Online Tools That Can Improve Your Business

By JJ Ramberg

Small business owners are constantly looking for ways to make their companies more efficient. They can usually find help in the form of a website or an app. Here are a few ideas from our viewers who shared their favorite web tools for small business.

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Top 10 Business Tips From This Week’s OPEN Forum

By Anthonia Akitunde

1. Get out of your office to get work done. We get it. It’s hard for anyone to get work done when everything seems to be screaming, “Take a vacation”! Instead, take the team out of the office for an offsite to start thinking about your goals for 2015. The change of scenery will do wonders for boosting creativity… and ending boredom. (From “6 Ways to Be Productive, Even in the Dog Days of August,” by Rieva Lesonsky)

2. Prep your business for takeover. Even if you have no intention of franchising or transitioning out of your …read more

6 Ways to Be Productive, Even in the Dog Days of August

By Rieva Lesonsky

It’s August, it’s hot, and no one at your business is feeling motivated—not even you. Don’t give up on being productive. You can still motivate your staff, and find some time for play. How?

1. Mix it up. Even if you don’t offer flexible hours normally, changing it up for the rest of the month can make people feel like they’re getting a mini-vacation. Maybe your staff would prefer to come in earlier and get off work earlier so they have more downtime. Maybe they’d like to hit the beach in the morning and work later in the evenings. Or maybe …read more

How Women Leaders Achieve a Healthy Work-Life Balance

By American Express OPEN

Women business owners at the OPEN for Women: CEO BootCamp event share their approach to a fulfilling work-life balance. Hear how they make time for all of the things that matter to them.

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The Competitive Advantage Small Businesses Have That Big Competitors Don’t

By Mike Michalowicz

Every entrepreneur knows that starting and growing a small business is a challenge. We don’t have the enormous resources—financial and otherwise—that the big guys do, and we don’t have the benefit of name recognition.

Being the underdog is tough, and there’s no denying it.

But small businesses have one huge advantage that those behemoths don’t: We’re able to act much more quickly than a big business, with its layers of formal procedures that are required for almost any decision. A small business can react with lightning speed, and while speed has long been an advantage of sorts, the current, rapidly changing business …read more

Women Launching 1,200 New Businesses a Day, New Research Shows

By American Express OPEN

As the United States continues to crawl out of its economic slump, women are emerging as key drivers in new business creation, according to new research. This year’s OPEN State of Women-Owned Business report finds that an estimated 1,200 new businesses a day were started by women over the past year, up from an average of 740 a day the year prior. Four out of 10 new firms are now started by women.

The fourth-annual report also shows the influence of companies owned by women of color, which now account for one-third …read more

Working Together Towards Procurement Success

By American Express OPEN

While pursuing federal contracts can lead to growth for many small businesses, government spending on these contracts has been flat in recent years. How can more small businesses work together towards achieving greater procurement success? The “Subcontracting and Teaming for Small Business Procurement Success” report examines how many small business contractors are pursuing subcontracting and whether pursuing federal contracts through subcontracting and teaming may pay off.

Read the full report here.

OPEN Forum: Government Contracting is a program designed to connect small business owners to government contracting opportunities, which are …read more

How the Federal Government Is Aiming to Help Women-Owned Small Businesses

By American Express OPEN

The Women-Owned Small Business (WOSB) Procurement Program was established in 2011 to help more women-owned small businesses gain access to potentially lucrative government contracts. The “Women-Owned Small Businesses in Federal Procurement: Building Momentum, Reaping Rewards” report examines if the program has made an impact and how women business owners are faring compared with their male peers in terms of contracting success.

Read the full report here.

OPEN Forum: Government Contracting is a program designed to connect small business owners to government contracting opportunities, which are an often-overlooked …read more

A Guide to Prepare Your Business for Government Contracting

By American Express OPEN

Through quizzes, checklists and the personal stories of small business owners who’ve had success government contracting, the “Insight Guide to Government Contracting” will provide you with all of the resources you need to prepare your business for winning federal contracts.

Read the complete guide here.

OPEN Forum: Government Contracting is a program designed to connect small business owners to government contracting opportunities, which are an often-overlooked revenue stream. To learn more about how to take advantage of this $500 billion opportunity, visit www.openforum.com/governmentcontracting.

Photo: Shutterstock

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‘A Good Reputation In This Business Is Huge’

By Darren Dahl

When his daughter was born in 2006, Devon Henry decided to leave his corporate job at GE so he could be closer to home. He also made the decision to buy a small construction business with big potential. Since then, Henry has grown the renamed Team Henry Enterprises from four employees to 62 and now pulls in some $20 million in annual revenue—thanks in large part to doing business with Uncle Sam.

Team Henry is a certified 8(a) and HUBZone business—designations the government makes that, in some cases, allow such disadvantaged companies to win contracts without having to compete …read more