"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
Smart phones, groceries, copper and postage— just a short list of some items expected to be more expensive in 2013.
Among these, maybe the least surprising is a postage hike. According to Pitney Bowes Small Business, a price increase on postal rates of 2.75 percent went into effect on Jan. 27. If you rely on postage as an integral part of your business or use postage for marketing purposes, you will see price increases.
Small business owners can be more creative in their use of postal services to help offset the increase. Others may finally switch their print-mailed campaigns efforts to email marketing campaigns. In any case, these new increases can run into thousands of dollars for high-volume shippers.
There are three important things small business owners need to know about the 2013 postage increase:
* Low-cost shipping solutions are being eliminated.
* Retail shipping rates are rising an average of 5-10 percent.
* The Intelligent Mail barcode will give business owners and customers more power when it comes to tracking their items.
Here are details of the 2013 USPS postage increase:
New single-piece First-Class Mail pricing includes:
Postcards: 1-cent increase to 33 cents.
Letters (1 ounce or less): 1-cent increase to 46 cents.
Letters over 1 ounce: unchanged at 20... Read more
For the small business owner on a budget, hiring a consultant to handle the search engine optimization (SEO) for their business website can sometimes be expensive. There are definite benefits to having a specialist manage your website. But it is always good to know these basic elements of SEO, whether you plan to do them yourself or just want to understand what your consultant is working on.