Setting Goals for 2011: 2010 Habits to Keep or Leave Behind

Can you believe that 2011 is less than a month away? For many of us, December is a time of goal-setting, resolution writing and figuring out how to make next year better than the last. This December, I encourage you to examine your small business habits. This piece is often overlooked as we enter a new year. We'll set sales goals, marketing goals and even personal weight loss goals, but we won't take a hard look at the business habits we need to kick before the new year rolls around. I encourage you to do that right now.

Read More »

5 Ways to Spot a Nightmare Client

Before you take on that new client, make sure your eagerness now is not going to set you up for a headache later. Examine that first phone call or meeting to make sure you're not about to have a nightmare client on your hands. If that potential client utters one of these 5 phrases, you might want to run in the opposite direction.

Read More »

Customer Service Tip: Don’t Call Your Clients Stupid

I have a professional blogger friend who is quite tech proficient. To stay on top of her game she regularly attends blogging and social media classes. Our conversations after these workshops are typically a lot of fun. She excitedly tells me what she learned, and we talk about how we can apply it to our own businesses. Well...last week was different. She was pissed. It turns out that the workshop was good, but the presenter turned her off. Their email conversation started innocent enough, but then it went sour.

Read More »

Seek Success

People often talk about wanting to be successful but don't really mean it. Yes, they say they want to start a business, write a book or become a top athlete, but that's as far as they get. They talk. Success requires work.

Read More »

Market Research Basics

Before you launch that new product or service, don’t forget to perform market research to make sure you will be filling one of your ideal customer’s unmet needs. From Defining Your Target Consumer, we know that this ideal customer, or target consumer, is someone who "is both interested in your product or service and willing to purchase it." Well, how do you find this person? Market research is the answer.

Read More »

3 Quick Tips for Online Damage Control

Our last article showed you how to keep track of your online brand with popular tools, such as the Google search engine. Well, let’s say that you are using one of the tips from that article and come across something silly you did years ago. It is not aligned with the brand image you want to portray today, and it would be slightly embarrassing (okay, maybe really embarrassing) if a potential client saw it. What can you do? Here are three things you can do to manage how your negative information shows up on the Internet.

Read More »

3 Ways to Keep Track of Your Online Brand

Some employers are using the Internet to check up on potential employees before making hiring decisions, but did you realize that potential clients could be checking up on small business owners, too? Making sure you know what is being said about you and your company on the Internet should be a regular part of your business activities. Use these three tips to keep track of your online brand.

Read More »

Financing Your Small Business

Finding money can be one of the biggest hurdles for a small business owner. Whether you desire to open a chain of restaurants or an Internet-only business, capital is required to fund your dreams. Here we will explore the different types of funding available to you: Debt financing includes any money you will pay back. It does not require you to give up equity in your company and can be a good choice for entrepreneurs who have not been able to attract the attention of investors. This type of financing...

Read More »