Small Business Strategies & Ideas That Work!
Get great business ideas sent to you in email twice a week.
Subscribe to the free Business Know-How newsletter. Primary email address
Why should customers notice your business? What makes you different from your competition? Here's how you can make your business stand out and get your customers' attention.
Periscope is the newest social media platform to become popular. What is it and what good is it to your business? Find out here.
Price, features, quality - these are all things that are a part of your customer's buying decision. Their first consideration, however, is trust. Here's how you can establish trust with your customers.
Unhappy employees are unproductive employees, and that costs you money. Here are five things you can do to make your employees happier.
Certification as a small business, socio-economic disadvantaged business, woman-owned business, veteran-owned business, or some combination of those can give you an edge in bidding on contracts with the government and with prime contractors who sell to the government. Here's the scoop.
Just telling your customers they are valued isn't enough. You have to prove it to them. Use these 10 tips to make your customer service stand out.
Do you have a sales tax nexus with other states? What is a sales tax nexus anyway? It's confusing, but we've got help. Here's what you need to know to be sure your business is in compliance.
If you sell on Amazon, you may have (perhaps unknowingly) established a sales tax nexus with the state in which your Amazon inventory resides. Sound confusing? It is, but this article will help you understand what you need to do in order to comply.
Does your idea of “networking” involve nursing a drink in the corner while your more gregarious colleagues mix, mingle, wheel, and deal? Whether you consider yourself an introvert, socially awkward, or just a networking newbie, fear not. Here are 11 tips to help you connect more confidently and take your business to the next level.
You spend a lot on marketing your business online. Don't let that money and effort go to waste by making these 5 common internet marketing mistakes.
What's the trick to finding the right mix of sales techniques and skills? Which ones, when combined, will win the most sales and customers? Here are the top five sales techniques you should use.
What is the objective of your advertising? Getting someone to call you? Building name recognition? Promoting a particular product - or your entire business? Here's why defining your advertising goals is important to its success.
How can you win back customers after they've been disappointed by your product or customer service? Here are 3 solutions that work to regain customer loyalty and confidence.
You’ve heard that the best way to gain access to someone in a high position is to know somebody who knows somebody. But, if you’re relying on this to technique to network with the people you’d most like to meet, you’re holding yourself back. Try this strategy instead.
Is your marketing not bringing in all the customers you think it should? Maybe one of these five common marketing mistakes is to blame.
Customers don't have to keep buying from you, and they don't have to tell their friends how great your business is. But if you put in the effort to earn their loyalty, that's exactly what they'll do.
Your top employees are integral to your business's success. So what happens when one of them resigns? Here's a guide to making the transition as smooth as possible.
Using your phone to make purchases? Whether you're placing an order with an online store or making an Apple Pay payment at a local merchant, you need to follow a few guidelines to make sure your data stays safe.
How do you clean a virus off of your own website? Here are the steps to take to remove malware from your web server and to prevent it from getting reinfected.
Cyber criminals wouldn't bother with trying to hack your little business, right? Wrong - and if you do become the victim of a cyber attack, so will your customers. Here's why you should be concerned about cyber security no matter how small your business is.
Whether you sell your goods away from the store where you don't have access to your merchant account system, or just want to offer your customers the ease of paying with their phone, mobile payment systems are the answer. Here's an overview of the top options available to you today.
Accepting payments from your customers' smartphones is a smart move for your business. Here's what you need to know about the mobile phone payment options available today.
Content marketing is the one weapon in your marketing arsenal that can help customers find your business to begin with, and establish the value of your product or service at the same time. Here's how you can put content marketing to work for your business.
The message you deliver to your audience isn't just dependent upon what you say while you're on stage. What you say and do before and after your speech is equally important.
Planning a new business? Nobody wants to think about business difficulties or failures, but planning for them in advance can help you avoid much expense and drama should the worst happen. This advice will help you plan for the end at the beginning of your new venture.
What makes entrepreneurial geniuses like Steve Jobs different from other people who start businesses? It's not what they know, says best-selling author Michael E. Gerber. Read why.
Looking for ways to make money online? Trying to figure out how to make your blog pay a few bills? Here are 14 things you can do to monetize the content on your blog or website.
Whether your customer buys from you or from the competition depends on how good your presentation is. Here are 7 steps you can take to make sure your sales presentation does what it needs to do to win the sale.
Whether you manage employees, sell to customers, or just need to get your kids to do their homework, being able to get people to change their minds is a valuable skill. Here's how you can influence people without resorting to manipulation.
Do you find self-promotion embarrassing? Does it feel like you're bragging? Not all business people are comfortable telling others how fantastic their product or service is. Here are 7 methods you can use to market yourself and your business without bragging.
Want more customers choose you instead of your competition? Here are three things you can do to make your business stand out from your competitors.
Every penny counts to small businesses, so paying too much for the things your business needs just isn't an option. Here are eight ways you can save money on everyday business expenses.
For small business owners, taking a vacation - at least one where you don't spend the whole time tethered to your smart phone or computer - may seem nearly impossible. Here's what you need to do so you can relax and enjoy the time away from your business.
Are your employees giving you 100%? If they aren't, you're losing money on them. Here are 4 steps for getting all of your employees to work to their fullest potential.
What's the difference between businesses that grow and those that never get much beyond the startup stage? In a word, persistence. Here's how you can take inactive former prospects and turn them into buying customers.
You have to be a good problem-solver when you run a business. But it’s also important to help the people around you learn this skill so you don’t have to do the thinking for them. Help employees solve problems on their own and get the monkey off your back with this solution.
Think you're too old to start a business? Your midlife years could be the perfect time to start that business you've always dreamed of. Here are some points unique to your situation that you'll want to consider.
Want to know what your customers really want and make your marketing more relevant to them? Here are ten ways that polls and surveys can help you reach customers more effectively.
Businesses struggle finding and keeping good managers, leading to employee turnover and lost productivity. Hiring more women managers could be the answer to the problem. Find out why in this excerpt from the new book Running in High Heels.
Today's technology provides small businesses with dozens of marketing options that weren't available in the not-too-distant past. Staying on top of them all, let alone learning to use any of them effectively can be a full-time job. Here's how you can figure out which methods are best for your business.
Multitasking makes you feel like you're getting lots done, but are you really? Here are seven tips to help you stop the multitasking madness and embrace singletasking to become more productive and less stressed out.
Trying to build your Twitter following? Use these five tips to get more followers and become a Twitter influencer.
Staying on top of your business's finances is just as important as finding new customers and serving existing ones. But, if you're like most small business owners, bookkeeping and managing money is probably not your strong suit. You can stay ahead of the game if you avoid making these five common small business money mistakes.
You need content to get found on the web. But how do you get content if you don't have the resources to create it? Content curation is touted as a way to solve the problem, but the concept is often poorly understood. Here's what curating content is all about.
Networking is an inexpensive and highly effective way to market. Use these five tips to make networking a success for your business.
How much are you worth? Not a clue? Knowing your own net worth helps you plan for your future - and your business's future. Here's how you calculate it.
Showing customers that you care doesn't have to be costly. Here are five ways you can thank your customers and earn their loyalty without breaking the bank.
Running a totally debt-free business is probably not possible, but reducing your debt is a wise move. Here are 13 things you can do to help lower the amount of debt your business carries.
For small businesses, negotiating a contract with a large corporation or government agency can be harder than making the sale. Don't let contract negotiations (or the other company's negotiator) intimidate you! Here are negotiation tips for coming out with a fair deal.
Content marketing is important whether you sell products online, advertise your brick and mortar store on the Internet, or make money from advertisers who pay to be on your website. Don't sabotage profits by making these content marketing mistakes.
What should you put in your Twitter profile to make the best impression and get more followers? These 10 tips can help you make the most of those 160 characters.
Email marketing is an inexpensive yet highly effective way to reach customers. Get the most from it by using these eight tips.
Price objections can take you off guard, especially when you thought the sale was closed. Find out the real reason customers sometimes think your prices are too high.
The hope of a bonus check is no longer enough to keep employees motivated. Here's the trick to getting engaged employees to do their best and unengaged employees to start caring.
Can customers find you when they are looking for what your business sells? These 8 publicity and promotional ideas for small and home businesses can help keep your name at the top of the list when customers go looking for you.
You spend a lot of money recruiting and training employees. Are you unknowingly making them want to quit with small, seemingly insignificant slights? Find out how to identify and stop these microinequities before they harm your business.
If you're sending promotions to people who aren't interested in your offers, you're wasting your efforts and making yourself look like a spammer. Here's how and why you should get permission from your subscribers.
Are you satisfied with the amount of traffic you're getting to your website? What about the number of sales or leads? If your website is not helping you bring in business on a regular basis, you could be making one or more of these seven surprisingly common website mistakes.
Some 87 percent of businesses fail to execute their strategy each year. Here, author Dan Prosser explains why—and offers eight startling insights into human interaction, the hidden forces that drive leaders, and the astonishing power of the conversations we enable and nurture.
Apple Pay is becoming more and more accepted, and soon customers will expect your business to be able to process Apple Pay transactions, too. Learn how the technology works and find out what kind of equipment you'll need.
Accepting credit cards in your local small business? Read these important facts about the new EMV Chip cards and why you need to accept them even though it means buying new equipment.
When you started your business, you had to do everything. But as your business grows, you need to give up the tasks better performed by employees or outside professionals. Here are three areas of your business you should consider delegating.
Lucky business owners usually don't sit around waiting for luck to happen to them. They put themselves in a position to be lucky. Here are five ways successful businesses get lucky.
To keep your website fresh and visitors coming back, you need a constant stream of new content. But coming up with more things to write about isn't easy. Here are 10 tips that can help you generate new content ideas on an ongoing basis.
Using content marketing to attract visitors to your website? Be sure you don't buy into these 16 myths.
Contrary to what you may have read on the internet or seen on TV, free grant money isn't sitting out there waiting to be claimed by small businesses in need. Get the real story about business grants here.
Coupons are often used to attract new customers and entice old customers to come back. At first glance, offering coupons might seem like a great idea. Before you begin discounting, consider these pros and cons.
If you work from home, or are thinking about it, you've probably come across one or more of these myths. Get the real story about working from home here.
No matter what you're negotiating for, the techniques you use are the same. If you want to come out on the winning end, be sure you ask these seven questions during negotiations.
Confused about how to best use email to reach your customers? Get the most out of email marketing for your business with this back-to-basics guide.
Hiring employees can be tricky, and hiring the wrong employee is expensive. Use these five tips to minimize hiring mistakes and get the best employee you can afford.
All the time and money in the world won't make your new business succeed if you fall into one of these six small business startup traps. Find out what they are and how you can avoid them.
Have you outgrown your home office? Here are five signs that you might need to move your business out of your house and into its own space.
Need a credit card for your small business? Not all business credit cards are created equally so consider these 8 points when choosing one for your business.
When you've decided to start your own business, it's tempting to quit your job so you can give your new business all of your attention. But at first, you might need the income of your job to make ends meet. Here are five things to consider before turning in your resignation.
LinkedIn is different from other social networks, and you can't use the same techniques there that you do elsewhere. Here are 15 things you want to avoid doing on LinkedIn.
Shark Tank isn't just good entertainment - there are business lessons you can learn from it too. Even if you aren't seeking investors, these six lessons are worth studying.
Helping employees under you reach their potential is an important part of your job as a manager. The best way to do that is by mentoring them. In this excerpt from 9 Powerful Practices of Really Great Mentors, learn about the basics of mentoring.
Are you a creative person? Do you enjoy working with your hands? Selling handmade crafts is a great way to earn a living. Here are five craft businesses that have good potential for success.
If you've got a business where you perform services at a client's site, you know how hard it is to keep track of customers, schedule appointments, be on time, do the billing, get paid and maintain good relationships with your customers. A new app, Breezeworks, helps you and your team organize all of that and more right from your smart phone.
Meeting deadlines, billing clients, keeping up with your to do list - all of these things take time and a certain amount of organization to be done properly. These free web apps help you keep up with the demands of your business so you are more productive and profitable.
Employees are quick with an excuse when they've missed a deadline, and they might even believe it's a good excuse. Many times, though, the delay could have been avoided. Here's what you can do about three of the most common excuses you'll hear.
Whether your SMB manufactures guitars, heavy equipment, or foodstuff, the logistics of moving your products safely and on time through your distribution network can be a costly nightmare. Here are tips for better managing the process.
High profile computer break-ins and data breaches have brought to light the need for digital forensics experts - professionals who can track down weaknesses in a computer system's security before criminals discover them. Here are tips for starting a digital forensics business.
If you are fluent in a foreign language, you can earn a living as a translator. Although some translation services are now handled by technology, human translators are still needed for good quality, accurate translation. Find out how to start a translation business here.
Starting an in-home daycare business doesn't require a lot of start up cash or other resources, but to be successful you need to do some research and planning. Find out how to start a home based child care service here.
As indespensible as your cell phone is to your business, just think how much more convenient it would be to have that technology right on your wrist, all the time. Smart watches will make keeping up and staying in touch easier than ever before.
Thinking about starting a bookkeeping business? Bookkeepers are always in demand, and if you are good at organizing financial information, it might be the right business idea for you. Follow these steps to start your own bookkeeping service.
What you wear says more about you than you might realize. Are the outfits you wear to work sending unwanted messages?
Being able to accurately predict what your sales will be is important for determining when your business will be profitable and if it will need startup funding. But projecting sales without any historical data to go on is difficult. Here's what you need to do to figure it out.
Facebook is making it even harder for you to reach your page's fans without paying to advertise. Before you open up your wallet, make sure you're doing all you can to get your Facebook page's content seen.
Knowing your target market is the best way to be sure your advertising dollars are spent wisely and that the products and services you sell are actually what your customers want or need. Here are six things to help you identify your target market.
Do you have a public relations plan in place for your business? If not, you're missing a huge opportunity to win name recognition and customers. Here's what your PR plan should look like.
Starting a business requires many skills and talents you may not have realized you'd need. Thankfully, there is lots of free help available for your business - everything from business courses, mentoring, and free training. Here's where you can find that help.
Planning to start a business? You're probably wondering just how much money you're going to need to get it off the ground. The simple answer is - well, it's not simple. You can, however, get an estimate of what you'll need. Here's how.
Small business owners who feel stuck when it comes to lead generation can use these 12 ideas to find new ways to get more clients.
Want to work from home but aren't sure what you should do? This list of 10 home business ideas is a great place to start.
If you aren't using videos to advertise your business, you're missing out. Besides looking at pictures of cats, most people spend a significant portion of their internet time watching videos. Learn how videos can be an effective way to market your business.
Small local businesses can bring in more business and improve sales by communicating and working with each other. Here's how the Alignable social network makes it easier and less time consuming for local businesses both to work together and to manage their social media outreach.
Although it might come as a surprise when customers want to haggle, don't be offended. Instead, use these tips to negotiate the best deal for both of you.
What's the hardest thing about starting a business? For many new business owners, it's finding clients or getting customers. This is particularly true if your marketing budget is limited. If you're having trouble finding clients, consider using some these time-tested strategies.
How can you tell when a job applicant or employee is lying? Workplace body language expert and author of “The Truth About Lies in the Workplace,” Carol Kinsey Goman offers these tips for spotting liars at work.
A good email subject line is the key to getting your prospect's attention. The more subscribers that open your emails, the more exposure you'll get for your products, services, or website. Here are four things that you should keep in mind when creating email subject lines.
Are you missing your sales goals? Find out if you or your employees are making any of these sales-killing mistakes.
Many military veterans are looking for civilian jobs, yet employers are hesitant to hire them for a number of reasons. Here's why military veterans are having trouble getting hired, while at the same time can make some of the best employees for your business.
Do you want to start a business but don't have much money to spend? It can be done. Starting a service business is often the answer. Here are ten business ideas that can be launched for $500 or less in startup funds.
How truthful is the resume you're reviewing? How can you tell when a job candidate is doing more than a little exaggerating about his or her past experience? Here are six tell tale signs to watch for when an applicant has lied on his resume.
Want a bigger piece of the pie? One sure way to grow your business and increase your market share is by coaxing away your competition's customers.
How are new customers actually finding your business? Which of your marketing methods is working best? Here's how you can track down that information.
What's the hardest thing about starting a business? For many new business owners, the answer is finding clients or getting customers. This is particularly if your marketing budget is limited. If you're having trouble finding clients, consider using some these time-tested strategies.
Do you want to start your own business but don't know what kind of business to start? Here's a mega list of over 300 business ideas plus suggestions for what it takes to succeed.
To get ahead, you need to be able to speak confidently when you're put on the spot. Here are seven steps to follow so you keep your composure and respond well when you're under pressure.
Are you thinking about starting your own business but don't want to be the victim of a get-rich scam? Discover real opportunities right under your nose with these 12 ways to find the right business idea.
There are dozens of credit card processing companies that offer merchant accounts to small business owners. How do you know which one to choose? Here's what you need to know to evaluate and choose the best credit card processing company for your business.