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Disenfranchised: How to Get Out of a Bad Franchising Agreement

Posted In FRANCHISING

Buying a franchise can be a lot like getting married: Your courtship is blissful, so you seal the deal and then enjoy a fruitful honeymoon period. But then, at some point, the relationship sours — and you decide you want out. As in divorce, leaving is rarely easy if one party wants to void the [...]
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How to Use LinkedIn to Generate Leads

Posted In SOCIAL MEDIA

Forget six degrees of separation from Kevin Bacon. The odds of most small-business owners selling anything to the Golden Globe-winning actor are astronomical. However, in the context of professional networking on LinkedIn, the six-degrees concept can help you boost your bottom line by connecting you with people you can convert into paying customers. Try these [...]
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5 Tax Tips for Deducting Travel Expenses

Posted In EXPENSES

Business travel can be a lot of things: exciting, tiring, profitable, and — if you don’t properly manage your expenses, per the IRS — taxing (in the financial sense). When it comes to deciding what to claim and how, there’s no substitute for seeking advice from a professional tax preparer (particularly one who’s familiar with [...]
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Building Buzz: How to Spark Word-of-Mouth Marketing

Posted In MARKETING

Word-of-mouth advertising is 10 times more effective than a traditional ad, asserts Jonah Berger, a marketing professor and author of Contagious: Why Things Catch On. But, contrary to popular belief, less than 10 percent of those sought-after personal recommendations happen online. What makes people likely to talk about your business and share your digital content [...]
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Rain or Shine: Using Weather Data to Drive Business Decisions

You can’t make it rain so you can sell more raincoats, and you can’t prevent a snowstorm from keeping customers away. But you can use the weather, inclement or otherwise, to your small business’s advantage. Anne Kleinman, founder of Ad Infinitum, relates the story of a client who ignored the possibility of a downpour during [...]
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Is Profit-Sharing Right for Your Small Business?

Posted In FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT

Profit-sharing? You want me to share my hard-earned profits with people who haven’t invested any capital in my company? Yes, perhaps. Profit-sharing can increase employee productivity and morale while decreasing turnover, among other benefits. Here's a look at whether this strategy could work for your small business. Ins and Outs of Profit-Sharing According to the [...]
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Avoid a Crowdfunding Backlash When the Crowd Gets Ugly

Posted In CROWDFUNDING

When Brooklyn, N.Y.-based Kickstarter came onto the scene in 2009, it promised to upend the age-old traditions of funding art projects. Instead of seeking wealthy patrons or government grants, creative types would ask for contributions online in exchange for tokens of appreciation. The crowdfunding concept caught on. Some 5.7 million people have since pledged over [...]
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Want to Earn More Green? Use the Psychology of Color

Posted In MARKETING

Want to really influence people with your marketing efforts, give some serious thought to the colors you use in everything from advertisements to in-store promotions. Why? Consumers cite color as the reason they buy [PDF] something 85 percent of the time. What’s more, color improves brand recognition by up to 80 percent, and color ads [...]
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