Most Clicked SmartBrief on Small Business Stories

1. How leaders can kill company culture

SmartBrief on Small Business | Jul 27, 2015

Leaders can accidentally undermine the culture of their companies in a number of ways, writes Barry Saltzman, CEO of Saltzman Enterprise Group. He reviews four key mistakes, including micromanagement and inconsistent leadership. Fast Company online (07/24)

2. Give employees something to call their own

SmartBrief on Small Business | Jul 28, 2015

It's important to empower employees to have ownership of something, says BetterCloud CEO David Politis. "People want to make a difference, and when you give them an area of the business that they can affect, the amount of stuff that gets done, and the pride in their work is amazing," he says. The New York Times (free-article access for SmartBrief readers) (07/25)

3. When is a worker an employee?

SmartBrief on Small Business | Jul 28, 2015

Whether workers are legally defined as employees or independent contractors will affect a company's taxes and liabilities. To make matters more complicated, federal and state regulators may have different definitions. Forbes (07/27)

4. Companies swap perks for raises to reward workers

SmartBrief on Small Business | Jul 29, 2015

Providing perks and other low-cost benefits in place of annual raises is a growing trend among companies because it helps keep expenses down while also catering to the preferences of younger workers. One downside, however, is that stagnant wages across the economy are putting a damper on the nation's recovery and consumer spending. The Washington Post (tiered subscription model) (07/28)

5. SBA loan program hits lending cap

SmartBrief on Small Business | Jul 24, 2015

The Small Business Administration will stop funding new loans under the 7(a) program, because it has hit its $18.75 billion cap for the fiscal year. The SBA and lawmakers are working to raise the cap so lending can resume. Reuters (07/23) CNBC (07/23)

6. Meaningful innovations are needed to stay competitive

SmartBrief on Small Business | Jul 27, 2015

Bolts may not be an obvious target for innovation, but Maryland-based SmartBolts is looking to disrupt the market with bolts that indicates how much tightening is required. This is an example of the type of "meaningfully unique" innovation that is needed a time when more and more products are becoming commoditized, writes Ryan Caligiuri of inVision Edge. "It's important to be meaningfully unique because if you're not, you better be cheap," he notes. The Globe and Mail (Toronto) (tiered subscription model) (07/24)

7. How to improve your company's sales management

SmartBrief on Small Business | Jul 24, 2015

The best sales managers can see how their teams' contributions fit into your company's larger goals, writes Richard April of Repsly. He lists six questions your sales managers should ask themselves, focusing on matters such as accountability, coaching and efficiency. (07/22)

8. How to defend against common cyberattacks

SmartBrief on Small Business | Jul 30, 2015

Although the hacking of huge companies gets the headlines, small businesses can be inviting targets for this type of crime, says Stephen Cobb of antivirus software company ESET. This article lists common types of online attacks businesses may face and typical mistakes that leave them vulnerable. (07/28)

9. Startup looks to curb food waste

SmartBrief on Small Business | Jul 29, 2015

A Swedish company is working to convert the nearly expired food that supermarkets typically discard into nutritious powder than can help fight hunger. "The fact is that one third of the food produced in the world is being thrown away -- which would be more than enough to feed the entire population," said FoPo co-founder Kent Ngo. The company is running a pilot program in the Philippines. FastCoExist (07/28)

10. Google's new feature shows how busy a store is

SmartBrief on Small Business | Jul 29, 2015

Google has unveiled a new feature that allows users to see how busy a store is throughout the day. Customers can use the information to avoid long wait times. Business owners, on the other hand, could use the data to monitor traffic patterns. TechCrunch (07/28)

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