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December 26, 2012
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  • How an app maker built a strong customer base
    Michael Sikorsky and his wife, Camille, started a company called Robots and Pencils in 2008 to create applications for Apple's iPhone. Sikorsky became interested in the enterprise market after the iPad came out, but the company had to find a way to attract customers. Robots and Pencils solved the problem by partnering with another company and using game dynamics in its enterprise apps. The company recently created an app based on the "Spy vs. Spy" comic strip that quickly gained popularity. The Globe and Mail (Toronto) (tiered subscription model) (12/21) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
Marketing 
  • How humor can heighten your marketing's effectiveness
    Putting a humorous spin on your marketing messages can be a good way to engage with potential customers, writes Leyl Master Black. You can do this in several ways, such as by tapping into current cultural trends or by creating a funny video to show off your product. You could also try making a cartoon about your company. Mashable (12/21) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
  • Why marketing videos are worth the effort
    You may be able to differentiate your brand from the competition by posting videos on social media that show off your company and its products. Data show that online videos are popular and that social sites such as Facebook and Twitter are increasingly being used to share content. Brafton.com (12/21) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
Getting Paid: How to Get Customers to Pay Up
Dealing with the money isn't fun, but it's a necessary evil for staying in business. While every business has their ups and downs, the key to positive cash flow is collecting payments in full and on time to keep the cash coming in as predictably as possible. Seem impossible? Learn how these small-business owners did it.

Management 
 
  • Employee gifts that keep giving all year long
    You can help your employees to reach their potential by giving them some autonomy and some flexible work options, writes Rieva Lesonsky of GrowBiz Media. "Being able to work at home, work remotely or work flexible hours are top perks employees desire," she writes. It's also a good idea to offer employees opportunities to develop their skills, she notes. SCORE Small Business Success Blog (12/25) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
How SDN Makes Campus Networks Better
When should agencies adopt SDN? IDC reports that SDN provides immediate benefits for government campus networks, including modernized IT infrastructures that are more agile, cost-effective, and collaborative.
Read this new IDC paper to learn more.

Money 
 
  • Year-end financial-planning tips
    With 2013 fast approaching, it may be wise for small-business owners to make the most of current tax benefits by accelerating bonuses and setting up retirement plans, according to a company called Paychex. Now may also be a good time to purchase assets such as computers or software. BusinessNewsDaily.com (12/21) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
The ROI of Privacy with TRUSTe Solutions
Investment in a Data Privacy Management Platform can deliver significant, positive financial returns for corporate bottom lines. The "Total Economic Impact (TEI) of TRUSTe" Study explains how Forrester Analysts calculated a 151% ROI for TRUSTe customers. Download the study now.

Tips & Tools 
  • Strategies for smoothing out workplace personality clashes
    For various reasons, some co-workers may have a hard time seeing eye to eye, writes Royale Scuderi. For example, they may come from different backgrounds or have different work styles, Scuderi writes. However, you can deal with these conflicts by accepting people who are different than yourself and by maintaining your professionalism. Lifehack.org (12/24) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
  • 7 ways to offer superior customer service
    You can offer top-notch customer service by hiring employees who care about their work and treating each customer as an individual, writes Susan Payton, drawing on advice from the book "High Tech, High Touch Customer Service" by Micah Solomon. It's also important to offer a little something extra and to continuously look for ways to improve your service. Small Business Trends (12/21) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
Featured Content 
 

Just for Fun 
  • How soldiers celebrated Christmas in 1914
    War can bring out the worst in humanity, but in 1914 soldiers fighting in World War I put their differences aside for an unofficial Christmas truce. Soldiers gave each other gifts and did some caroling. MentalFloss.com (12/24) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
SmartQuote 
Do you like to laugh? Guess what: so do your customers."
--Leyl Master Black, writing at Mashable
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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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