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November 1, 2012
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Problem. Solved. 
  • How a small retailer reduced her overhead by investing in a truck
    Debbie Dejesus ditched the high overhead of her women's clothing store in Grass Valley, Calif., by deciding to bring her store to customers. She bought a 20-foot-long truck that she takes to festivals, farmers markets and other outdoor activities. "You still work hard -- it's still retail --but you have many more options than you do with a store. You can choose your own hours, and you can pick and choose where you want to go and sell that day," Dejesus said. Intuit Small Business Blog (10/31) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
  • Videos are marketing magic
    You can use videos for a number of marketing purposes such as to simply a complex concept or show off your products, Lisa Barone writes. A video "breaks that third wall and shows them a living, breathing representation of what could be theirs if they’d just hit the purchase button," she writes. Videos can also be used to share customer testimonials or relate the story behind your brand, she notes. Small Business Trends (10/30) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
  • A smarter strategy for managing social media
    It's easy to be overwhelmed by social media, but you can remain calm by setting aside specific blocks of time to manage your accounts, Rene Shimada Siegel of High Tech Connect writes. "For maximum productivity, set a timer or alarm to remind you to log off and get back to work," she advises. It's also wise to schedule posts in advance and to think about whether a topic is really worth your time before writing a response. Inc. online (free registration) (10/31) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
  • Find, treat the root causes of employee disengagement
    Many employee-engagement efforts focus on surface issues instead of the root causes of workers' discontentment, which might include poor leadership or a bad company culture, Derek Irvine of Globoforce writes. You need to discover the underlying issues affecting your workplace and fix them, he writes. "Employees don't need another pizza party or coffee flavor option in the cafe. They need the tools to get their jobs done." (10/30) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
  • How to inch toward international expansion
    If you want to expand your company into overseas markets, you should start with English-speaking countries and ensure you're ready to accept credit cards and PayPal, Janine Popick of VerticalResponse writes. "This often solves your currency exchange issue," she notes. Also, use Google Adwords to build awareness about your brand and list an international-shipping policy on your website. Inc. online/Basement to Boardroom blog (free registration) (10/31) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
  • A 7-piece, 5-year financial plan
    Small businesses can build a five-year financial plan using basic information they already have, such as sales, the cost of goods sold, marketing projections and cash flow, writes Ken Kaufman, president and chief financial officer of handheld device firm Aribex. He outlines the steps in crafting a five-year outlook that can guide business decisions. OPEN Forum blogs (10/30) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
Tips & Tools 
  • Would online education help your employees?
    Some companies are using online learning tools to keep their employees' skills fresh. "Online, we can find training options for very specific and sometimes obscure topics," John Walsh of Total Mortgage Services said. "We've found that if we can think of it, then someone has put together a video, slides, or a podcast covering it." In addition to specificity, these online learning tools also provide flexibility and access to experts. Entrepreneur online (10/31) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
  • Stop hackers from accessing your online accounts
    You can reduce the odds that hackers will ruin your day by using strong passwords and encrypting any sensitive information you are storing. "Data has value -- just like dollars or gems -- and is significantly more portable and easier to put in the hands of attackers," Brad Gobble of Mozy said. It's also a good idea to avoid giving out too much information about yourself on social networks. Entrepreneur online/The Daily Dose blog (10/31) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
Just for Fun 
  • Unusual holidays to make your November more interesting
    If you're bummed there's nothing to celebrate between now and Thanksgiving, fear not -- there are actually quite a few unusual holidays in the days ahead. For example, Nov. 6 is National Saxophone Day, Nov. 15 is Clean Out Your Refrigerator Day and Nov. 19 is World Toilet Day. (11/1) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
Social media has shown that users really do care about the story behind your company."
--Lisa Barone, vice president of strategy at Overit, writing at Small Business Trends
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 John Jantsch, Editor at Large
John Jantsch is author of "Duct Tape Marketing: The World's Most Practical Small Business Marketing Guide" and "The Referral Engine: Teaching Your Business to Market Itself." John is a marketing and digital technology coach and creator of the Duct Tape Marketing small-business marketing system.

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