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February 1, 2013
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Business news you can use from your Better Business Bureau®

  Trends & Trust 
  • Acknowledgement, recognition can nurture employee trust
    Many people don't trust business leaders, research has found, but companies may be able to overcome this by recognizing and acknowledging their employees, writes Ty Kiisel. Acknowledging your staff may seem awkward at first, but it's important to do it anyway. "I'm convinced that the value of our employees is less about what they do and more about who they are," he writes. Forbes (1/30) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • How technology helps small businesses get ahead
    If you're having a hard time getting your work done when you're on the go, mobile technology can help, writes Lisa Wirthman. Meanwhile, analytics services can tell you whether your marketing efforts are delivering results. "Companies that figure out how to harness and turn data into insights most effectively will gain huge competitive advantages," the 2012 SMB Routes to Market Study reported. Forbes/Capital One Spark blog (1/30) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Customer Satisfaction & Marketing 
  • Maintaining your good reputation online
    It's natural to want to defend your business when upset customers post negative comments on social media. But knowing when to respond and when to walk away is key, writes Christopher Null. Sometimes responding will simply encourage stubborn commenters to continue posting. Consider a more positive approach and bury the negative comment with new posts of your own, he writes. PCWorld (1/25), CBS MoneyWatch (1/31) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • What small-business owners should know about advertising
    If your small business serves a limited geographic area, it's a good idea to network with other company owners to get referrals, writes Saad Ahmed. It's also important to remember that customer retention is critical. "Advertising is far more effective when you reach existing customers" rather than trying to attract new ones, he writes. Small Business Trends (1/29) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Management & Leadership 
  • How to tap your workers' underused talents
    More than six out of 10 American workers surveyed say they feel underutilized in their jobs, but how can bosses uncover their teams' hidden talents and put them to better use? Laura Vanderkam advises spending time getting to know your workers, being more open to the initiatives they suggest and pushing people to take more responsibility for their projects. CBS MoneyWatch (1/31) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Protecting your customers in the event of a security breach
    Your business might have legal liability if the information you keep about customers falls into the wrong hands, writes Deanne Katz. "At a minimum, you should have security systems in place to protect clients' personal data," Katz writes. "If those fail, it's your responsibility to notify customers of the potential harm and what was stolen in the breach." FindLaw/Free Enterprise blog (1/30) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
Most small business owners know the importance of managing credit effectively and that a "one size fits all" model won't work. Use Managing Credit - Made Simpler to find the right credit management model for your business and to help identify strategies to ensure you are on top of your business's financial condition.
  Funding & Finance 
  • The benefits of incorporating your company
    Incorporating your company can protect your personal finances and can help you build credibility with customers and other businesses, writes E.J. Dealy, CEO of The Company Corporation. "Consumers, vendors, and partners frequently prefer to do business with an incorporated company," he writes. Fox Business Small Business Center (1/31) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Determining what your business is worth
    While many business owners don't take time to calculate the value of their businesses until they're considering a sale, some are turning to online services to keep up with what they are worth on an ongoing basis. Business brokers and certified appraisers can offer more detailed valuations. No matter which approach you take, it's a good idea to understand how valuations are determined, writes Mark Cohen, who offers a primer. The New York Times (tiered subscription model) (1/30) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • How to develop a growth strategy for your company
    As you develop a plan to guide your business' growth, you should focus on seven key elements, writes John Jantsch. Among other things, you should seek to define the characteristics of your ideal customer and identify your business' top priorities. Having too many goals can derail growth, he notes, adding that most businesses "can only focus on a couple of initiatives" at a time. Duct Tape Marketing (1/29) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  BBB in the News 
  • Watch out for new credit card surcharge
    Businesses in Michigan and 39 other states can now charge their customers credit card transaction fees. Because of this, BBB of Western Michigan recommends that consumers carry an alternative method of payment if they don't want to pay the additional fee. Businesses that plan to add the surcharge must clearly display that they are doing so. WSJV-TV (South Bend, Ind.) (1/29) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
Never confuse a single defeat with a final defeat."
--F. Scott Fitzgerald,
American writer

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