Keeping your small business safe from cybercrime | Communicate your enthusiasm to close more sales | What J.C. Penney can teach you about marketing
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March 25, 2013
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Stories from the Street
Keeping your small business safe from cybercrime
One-fifth of cyberattacks are perpetrated against businesses with fewer than 250 employees, according to U.S. Rep. Chris Collins, R-N.Y., speaking during a House subcommittee hearing. "Small businesses generally have fewer resources available to monitor and combat cyber threats, making them easy targets for expert criminals," he said. Small businesses can protect business by using secure passwords, developing written security guidelines and encrypting sensitive information, experts say. Bloomberg Businessweek/The New Entrepreneur blog (3/21), Entrepreneur online (3/21)
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Caring for Customers
Communicate your enthusiasm to close more sales
The key to success in sales is to communicate your enthusiasm for the product to your target audience, writes Sean D'Souza. To accomplish this goal, pick out the most exciting aspect of your product, and focus on that. "[Y]ou can't be enthusiastic if you're bogged down with seven hundred features and benefits. So instead you isolate just one," he writes. Duct Tape Marketing (3/21)
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What J.C. Penney can teach you about marketing
Small businesses can learn from the marketing decisions made at J.C. Penney, writes Walter Dailey, creative director for DSV Media. The company's choices emphasize the importance of paying attention to feedback and keeping your marketing strategy focused on what really matters. "The essence of marketing is not unrestrained ideas," he writes. "It's really about shifting attention to your brand for the purpose of sales." Fox Business Small Business Center (3/20)
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Keeping Shop
Can outsourcing help your business?
Outsourcing certain tasks can be a great way to free up time to focus on the most critical activities necessary for running your small business, Richard White writes. In addition, outsourcing "can considerably reduce the burden of overhead and cut business costs," he writes. Certain types of tasks -- those that are especially repetitive or that require particular expertise -- are especially well-suited to outsourcing, he writes. Small Business Trends (3/22)
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Managing the Money
How to negotiate a commercial lease
When considering the terms of a commercial lease, keep in mind that nearly everything is open to negotiation, including the rent, renewal options and your responsibilities as the tenant. Talk to businesses near the sites you are considering. After agreeing on terms, you should have an attorney look over the lease before you sign it. Entrepreneur online (3/21)
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Mileage, makeup and other small-business tax deductions
You are probably aware you can claim your home office as a deduction to reduce your tax bill, but there are also other write-offs you might not know about. For example, you can deduct the mileage you put on your car or the cost of makeup and clothes in certain situations. Fox Business Small Business Center (3/22)
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Tips & Tools
What to do when one of your products is recalled
As the owner of a retail business, you should take immediate action after one of your products has been recalled, writes Maryam K. Ansari. Let employees know about the recall, and remove the recalled product from your shelves. Contact customers who have purchased the item, and place notices about the recall in spots where they will be easy to see. FindLaw/Free Enterprise blog (3/21)
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News You Can Use
Significance of voluntary benefits is up, study says
Voluntary benefits are becoming more important for businesses, as 58% of employers consider them a "significant benefits strategy," a MetLife survey says. Forty-five percent of surveyed employees said voluntary life, dental and disability benefits play an important role in deciding to join a company. "The weak economy has sharpened employee interest in benefits -- especially for benefits that meet personal and diverse needs," the study says. National Underwriter Life & Health (3/21)
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SmartQuote
The best sales people aren't those who get in your face."
-- Sean D'Souza, author of "The Brain Audit -- Why Customers Buy And Why They Don't," writing at Duct Tape Marketing
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