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Just how dominant a business tool was social media in 2017? Despite being involved in an investigation by Congress, Facebook reported its highest earnings everin Q3, up nearly 50% from a year ago. Its mobile ads are so popular that the platform is actually starting to run out of space for them, even though they’re charging more than ever. Meanwhile, the network eclipsed the 2-billion-user mark, now counting nearly one-third of the planet among its user base.  These trends show little sign of slowing up in 2018. Here’s a glimpse into five key factors that will impact how businesses use social media in the year ahead:  Read More……

This year my annual list of business trends celebrates its fifth year.  As with previous years, my picks for 2018 represent bold and innovative moves that leading companies around the world are making to drive success.  Some of this years’ trends are in the fledgling phase, while others have already taken root.  These trends come from my own observations or conversations with colleagues and subject matter experts, as well as working closely with businesses of all shapes and sizes. Here are the top 10 Business Trends that are sure to drive success for you and your company in 2018.  We’ve captured all of the trends in an infographic at the end of the article. Read More……

Businesses of all sizes and types are eligible to bid for government contracts through United States federal agencies and through municipal and state governments. These contracts are made in the form of goods and services and for research and technical assistance. If you’re successful in acquiring a government contract, it can help supplement your business’ revenue, increase your reputation in the industry and you in the running for future contract opportunities. Read More……

Surrounded with world-renowned brands such as Amazon, Apple, Procter & Gamble and Netflix, we tend to forget there are over 28 million small businesses in America that create two-thirds of all new jobs.Publications, podcasts, business schools (and myself!) love to analyze what makes these giants successful. Although these case studies are inspirational, it is very hard if not impossible to implement such strategies with little to no marketing budget. Read More……

A brand is the sum total of the experiences your customers and potential customers have with your company. A strong brand communicates what your company does, how it does it, and at the same time, establishes trust and credibility. Your brand lives in everyday interactions with your customers, the images you share, the messages you post on your website, the content of your marketing materials, and in your posts on social networks.  How can a small business develop a strong brand on a tiny budget? Here are 10 tips to help you get started:  Read More……

Lazy. Entitled. Narcissistic. Unreliable. Delusional. Shallow. These are just a few of the terms that have been used over and over and over again to describe the millennial generation.  This demographic cohort, widely accepted as people born between the early 1980s and mid-1990s, has been studied and discussed since the term “millennial” was first coined in 1989 by authors Neil Howe and William Strauss. But the surge of research, articles and reports about millennials over the last decade — mostly published by Gen Xers and baby boomers — all seem to draw a lot of the same conclusions: Individuals of this generation are immature, selfish and don’t want to work as hard as their parents and grandparents did.  Read More……

Just about every business has some means of tracking its own performance — sales numbers, social media engagement, marketing leads, etc. It’s the best way to see how you’re actually doing compared to where you should or want to be.  The same goes for your employees. A formal performance management program helps managers and their employees see eye-to-eye on expectations, goals and career progress, and how those things align with the company’s vision.  Performance management begins with an aligned set of objectives against which each employee can be measured. It also emphasizes learning and development for a higher level of workplace performance. Each employee should be motivated to improve his or her skills, competencies, development and delivery of results. Read More…...

One of the most significant changes under tax reform is the tax treatment of businesses. Unlike changes to the individual tax scheme, which are temporary and somewhat piecemeal, the changes to the business tax scheme are permanent and fairly comprehensive. It would be impossible to address all of the changes so I’m focusing on what I’ve been asked about most: how the new rules will affect pass-through entities and small businesses.  Corporate tax rates, like individual tax rates, are progressive. For 2017, corporate rates range from 15% to 39% (except for personal service corporations which are taxed at 35%) while individual tax rates range from 10% to 39.6%. While the brackets vary, the rates for individuals and corporations are pretty closely aligned. Read more……

A provision in the new tax law allows sole proprietors — along with owners of partnerships or other pass-through entities — to deduct 20 percent of their revenue from their taxable income. The new tax law is likely to accelerate a hotly disputed trend in the U.S. economy by rewarding workers who sever formal relationships with their employers and become contractors.  Management consultants soon may strike out on their own, and stockbrokers may hang out their own shingle.  Read more……

An effective sales strategy should be a priority of every business driven by a culture of sales. Put bluntly, the right sales practices will help a company achieve its goals and thrive. The trick is knowing what the best sales practices are and then applying them to your day-to-day business operations.  Fortunately help is at hand with the following 20 sales best practices that will help your company reach its goals.  Read more……