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January 28, 2013
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Stories from the Street 
  • Small-business owners take a practical approach to expansion
    For small-business owners such as Sharon Brown, the decision to grow comes only after plenty of careful consideration. Brown, owner of Brown Electric, recently moved her business into a new space in Pendleton, N.Y., and expanded her staff. "Our small businesses, they're going to expand when they see an increase in demand for their products and services, period," explained Victoria Reynolds, a deputy district director for the Small Business Administration in Buffalo, N.Y. The Buffalo News (N.Y.) (1/27) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
Caring for Customers 
  • 4 things you need to know about social media marketing
    Social media has created plenty of new opportunities for businesses to build buzz, but you need to understand how customers use social media in order to make it a powerful marketing tool, writes Joe Cassara, founder and CEO of You Need My Guy. Fake online reviews can complicate the process, and customers won't necessarily search for your business on social sites, he notes. "For the most part, you still have to establish word of mouth before you can use these sites as new customer acquisition channels. (1/24) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
  • Tips for creating a top-notch website for your business
    Simplicity is essential when designing an online presence for your business, writes Ramon Ray. "The key to keeping customers around is providing quick load times and straightforward menus," he writes. You should also keep your website updated and make sure your content is brief enough to hold your customers' attention, he writes. (1/24) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
Keeping Shop 
  • Small-business staffing strategies that won't break the bank
    Finding the people you need to expand your business can be difficult if you don't have much money, but it is possible, writes Laura Roeder. You can start by hiring a part-time employee or creating an internship, she notes. "Even if you start with low-paid, internship, or part-time positions, look for people who have the potential to stick with you." Fast Company online (1/23) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
  • 3 reasons you shouldn't flip out
    Too many bosses throw epic tantrums when things don't go their way, writes Scott Eblin. Freaking out will certainly get your workers' attention, but at the cost of lost productivity, a more toxic business culture, and a sharp decline in your employees' enthusiasm and energy. "When the freak out is an executive's go to move, the people around him or her eventually disengage," Eblin warns. Level Blog (1/24) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
Managing the Money 
  • Should you offer your employees health insurance?
    When deciding whether to offer health insurance at your business, you should think about what your employees want and remember that tax benefits may be available for doing so, experts say. However, as the implementation of the health care law continues, you may not want to make a decision just yet. "Do absolutely nothing until this shakes out," said health care consultant Robert Laszewski. Los Angeles Times (tiered subscription model) (1/27) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
Tips & Tools 
  • Why SMBs shouldn't waste resources on cheap websites
    Pinching pennies when it comes to Web design simply isn't worth it, writes Melissa Fach. While it's possible to build a site on the cheap, it costs money to build a site that's optimized effectively and is easy for potential customers to find and use. "Cheap is never a good idea for a business. Don’t waste your time on cheap websites," Fach writes. Small Business Trends (1/24) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
  • Cheap and free solutions for file management
    Managing files on your computer can be tricky, but inaction can be costly as unused files clutter up your hard drive and potentially expose your personal information to data thieves, writes Erez Zukerman. However, tools such as DropIt, RoboBasket and SortMyBox can help you to manage your files without spending a fortune, he writes. PCWorld (1/23) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
News You Can Use 
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.
When an executive freaks out, productivity goes out the window."
--Scott Eblin, writing at's Next Level Blog
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