Statistics from the Department of Labor Statistics indicate hiring is on the rise for the first time in more than a year. However, because businesses continue to be concerned about the economy, many employers are choosing to hire independent contractors/freelancers as opposed to full-time employees. Misclassifying a worker as an independent contractor rather than an employee can be a costly mistake. Using independent contractors in your business can save your business money. Independent contractors do;t get typical company benefits such...
So you wonder whether you want a business plan for your business. You've heard that business plans are about raising money, perhaps, and it sounds like it might be hard to do. You don't have that MBA degree or CPA certification. So thank goodness, you don't need it. What a relief. Here's my suggestion: Take some time to think about your business strategy. Think about what's unique about you, what you do best, and what you like to do. Think about what others want you do do. Then think about whom you want to sell to and what types of people....
One of the most effective ways to grow your business is also one of the oldest: networking. While it may not get as much buzz these days as social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter, old-fashioned, face-to-face networking is still essential for building a business. One of my favorite business mottos is that, all else being equal, people do business with people they know and like. Tha;s why networking is so important. -m not suggesting you give up your social networking efforts, but simply that social networking is just one part of the...
Intellectual property, or IP, can be your most valuable business asset, even though you ca;t see, smell, or touch it. Trademarks are a type of IP that protects your logo, brand, name, or other mar-but only if you follow the rules necessary to obtain legal protection. Before you invest in a website, brochures or marketing, or take other actions that will use a mark to brand you, here are key things you need to know. Legal Protection Is-t Infinite You can protect your compan's name, the name of a product or service you offer, a tag line you use...
As you would expect one of the top reasons our business management advising services are sought is the need for funding. Although the Small Business Development Center network does;t have money to lend, we are exceptionally good at preparing our clients and facilitating their relationship with a local lender. As we walk them through this process we advise them to focus less on their monetary goal and more on the human elemen- It's very easy to focus on the bank you submitted your loan request to but if you want to be successful in getting...
I;s a pretty big move. Google, which during the 12 years of its existence rarely changed the layout of its pages, recently rolled out a new 3-column format in place of its 2-column format. Now when you do a search, the Google search results still contain a column down the right side with nothing but Google AdWords (sponsored links). To the left of that are the search results themselves. But these days yo-ll find a new left column, where you can now see several links. The links allow you to further refine or expand your searches. The...
Social media. Those two words, (if yo;re online a lot) are quite popular. The-re so popular that if you search them on a search engine like Bing, yo-ll see that there are 191 million results. If you do the same search on Google, it will yield about 227 million results. The franchise industry, as a whole, has not exactly been an'early adopte' of social media, especially, social media marketing. Le's start out by defining social media. Brian Solis, one of the brightest, and most influential of all the social media and public relations...
Ther;s a guy I work with- Ray Bjorklund. Really smart guy. H-s the guy who takes thousands of lines of federal budget information, digests it and dissects it, and comes up with a complete rundown' industry by industry and sector by sector' of how much money the government has available to spend on federal contracts. Ra's also a glass-half-empty kind of guy. So, when he found that the'contractor addressabl' market' money available to pay contractors for existing and new work' for fiscal year 2011 is about $36 billion less than it was in FY...
A few years ago, I wrote The Girl's Guide to Building a Million Dollar Businesses. Why? Because having successfully started and built a multi-million dollar enterprise myself, I was dismayed by the statistics that confirmed fewer than three percent of women-owned businesses cross over the million-dollar threshold in revenue. I figured if I could do it, every woman should be able to do it too, and I wanted to help them. One of the challenges to growing a successful, sustainable business is the ability to obtain growth capital. However,...
I believe the single most common question I get when I answer the phones at lunchtime at our SBDC has to do with structure (DBA or corporation), to which I say, 'Depends on circumstances. Contact one of the SBDC centers nationwide.' The second most common query involves someone who wants to be a contractor with a government agency: 'How do I become a CERTIFIED small business?' or 'How do I become a CERTIFIED veteran-owned business?' My general answer has been, 'Unlike the minority-owned or women-owned businesses, there really isn't a national...
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