Cherie Edilson, who once ran a business that sold hair bows, went on to found e-commerce platform Shop Where I Live with her husband, Rob. The Iowa company has partnered with local business organizations, and it intends to expand into 120 communities during the next five years.
Creating a digital archive is a critical step in keeping important documents safe and accessible while supporting your growing business, writes Adam Uzialko. It's important to digitize your records, organize your archives and use systems that allow for collaboration across business teams.
Early IRS numbers suggest that average tax refunds are down so far this filing season, but that isn't necessarily a bad thing, writes Gene Marks. "If you're a small-business owner drawing a salary (or a typical individual taxpayer) you should be revisiting your Form W-4 and making sure it properly reflects your tax filing status," he advises.
BrightStar Care franchisee Gary Ratkiewicz, who runs a location in a Chicago suburb, says a focus on the fundamentals has allowed his business to achieve outstanding customer and employee satisfaction. "Our caregivers are the biggest contributor to our success because if they do a good job, our clients are going to tell people," he said.
Marketing has grown more complex as a result of changing consumer expectations and the emergence of new methods for reaching customers, said Lisa Zoellner, chief strategy and marketing officer for Neighborly. She stresses the need for marketing leaders to be accountable, keep learning new things and surround themselves with great people.
Franchising is a popular option for military veterans looking to apply their skills in the civilian world, and data show that there are more than 66,000 veteran-owned franchise businesses. Securing funding can be challenging, but "if you've gone through the military, the one thing that no one can question is your fortitude," said Eric Parker, co-founder of a business accelerator.
Washington state-based startup LeoStella is planning to produce the first in a line of 20 small satellites by mid-summer. The satellites will be used by BlackSky Global, which provides Earth-imaging services for business customers.
Customer relationships -- and the feedback they can provide -- are key for Because, a startup focused on selling incontinence products. "In order to make the best products, we had to learn about the problems with today's incontinence products -- the products we were going to improve upon," says co-founder Alexi Suvacioglu.
The US needs support from the government and venture capitalists as it strives to remain a leader in the market for artificial intelligence, writes Rudina Seseri of Glasswing Ventures. To show real support for the sector, the government "needs to commit significant funding and investment in education to retain, attract and grow the talent necessary to support such a critical industry that has the potential to define our future and truly increase American competitiveness," Seseri notes.