USA Today

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 »

More money

12 Absurdly Easy Ways to Make More Money

By Rhonda Abrams on November 29, 2017

Want to make more money in your small business? Who doesn’t? Usually, when small business owners think of ways to make more money, they consider things that are pretty tough, like developing new products or services, opening new locations, or adding an eighth day of the week so they can work 24/8 instead of just … Read more »

Small Business Saturday

7 Guilt-Free Ways to Spend Money

By Rhonda Abrams on November 22, 2017

Get ready: the best shopping day of the year is coming this week. You can find bargains, discover great and unique gifts, meet your neighbors, and feel good about every dollar you spend. It’s Small Business Saturday—the Saturday after Thanksgiving—and it’s coming this Saturday, November 25. It’s fun to go shopping on Small Business Saturday. … Read more »

Tax Reform

Small Biz Winners and Losers in the Tax Bill

By Rhonda Abrams on November 15, 2017

If you’re a small business owner hoping to get a tax cut under proposed Republican tax reform, pay close attention. While there will be a few small business winners, most small business owners will see no benefit, and you might be one of the many small business losers. While both the House and Senate bills … Read more »

Smallbiz Wellness

Fight Flu Season with Wellness-Enhancing Tips for your Office

By Rhonda Abrams on November 13, 2017

Cold and flu season has arrived. And your small business workplace may be the breeding ground for all those germs. For a small business, having a healthy workforce is especially critical. With fewer workers, when even one person is out sick, it’s tough to handle the workload. And healthy workers are more productive. According to … Read more »

Low-tech Smallbiz

7 Small Biz Low-Tech, No-Tech Secrets

By Rhonda Abrams on November 8, 2017

Oh, you think you’re so smart, don’t you? In your small business, you’ve mastered social media. You’re a whiz at Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, or some other social media platform. Or all of the above. And you don’t just use technology for marketing, you’ve already moved most of your small business applications to the … Read more »

Trade Show LastMinute

Last-Minute Trade Show Prep

By Rhonda Abrams on November 6, 2017

Yikes! The trade show you’ve signed up to exhibit at is only a week away, and you’re not sure you’re completely ready. Don’t panic. I’m here to help. I’ve teamed up with Staples to help make sure your trade show is a success, no matter how soon it’s coming. What’s a success? You build brand … Read more »

Retail

Cracking the Mystery of Retailer Success

By Rhonda Abrams on November 1, 2017

“Sometimes, I feel like I’m in a Nancy Drew mystery. I just wish I had her little roadster.” Pam Hammond—owner of Paddington Station, the “eclectic emporium” in Ashland Oregon—certainly seems like a grown-up version of the clever, perky girl sleuth, faced with one challenging dilemma after another. Today’s biggest mystery for small business owners like … Read more »

Trade shows

TRADE SHOW 101

By Rhonda Abrams on October 26, 2017

I’m a big believer in trade shows. In my company, we spend the bulk of our marketing dollars exhibiting at trade shows and conferences. So I was delighted when Staples asked me to help Donna Fulmer of Orion Global Solutions prepare to exhibit at the upcoming Smart Hustle Small Business Conference in New York City. … Read more »