Small Business

Running a small business is no small feat. Expert tips for marketing and growing your company.

The Pros of Planting Startups in Smaller Cities

Quality of life and local incentives can lend a competitive advantage to entrepreneurs when they need it most

Philip Eggers has started six medical device companies in his Dublin, Ohio, hometown. His last five followed a pattern: Eggers would develop the product in his Ohio lab, fly frequently to the Bay Area or Boston to raise money, then relocate the company to one of the coasts when ready to commercialize the product. But Eggers has a different plan in mind for his latest startup, Cardiox, founded in 2006 to develop a noninvasive way to detect heart shunts: He wants to find funding locally and keep his five-employee business in Dublin.

As the economy reels, Eggers is one of many entrepreneurs quick to tout the ease of doing business in small or midsize cities. Plenty of factors make the city of 38,000 outside Columbus attractive for starting up: Abundant, inexpensive office and lab space; a major university, Ohio State, nearby; a growing population; and good local schools to attract workers with families. “It draws the highly skilled and educated people you need to bring in, especially to a high-tech startup company,” Eggers says.

In high-growth and more conventional businesses, many entrepreneurs find that bigger isn’t always better when it comes to selecting a place to start a company. …more at The Pros of Planting Startups in Smaller Cities – BusinessWeek, published 27 March 2009.

Flickr photo credit: Feuillu

By | March 30, 2009|Blog, Small Business|0 Comments

10 Types of Bad Clients and How To Avoid Them

Last week we ran an article about the various characteristics of a good client. This week, we’re going to look at the other end of that: ten different types of bad clients, and what you can do to avoid them.

If you’ve been freelancing for long, then there’s no doubt you’ve read some of the horror stories about bad clients. You may have even run into a few bad clients in your own business.

Over the years, I have noticed that most bad clients seem to fall into certain common patterns. In this post, I share those patterns with you. Keep in mind that none of these bad client types are specific to any one client that I’ve ever worked with. Rather, these examples are a generalization of the many different characteristics a bad client can take. Personally, I rarely ever have to deal with a bad client in my business, and I’ll explain how you too can avoid them later on in the article. …more at 10 Types of Bad Clients and How To Avoid Them – FreelanceFolder, published 17 March 2009.

Flickr photo credit: marblegravy

By | March 26, 2009|Blog, Small Business|0 Comments

18 Tips For Small Businesses That Outsource

Outsourcing has received a bad rap in some circles because of its association with job losses that occur when corporations “export” jobs to countries with much lower labor costs than the U.S.

But those of us who run small and home businesses have a different perspective on outsourcing.

For us, outsourcing is the “secret sauce” that lets us pull together the resources to handle temporary work overloads, reduce fixed costs, speed products to market, simplify distribution, provide more or better service to our customers, and compete with our deeper-pocketed competitors.

Much of the business that small businesses outsource goes to other small and home businesses within our own country. Often those freelancers or subcontractors are business owners we’ve met at local business meetings or events. Sometimes they’re people we’ve “met” by participating in a mailing list or forum, or via specific Web sites, like Elance.

But the key to successful outsourcing has little to do with where you meet the subcontractors and freelancers you work with. Like anything else, it takes planning. Here are 18 ways to get the best results when you outsource work… more at 18 Tips For Small Businesses That Outsource – SmallBizResource, published 19 March 2009.

Flickr photo credit: markhillary

By | March 26, 2009|Blog, Small Business|0 Comments