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November 27, 2012
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Problem. Solved. 
  • When to bring an IT pro on staff
    Staff members at Brave Control Solutions, an electrical-engineering firm, have been handling IT challenges as they arise, but hiring a dedicated official could help to address these issues. However, there might not be enough work to keep a full-time IT expert busy. As a result, experts recommend the company consider working with an outside firm and using cloud-based services. The Globe and Mail (Toronto) (tiered subscription model) (11/21) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
  • Holiday marketing tips from Christmases past
    Your holiday marketing campaign might be more successful if it focuses on your ability to solve your customers' problems or taps into the spirit of season, writes Stacey Acevero, the social media manager at Vocus and PRWeb. She includes examples of memorable campaigns by Target, eBay and other brands. MarketingProfs (11/26) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
  • Expert tips for using LinkedIn to generate leads
    You can make the most of your company's LinkedIn page as a lead-generation tool by writing relevant updates and seeking recommendations for your products and services, according to Neal Schaffer. It's also a good idea to become active on LinkedIn Groups and to focus on developing content that addresses your customers' questions. (11/26) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
  • Put poor performers back on the right track
    Research shows managers often spend one day a week focused on underperforming employees, but that time suck can be eliminated through immediate corrective action instead of waiting until a performance review, says Paul McDonald, senior executive director at Robert Half. Once the employee is given appropriate feedback and improvements are made, recognize it to "increase the chances that the improvement will continue," he says. Inc. online (free registration) (11/26) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
  • Don't toss these vital business documents
    You're bound to accumulate lots of paperwork as you run your business, but some documents are truly important, Tim Parker writes. In particular, you should hold on to documents that are related to your intellectual property or that are necessary for tax purposes. You should also store copies of your contracts with vendors, he writes. Intuit Small Business Blog (11/26) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
  • Be careful using credit cards to fund your company
    Using credit cards to provide the initial funding for your small business can be a risky proposition, writes Odysseas Papadimitriou, founder of Evolution Finance. "The fact that you have to begin paying back what you owe from day one means that, unless you become profitable quickly, you could easily find yourself overburdened by interest and vulnerable to the whims of the economy," he writes. If things go south, your personal credit score could also be in jeopardy, he notes. Inc. online/Cashing In blog (free registration) (11/20) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
Tips & Tools 
  • How to establish your business' brand
    Branding is a key consideration for small businesses and it doesn't have to cost a fortune. You can get started with building your company's brand by launching a blog, getting active on social media and paying attention to what people are saying about you. It's important to be genuine in your conversations with customers. (11/26) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
  • Resources to help optimize your website
    Before you can begin optimizing your website to generate more conversions, you will need a significant amount of Web traffic and the ability to track key metrics, Tom Demers of Measured SEM writes. You can then use tools such as, Optimizely and Unbounce to help you test your ideas and optimize your site, he writes. Small Business Trends (11/26) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
  • Keys for hiring top-notch tech talent
    It's a good idea to have prospective developers describe their methodology before you hire them to work on a project for you, according to Nick Reese of Elite Health Blends. "The best programmers are often good communicators," he notes. It's also wise to give developers a code test and to rely on advisers when making a hire if you lack technical knowledge, entrepreneurs say. Entrepreneur Council (11/23) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
Featured Content 

Just for Fun 
  • Black Friday isn't the only "black" day
    Black Friday isn't the only day to have been given a "black" epithet over the years, writes M. Asher Cantrell. History buffs will recall Black Sunday, which marks a huge dust storm in 1935; Black Thursday, a day in 1943 when a record number of U.S. planes were shot down over Germany; and Black Saturday, the day in 1962 on which the Cuban missile crisis reached its climax. (11/23) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
[B]y recognizing improvement, you increase the chances that the improvement will continue."
--Paul McDonald, senior executive director at Robert Half, as quoted by Inc. online's Start Me Up blog
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 John Jantsch, Editor at Large
John Jantsch is author of "Duct Tape Marketing: The World's Most Practical Small Business Marketing Guide" and "The Referral Engine: Teaching Your Business to Market Itself." John is a marketing and digital technology coach and creator of the Duct Tape Marketing small-business marketing system.

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