Lisa Hephner

Celebrate Fight Procrastination Day…Today!

Posted by in Tip of the Week

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I started researching content for this post yesterday, but put off writing it until today. And before getting down to putting words to paper, I may have read email in multiple accounts, checked my NY Times and WSJ news feeds, reviewed past blog posts, and snuck in a few games of Candy Crush (Sweet!). Though as you are reading it now, clearly I have brought this post to completion and in the process of combating the urge to do anything but blog, joined the ranks of Fight Procrastination Day celebrants. And, whether you view thwarting the urge to do anything but what needs to be done as a religious right or merely as joining the celebration—today (September 6) is the official day to do right now what you would rather (or are genetically inclined—more on that later) to put off until tomorrow.

You could read this post now and tell yourself that the wisdom imparted will help you get in the mood for that important task you should really be tacking instead. Or, you could put off reading it until later and get back to that amazing piano playing cat. In the spirit of the day, I shall assume your decision to proceed immediately, and proceed myself. Read on…

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PaySimple

The 5 Easy Ways to Shrink Your Business’ Spending

Posted by in Small Business

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One way service businesses can get a better hold of their cash flow is by getting a clear picture of their business spending and then finding ways to trim that back. To help you evaluate areas of your business where you might be able to save to save, here are five easy ways a business can cut costs, without compromising the quality of goods or services.

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Lisa Hephner

How Same Day ACH Can be Advantageous for Small Businesses

Posted by in Tip of the Week

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Do you use ACH transactions as part of running your small business? You do if you provide a direct deposit option for payroll, if you make electronic payments to the government for payroll taxes, if you use online banking to make bill payments, receive customer-initiated online banking payments for your invoices, or if you process direct debits from your customers’ bank accounts. (If you don’t you’re missing out on a major convenience and cash flow enhancement– talk to your bank, your payroll processor, or a payment gateway like PaySimple to learn more.)

If your business does use ACH, you’ve probably heard rumblings about “Same Day ACH” which has been in the news recently as the date for initiating Phase 1 of the program approaches. That date is September 23, 2016. For consumers and businesses alike, it means the ability to move money faster, which is in most cases a good thing. But, will Same Day ACH help your small business operate more efficiently?

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Jessie Van Gundel

Does Your Business Need Video Marketing?

Posted by in Small Business

Image Credit: Pexels.com

I have an 11-year history as a video producer and video editor, working with small businesses, nonprofits, corporations, and creative agencies. Over the years, I’ve learned what works and what doesn’t. I hate to see anyone spend money and time because they think they “need a video” but then not have a plan for how to use it to help their business.

Here are some things to consider and some questions you should first ask yourself, before you ever call a video vendor:

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Mary Mekeal

Streamlining Customer Experience for Language School Students

Posted by in Leadership, Small Business

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Since the Cincinnati Spanish School and Academy opened in 2004, it has continued to grow with the addition of new classes and new locations along the way. Today, the school has two program brands at each of its three locations. The Spanish Schools are designed for adult language learners while the Spanish Academies are focused on children. Specializing in immersion language learning for a broad age range has given the business an edge against its competition. I recently had the opportunity to speak with Megan Meconi, one of the owners, about her journey with the Cincinnati Spanish School and Academy, a PaySimple customer since 2013.

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Lisa Hephner

Revisiting MOOCs for Small Business Education & Networking

Posted by in Tip of the Week

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I first wrote about Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) in January, 2014. At that time there were 990 MOOCs being offered. According to Class Central (a website that aggregates worldwide MOOC offerings), by the end of 2015 that number increased to 4200 courses offered by 500+ universities from around the world serving over 35 million students; and it continues to grow with just under 6,000 MOOCs currently being offered by 600+ universities.

There are over a dozen platforms offering MOOCs, with Coursera and edX being the clear market leaders, and hosting offerings from those top universities. Browsing either of the catalogs on those sites is bound to yield many interesting course choices that will help enhance the skills you need to profitably sustain and grow your small business. The following are a few courses, starting in the next couple of weeks, that you should consider.

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Kate Martin

A Letter from Your Life—Chasing Balance

Posted by in Leadership, Small Business

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Dear Entrepreneur,

This is your life writing you. Perhaps I’m your partner, child/ren, parents, friends, pets or inner-self. Remember when you decided to become your own boss? You were tired of working on someone else’s schedule, toward someone else’s goals. You knew you could have it all—embrace your passion, follow your heart and run your business the way you knew it should be run, all while controlling your own schedule and having the best of both worlds with love for your work and time for your life! I’m writing to remind you about that second part…

This letter is a “not so gentle” shove back on track if your answer to the above was no. The following is a list of some really great ideas gathered from a variety of sources. I’m not reinventing the wheel here, just trying to get it rolling.

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Lisa Hephner

Is Your Small Business Ready for PCI 3.2?

Posted by in Tip of the Week

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If you are a merchant who accepts credit and debit card payments, you are probably aware of the PCI Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) which is developed and maintained by the PCI Security Standards Council. The PCI DSS applies to every merchant that stores, processes, or transmits credit card data, and it provides a set of requirements for the prevention, detection and reaction to cardholder data security breaches that could affect your business.

The latest version of the PCI DSS, version 3.2, was released in April, 2016. Starting October 1, 2016 merchants must begin using the new 3.2 versions of the SAQs. The changes will require some policy modifications on the part of small merchants in order to remain in compliance.

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Synthia Hernandez

The Story of CaRu Entertainment: How Two Best Friends Built a Business Together

Posted by in Accepting Payments, Small Business

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About five years ago Emily Czerniakowski started a business with her best friend, Cassie Russo. On the surface, they seem like unlikely friends, Emily describes herself as shy and reserved while Cassie is outgoing and full of energy. “She’s the kind of person you notice when she comes into a room,” says Emily. They met when they were in the same audition group for a dance team in Philadelphia. They both made the team and quickly became best friends. Their story is one of ambition, trust and adventure. I had the opportunity to talk with Emily about their journey to success with their dance studio, CaRu Entertainment.

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Lisa Hephner

Putting Statistics to Work for Your Small Business

Posted by in Tip of the Week

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Statistics can be a powerful tool for your small business. Not only can statistical analysis be used on your own data to help you glean insights about your business and your marketplace; but statistics themselves can be leveraged to help reinforce your sales and marketing messages.

These sources provide reputable statistics on a variety of small business related (and non-small business related) topics, help with understanding the dos and don’ts of statistics use in marketing, and resources you can access to learn more about putting statistics to work for your small business.

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