An increasing number of businesses are using technology that resides on the Web, not in their computers, says USA TODAY small-business columnist Steve Strauss. Virtual business is one of 10 trends Strauss discusses as a growing force in the coming year.
Record numbers of companies are offering franchises, so buyers need to narrow their profiles to find the unique ways they can set themselves apart from the competition, says franchising coach Mark Siebert. Understanding who the competition is, and what they offer, is the first step, he says.
Republican presidential candidate and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee is gaining ground in Iowa by pushing for a national sales tax. Under the plan -- which has not gotten much scrutiny -- the current tax codes would be thrown out and replaced with a 23% tax on new goods and services.