid business plan that will give…

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Paying special attention to intellectual property (IP) rights can prove to be an effective strategy for marketing your company’s product or service. When taking a product or service to market, an understanding of IP can help ensure that certain distinguishing factors about your offerings cannot be copied by other businesses. Using IP effectively can help you create an image for your business that will initiate brand recognition in the market. Establishing ownership of your company’s intellectual property affords you the opportunity to transfer or license that property to other parties for financial gain.  Non-Disclosure Agreements If your product or service hasn’t been taken to the market yet, you should consider using non-disclosure…

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Whether you’re new to freelancing or someone who’s been self-employed for decades, you probably know that tax season can bring with it a great deal of financial uncertainty. Unlike traditional workers, contractors don’t have portions of their paychecks removed by employers for tax purposes. Instead, freelancers are responsible for making their own quarterly tax payments throughout the year.  Because failure to make accurate projected payments can result in IRS penalties, it’s essential that contract employees calculate their expected tax burdens carefully. Furthermore, freelance workers are also responsible for the self-employment tax, which includes contributions to Social Security and Medicare.   Whereas the employer pays half of the tax…

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Most business owners would agree that pricing is one of the most important elements in the marketing mix. Because it costs money to produce, promote and distribute products, pricing must be able to support all of these activities to generate sales and drive revenue for your organization.  Unless you have a monopoly on your market or industry, raising prices without warning your customers and clients ahead of time can be detrimental to both your brand and your bottom line. This is especially true during a slow or depressed economy, wherein consumers are budget-conscious and sensitive to price adjustments.  With those concerns in mind, here’s how to…

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Overhead cost refers to the ongoing expenses, excluding direct costs, required to operate a business day-to-day. Properly tracking and managing overhead is crucial for maintaining profitability. What Qualifies as Overhead? Overhead costs include recurring expenses like: One-time or irregular expenses like lawsuit settlements would not be considered overhead. Overhead vs. Cost of Goods Sold Overhead should not be confused with cost of goods sold (COGS), which refers to the direct costs of manufacturing or purchasing products for resale. COGS and overhead make up a company’s total operating costs. For example, a retailer would classify the wholesale prices paid to suppliers…

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An important part of starting or expanding a business is drafting a solid business plan. Each aspect of this plan is crucial in not only charting the projected path of the business but how it is perceived by the public, especially investors. While each section of your plan is important, the executive summary is considered the most essential, as it gives a brief synopsis of where the company is headed and the well-researched reasons it will be successful. As the first page of your plan, the executive summary carries a great deal of importance and should grab the reader’s attention immediately. For the best results, your executive summary…

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Market research is a critical part of launching and running any business. Proper research can tell you who your customers are and what those customers want. It involves answering questions like “Who will buy my product?” and “Why will they buy it?” But once you answer those questions, how do you organize the information so that it actually provides valuable insights? Before that’s determined, it’s important to understand the two types of market research: quantitative research and qualitative research. Each type can generate very different kinds of information about customers, and in turn, they can lead you down different paths in your marketing strategy. …

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Starting your own business is an exciting and daunting task, especially if you’re considering tackling the new venture on your own. But as you get closer and closer to truly putting your business plan into action, you may wonder if having a business partner would help take your business to new heights. Another cook in the kitchen may be frustrating, but it can also bring in objective expertise and may take some of the liability off your shoulders.  Below are a few questions you should ask yourself when deciding whether or not to take on a business partner; there are also a few resources that…

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There are seemingly innumerable ways to judge the health of your business, and calculating profit margins and ROI are among the favorite methods. But there are other metrics you can utilize that are more quantitative than others. These quantitative metrics include solvency and liquidity ratios, which can give you an insightful snapshot of your business’s current health and how well it’s poised to meet short- and long-term goals. Definition of Solvency Solvency refers to your business’s ability to cover its long-term financial obligations, such as bank loans, property mortgages, bonds payable, etc. If your business is solvent, you own more than you…

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Because each party has so much invested in the end result, a job interview can feel like a minefield for both the interviewer and the interviewee. It’s easy to lose sight of the mutual opportunity for each party to learn about the other. But it’s even worse to poison that potential by asking the wrong types of questions. The interviewer has to be extremely careful to not ask discriminatory questions, and the candidate should know what questions they should answer and which ones to avoid. Asking the wrong questions can lead to federal lawsuits with very steep penalties. Here’s a simple list of…

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Stories abound from entrepreneurs who praise the benefits of outsourcing their web-development projects. Other owners retell the horrors of working with unreliable and unqualified contractors, with little to show as a result.  The decision to outsource your web design versus using an in-house team to develop a web presence depends on your unique situation, web-development needs and online marketing goals. For instance, the answer could be a hybrid of solutions: You could onboard a full-time product manager to oversee the website development life cycle, and you can outsource portions of the project to freelancers who have skills in specialized areas. Below are some important points to…

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In a world of online connections and instant access to information, you may be tempted to neglect the idea of a tangible business card. But that would be a big mistake. The act of giving away business cards is still the preferred method of circulating contact information in most business circles. It can be awkward to fumble with your phone to exchange numbers or email addresses, but a business card can be handed to the other party right after the initial handshake or greeting. A business card is one of the best ways to market yourself and introduce others to your…

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Have you ever considered going into business with your husband or wife? Perhaps you and your spouse have long dreamed of opening a business together, or maybe you just started discussing the possibility. Or perhaps you are considering quitting your full-time job to partner with your spouse and focus solely on his or her business, or vice versa. Running a business is difficult in and of itself. Running a business with your spouse brings even greater challenges because not only is your business on the line, but so is your marriage. That being said, you and your spouse can have great professional and financial…

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Exhibiting at a regional or national conference is a great way to increase the visibility of your organization among a very targeted audience. However, walk any exhibition floor at a large conference, and you’ll see dozens of booths all vying for attendees’ attention. So how do you make your booth stand out from all the others?  Try the six tactics below to make your booth the talk of your next trade show.  1. Add Multimedia Elements to Your Display With the portability of technology and increased connectivity, it’s easier than ever to incorporate video, music and other technology into your booth. Consider putting together…

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Press releases are a well-recognized way for businesses to spread the word about their company, employees or products. They have long been preferred by many organizations due to the fact that the business controls the information included as well as how that information is distributed. Some consider press releases to be more reliable than advertising because they compel media outlets to cover a company or product, which garners attention the business doesn’t have to explicitly pay for. This is referred to as “earned media,” as opposed to advertising, which is termed “paid media.”  “Earned media,” however, seems to be an appropriate moniker, as…

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If you haven’t yet considered registering for a “Doing Business As” name (“DBA” for short and sometimes called a “fictitious business name”), now might be the time to do so. A DBA is required by some states when a business plans to operate under a different name other than the owner’s personal name. In many cases, you’ll also need a DBA to open a business bank account, write checks and collect payments in your business’ name. On top of that, many clients will require a DBA before they contract with you. DBAs are typically used in the following situations: As a sole proprietor or partner: As a…

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Companies are always looking for ways to motivate employees to think bigger, act faster, be stronger and stick around longer. While there are a variety of ways to do this, one attractive option is implementing a profit-sharing plan.  In a profit-sharing plan, a company agrees to share a portion of its profits with its employees. Employees participating in the plan receive a percentage of the profits, and that cash is deposited into individual bank accounts, retirement accounts or even mutual funds. Oftentimes, businesses place restrictions on profit-sharing accounts to prevent early withdrawals; these restrictions include vesting schedules, restricted stock units, age restrictions, etc. Profit sharing allows businesses…

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Offering healthcare enables small businesses to stay competitive in the job market while complying with the requirements of the Affordable Care Act. However, with so many healthcare options available, choosing the best coverage plan for your company can be difficult.  Whether you buy insurance from a state-run healthcare exchange like HealthCare.gov, other state-level healthcare exchanges or from the private market, searching for the right plan can be a pain.  Before you start shopping, alleviate that pain with the following steps to ensure you find the best healthcare option for your small business.  Assess Insurance Premiums Comparing insurance premiums is a crucial part of…

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When starting your business, the choice of whether or not to create a legal business entity can be bewildering. Do you operate as a sole proprietor? Maybe take on a partner? Or do you go the next step and run your business as a legal entity that is distinct from your personal assets? If you’re wary about operating your business as a sole proprietor, registering your company as a separate legal entity gives it limited liability in the event of a lawsuit against your business. Limited liability is a benefit enjoyed by limited liability companies (LLCs), S corporations, C corporations and a few others. Because a company with limited liability is legally distinct from…

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While you may think your products or services are the best on the market, that opinion is only your perception of them. Unfortunately, it’s your customers’ perception of your offerings that determines their prices and your success. This price is based on the “value” your customers attribute to your offerings, and this determines the maximum amount of money a customer will pay for your products or services. Before you launch a product—whether you’re just starting the business or have successfully sold similar products or services in the past—consider the following elements when establishing value and determining a price for your offerings.   1. Solution for the…

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One of the most challenging responsibilities for small business owners might be setting the appropriate price for goods or services. If prices are too low, you kill your chances of profit. But if they’re too high, you could alienate your customers. Either way, both scenarios can crush a business. Price is not determined by intuition. Instead, it’s dictated by your industry, your geographical location, the economy, the time of the year and more. These factors are rarely constant, so business owners must be willing to test prices, reassess strategies and implement changes as needed. To move forward with setting prices…

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Shipping can be a challenge for small business owners without access to larger competitors’ resources. This is evident at the local level, and it’s exasperating when companies try to expand their reach across the country and especially across the globe. International shipping differs from domestic shipping because the landed cost (i.e. the total cost for a package to land at a customer’s door) is often higher. You may have to pay freight charges or other transportation costs, customs duties, insurance and other possible fees, depending on the destination of your goods. Your best bet is to shop around and find a vendor that…

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You’ve done some soul-searching. You’ve dug deep and analyzed every facet of your business, and you’ve come to the hard realization that something about your brand doesn’t work. It may be hard to accept the fact that your brand is outdated or that it just doesn’t connect with your audience the way you had originally envisioned. But your brand is key to your business’ success, so it may be time for a rebrand. Below are some steps to help the process unfold as smoothly as possible. 1. Determine That a Rebrand Is Absolutely Necessary Has your industry changed? Has your customer base changed? Has your product…

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In some offices, the workplace is looking less like the stereotypical unwelcoming space of the past and more like a place that resembles a home or popular social spot. From fully stocked break rooms to game tables and social events, the office environment is adapting to the changing expectations of a younger generation. In fact, some employers even permit employees to bring pets into work. This is a major perk for many pet owners who sometimes work long hours and, as a consequence, are forced to neglect their pets. The idea of allowing pets at work is one that many companies are embracing.…

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Entrepreneurship can be an exciting and fulfilling path, but it also comes with plenty of hurdles and challenges along the way. Fortunately, you do not have to handle every difficulty on your own. By finding a mentor to turn to for support and guidance, you can gain valuable expertise and avoid the common pitfalls entrepreneurs often face. Whether you need to solve specific business challenges or gain useful insights to advance your career, a mentor can be an invaluable resource—but for most young professionals, that comes as no surprise. With an entrepreneurial spirit and ambition to spare, Millennials place great…

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Fearless entrepreneur. Genius marketer. Visionary inventor. These are some of the words that have been used to describe Steve Jobs, co-founder of Apple Inc. Nearly four years after his death, Jobs is still a powerful icon and an inspiration to professionals who seek to embark on entrepreneurial and non-traditional career paths. The commencement speech Jobs delivered to Stanford University’s graduating class of 2005 has been analyzed, replayed (the video has over 21 million YouTube views and counting), and revered for its sage-like wisdom and widespread application to all areas of life. Here are a few reasons why Jobs’ strongest message, “find what…

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Without contacts, there’s no one to call. Without anyone to call, there’s limited room for growth. Therefore, networking is your means to building your own personal phone book and unlocking the doors to success. Effective networking can seem daunting at first, but the reality is that it can actually be fun. You just need to figure out what works best for you and design a game plan that emphasizes your strengths. Before diving in on uncovering your networking strategy, remember the old cliché: you only get one chance to make a great first impression. Start with your appearance. For example, if…

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In 1986, Motorola developed a set of techniques and tools to minimize variability in manufacturing and improve business processes. Known as Six Sigma, this business methodology seeks to improve not only the effectiveness of business processes but also product quality throughout an organization. The Six Sigma approach is structured and largely data-driven. It has also been described as project- and customer-focused, since it strives to eliminate any and all errors during the production and delivery of products. The Six Sigma methodology became increasingly popular during the 1990s when Fortune 500 firms such as General Electric incorporated Six Sigma tools and techniques into business…

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The decision to hire new staff is often a challenging one to make. Most owners faced with this type of expansion are hesitant to act, citing the costs of both time and money. But even when costs can be minimized, others defer to the common entrepreneurial trait of having a do-it-yourself mentality, believing that they can do everything on their own. Even more simply plead ignorance, predicting that present-day troubles will magically remedy themselves in the future. But if your company truly needs more support, attempts to justify or ignore the problem might kill your business. Yes, you might be willing…

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