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November 30, 2012
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Problem. Solved. 
  • How to assemble an advisory board
    Lonny Thiessen's company, which is involved in steel fabrication and manufacturing, is on track to generate $60 million in revenue this year, but Thiessen wants some advice about how best to run the company. He intends to put together an advisory board but isn't sure where to start. "We want help from some people who have been there and done that before," said Thiessen, who is only 26 years old. Experts recommend reaching out to organizations that might be able to help and to look for candidates that mesh with the company's culture. The Globe and Mail (Toronto) (tiered subscription model) (11/28) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
  • How to write news releases that boost your SEO
    You can make your news releases more effective for search engine optimization by sticking to a standard structure that includes a headline, introduction, body text and boilerplate, Aaron Aders of Slingshot SEO writes. Include multimedia attachments if possible, but avoid peppering your release with an overwhelming number of links, he recommends. "Using too many links can make a press release appear 'spammy,'" he writes. Inc. online/SEO Heroes blog (free registration) (11/28) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
  • Avoiding B2B social ignores the buying-cycle reality
    Most of the B2B buying cycle has passed before prospects have made contact with a company. That's one of the reasons social media is so important, even if it is unlikely to involve millions of fans. Making an offer at the end of a blog post is a simple way of deriving leads from the social sphere, and aligning your social media with the overarching business goal for doing it -- sales or lead-generation -- will determine what you need to measure, Jeffrey Cohen writes. (11/28) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
  • Phrases that flow easily from the mouths of great leaders
    The business world is full of examples of leaders who have failed because of their self-interested nature so it's a good idea to focus on being humble, Steve Tobak writes. Leaders should learn to say they're sorry, admit they don't have all the answers and be willing to take responsibility for mistakes. "Leaders who make excuses are poor excuses for leaders," he writes. CBS MoneyWatch (11/27) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
  • 6 tips for collaborating with another business
    You might be able to grow your business by teaming with other companies, which can allow you to handle larger projects or offer more service options, Nadia Goodman writes. You can forge an effective partnership by understanding your company's strengths and weaknesses, and by setting clear rules for the collaboration. "Communication gets difficult when people have different expectations," said Michelle Thompson-Dolberry, an adviser for American Express OPEN. Entrepreneur online/The Daily Dose blog (11/29) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
  • What to do when the IRS comes calling
    Small-business owners hit with an IRS audit should keep in mind four simple steps, CPA Kemberley Washington writes. First, if the IRS claims the business losses are for a hobby instead of a legitimate business, dispute that with evidence of your firm's marketing plan, past profits or other strategy. Second, use an audit as a chance to claim deductions you might have missed such as mileage. Other tips: Use nontraditional means to substantiate deductions and consider getting professional help. Fox Business (11/28) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
  • Don't fixate on price when selecting an insurance policy
    Insurance policies differ in substantive ways so you should consider more than just price when selecting a coverage option. "[O]ne insurance policy is not going to cover the exact same risks to [the] same extent as a policy from another carrier even if they call the policy the same exact name," he writes. Small Business Trends (11/29) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
Tips & Tools 
  • Evernote could help you be better organized, more productive
    Evernote isn't for everyone, but the popular application offers a wide range of features that appeal to a large swath of people, Melanie Pinola writes. Among other things, the app can help users to store a wide range of content, stay on task and, of course, take notes. Lifehacker (11/29) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
  • Ditch the jargon to improve your communications
    Ditch the business jargon, stay calm and actively listen to effectively communicate with clients and employees, Jessica Edmondson writes. Also, stay calm and civil, and don't be reactive if the talks are over high-stakes topics. Most importantly, put your phone away and silence e-mail notifications so full attention can be given to the meeting, she explains. ThoughtLeaders blog (11/28) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
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Just for Fun 
[L]isten to your gut, not your ego."
--Steve Tobak, writing at CBS MoneyWatch
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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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