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January 4, 2013
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Stories from the Street 
  • Train closures could take a toll on N.Y. business owners
    Some business owners and residents who live along the route traveled by the No. 7 train between New York's Long Island City and Flushing are concerned about the potential impact of a plan to suspend service on the weekends between now and March 25. Sheila Lewandowski, co-founder of the Chocolate Factory, noted that the theater is expecting to put on shows on some of those weekends. "If the audiences can't get here, what are we saying to our artists?" Queens Chronicle (N.Y.) (1/3) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
Caring for Customers 
  • How to have productive conversations with your customers
    When talking to potential clients, it's important to show them you care before launching into a sales pitch, according to Geoffrey James. Also, treat customers as your equals instead of talking down to them and be willing to share personal details with your clients. CBS MoneyWatch (1/3) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
  • Other News
Keeping Shop 
  • 10 tips for boosting your business this year
    You can improve your business in 2013 by listening to employees' ideas, identifying new ways to generate income and focusing on the aspects of running your company that you are passionate about, experts say. "If you don't love what you're doing, you're never going to work hard enough to be one of the best," said Ken Blanchard, co-author of "The One Minute Manager." Entrepreneur online (1/2) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
  • 7 tips for becoming a better interviewer
    If you're getting ready to interview candidates for a job opening, start by reading over their applications and developing a list of questions, Karen Axelton writes. "Instead of questions that can be answered with 'yes' or 'no,' ask questions that require an explanation or call on the candidate to elaborate," she advises. Also, don't use your computer or engage in any other activity that could distract you during the interview. (1/3) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
Managing the Money 
  • Get your customers to pay faster
    You can help make sure your customers pay you in a timely fashion by creating written copies of payment terms, itemizing your invoices and developing relationships, Tim Parker writes. "People who know you as a person will do their best to make sure you are paid. Especially if they know you as a nice person," he writes. Intuit Small Business Blog (1/3) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
Tips & Tools 
  • For Google's users, not sharing is no longer an option
    Google is taking a more aggressive approach to persuading people to use Google+, with users who sign up for tools such as Gmail, YouTube and Zagat automatically getting a public profile on the social network. That strategy helps Google gather information about users' online behavior, potentially opening the door to more lucrative ad targeting. The Wall Street Journal (1/2) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
  • Top tools for creating "screencasts"
    If you want to show off your website or explain how a product works, a "screencast," which tracks the activity on your computer screen, can be a useful tool. You can produce "screencasts" by using free tools such as Screencast-o-matic, Screenr or Jing, Cynthia Boris writes. Entrepreneur online/The Daily Dose blog (1/3) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
News You Can Use 
  • Small-business owners face taxes, health care law
    Some small-business owners will have to deal with higher taxes this year, and the implementation of President Barack Obama's health care law is set to continue. Company owners who exceed the 50-employee threshold in the law will have to decide whether to provide insurance or pay a penalty beginning in 2014. "It's when you are running something with 40 employees that is where you have to be careful, because there are significant costs for crossing the threshold," said Edmund F. Haislmaier of the Heritage Foundation. Fox Business Small Business Center (1/3) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
  • The effectiveness of small-business lending programs
    The Government Accountability Office has issued a report analyzing the efficacy of the Small Business Lending Fund and the State Small Business Credit Initiative. Banks that participated in the SBLF program were able to increase their overall business lending by 31%. However, the GAO has pointed out there have been reporting problems with both programs. Small Business Trends (1/3) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
The 'good old days' of uninformed and disconnected buyers ain't coming back."
--Michael Brenner, senior director of marketing and content strategy at SAP, writing at Forbes' SAPVoice blog
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