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01 September 2017
Entrepreneurs and Automation

Mention the word “automation” and people may think about robots building cars or some advanced AI or an android stealing your job (we’re not there yet…don’t worry). But automation is also a benefit. Take your small business for instance. You only have so many hours in a week to do everything. If you’re trying to figure out the best way to market your service or product, then you’re not actually delivering that service or product. So maybe it’s time for marketing automation.  Marketing automation is just another tool in your toolbox. Sure, you could try to pull up nails with a pair of tweezers, but a roofing hammer is going to be faster and more efficient. Same with marketing automation. Sure, you COULD do it all yourself, by hand, every day. But wouldn’t you rather be working on what you do best?  Click to read more about marketing automation

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01 September 2017
Kaleidoscope Juice

Alexandra Maw wasn’t a typical kid. She setup her playroom like a Farmers' Market and watched PBS cooking shows instead of cartoons. While at Arizona State University, Alex entered the Edson Student Entrepreneur Initiative with an idea for a store that sold organic juices. Fast forward and Alex now has multiple locations and a dedicated customer base for her cold-pressed juices and gluten-free baked goods.

It wasn’t easy, but Alexandra sidestepped a lot of pitfalls early on by being nimble and trying out new ideas. She also handled a lot of the tasks herself, like design and marketing. The driving force that kept her on track is the commitment to helping people eat better and live well, avoiding the processed foods and huge portions most people in this country eat. 

Alexandra has been open about the breakdowns and hardships along the way, which she has always used to grow from instead of focusing on the negative. Even though she wears all the hats in the business, she still stays focused on the reason she started it all, and her customers reward her for that. 

Kaleidoscope Juice has four locations in Arizona. Watch the video to see how Alexandra mixed her passions and ideas into a thriving and growing business. 

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HR Blog 1
11 September 2017
3 Reasons to Talk to a State Farm Agent

Did you know State Farm agents are small business owners too? With nearly 19,000 agents in communities across the country, State Farm is here to help your small business succeed. Here are three reasons to talk to an agent about your business needs:

1. They’re local – You’ve got enough on your plate running a business, so it’s smart to work with someone local that you can trust to help protect it. Whether you have a simple question or a significant loss, being able to turn to someone right in your community is a huge benefit. 

2. They get to know you – If you run your own business, you know how important it is to give your customers personal attention. As small business owners, State Farm agents are no different. They take the time to understand you, your business and your future goals and plans. 

3. They give back to the community – State Farm agents are committed to giving back to their communities and are active in local organizations and events. You can feel good working with someone who cares about making your part of the world a better place. 

State Farm agents are perfectly positioned to help protect your small business. To find a State Farm agent near you, just take a look around your community, or visit statefarm.com/agent.

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HR Blog 1
04 October 2017
"Reformed Pilates" on START UP TV SHOW

Laura Morgan and her brother Peter worked in finance, but couldn’t shake that entrepreneurial dream. She started teaching Pilates in the evenings, which became weekends, which quickly became a business idea. They decided to open a studio in Phoenix. As they grew, they watched fitness trends around the country and realized they needed spin classes. And as their second location took off, they knew they'd found the right formula. It wasn't an easy ride the entire way, but Laura and Peter stayed strong and persisted, much like their clients are encouraged to do during classes. Reformed now has three locations, with two more opening soon.

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05 October 2017
Take A Moment For Fire Safety

As a small business owner, you focus a lot on growing your business. Sometimes, we get so focused that we forget the basics, like safety. Specifically fire safety. 
When you think about setting up the perfect office space or the most enticing storefront, don’t forget to plan for disasters. Where are you fire extinguishers? Do you have adequate smoke detectors? Do you have a fire plan for the event of a fire? No? 
Well, the good thing is that you’re thinking about it now even if you weren’t yesterday, so there’s still time. Read about more things you can and should be doing to prepare your business.

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HR Blog 1
13 October 2017
"Second Shift" on START UP TV Show

Levi creates connections, meeting entrepreneurs and finding other people who can help them succeed. He’s the kind of person who wants to help others thrive. And from that passion, he launched Second Shift, a coworking space that focuses on collaboration and community support. As part of this plan, he’s used Next Door® to help build, grow, and support the entrepreneurial community in Chicago. Starting a business isn’t something you can do in isolation, and Levi is at the forefront of helping others achieve their dreams. As for Levi, he achieved his own entrepreneurial dream with lots of hard work and being intentional about which opportunities he pursued along the way.

To read more tips from Levi, check out The Entrepreneur’s Toolbox: Be Intentional About the Opportunities You Pursue on the State Farm® Next Door® Simple Insights® page.

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HR Blog 1
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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HR Blog 1
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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HR Blog 1
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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HR Blog 1
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.

READ THE ENTREPRENEUR STORY HERE

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HR Blog 1
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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05 December 2017
“Watson Hat Shop” on START UP TV SHOW

Eric Watson is a commercial pilot who, as a kid, loved Indiana Jones and his famous fedora. Eventually, Eric quit flying and bought some 1800s-era millinery equipment to make high end, custom hats. It may sound like a crazy path to entrepreneurship, but Eric knew exactly what he wanted to do. Now, he uses age-old techniques to make the finest vintage hats in Arizona and has clients out the door. Watch Eric's story and see how he relies on The UPS Store® to deliver his hats around the world.

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HR Blog 1
11 December 2017
START UP Webisode: Creative Profit Co.

Tess Wicks started in finance, as an actuary. That means she measured then managed, risk and uncertainty. She also realized that her generation lacked the financial literacy to really move ahead. So, she assessed the risk of leaving her job, weighed her options, took a deep breath, and did it anyway. Using her background in content marketing and podcasting, Tess founded Creative Profit Co. to help small business owners become more profitable and use financial strategies instead of guesswork and hope. She also teaches in-person classes at Next Door® Chicago, helping others learn how to tell great stories using digital content. Get tips from Tess on using content to tell your business’ story and drive customer action on the State Farm® Next Door® Simple Insights® page.

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HR Blog 1