February 20, 2013
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Jewelry store owner shifts focus to make it through tough times
Julie Haack took over her family's jewelry business in 2007, shortly before the recession devastated the company's retail component. Haack was able to keep the store open by leveraging her diamonds as investments to generate capital and by cutting costs. She also began acting as a broker for people who wanted to sell their jewelry to earn cash, and she initiated a weekly e-blast that produce quick sales. The Charlotte Observer (N.C.) (2/19)
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Marketing
How to build a buzz on social media
Companies can make the most of social media by being memorable, engaging with their fans and referencing cultural events, Lindsay LaVine writes. For example, the frozen yogurt brand Red Mango was able to generate social buzz by creating a flavor called Honey Badger, named after a viral YouTube video. Entrepreneur online (2/19)
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Management
Dedicate your time to what really matters
Business owners should not waste their time on errands such as depositing checks and dropping off invoices, writes Chris Griffiths. These time-consuming tasks waste your time, sink your productivity and could set a bad example for employees. Delegate these things, or hire another company to handle them, Griffiths writes. The Globe and Mail (Toronto) (tiered subscription model) (2/20)
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Money
Are you charging the right hourly rate?
If you want to increase your hourly wage, start by adding up your costs to figure out exactly how much you are making now, writes Tim Parker. Determine how your rate compares with others in your industry, and look for opportunities to lower your costs and increase your productivity. Intuit Small Business Blog (2/19)
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Tips & Tools
Know the facts before calling yourself "green"
It's all too easy for over-enthusiastic eco-marketers to wind up on the wrong side of the law by making claims about the sustainability of their products or services, writes attorney Deanne Katz. It's important to keep track of which words are specifically regulated, and to remember that even unregulated claims need to be factually accurate. "Truth in advertising always applies ... If you make a claim, you need a way to back it up," Katz writes. FindLaw/Free Enterprise blog (2/19)
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How to respond when your business has been hacked
Knowing how your network usually operates can help you determine that you have been hacked, says Martin Roesch, founder of SourceFire. The next steps are to determine the scope of the security breach, address the issue and look for ways to prevent future problems. Fox Business Small Business Center (2/19)
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Just for Fun
Swedish hotel has no rooms, only park benches
A Swedish charity has created a hotel that charges holidaymakers about $16 a night for the experience of sleeping rough in spots that might otherwise be frequented by genuinely homeless people. The project, intended to raise awareness of homelessness, promises guests such resting spots as park benches, an abandoned factory or under a bridge. Architizer.com (2/13)
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SmartQuote
Getting a lot done and being productive are two different things."
-- Chris Griffiths, director of fine tune consulting, writing at The Globe and Mail (Toronto).
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