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December 10, 2012
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Stories from the Street 
  • Cafe tries to recover from Sandy's devastation
    A bakeshop called Made Fresh Daily was one of many businesses pounded by Hurricane Sandy. However, with some help from volunteers, Jacqueline Goewey reopened her business within 13 days. "You have to look down and just get through it, because if you stop and worry, you can't get through the day," Goewey said. CNNMoney/Fortune (12/7) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
5 positive ways to respond to negative comments.
Social media is a great way to connect with your customers, but what do you do when the conversation takes a negative turn? With 5 tips, you can learn how to positively respond and help direct the conversation. Read the article and learn the 5 ways to respond positively.

Caring for Customers 
 
  • 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) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
The ROI of Privacy with TRUSTe Solutions
Investment in a Data Privacy Management Platform can deliver significant, positive financial returns for corporate bottom lines. The "Total Economic Impact (TEI) of TRUSTe" Study explains how Forrester Analysts calculated a 151% ROI for TRUSTe customers. Download the study now.

Keeping Shop 
  • 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) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
  • 7 ways to prepare your small business for the next disaster
    One way to determine whether your business is prepared to manage the next natural disaster is by spending a day working form your home. "With your office off-limits, what are you unable to do [remotely] for your business?" Ken Menken of Capalon Communications said. "The answers may surprise you, and you'll quickly know what you need to move or back up out of the office." You should also pick leaders to help guide your business through crises and consider using cloud-based technology. Entrepreneur online (12/6) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story

Managing the Money 
  • Protecting your business from cyberattacks
    Cyberattacks pose a very real risk for small businesses, which might have a substantial amount of money in the bank, writes BC Krishna, CEO of MineralTree. Small companies can help to protect themselves by understanding the threat and asking about their banks' security features. SmartBrief/SmartBlog on Finance (12/7) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
  • Using customer service to generate profit
    With some clever thinking, it's possible to offer customer service that actually generates profit for your company, writes John Jantsch. "The way to do this is make it a formal package, think about it like a product and offer it either as a tangible added value or as an à la carte offering," he writes. For example, you can hold regular question-and-answer sessions or create online courses to educate your customers. Duct Tape Marketing (12/7) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
Tips & Tools 
  • How to expand your network
    As a new business owner, you won't be able to immediately build relationships with top influencers such as Mark Zuckerberg or Martha Stewart -- but you should start to build your network by interacting with others in your field, Monika Jansen writes. "Do this by joining the Facebook and LinkedIn groups, Twitter hashtags, and influential blogs that are relevant to you and your industry," she advises. After establishing these connections, you can ask for introductions to help you meet other people in your industry, Jansen adds. NetworkSolutions.com (12/5) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
  • How to turn website visitors into customers
    You might be able to encourage your online visitors to become customers by writing attention-grabbing copy and including informative images and effective calls to action, writes Alexia McCormick. "Whether it's a button that takes them to another page or a form to fill out on the landing page, the call to action should be clear and simple," McCormick writes. Duct Tape Marketing (12/6) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
News You Can Use 
  • "Fiscal cliff" is causing uncertainty about payroll tax
    Uncertainty about the impending "fiscal cliff" is making it difficult for companies to prepare their payrolls for 2013. Employees have been paying 4.2% in payroll taxes during the past two years, but that rate could soon climb back up to 6.2%. Meanwhile, higher payroll taxes could also squeeze businesses by leaving consumers with less money to spend. CNNMoney (12/6), CNNMoney (12/7) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
Featured Content 
 

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.
SmartQuote 
Social media can be a great equalizer for small businesses."
--Melinda Emerson, founder and chief executive of Quintessence Multimedia, writing at The New York Times' You're the Boss blog.
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