Learn Secrets to Small Biz Success at These Upcoming Events


Want to learn the secret to small business success?

While there might not be just one secret to making your small business successful, there are some things you can learn to help your journey over the next year and beyond. And you can learn some of those things at Secret Knock, a Los Angeles conference scheduled for May 2017.

So if you’re looking to take your business to the next level, you might want to consider signing up for Secret Knock and other small business events throughout the next year.

You can learn more details about Secret Knock in the featured events section. And you can see even more events to add to your small business calendar in the list below.

To see a full list or to submit your own event, contest or award listing, visit the Small Business Events Calendar.

Featured Events, Contests and Awards

Secret KnockSecret Knock
May 22, 2017, Los Angeles, Calif.

Secret Knock is going to be the single greatest event for the top entrepreneurs and action-takers in the world to connect, share ideas, and help take each other to the next level. Each of the attendees have believed in themselves enough to get to where they are, and they are not stopping now. Secure your application for one of the few spots left at the Secret Knock.

More Events

More Contests

This weekly listing of small business events, contests and awards is provided as a community service by Small Business Trends and SmallBizTechnology.

Secret Door image via Shutterstock

This article, “Learn Secrets to Small Biz Success at These Upcoming Events” was first published on Small Business Trends

10 Small Business Tips for SEO, Content Marketing and More


When it comes to marketing a small business, there are many different methods you can use. There’s SEO, content marketing, email lists and more. If you want to learn more about marketing your business using some of these methods in 2017, take a look at the tips from members of our small business community below.

Watch These Marketing Trends in 2017

If you want your marketing plan to work in 2017, you need to understand all the latest trends, tools and methods available. In this Midas Media post, Nat Rubyan-Ling shares some marketing trends you should know for 2017. And BizSugar members comment further on the post.

Get Better Insights About Your Audience

If you want to create content that resonates with your audience, then you first need to learn about them. There are some essential tools and methods you can use to get useful insights, as this post by Jenny Knizer on the Content Marketing Institute blog points out.

Find an Interesting and Profitable Niche for Your Online Venture

Whether you’re creating a blog, an ecommerce store, or any other type of online business, you need a niche. Since there are already so many different types of businesses online, you may need to get creative in order to find a niche that is both interesting and profitable. This MyBlogU post by Ann Smarty includes some tips.

Use These Customer Retention Strategies That Work for Small Businesses

Once you’ve executed your marketing plan and gained new customers, you still need to work hard to keep those customers coming back. Luckily, there are some tried and true customer retention strategies that can work for small businesses. You can see some of them in this Plousio post by Evan Tarver.

Learn What to Do After Creating Your Buyer Persona

If you want to market to specific customers, you first need to create a buyer persona so you understant who you’re marketing to. But even that isn’t enough. For more on what to do after you’ve created your buyer persona, check out this Magnificent post by David Reimherr. And then see what BizSugar members are saying about the post here.

Rank for Your Competitors’ Keywords

There are many different schools of thought when it comes to using your competition to gain search traffic. In this post, Neil Patel examines some of the pros and cons of this concept for different types of businesses.

Build a Marketing Budget for 2017

Before you really get started on your marketing efforts for the new year, you need to set some kind of budget so you don’t reach beyond your means. This Search Engine Journal post by Jacob Baadsgaard features some tips you can use to create a marketing budget for 2017.

Use Marketing Velocity to Increase Your Sales and Revenue

Marketing velocity is the speed at which your marketing efforts work to deliver results. So its an important concept for marketers to understand. In this crowdSPRING post, Ross Kimbarovsky details some ways you can use marketing velocity to increase sales and revenue. And the BizSugar community also shares thoughts on the post.

Help Your Ecommerce Store Recover From a Growth Setback

Running an ecommerce business isn’t easy. You’re likely to face setbacks at some point or another. So understanding how to recover from those setbacks is paramount. Shayla Price shares some tips for doing just that in a post on the Kissmetrics blog.

Get the Most Out of Your Holiday Emails

Email marketing can be an especially effective tactic during the holiday season. But in order to get the most out of it, you need to really understand your subscribers and what they’re looking for this holiday season. To see more tips about getting the most out of your holiday emails, check this Marketing Land post by Scott Heimes.

If you’d like to suggest your favorite small business content to be considered for an upcoming community roundup, please send your news tips to:  sbtips@gmail.com.

Typing Photo via Shutterstock

This article, “10 Small Business Tips for SEO, Content Marketing and More” was first published on Small Business Trends

6 Innovations that Have Changed E-commerce in 2016

From Apple Pay to Shopify Capital to beacon technology, these 6 innovations have changed e-commerce in 2016.

50 Business Ideas for College Students

50 Business Ideas for College Students

College can be a great time to explore entrepreneurship. And there are plenty of different business opportunities that college students can start without a lot of upfront expense or time commitment. Here are 50 potential small business opportunities for college students.

Business Ideas for College Students


Blogging can offer great opportunities for college students. You can choose a topic or niche that interests you and work to build up an audience on your own schedule.

Virtual Assistant

You can also work from your home or dorm room as a virtual assistant, offering services like email communications and social media management.


If you have expertise in a specific academic topic, you could offer your services to other college students as a tutor to help them get through specific courses.

YouTube Personality

YouTube is a great platform for building a business. You can earn money through ad revenue or work with brands as an influencer.

Social Media Manager

For those who have a fair amount of social media knowledge, you can offer your services to businesses that need help managing their social media accounts.

Social Media Influencer

You could also build up your own social media accounts and then work with brands as an influencer.

Social Media Consultant

Or if you’d rather simply offer your expertise to brands so that they can work on their own social media accounts, you can offer your services as a consultant.


Podcasting is another potential business opportunity that you can work on from your home or dorm room and set your own schedule.

Child Caretaker

If you’re looking for a more low-tech business opportunity, you could offer child care services to parents in your community.


Or you could serve as a housesitter for people traveling out of town.

Dog Walker

If you like spending time with dogs, you could start a business as a dog walker and appeal to local pet owners.

Pet Groomer

You could also start a pet grooming service where you offer to wash and groom animals for a set fee.


There are also plenty of opportunities for college students to invent brand new products and then license or produce those items to sell.

Graphic Designer

If you have some design skills, you could start a business as a graphic designer, working on logos, branding elements or other designs for clients.

Web Designer

Web savvy designers could also set up a business designing websites for businesses or individual clients.

App Developer

Or if you’re really skilled with mobile technology, you could start a business developing mobile apps for clients or even making your own and then selling them in app stores.

Clothing Designer

Fashion savvy college students, you could start your very own clothing line out of your home or dorm and then sell your designs online or in local boutiques.

T-shirt Designer

Or you could use online marketplaces to offer t-shirts with your own custom designs for sale.

Jewelry Maker

If you want to make some other unique wearable creations, you can make your own jewelry and sell it online or at local events.

Flea Market Vendor

You could also sell a variety of different products at flea markets in your area on the weekends.

Farmers’ Market Vendor

Or if you grow or can any of your own food products, you could sell items at farmers’ markets on the weekends.

Soap Maker

Soap is another product that you can easily make in your own home or dorm and then sell online or at craft fairs or events.

Candle Maker

Or you could make your own scented candles and sell them in one or more of those avenues.

Vintage Clothing Seller

If you have an extensive vintage collection, you could set up your own online shop where you can sell vintage clothes. Then you can scour resale shops and flea markets for even more vintage finds to sell.

Ebook Author

If you have enough vision or expertise to write a book, you could self-publish your own ebook and sell it on platforms like Amazon.

Ecommerce Reseller

You can also pretty easily set up your own ecommerce business on sites like Amazon or eBay and then sell a variety of different types of products.

Event Photographer

Photographers, use your weekends off from school to start an event photography business where you could photograph weddings, conferences or other events.

Portrait Photographer

Or you could offer portrait photography services and sell various packages for family photos, senior portraits and more.

Recycling Service Provider

If you want to start an eco-friendly business, you can offer to pick up select items from people and take those items to local recycling facilities.

Book Seller

College students often have a lot of books lying around. You could start a business by selling some of those books online and maybe even open up your own shop.

Transportation Service Provider

You could also start a transportation service where you offer rides to other college students who don’t have reliable transportation.

Errand Service Provider

Or you could offer to handle various errands for busy college students or others in your community.

Student Magazine Publisher

You could also start your own magazine about student life or a variety of other topics and then sell copies or ad space.


If you enjoy preparing food, you could start a business as a baker for special events. Or you could even sell specific products to nearby stores or bake shops.

Tech Support Provider

For tech savvy college students, you could start a service where people with tech questions can contact you for assistance in exchange for a small fee.

Computer Setup Povider

Or you could offer to set up people’s computers or other devices if they need some help getting started.

Tour Guide

If your college campus is in an area that’s popular with tourists, you could offer your services as a tour guide and shop people around the community.

Laundry Service Provider

Some college students might not have enough time or patience to do their own laundry regularly. So you could start a laundry service where you charge a small fee to take care of that chore for your fellow students.


Musically inclined college students, you can start your own band or musical act and play at local events or venues.

Student Website Operator

You could also start your own website for your fellow students and charge a membership fee or even work with local businesses for advertising opportunities.

Social Networking Founder

Or if you have an idea for a new social networking site, a college campus could be the perfect place to get started and test out your idea.

Freelance Writer

For writers who don’t necessarily want to make a business out of their own blogs, you could offer services as a freelance writer for other publications.

Resume Service Provider

Or you could offer services to your fellow college students who are entering the job market by writing or critiquing their resumes.


Artistically inclined college students, you can offer your services as a custom illustrator for businesses, authors or other organizations that need specific items drawn out.


Or you could create your very own drawings, paintings or other works of art and sell them online or in local galleries.

Delivery Service Provider

If you have reliable transportation, you could also start a delivery service for food or other items.


You could also start a business as a proofreader where you look over papers or other assignments that your fellow college students want edited.

Welcome Kit Provider

If you’ve been in college for a few years, you know some of the essential items that newcomers should have. So you could put together and sell welcome kits for new students and their families.

Personal Trainer

For those who are more physically focused, you could offer personal training services to help your fellow college students avoid the dreaded “freshman 15.”

Sports Coach

Or you could provide coaching services aimed at people competing in specific sports.

College Students Photo via Shutterstock

This article, “50 Business Ideas for College Students” was first published on Small Business Trends

Higher Standards is the Marine Corps Way to Win on Wall Street

Higher Standards is the Marine Corps Way to Win on Wall StreetCorporate scandals, an economic recession, lawsuits and outright stealing of the public’s money predictably have soured the relationship between the American public and big business. To prevent future fraud, the government unleashed an army of regulatory watchdogs and created laws designed to keep business in check. While this added more surveillance, it can’t guarantee compliance.

What better environment for a Marine to enter?

The Marine Corps Way to Win on Wall Street: 11 Key Principles from Battlefield to Boardroom is a book that takes a look at business from the point of view of an ex-marine Marine turned Wall Street insider.

What is The Marine Corps Way to Win on Wall Street About?

Ken Marlin experienced a “value shock” when he transitioned into the financial services industry after the military. Executives procrastinated, ignored or even sabotaged their client’s interests. For Marlin, the defining moment happened in the midst of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. He worked in a business that was near the devastation, but his former employer was more concerned about the potential profit from a cancelled meeting.

Enough was enough. He started his own investment bank and never looked back.

Guided by values he learned from the military, Marlin was able to create that bank and advisory firm. In his new role, Marlin’s academic training, corporate banking experience and decade of military service found a good fit. Wall Street was entering a difficult and chaotic period and needed a person who could keep a clear head during mergers, acquisitions, selling a business and more.The wisdom gained from those experiences became the stories and lessons in his book, The Marine Corps Way to Win on Wall Street.

Leaders, Marlin argues, have to change the values that drive business culture for their long-term survival. In particular, a profitable and sustainable business must build a strong competitive base with preparation, trust and strategic discipline. Without this base, businesses won’t have the capacity or clients to successfully compete. It is Marlin’s hope that business leaders can adopt the same values that led to the Marines’ continued success.

Marlin is the founder and managing partner of Marlin and Associates, a boutique investment bank and advisory firm. His goal with the company was to create a business that exemplified the values he admired in the military. He served for 10 years in the Marines as a captain and infantry commander.

What Was Best About The Marine Corps Way to Win on Wall Street?

The Marine Corps Way to Win on Wall Street deserves credit for its optimistic view that profit focused culture can be fixed from the inside out. In true Marines style, Marlin attempts to fix this toxic work culture in a simple way. He then reinforces these principles with engaging military stories and his own experience with clients. This combination of principles, stories and insight can be very helpful when examining leadership as it exists in today’s complex business world.

What Could Have Been Done Differently?

If you are not familiar with terms like “valuation” and “bulge bracket”, The Marine Cops Way to Win on Wall Street may be a little too technical. For those who are familiar with these financial terms, the book offers numerous stories that exemplify — or, in some cases, don’t — great financial stewardship under pressure. For those who aren’t savvy in the financial industry, the book still offers engaging stories and principles for leaders of all types to follow.

Why Read The Marine Corps Way to Win on Wall Street?

The Marine Corps Way to Win on Wall Street is an energetic call-to-action for a specific audience — those who work in the financial services industry or who deal with finances in their businesses. But the book has applications for leadership in all businesses. Marlin writes from his experiences in the financial services industry with a goal of  improving accountability and vision within it. The applications of his work, a principled leadership with a focus on a strategic and long-term competitive vision, can be extended to all business. This book shows why having such a strategy is important for long-term profitability.

This article, “Higher Standards is the Marine Corps Way to Win on Wall Street” was first published on Small Business Trends