February 18, 2013
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Stories from the Street
How a retailer became a designer in search for perfect jeans
Sebastian McCall opened a jeans store in Philadelphia 15 years ago. In 2010, McCall worked with one of his vendors to create his own denim brand with the perfect fit for all sizes, and by the end of 2012, he had sold 16,000 pairs. "I grew up in a hair salon, and my mother always said, 'It's not how she looks when she walks in the door, watch the smile on her face as she leaves,' " McCall says. The Philadelphia Inquirer (2/18)
Caring for Customers
Using group coupon offers to build your business
You can make the most out of offering deals through sites such as Groupon and Living Social by incentivizing customers to spread the word about your brand and by gathering information about them, writes Connie Certusi, general manager of Sage's Small Business Solutions. "Make sure to capture your customers' information, and have systems in place to track not only your customers' contact information, but a record of their purchases," Certusi recommends. Small Business Computing (2/13)
Keeping Shop
How to keep employee morale high at your business
It's important to communicate with your employees, show them you care about their well-being and provide opportunities for your team members to interact with one another, write Karl Stark and Bill Stewart of Avondale. "There are many ways to provide 'family time' to your staff, including occasional happy hours, off-site meetings, or other team-building events," they note. Inc. online (free registration)/Herding Gazelles blog (2/15)
Managing the Money
Experts offer advice for filing business taxes
In this article, experts provide financial advice on a number of small-business tax topics, including tax credits, the Affordable Care Act and employee classification. CPA Vincenzo Villamena recommends reassessing classifications on a regular basis. "This is something that the IRS takes seriously and can be caught if you end a business relationship with a contractor in a bad way," Villamena says. B2C Marketing Insider/NerdWallet.com (2/14)
Tips & Tools
How to attract large corporate clients
Research suggests that small businesses can benefit from selling to corporate clients, but making connections with large companies can be challenging, writes Angelique Rewers. Get started by developing a clear marketing plan, focusing on companies in your area and creating a strong personal brand, she writes. The Washington Post/On Small Business blog (2/15)
How to pick the right platform for your marketing videos
You can set your company up for video marketing success by using a cloud-based platform that includes social-collaboration functionality, writes Jeff Fissel, KZO Innovations' vice president of solutions. He also recommends looking for a platform that is being updated and that will serve the needs of mobile users. MarketingProfs (2/14)
News You Can Use
Small-business provisions in the new defense act
The 2013 National Defense Authorization Act opens the door to a broader Small Business Administration mentor-protégé program. It gives the SBA the authority to create such a program for businesses that are not in the 8(a) program for economically or socially disadvantaged individuals. The act also increases transparency requirements for federal-government contractors who list small businesses as subcontractors. NationalDefenseMagazine.org (3/1)
Building a strong customer network lets you stay connected with your customers, paves the way for future offers and makes it easier for you to deliver a positive experience."
-- Connie Certusi, general manager of Sage's Small Business Solutions, writing at Small Business Computing
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