The future of small business is the future of business itself, at least that’s what we believe here at Small Business Trends. But charting that future is not always easy. There are as many possible shapes for small business in the future as there are entrepreneurs and small business owners. Whoever you are and whatever your business might be, here, at least, are some signposts for the journey.
Why panicking is never an effective business strategy. Sure, there’s a lot of worry out there about the economy, but let’s not forget. The whole economy isn’t within your sphere of influence, is it? You’re a small business owner, an entrepreneur if you prefer. And the most important thing for you to worry about is finding opportunities that will help your small business thrive. Open Forum
One hugely important issue: Mind your customer service. And one thing you can control is how you treat customers, so take care not to treat them badly or let anyone working for your company do so. Customer relationships are key to your company’s present and its future, so manage these relationships appropriately. Entrepreneur
What’s the next big business idea? No, it’s more than just an idle question. We really want to know! Leave your answer in the comment section of the blog for our sister site, BizSugar.com and you could win a cool prize. More importantly, though, we’ll be creating a bunch of actionable suggestions that may give you food for thought in your next venture. BizSugar Blog
New workspaces emerge. Working from a home office is often a good option for a startup especially if you don’t need a physical address in the early stages, but a traditional office space is not necessarily the next stop after your new business gets too big for the den. Fortunately, an emerging model for shared and social workspace might be one answer. Fast Company
The solo part-time venture. One important thing to remember when starting a business these days is that hiring employees and quitting your job may not be the way to begin. For anyone who suggests that part-time entrepreneurship is the wrong approach, Fred Leo would like to set you straight. Fred is our BizSugar “Contributor of the Week” over at BizSugar, has experience as a part-time entrepreneur and would love to help you get started. BizSugar Blog
A true romance. Forget everything you’ve ever heard about the dangers of relying on a key client or customer when starting out. New research suggests everything that’s been drilled into us on this subject may be wrong. Conventional wisdom may hold such relationships can make your business too dependent and too vulnerable, but the new evidence suggests some benefits in finding that first match made in heaven. WSJ
How to run a Website empire. It should come as no surprise to budding entrepreneurs that a substantial number of businesses now and in the near future will be Internet based. Inexpensive to launch and with lower overhead then many other possible startups, an Internet business, especially one including multiple sites, can still be much more challenging than it first appears. In this interview, Anita Campbell, CEO of Small Business Trends and BizSugar.com, gives us an inside peak at the process. Awesome DIY Websites
Are bad habits killing your business? No, we’re not talking about biting your fingernails here, but serious bad habits that could hamper how you grow your business in the long-run. Foolish habits that rob you of the chance to make positive, thoughtful decisions about how to grow your business can slowly pull your efforts down. Beware the next business decision you make. Is it made out of habit? Open Forum
New government regulatory changes are designed to help business. But will they help your small business enough? The Obama Administration, trying to shake the charge of being small business unfriendly, has introduced some regulatory cuts and eliminations in an effort to lighten the burden for all businesses. But is the effort worthwhile or too little, too late? WSJ
Another look at the $10 billion overhaul. No, this won’t cost you $10 billion, but it’s projected the proposed streamlining of business regulations could save businesses that much money over the next five years. Tell us what you think of the overhaul. Is it enough to make things better for your small business? Bloomberg BusinessWeek
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