Small businesses tend to struggle to get their acts together, a new survey shows. Owners admit their businesses would improve with better organization, but it's a task many of them loathe. To more than a quarter of the owners of 1,006 small and midsize businesses surveyed by office supply retailer Office Depot, filing and organization are their least-looked-forward-to tasks; 27 percent said they loathe trying to put their office in order. As the top "pain point," organizing their office ranks higher than the effort to save money or acquire new business; 21 percent of owners cite "organizing my office" as the top issue that hinders their ability to focus on business growth. When asked what would most help bring order to their offices, a majority of SMB owners plead for more time (57 percent). The need for more tools is cited by 39 percent, and 14 percent say they could use an organization expert. The items that SMBs would most like to keep more organized or up-to-date are their desks … [Read more...] about Getting Organized Harder Than Saving Money for Small Business Owners
After Thanksgiving, holiday shopping is in full swing, and it's the busiest time of year for the retail industry.For small businesses, the post-Thanksgiving weekend can be particularly important. Small Business Saturday (Nov. 25, 2017) encourages consumers to shop local and is a great opportunity for small retailers to increase their profits for the year.Founded by American Express in 2010, this annual shopping day supports independently owned businesses that create jobs and make local economies thrive."Our ultimate goal is to help small businesses do more business, and for Small Business Saturday, that includes arming them with the tools to help make the day a success," said Amy Marino, vice president and head of Small Business Saturday at American Express.To help small business owners, American Express offers free business boot camps, online "SBS 101" education content, and customizable print and digital signage. Items such as event flyers, posters, save the dates, and social … [Read more...] about Ready for the Holidays? 5 Small Business Saturday Survival Tips
Editor's Note: Microsoft recently announced the release of the Surface Book 2, which comes with a new 15-inch screen and improved specs. It starts at $1,499 and will be available for pre-order on Nov. 9. We have not tested or reviewed the Surface Book 2 yet, but when we do we will report our findings. When it launched in 2015, Microsoft's Surface Book was easily the most versatile machine for creative professionals on the market. No competitor could come close to matching its combination of a flexible 2-in-1 design, detachable display, top-notch pen support and sheer graphical power. And now this Swiss Army knife of a laptop has gotten a big upgrade, making it an even more impressive mobile studio – albeit a pricey one. The refreshed Surface Book offers twice the graphics capabilities of last year’s model, thanks to the included “Performance Base” keyboard dock that houses a beefed-up GPU. But while the system earns high marks for its versatility, … [Read more...] about Microsoft Surface Book with Performance Base Review: Is It Good for Business?
If your business had a slow month, would you be able to survive? New research from the JP Morgan Chase Institute finds that many small businesses are living month to month, and the median small business has only enough cash in the bank to last 27 days without additional funds. "It is well known that small businesses are a critical driver of economic growth, but the consistency of their growth is in question if they're living month to month," Diana Farrell, president and CEO of the JPMorgan Chase Institute, said in a statement. The number of days businesses can survive without bringing in any money varied widely among industries: Restaurants: 16 days Repair and maintenance: 18 days Retail: 19 days Construction: 20 days Personal services: 21 days Wholesalers: 23 days Metal and machinery: 28 days Health care services: 30 days High-tech manufacturing: 32 days Other professional services: 33 days High-tech services: 33 days Real estate: 47 days Cash … [Read more...] about How Long Could Your Business Survive on Cash Reserves?
On the morning of Oct. 21, internet users awoke to a terrifying prospect: a large amount of popular websites and business tools were completely inaccessible.As users clamored to start the workday without significant internet access, it became clear the problem was the result of hackers launching a massive distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack on Dyn, Inc., a major Domain Name Server host that helps route traffic across the internet. Gizmodo reported a slew of websites and applications that were impacted by the hack, including: Basecamp Box Etsy Okta PayPal Reddit Spotify Squarespace Customer Sites Twillow Twitter Yelp Zendesk.com Zoho CRMIn DDoS attacks, hackers repeatedly test their target's security to ensure their assault achieves the highest amount of damage. The attack starts by exploiting one vulnerability, then spreads via malware, gradually shutting down network systems and rendering websites inoperable. Large-scale attacks like this have … [Read more...] about Hacker Attack Hits Businesses Hard: How to Protect Against a DDoS Attack
Consumers are becoming more attuned to the ethics of the companies they patronize, and so it is more important than ever to demonstrate what is known as corporate social responsibility. In short, companies that ensure they are giving back or reducing the impact of their industry on humanity and ecology will enjoy more loyalty from their customers than those that do not. You need to let your customers know that their dollars will be doing some good.Many businesses recognize the importance of being socially and environmentally conscious, and will often advertise charitable initiatives, such as annual fundraisers for a cause, or a volunteer project their staff worked on. But companies that incorporate social responsibility into their business model prove that a dedication to these initiatives goes a long way, both for the cause and their reputation.These 15 examples represent just a handful of the countless organizations that put social good at the heart of their business. [What Is … [Read more...] about 15 Great Examples of Socially Responsible Businesses
Grooms often seem like an afterthought when it comes to wedding rituals. Nowhere is their minor status more pronounced than in the selection of wedding gifts. When was the last time you saw a Milwaukee 16" electric chainsaw listed on a couple's wedding registry?The Man Registry aims to rectify this imbalance and restore parity to wedding gift giving, and so far business is booming .The Man Registry is an online resource for guys (and those who like/love them) that today serves as an online gift registry with a distinctly male spin blended with a liberal helping of personal insight and expert opinion on a wide variety of wedding-related topics. Launched in 2008, it was the brainchild of two 20-something Kansas City brothers, Jim and Bob Horner, and Chris Easter, now 26, who would soon become their brother-in law.Their generation was rapidly joining the march to matrimony. Jim and Bob had already been through the wedding process and Chris was getting ready to join their … [Read more...] about Perfect Marriage: Gifts for Grooms Makes Business Boom
Simone Collins is founder and chief operating officer of ArtCorgi, a company that helps people commission personalized, original art. She contributed this article to BusinessNewsDaily's Expert Voices: Op-Ed & Insights. This is the story of two startups: One is practical; the other is compelling. Which one do you think did better? Startup A was inspired by a serious and growing need, created over 13 months, bolstered by thousands of emails and extensive market research, built with the help of an expensive developer with a great reputation and associated with a booming online industry. Startup B was inspired by a touching romantic gesture, created in fewer than two months, bolstered by several hundred informal emails and cursory competitive research, built independently (with lots of Googling) and associated with an obscure online niche. If you had asked me six months ago which startup would do better, I would say Startup A. Boy, was I wrong! This past year, I learned that startup … [Read more...] about Remember That Reddit Proposal? It Turned Into a Business! (Op-Ed)
A decade ago, formal-wear rental for women was more or less unheard of. Men's tuxedo rentals have long been commonplace, but women who didn't want to purchase an expensive dress for a one-time event were left to borrow from a friend. Designer gown and accessory rentals were the exclusive territory of celebrities and their stylists. That all changed in 2004, when marketer Lloyd Lapidus and finance professional Greg Pippo noticed the women in their lives constantly borrowing each other's purses and jewelry for special events. Together, the two men founded Bag Borrow or Steal, one of the pioneering companies in the online fashion-rental industry. The concept of Bag Borrow or Steal was simple: Customers could choose from designer handbags, sunglasses, jewelry and other accessories they loved, rent an item for the month at a fraction of the retail price, then return it (or, if they really loved it, pay the rest of the cost and keep it). The company, also known as … [Read more...] about Clothing Rental Businesses Making Leasing Fashion Easy
Like a lot of entrepreneurs out there, I just knew I wanted to be in business before I even knew what a businessman was.One day I gathered together a bunch of old VHS tapes, used toys and some of my sister's belongings and slapped a sign on the outside cellar door that said "Bargain Basement." Then it was just a matter of waiting for my customers to arrive during the hours I wasn't in school. My store didn't last very long. It turned out that my parents weren't very excited about their 10-year-old inviting total strangers into our house.Still, you learn from your failures. I learned that ideas always need a good business plan. I applied that lesson at 17, after spending several years involved in youth theatre and deciding I wanted to do more than act. I wanted to be in charge.I knew the historic 90-year-old State Theatre in my hometown of Stoughton, Mass., had a great stage, balcony seats and financial troubles. So I started the Independent Theatre Company, and brought together adult … [Read more...] about Finding My ‘Why’: My Entrepreneurial Journey to a Healthy Vending Business