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Competitive Analysis: Why You Need It & How To Do It

Aug 03, 2022

For most small business owners, the number one goal is Profitability. Without that, the lights don't stay on, the employees don't get paid, and operations will cease to exist (regardless of good intentions or a meaningful mission statement). Unless you're running a charity and depending on the kindness of strangers, the focus must remain on the bottom line. 

A few weeks ago, we shared a post on ways you can improve your profit margins. (Take a few minutes to read it if you missed it.) But today, we're talking about a different action you should take to protect your small business.

Let's talk about Competitive Analysis.


What is it?

Competitive analysis is the process of researching, assessing, and evaluating your competitor's weaknesses and strengths. It provides invaluable data and insight into what they're doing well or not-so-well. 


Why is it important?

In the same way you (should) analyze your own systems and processes to identify shortcomings and areas...

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8 Free Resources to Scale & Grow Your Small Business

Jul 27, 2022

Funding may be our favorite F word, but FREE comes in at a pretty close second. 

When you’re operating a small business, every penny counts - especially if you have razor-thin margins. This can make it a challenge to scale and grow your business if you don’t have extra funds sitting around to hire experts or purchase fancy equipment or software.

The good news is that there are plenty of absolutely 100% free programs and resources that can help you achieve your goals without spending one solitary cent. And as an added bonus, many of them will also save you time. (And we all know time is money, so win-win.)

Here are eight free resources you can use to help manage and scale your small business.


A personal favorite of ours, Calendly is one of the best online scheduling tools out there by eliminating the hassle of back-and-forth emails when trying to get an appointment on the books. Its user-friendly hub is a breeze to set up and can be customized for your...

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Minding Your Margins

Jul 20, 2022

If you want your business to be successful, it needs to be profitable. And if you want it to be profitable, you need to know and understand a little something called profit margins. After all, if you aren't bringing in money, the bills don't get paid, and that story, my friend, is one that never ends well. 

In very simplified terms, a profit margin is a percentage of how much profit your business generates per dollar of sale. Example: If you have a 30% profit margin, it means you're netting $0.30 of income on every dollar. 

To arrive at this percentage, start with your revenue and deduct the total cost of goods sold, expenses, interest, and taxes (Your net income). Divide that number by the original revenue amount, multiply by 100, and alakazam, you have your profit margin and a clear picture of how your business is fairing. 

As a business owner, it's important that you get - and stay - very, very familiar with your profit margins. We're talking-Tommy Lee and Pam...

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Outsourcing for Success

Jul 13, 2022

Running a business can be expensive and time-consuming—especially when you're first starting out or operating a one-man (or one-woman) show. Hiring full-time or even part-time help may be out of the question, but you know that if you want to grow and scale your business, something has to give.

The concept of outsourcing has grown in popularity over the years, both for its time-saving and money-saving benefits. Recent statistics show that 37% of small businesses outsource at least part of their process to focus on their core business, improve quality of service, solve capacity issues, or meet their business needs. Even big-name companies like Peloton are outsourcing production as a way to cut costs. 


If you're ready to start outsourcing for success but have questions on the hows, whys, and logistics of it all, keep reading.

What Should I Outsource?

This is obviously the first question you should be asking yourself. Take a look at the tasks and projects on your to-do...

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(Even More) Funding Options You Should Know About

Jul 07, 2022

We are back with our third (yes, third) post on funding options. What can we say? We like helping get people the money they need to make their dreams come true.

So without further ado, here are seven more ways you can help finance your next business acquisition. (And when you're finished here, go back and check out Part 1 and Part 2.)


Convertible Debt: Before you get too excited, let us clarify we are not telling you to take out a loan for a brand new sports car. (What we're talking about is far less sexy, I'm afraid.) Convertible debt means that you borrow money from a lender with the intent that you'll repay all or part of the loan by "converting it into a certain number of its common shares at some point in the future." If your business is projected to see an increase in its stock's values, this could be a very enticing transaction for lenders.


Rent Deferral: This one only works if you are purchasing a business that requires a brick-and-mortar presence. (Think...

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Writing a Letter of Intent

Jun 29, 2022

When you're ready to move forward with acquiring a business, constructing a Letter of Intent (LOI) is an essential piece of the process. It's an "informally formal" way to specify your intentions and lay the groundwork for upcoming negotiations and purchase.


What is an LOI?

A Letter of Intent is simply an "agreement to agree." It's a document that outlines and identifies the terms of an agreement between two or more parties and can help minimize future misunderstandings and streamline the final deal.

Think of writing an LOI as courting. Someone special has caught your eye, you've spent some time chatting them up and getting to know them (aka, research), and there seems to be mutual interest between both of you. You like what they're selling. They like what you're offering. And both parties have agreed to dinner, drinks, or a picnic on the beach. You go into the date with the hope of something permanent, like marriage (aka, taking ownership of the Business), but nothing is...

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Is DeFi Changing the Lending Landscape?

Jun 21, 2022

The concept behind DeFi lending isn't new: It's like any other lending program. You need money. You find a place that will lend you money. You get the cash, you pay it back over time with interest, the lender makes a profit, and that's that. Fairly simple.

But for all its similarities, it's also vastly different - and has the potential to completely reshape lending as we know it.

First things first, what is Defi?

DeFi - or Decentralized Finance is an open-source market that enables peer-to-peer borrowing and lending. There is no centralized bank or government agency. No third-party intermediary. It's direct and to the point and only concerns the person who is borrowing the money and the person who is lending it. It's an alternative to traditional banks and lending services and operates in the cryptocurrency space. 

How it works

DeFi uses smart contracts, an "automatic and self-executing agreement that operates without the need of a central authority or rent-seeking third...

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Valuing Your Customers

Jun 20, 2022

We've all heard the phrases, "The customer is always right," or "Customer is King," - and there's a simple reason for that: Businesses don't survive if they don't have customers. And because most business owners want to survive, they'll (usually) do what needs to be done to keep their customers. 

Of course, we know the customer isn't ALWAYS right, but now's not the time to split hairs. At the end of the day, if you want to keep your doors open and the till humming, you need to keep them happy. That doesn't mean you must acquiesce to every ridiculous demand or unjustified complaint, but as a whole, learning how to value your customers is a critical component to long-term success.

Whether you've just acquired or started a new business or have owned one for years, it's never too late to put the following five suggestions into practice. 

Understand Your Customer: This is Marketing 101 but an important step that should not be skipped. Understand who you're selling to. Create...

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Secured vs. Unsecured Financing: What Small Business Owners Should Know

Jun 16, 2022


Never needing to borrow money and paying everything in cash is the dream, right? No interest rates, no processing fees, no lengthy applications, and no credit checks. Unfortunately, that’s not very realistic for many people, particularly those operating a small business where the costs often require some form of financing. 

The good news is, you don’t need to make it onto Shark Tank and strike a deal with Mr. Wonderful before you can start, or expand, your business. There are plenty of financing options on the table that don’t require a sales pitch on national television. 

Financing comes in two forms: secured and unsecured. There are pros and cons to each, and before entering into any loan agreement, you should be well aware of the benefits and risks to make the best financial decision for your situation.


First things first: Secured vs. Unsecured

Secured loans require collateral. Unsecured loans do not. 

Mortgages, car loans, and...

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Selling in the Ether: Growing Your Business

Jun 16, 2022

Whether you own an e-commerce site, a brick-and-mortar store, or thinking of buying either one…this post is for you!

E-commerce is a booming industry with no signs of slowing down. According to Statista, sales in 2021 amounted to approximately 4.9 trillion U.S. dollars worldwide - and it’s forecasted to grow another 50% over the next four years. That’s a lot of money, but it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise. Just think how easy it is these days to buy online. Offers get delivered to our inboxes on the daily, targeted ads pop up when we scroll Instagram, Amazon has been waving that dangerous Order Now button for some time, and with Google Pay, we don’t even need to get up to dig out our credit card when it’s time to check out. It’s so popular that many brick-and-mortar stores have pivoted to make their services and products accessible for online purchase.

If you are already involved in an e-commerce business, you’re undoubtedly...

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