Tired of constantly coming up with new ways to reach customers? The Marketing Spot, a Waco, Texas-based small-business marketing firm is offering business owners free marketing advice and ideas via its new blog, The IdeaSpot.

Entrepreneurs can request an idea by filling out an online form that explains their marketing challenge and indicates the category in which they want marketing advice: branding, customer experience, word-of-mouth, or advertising.

Requests are then used as case studies on The IdeaSpot. Each week, a new entry is posted that explains a company's marketing challenge along with the idea request, and follows with free advice or suggestions catered specifically to that business. Business owners can keep their company's name anonymous and are under no obligation to implement the idea. However, any company's request can be used as content on the blog.

To receive a free idea, businesses much be located in the continental United States with revenue under $3 million a year. For more information or to submit a request, visit www.themarketingspot.com/ideaspot.htm.

Keep Tabs on Your Merchandise

For many companies, fast growth means moving inventory -- quickly. A new program seeks to better manage that flow of products.

The Wasp Inventory Control v4 program, unveiled this week by Wasp Barcode Technologies, gives business owners the tools to operate at the level of a large retail enterprise with its mobile scanning capabilities and advanced barcoding features.

The software, which can accommodate all types of small businesses -- from individual contractors to larger operators with multiple warehouses -- allows business owners to control inventory with an easy-to-navigate online interface. Wasp Inventory Control v4 can track inventory by location, serial number, and other variables, perform inventory audits, assist with product counts, and create barcode labels and inventory tags.

"Without an effective inventory solution, it's far too easy for a business owner to think inventory is in good shape," Steve Coffman, president of Wasp Barcode Technologies, a Plano, Texas-based firm, said in a statement. "Yet, in reality, inventory can't be found, is unexpectedly out of stock, or drastically overstocked. With this new version of Inventory Control, small businesses can dramatically streamline the entire inventory control process, from searching for items to labeling, picking, and shipping them."

Wasp Inventory Control v4 is available in three versions that range in price from $595 to $2,995. For more information, visit www.waspbarcode.com.

Meditation for the CEO Set

Business owners who had to skip their vacation time this year now have a way to escape work and relieve stress.

Greg de Vries and Brett Jennings, a pair of former tech entrepreneurs-turned-meditation gurus, are offering courses for Silicon Valley business owners looking to enhance productivity, performance, and communication in the workplace.

De Vries and Jennings have several options for their corporate client base. Business owners can choose to attend a public meditation group in the Silicon Valley area, or sign up for a five-week meditation course beginning Sept. 10 in San Jose. Entrepreneurs who are looking for a more private experience can sign up for one-on-one sessions as well.

Additionally, De Vries and Jennings are conducting in-house workshops for entire companies designed to teach employees techniques for eliminating stress. "This is meditation for practical people," De Vries said in a statement. "It appeals to people of all religious backgrounds, and none. It is for anyone who wants to live a happier, healthier, more productive, and more rewarding life."

For more information, visit www.mymeditationcoach.com