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A Recession Might Not Impact Your Business

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A bad economy is often blamed, incorrectly, for a slowdown in sales or other financial problems that a small business faces. Recessions Define National Business Conditions Economists define a recession based on how a nation’s economy performs. A recession is a contraction in the general level of business, or a widespread economic slowdown. Many ordinary people believe a recession is official when there are two consecutive quarters of contraction in the gross domestic product (GDP). However, ...

My Bookkeeping System Is a Box – Now What?

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In the CPA world, we call the accounting method of throwing all the receipts in a box “shoebox accounting.” You know what I’m talking about. You throw all your receipts in a box, and a few times during the year, you pull it out and vow to spend the weekend getting caught up. But the weekend comes and goes, and it never does really get caught up until you’re right at a tax deadline. Now what? Well, let’s take a step back and look at how you got here. There are generally 6 approaches to ...

How Social Media Can Help Grow a Small Business

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Ask many traditional, old-school small-business owners, and they’ll tell you that having a social media presence is something they’re simply not interested in pursuing. Many believe they’re not technologically savvy enough to open and operate a Facebook or Twitter account, while others are happy sticking with the status quo, and doing what may have worked for them in the past. Unfortunately this is 2013, and having a social media presence is something no small-business owner can afford to ...

What Is a Privacy Policy and Does Your Business Need One?

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A Simple Tool for Protecting Your Business and Your Customers In today’s world, information is valuable. That value is why identity theft and other types of personal information theft are some of the fastest growing types of crimes across the globe. This fact is of the utmost importance when you run your own business, because your clients, customers, vendors, and suppliers are all counting on you to protect whatever information they share with you. When you run your own business, you have ...

Eight Management Mistakes to Avoid

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This Self-Check Can Help You Become a Better Manager Being a manager is not an easy job. A manager not only has to deal with everything from payroll issues, to personnel problems, to unhappy customers, but how they react to these situations can have an immediate and lasting impact on the reputation and success of the business. A simple mistake could be devastating. In order to become the best manager you can be, use this self-checklist to identify the eight most common mistakes that managers ...

10 Things You Need to Do Before Hiring Your First Employee

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Meeting the Legal, Regulatory, and Tax Obligations of a New Employer When your small business finally grows large enough that you need to hire one or more employees, it can be an exciting yet stressful time. There are a lot of legal obligations that you need to meet before hiring your first employee. Here are ten things you need to do before making that first hire. #1 – Obtain an Employer Identification Number (EIN) If your business is a solo endeavor, then you do not need an EIN. But, when ...

Three Startup Mistakes to Avoid

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So, like thousands of Americans annually, you’re ready to start your own business. You’re ready to work your own hours, to write your own paychecks, and to get everything out the business that you put into it. Right? Except it isn’t that easy. And the simple truth is that if your startup does fail, it almost certainly won’t be because your product or service wasn’t good. It will be because the plan to get that product to your consumers was flawed. So what can you do to ensure that the ...

Gaining Market Share in the Digital World

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Most business owners are well aware of the importance of establishing a strong online presence. Most consumers don’t venture past the first page of search results, let alone the first three. If your business does not show up until the fourth or fifth page when your industry keywords are searched, then you’re likely missing out on a lot of business. True, you might have a robust brick and mortar store with a loyal clientele, but if your competition’s message is reaching them every time ...

Develop Realistic Growth Targets

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Many business owners expect more than their business can deliver. It is important to set achievable and realistic growth targets. Growth Targets Should Be Well Defined Business owners generally start their business with a goal of earning a profit. Some business owners will believe they have an original idea that should revolutionize the market, and that idea should be worth millions of dollars, in their opinion. Other business owners will have lower expectations, and may be seeking only ...

Six Ways to Market Your Home Business

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How to Maximize Your Visibility for Less Money Every business needs to have a marketing strategy, but some need it more than others. This is especially true when it comes to home businesses. When you run a business out of your home, you do not have the benefit of a storefront. This means your business does not get the advantage of attracting attention automatically. Because of this, if you want to compete with your more traditional competitors, then you need to up the marketing ante so you can ...