Posts Tagged ‘smallbusiness’

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Top 10 Outsourcing Trends by Small Businesses in 2009

March 10, 2010

by Amit Mullerpattan

The expanding reach of the Internet and growth of online collaboration tools have all changed small business outsourcing dramatically in the past 3-4 years.

Let us take a look at 10 key trends for using independent contractors for projects and even ongoing staffing needs, and how they shape up in 2009:

1.  The “Outsourcing Life” is hip

Popularized by the best seller The 4-Hour Workweek, more people are realizing that they can get their work done by someone else even if they are a solo entrepreneur.  According to statistics published by US Small Business Administration, 56% of US small businesses with 100 employees or less, have fewer than 5 employees. If your business is one with no employees or a very small number of employees, you may find yourself over-stretched for time, and in need of outsourcing in both your personal and professional life.  Driven by the economy and the need to watch expenses, more businesses will opt for contracting relationships and hold off hiring new employees as long as possible.

Small businesses are also continuing to push the envelope on what can be outsourced.  They are discovering elements that can be outsourced even in previously “core” activities. For example, an Australian small business we work with specializes in online marketing, but also uses multiple telemarketing providers to cross sell their product range to customers.

How to benefit from this trend:

  • Re-examine what you consider to be activities only you or your employees can do.
  • If not the entire activity, can some parts of this at least be outsourced?
  • Be prepared to invest some time up front in training your outsourcing partner.

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Small Business Tip: Why Millions of Businesses are Missing Out on Online Sales

February 23, 2010

Originally Uploaded by daryljames

by Danita Blackwood

Millions of small companies don’t exist online because they don’t have a website for small business. Recent research reveals two out five small and midsize businesses in the United States are trying to compete without a website.  Small businesses in all types of industries need a website to reach customers. Consumers spend as more time online as they do watching TV or reading and reaching these customers starts with a small business website.   Think of a website as a billboard on the Internet telling the world what services, goods and resources your business offers and what you can do to improve their lives.

So why aren’t all small businesses online?  The results from a nationwide study commissioned by 1&1 Internet, Inc. finds most business owners are unaware of the free tools and resources available to build a small business website. The 1&1 Internet research looked at more than 1,800 U.S. small to midsize businesses and found many entrepreneurs and business owners are misinformed about the cost of owning a business website.  Researchers found small business owners often overestimate the expenses for being online. They also overestimate the complexity of taking their business to the Web with a small business website.

There are many free resources on how to build a website and even free tools to build a website an entrepreneur or small business owner can tap to build a website for business.  These resources are not only for the technically savvy entrepreneur.  Many small business owners are surprised by how simple and affordable it is to build a website with a do-it-yourself approach once they get started.  In fact, the 1&1 Internet study found 28 percent of small business owners created their own business websites themselves.  Forty-four percent of small and midsize businesses in the 1&1 study update their business website themselves.  Many of these small companies are showcasing their websites as they expand their online enterprises with e-marketing, social media and other available technology to give them a competitive advantage.

Start thinking about the online identity for your business and what kinds of ways you can attract and connect with customers.  It is a good idea when thinking about a small business website to come up with three domain names that fit your company.  Your top choices may not be available, so have a few ideas for domain names.   If your top domain name choices for a small business website are available, consider getting them all.  It is more affordable than you may believe and it will give you room to grow and flexibility to create additional sites or business websites for special promotions or business events in your company.

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Small Business Traps to Avoid

February 18, 2010

Originally Uploaded by daryljames

by Terri Levine

Regardless of whether the “small business” is a one-man show or a small business with up to 10 employees, when starting out we tend to concentrate/focus on one or two areas of our business and either are unaware or just forget about the other areas. There are certain mistakes that are common to many entrepreneurs and small business owners – being aware of them is the first step to avoiding them!

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Dealing With Stress In The Small Business Workplace, Tips From Your Strategic Thinking Business Coach

February 17, 2010

Originally Uploaded by daryljames

by Glenn Ebersole

It is certainly no secret that stress is a fact of daily life ad is especially true in the small business workplace. And what makes it worse is most small business owners must face the challenges alone or with little or no support systems. A strategic thinking small business owner knows that he or she must be very aware of their own level of stress, as well as the stress levels of their employees because of the potential negative impacts.

How extensive is this stress in the small business workplace? CareerBuilder.com found in a 2006 study of 2,500 American workers that 77% of the workers felt burned out at their jobs. The National Safety Council estimates that US companies lose between $200-$300 billion a year due to absenteeism, tardiness, burnout, decreased productivity, worker’s compensation claims, increased employee turnover, and medical insurance costs resulting from employee work-related stress. And a survey of more than 1,300 workers conducted by Caravan Opinion Research in 2000 found 13% claimed to have personally witnessed “desk rage” or some angry or destructive outburst at the office.

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The Big Advantages of Small Business

February 16, 2010

Originally Uploaded by daryljames

by Steve Chittenden

We have all heard it said that small business is the backbone of the economy, and we all seem to know that is true. The exact definition for small business is not so clear, but what is clear is that most businesses are small by that allusive definition.

It is a bit of an irony that some business owners try to project the idea that they are bigger than they really are. As much as we might say bigger is not better, our attitudes and actions will determine whether we really believe that or not.

There is strength in being small once you discover how to harness your energy.

The idea of comparing the size of a business, to the size and power of a boat, provides an excellent analogy. A cruise ship may withstand storms and high waves much better than a small yacht, but it is not very maneuverable. A speedboat can go places a ship could never attempt. It is faster, agile, and can turn quickly to avoid danger.

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80 Ways To Use Twitter As A SMB Owner

February 10, 2010

by Lisa Barone

It’s pretty common. A small business owner comes to us looking for help promoting his or her business. We suggest using Twitter as a way to find new leads, build relationships and as an overall way to cost effectively market their business. The small business owner then turns around, tilts their head and responds, “Twitter? What can Twitter do for me?”

Well, I’ll tell you. Below are 80 ways a small business owner can use Twitter to build and market their business.

Just like last time, hit print.

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What three trends should all small businesses watch closely in 2010?

January 22, 2010
  • Social Media. It’s not only growing, it’s growing in importance. Be a part of it.
  • Opportunities. As the economy improves, opportunities will emerge. Look and accelerate your success.
  • Help. Big corporations want to help you. Whether it’s the software they develop, information, or other products, take advantage of the help that is out there. It is an amazing time to be a small business person because so many success tools and assistance are available.

source:  SCOREExpertAnswers