USA Today

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 »

Smallbiz Divorce

Divorce-Proof Your Small Business

By Rhonda Abrams on August 1, 2018

Do you love your small business more than your spouse? Wait, don’t answer that. When you’re an entrepreneur, it’s easy for your spouse or partner to feel like you care more about your business than you do about them. Running a business can be all-consuming, taking a lot of time, a lot of money, and … Read more »

Success Secrets

11 Secrets of Small Business Success

By Rhonda Abrams on July 25, 2018

Over the years, my small business has had its share of ups and downs. The economy tanked. My distributor went bankrupt. I lost valuable employees and lost a lease. In fact, the entire book publishing industry changed in the time I’ve been in it (I’m a publisher…). But 25 years later, I’m still here. What’s … Read more »

Keep Your Small Business Customers Coming Back

By Rhonda Abrams on July 18, 2018

When it comes to your small business customers, are you afraid of commitment? Are you constantly seeking a new client to excite you? Is hanging out with your old customers turning you off? Many entrepreneurs build companies based around having a continual flow of new, one-time clients. Many types of businesses provide services a customer … Read more »

Seven Tricks for Home Office Success

By Rhonda Abrams on July 11, 2018

For more than a decade, I ran my small business from my home. I loved it. I’d boast about my “one room commute” to friends when they’d complain about being stuck in commuter traffic. My business eventually outgrew my home office, but I still work from home regularly, so over the years, I discovered a … Read more »

Immigrants

Time to Celebrate Immigrants

By Rhonda Abrams on July 4, 2018

It’s the Fourth of July, and as you head to a holiday beach or barbecue, look around your town. Take a moment to notice—and appreciate—all the many small businesses—and large ones too—started by immigrants. As we celebrate America, we also celebrate what America has meant—and continues to mean—for immigrants from throughout the world. A few … Read more »

Smallbiz Vacation

Tell Your Small Biz Employees to Get Lost

By Rhonda Abrams on June 27, 2018

Would it kill your small business if you took a vacation? What would happen if you gave your small business employees a vacation too? One of the most challenging aspects of owning a small business is figuring out how and when to take a vacation. And, as hard as it is for you to go … Read more »

Values

A Small Biz Needs Values, So Does Our Country

By Rhonda Abrams on June 20, 2018

On Tuesday, June 19, President Donald Trump spoke before an organization that often purports to represent small business, attempting to gin up support of the small business community for his policy of separating immigrant families. As someone who has worked with small businesses across the United States for more than two decades, I know this … Read more »

Smallbiz myths

8 Myths About Small Business

By Rhonda Abrams on June 13, 2018

With USA Today’s launch of their new section for small business, USA and Main, I thought it would be good to get some of the most persistent myths about small business out of the way. Having worked with thousands of small business owners over my more than 25 years in business, and owning a small … Read more »

Inspirational Quotations

Time to Inspire Your Small Business

By Rhonda Abrams on June 6, 2018

As a small business owner, have you ever said “I want to quit my job” even though it’s your own company? Every small business owner feels that way from time to time. We need some inspiration to refill our motivation tanks. I’m a big fan of inspirational quotations. Quotations remind me of truths I know … Read more »

Net Neutrality

Net Neutrality Loss Is Loss for Small Business

By Rhonda Abrams on May 30, 2018

Last month, during Small Business Week, small businesses descended on US Senators’ offices. They signed petitions, wrote letters and emails, even put up billboards. What was all the fuss about? Small businesses were trying to help save open and equal access to the Internet. The US Senate, in a bipartisan vote, tried to do its … Read more »

Seasonal Survival

10 Tips for Small Biz Seasonal Survival

By Rhonda Abrams on May 23, 2018

Memorial Day is the traditional kickoff of the summer season, and for many small businesses, that means customers flocking through the doors. For others, it’s the doldrums: customers don’t come, clients don’t call. Whether you sell surfboards or snowboards, picnic baskets or Christmas baskets, the health of your small business may be directly related to … Read more »

Customers

Become a Delightful Small Biz

By Rhonda Abrams on May 16, 2018

In today’s world, a small business needs to stand out. To survive, you need loyal, even fanatic, customers.  It’s tough to compete on price, or even convenience, so what’s going to make a difference? Delight and surprise your customers. Customers today spread the word about businesses. When they’re unhappy, they quickly blast you on social … Read more »

Surviving Amazon

Surviving Amazon

By Rhonda Abrams on May 9, 2018

If you ask most small businesses “What’s the biggest threat to your business?” they’re likely to say “Amazon.” This is especially true for brick-and-mortar retailers, but Amazon is disrupting just about every industry.  If your small business isn’t yet threatened by Amazon, it will be. Now, Amazon isn’t the first big company to menace small … Read more »

Facebook

Facebook: A Mixed Bag for Small Business

By Rhonda Abrams on May 2, 2018

Many small business owners watched recent revelations about Facebook with mixed emotions. Like most Americans, they were surprised to discover how much information the social media collects on its users. Even more worrisome was learning that 87 million Americans had their data exploited by Cambridge Analytica, a firm with ties to Donald Trump’s campaign, to … Read more »

Small Business Advisors

Best Small Biz Advisors Share Best Small Biz Tips

By Rhonda Abrams on April 25, 2018

America loves small business, and next week, April 29 to May 5, America observes “Small Business Week”—dedicated to recognizing the best small business owners and entrepreneurs. I also want to recognize the best small business support in the country: the consultants of America’s Small Business Development Center (ASBDC) network. So I’m hosting a Facebook Live … Read more »

Business

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 »

Business

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 »