Think Tank Discussion Topics

The WBS Think Tank provides a forum for small business owners to share with one another their tips and tools of their trade.  The WBS Think Tank allows members to contribute to posts, ask questions, or simply initiate a discussion about a hot business topic.

The Think Tank is to be used as a forum for small business questions, topics and ideas. This is not a forum for posting commercials or sales information about your business. If we find information that is not in line with the purpose of the Think Tank your comment will be removed from the Think Tank forum.

If you would like to share information about your business with the members of WBS, please create a PeerSphere dedicated to your work.  Click to create your PeerSphere

Not getting enough sales

Our company, Stan's chip Dip, www.stanschipdip.com was started 8/08. We've made about $2,000.000 primarily from having a booth at food shows. We've only had 37 sales from our web site. Our website host says we're getting 2,000 hits a day. We also advertise

Recommended 8 Comments

Using Forum Marketing

I'm an early start up that expected to utilize forum participation as an initial "word of mouth" marketing strategy. I identified several active forums on the topic (Internet Security) and proceeded to sign up only to read their rules to find they don't al

PAUL ROSEBROCK from Morganton, NC - Add to my Personal PeerSphere - 5 years ago
Recommended 7 Comments

Fuel costs

I have to make frequent trips to see clients and deliver product and I'm wondering what changes others are making in their business to cut back on fuel expenses?

BIZOWNER from Albuquerque, NM - Add to my Personal PeerSphere - 6 years ago
Recommended 7 Comments

Small investor looking to invest in your current business or business you wish to start

Hi, this is my first post here. I am a former stock market investor. I invested for several years, but I have decided to pursue other avenues (invest elsewhere). I have a small amount of money to invest and I came to this forum in search of business ideas.

JAYDRAFT from Huffman, TX - Add to my Personal PeerSphere - 4 years ago
Recommended 3 Comments

New Career Economy: Are Corporate America Workers Choosing a New Career Path?

With nearly one out of every ten American workers unemployed, undoubtedly you know someone who has been laid off from a corporate job. How are they dealing with this? Several factors have given rise to the New Career Economy®, including consumer debt, c

JIZAKS from Deerfield, IL - Add to my Personal PeerSphere - 4 years ago
Recommended 2 Comments

Precision Insurance Targeting Assessing Your Small Business Insurance Needs

Kevin Kerridge is the Director of small business insurance at Hiscox, a global insurance company with 100+ years’ experience. Finding insurance that’s specifically tailored to your business is a process that can be involved and require a fair amount of re

PETEM from Chesapeake, VA - Add to my Personal PeerSphere - 2 years ago

Where do you conduct background checks for potential employees?

I'm hiring right now and I don't have a good source for finding a background check. I run a small business that does not hire that much, so I'm looking for a place online that I can easily conduct a good search. Does anyone have a good source for that?

JEREMY from Edina, MN - Add to my Personal PeerSphere - 5 years ago
Recommended 2 Comments

Importing into the US

I am planning to start importing into the US, I already have a company established in the Dominican Republic> Can anyone please tell me how to get the importing permits to start importing goods to the US and if I should incorporate here in the US first. Thanks

LOCATION LOCATION LOCATION??

Location is the golden rule. However, synergy of traffic flow or non-synonymous anchors within a prime location could make choosing the right location confusing, which is my problem! What would you choose and why? 1. As a clothier, across the street fro

Effective Online Strategies for Local Business

Local online advertising continues to grow as more companies come to the realization that consumers are moving to online marketing. A new report by Borrell Associates found that companies spent $12.1 billion on local online advertising in 2008. Many local

KOALATECH from Richmond, VA - Add to my Personal PeerSphere - 5 years ago
Recommended 1 Comments

Need Help with your Lover ones? Finding someone you can trust and depend on?

No more worries, At Loving Hands4U, LLC, we have the tools, and you are looking for. We provide around the clock, Caregivers, Nurse Aids, and Nurse. All employees are certified with the State of Virginia, we also provide, Supplies on Hand, Resource links,

SANDRA from Springfield, VA - Add to my Personal PeerSphere - 2 years ago

NO FICO CREDIT CARD PROGRAM

We have started our NO FICO CREDIT CARD PROGRAM for the next 45 people after that we will not start again until the middle of October to accomodate the ones we already have on file!!! If you are interested send me your name, email address, phone number, an

GETCREDITNOW from Grandville, MI - Add to my Personal PeerSphere - 4 years ago

Make money no matter how the economy is with a $17 investment

If you have a digital camera, the internet, a few hours a week to invest and $17.00, you can learn how to make money and make hundreds of dollars week after week part-time! This e-book provides you (even if you are an amateur) with the contacts (address, t

#1WEALTHSYSTEM from Philadelphia, PA - Add to my Personal PeerSphere - 6 years ago

Need Help On Increasing Sales

Hello, I am new to this forum and find it highly informative. I was hoping I could get some pointers on individuals that have been in my situation. I am an account executive for a software company based in Los Angeles. We have developed the software

SAMNAM from Tarzana, CA - Add to my Personal PeerSphere - 5 years ago

T-1 lines are old news

How can small to med-size business still pay $400-$500 per month for a T-1 and only get a lousy 1.5 mg per connection?

ANDYW74 from Minnetonka, MN - Add to my Personal PeerSphere - 6 years ago

How Do Successful Small Business Owners Manage Ambiguity

Excerpts from the new game-changing GenerationX Management Guide: What's Wrong With Your Small Business Team? Ambiguity is a silent killer. It slithers in from the forest like a poisonous snake and bites you in the rear. It insulates itself in tiny e

ADGROGAN from Katy, TX - Add to my Personal PeerSphere - 3 years ago

Marketing a Small Business

Let's face it... There is only so much credibility that your organization can have when the only online advertising method you use is the new "social networking sites" craze. Although this method can be effective, businesses should still use this and any other online advertising to drive a visitor to it's OWN domain. The business can then totally control the content, experience, and branding that the visitor observes. This is where your visitor truly becomes a potential customer! Now don't get me wrong, social networking sites can be a great tool for the small business owner. You just need to "stand out" from others in your industry. Our company is offering a new service that can help you do just that! We can now provide you with custom trailers. We're not talking shabby PowerPoint slides here! These have the kind of quality you'd expect of movie trailers! Play them in your business location (they look great on flat screens!), post them on YouTube, or embed them into your OWN business website (which I'm getting ready to address). The personal and professional uses for our trailers are endless!!! To experience one of our new trailers visit: www.soaringwebdesign.com Now if your small business doesn't have a website, you have an uphill battle to market your organization vs your competition. There are many reasons that a small business website can directly improve your bottom line. But for "ease-of-use" I will only list the four most common reasons that small businesses decide to create a web presence. These are: 1. To establish credibility 2. To decrease information distribution costs 3. Improve customer loyalty 4. To create a focal point for their advertising The internet is the fastest growing and most highly used media outlet available. Nearly all serious businesses and organizations have a presence in the World Wide Web. Today's discerning consumers and professionals are expecting this more than ever. The use of websites in the market-place becomes more popular with each passing day, and it has become clear that even having a static, uninteresting website is no longer sufficient. A website's purpose is to serve as widespread marketing, and a functional tool to aid in the success of an organization. Not having a website is comparable to being unlisted in the phone book 15 years ago. In fact, given that currently 73% of all business searches are done from the internet rather than offline, can you afford to not have an appealing online presence?

SOARING STAFF from Fayetteville, NC - Add to my Personal PeerSphere - 4 years ago

Per Diem Allowance for a Business Trip

Our per diem rate for breakfast, lunch, and dinner is $42. One of our affiliates is utilitizing one of the many federal rate of $66 per day. At what level of per diem rates are you utilizing and why ?

LARRY from Rosemont, IL - Add to my Personal PeerSphere - 4 years ago

H1N1

This is intended to help employers and employees understand and prepare for the things that can be controlled to reduce the spread and severity of both H1N1 and the conventional, seasonal flu. H1N1 influenza, combined with the conventional seasonal flu could result in workplace absenteeism rates as high as 35% - 40%. For the vast majority of infected people, flu illness will be mild to moderate. For a small number of people in high-risk groups, H1N1 could be devastating. Because of the large number of 50+ year olds who were exposed to similar strains of influenza decades ago, many in that age group are at a lower risk of developing serious H1N1 infections, largely opposite from those at risk for seasonal flu. Who is Most Affected? Conventional Seasonal Flu % of Ages Hospitalized 16% 3% 3% 19% 15% 44% Age 0 - 4 5 - 9 10 - 17 18 - 49 50 - 64 65+ % of Ages Hospitalized 22% 19% 15% 31% 10% 3% H1N1 Influenza Individuals in the 18-49 year old risk group are the core of most workforces, so planning and prevention becomes especially critical. Adding to this, the reality that these workers are those with young children, also at higher risk for severe H1N1 reactions, HR planning becomes mission critical. 70% of hospitalizations from H1N1 are in otherwise healthy adults under 25 years of age. The primary differences between H1N1 and seasonal influenza are severity, the age groups that each affects, and which groups will be the first to receive the H1N1 vaccine when it is first released, most likely in October. As the vaccine begins shipping weekly, there will eventually be ample supply to vaccinate everyone who elects to receive it. Even though Minnesota will be in the midst of the 2nd wave of H1N1, vaccinations will provide protection for a 3rd wave of H1N1, expected this next spring. Priority H1N1 vaccine-targeted groups consist of: Pregnant women Obese individuals Severe asthmatics Those with cardiac, neurological and neuron-muscular conditions Young, healthy adults < 25 years of age Children What else should I know?  Schools are planning to remain open as much as possible, but children (and staff) will be expected to remain home when ill. This will place a greater burden on employees and employers alike.  The convergence of seasonal flu with the 2nd wave of H1N1 will make it impractical for public health sources to culture and identify each case that will be seen. Therefore, human resource policies and strategies for handling all Influenza-Like Illnesses (I.L.I.) should be the same.  The healthcare system cannot handle large surges in demand, so people with I.L.I. symptoms will be asked to stay out of emergency rooms, urgent care clinics and family clinics unless the most severe symptoms are present, such as difficulty breathing, dehydration from extreme vomiting or diarrhea and high fever that is not controlled by medicine.  Anti-viral medicines like Tamiflu and Relenza are very effective, but are being used sparingly to treat very sick, high risk patients, not as a preventative. Unnecessary or over-use may result in the flu virus developing a resistance to these drugs.  Coughs as much as one week before fever or other symptoms appear can spread H1N1. Infections can still be spread after fevers have ended, making hand-washing, cough-covering and the cleaning of shared surfaces, critical behavior changes. Social distancing is another behavior change that can reduce the exposure and the spread of I.L.I.’s.  Return to work guidelines are generally 24 hours after fevers stop, without the use of medications. Keep in mind, H1N1 could still be spread by coughing, so safe behavior practices must still apply. What policy changes should be planned for?  ID critical operations and cross-train for job-shifting if it becomes necessary.  When possible, encourage working from home.  Consider N95 masks (keep in mind that specific respirators may require specific fit-testing).  Provide hand and surface sanitizers, making them readily available throughout the workplace.  Communicate with and educate both English and non-English speaking employees (translated documents are available at www.mdhflu.com .  Redefine ‘absenteeism’ as employees take time off for their own illness and to care for family members. The average illness will run 5 - 7 days.  Communicate how absenteeism will affect performance ratings.  To reduce the flood on family clinics, suspend the requirement of a note before returning to work.  Know that things will get better! BASIC STEPS WE CAN ALL TAKE: Get vaccinated Stay home when you are sick Cover coughs Clean shared surfaces Wash your hands Practice social distancing

JSEBESTA from Mendota Heights, MN - Add to my Personal PeerSphere - 5 years ago

How Social Media and SEO Work Together

Despite company marketing budgets on hold or in a state of ambiguity, many small businesses are scrambling over social media, trying to figure out how to boost sales and keep the customers they have. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is an online marketing

TOPRANK from Mound, MN - Add to my Personal PeerSphere - 5 years ago

Need Help with your Lover ones? Finding someone you can trust and depend on?

No more worries, At Loving Hands4U, LLC, we have the tools, and you are looking for. We provide around the clock, Caregivers, Nurse Aids, and Nurse. All employees are certified with the State of Virginia, we also provide, Supplies on Hand, Resource links,

SANDRA from Springfield, VA - Add to my Personal PeerSphere - 2 years ago

NO FICO CREDIT CARD PROGRAM

We have started our NO FICO CREDIT CARD PROGRAM for the next 45 people after that we will not start again until the middle of October to accomodate the ones we already have on file!!! If you are interested send me your name, email address, phone number, an

GETCREDITNOW from Grandville, MI - Add to my Personal PeerSphere - 4 years ago

Make money no matter how the economy is with a $17 investment

If you have a digital camera, the internet, a few hours a week to invest and $17.00, you can learn how to make money and make hundreds of dollars week after week part-time! This e-book provides you (even if you are an amateur) with the contacts (address, t

#1WEALTHSYSTEM from Philadelphia, PA - Add to my Personal PeerSphere - 6 years ago

Need Help On Increasing Sales

Hello, I am new to this forum and find it highly informative. I was hoping I could get some pointers on individuals that have been in my situation. I am an account executive for a software company based in Los Angeles. We have developed the software

SAMNAM from Tarzana, CA - Add to my Personal PeerSphere - 5 years ago

T-1 lines are old news

How can small to med-size business still pay $400-$500 per month for a T-1 and only get a lousy 1.5 mg per connection?

ANDYW74 from Minnetonka, MN - Add to my Personal PeerSphere - 6 years ago

How Do Successful Small Business Owners Manage Ambiguity

Excerpts from the new game-changing GenerationX Management Guide: What's Wrong With Your Small Business Team? Ambiguity is a silent killer. It slithers in from the forest like a poisonous snake and bites you in the rear. It insulates itself in tiny e

ADGROGAN from Katy, TX - Add to my Personal PeerSphere - 3 years ago

Marketing a Small Business

Let's face it... There is only so much credibility that your organization can have when the only online advertising method you use is the new "social networking sites" craze. Although this method can be effective, businesses should still use this and any other online advertising to drive a visitor to it's OWN domain. The business can then totally control the content, experience, and branding that the visitor observes. This is where your visitor truly becomes a potential customer! Now don't get me wrong, social networking sites can be a great tool for the small business owner. You just need to "stand out" from others in your industry. Our company is offering a new service that can help you do just that! We can now provide you with custom trailers. We're not talking shabby PowerPoint slides here! These have the kind of quality you'd expect of movie trailers! Play them in your business location (they look great on flat screens!), post them on YouTube, or embed them into your OWN business website (which I'm getting ready to address). The personal and professional uses for our trailers are endless!!! To experience one of our new trailers visit: www.soaringwebdesign.com Now if your small business doesn't have a website, you have an uphill battle to market your organization vs your competition. There are many reasons that a small business website can directly improve your bottom line. But for "ease-of-use" I will only list the four most common reasons that small businesses decide to create a web presence. These are: 1. To establish credibility 2. To decrease information distribution costs 3. Improve customer loyalty 4. To create a focal point for their advertising The internet is the fastest growing and most highly used media outlet available. Nearly all serious businesses and organizations have a presence in the World Wide Web. Today's discerning consumers and professionals are expecting this more than ever. The use of websites in the market-place becomes more popular with each passing day, and it has become clear that even having a static, uninteresting website is no longer sufficient. A website's purpose is to serve as widespread marketing, and a functional tool to aid in the success of an organization. Not having a website is comparable to being unlisted in the phone book 15 years ago. In fact, given that currently 73% of all business searches are done from the internet rather than offline, can you afford to not have an appealing online presence?

SOARING STAFF from Fayetteville, NC - Add to my Personal PeerSphere - 4 years ago

Per Diem Allowance for a Business Trip

Our per diem rate for breakfast, lunch, and dinner is $42. One of our affiliates is utilitizing one of the many federal rate of $66 per day. At what level of per diem rates are you utilizing and why ?

LARRY from Rosemont, IL - Add to my Personal PeerSphere - 4 years ago

H1N1

This is intended to help employers and employees understand and prepare for the things that can be controlled to reduce the spread and severity of both H1N1 and the conventional, seasonal flu. H1N1 influenza, combined with the conventional seasonal flu could result in workplace absenteeism rates as high as 35% - 40%. For the vast majority of infected people, flu illness will be mild to moderate. For a small number of people in high-risk groups, H1N1 could be devastating. Because of the large number of 50+ year olds who were exposed to similar strains of influenza decades ago, many in that age group are at a lower risk of developing serious H1N1 infections, largely opposite from those at risk for seasonal flu. Who is Most Affected? Conventional Seasonal Flu % of Ages Hospitalized 16% 3% 3% 19% 15% 44% Age 0 - 4 5 - 9 10 - 17 18 - 49 50 - 64 65+ % of Ages Hospitalized 22% 19% 15% 31% 10% 3% H1N1 Influenza Individuals in the 18-49 year old risk group are the core of most workforces, so planning and prevention becomes especially critical. Adding to this, the reality that these workers are those with young children, also at higher risk for severe H1N1 reactions, HR planning becomes mission critical. 70% of hospitalizations from H1N1 are in otherwise healthy adults under 25 years of age. The primary differences between H1N1 and seasonal influenza are severity, the age groups that each affects, and which groups will be the first to receive the H1N1 vaccine when it is first released, most likely in October. As the vaccine begins shipping weekly, there will eventually be ample supply to vaccinate everyone who elects to receive it. Even though Minnesota will be in the midst of the 2nd wave of H1N1, vaccinations will provide protection for a 3rd wave of H1N1, expected this next spring. Priority H1N1 vaccine-targeted groups consist of: Pregnant women Obese individuals Severe asthmatics Those with cardiac, neurological and neuron-muscular conditions Young, healthy adults < 25 years of age Children What else should I know?  Schools are planning to remain open as much as possible, but children (and staff) will be expected to remain home when ill. This will place a greater burden on employees and employers alike.  The convergence of seasonal flu with the 2nd wave of H1N1 will make it impractical for public health sources to culture and identify each case that will be seen. Therefore, human resource policies and strategies for handling all Influenza-Like Illnesses (I.L.I.) should be the same.  The healthcare system cannot handle large surges in demand, so people with I.L.I. symptoms will be asked to stay out of emergency rooms, urgent care clinics and family clinics unless the most severe symptoms are present, such as difficulty breathing, dehydration from extreme vomiting or diarrhea and high fever that is not controlled by medicine.  Anti-viral medicines like Tamiflu and Relenza are very effective, but are being used sparingly to treat very sick, high risk patients, not as a preventative. Unnecessary or over-use may result in the flu virus developing a resistance to these drugs.  Coughs as much as one week before fever or other symptoms appear can spread H1N1. Infections can still be spread after fevers have ended, making hand-washing, cough-covering and the cleaning of shared surfaces, critical behavior changes. Social distancing is another behavior change that can reduce the exposure and the spread of I.L.I.’s.  Return to work guidelines are generally 24 hours after fevers stop, without the use of medications. Keep in mind, H1N1 could still be spread by coughing, so safe behavior practices must still apply. What policy changes should be planned for?  ID critical operations and cross-train for job-shifting if it becomes necessary.  When possible, encourage working from home.  Consider N95 masks (keep in mind that specific respirators may require specific fit-testing).  Provide hand and surface sanitizers, making them readily available throughout the workplace.  Communicate with and educate both English and non-English speaking employees (translated documents are available at www.mdhflu.com .  Redefine ‘absenteeism’ as employees take time off for their own illness and to care for family members. The average illness will run 5 - 7 days.  Communicate how absenteeism will affect performance ratings.  To reduce the flood on family clinics, suspend the requirement of a note before returning to work.  Know that things will get better! BASIC STEPS WE CAN ALL TAKE: Get vaccinated Stay home when you are sick Cover coughs Clean shared surfaces Wash your hands Practice social distancing

JSEBESTA from Mendota Heights, MN - Add to my Personal PeerSphere - 5 years ago

How Social Media and SEO Work Together

Despite company marketing budgets on hold or in a state of ambiguity, many small businesses are scrambling over social media, trying to figure out how to boost sales and keep the customers they have. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is an online marketing

TOPRANK from Mound, MN - Add to my Personal PeerSphere - 5 years ago