Entrepreneurs seeking capital for their businesses can tap their home equity but should keep certain factors in mind. These loans can put your home at risk, and the new tax law has changed deduction rules, Gerri Detweiler writes.
Displaying key metrics, inviting feedback from employees and documenting lessons learned can help you to develop a culture of transparency, entrepreneurs say. "[W]hether it's in weekly stand-ups or town halls, find opportunities to share those lessons openly with the team," advises Jonathan Gass of Nomad Financial.
Customers do a lot of research before they contact sales representatives, but that doesn't mean they don't want to hear from reps, writes Mike Schultz. In fact, 71% of buyers reported they want to talk to sales teams when they're looking for new ideas, and 62% want to talk to sales teams when they're working to fix a problem.
Although the US trade deficit has continued to increase, the oil and gas trade balance is on its way to a positive figure, writes Justin Fox. The shale boom has allowed the government to restrain private-sector borrowing and helped buoy the US economy, Fox writes.
The Federal Reserve will increase its benchmark interest rate by 0.25% due to a stronger economic prognosis in the US. Fed Chairman Jerome Powell said that although inflation is expected to rise in the near future, the increase isn't likely to be an aggressive one.
Microsoft has updated its business applications, adding features that include a common data service to allow for more consistent data analysis. The company has also announced Dynamics 365 for Sales Professionals, which will offer a scaled-down customer-relationship management experience for small businesses.
Finding and holding on to first-rate employees can be a challenge. However, small businesses may have hiring advantages to exploit in their competition for talent, including the potential for flexible work schedules and the opportunity for advancement.
Scoring leads is an effective way to evaluate where people are in the customer journey. Dana Tran explains how to augment Facebook Messenger bots with automatic lead-scoring systems.
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