Break Bad Habits, Make More Money

Government, Politics, and the Economy U.S. Chain Sales up 0.1 Percent in September Chain sales increased in the United States for  the first time in 14 months, according to ICSC. ManageSmarter.comManagement and OperationsDealing With Demanding Customers We all experience it, customers who are over-demanding. Figure out how to deal with these customers and still show respect. Management and Operations [Read Full Article]

Poor Sales Leading to Small Business Closures

Government, Politics and the Economy Survey: Poor Sales Lead to Business Closings According to a recent NFIB survey, poor sales are the number-one problem afflicting America's small businesses. Moreover, few small business owners expect consumers to start spending again any time soon. Fed to Keep Rates Steady and Slow Bond Purchases The Federal Reserve is holding interest rates steady and intends to "slow the pace" of its emergency bond-buying program. Management and Operations [Read Full Article]

Obama's Small Business Promises: Kept and Broken

Government, Politics and the Economy Obama: Small Business Promises Kept and Broken President Obama promised to help Main Street where, but has he kept that promise? Here's a look at where he's followed through -- and where he hasn't. Survey Suggests Recession to End This Quarter With recent data suggesting that the recession has bottomed-out, the Blue Chip Economic Indicators survey of private economists showed about 90% of the respondents believe the recession will be declared over this quarter. Management and Operations [Read Full Article]

Yellen: “First Solid Signs” of Economic Recovery

ABC Online and On Your Side Gets a Redesign recently got a redesign. More members are seeing their business on the site as a Featured Listing on the local homepages, search results and more! If you're a paid ABC member you can login to add coupons, images and detailed descriptions to drive even more traffic to your business. Government, Politics and the Economy Fed's Yellen: `First Solid Signs' of Emergence From U.S. Recession Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco President Janet Yellen has made a statement saying that the US economy is showing the “first solid signs” of emerging from the recession and that it should resume growth later this year... [Read Full Article]

Stay in Business by Staying True to Your Vision

  Government, Politics and the Economy Recession Watch: Leading Indicators Rise The index of US leading economic indicators rose in June for a third consecutive month, reinforcing other signs that the economy may be emerging from the worst recession in five decades. Management and Operations Stay With Your Vision or Maybe Lose Your Business The fall of Dial-a-Matress shows how overexpansion, bringing in executives who don't understand the corporate culture and straying from your vision can all work to kill a company. [Read Full Article]

A New World Order We Can Live With

The story in the Sydney Morning Herald begins as follows: KEVIN RUDD has denounced the unfettered capitalism of the past three decades and called for a new era of "social capitalism" in which government intervention and regulation feature heavily. In an essay to be published next week, the Prime Minister is scathing of the neo-liberals who began refashioning the market system in the 1970s, and ultimately brought about the global financial crisis. I have to agree, at least in part. The economic experiments of the past 39 years have, indeed, brought us to this current crisis. There is no question of that. With currency tied to nothing more than the promise that the government won’t print too much of it, there are few, if any real limits on things. Rudd’s answer for that: Regulate! His notion is that heavy government regulation can curb the extremes while allowing a robust free market to exist. My question is this: How? The Main Ingredi... [Read Full Article]

Will the Backbone of the Economy be the Backbone of the Recovery?

The headline was clear and to the point: Economy Shrinks at 3.8% Pace in 4Q. Now the good news was that this wasn’t as bad as all the economists were predicting. The bad news is that all of them see that pace increasing to as much as 5% shrinkage by summer. According to  Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody's, “The downturn is intensifying. The fourth quarter is worse than it looks.” Sounds ominous. Throw in growing unemployment, tighter credit, states and even whole countries on the verge of bankruptcy and you can see why things are predicted to get worse before they get any better. Small Banks and Small Business On the other hand, we have this headline as well: [Read Full Article]

Taking Care of Business on the Coast

Hurricane Dolly—the fourth named storm of the Atlantic hurricane season and the second hurricane—has come and gone, but according to Federal Forecasters, she won’t be the last. This is shaping up to be a very busy season with a predicted 12 to 16 named storms, 6 to 9 of them being hurricanes. The busiest period for the season is between August and September so, before the next storm makes landfall, it may be a good time to review things you can do to protect your business.  Review Your Insurance Policy One of the lessons of Hurricane Katrina was that having hurricane insurance does not necessarily mean you have protection from all of the damage that the hurricane can deal out. Hurricane insurance generally covers wind-related damage. It does not necessarily cover flood damage and as we’ve seen, once the wind passes, it is the lingering floodwaters that are the real problem. There are various kinds of insurance that come into play whe... [Read Full Article]