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January 14, 2013
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Stories from the Street 
  • Businesses struggle to cope with the flu
    The flu is making a lot of people sick this year, and small businesses may suffer if employees or customers become ill. "The last time we experienced this was in 2009 with the H1N1 flu. But the situation with this flu is much worse," said Cheryl Rumley, who owns a company called Apex Healthcare Services. Rumley has had to bring in temporary workers to fill in for sick employees. CNNMoney (1/11) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
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Caring for Customers 
  • How to turn Pinterest into a business tool in 4 steps
    Businesses can set up dedicated Pinterest accounts instead of trying to work around the restrictions placed on personal accounts, Amber Wallor writes. The network makes it easy to set up a business account, verify your business' website and integrate Pinterest's social features into your home page, Wallor writes. The network also offers a best-practices guide to help business users find strategies that work, she writes. SmartBrief/SmartBlog on Social Media (1/11) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
  • Resolve to enhance your customer service in 2013
    If you want to improve your company's customer service in 2013, you should resolve to keep calm and be nice, writes Michael Hess of Skooba Design. "Don't ever argue or be defensive with people -- there will always be difficult, unreasonable and angry customers, but very few of them are out to get you or your company," he advises. CBS MoneyWatch (1/11) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
Keeping Shop 
  • How to get problem employees back on track
    Ineffective management could be the problem if you're noticing performance issues with your employees, according to Jason Carney of WorkSmart Systems. It's important for managers to hold regular meetings with the people they oversee and to provide additional training if necessary. "Making sure they feel they're getting the support they need from their managers is absolutely key," Carney explains. (1/11) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
Managing the Money 
  • What you need to know about smart pricing
    Pricing your products and services is a key part of doing business, and yet many companies don't make it a priority during the product-development process, according to Kevin Mitchell of the Professional Pricing Society. "It works much better if you consider the pricing from the start and have everything else follow behind that, because the price is essentially the money that you're going to get," he said. You should also realize that your customers may be less price-sensitive than you think. Intuit Small Business Blog (1/11) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
Tips & Tools 
  • Where SMB websites frequently fall short
    Small-business owners should carefully audit their websites to make sure they aren't dropping the ball in key areas, writes Melissa Fach. Glitchy contact forms, bug-ridden payment pages or long load-times all risk turning off potential customers and sending them to search elsewhere. "Your website is your storefront online. It needs to be flawless," Fach explains. Small Business Trends (1/10) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
News You Can Use 
  • State laws secure employees' social media accounts
    Six states -- Illinois, California, Michigan, New Jersey, Maryland and Delaware -- now have laws designed to prevent employers from forcing employees to hand over their account information for social media sites, writes Dave Johnson. However, employees should remember that they may still face repercussions for content they post on sites such as Facebook or Twitter, he notes. CBS MoneyWatch (1/11) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
Hot Topics 

Top five news stories selected by SmartBrief on Main Street readers in the past week.

  • Results based on number of times each story was clicked by readers.
The flu spreads easily. The risk in the workplace is that we can touch a sick person's computer, phone or even transmit the flu just by passing a folder."
--Scott Burger, emergency room physician and founder of Doctors Express, as quoted by CNNMoney
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