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Source: Hubspot, 6/14/13

Mission statements. They sound inherently business babbley, don't they? But even if you think they're a little ... silly ... they're really important guideposts for making decisions, staying inspired, and setting a bigger picture that gives your day-to-day work purpose.

Source: Entrepreneur.com, 6/23/13

Great products and services don't guarantee success. You also have to price them correctly. That requires knowing your customers well and what they're willing to pay, as well as what your competitors are charging. You also might consider market segmentation, product bundling, and both the tangible and intangible benefits you're selling.

We spoke to four experts and came up with 10 of the most important questions to ask when putting a price sticker on your product. Here's what they had to say:

 

Ready to make your small business more energy-efficient?

The PA Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) understands that complying with environmental regulations can be burdensome, especially for small businesses. The DEP's Small Business Advantage Grant Program provides 50 percent matching grants -- up to a maximum of $9,500 -- to enable a Pennsylvania small business to adopt or acquire energy efficient or pollution prevention equipment or processes.

Have you been in business in Philadelphia for at least 3 years? If so, you may be eligible to apply for a grant from The Merchants Fund!

The Merchants Fund is a private, Philadelphia-based foundation committed to providing for the economic needs of the merchant community with modest grants:

1) Business Stabilization grants up to $10,000 to help small businesses remain stable, viable and grow in the face of economic challenges or to respond to opportunities. We do not make grants for working capital.

Source: Forbes.com, 7/2/13

Andy Palmer has started at least five companies by my count–and I’d guess he has invested in dozens of others. Based on that experience, I’d consider him an expert when it comes to deciding whether you have what it takes to be an entrepreneur.

After graduating from Bowdoin with a major in English, History, and Computer Science, the passionate Rugby player was injured and decided to become serious about a career. So he got an MBA from Dartmouth’s Tuck School.

Source: Entrepreneur.com, 7/8/13

Great leaders often have great lessons to share. Their stories remind us -- in business especially -- that failure is not avoidable and that success in any endeavor is a choice.

While we cannot control all our circumstances, what we can control is our response. And that's what makes a leader great: his or her decision to take responsibility in the midst of chaos.

Source: SmallBizTrends.com, 7/2/13

Some seasonal businesses heat up during the summertime, but most businesses see a major slow-down during the summer months. Clients and customers take vacations, and new projects and purchases are usually delayed until after the vacation season dies down.

Source: Succeedasyourownboss.com

Since the recession began in 2008, more and more people are choosing to become self-employed and become their own boss.

Recent figures show that 367,000 more people have entered self-employment since the start of the economic downturn. The number of employees also fell during this period by 2%, which has been a catalyst for people to become entrepreneurs rather than facing the difficult challenge of looking for another job in corporate America.

Source: HuffingtonPost.com

Creating online conversations and touch points with customers and prospects yields indisputable business value for start-ups and entrepreneurs. In some cases, exposure through social media can create solid brand equity and lay a stronger foundation for capital-building opportunities. Embracing a social business model also positively impacts an organization's agility, allowing it to gather real-time feedback and be responsive to changing customer needs and market forces. While the concept of social business is constantly evolving, in 2013 social businesses are going to be challenged to derive business value out of their social "connectedness."

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