An office is a space dedicated to functionality. The easier it is to find the tools you need to do your job within this space, the better. For many small business owners, the office is their classroom, war room and zen temple all in one, necessitating that they be comfortable in their space as well as able to quickly access anything they need in order to maintain their productivity during the day. However, just because the office is a utilitarian space, that does not mean that it has to be visually bleak and devoid of any personality. Some tasteful and not overly distracting decoration can make you feel more at home in your office, not to mention make a better impression on employees, business partners and potential clients who visit it for whatever reason. What usually stands in the way of decorating an office for small business owners is time. The challenges that a bad credit business loans to a manager in terms of budgeting

Every small business is unique, but not every business knows how to promote that uniqueness. Dynamism refers to the exciting and engaging qualities that allow your customers to remember your brand, as well as the qualities that kindle the spark of interest in prospective customers. Within every business, there are qualities that deserve to be cultivated and promoted that form your unique selling point. It’s important to remember that what sets your business apart will not be the same as your competitors, by default. Unique qualities may be obvious, for example it could be that your business’s services are much faster than those of your competitors, in which case that would be one of the qualities that sets you apart. But what if you and your competitor offer similar services that are available with the same speed for roughly the same price? That’s where things become more complicated. In these cases, a more abstract value can be stressed as your X factor, for example, a feature

While in 2013, the stock market saw a strengthening that had champagne corks popping on Wall Street, small business owners across the US had a different experience, with the majority of them remaining cautiously optimistic, keeping hiring and growth rates low. While much of the slow growth rate on main street can be blamed on economic uncertainty and the issues created by the government shutdown and the roll out of Obamacare, which could potentially raise costs of doing business for many employers, much of the lackluster growth rate can be blamed on a lack of readily available expansion capital for business owners due to tightened regulations. Small business owners who have bad credit or other financial issues have huge difficulties applying for capital from traditional bank loan programs, and even SBA backing is difficult for small business owners to secure in order to get a bad credit business loan. As a result, alternative business financing sources have become an increasingly popular alternative for entrepreneurs who

Bad credit can magnify the importance of many aspects of small business operation, including employee satisfaction and maintaining low turnover. Turnover on the part of skilled employees can have an extremely negative impact on any small business, with the potential costs in lost productivity being hard to make up without an obvious replacement candidate. What can small business owners do in order to preserve their hires? Using alternative capital to finance an onboarding program can dramatically reduce turnover.  An onboarding program can benefit your small business in a few key ways. It provides the additional training and introduction to your corporate culture that your employees need in order to be successful and not miss a beat in transition. Additionally, an onboarding program makes your new hires feel valued and important, and can speed up the process of integrating them including providing them with desk space and a computer. Some of the biggest issues that new hires face are feelings that they are not able to

One of the keys to sustaining a small business is building in opportunities for growth. This means growth in terms of revenues, but it also means growth in terms of production and infrastructure, which will be the machine behind creating your profits. As your business develops, new hires will need to be brought in to cope with the increased levels of work to go around. These hires will need to be managed, but you will not always be around to manage them. You’re going to need a team of people who are familiar with the way that your business operates and with whom you have a clear base of communications already set up. Ideally, these people will be your employees who you have already been grooming to step into management roles. What are the benefits of promoting from within? For one thing, it creates an example that your other employees can follow. The  understanding that there is potential for advancement within a company is key to

Whether you are planning on greatly expanding your business in the new year, or are continuing the traditions you’ve established this year, all businesses can benefit from some well planned new year’s resolutions. The very word “resolution” implies the resolute and determined qualities that one needs in order to succeed in business; fitting as the determined pursuit of goals is the way forward in any industry. All goals are going to be different, depending on the business. Sure, there is a large amount of overlap between the resolutions that businesses make in a general sense, but the reality is that beneath the surface, every business is going to have to take a look at their individual strengths and weaknesses in order to create effective resolutions. To start, be honest with yourself. Odds are good that you already know an area where you still need to improve, as well as what you are already doing that has been creating good results. Start from there, then build the

While the Holidays are here, and many people are on vacation, there are still a group of people who are thinking about work. For small business owners, there is not really such a thing as being “off duty”, yet when the holiday season rolls around, commitments to family and friends need to be honored as well. How can you make it all work if you are still anxious about your commitment to your business? Here are some suggestions for doing both that can allow you to enjoy time with your loved ones and make sure that things are running smoothly with your business. Designate business time during the day. You are going to be tempted to respond to each phone call and answer each email that comes in during the day, even if it is your day off. Don’t take things as they come, you will simply get sucked in to work mode and cease being engaged with your friends and family. Instead of this, set

The value of creativity gets a lot of lip service in small business forums and blogs, however when it comes to actually promoting these values internally, it can be difficult to know where to start. The very real factors of intimidation on the part of employees who come up with new ideas, a lack of communication structure that puts new thoughts in front of decision makers and inertia in terms of the status-quo mean that implementing creative ideas can take a heavy time investment. More likely, these ideas will get brushed aside as busy people continue to do what they are comfortable doing. Another reality that must be taken into account surrounding the promotion of creative ideas in a small business setting is the fact that not all ideas are created equal. Some will be easier to put into practice than others, some will be stronger in general, and some will be a waste of time. In order to allow for new ideas to be

When you go online, you most likely check your email, then whatever social media you may have. After that, you probably visit a few of your favorite websites with interesting content or look for new articles and videos that can keep you entertained. Seeking out new and exciting content is what drives the flow of traffic on the internet. According to an infographic from Mediabistro, 63% of all activity on the internet is made up by browsing search engines, networking on social media and reading content. These three activities are the reason that having a blog on a small business website is such a prudent move for business owners who are interested in promoting content. Creating content makes you into a source of information, driving traffic, and from traffic, conversions. When you create content using the unique perspective you possess as a small business owner, you are establishing your reputation as both a source of information and an expert in your field. Cultivating this reputation benefits

At a glance, you can tell how many people are standing in your store, as well as identify their demographics with a fairly high degree of accuracy. But what about your website? A business owner can’t simply pop their head into cyberspace and take a look at who is checking out their products, right? Actually, this level of insight and more is available for small business owners through the many web analytics tools out there. For businesses where credit issues are a concern, foregoing the use of analytics tools is foolhardy. Still not convinced? Here are seven quick reasons why analytics should be in use in your small business. 1) It’s free. Getting a basic Google Analytics account is free, and easy to set up, so if cost was a concern surrounding analytics, it shouldn’t be. 2) It removes doubt. You will have no real way of knowing how much traffic your website gets without analytics, unless you use conversions as a ballpark indicator of traffic volume.

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