250+ Tips for Small Business Owners

by Amy Lu on 29 April 2011 1 comment

It's not easy owning and running a small business, but Wise Bread can help. Here, you'll find expert tips for sales and operations, taxes and recruitment, tools and hacks, and more! Be sure to check out Wise Bread's Small Business Resource Center for more helpful articles.

Starting Out

How 16 Great Companies Picked Their Unique Names — Ever wonder how companies like Google, Lego and IKEA found their names? Were they complete accidents or results of savvy marketing? The answer may surprise you.

8 Great Business Ideas You Can Start Today — Become an environmental consultant and teach companies how to make themselves more green.

How to Write a Business Plan — It's helpful to break the planning process down into separate topics, and then look at how they fit together in the overall plan.

How to Get a Business Line of Credit — As with any loan, you must present reasonable financial documents that follow standard accounting practices to obtain a line of credit.

Tools and Hacks

7 Essential Small Business Tools to Save Money, Time, and Space — With EchoSign, contracts can be filled in and signed, verified and secured, and a PDF copy distributed to everyone in no time at all.

Save Time and Money with Business-Friendly Smartphone Apps — The iPhone, Android, BlackBerry, and other smartphones are changing the way we do business. There are numerous apps for these devices that enable you to perform activities while on-the-go, which can save you both time and money.

Cyber Security on the Road — CrashPlan has a free option that lets you back up your data to other (remote) computers. The data is encrypted while being transmitted, and is easily recoverable should you need to access it.

14 Travel Hacks and Airfare Saving Tips — Be sure to check out what the smaller regional airports can offer. Regional airports often cater to business travelers, so the quality of travel and service can be superior.

30 Easy Ways to Go Green in the Office — U.S. citizens alone throw out over four million disposable pens — daily. Consider stocking reusable pens instead and only buy refills for these pens.

Cash Flow and Funding

How to Raise Money on “Crowdfunding” SitesCrowdfunding enable entrepreneurs in artisanal and creative businesses to collect small donations from friends, family, and acquaintances to bring a project to fruition.

How to Think Like a Bootstrapper — Good management practices are far more important to your success than big piles of cash are. Here are a dozen tips to help you start and grow your business with little or no money.

5 Ways to Earn More Every Week — Use your social media pages for market research. They can be great places to float ideas for new products or services, so you can act on them quickly.

40 Tips to Accelerate Your Cash Flow — Offer several convenient payment methods. Customers should never have an excuse for late payment related to your lack of convenient payment options.

5 Budgeting Ideas for Any Small Business — Be as realistic in your cash-flow projections as possible. It's better to underestimate your potential business income than to overestimate when you come to budgeting.

27 Money-Saving Tips from Successful Small Businesses — Next time you put up a job ad, eliminate the line that says, "Must have X years of experience," and replace it with "Recent graduates welcome to apply." Experience isn't everything, and it costs more.

Taxes

31 Small Business Tax Deductions — Not deducting all of the expenses that you are allowed leaves money on table. Use the following checklist of rules to reduce your taxable income as much as legally possible.

When Is Lunch Deductible? — There are many situations in which your lunch isn't deductible, even if you're eating it at your desk. Knowing the difference can make a big difference in your tax burden.

6 Tax Penalties You Can Easily Avoid — Pay the tax on time, even if this means requesting an installment payment agreement on Form 9465 or by charging the outstanding amount to a major credit card.

8 Invitations to an IRS Tax Audit — Be especially careful to report all your income. If you've received a 1099, so has the IRS and their computers will notice if they don't match up.

How to Choose an Accountant for Your Small Business — The role of an accountant doesn't have to be limited to tax preparation. He can be a valuable adviser for your business year round.

Hiring

6 Steps to a Good Hire — Calculate your revenue per employee, and compare where you stand with your historical performance and with others in your industry. This metric, more than any other, will let you know when you should hire, fire, or hold.

10 Tips to Landing the Right Freelancer — Know what skills are required. If you're not sure, you probably need to think more carefully about what you want to accomplish before you go looking for help.

Independent Contractors vs. Employees: Keeping Them Straight — For the IRS, telling the difference between a contractor and employee is a matter of determining just how independent the individual is from the company he's working for.

Sales and Customer Service

16 Simple Ways to Keep Customers — Present carefully-selected merchandise, broad enough to cover a range of needs and style preferences in key categories but not overwhelming in choices.

5 Ways to Make Your Customers Feel Warm and Fuzzy — Retaining customers is easy when you treat them well. Use these easy, low-cost ideas to make your customers feel extra special.

10 Examples of Shockingly-Excellent Customer Service — Some companies actually go above and beyond the call of duty to provide excellent customer support. Here are a few recent examples of companies that have decided to put consumers first.

Get Rid of Bad Customers — Bad customers are costing you more than you realize. Here are some types of bad customers and techniques to get rid of them (without alienating your good customers).

Please check out our Small Business Resource Center for more articles on small business and leadership.

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Great tips for small business owners like me