30 November 2017
Winter Is Coming

From one business to another, here’s a bit of advice: Above all, keep your customers safe. Winter is almost here and snow and ice can be a problem. Stairs, steps, and ramps tend to be the most dangerous and need immediate attention when ice and snow are present. Consider adding nonslip strips on outside stairs and make sure any handrails are stable and secure.  Since you’re busy running your business, one option is to leave the snow and ice removal to the professionals. Many lawn maintenance services offer snow removal as well, so check with your existing service provider. For those surprise snowfalls, keep a shovel and a bag of salt handy. A little extra caution in the winter months can ensure safe and happy customers (and help avoid lawsuits).  

Read more about how to prevent slips, trips, and falls on your business property.

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09 November 2017
START UP Stories: LawnGuru with Skye Durrant and Brandon Bertrang

Friends Skye Durrant and Brandon Bertrang started a small business in high school cutting lawns over the summer, and that entrepreneurial mindset and experience stuck with them long after graduation. They met back up after college and started a tech company that has become the "Uber" of on-demand lawn service, earning millions of dollars for service providers and changing the landscape of how Americans approach lawn care.


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09 November 2017
START UP Webisode: Rare Bird Beauties

Ioana Qureshi had a dream (no, not an idea - a literal dream). She dreamt that she and her friend, Jennifer Beyers, had started a business named after Jennifer’s old salon. Well, when your inspiration comes like that, you just run with it. The two created Rare Bird Beauties, and they provide hair and makeup services for brides, fashion shoots, and special events. They used Next Door Chicago’s coaching and classes to help get their business off the ground. Watch and learn how this duo are changing the face (and hair) of beauty services. 

As for Jennifer, she’s learned along the way that to ground your business dream into reality, you’ve got to get your hands dirty with the details by planning your work and working your plan. 

To read more about the Jen’s lessons learned along her and Ioana’s entrepreneur journey, check out The Entrepreneur’s Toolbox: Ground Business Dreams in Reality on the State Farm® Next Door® Simple Insights® page

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06 November 2017
"Bookish Box" on START UP TV SHOW

Justine Woods loves to read, so much so that she would send away for books to review for free. In an entrepreneurial flash, she realized there’s probably a business model for people just like her. She began printing t-shirts and delivering literary-themed subscription boxes. Each month, her company sends out a subscription box with books, shirts, notebooks, mugs, home and beauty items, and all sorts of other book-inspired things that readers love. Justine rolled her passion into a business and found that a good idea will always find a home with those who share that passion. Watch Justine’s story and see why she uses a The UPS Store mailbox as a safe place to receive all of her vendor samples and other business mail.

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02 November 2017
Protect Your Small Business

So, you’ve started a small business and set up your shop or office. Great. Now what? Well, the next step is securing what you have so you can focus on the future. Our friends at State Farm put together a good list of basic tasks you can adopt to make your physical and digital assets safer. Learn how to reduce the risk of robberies, smash and grab theft, and even ways to improve your window and door security. 

Also, you’re going to want to protect your electronics, such as computers and monitors and cash registers. Surge protectors are a must have for all electronic equipment. And you know what computers hate more than power surges? Water. Spend some time focusing on how your electronics are place, whether they’d be damaged in a small flood or from leaks. 

Read more at State Farm’s site. A little prevention as you start your business can save you a lot of headaches later. And establishing good security habits early will make that part of your business culture as you grow. Protect what you’ve created. 

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