USA Today


Best Place to Start a Business? Check Amazon

By Rhonda Abrams on April 18, 2018

As a journalist covering small business, my email inbox is regularly filled with press releases from companies wanting publicity. Often, they’re announcing the result of some survey they sponsored. They’ll hire a polling company, gather some data, and put out a list: Best places to retire, Best places to raise children, Best this, Best that. … Read more »


Stop Talking and Start Doing

By Rhonda Abrams on April 11, 2018

So, you always wanted to own your own small business? You dream of being your own boss? But you’re stuck in a rut. You’re still in a dead-end job with a boss you hate. Or you’re sitting on your couch at 11 am wondering, ‘What am I doing with my life?’ Well, it’s time to … Read more »

Smallbiz Idea

5 Ways to Tell if your Business Idea is Any Good

By Rhonda Abrams on April 4, 2018

Almost every time I give a speaking engagement, a wanna-be entrepreneur approaches me with their great idea for a new small business. Often, it’s a new product. Sometimes it’s a new kind of service or an innovative app. What they all have in common is the ‘this-can’t-fail’ enthusiasm of the person with the idea. But … Read more »

Cafe Smallbiz

8 Rules for Running your Small Biz from a Café

By Rhonda Abrams on March 28, 2018

I have a confession to make: I love doing work for my small business in a café. I’m not alone. Look around most coffee houses, and you’ll see businesspeople and students toiling away on laptops. But remember: that café owner is a small business owner too. How can you be fair to them while turning … Read more »


Instagram, It’s Not Just for Pics Anymore

By Rhonda Abrams on March 21, 2018

Want a sell-out crowd of small business owners at your next Chamber of Commerce meeting? Then invite a speaker on the topic of “How to Increase Sales Using Social Media.” Small businesses are excited about, but challenged, when it comes to using social media for actually conducting business. Now, there’s a newly expanded tool they … Read more »

Lin-Manuel Miranda

Lin-Manuel Miranda Spills Secrets of Success

By Rhonda Abrams on March 14, 2018

When the organizers of Qualtrics’ X4 Summit were looking for a “wow” factor for their annual tech conference in Salt Lake City, they pulled out all the stops. Maroon Five played a two-hour private concert. Tony Hawk, Arianna Huffington, Magic Johnson, shared business insights. Olympian Jonny Moseley skied with attendees. But when CEO Ryan Smith … Read more »

Smallbiz Customers

7 Reasons Your Customers Hate You

By Rhonda Abrams on March 7, 2018

Ever wonder why your small business customers keep breaking up with you? It’s not them; it’s you. Sure, you want to blame the competition down the street—it’s younger, sexier, or cooler. But more likely, you’ve done something to irritate your small business customers—you take them for granted, you never call anymore, you don’t do the … Read more »

What's in your Core

What’s at your Core?

By Rhonda Abrams on February 28, 2018

I’ve created a major new product for my small business, and, after more than two years of hard work and investment, it’s almost ready to launch. I’m not quite ready to tell you what it is. But I can tell you that a few years ago, I took a good, hard look at my small … Read more »

Year of the Dog

What the Year of the Dog Holds for Your Small Business

By Rhonda Abrams on February 21, 2018

Gung Hay Fat Choy. That’s the traditional greeting for Chinese New Year—which began on Friday, February 16 with celebrations continuing for two weeks. What does the Chinese New Year mean for your small business? In the Chinese—or Lunar—calendar, each year corresponds with one of the 12 animals in the Chinese zodiac. According to legend, the … Read more »

Ice skating lessons

Small Biz Lessons from Ice Skating

By Rhonda Abrams on February 14, 2018

The Winter Olympics are here, and figure skating is always one of the most popular sports of the games. I know I’m always enthralled watching how athleticism and artistry are combined. When I was just starting my small business, I was an enthusiastic, though not very good, ice skater, and I found there were many … Read more »

Trends 2018

Small Biz Trends for 2018

By Rhonda Abrams on February 12, 2018

You don’t have to be “trendy” to take advantage of emerging trends to help your business grow. Smart small business owners know they need to keep up with social and technological changes to succeed and survive over time. Which trends can your small business benefit from in 2018? Local. The term “local” is hot. Consumers … Read more »

Valentine's Day

Valentine’s Day is for Small Biz Too

By Rhonda Abrams on February 7, 2018

It’s nearly Valentine’s Day—so it’s time to show your small business customers some love. In today’s #MeToo and #TimesUp climate, that doesn’t mean doing anything your grandmother would be ashamed of you for. And it doesn’t (necessarily) mean sending customers a box of chocolates or Valentine’s Day cards. No, it means insuring your customers know … Read more »

Smallbiz Tasks

8 Not-So-Sexy Tasks for Small Business

By Rhonda Abrams on January 31, 2018

You love your small business, right? Your friends envy you. After all, every day, you get to do something you love, work with people you’ve chosen, set your own hours. It’s paradise, correct? C’mon, you and I both know the truth—running a small business also means dealing with a whole bunch of not-so-sexy stuff. Here’s … Read more »

Social Responsibility

What Main Street Can Learn from Wall Street

By Rhonda Abrams on January 24, 2018

If you think your small business should only be focused on profits, think again. The world is changing: customers, employees, communities increasingly expect companies to serve a social good, not just make money. It’s time to start thinking not of just one bottom line, but of a “triple bottom line.” Perhaps no better proof of … Read more »

Smallbiz fees

Don’t Nickel-and-Dime Your Small Business Customers

By Rhonda Abrams on January 17, 2018

When I started my first small business, my lawyer gave me some memorable advice. “Rhonda,” he counseled, “I’ve never had a client dispute a bill for professional services. People willingly pay thousands of dollars in hourly fees without complaint, but if I bill them $2 in mailing charges, they’ll get upset. It’s small items that … Read more »

Smallbiz growth

7 Can’t-Miss Rules for Small Biz Growth

By Rhonda Abrams on January 10, 2018

Ask virtually any small business owner what they want for their company, and the answer is likely to be “more customers, more money, more business.” In other words, they want their business to grow. But how do you get your small business to grow? Like many small business owners, in the beginning of my own … Read more »

Smallbiz Resolutions

7 Small Business Resolutions for 2018

By Rhonda Abrams on January 3, 2018

It’s that time of year again: time for new year’s resolutions. Personal resolutions can be tough to keep—lose those pounds or quit smoking—but small business new year’s resolutions can be a whole lot easier and bring you greater satisfaction and success by year’s end. Seven resolutions to help you succeed in 2018: 1. Find—and speak … Read more »

Smallbiz Year-End

Do These 3 Things in Your Small Biz Before Year End

By Rhonda Abrams on December 20, 2017

In your small business, it’s almost time for you to tear the December 2017 page of your calendar off the wall. Before you do, there are three last-minute, year-end steps you can take to improve your small business bottom line for 2017. For advice on year-end financial tips, I turned to three of the leading … Read more »

No Sexual Harassment

Why Sex is Holding Women in Business Back

By Rhonda Abrams on December 13, 2017

Sexual harassment is one of the many obstacles women entrepreneurs face as they try to grow small businesses into bigger enterprises, as pointed out in a new report, “Tackling the Gender Gap: What Women Entrepreneurs Need to Thrive,” released today by Senator Jeanne Shaheen, Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship. … Read more »

Horrible Small Business

The Worst Month Ever for Small Business

By Rhonda Abrams on December 6, 2017

December should be a happy time for small business owners. Your cash registers should be full or you should be enjoying holiday parties. But to borrow a phrase, December, 2017 is going to be small business’s terrible, horrible, no good, very bad month. This month, a number of decisions will be made or considered with … Read more »