USA Today


Focus on Employees to Build your Small Biz

By Rhonda Abrams on July 17, 2019

When I started my small business, I was committed to treating my employees well. As an employee, I’d worked for bosses who took their employees for granted, and I knew how de-motivating that could be. I knew that I didn’t want to be that kind of boss. Even more importantly, in a small business, your … Read more »

Time for a Small Business Declaration of Independence

By Rhonda Abrams on July 3, 2019

Small business owners: King George III had nothing on you as a tyrant. When the colonists in America rebelled against that despotic (and crazy) English King, they were fighting to take charge of their own lives. They wanted to set the rules, not be dictated to. But as a small business owner, are you really … Read more »

Hey Gig Workers: Are You Really Self-Employed?

By Rhonda Abrams on June 19, 2019

Is an Uber driver a small business owner? Or are they an exploited employee? That question matters to your small business because there’s a war going on over the question of “employee status.” Whether you’re a gig worker, service provider, consultant, or one of the hundreds of other kinds of self-employed entrepreneurs—or you hire those … Read more »

9 Steps to Protect Your Small Biz from Tariffs

By Rhonda Abrams on June 5, 2019

It’s time to recognize the facts: the US is in a trade war. Some of the victims of the war are almost certainly going to be small businesses and small farms. Maybe even yours. Even if your small business does not directly import or export goods, you’re still going to pay and pay big. I’ve … Read more »

Hey Small Businesses: Do You Know Where Your Customers Are?

By Rhonda Abrams on May 22, 2019

You’ve got 20,000 followers for your small business on Facebook. You sell hundreds of products a month on Amazon. Your restaurant increased its sales by linking up with an online food delivery service. This all seems good, right? Not so fast. Who owns your customers? That’s a critical question for you to answer if you … Read more »

Smallbiz expenses

Spring Clean Your Small Business Costs

By Rhonda Abrams on May 10, 2019

It’s spring! Time for the annual ritual of “spring cleaning.” But don’t just clean out your kitchen cupboards. It’s time to clean up—and pare down—your small business expenses. Give me half a day, and I’ll put more money in your bank account. When you’re running a business, you have fixed expenses that you routinely pay … Read more »

Seasonal cash flow

Handling the Summer Cash Flow Crunch

By Rhonda Abrams on May 9, 2019

It’s Small Business Week—the beginning of May—and you know what that means: summer is around the corner. For many businesses, especially women-owned businesses, summer is either their busiest or slowest season. Businesses located in tourist locations, in hospitality industries, or in the wedding business, may see the bulk of their income in the next few … Read more »

Cash Flow

If I’m Making a Profit, Why am I Broke?

By Rhonda Abrams on May 8, 2019

You’ve filed your taxes, right? Or at least filed for an extension? Either way, you had to somehow come up with money to pay the IRS. Ouch! That hurt. Here’s the good news: You run a profitable business. That’s why you owe taxes. But why was there no money in your bank account? Here’s a … Read more »

Small Business Week

Small Business Manifesto

By Rhonda Abrams on

It’s National Small Business Week, so you’ll hear a bunch of platitudes about small business: “Small business is the backbone of the economy, creates new jobs, is the American dream, yada, yada…” All true, but how does that help you?  I’ve been involved with the small business community for 25 years, and it’s time for … Read more »

Business plan

The Secret Ingredient of Successful Business Women: A Business Plan

By Rhonda Abrams on May 7, 2019

Two-thirds of Americans want to start their own businesses and there’s already over 30 million small businesses in the US (US Small Business Administration).  About half of those businesses will survive more than five years. Small Business Week, May 5-11, is the perfect time to start or grow your business. And what’s the first thing … Read more »

Women SmallBiz Week

Women Small Business Owners – Pay Yourself More!

By Rhonda Abrams on May 6, 2019

Just about everyone knows this tough fact: employed women earn less than men—about 80 cents for every dollar. That’s one reason many women start a small business or become self-employed. After all, when you can set your own fees, you’ll make the same as men, right? Not so fast. Here’s a disappointing finding: self-employed women … Read more »

Environment Smallbiz

6 Ways to Finally Clean Up Your Small Business

By Rhonda Abrams on April 24, 2019

It’s “Earth Week,” so it’s time to talk about how you can help protect the environment in your small business. In particular, what are you going to do with all that tech trash you have? If you own a small business, you probably create a whole bunch of tech waste. Look around. I bet you … Read more »


How to Lower Your Small Business Taxes

By Rhonda Abrams on April 10, 2019

My CPA emailed me Friday night, letting me know the taxes I’ll have to pay on my small business income. Gulp—those number are high! (Note to CPAs—wait til Monday to clobber small business clients with bad news…let us enjoy our weekends.) Is it because I had a banner year?  Nope, my income was down. How … Read more »


If You Want to Reach Millennials, Small Biz Owner, Do This

By Rhonda Abrams on March 27, 2019

“Don’t hate, hydrate,” screamed the ad on the poster. Now, it may seem crazy, or craven, to use a social message to sell skin cream, but there’s an important lesson for you, small business owner, behind this marketing ploy. Today’s millennials expect companies—including small businesses—to have a social as well as a business mission. Whether … Read more »


What Small Biz Can Learn from Obama, Oprah

By Rhonda Abrams on March 13, 2019

What insights can President Barack Obama, Oprah Winfrey, and Richard Branson impart about running your small business? Those three were the powerhouse speakers addressing the crowd of 11k at the Qualtrics X4 Summit in Salt Lake City last week. Qualtrics is an experience management software company, recently purchased by SAP for $8 billion. Neither the … Read more »

Women business owners

Women Business Owners: Time to Stick Together

By Rhonda Abrams on February 27, 2019

What if you wanted an easy way to help women business owners succeed? If when you went to buy something or hire someone, you could select a woman-owned business?  Well, if designer/entrepreneur Rebecca Minkoff has her way, you’ll soon have a way to quickly identify women-owned businesses—a “female founder” symbol to look for whenever you … Read more »

Girl Scouts

You Won’t Guess the Biggest Girls Business Training Program

By Rhonda Abrams on February 13, 2019

Can you guess the number one entrepreneurial training program for girls in the United States? Surprise! It’s the Girl Scouts. National Girl Scout Cookie Weekend is February 22-24, and if you’d like to help empower the next generation of female entrepreneurs, go out and buy a box of cookies. (My favorite is Thin Mints, but … Read more »


Shutdown Hurt Your Small Biz?

By Rhonda Abrams on January 30, 2019

No one is paying small businesses back.  The federal government shutdown may be over—at least temporarily—and some government employees may get back pay—but no one is reimbursing millions of small businesses hit hard by the shutdown. They’re hurting, and they’re unlikely to recover soon, if at all. What can small businesses do to recover from … Read more »

Instagram star

7 Tips to Make You an Instagram Star

By Rhonda Abrams on January 16, 2019

Get out your pink paint. Or your coral, or yellow, or teal. By the time you finish reading this column, you’re going to be painting one wall of your small business a color that will “pop” on Instagram. Why? Because Instagram is today’s powerhouse social media site for consumer businesses. If you can give customers … Read more »

New Year's resolutions

11 Time-Tested New Year’s Resolutions for Small Business

By Rhonda Abrams on January 2, 2019

Like many small business owners and entrepreneurs, I start each new year with resolutions to improve my business life. Since I document those new year resolutions in my USAToday column, I’m able to go back and reflect on how I’ve done. I dusted off my list from 1999—20 years ago—to see how those resolutions turned … Read more »