Talking to New Customers: 5 Ice-Breaking Conversation Starters

When it comes to making sales, much is based on the art of conversation and on making real connections. The problem for many is finding ways to start conversations. That is, going beyond the basic self-introduction and moving on to something that will create an opening that leads to a meaningful conversation. Without this type of connection, there is little chance that the salesperson will enjoy the benefits hoped for. After all, the point is not to see how many people can be added to a l...
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Best Practices for “Cold” Email Marketing

Email marketing can be an incredibly useful component of a successful new business winning strategy. Much like cold calls, cold emails can be sent to prospective customers in an attempt to engage and win them over with a product or service. But as always with email marketing, there are risks associated, so you want to be sure you are employing best practices in your approach. We’ll cover those critical best practices here. Consider that the customer will likely read the email on his/her p...
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Should You Outsource Payroll, or Keep it In-House?

As a small business, if you have full time employees, then running payroll on a regular basis is a critical function for your business’s success. Running and reporting upon payroll accurately is also critically important, and the decision will need to be made whether or not to outsource the process. We’ll help you decide which path is best for your small business so that you can ensure it is done properly and avoid fines associated with not doing so. Do you have the expertise on staff?...
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Five Tips for Branding Your Start-Up Business

Congratulations! You’ve had the idea brewing for months or years. You’re off and running. You’re working long, productive and energizing hours to kick off your new venture. The new business is popping up in your dreams and consuming your head space as you drive to the next appointment, right? Ride the wave, and Build. Your. Brand. Create a buzz. Play like Mother Duckling, and get them to follow you. That really is the place to start. It’s a great idea to get a buzz going even before you open for...
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The Startup Business Owner’s Guide to 401(k)

There are dozens of issues that a startup business owner must address, from the basic (revenue generation and supply chains) to the complex (marketing strategies and information technology) to the forward thinking (business plans and future growth opportunities). So it can be easy to forget about employee incentives like a 401(k) program. With that in mind, here is a guide for 401(k) planning for the startup business owner. Provide a wide range of options. Your employees will have differe...
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Accepting Online Payments: Convenient and Better for the Environment

As a small business owner, you should be looking for every possible revenue channel you can find in order to drive your business forward. If you are not already invested in an e-commerce solution in order to sell your product or service on your website, this is a move your business needs to make. We’ll talk about several reasons why this is such a smart step in the growth of your business. It’s convenient for you. Sit back and watch the sales roll in as your online store does the work for ...
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In a Bad Mood? Tips for Not Showing it to Your Clients

Everyone has a bad day every now and then, especially when on the rollercoaster that is owning your own business. The trick is in making sure you’re not relaying your mood to clients, who expect good, positive customer service at all times. So how do we manage ourselves through a bad mood, and not let on to our clients how cranky we are? Here are some good tips! Grab a stress ball and squeeze it ten times. Do this before calling your client or speaking to him or her. Pour all of your frust...
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7 Reasons an Entrepreneur’s Reputation Can Make or Break His/Her Business

Protecting your personal and business reputation, both online and offline, is critically important if you are starting a business. As an entrepreneur, all you really have is your reputation, and we’ll explain why. Your business history tells a story of your capabilities (or lack thereof). Have you started numerous companies that didn’t last very long? Not good. Have you had a great track record in one or more businesses? Great! Whatever your history may be, it will typically be availab...
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Top Accounting Software Programs to Help with Invoicing

Running your own business requires big effort. Don’t let something as critical to your survival as invoicing your customers be a hassle. There are plenty of strong accounting software programs to handle not just invoicing, but all of your accounting needs. Here, we’ll review the best accounting software for small businesses.   QuickBooks. This is probably the most commonly used accounting software used for invoicing and in general by small businesses today. QuickBooks has many ...
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5 Pointers for Making Payroll Less of a Pain-in-the-Neck

It doesn’t matter if the employer has five employees or fifty, payroll can be a real pain in the neck. Besides the fact that tax and payroll laws and regulations are constantly changing, typical payroll duties are very involved. After all, in order to accurately calculate payroll, several things have to be considered. Regardless of the system used, payroll is a comprehensive and detailed process. Five pointers for making the process a little less of a pain in the neck are described bel...
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