Is Your Marketing Plan Stuck in the 20th Century?

Successful small-business owners understand the basics of marketing: Know your customers well and deliver messages in ways that will reach them best. Common components of a well-devised marketing plan often include customer surveys, advertising, promotions, and direct mail, as well as a carefully designed website, which in today’s mobile world is the go-to source for basic company information. But is all that enough?

Four Questions to Ask Before You Open Your Wallet

Even if you have the best of intentions, it’s easy to overspend. Even if you’re generally comfortable with how much you spend, you may occasionally suffer from a case of buyer’s remorse or have trouble postponing a purchase in favor of saving for a short- or long-term goal. Here are a few key questions to consider that might help you fine-tune your spending.

Investor, Know Thyself: How Your Biases Can Affect Investment Decisions

Traditional economic models are based on a simple premise: people make rational financial decisions that are designed to maximize their economic benefits. In reality, however, most humans don’t make decisions based on a sterile analysis of the pros and cons. While most of us do think carefully about financial decisions, it is nearly impossible to completely disconnect from our “gut feelings,” that nagging intuition that seems to have been deeply implanted in the recesses of our brain.

The Potential Pitfalls of DIY Estate Planning

Americans, by and large, are do-it-yourselfers. Books, websites, software programs, and even giant box stores exist solely to help ambitious Americans tackle all kinds of everyday challenges, from fixing leaky faucets to building backyard sheds. The same holds true for estate planning–there’s certainly no dearth of information for those wanting to prepare their own wills and other important documents. However, do-it-yourselfers may want to exercise a bit of caution here.

Can You Make Some Green by Investing Green?

The release in April of the long-awaited report from the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has spurred renewed discussion of ways to combat climate change and its effects. The report, written by leading scientists from around the globe, says that to keep greenhouse emissions below critical levels, the world must make substantial changes–and quickly–in how energy is produced and consumed. That finding has focused fresh attention on so-called “green investing.” Here are some considerations that can be especially important in this arena.