USA Today

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 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 you can … 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 »

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 »