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3 Ways to Keep Tabs on Your Competition

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…and Your Enemies Closer Believe it or not, your competitors are actually an asset. Necessity may be the mother of invention, but it’s competition that inspires innovation, and keeps small business owners on their toes. Your competitors nip at your heels, driving you to anticipate potential problems, surmount obstacles, and provide superior service for your customers. In the ordinary course of business, you will occasionally brush up against your competitors; as you bid for contracts, ...

Drawing the Line in a Work-from-Home World

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Each year, it seems more businesses are allowing workers to telecommute at least part of the time. Aside from security, which is always an issue, one of the top concerns for employers as they consider allowing employees to work from home is productivity. Will workers, when left to their own devices, spend the day watching talk shows, or will they be more productive, away from the distractions of an office environment? A study [PDF] from researchers at the University of Iowa and the University ...

Three Steps to Becoming a Greener Business

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Going Green Without Sacrificing Quality or Production Now more than ever, small-business owners are facing more and more pressure to make their businesses greener. In some cases, the choice to go green may be a personal decision, but in others, the pressure may be coming from sources that are higher-up, like the EPA. Regardless of where your business falls in the mix, becoming a greener business is a responsible and beneficial thing to do. Here are three steps to help your business navigate ...

Realistic Expectations for Entrepreneurs

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When starting a new business, it is important that entrepreneurs have realistic expectations about what they are getting into. Too many jump into running a business blind, and are later disillusioned by the day-to-day reality of running the business they have created. Some start their own businesses because they like the idea of being their own boss, of answering only to themselves, and making their own schedule. Other people open up shop because they see an unmet demand for something they are ...

Government Contracts and How to Get Them

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Becoming a government contractor or subcontractor represents a very real opportunity for small and large businesses, alike. Federal spending is increasing, and with it, chances to get in on potentially lucrative government contracts are multiplying. That being said, simply having the desire to become a government contractor is not enough to open the doors of opportunity. So, what should business owners know about government contracts, and how can they improve their chances of winning ...

Five Tips for Building a Better Blog for Your Business

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Try These Tips to Make Your Blog More Reader-Friendly With a business website, it is all about the nuts and bolts of the business side of things, such as its products and services, locations and contact information, and a host of other pages dedicated to giving visitors some background information about the business as a whole. A blog for your business, on the other hand, is a much more personal and intimate form of online communication between the business and its customers. Because the ...

Does Your Business Need a Marketing Coach?

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A Professional Marketing Coach Can Inject Life Back Into Your Brand Entrepreneurs usually get their marketing knowledge from the Internet, or by reading a few books on the subject. In other words, most business owners are not exactly what you would call marketing experts. Marketing plays such an enormous role in developing a business’s brand and contributing to its success, that this is no place where an entrepreneur wants to cut corners. Taking the DIY approach to business marketing is like ...

Tax Tips: The Most Overlooked Deductions for Small Businesses

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1. Startup Expenses Once your business is up and running, expenses such as office supplies, equipment repairs, utilities, and advertising can be deducted as operational costs or current business expenses—but not until your business is officially off the ground. The cash you spend getting your business started is considered a “capital expense,” and if you are in process of opening a new business, you will want to utilize your capital expenses as deductions. Here is the catch: in ...

How to Assess and Improve Your Email Marketing

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10 Things to Look For in Your Email Correspondence Email marketing remains one of the most effective communication tools for strategic selling, but as effective as it is, it does have its drawbacks. The largest of these drawbacks may be that the recipient can simply delete the email if they are not enticed to read it. In order to prevent this from happening and to maximize the chance that your message will be read, your email needs to meet the following ten points. #1 – The From Line With so ...

How to Address Bad Behavior in the Workplace

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Setting the Tone for the Workplace Is Key When an employee engages in bad behavior in the workplace, his or her actions can have a negative effect on the entire team. Before long, the team’s productivity, their work quality, and their feelings toward their jobs may start to suffer. Because bad behavior in the workplace can quickly spread if it is not dealt with, business owners must address the behavior, and set ground rules for how employees should act within the workplace. Here are three ...