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3 Ways to Get More From Your Marketing Dollars
A strong economy leads some company owners to cut back on marketing. Why spend the money if business is so good? Others see it differently — a robust economy means more sales opportunities, so pouring dollars into marketing is the way to go. The right approach for your company depends on many factors, but one ...

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Taking the Hybrid Approach to Cloud Computing
For several years now, cloud computing has been touted as the perfect way for companies large and small to meet their software and data storage needs. But, when it comes to choosing and deploying a solution, one size doesn’t fit all. Many businesses have found it difficult to fully commit to the cloud for a ...

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Change Management Doesn’t Have to be Scary
Business owners are constantly bombarded with terminology and buzzwords. Although you probably feel a need to keep up with the latest trends, you also may find that many of these ideas induce more anxiety than relief. One example is change management. This term is used to describe the philosophies and processes an organization uses to ...

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Take Caution When Including Employees in Your Estate Plan
If you’re the owner of a small business, you may think of your tight-knit group of employees as a family. If you wish to include them as beneficiaries in your estate plan, it’s critical to be aware of possible unintended tax consequences. Unraveling the (Tax) Code Generally, money or other property received by gift or ...

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Reduce Insurance Costs by Encouraging Employee Wellness
Protecting your company through the purchase of various forms of insurance is a risk-management necessity. But just because you must buy coverage doesn’t mean you can’t manage the cost of doing so. Obviously, the safer your workplace, the less likely you’ll incur costly claims and high workers’ compensation premiums. There are, however, bigger-picture issues that ...

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Say, Just How Competitive is Your Business Anyway?
Every business owner launches his or her company wanting to be successful. But once you get out there, it usually becomes apparent that you’re not alone. To reach any level of success, you’ve got to be competitive with other similar businesses in your market. When strategic planning, one important question to regularly ask is: Just ...

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Blockchain May Soon Drive Business Worldwide
“Blockchain” may sound like something that goes on a vehicle’s tires in icy weather or that perhaps is part of that vehicle’s engine. Indeed it is a type of technology that may help drive business worldwide at some point soon — but digitally, not physically. No matter what your industry, now’s a good time to ...

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Business Interruption Insurance Can Help Some Companies
Natural disasters and other calamities can affect any company at any time. Depending on the type of business and its financial stability, a few weeks or months of lost income can leave it struggling to turn a profit indefinitely — or force ownership to sell or close. One way to guard against this predicament is ...

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Light a Beacon to Your Business With a Mission Statement
Every company, big or small, should have a mission statement. Why? When carefully conceived and well written, a mission statement can serve as a beacon to the world — letting everyone know what the business stands for and where it’s headed. It can build customer loyalty and mobilize people behind a common cause. And it ...

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Big Data Strategies for Every Business
You’ve probably heard or read the term “big data” at least once in the past few years. Maybe your response was a sarcastic “big deal!” under the assumption that this high-tech concept applies only to large corporations. But this isn’t necessarily true. With so much software so widely available, companies of all sizes may be ...

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Not Necessarily a Luxury: Outsourcing
For many years, owners of small and midsize businesses looked at outsourcing much like some homeowners viewed hiring a cleaning person. That is, they saw it as a luxury. But no more — in today’s increasingly specialized economy, outsourcing has become a common way to cut costs and obtain expert assistance. Why Would You? Outsourcing ...

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First Time for Strategic Planning
As a business owner, you know that it’s easy to spend nearly every working hour on the multitude of day-to-day tasks and crises that never seem to end. It’s essential to your company’s survival, however, to find time for strategic planning. Lost in the Weeds Business owners put off strategic planning for many reasons. New ...

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7 Steps to Choosing a Successor for Your Family Business
There’s an old saying regarding family-owned businesses: “Shirtsleeves to shirtsleeves in three generations.” It means the first-generation owner started in shirtsleeves and built the company up from nothing but, by the third generation, the would-be owner is back in shirtsleeves with nothing because the business failed or was sold. Although you can’t guarantee your company ...

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Make New Year’s Resolutions to Improve Profitability
Many people scoff at New Year’s resolutions. It’s no mystery why — these self-directed promises to visit the gym regularly or read a book a month tend to quickly fade once the unavoidable busyness of life sets in. But, for business owners, the phrase “New Year’s resolutions” is just a different way of saying “strategic ...

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Get Smart: How AI Can Help Your Business
The artificial intelligence (AI) revolution isn’t coming — it’s here. While AI’s potential for your company might not seem immediately obvious, this technology is capable of helping businesses of all shapes and sizes “get smart.” AI generally refers to the use of computer systems to perform tasks commonly thought to require human intelligence. Examples include ...

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