• Tips for Winning Fourth-Quarter Federal Contracts

    Winning government contracts has never been easy for most businesses. Recent research from American Express OPEN says typical federal contractors log 24 months and 4.7 unsuccessful bids before notching their first federal procurement victory. And now, under sequestration, small businesses are facing tighter federal spending and a higher level of competition from peers and larger firms than ever.


    But the fourth quarter of the fiscal year that ends September 30 is a key period for winning business from federal agencies. One-third of all government spending typically happens in the fourth quarter, according to Deltek, a company that provides services to government contractors. Dona Storey, an American Express OPEN Advisor who helps small businesses navigate the procurement process, says Q4 is when government agencies are assessing their remaining dollars to potentially check off a few items remaining on the year's spending wish list. “Many small business contractors find that they can Read More »from Tips for Winning Fourth-Quarter Federal Contracts
  • Get ready for Live Chat with Prerna Gupta of Smule

    Announcing a live chat with Smule Chief Product Officer Prerna Gupta. Smule Chief Product Officer Prerna Gupta will answer questions from readers at 3 p.m. ET (12 p.m. PT) Thursday, September 5th. As part of the Young Entrepreneur Council’s #StartupLab initiative, a virtual mentorship program, Prerna will appear live via video chat broadcast right here.

    Prerna Gupta is Chief Product Officer at Smule, the leading developer of social music creation apps, like the #1 hit app Songify, an app that turns speech into music. Smule’s apps have over 100 million downloads and over 1 Billion songs created to date. Previously, Prerna co-founded Khush, the leading developer of intelligent music apps, and led the company to profitability and acquisition by Smule in 2011. She was also responsible for producing viral videos for her products that have reached over 200 million views. Prior to her foray into entrepreneurship, Prerna worked in consulting at Monitor Group and early-stage venture capital at

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  • Are you in the process of hiring more employees for your company? Recruiting and interviewing candidates is a long and tedious process,but if you can perfect the hiring formula, your business can flourish and enjoy unprecedented success.

    They say that 80 percent of the work gets done by 20 percent of the people, and 80 percent of your problems come from 20 percent of your employees. Now think about what your business would look like if you identified the valuable 20 percent, and chose to expand that group exclusively.

    There is no limit to your success if you can just figure out how to hire and motivate the right people.

    Here are five fundamental tips to help you hire the right employees:

    1. It’s all about attitude. Assess candidates’ skills, certainly, but more importantly, look for those with the right attitude. The right attitude is that which fits the culture of your company. What attitude do we look for at Ajax Union? An ideal candidate has a positive, confident and can-do attitude,

    Read More »from 5 Tips to Help You Hire the Right Employees
  • Quick! Now is your chance to tell Google why your site should rank better in search

    SEOAstonishingly, Google wants to hear from people about why small sites that should rank higher in Google search results. Google’s SEO guru, Matt Cutts, released a tweet saying ‘If there’s a small website that you think should be doing better in Google, tell us more here: https://t.co/s80BibIBhN

    This is an astonishing opportunity – but also one not to get TOO excited about. This does not mean anything will change for you or your site. But it does finally give you a voice and an opportunity to tell Google why it is that your site SHOULD rank better. [We encourage Yahoo Small Business Web Hosting and Ecommerce merchants to take advantage of this opportunity.]

    Google is looking for real responses – arguments based around why your content is better and more important and more informative than other people’s on the particular topic. So

    Read More »from Quick! Now is your chance to tell Google why your site should rank better in search
  • Passion and the Wisdom of Years Gets Entrepreneurs Through Tough Times

    Passion For Business
    When it comes to entrepreneurs surviving the recession, an old adage holds true: “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.”

    Alice Bredin, small business advisor to America Express OPEN and a longtime tracker of small business owners’ behaviors, says a recent survey reveals that tough economic times make entrepreneurs better businesspeople. “When you’re riding high, things are busy and it isn’t a priority to negotiate with vendors or hold the line on getting the best deal on your lease,” Bredin says. “Those are the things you’re forced to do in a downturn, but those are also the best way to run a company, even in good times.”

    If business owners can hone their skills in a downturn, their businesses will be better for it, Bredin says her data indicates. The American Express OPEN Ages Survey she conducted examined the post-recession opinions of entrepeneurs in Generation Y (ages 24-35) and who are Baby Boomers (age 48-70), as compared a pre-recession analysis of the same generations. The

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    Trying to get your small business off the ground can be as exciting as it can be nerve-racking. Here are some key actions to take while you are still in the earliest stages in order to protect your long-term growth and help your new business start out right:

    1.Plan for the unexpected.

    Take the time to create an in-depth business proposal that outlines a plan for your potential growth, accounting for turns that the industry might take. Many startups are so busy “treading water” that they don’t plan on having lasting, core strategies in place for major industry changes that could have been predicted.Companies that are quick to adapt will stand the test of time, and even well-established companies can lose out to smaller companies that learn to adapt quickly. Develop a balance of strong core services or products for your business, but also leave some flexibility in those plans.

    2.Scope out the competition.

    Learning as much as you can about your competition is very smart in business. This

    Read More »from 4 Tips to Help Your Small Business Take Off
  • More than half of American voters say President Obama’s policies toward small businesses are “too hostile,” and even more entrepreneurs (55 percent) agree with that statement. The data comes from a Rasmussen Reports survey that was published this week.

    Business Policy

    Rasmussen surveyed 1,000 likely voters by phone last week, and says this is the first time its data indicate that a majority of voters call the president “too hostile” to small business. Thirty-five percent of respondents overall consider the President’s policies toward small business to be “about right,” and only three percent say his policies are “too friendly” to small business. Twelve percent are unsure.

    Asked to rate Obama’s policies toward big business, 30 percent of respondents say they are “too hostile,” and again, more entrepreneurs (33 percent) take that view.

    Not surprisingly, survey respondents who identified themselves as Republican voters are more likely to dislike the President’s policies; 52 percent say he is too hostile to

    Read More »from Most entrepreneurs call Obama policies “too hostile” to small business
  • Young Entrepreneurs Live Chat with Influence and Co. Co-Founder and CEO John Hall

    The live chat with John Hall has now ended. Recorded video highlights will be uploaded shortly

    John Hall is the Cofounder and CEO of Influence & Co., a company that assists individuals and companies in growing their influence through products and services ranging from creating and publishing bylined articles to facilitating content marketing programs for large brands. Influence & Co. is now one of the leading providers of high quality expert content to the world's top publications. John is also the Co-creator of Contributor Weekly, a weekly newsletter for contributors, keeping them up-to-date on tips and trends for writing, publishing and sharing their content. www.ContributorWeekly.com. John is a Forbes Contributor and has contributed to more than 50 other reputable publications.

    #StartupLab is a free virtual mentorship program created by The Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only organization comprised of hundreds of America’s most successful young entrepreneurs.

    Read More »from Young Entrepreneurs Live Chat with Influence and Co. Co-Founder and CEO John Hall
  • Young Entrepreneur Live Chat with Influence and Co. CEO John Hall

    We've got another in our weekly series of live video chats coming up this Thursday. This series gives you the chance to ask an influencial and successful entrepreneur questions live and get them answered directly.

    Influence & Co. Cofounder and CEO John Hall will answer questions from readers at 3 p.m. ET (12 p.m. PT) Thursday, August 29th. As part of the Young Entrepreneur Council’s #StartupLab initiative, a virtual mentorship program, John will appear live via video chat broadcast on this site.

    Influence & Co., a company that assists individuals and companies in growing their influence through products and services ranging from creating and publishing bylined articles to facilitating content marketing programs for large brands. Influence & Co. is now one of the leading providers of high quality expert content to the world's top publications. John is also the Co-creator of Contributor Weekly, a weekly newsletter for contributors, keeping them up-to-date on tips and trends for writing,

    Read More »from Young Entrepreneur Live Chat with Influence and Co. CEO John Hall

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