Does your business ebb and flow with the seasons? Looking to hire extra staff for the holidays or tourist season? Whatever your plans, hiring seasonal workers involves following a few rules of the road. Many of the laws and regulations that apply to full-time employees also apply to seasonal or part-time employees. Here’s what you need to know as you plan your seasonal workforce: Labor Laws Still Apply Laws that cover harassment, discrimination, and workplace health and safety apply to seasonal workers just as they do to any other...
If you run a small business, you understand the benefits of “business continuity” and the need to get a plan together to protect your company from being shut down by a disaster. As a business owner, you also depend on the well-being of your employees, clients, customers and neighbors to stay in business. So it makes good business sense to do what you can to help them prepare for any kind of disaster. The same basic preparedness tips that work for businesses – storing important records offsite, having...
Do you know where your company is headed? How do you know when it’s time to grow? How can you manage that growth so it doesn’t run away with you? In this five-minute video – Strategies for Growth – SBA, in partnership with Dell, talked to Carey Wilson of the Maryland Small Business and Technology Development Center. He offers the following five valuable tips for preparing your small business for growth. 1. When is it time to grow your business? You can only grow when business indicators show that you are ready for...
Thinking of exporting your products or services? Want to expand your existing exporting business? The U.S. government can help. The SBA, for example, is making it a priority to help small business owners develop or expand their exporting activities through initiatives such as its Export Loan Programs and free online informational videos. What else does Uncle Sam offer? Well, did you know the U.S. government can help target and facilitate meetings with potential international partners and buyers? Or that it provides U.S....
If you have a business blog, then you are probably aware of the challenges of coming up with topic ideas, finding time to write, and – let’s face it – keeping that blog alive. This explains why blogs on the subject of blogging are ranked as the most popular articles here on the SBA.gov Community. Here are just a few: Thinking of Starting a Blog? Tips to Help You Start, Maintain & Grow a Small Business Blog! Never Run Out of Blog Topic Ideas: Here are 36 8 Tips for Keeping your Business Blog Current, Relevant and...
Selling to the federal government can seem daunting for many small business owners. However, the market is lucrative – approximately $100 billion in contracts are awarded annually to small businesses – and once you have your foot in the door, it can be a profitable, long-term revenue source. SBA has numerous resources and programs to help small businesses get established in this space, including the Government Contracting Guide and the Government Contracting Classroom. If you’re new to this market, you can also check out...
One of the more perplexing questions small business owners ask is, “Why did I lose that deal?” or even more worrying, “Why do I keep losing deals?” Whether you sell to other businesses or directly to consumers, you’re not going to win them all. But there are always going to be times when a sale that looks like a sure thing goes cold – for no apparent reason. If these times worry you and you’re looking for a better win rate, here are five things you can do about it. 1. Be First and Be Prepared to...
Hiring new employees is an opportunity, but it’s also a huge risk. So perfecting your interviewing skills is critical. But what kind of interview questions are most effective at helping you find an employee with the right skills and experience, and the best fit for your company culture? The most successful interviews are based on facts, and these are usually best gleaned via the behavioral interview technique. As in life, actions and (in this case) past actions, speak louder than words. You can get a pretty good sense of how anyone is...
Social media is one of the fastest growing channels for businesses to connect with existing and potential customers. However, taking that first step or next step can be a challenge. How do you find the time for it? How do you build a following and engage with your audience? What social media platforms are the best for your business? If any of these questions have crossed your mind, you’re not alone. During this year’s National Small Business Week Conference in Washington, D.C., in May, hundreds of small business owners posed...
If you run a home-based business, you probably are an object of envy for your family, friends and neighbors. “You’re so lucky!” or “I wish I could work from home” are probably familiar phrases to you. Whether your hours are 9-5, or 6-3, the home can be a low-cost haven of productivity and efficiency, giving you the opportunity to balance the demands of work and life without the pressures of a commute or the costs of a commercial lease. Home business owners also tend to be more successful than their counterparts....
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General small business tips and tricks.
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