What's Online: October 2009

October is traditionally the peak of the budgeting season at many small companies, so Inc.com has compiled timely information on how to think about budgeting, tips on setting sales forecasts, data on profit benchmarks by industry, and sample departmental budgets from growing companies.

For the fourth year, Inc.com has assembled a list of the 30 most fascinating entrepreneurs under the age of 30. Read profiles of the latest members of this precocious club, and vote for your favorite.

Join the community of Inc. readers who follow the magazine's daily updates on Facebook. Among them: Robyn Ringgold, co-founder of Solar Publishing, a Baltimore publisher of children's books; Lilly Harris, president of Man-Machine Systems Assessment, a government contractor with offices in El Paso and Washington, D.C., that handles logistics and emergency-preparedness planning; and Sam Feuer, founder and CEO of MindSmack.com, a Web design firm based in New York City.

Our newest blogger, Rob Adams, director of the business-plan competition at the McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas, argues that too many start-up CEOs focus on minutiae. "Don't get caught up in the tangible, feel-good aspects of knocking off a large to-do list of important items to make your business work -- unless, of course, all those items are directly related to getting your customers to buy more product and services," he writes.

One underappreciated skill: the ability to correctly and effectively praise employees for a job well done. "Praising a whole team promotes collaboration, which is important," notes editor-at-large Leigh Buchanan in her online-only column, The Office. "But if one or two contributions far exceed the rest, recognizing those outliers encourages others to match their performance."

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Published on: Oct 1, 2009