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December 7, 2012
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Business news you can use from your Better Business Bureau®

  Trends & Trust 
  • Small businesses must start paying Google for office apps use
    Google has announced it will begin charging businesses with 10 or fewer employees $50 per year per user to use its Web-based office productivity applications, which the Web giant was previously offering for free. Though it will grandfather in the basic Google Apps for existing users, new users will get a premium version. "Businesses quickly outgrow the basic version and want things like 24/7 customer support and larger inboxes," Google explained on its company blog. Reuters (12/6) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • New Year's resolutions to help you start 2013 with a bang
    If you're looking for ways to improve your company in 2013, you can start by resolving to develop a new skill, get to know your customers and join a business organization, Lyndell Fogarty writes in this blog post. Such organizations "are a great way to keep up with advances in your field, contribute to the growth of your industry, make contacts and generate referrals and learn from others' strengths and skills," Fogarty writes. Dynamic Business online (Australia)/blog (12/6) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Protect your data before the next natural disaster strikes
    You can get ready for the next natural disaster by storing your business data on a separate hard drive from the one you use to boot up your computer, Dave Johnson writes. You should also have an off-site backup of your data and consider using cloud-based services, he recommends. CBS MoneyWatch (12/4) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Customer Satisfaction & Marketing 
  • How to resolve issues with disgruntled customers
    If a customer is displeased with your business, you should stay calm and ask him or her what you can do to resolve the issue, writes Tim Parker. Show empathy for the customer, and don't let company policy get in the way of finding a resolution. In some cases, despite your best effort, you simply won't be able to please a disgruntled customer. "Know when your investment of time and energy is probably not going to yield positive results. Thank the customer for his business and wish him well," Parker advises. Intuit Small Business Blog (12/5) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Make marketing gifts from photos of your business
    One way to make sure your customers continue to think about your business is to give them calendars or other supplies that feature photographs of your business, Helen Bradley writes. A company called Vistaprint can be used to create desk calendars; is a good place to go to make custom business cards, she adds. Small Business Computing (12/4) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Management & Leadership 
  • 5 tips for offering feedback that works
    To strike the right tone when providing feedback to employees, try advice that will directly help the company, and always find something positive to say, Maria Valdez Haubrich writes. When citing a poor performance, be sure to give "specifics as to what was done right or wrong and why this was helpful or hurtful," she writes. (12/6) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • 9 ways small employers can keep their stars
    Promoting from within, providing stimulating work and linking performance to bottom-line success are ways that small companies can hang onto their best employees, Samuel Bacharach writes. "Employees won't stay because of the size of the paycheck. They'll stay because they feel they are recognized, engaged, challenged, and part of a team," he writes. Inc. online (free registration) (12/5) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
Most small business owners know the importance of managing credit effectively and that a "one size fits all" model won't work. Use Managing Credit - Made Simpler to find the right credit management model for your business and to help identify strategies to ensure you are on top of your business's financial condition.
  Funding & Finance 
  • How to impress small-business lenders
    If you want to make a good first impression with loan officers, you can get started by preparing a description of your business, financial statements that describe your company's history and projections for the future, Mark Sunshine writes. If you are invited in for a second meeting, you probably made a good impression, he notes. Forbes/Great Speculations blog (12/6) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Business owners turn to alternative financing
    Some small-business owners are using alternative funding methods to build their companies. One such alternative, known as revenue-based funding, allows borrowers to repay loans by giving lenders a fixed percentage of their revenue every month. Another method, known as factoring, allows a company to get a cash advance by selling its invoices. Fox Business Small Business Center (12/5) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Featured Content 

  BBB in the News 
  • How to protect yourself when work is being done in your house
    One recent case in which a cable repairman is accused of assaulting a customer raises the question of what consumers can do to ensure they are safe when workers enter their homes. It's important for consumers to be comfortable with asking companies questions about the technicians they use, says BBB's Chris Thetford. For example, customers may want to ask whether a technician is employed by the company or is an independent contractor. KSDK-TV (St. Louis) (12/6) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
You will never find time for anything. If you want time you must make it."
--Charles Buxton,
British brewer, philanthropist, writer and legislator

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