Posts By: Lisa Hephner

Lisa Hephner

10 TED Talks for Small Business Owners and Entrepreneurs

Posted by in Tip of the Week


While a TED Talk can be anything from a music performance to a comedy performance, to a serious lecture on the future of humanity, many are either business or technology related and provide helpful advice for small business owners in a variety of industries. If you can’t make it to a live event, check out the following 10 TED Talks, carefully curated by me, that provide insights, advice, and strategies that will help make your small business a success.

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Lisa Hephner

5 Ways Public Libraries Can Benefit Your Small Business

Posted by in Tip of the Week


This week (April 9 -15, 2017) is National Library Week, and today (April 11) is National Library Workers Day. While both are cause for celebration of all the meaningful contributions that public libraries make to our communities, they also present an opportunity to highlight how your local library can provide valuable tools and resources that your small business can leverage (often for free) for a wide variety of sales, marketing, research, and other business needs.

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Lisa Hephner

7 Good Software Review Sites and How to Use Them to Find the Perfect Application for Any Small Business Need

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Are you old enough to remember the days when selecting a small business software package meant deciding between WordPerfect and Wordstar for word processing or Excel and Lotus 1-2-3 for spreadsheets? If so then you’re probably amazed at the vast quantity of software applications available today designed for just about any application you can imagine. (And if you’re not, then you probably take for granted that you have not just one but multiple Apps for any “that” you can conceive.)

The sheer volume of choices means that there is likely a “perfect” application for every one of your small business needs; but it also means that you’re likely going to have to do a bunch of digging and research to find it. That’s where software review sites come into play.

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Lisa Hephner

How Lessons from the Ultimatum Game Can Help Improve Your Small Business Ecommerce Site

Posted by in Tip of the Week


In a typical ecommerce implementation a merchant is faced with an Ultimatum Game type decision– how to price a product/service in order to maximize his own utility—i.e. to generate the greatest possible profit without losing the sale. If the merchant can determine the 50-50 split scenario of perfect Ultimatum Game fairness, he can be reasonably certain of closing deals with a modest utility upside for himself. If he can find the lowest possible split that the customer will accept, he will maximize his utility for the sale. Thus the critical question for an ecommerce merchant is how to create a website that moves a customer to pay the highest possible price while still perceiving positive utility for the transaction.

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Lisa Hephner

Checking In on Small Business Optimism Again

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The last time we checked in on small business optimism was June, 2016—at that time the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) was at 17,829, the US unemployment rate was about 5%, inflation was at 1%, and economists declared the market booming; yet small business owners were less than optimistic about business conditions and the outlook for future growth.

Fast forward 9 months, and we have a new President, the DJIA has reached record highs (over 21,000, with a slight pullback to just under that number today), the unemployment rate is holding steady (4.9% at last report), and inflation has risen to 2.7% prompting the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates once again. Fears of rampant inflation aside, the economy appears on a tear. And finally, small business owners are seeing a light at the end of the tunnel, and apparently optimistically no longer fear it to be a truck.

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Lisa Hephner

Does Your Small Business Have SaaS?

Posted by in Tip of the Week


As a small business owner you’re likely saucy, cheeky, lively, bold and full of spirit—the true definition of sass; but do you have that other SaaS? That is, has your small business leveraged Software as a Service to simplify, secure, and streamline business applications in the cloud?

Chances are the answer is yes. Even if you haven’t implemented SaaS, you’ve likely heard the term and you can probably name major players such as Salesforce (which has become almost synonymous with the term), but do you really know what makes a SaaS application, and why this model is advantageous for your small business?

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Lisa Hephner

Winning Strategies for Small Business Funding: Five Contests You Can Enter Now

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Raising money to grow your small business is hard. Winning money to grow your small business isn’t much easier, but it can be more fun. It gives you the opportunity to engage with your customers and with your fellow small business owners to promote your business and your local neighborhood.

Don’t let modesty prevent you from nominating yourself for any small business award, or from asking your customers for a nomination or a vote. However slim you think your chances are, they are guaranteed to be zero if you don’t enter the field.

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Lisa Hephner

What Responding To Spam Can Teach About Optimizing Small Business Sales

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Have you ever gotten an email from an African Prince offering you millions of dollars in exchange for paying a small fee to facilitate the release of funds frozen in a foreign bank account? It’s the classic 529 scam which most people just laugh at and delete, if the email even makes it past their spam filter. But what happens if you actually respond?

Read on to find out. It will not only make you laugh hysterically, it will provide an instructive example of when it makes good business sense to give up on a prospective sale.

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Lisa Hephner

Taking Control of Your Small Business Credit Scores

Posted by in Tip of the Week


Small business credit scores can influence far more than simply business loans; they directly affect a small business’ ability to obtain, or to obtain optimal rates on, credit cards, bank lines of credit, payment processing merchant accounts, insurance, or even a lease on office space.

While it may seem that there isn’t much you can do about your small business credit score—after all, business credit scores are not regulated as personal scores are, and there is no rule or regulation requiring that you even be notified if you are denied business credit as a result of a business credit score, report, or other information provided by a business credit bureau—that is not necessarily the case.

Here’s what you need to know to take control of your small business credit scores:

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