August 6, 2020  
  Operating Your Startup or Small Business is a daily online magazine covering small business news. We help entrepreneurs transform ideas and innovations into greatness.

Running a small business requires continual vigilance and response to challenges--both internal and external. Whether you're selecting a payroll service or buying office supplies, it's important to make good decisions.

Operating Your Startup Business

  • How Does Your Business Measure Up As a Supplier? - When we supply another company with a good or service, we want to know how we are performing as a supplier. By measuring our performance as a supplier we can greatly improve the way we operate.
  • Receipt of Goods - How effectively your company receives shipments can have a major effect on your bottom line. Make sure your receiving procedures are in place and allow for a smooth receiving process.
  • Investing in Stocks - Investing in stocks is something that many entrepreneurs enjoy doing, once they've become profitable. We offer a few interesting ideas on how to choose stocks.
  • New Product Development - New product development is most successful when, throughout the design and engineering of the new product, multiple company departments are involved to ensure that product roll-out and production is smooth and defect free.
  • Learning New Small Business Concepts - Seasoned entrepreneurs offer this small business advice to new small business owners: never fall into the trap of thinking that you know everything.
  • Lot Coding and Lot Tracking - If you manufacture a product, it's crucial that you lot code your batches. By using lot codes you can better track your products.

  • Advice on Business Recordkeeping - Managing archives and expense records is an essential skill for anyone who is running a small business. We offer some great advice on business recordkeeping.
  • Offshoring - This article tackles another difficult subject in offshoring. Although offshoring seems to strip America of jobs, it has other benefits that trickle down as well. Learn how offshoring can help your business to level the playing field.
  • Are You a Valuable Customer To Your Suppliers? - We spend so much time evaluating our suppliers' performance, we often forget to measure ourselves. Are we being a good customer to our suppliers? This can greatly impact the way we are treated by our suppliers.
  • Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) - The money you spend on personal protective equipment may be an afterthought. This purchasing decision can have an adverse effect on your employees and productivity. As a result, these purchases need to be handled wisely.
  • Process Mapping - On a mission to improve supply chain management within your organization? Mapping out your processes is an inexpensive way to make great strides and improvement.
  • Measuring Supplier Performance - How well are suppliers perform has a tremendous impact on our own performance. Make sure you're measuring and tracking your supplier's performance.
  • Running an Efficient Office - The layout of your office can greatly affect how well your company operates. By improving the way your office operates you can increase productivity, reduce costs and improve quality.
  • Finding a Contract Manufacturer - If you outsource your production, finding the right contract manufacturer is a critical. This article contains advice on properly managing this important decision.
  • Bartering - Bartering is an exchange of goods or services without the use of monetary exchange. Before currencies came into existence, bartering was the usual means of commerce. It is still being used today, albeit limitedly, by some individuals and small businesses.
  • Employee Utilization - Switch your company focus to keeping your employees busy instead of your machines. Maximum machine utilization leads to overproduction and added costs while maximum employee utilization leads to cost savings and a stronger workforce.
  • Bill of Materials - Bill of Materials are extremely important for tracking the cost of your product. In addition, they can be used to plan for material procurement while reducing the possibility of errors.
  • Production Line Design - The traditional straight-line assembly formation can lead to inefficiencies. Learn about the advantages of the U-shaped line in this article.
  • Importance of Continuous Improvement - Thinking about how you can improve your company? In order to increase profit margins and develop better customer satisfaction, small businesses must embrace the idea of continuous improvement.
  • Eliminate Waste From Your Operations - Part of having good Operations Management is eliminating wasted from your processes. Make sure your company is equipped to seek and eliminate waste in all areas of your company.
  • Annual Operation Plan - Startups and small business owners should consider having an annual operation plan and all of the benefits of having one.
  • Managing Queues in the Service Industry - Long customer queues can lead to dissatisfied customers and lost business. Take measures to reduce your queues and improve your operation.
  • Managing Temporary Labor - Depending upon your particular business, you probably use a combination of full-time, part-time or temporary labor. Finding the right balance can mean the difference between losing money and turning a profit.
  • Good Manufacturing Practices (GMPs) - Good manufacturing practices are a great way to improve your company. By imploring GMPs you can have access to a greater customer base while increasing your quality.
  • Using Customer Input for Product Development - When developing new products, make sure you're obtaining customer feedback throughout the process. Remember, your customers are the ones who will buy the product, so their input is invaluable.
  • Can MBAs Improve Your Business? - Do entrepreneurs benefit from an MBA? Definitely. While some great entrepreneurs have never taken a business class, most entrepreneurs can learn tons from a good MBA program.
  • Writing Business Emails - Wondering how to write effective emails? We offers some excellent tips on writing business emails.
  • Reducing Overtime - Using a lot of overtime can be a costly way to run your business. Reducing overtime requires improvements to your Operation and good management skills. Employees who are accustomed to receiving overtime checks can be weary when you take it away.
  • Matrix Structure for Technology Firms - Intellectual capital for technological firms is rare and costly; this makes it all the more important for them to optimize resource utilization. The matrix structure of organization helps tap the intellectual capital more efficiently.
  • Forecasting - Every startup or small business wishes they had a crystal ball or a psychic in their pocket that would tell them what decisions to make to ensure long-term success for the company. Unfortunately, it is not good business to put faith in such things. Rather, there are trends in the marketplace and conducting forecasts can give startups and small businesses a good idea of what decisions to make for their respective companies.
  • Eliminating Bottlenecks - Our operation is only as fast as our slowest process. To be successful, we need to target and eliminate bottlenecks.
  • Historical Demand and How to Remove Abnormalities - Historical demand is the basis for many important small business decisions. You want to be sure you are capturing this data correctly, so it can be properly analyzed.
  • Level Scheduling Versus Chase Scheduling - How you schedule your workforce can have a major impact on your profitability. Two methods of labor force scheduling are discussed below.
  • Learning Curves - Learning Curves are more than just a buzzword. By understanding the learning curve formula, you can create tests for potential new hires that will indicate their future performance.
  • How to Collect and Interpret Time Study Data - Time study data is the collection and analysis of your various processes. By utilizing time study data you can have a much stronger knowledge of your operation and better plan for the future.
  • Entrepreneur New Years Resolutions - Looking to make a few New Year's business resolutions for the upcoming year? The New Year is just around the corner, so entrepreneurs need to start thinking about their personal and business resolutions for the upcoming year.
  • Problem Solving Tips - Are you looking for a simple problem solving technique that can yield great results? The Five Whys is easy to use and can help you get to the root of many of your problems.
  • Kanbans - Kanbans are an incredible tool used in Operations Management. Learn how this simple visual system can help your company.
  • Good Project Manager - In the business world, good project managers are needed to ensure that every element of a specific project is running smoothly. We take a look at the role of project management in entrepreneurship.
  • Success in Managing Growth - The growth stage of a venture is an exciting time which brings about new challenges to the entrepreneur. Here we provide some tips on managing the growth of your venture.
  • Show Me the Numbers - By utilizing numerical data to make major decisions, the small business can avoid costly decisions. Coupling data with entrepreneurial intuition can be an extremely powerful tool.
  • Money Saving Tips for Business Owners - Cash is too important to the small business for it to be wasted on unnecessary products or services. Make sure you're not overspending in areas that tend to slip between the cracks.
  • Small Batches Versus Large Batches - In manufacturing, there is always the issue of whether to produce in large batches or small batches. There are pros and cons to both and the answer depends on your particular business model. This article discusses both sides of the picture.
  • Getting Supplier Input on New Product Designs - When designing a new product it's important to incorporate many different areas. You should include your suppliers as well, as they can provide invaluable information.
  • Safety Capacity - Planning your work below full capacity will allow your company to be more flexible and responsive. This concept is known as safety capacity and is explained in this article.
  • Reducing Overhead - Is your business overhead too high? We look at how you can decide whether or not you need to reduce overhead and some creative ways to do so.
  • Reducing Variance - If you have manual labor involved in your operation, there's a good chance you have a lot of variance in your process. Don't accept variance as part of the inevitable; seek to reduce variance to improve your quality.
  • Don't Wait for Small Business Inspections - Even if your business has not been inspected by an outside party, you should be proactive in meeting various regulatory standards.
  • Introduction to Supply Chains - This article briefly delves into the realm of supply chains and their impact on an ever changing global landscape.
  • Making Your Business Green - People are increasingly interested in doing their bit to save the earth. Here are some ways you can incorporate eco-friendly ideas into your business.
  • Clean Up Your Business Part 2 - Stale business relationships and a cluttered and dusty workspace can hinder your businesses progress. While it can seem daunting thinking about cleaning up your act, doing so is always beneficial.
  • Small Business Fraud - Small business fraud is on the rise. If you don't watch your business closely, you may find that profits are slipping out the back door -- in your employees' pockets!
  • Priorities - Balancing business ownership with the rest of your life is a challenge. Only you can create or restore equilibrium to your lifestyle. Here's how to put your work life and your personal life into perspective.
  • How to Register a Business with Directory Assistance - If your business is not in the White Pages or registered with Directory Assistance, you will have difficulty obtaining customers and business credit. We explain how to get a business into the White Page listings and how to register with Directory Assistance.
  • Recognizing and Avoiding Business Scams - Recognizing and avoiding business scams is easy once you've been indoctrinated into the important art of scam avoidance.
  • Buying Stocks Based on the News - Buying stocks based on the news can be an excellent investment strategy. We discuss making smart investment choices based on current events.
  • Business Owner Leisure Time - For entrepreneurs, finding leisure time can often be a difficult task. But if you don't take a break, you may end up breaking your business.
  • Operations Management for Service Industries - By increasing quality and efficiency, small businesses in the service industry will experience tremendous improvements, including increased customer satisfaction and cost-savings. Embracing these fundamentals of operations management is critical to small business success.
  • Utilizing Intellectual Capital - Many small businesses underutilize one of their most valuable assets: employee intelligence. By creating an atmosphere where your employees generate and contribute ideas, your company will see significant improvements that may have otherwise gone undiscovered.
  • What a Garage Sale Can Teach a Business Owner - A good entrepreneur knows how to use every situation as a learning experience, or an opportunity to improve their product or service. Here we take a look at what an entrepreneur can learn from a garage sale.
  • Supplier Relationships - The quality and timeliness of your supplier can greatly affect your product or service. As a result, you want to make sure your supplier relationships are positive and you're being set up for success.
  • Cross-Training Employees - Cross-training your employees can greatly increase your flexibility and responsiveness. Adapt a cross-training program in order to improve your company.
  • Reducing Set-Up Times - In today's business environment, the ability to produce products in smaller batches results in increased flexibility and responsiveness. By reducing set-up and change-over times, you can greatly improve your production process.
  • The International Language of Business - Managing a workforce that speaks many different languages can be a challenge. Set up your operation with the international language of colors, shapes and symbols. You'll be amazed at the results you can get from these simple communication tools.
  • Poor Product in the Mix - Many small businesses have an unsuccessful product in their mix. Before launching a new product, set a point where the new product would be dropped from the line. By establishing this point before launching the product, you avoid keeping a losing product for too long.
  • Reinvesting Profits Into Your Business - What's the best use of your small business profits? While you can upgrade your car, remodel a home or take a vacation, the best use of profits is often to put the money back into the business
  • Reducing Clutter in Your Operation - Clutter can get in the away of running a smooth and efficient operation. Whether on the manufacturing floor or in the office, the reduction of clutter can lead to a much more efficient operation.
  • Before You Buy New Business Software - There are many companies who invest a lot of money on new and improved software. Before making this investment, make sure your current software cannot perform your desired functions.
  • Kaizen Line Stoppages - The Japanese have been on the forefront of Operations Management for the past few decades. One of their many tools is the concept of the Kaizen line stoppage. Learn about this technique below.
  • Treat Your Suppliers Well - Small businesses and entrepreneurs need suppliers the most. There must be a good relationship between the small business and suppliers. Otherwise, the entrepreneur and small business will greatly reduce their chance of achieving success.
  • Tips to Save on Energy Bills - Skyrocketing crude and energy prices are eating into the bottom lines of small and large business alike. Energy efficiency and conservation have a direct impact on profitability and make businesses environmentally benign thereby mitigating risk related to public grievances.
  • Product Samples - Sample products are a necessary part of the sales process. They can be costly, however, so they should be managed well and be a part of the planning process.
  • De-expedite and Prioritize - While most businesses know how to expedite product when a rush delivery is needed, few companies fully take advantage of de-expediting. Prioritize your orders in order to better manage your demand.
  • Using Consultants - Many small businesses utilize consultants. Consultants can be a great help, but they can also be costly. Make sure you choose your consultants wisely.
  • The Dangers of "Free Fill" Programs - In order to get your product into a new store or distributor, you are often asked to participate in a free fill program. Giving away product can be a high price to pay for a new customer. Make sure you've analyzed the cost-benefit before making this decision.
  • Collaboration via Insourcing - Learn about a new phenomenon known as insourcing. It is a snapshot of something big that is happening worldwide and will soon impact your small business.
  • Small Business Supply Chains - This article goes into the things that UPS does for businesses that may offer your small business the opportunity to optimize like you never thought it could.
  • Five Small Business New Year's Resolutions for 2009 - Happy 2009! Have you decided what you will do differently this year to grow your small company? Here are five small business New Year's resolutions that can help you do well in 2009.
  • Keeping Your Company Aligned - Like many companies that start out with several founders, energy and passion drive the team forward developing their products, honing their marketing strategy and coming up with a launch plan. However, as deviations to the business and strategy plan become necessary and apparent, many startup-up teams struggle to keep the co-founders aligned on a single strategy.
  • Affordable Solutions for Small Businesses - Long are the days where small businesses need to spend extravagant sums on communications, software, and travel to meet with clients. Today, there is a host of free and affordable software applications that greatly lower the cost of running a small business.
  • Choosing the Right Distribution Channels - More and more firms are seeking multi-channel distribution strategies to reach the maximum potential of customers, however multi-channel management can be complex while causing potential strains on your vendor relations.
  • Clean Up Your Business Part 1 - Stale business relationships and a cluttered and dusty workspace can hinder your businesses progress. While it can seem daunting thinking about cleaning up your act, doing so is always beneficial.
  • Distribution Channels - Distribution and distribution channels fall under the 'placement' or 'place' aspect of the marketing mix. What should the entrepreneur know about these integral aspects that determine how their products and services will get to the final consumers?
  • Manage Projects - Knowing how to manage projects is a critical small business leadership skill. Why? Because without effective project management strategies, you have no chance of meeting goals and deadlines. Here's what you need to know.
  • Three Cost Reduction Tips for Hotels and Hospitality Businesses - Facing an onslaught of economic woes, more and more travelers are opting to stay home -- forcing hotels to take a closer look at cost reduction strategies that won't handicap their ability to deliver a first-rate guest experience.




Additional Resources for Entrepreneurs

Search Engine Marketing

Social Marketing Optimization

Business Forms

Business in the Jungle - Business in Fiction - Negotiating

Radio Ad Costs

Newspaper Advertising Rates

City-Specific Resources for Entrepreneurs

Small Business Insurance

Global Entrepreneurship

China & Entrepreneurs