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September 25, 2012
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Stories from the Street 
  • Building a business as part of the 47%
    The segment of the population that doesn't pay federal income tax, which Mitt Romney mentioned in a secretly recorded video, includes some small-business owners. For example, there's Doug Walter, who received unemployment insurance and food stamps and now owns a consignment shop in Pennsylvania. Most people in his situation don't want to be dependent on the government for help, Walter said. The Huffington Post (9/21) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
Caring for Customers 
  • Foursquare strategies for building your customer base
    You can encourage your customers to check in to your business on Foursquare by providing some sort of small incentive, according to Anthony Krumeich of San Francisco-based Bloodhound. "Receiving a 5 percent discount per order, getting a free pen, or some other reward for checking in can really drive social traffic that brings attention to your company," he notes. The Washington Post/On Small Business blog (9/24) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
  • In the Facebook era, don't neglect your firm's website
    Too many small businesses embrace social media but leave their websites to languish, writes Megan Totka, chief editor for ChamberofCommerce.com. Company websites need to look good, supply the location and hours and staff contacts of your business, and provide a description of what your company does, she writes. The site also needs to have a reason for being -- to allow online sales or reservations or even provide a game or suggestion box, Totka writes. B2C Marketing Insider (9/24) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
Keeping Shop 
  • Do your employees feel pressured to think alike?
    Thriving workplaces need to have individuals with critical thinking skills, but this year's political battles may pressure employees to adopt "groupthink," Martha Finney writes. She offers two examples where politics contributed to workers being fired, or passed over for a job. "You are counting on your people to bring their best thinking to work every day, not only lockstep, self-righteous passion," she writes. SmartBrief/SmartBlog on Leadership (9/14) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
  • Does your company really need a dress code?
    The nature of every business is different, but many companies could benefit from relaxing their dress codes, Janine Popick of VerticalResponse writes. This approach can boost creativity, eliminate the stress that comes with deciding what to wear and ensure workers are comfortable. Inc. online/Basement to Boardroom blog (free registration) (9/21) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
Managing the Money 
  • A closer look at Obama's small-business tax cuts
    Some of the 18 small-business tax breaks President Barack Obama has taken credit for are extensions of previous tax cuts, and many of the tax breaks are no longer in effect or are in a weakened state. However, some of his cuts, including the health care tax credit that was included in the health care overhaul, are still in full effect. CNNMoney (9/24) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
 
Tips & Tools 
  • Considering a loyalty program? Take these steps first
    Before launching a loyalty program, figure out what rewards you'll offer customers, whether you want them linked to a credit or debit card, and whether it makes sense to partner with another company, writes small-business blogger Monika Jansen. Other steps to take before starting a rewards program: Figure out how to leverage social media and whether it makes sense to have a tiered rewards program based on customer expenditures. NetworkSolutions.com (9/24) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
  • It's time to adapt your website for mobile users
    Mobile devices are becoming increasingly popular for browsing the Internet, so it's important for businesses to ensure their content will display properly on these devices, writes John Jantsch. There are a number of ways to make your content more mobile-friendly; for example, you can develop an application or add special plug-ins to WordPress-based sites. Duct Tape Marketing (9/24) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
  • The connection between social media and SEO
    It's essential to ensure that your social media initiatives are supporting your SEO efforts, writes Ray Comstock. For example, blogging can be used to attract links from other industry sources. "As a blogger you should interact with other authoritative blogs in your space, contributing to those conversations with intelligent comments, and developing personal relationships with the people who are influential in your space," he explains. SearchEngineWatch.com (9/23) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
Featured Content 
 

SmartQuote 
Pause and realize that owning a small business is one of the greatest opportunities in the world."
--Barry Moltz, writing at OPEN Forum
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