Pinterest has established itself as a major player in the social media game, and 2014 marks an important year of growth for the photo-driven site. Pinterest's latest update introduces personalized pin recommendations and a new topic board designed to give users a more personalized experience. Users can identity their specific interests and Pinterest will consider these settings as it pushes pin recommendations.
This feature is leading toward the inevitable future — paid pin recommendations. Right now, businesses can't pay for pin recommendations, but in order to turn a profit, Pinterest will have to open up its boards to businesses. Businesses looking forward to the future of paid pins can explore the new recommendations feature and align themselves with various categories.
The New Tool
The personalized pin recommendations feature offers an unintended benefit for businesses. If you're looking for a better footing on Pinterest, this tool is a cheat sheet for the most popular categories. Around 80 percent of Pinterest users are women, and the breakdown reflects popular womens' interests. For example, the new dashboard features a home decor category but not a home improvement category. By browsing this section, a DIY retailer like Lowe's will learn to tailor its pins more toward decor... Read more
The Small Business Administration (SBA) reports that of the 600,000 new businesses that start every year in the United States, only half survive for five or more years. Why? The SBA cites lack of experience and financial reasons for small business failure. Take the following quiz to see how much you know about setting up and running a small business.
Which is a deductible business expense?
A. Employee compensation
B. Home office
C. Advertising costs
D. Travel and meals
E. All of the above
The answer is E, all of the above. All of the above expenses are deductible with carefully documented records of the expenses. For home offices, the income generated by the business is the maximum deductible, and you can deduct only half of the cost of any meals or entertainment bills related to business meetings.
True or false: Small businesses must be incorporated
False. While there are numerous benefits to declaring yourself an LLC, it is not required. LLCs provide owners with limited protections against debt and liability, as well as a sense of credibility that sole proprietorships lack. BizFlings notes LLCs generally don't report business taxes, as most income and loss is passed on to the LLC's owners as personal gain or loss on their... Read more
Take a look at the business environment around you. Now, this is not an in-depth analysis, but more like an experiment in observation. Think about the inner workings of any business or any group for that matter. You have key players, all working towards the same goal, contributing ideas and skills for the better of the entity – whatever that may be.
All these ‘employees’ would, traditionally, be working for the company or group and therefore their area of expertise would be diversified only to the point where it continues to serve the singular goals of the group. What if, however, we looked beyond the traditional constructs that govern the corporate environment and dip into the trove of inspiration available to us through modern media and the general population?
The potential for start-ups and established businesses alike lies in the perspective that is to be gained from crowdsourcing. While there are obvious benefits to in-house thinkers; office structures and routine can easily murk creativity. So why don’t we dip into the general populous and ‘ask around’? It’s nothing completely revolutionary, writers and bloggers (forgive the elitism, but there needs to be a divide) often rely on external insights in rounding off abstract... Read more
"countries like Germany have seen this sector sustain their economic growth throughout the global recession"
The mood among the nation's small business owners is picking up.
After the Wells Fargo/Gallup Small Business Index plunged 28 points to -11 in November 2012, the most pessimistic level in two years, the most recent index indicated small business owners are feeling more optimistic: The index improved 20 points to +9 for the first quarter of 2013. The survey, conducted Jan. 7-11, signifies increased optimism among business owners about their overall financial situation for the next 12 months. Seventy-one percent of business owners expect the number of jobs at their companies to remain the same during this time, and 17 percent expect to add jobs in the next year, too.
What's the prognosis for your business over the next 12 months? Are you feeling less gloomy about its future, as well? Every small business owner contends with issues surrounding market size, competition and demand, but the internal factors that focus on operations, strategy and leadership are within your control. Smart small business owners know that attention to these areas keep them out of the red:
Price for Profitability
Identifying your profitable price point is key to keeping business in the black. If you find you need to raise your prices, there are several... Read more