Do You Know Who Your Competitors Are?

Do you know who your competitors are
It’s a very simple question. Let’s say you own and operate a restaurant that serves pizza and pasta at a busy corner of high traffic downtown area. Who do you think you are competing with? Is it another restaurant that also serves Italian food within ½ a mile of your restaurant? How about the McDonald’s across the street? Now, take it one step further. How about the store that sells ready-to-eat meals that people can take home when they don’t have time to cook? A relatively simple sounding question can open up multiple possibilities when you think hard. Taking a simplistic view of the competition can hurt your business in the short-term and put you out of business in the long-term.

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Can Small Businesses Benefit from Outsourcing?

Outsourcing
Large corporations use outsourcing to offload their non-core operations so that they can focus on what they do best. Small and medium size businesses can benefit equally from outsourcing. Many small business owners do not feel comfortable with outsourcing thinking that it does not provide them sufficient benefits or they don’t like losing control of their business operations. This could be a mistake. When done properly, outsourcing can help small business owners grow by focusing on core operations.

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How to Grow Your Business with eCommerce

How to grow your business with ecommerce
Small business owners are missing out on significant sales opportunity if you do not have ecommerce presence. Online sales continue to grow at double digit rate and are expected to do so for many years to come. Amazon and eBay reported solid online sales for the Black Friday last week. More and more customers are now comfortable buying online, which is why every retailer in the world is trying to set up online presence.

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How to Start an Online Brokerage

How to start online brokerage
Seeing Gordon Gecko wheeling and dealing in Wall Street, the stock market might look a fun place to be. Thrilling it certainly is, but it’s not the place to be playing games. It’s a high-pressure environment in which financial fortunes can change in less than a minute.

Of course, this is finance and there’s money to be made. If you know your PERs from put options and your common stocks from closed-end funds, you may fancy setting up your own online brokerage and helping others less in the know (for a fee, naturally).

Here’s how you go about becoming an online broker.

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How to Run a Thriving Kiosk Business

How to Run a Thriving Kiosk Business
For aspiring entrepreneurs, the prevalence of large corporations and big-box chains can make starting a business seem like a daunting task. To combat these challenges, many businesspeople are finding great success by starting kiosk businesses instead. With low overhead costs and short-term lease commitments, starting a kiosk business is a great way to jump-start your career. As with all business pursuits, it’s important to know how to run your kiosk business in a way that will make it profitable. With these following five steps, you can create a thriving and profitable kiosk business.

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5 Questions You Must Answer before Selling Overseas

5 questions you must answer before selling overseas
Globalization has made the world smaller than ever. Even small businesses are looking into exports and international trade to increase their customer base and sales. Technological advances have made it easier to find and serve global customers even for small business owners. This traditionally used to be the purview of large, multinational companies.

While it is easy to set up online shop, deliver orders via UPS and collect money via Paypal there are more nuances to exporting and selling to international customers. You need to answer number of questions before you can embark on that journey. Will your product be subject to special regulation? How will you handle warranty and product returns? Who will collect and pay taxes to foreign countries? Failing to answer these and many other questions can put you in the hot water and impact your business.

Here are 5 questions you can begin with to understand export and international trade:

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Will your Startup Succeed? Find out with the Investor Test

Will your startup succeed
Every new business owner launches his company with the hopes of making it into next Amazon.com.  But how many can tell whether it will even be a fraction of that successful. Knowing ahead of time whether your company will be a grand success or a big bust can save business owner lot of anxious moments in life.

While there is no crystal ball that can provide foolproof prediction concerning your company’s fate, there exists a fairly reliable predictor. It is called the Investor Test, and when properly applied, it can provide an excellent gauge that tells you whether your business model will ultimately succeed. The Investor Test can also provide valuable insight into how to address potential problems or challenges that are likely to arise in the course of launching and establishing your new business.

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3 Reasons to Start Your Home Based Travel Agency

3 reasons to start home based travel agency
If you love traveling and have great organisational and personal skills, then working as a travel agent could be the perfect job for you. Even better, some of the most successful travel agents work independently from home. Working from home is a great way to operate in any industry, but the travel agency business is especially adept for people who love to work from the comfort of their own home. In case you need any more persuading, here are the three main reasons why you should start a home based travel agency.

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The Arguments For and Against Early Exit Strategy

The arguments for and against early exit strategy
Most businesses are built so that they can eventually dole out rewards to their hard-working owners on exit. Whether the intention is to sell the company, offer it as an inheritance or wean it into a self-supporting profit-making machine, the ultimate goal for many business owners is to be free from day to day operations and get sufficient return on their investment of time, effort and money. That is why exit strategy is as important as building the business itself.

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How Small Businesses Benefit from Strategic Alliances

how small businesses benefit from strategic alliances
In a competitive, complex business world, there are few companies that have the capability to do everything alone. The skills and technology necessary for success in business today, many times, mandate that companies work with other companies that possess complementary skills for the mutual benefit of each. Regardless of the alliance partner or how the alliance is structured, strategic alliances can bring significant benefits to each partner, especially small businesses.

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