Business Articles

Here are some articles we have put together over the years that may be of interest to entrepreneurs, companies and non-profit agencies and associations.

Welcome to the Steppingstones business libraryFinancing

1. Dealing with Banks. Tips and suggestions for dealing with your bank.

2. Fatal Mistakes to Avoid When Writing a Business Plan. Suggestions on what to avoid when writing a business plan that will be presented to potential investors.

3. Financing your Business. As a business consultant and an entrepreneur, here are some general financial lessons I have learned over the last 30 years.

4. How to get Grants. Various levels of government offer grants to assist businesses and organizations. This article provides advice on how to successfully find and use these funds.

5. How to Turn Investors On (and Off). Describes what attracts potential investors to a business opportunity, and what makes them shy away.

6. New Venture Check List. This is a check list of things you need to know (or find out) before you proceed with that new business venture.

7. Sources of Funding Guide. With the high cost of opening a business, the majority of entrepreneurs need to borrow money to help finance their vision. The guide is a great resource to help you find the right financing solution for your venture. 

8. Suggestions for Obtaining Grants. This article provides useful tips on how to apply for government or foundation grants.

9. Using the Internet to Find Capital. Describes how the Internet can be used to search for, and find, capital and investors for your business.


1. Creating and Operating an Online Store. This article describes the lessons learned from setting up and operating an online store.

2. How to Develop an E-mail Newsletter. Describes how to go about setting up and publishing an e-mail newsletter to promote your company and its products / services.

3. Internet Applications in Business. A list of how the Internet can contribute to the success of your business.

4. Internet Mail Direct Marketing. This article discusses how to use Internet e-mail for marketing and promotion purposes without spamming.

5. Marketing your Website. Having the best website in the world will not do you any good if no one knows about it. Therefore it is important that you promote and market your Internet presence both online and offline.

6. Profiting from Discussion Forums. Describes how to use Internet discussion forums for networking and marketing.

7. Using E-mail Signatures. Possibly the simplest and most powerful traffic driving tool that every person with an e-mail account has at their disposal is the signature file.

8. Using the Internet for Business Research. Discusses how the Internet can be used for various types of research applicable to businesses and entrepreneurs.

9. Using the Internet for Marketing. Describes 9 ways the Internet can be used for marketing.

10. Your Business Website. Describes what should be in different types of business websites.


1. Brochures for Your Business. Do you have effective brochures for your business, products and services? If you don't, you should add brochures to your marketing toolbox!

2. Facts and Myths about Marketing. Describes some of the research findings related to how effective marketing works and some of the myths about marketing.

3. Marketing by Writing Articles. Of all the ways that people have invented to sell things over the Internet, writing articles to run in ezines (electronic magazines) is perhaps the most effective.

4. Marketing through Events. Having booths at conferences, conventions and trade shows is a good way to market your products and services. Here are some suggestions to obtain maximum benefits from these events.

5. Measuring Marketing Effectiveness. Provides ways in which the success of your marketing efforts can be measured and monitored.

6. Secrets of Business Success. Describes some of the fundamental factors for a successful business.

7. The Perfect Product. If you are in business, you know that it is much easier to sell a great product as compared to a mediocre one. This article describes what makes a product great!

8. Using Media Releases to Promote your Business. This article provides tips and suggestions on how to use media releases to promote your business or association.


1. Budget Quality Assurance.  Small businesses don't have the same resources to devote to quality assurance, but there are still some steps that can be taken.

2. Building Teams through Interpersonal Effectiveness. This article describes a staff development training approach on how to tap into the natural motivational energies residing in all staff, how to link both natural motivational sources and how management can capitalize on these available staff energies for quality production.

3. Customer Service. This article outlines the important components of customer service and provides information on how it can be improved.

4. Dealing with Difficult Customers. This article describes effective strategies for dealing with difficult customers and clients.

5. Dealing with Jerks on your Boards and Committees. Provides tips and suggestions for dealing with difficult people on organizational boards and committees.

6. Director’s Responsibilities and Liabilities. Describes the general responsibilities and liabilities of persons serving as directors on boards of non-profit organizations.

7. Getting Feedback from Customers. Describes seven ways on how you can get input and feedback from your customers and clients.

8. Listening Effectively. Listening generously is important to service – it’s the only way to get the information you need to understand the customer’s needs and expectations. This article gives you tips on how to be a better listener.

9. Overcoming Procrastination. Gives you tips on how to avoid putting off those important tasks and activities.

10. Teamwork. This article provides some tips and suggestions for enhancing team effectiveness.


1. Focus Groups. Discusses the uses and methodology of focus groups as a research tool.

2. Increasing Profitability through Effective Client Feedback. This article describes the importance, methods and issues of obtaining valid client feedback about learning and training activities and programs.

3. Research Applications in Business. Describes how research can be used in various applications to assist businesses to be more effective, efficient and profitable.

4. Research using Secondary Data Sources. A variety of secondary information sources is available to the researcher gathering data on an industry, potential product applications and the market place.

5. Survey Research. This article describes in some detail the many factors that must be considered when doing survey research.

6. To Do Market Research or Not? Deciding whether to conduct market research to address a particular question is something that many organizations find to be extremely difficult and time-consuming. Here are some factors that to be considered.

7. Usability Testing. Usability studies provide a way to determine whether a product works as it is supposed to before it is sold to the public.

8. Value of Market Research. In this article, I will share with you some of the things we learned doing a market research project on natural health products for dogs.


1. Reducing Liability Risks on your Farm. Taking precautions will reduce your liability exposure and will give you a greater peace of mind when people visit your farm.

2. Twenty-five Ways to save your Rural Community. This article describes 25 ways a small rural community can grow and prosper.