Marketing Mistakes You Can’t Afford to Make

Small-business owners know that the slightest error can translate to a weaker bottom line. Such is the case of Julia Reich who made a big marketing mistake when she chose not to update her domain name, after changing her company’s name.

Julia Reich Design had been in business from 2001 until 2013, with a lot of work history out there on the Internet, and after her website came down, Reich says, “I realized that many of the websites I’d designed for clients, as well as other printed materials, all had my old name and Web address on them. If a prospect wanted to look me up, they’d have no way of finding me.”

Learn the two other seemingly minor marketing slip ups that can have a big affect on your business on OPEN Forum.

We all know Facebook is a great customer serivce and marketing tool, but how can it drive sales and boost your company’s revenue? Serial entrepreneur David Kidder, the co-founder of Bionic, and Monica Mehta, managing principal at Seventh Capital answer viewers questions about turning Facebook likes into cash, and other burning business questions.

How to Conquer Your No. 1 Money Fear

A recent survey found that one-third of Americans worry about money all the time. Not just a fleeting worry: All. The. Time. The number one fear of survey respondents was living paycheck to paycheck. It’s a harsh reality for many entrepreneurs who may not even have much of a paycheck to begin with. But, OPEN Forum writer Rieva Lesonsky says, this fear is a perfect motivator:

Use your fear to motivate planning a big-picture future, with your eyes on developing enough cash flow to retire or at least step back a bit from your business some day. This requires making your business less dependent on you—which not only makes it more salable in the distant future but also helps it grow in the meantime.

Read on to learn how you can stop money from keeping you up at night on OPEN Forum.

The Common Mistakes Behind Every Bad Business Decision

1. Decisions are based entirely on the business leader’s ego. 

2. Decision makers look to the past to dictate the future.

3. Any research attempts are lazy.

4. Decision makers are indecisive.

Read on for four more common mistakes bad decision makers make on OPEN Forum.

Why ‘Do What You Love’ Isn’t Always Great Advice

"Do what you love" is to business as "I’m not here to make friends" is to reality TV. A often-repeated maxim that isn’t always the best piece of life advice. For people wanting to start their own businesses, there’s something to be said for being an industry novice, writes Mark Henricks.

When researching her new book, Rookie SmartsWhy Learning Beats Knowing in the New Game of Work, author Liz Wiseman found that rookies working in knowledge industries tended to equal or outperform people with more experience. One explanation Wiseman offers is that experts tend to ignore things that don’t accord with their experience. Meanwhile, rookies, who know they don’t know it all, stay alert to everything. 

Read more about the benefits of being a business rookie on OPEN Forum.

9 Traits of the Most Well-Loved Entrepreneurs


… are truly authentic. 

… understand the power of reciprocity. 

… are positive.

… listen more than they talk.

… are highly approachable.

… can give constructive criticism.

… work hard.

… are both authoritative and human.

… are know the right way to give praise.

Read more on OPEN Forum.

3 Reasons Why Dating Is Just Plain Harder for Entrepreneurs

1. Your date may not get just how busy you are.

2. Your date may just be there for the fringe benefits.

3. Women entrepreneurs face gender biases of being a caregiver instead of breadwinner.

Dating experts and business owners weigh in on each of these three hurdles to dating as an entrepreneur on OPEN Forum.

The Powerful Publishing Tool More Businesses Should Use

Medium is a publishing platform available to anyone with a Twitter account (which makes sense, considering two of the guys behind the microblogging site created it). Unlike Twitter, you can go beyond 140 characters to share your thoughts; journalists, experts and provocateurs are using the space to post essays and become thought leaders of sorts in their spaces.

It’s a great space for small business owners as well for five major reasons. Read more on OPEN Forum.

Should You Ever Do Business With a Good Friend?

Many people warn against hiring or partnering with friends, but it’s not always a bad thing. You just have to know what you’re getting yourself into, writes OPEN Forum contributor Dorie Clark:

…You may assume you know all about your friend based on your experiences with them. But it’s likely you’ve only seen a slice—probably the most fun side—of their personality. They may be entirely different under high-pressure situations… 

Be on the lookout for warning signs: If you’ve seen them discuss clients or employees in a problematic way (such as a pattern of blaming other people, or making choices you disagree with), be wary.

Read on for five more tips on whether or not you should work with your friends.

Being on the road doesn’t always guarantee you a break from the office. The work is never done for many small business owners. Here are five ways to stay focused and be productive during any trip from