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AUG
31
0

As we approach the corner of a new season--both back-to-school and autumn--people's minds automatically turn to a new buying season. New clothes, school supplies, new decorations for the home, pumpkins, seasonal foods, Halloween costumes. There's a lot to buy, and many opportunities for a seasonal business to boom. Operating a seasonal business holds its own set of obstacles. There's the gearing-up time before the season begins, the long hours during peak season, wrapping up the business at the close of season. Operators have to consider marketing timeframes, finding employees willing to work the condensed season and long hours and a facility willing to rent seasonally. A marketable idea and the ability to capture the shifting desires of consumers from one season into another make a seasonal business potentially lucrative. With the right planning and budgeting, you can make your seasonal business a boom that sustains you for the year.
AUG
28
0

Do we ever get caught up in a tidal wave of technology and believe we need (need! Need!) more sophisticated software, better data management, faster response times, smarter optimization...etc? Yes, there's a tidal wave of technology, but the question of need is unanswered. As fast as business moves, as platforms change, as trends come in and out, the need for management of time and data is as strong as ever. Of course we are pressured into thinking we need more than we do. Today let's focus on marketing automation.
AUG
20
0

Would you describe your work environment as an "experiment in how far it can push white-collar workers, redrawing the boundaries of what is acceptable?" That's how a recent article in the New York Times described Amazon, a behemoth of an idea-machine that demands long hours, encourages peer-criticism and is unrelentingly demanding on employees. Perhaps it's unfair to rest our focus too long on one company. But the number one online retailer in the world; the most valuable retailer in the country (eclipsing Walmart last month); a company worth over $250 billion, with a CEO coming in at the fifth-wealthiest person on the planet, ought to expect to come under the microscope.
AUG
18
0

When it comes to marketing your business, experts say, "Go where the people are!" And for many small businesses, that means get your business online. But as the focus to reach out through a heightened web presence and social media grows, some business owners might be forgetting an important sector: their local community. If you drew circles to represent potential customer quantities, your online market will likely be larger. With the right website, web-marketable services and a consistent voice in social media, you can reach a large number of people. Why turn to the smaller circle of potential local customers? Loyalty, opportunity for community involvement and face-to-face interaction are all positives when you market your small business to your community. If you're a store front, you have little choice, but even online-based businesses can and should get involved in local marketing.
AUG
11
0

The lending climate has changed considerably over the past seven years. When access to small business loans became nearly impossible in 2008, alternative options began to pop up. Answering a need were online lenders with new products and much quicker turnaround times, and this innovation has led to a new industry that is seeing growth. The growth has been largely unregulated, as often happens with innovation at a fast rate. However, the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau has been keeping tabs on the alternative lending industry, participating in conferences and collecting data on borrowing habits and lending policies. And just recently the Department of Treasury launched an inquiry into online lending practices. Rather than fearing regulation, online lenders are using this attention to build awareness and determine for themselves how the industry will both grow and protect the business borrowers who turn to alternative lending for funding.


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