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ELIZABETH GARONE

Moms Build a Small Business on Better Tissues

Julie Pickens and her co-founder turned a vexing problem—stuffy noses—to a big business opportunity. CAMPBELL SALGADO

In 2007, Julie Pickens and Mindee Doney found a $16 million business hiding in their children’s stuffy noses. The Oregon moms were trying to figure out the best way to get their children’s nostrils clean when they got congested. Their pediatricians advised using saline drops, but getting toddlers to stand still while they administered the treatment was next to impossible, says Ms. Pickens. So, they started putting the drops on regular tissues and wiping theRead More

ROB KING

Ten ways small business owners can improve their financial literacy

financial literacy :: your money your future - all of small business

As a small business owner, a deep understanding of your company’s financial situation drastically improves your chance of long-term success. When you know exactly where you stand in terms of your financials, you can plan for the future and avoid common financial management pitfalls. Unfortunately, the fact remains, entrepreneurs struggle to get a grasp on their finances. In a recent Intuit study, 46 per cent of Canada’s owners rated their knowledge of financial management asRead More

JEFF BUCKSTEIN

THE CHALLENGE: ‘Two guys with no revenue’ learn a venture-capital lesson

Customers carry a card or keytag and scan it to earn rewards. The company also offers a quick-pay component with auto-reloading capabilities. Business owners receive detailed information to track usage among customers. Mr. Bailey says the business is doing well, drawing “millions” in revenue. What he isn’t so certain about, however, is when a young business like his should seek outside funding. To date, Spoonity has raised about $500,000 through self-financing and government grants, includingRead More

Rose Hill

Dare to be different: six ways to fund your small business without heading to the bank

Looking for alternative ways to fund your business can be very worthwhile.  Going to the bank for funding is not a necessity, and is certainly not the only avenue to buying and running your own business. Here are six alternative ways to fund your enterprise: Financial DIY Do it yourself: invest in you from the start. When the business you want to buy is just an idea, save up through your current job and work hard to work for yourself.Read More

Mashable

Local Search Popularity Means Small Businesses Still Need SEO

More and more consumers are turning to their smartphones and mobile devices to help them find nearby businesses and make purchases. In fact, 50% of people who make local searches on a smartphone visit a store within a day, according to a report from Google. The report, which broke down consumers’ local search behavior, also found that 34% of tablet and desktop searchers will visit a business within a day of searching, and 18% ofRead More

Alyssa Gregory

Four Steps to Using Email Marketing in Your Small Business

Email marketing can be an effective way to generate leads and increase sales. But while it has the power to be a great tool for small businesses, it’s a long-term marketing activity, not one you will see results from overnight. It takes a well-planned system and sustained effort, but it almost always worth the effort. Here are four basic yet powerful steps you need to take in order to get started with email marketing. 1.Read More

Alyssa Gregory

SWOT Analysis for Small Business

A SWOT analysis is a strategic planning tool that helps a business owner identify his or her own strengths and weaknesses, as well as any opportunities and threats that may exist in a specific business situation. A SWOT analysis is most commonly used as part of a marketing plan, but it is also a good tool for general business strategizing, and to use as a starting point for team discussions. When conducted thoroughly, a SWOTRead More

Alyssa Gregory

How to Write a Small Business Marketing Plan: A Step-by-Step Guide

small business API

A marketing plan is an essential marketing tool for every small business. Use the guide on the following pages to answer these 10 questions: Marketing Strategy: How will your marketing plan support your business goals? Mission Statement: What are you trying to accomplish, and why? Target Market: Who are you trying to reach with your marketing activities? Competitive Analysis: Who are you up against, and where do you rank? Unique Selling Proposition: What makes yourRead More

Eric Dynowski

The Three Letters That Could Change Your Small Business: API

small business API

Today’s business owners are incredibly tech savvy. They use cloud-based applications, run their small businesses from mobile devices and track the return on revenue of every advertising dollar with online dashboards. Many can even update their own websites, tweaking code when necessary. But even with this level of sophistication, most entrepreneurs are missing out on what might be the biggest opportunity they have to expand their small businesses, an opportunity expressed in just three letters: API.Read More

Mark Lancaster

Customer Experience Should Not Be the Job of Just One Person

The whole world is going digital and it’s having an immense impact on organizations’ abilities to engage with customers. Through digital channels, social media and mobile communications, consumers today orchestrate their own experiences, choosing how and when they want to interact with companies’ brands. This creates a number of challenges for organizations, as they attempt to provide timely, consistent and personalized experiences to customers across channels. With less than half of companies rating their customer experience asRead More