Profit Minded
  • entrepreneurspouseIt's a new year and we've added a great new content partner to our lineup at Yahoo! Small Business Advisor - Business2Community. B2C is supplying us with great articles on marketing and sales in particular and small business in general. We also took a look at how mining 'Big Data' (one of the new business buzzwords) can help even small businesses with sales. The other big topic for the week was how to balance your business and personal life for an entrepreneur so that your spouse can be a partner for work as well as home. We've also continued out Startup Diaries series with more entries coming every couple of days.

    If you haven't taken the plunge yet, hopefully some of these articles give you the impetus to start your own business — and if you do, we have tools to help. Besides our domain name, web hosting and ecommerce products, we also have just added an innovative marketing dashboard that you can try for free even if you don't use our other products.

    Some other great small business

    Read More »from Business2Community, Big Data and the clash between your spouse and your business: Small Business Reading for January 25th
  • A “big data” company helps small businesses target sales

    The Radius Intelligence team in San Francisco

    Small business owners may be interested to know that a fellow entrepreneur has raised more than $18 million from investors, including $12.4 in a funding round led by American Express this week, for technology that makes it easier for salespeople to find you and, if you sell to small businesses, for you to find customers.

    Radius Intelligence is the brainchild of Darian Shirazi, who gained notoriety at 17 as Facebook’s first intern and later dropped out of college to start his own company. Descended from entrepreneurs in Iran—one set of grandparents imported fabric to make and sell clothing and another re-manufactured brand-name products such as Nivea and PertPlus for the local market—Shirazi says he grew up thinking about the needs of small businesses.

    He also had a bent for big data. So at 21 he set out with his two Palo Alto, Calif., roommates to build a knowledgebase that would help small service and product suppliers better target their sales.

    Since 2010 Radius has amassed an

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  • 7 tips for marital bliss with a business owner

    Following on our previous post, Agreed to marry an entrepreneur? Some spousal advice, we spoke with Meg Hirshberg, author of For Better or For Work: A Survival Gide for Entrepreneurs and Their Families. The book and her Inc. Magazine column, Balancing Acts, are based on her experience married to business owner Gary Hirshberg, founder of Stonyfield Farm, the world’s largest organic yogurt company.

    Hirshberg, who married at 30 and began raising a family during the 9 years it took Stonyfield to become profitable, offers these 7 pieces of wisdom that might help you adjust a little easier to the particular brand of wedded bliss you’ve agreed to.

    1. Ask questions now. There’s no time like before you’ve exchanged vows to ask crucial questions of your entrepreneur and perhaps even a lawyer to understand what’s at risk if the business goes belly up. Many entrepreneurs take out a line of credit or use their home as collateral for a small business loan, Hirshberg says, so it’s completely

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  • Agreed to marry an entrepreneur? Some spousal advice

    With wedding proposal season behind us, it’s time for those who’ve recently become engaged to an entrepreneur to ready themselves for the ride. According to many who’ve been there, marriage to a business owner can feature experiences you aren’t likely to get when you’re wedded to someone who works “for the man.”

    “You are about to embark on an exciting adventure. Embrace it!” says a New England software developer who stood by her serial-entrepreneur husband for 20 years before he hit on a major success. “This person will make sure you life is never dull.”

    Indeed, journalist Meg Hirshberg, whose husband founded Stonyfield Farm, compares being along for the ride in a business venture to being the passenger in a car he navigated along California's winding coastal Highway 1. “He was driving and loving it, and I was feeling nauseated because of all the twists and turns," Hirshberg recalls. "One person is in control of the wheel, the other is sitting there being jerked around feeling sick."

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  • problemsolvingSolving business problems is what keeps us all employed!  It is an interesting dynamic because once you solve or fix one problem another problem typically arises.  The word problem is defined as “a puzzle, question, set for solution”.  There are good problems (i.e.; increased sales/growth) and there are bad problems (i.e.; decreased revenues/sales) both require the same problem solving process and if problem resolution is successful, new challenges arise.

    So you ask, why would an increase in sales and business growth be a problem?  The problem (albeit a good one to have) is determining how to handle the growth from a process, customer and logistical perspective.  For example, if you have a start-up software company that caters to a specialized niche and growth is faster than projected, your company will be scrambling to find the manpower, service support and logistics to ensure the customer experience is superior for new clients.  Start-ups need to make a great first impression with

    Read More »from 5 Steps to Solving Business Problems
  • Forget New Year’s resolutions; set intentions for your small business

    “New Year’s resolutions are child’s play,” says entrepreneur coach Linda Tomb. “Resolutions are ‘shoulds,’ like ‘I should go to the gym every day.’” And if you set New Year’s resolutions for your business, you’ll be as likely to keep them as you would be to keep that doomed “lose weight” resolution, Tomb predicts.

    Instead, she suggests, do some New Year’s visioning and set some intentions for your business. Too New Age for you? Hear her out.

    Yahoo! Small Business Advisor contacted Tomb for ideas on how to keep your business resolutions. “If you want to keep a promise,” she says, “it has to be lined up with what you really want—not with what you think you should be doing.” To figure that out, Tomb says, “You have to look inside and see what you’re yearning for.” And that’s what visioning is all about. “Resolutions are about tweaks. But what people are really seeking is transformation, and that comes from visioning,” she says.

    Say, for instance, your business resolution for 2013 is to

    Read More »from Forget New Year’s resolutions; set intentions for your small business
  • 6 crowdfunding tips from a soon-to-be Kickstarter success

    Loud Bicycle inventor Jonathan Lansey

    Not to jinx him, but Jonathan Lansey seems to be on track to exceed the $43,000 goal of his first crowdfunding campaign. With 2 weeks to go in the 5-week Kickstarter initiative, he’s nearly 90 percent there, having raised an average total of $1,600 per day so far. More than 400 of Lansey's 441 backers pledged at least $79 in order to win the product he invented: a car horn for a bicycle.

    As crowdfunding becomes an increasingly popular way for entrepreneurs and inventors to raise startup capital, Yahoo! Small Business Advisor asked Lansey about the strategies that he thinks helped him win $38,000 in pledges in less than a month.

    Like many successful inventions, Lansey’s was borne of necessity. In good weather, the 27-year-old research engineer commutes by bicycle 17 miles roundtrip between his Boston home and his job in Woburn, Mass. When a run-in with a car sent a biking buddy to the hospital, Lansey began thinking about how to make city cycling safer. “I’m alert when I drive a car

    Read More »from 6 crowdfunding tips from a soon-to-be Kickstarter success
  • Tax Rates in Limbo, Payroll Association Says Use 2012 Tables

    There's just one more business day before the new year, but the Treasury Department and the IRS won’t issue a guidance for how employers should calculate 2013 income tax withholding until the fiscal cliff deadline of December 31 has passed. Official income tax withholding tables for 2012 apply only to wages paid through December 2012 and, barring a different solution from Congress and the President by Monday, income tax rates are scheduled to increase for nearly all taxpayers.

    What are employers to do if they need to process their first payroll of 2013 before new income tax tables or any guidance is issued? According to the American Payroll Association, the “only workable option” is to “continue to use the 2012 withholding tables.”

    But calculating withholding is not the only unresolved payroll issue, the APA warns. Here are other imminent rate increases and expired exclusions employers must consider:

    • Supplemental wages and bonuses paid after December 31 will be subject to higher tax;
    Read More »from Tax Rates in Limbo, Payroll Association Says Use 2012 Tables
  • Tech trends to transform small business in 2013

    Mobile, the cloud, and systems integration are trends to watch in 2013

    Which tech trends should small business owners check out to enhance their productivity in 2013? A cloud services provider, not surprisingly, puts the cloud near the top of its list of great tools for small business. But other technologies will drive efficiency too, predicts j2 Global. “Mobility, expansion of the cloud, and integration of business services are the three key trends that small and medium-sized businesses must be ready for in 2013,” the company offers. Here’s why:

    1. Mobility: That the number of smart phones sold in 2011 exceeded the number of PCs sold suggests not just an increasingly mobile workforce, but that companies will learn to use mobile devices more effectively. “Smart phones and tablets will be leveraged more heavily as businesses move beyond using them just for simple communications,” j2 predicts. More sales teams will use mobile devices to input and access sales information on-the-go, and collaboration tools such as conference calling and web conferencing via

    Read More »from Tech trends to transform small business in 2013
  • A New Year, Things To Do in 2013 and Gifts: Small Business Reading

    It's the end of the year - and as always for small business owners it has been a tough year - but that doesn't mean it's been a bad year - just an acknowledgement that it's always tough for the small business owner. But the end of the year is still a time to look forward with optimism - and to celebrate. With that in mid, we ran a couple of stories about gifts for the small business owner - one books (it's always a good idea to get more insight and knowledge) and one general gifts. Why not pass the articles on to your friends as a hint about what they can get you? 

    And in terms of looking ahead we had a great article about the seven things you should focus on in 2013. We also had two more entries in our small business Startup Diaries series. One, as promised, is about the unexpected hard work in owning a small business. The other is a touch late out of the gate at this point - on the topic of maximizing holiday sales - but it's a keeper for next year... 

    If you haven't taken the

    Read More »from A New Year, Things To Do in 2013 and Gifts: Small Business Reading


(440 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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