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9 things to do now for small business holiday success
For many small businesses, the holidays represent half of annual sales. The final quarter is a make-or-break time of year. That's not just for retail. Restaurants, hotels, personal services like salons, even business-service providers such as accountants and lawyers, can be busiest during the holiday season. If you think you have plenty of time to get ready for the holidays, think again. You've got to get going if you're going to ring up holiday success this year for your small business.
Self-employed? You need a retirement plan
U.S. News & World Report
As we move closer to the end of the year, those of you who are self-employed should be thinking about starting a retirement plan for yourself if you don't have one in place already. There are a number of options available. Here is a discussion of two: the simplified employee pension individual retirement account — or SEP-IRA — and the Solo 401(k).
What goes into picking a small-business name?
Your first name? Last name? A made up moniker? Or perhaps a clever use of wordplay associated with your product?
Selecting a name for a small business can be fun, as well as frustrating and time-consuming. In this installment of USA Today's Smart Small Business series, the four participants talk about what inspired them to come up with their company names.
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Retirement for the self-employed may take a different path
Kitsap Peninsula Business Journal
If you’ve been self-employed and find yourself retired, you probably missed the ceremony where the office chips in to buy you a watch or gives you cruise tickets and hosts a forgettable lunch in a local restaurant. For the self-employed business owner, retirement may bring real challenge, not just in income, but in the transition to a completely different lifestyle where you go from worrying and nurturing your own business to sitting wondering if you really want to read all the Stephen King books you promised you would read.
Top ways to influence local SEO rankings in 2013
Business 2 Community
Have you seen the results of Moz's most recent report on local search ranking factors yet? This study offers insight into the ranking factors that most affect the successes and failures of local search. Both the surprising and unsurprising aspects of the results can help local SEOs to prepare for the months ahead. Unsurprisingly, most of the main contributors to local search haven't changed much over the last few years. While many traditional SEO factors like inbound links and on-page optimization are having less and less impact on local, components like your Place page are becoming more and more important. Moz's survey considered eight different elements that affect local rankings.
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Small-business tip: Get a sponsor
October is National Women's Small Business month. Throughout the month, WUSA will focus on women who have started their own thriving small businesses. These successful women are also going to share some of the secrets of their success.
If you have talent and experience, but your new business or your career has been stalling out then you are not alone. Research shows you may be missing one key tool for getting ahead: a sponsor.
Direct marketing and social media — A perfect match
By Archita Datta Majumdar
The recession has taught us one thing — how to be frugal. It's not really a bad thing if it stops unnecessary expenditure and teaches us to save. But perhaps the best thing it teaches us is to harness emerging technologies and devise new and innovative modes of marketing that will be effective without being expensive. One bright example of this phenomenon is the use of social media for direct marketing.
Last week's survey: What is the most important area of a LinkedIn profile?
Looking to share your expertise?
In an effort to enhance the overall content of the Self-Employed Outfront Weekly, we'd like to include peer-written articles in future editions. As a member of NASE, your knowledge of the industry lends itself to unprecedented expertise. And we’re hoping you'll share this expertise with your peers through well-written commentary. Because of the digital format, there's no word or graphical limit and our group of talented editors can help with final edits. If you’re interested in participating, please contact Ronnie Richard to discuss logistics.
Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.
Small-business guide to licenses, permits
Incorporating or forming an LLC for your new company registers your business with the state and creates a legal entity for your business. Many business owners think they're ready to set up shop after that but there are other legalities to consider before moving forward like various permits and licenses. Obtaining a permit is relatively easy to do once you know what you need. Navigating local licensing requirements and bureaucracies isn't always straightforward. There's no single website you can visit to give you all the answers. To that end, here are a few tips to help you determine what type of state and local permits you might need.
PayPal moves into small-business loans
PayPal Working Capital, the latest service in the growing online money lending market, offers existing PayPal merchants with a healthy cash flow the option of borrowing as much as 8 percent of their annual PayPal volume up to a maximum of $20,000. The hook in the service: the cost to the entrepreneur is presented as a single number, void of set up and prepayment fees.
Why small business isn't winning on social
Social media, unlike digital media 10 years ago, is a much more patient game. With SEO and banner ads and email marketing it was all instant gratification. Social media isn't and that's why so many people are struggling with it. The reason so many people don't get it is that they're not willing to put in the two years of eating crow to get the results or don't know what they are looking for. It's a shame, too, because small businesses should really be winning on social much more than they are now but they're caught between a rock and a hard place.
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