Articles - ALL

  • Arvest International

    Arvest International

    Despite language and other barriers, however, many small businesses have entered the international marketplace. According to the U.S. Department of Commerce’s International Trade Administration, in fact, small and medium-sized companies account for 98 percent of U.S. exporters.

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  • Financing, Leasing Viable Options

    Financing, Leasing Viable Options

    As predicted, 2014 is shaping up to be a good year for the equipment finance and leasing industry, as businesses continue to rely increasingly on these options as a means of growth.

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  • Exercise to Build a Strong Team

    Exercise to Build a Strong Team

    There are many different kinds of office team building exercises that can be used to help improve your company's internal communications, morale, trust, and cohesiveness. Team building exercises are undertaken in a spirit of fun, but also play an important role in strengthening your ability to function as a unit.

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  • Eliminate Payroll Pains

    Eliminate Payroll Pains

    If you’re a small business owner, odds are you’re not interested in complicated, time-consuming processes. Unfortunately, that’s exactly what payroll processing has become in many cases.

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  • Market Your Business for the Holiday Season

    Market Your Business for the Holiday Season

    The holidays are upon us, which means you’ll want to make the most of your marketing efforts to help secure sales success throughout the season. Here are a few budget-friendly ideas, via the U.S. Small Business Administration, to help get you started.

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  • Tech Innovations Level the Playing Field

    Tech Innovations Level the Playing Field

    There was a time when small businesses generally seemed slow to adopt – and reluctant to invest in – technology, and perhaps rightly so. As a result, big business held a competitive advantage in the technological arenas.

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  • Arvest Visa Purchasing Card

    Arvest Visa Purchasing Card

    Despite some of the most economically challenging times small businesses in our country have known, purchasing card spending rose from $161 billion in 2009 to $196 billion in 2011.

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  • Frauds Target Small Businesses: Don't Be a Victim

    Frauds Target Small Businesses: Don't Be a Victim

    While large firms may have sophisticated technology and staff dedicated to thwarting crime, many small businesses don’t – and scammers know this. Here are some ways to protect your business:

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  • Creating and Using An Employee Benefits Policy

    Creating and Using An Employee Benefits Policy

    Many small business owners claim their greatest challenges are attracting, retaining and motivating their employees. While few, if any, employees will work without being paid a fair wage, the total benefit package is often the key element in an employee’s decision to work for your company. Salary levels are only one part of the package.

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  • Choosing a Checking Account for Your Business

    Choosing a Checking Account for Your Business

    Just like choosing a personal checking account, you should select a business checking account, or a series of accounts, that match your business needs. Because every business is unique, Arvest offers a wide variety of checking accounts. 

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  • Bill Flat Fee If You Want to Make a Lot of Money

    Bill Flat Fee If You Want to Make a Lot of Money

    If you’ve never experienced Halloween firsthand, I encourage you to plan a trip to the U.S. for next October. Of all the holidays, it’s my favorite. Not just because I get to roam around the neighborhood in a terrifying costume (this year, I went as a creepy, middle-aged white guy), but because for one day each year, you and your children have permission to walk down any driveway, ring any doorbell and invite yourselves into the homes of people you’ve never met.

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  • Chief Motivation Officer

    Chief Motivation Officer

    Leaders in a company can have varying titles—Chief Executive Officer, Chief Operating Officer, Chief Financial Officer, Chief Technology Officer, and the list goes on. But one title should apply to all leaders: Chief Motivation Officer. As a leader, it is your responsibility to determine strategy, set goals, and lead the charge to reach those goals. If you take off full throttle and no one follows, you may have an unmotivated team. Understanding what motivates your team is a very effective management tool.

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  • Business Insurance

    Business Insurance

    Every business needs to consider several types of insurance depending on the nature of the business. You may want to consider working with an insurance professional to make sure you have the right types of policies to provide the coverage you need.

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  • Narrow Your Focus

    Narrow Your Focus

    I’m not going to lie to you; I’m feeling pretty disappointed right now. People Magazine just came out with its list of the “50 Most Beautiful People in the World” and, once again, my name was nowhere to be found. Now to some people (by which I mean the people who have actually seen what I look like), this may not come as a surprise. After all, I’m sure you’d say, this list is heavily biased towards actors, musicians and professional athletes, and with a few hundred million people to choose from in this country alone, it shouldn’t be too big of a surprise to learn I was overlooked by the “researchers” at People.

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  • Become the Leading Expert in Something

    Become the Leading Expert in Something

    The first time I met Rosalind Joffe, she introduced herself to me as a “leadership coach,” someone who took people from “where they are to where they want to be.” Several months later, when she hired me to help her with her E-Newsletter, we sat down together and began talking about her business.

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  • Establishing a Retirement Plan Pays Benefits

    Establishing a Retirement Plan Pays Benefits

    Starting a retirement savings plan can be easier than most small business owners think, and a number of such programs provide tax advantages to both employers and their employees.

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  • How Business Lenders "C" You

    How Business Lenders "C" You

    Have you recently started a business and need to purchase new equipment? Have you been in business for years and looking to expand? You may be in the market for a business loan. No matter if it's your first time applying for a business loan or it's been a while since you requested financing, Arvest’s business bankers are here to help.

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  • SBA Loan Application Checklist

    SBA Loan Application Checklist

    Once you have decided to apply for a loan guaranteed by the SBA, you will need to collect the appropriate documents for your application. The SBA does not provide direct loans. The process starts with your local lender, working within SBA guidelines.

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  • Leasing a Location for Your Business

    Leasing a Location for Your Business

    Choosing and leasing a location for your business can be a critical decision. If your business is dependent on walk-in traffic, such as with a retail business, the importance of location is obvious. Service businesses are usually less location-dependent, but location can play a critical role in creating the right business environment and in determining your ability to attract and retain both the customers and the employees you want. Be sure to consider all the factors when leasing space, not just the level of monthly rent.

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  • Getting Ready To Borrow

    Getting Ready To Borrow

    Whether it is the start-up or growth phase of your business venture, sooner or later you’ll likely need to borrow money. While every loan process may be different, there are several things you can do to make the loan process easier. Most importantly, while loan officers look closely at your financial record, there are many other things they will wish to see as well.

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  • Equipment Leasing

    Equipment Leasing

    Many business owners spend a considerable amount of time analyzing, calculating, and mapping out different techniques to improve the cash flow for their business for day-to-day operations and for growth. One area of frustration often comes with the obstacle of finding room in a budget for needed business equipment and office supplies. A common technique that that has proved popular is to lease your business and office equipment rather than buying it upfront.

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  • Diversity: The Farmer and the Cowman

    Diversity: The Farmer and the Cowman

    One of my favorite songs is “The Farmer and the Cowman” from “Oklahoma!” Agriculture is one of the most diverse industries we have, and some of us have very strong opinions on which part of agriculture is the best. That’s why I love this song – it lightheartedly speaks the truth. While we all have an opinion on our different parts in agriculture, one thing we can agree on is they all have their place in the industry. And more and more, we are finding ourselves being involved personally in different aspects of agriculture as we diversify our operations, such as the crop farmer who is now raising turkeys and also custom combining.

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  • Key Person Life Insurance

    Key Person Life Insurance

    Many small businesses are highly dependent on the presence of a key employee or small group of employees for the ongoing operation of the business. It may be an owner, partner or some other important person. Protecting the business against the untimely death of that person with some type of life insurance policy can be wise. In fact, some lenders may require such an arrangement.

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  • Getting the Most Out of Your Small Business Advertising Budget

    Getting the Most Out of Your Small Business Advertising Budget

    Advertising can be challenging for a small business. It can stretch your budget and it may not reach the audience your business is targeting.  In working with small business owners, I find that two of the biggest reasons small business owners find advertising non-effective and expensive are 1) the typical ad is too generic and 2) it is sent to as wide of an audience as possible with the hope that the stars will align and the right person will see your ad at the moment they are ready to buy. Most small business can’t afford this “spray and pray” method of advertising.

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  • Have You Thought About Your Business' Buckets Lately?

    Have You Thought About Your Business' Buckets Lately?

    I visit with many people looking to start new businesses. They have spent countless hours analyzing projections, vetting vendors and suppliers, haggling with leasing agents, crunching the numbers and crunching the numbers again. I listen and ask questions and then ask them, "Have you been thinking about your buckets?

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  • Employer Advantage

    Employer Advantage

    In today’s fast paced and daily changing world, the demands for more and more timely information makes daily business more complicated for small and medium sized businesses and organizations. Regulations demand better and faster information and records and the users want the information in electronic form. The majority of payroll costs are paid electronically and employees want to know on a moments notice everything about their current pay and pay history.

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  • Spring Cleaning for Your Marketing System

    Spring Cleaning for Your Marketing System

    Could your marketing system use a spring cleaning? Most small businesses have marketing “clutter” – materials or information that is no longer used, outdated, or no longer relevant. Spring is almost over (although it feels like it just started in the Midwest) but it’s never too late to purge the clutter from your marketing system.

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  • Choosing a Retirement Plan for Your Business

    Choosing a Retirement Plan for Your Business

    Small businesses, and their owners, have many retirement plan options. Choosing the right plan, or combination of plans, can be helpful as part of running the business and helpful to the owner for his or her retirement planning. The rules can get complex and you should consult with a retirement plan professional as part of the decision making process. This guideline provides some basic information and can help make the discussions with the professional more effective.

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  • Choosing The Right Legal Form for Your Business

    Choosing The Right Legal Form for Your Business

    Choosing the appropriate legal form for a business is one of the first issues most entrepreneurs face. It is an important decision at the formation stage and also as a business grows. Sole proprietorships usually are the easiest. Corporations offer some different advantages, but often with additional complexity.

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  • Planning a Business Acquisition

    Planning a Business Acquisition

    Acquiring another business can make good sense in many situations. The target firm might be a competitor, a complementary business or a company with core technology, customer base or products that would help your business. Understanding both your motivation and the seller's can help you negotiate an acceptable deal.

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  • Fresh Look at Fall

    Fresh Look at Fall

    Football season is in full swing and the days are getting shorter…fall is here! As the calendar flips to a new season, it’s a good time to take a look at your small business and take stock of where you are.  Here are a few tips that can help you do a little "refreshing" for your business.

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  • Talk to the Media

    Talk to the Media

    Getting the media’s attention for your business is only half the battle for a small business owner. The other half is how well you handle being interviewed. How do you become a media savvy business owner that reporters love to talk to? We’ve got a few tips for you.

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  • Arvest Business Debit Cards

    Arvest Business Debit Cards

    Arvest understands that running your own business can be both extremely rewarding and very demanding. That’s why we are pleased to offer solutions for business owners that help make doing business a little easier.

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  • Getting Your Marketing Message Right

    Getting Your Marketing Message Right

    It takes time and thought to get your marketing message right, which is why so many small businesses tend to fall back on their "About Us" page and product descriptions to describe what they do and for whom. The problem with this approach is that this message is generally more about the message itself, and not about those that you are trying to connect with – your customers.

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  • Holiday Cards Make Good Business Sense

    Holiday Cards Make Good Business Sense

    The holiday season is upon us, which means that it’s a good time for businesses to think about sending holiday cards. If you’ve never sent business holiday cards, or don’t make a point of sending them out every year, here are a few reasons why you should start.

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  • Tiny Chip, Big Protection for Your Business

    Tiny Chip, Big Protection for Your Business

    Arvest is introducing added protection for Arvest Purchasing Credit Card and Corporate Credit Card customers with EMV chip-enabled cards. These chip-enabled credit cards provide a higher level of fraud protection and better security for cardholders by using an embedded microchip to protect your information by creating a unique transaction code each time you conduct a transaction at a point of sale.

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  • Reward Your Business with Arvest Rewards

    Reward Your Business with Arvest Rewards

    Get more with an Arvest Corporate Credit Card! Reward your business when you make purchases with an Arvest Corporate Credit Card.

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  • Tips for Greening Your Small Business

    Tips for Greening Your Small Business

    Being "green" or environmentally friendly is probably not a new idea to you and as we approach Earth Day in April, you'll be hearing more and more about it. In the last few years especially, the discussion of green business practices, services and products has become so prevalent that it’s often no longer the exception – but expected – to run a more earth-conscious operation. Consider these ways to green your business without breaking the bank.

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  • Building Your Business with Social Media

    Building Your Business with Social Media

    Is your small business on social media? Is it working for you? Tried it, but not convinced?

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  • Building Your Brand Identity

    Building Your Brand Identity

    What's your small business brand identity? Sure, you’ve got a logo, a website, business cards, signage and perhaps even a storefront – but your brand is so much more than the "look" of your business. While all these can help you project a carefully crafted image to your customers, true branding runs a lot deeper.

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  • Planning an Exit Strategy

    Planning an Exit Strategy

    So you have successfully started your own business and have it up and running. And you have planned your exit strategy, right? Your answer is probably "no", which is typical of many people who have taken that huge step of working for themselves for the first time. But remember, every owner will eventually exit their business ... even if they run it until they die. So just like an employee making long range plans for retirement, you want to consider and plan for what happens next.

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  • Step Up Your Marketing Game With Photos

    Step Up Your Marketing Game With Photos

    The old saying "a picture is worth a thousand words" is taking on a whole new meaning.  In a world of constant stimuli – with texts, emails, alerts, and other marketing messages coming at us from all directions – it’s getting harder and harder for your marketing message to stand out.

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  • Introducing Arvest Flex Rewards

    Introducing Arvest Flex Rewards

    Arvest Corporate Credit Cards and Purchasing Cards offer a great way to manage your business finances. These options are about to get even better with the introduction of a new, enhanced rewards program - Arvest Flex Rewards™!

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  • 7 Tips for Preparing for an Early Retirement Now

    7 Tips for Preparing for an Early Retirement Now

    Along with home ownership, early retirement is a long-held American dream. But in recent years, planning for retirement itself, let alone an early one, isn’t getting any easier. In 1991, half of all American workers planned to retire before they reached the age of 65. Today, that number has plunged to less than 25 percent.

    But if you are 10-20 years away from your desired retirement age, there are still some things you can do now as a small business owner to make it easier for you to retire on your terms.

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  • The Importance of Key Person Insurance Coverage

    The Importance of Key Person Insurance Coverage

    Key person insurance is simply life insurance on the key person in a business. In a small business, this is usually the owner, the founders or perhaps a key employee or two. These are the people who are crucial to a business--the ones whose absence would be detrimental to the company. You definitely need to consider key person insurance on those people.

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  • The Small Business Credit Card

    The Small Business Credit Card

    Small business plays a vital role in today's economy. It is now easier than ever to establish a new business. According to the US Small Business Administration, small businesses pay over 45% of the US private payroll. Small businesses also employ over half of all private sector employees and have provided 60-80% of new jobs over the past 10 years. With about 28.5 million small businesses in the US alone, virtually all financial institutions now offer small business loans to qualified business customers. So why apply for a small business credit card?

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  • When It Comes to Tax Day - Think Long

    When It Comes to Tax Day - Think Long

    Nobody enjoys paying taxes, whether they're personal, corporate, capital gains, self-employment or something else, but they're a part of life that can't be taken lightly.

    And yet playing games with taxes is common. The Fiscal Times reported in 2012 that back in 2006 (the most recent year for which data was available) businesses that log income on individual returns -- mostly small businesses--were $122 billion short in their tax payments.

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  • Home Office Pros and Cons

    Home Office Pros and Cons

    Many small businesses start out in an extra room or in the basement of an entrepreneur's home. The space is available, cheap and convenient. In addition, with current technology, renting office space can seem unnecessary. But setting up an office at home isn't for everybody. Here are some issues to consider as you ponder your work environment.

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  • Business Email Compromise

    Business Email Compromise

    Business email compromise (BEC) is defined as a sophisticated scam targeting businesses working with foreign suppliers and/or businesses that regularly perform wire transfer payments. The scam is carried out by compromising legitimate business email accounts through social engineering or computer intrusion techniques to conduct unauthorized transfers of funds.

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  • 5 Tips for Small Business Content Marketing

    5 Tips for Small Business Content Marketing

    Marketing experts consistently suggest a content-first strategy for businesses of all sizes. With the right strategy in place, businesses have the ability to reach customers and prospective customers quickly and easily in order to grow brand recognition and loyalty. While the method itself isn’t about selling products, this loyalty builds the relationship between customer and business, which ultimately leads to sales.

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