This not another Earth Day post. This is a post-Earth Day reminder to small business owners that, just because it’s not an official day of recognition for the health of our planet, it doesn’t mean that they should forget the promises they made to themselves in a fit of green tinged zeal a day ago. Like New Year’s resolutions, Earth Day promises carry a lot of potential but amount to nothing if never acted upon. Here are some ways that you can act on those promises you made, without costing your business or your productivity. Add some plants to your business environment. We can’t stress enough how great plants are for your office. They can manage stress, reduce your overall carbon footprint, they look great, and are often easy to take care of. What’s not to like? Create an off switch policy. One of the biggest problems leading to energy waste in small business environments is simply not turning off lights and other electronic appliances that are

While the last bit of nippy weather is finally fading away, small business owners everywhere are waking up to the promise of Spring, and a brand new busy season for many industries. Even as volume picks up and orders for seasonal products and services start to roll in, it can be helpful to get you and your employees energized and in a different frame of mind in order to make the most of the new season. An overhaul of your company culture isn’t necessarily in order, but doing something to celebrate the season and inject a sense of excitement into the office can be a good idea, especially if there have been morale issues on your team due to slow business, the cold, or both. Here are three simple ideas for greeting the Spring season that any small business owner can do. Try a classic activity, such as hosting a company picnic. Sure it’s cliche, but a company picnic is both simple to organize, low cost,

Small business owners in the travel industry have a lot to look forward to once the weather turns up!  While their best sellers will surely continue to draw attention, in 2014 some interesting new destinations are starting to be more talked about as the collective mind begins to stray towards Summer planning. Here they are, as well as the reasons why this vacation season they will make attractive options, both for travel business owners and their clients. Brazil: Since the World Cup is going to be hosted there this year, extra attention Is being focused on the tropical nation. Already a hot destination, this year the extra excitement loaned by the globally anticipated sporting event should make the beautiful beaches and beautiful people of Brazil an even more attractive enticement to get away. Cape Town: In the wake of the passing of internationally recognized visionary Nelson Mandela, South Africa has been brought to the forefront in the minds of the American public. Recognized this year as a

The return of the polar vortex has seen many business owners once more forced to contend with subzero temperatures and an abundance of snow. While in some areas the snow and cold are mild enough to allow businesses to remain open, there are other businesses that have been forced to close either because of the white stuff piling up and gumming up transportation, or because their areas have not been able to adequately prepare for post-snowfall response. Issues related to business loans another source of anxiety to owners who are already worried about being snowed in, as every day they are not in operation is a day that revenue is lost. Still, there are things that small business owners can do in order to keep their businesses running in the right track even during snow days. Here are some ideas: Do you have power and internet? Then  you can still work with your employees. While the neighborhood is covered in snow, you and your employees can

February is a month of transition, if not always weather-wise, at least mentally as thoughts of Spring’s thaw start to get more frequent and Valentine’s Day trappings appear in store windows. While Spring is still relatively far off, the preparation that a bad credit business loans itself now can yield dividends as the weather begins to get warmer and for many business starts to pick up. Spring cleaning imagery is often based on physically tidying up, but in February, setting a mental game plan is more important, especially for seasonal business owners. This foundation will be carried with you, and should be created now so that new ideas can be tested out and expansion planned for, if necessary with required capital accounted for or at least ready to be applied for and put to use. Here are some of the priorities that business owners should put high on their lists in order to plant the seeds for a productive end to the Winter months. Recalculate

Whether you think the millenial generation is entitled and depersonalized by over exposure to the internet, or the greatest new wave of thinkers in decades, the truth remains that this demographic of those born between 82′ to 93′ is becoming an increasingly important one as the boomer generation retires. Not only are millenials a larger generation than the Boomers, numbering around 777 million as reported by a recent Forbes article, but they are gaining purchasing power as they start to move up in the workforce. Small business owners should take the growing importance of millenials and their influence on consumption habits within the US as a signal to start thinking towards the future, defining how their brands can grow as their customers change. Understanding the millenial generation is the key to creating brand appeal for your small business. A report by the US Chamber of Commerce on the millenial generation defines them as optimistic, diverse and generally accepting, as well as driven by a deep understanding

Running a business will necessitate certain costs just to keep the lights on and your doors open. While energy efficiency isn’t usually the primary concern of a small business owner, taking steps to reduce the costs of your energy usage is a good way to save yourself what will add up to be a healthy amount of money at the end of the year. An additional benefit of energy conservation is that it is healthier for the environment and reduces the harmful effects of energy production and consumption on our environment. Possibly the best part about adopting an energy conscious stance within your small business is that it is really easy to do. Depending on how deep you want to get into energy saving initiatives, you can start an energy awareness policy without actually spending any money, making this a great project for small business owners with extenuating cash flow issues. Be conscious of wasteful energy use. Reducing the amount of waste you create starts when

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

While small business owners are generally a tough bunch, there are things that are beyond their control, from the government to natural disasters, that they need to be prepared to face in order to preserve the strength of their business. One of these external issues that can severely effect a business is the extremely cold weather that many parts of the US experience in late winter. Business owners should take note that, before they do anything to protect their small business, they need to ensure that they and their families are dry, warm, and out of the path of dangerous weather, with enough supplies to last them through whatever period of time they may need to stay indoors. If possible, get your business location ready in advance of inclement weather. Things to do in order to prep for extreme cold are checking to see if any of the electrical wiring, water or gas lines to the building are in danger of freezing or being damaged by

The official first day of winter in 2013 is the 21st of December, meaning that it’s still technically Fall for another two weeks. However, the signs of the changing seasons are all around us, as many parts of the US have already experienced their first snows and the leaves on the trees have been shed. The winter brings with it a lull in business for many; seasonal businesses who profit during the Summer, such as landscapers, are now going into a part of the year where demand for their cores services is rapidly cooling down. But just because it is the off season, that doesn’t mean that your business needs to go into full hibernation. Here are some ways that your small business can spend the off season in order to make the most of the time and come back stronger than ever in 2014. Spend time evaluating your performance. Your small business’s performance over the last year might have been great, or it might be

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