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Small Business

Sep 28, 2016 Hurricane season begins May 15 in the East Pacific Ocean and June 1 in the Atlantic, the Caribbean and the Central Pacific Oceans. But the season typically reaches its peak between mid-August and late October. If you live along the coast, it's a good idea to board up your windows and doors and ensure that you have enough food and supplies. If you're a business owner, it's also important to be ready for the worst-case scenario. Check out several ways that companies can protect themselves during hurricane season. Read More...

Jul 05, 2018 If you want to start selling products, you might be wondering whether opening a franchise or becoming an affiliate could be a good move. Both franchisees and affiliates market products developed by other people, but they do so in very different ways. Let us explain the difference between a franchise and an affiliate.  Read More...

Aug 05, 2016 As a small business proprietor, you probably enjoy moving to the beat of your own drum. But doing everything on your own might not get you very far. Some of the most successful business owners have strong support systems. Regardless of whether that support comes from family or friends, having someone in your corner can give you the confidence you need to make bold moves. Read More...

Apr 10, 2018 Every small business owner probably knows that it's important to have a strong social media presence. But not everyone knows how to effectively market their products online. If you're not playing your cards right, you could be wasting your time - or worse, turning away customers. Here are five things to keep in mind when trying to make the most of social media. Read More...

Aug 03, 2016 Pokémon Go is taking the country by storm. You may have seen people walking or biking in your neighborhood, phones outstretched. For small businesses, the Pokémon Go craze can be a great opportunity to boost profits. Here's how some businesses are turning the trend to their advantage.  Read More...

Jul 08, 2016 Small business proprietors have an uphill battle when it comes to promotion. Not only do they have to compete against other companies in the small business arena, but against much larger corporations as well, many of which have national marketing reach. Fortunately, there's still a lot they can do to make their businesses shine locally. Read More...

Apr 11, 2017 In an age of mega-corporation dominance of every industry and omnipresent online shopping, it may seem difficult to impossible for small businesses to get a foothold. Whether you're trying to "shop small" and support local businesspeople over multinational companies or you want to go into business for yourself, the situation seems bleak. But when it comes to some goods and services, small businesses, mom-and-pop enterprises, and boutique and craft producers are carving out a strong niche. Read More...

Jul 09, 2018 Business partners can be beneficial to small business owners in many ways. Besides sharing the workload, a business partner can connect a business owner with additional clients and bring new ideas to the table. At the same time, having a business partner can keep your business from growing if you and the other owners disagree. If you'd rather have a partner who plays a limited role in your company, it might be time to consider getting a silent partner. Read More...

Jun 06, 2016 Not everyone has the skill set or the drive needed to start a business from the ground up. But even if you can't launch a startup, you can still reap some of the benefits that entrepreneurs enjoy. Investing in a Starbucks coffee shop or a Pizza Hut will give you the chance to become a small business owner. Check out five reasons why buying a franchise might be a good idea. Read More...

Jun 02, 2016 There are many different ways to raise capital for a new startup or small business. As you explore your financing options, don't forget that there are programs out there that offer grants to entrepreneurs. Tracking down small business grants might take time and effort, but it could be worth it, particularly if you don't want to take on too much debt. Read on for the inside scoop on how you can get your hands on a small business grant. Read More...

Jun 01, 2016 When you're planning to start your own business, one of the things you'll have to consider is how your new company will be structured. Will it function as a limited liability company or a corporation? Will it operate as a partnership or a sole proprietorship? As you prepare to answer these questions, here are five factors you'll want to take into account when choosing a business structure. Read More...

May 30, 2016 If you want to spread the word about your new business or find folks willing to invest in your company, you'll need a good elevator pitch. That's a short statement that's meant to highlight what your business does and how it adds value to the market. If you don't know where to start or your previous attempts fell flat, here are seven tips to keep in mind when trying to craft the perfect pitch. Read More...

May 21, 2018 Whether you're planning to open a shop that makes the best coffee around or you want to sell eco-friendly office supplies, you'll need to explain why your business is necessary and how it'll differ from its competitors. That's where your business plan comes in. It provides investors, lenders and potential partners with an understanding of your company's structure and its goals. If you're trying to create one, check out 10 key components of a business plan. Read More...

Jun 25, 2018 Picking the right business partner is crucial. If you choose the wrong person, your company could fail before it's had a chance to take off. On the other hand, if you can find someone who's experienced and who shares your values and goals, there's no telling what you two can achieve. Check out 10 qualities to look for when searching for a business partner. Read More...

Feb 07, 2017 If getting your small business off the ground requires a loan, the lender might ask you to make a personal guarantee. This acts as an insurance policy in the event that you're not able to pay the loan back. Before signing off on a personal guarantee, you need to know what you're agreeing to and how you may be impacted financially if you default on the debt. Read More...

Nov 27, 2015 From the moment they're born, startups face a number of challenges. Having an innovative idea that fills a void is one thing. Turning that concept into a viable business is a different story. At some point, every entrepreneur will have to grapple with the issue of scalability, or the ability to grow and expand while keeping costs at a manageable level. If you're trying to figure out how to make your company more scalable, here are seven tips. Read More...

Nov 24, 2015 Owning a franchise can seem like a great way to make money. In the past I've been contacted by various companies suggesting I become a franchise owner, but I did some research and found that it was not the right fit for me. During the past year, I have encountered several people who took the plunge, but in some cases failed to do their homework. If you're thinking about becoming an entrepreneur and a new franchisee, it's a good idea to do some digging (or hire someone to do it for you if you can afford it). Read More...

Mar 12, 2015 Starting a business might sound difficult and expensive, and in some cases it is. But not all businesses fall into this category. In fact, many small businesses are easy to start and don't require much capital investment upfront. Read More...

Apr 11, 2017 Steve Chou didn't plan to start an online business. But when his wife got pregnant, she decided she wanted to quit her job. The couple knew they needed to find a way to replace her six-figure income to continue to live the life they wanted. Now they run a successful business, along with a blog about how they do it. We caught up with Steve for this edition of SmartAsset Talks. Read More...

Nov 09, 2017 Starting a business without a business plan can be a recipe for disaster. Regardless of your business experience, your chances of success are greatly diminished without a solid plan to work from. A business plan is a road map to success, however, not a guarantee of it. You need to be ready for anything. Countless obstacles can pop up on the road to business success, but with a plan you at least have a good idea where you're going. Read More...

Nov 19, 2014 I'm a little biased when it comes to the ideas of owning a business and retiring as late as possible, as I come from a long line of entrepreneurs. Both of my parents operated side businesses in addition to their regular jobs, and both of my grandfathers operated small businesses. My parents and grandfathers may not have been pioneers, but they were on to something: as baby boomers are living longer and the job market continues to frown on older workers, more and more people of a certain age are turning retirement into a business opportunity--ones that have all the challenges, risks and rewards as those started by twenty-somethings. Read More...

Feb 13, 2015   You’ve got dreams of being your own boss and have an idea for your own venture. However, if you’re overwhelmed by the thought of the money necessary for such a bold endeavor, don’t despair. Here are some strategies you can employ in starting your business that will stretch your startup dollar much further. Read More...

Nov 09, 2017 Launching a startup is often fraught with challenges and it can be especially difficult for first-time entrepreneurs who are new to the business world. A lack of experience can be a major roadblock when you're trying to attract investors or develop your product. Even the slightest misstep can have a significant impact on whether you're able to transform your idea into a viable business. If you're trying to get your startup off the ground, here are five mistakes you'll want to avoid. Read More...

Mar 14, 2018 When you're trying to get your business idea off the ground, you need to make sure every penny counts. Having your idea bankrolled by investors with deep pockets would certainly work to your advantage but for most young entrepreneurs, the reality is a much smaller budget. If you only have a set amount of cash to work with for your startup costs you may need to get a little creative in order to stretch those dollars. The good news is there are some smart strategies you can use to get your new venture up and running without breaking the bank. Read More...

May 26, 2014 The landscape of the American economy has changed dramatically over the last several years, resulting in near record-high unemployment and a shrinking job market. While companies are opening their doors to new employees once again, millions of workers are choosing the path of the entrepreneur, taking their careers into their own hands. According to the Kauffman Foundation, there were 476,000 new business owners each month throughout 2013. Read More...

May 14, 2014 Let’s be honest: starting a business is seriously one of the hardest, bravest things you can do. It’s a tough business climate out there, and not everyone will be successful in their endeavors. Despite economic factors, where you live or choose to start your business could really impact the success of your venture. Check out five of the most startup friendly states. Read More...

Apr 11, 2017 Creating a professional web design for a small business or a start-up company can be very expensive and intimidating. General simple web design can often cost around $2,000. There’s nothing wrong with spending that kind of cash (or even more). If you get a good design company it will probably look great. If that kind of cash just isn’t in your budget, there are several great tips to getting an inexpensive (but still great!) website. Read More...

Dec 24, 2014 Alexis Ohanian, one of the founders of reddit, is now the author of a best-selling book, Without Their Permission. Ohanian took the time to answer some of SmartAsset's questions.  This wasn't an easy task - he's currently on an intense bus tour visiting colleges around the country. Read More...

Aug 05, 2015 This is not a picture of Silicon Valley. But it is a picture of a start up hub. Read More...

Nov 15, 2017 The United States higher educational system is in trouble. The cost for a college education has skyrocketed over the years and more and more students are using loans to pay for their education. It is estimated that the average graduate completes their degree with $35,000 worth of  student loans. Many students are graduating with much higher loan debt, and this is just the average for under graduate degrees. Tack on the expense of graduate education and a student can easily rack up $100,000 or more worth of loan debt. Read More...

Dec 22, 2014 Let's be honest if you saw a headline that said 15 Years of Hard Work and College Degree Lead to Entrepreneurial Success you would probably not read it. If on the other hand you saw the headline "College Dropout Beats IBM at their Own Game" you would devour it! The second headline is my take on the Bill Gates gets rich story. Now is the moment when those of you reading this article will split into two distinct groups, both of which will be loudly exclaiming, Hell Yeah! Read More...

Dec 22, 2014 A quick Google search of the term "starting a business" will turn up nearly 8 million results. You can probably assume that 95% of them are not going to be helpful but that still leaves an incredible 40,000 results full of advice and guidance about how to start a business. If Google is your indicator it would seem that everyone is going into business and it's easy.  Start-up business advice of the "look how fast and easy it is" variety is not limited to fly-by-night get rich quick websites selling entrepreneur kits and Jack in the Beanstalk magic business growing beans. Honest to goodness serious sources like Forbes have articles titled "How to Start a Business with only $100 in the Bank". Inc Magazine offers advice on "How to Start a Small Business in a Few Hours". Read More...

Jul 07, 2016 By Ankita Dewan Nolan Key Bushnell, American engineer, entrepreneur, and founder of Atari Inc., once said, "The true entrepreneur is a doer, not a dreamer." Well, if you're ready to take Mr. Bushnell's advice and turn your entrepreneurial ideas into reality, you'll have to spend time planning your financial agenda before getting started. Here's some finance tips to help you along in your endeavors. Read More...

Dec 11, 2014 The concerns of an entrepreneur are many, but then so are the benefits.  Working for yourself means that you get to make all the decisions about how to run your business, and while this can be an overwhelming amount of work, it’s totally worth the freedom.  There is no doubt however that you will be doing a lot of work, and one immediate concern you will have is where to do this work.  If renting a desk from an existing company or working at cafés isn’t quite your style and you are still looking to save money by not renting office space, there are still some other options for you. Read More...

May 26, 2015 There is no end to the things you have to think about and figure out as an entrepreneur, but that shouldn’t surprise you. Entrepreneurs are the ones forging their own paths, and while this is exciting and full of opportunity, it means you will have a lot of things to figure out and a lot of questions along the way.  One question you might find yourself thinking about early on is workspace.  When is the right time to rent an office? If you don’t want to, how do you make do without?  When you decide to look for office space, what are the more affordable options?  Space is always an issue in NYC, anyone who has any experience with city life knows that. But if you get a little creative, you can carve out a corner for yourself while you get things going with your startup. Read More...

Mar 02, 2017 Over the past weekend (September 10th & 11th), I attended my first ever Hackathon at TechCrunch Disrupt -- an amazing experience for one such as me (a former "corporate techie" and recent startup entrepreneur). However, there are clearly a few things I learnt over this first Hackathon and thought it worth sharing. Read More...