February 14, 2013
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Stories from the Street
Va. business owner raises wages at Obama's suggestion
In his State of the Union address Tuesday, President Barack Obama urged Congress to raise the federal minimum wage from $7.25 to $9. Kelly Wilson, owner of 3D Sports in Virginia, was listening to the speech and decided on the spot to raise her employees' hourly to pay to $9. "I'm not trying to set a trend," she said. "I'm trying to do what is right." Some conservatives say a higher minimum wage would lead to job losses, while some liberals say it would help low-wage workers. The Christian Science Monitor (2/13)
Caring for Customers
How one CEO made a tough decision to maintain consumer trust
When Edward Harness was CEO of Procter & Gamble, he chose to withdraw a product that some consumers worried was related to an ailment known as toxic shock syndrome, according to current CEO Bob McDonald. "If your company is an institution, based on trust with the consumer, you can't take the risk," explained McDonald, who emphasized the importance of doing the right thing for consumers. American City Business Journals/Cincinnati/Cincy Biz Blog (2/8)
Keeping Shop
Handling romantic relationships among employees
Workplace romances can be problematic, but banning them outright probably isn't realistic, according to Di Ann Sanchez, founder of DAS HR Consulting. A better approach is to create a policy requiring employees to disclose their relationships and agree to certain expectations about behavior in the office. Entrepreneur online/The Daily Dose blog (2/13)
Why you should try to keep talented workers from leaving
Some employers see their workers as replaceable, but Amy Rees Anderson argues that this is not always true. The most talented workers are more important to a company's success than its technology or products, she writes. Replacing a great worker is costly and creates a gap in institutional knowledge, and the worker's departure could cause other employees and clients to wonder what went wrong. Forbes (2/13)
Managing the Money
4 things to consider when selling your business
The way you go about selling your business should depend on your goals, writes Mike Handelsman of BizBuySell.com and BizQuest.com. You should consider whether a noncompete clause will interfere with your plans to make money in the future, for example, and you should expect a lower price if you want to sell to family members or employees. Inc. online (free registration)/BizBuySell.com (2/13)
Tips & Tools
Tap your employees for content marketing
Your own employees could be your greatest source of content marketing, writes Jeff Haden. Embrace their individual voices rather than forcing them into a house style. Let all the departments participate. Set the rules and let employees play, rather than edit them into frustration. Be sure to use the employee's social connections to good advantage, Haden writes. Inc. online (free registration)/Owners' Manual blog (2/13)
Beating the big brands at search engine marketing
Small businesses can compete with big brands when it comes to search marketing, writes Bob Sturges. National companies have many advantages, but SMBs often have an edge when it comes to locally targeted search campaigns. Small Business Trends (2/13)
News You Can Use
Small businesses feel dour about prospects
While larger businesses are on a path to recovery, many small businesses feel left behind. Small-business owners are increasingly pessimistic about their prospects, largely because of a greater regulatory burden, including the health care law. Another concern is lending, which is still tight. The New York Times (tiered subscription model) (2/13), The New York Times (tiered subscription model)/You're the Boss blog (2/13)
Until the small-business sector starts to feel better, the rest of the economy isn't going to feel much better either."
-- Ian Shepherdson, chief economist at Pantheon Macroeconomic Advisors, as quoted by The New York Times
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