If you think you have the chops to be an entrepreneur, but would rather not start with a new idea -- or just plain don’t have a new idea worth starting -- you may be a great candidate to buy an existing business instead.
While buying an existing business typically involves more upfront cost, it also...
by Shubhomita Bose
After years of tense negotiations and deliberation, the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) free trade deal was finally struck in October.
The historic trade agreement will boost trade for 12 member countries and cover 40 percent of the world’s economy.
For small businesses in these countries, the deal —...
015Successful entrepreneurs surely have different talents and completely different ideas, but they all share some common characteristics which have helped them to stay on the right track and reach their goals. With that in mind, let’s look at some of the most important traits an ambitious entrepreneur needs to possess.
1. They are...
Entrepreneurship goes hand-in-hand with innovation — the ability to produce new ideas; provide better solutions; and pioneer new products. The most successful entrepreneurs are not simply the hardest working, they’re the most innovative. You can hustle and put in 80-hours each week, but if you're not...
by Annie Pilon
Taking your small business global sounds like a huge undertaking. But even small businesses can realize the benefits of selling in international markets, if you have the right tools and guidance.
In anticipation of the Global Small Business Forum, Laurel Delaney, founder of GlobeTrade and organizer of the event,...
John Steinbeck is one of my favorite authors and the originator of a quote I love: “Ideas are like rabbits. You get a couple and learn how to handle them, and pretty soon you have a dozen.”
It’s actually pretty easy to come up with ideas, provided you’re OK with lots of bad ones. Far more...
The news is full of highly sophisticated cyberattacks against major corporations, but some of the ways entrepreneurs can become targets are surprisingly low-tech.
In fact, failing to file seemingly minor forms can leave entrepreneurs vulnerable to crimes that can destroy their credit, their reputation...
The most valuable business and life advice I ever received came from an unlikely source in an impromptu moment. In 1994, one of my best friends from college worked for the New Jersey Nets and the franchise brought in football coaching icon Lou Holtz to speak to the organization. The employees were allowed to bring...
The idea of partnering with large corporations can send even the most risk-averse entrepreneurs running for the hills. But to succeed as a startup, you need partners, and that goes double for anyone just starting out in the enterprise software space.
Partnering with a large organization can lend your company...
I am not sure my version of this quote would have worked for Kevin Costner and the movie Field of Dreams, but it would certainly have saved countless entrepreneurs from disappointment and defeat.
There’s no shortage of savvy startups that will never get off the ground or designer duds that won’t...
Since June, non-accredited investors have been allowed to make equity investments through crowdfunding portals under Title IV of the Jump Start Our Startups (JOBS) Act. But several Securities and Exchange Commission rules are holding back that activity. Among them is the definition of an investment company...
In my more than 20 years of teaching entrepreneurship, I have learned that few aspiring business founders want to talk about the unsexy parts of the process, like when and how to get non-dilutive capital. But I have also learned that understanding the boring stuff almost always makes a big difference in...
Many would-be entrepreneurs think that people who invest in early-stage companies have a complex and sophisticated decision-making process, akin to what happens on Wall Street. But, unlike the world of high finance where investors gather copious amounts of information and use complex computer modeling to...
by Annie Pilon
Financial transparency can be a tricky issue for small businesses.
You may be tempted to keep the majority of your financial information on a need-to-know basis among only your top leadership team. But there can be benefits to sharing this type of information with your team, especially for small, early-stage...
When you enter the business minefield known as entrepreneurship, your knowledge gap seems to grow wider and wider every day. As a sole founder, you are the chief strategist, executor, marketer and product developer for something that isn’t on anybody’s radar yet.
Sound daunting? It is.
024By Chad Brooks,
Big Companies Look to Startups for Lessons in Innovation
Credit: Wave Break Media/Shutterstock
In order to grow financially, large companies need to do a better job of working with their smaller counterparts, new research finds.
Large companies risk losing $1.5 trillion in growth opportunities by not...
by Tamar Weinberg
If you’re reading Small Business Trends on a regular basis, you know the importance of marketing your business online.
You likely have an online presence, and perhaps a brick and mortar location too, and you want to establish online visibility for best results and so people can find you.
Most entrepreneurs spent years working long hours to reach the success they have today. Wonder how you can do that too? Study their best practices, mistakes and key character traits to emulate them and dramatically shorten your own path to success.
Usually, it takes years of trial and error to figure out...
Some people are natural-born risk takers, jumping into action without much hesitation. Others are perpetual worriers, constantly thinking too much about the possible consequences of their actions and failing to make decisions, as a result.
When the risk-taking types start thinking about entrepreneurship,...
010 by Annie Pilon
Small business owners have to constantly work to find a balance between compensating workers adequately and maintaining profits. And along with this idea small business owners must also consider working conditions. How can they balance the wants and desires of employees against the practical needs of the...
020by Melinda Emerson
If you have a great idea for a business and your second thought is to immediately seek small business financing, hold your horses for a moment and ask yourself — why?
You need to get three different answers to some small business financing questions before moving forward. If you think that funding is the best...
030By Katherine Arline,
Writing a business plan is an important step in the startup process. It helps you and your partners decide if you will work well together, teaches you about the marketplace, and lets you brainstorm business and product goals. But because of all the effort and detail involved, many entrepreneurs dread the thought...
021By Brittney Helmrich
Small retailers don't have to limit themselves to a small consumer audience if they have the right marketing tactics on their side.
Business owners looking to market to a wider audience and expand their customer bases can learn a lot from big box stores and national chains. The methods large retailers use to...
“Thought leadership” is one of those ubiquitous buzz phrases that dominate content marketing in 2015, right up there with personal brand building.
Your boss is doing it, your boss’s boss is doing it, and you’re doing it. If you’re not, you’re worried that you should be!
As Michael W. McLaughlin wrote in the online...
Gross profit. Sales revenue. Cash on hand. All of these are important metrics, but they may not be the most important metrics for your business.
When I start working with a new client, I always ask which metrics they track on a frequent basis. I’m often surprised that most people only track a handful,...
From Lewis Howes
Lifestyle Entrepreneur, Coach, Advisor
It seems like people are labeled as either a pessimist or an optimist.
But I think the truth is we all have moments of both ends of the spectrum throughout life.
When things are looking good, it’s easy to be optimistic.
When things are looking bad,...
Regardless of recessions or great depressions, it remains certain that there’s always room for businesses built by innovators willing to continue dreaming. While various industries and markets decline overtime, others rise to take their place. Commerce will always be necessary in some form or another as...
Even before ever starting my own business, I knew I wasn’t going to make it working for someone else. Did you ever have that feeling?
Of course you did.
More than anything, I wanted the freedom to determine the parameters of my working life, and not to have it dictated from a “boss.”
011By Brittney Helmrich,
No matter what industry you're in, starting a business is never easy. Retail stores are no exception — between picking a location and perfecting your products, there are tons of things to do and keep track of, and it can be easy to forget small but important steps that can set you up for business success....
030By Brittney Helmrich,
Starting a business? Entrepreneurs know that dreaming up a business idea is the easy part — it's making your dreams come to fruition that’s the real challenge. And one of the first steps to taking on that challenge is creating a business plan, a task that can be pretty daunting no matter how great your idea...
by Jayson DeMers
Running a business is expensive. Luckily, if you’re a small business owner, there are a number of steps you can take to save money, from DIY problem solving to collaborative ordering with other companies.
Here are easy ways to avoid unnecessary costs and keep that money in your pocket.
010 by Melissa Thompson
Companies are introducing new products around the world every year. So why do many familiar products continue to line the shelves year after year gathering dust?
These failures are not only disheartening for a company, but extremely expensive. Companies spend large percentages of their marketing dollars coming...
027 by Rieva Lesonsky
Small business owners have long been behind the curve when it comes to saving for retirement. A widely cited American Express survey from a couple years ago reported that just 54 percent felt they were on track to save enough for retirement. As a small business journalist for longer than I care to remember, I’ve...
Running a small business has a lot of perks to it.
A huge budget usually isn’t one of them, so small businesses have to continually look for ways to stretch a dollar and make the most out of the operating budgets they do have. Finding ways to save on expenses while increasing profits is necessary to stay...
At one point or another, almost every company – Google-esque in size or Joe’s accounting firm headquartered in his mother’s basement – goes through a period of high turnover. Turnover is an even more prevalent plague to the startup world, especially during a company’s infancy. In order to retain...
026by joe worth
Q: What should I expect when private equity starts sniffing around my company?
A: Expect to get put through the ringer. Selling to a private equity group (PEG) may be a great exit strategy for an owner who wants or needs to get substantial liquidity out of the business but wants to remain in operational control....
Even if you work every day in the world of new-venture funding, as I do, the options are confusing, and their meanings seem to change on a regular basis. I challenge any entrepreneur, for example, to define the difference between "seed-stage" and "early-stage" financing. Yet, knowing this distinction is...
032by Steph Wagner
In my prior life as an investment banker working in M&A, my objectives for any client were strictly transaction-based: Prepare the company for the sale, go to market and close a deal that puts the greatest amount of after-tax dollars in the owner’s pocket. I paid little (if any) attention to what happened to the...
by The Young Entrepreneur Council
When working with an outside company, there are only so many factors you can control. But based on their behavior, you should know when it’s time to
That’s why we asked 12 entrepreneurs from Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) the following question:
“What is one warning...
By Bubba Page
If you plan on raising money from investors, don't go into it blind. Do the necessary research and get prepared.
One of the most important decisions of any entrepreneur is where to get your capital. Investors are typically locked to your company until it sells or goes public. The relationship is often compared to a...
033By Jenna Broughton
Company combines technology with healthy food to refresh a stale industry.
A trip to the vending machine for food is rarely a first choice but a mere act of desperation. In need of a quick fix, we are often relegated to choosing from chips and candy bars as we trade health for convenience. Pantry is hoping to...
025 By Young Entrepreneur Council
Your approach to fundraising can make or break the future stability of your startup.
Andrew Thomas is a co-founder of SkyBell -- a smart home security company that is making homes and neighborhoods safer with a video doorbell that lets users answer their door from a smartphone --...
By Don Charlton
Changing your company brand requires a lot more than changing your name - so be prepared.
Try a thought experiment with me.
Let's say you had to change your name in six months. No, not your company name--we'll get to that soon--I mean your actual birth name. How would you prepare yourself, your family, strangers...
015By Adam Fridman
Your company name plays a monumental role in a brand's growth and perception, meaning it can completely make or break a company.
It's amazing how crucial a name can be. It plays a monumental role in a brand's growth and perception, meaning it can completely make or break a company. For every company whose name becomes...
by Shubhomita Bose
It’s not unusual for businesses to proclaim their commitment to the greater good, although only a few actually live up to their promises. That’s why Kickstarter’s decision to reincorporate as a public benefit corporation has pleasantly surprised many.
The crowdfunding company has joined the ranks of...
by Rieva Lesonsky
What do retail customers really want? With the holiday shopping season fast approaching, now is a good time to ask this question. More than anything, it seems shoppers want their in-store checkout experience to be faster.
In a recent study commissioned by Digimarc, 88 percent of adults say they’d like a...
035by Melinda Emerson
I know what you’re thinking: I am tired of not moving things forward enough in my business. I’m here to tell you that the reason why this is happening is because you are not measuring yourself against business goals. Are you one of these people who says, “Why set goals if you never end up meeting them?” Or...
So, you had a great idea that you managed to turn into a business. You have a few partners-in-crime, your product has launched and maybe you even raised some money. But now what?
If you are starting your first business, you may feel a little lost when it comes to maintaining your personal drive and...
Are you overthinking it? I have a simple theory about why entrepreneurs fail to move forward with their projects: They spend too much time weighing their options.
I constantly stress the importance of doing one’s homework. Studying whatever it is you want to master is essential to your success. But at...