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October 1, 2012
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  Top Story 
 
  • Hopes for U.S. rebound fade as global trade slips
    Key indicators signal a broad drop in the volume of global trade, undercutting the chances of exports giving the U.S. economic recovery a helping hand. The World Trade Organization forecasts a 2.5% growth in global trade this year, compared with 5% in 2011. The CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis, an agency of the Dutch government, said global trade contracted in June and July. The Wall Street Journal (10/1) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
Kawasaki Produces Lawncare's First SAE-Certified Engine
In an industry-leading move, Kawasaki Engines are the first small engines power-rated per strict SAE J2723 specifications. The new Critical Power standard delivers at least 98% of rated output, ensuring optimum performance from critical lawncare equipment. Learn more here.
  Industry Buzz 
 
  • Business evaporates for some plant nurseries
    The recession has hit the nursery industry hard and as many as 30% of nurseries in the U.S. have closed their doors over the past five years, according to Charlie Hall, a horticulture professor at Texas A&M University. Companies are struggling to keep their business afloat as the housing market wobbles, baby boomers move into condominiums and customers select hardscaping instead of plant materials. The Philadelphia Inquirer (9/30) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Perfect timing is key to the successful use of a rototiller
    Rototilling breaks down the structure of the soil and does nothing to add value to the dirt, writes Tom Heald, managing partner of the Wyoming Plant Co. Instead of rototilling in the spring, Heald suggests doing it in the fall so the soil has a chance to recover. He also suggests irrigating it before tilling if it's dry and adding up to 4 inches of dead leaves before using the rototiller to add nutrients the soil needs. Star-Tribune (Casper, Wyo.) (9/30) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
Aflac now offers packages for brokers like you that help maximize revenue.
The shifting insurance landscape may change broker commissions. But at Aflac, it's for the better. Guaranteed-issue group products, commissions and service. It may be more than you expect, but with Aflac anything is possible. Learn more at aflac.com/brokers.

  Economic Indicators 
FEATURED ARTICLE: 10 Small-Business Predictions for 2015
Things are looking up for small businesses in 2015. We count down the 10 ways you can get ahead in the New Year. Read the article.

  Hot Topics 

Top five news stories selected by OPEI SmartBrief readers in the past week.

  • Results based on number of times each story was clicked by readers.
  Inside & Out 
  • 3 tips to get your customers to read e-mail from you
    If your prospects ignore your e-mail marketing messages, try using graphics to add visual interest, writes Diahana Barnes of LearnEASE. It's also important to let some of your personality shine through in your messages, she writes. "[T]ry to design the email as closely as possible to the experience the individual would have if they were receiving it as a presentation in person." B2C Marketing Insider (9/25) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Keep it simple to foster strategic success
    Complexity is a sign of bad strategy, write Donald Sull and Kathleen M. Eisenhardt. A good strategy can be simmered down into basic rules that make execution more manageable. "Simple rules represent the beating heart of strategy. When applied to a critical bottleneck, carefully crafted, and used in a mindful manner, they can guide the activities that matter," they write. Harvard Business Review online/HBR Blog Network (9/27) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Policy Update 
  • How Obama and Romney say they'll handle government regulations
    Research shows that many small-business owners are worried about the potential impact of regulations imposed by the government. Since President Barack Obama took office, the health care overhaul and other pieces of legislation have added to the regulatory framework; however, Obama has also initiated a governmentwide review intended to identify potentially counterproductive rules. Meanwhile, Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney has said he would streamline the process for issuing oil-drilling permits and work to roll back regulations passed on Obama's watch. Entrepreneur online (9/25) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  SmartQuote 
Inspiration exists, but it has to find us working."
--Pablo Picasso,
Spanish artist


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