Small business owners have been hearing about the economic recovery for months. Yet for many entrepreneurs, the improving macro-economic data has yet to reveal itself in their daily lives and businesses – and many are wondering when they’ll see it in their corner of the economy. Nonetheless, as a small business owner you can take steps to prepare for improving conditions and ensure your business recovers quickly.

If you run a small business today, you know the critical need for information. Like no other time in history, accurate, timely and credible information is the key to making sound business decisions and ultimately achieving business success. Look to independent resources with proven credibility, like the non-profit James J. Hill Reference Library, a trusted source of practical business information.

This past year brought record numbers of foreign visitors to the United States. Tour guides are usually the first person a tourist meets when they visit any country. It is not by chance that most countries train the brightest most articulate people to be their “ambassadors of goodwill” to visiting tourists.

When Richard Childress started racing professionally in 1969, he chose car No. 3 as a tribute to driver Junior Johnson and all the other greats who drove the number. Over the next three decades, he and Dale Earnhardt Sr. made the No. 3 an icon within the sport. As a team owner, he remains as active in the sport as ever and is one of the industry leaders.

In today’s fast-paced, high-tech world, recruiters are just as likely to glance at your job application submission on their Blackberry while driving as they are when sitting at their desk. Is your resume or portfolio Web-ready?

Today’s shoppers are more active than ever, and when you're on the go, you probably attempt to keep your schedule as simple and concise as possible. Because time is invaluable these days, keeping errand-running narrowed down to the minimal amount of time and energy needed allows for more time on your business, with your family or enjoying a bit of “me-time.”

All over the country, high-power professionals are trading in their high-paying, high-stress careers, with their 60-hour weeks and $200 ties, for a more fulfilling life. This trend, known as 'downshifting' is catching on, as over-worked professionals seek to find balance in their lives.