Free is good

Free is our preferred price for anything. These freebies offer information to help you grow your business.

Get NIFB 2016 small business tax guide

The 2016 NFIB Small Business Tax Guide can help you identify deductions you shouldn’t miss, find out what’s new in 2016 and learn how the Affordable Care Act will impact your business. The 9-page guide includes a quarterly checklist to help you stay on track when it comes to filing and keeping track of taxes. Click here to download the pdf.

Learn how well your social media is performing

The measure of social media is ROI. HubSpot offers a guide to let businesses in specific industries measure their success against their competition.  Industries included in the report: Real Estate, Healthcare, Hardware, Nonprofit/Education, Manufacturing, Business/Financial Services, Consumer Goods/Retail/Ecommerce, Marketing Services, Software/Tech. Download the benchmark guide free in exchange for some business info.

See how the real self-service economy impacts you

Customers want to be in control in their dealings with companies. See how that desire affects your small business and how to make it work for you. (If the slideshow isn’t optimal size for your device, you can check the original posting on SlideShare which may display better. The display isn’t under my control.)

Read insights from customer service book free

Jay Baer, the customer service expert and New York Times bestselling author, has a new book coming out soon called Hug Your Haters. You can glean the main ideas of the book from an interview with Jay published in Small Business Trends. Should you decide you want your own copy of Hug Your Haters, you can get special pre-publication deals.


Food businesses

See what’s trendy and innovative within the food service industry.  Or just skim the headlines for an idea that could be adapted to your non-food business or rural community.

Organic farm grows for its own restaurant

After helping build a clean room for microelectronics at General Electric, Lou Lego applied the same filtering strategy to keep his greenhouse spore-free. That’s just one of the innovative ideas Elderberry Pond brought to its farm and restaurant operation near Skaneateles.

Other restaurants are also starting farms to supply their kitchens with fresh produce.

Veggies few and varieties eaten limited in America

Americans should eat 2½ cups of veggies a day but data from the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture shows there’s only about 1.7 cups of vegetables available per person in the U.S. Not only are Americans not getting enough vegetables, they’re mostly eating potatoes, tomatoes and lettuces.

Restaurant focuses on healthy Chinese food

Healthy authentic Chinese cuisine with a few western touches, like kale, are featured at Tasty Eats in Middletown, NY. The restaurant uses locally sourced foods whenever possible and does no deep fat frying.

10 sandwich franchises that might replace Subway

If you’re a sandwich-loving entrepreneur looking for the next great franchise opportunity, take a look at 10 sandwich franchises that appear to have good growth potential.

Some restaurants bidding farewell to tipping

Restaurant owners are raising prices and eliminating tipping as a way to level the playing field for all their employees in cities like Seattle and San Fransisco  where the minimum wage is rising. Although a $15 per hour minimum rate is only talked of in New York,  Rosa’s Restaurant and Pizzeria in the village of Bainbridge NY has already eliminated tipping.

Some restaurants turn to technology and boost tips

Newer payment apps and platforms can be pre-programmed for certain tipping amounts and seem to be resulting in higher tips for wait staff, cab drivers, and others. The design of the payment system itself has been found to increase tipping substantially.

Prepared foods offer business opportunities

Today’s consumers often buy  food for a meal within an hour of eating it. They are outsourcing food preparation regularly, sometimes daily. Americans are fascinated by global flavors, diet and health. See what consumers want on their menus.

This restaurant only delivers

Instead of going to Maple to eat or to pick up food, customers simply order from a rotating daily menu of fresh meals on the Maple app and then get the food delivered.

This service delivers for all top restaurants

Foodie For All is a Manhattan delivery service that delivers food from top restaurants that ordinarily don’t deliver.

Money and taxes

Cut expenses. Increase sales. Take all the deductions you can. Hire smart. More.

Can you claim these small business expenses?

Late in 2015, the IRS published a list of the most popular tax deductions claimed by sole proprietors. The most popular, as determined by dollar  amount, is car and truck expense. C corporations, S corporations, partnerships, and limited liability companies (LLCs) can claim the same deductions, although the rules may vary somewhat for the different structures.

 5 ways to save money on printed materials

Being selective about what you have printed can save you a bundle. These tips will help you save money on less important  materials so you can get better quality where it counts.

Cash flow tips that can save money or make it

Get three tips on how to think about cash flow based on the experience of successful entrepreneurs.

Could B2B e-commerce work for you?

Determine if your products are a good fit for business to business  e-commerce with these tips.

10 ways to fund your small business

Not all funding mechanisms are equally good. To see what might fit your small business, skim these 10 debt and equity options.

Capitalize or expense? IRS updated rules in 2015

New IRS regulations provide more specific (and more complex) guidance intended to clarify  when expenditures should be capitalized or expensed.

Basic bookkeeping help from the SBA

If you don’t know anything about keeping financial records for your small business, this super-simple guide will get you started with terminology and links to additional resources.

Think before you hire a part-time accountant

Hiring outside help with the financial aspects of your business can be a smart move, or it could be a disaster. These 14 tips (including often-overlooked items) will help you hire smart for your small business.

Get Rural NY SBO free by email

To get curated information chosen expressly for rural New York small business operators each week in your inbox, put your email address in the box at the top of the right hand column. WordPress will see that you get a copy each week unless you unsubscribe. The option to unsubscribe is in each email.

Contain the damage

Prepare to deal with social media criticism, trademark troubles, OSHA penalties. More

OSHA penalties may see big increase

Buried within Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 is a small provision which seems to set the stage for an increase in OSHA penalties of as much as 82 percent. The maximum penalty any employer can receive now is $70,000:

How to expand your business website traffic

Without website traffic, business growth can stagnate. Networking within influential people in your business niche who are active in social media is a good way to expand your reach. This is particularly true for business-to-business marketers. Learn how to find, approach, and contribute to the work of influencers in your field.

5 branding mistakes that can lead to legal trouble

A small business can get into big, expensive legal trouble by not giving due diligence to creating, registering, and protecting branding elements such as trademarks, brand names, and logos. These branding tips can keep you out of expensive legal trouble.

How to gather fan feedback on social media

Your customers are talking about you. Gather their feedback on social media. Monitor social media.  Engage with fans and critics. Remember complainers who get a response are almost twice as likely to recommend the company afterward.

Stop paying attention to the non-urgent

To be productive so you actually achieve your goals,  shift your focus to the big tasks and projects that add extreme value to your goals. The trick: Learn to single-task.