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Happy National Write A Business Plan Month!

NationalBusinessPlanMonth
December is National Write a Business Plan month. Business plans are popular discussion topics when it comes to starting a business or doing something entrepreneurial. If a prospective business owner is serious about taking a risk and making the leap into an entrepreneurial endeavor, he or she should take time and focus on producing a solid, well-written, and well thought-out business plan.

What should be in the business plan? Here’s what Forbes Magazine suggests: Continue reading

Listing Your Business Online

Moz LocalMaking sure that your business is adequately listed online is one of the most important things you can do after getting up and running. If any of you are like me, the first thing I like to do before visiting a new restaurant or business is to check out their website, just to see the menu or check out a little bit about what services and/or products they offer. If the business isn’t at least listed on common sites such as Yelp, Urbanspoon, YP.com, Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc. it may make customers skeptical of whether or not the business is still in operation.

Getting listed may sound like a daunting task, but there are resources out there to help small businesses with their online listings. Moz Local, formerly GetListed.org, is one of those resources. Their primary offering is an easy-to-use, online tool that makes the process of claiming business listings at Google, Foursquare, Facebook, Yelp, Bing, YP, Yahoo and other prominent local search engines more efficient. Continue reading

The Importance of a Sound Business Model

Business ModelAccording to Guy Kawasaki, author of “The Art of the Start,” you don’t have a business model if you can’t describe it in ten words or fewer. What’s his point? Investors want to know how your business will make money. I’m sure you already know that in order for your business to survive it needs to bring in enough revenue to cover expenses and to cover overhead costs. The good news is that someone else has already figured out business models that work! So, you don’t have to try to reinvent the wheel with this one, and Guy doesn’t recommend it. Mr. Kawasaki says that the smart approach is to relate to a successful and already understood business model.

How do you define your business model? Guy recommends starting with two questions: “Who has your money in their pockets?” and “How are you going to get it into your pocket?”

Not sure where to find already accepted business models? Below we’ve listed a few commonly used business models: Continue reading

5 Best Resources for Selling a Business

BusinessSo you’ve done it, you’ve reached that goal that every entrepreneur chases when dreaming up their own big business idea. You have created, opened, and run a successful business. What now? Do you keep it? Maybe if you truly enjoy the work. What if you’re looking for a new challenge or have another idea you think would make a great business? If your business is successful enough, you may want to look into selling it. Selling a business can be technically and emotionally complicated. Since each business is different, it’s likely that different resources will be involved in the sale depending on the industry, size, etc.

In an article for Inc.com, bizbuysell.com’s Mike Handelsman looks at some general resources that can help you during the process of selling your business: Continue reading

Small Businesses and Big Data

Big DataBig data is a term that describes the huge amounts of data that are being created every day from people all over the world using technology. According to IBM, 2.5 quintillion bytes of data are generated daily and 90 percent of the total data in existence was created within the last two years. Using data to improve business processes is nothing new. However, using big data is a whole new ball game. In an article on smallbiztrends.com, Curt Finch examines why small businesses should pay attention to big data. Continue reading