WSJ assistance for small businesses

The Journal has tapped the resources of the business advisors at the Cayman Islands Investment Bureau to find out which websites they turn to for business information which will help entrepreneurs here in Cayman compete among the best.  is the online business centre created by The Wall Street Journal for entrepreneurs and a useful resource for information on many levels.

Breaking news and developing story sections deal with the latest happenings within the business world, while the left hand side of page has a whole host of interesting and relevant articles on business development. For example, in these unsettled economic times, ‘The Double Whammy of Bankruptcies’ is a topical and current subject for business owners, as is the sad story of ‘Recession Ends Many Family Businesses’. Author Dana Mattioli says after months of slow sales, family businesses are being forced to close, ending legacies and leaving behind a wake of sad customers and loyal employees.

On a more upbeat level, the article by Raymund Flandez entitled ‘Three Best Ways to Create a Brand Name’ is a useful tool to set your business apart from the rest. The author says that creating a great brand name is almost half the battle in establishing a company or a product, but warns that getting there involves the kind of creative thinking that might be outside a small-business owner’s purview. Flandez gives readers the tools by which they can cut through the barriers and take their business to the top.

Another fascinating article in this section is entitled ‘Crafty Ways Restaurants Cut Costs’ by Neil Parmar and looks at how restaurants in the States are employing efficiency gurus to ensure every last drop of profit is squeezed out of their patrons.

Parmar says that according to surveys from America’s National Restaurant Association, 59 percent of the country’s restaurant owners, on average, have reported a drop in same-store sales every month for the past year, thus highlighting the need for the efficiency push. He states: “The $566 billion restaurantindustry is anxious to save as many shekels as it can — preferably without diners noticing a difference.”

Helpful tidbits dot the webpage, including Tips of the Week. This week’s tip happened to be: How to Fund a Start-Up. The site said: “Now that you’ve calculated how much you need, next comes the tricky part: getting your hands on the cash.”

Under ‘Journal Community’ half way down the right hand side of the page there lists a host of discussion groups relating to specific business fields. For example, the Small Talk group is a forum for entrepreneurs and small-business owners to ask questions and discuss topics related to starting, growing and running a business. Topics under discussion at the time of writing included 15 blogs for small businesses and entrepreneurship, website content and maintenance, start-up business funding and business plans, all forums in which like-minded readers are encouraged to participate.

The Small Business Toolkit (left hand side of the page towards the bottom) is another handy tool, giving readers the ability to create their own mini business plan for free, connect to other small business owners to help you build your business and a useful locator for trade shows, exhibitions and conferences.

The WSJ’s small business website has a wealth of up-to-date and useful knowledge for the budding entrepreneur.