We have often said that relationships are the key to successful business. Creating strong alliances with people who you can trust to be there for you makes doing the tough job of managing an enterprise that much easier. Keeping things easy is only one aspect of what makes relationships important, however. Small business owners should also consider the fact that they can actually save money by promoting stable long term  relationships with their vendors. The vendors who supply your business with the essential products that it needs to function should be considered to be more than just people who sell you things you need. Look at your vendors as an extension of your business. Just like the equipment you use to be productive and the employees you coach to perform their best, the vendor relationships you have should be actively maintained. Stronger vendor relationships save time. For one thing, it takes time to shop around. Comparing and contrasting pricing, product quality and customer support all take time and

LinkedIn has announced that, come April 14th, the products and services pages for companies are going to go the way of the dodo and the dinosaur. While for most business owners this might not represent a huge inconvenience, for some, in particular for those who have put a lot of time and effort into making their products look great on their pages, the news can be a bit disheartening. According to LinkedIn, the rationale behind the decision was informed by the use patterns of site users as well as a desire to re-allocate engineering time and budget to more exciting features on the website. Small business owners may be wondering how they can promote their products and services on LinkedIn in lieu of dedicated pages. Here is some advice for them that can get them past the loss of this feature. Use your feed to keep followers engaged. One of the weaknesses of the product pages on LinkedIn was that they were static, and unless you

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

While written content is of vital importance for SEO purposes, and small business owners engaged in digital marketing should be creating engaging and readable material, a lot of the time a simple picture can say a whole lot about their brand and create a lot of engagement on the right platforms. Social media seems to be increasingly moving towards more visual mediums, with breakout apps like Vine  proving the allure of even a few seconds of looped video to content hungry viewers. Why are visual mediums so interesting to consumers? The answer most likely lies in the fact that video and images are extremely simple to consume, not requiring even the effort of reading a few lines of copy. Video and images are also much more dynamic to look at then text, explaining why a single vine or instagram post has the power to attract many repeat viewings. In fact, a Moz.com article demonstrated through analytics data a marked drop in time on site when they removed a

The title of this article is seemingly obvious; of course small business owners offer training to their employees, right? Well, according to a recent study by Kurlan & Associates, around 75% of sales people are not able to effectively do their jobs and one of the major reasons is that they don’t get enough training. While in general, recognizing a problem employee is better than allowing a staff related issue to persist, it’s better to simply take the time to hire talent and be thorough the first time around. Outside of the hiring process, however, even a talented and motivated employee needs to be brought up to speed on your company culture, the nuances of their specific position, and the techniques that they should be using to manage the tasks they have. Coaching can be one on one, or in groups. The point of hands on instruction is to give a finer level of detail and nuance to the way your employees perform their jobs by

One of the biggest challenges stopping small business owners from creating fresh content is time. Many feel that, were there more hours in the day, they would develop a more thorough content strategy that would include more regularly updated material. While there are things that small business owners can do to find some time to work on their content, they don’t always need to post something new in order to stay active. Recycling content in a positive way is actually a good thing, and these tips can help you to direct your resources towards this end in a constructive way.  Only recycle quality content. If you are going to give a piece of content a repeat performance, make sure that it is something that stands a chance of getting more recognition and attention the second time around as opposed to a piece you put out that flopped. Sending out poor quality content as a placeholder is not a better strategy that simply waiting to post something that

  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

Working capital can represent a serious constraint for publicly traded companies. Without sufficient capital, they may stand on the wrong side of gaps in capacity with no clear way to bridge them. In the case that they require an immediate acquisition of new equipment, personnel or software in order to pursue growth opportunities, but cannot allocate all of their resources to pursuing this growth, they are faced with a dilemma. Is it better to bet on your success with everything you have, placing the cash flows of the business up against a project’s ability to perform, or is it better to wait until the business is robust enough to approach the former constraint, assuming it is not too late to complete the project? That decision depends on many factors that business owners must be ale to gauge, but simply knowing that they are able to obtain capital is helpful when evaluating options. Use working capital to fuel high return investments. Identifying what avenues are the most

Communication is essential in business, and relationships between employees, business partners and customers all need to be carefully nurtured to avoid complications.  It’s easy to say that communications don’t require any advanced thought since we communicate with other people every day instinctively on multiple levels, however, by sparing some brainpower to analyzing the way you interact with others, you can help strengthen already present bonds and build new bridges more easily down the road. Be courteous, yet direct in your communications. When boiling down the most essential factors in business communication, politeness and being to the point are the base upon which finer techniques should be built. As a rule, no matter who you are dealing with, treat them as you would expect to be treated by another person. That being said, in the business world time equates with money and pleasantries need not be lingered on for an overly long amount of time. Those you will be communicating with will generally appreciate you getting right

You have bad credit, a business and, at long last, a bad credit business financing product that you can use to fuel your growth. Now what you need is a plan. It can be irksome to think that, after all the effort they have put in to obtaining capital, small business owners need to create yet another plan, but it is necessary to be 100% sure that you have made the best possible use of your funding. The key to a strategic use of capital is ensuring that your investments will have the ability to create a return for your business, but within this consideration is the acknowledgement that different types of business improvements will create ROI within different time frames. Investing in PPC marketing, for example, will create an immediate influx of leads with the potential to bring some much needed cash flow into your business. On the other side of the coin, purchasing new machinery that alows your business to process more orders

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