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Taking Advantage of Google’s Small Business Toolkit

Last week Google announced that they had redesigned the Small Business Network to not only help small business owners stay informed about new legislation, but to also include a small business toolkit. The Toolkit was designed to help SMB owners learn about the free Google products available to help them connect with colleagues and run their businesses more efficiently. The goal of the Toolkit (other than just heavily promoting Google’s complete line of services) is to help entrepreneurs and small business owners learn about Google products and to enable them to exchange ideas and best practices with other entrepreneurs. Essentially, it makes it brain dead simple for SMB owners to solve some of their biggest business concerns. For example: Need help finding customers? There’s Google Local B...

Work-At-Home Franchises: Real Opportunities Or Scams?

I’d like to make sure that you understand the difference between a home-based franchise, and a work-at- home “opportunity.” The differences are huge. . . A franchise is a licensing system by which the owner (franchisor) of a product or a service licenses others (franchisees) to market and sell the product or service within a defined territory, following the guidelines established by the franchisor. There is an up-front franchise fee, and you’ll be paying a percentage of your gross sales to the franchisor.  Franchises are regulated by the government, and the seller must give you a detailed disclosure document at least 10 business days before you pay any money or legally commit yourself to a purchase. Here are some examples of some home-based franchises: Kidzart- Children’s art instruction P...

eBay’s Decision Provides a Valuable Back-Up Lesson

After years of providing sellers and other interested parties with space to blog about products, services, or whatever was on their minds, eBay has decided to discontinue the blogging platform hosted by their company, effective Otober 31, 2009. Bloggers and sellers are quickly weighing in on this change, mostly with criticisms about eBay’s decision and their beliefs that the firm cares more about making money than making space for random content. I first learned about eBay’s blogging platform through a 2007 article published in Entrepreneur Magazine. The story explained how anyone could set up a blog, free of charge, to promote their business and gain traffic from eBay’s network. The idea of routing a piece of eBay’s massive traffic my way, even if I wasn’t involved in auction selling, was...

Saving the World at Work: How to Be Socially Responsible in Business

Being socially responsible in business is a growing trend — one being embraced by those who are looking for deeper meaning in their work lives. For some, it’s not enough to grow a business into a commercial success or create a good living for yourself. A growing number of people want more … they want to be responsible when it comes to the environment. They want to do good for others and give back to society. They want to make a difference that goes beyond pure financial results. “Saving the World at Work” is a book that profiles this trend. The subtitle of the book is “What Companies and Individuals Can Do to Go Beyond Making a Profit to Making a Difference.”  That’s a perfect description of what the book is all about. Lots of Examples The first part of the book profiles the changes underw...

Small Business World News Round-up – 2009/09/22

Here is this week’s news round-up for home business, micro business, sole-traders, freelancers, self-employed and any one who is interested in small business news from around the world. Small businesses want, fear health reform: Small-business owners are begging for changes to the health care system, but they believe they have the most to lose when and if reform materializes. From distilleries to backwoods bowling alleys, NYC provides loans to rural small businesses: The city has laid off teachers, trimmed the housing authority payroll, chopped cultural grants and scrambled to close a looming $1.1 billion budget gap. The CEO in the mail room: Small businesses have shed an estimated 1.6 million jobs this year. That leaves the remaining staffers to pick up the workload left behind — and even...

Ten Small Business Startup Ideas – 2009/09/20

If you are sat at home this weekend contemplating starting your own small / micro home business or becoming a self-employed freelancer / sole trader then here are ten quick-fire business ideas to use as a starting point.  A website teaching readers about the day-to-day training requirements for various sports. Improvisational comedy confidence-building exercises. A company which takes your dead electronic equipment and smashes it until it becomes modern art! A premium hotline providing legal advice. A café for aspiring filmmakers to congregate and show their work to receive feedback. A clothes-sharing website for high-value items such as shoes. An impartial advice line for people purchasing consumer electronics. A YouTube channel reviewing local restaurants. Keep other people’s ...

100 Things You Should Know As A Freelancer or Self-Employed

  If you are a freelancer, virtual assistant or self-employed then winweb.com has a list of over 100 tips & tricks for you on how to make your business more profitable, how to find more clients and other useful ways to improve your small business. During times like these you can’t afford to miss a trick, so why not go over to the WinWeb blog and find out more. Read more @ WinWeb Business Blog winweb.com– Software and business services online to start and run a small business – free trial and 100+ free business ideas. Share This

The Seven Deadly Sins When Starting a Business.

Apparently there are millions of people out there thinking about starting a small business. Many doing so for the first time, losing your house or pension should not be part of this experience. Here are some things not to do when you start a new business venture: 1. Don’t spend money if you don’t have too. Think about what you need to start your business. You’ll have many items in your house already, like a computer, ADSL/DSL broadband, desk or even an office. Get free software, like openoffice.org for your word-processing, etc. – get bundles of services, not single applications – it’s often much less expensive. 2. Don’t pay for business ideas. There are many free business ideas online, just google for them. Don’t spend you money on paying someone else to give you an idea, that...

Ontario Update: Preparing for the Harmonized Sales Tax

Toronto Ontario HST In March 2009, the Ontario government announced that it would be harmonizing its PST with the federal GST in order to create a single consumption tax of 13% effective July 1, 2010 (“Harmonized Sales Tax” or “HST”). Other provinces have previously implemented a similar regime or are about to follow suit. The change brings with it the need for both landlords and tenants to understand and plan. From a leasing perspective, that includes ensuring that their leases adequately address the new system. Before HST Currently, separate consumption-based taxes are collected by the Canadian (federal) and Ontario (provincial) governments. At the federal level, a Goods and Services Tax (“GST”) is charged at the rate of 5%. GST applies to most transactions generally seen within the comm...

Real Estate News Toronto – 1/2 September 2009

Commercial Real Estate News Canadian commercial market to recover over 12 to 18 months – The worst is likely over, say the heads of four of Canada’s largest real estate brokerages. Canadian commercial real estate now faces 12 to 18 months of slowly climbing back to normal activity. And when recovery finally kicks into full gear the pace of activity – buying and selling, leasing and even construction. This recession, the four agree, has not been as devastating for the industry in the early 1990s. Globe and Mail, Sep 01, 2009 Cushman & Wakefield LePage transition to Cushman & Wakefield – cushwake.com – Cushman & Wakefield LePage Inc. has changed its name to Cushman & Wakefield Ltd. (Cushman & Wakefield Ltée in Quebec), effective immediately. This c...