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January 2, 2013
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Stories from the Street 
  • Why 2013 will be a tough year for business
    Entrepreneurs face another tough year in 2013 as slow economic growth and tax policy conspire to create a challenging business climate, Scott Shane writes. "Without the economy accelerating, or policymakers changing their mind about the need for stricter oversight of the banking industry, chances are high that small-business credit will remain well below where it was in 2007," he writes. Entrepreneur online (1/1) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
 
10 ways to inspire creativity in your staff.
Fostering creative business practices isn't as hard as it seems and can lead to smart solutions. Use these ten techniques to help inspire and encourage creativity in your staff. Read the article and learn 10 ways to get the creative juices flowing.

Caring for Customers 
 
  • 5 tips for digital-marketing success
    The best small companies are tapping into recent developments in the business world by using digital marketing to reach potential customers, writes Atri Chatterjee of Act-On Software. It's important to protect your marketing budget even when the economy sags and to become active on social channels, according to a Forrester study. "SMBs need to follow in the footsteps of their larger enterprise counterparts, who have proven that 'social' is not just an abstract and immeasurable buzz-generating tool," Chatterjee writes. DestinationCRM.com (12/28) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
  • Is your landing page letting you down?
    Small businesses need to pay extra attention to their landing pages to ensure that site visits lead to conversions, Lisa Barone writes. That means having clear goals and clear calls to action, as well as leading users toward the desired action. "If your landing page doesn't drive users to take the action you've laid out for them, it failed," Barone warns. Small Business Trends (1/1) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
Building Workplace Trust 2015
Interaction Associates' 6th annual research study tracking trust on the job, Building Workplace Trust, is out, and more than half of employees surveyed give their organizations low marks for trust and leadership. Yet this year's findings again point to how high trust leads to better outcomes and financial results — and even boosts innovation.

Keeping Shop 
 
  • How to get your business back on track
    Business owners should focus on repeating activities that have been effective in the past rather than trying to turn a failed tactic into a success, writes Dave Lavinsky of Growthink. "Unfortunately, when we were kids in school, our teachers taught us to work on our weaknesses," he writes. "Rather, in business, we should focus more on our strengths; what we're good at and what's working." Owners should also set goals for the future and make a plan to achieve them, he writes. Small Business Trends (12/27) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
  • Employee-related legal issues employers must watch
    Your business could be headed for trouble if you fail to follow the requirements of the Federal Fair Labor Standards Act, which lays out rules for overtime pay, Kayte VanScoy writes. "Most cases begin when 'non-exempt' (or hourly, part-time) employees are treated like 'exempt' (or salaried, full-time) employees," VanScoy writes. Allegations of discrimination can also cause problems for your company. Intuit Small Business Blog (1/1) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
How to Achieve IT Agility: A Survival Guide for IT Decision Makers
When business teams add new apps and services to already-strained networks, IT departments are accountable for making everything work. Is your team ready for this challenge? Read this eGuide to learn how IT teams are automating their networks, why they're utilizing Ethernet fabrics and SDN, and what success looks like as they regain network control and business relevance.

Managing the Money 
 
  • When to purchase equipment for your company
    You might be able to save your business some money by buying certain items at specific times of the year when they are often discounted, Teri Cettina writes. For example, it's a good idea to buy carpeting during the winter and digital cameras in February. Intuit Small Business Blog (12/27) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
The ROI of Privacy with TRUSTe Solutions
Investment in a Data Privacy Management Platform can deliver significant, positive financial returns for corporate bottom lines. The "Total Economic Impact (TEI) of TRUSTe" Study explains how Forrester Analysts calculated a 151% ROI for TRUSTe customers. Download the study now.

Tips & Tools 
  • 5 online programs and apps that have been improved
    Recent changes to Google's Gmail, Evernote 5 and Twitter's TweetDeck are more than cosmetic, combining face-lifts with new functionality, writes John Jantsch. Also, Foursquare's new business pages sport a better dashboard and allow marketers to craft messages for business customers in the area. Duct Tape Marketing (12/28) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
  • How to handle your business' IT needs
    Using an in-house IT team can allow for immediate assistance when problems occur, but it can be a costly option, writes Steven Vigeant of Data Evolution. Meanwhile, outsourcing your IT operations can reduce costs but can increase the time it takes to get help. "Staffing a full service IT department probably exceeds your technology budget, but you can combine the two methods to create full coverage for your business," he recommends. B2C Marketing Insider (12/31) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
News You Can Use 
  • Affordable Care Act is seen as likely to slow hiring this year
    The Affordable Care Act is making employers more reluctant to hire full-time workers this year, and many companies will opt to hire more part-time workers and cut the hours of full-timers, human resources firms say. Nearly a third of franchisees say they plan to cut staff because of a requirement that companies with more than 50 employees provide health insurance or pay a penalty, according to a survey by the International Franchise Association. USA Today (12/30) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
SmartQuote 
Whether they were naughty or nice, small-business owners didn't get any economic gifts over the holidays."
--Scott Shane, writing at Entrepreneur online
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