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Mon, 2011-11-07 07:17

How does your business cope with the peaks and valleys of increased workload? By hiring the expertise of subcontractors, independent contractors, or freelancers to handle your extra work, your business can quickly scale up without creating a lot of additional overhead.
However, to realize these savings it’s critical that you understand the pros and cons of working with subcontractors, and the hows of finding the right one for your needs. Here are five tips and considerations to help you assess your hiring strategy.
How Much Money Can You Save?

Thu, 2011-11-03 14:52

Has the state of the economy affected your company’s bottom line?  Sales down? Looking for new customers? Consider breaking into a huge new market by going global. After all, 95 percent of the world’s customers live outside the U.S.
You might be thinking: “Export? Me? I don’t think so.” Worried about regulations, currency exchanges, customs and international law?  SBA is here to help.

Thu, 2011-11-03 08:55

Many consider email marketing as the de facto way to generate leads—just think of the countless offers and specials you get in your personal Inbox daily. But email marketing is more than that, it’s a general outreach tactic that every business can benefit from to help improve brand awareness, promote events and compliment your social media efforts.
Is Email Marketing Still a Valid Tactic?
There’s been a lot of debate too about whether social media has replaced email marketing as a primary marketing communication tool for businesses.  The truth is there is room for both.

Wed, 2011-11-02 17:00

Guest blog post by Assistant Secretary for Trade Promotion and Director General for the U.S.
and Foreign Commercial Service Suresh KumarI’m
proud to be speaking at the 30th District Export Council Conference
(DEC), in Las Vegas, Nevada.  We have more than 40 DECs represented from
across the country at the conference this year.  The DECs are comprised of
business leaders from around the country who are nominated by the U.S.
Department of Commerce’s Commercial Service (often in consultation with other

Wed, 2011-11-02 16:01

The idea behind surety bonding is simple and direct.  One person, or entity, guarantees to another that a third person will perform a contract according to its terms.  Historical records show a personal surety assuring Pharaoh that a farmer will place an agreed upon amount of grain, of a specific quality, and by a certain date, into Pharaoh’s coffers.

Wed, 2011-11-02 16:00

When President Barack Obama
signed the America Invents Act (AIA) into law six weeks ago, he did more than
just implement the largest patent reform since 1836. The AIA aims to help small
business secure patent protection for their inventions in a variety of ways.
The Act offers not only favorable legal provisions, but also establishes
studies and programs to further investigate how Congress may assist small
businesses in the future. The provisions in the AIA help simplify the patent

Wed, 2011-11-02 12:00

Cross
post by Commerce Chief Economist Mark DomsLast week’s gross domestic product (GDP) report confirmed that our economy continues to grow (2.5 percent
in the third quarter), although not as quickly as we would like. The
fears of a “double dip” recession didn’t come to pass (if anyone in the
DC area is interested in a triple dip, head to Ben and Jerry’s from 4 to
7 for their 3-dips-for-3-bucks special.).  One reason why the economy
isn’t growing faster is that budget constraints are forcing continued

Wed, 2011-11-02 11:30

The U.S. Commerce Department's National Institute of Standards and
Technology (NIST) has released for public comment a draft "roadmap" that
is designed to foster federal agencies' adoption of cloud computing,
support the private sector, improve the information available to
decision makers and facilitate the continued development of the cloud
computing model.

Wed, 2011-11-02 08:53

You may think that a board of directors is reserved for large corporations with shareholder investments to oversee and strategic decisions to be made. The truth is that many small businesses can benefit from a board of directors.
If you structure your business as an S Corporation or a Corporation you are required by law to have a board of directors.  Likewise, if you receive venture capital funding you will need to form a board on which your investors will sit.
But there are several other reasons why small businesses might consider forming a board.

Mon, 2011-10-31 11:43

Everyone has to increase their prices eventually. If you’re fortunate your customers won’t notice. But in a budget conscious economy, the chances are they will.
If you run a contract- or consulting-based business, it can be doubly difficult to raise your rates because you’re going to have to be upfront about the changes, and in all likelihood negotiate a new contract.

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