In the business world, who you know can make a huge amount of difference, and exposing yourself and your brand to the right opportunities can often create opportunities that you may have never expected. In many ways, every action that small business owners take loans them a new chance to create their own lucky breaks through being positive and keeping an eye open for new opportunities. One of the best ways that small business owners can make new connections is through attending industry events, trade shows, and networking meetups. You don’t have to be a social butterfly in order to make the best of these chances to meet connections, all you have to do is go prepared and with an open mind to what you might discover. Here’s how small business owners can get ready to go to a networking opportunity and then make a great impression once there. Define what kind of connections you are trying to make. While keeping an open mind to meeting

A tough week loans business owners some material for reflection, as well as a good reason to unwind a bit and reward themselves for their efforts. Running a business can be hectic, so in order to avoid burning out, try one of these five simple ways to reward yourself at the end of a particularly busy week. Go for a run, stretch, or work out. One of the best and healthiest ways to reduce stress levels is to simply sweat it out. Working out has both long term health benefits, and short term benefits in the form of mood boosting endorphins. Simple stretching is also good for those who don’t feel up to a more intense workout. Stretching can also help to counteract the negative effects of a desk job and sitting stationary for long hours at a time. Have a piece of dark chocolate. Unlike milk chocolate, dark chocolate is lower in sugar and contains antioxidants. Eating a couple pieces after a long day will have

It is often the case that small business owners start their businesses to pursue something that they are passionate about, making the choice to do what they love the way that they love doing it. Along with the responsibilities related to a business owners craft, they must also loan time to a slew of managerial and administrative tasks that they may or may not have previous experience with. One of the cornerstones of a good management policy is the ability to effectively communicate through verbal directives and during presentations. The art of public speaking may or may not come easy to small business owners, but there is good news for those who are not naturally adept at expressing their ideas. Practicing a few helpful techniques can ensure that business owners are able to get their points across to employees and potential business partners. If you are uncomfortable speaking in a public or high pressure situation, then you must practice.  The old saying practice makes perfect

Financing a small business effectively means not only being able to fund expansion, keep employees paid and recognize when it’s time to invest in opportunities as they present themselves, but also having a game plan for when things aren’t going well. Bad credit can put small business loans out of reach, and a slump in sales might mean that you must create a financial bridge. If you have taken the time to prepare for such an occasion, then chances are good that your business will be able to get over the hump. Start creating a buffer for your business by using these tips to help avoid cash flow problems down the road. Change the way you look at your business accounts. This tip is actually from Joshua Steimle, contributed to Forbes in a great article on business practices. Steimle recommends that all business owners change the way they think about their business accounts. Instead of thinking of “zero” as the minimum balance, loan yourself a little security from

This Sunday, America came together to watch the Superbowl, this year hosted in New York with the titular game played in New Jersey. However, those watching who anticipated an evenly matched game came away wondering at how the Seahawks seemingly effortlessly dismantled the Broncos, despite quarterback Peyton Manning being widely regarded as one of the best quarterbacks of all time. How the team that prided itself on scoring and coordination was reduced to a single touchdown and 2 point conversion for the entire game is tough to say, but in the end it can be agreed that the tight defensive game of the Seahawks was too much for any convincing response from Denver. There is a lesson to be learned here for small business owners. Like a football team, a small business is made up of specialized team members who work together in the interest of advancing a common goal; in this case the success of their enterprise. The better that a small business’s team is

When  a business owner first plugs in their analytics, they might not know exactly what their “bounce rate” is. A bounce is essentially a visit to your site that lasts less than a second. If a prospective visitor opens your link and then immediately back pedals, that counts as a bounced visit. The importance of bounces factors mostly in SEO, as it negatively effects average time spent on your website, and bounces themselves are taken by Google and other search algorithms as means of identifying spam sites and those with undesirable content. No matter how compelling your copy is, no matter how much video material is on your site or how compelling your call to action, if your site has a high bounce rate then it does you no good. Here are some suggestions for small business owners on how to reduce the amount of bounces they get on their site. Don’t create misleading links. This is a big one that often gets overlooked. You can

Recently a piece has been making the rounds about the loss of a twitter handle valued at around $50,000. The now notorious @N handle was stolen from a twitter user through a combination of standard hacking techniques and the practice of social engineering. Social engineering refers to the process of using partial account information to trick employees of an secure service into granting full control to an impersonating data thief. The fact that the hacker was able to use partial information to take over the entire digital presence of the user in question highlights some pressing security concerns that small business owners should take into account. Training procedures for IT and Customer Service departments need to account for social engineering techniques. While the staff of GoDaddy followed procedural security checks, the hacker was still able to gain access to the account through guessing the last few digits of the account holder’s listed credit card number. Had safeguards existed moderating the number of attempts callers were allowed to make

The goal of almost every small business owner is to have their business expand over time as a testament to their hard work and effort. However, hard work and effort alone do not automatically produce rewards. In an ideal world, every business owner who truly wanted to succeed would be able to get a business loan, bad credit or no, and then apply it to growing a business that they are passionate about. In the real world, there are going to be problems standing in the way of that reality that small business owners need to learn how to deal with. The process of identifying constraints to business growth is actually a skill that needs to be developed, rather than a single mission for business owners to put behind them. So you want to get better at making your business better? Here are some things you should look out for. Plan for growth by creating a framework that can support it. For there to be growth

When asked to think of what defines small businesses, one would not be wrong pointing out that they are all unique in their own ways. This seemingly obvious statement actually carries more importance for business owners than it would seem on the surface. In truth, small businesses contribute more than just their services and products to their communities, they also contribute their sense of individuality and unique flavor which corporations struggle to imitate through marketing. Often, small business owners want to push their businesses in a more standardized direction, streamlining their operational processes in order for them to continue to grow, but during this growth, they risk eradicating the offbeat and unique qualities that define them and give them an edge from a marketing standpoint. Preserve the offbeat qualities of your business as you grow. What sets your business apart? Often, it can be something as simple as a quirky sign or an imaginative product on offer that becomes part of the culture of your area.

According to a recent article on, business owners who are female minorities can have a much more difficult time with the already difficult process of applying for small business loans. Since many of these entrepreneurs don’t have large amounts of capital lying around with which to finance their business improvements, they have to be resourceful and think out of the box when it comes to figuring out ways to keep their businesses moving forwards. In order to present themselves with the widest range of options, female and minority entrepreneurs should take steps to grow out their networks and evaluate their options as best they can. Here are some ways that these business owners can strengthen their businesses towards the goal of obtaining capital. Work on your business plan. Business plans are the blueprint to your long term success. In  addition, they are invaluable in the event that you are planning on  applying for a bank loan or are going to be looking for a business partner. A

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