Work From Home Articles, Small Business News, and Home Business Buzz

Archive for the ‘Small Business’ Category

No one ever said that starting a small business would be easy, but then again, very few things in life worth doing are easy.  The challenges that face the entrepreneur when starting a small business would seem daunting to most people, but many entrepreneurs live for this kind of excitement and cannot stand the boredom of a 9-5, steady job, week-in, week-out.

With that said, first time entrepreneurs can easily find themselves in over their heads if they jump in without first doing their market research, consulting some experienced colleagues, and doing a lot of reading.  While there’s no one stop shop for learning how to successfully launch your first small business, here’s some well-known traits of successful small businesses that you should strive for in your own startup.

  1. Small Markets, Not Small Profits
    While many bemoan the construction of another big box store moving into town as the death of all of the mom and pops, the fact remains that a large chain simply cannot meat the needs of everyone.  As an avid photographer, I know that i can get a good price on a new camera if I head to Best Buy, but there are a few local, independently owned shops in town that carry all of the obscure parts and the higher end cameras that professionals and semi-pros need.  They also service cameras and lenses in the store, whereas a camera bought at Best Buy will either be swapped out for a return (if you’re within 30 days) or you’re left to fend for yourself, dealing with the manufacturer for a warranty repair.
  2. Treat Your Customers Right
    Despite the rampant growth of national chains, there is currently a resurgence (particularly in larger cities) of smaller stores with knowledgable salesmen cropping up more and more.  What gives these small businesses and edge, and keeps them in the black, is often the dissatisfaction that many customers have found at the bigger chains, so they’ll turn to the smaller alternative.  If you start a hardware store, for example, you’ll never be able to beat Home Depot on pricing, but what you can beat them on is service, knowledgeability and going above and beyond with your customers to make sure they leave satisfied and come back your way the next time.
  3. Don’t Be Afraid To Branch Out
    While you’ll mostly be focusing on a niche (or narrow) market with your small business, a great way to grow your small business is to add on with similar niche markets, ideally in the same vein.  Take our camera store example, the one i have in mind in Seattle, opened up a second store by the same name across the street, but instead of camera equipment, it’s lighting, camera support and film.  While this isn’t a big departure from their initial business, it opens them up to more customers and gives more people who live in the neighborhood less of a reason to go to the big box stores.

Read the full article at http://www.homebusinessbug.com/5-traits-of-a-successful-small-business-10180/

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With small business owners and entrepreneurs in traditionally underserved communities continuing to face challenges accessing capital, the U.S. Small Business Administration today announced two new initiatives aimed at increasing SBA-backed loans to small businesses in these markets.
SBA Administrator Karen Mills also today named Catherine L. Hughes, chairperson and founder of Radio One, Inc., and a former SBA borrower, to chair the agency’s new Advisory Council on Underserved Communities.

SBA and U.S. Department of Commerce studies have shown the importance of lower-dollar loans to small business formation and growth in underserved communities. With that in mind, the two new loan initiatives – Small Loan Advantage and Community Advantage – are aimed at increasing the number of lower-dollar SBA 7(a) loans going to small businesses and entrepreneurs in underserved communities. The agency’s most popular loan product, 7(a) government-guaranteed loans can be used for variety of general business purposes, including working capital and purchases of equipment and real estate.

In conjunction with the implementation of these two new Advantage loan initiatives by March 15, the agency will end its existing Community Express pilot loan program on April 30.

Read this full press release at http://www.homebusinessbug.com/sba-aimed-at-increasing-lending-in-underserved-communities-10179/

HomeBusinessBug.com announced that one of its advertisers, Suzie Randle, a representative with Thirty One Gifts, has made a sale as a result of her placement on HomeBusinessBug.com.

Randle has been working with Thirty One Gifts, a work from home business opportunity offering a full array of embroidery items, for about 2 years and has over 100 in her network.  She started receiving leads from HomeBusinessBug.com in September of this year and it was only her 4th lead that led to the sale.

“She had been to a Thirty One party, and she was looking for someone to connect with and sign up under,” Randle says of the prospect that later joined her network.  HomeBusinessBug.com’s strong search engine presence, specifically for the keywords specific to Randle’s home based business opportunity, were heavily responsible for this future Thirty One representative finding Randle.

When asked about the prospect’s future, Randle was quick to say “I think she’s going to end up being my next superstar.”

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About HomeBusinessBug.com
Home Business Bug is a new directory that features hundreds of home-based business opportunities, as well as work-from-home articles and information.  Those interested in starting a home based business can browse completely free of charge, and find opportunities whose investments range from under $100 to a few thousand dollars.  Please visit our work at home directory . Advertisers can take advantage of the low introductory rates to promote their own opportunity. For more information about advertising a work from home based business opportunity, inquire at http://www.homebusinessbug.com/advertise/

December 9, 2010 — HomeBusinessBug.com announced today that one of its advertisers, Jennifer Lewis, a silver gift director with La Bella Baskets, has signed her 8th referral as a result of her placement on HomeBusinessBug.com.

“It took only three or four leads from HomeBusinessBug.com to sign up my first recruit,” says Lewis. Since then she has made 7 more sales off a total of 49 leads. Lewis’ has recruited close to 30 La Bella Baskets consultants, making HomeBusinessBug.com responsible for about 25% of her network. Asked if HomeBusinessBug.com was her most fruitful source, she replied “I would definitely say so.”

The La Bella Baskets home based business opportunity offers two streams of income, the first of which, selling of their high quality gift baskets, flowers, and cookie bouquets, was Lewis’ main focus her first few months after joining in January of 2010.  It was only in May when she decided to focus on the second income opportunity, building a network of other La Bella Baskets representatives.  It was around that time that she discovered HomeBusinessBug.com and took advantage of their free advertising offer.

Asked what she attributed the attractiveness to her opportunity, Lewis cited the price point.  “I think what really works for La Bella Baskets is that (consultants) only have to spend $20 per month.”  That is after the initial start up cost of only $1.97.

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About HomeBusinessBug.com
Home Business Bug is a new directory that features hundreds of home-based business opportunities, as well as work-from-home articles and information.  Those interested in starting a home based business can browse completely free of charge, and find opportunities whose investments range from under $100 to a few thousand dollars.  Please visit our work at home directory . Advertisers can take advantage of the low introductory rates to promote their own opportunity. For more information about advertising a work from home based business opportunity, inquire at http://www.homebusinessbug.com/advertise/

Equifax (NYSE: EFX) announced the results of its Q3 2010 study on the state of small business bankruptcy — a key indicator of the financial health of business markets across the United States. Analyzing bankruptcy trends among the nation’s more than 24 million small businesses, Equifax found that the Western regions continue to experience economic turbulence with some decrease in bankruptcy rates across select MSA’s in California, Texas and Illinois. While bankruptcies have slowed in some regions, small business economic challenges continue to pressure many areas and impact the pace of recovery in certain markets.

“Our analysis on small business bankruptcy continues to indicate ongoing uncertainty in today’s marketplace,” said Dr. Reza Barazesh, senior vice president, Equifax Commercial Information Solutions. “While business bankruptcies have begun to reverse course in some regions, it remains to be seen how small firms will steer through economic headwinds and sustain growth.”

Focusing on the Q3 2009 to Q3 2010 timeframe, this Equifax study analyzed national bankruptcy trends by metropolitan statistical area (MSA). While bankruptcy rates remain high across the nation, 11 of the top 15 MSA’s with the highest number of small business bankruptcies in Q3 2010 saw a year-over-year decline from Q3 2009. The table below shows that the Los Angeles, San Bernandino and Santa Ana MSA’s experienced year-over-year bankruptcy rate increases while areas such as San Diego and Oakland reported double-digit declines year-over-year in Q3 2010 — a striking development considering California’s economic challenges. Another interesting finding, the Atlanta/Sandy Springs/Marietta and Chicago/Naperville/Joliet MSA’s saw a bankruptcy rate decrease of 26.75% and 16.67% respectively.

While the total number of bankruptcies among the top 15 MSA’s with the highest number of small business bankruptcies in Q3 2010 declined 4.41% from 6,870 in Q3 2009 to 6,567 in Q3 2010, economic instability continues to impact many of these areas. Equifax data shows that 9 of the top 15 MSA’s reported a year-over-year increase in bankruptcy when comparing the first three quarters of 2009 to the same time period in 2010. Further analysis of this time period revealed that the total number of petitions for these 15 MSA’s dropped by 1.23% — signaling a nominal decline in overall bankruptcy rate.

As part of the study, Equifax also analyzed the 15 metro areas with the fewest small business bankruptcy filings in the third quarter of 2010. Our research showed that 10 out of these15 MSA’s experienced a decrease in the number of bankruptcy petitions from Q2 2010 to Q3 2010 as well as year-over-year. The table below shows that all of these MSA’s reported 11 bankruptcies or less during Q3 2010.

For this study, Equifax applied analytics to identify the total number of small businesses and define the MSA’s within the sample population. Equifax classifies a small business as a commercial entity of less than 100 employees. As part of the study, Equifax analyzed Chapter 7, 11 and 13 filings. Chapter 7 is a liquidation proceeding in which a debtor receives a discharge of all debts, while Chapters 11 and Chapter 13 are reorganization bankruptcies that allow individuals and companies to pay off debt over a set period of years. To learn more about Equifax Small Business Solutions, visit http://www.equifaxsmallbusiness.com.

About Equifax (http://www.equifax.com)
Equifax empowers businesses and consumers with information they can trust. A global leader in information solutions, we leverage one of the largest sources of consumer and commercial data, along with advanced analytics and proprietary technology, to create customized insights that enrich both the performance of businesses and the lives of consumers.

Read more Small Business news at http://www.homebusinessbug.com/small-business-news/

Equifax (NYSE: EFX) announced the results of its Q3 2010 study on the state of small business bankruptcy — a key indicator of the financial health of business markets across the United States. Analyzing bankruptcy trends among the nation’s more than 24 million small businesses, Equifax found that the Western regions continue to experience economic turbulence with some decrease in bankruptcy rates across select MSA’s in California, Texas and Illinois. While bankruptcies have slowed in some regions, small business economic challenges continue to pressure many areas and impact the pace of recovery in certain markets.

“Our analysis on small business bankruptcy continues to indicate ongoing uncertainty in today’s marketplace,” said Dr. Reza Barazesh, senior vice president, Equifax Commercial Information Solutions. “While business bankruptcies have begun to reverse course in some regions, it remains to be seen how small firms will steer through economic headwinds and sustain growth.”

Focusing on the Q3 2009 to Q3 2010 timeframe, this Equifax study analyzed national bankruptcy trends by metropolitan statistical area (MSA). While bankruptcy rates remain high across the nation, 11 of the top 15 MSA’s with the highest number of small business bankruptcies in Q3 2010 saw a year-over-year decline from Q3 2009. The table below shows that the Los Angeles, San Bernandino and Santa Ana MSA’s experienced year-over-year bankruptcy rate increases while areas such as San Diego and Oakland reported double-digit declines year-over-year in Q3 2010 — a striking development considering California’s economic challenges. Another interesting finding, the Atlanta/Sandy Springs/Marietta and Chicago/Naperville/Joliet MSA’s saw a bankruptcy rate decrease of 26.75% and 16.67% respectively.

While the total number of bankruptcies among the top 15 MSA’s with the highest number of small business bankruptcies in Q3 2010 declined 4.41% from 6,870 in Q3 2009 to 6,567 in Q3 2010, economic instability continues to impact many of these areas. Equifax data shows that 9 of the top 15 MSA’s reported a year-over-year increase in bankruptcy when comparing the first three quarters of 2009 to the same time period in 2010. Further analysis of this time period revealed that the total number of petitions for these 15 MSA’s dropped by 1.23% — signaling a nominal decline in overall bankruptcy rate.

As part of the study, Equifax also analyzed the 15 metro areas with the fewest small business bankruptcy filings in the third quarter of 2010. Our research showed that 10 out of these15 MSA’s experienced a decrease in the number of bankruptcy petitions from Q2 2010 to Q3 2010 as well as year-over-year. The table below shows that all of these MSA’s reported 11 bankruptcies or less during Q3 2010.

For this study, Equifax applied analytics to identify the total number of small businesses and define the MSA’s within the sample population. Equifax classifies a small business as a commercial entity of less than 100 employees. As part of the study, Equifax analyzed Chapter 7, 11 and 13 filings. Chapter 7 is a liquidation proceeding in which a debtor receives a discharge of all debts, while Chapters 11 and Chapter 13 are reorganization bankruptcies that allow individuals and companies to pay off debt over a set period of years. To learn more about Equifax Small Business Solutions, visit http://www.equifaxsmallbusiness.com.

About Equifax (http://www.equifax.com)
Equifax empowers businesses and consumers with information they can trust. A global leader in information solutions, we leverage one of the largest sources of consumer and commercial data, along with advanced analytics and proprietary technology, to create customized insights that enrich both the performance of businesses and the lives of consumers.

Read about more Small Business News at http://www.homebusinessbug.com/small-business-news/

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. – Nov. 30, 2010 – Small business employment continued to show growth in November, although wages were down and hours worked remained flat.

Those were among the results of this month’s update of the Intuit Inc. (Nasdaq: INTU) Small Business Employment Index. The monthly report found that small business employment grew by 0.24 percent in November, equating to an annual rate of about 3 percent. This translates to approximately 49,000 new jobs created nationwide. The Index is based on figures from the country’s smallest businesses that use Intuit Online Payroll.

“The recovery that began late last summer for small businesses is still underway,” said Susan Woodward, the economist who worked with Intuit to create the Index. “While employment at the national level for all businesses is barely rising, small businesses are showing a more robust increase. This is in line with what we’ve seen with past recessions — small businesses are the first to hire when recovery begins.”

Based on this latest data, the employment growth rate for October was revised upward to 0.26 percent, equating to 51,000 jobs added for the month and a 3 percent annual growth rate. Since the growth trend first began in October 2009, small business jobs have increased by a revised estimate of 670,000.

The Intuit Small Business Employment Index shows a 0.24 percent increase in employment for November. The employment index reflects data from approximately 59,000 small business employers who use Intuit Online Payroll. The month-to-month changes are seasonally-adjusted and informative about the overall economy. The National Employment Index is from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Read the full aritcle at http://www.homebusinessbug.com/small-business-employment-index-shows-job-growth-for-november-10171/