Category Archives: Tip of the Week

Lisa Hephner

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

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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?

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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

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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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Lisa Hephner

A Small Business Valentine

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Happy Valentine’s Day to all you small business owners out there– you work hard every day to make your small business a success, and you deserve some love! Hopefully you have someone to give you cards, candy, caring, and all the sweetness you can handle, as that’s a bit too much to ask from a blog post. But, this week I’ll try to provide the next best thing: A heart shaped box chocked full of sweet small business offers and freebies.

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Lisa Hephner

A Fast, Easy, and Safe Way to Get, Share, and Update Freeware

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One of the ongoing missions for this Tip of the Week series is to provide information about free or low-cost software that can help your small business improve productivity. This week’s tip lets you in on a tool that can help you get that free Windows software quickly and safely, with a single download. It can even enable you to update your freeware in the future, so that you are always running the latest available version—which is particularly important if updates are required to patch security holes.

So, what is this wonder tool called and where can you get it?

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Lisa Hephner

In Honor of National Bubble Wrap Appreciation Day: How To Make Your Small Business Marketing Pop

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While driving into work yesterday, the radio informed me that it was National Bubble Wrap Appreciation Day. At first I was dubious and couldn’t believe that was a thing; then I wondered why it needed a designated day…as far as I’m concerned every day you get to play with bubble wrap is worthy of celebration. That perverse pleasure in popping shouldn’t be reserved for the last Monday in January.

So in honor of National Bubble Wrap Appreciation Day, the following tips will help make your small business marketing pop.

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Lisa Hephner

The Perils, Pitfalls, and Pratfalls of Small Business Meetings

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US companies hold, on average, 11 million meetings per day. That adds up quickly to 55 million meetings per week, 220 million meetings per month, and over 2.6 billion meetings per year. As a small business owner, you probably face many meeting dilemmas– Do you spend too much time meeting with your team? With your customers? With your vendors? Are those meetings productive and a good use of your time (which as we all know IS MONEY)? Do you even know how much those meetings are costing you each year? You should.

The following resources will help you understand the impact meetings have on business productivity and how they directly affect your bottom line, provide tips for how you can make your small business meetings more effective, as well as provide some laughs at common meeting dysfunction.

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