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December 11, 2012
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Stories from the Street 
  • Small-business owners share space to save money
    Some small-business owners are sharing space with other companies to manage costs and make it through the turbulent economy. For example, Hattie Keyes is renting space within an antique shop owned by another woman. "I didn't have to acquire my own space or work out electricity and all the little things that come with owning your own shop," Keyes said. WCCB-TV (Charlotte, N.C.) (12/8) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
Caring for Customers 
  • 5 steps to launching a content-marketing campaign
    Getting started with content marketing can be intimidating, but it's important to just jump right in, writes Steven Jones. "There is no mystery to creating content. Start with a single, simple idea, and begin building," he advises. Demonstrate your enthusiasm for your business, and make sure you stay consistent with your content-marketing efforts. B2C Marketing Insider (12/10) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
  • How to promote your American-made merchandise
    If your products are manufactured in the U.S., it's a good idea to emphasize that fact in your marketing materials. "We get business based on our commitment to producing here, and we showcase this in our catalog, in our trade show booths and in every magazine we advertise in," said Stephanie Webb, CEO of Seedling Kids. Make sure you highlight the impact your company is having on keeping jobs in the U.S. Entrepreneur online (12/7) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
Keeping Shop 
  • Preparing a business plan that works
    To craft a successful business plan, set goals but be willing to change the way you reach them when circumstances are less than ideal, writes business author Steve Wilkinghoff. He advises business owners to plan their big, overarching goal, craft a rough outline of how to achieve it, and then adopt a stance of flexibility in order to adapt to unexpected events. Small Business Trends (12/7) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
  • Do your employees need help this holiday season?
    Many companies reach out to those in need during the holiday season, but business owners might not realize this group might include their own employees, Stacey Alcorn writes. "The courage it takes to ask your team if anyone needs help for the holidays pales in comparison to the valor it takes to be the one to ask for help," she writes. The Huffington Post (12/7) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
Managing the Money 
  • What not to do when you offer free shipping
    Offering free shipping can be a good way to boost sales, but it shouldn't be the only tactic you use to promote your business. "You are selling the product; you are not selling free shipping," said shipping expert Chris Malta. It's also a mistake to assume that free shipping is all your customers want; they might prefer other types of promotions. Entrepreneur online (12/10) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
Tips & Tools 
  • The best way to make mobile-friendly content
    Mobile devices are becoming an increasingly popular way to access content, so it's important that you respond to this trend, John Jantsch writes. One good option for catering to mobile devices is to use so-called "responsive design," which can adapt design elements to suit mobile viewers. "In my view, this is the approach that most websites should employ today," he writes. Duct Tape Marketing (12/10) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
  • A device that turns your iPhone into a projector
    The ipico Hand-held Projector can allow users to project information from their iPhones onto nearby walls while giving presentations. The ipico costs $129 and its battery charge will last for about 90 minutes of run-time, according to the company. CBS MoneyWatch (12/6) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
News You Can Use 
  • Bad online reviews are bringing businesses to court
    Some business owners have resorted to suing their customers over negative reviews. Customers might be held liable for untruthful and damaging comments, but opinion-based posts are probably protected, writes Andrew Lu. In addition, suing customers can be risky from a public-relations standpoint, writes Lindsay LaVine. "On the one hand, business owners have a reputation to uphold," she writes. "On the other, a lawsuit against a customer can be viewed as a David vs. Goliath battle, with the customer in the role of underdog." FindLaw/Free Enterprise blog (12/7), Entrepreneur online/The Daily Dose blog (12/10) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
  • How a tax hike could affect small-business owners
    If a tax hike is used as part of the government's plan to avert the "fiscal cliff," that could be a problem for small-business owners such as David Curliss. "What it absolutely means is less cash for growth in my business," he said. "In the worst-case scenario, it means we let someone go or have to reduce benefits." President Barack Obama wants to raise rates on high-earning individuals as part of a "fiscal cliff" deal. Obama has noted the overwhelming majority of small businesses would not experience a tax hike. ABC News (12/7) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
Featured Content 

Embrace events as they unfold, be flexible and willing to change your plans to take advantage of opportunities and avoid getting hurt by unexpected developments."
--Steve Wilkinghoff, writing at Small Business Trends
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