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Best practices Tag

Cash will always be king, but credit cards are the ace for millions of Americans across the country. In fact, more than 70% of American households have at least one general credit card. Despite the credit card’s place in today’s society, the widespread popularity of “charging it” is actually a relatively new phenomenon. Retailers in the 1970s were hesitant to accept credit cards. Consumers balked at embracing them out of fear of being on the hook for unauthorized charges. But that all changed with the Fair Credit Billing Act (FCBA) of 1974.This amendment to the Truth in Lending Act instilled consumer confidence.  It provided protection from unfair billing practices and identity theft. FCBA was also responsible for the creation of what we now call a “chargeback.” As a small business owner, you might have heard the term before, but you might not be sure how to handle them. Read on to learn more about what a chargeback means for your business and how to avoid them.

There was a song in the 1980s that shot up the charts about a hard-working blue-collar woman hustling for a paycheck. That popular Donna Summer tune about a restroom attendant was titled, “She Works Hard for the Money.” What Summer didn’t call it was, “She Works Hard Out of the Goodness of Her Heart.” If you’re a small business owner, you can undoubtedly relate to this hit song’s subject. You work hard at your craft, and you deserve payment for it. This is where things can get tricky if you don't have a solid handle on the invoice process.With so many moving parts, invoicing can be a particularly troubling function—but it doesn’t have to be. We’ve got the invoicing tips you’re looking for on what to do, what to avoid and the one thing that can make it all easier than ever before.

There’s a common belief that employees leave jobs because they want more money. In our heads, we often think of these emotionally charged decisions in the way that they’re portrayed in pop culture. We picture scenes that involve the ironfisted boss rebuffing the underdog employee’s request for a modest raise. The reality is far less dramatic. In fact, only about 12% of employees leave their jobs over money, but nearly 80% exit because they don’t feel appreciated. To put it bluntly, people quit bosses, not companies. Respectful, inclusive, and collaborative working environments go a long way to improving your overall retention and employee productivity.

 Contrary to what some may believe, there are still effective methods of advertising your small business that don’t involve the internet. If you just let out a gasp and clutched your chest, we understand why you’d feel that way. Between display, social media, search engine marketing, remarketing, video and email, the tried-and-true approaches of yesteryear seem all but forgotten. But the truth is, tactics like direct mail can still work if done in the right way.Postcard marketing is a perfect example. In one survey conducted in the UK, 57% of respondents said that postcard marketing made them feel more valued and that a postcard created a more authentic relationship. As it turns out there’s something to be said for a tangible ad. One that you can hold and put on the fridge. If using postcards is an approach that you’re considering adding to your marketing mix, you should be aware of both the pros and cons.

It seems unfathomable, but computers in the 1950s were a far cry from the slick and portable machines we depend on today. With the concept of the personal computer years away from coming to fruition, clunky mainframes (that’s what they used to call computers) occupied entire rooms in schools and large corporations [paywall]. Given the size and cost of these monstrosities, mainframe users often shared access to data through smaller stations around the office. Though no one called it by name at the time, this type of networking was laying the groundwork for what we refer to today as “cloud computing.”

The last time a person used the word “organic” was probably in a high school chemistry class.  While researching social media for your brand, the term may be one that you've heard before. Rest assured that organic social media has nothing to do with plants, animals, organisms or even science at all. It’s a term that describes one of two main categories of social media, with “paid” posts being the other.In part four of our educational series on how small businesses can best leverage social media, we’ll discuss exactly what organic and paid social media marketing means. We'll explain the differences between the two and how you can use either approach to your advantage.  Also, you can determine which method works best for your business.

Conventional wisdom often suggests that while large corporations grow more advanced, small businesses retain a more old-fashioned identity. This may be true in some cases. Small businesses often operate on local or regional levels. As a result, they don't have to win customers in a national competitive landscape. Many rivals pour millions into new technologies and cutting-edge strategies for boosting profits. Further, their own rivals sometimes aren't especially forward-thinking, either. This eases the pressure on them to pick up on the latest business trends and evolve with them.

Many businesses have peaks and valleys, but few understand the gravity of these swings like those in a seasonal market. For instance, a landscaping company in a cold climate doesn't have the same type of work lined up in late January than it does in late July. If you’ve been racking your brain for a few ways to increase awareness during your downtime, we've got some ideas to help you. Here are three ways for your business to stand out in a seasonal market.

There are many incorrect assumptions about how software might negatively impact a business. These include misconceptions around the price, lack of obvious business benefits, or worries about how hard it is to use the software. These myths are particularly prevalent among small businesses. That’s a shame because in many ways small businesses stand to benefit the most from these platforms' features. Here are a few of the biggest and most enduring myths about business software.