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The Top 5 Reasons Small Businesses Fail (And How You Can Conquer Them)

success failureBeing a small business owner is no easy task.

More often than not, you’re trying to break into a well-established market, going head-to-head with industry veterans.

On top of that, there are literally hundreds of variables you need to account for – from marketing to staff to supply and demand.

“Starting a company is no walk in the park,” writes Roy Osing of The Globe and Mail. “Entrepreneurs and small business owners will tell you that growing a business requires hard work, dedication, and strategic planning to succeed.”

In other words, it’s not a job that just anyone can do. With that in mind, it should come as no surprise that more than half of businesses don’t survive past their fifth year. How can you ensure your small business is one of those that does?

Easy – by understanding how you might fail and taking preventative measures against that failure. Continue Reading →

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October’s Roundup of the Best Startup, Hosting, & Technology Content

reading the newsIn the month or so since our last roundup, there’s been a lot going on in the world of small business, web hosting, and general technology news. This is a time of year to reflect on what’s happened through the year and start looking toward next year. Gartner’s list of the top 10 IT trends for 2015 is very insightful to where business is heading and can provide you with some ideas of what may be helpful to your business. Security, mobile, and gamification have been hot topics this year and we tried to address these in on our blog as well as include several great articles below covering those topics. To catch up on all the rest of the major happenings from October, check out the rest of the roundup below. And make sure you read all the way to the end to see which famous person made their very first tweet. If you enjoy this collection of industry news, feel free to follow us over on Facebook and Twitter. Enjoy!

Small Business and Startup

This Is Not A Startup Story

When you start a small business it can be hard to know the difference between success and failure at first glance. This is a fascinating story of what many businesses experience when starting out. Hopefully it can provide you with some guidance if you’re just starting out.

What Makes Mobile So Vital For Small Businesses?

What is it about mobile that makes it such a powerful tool for business? And why, specifically, is it so important to your organization in particular? This post looks to answer those questions and many more in helping you create a mobile plan for your business. Continue Reading →

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What Small Businesses Can Learn From Indie Developers

fezIndie game development is a highly competitive, extremely saturated corner of the market.

You don’t have to be anywhere near the gaming sector to realize that anybody who succeeds as an independent game developer knows what it takes to stand out.

Insights gleaned from this industry reflect the nature of the modern startup and small business environment.

To make waves in a saturated industry, independent development studios can’t just make a great game – they’ve also got to run a great business. They need to be savvy marketers, intelligent managers, and dedicated founders. As in business at large, the barriers to entry are lower than ever. There are thousands of crudely-made titles flooding the market. The few studios that do succeed didn’t just have a unique idea – they marketed it effectively.

How do they do it? Continue Reading →

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Three Types Of Data You Should Never Store In A Public Cloud

safeLet’s put one thing to rest right away – the cloud is not any more or less secure than more traditional methods of data storage and transfer.

There are security risks associated with using the cloud, of course; that’s true of virtually any platform or service.

In the case of the cloud, it simply has its own unique crop of security problems that some businesses haven’t yet adapted to.

Right, now that we’ve got that out of the way…

As I’ve said, cloud storage isn’t less secure than a traditional server. With that in mind, there’s still certain information that you should generally avoid storing online. The data we’re about to go over is stuff that could easily land you in legal hot water – or even destroy your business – if its compromised. Continue Reading →

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What’s Twitter Buzzing About this October in the World of Startups, Hosting, & Web Development?

We know that it can be a little overwhelming at times trying to stay on top of the latest news on Twitter, so this month we thought we’d make it easy for you. We’ve gathered some of the most tweeted, re-tweeted, and debated stories we’ve come across and put them in one spot for you. From great advice from successful entrepreneurs like Richard Branson, to discussions on the future of Linux, to how video games are teaching kids, we’ve got you covered on what’s happened this month. And did you know that it’s National Cyber Security Awareness month? Read up on all of this and more below. If you enjoy this collection of industry news, feel free to follow us over on Facebook and Twitter too. Enjoy!

Small Business and Startup

Forbes advice to startups: “Fake it until you make it.”

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What Makes Mobile So Vital For Small Businesses?

Smartphone-Audience_Mueller_MSC2014You’ve heard it all before – how mobile has changed the way we work, communicate, and live.

How the advent of the smartphone has allowed employees to be more connected than ever before.

How, if your business is doing nothing to implement mobile tech, you’re going to end up eating the dust of the competition.

Many of you have heard all this, but haven’t really received an adequate explanation as to why this is the case. What is it about mobile that makes it such a powerful tool for business? And why, specifically, is it so important to your organization in particular?

There are a few reasons for that. Continue Reading →

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Five Facts You Need To Understand About Fault Tolerance

national archive server roomBy now, you’ve likely heard the term ‘fault tolerance’ at least once.

For those of you unfamiliar with its meaning, it refers to a computer system’s capacity to continue functioning in the event of hardware or software failure.

In essence, the system ‘tolerates’ a fault that would drive other systems to their knees. Sounds pretty simple…right?

Not exactly.

There’s actually a lot more to fault tolerance than meets the eye – and it’s considerably more important than one might expect at first glance. Let’s talk about that. We’re going to go over a few of the facts you need to understand about fault tolerance. Continue Reading →

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5 Small Business Marketing Tactics You’ve Likely Never Heard

Garry Moore Johnny Carson Ive Got a Secret 1959There’s no getting around it – marketing is absolutely vital to one’s success in the business world. If you ever want to see your small business going anywhere, you need to be able to market it effectively. You already know this, of course – and you probably know all the basics, as well.

You’re aware that you need to know your customers and speak to them on a personal level; you understand the importance of being open and transparent. You’re aware of how important content marketing is, and you know your website needs to be optimized for mobile. What’s more, you’ve at least a basic grasp of how a website should be tweaked to play nice with Google – and you know that getting your community to share knowledge of your business is one of the best things you can do.

You know a great deal – but you don’t quite know everything. There are still plenty of marketing secrets you’ve not yet been made party to – and I’ll be the first to admit that there’s plenty I don’t know, as well. In today’s piece, I’m going to share just a few of those secrets with you.

Here are a few more tips, tricks, and tactics that’ll help you bring word of your business to more people than ever before. Continue Reading →

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Choosing The Right Domain Name For Your Small Business

urlIf you haven’t already, it’s time to start thinking about setting up a website for your small business. After all, unless you’re primarily serving a community of technophobes, it’s more or less a guarantee that your target demographic uses the Internet. If you don’t have a website, you’re potentially missing out on a whole lot of prospective customers (and a whole lot of revenue).

Of course, simply having a website isn’t enough if no one’s able to find it.  For that reason, it’s absolutely vital you ensure your site is properly optimized for both search and browsing. The selection of your domain name may well be the most important choice you’ll ever make online.

See, much the same as your brand name is your business’s identity in the offline world, your domain name is your identity on the Internet. Choose one that’s ill-fitting or inappropriate, and your traffic will suffer along with your online reputation. If you go with the right one and market it effectively, though?

Your brand could well become known across the net.

So how does one go about selecting an effective domain name? How can one tell whether a particular domain name will work? Most importantly, how can one avoid selecting a dud?

Let’s talk about that. Continue Reading →

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September’s Roundup of the Best Startup, Hosting, & Web Development Content

small biz saturdayWe understand that there’s a never-ending stream of content being published online and that it can be hard to keep up. In that spirit, each month we gather together the best content from the worlds of small business, web hosting, and development to share with you. There have been a number of new web tools that are allowing for a new user experience, and we look at how you can take advantage of a couple of these new technologies. We offer advice on which hosting solution is best from you and gather advice from different CEOs on how they made their little startup into a big success. In news of general interest, the web passed one billion websites recently, Microsoft purchased a “game” for $2.5 billion, and there’s a new security flaw that has a lot of people worried. To catch up on all the rest of the major happenings from September, check out the rest of the roundup below. If you enjoy this collection of industry news, feel free to follow us over on Facebook and Twitter. Enjoy!

Small Business and Startup

Statistics From Inc. 500 CEOs on Their Companies’ First Year

A by the numbers look at what inspired CEOs of the fastest-growing private companies to take the leap, where they made mistakes, and where they were able to get startup funding.

What Happens After You Reach Your Crowdfuning Goal?

Now you’ve raised the funds – now you have to make sure your backers are happy with the investment. Entrepreneur Andrew Thomas suggests 4 ways to keep your newly funded project successful and accountable to the many people who pumped money into your startup. Continue Reading →

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