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December 5, 2012
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Stories from the Street 
  • Some business owners are wary of entitlement cuts
    Some business owners are concerned about the potential impact of cutting entitlements to preserve tax cuts as part of a deal to avert the "fiscal cliff." Entitlement programs can help to maintain a strong customer base, noted Jim Houser, owner of Hawthorne Auto Clinic in Oregon. "People need to have a reliable source of income, especially after paying into those programs for so many years, in order for us to have customers," he said. The Washington Post (11/30) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
Caring for Customers 
  • A step-by-step guide to launching your own Facebook ad campaign
    Facebook ads can help drive customers to your website and can be a good way to get your feet wet in the world of paid advertising, write Jonathan Blum and Alex Dalenberg. They have a 10-step guide for advertising on the site that includes picking a goal for your campaign, choosing the text that will be displayed and monitoring the results. Entrepreneur online (12/3) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
  • Tips for turning website visitors into paying customers
    You can encourage more of your website's visitors to become customers of your business by writing content that addresses their problems and including interactive elements such as games or videos, Monika Jansen writes. You should also make sure your contact information is listed on the website, she writes. (12/4) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
Keeping Shop 
  • How to save a poor-performing new employee
    If a new employee isn't improving, the manager should make sure necessary training is being provided and then work with the employee to identify strengths and weaknesses, Vicki Crowe writes. "You can approach this in a positive way by asking them what aspects of the job they love and which ones they'd rather not do. You may find that they are just not suited to the role you employed them to do," she writes. (Australia) (12/4) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
  • Those so-called "best practices" could be hurting your business
    Some strategies that are considered best practices in your industry might actually be harmful for your company, Freek Vermeulen of the London Business School writes. In some cases, these practices might yield a short-term benefit while hurting your business in the long run; often managers implement these strategies simply because their competitors already have. "Often, these are practices that most firms in their line of business have been following for many years, leading people in the industry to assume that it is simply the best way of doing things," Vermeulen writes. Harvard Business Review online/HBR Blog Network (12/3) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
Managing the Money 
  • Businesses can sell certain unused tax credits
    Some tax credits offered by states are transferable, which means companies can generate some extra cash flow by selling their unused credits. Businesses that are unable to use their credits probably had a rough year, so selling credits might be especially useful for these companies, Bonnie Lee writes. Fox Business Small Business Center (11/30) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
Tips & Tools 
  • A road map to Internet safety for small businesses
    Small businesses have a wide variety of tools at their disposal to protect their networks from intrusion, but experts say that fending off cybercriminals entails more than building a strong wall to keep them out: It also requires someone to man it. All the antivirus and antimalware software in the world is no good if hackers are let in the door. Commentator Nathan Segal offers tips for avoiding Internet scams that lure unsuspecting users to download malicious software, reveal passwords and give up private information, including using hosting security tools and password protection services. (12/4) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
  • Using dashboards to monitor key metrics
    A business dashboard can help you monitor your company's performance in a variety of areas, but first you have to decide which metrics are really important, John Jantsch writes. "The trick is to move beyond the obvious things like revenue creation and unearth the real drivers of revenue creation," he writes. For example, you might want to keep tabs on average order size or repeat order frequency, he writes. Duct Tape Marketing (12/3) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
News You Can Use 
Featured Content 

It drives me crazy when I visit a company's 'contact us' page and find nothing but a form to fill out."
--Monika Jansen, writing at Grow Smart Biz
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