Tag Archives: Small

Another Reason Small Business Owners (And You) Need to Be At ESSENCE Festival

Another Reason Small Business Owners (And You) Need to Be At ESSENCE Festival
As part of the 2016 ESSENCE Festival, the annual event will expand to include ESSENCE Experiences. This new component offers Black small business owners the unique opportunity to get their products in front of the 500,000 expected consumers who will …
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Small Business Owners Enjoying New Payment Systems, Fresh Optimism
"More small business owners are adopting technology overall, and one of the ways they are adopting technology is to accept payments," said Sue Lonergan, a managing director at Bank of America Small Business, which released its fall survey on the state …
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Six New Year's resolutions for small business owners
The dawning of a new year is a great opportunity to take stock of your health and your happiness — and also your business. Here's a look at some top professional habits and practices many small business owners have shared with us at Huntington Bank …
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Westcott Winter Weekend & Small Business Saturday

Westcott Winter Weekend & Small Business Saturday
The Westcott Neighborhood Association and the Westcott Area Cultural Coalition are excited to announce a joint effort to combine the Westcott Winter Weekend with Small Business Saturday this year As summer progresses so do plans for the Westcott Street …
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Small Businesses Have a Burst of Optimism, Survey Says
Small business owners have had a burst of optimism even as the economy has slowed. That's the finding of a survey released Tuesday by Bank of America, which found that 56 percent of owners are optimistic about the national economy, up 8 percentage …
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California Accessibility Laws Create Small Business Liability

Have you ever walked into a public restroom in California and wondered about the odd placement of a mirror on the wall or the unusual spacing of fixtures? If so, you have gotten a glimpse of what California builders, remodelers, owners, developers, architects, as well as planning and code officials, are required to address every time they build, remodel, or repair a public facility — any building open to the public. By law, they must follow the most-current accessibility requirements in the California Building Code (Title 24), the Americans with Disabilities Act Accessibility Guidelines for Buildings and Facilities (ADAAG), and related materials. These California requirements, which are much stricter than those in the Federal ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act), apply to all commercial and public buildings and public areas in the state. This includes restaurants, theaters, factories, hotels, motels, just to name a few.

These accessibility standards require that all members of the public, virtually without exception, have access. The design must be approved by local zoning boards before the plans are approved. Accessibility standards apply not only to new construction, but may be applied to remodeling or renovation of existing buildings. This affects many older businesses.

The 2000 Census identified nearly 6.2 million Californians as having a disability. By the year 2010, this number is expected to increase to 11 million. California state government is responsible for providing service to all citizens, and accessibility laws ensure that these services are extended to those with disabilities.

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was enacted in 1990 to improve access for the disabled to almost every public business. Buildings are required to have barrier-free entryways, toilet facilities designed for wheelchair access, signs in Braille, low countertops, obstacle-free passageways, reserved parking, and numerous other features. Despite the enactment of the ADA, many in the disabled community report that a majority of businesses have made little or no effort to comply with this 15-year-old law.

For this reason, some people with disabilities have made it their crusade to ensure that the law is followed. While most disabled customers are motivated by a sincere desire to ensure access for all, there is a small group of opportunists who have partnered with a few law firms to track down and file suit against any business where they can find even the most trivial violation. These law firms appear to be responsible for the majority of ADA lawsuits — in fact, there have been over 1,000 ADA accessibility suits filed by just one professional plaintiff. That 1,000-suit plaintiff, George Louie, canvasses Northern California small businesses and calls himself a rebellious litigant.  In Southern California, another litigant ADA enforcer, Jared Molski, has filed close to 500 lawsuits against gas stations, bowling alleys and small businesses. Molski has dubbed himself as the Sheriff.

Maybe California provides a fertile litigious society that fuels this wildfire of lawsuits. Two California ADA statutes provide either $ 1,000 or $ 4,000 in minimum damages, plus attorney fees, for each successful claimant. An aggressive, highly observant claimant can maximize these awards by individually listing each condition he finds. Some file for damages against dozens of businesses at a time. This is the plight small business owners find themselves in. Many of them, when faced with such a lawsuit, end up just handing thousands in cash to the complainant, rather than fighting a court battle that will likely cost them even more.

Part of the problem is, ironically, that California standards are higher than those mandated by the Federal ADA. In some cases, state and federal regulations are in direct conflict. A business can follow ADA requirements to the letter and still be in violation of California law. It is estimated that only 5 percent of California public buildings are in complete compliance.

Few building inspectors and architects are fully informed on every nuance of state compliance standards. The ADA and California requirements for building accessibility are given in intricate, technical detail in state pamphlets. However, without any illustrations or diagrams, where the contractor can see how to build to those requirements, many are just making their best guess. Add to the misinformation and flawed interpretation the law firms that make their fortunes by sending clients in wheelchairs to find accessibility violations, and you have a big problem for California businesses and the contractors who build for them.

Bill Grote has worked as a professional painter, remodeler, homebuilder and property manager of many old, ancient homes. He is now employed with Craftsman Book Company as Marketing Manager.

For clear illustrations and instructions on how to avoid ambiguities in interpreting California accessibility laws refer to the “California Accessibility Reference Manual” available from http://www.buildersbook.com or http://www.craftsman-book.com

The “California Accessibility Reference Manual” is filled with large clear illustrations of accessibility requirements and dimensions in feet and inches, that can be easily followed and applied to any small business to bring it into compliance with California accessibility standards. Applying the standards in this book may save the life of your business.

Article Source:
http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Bill_Grote/287883

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SimplyBuilt makes it easy to create a website for your small business

SimplyBuilt makes it easy to create a website for your small business
Back in the day, building a Website for yourself or your small business was a huge undertaking. You had to buy and learn new software, figure out how to pull together images and other assets, not to mention settling on a domain name and hosting plan.
Read more on The Next Web

The 5 Worst Cash-Flow Mistakes SmallBusiness Owners Make
In fact, a prominent study from the financial services company U.S. Bank found that as many as 82 percent of startups and small businesses fail due to poor cash-flow management. So, even if you're a brilliant entrepreneur in every other way, you must …
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Micro-Loans Make Sense For Many Small Businesses
My small business career began as a teenager sweeping the warehouse floor and driving the delivery truck in my father's supply business. For the first several years, it was just the two of us—but we were growing. After we'd been in business for five …
Read more on Forbes

Small Business Bookkeeping Services

If you are relatively new to the business market and are in the developing stages, bookkeeping services can provide a great deal of advantage to you. It will be integrated as an essential component of your business activities, and save a great deal of money and time that can be invested elsewhere in business operations that are far more profitable. Bookkeeping service providers guarantee that your finances are well-managed, and you do not have to go through any mental tension, knowing that your finances are in the hands of capable individuals working in the best interest of your business.

Perhaps the major benefit of using bookkeeping servicesis the cost saving that would otherwise have gone into hiring a professional on a high salary. If you had to hire someone, you would have to spend on advertising the job vacancy, and then the non-measurable costs of spending time going through the plethora of resumes, interviewing all the candidates, screening them, getting background information such as criminal records, and then finally choosing one person for the job. In economic terms, there is an opportunity cost involved since you are spending the time you could otherwise have utilized selling products and services and generating revenues, and maintaining your customer service program. Moreover, after choosing an employee for the job, you will have to incur additional costs of generating payrolls and other unemployment and insurance benefits. You may even have to spend money on training this individual.

Another advantage of outsourcing bookkeeping services is the cost saving of installing and running the software required for the job. If you hire someone to perform bookkeeping services in-house, you will have to purchase software and any associated updates, as well as provide the employee with appropriate tools to manage the general ledger, and draw up tax documents and cost sheets. If you outsource this task instead, you will not have to spend on purchasing the software, and you will be able to avail all the latest tools and methods being utilized by the freelancers.

At times, you do not need an employee for full-time services, but rather only for part time tasks. This is the case with bookkeeping as well, where the task burden does not remain high throughout the financial year, and the employee often has large amounts of idle time. This idle time is a cost to the business. In such circumstances, it is better to outsource these services only when you need to, that is, at the end of each month and after a whole year when financial reports have to be prepared. This saves you a great deal of cost, since these service providers charge you on an hourly basis. On the other hand, if you hire a professional in-house, you will have to pay for fulltime including the cost of idle time.

Lastly, but most importantly, these freelance bookkeeping services have professionals who provide accurate data, and are ready to accept responsibility for any errors in the preparation of financial records.

Bookkeepingpro.co.uk is a Leading Online Bookkeeping & Accounting Outsourcing Firm in UK.It provides Bookkeeping Services & Accounting services at AMAZINGLY Low Rate for small Business.

How to Create Unique Custom Banners for Your Small Business

Using custom banners is the perfect way to create an impressive statement for your small business! No matter whether you are looking for a promotional banner, sports event banner, party banner or a decorate banner, you have all the opportunities to impress your audience with the long lasting custom vinyl banners.

 

How to create custom banners for your business?



 

When you first hear about custom banners and its endless possibilities, the next thing you wonder about would be how to create a custom banner for your business unit. Well, let us guide you to create unique and memorable custom vinyl banners for your small business to run successfully.

Your foremost attention should go to the selection of a banner company which allows you to decide completely on the creative part. The reason behind this is that some banner making company would provide you a standard banner which inserts only your name, the rest of the design remains the same for all the customers. That sounds pretty boring! So go for a company which allows you to have a control over your banner designing. If you cannot have the upper hand in this regard, you may be disappointed later.

You can always fix on a background theme which has already captured your imagination. If you have thought about advertising your small business with a custom banner, find out the appropriate theme which suits your business advertising campaign. Likewise, you can go for the themes which go well with any occasion. Well, you know that a birthday banner meant to be full of color and fun-filled so you would always like to choose the colors according to the age group and gender!

The text message is the next important area that needs your focused attention. It should be the most striking. You cannot settle down with something which is not catchy and memorable. It should definitely make a business statement which stands out from the crowd.

Finally, check for the durability of the materials used for your custom vinyl banner. Verify whether it is 13 oz heavy-duty flexible vinyl banner material which is said to be the best material available in the market. Go for only water proof, UV blocking, scratch-proof ink which may last for 1-2 years for the outdoor use. Make certain that your custom banners use grommets at every 2 feet on both the top and bottom side enabling easy hanging. Besides, grommets help in withstanding strong wind and thunderstorms.

Considering all these factors, you can easily make a wise decision to create the best custom vinyl banner.

Vinyl Custom Banners could convey a message at low cost with a very good effect. You can use Banners that will create an impact to your target market for a long time. You can also use some other banners, Trade Show Banners, outdoor banners, vinyl banners and many more and it will give you best effect.

Nishant Shah loves to write on Banners, Banner Printing, Custom Banners, church banners, outdoor banners & Vinyl Banner, for more information about all types of banners : http://www.bannerbuzz.com

Latest New Small Business News

Small Businesses Await House Action on Frozen Loan Program
Demand for government-backed small-business loans is at a record high, but the momentum came to an abrupt halt last week when the agency that guarantees those loans reached its limit for the year and suspended its program. But potential borrowers were …
Read more on New York Times

New study: Nondiscrimination laws don't hurt small businesses
The Senate Business, Labor and Technology Committee wrangled with the issue this winter when Sen. Laura Woods (R-Arvada) led a failed attempt to repeal the Job Protection and Civil Rights Enforcement Act – except for the provision protecting employees …
Read more on The Colorado Independent

Funding Circle Wants To Start A Revolution In Small Business Lending
The lack of transparency in the small business lending market, especially from new entrants, has not gone without notice. Last week, a group of lenders, nonprofits and industry leaders launched a small business bill of rights. Funding Circle helped …
Read more on Forbes

How to Invent New Small Business Products

It was decided to have his own business, but it is unclear what particular place to go or products they offer. If you want the best small business products you need to do market research and a little more effort.

You should consider the product research and market studies. While these may sound like big words for the first time entrepreneur, is essential to your overall business and marketing plans. If you want to produce the best products, then you must merge the two studies. This is very useful if you do not know anything about the market you want to enter, and learn what products you can better product for this market.

Here are some tips you may want to follow to ensure your business success.

Find out what the market needs. There are several ways to do and if you want a release kind of thing, then you can simply use a market research firm. They interview people for you and collect other data. On your side, you can visit some forums, so you can get an idea of ​​what people always talk. You can also read popular blogs to treat the subject or the market you want to enter. If there are comments there, reading these comments.

If you are producing on their own property or share of products from small companies manufactured by another company? I ask because there are big differences between these two posts in particular pay. If you decide to create their own product, some of the expenses that accrue the salary of an employee, business permits, raw materials, packaging and others. If you do not want to go through all these, then you can just sell other people’s products.

But before you start selling the products you need to make sure that really works. Here’s the test product comes into play if you want to be responsible for the businessman, who produces only quality products, it is necessary to ensure the quality of your merchandise. This is also a good thing, because then you have less concern for customers requesting support, because it is dissatisfied with the products.

Let’s say you already have a list of excellent products, but then what? No matter how innovative and high quality can be if you do not know how to market it and then it is likely that in reality does not sell. You already know that your market, the next step is important to create a marketing plan so you can take advantage of the new products on the market. This plan includes the sale and advertising planning.

So there you have it. These are just some of the things you should consider when you want to invent their own products to small businesses. Aim for originality, because it’s usually much easier to sell an innovative product.

Yasir Samad is a head marketing and SEO consultant for Hilal Technology. Hilal Technology provides a wide range of SEO and website design services.

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Yelp Reveals New Small Business Council

Yelp Reveals New Small Business Council
Yelp announced a new line-up for its Small Business Advisory Council. The company put a call out to business owners back in June seeking volunteers, which it said should be Yelp aficionados who wish to act as representatives for business owners around …
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A big legal burden awaits small businesses, and most aren't aware of it
American consumers are beginning to receive in the mail new credit cards that add a security chip to the traditional magnetic strip that processes their payments. The hope is the new cards cut down on credit card fraud but many small businesses do not …
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How to Create a Powerful Year End Plan For Your Small Business

Do you have a strong, detailed plan in place for your business? Have you planned ahead, knowing what your end of year goals are? Don’t worry if you haven’t quite got the plan worked out – help is at hand! The guidelines in this article should give you more clarity.

Many small business owners can be a bit reactive when it comes to deciding what to do next. We tend to look at the short term and what’s right in front of us. And often, even if we make a plan, it ends up gathering dust on a shelf and we don’t revisit it.  I’ll be honest with you – I used to fall into this category! I was quite good at the year end goals and having a weekly plan, but I wasn’t looking at the six monthly, quarterly and monthly picture. And just as importantly I didn’t look far enough ahead.

If you want a compelling vision for your business that will pull you forward, then looking further into the future to three and five years is vital. A spell of a year simply isn’t long enough to get you thinking “out of the box”. The danger here is that unless you go for a longer term vision, this year could end up looking like a carbon copy of last year.

Once you’ve worked out your year end plan it pays to do six monthly, quarterly and monthly plans to break things into bite sized, manageable chunks.

It’s sounds simple – but it’s not easy! It takes discipline and planning to remember to revisit you plan! So to save time – try using the one I’ve developed:

Look further ahead than just this year – where do you want to be in three years time? Or even in 5 years’ time? This longer stretch of time can really help you to think bigger. Don’t worry too much about the “how” in this longer term vision – use long term planning to let you see what might be possible for your business.

Get really clear on your year end goals. Make them realistic and measurable yet a bit of a stretch. Your longer term vision may  help you create brand new goals.

Devise headings that work for your business – for instance: earnings, number of new clients, new products developed, networking events attended, speaking engagements booked etc. The main thing is to create measurable targets.

Take a look at your current business model – is it still working for you or are there changes you want to make this year? For instance, maybe you want to do less traveling , or you want to add new products or services. Perhaps like me you are planning to make your business more virtual this year by doing more work by telephone and on the web. Maybe you want to create a day a week when you work “on” your business and devote time to business development and marketing strategies – these vital tasks that get pushed into the background when we’re busy. Take some time to really think about what you want your typical working week and month to look like.

Once you’re happy with your year end goals, start to work backwards. “Reverse engineer” your year. What needs to happen at the six month point of the year for your plan to succeed? Then do the same exercise for each quarter. Carve your year up into manageable project chunks.

Then you’re ready for your monthly targets and more detailed plans. You can take this planning right down to the weekly and finally, the daily level. However – don’t overwhelm yourself by trying to do weekly plans too far ahead. Just remember to revisit your plan regularly – even diary in appointments with yourself to work on it so it gets done.

I once heard this about planning and it’s so true: “We overestimate what we can get done in a week and we underestimate what we can get done in a year!”

Make regular planning a priority and you’ll end the year closer to your goals and much more productive.

(c) Shona Partridge, Women Mean Business 2009

Shona Partridge is a small business marketing and PR expert and coach. She works with women entrepreneurs and the self employed, teaching PR, Marketing, Writing and Confidence skills. Shona is a licensed “Get Clients Now!” facilitator, PR professional, experienced coach and trained journalist. She’s the author of “Self Belief for the Self Employed: How Boosting your Confidence Can Boost Your Business” a new CD and workbook programme and creator of the marketing and PR training system”Marketing Mastery, 12 Key Steps to Success”

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