Most Clicked SmartBrief on Small Business Stories


1. Mo. businesses are literally going underground

SmartBrief on Small Business | May 04, 2015

A former limestone mine in Missouri has been converted into an underground business hub known as SubTropolis. Fifty-two businesses lease space in the complex, which can provide advantages such as modest construction costs and stable temperatures. "In the dead of winter and summer, we're saving $35,000 a month on our energy bills by being here," says Mark Mathis, CEO of Vanguard Packaging, which takes up 500,000 square feet in SubTropolis. CNNMoney (05/01)


2. CEO shares leadership tips learned from experience

SmartBrief on Small Business | May 05, 2015

Jack Sweeney, who has been a CEO seven times, notes his approach to the role has changed dramatically during the past two decades. Sweeney's seven tips for success include using a data-based approach to make decisions and relying on your team rather than giving in to the temptation to micromanage. Entrepreneur online (05/04)


3. What you should know about seller financing

SmartBrief on Small Business | Apr 30, 2015

Seller financing can provide a solution for aspiring business owners who lack funds, but there are important factors to consider before going down this route. Buyers should find sellers they can trust and examine financial documents before agreeing to a deal. Sellers, meanwhile, will typically look for buyers with industry experience. Entrepreneur magazine (05/2015)


4. Sudden asset seizures halted, but some businesses still suffer

SmartBrief on Small Business | May 04, 2015

The process of civil forfeiture, which is designed to fight crimes such as terrorism and drug dealing, allows the government to seize assets without filing charges. In some cases, agencies have targeted small businesses that are not suspected of criminal activity, but the Internal Revenue Service and the Justice Department have promised to end the practice. New York Times (tiered subscription model), The (04/30)


5. Employees want meaning, work-life balance

SmartBrief on Small Business | May 04, 2015

Positive factors such as meaningful work tend to keep valued employees around, whereas negative factors such as poor management and nonexistent work-life balance tend to drive them away. "People want to do more than just make a buck, [they] want to do something that means something," Google's Laszlo Bock said recently. PayScale.com (05/03)


6. Can you sell your business for what it's worth?

SmartBrief on Small Business | May 01, 2015

Many business owners are nearing retirement and may want to sell their companies in the coming years, but some of them may be missing out on opportunities to maximize the values of those deals, writes Mary Ellen Biery. A business' profits, relationships with suppliers and asset quality may affect whether it will attract interest from buyers, the Small Business Administration says. Huffington Post, The (04/30)


7. Ways to deal with a difficult employee

SmartBrief on Small Business | May 01, 2015

Dealing with troublesome employees is no fun, but it's a vital part of a leader's job, writes Beth Armknecht Miller. An effective strategy includes establishing a performance plan, setting consequences for failing to measure up and refusing to let the problem employee swallow up any more of your time. "Constantly dealing with difficult employees and poor performers sends the wrong message to those team members who perform well and have a strong sense of what it means to be a team player," Miller notes. About.com (04/25)


8. Avoid the costly mistake of a bad hire

SmartBrief on Small Business | Apr 30, 2015

Hiring mistakes can be devastating in terms of wasted money and damaged morale, writes Larry Myler. It may be better to avoid hiring altogether if none of the job candidates you have reviewed have the necessary skills. "There's no rule, written or otherwise, that says you have to make an offer at the end of the interview process," he writes. Forbes (04/29)


9. Understanding the digital-marketing landscape

SmartBrief on Small Business | May 05, 2015

Digital marketing evolves quickly, and keeping up can be tough. You don't need to spend all your money on pay-per-click campaigns, but well-done marketing still costs money, writes Neil Patel. "It costs money to write content, publish content, hire professionals, do social media, and all the other things involved in 'content marketing,' " he writes. Forbes (05/04)


10. The secret history of the pre-Woodstock "Piano Drop"

SmartBrief on Small Business | Apr 30, 2015

Before Woodstock, there was the 1968 Piano Drop -- a countercultural event in Duvall, Wash., in which thousands gathered to watch a helicopter destroy a 500-pound piano by dropping it onto a woodpile. CollectorsWeekly.com (04/23)




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