Small Business Essentials: Start Here

Thinking of starting a business on line? If so there are two things you absolutely must commit to before ever opening shop on the web. Any one who refuses to realistically consider these two factors should not be in business. That may sound a bit rough, but the glut of businesses on line that ignore these factors will soon come to an end as customers demand service in return for their dollars.

The first factor in determining whether you should even be doing business on line is your ability to develop a site that addresses the needs of prospective customers. Is your site intuitive? That is, is it sensitive to the needs and abilities of the average person using the site? After all, what makes sense to you might be as clear as mud to the next guy.

One inexpensive way to test is to ask acquaintances of varying abilities to test drive your site. Observe their interactions with your website and ask for feedback throughout the process. You must be open to receiving honest critiques and be willing to use that information to make improvements. The easier your site is to use, the wider audience appeal it will have.

The other essential consideration, and the most important, is your willingness to commit to providing good customer service. If you are a novice to business, take the time to educate yourself. Furthermore, if you want to make money but don't want to deal with people, you should get a factory job or something that doesn't involve the general public, because business ownership is not for you.

One of the first rules of doing business is that word of mouth advertising will make or break your business and bad news travels fast. If you doubt this, just ask one of the millions of people in network marketing. Their primary form of advertising is word of mouth.

If you don't want to answer the phone, either hire someone or outsource the job. Again, if neither one of these are an option you are willing to consider, you should not be in business, especially on line.

There is nothing more frustrating to customers than trying to navigate a difficult website, except encountering nonexistent or worse, unresponsive customer service when trying to repair problems encountered maneuvering through a difficult site. Talk about adding insult to injury!

If you are willing to take the time and effort required to build a good site while providing quality customer service, your chances of succeeding in the world of on line business long term are better than most. Remember, word of mouth advertising is essential to your success, and good word of mouth comes from satisfied customers.

Karen Walker is a wellness consultant and author. She works from her home in western Montana. She and her husband, Lynn McCormick, maintain websites to help those whose lives have been upset by catastrophic health events. http://www.newamericanfamily.com

In The News:

A Midyear Legal Checkup For Small Business Owners  ForbesConducting a midyear legal checkup of your company can provide you with insights you need to make informed decisions about your business entity type, tax ...
How Content Marketing Can Help Your Small Business: Nine Tips From New York-Based Entrepreneurs  Forbes*Content* marketing can make a huge impact on your small business. Make sure you're doing it the right way with these tips from Forbes New York Business ...
Xero, Stripe Team On Small Biz Payments  pymnts.comPartnership News: Small business platform Xero has announced a partnership with Stripe to work on innovations in payments tools for small businesses.
Retirement Savings Strategies for Small Business Owners  Business News DailyEntrepreneurs need to invest in a retirement strategy to ensure they have enough money to retire.
4 fintech platforms making financial services seamless for small businesses  YourStoryWith a vision to enhance customer experience and make it frictionless for small and mid-sized enterprises (SMEs), these fintech players are redefining the ...
15 Best Niche Industries for Startups  Small Business TrendsAfter four years, more than 50 percent of startups are gone. Getting a good start is important, so consider this list of the 15 best niche industries.
Infographic: Linux Mint Challenges Windows 10 In Small Business Productivity Speed Tests  ForbesLinux is typically less resource-hungry than Microsoft's Windows 10, and that gives it a distinct advantage on under-powered desktops and laptops. Linux is ...
Broad new measures to ensure small businesses get paid on time  GOV.UKFor the first time large businesses could be fined for failing to pay smaller suppliers on time as part of a robust package of measures unveiled today by Small ...
LINK STRATEGIC PARTNERS RECEIVES 2019 NORTON SMALL BUSINESS OF THE YEAR AWARD  GlobeNewswireDC-Based Communications & Community Engagement Firm Chosen By Independent Steering Committee for Esteemed Award.
California Small Business Day™ 2019  Business WireToday, 14 California governmental agencies, 21 small business organizations and 83 California State Legislators come together to recognize small busin.
These Ecommerce Mobile App Features Keep Your Customers Hooked  Small Business TrendsIt's going to take more than coupons and discounts to keep your customers hooked on your app. Here are the ecommerce mobile app features they want.
How small businesses classify employees matters in a big way  USA TODAYAre Uber drivers small-business owners? Or are they exploited employees? That question matters to your small business because there's a war going on over ...
How to Optimize Your Small Business Site for Voice Search  Small Business TrendsVoice search is predicted to change the marketing strategy forever. Even if SEO basic remain the same, understanding voice search optimization will be key.
Palette Collective redefines work space for small business owners  AZ Big MediaBrokers all across the valley schedule tours for the average prospect but Director of Retail Leasing Mary Nollenberger, with SVN Desert Commercial Advisors, ...
How to Choose an Accountant For Your Small Business  The London EconomicIf you've finally decided to take the huge step of becoming an entrepreneur and starting your own business, you may need to start thinking of hiring an ...
Small business has concerns with SA budget  9NewsSouth Australia's small business sector has raised some concerns over big road infrastructure projects outl...
4 Ways to Improve Project Management In Your Small Business  Small Business TrendsProject management is the smart, efficient and effective way for small businesses to get things done. Here's some tips on how to improve project management.
Charitable Clothing Brand, Two Blind Brothers, Lets You Shop Blind  Small Business TrendsThe Two Blind Brothers luxury charitable clothing brand donate 100 percent of the company's profits toward developing a cure for retinal eye disease.
4 Core Ways to Cut Costs in a Small Business and Increase Profitability  Small Business TrendsIf you're looking for ways to cut costs in a small business, especially as a solopreneur, check out these 4 strategies that will shrink your expenses.
Atlanta Small Business Profile - Craig Riddle, North Atlanta Golf Carts  Atlanta Small Business NetworkOn this episode of the Atlanta Small Business Profile, Ted Jenkin sits down with Craig Riddle, Owner of North Atlanta Golf Carts.
How Introducing Radical Candor Will Boost Your Team  Small Business TrendsThis week, on the Small Business Radio Show, bestselling author Kim Scott discusses why introducing radical candor is critical to your company's growth.
Caterpillar Battling Small Coffee Shop Over Use of Cat in Trademark Case  Small Business TrendsWhen a multi-national corporation goes after small business owners as in this trademark infringement example, it makes you wonder. Here's the take away.
Can Micro Influencers Benefit My Small Business?  Small Business TrendsMicro influencers are social media personalities with anywhere from 2000-50000 followers. Here's how these people can benefit your small business.
Growing number of Australian small businesses struggling amid economic downturn  ABC NewsEvidence is emerging that a growing wave of businesses are going to the wall as the end of the financial year approaches.
Ask SCORE: Social media can boost your small business  PostBulletin.comMy series on marketing strategies for small businesses would not be complete without mentioning one of the most popular options on the scene. Although a ...
Main Digital Recognized as Women Business Enterprise and Women-Owned Small Business  PRNewswireWASHINGTON, June 19, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Main Digital is pleased to announce that the business has officially been certified as a Women Business ...
How AI Could Help Small Businesses  Harvard Business ReviewOn a Thursday morning at 5:30 AM, Alex sipped her latte, her elbows atop the *service* counter. Each day at this time, the sunlight through the front window ...
Searcy gets ready for finale of Small Business Revolution  THV11.com KTHVSearcy is preparing for the big finale of Small Business Revolution nearly four months after winning a $500000 grand prize and a spot on the hit Hulu Show.
LLC or sole proprietorship? Get answers to your small business questions  USC NewsThe director of USC's Small Business Clinic answers key small business questions like deciding between an LLC or sole proprietorship.
Food truck report gives small business owner bad publicity  Shreveport TimesReports of an illegal underground economy of food trucks in Shreveport were slightly off.
Four Small Business Types: 'The Four Thoses'  Printing ImpressionsThere are four small business types we see on a daily basis; four types of receptivity, regarding business organization using business systematization!
No immediate impact: Open banking may not give small businesses boost  The AgeOpen banking may have the power to bolster competition on banking products and lending, though experts say small businesses will be unlikely to feel the ...
How Malware Can Cripple Your Small Business  Business.comArtificial intelligence and machine learning are making malware harder than ever to detect. Here's how to protect yourself from this threat.
Q&A: Megan Diaz-Ricks boosts small business at Common Wealth Development  Madison.comWe're not champions of the status quo at all at Common Wealth,” Megan Diaz-Ricks said.
Variable Rate Loans Become More Attractive For Small Businesses As Fed Mulls Rate Cut  ForbesWhether you are a small business owner applying for traditional bank term loans or for an SBA loan, in most cases the funding will be a variable rate loan.
Small business loan program hits record-low interest rate  NorthcentralPa.comGood news for new or expanding businesses – a federal loan program's interest rate is the lowest in the program's history.
Dropbox Re-Designs, Gmail Gets More Dynamic...And Other Small Business Tech News This Week  ForbesHere are five things in technology that happened this past week and how they affect your business. Did you miss them?
Aprio Integrates Jirav Data Analytics For SMB Accounting  pymnts.comAprio Cloud integrates Jirav data analytics technology to connect small business accountants with forecasting and data visualization tools.
How small construction companies can embrace new technology  Born2InvestNew technologies like project management software, drones, and smart devices can help small construction companies meet and exceed client needs.
Slovenian Small Business Summit Optimistic, But Wants More Recognition for Micro Companies & SPs  Total Slovenia NewsSTA, 18 June 2019 - The annual summit of small business, hosted by the Chamber of Trade Crafts and Small Business (OZS) in Brdo pri Kranju on Tuesday,...
Seven Ways To Save Time With Small Business Automation  ForbesAutomation tools can help free up your time and allow you to focus on the most important aspects of your small business.
NSW cuts tax for small business  The Australian Financial ReviewThe NSW government will cut payroll tax for small and medium-sized businesses by $187 million by adjusting the threshold.
Alleged TV scam targeting small businesses goes international  Sydney Morning HeraldAn alleged scam involving television marketing company Viewble Media which has hit over 1000 Australian small businesses is now targeting businesses in the ...
More Than 150,000 U.S. Small-Business Websites Could Be Infected With Malware at Any Given Moment. Here's How to Protect Yours.  EntrepreneurSmall-business victims were involved in 43 percent of data breaches over the course of a year, according to a recent report.
Think Small Business Trends Rocks? Vote Us as the Freshest in Small Biz!  Small Business TrendsIf you think Small Business Trends rocks when it comes to delivering *content*, tips and answers to your questions - cast a vote for us by June 27th!
New development closes Flushing's quintessential small businesses  Queens Daily Eagle"All these new developers moving in are basically cashing in on the economic activity that the smaller businesses created.”
Small-business optimism rises to pre-shutdown levels  MarketWatchThe numbers: The index of small-business optimism from the National Federation of Independent Business rose to 105.0 in May. Economists surveyed by ...
Is America Losing Its Small Businesses?  ForbesLargely because the burdens of government regulation fall unevenly, small businesses have lost ground compared to large. Fintech offers hope that the gap will ...
Small Business Vs. Big Business: Past, Present And Future  ForbesWhat's changed, what's remained the same and what's going to happen next?
How two aerospace engineers help small enterprises go green  BusinessLineGTarang provides technologically optimised and affordable clean energy solutions.
Drive Real Content Marketing Results with These Expert Tips  Small Business TrendsYour business needs a *content* marketing strategy. This holds true if you don't create any online *content*. Or if your *content* is not getting the results you hoped for ...
The 4 pillars of procurement for small businesses  Supply Chain DiveThe job posting landed in my inbox as a result of an imperfect algorithm. A manufacturing company that had received its first round of funding was seeking an ...
What is Experiential Marketing and How Can it Benefit my Small Business?  Small Business TrendsExperiential marketing is a strategy using experiences to make an emotional connection to your prospects. Here's how it can help your small business.
Small business is big business in SA  IT-OnlineJun 19, 2019. Kathy Gibson is at the Cisco Small Business Summit in Sandton – The opportunity for southern African small businesses to adopt technology as a ...
Five Signs You're Ready To Grow Your Small Business  ForbesRely on these indicators to assess your chances of successful business growth.
The Trump Administration's Newest Health Care Rule Could Shake Up Small Business Benefits Nationwide  Inc.The rule makes health reimbursement arrangement plans more accessible to small businesses beginning in 2020.
12 Small Business Podcasts That Will Help You Sell More  ForbesIf your goal is to sell more of your product or *service* to customers, these 12 podcasts offer valuable information on how to improve your sales.
Trump Admin Has a Plan to Bolster Private Insurance While Helping Small Businesses: 5 Things to Know About HRAs  Independent Journal ReviewPresident Donald Trump has a plan to bolster the private insurance market while helping small businesses provide coverage to their employees. Since the ...
What is Five Nines and How Can Your Small Business Achieve It?  Small Business TrendsThe term Five Nines Uptime is jargon cloud *service* providers use to refer to 99.999% availability. Here's why it's important to small businesses.
Beto O'Rourke unveils small business plan to address racial wealth disparities  Fox NewsFormer Rep. Beto O'Rourke, D-Texas, unveiled another plan geared toward ending racial inequality on Saturday, pledging that as president he would vastly ...
Budget 2019 Expectations: Startups demand the removal of Angel Tax  Zee BusinessAs the finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman gears to present her maiden budget as the first lady finance minister of India, Startups have their wishlist from the ...
Small business advocates furious as B.C.’s employer health tax payments begin  Global NewsAs employers began filing their first payments for B.C.'s new employer health tax Saturday, business advocates are calling on the province to rethink the policy.
How to File Small Business Taxes  InvestopediaYour small business is up and running, but tax time is coming. Knowing the requirements and proper filing procedures will ensure you remain in compliance.
Small Business Summit June 25 in Geneseo - News  Dansville-Genesee Country ExpressGENESEO — State Senator Patrick M. Gallivan is hosting a Small Business Summit Tuesday, June 25 at SUNY Geneseo's Tower Room in Doty Hall, Geneseo, ...
Elizabeth Warren proposes $7 billion in grants for minority businesses  Vox.comWarren's newest plan would provide $7 billion in grants to minority-owned businesses.
Fraud watch: business owners need to beware  NEWS.com.auScammers are homing in on Australia's 2.5 million small businesses, preying on their lack of time and resources in a rising wave of attacks. Self-employed ...
21 Essential Small Business Tax Deductions and How to Claim Them  Architectural DigestBookmark AD PRO's top selection of small business tax deductions, and work with your accountant to claim them come tax season.
43% of Small Businesses Say Chinese Tariffs Will Increase Their Costs  Small Business TrendsThe longer the US – China trade war continues, the higher the small business impact of Chinese tariffs. Here's the details.
Want to start a small business? Here’s how Mecklenburg County wants to help.  Charlotte ObserverMecklenburg County is starting a small business loan program in its most recent effort to target racial inequity. The county commissioners quadrupled spending ...
Borrello offers small business plan - News  Dansville-Genesee Country ExpressMAYVILLE — Chautauqua County Executive George Borrello, the endorsed Republican, Conservative and Independence candidate for the State Senate's 57th ...
Salesforce aquires Tableau Software in this mega deal  Small Business TrendsSalesforce acquires Tableau Software in a mega deal that could have big implications for your small business too. Read our full report.
The Best Order Management Software for Small Businesses  Small Business TrendsYou may find Running an online business rewarding. But stresses clearly come with the job. So good order management software remains critical for any small ...
The cost of REACH compliance is out of reach for many small companies  Plastics TodayThe REACH (Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemicals) regulation is denying market access to certain U.S. companies trying to sell ...
How helping the community can be good for business  Telegraph.co.ukQ I read recently that UK small and medium-sized enterprises commit 73m hours a month to improve their local communities.
Small Businesses Aren’t Rushing Into AI  The Wall Street JournalArtificial intelligence over the past decade has shifted from research theories to actual practices in corporate offices. But it isn't within the reach of many smaller ...
3 Hacks To Attract Great Talent For Your Small Business  ForbesHiring and retaining employees is a top challenge facing small businesses. We share small yet significant steps to take to ensure your company attracts the best ...
83% of Small Business Owners Ask Their Accountant for Tech Advice  Small Business TrendsA new report highlights how small businesses turn to their accountants for technology advice. AndZoho partnered with AccountingWeb on the report. It shows ...
8 Ways to Manage Business Growth in These Good Economic Times  Small Business TrendsWe asked an expert to provider 8 tips on how to manage business growth during the upswing that's expected to last for the rest of 2019.
Small Business Regulations  InvestopediaSmall business owners need to know the rules and regulations governing their enterprise. From licenses to business structures and taxes, we cover it all.
The 6 best industries for small businesses to thrive in, from food trucks to health to micromobility  Business InsiderHow can you make sure your small business is successful? To start, it's all about the market you get into.
Palaszczuk Government to scrap small business fund after taxpayer grants sent overseas  7NEWSThe Government has sensationally scrapped a multi-million dollar Queensland small business fund after 7 News discovered most taxpayer grants were sent to ...
NFIB Small Business Optimism Index Surges in May  FXStreetSmall business optimism rose to the highest level since October. Capex plans rose, while inflationary pressures fell. The labor market components rema.
Oberlin College ordered to pay $44.4 million damages in libel case brought by small business  ABA JournalBosworth Hall on the campus of Oberlin College in Ohio. Photo from Oberlin College. In a closely watched case, a jury in Ohio has awarded a staggering $44.4 ...
Ten Business Owners Advance in The UPS Store Small Biz Challenge for a Chance at $25000  GlobeNewswireSAN DIEGO, June 10, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The UPS Store, Inc. and Inc. magazine have selected 10 semifinalists in the Small Biz Challenge, ...
Small business owners rally to protest tax hikes  CityNews CalgaryCALGARY (660 NEWS) – More than a hundred small business owners rallied outside City Hall Monday morning in advance of City Council's emergency ...
12 Essential Pieces of Small Business Advice  Small Business TrendsSalesforce has distilled 1000+ suggestions down to 12 bits of small business tips and advice. And for fun, they included some runner-ups as well.
Orgwide Services LLC was a Small Business Awards 2019 finalist in the medium category  Memphis Business JournalIn May, the Memphis Business Journal honored its 2019 Small Business Awards finalists at a special ceremony. In the coming weeks, MBJ will release spotlight ...
How To Boost Your Small Business Marketing Right Now  ForbesSmall business owners need to stay on top of effective new marketing methods. Here are three approaches that can boost your brand right now.
Summer Slowdown? 3 Things a Small Business Can Do  Motley FoolFor some companies, summer is a slower period. Here's what you can do.
The Rise of Coworking Spaces (And The Next Big Shift)  Small Business TrendsThere's clear value in coworking spaces for freelancers and solopreneurs. The latest coworking trends however, show small businesses benefiting, too.
10 Key Steps To Building A Great Small Business Website  ForbesIf you are looking to build a new startup website or make your current site more effective, here are 10 key steps to getting started and helping your small business ...
LUG Wins 2019 York Region Small Business of the Year Award  GlobeNewswireMARKHAM, Ontario, June 13, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Lug, the popular lifestyle brand of travel bags, accessories, and suitcases, received the Small ...
Small-Business Optimism, Fed Rate Surprise, iPhone Plan: Eco Day  BloombergWelcome to Tuesday, Americas. Here's the latest news and analysis from Bloomberg Economics to help get your day started:
UPDATE - LegalZoom Lessons in Small Business: A Guide to Turning Your Dream into Reality  GlobeNewswireNationwide media tour features helpful guidance and tools to help small business owners, and an inspiring story of how one couple ditched the corporate world ...
7 Ways To Use Tech To Boost Small Business Marketing Efforts  Small Business TrendsYou've clicked on the title for this article. And you now read it voraciously. So you probably run a small business. Small business owners look to grow their ...
9 surprising signs your small business is headed for disaster, and what you can do to turn things around  Business InsiderRunning a small business isn't easy. But if any of these warning signs for trouble seem familiar, there's hope.
A Small Business With No Working Website, Felled by a Cyberattack  The Wall Street JournalSmall businesses are increasingly battling costly cyberattacks. Sometimes the pain is enough to put them out of business. In January, cyber thieves ran roughly ...
Are You Holding on to Something Which is Keeping you Back?  Small Business TrendsWhat holds you back? You know, those things that you should let go of and get something better, more effective? Here's some insight from Ramon Ray.
MARKET MATTERS: Using your tax return to fund a small business  New Haven RegisterTax refund checks have flown through the air as so many homing pigeons, returned to the roost as their owners weighed possible uses. A family vacation ...
Helping Brisbane small business to grow and save lives  Mirage NewsJoint Media Release The Hon Trevor Evans MP Member for Brisbane A Brisbane company that specialises in developing technologies to protect military and...

Top 7 Small Business Tax Tips

Here are seven ways for owners of small businesses to... Read More

Starting a New Business in a Small Town

Q. I am a former pastor who left the ministry... Read More

Alliances: What works, what does not

Why Alliances FailWhen do you know an alliance is falling... Read More

Franchises Offer Shortcuts, But Not Control

Q: I will be retiring this year at age 60... Read More

Small Business Checks ? Money Saving Options

When you go into business for yourself, there are many... Read More

Modern Clear Coats, Auto Detailers and visit to Lexus of North America

We visited Lexus USA, home of the Lexus North America... Read More

Mobile Detailing Environmental Concern in the Deep South

Macon, GA goes after garage-gas station conversion detail/hand car washes... Read More

Small Business Security No Passing Fad

How careful are you with the data you collect from... Read More

Boat Hull Cleaning Procedures for Owners and Detailers

For really tough boat hull cleaning you will need to... Read More

Write An Effective Job Proposal

I am simply amazed at the problems some of my... Read More

Leveraging Business Relationships for more Profits

When should you leverage the relationship?Leveraging sometimes brings a negative... Read More

Collection Agency Selection

Frankly, given the legal and regulatory requirements involved in attempting... Read More

Business Scents - Do They Work?

You see it often in large shopping complexes. Customers seem... Read More

How to be Annoyed and Make Money

When do annoyances in a relationship become too much to... Read More

Everything I Need to Know About Business I Learned From My Nametag

So there I was ? sitting in the audience of... Read More

SBAs 8(a) Program Can Help Some Companies Compete

Q: A friend told me that as a woman of... Read More

Buying a Franchise

Buying a franchise is not for everyone. This guide will... Read More

Looking into the Future for Profits

How to identify future solutions and opportunities?Your power page, if... Read More

Five Quick Ways to Speed Up Cash Flow

At one point or another, almost every business runs short... Read More

Hiring A Virtual Assistant Can Help Your Business Grow

Are you a home or small business owner and you're... Read More

Small Business Survival

In today's economic climate, the first priority for the small... Read More

Mini-Blind Cleaning Business, Case Study

Sometimes the simple businesses are the ones, which make good... Read More

Competition Relations in Auto Detailing

There is significant competition in auto detailing and car washing.... Read More

Are You a Small Business Lone Ranger? Take My 10-Question Quiz To Find Out!

So what exactly is a "Small Business Lone Ranger?" A... Read More

Is Your Small Business Name Important?

You bet a name is important. Many small business owners... Read More