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January 28, 2013
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Marketing 
  • 4 things you need to know about social media marketing
    Social media has created plenty of new opportunities for businesses to build buzz, but you need to understand how customers use social media in order to make it a powerful marketing tool, writes Joe Cassara, founder and CEO of You Need My Guy. Fake online reviews can complicate the process, and customers won't necessarily search for your business on social sites, he notes. "For the most part, you still have to establish word of mouth before you can use these sites as new customer acquisition channels. RepCapitalMedia.com (1/24) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
  • Why SMBs shouldn't waste resources on cheap websites
    Pinching pennies when it comes to Web design simply isn't worth it, writes Melissa Fach. While it's possible to build a site on the cheap, it costs money to build a site that's optimized effectively and is easy for potential customers to find and use. "Cheap is never a good idea for a business. Don’t waste your time on cheap websites," Fach writes. Small Business Trends (1/24) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
Management 
  • Small-business staffing strategies that won't break the bank
    Finding the people you need to expand your business can be difficult if you don't have much money, but it is possible, writes Laura Roeder. You can start by hiring a part-time employee or creating an internship, she notes. "Even if you start with low-paid, internship, or part-time positions, look for people who have the potential to stick with you." Fast Company online (1/23) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
  • Help your employees stay strong in the face of stress
    You can help your employees to overcome the stress in their personal and professional lives by creating a positive culture at your business, writes Tony Schwartz. A supportive community has "the power to serve as a sanctuary -- to protect, ground and encourage us, not just in extreme circumstances, but also in the face of countless everyday challenges." Business Insider (1/26) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
Money 
  • Should you offer your employees health insurance?
    When deciding whether to offer health insurance at your business, you should think about what your employees want and remember that tax benefits may be available for doing so, experts say. However, as the implementation of the health care law continues, you may not want to make a decision just yet. "Do absolutely nothing until this shakes out," said health care consultant Robert Laszewski. Los Angeles Times (tiered subscription model) (1/27) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
Tips & Tools 
  • Don't let productivity destroy your life
    You should be careful not to ruin your personal life as you seek to achieve maximum productivity, writes Haim Pekel. "Sacrificing your personal life on the altar of productivity actually pushes you away from the main reasons you sought to be more productive in the first place." Lifehack.org (1/25) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
  • Choosing the perfect keyboard for your iPad
    A keyboard can be valuable accessory if you want to do some serious work on your iPad. This article lists five solid keyboard options, including the Logitech Tablet Keyboard, the Zagg Folio and the ClamCase. Lifehacker (1/27) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
Most Read 

Top five news stories selected by SmartBrief on Small Business readers in the past week.

  • Results based on number of times each story was clicked by readers.
Just for Fun 
  • These fish may fight, but not without proper etiquette
    Male betta fish are known almost as much for their aggressiveness toward one another as they are for their beauty, but it turns out that they have some tactical smarts as well. During a fight, when one betta goes to the surface for a breather, its opponent will follow suit. "[B]y both surface-breathing at the same time, neither of [the fish] are risking being attacked by the other during the ascent and descent from the surface," explained Steven Portugal of London's Royal Veterinary College. MentalFloss.com (1/25) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
SmartQuote 
You have to make sure that your staff is as perfect as you try to make your website and online marketing if you are hoping to make money."
--Melissa Fach, owner of SEOAware, writing at Small Business Trends
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 John Jantsch, Editor at Large
John Jantsch is author of "Duct Tape Marketing: The World's Most Practical Small Business Marketing Guide" and "The Referral Engine: Teaching Your Business to Market Itself." John is a marketing and digital technology coach and creator of the Duct Tape Marketing small-business marketing system.
 

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