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January 16, 2013
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Stories from the Street 
Check out the Social Buzz around Retail's BIG Show
SmartBrief's live coverage of Retail's BIG Show on Storify provides a curated collection of the best social media content about the show. See it now.
Caring for Customers 
 
  • What Super Bowl ads can teach you about marketing
    Super Bowl advertising is often creative, but companies still need to approach it strategically to achieve success, writes Steve McKee, president of McKee Wallwork & Co. In addition, some of the most effective Super Bowl ads are simple -- for example, Google's "Parisian Love" spot. "That one of the simplest Super Bowl commercials ever was created for a brand that deals with extreme complexity isn't just ironic; it's an inspiration for the rest of us who don't have money to burn," McKee writes. Bloomberg Businessweek (1/14) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
  • How to create a more customer-friendly return policy
    Crafting a return policy that caters to consumers' needs is essential for online retailers. You should give your customers a generous period of time in which to make returns and ensure that your policies are easy to understand. "When I click on your return policy, I don't want to see a three-page document," said Harley Finkelstein of Shopify. Entrepreneur online (1/14) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
6 Branding Tips to Look Like a Pro in the Inbox
If you're sending emails to customers, you want your messages to look good when they land in the inbox. Luckily, email marketing services like Constant Contact make it easy to look great in any inbox. Read this post to learn how you can brand your emails so that you look like a pro.
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Keeping Shop 
 
  • Are you your business' biggest problem?
    You may be hurting your business if you fail to fulfill your promises or if you refuse to delegate your responsibilities, writes Deanne Katz. "It doesn't matter how organized you are or how much time you have to devote to the business, at some point you have to share the work," Katz writes. FindLaw/Free Enterprise blog (1/14) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
  • 3 ways to juggle the roles of leader and manager
    If you want to become a better manager and leader, you should be honest and focus on delivering results, Emily Jasper writes. "Even if parts of your job are delegated to others, make sure they're delivering according to expectations." Also, look for ways to address issues that crop up at your company, she advises. The Starr Conspiracy (1/14) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
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Managing the Money 
  • Save or shred: A guide to financial-document management
    Financial documents are important, but you don't have to keep every piece of paper in perpetuity, professional organizer Regina Leeds says. For example, you can probably dispose of ATM receipts and monthly bank statements on a fairly regular basis. On the other hand, you should hold on to contractual agreements, property records and other documents that are critical for your business, says Greg Jones, CEO of Bookkeeping Express. Entrepreneur online/The Daily Dose blog (1/15) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
Tips & Tools 
  • A 12-month online marketing plan
    Creating a strong online presence for your brand is an intricate process, but you don't have to do it all at once, John Jantsch writes. He provides a 12-month plan for developing your presence, which starts with using tools such as Google Alerts and HootSuite to monitor what people are saying about your company. Later, you should focus on producing content that is easy to share and improving your e-mail newsletter. Duct Tape Marketing (1/14) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
  • How to select automation software for your business
    You can determine how automation software might be able to help your business by monitoring how employees are using their time, writes Curt Finch, CEO of Journyx. When picking automation software, you should look for tools that have a proven track record and that can be integrated with other programs, he advises. Small Business Trends (1/15) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
News You Can Use 
  • Business owners wait for government to finalize crowdfunding rules
    Equity-based crowdfunding has the potential to create a new funding source for cash-strapped entrepreneurs, but the Securities and Exchange Commission has yet to finish hammering out the rules to govern its use. "It seems like everything is at a standstill," said one congressional aide. Business owners likely won't be able to raise money through equity crowdfunding until later this year or early 2014, according to experts. Entrepreneur online (1/15) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
SmartQuote 
It's always better to get your prospects to draw their own conclusions, rather than trying to talk them into something."
--Steve McKee, president of McKee Wallwork & Co., writing at Bloomberg Businessweek
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