February 13, 2013
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Problem. Solved.
Creating a budget prompts business owner to look for savings
Paul Downs founded Paul Downs Cabinetmakers in 1986 but only recently made a budget for the year ahead. Downs used a spreadsheet to create his 2013 budget based on his past expenditures, and he discovered that he would have just $54,000 left over at the end of the year. "It wouldn't take much of a revenue shortfall or unexpected expense to wipe it out entirely," he writes. That prompted him to look for opportunities to cut costs, such as by reducing the amount he spends on materials. The New York Times (tiered subscription model)/You're the Boss blog (2/12)
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5 positive ways to respond to negative comments.
Social media is a great way to connect with your customers, but what do you do when the conversation takes a negative turn? With 5 tips, you can learn how to positively respond and help direct the conversation. Read the article and learn the 5 ways to respond positively.

MarketingSponsored By
The 7 sentences you need for a marketing strategy
It's important to create a strategy to guide your marketing efforts, but this strategy need not be complicated, write Jay and Jeannie Levinson in this excerpt from their book "Guerrilla Marketing Field Guide." Your strategy, which only has to be seven sentences long, should address topics such as your target audience and the tools you can use to reach them. Entrepreneur online (2/12)
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How to create an attention-grabbing ebook
Writing an ebook is a great way to share your expertise and establish yourself as a thought leader, writes Monika Jansen. If you write an ebook, include anecdotes, strike a conversational tone and strive to educate your readers. NetworkSolutions.com (2/12)
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Other News
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.

Management
How to perk up your company culture
Keep your employees motivated by setting aside time for innovation and by giving them an opportunity to voice their concerns, writes Kevin Daum. "Structured complaint sessions will act like a pressure-release valve," he writes. You could also spruce up the office with some art, encourage your employees to make videos about your company or give out chocolate. Inc. online (free registration)/Roaring or Boring blog (2/12)
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Money
5 ways to find additional revenue
If you're looking to generate some extra revenue, look for ways to leverage your company's assets, suggests Jeanne Rossomme, president of RoadMap Marketing. For example, you can sublet some of your space, sell advertisements in your e-mail newsletters or make commission-earning referrals to other companies. SCORE Small Business Success Blog (2/11)
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Tips & Tools
How to protect your smartphone from security threats
Chances are good that your smartphone is loaded with valuable data, which makes security a priority, writes Miguel Leiva-Gomez. You can protect your phone, your business and your reputation by using an anti-malware system, downloading the latest updates and being wary of apps that request excessive permissions, he writes. SmallBizTechnology.com (2/12)
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Just for Fun
Is it a dragon? Is it a pterosaur? No, it's a dog-fish-bear
In the 1690s, an Italian engineer produced the remains of a dragon that he claimed to have trapped and killed in the marshes outside the city. Some believe the bizarre, impressively winged specimen may have been a pterosaur, but scientists say that it was likely a fake concocted from parts of a bear, fish and dogs. New Scientist/Short Sharp Science blog (2/7)
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Editor's Note
Your SmartBrief has a new look
Noticed a change? SmartBrief on Small Business has the same valuable content but with a reworked design to make reading and sharing stories easier, especially on mobile devices. Have feedback on the change? Send it our way!
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SmartQuote
Creative problem solving is a genuine mood booster."
-- Kevin Daum, author of "Video Marketing for Dummies," writing at Inc.com's Roaring or Boring blog
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