How to Find and Coach Young Entrepreneurs

Entrepreneurship can be downright frightening, especially for young entrepreneurs. Having an experienced mentor (like you!) can help ease someone's transition into the small business world, and you can help a young entrepreneur bring their ideas to life.

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6 Alternative Ways to Finance Your Business

Secure Business Financing Without a Traditional Loan

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The Virtues of Renting Meeting Space

There are many virtues attached to renting a meeting room. First, if your company is a small business, you probably don't have the space needed to hold a big meeting anyway. Secondly, it's better to pay for space you're using at the time rather than constantly paying for space that may sit empty much of the time. Renting conference rooms is an ideal solution for a small to moderate-sized business to conduct meetings and benefit from the many advantages. Let's look at some of the reasons that conference room rentals should strongly be considered in place of conference calls, Skype sessions or virtual networking.

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What Went Wrong: Five Sagas of Business Failure

Everyone loves a good success story, and it's even better when it's a David and Goliath story about the underdog winning. But more often, contemporary entrepreneurs can learn more from history and studying strategies that fail—“Never get involved in a land war in Asia," as they say in The Princess Bride. Let's look at five of the most famous business failures in American history. What did these companies do wrong and what can you take away from their experiences?

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How-To: Purchasing an Existing Business

Many entrepreneurs think they need to come up with a golden idea to get into the game. But, there are often financially rewarding businesses that already exist that are up for grabs. If you have decided to buy an existing business, you will want to be sure you are making the right choice in your new venture. Only you can determine the right business for your needs; however, the following concepts can help guide you make the best decision. Here's how to identify a potential business to buy.

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How to Get Started as a Consultant

Consultants are often misunderstood. People outside of the orbit of niche consulting often think of consultants as jet-setting experts who have trained for years to become one of the leading experts in their field. The simple truth is that a consultant's job is simply to consult: to analyze a situation, offer advice, bring in outside resources, and help the client to make a plan to do better. It's that simple. There is no magic equation that makes one consultant smarter or more successful than another one.

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How a Virtual Assistant Can Help Busy Real Estate Agents

Great real estate professionals know how to generate business and bring clients and customers into their orbit. But they don't always leverage their volume by having the right support on the administrative side of the transaction. This is where having a virtual assistant from Intelligent Office can provide huge benefits for a busy real estate firm. Let's take a closer look at the advantages of contracting for a highly trained, on-demand virtual assistant.

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Five Marketing Campaigns That Went Horribly Wrong

Being a marketing guru in the modern age is kind of scary when you think about it. Sure, quirky humor and offbeat paces can quickly send an advertising campaign viral. But social media is a double-edge sword that can quickly turn an advertising campaign into an unmitigated disaster. For every ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, Old Spice's “The Man You Could Smell Like," or Android's “Be Together, Not the Same" campaign, there's a disaster waiting in the wings, whether it's merely the flop of Axe Body Spray or a giant popsicle melting in the middle of New York City. A creative and innovative marketing campaign can look great on paper but overlooking critical details can quickly cause them to backfire. Let's take a look at five advertising and marketing campaigns that went horribly wrong and think about how they might have gone differently.

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How to Perform a Proper Market Analysis

You might think the hard part is done once you've come up with an idea for a profit-driving enterprise, but visit any Small Business Development Center and you will quickly discover that one of the most challenging parts of launching a business is preparation. The Small Business Administration is a terrific resource for providing funding, consulting and introductions but in order to access those resources, budding entrepreneurs need two key elements: a business plan and a market analysis. A proper market analysis identifies the geographic and demographic demand for your product or service, examines what economic and societal forces are driving your potential market, and lays out research findings, correlations, and conclusions. Let's examine the key elements of a successful market analysis.

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6 Outdated Technologies Your Business Is Still Using

It is very challenging to stay up to date with office technology given how quickly things change these days, but some companies struggle more than others to keep up. Do you want to be the middle manager who dictates a memo so your secretary can type it up on her word processor before faxing it to a client? Or would you rather be the technology guru who conceptualizes an infographic that demonstrates your company's process cycle before uploading it to your wiki via the cloud? Let's meet the future halfway and look at five office technologies that are dead as a doornail and should be discarded at the earliest opportunity.

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Exit Strategies for Entrepreneurs

Why Every Entrepreneur Needs an Exit Strategy, and Know How to Develop One

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How to Get a Loan from the Small Business Administration (SBA)

Securing a loan from the SBA – What Small Business Owners Need to Know

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Generating Word of Mouth for Your Small Business

How to Use Word of Mouth Advertising for Small Businesses

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Top Cities for Startup Companies in the United States

The legend of companies like Apple and Microsoft starting in garages may have inspired generations of entrepreneurs to market the Next Big Idea, but venture capital money, technological resources and business opportunities aren't limited to Silicon Valley anymore. With the advancement of office technology, more diversity in office operations, and a stronger opinion among employees as to the importance of lifestyle, other pockets are opening up in the U.S. where startup companies are thriving. Here are snapshots of seven communities where entrepreneurship is thriving.

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Making Your Business Plan Stand Out to Investors

Create a Unique Small Business Plan to Attract More Investors

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Entrepreneurs: Save Time and Money by Learning Photoshop Basics

For most design work, you probably want to engage a professional graphic designer—no one wants to see an annual report or other vital documents look like they were cobbled together on a shoestring. But whether you are whipping up small items to use on your company's social media pages or simply want to express your intentions more clearly, it is a very good idea to invest some time in learning the basics of Adobe Photoshop. Here are a few ideas to help you get started.

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Which Social Media Platform is Best for Your Small Business?

You joined Facebook to catch up with friends, Twitter to follow celebrities, LinkedIn to get a job, and YouTube to watch funny videos. Guess what? All of your customers are out there doing the same thing. Social media has become a hugely popular marketing tool, but does your small business really need to be on all of them? The answer lies in identifying what kind of company you really are. Successful approaches to marketing between a brick-and-mortar, community-oriented business, an online-only ecommerce site, and a business-to-business service provider are likely to direct you towards one or two specific social platforms, and that's without even considering your target market. Here are a few observations about the most popular sites.

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