Take a walk down any supermarket aisle and you'll notice that more and more organic food products have found their rightful place alongside "conventionally" produced foods - testament to the fact that organic food production is now the fastest growing and most profitable segment of American agriculture. In fact, approximately 2% of the U.S. food supply is grown using organic methods. Over the past decade, sales of organic products have shown an annual increase of at least 20%, the fastest growing sector of agriculture (Source: *...
It's quite a staggering fact that in the last few years home-based businesses have grown to represent 52% of all small businesses and 10 percent of the total receipts of the economy (approximately $314 billion), according to the Small Business Administration (SBA). At the root of this trending is the fact that of all the forms of business ownership, starting a home-based business is low cost, low risk and for the long-haul (less than five percent actually ever move out of the home). This isn't to say that it's easy. You'll need...
During one of the worst recessions in U.S. history, a little sugary confection - the great American cupcake - is proving to be an unexpected fast food market opportunity for many entrepreneurs. One city where the cupcake sector is booming at a rate faster than your average coffee shop is Washington, D.C., where an investigatory article by The Washington Post found that at least half a dozen cup cake eateries - or "cupcakeries" - have opened in the past 20 months, with more on the way. ("Cupcakeries Emerge as Washington's...
Whether your business depends on the fall/winter holiday season for a substantial part of your annual revenues or you find it to be a slow time of year - remaining engaged and connected with your prospect and customer base is never more critical than now. And that means embracing the holiday season as part of your marketing strategy. While sending holiday greetings are important, you may want to consider diversifying your online and offline marketing tactics to ensure your business or non-profit remains relevant and top of mind throughout the...
Whether you are in the business of making money, running governments, or organizing communities - teamwork is essential. It is the basis of engagement, innovation and success. To quote Laurie Benson, CEO of Wisconsin-based Inacom Information Systems and 2009 "SBA National Women in Business" Champion: "Very few people are ever successful or a failure by themselves, and probably, one of the most powerful elements in creating success - is a powerful team." In business, powerful teams not only drive results, they empower,...
How is your business doing? Have you conducted a business review lately? As the year draws to a close, there is no better time to start planning again - and this invariably means taking stock of the business year, reviewing your market position, and deciding where to take your business next year. Conducting a holistic year-end review has meaningful benefits for every small business owner - not least of which is planning for and positioning your business for economic recovery in the year ahead. Below are some tried and tested tactics you can...
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...
A food concession business can be an ideal first shot at becoming an entrepreneur, particularly given its relatively low cost of entry and great flexibility. My last post covered some of the basics of starting a food concession business: having a business plan, financing, etc. It also stressed the importance of understanding that a food concession business is still considered a 'business'. It faces the same rules and regulations as other businesses, despite its potentially transitory nature. Following directly from last week’s...
As the nation prepares for a potentially broader outbreak of the H1N1 flu this fall and winter, the government is reaching out to small business owners to help defend against the impact and threat of a more serious pandemic. This week the Small Business Administration, Centers for Disease Control, and Department of Homeland Security published its Planning for 2009 H1N1 Influenza Season Preparedness Guide for Small Business (archive.sba.gov/flu) on its Disaster Preparedness site. The guide is intended to help U.S. small business owners...
Tax season may not be upon us yet, but it's certainly around the corner. And, as every good accountant worth their salt will tell you, getting ahead of your obligations and doing some early tax planning and preparation will stand you in good stead once reporting time comes around. Whatever your business structure and reporting requirements there are several steps you can take now to get your small business tax obligations "ducks in a row" to help you maximize your deductions and sail through tax season. 1) Gather Your Records...
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