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To enjoy vacation, train a strong backup manager

You been slaving away for a year or two, and it appears that your business is going to survive. Customers, expenses and employees have stabilized. Maybe it's time for a break. Suddenly you are confronted with an entirely new range of issues. Who can you put in charge while you are away?

August 12, 2013 12:00 amLoading…

Biz tip of the week: Don't try to swim against tide

A rising tide lifts all boats.

August 05, 2013 12:00 amLoading…

Biz tip of the week: Big-picture evaluation may pay off

Small businesses are all-consuming for their owners. Daily demands make it difficult to set aside time for owners to think how larger trends may affect their business. That's why it's an excellent idea to perform a SWOT analysis.

July 29, 2013 12:00 amLoading…

Ways to cope with price hikes

An improving economy means increased revenues. That's the good news.

July 22, 2013 12:00 amLoading…

Maximize marketing dollars with targeted local-event advertising

Even though the consumer-driven side of the economy is slowly recovering, most small-business owners know that revenue gains have been incremental.

July 15, 2013 12:00 amLoading…

Focus on customers you want to keep

This column has covered a wide range of strategic and tactical issues as independent subjects, but most business issues are interrelated.

July 01, 2013 12:00 amLoading…

Use time wisely to play up your strengths

Pro athletes know what their strongest skills are, and they learn to play to them.

June 24, 2013 12:00 amLoading…

It's not all about price; quality, reliability, availability come first

Pricing is one of the most misunderstood elements in the business world, especially among small businesses.

June 17, 2013 12:00 amLoading…

Biz tip of the week: Low price isn't everything

Pricing is one of the most misunderstood elements in the business world, especially among small businesses.

June 16, 2013 2:01 pmLoading…

Learning the difference between sales and marketing

One of the most frequently asked questions by SCORE clients is the difference between marketing and sales.

June 10, 2013 12:00 amLoading…

Finding, keeping the right workers

Ask any business manager what is their biggest headache and the odds are they will say people - as in employees.

June 03, 2013 12:00 amLoading…

Firms must operate from customers' perspective

Many SCORE clients start their business planning with one type of potential customer in mind.

May 27, 2013 12:00 amLoading…

Biz tip of the week: Here are some flags to help you plan for future

One of the hardest things for small-business owners to do is to extricate themselves from the daily grind and plan for the future. There always seems to be something that requires immediate attention. Unfortunately, it is not until the month-end or quarterly statements are generated that an …

May 20, 2013 12:00 amLoading…

Some options for small-business owners who want to cash out

Most small-business owners are consumed by the daily challenges of running their business - satisfying customers, managing services and products, tracking finances and suppliers, and personnel scheduling.

May 13, 2013 12:00 amLoading…

'Reactor' bosses need to evaluate their behavior

Are you a reactor? Reactors respond to emergencies and mundane events the same way: They overreact.

May 06, 2013 12:00 amLoading…

Biz tip of the week: Preserve cash flow with cost strategies

Most SCORE clients have a good idea of their intended product or service, have performed an elementary competitive analysis and have thought about finances.

April 29, 2013 12:00 amLoading…

Consider changing how you do business

The recession and slow recovery have hit small retail businesses hard, especially those that compete against big- box stores and those that offer discretionary retail items.

April 22, 2013 12:00 amLoading…

Feeling isolated? Get out, involved

One the many challenges a small-business owner faces is isolation.

April 15, 2013 12:00 amLoading…

Help your business make the most of lifestyle changes

The world is not a static place. Things are constantly changing: clothing styles, food preferences, popular sports and advanced technological devices.

April 08, 2013 12:00 amLoading…

Biz tip of the week: Biz Tip: Success largely based on products that fit a well-researched market

Many startups err by trying to be all things to all people.

March 25, 2013 12:00 amLoading…

Expand your home business wisely

Nearly every large business started as a small business, frequently in the owner's basement or garage.

March 18, 2013 12:00 amLoading…

What to consider before expanding a home business

Nearly every large business started as a small business, frequently in the owner’s basement or garage.

March 17, 2013 2:01 pmLoading…

Biz tip of the week: To stay afloat in hard times, carefully pick sale, supplier strategies

The stock market may be reaching new highs, but as one network analyst observed, "The stock market is not the economy."

March 11, 2013 12:00 amLoading…

Biz tip of the week: Repeat clients key to revenue

As the economy slowly emerges from the recession, many businesses realize that cost-cutting is not enough to improve profits. In the end, the top line (revenue) has to grow.

March 04, 2013 12:00 amLoading…

Biz tip of the week: Profit-sharing plan can be a plus

Many prior columns have addressed the problems and challenges of starting or running a small business - strategic choices, finding customers, cash flow, managing personnel, etc.

February 25, 2013 12:00 amLoading…

Business agreement is vital to owners

Business startup lore is filled with stories of two college friends who share an idea and decide to start a business.

February 18, 2013 12:00 amLoading…

Cross-train workers to prepare for absences

"Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans."

February 11, 2013 12:00 amLoading…

Biz tip of the week: To buy or to build? That is the question

A person who wants to run their own business has two options - start from scratch or purchase an existing business.

February 04, 2013 12:00 amLoading…

Biz tip of the week: Communication Rule No. 1: It's the responsibility of the sender

How many times have you heard someone say in an exasperated tone, "I told him to do that"? This is a typical reaction when something is not done on time or improperly.

January 28, 2013 12:00 amLoading…

Biz tip of the week: Learn at start about managing cash flow

The U.S. Small Business Administration reports that 50 percent of all new businesses fail in their first year. Before starting a business, it makes sense to understand why so many fail.

January 21, 2013 12:00 amLoading…

Biz tip of the week: Creating employee handbook is vital, and there's software to help

Starting a new business involves dozens of tasks - some more important than others. First, there's the research necessary to develop a viable business plan.

January 14, 2013 12:00 amLoading…

Biz tip of the week: How to fix negative perceptions

Perception vs. reality. This observation is used to explain all types of irrational and inconsistent behavior.

January 07, 2013 12:00 amLoading…

Biz tip of the week: Reversing negative perceptions

Perception vs. reality. This observation is used to explain all types of irrational and inconsistent behavior.

January 06, 2013 2:01 pmLoading…

Biz tip of the week: Don't get distracted by Washington; focus on what you can control

Year-end is a natural time for reflection. With the recent election and the "fiscal cliff" constantly in the news, it's easy to get distracted. It helps to establish some guidelines about what is still important and what can be delayed until broader fiscal issues are resolved.

December 31, 2012 12:00 amLoading…

Biz tip: While politicians dither, focus on what you can control

Year-end is a natural time for reflection. With the recent election and the “fiscal cliff” constantly in the news, it’s easy to get distracted. It helps to establish some guidelines about what is still important and what can be delayed until broader fiscal issues are resolved.

December 30, 2012 1:01 pmLoading…

Biz tip of the week: Basic understanding of accounting and finance is vital to a small firm

Most SCORE clients come to us with little understanding of accounting and finance.

December 17, 2012 12:00 amLoading…

Biz tip of the week: Shop around for lowest card fees

In today's business environment, most retail transactions involve credit or debit cards.

December 10, 2012 12:00 amLoading…

Biz tip of the week: Don't give up on marketing in slow times

In a slow economy, marketing budgets are typically one of the first expenses that are cut. Startups and small businesses face a similar situation of limited funds. How can a business continue to generate leads and maintain its market visibility if its traditional ad budgets are cut?

December 03, 2012 12:00 amLoading…

Biz tip of the week: Low cost marketing tactics

In a slow economy, marketing budgets are typically one of the first expenses that are cut. Startups and small businesses face a similar situation of limited funds. How can a business continue to generate leads and maintain its market visibility if its traditional ad budgets are cut?

December 02, 2012 1:01 pmLoading…

Biz tip of the week: Address legal, accounting aspects early

Nearly every SCORE counseling client asks when they should arrange for help in the legal and accounting aspects of establishing their business.

November 26, 2012 12:00 amLoading…

Biz Tip of Week: When to hire lawyers, accountants

Nearly every SCORE counseling client asks when they should arrange for help in the legal and accounting aspects of establishing their business.

November 25, 2012 2:02 pmLoading…

Biz tip of the week: Salespeople's top priority is clients' needs

Most leads never result in a sale. The challenge is to improve your success rate.

November 19, 2012 12:00 amLoading…

Biz tip of the week: Business entertainment can be valuable part of marketing effort

Firms that rely on repeat business know the importance of building strong relationships with their customers.

November 12, 2012 12:00 amLoading…

Biz tip of the week: Long supply chains make service chancy

International supply chains enable American consumers to select from an astonishing range of products and services at attractive prices.

November 05, 2012 12:00 amLoading…

Biz tip of the week: Dealing with extended supply chains

International supply chains enable American consumers to select from an astonishing range of products and services at attractive prices.

November 04, 2012 2:01 pmLoading…

Biz tip of the week: Businesses need to register with state, IRS before getting started

Last week, this column reviewed the most common options for small business incorporation.

October 29, 2012 12:00 amLoading…

Biz tip of the week: Getting started: The ABCs of incorporation

Most SCORE clients have a solid idea of their product or service but they are stymied by the legal procedure to incorporate. Here are the most common incorporation options:

October 22, 2012 12:00 amLoading…

The ABCs of incorporation for small businesses

Biz tip of the week:

October 21, 2012 2:01 pmLoading…

Employee manual a must-have

One of the last things that new businesses consider is an employee manual.

October 15, 2012 12:00 amLoading…

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