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13 Things I’ve Learned From Building a Startup

December 20, 2022

By Ken So

Though Silicon Valley startups are often treated as separate from Main Street small businesses, the basic tenets of starting and growing a business are the same no matter what you’re building. As the founder of a business that serves both enterprise and everyday businesses, plus a mentor to new startups, it’s been a special privilege to be able to observe and learn from business owners from all backgrounds and walks of life. Here’s advice I find myself giving a lot to new founders that I think all entrepreneurs can learn from.

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Make your holiday shopping list, and check it twice… look for safe and secure ways to prevent scams while making online purchases.

December 16, 2022

By Jacob Blacksten 

With the holiday season in full swing, there is a lot on our plates, both literally and figuratively. You are likely buying presents online, making travel arrangements to see family and friends, and setting up the inevitable “smart” devices you will be giving or receiving as gifts. Being diligent and secure while online tends to fall to the wayside, especially when searching for the best deals or quickest instructions.

While your guard naturally drops during the holiday season, cybercrimes spike. Scams increasingly pop up all over. So, before buying that gift from a site you have never heard of with a payment method you have never used before, read through our tips below to ensure you are protecting your personal data. This will help keep the Grinch from stealing your Christmas (or identity) this holiday season.

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Holiday inventory: Tips your small business can use to manage inventory during the holidays.

December 14, 2022

How to navigate supply chain issues, timing, buying, and more

By Danielle Higley

The holiday season is an exciting — and stressful — time for small business owners. Increased foot traffic, bigger sales goals, and the desire to turn new customers into regular patrons means more pressure than any other time of year.

Piling atop the typical challenges of entrepreneurship, business owners are faced with every conceivable balancing act: Where to put all that additional inventory when there’s limited shelf space. How to get big-ticket items out the door. Ensuring that each item is in the right place at the right time. Meanwhile, 2020 and 2021’s supply chain issues loom like ghosts of Christmases past.

Yet despite all these concerns, Dierdre Appelhans and Barbra Huntting, co-owners of The Read Queen Bookstore & Café, exhibit an admirable sense of peace and confidence going into the 2022 holiday shopping season.

Two and a half years after opening their doors in Lafayette, Colorado, they’re sharing their lessons learned. Here are four of their small business insights for retailers looking to make a holiday inventory plan.

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Pattern Inspires Mother-Daughter Entrepreneurs

December 13, 2022

By Amanda Kuhnert

Mother-daughter business duo, Sophia Manzi and Gail Borden, are both artists. Sophia is a painter and Gail is a quilter. Their company, Vivace Vermont, is the intersection of these two disciplines. They produce clothing and home accessories using colorful, one-of-a-kind fabrics.

The plan was hatched on a 2019 trip to New York City. “We visited Mood Fabrics in the Garment District and it left us reeling with ideas,” Sophia said. “At a diner, we started brainstorming what became Vivace Vermont.”

Sophia and Gail have always been inspired by each other’s work. “Growing up, I’d be painting and she’d be quilting in the same room, and we’d ask each other for tips and advice when we’d run into a problem,” Sophia said. On that memorable trip to New York, the two were able to pinpoint the common denominator in both of their practices—pattern.

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Next steps: Preparing for holiday shopping season

December 8, 2022

Drawing on the experience and insights of Cybersource Managed Risk Analysts worldwide, we’ve put together a series of tips to help you prepare for holiday shopping season and protect your business against fraud and risk while delivering a frictionless experience for genuine customers.

Now that you have spent some time evaluating the different parts of your business, connecting the dots, and planning next steps, let’s put it all together with tips for implementation and preparation. If you missed it, you can check out the first blog in this series.

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