You may remember reading about the FCC’s proposed Net Neutrality rules, which would allow for a tiered approach to internet bandwidth. In essence, it would create reserved high speed channels for the websites of entities that would be willing to pay for them, relegating those who do not to “slow lanes” which could create excessive loading times, seriously hampering the ability of those pages to rank in search results. Small businesses are among those who would be particularly hard hit, as they could lose significant shares of leads and digital commerce they gain through managing strong web presences. In protest to these proposed changes, on the 10th, many major websites participated in a “Go Slow” day displaying messages warning visitors of the reality of what the internet could become, and the danger present in allowing the creation of a segmented and corporation dominated internet. In an article that appeared on dailyfinance.com, the problems that could be created for small businesses by hampered internet speed include

  Running a small business is a marathon, not a sprint, so avoiding fatigue and burn out is essential in order to allow yourself  to effectively manage your endeavors. Fatigue isn’t something that you plan for, it often arrives in the middle of important work, when you have been pushing yourself for a while and finally receive signals from your mind and body that are hard to ignore. Combating fatigue is possible through long and short term strategies, but in order to prevent it as much as possible, a combination of both is recommended. Balance is an essential principle in both management and life, and without it, you run the risk of putting both yourself and your business into a corner. 1) Get the sleep that you need. The amount of sleep that a person needs each night to be effective can vary, but the commonly accepted “optimal” number of sleep hours per day is eight for an average person. You may or may not be

In a recent article from the Motley Fool, five different small business insurance policies were looked at. Business insurance can be important as a stop-loss when things go wrong, helping to protect the capital invested into the business which may represent all the assets to a business owners name, depending on their level of investment. Part of making smart decisions regarding small business  coverage is making sure that you possess a real understanding of the risks facing your particular business. Every small business is unique, and will face different challenges based on location, the strength of its sales, as well as what kinds of products it provides. Before you make final decisions regarding the insurance that you purchase for your business, sit down and analyze where you stand in terms of risk, and how you can balance the types of coverage that you purchase to offer protection from the potential negative events that can befall you as well as remain affordable. Historical data on the types and

  When it comes to offering support for small business customers, the most immediate means of getting into contact with your customers can often be the best. Especially on websites dedicated to e-commerce, having the ability to instantly offer customized guidance and support for those who are visiting is a very powerful tool for preventing lost business as well as increasing customer satisfaction. Customer support is one of the most important areas to pay attention to, since it is the satisfaction of your customers that will drive the word of mouth exposure that many businesses rely on to grow. Towards furthering this goal, having on page chat support on your site can help reduce the number of potential sales that you miss out on as well as provide an convenient means to troubleshoot basic support issues. Maintaining a strong standard of etiquette on a chat client is just as important as any other support channel. When using chat as a support tool, the need to respond in a

Small business owners are continuously proving themselves to be strong adapters of social media technology, using the prevalence of social media across almost every market as a springboard to connect more closely with their customers and acquire new ones in the process. One of the most interesting variables of internet marketing is the fact that the internet has its own culture, being composed of a stew of ever growing information and human interaction. One of the phenomena to come out of this is the idea of memes, essentially template images such as the picture with this article, that have a connotated personality trait or pun that is then played on with an overlay of text. While that description makes them sound dry, the reality is anything but, with the customization of memes meaning that pretty much any demographic has the ability to produce their own jokes playing on the highly recognizable personas represented by each meme image. Memes are part of the culture of the

Football season is back, and while some people are busy not caring at all, others are looking at brackets and dusting off their foam fingers. Whether you fall into either camp, if you are a business owner, you should be open to the lessons that you can learn from the strategy and athleticism that goes into the game. There are many sports metaphors out there that can be directly applied to life, partially because of the fact that sports revolves around the idea of overcoming obstacles through improving yourself and learning how to work with others, which happens to be the same things that lead to success in business. No matter what the obstacle, your whole team needs to know that game plan. In the football season, one of the reasons that the action is compelling is because of the potential for major upsets when one team beats another, more heavily favored team. Often, the reason that an underdog is able to prevail is through planning a strategy

When a small business owner has bad credit to deal with, it can put a even greater significance on lead generation, since attracting quality leads that have the potential to turn into sales consistently is what will form the basis of your cash flow. In turn, having consistent cash flows is an essential part of running a business while in the process of credit repair. One of the hardest parts of growing a business with the extra consideration of a bad credit score is obtaining liquid capital to use to meet growth related costs. This can be overcome through building a strong relationship with an alternative capital provider, as not only can bad credit be overcome when applying, but over time advances can become more favorable as a business makes their relationship grow stronger. One way to continue re-investing in your business through the use of bad credit business loans and alternatives is through diversifying your lead generation, expanding to new mediums in an effort

To educate someone is to pass on knowledge that they can own and apply for their own purposes. In the context of a business, educating customers means providing them with insight peculiar to your own experience, as well as informing them of ways that they can use your products. The more that your customers are able to learn from you, the further you provide them with value and can effectively win their loyalty. Appearing as an expert in your field can create a large amount of value over time, allowing you to leverage the value of your perspective in many ways. Uses of your products. While your customers already have uses for your products and services, they may not know about everything that you can provide for them unless you take the time to educate them on the full range of offerings within you business and their various applied uses. White papers are a common way for businesses to provide information on their products to clients

In the wake of a string of major shootings over the past few years, the issue of gun control and what constitutes an appropriate level of restriction has been at the forefront of national discussion. On the frontlines of the argument are business owners, either for or against gun control, who have been brought into the thick of things by open carry advocates who earlier this year made news by rallying at, and subsequently getting banned from Chipotle restaurants. While Chipotle is a chain restaurant, business owners in states where firearm laws allow for open carry are in the midst of an environment where unless they make their preferences known they may have firearms within their business, brought in by gun carrying customers. Adding to the complexity of the issue is the polarizing nature of the debate, such that either by openly supporting or going against open carry laws, businesses may alienate segments of their markets in ways that can be detrimental to their business’s

The art of communications is exactly that; an art form, and one that deserves to be practiced in multiple mediums as opposed to ignored and addressed only when it is convenient. Being attentive to incoming communications, as well as proactive in order to keep key relationships strong is something that every business owner needs to be able to handle, but what about those times when you want to go a little bit farther? Old school communication, meaning a face to face meeting, a physical letter, or an actual phone call, are a lot less glamorous than the slew of digitally based communication technologies that are now available to small business owners, but in a pinch they can show that you are really invested in the health of a relationship that means a lot to your business. A physical thank you note sends a strong positive message. Even more so if it written by hand. The reason is because it is a gesture that implicitly communicates that

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