Thanks to a shady associate, Bill Bartmann went from having a well-respected company and a net worth of $3 billion to facing felony charges with $0 to his name. (He was later acquitted and received an apology from the federal government.)
But he didn’t let that experience keep him from future success:

“We all stumble and fall. Maybe I’ve done it more cataclysmically than most. But you can learn so much if you open your eyes rather than blame everyone else and feel pity for yourself. You need to dust yourself off, turn around backwards, and learn what you could have done differently. When you can do that, big things can result.”

Learn how Bartmann and five other entrepreneurs turned their huge failures around on OPEN Forum.

Thanks to a shady associate, Bill Bartmann went from having a well-respected company and a net worth of $3 billion to facing felony charges with $0 to his name. (He was later acquitted and received an apology from the federal government.)

But he didn’t let that experience keep him from future success:

“We all stumble and fall. Maybe I’ve done it more cataclysmically than most. But you can learn so much if you open your eyes rather than blame everyone else and feel pity for yourself. You need to dust yourself off, turn around backwards, and learn what you could have done differently. When you can do that, big things can result.”

Learn how Bartmann and five other entrepreneurs turned their huge failures around on OPEN Forum.

How to Keep Your Business Out of Debt in 5 Easy Steps

Forty thousand small businesses file for bankruptcy every year. Don’t become one of them. Follow these steps to mitigate the risks and keep your business’s finances healthy.

  1. Consider your funding options.
  2. Educate yourself on loans.
  3. Devise a strategy for how you will repay the loan.
  4. Prepare a contingency plan.
  5. Make a plan to stay out of debt.

Read more on how to live debt-free on OPEN Forum

Small business owners have had beef with online customer review site Yelp for years, with some saying the site filters reviews so the worst comments rise to the top. But research has found that the service has done some good in making “shop local” a lot easier for consumers:

… The revenues of Seattle restaurants between 2003 (pre-Yelp) and 2009 (post Yelp’s introduction), which found that a one-star increase in Yelp rating raised a restaurant’s revenues by 5 to 9 percent.

Read more on OPEN Forum.

Small business owners have had beef with online customer review site Yelp for years, with some saying the site filters reviews so the worst comments rise to the top. But research has found that the service has done some good in making “shop local” a lot easier for consumers:

… The revenues of Seattle restaurants between 2003 (pre-Yelp) and 2009 (post Yelp’s introduction), which found that a one-star increase in Yelp rating raised a restaurant’s revenues by 5 to 9 percent.

Read more on OPEN Forum.

If the idea of sitting down to write immediately fills you with dread, this tip is just for you:

For more writing tips, read “3 Easy Hacks for Kicking Your Lazy Writing Habits" on OPEN Forum.

If the idea of sitting down to write immediately fills you with dread, this tip is just for you:

For more writing tips, read “3 Easy Hacks for Kicking Your Lazy Writing Habits" on OPEN Forum.

How to Avoid the FTC’s Bad Side on Pinterest

A contest might sound like a great idea for a social media campaign, but if you don’t follow the rules, you may find the FTC knocking on your door, just like the marketing team at Cole Haan did when it launched a Pinterest contest to its followers.

These are the four things brands should consider when launching a contest on social media, particularly if that platform is Pinterest:

  1. Pinning may constitute an endorsement of a product or organization. 

  2. Entry into a sweepstakes or contest requires disclosure.

  3. Understand the terms and services of the social networks—all of them—before launching a contest. 

  4. The FTC is closely scrutinizing the business use of social media.

Read “4 Things You Must Know Before Running a Social Media Contest" on OPEN Forum.

Want to start a new venture or diversify your current small business? There are some fields you should consider. Here are the five best industries to start a small business in, courtesy of Mashable.com.

Small business owners typically don’t have big budgets for legal fees, but there are times when you should turn to a lawyer for advice. Rebecca Geller, the president and CEO of The Geller Law Group, has these four tips for entrepreneurs.

Why being a people curator is a way more effective way to connect with others than just networking.

Why being a people curator is a way more effective way to connect with others than just networking.

Sarika Doshi, a co-founder of the fashion and beauty website Rank & Style, shared some insight into how she launched her company while still working a full-time job:

It was a lot of work. I was working at a legal startup that was doing really interesting things, and I was learning so much, so it really wasn’t a drag. Basically I would work during the day, and then Pooja and Sonal would come over at night. We would order food and then start our second shift, building Rank & Style. It was like being in full-on final exam mode all the time. I would usually take Saturday off, but that was it.
How did you know when it was the right time to quit your job and dive in?
I was dedicated to getting my savings account to a certain place before quitting. That, and I wanted to get funded before launching. I know that isn’t traditional for a lot of risk-taking entrepreneurs, but I think everyone needs to do their own math. We ended up raising $500,000 right before we launched.

Learn more about Doshi and her company, Rank & Style, on OPEN Forum.

Sarika Doshi, a co-founder of the fashion and beauty website Rank & Style, shared some insight into how she launched her company while still working a full-time job:

It was a lot of work. I was working at a legal startup that was doing really interesting things, and I was learning so much, so it really wasn’t a drag. Basically I would work during the day, and then Pooja and Sonal would come over at night. We would order food and then start our second shift, building Rank & Style. It was like being in full-on final exam mode all the time. I would usually take Saturday off, but that was it.

How did you know when it was the right time to quit your job and dive in?

I was dedicated to getting my savings account to a certain place before quitting. That, and I wanted to get funded before launching. I know that isn’t traditional for a lot of risk-taking entrepreneurs, but I think everyone needs to do their own math. We ended up raising $500,000 right before we launched.

Learn more about Doshi and her company, Rank & Style, on OPEN Forum.

With as much as 15 percent of e-commerce sales coming from mobile devices, you need to make sure your website is in top shape. Turn those mobile viewers into paying customers with these five tips.