Do you use endorsements or testimonials from customers in your marketing or advertising? Many business owners do. The power of referrals and quotes from customers can mean the difference between success and failure. However, you need to be aware of truth-in-advertising and endorsement laws. Likewise, if you use ask bloggers to write about your products, you need to be clear and transparent about your affiliations. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) oversees consumer protection laws in a number of areas, truth-in-advertising being one of them....
Smartphone and tablet users will download 70 billion apps this year, according to an estimate by ABI Research. And the total global mobile app market is expected to be worth $25 billion by 2015 reports TechCrunch. If you have an idea for a marketable app or are currently developing one, then the world may just be your oyster. But before you take your app to market and get it accepted by an app store, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) wants to ensure that your security policies are up to scratch and that you have taken the right measures to...
Is your small business looking to hire an intern this summer? You’re not alone! According to a December 2012 survey by Internships.com, 53 percent of the 300 companies surveyed plan to hire more interns in 2013 than they did in 2012. In fact, internships are becoming increasingly important to both students and business owners. The difficult economic climate means that new graduates face unprecedented challenges as they try to enter the job market. Internships give them a vital foot in the door and also provide employers with nurtured and...
How secure are your small business assets from fraud, identity theft and cybercrime? According to the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE), companies with less than 100 employees lose approximately $155,000 as a result of fraud each year. Small businesses also have a higher fraud rate than larger companies and non-business owners. One of the most frequent sources of fraud is credit card abuse – largely due to the fact that few business owners actually take the time to go through every line item on their bill or choose to...
Do you target children or a youth demographic online? Perhaps you’ve developed or are marketing a mobile app that appeals to a youth market? If so, you should be aware of the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) – a federal ruling enforced by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) that gives parents control over what personal information websites can collect from children under the age of 13. The COPPA Rule recently underwent an important overhaul of which online marketers need to be aware. The revised rule (which...
One of the most frequently asked questions by prospective business incorporation filers is, “which state should I incorporate in?” It’s a good question and the answer isn’t always clear cut. For example, you’ve no doubt heard about the perceived tax and operational advantages of incorporating in states such as Nevada (with its low filing fees and zero state corporate income, franchise and personal income taxes) and Delaware (with its flexible and pro-business statutes). But do these advantages really come...
Are you thinking of hiring overseas-based employees? Whether you are operating an overseas branch of your own business or looking for specific skill sets that aren’t readily available here at home – there can be benefits to hiring overseas employees, but there are also challenges. How do you make sure your staff turns up for work on time? How do you hold them accountable and keep them motivated? What about communication across different languages, cultures and time zones? These are all concerns and challenges that many business...
More and more small companies are using blogging to promote their business. In fact, in 2012, “small business” was one of the fastest growing categories in Technorati, a global blog search engine, with 20 percent growth that year alone (source: Small Business Blogging Proved Effective for the Year 2012 by Rahul Manekari). Why? Blogs are a great tool for connecting with your customers and sharing your expertise. They also improve your company’s search engine rankings. Search engines love fresh, relevant and local content...
If you run an online or retail business, did you know that you might be prohibited from advertising a manufacturer’s products below a certain minimum price? Minimum advertised pricing (MAP) policies are particularly critical to manufacturers who sell their products for online resale, given the ease at which consumers can now conduct online and mobile price comparisons. MAP policies are also established to help small businesses compete and sell on service and value, rather than entering into a price war with cost-cutting big box stores....
If you’re starting a business, you may be wondering how to legally structure it. Should you incorporate, become an LLC, or operate as a sole proprietor? Over 70 percent of U.S. businesses are owned and operated by sole proprietors or sole traders. But what does being a sole proprietor involve and is it the right structure for your small business? Here’s what you need to know about the advantages and disadvantages of being a sole proprietor. What is a Sole Proprietor? A sole proprietorship is basically an unincorporated business...
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