Essentials.jpg      Starting and running a small business is a massive commitment.  Unlike big businesses that can hire legions of staff to perform all sorts of roles, small business owners end up doing most jobs.  This section provides insight into some key issues for every small owner to think about.

Five money saving ideas for your business 14 October, 2011
Whether the economy is struggling or booming, every small business owner is looking for ways to increase profits, save money and improve efficiency. The good news is there are plenty of ideas that you can find in books and articles but rather than cover the obvious ideas, in today's volatile economy you need new and creative ways to save.
How to maintain a great product range 30 September, 2011
One of the key determinants of successful trading is to ensure you have a solid product and service range. But how do you tell when a certain product range or service is doing well, or whether it needs shelving for good? The answer is to listen to your customers and keep track of sales, selling time and product placement.
The secrets of franchising success 23 September, 2011
Operating a franchise, while often an easier and quicker way to owning your own business, can be frustrating if you can't replicate the success of the franchisor or other franchisees. Here are some tips that can help your small business meander the difficulties of running a franchise.
5 small business tips for an uncertain economic climate 09 September, 2011
Small businesses, already squeezed for operating capital by vendors and lenders, will need to adopt methods to bring stability to an otherwise unstable and uncertain landscape. Dun & Bradstreet's Jeff Stibel shares five such tips for doing so.
How to win a government tender 01 September, 2011
Having the government as a customer brings your business a variety of benefits, but this process does not have to be stressful or difficult if you understand how it works. Here are four tips to help you secure that much hankered-after opportunity.
How to protect your business in difficult times 26 August, 2011
In times of financial crisis, SME owners must all the more take precautions to prevent their business from going under. This doesn't involve a grand redesign of company strategy but simply making cutbacks here and there to stretch every dollar. Here are some ways you can minimise the impact of a recession, real or potential, on your business.
Five more things you must know about your competition 26 August, 2011
Part 2  delves deeper and analyse employee benefits, trends, pricing strategies and online presence of your competition. Read on to learn what you need to know to gain a larger market share.
Five things you must know about your competition 19 August, 2011
One of the most important aspects of running a successful business is knowing everything you can about your competition, but there's a lot more to it than simply developing a competitive analysis that reveals who your competition is and what they're up to. In Part One, we talk about five things you need to know about your rivals.
Fraud protection for SMEs 19 August, 2011
The number one mistake most small businesses make is in underestimating their own level of appeal to the fraud community. Most fraud isn't directed at larger enterprises, which typically have high levels of security and early warning systems to detect any signs of suspicious activity. Read more to find out what your small business needs to know to prevent fraud and safeguards that can be implemented.
How to maximise technology for your business 19 August, 2011
In this ever-shifting digital age, businesses need to adapt to new technology in order to increase sales and revenue, but that is easier said than done. Online sales are predicted to increase over the next three years, highlighting the importance of changing your business strategy to suit an evolving customer base. Here are some of the most common technology applications and deals.


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