Businesses are using more independent contractors despite payroll audits | 5 tips for more effective content marketing | Why trust is critical for employee productivity
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March 14, 2013
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Stories from the Street
Businesses are using more independent contractors despite payroll audits
Small companies are relying increasingly on independent contractors, even as the Internal Revenue Service cracks down on employers who have incorrectly classified their workers. "As economic situations get tougher, that's when everyone is looking to cut costs," according to Lisa Petkun, a partner at the law firm Pepper Hamilton. "It's significantly cheaper to have an independent contractor." The standards for determining whether a worker is an employee or an independent contractor can be confusing, which may contribute to improper classification. The Wall Street Journal (3/13)
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Caring for Customers
How to make your small business seem bigger
You may be able to attract more customers to your small business if you make your company seem a little bigger than it actually is, writes Bryan Janeczko, founder of startup consulting firm Wicked Start. You can project a big-company feel in several ways, such as by installing a phone system with multiple extensions, setting up a website and using high-quality business cards. SCORE Small Business Success Blog (3/13)
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5 tips for more effective content marketing
Your content marketing initiatives will be more successful if you develop a plan and strive to understand your target audience, writes Katherine Duncan. "Study your prospective audience to determine their needs and interests so you can appeal to them in an entertaining manner," she recommends. Offer a variety of content, and use social media to attract attention to the content you have created. Entrepreneur online (3/13)
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Keeping Shop
Why trust is critical for employee productivity
If you want to encourage employees to dedicate themselves to improving your company, you have to show that you trust them, writes Tony Schwartz, president and CEO of The Energy Project. For this reason, Schwartz allows some of his employees to work from home when necessary. "In over a decade, no employee has ever chosen to leave our company. The better you meet people's needs, the better they'll meet yours," he writes. Harvard Business Review online/HBR Blog Network (3/13)
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Tips for building more productive teams
Before assembling a team to handle a business project, identify a clear set of objectives, according to Richard Spoon, founder of ArchPoint Consulting. It is also helpful to determine what sorts of roles will need to be filled and how the team will go about accomplishing its task. Entrepreneur online (3/13)
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Managing the Money
Keep your clients informed while selling your company
You have an obligation to communicate with your clients when you prepare for the sale of your company, writes Curtis Kroeker. "You want your customers to be well informed and to base their decisions on facts so the earlier you can communicate information to important clients, the better," he writes. Start by reaching out to key clients, and try to address the questions your customers may have, he recommends. Inc. online (free registration) (3/13)
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Tips & Tools
Google offers information to help companies recover from online attacks
Google has developed a free resource that informs business owners about what to do after they have been hacked. Among other topics, Google's "Help for Hacked Sites" explains how to evaluate the damage and identify the security weakness. "The most valuable service is helping a site owner to get their bearings and determine how to move forward after they hear the news that their site was hacked," according to Maile Ohye, who is on Google's Webmaster Support Team. Inc. online (free registration) (3/13)
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Plan ahead to mitigate the impact of computer failure
It's impossible to predict exactly when a computer failure will occur, but there are certain steps you should take to prepare for such an event, writes Dave Johnson. Create multiple backups -- one local, one remote in case of an event such as a fire -- and develop a checklist to help you get back up and running after your computer kicks the bucket. Finally, be sure to implement only one upgrade at a time so issues are more easily fixed. CBS MoneyWatch (3/13)
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News You Can Use
What small businesses should know about mobile technology
Mobile search has surged in popularity, and it is likely to remain a key part of the advertising puzzle in the future, writes Larry Kim, founder of WordStream. The infographic included with this article provides a quick summary of 20 of Google's mobile products. Small Business Trends (3/12)
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SmartQuote
A small and closely knit team can be just as effective as a large employee force."
-- Bryan Janeczko, founder of Wicked Start, writing at the SCORE Small Business Success Blog.
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