The 9th Idea Cafe's Small Business Grant Now Open For Applications!

You, small business owners, are the main engine that drives the economy. And despite the difficulties that you all faced this past year mainly from an economic perspective, we believe the passion and creativity that drive entrepreneurs to success is as strong as ever. This is why we are announcing a new contest, where good business ideas for small business will compete against each other.

Accounts Receivable Collections: How to Get Late-Paying Customers To Pay On Time

A year or two ago, your business was probably running pretty smoothly, with sales and profits growing. And then the recession and credit crunch hit—a brutal double-whammy—and everything started slowing down almost overnight, including your accounts receivable collections.

A Website That Fills A Customer's Wishes

What Is The Need?

There are numerous successful websites that offer daily deals on various types of products. Sites like woot.com and yugster.com are some of the most popular. However, all these sites use a "push" strategy. That is, they "push" or promote a specific product or type of product to their potential customers, on a take-it-or-leave-it basis. They partner with various manufacturers or importers to offer certain items at a good discount, with no input from their audience.

Back to Basics: Focus on the Fundamentals of Your Business

Here’s one thing about a recession or economic downturn that most people don’t think of: It forces most business owners to focus like a laser on the fundamentals of their business. You know, things like making sure you deliver quality products and great customer service.

Moth Attack is the Winner of the Idea Cafe’s Eighth Small Business Grant

We take pleasure in announcing that Megan Dean, the owner of Moth Attack, is the recipient of the current Small Business Grant. With her impressive enthusiasm and love for building and designing custom steel bicycles and components, she instantly grabbed the hearts of our regulars and stood out amongst hundreds of other small business owners. Congratulations!

Is Search Engine Advertising Worth It For Small Businesses?

Over this past year I have noticed a huge resistance between small businesses and online advertising. Business owners feel that online advertising is no place for their brick and mortar business and the cost to do so would be more than they could afford. That couldn't be farther from the truth.

Yellow Mouse Cars, The Flintstones and Unique Selling Propositions

Twenty years ago, my girlfriend and I vacationed in sunny Fort Lauderdale, Florida. We had a wonderful time, and saw some amazing tourist attractions. But believe it or not, it's not the traditional tourist attractions like "Ocean World" or "The Museum of Science and Discovery and Imax Theater" I think about when I recall our trip to Fort Lauderdale.

It's the amazing Unique Selling Propositions (USP's) of some of the businesses we encountered down there.

New Year’s Resolutions for Better Revenue

The past year has certainly had a profound effect on nearly everyone. Revenue may have slipped, cutbacks were made, and clients were lost, but there’s no better time to start fresh than the New Year. Steve Fretzin, President of Sales Results, Inc., says to use this time of the year as an extra motivation to make new goals and new efforts to better your business.

Monthly update from Go Green Go: Challenges, Goals, Accomplishments!

What are the challenges, goals and accomplishments that a new business like Go Green Go faces? Sometimes the challenges, goals and accomplishments are all the same thing! Example - Decision Making! Last month I wrote about the decision making process that I went through while developing the company. The longer that I continue to develop the company, I realize that decision making will always be a part of the process. The challenge is to make decisions, the goal is to make decisions and the accomplishment is that decisions were made. Then we start all over again with a new set of circumstances. I’m probably not telling you anything you don’t already know! One of the decisions that I committed to early on in the development of the company was that this was going to be a “Grassroots” type of company.

Eight Key Budgeting Tips

Most companies don’t use budgets to help them meet profit goals. Why? Well, most owners and CEOs reason that the effort required to learn how to build and use workable budgets is just too much. They seem to feel that learning how to budget is more frustrating than just hoping the numbers will all work out—if they only sell enough widgets or services or whatever.

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