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Five Ways to Move From Startup to Sustainable Small Business

Many entrepreneurs struggle with how to start a small business. However, growing a Growth Plant in Handssmall business is even harder than the actual startup phase.

Often times, small business owners don’t know where to begin in growing their product or service offering, expanding their customer base, and reaching new markets. This can be overwhelming without the right framework.

Here are five things you can do to ensure your business scales quickly from initial startup to a sustainable business with long-term potential: (more…)

What’s Better: A Franchise or Your Own Small Business? 

risk-rewardWhen it comes to small business ownership, there are many options to choose from. You can begin your own business without any preparation or you can browse a huge number of establishments and business openings, in essentially any field you need.

Truth be told, there are such a large number of various open doors and options accessible, that it’s occasionally hard to make sense of which is the best to pursue. When you decide you’d like help starting a small business, despite everything you have to comprehend the contrasts amongst the establishments and business openings, it is important to choose which is appropriate for you. Of all small business ideas, this may be one of the more difficult to decide. (more…)

How and When an Incubator Can Help Your Startup or Small Business

Startup IncubatorsIncubators are an important trend in the startup world. Especially in technology hot spots such as San Francisco and New York, select small businesses take parts in these startup communities as a way to gain contacts, mentoring, infrastructure, and education to guide them on their journeys to small business growth.

While incubators can offer advantages to participating startups, they are not for everyone. In addition, although much media attention is given to startups permeating the startup community, they are not critical to the success of startups and small businesses. Just as is the case with any hot trend or topic with media buzz, it is important to understand the reality of incubators.

Here are a few important things to keep in mind when considering whether or not your startup or small business should pursue involvement with an incubator: (more…)

Small Business Lessons From The Hunger Games

Small Business LessonsStarting and managing a successful small business can feel a lot like the Hunger Games movies and books. It seems that, like in the movie, the odds are ever in your favor – in other words, not in your favor since most small businesses fail within the first two years of operation.

Having just seen the most recent Mockingjay movie installment of the franchise, it occurred to me that there are plenty of small business lessons to be learned from the movie. Everything from the gruesome battles to the ridiculously stacked odds closely parallel the life of a small business owner, and there are plenty of lessons to be drawn from those parallels.

Below are just a few of the key lessons from the movie and storyline that can be applied to help us achieve small business success: (more…)

Small Business Loans: Are They a Good Idea?

Small business loansMany entrepreneurs feel as though their survival hinges on landing a small business loan, whether it be an SBA loan or one from some other source. After all, most mainstream media and academics tend to claim that “running out of cash” is one of the leading causes of small business failure – if not the single biggest reason.

However, our hands-on experience with and research of small businesses suggest that cash is not the reason most businesses fail. Instead, cashflow issues are typically symptoms of deeper root causes. Much like person dies because their heart stops beating or they stop breathing, those are merely symptoms caused by some other disease or problem.

With this in mind, I tend to believe that cashflow issues are not what small businesses should be most focused on, especially in the early startup stages. Startups landing millions of dollars of capital are often glamorized in popular media such as Shark Tank, but in general, small businesses are often better off without outside capital.

Here are three reasons why small business loans can be a bad idea:

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Why Small Business Innovation is Overrated

Small business training coursesThe world is full of great ideas. In particular, entrepreneurs are especially good at generating ideas to address some of the world’s most complex problems. Breakthrough products such as Apple’s iPhone, Tesla’s electric car, and Facebook are all examples of things that wouldn’t exist if it weren’t for small business innovation.

Further, the TV show Shark Tank, popular business journals, and small business consultants all love to talk about innovation. After all, it’s more exciting to talk about new, creative ideas than it is to discuss the nuts and bolts of running a business. We can also see and touch innovation, much more so than the intangible grunt work of managing a business. In other words, innovation is sexy.

So, if we assume that this is all true, then how in the world can innovation be overrated? Here’s the dirty, two-part secret about innovation: (more…)

Top 10 Songs to Inspire Small Business Owners and Entrepreneurs

Top10Starting and running a small business can be a tough challenge. Most of the time, we have the will and internal drive to handle the strategic and day-to-day challenges, but there are times when we could all use a good motivational boost.

Here are our top 10 classic songs to inspire entrepreneurs and small business owners: (more…)