Profit Minded
  • Logo Design

    Making your professional business logo doesn’t have to be costly. Did you know that Google, Coca-Cola, and the Microsoft logo redesign in 2012 all cost $0? Twitter and Nike both spent under $40 for their iconic images. As a small business owner, you probably don’t have an inflated marketing budget to hire a fancy design firm. A do-it-yourself logo generator allows you to create your logo for free while tricking people into thinking you spent thousands of dollars. Don’t let your lack of design experience intimidate you, creating your own logo isn’t just a trend, it is the ultimate solution to helping your small business stand up to the big dogs.

    Logos 101.

    Creating a professional looking logo may seem like a daunting task for a non-art savvy individual. By understanding the purpose of your logo and how it should complement your brand, you will be able to create a logo that can stay with your company for the long haul. First and foremost, you need to understand that your logo should be

    Read More »from Logo Design on a Shoestring Budget…It Worked for Google
  • Technology Choices Stress Out Small Business Owners

    Robots might replace workers in Mom and Pop shops, if Mom and Pop could figure out how to use them.

    While a vast majority—72 percent—of small business owners say new technologies will offer a bigger return on their investment than new employees will in 2014, 63 percent say they feel overwhelmed by business technology choices.

    The data comes from a survey released yesterday by business machines maker Brother International and the small business mentorship group SCORE. The partners contracted Wakefield Research in January to poll 500 owners of U.S. companies with less than 100 employees.

    The survey results reveal that small business owners largely agree that technology will increase efficiency and keep business running smoothly, but they are having a tough time keeping up with the latest innovations. Half of owners are concerned that investing in technology too quickly risks sufficient return on investment, but the other half worry about losing a competitive edge by not adopting new

    Read More »from Technology Choices Stress Out Small Business Owners
  • Even Small Brands Can Use Game Apps to Engage Customers

    Cupcakes vs. Veggies is a mobile game app developed by TreSensa

    If you visit the Progressive website from your mobile device, tablet, or computer, you can waste hours playing free video games instead of shopping for insurance. One, called RocketCat, lets you fly a feline with a jet-pack through an animated underwriters' office, blowing Progressive “P” logos out of the air.

    The car insurance company is just one of many major brands that are increasingly using gaming apps as marketing tools. Unlikely as it seems, they’re succeeding in getting customers to spend 5, 10, even 20 minutes at a time playing their branded video games—and presumably developing warm, fuzzy feelings for their logos.

    The online trade publication Mobile Marketer reported last month: “Brands and marketers have been rolling out fun mobile games to engage consumers and increase brand awareness.” The article described a new Sports Jeopardy game app from Sony Pictures Television, a game from the NFL and the American Heart Association that encourages users to get active, and one from

    Read More »from Even Small Brands Can Use Game Apps to Engage Customers
  • Could Your Business Be More Profitable with Women at the Helm?

    Companies that have women in decision-making positions and on their boards have been shown to have better financial performance, according to Christine Lagarde, the first female chief of the International Monetary Fund. In an interview with NPR's Renee Montagne this morning Lagarde, who is known to have said that the financial downturn might have turned out differently if Lehman Brothers had been Lehman Sisters, said:

    “I do believe that women have different ways of taking risks, of ruminating a bit more before they jump to conclusions. And I think that as a result, particularly on the trading floor, in the financial markets in general, the approach would be different. I'm not suggesting that all key functions and roles should be held by women. But if you look at the studies, and there were quite a few that were done by … various financial observers of the markets, it's apparently very clear now that those companies that have several female directors on their boards and females in

    Read More »from Could Your Business Be More Profitable with Women at the Helm?
  • Business GoalsIt’s mid January, which means by now you’ve already read dozens of articles about why New Year’s resolutions work and/or don’t work at all. In reality, both arguments are true. According to business strategist Barbara Findlay Schenck, it’s not about making a resolution, it’s about knowing where you want to go and what’s preventing you from getting there. “It’s like getting into your car and knowing what to enter into the GPS – by defining where you want your business to go you are already ahead of your competitors just by having an achievable goal in front of you,” Barbara explains. So, instead of just telling yourself, “This is the year I get my business off the ground!” — Barbara suggests every small business owner get out a pen, paper, and answer the following questions before embarking on 2014.

    1) What’s your dream for your business?

    Think about what brings you to work everyday. Barbara prompts: “What’s driving you to move towards some sort of milestone?” Start by defining that

    Read More »from Achieve Your Business Goals By Answering These 3 Questions
  • When a small business can’t get a loan from a bank, they’ve increasingly been turning to alternative lenders. These lenders — OnDeckCAN CapitalDLJ Financial, and many others — are willing to take on more risk, provide capital faster, and require less documentation than the big banks.

    But why exactly has alternative lending exploded so much in the past few years?

    Check out the infographic below on the seven big reasons alternative lending has become so popular for small businesses.

    7 Reasons Alternative Lending to Small Businesses has explodedRead More »from 7 Reasons Alternative Lending to Small Businesses Has Exploded
  • Chip ConleyChip Conley, founder of Joie de Vivre Hotels, discusses leadership, his bad first job, and the best business book he's ever read.

    Chip Conley (MBA '84) is the founder of Joie de Vivre Hotels, California's largest boutique hotel collection, which includes more than 30 properties. Joie de Vivre Hospitality, the parent company of Joie de Vivre Hotels, oversees a collection of restaurants, spas, and affiliate hotels, and operates on a revenue run rate of $240 million a year. Conley was CEO of JDV from its founding in 1987 until 2010. He is the author of four books, including Emotional Equations: Simple Truths for Creating Happiness and Success and The Rebel Rules: Daring to Be Yourself in Business. Conley travels the world to speak about business and leadership, and gave 100 speeches in the first half of 2012.

    Far from retirement, Conley is building a new hotel in Palo Alto dubbed “The Epiphany,” set to open in 2013, as well as an 1,100-acre wellness center in Todos Santos, Mexico, on

    Read More »from The Power of “Noble Experiments” – Chip Conley on leadership
  • Web Hosting Considerations

    We have long reached the point where every small business needs to have a web site. Even street hot dog stands have them if for no other reason than to allow people searching for them online to find them. A business' online presence can be as simple as a one page website hosted almost anywhere. Or it can be as complex as any enormous corporation with built-in ecommerce and payment systems, memberships, subscriptions, communities and more: all part of the modern web hosting experience. Which begs the question: What exactly does a small business need in a web hosting service?

    Typical web hosting services provide all the basics: a location to host the content and any code, all the core server and language necessities for hosting a web site especially SQL database systems and language services like PHP. They also mostly include modules for add-ons like ecommerce and payment systems but this is where the small business has to start paying more attention. A typical web host only supports

    Read More »from Web Hosting Considerations
  • So you've been through a few job interviews and now you're down to brass tacks -- you're negotiating the offer. This can be complex, tricky business, and costly, too, if you don't do it well. But complexity also creates opportunities, at least for people who have done some homework. Deepak Malhotra is a professor at Harvard Business School who teaches negotiation skills. He's put together a pretty thorough list of 15 rules to follow when you're negotiating a job offer, which I highly recommend.

    "Every situation is unique, but some strategies, tactics, and principles can help you address many of the issues people face in negotiating with employers," Malhotra writes in a must-read article in the Harvard Business Review.

    After reading the article you might also want to watch a one-hour video where Malhotra gives a presentation about how to negotiate a job offer. I'll also embed the video below.

    Malhotra's first rule, "Don't underestimate the importance of likability," may not come as a

    Read More »from Negotiating a Job Offer? 15 Rules from a Harvard Business Professor
  • The Grommet Seals Future for Two Innovative Inventions

    O-rings from Increment Studios will be crowdfunded

    Opening Day at Fenway Park is still more than a week away, but two teams had big wins there on Thursday.

    The Boston-based product launch and e-commerce site for makers, The Grommet, known for bringing brands including GoldieBlox, SodaStream, FitBit, and Bananagrams to market, held its Second Annual Product Pitch and Game Day at the famous field last week, in search of the “next big thing.”

    In a competition to win a free crowdfunding campaign or the chance to bring an invention to market, The Grommet invited eight finalists to pitch their problem-solving consumer products to a panel of tech, design, and business experts including leaders of Indiegogo, TechStars, and the Boston Design Museum. Products had to be “ready for crowdfunding” or “ready for market” to qualify.

    Jules Pieri and Joanne Domeniconi co-founded The Grommet in 2008 to promote what they call “Citizen Commerce,” a movement to enable “product purchases that express powerful contemporary values around sustainability,

    Read More »from The Grommet Seals Future for Two Innovative Inventions


(443 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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