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Small business owners confident in their future; but the future of the economy…not so much

The National Small Business Association (NSBA) released its 2015 Year-End Economic Report today and the big picture is one that we have seen before: Small business owners are generally upbeat and confident in their own ability to grow, but they fear others may not fare as well in an uncertain economy. I think this reflects […]

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Want to improve customer service? Fire your customer service reps.

Okay, “fire” is going a little too far. You need to keep them on your team, but at the same time you need to take over their job, at least on occasion, if you’re serious about improving customer service in your small business. The most successful small business owners and startup founders that I know […]

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Instant Messaging in the Office: Two Apps that Turn Distraction into Productivity

Small business owners have long been concerned about lost productivity due to instant messaging and it’s true that instant messaging can be a huge office distraction. But it’s also a reality, and I’m certain that as Millennials and members of the even younger Generation Z take their places in the workforce, this handy mode of […]

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An Open Letter to Secretary Madeline Albright.

Dear Madam Secretary, I’ve always been an admirer of yours.  I cheered when President Bill Clinton appointed you as the first woman to serve as our Secretary of State.  You broke through the glass ceiling and you were an outstanding role model and inspiration.  When I wrote The Girls’ Guide to Power and Success, I […]

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The critical steps for protecting customer data in your small business

Protecting customer data in your small business takes good planning, training and vigilance because serious threats come from all sides: Hardware, Software, People, and Systems. Hardware “Skimmers” are responsible for many of the infamous retail customer data breaches that have made headlines in recent years. Skimmers are hardware devices that are surreptitiously installed on your […]

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This Week in Small Business: Win $20,000 from Microsoft, debunk some myths and sink some 3-pointers!

Microsoft is giving away more than $20,000 and the Golden State Warriors are providing marketing lessons. Those are just two of the highlights among the curated content that we have for you this week. Leadership, management and productivity You can adopt these three small business leadership strategies right now. And you should. If you think […]

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How to use today’s low fuel costs to power your competitive advantage

Managing fuel costs may not be quite the high-stakes proposition in your small business that it is in the airline industry, but you can learn a few things from how various air carriers have dealt with rising – and falling – fuel costs. Right now, Americans are enjoying very low fuel costs. However, we all […]

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Keys to scaling up a business for increased value

Why do Internet startups that aren’t showing a profit wind up with astronomical valuations? Scalability. The idea is that the startup will eventually find a system to make some money and by virtue of being Internet-based, that system will lend itself to being cost-effectively scaled up. And by “cost-effectively” I mean that it can produce […]

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New free app empowers small business owners

Editor’s Note:  This post is sponsored by Staples.  All the comments and opinions are my own. Let me give you some bedrock business principles and share a couple of corollaries: *  If you can’t measure it you can’t control it, and *  If you can’t control it, you can’t grow it. Those are simple enough […]

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The Secrets to Improving Profits in Your Small Business

It’s about time to rummage through my spice rack and see what I need to throw away and what I need to replace. I’m sure I’ll find several little jars that have only a small bit of the original herb or spice left. In addition to those, there are probably some very old spices that […]

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