Small businesses are much more than just important contributors to the economy, they also serve as hubs of their communities by contributing the unique social and cultural landscapes of their environments. Building up a sense of community around a small business is a great way to make sure that not only are people aware of the business and choosing to reward it with their patronage, but also supporting it on a deeper level, integrating it with their fundamental perception of what makes their neighborhood special. Generally, people like the idea of supporting small businesses, as shown by the success of buy local campaigns across the country. It is important that business owners understand and harness this goodwill in order to play on one of the intrinsic edges that they have when going up against larger corporate competition. What are some ways that business owners can begin to build a sense of community? Apart from coordinating with other small businesses towards the creation of a buy local

Local businesses have a few things going for them, from their ability to quickly shift strategies, to the fact that most American consumers appreciate local brands and the contributions they make to both their communities and the economic diversity of their areas. Take for example two Rhode Island favorites, Del’s Lemonade and Naragansett Brewery, whose combined product, a shandy beer exclusive for the Summer, has been a major hit. These two local mainstay brands combined their marketing to create a wildly popular product. While both of these companies have grown to serve markets beyond their hometowns, the principle behind their strategic decision remains something that smaller business owners can take note of and incorporate into their own strategies. Create a joint branded item. In the spirit of the Del’s and Gansett’ union, business owners can reach out to complementary businesses to sound out whether or not they would be interested in pursuing joint branded products. The benefit of this is that when one item is sold,

Navigating the financial landscape that comes with running a small business is often difficult, and it’s made even more tough by the presence of certain potholes and mirages. One common scam that small business owners should be aware of is the grant scam. How does a grant scam work? This type of scam is kept alive by a simple misdirection. Business owners will either stumble across or otherwise be made aware of a grant that their business is able to apply for, which, should they receive it, will give them what essentially amounts to free money. This should be the first logical red flag, but many business owners are willing to take the existence of grant programs at face value as fact. Once the business owners are sold on their grant applications, the next phase of the scam kicks in. You will be sold (or attempt to be sold) an expensive audit of your business plan, additional help filing your request, a one time fee, or

One great thing about small businesses is the fact that as a business owner, you are able to constantly reinvent yourself and your brand. Reasons for doing so are many, and range from a desire to attract more customers, create some new buzz around an older business or just because you think a new look is what you need to get your employees energized. Sometimes, you will have inherited or purchased a business whose former owner had different tastes than yourself and you want to make your personal mark on it by changing the logo. It’s also possible that you are interested in creating some logo designs for use on themed days like holidays or during special sales, in which case you could be designing multiple logos all at once for a wide variety of uses. Whatever your reason for switching things up, when creating a new symbol that your business will be recognized by, it helps to put some extra thought into the process

Small businesses bring diversity and charm to a community, but it can often be hard for them to compete against corporate chains and outlet stores, which, while they usually don’t have the same basic appeal have the resources and often the price points that allow them to siphon business away from local competition. With this in mind business owners and local governments can put together local business campaigns that can help them to raise awareness of local businesses. Here’s a look at some of the pros and cons surrounding the organization of a local business campaign. It takes time to plan a local campaign. No matter what the scale of the campaign you put together, in the end it is going to take time away from your schedule to plan it. An answer to this is to try and get other local business owners on board and spread out the responsibilities involved in an awareness campaign. Ideas for supporting local business include printing posters or decals

As a business owner, whether you like it or not you are a public figure. As a public figure, you and your business are going to appear on the internet at some point, whether in self managed ways such as through the creation of personal and business related social media accounts, or in others, including user submitted reviews on rating and local listing websites. It’s these latter ways that things can get scary and unpredictable, and when a bad review or some negative press appears out of the ether, it’s really frustrating to think that an anonymous person has created something that can potentially damage your livelihood. Digital reputation management can be achieved by a combination of methods. There are a few components that make up your online reputation. The first is ultimately how you act and how your business operates in the real world. If you are getting a ton of complaints about an aspect of your business on the internet, you might need to face

Many will point out that altruism is it’s own reward, and that is certainly true. The value one gets out of helping another person is truly the unique and special feeling that it brings. That being said, there are plenty of other good reasons why a small business should consider ways of giving back to their communities, not all of them solely based on the positive moral quality of those who help others. These benefits include positive PR, networking and . There are as many ways of making a positive community impact as there are businesses, so finding a way to participate that you are comfortable with can be done with just a little thought and a few helpful suggestions. Do you run an artisanal business? If this is the case, consider holding a weekend craft demonstration. Inviting a group to check out your creative processes is a wonderful way to give back, especially to younger generations in order to inspire the next skilled craftsmen who will

Small business owners with bad credit must pay close attention the the cash flows of their businesses, as not only are they vital for making payroll, obtaining supplies and financing any number of operational necessities, they also are a major factor in applying for bad credit business loan alternatives which can be important growth boosters in lieu of traditional loans. In the hustle and bustle of a typical office day, small business owners can have their attention fought over by many conflicting commitments, all equally vital to the overall health of the enterprise. However, a real danger that can potentially set a business back is pursuing sales, but slacking when it comes to the often tough work of making collections on outstanding payments. Business owners can fall behind on their collections for any number of reasons, from allowing extensions on payments, forgetting about them, to being distracted by other areas of their business that specifically demand their personal attention and expertise. Whatever the case may

Bad credit business loans and alternatives to loan products are increasing in popularity. Funding companies providing these services are seeing rapid rates of growth, provided that the companies themselves are able to underwrite their products responsibly and ensure that the relationships they nurture with their merchant clients are mutually beneficial. Using bad credit business loans effectively, small business owners are able to expand their businesses with the application of working capital that they would otherwise not be able to access because of financial issues such as a bad credit score or recent bankruptcies. The popularity of these services as the are becoming more widely available means that bad credit business loans and their alternatives should be something that small business owners strive to understand in order to gauge whether or not they are effective options for their business. Why are bad credit business loan alternatives increasingly popular? A short piece on accountingweb.com summarizes the reasons for the growth of the industry quite well. These products fill in a large gap left

  Credit can play a major role in shaping the way small business owners expand their operations. A bad credit business loan or alternative is a different product from a traditional small business loan, and depending on which product is being used, strategies will need to be tweaked or abandoned and replaced accordingly. In the interest of saving time, knowing what options your business will qualify for and which are a stretch is important, but that’s not the only reason that small business owners should know the strength of their credit scores before they apply for financing. Bad credit isn’t the only thing that can show up on your reports. For small business owners who have bad credit, when their reports are pulled they should understand that other financial issues they may have had in the past will also show up. Depending on the service being used to report on them, things such as tax liens, foreclosures, open balances and bankruptcies can show up as well

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