Money Smart Activities for Kids

By Steven Harp, Northwestern Mutual

Day-to-Day Insights Add Up

With more free time can come plenty of temptation to spend, spend, spend. With a little planning and creativity, you can find many affordable, day-to-day opportunities for teaching children valuable financial lessons. Consider these low-cost ways to help instill good financial sense:

Bank on Savings – When children ask for money or a new toy, use it as a teachable moment, and suggest they begin saving to pay for things they may want in the future. Reinforce this message to help kids understand their options with money, including saving, spending, investing and giving. Set a realistic goal, and when they reach it, take them to the bank or credit union to open a savings account, another opportunity to educate them on how banks work.

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Solving Marketing Frustration

By John Jantsch, Duct Tape Marketing

I’ve spent the better part of the last 10 years telling any small business owner that would listen that marketing isn’t really that complicated.

What’s complicated and frustrating about marketing perhaps is how small business owners and those that work in the field of marketing think about it.

Marketing is just a system and, operated as such, it isn’t any different from many of the other systems needed to run a business. A system creates control, a system guides priorities, a system creates process, a system generates accountability and a way to measure and win the game.

I developed my own view of “marketing as a system” after discovering that working with small business owners in the way I wanted wasn’t possible unless I was willing to change my view of marketing. Read More

Protecting Your Most Valuable Asset

By Steven W. Harp, CLTC

Is Your Future Protected?

Your most valuable asset is your ability to earn an income. It provides for your day-to-day expenses, funds your long-term goals and often packs a larger financial punch than other assets combined. Property and casualty insurance can minimize costs from property or vehicle damage, but what if you lost your job and couldn’t find work for a period of time?

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Online Marketing Tools-Which Lead to Substantial Growth?

By Lee W. Frederickson, Ph.D for Duct Tape Marketing

There is a revolution going on in professional services marketing. More and more buyers are going online to learn about possible solutions to their business challenges and find and evaluate potential service providers.

This revolution is already having a major impact on the growth and profitability of professional services firms. My firm recently completed a study of 500 professional services firms and how they used online marketing tools. The results and their implications are described in our new book, Online Marketing for Professional Services.

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Booting Your Financial Fitness

By Steven Harp, Northwestern Mutual

You’re preparing for the future, saving diligently for retirement and following a long-term financial plan. Maybe you even feel ahead of the pack on the journey to financial security. But what if you wanted to speed up your progress or strengthen your position? How can you take your planning to the next level?

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10 Ways To Use Your Tablet for Business

By TJ McCue

Get away from your desk. It may be ruining your creativity and productivity. If you think the iPad, BlackBerry Playbook, Google Nexus 10, or Amazon Kindle Fire — to name just a few brands — are just for entertainment or reading, think again. Tablets are quickly changing our work habits and the way our businesses operate.

We tapped into the mobility expertise of Plantronics marketing director, Judi Hembrough, to get her take on how small businesses are using tablets today. Below are 10 business ways lightweight tablets can untether you and your employees from your desks, help you get out among customers, and get more done in your business.

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How To Get More Referrals

By Paul Cooley

There is a lady I know that has been running her service based business for the past 8 years. She has never had to put a dime into advertising. She always has gotten new customers through word of mouth referrals. She always appeared to have more than enough business and an endless waiting list of prospects. Many years ago, I watched how she ran her business, how she treated people and what kind of results she provided. As my experience grew, I was shocked she was still in business due to the fact that she was providing her customers with an out-dated service. Yet, she still remained steady in her business. It bugged me at first, until I realized the reason why she got so many referrals and stayed so busy while providing something out-dated.

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