Groups work to rejuvenate Canadian main streets | How to promote your business on LinkedIn | What large businesses can teach you about managing seasonal swings
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March 12, 2013
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Stories from the Street
Groups work to rejuvenate Canadian main streets
Almost 400 business-improvement areas have been created in Canada, and efforts are under way to revitalize neighborhoods in some cities. Residential growth within Canadian cities is helping to rejuvenate main street areas across the country, according to one study. Still, breathing new life into a neighborhood isn't easy. "It's tricky because when we look at the real success stories that we have downtown, they seemed to have come out of nowhere," said Paul MacKinnon, executive director of the Downtown Halifax Business Commission. The Globe and Mail (Toronto) (tiered subscription model) (3/11)
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Caring for Customers
Selecting the right social media tools to build your business
Using free social media marketing initiatives can be a good way for businesses to create buzz and encourage current customers to make additional purchases, writes Lauren Fried. Companies should also consider using paid advertising on social media, which can help them to generate leads and promote brand awareness. "Facebook ads and LinkedIn ads can be used to dramatically increase market reach or engagement, especially to build an initial audience," she writes. Dynamic Business online (Australia) (3/11)
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How to promote your business on LinkedIn
LinkedIn, which has a user base that is generally affluent and educated, can be an attractive platform for marketing your company, Monika Jansen writes. You can make your promotional efforts more effective by logging on to LinkedIn regularly, participating in groups and advertising on the site. "I'm going to go out on a limb and say that LinkedIn is a better place to advertise than Facebook, because LinkedIn users are highly encouraged to complete their profiles," she writes. (3/11)
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Keeping Shop
What large businesses can teach you about managing seasonal swings
You should pay attention to the example set by large companies such as Amazon and Apple as you attempt to manage seasonal swings in demand at your business, writes Ryan Galloway. These companies understand the importance of using a flexible workforce, improving shipping processes and embracing technology. Forbes (3/8)
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Managing the Money
Infographic shows the state of small-business lending
Credit access is critical for small businesses, but many business owners say it is harder to get loans than it was a few years ago. Business owners may spend several months and several thousand dollars as they attempt to secure credit, according to an infographic by SCORE. SCORE Small Business Success Blog (3/11)
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Tips for creating an expense account policy
It's important to create a fair expense account policy that handles reimbursements when employees accumulate business-related expenses, Robert Moskowitz writes. When crafting such a policy, ask your staff for input and make sure the rules apply to everyone. "Different rules for different employees are difficult to oversee and enforce -- and often produce some degree of resentment," he writes. Intuit Small Business Blog (3/11)
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Tips & Tools
How to create better marketing videos
You can improve the odds that potential customers will watch your marketing videos by using high-quality equipment, shooting at simple backgrounds and avoiding adding unnecessary special effects during the editing process, writes Tim Parker. "It's easy to add all kinds of bells and whistles with today's video editing software, but adding too much becomes distracting," he writes. Intuit Small Business Blog (3/11)
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A tool to make the hiring process easier
Workable is an online platform that can simplify the hiring process by pulling in information from a variety of sources, including social media profiles. Companies can set specific requirements for the positions they have open, allowing them to quickly disqualify applicants who don't have the necessary expertise. Small Business Trends (3/9)
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Editor's Note
SmartBrief's inside look at #SXSW
SmartBrief is attending the South by Southwest Interactive Festival, with tweeting @SmartBrief and blogging at SmartBlogs. Here's some of our coverage so far.
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[E]ntrepreneurs are often so entrenched in the day-to-day aspects of running their businesses that they don't make time to take a step back and re-evaluate."
-- Ryan Galloway, writing at Forbes
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