Small Business Tips

Owning a small business often means wearing every possible hat available, from marketer to sales clerk and inventory manager to HR professional. Learn from the experiences of the small business owners who are NFIB members as well as the best experts for each industry. Below you will find small business tips for everything from taxes and regulation to promotion and networking.

5 Steps to Satisfying an Unhappy Customer

Posted On: June 07, 2013

When customers are unhappy, respond quickly, communicate frequently, and keep calm. Whatever a business sells or does, it’s probably not the only game in town. If customers are unhappy, they can easily take their trade elsewhere—and they very well might. In one survey by the Better Business Bureau serving Chicago and Northern Illinois, researchers found 30% of unhappy customers will simply not...

The Pros and Cons of an All-Digital Business Plan

Posted On: June 06, 2013

Learn the ins and outs of using a digital format to get your business plan in front of potential investors Brevity is the watchword of the business plan. Investors don’t dawdle over the details, at least not on the first read. But there’s an exception: A picture still is worth a thousand words. While shorter is better, you can score with...

3 Tips for Restaurant Success

Posted On: June 04, 2013

Successful restaurants make the most of their people, personality, and resources You’ve heard the statistic: 90%of all restaurants fail. And while starting any business has its risks, new research finds that well-known figure rather inflated and over-dramatized. Approximately 60% of all restaurants fail, according to a 2012 study performed by researchers at Cornell University. So what helps keep the other 40%...

Work the Floor: How to Go Beyond Basics at Trade Shows

Posted On: June 03, 2013

Get out of your booth and connect with attendees to get the most out of your next exhibit As an author and representative of Dark Quest Books for 10-plus years, Danielle Ackley-McPhail attends eight to 15 trade shows a year. Her motto? Be prepared. “Pack a utility kit to help you—or your fellow exhibitors—with unexpected issues. The kit should include duct tape...

5 Proven Tips for Generating More Referral Business

Posted On: May 21, 2013

You’ve worked hard to make a customer happy. Now how do you get them to send more customers your way? Every small business owner knows that the best clients and customers often come as a result of a solid referral. And with so many businesses vying for your potential customers’ attention, it’s difficult to stay top-of-mind. So how do you stay...

3 Insiders’ Tips to Government Contracting

Posted On: May 15, 2013

Answer the mail. Find a friend. Learn the lingo. The federal government spends about $500 billion a year on private-sector contractors. Yes: That’s half a trillion. You deserve a piece of that pie, but to win a government contract, you’ve got to play by the rules. When an agency puts out a request for proposals, or RFP, it’s important to respond...

3 Tips to Guide Your Hyperlocal Strategy

Posted On: May 14, 2013

Using AdWords, Groupon, and other hyperlocal venues to lure customers The standard metaphor is shotgun v. rifle: You can fire off your message across a broad field and hope to hit something, or you can narrow your focus, taking aim at just the target you seek. It’s a bit militaristic, but it makes its point. With limited resources, most entrepreneurs would choose...

How to Start a Business in Pennsylvania

Posted On: April 25, 2013

Pennsylvania is open for business. That’s the message state leaders are trying to send across the nation, as the state strives to become “the easiest place in the world to start a business,” according to The site is a one-stop shop that economic development officials launched as a resource to help aspiring business owners navigate the early stages of opening...

5 Bad Habits Entrepreneurs Must Drop

Posted On: April 23, 2013

We talked to business owners about common bad practices that hurt your business.   You’ve crossed off nearly every box as you’ve sought to improve your business—you have a great product, a solid business plan and incredible employees. But your business isn’t thriving as it should be. Why? The answer may be you. Sure, external factors such as regulatory red tape,...

What You Can Learn About Reinvention from 3 Small Businesses That Successfully Pulled it Off

Posted On: April 17, 2013

To succeed long term, sometimes you need a fresh start Sometimes a business owner simply needs to try something entirely different. In a Citibank survey last June, more than half of small business owners said they had reinvented their company to “stay afloat or be competitive.” Of those surveyed, 47% said they focused on overhauling the products or services, 24% had...

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