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Coming Revolution in POS and Credit Card Processing Systems

Rejoice, Small Business Owners!! There is a revolution underway in the way small businesses process credit card transactions and use Point of Sale (POS) systems. This is going to help small business owners in a big way by leveling the playing field with large competitors. We have always maintained that it is possible for small business owners to beat their larger rivals by finding a niche and focusing on customer service. Now, you are getting extra help in other areas where large businesses used to have an edge. A company called Square has introduced a portable credit card device that can process credit card transactions on-the-go with just a mobile phone. Last week, they took it one step further and introduced a free POS app on iPad that will modernize the point-of-sales system for small business owners. According to Square, this new app replicates and enhances the features of cash register systems, such as order taking, inventory management and customer data analysis significantly.
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7-Step Action Plan to Deal with Negative Publicity on Social Media

For small business owners dealing with social media is equivalent to a relationship with a spouse or girlfriend. You cannot live without it nor can you (sometimes) live with it! Just like the other relationship, you still have to deal with the situation, whether you like it or not. Even if you do not want actively use social media for business marketing, you have to stay engaged to make sure your business image is not being tarnished, which can hurt your business.
You can overcome your social media fears with the 3-step approach we described earlier. We also showed best practices you can use to get the most out of social media. In this post we will show how you can deal with negative comments customers may post about your business on social media.
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Creative Perks that Keep Employees Motivated

For many employees, the lines between work and their personal lives are blurring. They’re seeking balance between the two, and are finding value in the ability to choose the specific benefits that best meet their needs at this point in their lives. And employers are learning that, when chosen and implemented effectively, benefits can demonstrate leadership’s concern for the well-being of employees, reinforce cultural values, and foster deeper employee engagement.
According to James Berkeley, Director of Berkeley Burke International, however, there’s still a disconnect. “The decisions made regarding what benefits to offer are often based on subjective viewpoints, viewpoints that are far removed from the actual needs of employees.” Rather than assuming you know what your employees want, Berkeley suggests you ask them. Though answers will vary, many people are interested in more benefits in these areas:
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Social Media Best Practices for Small Business Owners

For many small business owners getting on the bandwagon of social media is a novel and scary experience. They recognize that they cannot avoid it because that’s where their current and potential customers are. But at the same time they are scared due to lack of knowledge and experience. We showed 3-step approach to overcome social media fears in the earlier post. In this post we will show how you can get the most out of social media by following the best practices.
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50 Interesting Online courses for Small Business Owners

Continuous learning and improvement is essential for small business owners. However, for many of us going to college or getting an MBA degree is not an option. After all, there are only 24 hours in a day! Online courses can help overcome this barrier by enabling us to learn at our own pace and convenience.
I came across this list of online courses offered by well-known universities and other private institutions that I wanted to pass along. Many of these courses are targeted to help you learn or improve specific skill set, which would be helpful for anyone who doesn’t want to go through the entire coursework of university degree.
Here is the link to the course listing.
Let us know which courses you like the most for the benefit of other readers. Happy Learning!

Overcome Social Media Fears with 3-step Approach

Depending on whom you ask social media phenomenon of the last few years has either been a great boon to small business owners or a complete nightmare. No matter which side of the fence you are on, one thing is certain – small business owners can no longer ignore social media these days. Number of savvy owners has been using social media in innovative ways to improve different aspects of their business leading to higher sales and improved profit. Despite this fact, there are some who are fearful of delving into social media due to lack of knowledge or for fear of getting into quagmire.
Fear no more, friends!! The 3-step approach we have described below will navigate you through the challenging road to conquer the social media battle. We do not promise that you will become next Mark Zuckerberg with this approach, but we do believe that you will be able to overcome your social media fears and use it to the benefit of your business.
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7 Interesting Ways Small Business can Use Social Media

When small business owners hear about social media their attention immediately goes to Facebook and Twitter. They think of social media as a place where customers go to gossip and complain about their businesses or where business owners can go to publicize their products. This limited view doesn’t do full justice to the potential social media holds for small businesses. There is lot more to social media than just Facebook postings and Twitter broadcasts. We showed how you can use other interesting social media tools as well as some emerging social media tools in earlier posts. In this post we will review how you can use those and other tools in interesting ways to improve your business.
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How to Make Daily Deals Work for your Business

Daily deals facilitated by companies like Groupon and Living Social are double-edged swords for businesses. On one hand, they help you get new customers and improve sales. On the other hand, you end up with high operating expenses and dissatisfied customers, if not done right. Reading the horror stories that some businesses experienced you might think that it is never a good idea to work with daily deal companies. While this reaction is understandable, it may be extreme and may result in you losing out on the benefits offered by daily deals. We think with the right approach and proper planning you can make daily deals work for your business. Below we provide tips on how to do it.
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Is Groupon and other Daily Deals Good for your Business?

Daily deals have proliferated in the last year like dandelions during spring time. I am receiving at least 4-5 deals from one well-known daily deal company alone. Are you feeling left out because you still have not run any daily deal yet? While many businesses and consumers have taken advantage of this latest marketing tactic, I don’t think you need to feel sorry if you have not jumped on this bandwagon. This is because for every business that has seen great success with daily deals, there is another one who can share horror story from his experience. Just look at the experience of one particular business.
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How can you Succeed in Business by Failing

In the previous post we discussed why failing is so important for all businesses. If you haven’t failed, you haven’t tried hard enough. And if you haven’t tried hard enough, you have lost the battle even before it has begun! In this sense, failure is closely tied to risk-taking. Only those who are willing to take risks are going to possibly fail. But then only those stand any chance of becoming successful.
Not all failures are created equal. There are some who will never recover from their first ever failure. And there are others, like Thomas Edison, who can fail 10,000 times but come up with life-changing innovation at the end. So, is it possible to approach risk-taking to improve your odds of success at the end? We think the answer is YES as shown in the following bullets.
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