Peer Groups: Work On Your Business - Not Just In Your Business

When the subject of networking or belonging to a networking group is raised, you may conjure up images of cocktail parties or high-pressure, high-volume meetings where members give a 30-second commercial and ask for lots of sales leads.

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Create a Business Succession Plan

Whether at a company with global reach or a small start-up firm, many business owners feel a strong emotional bond to the business, as if it were one of their own children. Naturally, they want to ensure that the company will be in good hands when they retire or move on.

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SWOT Analysis: Does Your Company Need One?

Knowing what market direction to take or products to develop is a tough challenge for many business owners. While a crystal ball would be nice to consult, a SWOT analysis may be even better.

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The Big Picture

  • State job growth rose 1.2% in December 2014 from a year ago; national job growth rose 2.2%.
  • State unemployment averaged 3.7% in December 2014; the national average was 5.6%.
  • Personal income rose 2.5% to $265.3 billion in Q3 2014 from a year ago.
  • Tax revenue increased 12.7% in Q3 2014 from a year ago.
  • Exports fell 7.3% to $24.6 billion in the first ten months of 2014 from a year ago.

Copyright 2015, Hoover's Inc., All Rights Reserved. This data cannot be copied, sold, or distributed in any manner without the written permission of First Research.

How to Balance Leadership and Management

Small Business Trends - US Small Business Administration (09/28/14)

“Anyone can hold the helm when the sea is calm.” ~ Publilius Syrus
This may be true, but small business owners are expected to “hold the helm” through both calm and rough seas. So when should you lead and when should you manage?

Read the Article on smallbiztrends.com

Is Rising Small Business Regulation Driving Down Business Formation?

Small Business Trends - Scott Shane (01/12/15)

Small business owners are increasingly frustrated by government regulation, which they say has become a major problem in recent years. Twenty-two percent of small business owners surveyed to the National Federation of Independent Business’s November member survey say that governmental regulation and red tape is the most important issue that they face today, just one percentage point fewer than the fraction that identified taxes the number one problem.

Read the Article on smallbiztrends.com

Small Businesses End Year With Strong Hiring

Inc.com - Associated Press (1/7/15)

Small businesses didn't let up on hiring as 2014 wound down, according to a survey by software maker Intuit. The company counted 30,000 more workers at its small business customers last month, matching November's reading and up from 15,000 in October.

Read the Article on Inc.com

6 Key Predictions For Manufacturing In 2015

Manufacturing Business Technology - John Zegers (12/17/14)

The face of manufacturing in America has undergone more woeful changes than many of us in the industry care to remember. The recent past has been particularly painful, with economic downturns driving manufacturing overseas to take advantage of lower labor costs, and a generally depressed level of manufacturing activity becoming the norm.

Read the Article on mbtmag.com

Eldercare Solutions for the Silent Small Business Problem

Small Business Trends - Rieva Lesonsky (12/14/14)

Chances are there’s someone on your staff who suffers excess stress as a daily reality — employees who care for elderly parents. And while eldercare has some of the same challenges as caring for children, there are some important differences.

Read the Article on smallbiztrends.com

Small Business Owners Have Put on Their Rose-Colored Glasses

Inc.com - Associated Press (12/04/14)

Recent surveys show fewer worries and an increase in hiring for small business owners.

Read the Article on Inc.com

Who Do You Tip at the Holidays (and How Much)?

Small Business Trends - Tabby McFarland (11/12/14)

Tipping service providers during the holidays is a great way to show your appreciation for services throughout the year. It’s a special thank you … an additional show of gratitude.

Read the Article on smallbiztrends.com

Starting a Business in MN

MN Secretary of State Numerous resources, including a BizToolkit, free gateway to business information tools, databases, and research resources to.

Manufacturers find their niche, in the smallest of places

MinnPost - Gregg Aamot (08/29/14)

As Minnesota continues to climb out of the recession, manufacturers in this region have been good to their communities, too. Tucked into the small towns of this rolling farm country, they are doing their part to help fuel low unemployment and economic growth that has outpaced many other parts of the state.

Read the Article on MinnPost.com

Combating Digital Fraud

American Banker - In association with Deloitte RSA (09/16/14)

Digital fraud can cover both fraud carried out by customers as well as against them. Examples include Credit Card fraud that generates chargebacks, online bank attacks, attacks on point-of-sale (POS) systems, man-in-the-middle attacks on web and mobile payments, and complex frauds against e-commerce systems. Combating digital fraud has become a business issue and presents risk for any organization with online operations.

5 Family Business Lessons Learned

Small Business Trends - Tim Berry (9/4/14)

So it’s not surprising that many business people crave the support and camaraderie that comes from making their calling into a family business. And what family business lessons have I learned? What can I share here that might help you? Let’s take a look.

Read the Article on smallbiztrends.com

October 2015: Say Goodbye to Credit Card Swipes and Signatures, Hello to PINs

Small Business Trends - Joshua Sophy (02/11/14)

Starting October 2015, MasterCard and Visa will usher in a major change in the U.S. credit card industry. Credit cards will have microchips in them. Consumers will use PIN numbers instead of signing credit card receipts. And consumers will insert the credit card into or wave it near the card reader, instead of swiping a magnetic strip.

Read the Article on smallbiztrends.com

And watch for additional information regarding this change to come from Fidelity Bank.

How to Persuade The Most Stubborn Buyers to Change Their Minds

Build - Ilan Mochari (08/04/14)

Tom Smith, with the help of the orange paint known as Pantone 151 C and some next-level sales skills, is challenging the traditional structure of hockey--one rink at a time.

Read the Article on thebuildnetwork.com

Study: By 2020, 78 percent of Small Businesses will Use Cloud

Small Business Trends - Joshua Sophy (08/10/14)

By the end of this decade, most small businesses in the U.S. will have adopted cloud technology.

Read the Article on Smallbiztrends.com

Build a Purposeful Business Plan with These 10 Pointers

The EarlyShareholder Blog - Madelyn Young (03/19/2014)

Creating a business plan is an important step for any young business. Since drafting a plan requires putting the goals, growth plans, and marketing strategies of the business down on paper, it forces the business owner to think through many of the elements that can make the business more investor-ready.

Read the Article on blog.earlyshares.com

How Peer Advisory Groups Inspire Leaders to Be Accountable

Entrepreneur.com - Beth Miller, Contributor (07/11/14)

Peer advisory groups, such as those operated by the Entreprenuer organization or Vistage, create an environment where individuals can find and give support, solve problems and achieve their goals among like-minded people who face similar challenges.

Read the Article on Entrepreneur.com

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