With 2009 behind us, it's pleasing to see some indicators that the government-backed small business loan market may be trending in the right direction. In early January 2010, *CNN Money reported that the Small Business Administration's flagship lending program - the Basic 7(a) Loan Program - backed 37% more loans in its latest quarter than it did during the same period in the year prior. That's $3.8 billion spread across 12,393 loans. If you have struggled to get financing in the past, or are thinking of venturing into...
The concept of 'business networking' has developed quite a reputation over the years. In the past, the term often has conjured up images of schmoozing and self-serving businessmen at a private club. Today, however, most business owners will all agree that networking is an essential part of business strategy. Why Business Networking Matters For small business owners in particular, whose business is oftentimes their world, networking can get you out of the day-to-day silo of business ownership and help you work on your...
For many years, marketing to seniors has been regarded as a waste of time; that this demographic was set in its ways and closed to new ideas. But a few years ago, marketing expert *Seth Godin published a blog post entitled-*Marketing to Seniors (open and closed) In fact, Godin insists that seniors are just as open to new experiences, products, and lifestyle choices as the hot and favored marketing demographic' 18-34 year olds. Why? Two words:'baby boomer'. As Godin explains,'Baby boomers have been open their whole lives. And...
From beauty products to Google Apps to reselling consignment on eBay; the opportunities for becoming a reseller are endless. What are Resellers?- A reseller is a business or business owner who buys a product from a manufacturer, vendor or wholesaler at a lower cost and-resell' that product at a higher cost either online or through traditional offline direct channels. While some companies require you to carry an inventory, others may ship goods directly to the end customer, with you acting as the transactional/order processing interface...
According to the American Pet Product Association* (APPA), 45 million U.S. households now provide a home to the more than 77.5 million registered dogs in the U.S. And these millions of dogs represent a burgeoning industry. From dog walkers to professional poop scoopers, mobile groomers to at-home pet sitters; the dog business is booming. In fact APPA spending statistics* show that in 2010, owners will spend a combined $47.7 billion on their pets. And what do owners spend most of their money on? Not veterinary bills, but FOOD!...
This week is Minority Enterprise Development (MED) Week when representatives from the public and private sector come together in Washington D.C. to share information and resources for growing and expanding minority businesses domestically and globally. If you can't be there, don't worry, many government agencies are using the month of August to showcase the wealth of resources that they offer to help minorities get started and succeed in business. Her-s a breakdown of some of the comprehensive resources and mentoring...
Youth entrepreneurship isn't just about curbside lemonade stands or girl scout cookie sales- thousands of young people across the U.S. are unlocking their entrepreneurial potential with the help of several organizations whose sole purpose is to educate and motivate the next generation of American entrepreneurs. Whether you are curious to know what it takes to turn your entrepreneurial dream into a reality, or need hands-on assistance and training in the fundamentals of leadership, business ownership and financial literacy- these...
According to research conducted by the Direct Marketing Association, commercial e-mail returned a staggering $43.62 for every dollar spent on it in 2009, outperforming all other direct marketing channels examined, such as print catalogs and direct mail (Source: DirectMag.com*). And while the rumor that email marketing is about to be replaced by social media continues to float around, all evidence points to the contrary. As Gail Goodman points out in this excellent article "Email Marketing Still Works*", email marketing isn't...
If you are one of the 52% of small businesses that has made the decision to operate a home-based business ( Green Commuting Options - From Teleworking Programs to Transit and Ride Share Tax Incentives - A breakdown of how you can help your employees take advantage of green commuting options, including teleworking, and how you both can reap the benefits of green commuting tax incentives.
From the moment you start-up, and throughout the life of your business- hiring your first employee, formalizing your business structure, and so on-you'll need to understand and comply with a host of government laws and requirements. But for many business owners, there's a parallel path of ever changing trade- and industry-specific government regulations that must also be navigated. The federal government alone has more than 25 regulatory agencies who are responsible for enforcing legislation that impacts how and what businesses manufacture,...
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