February 15, 2013
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Stories from the Street
E-commerce orders prove costly, some florists say
Some florists say they actually lose money when fulfilling orders from e-commerce services such as FTD or 1-800-Flowers, which can make Valentine's Day an especially expensive time. "If all orders came in this way, our business would not be sustainable," said Mike Fiannaca, owner of two flower shops. The e-commerce groups disagree, saying their services give florists the chance to make a profit and increase their customer base. CNNMoney (2/14)
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Caring for Customers
Video-marketing tips from a YouTube success
Wasp Barcode's YouTube page now has more than 1 million views -- not bad for a "super nonsexy product," says Jeremy Vest, the scanner-maker's online manager. That's a sign it's possible for any business to make a splash on video-sharing sites, Vest says. "There are a lot of safe bets for small business and video," he says. For example, creating a how-to video isn't difficult and can establish authority for your business. MarketingSherpa (2/14)
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A new way to gauge the performance of Facebook ads
Facebook's new "conversion measurement" feature provides more valuable insight into the performance of advertising on the social network, writes Amy Porterfield. The tool allows companies to target their ads and fine-tune their strategy. "[W]hen the data shows that a particular ad is collecting leads at a rate and price per lead you are satisfied with, you can more confidently continue to direct ad dollars to that specific ad campaign," she writes. Entrepreneur online (2/13)
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Keeping Shop
Understand your management style to become a better leader
Some leaders prefer to take charge of the decision-making process by using an autocratic or paternalistic management style, writes Lee Polevoi. Others would rather give their employees more responsibility by acting as democratic or laissez-faire managers. "By better understanding which kind of manager you are, you can adapt or modify your style as necessary and cultivate the most effective work environment for you and your employees," Polevoi writes. Intuit Small Business Blog (2/13)
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Managing the Money
Advantages of a separate account for payroll
Setting up a separate checking account for payroll can make it easier for business owners to monitor their expenses and detect fraud, experts say. A separate account also ensures that employees can cash their checks without problems. American City Business Journals/Sacramento, Calif. (2/15)
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What to do before signing a personal guarantee
You may need to sign a personal guarantee, which uses your personal assets as collateral, to get a commercial loan, writes James R. Coughlin of Asterisk Financial. But before signing such a guarantee, you should determine how much risk you are comfortable with and negotiate for more favorable terms. For example, you might ask to be relieved of the guarantee after you repay a certain amount of the loan. Small Business Trends (2/14)
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Tips & Tools
Want to go viral? Start by paying attention
Businesses should always be attuned to what is happening on social media during major public events in order to capitalize on opportunities for viral marketing, Patrick Himes writes. For example, Poland Springs missed the peak period for tweets related to Sen. Marco Rubio drinking the company's water while delivering the Republican response to the State of the Union address, Himes writes. "[I]t's important to recognize, as agencies and businesses, that paying attention to big events as they happen and as people react in real-time on Twitter is vital to capitalizing on opportunities," he writes. B2C Marketing Insider (2/14)
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How to guard against cyberattacks
There is much to be learned from the cyberattack recently perpetrated against The New York Times, writes Dave Johnson. Businesses should be wary of phishing attempts, and they should consider using an approach known as "whitelisting" to restrict the software that is allowed to run on their systems, he writes. CBS MoneyWatch (2/13)
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SmartQuote
I think that if you are making a YouTube channel, you have one first impression."
-- Mark Zamora of Manchu Media, as quoted at MarketingSherpa
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