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So How Do We Define a ‘Small Business’ Anyway? Google “small business.” You’ll get about 1 billion results — literally. That’s because small businesses are the lifeblood of the U.S. economy. They’re also the places we most often frequent, from mom-and-pop stores to food trucks to print shops. They account for around 46% of the private non-farm GDP, about 63% of net new jobs, and about 49% of private sector payrolls — though these stats are trending down precipitously. So yeah, small businesses may be small but they’re a big deal. This begs the question, what percent of small businesses use or have even heard of EMC, Ello, Digital Ocean, or Didi Kuaidi (the Chinese ride-hailing startup)?!

How do these organizations define small business? “500 employees for most manufacturing and mining industries and $7.5 million in average annual receipts for many nonmanufacturing industries. “A small business is defined as any business with fewer than 15 employees.” — Australian Fair Work Act Why care about nomenclature? Shining Star: The Story of Missouri Star Quilt Co. One family’s small business, the Missouri Star Quilt Co., has won a global following and brightened the fortunes of their hometown by James Hart When they started, Alan Doan and Sarah Galbraith simply wanted to help their folks. Nobody could ever have predicted what their business, the Missouri Star Quilt Co., would come to mean to their family or their hometown of Hamilton, Mo., located about 60 miles northeast of Kansas City.

It was 2008, and Alan and Sarah’s dad, Ron, was losing his job as a machinist for the Kansas City Star newspaper. And because of the terrible stock market, a significant part of his retirement savings had melted away, too. The siblings decided to invest a couple thousand dollars in a quilting machine for their mother, Jenny, figuring it could help her bring in some extra money. That side business, though, has instead exploded into one of the world’s largest sellers of quilting supplies, both online and in real life. The best small business owners in America. What Do the Death of Flash and the Rise of HTML5 Mean for SMB Advertisers? At this moment, the advertising opportunities for small and midsize businesses (SMB) are simultaneously more wide-open and more complicated than ever before.

The Internet allows SMBs to go head-to-head with major national advertisers to find consumers, while new technology like mobile devices and tablets offer even more potential consumer touch points. Navigating these layers of complexity is difficult, which is why SMBs are turning to “do-it-for-me” or “do-it-with-me” solutions. But whether they are enlisting a partner or using a DIY solution, SMBs advertisers need to be aware of the latest trends in web development. This is especially important right now, as the once-dominant Adobe Flash seems to finally be on its way out, while HTML5 is ascendant. For years, advertisers have relied on Flash to deliver rich media ads that contain animations and interactive elements. HTML5’s benefits go beyond device compatibility as well.

Ease is another key factor. Small Business and Social Media in 2015: A Survey. How are small businesses currently using social media and how can a small business benefit from a social media strategy? In a small business survey conducted by Clutch, results showed that 53 percent of small businesses actively use social media. We investigated small business investment in social media and the change from 2014 to 2015 further, focusing on investment in employee time, spend on an outside agency or consultant, and spend on social media ads. We interviewed social media and digital marketing experts for their thoughts on the survey results and for insights on how small businesses can develop a comprehensive social media strategy.

Below the infographic there is more detail on the survey data along with additional analysis from the experts we interviewed. Clutch's Small Business Social Media Survey Online Presence and Social Media In our survey, we found that some small businesses do not have a robust online presence. Involvement in Social Media Where Small Businesses Can Start. This Team Gets Inside the Heads of Small Business Owners. Naumi Haque (pictured) of Toronto, Ontario, gets inside the heads of small business owners across North America. That’s what he and his team do for a living at CEB, where he is a Research Director in CEB’s small business program. CEB is a best practice insight and technology company serving over 10,000 client companies. Haque’s team conducts research and advises clients about how to market to small business owners. Sometimes what Haque’s team learns flies in the face of conventional wisdom. Take, for instance, the perception that small business owners always go for the lowest priced products and services.

“Not true,” Haque states flatly. “Small business owners are not cheap,” he adds. “They just have smaller budgets than bigger companies. In fact, when deciding which supplier to go with, price tends to account for only a quarter of the decision, as the accompanying slide shows. Haque doesn’t mean to be unflattering. As a researcher, he is using scientific research terms. “Remember the inertia. A Small Business Solution to Shrinking Workforce--Hire Seniors. Yahoo Small Business/New America Media , News Feature, Mark Taylor , Posted: Jan 18, 2015 WASHINGTON, D.C.

--As the U.S. economy heats up and successful companies consider expansion and new hiring, competition for reliable, experienced and skilled employees will grow more intense, labor market experts predict. They caution small businesses against ignoring one source of potential employees: older Americans. Older Americans Millions of seniors who have retired or are approaching retirement from lengthy careers still need to work to maintain their families and lifestyles.

Others crave the social interaction and sense of purpose employment delivers. Peter Cappelli, professor of management and the director of the Center for Human Resources at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, said increased life expectancy and the maturing of the largest generation in American history—-the Baby Boomers—- will account for increased numbers of older Americans in the workplace. Experience A Mix. Lack of websites common pitfall for small businesses | Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. By Deborah M. Todd / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Small businesses hoping to make waves in the Internet economy are sending out leaky canoes in a race against powerboats, according to a recent report. The Score Association, a Herndon, Va. -based nonprofit organization of small business counselors and mentors supported by the U.S. Small Business Administration, released figures last week showing only 51 percent of small businesses have websites, despite the fact that 97 percent of consumers search for products and services online.

Of the small businesses that did have websites, 82 percent were not using social media, 70 percent provided no call-for-action to encourage spending, 93.3 percent were not compatible with mobile devices, and 27 percent didn’t even include a phone number to reach the business. “It varies by industry, but the number of people in the United States who shop online is around 75 million. Mrs. Ms. 3 Tips for Designing an Invoice That Gets You Paid Promptly. Cash flow is one of a business’s most important metrics. You may have a lot of sales and make a hefty profit margin, but when you don’t get paid on time, your business suffers.

You have to pay employees, purchase inventory, as well as other necessary out of pocket expenses – all of which costs money. Yet many businesses report problems with getting paid on time, even for work that has been done and delivered. You invoice your customers to get paid, but have you ever considered whether you’re using it correctly to increase your chances of getting paid on time? To do that, your invoice needs to include three key elements: 1. Establish rapport. Establishing rapport means stating the details of what was delivered, what is owed and that the customer committed to make a payment. We found that the language you use in conveying the commitment to pay can change the customer’s response. Related: Remember These 8 Rules Before Sending Out Your Next Invoice 2: Defining a process. 3: Removing obstacles.