How To Articles

 

The domain name for your Web site can make or break your online business. Domain names that are hard to spell or sound too similar to other businesses can divert traffic from your site and decrease overall sales. How do you come up with a great domain name? How do you make sure you can use it? Here's a quick guide to finding and reserving the best domain name.

A nationally recognized expert on entrepreneurship, Barry Moltz has founded and run small businesses for the past 15 years, experiencing both great success and great failure along the way. His latest book, BOUNCE!: Failure, Resiliency, and Confidence to Achieve Your Next Great Success, offers entrepreneurs a new perspective on the concept of failure, and how recognizing and even embracing it can set the stage for bigger successes.

Forget about having “no fear,” or asserting that, “failure is not an option.” Actually, it is a very real option, and often happens. It’s okay to be afraid and it's okay to fail. Not everything works. Learn from failure and bounce to the next action and success. It's about resilience.

By James E. Stowers, Jr.

When I was a young man of 34, with limitless dreams but a small bank account, I founded my mutual-funds company with a personal investment of just $2,000. Today, 41 years later, the value of my investment in American Century Companies, the management company of American Century Mutual Funds, has grown to more than $1 billion.

Green business is an area of incredible opportunity and growth right now. A green business, for our purposes, is a business that either sells environmentally-friendly products and/or runs its business in an eco-friendly manner. These are also sometimes called sustainable businesses.

Green Business MoneyGreen business is an area of incredible opportunity and growth right now. (A green business, for our purposes, is a business that either sells environmentally-friendly products and/or that runs its business in an eco-friendly manner. These are also sometimes called sustainable businesses.)

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

Get more out of your business when you know not only what things you need to do to make the sale but also the things you should not do when selling.

Some of us love selling, others hate it, but there is no doubt we all do it, and often. Whether it’s prospecting, schmoozing or closing, sales are part of our everyday business life.

While it is difficult to say what the average entrepreneur needs to know about sales (as we are all at different levels), I think I can safely say that there are some mistakes that are fairly common and also fairly easy to avoid.

You probably already know that starting a small business requires extensive research and analysis of many factors. But the one requiring the most critical assessment is often overlooked by many entrepreneurs. And, it’s as close as the nearest mirror.

That’s because wanting to be an entrepreneur is one thing; being one is quite another. You will take on responsibilities and commitments far different from those of an employee, even if you have management experience. It’s a challenge that can be exhilarating and rewarding. Unless you’re prepared mentally and emotionally, however, it can also be overwhelming. 

Before you study financing options and plan store layouts, sit down and conduct a probing interview with yourself to see if you’re the right person for the all-important job of entrepreneur-owner-boss.

Man in RedDo You Have the Mindset and Skills to be an Entrepreneur? 

If you suspected that a car had faulty brakes, would you feel safe behind the wheel? Probably not. Even the most skilled professional drivers will not trust their lives to something that may or may not work when it’s needed. The same holds true for operating a small business. When you’ve invested so much time and effort in your enterprise, it makes sense to have a sound business insurance policy to protect it. 

Business insurance guards against the consequences of fire, theft and liability, and other risks. But your checklist for business protection should not be limited to the obvious. Special tools or equipment used in your business may require special coverage. In the event you had to close down your business for a period of time, business interruption insurance would help cover some of your ongoing expenses.

Want to make sure your business's name gets heard this year? You need to plan for PR.

For most businesses, the new year is a time for assessment, goal setting and strategic planning. When it comes to PR, this is the time to set objectives and formulate a clear, defined plan that'll help your business achieve optimum res ults in the media.

When planning your PR activities for the year, as a general rule, consider the full year ahead, plan for six months, and expect to revise after three months. Like most business activities, PR requires flexibility and a recognition that t hings will change over time. However, there are a number of factors that'll make a measurable difference to your company’s success if you take them into account at this early stage.

Assess & Plan

About the Author

Rachel Meranus is Entrepreneur.com's "PR" columnist and vice president, public relations at PR Newswire . Get more information about PR Newswire and public relations with the PR Toolkit for small businesses. Originally published on Entrepreneur.com – July 30, 2007. Reprinted wi th permission

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Synergy is the benefit most alliances are after. If you have a product but lack distribution, you may seek synergy by allying with a company that has good distribution and no competing product. Companies that own technologies that can be combined with yours to create a compelling product are also potential allies. In international alliances, one company can provide local market skills while another supplies imported products or technologies.

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The old adage—the best defense is a good offense—also applies to crisis planning. As a small business owner, you have to ask yourself some difficult questions about potential disasters: What if the “worst” did happen? How would it affect my business, my family, and my employees? Would we survive if the business were shut down for weeks, months, or perhaps the entire revenue season?

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