American Express

Displaying 1-40 of 1588 results

  • White Papers // Nov 2010

    Small But Mighty: A Strong Brand Can Stretch Your Marketing Dollars

    Investing in a strong brand allows you to charge more for your products or services. Just look at brands like Rolex, Ritz-Carlton, and Mercedes-Benz. But as a small business owner, how can you build a strong brand on a tiny budget, and is it possible to command a premium like...

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  • White Papers // Nov 2010

    The Inside View From Entrepreneur Bootcamp

    Astia is a global, non-profit organization dedicated to helping women to become better entrepreneurs and leaders of high-growth, innovative businesses. Doing It Right is only the first stage of the life-long, Astia membership. The program is intended to enlighten entrepreneurs as to how the investment community thinks and the fundamental...

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  • White Papers // Nov 2010

    3 Tricks To Get Your Employees Excited To Support Your Cause

    An old saying goes, "Persuasion is better than force." For those of in the business world, and especially those responsible for getting team members on board with an idea, that's an important concept to remember. But the act of persuading a group of people is not always clear-cut. Once you...

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  • White Papers // Nov 2010

    Your 2011 Lead Generation Strategy Outline

    Lead generation is the number one item on every small business marketing plan. What strategies and tactics will you use to attract customers? Many small business owners and CEOs say they can't get enough good leads. Really, they just aren't capturing the leads that are all around them. Your business...

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  • White Papers // Nov 2010

    5 Ways To Keep Your Legal Costs Under Control

    One-fourth of small business owners think legal issues pose the biggest risk to their companies, according to a new survey by Rocket Lawyer. In today's litigious society, that's not surprising. But despite these worries, entrepreneurs aren't seeking legal counsel as often as they should. The reason? More than half of...

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  • White Papers // Nov 2010

    Will The Holiday Shopping Season Be A Boom For Small Businesses?

    Heading into the holiday season, small businesses aren't particularly optimistic about the outlook for the U.S. consumer. Their biggest worry isn't taxes or insurance costs, but poor sales, according to a report from the New America Foundation. Taxes may make up 21 percent of small business worries, but weak sales...

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  • White Papers // Nov 2010

    5 Ways To Lure Local Shoppers

    Ask not what your customers can do for you, but what you can do for your customers. Yes, consumers in large metro areas have all heard they should shop local, and they're beginning to understand that they can vote with their dollars to keep independent merchants afloat. A Yelp poll...

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  • White Papers // Nov 2010

    Cultivating David Vs. Goliath

    It's a business development strategy known as "Economic Gardening." Economic Gardening, the act of supporting and cultivating local growth companies, as opposed to the more traditional economic hunting practice of recruiting large employers, was pioneered in the City of Littleton, Colorado by Chris Gibbons as a reaction to the relocation...

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  • White Papers // Nov 2010

    Creating Business Contracts That Won't Get You Sued

    For most small business owners, contracts are a necessary evil. You need to have something to protect you, but getting contracts written requires legal expertise and can get expensive. Many small business owners try to rely on templates, but even a template can't cover all the contingencies that different companies...

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  • White Papers // Nov 2010

    Why Chemistry Is More Important Than Talent

    Some business owners will tell you that hiring talented people is the key to success. As sports teams frequently prove, though, even the most talented employees can ruin an organization if they aren't able to work well with others. Behavior like that is not just counter productive; it saps the...

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  • White Papers // Nov 2010

    Why Local Sourcing Is A Winner For Food Service Companies

    With Small Business Saturday only a few days away, it's important to remember that business owners - not just consumers - can also support local, small businesses. One sector where supporting local businesses has tremendous financial advantages is the food service business. The $580 billion restaurant industry is realizing that...

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  • White Papers // Nov 2010

    Cannibalize Yourself Before Someone Else Does

    When someone proposes a new product that is similar to an older one ("Old reliable"), the question is always asked: "How much will this cannibalize 'Old reliable'?" Someone makes an estimate, and then the games begin. You see, the wrong question was asked. It should have been, "Who will cannibalize...

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  • White Papers // Nov 2010

    Plan Now For Your 2011 Retirement Plan

    While 2010 isn't over yet, it's not too early to think about setting up a qualified retirement plan for 2011. Getting an early start is especially important if you have employees. This will give you time to select the plan that best meets your business and retirement-plan goals. It will...

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  • White Papers // Nov 2010

    Buying And Trading Locally: Where Does Your Dollar Go?

    If $100 is spent at the local auto parts shop, that $100 has a much greater chance of staying within the community. Instead of leaving the community in the form of franchise fees, the money stays in town and goes for advertising on the local radio station, helping to keep...

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  • Webcasts // Nov 2010

    Learning From The Pros: Jerry Greenfield

    Can you imagine a world without Cherry Garcia, Chunky Monkey or Coffee Heath Bar Crunch? Thirty years after opening its first ice cream shop, Ben & Jerry's has built a reputation as a fun-loving, socially responsible and creative company. Jerry Greenfield tells about learning from failure, giving things away and...

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  • White Papers // Nov 2010

    Intrapreneurs: Building For The Future

    These days, many millions of people proudly claim the title "Entrepreneur." On the other hand, a title that hasn't gotten nearly the amount of attention it deserves is entrepreneur's little brother, "Intrapreneur": "an employee who is given freedom and financial support to create new products, services and systems, who does...

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  • White Papers // Nov 2010

    Urban Beekeeper Economics: Can You Beat The Stock Market With A Rooftop Swarm?

    The commercial U.S. honey industry grosses approximately $332 million per year. An additional $260 million worth is imported. The majority of U.S. honey production is based in the South and produced via a migratory system: Hundreds of hives are trucked around the country, following massive blooms on commercial farms. One...

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  • White Papers // Nov 2010

    Taking Your Invoicing And Accounts Receivable Management Online

    A long-standing cash flow dilemma is finding the right balance between getting fast receipt of customer payments and minimizing fees and discounts associated with collecting those payments as quickly as possible. Finding payment methods that fit the needs of your business and offering the options that are right for your...

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  • White Papers // Nov 2010

    8 Ways Small Businesses Help Communities

    The holidays are right around the corner and everyone is the mood to shop. "A small business is part of the heartbeat of the larger community," said Ellen Thrasher, associate administrator for the Department of Entrepreneurship at the Washington, D.C.-based U.S. Small Business Administration. Money spent at local, small businesses...

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  • White Papers // Nov 2010

    Protect Your Workers, Control Your Expenses

    As small business owners, one always under pressure to do more with less. In this difficult economic environment, careful review of your workers compensation program may reveal opportunities to reduce expenses, while offering better protection to your employees. Workers' compensation insurance protects employees against the risk of sustaining a job-related...

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  • White Papers // Nov 2010

    Paying Your Employees To Volunteer Can Reap Big Rewards

    Today, businesses are no longer fundamentally attractive to this new breed of potential employees for writing checks to charities or for sponsoring tables at benefits. Now, companies must not only talk the talk, but they must let their employees walk the walk as well - paying staff their normal wages...

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  • White Papers // Nov 2010

    How To Use Collateral Marketing

    The concept of collateral marketing - using brochures and other printed materials that you can leave with a client - can be an effective part of a company's sales cycle. It's just a matter of choosing the right pieces. It's easy to lump collateral marketing and advertising together - you...

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  • White Papers // Nov 2010

    3 Keys To Knowing Your Business

    What is your business? It seems like a simple question, yet so many cannot accurately describe their business. Perhaps the simplest way to think of it is: If you can't tell it, you can't sell it. Global Trends in Miami and M3 finalist, helps international designers infiltrate their brands into...

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  • White Papers // Nov 2010

    5 Ways To Get Your Fans Cheering About Your Holiday Marketing

    As a small business owner, if you are planning to send a generic, pre-printed holiday card with your business name imprinted on the inside, don't bother. So many business owners have gone about this ritual each year with as much gusto as getting the oil changed in their car. If...

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  • White Papers // Nov 2010

    Small Business Saturday Campaign Embraced By New England Shopkeepers

    Independent retailers in Vermont, Massachusetts and New Hampshire are embracing the upcoming Small Business Saturday initiative since it fits well with the region's strong "Shop local" spirit. Additionally, American Express recently launched the new marketing program to encourage Americans to shop at small businesses on Saturday, Nov. 27. "It's nice...

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  • White Papers // Nov 2010

    Why You Should Treat Your Employees Like Children

    How can U.S. businesses become more innovative? Encouraging your employees to be more creative is a great starting point. Kim analyzed the results of a creativity measure called the Torrance test for on nearly 300,000 American adults and children and found that Americans' creativity has declined drastically in recent decades....

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  • White Papers // Nov 2010

    From A Snapple Marketing Veteran: How To Tap The Power Of Packaging

    What makes shoppers pick one product over another when they're staring at shelves full of choices in a store? Assuming they don't have exclusive loyalty to one brand or that one doesn't have a big price advantage, the packaging often plays a huge role. As you know if you sell...

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  • White Papers // Nov 2010

    Build Your Email List Value Today

    It's amazing how few people consider their email database to be their most important business asset. Though businesses come and go, if you treat your customers and peers and colleagues and competitors and friends as an important relationship, you always have something. When money comes and goes, it's the relationships...

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  • White Papers // Nov 2010

    The Right Way To Delegate Your Next Big Project

    Delegating is a task that even well-seasoned managers sometimes struggle with. It can be a challenge all the way around, as letting go of the reins and finding the right person to hand them over to isn't an easy thing to do. As an entrepreneur, you most likely have big...

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  • White Papers // Nov 2010

    Change Doesn't Have To Be Difficult? If You Know How

    Knowing what to do and being motivated to do it do not change behavior (even though most people think it is supposed to) because behavior is driven by beliefs about people, life and themselves. If you want to change behavior, change the beliefs that drive any given behavior - such...

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  • White Papers // Nov 2010

    November 27th Is Small Business Saturday

    While small businesses are critical to the nation's economy, their importance to local communities extends even further. For every $100 spent in locally-owned independent stores, approximately $68 returns to the community through taxes, payroll and other expenditures. So take a moment and think about the small businesses you visit most...

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  • White Papers // Nov 2010

    The Psychology Behind Making Sales And Setting Price Points

    Setting price points and making sales involves a delicate balance between offering value (i.e., what the customer demands) and making profits (i.e., what you need). Here are a few techniques that create value for your customers while keeping your profit margins reasonable. In some cases you can even get your...

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  • White Papers // Nov 2010

    5 Tips For Making The Most Of Google Places

    Google's revamped local search, now called Google Place Search, could be a boon to small businesses. It's up to you to make the most of it. "If you're a business that does not manage its profiles, local listings and city listings, you are missing tremendous opportunities - and challenges," says...

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  • White Papers // Nov 2010

    3 Marketing Pet Peeves

    Spam used to refer exclusively to unsolicited email, and mostly to shady characters like phishers and people like "Robert benjamen from the Ivory Coast [sic]" who has a $10.5 million cocoa fortune to share with me if I forward my bank account number. But more troublesome of late is the...

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  • White Papers // Nov 2010

    How To Improve Cash Flow And Add Bottom-Line Value

    By charging purchases, you can hold off on payment and hold on to cash about 25 days longer than with cash or check. Plus, if you time your purchases at the beginning of the billing cycle, you could get nearly two months of time between purchase and payment. Let's say...

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  • White Papers // Nov 2010

    7 Steps To Creating A Sure-Fire Marketing System

    While this may be hard for some business owners to come grips with - leaning instead towards the "Marketing is a strange form of creative voodoo thinking" - marketing is not only a system, it may be the most important system in any business. To understand how to approach marketing...

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  • White Papers // Nov 2010

    Managing The Business Of Change

    Restructuring is a difficult process, right? It can be. Even if you've done everything right, sometimes you have to take your company in a new direction because circumstances and opportunities have changed. Companies aren't future-proof - no company lasts forever. If you're going to lead your company through a restructuring,...

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  • White Papers // Nov 2010

    The Secrets To Funding Your Restaurant

    To an aspiring restaurateur, the challenges of funding a business can seem overwhelming. Young restaurants have a notoriously high failure rate, and no investor wants to put money against the odds. But for every thriving restaurant out there, there was a moment when the forces behind it struggled for funding....

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  • White Papers // Nov 2010

    Reinventing The Small Culture Business: An Interview With 'Electric Literature'

    In the summer of 2009, Andy Hunter and Scott Lindenbaum published the first volume of their literary journal, Electric Literature. You may have heard that 2009 was not an auspicious one for publishers - let alone folks trying to launch new literary titles. However, by offering more than the paperback...

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  • White Papers // Nov 2010

    Innovation Is No Accident

    People love the idea of 'Accidental innovation'. The term 'Accidental innovation' is often used to describe the invention of things like penicillin, microwave ovens, Nutrasweet and vulcanized rubber. The stories behind these accidental innovations are intoxicating because they make it seem like innovation can come from anywhere - in an...

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  • White Papers // May 2009

    How Your Small Business Can Survive The Recession

    By most accounts, this is going to be a long recession, and we're still on the downward slope. As a small business owner, you will be forced to make drastic moves to survive. Don't count on a recovery until mid-2010, and even then, it may be a slow recovery. The...

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  • White Papers // May 2009

    Dreading The Cost Of Software For Your Business?

    Several years ago, one of the biggest costs for small businesses was software. Accounting software? Expensive; Word processing and spreadsheets? Expensive; Contact management software? Expensive; Calendar and scheduling software? Expensive. Quite often, the total bill would be enough to make you wince in pain. Since then, fortunately, we've moved on...

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  • White Papers // May 2009

    Best Practices In Finance: A Roadmap For Funding

    Not everyone who runs a business is a financial wizard. And why should they be? People go into business for a variety of reasons - to transform something they love into something that pays; to honor a family tradition; or for the freedom of working without a boss - not...

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  • White Papers // May 2009

    Trade Credit: What It Is And Why You Should Pay Attention

    Trade credit simply means that a vendor extends you credit terms, giving you extra time to pay or giving a discount for early payment. Trade credit terms are often expressed in a kind of shorthand consisting of 3 numbers. A common trade credit term is 2/10/30. The first number -...

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  • White Papers // May 2009

    Consumer Savings During Times Of Economic Downturn

    The upshot is that there is a "New normal" looming. Rather than the cheery 3.4% real GDP growth that we have seen globally in recent years, we will return to growth, but at a considerably lower level. How low? With consumers trying to repair their broken balance sheets - too...

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  • White Papers // May 2009

    Should You Borrow Or Sell?

    There are only two kinds of money: debt, which must be paid back; and equity, which represents ownership of the business. These days, smart financiers are blurring the lines between debt and equity with convertible notes, convertible stock and so-called mezzanine financing, which is a blend of both stock and...

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  • White Papers // May 2009

    When Credit, Not Cash, Is King

    The lag between delivery and payment has never been ideal. But in tough times, it can get worse, as the domino effect of cash flow hits your supplier - and then you. No doubt you have some reserves on hand (right?) for rainy days like this. But credit options are...

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  • White Papers // May 2009

    When Did Hiring Independent Contractors Become Illegal?

    This paper defines underground economy quite specifically: 'There is a bustling and shadowy world where jobs, services, and business transactions are conducted by word of mouth and paid for in cash to avoid scrutiny by government officials. It is called the "Underground economy," which is as old as government itself....

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  • White Papers // May 2009

    Unclogging Accounts Receivables

    There is a common complaint among business owners in the U.S: accounts receivable problems are causing cash flow to stall. There are a number of ways to unlock the cash from receivables and put it to use in other parts of your business. This paper explains what to do if...

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  • White Papers // May 2009

    Focus On Strong Credit For Greater Resilience

    As a small business owner, going through the motions is never an option. Keeping any small business healthy requires a truly proactive approach to recognizing and adapting to change. It's easy to spot examples of how savvy small business owners are showing their own ingenuity and drive to adapt to...

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  • White Papers // May 2009

    Cash Management: Five Tips To Help Small Companies

    In today's economy, many small and mid-size companies lack sufficient cash reserves to ride out the storm. Finding new customers is tougher than usual. And, as you know, raising prices isn't always an option. So, how can you best manage your company's cash? If you can manage your business in...

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  • White Papers // Jun 2009

    The Urge To Merge? Look Before You Leap

    There were two notable mergers in the world of small tech companies, and they serve as good examples for the kinds of deals people will be looking for these days. New York City-based Aviary, which makes Web-based creative software, bought Digimix, a small company that makes Web-based audio editing software....

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  • White Papers // Oct 2009

    Phone Applications For The Business Traveler

    Today's "Office job" rarely finds us actually working from inside an office. Our mobile capabilities with the Blackberry and iPhone make it easy to simply file away the desk side and stationary work. Who needs a file cabinet, personal assistant, accountant, travel agent and cartographer when there are a myriad...

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  • White Papers // Sep 2009

    When To Outsource For Your Small Business

    As a crucial growth step in any business - and in varying degrees throughout the business development process - outsourcing becomes a necessity. The big bucks are made not on one person's efforts alone, but the efforts of many. This paper looks at the inherent characteristics of outsourcing, hiring employees...

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  • White Papers // Sep 2009

    Ten Ways To Easily Reduce Small Business Energy Bills

    Like clockwork, utility bills drop unwanted news on your desk on a monthly basis. Communications bills, supply bills, and energy bills all amount to a big chunk out of the bottom line of your business - and a smart businessman will look for effective ways to trim away some of...

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  • White Papers // Sep 2009

    How Strong Is Your Business? Can You Pass The 3 To 6 Test?

    The "3 to 6 test" is simple. Set aside 3-to-6 months' fixed costs as a cash cushion for your business. The "3 to 6 test" is a rule of thumb. If you have that amount set aside, it can liberate you as the business owner. It can be the catalyst...

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  • White Papers // Sep 2009

    Harnessing The New Age Of Customer Frugality

    Many businesses have been bitten by this so-called "Paradox of thrift." frugality might be a great idea for the individual, but for the businesses that rely on the spending of that customer, it can really ding the bottom line. There are a lot of tried-and-true responses to this. Offer big...

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  • White Papers // Oct 2009

    3 Ways To Manage Balance Sheet Changes

    Small businesses are staring down a future that looks little like the past, with high employee health care and benefits costs, decreased cash flow and increased monthly expenses threatening business as usual. Many small businesses may not make it. The truth is, recession is a natural part of the business...

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  • White Papers // Sep 2009

    Trends: Skill Seekers

    As consumers seek more from their purchase experiences, it's worth investigating how to expand your offering with classes and expert knowledge. Acquiring new skills that contribute to personal development is gaining momentum. In contrast to the economic focus of the 1980s and 1990s, consumers now aspire to be enlightened and...

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  • White Papers // Aug 2009

    Is Advertising Dead?

    The key starting point is great content. When you have great content, you're more likely to attract audiences, and audiences are what advertisers are looking for. Even if the audience is not huge, an advertising model can still be successful because advertisers need to reach and engage niche audiences, so...

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  • White Papers // Aug 2009

    Top 10 Ideas For Restarting An IP Program

    explains how organizations should approach reigniting intellectual property programs. The biggest sin of omission in starting an IP program is not having an activity-based budget contract between management and the legal department. It can seem like an approach of "Break it. We'll fix it as we go" is a good...

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  • White Papers // Jul 2009

    Ten Steps To Energize Your Business For The Recovery

    During challenging times, it's easy to keep thinking and operating like a bootstrapper. This paper explains ten steps to energizing your business for the recovery. Strategic market imperatives, or business drivers, define the internal and external pressures that are driving a need to change. The ultimate result-unique value (UR-UV) factor...

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  • White Papers // Aug 2009

    Customer-Centric Design: Got Empathy?

    We all know what our customers want. We're confident that we understand the problem. We look at reams of marketing reports. We conduct the focus groups. We survey them. We have plenty of data. Guess what? It's not enough. Data can only indicate facts. If we fail to descend into...

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  • White Papers // Aug 2009

    You Aren't Crazy, You're Just An Entrepreneur

    You aren't crazy - there are good reasons why starting a business feels hard. Like any big change in life like getting married or having a baby, entrepreneurship has its ups and downs. Once you get over the initial rush of your launch, certain that everything is going to go...

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  • White Papers // Jul 2009

    How To Be An Intrapreneur

    As the saying goes, "The grass is always greener." This applies to entrepreneurs as well as cows (if, indeed, it applies to cows). An entrepreneur looks at an intrapreneur inside a large company and fantasizes: "If only I could be an entrepreneur with the kind of capital, brand awareness, production...

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  • White Papers // Jul 2009

    How To Kill Two Birds With One Stone: Stickercards

    Once the stickercard is stuck, the person is more committed to the company, product, or service. That stickercard on laptop is a declaration to the world that they like the what it stands for. To be consistent, they must stick to their positive opinion of your company, product, or service.

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  • White Papers // Jul 2009

    Ten Things To Think About When Designing Digital Experiences

    Visitors to your digital space don't want to think about interacting with your website. They want to - quickly and easily - make a purchase, find information, or have fun. It helps if they can be engaged and enchanted in the process. How can we facilitate this type of digital...

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  • White Papers // Jul 2009

    Are You A "Conscious Capitalist"?

    How can highlighting your company's sense of meaning and purpose increase sales? The consumer market is increasingly driven by the demand for meaning and purpose in product sales - witness the explosion of consumer goods branded and marketed as "Green." The business should be driven by a deeper purpose which...

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  • White Papers // Sep 2009

    Use A Human Sales Approach

    Understanding your customers and skillfully responding to them is a question of emotional and social intelligence, not how many different closing tactics you've memorized or methods you have on hand to overcome objections. According to Goleman, humans are wired to connect, neurologically speaking. That means you already have the mental...

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  • White Papers // Oct 2009

    Putting Social Media In Real Life Context For SMBs

    It's hard not to be skeptical about the social media craze, especially if you're a small business that's struggling to find a way to bring business context to platforms like Facebook and Twitter. But small businesses with dime store budgets are taking bold leaps into the social media realm and...

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  • White Papers // Jun 2009

    5 Ways To Find Business Leaders On Twitter

    Twitter is a powerful resource for networking. Businesses are using the medium to share their thoughts, exchange ideas, and even provide customer service. Your small business should be benefiting from Twitter's explosion and mass adoption by thought leaders in the business space. Whatever your preferred reason, finding, following, connecting, and...

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  • White Papers // May 2009

    How To Use The Predictive Value Of Buzz

    Usually, companies conduct marketing and then wait for sales results to determine if the marketing is effective. This can take months because of multi-tiered distribution: selling goods to wholesalers who sell them to retailers who sell them to actual users. But these days, who can wait months to affect sales?...

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  • White Papers // Jun 2009

    10 Things You Should Know Before You Launch

    Few things in life are more thrilling than starting your own business venture, but we know just how overwhelming launching can be. Many - including many women - put off launching because the task seems daunting and complicated. Many entrepreneurs launch before they take the time to articulate what they...

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  • White Papers // Jul 2009

    Retailers, Your Mission: Snag Those Web Buyers

    Consumer research suggests that more than a third of holiday shoppers will find their purchases influenced by pre-buying online research. Fortunately, the new and improved Google Product Search (once known as Froogle) will let you list your products there for free; unlike some other online comparison shopping sites. Be prepared...

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  • White Papers // May 2009

    Web Retailers Sweeten The Deal To Nudge Sales Higher

    Even if you don't have a strong Web presence it's wise to invest in your online store. In the survey, 54 percent say they search for coupons and discounts online even if they plan to purchase offline. What does this mean for your online store? If you have free shipping,...

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  • White Papers // Jul 2009

    Creating A Customer Loyalty Strategy Will Benefit Your Future Bottom Line

    Over 90% of small business owners are letting money walk out the door of their business each day. Small businesses work hard to acquire new customers, yet many are missing an untapped source of sales. Are you one of them? Studies have shown that it's easier to sell a customer...

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  • White Papers // Aug 2009

    Basic Mistakes Retailers Make When Times Are Tough

    The fact is, that when times become tough, the first thing many business owners do is stop marketing, and lay off staff. This most likely means there will be fewer customers coming in and fewer people to serve the ones that do show up - a good recipe for disaster.

    Provided By American Express

  • White Papers // Jul 2009

    The Problem With Debt

    As Warren Buffett succinctly observed, anything multiplied by zero is zero. Put differently, when the value of the asset drops below the value of the debt used to buy it, poof. Nowhere is this concept more important than in the housing market. If you have a more typical debt-to-value ratio...

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  • White Papers // Jul 2009

    Five Steps To Help You Avoid Cash-Flow Woes

    Many small business owners tend to gauge the health and success of their business on things such as profit margins, sales growth or strong customer loyalty. While these are critical metrics, the reality is that balanced cash flow is an equally important indicator of well being because cash pays the...

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  • White Papers // Jul 2009

    Understanding Your Business Credit Report

    Like your personal credit history, your company's credit rating is determined by credit reporting agencies - independent companies that assess your credit "Score" based on factors such as payment history and debt load. However, your business credit ratings differ from personal credit ratings in that: Your business score is based...

    Provided By American Express