February 18, 2013
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SmartBrief on Small Business

Problem. Solved.
Boston food company makes cost-saving energy changes
Down Home Delivery & Catering, a soul food company in Boston, has found opportunities to save money and become more environmentally friendly by using energy-efficient lighting, motion sensors and other equipment. Pursuing sustainability initiatives can be tricky for small businesses, which often don't have extra money to invest in capital purchases or time to devote to new initiatives. Down Home expects to save $2,000 a year from the changes, which it made after an energy audit. "I can buy a piece of equipment, it's wonderful," says business manager Gale Scott. TriplePundit.com (2/15)
Social media practices that small businesses should avoid
It's generally best to avoid posting negative comments, politically charged content, or anything that could be construed as offensive, writes Álvaro J. Soltero. "When in doubt over the possibility of a text, image, or any kind of media being accidentally perceived as unprofessional, rude, or offensive, don't post it," Soltero advises. Small businesses should use hashtags and make sure their grammar is correct when posting to social media, Soltero writes. Social Media Today (2/15)
3 tips for getting better at delegation
You can get better at delegation by hiring a talented group of employees and understanding that they won't achieve perfection on their first try. "It is important to be happy if the delegate does things 80 percent as well as you could," said Paul Foster, CEO of the Business Therapist. However, you should avoid delegating sensitive tasks, such as disciplinary actions, other experts say. Intuit Small Business Blog (2/14)
How to get ready for tax time
In this article, experts provide financial advice on a number of small-business tax topics, including tax credits, the Affordable Care Act and employee classification. CPA Vincenzo Villamena recommends reassessing classifications on a regular basis. "This is something that the IRS takes seriously and can be caught if you end a business relationship with a contractor in a bad way," Villamena says. B2C Marketing Insider/NerdWallet.com (2/14)
Tips & Tools
How to attract large corporate clients
Research suggests that small businesses can benefit from selling to corporate clients, but making connections with large companies can be challenging, writes Angelique Rewers. Get started by developing a clear marketing plan, focusing on companies in your area and creating a strong personal brand, she writes. The Washington Post/On Small Business blog (2/15)
Just for Fun
Attack of the "night people"
In the mid-1950s, a late-night radio host named Jean Shepherd rallied his listeners -- who called themselves "night people" -- and ordered them to bombard bookstores with requests for a non-existent book called "I, Libertine." The surreal prank became a global sensation but got out of hand as the mainstream media began to investigate. "In our time of memes, virality, and reality blurring, the hoax Shepherd dreamt up seems extremely modern and prescient in its contours -- as does the fact that, eventually, it got out of his control," writes Matthew Callan. The Awl (2/14)
[N]ot delegating is like buying a window seat ticket on the Titanic -- nice ride, but you are going to sink."
-- John Boggs, president of Fortitude Consulting, as quoted by the Intuit Small Business Blog.
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