USA Today

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 »

Taxes

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 »

Millennials

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 »

Obama

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

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 »

Smallbiz Scrooge

Don’t Be A Small Biz Scrooge

By Rhonda Abrams on December 19, 2018

Are you the Scrooge in your small business? Remember  “A Christmas Carol”—Charles Dickens’ tale of a miserly business owner visited by the ghosts of Christmas past, present, and future. Let’s imagine the story with a contemporary small business owner who’s a stingy Scrooge. It’s a blustery Christmas Eve, and you’re Ebby Scrooge, a small business … Read more »

Venture Capital

Women Entrepreneurs Say #TimesUp

By Rhonda Abrams on December 5, 2018

Twenty years ago, I was trying to raise venture capital for a Silicon Valley startup venture I’d launched with a female partner. We had Fortune 100 sponsors and a huge bank ready to invest a million dollars. They had just one requirement: we needed a venture capitalist (VC) to also invest. We thought we had … Read more »

Museum Store Sunday

Museum Store Sunday Transforms Holiday Shopping

By Rhonda Abrams on November 21, 2018

Let’s face it. By the Sunday after Thanksgiving, you’re exhausted. You cooked. You ate. You cleaned. You watched football and parades. And you absolutely need to escape the relatives. On Black Friday, you braved crowds for disappointing sales. You had a great time shopping on Small Business Saturday, but you still have a few hard-to-shop-for … Read more »

Smallbiz Instagram

Instagram Updates for Small Biz

By Rhonda Abrams on November 7, 2018

Two years ago, I wrote a column on how small businesses could best use Instagram to grow their businesses. Geez, does that seem a long time ago now. Social media changes faster than Beyoncé changes outfits. There’s a lot you need to catch up on if you want to take advantage of the benefits of … Read more »

Startup

You Built It. Now What?

By Rhonda Abrams on October 24, 2018

Few things in life beat the excitement of starting a new business or launching a new product. Creating a startup is thrilling. Sure, there’s risk—but risk can be exciting. There’s also challenge and creativity—figuring out how to build something from nothing, finding money, solving problems. But what happens when the startup is started? You built … Read more »

Smallbiz Technology

8 Tech Tips for Small Biz

By Rhonda Abrams on October 10, 2018

Today, every business is a technology business. Whether you have a one-person consulting company or a 500-person manufacturing firm, every business must use technology and use it well. Small business owners don’t need to be early adopters of technology, but you do have to be adopters. But tech can be overwhelming to a small business … Read more »

Tiger Comeback

“Be a Tiger” in your Small Business

By Rhonda Abrams on September 26, 2018

This past Sunday, the great golfer Tiger Woods gave entrepreneurs and small business owners an important lesson: no matter how hard you fall, how much you fail, you can come back. Woods has had more than his share of problems, humiliation, and, let’s face it, plain bad judgment. But on Sunday at the Tour Championship … Read more »

Millennial Smallbiz

29 Businesses to Start Over Age 29 and One to Avoid

By Rhonda Abrams on September 12, 2018

Are you a millennial stuck in a job you hate? Got kids but not earning enough to make ends meet? Still haven’t paid off that student loan? Maybe it’s time to start your own small business. I’ve got 29 great business ideas for those of you over 29—and one business to avoid. Whether it’s a … Read more »

Women smallbiz

Women Biz Owners: Give Yourself a Raise

By Rhonda Abrams on August 29, 2018

Just about everyone knows women employees earn less than men—about 80 cents for every dollar. That’s one reason many women start a small business or become self-employed. When you set your own fees, you’ll make the same as men, right? Not so fast. Self-employed women still make a lot less than self-employed men. Ladies: it’s … Read more »

Women Table

Table: Median Revenue for Men- vs. Women-run Businesses

By Rhonda Abrams on August 28, 2018

See below for research on median revenue for men- vs. women-run businesses that serve at least 100 clients:   Industry Median Male Revenue  Median Female Revenue Percentage Gap Arts and Entertainment  $        96,097  $        80,165 -17% Construction and Trades  $      196,713  $      201,247 2% Creative Professionals … Read more »

Biz from phone

Run your Small Business from your Phone

By Rhonda Abrams on August 15, 2018

Once upon a time, if you wanted to start a small business, you needed a whole bunch of stuff. You needed an office or store, office equipment, staff, a website. Even when I started my own one-person business from my home, I needed an expensive computer and software, not to mention a printer, copier, and … Read more »