Entrepreneurship

Want to Start Your Own Business? Focus on ‘Start’

Wayne Gretzky once said, “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” Thinking about starting a business? The list of things you think you need to figure out before you can start is probably a mile long, isn’t it? Well, good news. You can start talking to potential customers and validating your business idea …

Indie Coffee Shop Thrives in the Shadow of the Dunkin’ Empire

I’m at the Coffee Break Cafe in Quincy, Mass., waiting to meet the shop’s co-owner, Jenn Ormond. The line was five deep when I got here, so I figured I’d sit down and wait for the rush to die down before ordering a coffee. That was almost an hour ago, and I’m still waiting for …

How to Start a Home-Based Medical Billing Service

There’s a reason your mother said that if you can’t be a doctor, marry one — because there’s lots of money to be made in health care. But if you missed the bus to medical school and you haven’t married a doctor, there’s still lots of money to be made from being a health care professional, …

10 Work-From-Home Jobs for 2015

Just a few decades ago, the vast majority of work-at-home job opportunities were far from profitable. And before the dawn of the Internet, it was much harder to sort through the scams and the real opportunities. Some of the “gotcha” job offers from the past include check-cashing schemes, mystery shopping, medical billing “jobs” that require …

How to Stay Productive When Working at Home

The phone keeps ringing. The kitchen sink is full of dishes. The dog has been snoring for 30 minutes and you desperately need to write out your monthly budget and pay your bills. But those things have to wait, and it’s not always by choice. When you work at home, you have to ignore your …

Small Business Saturday: Reframing the Meaning of Success

Perhaps it’s an indication of their business’ success when members of the local media refer to Phil Sherburne and Leia Bell as an indie “power couple.” Sherburne, for one, doesn’t necessarily view himself and Bell that way — as some sort of force to be reckoned with on their local arts and business scene. But Sherburne admits …

Why Your Company Culture Matters, and How to Improve It

It’s 6 a.m. and your alarm clock just went off. As you reach over to turn it off, what are you thinking? Carpe diem!? Today’s the day!? Or… Did you have a rough night of sleep?  Is your head aching? Should you have said no to that third glass of wine? Are you scrambling to remember …

Social Media Basics for Your Business

As I suggested in 15 Ways to Grow Your Business This Year, it’s time to pick a social media platform that best suits you or your business and crush it! Below are some basic steps to start your company toward building an effective social media strategy. Do an Audit Take a snapshot of your company’s social media …

Small Business Saturday: How Tiesta Tea Brewed Up Its Success

It all began with a conversation among friends at a teahouse during a semester in Europe. It could have ended there, like so many college daydreams do, the wistful chatter that populates so much of undergraduate life. But Patrick Tannous and Daniel Klein made their dream come true. The exact date of that conversation remains …

Perfect Your Sales Pitch to Convert More Customers

For the budding entrepreneur, the path to success is filled with roadblocks. What might seem like surefire strategies often flame out quickly. The challenge of attracting and keeping customers requires extensive research of your market and attention to detail. There may be false starts along the way, but this seven-step process will help you perfect your …

Industries That Are Ripe for Disruption

dis·rupt verb \dis-ˈrəpt\ : to cause (something) to be unable to continue in the normal way : to interrupt the normal progress or activity of (something). That’s according to Merriam Webster dictionary. Disrupting an industry involves more than just gaining market share from your competitor. It’s a shift in how business is done — the money …

How Will Dailey Makes a Living as a Middle-Class Musician

Will Dailey’s music career began with a spatula and a tennis racket. As a child, the Boston-area native would lead imaginary orchestras while listening to the classical music, show tunes, and Placido Domingo records his mother would play. The tennis racket was Dailey’s guitar until he got the real thing at age 12. Now 38, …

15 Ways to Grow Your Business This Year

When I look back at my 15 years of business, people often ask what my specialty is. With a diverse background in startups, working in finance, a former business address on Wall Street, and as the co-founder of two nonprofits, the only common theme I see is business growth. Some have grown steadily in the double digits, …

Best Small Business Loans for 2015

Right now could be the best time to find a small business loan since the 2008 subprime mortgage crisis. Better economic conditions and a big increase in competition mean lenders are willing to slash their rates for good prospects. Of course, that doesn’t mean it’s easy to obtain a small business loan from traditional banks. …

How Volunteering Can Help Your Business

Small businesses are always looking for ways to strengthen the culture, empower employees, find new clients, and build goodwill in the community. Many companies will invest time and money in outside consultants, training, and company outings hoping to improve the business environment and achieve these goals. But what if there was a low-cost or no-cost …

Insuring the Sharing Economy

Any doubt about the depth of wisdom of a mother’s time-honored aphorism to “share and share alike” has been laid to rest by the meteoric rise of the sharing economy. From Airbnb to Zipcar and an ever-growing list of collaborative enterprises, the opportunities for consumers and entrepreneurs abound almost equally. No matter whether you attribute …

Why I’m Going Back to Grad School — Or Not

To go or not to go? That is the question. If you’re in a mental traffic jam about graduate school, this post is for you. The grad school debate has been going on for years in my own head, and in the minds of countless others. With the rapid evolution of technology, emerging sectors of commerce, and century-old …

Quick Year-End Tax-Saving Ideas

Holiday stress is boiling over, and the last thing you want to worry about are your taxes due next April. But while enjoying a good year financially thanks to increased earnings and the stock market’s all-time highs is great news, it means your tax bill is going to increase as well. Ideally, you’ve been working taxes into …

Small Business Saturday: Building a Brewery at Proclamation Ale Co.

For longtime musician Dave Witham, crafting beer at his new brewery, Proclamation Ale Co., is a creative process that’s equally, if not more, satisfying than making music. That doesn’t mean launching a nano brewery has been easy for the Rhode Island resident — or without its own long hours. But his new line of business …

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