Six Tips to Help You Grow Your Small Business

It’s almost the end of a business year and the beginning of another. And, as the old saying goes, insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting to get different results. If you want better business results, especially in a slow-growth economy, you’ll need to adopt some fresh new resolutions.

The key to improved results is innovative actions that, while they stick within the limits of your budget, also take you in exciting new directions. Here are some resolutions to help your small business innovate in 2011.

1. Be proactive

Things change, but do you? If your business is simply reacting to declining sales, then you are not being a proactive innovator. Be the one who makes … Read More

Despite Low Unemployment Rate, Sole Proprietorships Growing in South Dakota

proprietorship data for 2000 and 2008 by county for South Dakota. He found the number of non-farm business sole proprietors grew during this period.

Key quote from an article in Sioux Fall’s Argus Leader:

“The bottom line is that the number of self-employed South Dakotans is increasing faster than those in hired positions. Statewide, nonfarm proprietors grew by 25 percent and total jobs increased 9 percent.”

I find this really interesting.

South Dakota has one of our nation’s strongest economies. The unemployment rate is only 4.5% and only North Dakota’s unemployment rate is lower (3.8%).

Unlike many parts of of the country, it seems unlikely that a lack of jobs and necessity entrepreneurship is driving the growth of solopreneurs in … Read More

T-shirts – the classic promo tool

T-shirts, when well designed and marketed, can be used as excellent promotional products. Everybody loves tees that come with witty captions and cool graphics. So why not incense this with your company logo or caption and have people wear your advertisement all over the city to grab people’s attention!

Targeting the Right Audience

The most important trick is to outline the target audience that you want to market your product to. It makes no sense to write a caption regarding a science project, say and sell it to fashion junkies. It is only when it reaches the right kind of people who can process the message that you try to send does the tee become a marketing weapon for your … Read More

4 Ways To Defend Your Phone From Hackers

You don’t have to be a celebrity, politician or family member of a murder victim to get your cell phone hacked.

Sure, staffers at the now-defunct News of the World may have ransacked the voicemails of all of the above, but even “normal” people are targets for fraudsters mining for sensitive information.

And it’s scary how easy it is.

“As you’re doing more and more things on your mobile phone, you need to take added precaution,” says Vijay Balasubramaniyan, chief technology officer and co-founder of Pindrop Security, an Atlanta-based telecommunications company specializing in phone security.

Caller ID spoofing, for instance, used to be a valuable tool for business owners on the go who wanted their company number to appear on … Read More

Small Business Marketing – Common Email Marketing Mistakes

Small business marketing has MANY shiney objects to chase and it may seem like the latest and greatest new gizmo is the most important. Today we are we are going to talk about what may seem a little antiquated (smile) email marketing and some common email marketing mistakes!

Not having a professional email address

If you are still putting a gmail, aol, road runner, comcast or other free or obviously system emails on your business cards or handouts, people notice and assume that you are not professional (at the very least they will assume that you are WAY behind technology-wise, which in this day and age is not cute or funny, it is a red flag to potential customers!)

Using … Read More