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October 22, 2012
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Stories from the Street 
  • Organization fosters a vibrant Florida downtown
    As the new leader of the main street organization in Venice, Fla., Kat Quast is seeking to increase membership and to pursue the organization's mission of keeping the city's downtown area in good shape. "If downtown is strong and thriving, then the neighborhood is strong and thriving," Quast said. "They go hand in hand." Venice MainStreet sponsors as many as 40 events a year, which include craft festivals and a Halloween parade. Sarasota Herald-Tribune (Fla.) (10/17) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
Caring for Customers 
  • 5 ways to get more referrals from your customers, community
    To build more referrals, try to consider customers in terms of relationships more than a business transaction, and use the stories of satisfied clients as testimonials in your marketing, writes consultant Deborah Shane. Other tips: Ask regularly for referrals, be sure to network, and make referral-development a daily practice. Small Business Trends (10/19) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
  • You don't need a big budget to achieve social media success
    It's possible to create a successful social media marketing campaign without breaking the bank, Nick Matarazzo of Jumpstart Automotive Group writes. Marketers can make the most of social media by looking for opportunities to keep costs down and pursuing ideas that have the potential to engage customers. "Essentially, social media offers smart marketers the opportunity to turn a handful of people into an enormous labyrinth of loyal brand ambassadors," he writes. iMedia Connection (10/19) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
Keeping Shop 
  • 6 tips for working with recent graduates
    Recent graduates can be smart and adept at using technology, but they also might exhibit a sense of entitlement and be lacking in interpersonal skills, write Arthur Levine and Diane Dean, authors of "Generation on a Tightrope: A Portrait of Today's College Student." When hiring new graduates, it's important to be clear about your expectations and to be patient, they advise. "Don't assume that new employees are aware of what is and is not appropriate, or that they know how to complete even simple tasks by themselves." Forbes (10/18) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
  • 4 ways to ensure personality tests pay off
    If you use a personality test during your hiring process, make sure it can't be construed as discriminatory, and tailor it to the job you're looking to fill, Gwen Moran writes. "If you need a salesperson who is outgoing and good with people, you're probably going to be looking for a different personality type than someone who works with numbers in the office all day," says Paul Forti, founder of PCM Management Consultants. Entrepreneur online/The Daily Dose blog (10/17) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
Managing the Money 
  • You might be overpaying for your 401(k) plan
    If you're dealing with high fees linked to your 401(k) plan, you might be able to fix this problem by paying administrative and consulting costs directly and looking for the lowest expense ratios you can find. "Most likely, this will significantly reduce the fees paid by plan participants, giving a big boost to their retirement savings," said John Sciarra of National Retirement Services. CBS MoneyWatch (10/17) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
Tips & Tools 
  • Redesign of eBay is big news for small businesses
    The online auction site eBay is undergoing an overhaul, and the redesign has significant implications for small businesses, writes Kevin Casey. The new layout emphasizes the importance of images and gives merchants more opportunities to integrate their social media accounts, he notes. Additionally, buyers will be able to make purchases more quickly by connecting their PayPal and eBay accounts. Intuit Small Business Blog (10/18) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
News You Can Use 
  • A short guide to understanding the "fiscal cliff"
    The term "fiscal cliff" has worked its way into the national conversation in recent months, but what exactly does it mean? The fiscal cliff refers to a combination of tax increases and cuts in government spending that are scheduled to take place at the beginning of next year, Mike Periu explains. "Given the limited track record of bipartisan cooperation in recent times, the best we can hope for is a temporary delay in the implementation of new laws and a temporary extension to expiring laws to delay going over the fiscal cliff," he writes. OPEN Forum blogs (10/18) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
  • Survey: SMBs are vulnerable to cybersecurity threats
    A survey reveals small companies are not treating cyberthreats as a serious business issue requiring attention and spending and are relying on free antivirus and malware options that leave them vulnerable. "The reality is that free is not enough because the threats we're seeing today require a comprehensive approach," said Brian Burch, Symantec vice president. "Free antivirus ... is like wearing a light windbreaker in a snowstorm." E-Commerce Times (10/18) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
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.
  • [Social media] isn't designed for bragging about how great your business is. It's about enticing people to brag about your business for you.
    Nick Matarazzo, CEO of Jumpstart Automotive Group, writing at iMedia Connection LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story

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