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October 10, 2012
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Stories from the Street 
  • Maine city looks to add downtown excitement with pop-up program
    Gardiner, Maine, is looking to fill some of the vacancies in its downtown area with a program meant to attract pop-up stores during the holiday season. Stores that participate in the program, which is called Project Pop-Up, can get free rent for two months. When choosing among applicants, the selection committee will look for candidates who have a long-term interest in the area and whose products will fit in with the mix sold at existing businesses, according to Patrick Wright, executive director of Gardiner Main Street. Kennebec Journal (Maine) (10/9) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
Caring for Customers 
  • Top 7 ways to sink small-business sales
    Elevator pitches that don't focus on your business' competitive difference. The absence of a documented sales process. Focusing too much on price. These are among the seven sins that cause small businesses to lose sales, write sales experts Rick Faulk and Seamus Egan. They outline the others and how to turn those pitfalls into opportunities. CRM Buyer (10/8) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
  • Is a slow website stifling your business?
    A slow-loading website can hurt the performance of your business in several ways, Miguel Leiva-Gomez writes. Google factors speed into its search rankings and customers might be less likely to buy from companies with sluggish websites, he explains. Fast loading times can also encourage Web surfers to check out more of your site. (10/5) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
  • What consumers want in a mobile site
    Research shows consumers prefer mobile sites that provide fast access to information, large buttons and easy-to-use search features. Giving consumers what they want is important because many consumers say they will look for another website if the one they're on isn't mobile friendly enough. (10/8) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
Keeping Shop 
  • Are you a bad boss? Here's how to overcome your dark side
    It's all too easy to be a bad boss, writes Michelle McQuaid -- and your negative leadership affects the happiness and productivity of you and those around you. Fortunately, there are concrete but simple steps to reform and embrace a more positive approach to leadership. "I sleep much better at night, knowing that I've tried today to be a good boss," McQuaid writes. SmartBrief/SmartBlog on Leadership (10/9) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
  • Create a positive company culture
    Transparency and communication are key for creating a strong workplace culture, Curt Richardson of OtterBox writes. "If [employees] know more about the decisions being made and why they are being made, it's easier for them to understand how their role is relevant and brings worth." At Richardson's company, transparency is fostered through a bonus program that is based on company performance. Inc. online/Agent of Change blog (free registration) (10/9) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
Managing the Money 
  • Cash flow remains a problem, but owners turn down tech assists
    Small-business owners are becoming increasingly upbeat, but many companies still are dealing with cash-flow issues, according to a survey. Despite cash-flow concerns, many owners fail to use electronic invoicing or make phone calls to collect on past-due bills -- both of which could help get their money moving. (10/9) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
Tips & Tools 
  • Spur Facebook followers to share your posts
    You can encourage your Facebook followers to share your content by refraining from posting too frequently and understanding what will interest them, Stephanie Christensen writes. "Emotional images, provocative statements, inspiring quotes, and entertaining quizzes and video can all draw fans' attention on Facebook, but at the end of the day, you must understand your audience in order to recognize what it will deem share-worthy," she explains. Intuit Small Business Blog (10/9) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
  • Guard your brand against the risks of social media
    Social media provides some clear advantages for businesses, but it can also open companies up to criticism and the potential for reputational damage, writes Damian Herrington. Companies can manage these risks in several ways, such as by setting policies, responding carefully to customer complaints and keeping an eye on user-generated content. TechRepublic/CIO Insights blog (10/8) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
[S]tudies suggest the unhappiness inflicted by a bad boss decreases your effectiveness and undermines your performance, often resulting in reduced earnings, fewer promotions and reduced success at work."
--Michelle McQuaid, writing at SmartBlog on Leadership
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