Business Tools

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In celebration of SCORE's 50th Anniversary, tell them why your small business needs a makeover and how SCORE played or can play a role in helping your business thrive.

Make a short video, 30—60 seconds long, with the tools you have. There's no need for sophisticated video production. You can use your computer or phone's camera, or a basic video camera. Any type of video is allowed – talking heads, interviews, parodies, dances, animation, or your other creative ideas.

Source: MarketingProfs.com, 2/10/14

You've been calling, emailing, tweeting, blogging, advertising, and faxing (tell me you're not really still faxing)—and it all seems to just disappear into the void.

Are any customers actually listening?

Most customers probably don't have an issue with physical deafness. Nonetheless, they're having trouble hearing you. Because you know who else is clamoring for their attention?

Everybody.

Source: SBA.gov, 2/12/14

5 simple steps you should take to manage your business credit!

1) Determine whether or not you already have a business credit file. Small business owners should first know if they have a business credit file with D&B. You can find this out by calling D&B Customer Service at 1-866-785-0430 or visiting http://iupdate.dnb.com/iUpdate/mainlaunchpage.htm.

Source: Fox Small Business Center, 1/31/14

There's no avoiding the fact that running a business costs money. Whether it's a brick-and-mortar retail store, a service provider, or a small e-commerce company, every startup has its own set of expenses. While you can't fully eliminate your costs, you can significantly reduce them with a few simple changes to your business operations.

Holly Perez, senior manager of personal finance software company Quicken, shared these 10 cost-cutting solutions to help you reduce your business's budget:

Source: Entrepreneur.com, 4/20/11

Adopting some good habits can help stave off costly errors when it comes to recordkeeping.

Entrepreneurs keep a lot of the financial details of their business in their heads. Doing so has its advantages: No new software to learn, no danger of a system crash that loses all your data, and you can tweak your budget as often as you need without sitting down at a desk.

Source: Fox Business Small Business Center, 1/13/14 

For many businesses, January marks the beginning of a new year of financial records, evaluations and sometimes, difficulties. For small businesses in particular, a lack of experience with banking can present a host of problems on top of other issues that startups already have to deal with.

Win up to $25,000 in specialized products and expert advice your business needs to make more happen, no matter what it is you happen to do.

What you can win:
Grand Prize (1): $25,000
1st Place (1): $15,000
2nd Place (1): $10,000
Runners-up (7): $5,000

Prize will go towards all of the products you need at Staples.

Grand prize, 1st place, and 2nd place winners will get customized advice and insight from top business experts in their field.

The Merchants Fund (TMF) is committed to providing for the economic needs of the merchant community with modest grants. Merchants must be located in Philadelphia for a minimum of three years.

Grants of between $1,000 and $20,000 are available to current merchants in several forms, including Business Loan matches from accredited government programs and banks. Loan matches may not be used to pay off debts or existing loans or a loan to be obtained. We recommend starting the loan application simultaneously to the application to TMF.

Source: SmallBizTrends.com, 7/17/13

So how do consumers buy online?

From showrooming worries to mcommerce trends, small retailers and e-tailers have a lot of issues to keep up with these days. A new study from Shopzilla that polled Internet users about their online shopping habits has some useful insights. Below is some of what they found.

What Inspires Purchasing?

Share your small business story to compete for a share of $50,000 in grants from FedEx.

Sign up for the FedEx Small Business Grant Contest, and tell us what separates your business from the rest. After your entry is accepted, you can share your unique story and profile with your Facebook friends and Twitter followers to encourage them to vote for you and get your small business closer to a big grant:

• Grand prize grant of $25,000

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