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How to Choose a Domain Name

March 20, 2012

A domain name represents an easy-to-remember mnemonic address designed to help a person easily reach one of millions of servers on the Internet.  Typically, a company has one of two goals when choosing a domain name: branding or memorability.

If a company has been around for some time, their name becomes branded to what they do and where they are.  People associate their service with the brand.  By choosing a domain including that brand, a company strengthens their brand exponentially.   Good examples include,, and

Sometimes, a company’s name is not the best choice for a domain name, primarily because of potential spelling confusion.  In those cases, I recommend a domain name based on memorability and spelling ease to those clients.

For example, one of my clients is “Faulkner’s Pest Service.”  While is available for registration, I recommended my client choose another domain.  My suggestion was based on my own usability belief that most people on the Internet operate with a seventh grade educational spelling ability.  The word, “Faulkner” is easily misspelled and would, no doubt, cause numerous problems for my client’s customers and potential customers in reaching his site.

Instead, I recommended he go with something more memorable.  After research and brainstorming we decided was the best choice – easy to spell, easy to remember. (more…)

How to Provide the Electronic Payment Options Your Customers Want

March 19, 2012

In an economy where consumers prefer debit cards and credit cards over checks and cash, accepting only non-electronic payments just doesn’t cut it anymore.

To reach the greatest number of customers, you must accept electronic payments. We’ve consolidated the myriad options into the most popular choices among small business owners, whether you own a storefront, home business or fully online shop.

Before You Begin

All credit card companies charge a per-sale fee, usually between 2.5 percent and 5.5 percent. No matter what technology you use, you will pay for the privilege of accepting credit cards.

To compensate for the lost revenue, most businesses raise prices accordingly. A price adjustment that small is, in most customers’ minds, a drop in the bucket. You probably won’t hear a word about it.

Merchant Accounts

For many decades, the only way to accept plastic involved opening a merchant account through a bank or lending institution. And, for many small businesses, merchant accounts remain the best route. (more…)

The Happiness Business

March 16, 2012

Whether you like it or not, you’re in the happiness business. No matter what product or service you sell, your customer is looking for happiness, and counting on you to provide it.

People are always seeking happiness. In our seeking, we often mistake short-term pleasure for happiness, and end up unhappy, but it’s still happiness we seek. And if we make enough mistakes along the way, eventually we’ll find true happiness.

So for every customer, you’re a stop along the happiness journey. If you stay keenly aware of this fact in all aspects of your business, you will succeed.

We experience many types and levels of happiness, from the most basic to the sublime. From satisfaction of physical needs to glorious moments of joy, and countless levels in between. In the seeking, at this moment, each of us is looking for something slightly (or greatly) different.

Marketing happiness is difficult in its simplicity. It’s also critical. (more…)

The Keys to Hiring Veterans

March 12, 2012

The upcoming surge of job-seeking veterans presents a great opportunity for small business owners nationwide—one you might not see again in your lifetime. Hiring a veteran means you’ll have an employee with a unique skillset, offering experience in:

· learning new skills and concepts with minimal training

· administering and using a variety of hi-tech systems

· leading staff at different skill levels

· remaining calm and productive under intense pressure

And that’s really just scratching the surface. To attract and retain veterans to your business, we’ve identified the two pillars for making your business a magnet for military hires:

1. Develop a veteran-specific differentiation for your business

2. Capitalize on the Veterans Hiring Toolkit (more…)

The newest, oldest and above all most important tools for your business.

March 9, 2012
By Peter Justen –

As we set out to build our businesses we are inundated with the latest “must have” tools.  Tools to increase our productivity, to help us with our marketing, to help us find new customers and keep the old ones.  Tools to build a web site, to launch a product or even to help us track our financials.

But…those aren’t the kind of tools I am talking about.  Here’s some you might not have thought of, that are free to use, but can cost you terribly in the long run if you don’t use them.

Honesty.  Intellectual honesty.  Being honest with yourself about your products, your marketing, and your growth.  About being honest in your representations with your clients, your brand and your employees.

Loyalty.  Loyalty is such a magic quality.  It can carry you through dark days, and build a bond with your suppliers, vendors, clients and employees that can’t be broken.  Remember, you can’t demand loyalty, but it often comes back to you when you give it.  (more…)