Spring means losing an hour of sleep to daylight savings time, but it also means new growth. It’s the perfect time to start a business. Not sure how to begin? Aside from a winning business plan, you need to understand your market. There’s a database called Bizminer that’ll help you determine if there’s demand for your business in your local area and this video shows you how. It’s important to benchmark your potential company against other established niche businesses in your area.
Do you have bigger aspirations—maybe a global business—but a little budget? Listen to this radio segment in which Forbes’ Small Business Advocate
Jim Blasingame interviews Poo-Pourri founder Suzy Batiz. She funded her now-global business empire without investors or debt. In spring of 2007, Suzy turned a taboo bathroom issue into a money-making machine. Her company profits an estimated $15-20 million in annual revenue today.
“Spring ahead” in business with our links to the best of ecommerce, customer service, marketing, social media and small business tips.
Starting a Business:
- Is starting a business right for you? It can be an exciting and rewarding experience that offers perks like making a living doing something you enjoy and setting your own schedule, but it requires thorough planning, discipline and hard work. Find out if you’ve got what it takes to become a successful entrepreneur.
- Your spring cleaning may include firing low-profit and continually abusive customers. When the economic or emotional toll exceeds the return for dealing with a difficult customer, you may have to impose a customer exit strategy. Saying goodbye to customers who, over time, cost you more time, energy and sanity than they return sends a powerful message about your business’ position.
- Remember when mom told you to share with the other children? As adults, we’re still learning how sharing promotes business success. Learn five ways to make your brand thrive in the sharing economy.
Health Insurance Coverage:
- Did you know that the health insurance marketplace for small businesses is now open? Find out why small businesses aren’t buying.
- Are you an entrepreneur stressed by the threatening Obamacare deadline? According to Under30CEO.com, even if you’re required to obtain health insurance, the IRS has only three ways of enforcing the penalty. Find out what those three options are and more reasons why getting insured might not be in your best interest.
Content Marketing and Social Media:
- Is your site’s blog content falling flat? Content is the best way to engage with customers, and the right content powers the customer lifecycle. Find out how to integrate your content directly with your social marketing efforts to get more results.
- Unless a promotional email contains a coupon, video or image, chances are I’m not reading it. I love pancakes, and when IHOP’s email subject line includes the words “coupon” and “pancakes,” I’m reading it! Did you know that if you include a video in your next email, there’s a 96 percent greater chance your customer will click through?
- It takes online marketing savvy and search engine optimization to ensure your website attracts the right customers. If your website isn’t making money despite plenty of traffic, find out how to improve conversion rates.
- Procrastinating filing taxes? You aren’t alone. I’ve got some last minute tax tips for your 2013 return. If you can’t file by April 15, file Form 4868 to get an automatic six-month extension. Of course, this is the IRS we’re dealing with, so if you don’t file by the due date you will pay interest and possibly penalties.
I’ll continue to explore the vast reaches of cyberspace for the best business tips, articles, tools and guides. See you next week!