For small businesses (typically under 100 employees and less than $5 million in annual sales), basic insurance coverage is in the form of a business owne;s policy, referred to in the insurance industry as a BOP. It provides property protection for your business equipment and premises in the case of damage, destruction, or theft. Like a general liability policy, it also includes liability protection when third parties are injured on your premises. It may include other types of coverage for your business. BOPs vary greatly from one insurance...
At our SBDC in Columbus, Ohio we occasionally run a contest called,;Pitch It-. I-s an elevator pitch contest that gives budding entrepreneurs the opportunity to practice their pitch delivery in front of an audience and panel of business development judges. Everyone who hits our stage is excited to have a chance to talk about their business. The passion in their presentation is evident, but what usually is not is how the business will generate revenue. Here Michael Bowers* enlightens us on how to present a pitch the right way. You have a cool...
A common question among small businesses with limited budgets (that means most of us, right?) is where to allocate your online marketing budget. SEO? Social media? Blogging? Today there are so many choices it can be confusing. A recently-released report by Hubspot* may offer some guidance. The report took a look at 33 industries and determined where the online activity for a common keyword was for each industry; was it in search engines, on blogs or on social media? It turns out, there are some distinct differences, depending on the...
I;s true; the business model of franchising is one of the best business models ever developed. I-s a brilliant idea, and if i-s done well, it can create lots of success, for both franchisee and franchisor. However, we do't live in a perfect world. The US franchise industry is highly regulated, but regulations are just rules, and you know what happens with rules. Even the regulators themselves admit that they ca't check everything. Her's wha's printed on the first page of the Franchise Disclosure Document. (*FDD)
The U.S. federal government mapped out a $5+ trillion budget for the Government Fiscal Year (GFY) 2010. Yes - more than $5 trillion. That number includes all government spending, from military salaries to grants to servicing our national debt. Of that $5 trillion, $756 billion was contractor addressable; money available to pay government contractors for existing and new work. Tha-s where you come in. Of that $756 billion, the government still has $114 billion of-expiring fund' left to spend before September 30, 2010. All this number...
New technologies are being developed daily, and a lot of them can be used for business. The franchise business is a model that's built on efficiency, and it only makes sense that some of the new technology that's being developed would have several uses for both franchisees, and franchisors. Some of the newest things in technology have to do with mobile phones. Do you happen to have an iPhone, or a Blackberry? There are tons of applications that can be used for your business. Here are some *examples. Speaking of all things mobile, according...
A recent study by the SBA found that when unemployment is high, the number of sole proprietorships goes up. Some people who are laid off from their jobs decide to start small businesses. If you find yourself in such circumstances -- out of a job and thinking about starting a business -- chances are you won't have much money to start up with. So here are 10 businesses with potential for growth in 2010 and beyond that require little startup capital. In many cases they can be run out of a home office. Most require minimal...
Despite the sluggish economy, small businesses are picking up the pace of business travel. Business travel is a significant investment for small companies so therefore it is important to ensure you get a strong return on your investment. According to the Oxford Economics, USA study, every dollar spent on business travel in the U.S. results in incremental revenue of $12.50 on average. While that may not be achievable for all small businesses, it demonstrates that business travel when managed effectively can enhance your bottom line. 1...
Question: As the pace of change quickens and the business landscape moves steadily more online, what do you think happens to the business plan? Do organizations need business plans? Do they want them? How do you think the business plan looks now, next year, and three years from now? It seems to me that business planning has taken a PR hit lately, not because it is;t more vital than ever, but rather because: 1.) its sibling, the presentation, is getting a lot of favorable mentions, and 2.) i-s other sibling, the old-fashioned formal business...
Note: The ARRA (Recovery Act) initiatives and/or programs referenced in this article will expire on September 30, 2010. Any statements about qualifying time periods, or extensions of these dates, as they pertain to the availability of ARRA programs are over-ridden by the expiration of the Act on September 30, 2010. You cannot grow your business single handedly; you may need to staff up. When you do this, making payroll, avoiding on-the-job problems (e.g., injuries, discrimination, or sexual harassment), and displaying minimum wage posters...
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