While your calendar doesn’t have to be in the shape of a whimsical panda, that choice is up to you. What is important is that you lay out the crucial dates that your business needs to juggle in an easy to read format that can allow you to better stay on top of what needs doing. More importantly, it helps prevent dates from sneaking up on you, especially if you are a person who is prone to distraction or if your business environment is more casual. The holidays are expected to be particularly busy this year, and business owners consequently have even more on their plates than usual. Even if you are person who has managed to get things done without a calendar in the past, consider trying out this simple but effective tool. First, add major sales days to your calendar. Review your historical data to determine if there are any non-holiday days that are particularly busy for you, then add on established sales days

Apple Pay is an app available for IOS 8.1,  representing Apple’s historic foray into mobile payment solutions. A great blog post on BizEpic.com sums up the general thought regarding Apple’s presence in the mobile payment arena, saying “this changes everything”, and so it does. While the article is correct to point out that mobile payments are not exactly new, with Apple throwing the full weight of their market share and huge popularity behind their payment app, not to mention their significant innovative and aesthetic force responsible for the ubiquity of the iphone itself, many are assuming this is the product that makes mobile payment go mainstream. Apple Pay’s launch has apparently spiked interest in the Android alternative, Google Wallet, which has already existed for years with less warm reception, as well as thrown light on a series of events that brought challenger CurrentC out of development of their payment platform and directly into the fray, with a not too warm reception by the public after their

Small business owners should expect some changes in the government in the coming months, as election results are in and Republicans now boast a majority in the formerly democratic controlled Senate. This news is good or bad, or neutral depending on the political leanings and policy ramifications it may have for business owners, and to say that they are a group with varied political allegiances is an understatement. However you feel about the change, here are three areas that are predicted to be effected by the shift in legislative power. Healthcare. Obamacare, which some Republicans would love to repeal outright, if most likely immune to being repealed but not to being changed by the new Republican majority. According to the  Standard Examiner’s coverage of the new Senate, the most controversial aspects of the law, including mandated company health plans and 30 hours a week defining full time worker status, are most likely among the first to be targeted for repeals and modification, though a bill for

Alright, so maybe laziness isn’t a characteristic that people value, so much as they may assume that it is a quality which comes along with their personality, like a spare tire on the back of their otherwise efficient lifestyle. The reality is that, while different approaches to productivity work better for different people, laziness is not so much an innate virtue as a habit which it is easier for some to fall into than others. With that, getting rid of the perception of being lazy and taking steps to squeeze more productivity out of your day can be an exercise that has many positive benefits across your business and personal life, as well as serving to improve the balance between the two. First, stop saying you are lazy. You may not realize just how much power your internal monologue has over your general thought pattern and mood. It can be very tough to break out of a negative cycle of thought once you are in one,

A small business environment is one that lends itself readily to distraction if you are not careful to focus on the priorities you have defined for yourself. This can be especially true if you know that you have a personality that is prone to distraction. A restless mind is by no means a bad thing, and as an entrepreneur you will often be well served by the ability to quickly shift gears and think on your feet. When the time comes for less exciting tasks, however, you might find yourself slipping more than you would like to. In order to manage your productivity while acknowledging the nature of your attention span, consider the following ideas for getting through the workday. Don’t over-caffeinate. Caffeine, when used in a responsible amount, has been generally found to not produce significant side effects, and is recognized as a legitimate aid to productivity within reason. It’s the “within reason” part, however, that some business owners can have problems with, especially if

The spookiness of Halloween has passed, and the next major holiday to come is Thanksgiving, a day of taking time to think on all that you have to be grateful for, especially those things that you may have begun to take for granted. Business owners are among those who should be the most receptive to this idea, since in business, the stress of the day to day can often overshadow the major milestones that entrepreneurs accomplish. Taking the time to bask in the glow of accomplishment is something that can get cut short by the arrival of your next task or even the appearance of a sudden setback, so the fact that there is a whole holiday devoted to positive self reflection is something that business owners should readily embrace. Beyond Thanksgiving, remembering to be thankful for what you have and have accomplished is simply a healthy thing to do, allowing you to be more realistic about where you stand in relation to your short

Running a small business, you will quickly realize the value of your finite resources, time and money. While both are essential to manage, your business will ideally be able to make more money, but no matter what you do, there is no way that you can regain even a moment once it has been spent. While this is somewhat of a negative thought, it doesn’t have to be. Rather, you should embrace the challenge of taking the time that you are given and making it work for you to the best of your ability. Remember that you get the same twenty-four hours each day that have been given to moguls of the business world, and it is up to you to use them in the best way you can. What do you spend time on during the day already? The first step to a better level of appreciation and management of your time is through auditing the ways you already spend it to determine what are

In a great article from business2community.com, some stats were shared regarding sales figures for Cyber Monday, revealing that annual sales on the day have grown from $1.3 billion to $2.29 billion in only three years. But what is Cyber Monday exactly, and where does it fall in relation to Black Friday and Small Business Saturday? It is the Monday after the latter day, and while according to its Wikipedia page it has only been around since 2005, the fast growth of online commerce makes it a force that is hard for small business owners to ignore, but then, why would they? Provided that they have adequately planned and promoted for it, Cyber Monday can be yet another prime sales day for creating a cushion of profits and revitalized cash flows going into the start of 2015. Anticipate higher than normal traffic and orders on your website. This is pretty much the point of Cyber Monday after all, but if you have a strong website set up,

  Small business owners are a group who can vary widely in their familiarity with technology, from extremely adept bordering on savant, to uninterested and skeptical on a fundamental level. That being said, for small business owners in the modern age, a lack of technological inclination has gone from quirky to borderline irresponsible, as the value of e-commerce as well as the exposure that can come from having a place on the internet grows. In fact, this year is projected to be the biggest ever for e-commerce spending, something that business owners without websites have no means of tapping into. When bad credit  business financing concerns are added to the equation, it can be harder for business owners to convince themselves to spend on a website. That said, odds are good that if they take the time to sufficiently research and plan the development of their website, it will be able to repay them for their investment. For one thing, even if their business does not

The month of November is when small business owners scramble to make sure that they are ready to meet the rush of the holiday shopping season. With a lot to prepare for, from Small Business Saturday to your clearance sales and New Year blowouts, business owners are in the midst of preparing for a marathon of sales that can take on the same intensity as a sprint. One thing that they must do in particular to get ready is make sure that their e-commerce sites are ready to handle the influx of holiday traffic they are expecting, and there is more than one aspect of whether or not a website is read to weather heavy traffic. Here are three areas that your business should ensure are strong regarding your e-commerce site before you roll out holiday marketing and start ramping up your efforts to drive traffic and conversions. Design. The design of your page refers not only to its aesthetic optimization, but to its form meeting

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