"There's only one thing that can keep growing without nourishment, and that's the human ego." Or so the old saying goes. When it comes to small business -- the mainstay of our local economy -- we'd like to see the garden grow. But we know it requires a little nurturing, and that's why we've continued to expand our small business coverage.
We've recently redesigned our online small business page and added a message board, The Small Biz Buzz, which we hope you'll visit often and use to share your experiences running a small business. Think of it as a community of like-minded partners, a resource where you can offer your hard-earned tips and learn from others.
Since Jack Hardy, a consultant and veteran marketing executive, started his online Bootstrap Marketing Forum a year ago, he's answered more than 80 of your questions. Are you thinking of outsourcing a portion of your business? Don't know what to do because your marketing budget is almost nonexistent? Go to the small business page and click on Ask Jack.
We'll be adding another small business columnist, Rafael Cruz of Florida Atlantic University's Small Business Development Center, on Nov. 5. His online column, Launch Pad, will take you through the steps of starting a small business.
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On Nov. 1, we're hosting our second Focus on Small Business conference at the Biltmore Hotel.
And we've already started preparing for the 10th annual Business Plan Challenge. The call for entries and the rules will go out in February. Basically we're looking for a two-page business plan from a start-up or company that has been in business for less than a year. Some of our past contest finalists are already making their mark on the business world (for example, Baby Abuelita).
Mimi Whitefield is the business enterprise editor.