Blog 2018-02-01T16:29:15+00:00

Tax Deductions Checklist For Small Business

Tax deductions (also known as tax write-offs) are a legal way for small businesses to reduce their tax burden by reducing the amount of income that is subject to taxation. And the US tax code provides lots of opportunities for claiming deductions. Take advantage of them.  Many small businesses leave money on the table come tax time simply because they're not aware of all the deductions available to them. The avoidance of tax is the only intellectual pursuit that still carries any reward. —John Maynard Keynes In this article, you'll find a list of valid tax deductions that attempts to [...]

Digital Marketing: A Simple Guide

Digital marketing.  Is it just a catchphrase?  A meaningless marketing buzzword? Every third person online claims they're an expert at it. The truth is that digital marketing is a real set of practices that, when done well, can drive revenue and profits for your business. But with all the hype out there, it can seem obscure, overwhelming and confusing. For our purposes, we'll leave out other forms of 'digital' or electronic advertising such as radio, TV, cold-calling and electronic signage and billboards. We'll define digital marketing simply as any form of marketing that takes place online. Still a pretty broad [...]

How To Fix Mixed Content

Mixed content can often be the next security challenge for you to address with your website after you've installed an SSL certificate. Instead of seeing the reassuring green lock (or similar) symbol in the address bar of their web browser, visitors are seeing some form of warning, even though your site address now starts with HTTPS.   What's going on? Why are Internet Explorer, Chrome, Firefox and other browsers appearing to treat your website as only partially secure?  Why are some versions of browsers occasionally giving a message to visitors such as “this site has insecure content” or “only secure [...]

Built To Last Book Review

Built To Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies by Jim Collins and Jerry Porras Paperback, 369 pages.  Originally published 1994. Not since In Search of Excellence has a business management book been as successful and iconic as Built To Last. Published in 1994, Built To Last introduced the acronym 'BHAG' into the business lexicon, resurrected 'vision' as a respected idea in business again and vaulted Collins to fame as one of the leading management gurus of modern times. It's hard to overstate how big of a success Built to Last has been.  It spent over six years on the Businessweek [...]

Understanding Mobile-First Indexing

In November 2016, Google announced that it would begin adopting mobile-first indexing in the near future: Although our search index will continue to be a single index of websites and apps, our algorithms will eventually primarily use the mobile version of a site’s content to rank pages from that site, to understand structured data, and to show snippets from those pages in our results In December 2017 Google confirmed that it had indeed begun rolling out mobile-first indexing. To recap, currently our crawling, indexing, and ranking systems typically look at the desktop version of a page's content, which may cause [...]

How To Hire A Great Consultant

The process of hiring a consultant can be daunting, especially for a small business owner. Oftentimes, you are bringing on somebody who has an area of expertise--be it marketing, leadership, project management, public relations, human resources, legal or other--that you lack.  And the 'product' is not tangible.  And there aren't warranties. On top of this, it's easy to find stories of long consulting projects that grew in price and scope and were eventually unsuccessful.  It's also not hard to reach out to fellow owners and find complaints along the line of 'I'm doing all the work; I thought that's what [...]

The Lean Startup Book Review

The Lean Startup: How Today's Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation To Create Radically Successful Businesses by Eric Ries Paperback, 338 pages. Originally published 2011. The Lean Startup is one of the most influential books on entrepreneurship to be published in the last ten years, offering a prescription of systematic entrepreneurship to drive innovation and value creation. It has introduced terms such as 'validated learning' and 'minimum viable product' into the mainstream business vocabulary.  And the book has been heralded by leading management gurus, CEOs and business publications. In fact, the book has generated so much attention and has such an easy-to-digest [...]

Retargeting: Staying In Front Of Prospects

Retargeting (or remarketing, as Google calls it) addresses the old axiom of marketing that it takes multiple 'touches' with your business before a prospect will convert.  Though we'd all like to imagine that every prospect who visits our site is so blown away that they immediately convert, this doesn't in fact happen every time (or even most times). Retargeting is a form of paid digital advertising that uses online tracking mechanisms to server your ads to people who have already visited your website (and therefore demonstrated at least some interest in your business). The attraction of of retargeting for advertisers [...]

Best Business Books: The Essential 35 For Owners

The best business books inspire, educate and stand the test of time. They're valuable resources that you find yourself coming back to again and again--gaining new lessons or appreciation for the same words you've read before as you travel the path of business and appreciate more fully what the author was actually describing. The best business books also provide not only ideas on broad strategy or themes but also smaller, more practical insights distilled from years of experience or observation. Here are 35 of our favorite books that meet these standards.   1. Losing My Virginity When you think of [...]

The One Thing Business Book Review

The ONE Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results by Gary Keller and Jay Papasan. Paperback, 240 Pages.  Originally published 2013. The ONE Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results is the latest book by Gary Keller and Jay Papasan and though its theme has been critiqued by some as simplistic, it's in fact an insightful and nuanced guide for business owners. To appreciate the context of the book it's useful to know a little about the author. Gary Keller is one of the most successful entrepreneurs and business authors in America.  He's the chairman of the board [...]