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MaidPro Expands to Mount Vernon, New York

PR Web - Tue, 2016-05-24 03:30

MaidPro celebrates the opening of its newest office in southern Westchester County, New York. MaidPro Fleetwood joins six MaidPro locations currently serving the Empire State.

(PRWeb May 17, 2016)

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InXpress Named Top in Category on Franchise Business Review for Fifth...

PR Web - Tue, 2016-05-24 03:30

For the fifth consecutive year, Franchise Business Review ranked InXpress as one of the top 50 franchise organizations, once again sealing their spot as the top franchise in its category.

(PRWeb May 17, 2016)

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Brandify Receives Four 2016 Muse Creative Awards

PR Web - Tue, 2016-05-24 03:30

Awards Granted To Brandify for Creative Innovation of its App, Website, Video and Social Campaigns

(PRWeb May 17, 2016)

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StayNTouch Partners with Oliver Hospitality to Bring Innovative PMS...

PR Web - Tue, 2016-05-24 03:30

StayNTouch Partners with Oliver Hospitality to Bring Innovative PMS and Mobility Solutions to Four Distinctive Hotels in Atlanta, Nashville, Knoxville

(PRWeb May 17, 2016)

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Surefire Social Adds Powerful Content Publishing Features for Website,...

PR Web - Tue, 2016-05-24 03:30

SurePulse enables small businesses and local marketing professionals to control their marketing activities and evaluate ROI with one simple platform.

(PRWeb May 17, 2016)

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Mosquito Squad, The Original Mosquito Control Company, Launches Zika...

PR Web - Tue, 2016-05-24 03:30 is a daily news aggregation website focusing on the Zika virus

(PRWeb May 16, 2016)

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Adam & Eve Stores Franchise To Open In The Sevierville, TN

PR Web - Tue, 2016-05-24 03:30

Adam & Eve Stores Newest Franchise Location Will Open In Sevierville, Tennessee This Summer

(PRWeb May 16, 2016)

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MG will start GS crossover sales in UK in second half

AutoNews - Tue, 2016-05-24 01:01
China's SAIC Motor will launch sales of the locally built MG GS compact crossover in the UK in the second half.
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What if distracted walkers had emergency warning systems?

AutoNews - Tue, 2016-05-24 01:01
In a new campaign, Nissan is using collisions among those with the habit of looking down at their smartphones while walking to highlight its safety technology.
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North Carolina denies Tesla a dealership license

AutoNews - Mon, 2016-05-23 17:49
North Carolina denied Tesla Motors' bid to attain a second dealership license in the state, saying the automaker must go through a third-party dealership group.
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5 Lessons for Growing Your Small Business

Small Business Trends - Mon, 2016-05-23 17:30

There’s exciting news for those of us who love small businesses: the 2015 Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) found that nearly 14 percent of working age Americans are now either starting or running new businesses. That’s a record high for this study since it first began 16 years ago.

Small Business Week runs the first week of May to promote and honor America’s entrepreneurs and small business owners. After all, small businesses are the engine of the U.S. economy. According to data from the SBA, roughly two-thirds of all new jobs in this country are thanks to small businesses. And while it’s important to formalize this recognition with an official week, it’s equally important that we support small businesses throughout the year.

As a serial entrepreneur and someone who has helped tens of thousands small businesses get off the ground, I’ve come to appreciate one thing about small business ownership: starting a business may be hard, but scaling that business up can be even harder. That’s why I’m sharing some of the key lessons I’ve learned on how to grow your business and take it to the next level.

How To Grow Your Business 1. Focus On Your Brand, and More Branding

No matter how small your business may be, it has a brand. You may not have a marketing department or outside branding agency, but your business certainly has a brand. This is the emotional attachment that connects your customers to your product, service, and company. And it’s this emotional attachment that keeps your customers coming back more than pricing or any other strategy.

How do you want people to feel when they think about your company and product/service? How is your company inspiring its customers or creating other positive memories? Think deeply about these questions. Then, make sure that every aspect of your company — from your website to products, advertising, and employee policies — reinforces the brand image you want to portray.

2. Dedicate Blocks of Time to Work on the Business

There is a great article on Small Biz Trends offering solid tips on “How to Work ON Your Business, Not IN it“. When you’re running a business, you can keep yourself busy every second of the day. But busyness doesn’t necessarily equal success: in other words, just because you’re working around the clock doesn’t mean you’re driving your business forward.

If you are constantly focused on the day-to-day tasks and reacting to every request, email, or issue, it means that no one is actually working on building out the business for the long term. That makes it very hard to grow from where your business is right now. Set aside time in your schedule to work on getting new business and your company’s long-term strategy. Some choose to work only on new business deals every morning until 11 am; others schedule Friday afternoons or Monday mornings. Pick whatever time works for your schedule and stay disciplined: focusing on the future is the only way you can grow.

3. Surround Yourself with Great People

Small business owners are used to wearing all (or at least most) of the hats in their business. However, a successful company requires a team, not just one person. With only one person responsible for each decision or activity, there’s only so far your business can scale. Consider some of the tasks you could hand over to contractors, employees, interns, and even family members. Try delegating some of your major pain points first; this will free up your time to focus on the important stuff.

One word of advice. When small businesses start growing, owners often feel compelled to bring on a senior employee from a big company with an impressive resume. While this specific expertise can help in some cases, you should be hiring for smarts, work ethic, and culture-fit with your business rather than fancy words on a resume.

4. Invest in Your Legal Foundation

If you started a business without a clear growth strategy in mind, you may not have been thinking about a legal business structure. If you didn’t designate a structure, then by default, you’re operating as a sole proprietor (one owner) or general partnership (more than one owner). As you start growing, or are thinking about growing, it’s time to formalize your business structure — either by becoming a corporation or LLC (Limited Liability Company).

While there are several benefits to the corporation and LLC, the main advantage is that these structures help protect your personal assets. This means that if something should happen in your business (e.g. it gets sued or can’t pay its debts), then your personal assets can be protected and the responsibility falls on the shoulder of your business as its own entity.

5. Invest in Your Health and Sanity

A study from Bank of America found that managing a small business is twice as stressful as maintaining a healthy relationship with a spouse or partner and three times as stressful as raising children. Furthermore, small business owners routinely skip free time, exercise, and other personal priorities in order to focus on the business.

I can’t stress enough the importance of taking care of yourself, while you’re taking care of your business. After a few debilitating panic attacks brought on by business stress, I’ve learned to make my well being priority number one. When I’m feeling stuck or down, I get to the gym. Exercising and listening to music are my reset buttons. Find what feeds your soul and schedule it into your calendar just like an important client meeting. Because running a business is an ultra-distance marathon, and you need to have fuel in your tank to keep going.

Kudos to those of you who are traveling the exciting road of entrepreneurship. I know how hard the journey can be, but the challenges are so worth it!

Do you have any great tips to share on how to grow your business?

Watering Can Photo via Shutterstock

This article, "5 Lessons for Growing Your Small Business" was first published on Small Business Trends

Pitney Bowes SendPro Offers Cost-Effective Shipping for Small Biz

Small Business Trends - Mon, 2016-05-23 15:30

Shipping and mailing products provider Pitney Bowes just launched a “first of its kind” shipping software called SendPro, that enables small businesses to utilize the same technology used by large companies to manage shipping, mailing and parcel payments but at a price that fits most small business budgets.

About SendPro Shipping Software

The SendPro shipping software solution is an online application that lets businesses manage U.S. Postal Service, FedEx and UPS shipments from a single portal. Users can compare carriers and shipping options in one place, simplifying the shipping process.

The product was developed based on the results of a research study commissioned by Pitney Bowes that revealed a growing frustration among small businesses over the lack of shipping software options, which, according to the company, left “hundreds of thousands of users with outdated, downloaded client technology that only provided single-carrier information.”

The research highlighted the need for an integrated, cloud-based, multi-carrier platform to simplify the sending of mail, flats and parcels. From that, SendPro shipping software was born.

SendPro is part of the Pitney Bowes Commerce Cloud, a cloud-based software platform that provides access to solutions, analytics and APIs across the full commerce continuum. It helps clients identify customers, locate opportunities, enable communications and manage shipping and payments.

The SendPro shipping software solution is also available through the Windows Store and is included on the Windows 10 platform. Here’s a brief overview of the software and how it works:

SendPro Shipping Software Features

The SendPro shipping solution offers the following features:

  • Users can manage multi-carrier shipping online or from one of a series of devices;
  • Customers have access to the best rates available across carriers;
  • SendPro runs the full gamut of the shipping process, from addressing and label printing to comparing shipping options, package tracking and consolidated reporting;
  • Users can access via the cloud the information needed to select the best choice for each item based on service level and price.

“The Pitney Bowes SendPro family of integrated shipping, mailing and parcel receiving applications represents a breakthrough in convenience, simplicity and value much like the launch of the smartphone or the multi-function printer,” said Mark Shearer, executive vice-president and president, Pitney Bowes Global SMB Solutions, in a prepared statement.

“Businesses — especially small and medium businesses — are increasingly burdened by the growing complexity of sending parcels, flats and mail through multiple carriers with a variety of rate structures, service levels, and tracking and billing processes,” Shearer added.

According to Shearer, many smaller businesses lack the volume of parcels and mail or the resources to justify dedicated systems, or the personnel needed to optimize their sending.

“The SendPro solution takes the complexity out of multi-carrier sending and can be easily accessed through any smart device or through a new family of integrated shipping, mailing and parcel receiving systems,” he said.

SendPro integrates with the SendPro P Series — a digital envelope, mailing and shipping hardware system that includes a printer and scale — to manage multi-carrier office shipping and inbound package receiving capabilities more efficiently and with greater accountability.

SendPro Shipping Solution Purchase Options

The SendPro shipping software comes with two purchase options: individual and small office.

SendPro Individual. This option is ideal for those who only need one user account. Cost is $15 per month.

SendPro Small Office. Designed for offices that have multiple users (up to 50). Cost is $25 per month.

Except for the difference in user licenses, the features are the same for either option and include:

  • An interface that lets users send and track USPS, FedEx and UPS shipments from a single portal;
  • An address book that can pull recipient information from several different sources;
  • Package pick ups from the chosen carrier;
  • One-click access to account history for expense control and activity monitoring;
  • Discounts on shipping options and access to contracted rates.

For more information and to sign up for a 90-dayfree trial of the SendPro shipping solution, visit the Pitney Bowes SendPro website.

Image: Pitney Bowes

This article, "Pitney Bowes SendPro Offers Cost-Effective Shipping for Small Biz" was first published on Small Business Trends

Blue Moon sees opportunity in estate sales franchise

SmartBrief - Mon, 2016-05-23 14:49
Debra Blue and her husband, Ken, who had years of experience selling antiques, launched Blue Moon Estate Sales in 2009.  -More
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Sources: CIC, KKR end Chinese acquisition talks with Yum

SmartBrief - Mon, 2016-05-23 14:49
A group including China Investment Corp. and KKR & Co.  -More
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7-Eleven employee reaches top of Mount Everest for seventh time

SmartBrief - Mon, 2016-05-23 14:49
A 7-Eleven employee who works at a store in Connecticut reached the summit of Mount Everest for the seventh time last week, e -More
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How veteran-owned franchises boost the economy

SmartBrief - Mon, 2016-05-23 14:49
Military veterans who own franchises have created more than 800,000 jobs in the US and contribute $41 billion to the country' -More
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Help employees reinvent themselves

SmartBrief - Mon, 2016-05-23 14:49
People tend to remain what they are without intervention, and while leaders cannot force development, they can nudge employee -More
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Leaders are curious and questioning

SmartBrief - Mon, 2016-05-23 14:49
Be curious, humble and willing to ask questions in order to learn, writes Jeff Boss.  -More
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Restaurants use tech tools to find, keep customers

SmartBrief - Mon, 2016-05-23 14:49
Technology including online ordering, mobile apps and social media is driving big changes in the way fast-casual restaurants  -More
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Restaurant brands get ready for labeling rules

SmartBrief - Mon, 2016-05-23 14:49
Companies including McDonald's and Dunkin' Donuts prepared early for new rules requiring brands with 20 or more locations to  -More
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