CDC Provides Interim Guidance For Businesses About Coronavirus Disease

March 6, 2020

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has provided interim guidance for businesses and employers to plan and respond to Coronavirus Disease.

The CDC says the interim guidance is based on what is currently known about the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), and the CDC will update the interim guidance as needed and as additional information becomes available.

According to the CDC, the interim guidance may help prevent workplace exposures to acute respiratory illnesses, including COVID-19, in non-healthcare settings. The guidance also provides planning considerations if there are more widespread, community outbreaks of COVID-19.

The interim guidance includes recommended strategies for employers to use now; planning for a possible COVID-19 outbreak in the U.S.; planning considerations; and considerations for creating an infectious disease outbreak response plan.

For the complete CDC interim guidance, and additional resources and information from the CDC, click here.

Profit Margin Formula

January 14, 2020

What is it, How to Calculate it, How to Improve Profit Margin

By Anna Baluch –

When you sell a product or service, it’s important to understand your profit margin or how much money you make by selling your product. Essentially, a profit margin shows your return on investment (ROI) for all of your expenses. A low margin indicates you’re not getting the ideal ROI for your expenses while a high one proves you’re doing well.

Ideally, you’d have a high profit margin that steers your organization toward long term growth and success. By taking the time to figure out your profit margin, you can set attainable goals and make informed decisions for your unique business. (more…)

These 5 Myths Cause Small Businesses to Fail

January 1, 2020

By Charles “Tee” Rowe –

Every year, Americans start businesses with the hope of achieving financial success, independence, and personal fulfillment. Unfortunately, many times those dreams are never realized. Too often the enthusiasm and energy that small business owners put into their business isn’t matched by the planning and skills needed to survive.

At America’s SBDCs — 62 small business development center networks nationwide and their nearly 1,000 centers — we find that a solid business plan and a brilliant business concept need to be married to a serious understanding of the financial and management needs of running a business.

Too many businesses believe marketing is their key to success, but hemorrhaging cash is the secret, silent killer. So for aspiring entrepreneurs, here are five myths small business owners believe in that lead to failure:

1. Don’t ask for help

“You’re smart, you’ve got this.” Nobody has got it. There are so many free resources out there, and the biggest mistake many small business owners make is not using those resources. There are nearly 1,000 small business development centers nationwide — why would you ignore free help? (more…)

An End-of-Year Checklist for Small Businesses

November 25, 2019

By Andriana Moskovska –

Keeping your business afloat in a highly competitive market is not exactly a walk in the park. Approximately 20% of new ventures don’t even make it past their first year, so it’s important to do all that you can to rise above the competition.

With that being said, finishing up another year without your business closing down is already a major milestone. But don’t start celebrating too soon. Now is the time to reflect on the past few months, and set goals for the upcoming year. Preparing for the year to come will ensure steady growth for your business.

Poor business planning and market research are two of the main culprits of business failure. Simply put, there’s no room for incompetence in the world of business.

It’s important to avoid procrastination. Take care of smaller tasks as they come, so you can focus on the bigger things ahead.

Here are a few things to add to your end-of-year checklist so you can start the new year with a clean slate: (more…)

Lessons Learned From Shark Tank

November 20, 2019

By Michael Patten –

Lessons Learned From Shark TankWe’ve all watched entrepreneurs go onto Shark Tank and pitch their product to the Sharks. Some participants are so impressive in the way they deliver a clever pitch that instantly grabs everyone’s attention, while other participants fail miserably and make you cringe inside.

While my son and I have watched many episodes together, one business in particular stuck out to me. Two cousins from Maine pitched the idea of a food truck selling lobster. After seeing an update on the business this year, I decided to learn a bit more and picked up their book, Cousins Maine Lobster: How One Food Truck Became a Multi-million-Dollar Business. The book provided a detailed account of how they started their business, how they landed on Shark Tank, and how their deal with Barbara turned their food truck into a multi-million dollar business.

The book was a fun read and provided some great insights into starting a business and all of the work that is involved. However, one of my favorite chapters was titled “Oh, Right, Money Matters,” because it highlights the value and critical importance of understanding the key metrics of any business. (more…)