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7 keys to building a successful brand
FOX Business
I have a secret for you, though it's hardly a revelation: Most brands fail at what they are trying to accomplish. And the only thing more frustrating about how terrible so many brands are is how clueless many small-business executives and entrepreneurs are about what branding is. Most people think of branding as simply "the logo," but a logo is just the beginning of a brand's visual aspect (which also includes the website, marketing materials and ad copy — which in turn includes tag lines, marketing/PR/sales copy and advertisements). With that in mind, what are the keys to building a successful brand?
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Common errors can plague small-businesses' websites
Charlotte Observer via Richmond Times-Dispatch
If your small business doesn't have a website, you're inevitably missing out on potential clients and potential cash. Already got a site? Good. Now, let's talk strategy. Because the quality of that site could also be impacting your bottom line.
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Tax bill rescues for the self-employed
Motley Fool
There's no question about the rules for some 18 million Americans who've made something good for themselves in the world of self-employment. Professionals who earn a decent living at what they do — working for themselves — face quarterly taxes. But here's a not-so-wonderful truth about the financial lives of the self-employed: They can slip into underpaying quarterly taxes and they can even miss quarterly payments altogether. Our subjects presumably fall within a segment of honest but problem-ridden payers. They mean to pay their bill to federal and state coffers but they underpay. And when they do, it means trouble. Let's look at what can be done.
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Down but not out: Laid-off workers look to self-employment programs
Deseret News
Instead of looking for new work, more and more unemployed workers are taking the opportunity to go after their dream job — working for themselves. Under self-employment assistance programs — also known as SEA programs or SEAPs — would-be entrepreneurs get financial aid equal to their unemployment insurance benefits for up to 26 weeks. They also get a boost in launching a business, including developing a business and feasibility plan.
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7 keys to building a successful brand
FOX Business
I have a secret for you, though it's hardly a revelation: Most brands fail at what they are trying to accomplish. And the only thing more frustrating about how terrible so many brands are is how clueless many small-business executives and entrepreneurs are about what branding is. Most people think of branding as simply "the logo," but a logo is just the beginning of a brand's visual aspect (which also includes the website, marketing materials and ad copy — which in turn includes tag lines, marketing/PR/sales copy and advertisements).

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How we can learn from Philip Seymour Hoffman's last will
Legal Zoom
Often you hear that you should review your will or trust to make sure it keeps up with changes in your life and still meets your needs. If you don't, it's possible that a will you signed some time ago will determine what happens to your property and other important decisions. Also, state law may step in to fill the void. This may or may not be what you would have wanted. The tragic death of Philip Seymour Hoffman, whose will became public as a result of the probate proceeding, brought some of these issues into the public eye.

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5 must-know tips for creating the ultimate sales proposal
By Marc Wayshak
So many salespeople are losing sales or selling at a low price, not because they were ineffective in the sales meeting, but because their proposal was weak. By implementing an effective and proven proposal strategy, you can both increase the number of closed sales and the average sale size. Here are five tips to help you create that ultimate sales proposal.

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142 Pinterest board ideas for entrepreneurs
Launch Grow Joy
If you're an entrepreneur looking to grow your business, Pinterest is a great platform for that. It might be tempting to create a Pinterest account for your business and set up boards centered around your interests but you may want to rethink that. If you want to get more clients, traffic and sales from Pinterest, you have to create boards centered around your target customer's interests. Here are 142 Pinterest board ideas to get you started.
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New Orleans' entrepreneurs see niches, fill them
Green Bay Press Gazette
All over the world, cities want to nurture entrepreneurs and attract innovation. One approach has been to establish "accelerators" or "incubators" — programs where entrepreneurs receive business assistance, get mutual support and often share workspace. For a good example of accelerators, head to New Orleans.
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8 tips to dominate the competition in sales
By Marc Wayshak
Your competitors are out there right now trying to sell your customers and prospects. That's the bad news. The good news is that, with the right selling strategy, it is easy to stand out from the competition. Here are eight tips to effectively stand out from and then dominate the sales competition. It begins with breaking the pattern. If most salespeople are doing the same thing (which they are), then you want to do the exact opposite.
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Looking for similar articles? Search here, keyword SALES.


If you want to buy a small business, it'll cost you less this year
Houston Business Journal
The median asking price for a small business in Houston fell from a year ago but the revenue small-businesses bring in is up. Those are the findings of Bizbuysell.com Inc., a business-for-sale marketplace. Looking at local listing data, not actual sales, BizBuySell found that the median asking price for a small business in Houston during the first quarter of 2014 was $200,000, compared with $204,000 a year ago.
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    5 must-know tips for creating the ultimate sales proposal (By Marc Wayshak)
How we can learn from Philip Seymour Hoffman's last will (Legal Zoom)
Small-business owners: Learn to discriminate (Small Business Trends)
Tax filing tips and updates for 2013 (NASE)
10 apps to assist with your small-business taxes (Small Business Trends)

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Self-employed applicants more pessimistic than bad credit borrowers
Mortgage Strategy
Self-employed applicants are more pessimistic about their mortgage borrowing options than borrowers with a poor credit history, according to research from Precise Mortgages. A survey of 200 landlords and 2000 consumers showed 19 percent of respondents feel mortgages are too difficult to get if you are self-employed or a freelancer, compared with 18 percent who feel the market doesn't cater well enough to those with blemishes on their credit history.
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Louisiana banks boost small-business lending by $668 million
Times-Picayune
Louisiana banks participating in the federal Small Business Lending Fund were to boost their lending by more than $668 million with the help of the program, according to a report released recently by the U.S. Treasury Department. The department compared lending patterns among 298 banks nationwide that participated in the Small Business Lending Fund with those of similarly sized, non-participating banks.
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6 ways Twitter's redesign can help build your small-business brand
Miami Herald
Twitter began rolling out a redesign recently that includes features to help brands promote their products and services. Reaction from users and advertisers has been mixed, with many pointing out the obvious similarities to Facebook. While the redesign may borrow elements from Facebook, there are several improvements that make it easier for brands to get their marketing messages to consumers.
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