Profit Minded
  • The YEC Launches Health Insurance Site For Startups and The Self-Employed


    The Young Entrepreneur Council, an organization supporting entrepreneurship and startups (and a Yahoo Small Business Partner) has launched a website offering a healthcare solution for entrepreneurs, the self-employed and any individual or very small business.

    "As our nation becomes more entrepreneurial, and more Americans launch startups, start small businesses, and join the booming gig economy, YEC wants to be there to support business owners and newly job-unlocked individuals by providing them with access to quality, affordable health care insurance options throughout the United States," said Scott Gerber, founder of Young Entrepreneur Council.

    Yahoo Small Business spoke to Scott Gerber briefly about the new program.

    Gerber said that they actually started the project to create this new program over 15 months ago.  They began by talking to entrepreneurs about what is important to them in a health plan and rapidly realized that the biggest problem for entrepreneurs was the time to find

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  • Announcing Yahoo Commerce Central

    Running a business just got easier. Today, we’re proud to introduce Yahoo Commerce Central, a one-stop shop for simple, affordable, and effective tools for an online store.

    All of the marketing tools needed to help increase sales, efficiency and profitability are in our App Gallery. We offer a host of apps to help list and advertise on leading shopping and search engines, sell products on Facebook, and much more. For real-time customer engagement and analytics, check out our free app Live Web Insights. Live Web Insights can:

    •    Show exactly what's happening on a store in real-time
    •    Initiate chats with customers to address questions and close sales
    •    Get personalized, data-driven recommendations to help improve traffic and sales
    •    Measure return on investment for Yahoo Commerce Central apps
    •    View a store's historical trends

    Live Web Insights

    Not a Yahoo merchant? Not a problem. Our apps are supported on more than 30 platforms, including Shopify, Magento, and BigCommerce.

    Yahoo Commerce Central

    Read More »from Announcing Yahoo Commerce Central
  • How to Stop Treating Your Customers Like Crap

    Most companies’ customer service is so bad that consumers “really expect to be treated like crap,” according to Peter Shankman, consultant and author of Nice Companies Finish First. He and his business partner Rachel Honig are so certain that treating customers kindly translates to higher revenues, that helping businesses be nicer is the main offering of their new consultancy, Shankman|Honig.

    Turning things around shouldn’t be that difficult: “If you treat your customers one level above crap they’ll remember that and be loyal,” Shankman says.

    But convincing businesses they need to change might be a tough sell. Among the data Shankman|Honig share in the infographic shown here is the sad statistic that 80 percent of businesses believe they deliver "superior" customer service, but only 8 percent of customers believe they have experienced superior service from those same businesses. How can businesses be so unaware that their customers think their service stinks?

    Yahoo Small Business spoke Read More »from How to Stop Treating Your Customers Like Crap
  • 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
  • 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:

    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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  • 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
  • A company that keeps talent by letting them go away

    The TableXI team at their annual Costa Rica retreat

    Free espresso bars, bean-bag chairs, and office scooters are standard perks at tech companies nowadays. But imagine working for an organization that keeps its employees happy by helping them pursue their dreams.

    Employees of the web development and design company Table XI (pronounced “Table ex eye”) have taken months-long sabbaticals to explore South America and Spain, have shifted to part-time status to study dance with Martha Graham or pursue a PhD in cognitive and neural systems, and take annual retreats to Costa Rica together. One got help starting a nonprofit to educate the coding community about bipolar disorder and depression. Another got support to volunteer with Girl Develop It.

    One partner, who calls himself a digital nomad, didn’t step foot in the office for 18 months as he and his wife worked while wandering to wifi-enabled locations throughout the US (including Hawaii), Central America, and Argentina. CEO Josh Golden just asked that he keep within a time zone radius that

    Read More »from A company that keeps talent by letting them go away
  • Effective social media marketing for your small business

    The team at Lexity (now part of Yahoo) asked some of its SMB community members what tools they use for social media marketing and how effective they are for their ecommerce stores.

    One responder mentioned that the reason her business wouldn't delve into new features due to the lack of a dedicated social media employee. She explained that new features are great but take too long to figure out.

    Do you feel the same way? Check out our guide to managing your social media channels for an easy way to juggle multiple platforms. Last month's big changes to several key social media platforms may be overwhelming but we've got you covered! Read our guide to the new Facebook hashtag as well as a side-by-side comparison of Instagram Video and Vine.




    Read More »from Effective social media marketing for your small business
  • Only 23% of small businesses that need capital get it

    This infographic from OnDeck Main has some really fascinating information in it. Although it has an obvious bias toward capital and financial needs, there is some really solid value for a small business owner here. For example - the number in the headline - only 34% of small businesses that need capital get it. How does that come about? Well, only 55% of businesses applied to get capital from some source (15% didn't need any and 30% didn't even try although they needed it). That's already a pretty low percentage, but the next number shows why 30% of small businesses don't even bother to apply for financing. That number is 36% - the number of small businesses that apply for financing that actually get it.

    Some other numbers that show why this is so hard - of those that applied, 83% were denied by their bank - 82%! Some (18%) clearly find financing another way (most likely friends and family financing).

    The only thing I disagree with is that the infographic states that of the people they

    Read More »from Only 23% of small businesses that need capital get it


(439 Stories)


Profit Minded is the Yahoo! Small Business Advisor blog that looks at ideas, trends, commerce, and noteworthy developments that can help small business owners develop and grow their organizations.

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Owen Linderholm

Editor for Yahoo! Small Business

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