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December 24, 2012
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Stories from the Street 
  • Small-business groups plead for "fiscal cliff" deal
    The Small Business Majority and the Main Street Alliance held meetings with small business owners Thursday to urge Congress to avoid the "fiscal cliff," including automatic tax hikes on middle income earners. A deal is needed to give more economic certainty to small-business owners, the groups said. "If folks' taxes go back up and the middle-class family is looking at two to three thousand dollars in additional taxes, those are the margins in dollars that really make a huge difference in our industry," said Susquehanna Glass owner Walt Rowen. Entrepreneur online/The Daily Dose blog (12/20) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
Caring for Customers 
  • 5 tips for a great business blog
    Company blogs are often the first point of interaction for many new customers, but many businesses fail to keep their blogs as enthusiastic and up to date as possible, Jack Adams writes. He recommends rotating writers to keep content fresh and exciting, maintaining a professional tone no matter what you're writing about, and having a meeting at the beginning of each month to generate ideas for blog posts. (U.K.) (12/17) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
  • Delta shows businesses how not to apologize
    The recent response by Delta Air Lines to an incident in which flight attendants humiliated a double-amputee Marine Corps veteran while he boarded a flight shows that no company can overcome a major public relations problem without an immediate, believable and unqualified apology, writes CBS commentator Michael Hess. He goes on to criticize Delta for making excuses and writing an apology that was "predictably corporate and bloated." CBS MoneyWatch (12/20) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
Keeping Shop 
  • Embrace technology and employees to build a better 2013
    Businesses should embrace technology, restart their innovation efforts and invest in their employees, Paul Segre writes. Using the cloud and better analyzing data will be top technology trends for businesses next year, and companies can begin investing in themselves again as the economy recovers. Better training and coaching of employees can also improve business. "Motivated and engaged agents ultimately translate into superior experiences for the customer and by reducing attrition, dramatically lower training and recruiting expenses," Segre concludes. (12/20) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
Managing the Money 
  • Innovative strategies for saving money in 2013
    Rebate programs, working from home and teaming up with other businesses can save small-business owners money in 2013, Gwen Moran writes. Participating in loyalty programs from Staples and Office Depot can save money on office supplies, letting employees work from home can save on office space, and partnering with other businesses when ordering things like business cards can save on shipping costs. Entrepreneur online (12/21) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
Tips & Tools 
  • Lessons from Instagram's privacy-policy problems
    The outcry from users after Instagram announced changes to its terms of service is a cautionary tale for other businesses with an online presence, writes lawyer Deanne Katz. To avoid Instagram's mistakes, companies should post their privacy policies in plain English that avoids legal jargon, tell customers specifically what has changed with each update and address customers who have concerns about changes. FindLaw/Free Enterprise blog (12/19) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
  • Mobile, social were top technologies for SMBs in 2012
    Small businesses' customers are embracing social media and mobile technologies -- and that's leaving SMBs with no choice but to follow suit, Rieva Lesonsky writes. Studies show that in 2012 many SMB owners actually wished they could spend less time using these technologies, Lesonsky notes. "But they can’t, because that’s where the customers are." ReadWrite (12/19) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
Featured Content 

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.
Editor's Note 
  • SmartBrief will not publish Tuesday
    In observance of Christmas, SmartBrief will not publish Tuesday. Publication will resume Wednesday. Enjoy the holiday! LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
Winter is the time for comfort, for good food and warmth, for the touch of a friendly hand and for a talk beside the fire: it is the time for home."
--Edith Sitwell,
British poet and critic

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