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While every small business takes its own unique route, there are some standard exits along the road to success that eventually cause entrepreneurs to ask themselves “am I in this for the long haul?”

Most ventures start as a side project squeezed into the off-work hours of evenings and weekends. But if business is good, the owner will soon have to decide whether they are going to make a full time commitment – or take the next exit. This is when a project usually becomes a sole proprietorship, with one dedicated employee working out of a home office. If the business continues to grow in scale and complexity, the owner will soon find themselves asking, “how much longer can I do this on my own?”

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The Inbox Diaries is a new series designed to help busy entrepreneurs keep up with all the latest news in small business, marketing, and social media. I’m scouring my inbox every day for interesting tidbits – so you don’t have to.

1. Find your first tweet (or someone else’s).
Last week in celebration of it’s 8th birthday, Twitter released a fun tool to locate the very first tweet sent out from your Twitter account. You can use it to see what you said when you first began your Twitter journey, or to see the auspicious (or inauspicious) beginnings of a famous tweeter. Once you find your first tweet, you can join the conversation by tweeting it out along with the hashtag, #FirstTweet. Read more on Twitter >>

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It’s an overcast Friday afternoon just after lunch, so this seems like an appropriate time to talk about boosting your productivity. It’s also a great time to scour the web for great infographics, like the one you’ll find below from Middlesex University in London. Many of the university’s graduates go on to start small businesses, so to lend them a helping hand, the school created a collection of their favorite (sorry,
favourite, this is from London) apps that can make life simpler for small businesses.

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Wouldn’t it be great if there was a tool that could help you get your social and traditional marketing done quickly, easily, and inexpensively? If you said ‘yes’ (which surely you did), then today is a happy day indeed.

Over on the Pagemodo blog this week, we announced the latest release of the Post Designer tool, which is jam-packed with new features that make creating and sharing pro-quality graphics even easier – and it’s free! In addition to great enhancements like a newly designed interface, new themes, vector shapes and text, and the capacity to save drafts, this latest version includes a feature that really speaks to small business owners and marketers. That is, the ability to download your designs for use in other media.

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Today’s guest post comes from Don Fornes, CEO at Software Advice. Based in Austin, Texas, Don founded Software Advice in 2005 after working as a software analyst at an investment firm and as a corporate development executive at a pioneering CRM software company.

Organizing corporate files tends to be one of those to-do list items that is consistently overlooked or pushed aside — especially if you’re an entrepreneur or small business owner exclusively focused on growing revenue and keeping the lights on. However, I learned first hand just how detrimental neglecting this task can be.

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Today’s article is a guest post from Webs’ Head of Marketing, Rochelle Sanchirico. She is a lover of numbers and statistics, and therefore the perfect person to discuss the launch of Webs latest tool, Stats.

I love numbers, always have.  I grew up in a math nerd family, and have always sought out jobs that brought together art (fun!) and science and math (even more fun!).  But I am also well aware that writing complex equations and calculating standard deviations is not everyone’s idea of a good time.  That’s why I’m excited that at Webs we’ve made math – and the very beneficial actions you can take from the resulting numbers – much more digestible to help our users grow their websites.

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Today we’re going to hit pause on our Small Business Promotion series to talk about something new and exciting that’s coming from Google. On Wednesday the tech giant announced on its blog that users will soon see a brand new inbox when they log into their Gmail accounts.

Gmail’s new inbox will automatically sort your emails into customizable categories or tabs. You can click each one to see what’s new in each category when you have time to browse, or go straight to your Primary inbox when you don’t.

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Hi everyone–this is Rochelle from the Webs marketing team.  Sarah is giving me guest blogging privileges today to tell you about a new product development I’m really excited about: our Webs SEO Booster.

For the uninitiated, SEO stands for search engine optimization and it refers to the practice of making your website available for search engines like Google, Yahoo! and Bing to include in their results when someone submits a search. When you simply publish a site, these search engines will generally find it and include it in their massive index of content.  But you want to do more than get indexed–you want to make sure that the search engines associate your site with the terms that your customers and potential customers are typing into search engines, hoping to find a site or business like yours.

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Being that it’s Friday, and it’s a warm spring afternoon here in Maryland, it seems appropriate to post an article about a tool that can help eliminate distractions and keep you focused.

As you may have already heard, Google recently threw its hat in the note-taking app ring with a new app called Google Keep. Warning: This app is currently only available on Android devices, so if you’re an iPhone user, you may not want to get attached.

The intent of this new offering is the “Save What’s On Your Mind” by providing a mobile platform on which to keep notes, checklists, inspiring photos, and organize them by priority. So, there you are, out in the world, and you think of something you need to do, see something that inspires you, or are reminded of something to add to your grocery list. You can open up Google Keep, stash it away, and move on with your day. Then later, it’s all collected for you and stored securely in Google Drive, where it syncs across all of your devices.

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Throughout the month of March on the Webs blog, we’ve been talking about the tools small business owners need to succeed. From email marketing to promotional materials to ecommerce tools, we’ve covered a lot of ground.

Below you’ll find a quick reference guide to the kinds of tools every small business owner should have in their toolkit, along with some examples in each category to get you thinking. If you have other suggestions of great tools you find helpful, please share them in the comments below or on our Webs Facebook Page!

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