Business Advice

Guerilla PR and marketing tactics

If your small business sells to the public, or even a defined segment of Consumers, consider adding guerilla tactics to your communications mix. Guerilla marketing and public relations (PR) tactics are a great way to get your business noticed using non-standard techniques. The name derives from a type of warfare in which insurgents break established […]

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Make the most of vendor relationships

Even if you’re in the smallest of small businesses (typically a sole proprietorship), you almost certainly rely on one or more vendors. A software consultant, an office supply contact, or maybe a strategy guru or even a freelancer in your field to whom you send overflow work. And if you have employees and a dedicated […]

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Customer satisfaction pays

If you’re in business, you’re in sales. And as anyone who’s ever gone through sales training will affirm, selling is inextricably linked to Customer Satisfaction. This intuitive universal truth is supported statistically, in study after study. And it applies to small businesses as well as large multinationals—in both the retail and the B2B space. As […]

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Excel at customer and client service

Every small business has customers or clients. (Most retail businesses have customers; most non-retail businesses have clients). However you define your relationship with the people who buy from you, they will, at some point, need some extra “tender loving care” (TLC). The customer or client will believe: • something they purchased doesn’t work properly • […]

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Do you serve Clients? Or customers?

As any small business owner knows, the customer rules. Or maybe it’s the Client. The terms are not interchangeable, and you can optimize revenue by revisiting the differences. Some businesses have mostly one or the other. A food franchise, for example, has mostly customers; a consultancy, mostly Clients. In some cases, there’s room for both. […]

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19 financial terms every small business owner needs to know from the class you DIDN’T take in college:

Back in college, before you knew you would be a small business owner, the goal was just to graduate so you could get a leg up on the people competing for the same job you wanted. Little did you know that the jobs you had before becoming your own boss were just steps on your ladder to success. […]

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Getting financing with so-so credit

It’s a conundrum faced by most aspiring small business owners and many established ones in growth mode: How to secure the financing you need, at terms you can live with, if your credit is only so-so? Or less than so-so? Options abound, even after excluding the most humiliating ones like asking your longlost rich uncle. The best […]

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Red Flags

For some business owners, alternative, or non-bank, financing has appeal because it’s faster and easier to obtain than a loan from a big bank. But borrower beware. Especially entrepreneurs looking to establish, buy or grow a business. If you’re attracted to the benefits of alternative financing (and the benefits are numerous and compelling), do your due […]

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To the swift – Are you ready to take advantage of opportunities?

Conventional wisdom would have you believe today’s volatile economic conditions are suboptimal for major expansion. The volatility will likely continue for months or even years to come; better to wait until things calm down before committing to serious financial obligations, right? Not necessarily. Interest rates are hovering at historic lows while economic growth has been, […]

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Little expenses and small leaks

“Beware of little expenses, a small leak will sink a great ship.” — Benjamin Franklin Just as Franklin wisely cautioned long ago, a small business owner needs to keep a close watch on expenses. To help you oversee where your money goes, you can use a basic spreadsheet to help you track these items, use accountant […]

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