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The face of small business in America is always changing. While many entrepreneurs are starting brick and mortar storefronts, many are operating successful small businesses from their homes. This month’s SCORE infographic sponsored by Zipcar delves into the facts about home based businesses. Download this infographic to learn more about the jobs they create, the types of industries they cover, the financing they require and more.

Home Based Small Business

About the Author

Zipcar for BusinessZipcar is the world's leading car sharing network with operations in urban areas and college campuses throughout the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Spain and Austria. Zipcar offers more than 30 makes and models of self-service vehicles by the hour or day to residents and businesses looking for smart, simple and convenient solutions to their urban and campus transportation needs. Zipcar is a subsidiary of Avis Budget Group, Inc. Learn more at Zipcar.com.

Entrepreneurs are the consummate collectors. Only instead of baseball cards or bottle caps, they’re constantly on the lookout for ideas that will help them improve the quality, efficiency, and profitability of their small businesses.

Because there are so many facets to running a successful small business, it’s no surprise that good ideas are emerging all the time. Keeping track of them has been Michael Evans’ specialty during a consulting career that has included serving world-class clients across a broad spectrum of industries. He shares some thoughts on some of the best new ideas for today’s current and aspiring small business owners.

Q:

Are there some long-held assumptions about small business success that are no longer true, or are as reliable as before?

About the Author

Michael Evans - Newport Board Group Managing Director

Michael Evans is Managing Director for the Newport Board Group, a partnership of board directors and senior executive leaders with deep knowledge of business strategy, operations, and capital markets. Previous to Newport, Michael L. Evans had been with Ernst & Young since 1977 and served as a partner since 1984. During his 34 years with the firm, he served as a tax, audit and consulting services partner, specializing in real estate companies and publicly traded entities. Michael served as the firm’s Global Director of the Real Estate and Construction Industry from 1988 to 1998, serving many of the largest international real estate organizations in the U.S. and the world. Michael is a frequent writer on business topics and has authored two books. He is a regular contributor to AllBusiness.com. Michael can be reached at (415) 990-1844 or via email at michael.evans@Newportboardgroup.com

Ask SCORE
 
       I’m currently in the planning stage for a new retail bakery. I’m going to need some funding for equipment, but my personal credit history is a bit spotty. How much is that going to hurt me, and how can I combat it?

About the Author

       This column is brought to you by the Merrimack Valley Chapter of SCORE, with nearly 70 current and former business executives available to provide free, confidential, one-on-one business mentoring and training workshops for area businesses. Call 603-666-7561 or visit merrimackvalley.score.org for information on mentoring, upcoming workshops and volunteer opportunities. SCORE is a national, non-profit organization and a resource partner of the U. S. Small Business Administration.
       Have a question you’d like answered in this column? E-mail it to info@score-manchester.org, with “Ask SCORE” in the subject line.

USA Today columnist, Steve Strauss, gives advice on the best ways to sell your business in a struggling economy. 

Selling a BusinessQ: Steve – I have read your columns for years and appreciate your advice. Maybe you can help me now. I would like to sell my business, but am finding it difficult to do so in the current economic environment. Other than dropping my price too low for my taste, what can I do? Thank you.

Mark

About the Author

Steve Strauss HeadshotSteven D. Strauss is a lawyer and writer and is one of the country's leading experts on small business as well as an international business speaker. The best-selling author of 17 books, his latest is the all-new 3rd ed. of The Small Business Bible. You can listen to his weekly podcast, Small Business Success Powered by Greatland, visit his new website for the self-employed, TheSelfEmployed, follow him on Twitter, and "like" TheSelfEmployed on Facebook. You can e-mail Steve at: sstrauss@mrallbiz.com. © Steven D. Strauss

Steve Strauss, founder of www.theselfemployed.com, indicates what a huge threat is posed to small businesses by cybercrimes and gives tips for protecting your organization.

Steve Strauss headshotQ: Steve – We all say, “It won’t happen to me.” Well, it happened to me. Somehow my computer was hacked with “keylogging” software and our corporate bank account was ripped off to the tune of almost $5K. Please warn other small business owners to take appropriate steps because it sure can happen to them too.

Andrew

About the Author

Steven D. Strauss is a lawyer and writer and is one of the country's leading experts on small business as well as an international business speaker. The best-selling author of 17 books, his latest is the all-new 3rd ed. of The Small Business Bible. You can listen to his weekly podcast, Small Business Success Powered by Greatland, visit his new website for the self-employed, TheSelfEmployed, follow him on Twitter, and "like" TheSelfEmployed on Facebook. You can e-mail Steve at: sstrauss@mrallbiz.com. © Steven D. Strauss

This quick and informative checklist will give you an overview of how to write an effective business plan.

If you are starting a business, you've no doubt heard that writing a business plan is essential. And it is!

But right now you might be too busy to read through long descriptions and to fill out long forms...so this quick checklist will be a handy reminder of what you really need to do to get your business plan done.

About the Author

Written and distributed by Northcoast SCORE Volunteers

Steve Strauss, founder of www.theselfemployed.com, gives option for bringing in additional resources for your small business.

Steve Strauss headshot

Q: I started a new business and need help. I am busier than I anticipated, which is good, but I don’t have anyone around me to assist, which is bad. I have a friend who has offered to come in as my partner, but I am not so sure that I play well with others.

Alexander

About the Author

Steven D. Strauss is a lawyer and writer and is one of the country's leading experts on small business as well as an international business speaker. The best-selling author of 17 books, his latest is the all-new 3rd ed. of The Small Business Bible. You can listen to his weekly podcast, Small Business Success Powered by Greatland, visit his new website for the self-employed, TheSelfEmployed, follow him on Twitter, and "like" TheSelfEmployed on Facebook. You can e-mail Steve at: sstrauss@mrallbiz.com. © Steven D. Strauss

Sometimes the best new business ideas are right under your nose. If you’re like most entrepreneurs, once you’ve got your current business at a comfortable (and profitable) level, you’ll be itching to start something new. If you’ve already added a product or service to your existing business and its popularity has taken off, it may be time to start a spinoff business.

By Rieva Lesonsky

Sometimes the best new business ideas are right under your nose. If you’re like most entrepreneurs, once you’ve got your current business at a comfortable (and profitable) level, you’ll be itching to start something new. If you’ve already added a product or service to your existing business and its popularity has taken off, it may be time to start a spinoff business.

Before you embark on a whole new adventure:

About the Author

Rieva Lesonsky is CEO of GrowBiz Media, a media company that helps entrepreneurs start and grow their businesses. Follow Rieva at twitter.com/rieva and visit her blog at SmallBizDaily.com.

Visit her website SmallBizTrendCast to get the scoop on business trends and sign up for Rieva’s free TrendCast reports.

The power of word of mouth in marketing a small business has been well-known for decades. In today’s online age, entrepreneurs are looking for ways to harness the power of connectivity across the Internet and social media to increase both the reach and frequency of word of mouth marketing. Whitney Lemon, host of  Friday 15: Small Business Tips, part of Google’s Get Your Business Online series, offers some ideas on how small businesses can use social media to get more word of mouth occurring about their brands.

Q:

Studies show that approximately 70% of people trust opinions of friends when making buying decisions, and 40% trust the opinions of someone trustworthy whom they don’t personally know. What are some obvious truths about word of mouth that small businesses may overlook?

About the Author

Whitney Lemon

Whitney Lemon- Friday 15 Host, Google Small Business Engagement

Whitney hosts Friday 15: Small Business Tips, Google's series to help small businesses succeed online, in 15 minutes or less.  Friday 15 is  part of Google's Get Your Business Online program providing small businesses with a custom domain name and web hosting-- free for one year. 

Steve Strauss, founder of www.theselfemployed.com, explains why online reviews are so important to your business and the best ways to manage them.

Steve Strauss headshot My youngest daughter is headed off to college soon and as a graduation present, my wife and I wanted to get her a nice used car. We all looked around quite a bit and finally found what we thought was a reputable dealer and a solid car.

Although the car needed a little work, the owner of the place was a charming fellow, he promised that he would get the car in tip-top shape, and so we struck a deal.

About the Author

Steven D. Strauss is a lawyer and writer and is one of the country's leading experts on small business as well as an international business speaker. The best-selling author of 17 books, his latest is the all-new 3rd ed. of The Small Business Bible. You can listen to his weekly podcast, Small Business Success Powered by Greatland, visit his new website for the self-employed, TheSelfEmployed, follow him on Twitter, and "like" TheSelfEmployed on Facebook. You can e-mail Steve at: sstrauss@mrallbiz.com. © Steven D. Strauss

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