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November 7, 2012
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Problem. Solved. 
  • 3 steps to finding the most profitable customers
    It's critical to create a profile of your ideal client to help you find the customers that will be most profitable for your business, John Jantsch writes. "The first step is to figure out who has a problem you can solve and what their goals are for solving this problem," he writes. You should then identify which behaviors you are looking for in an ideal client, he writes. Duct Tape Marketing (11/5) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
  • How monitoring social media can help your marketing efforts
    Entrepreneurs who want to market their products can use social media to find answers to key questions such as who might be interested in their products and which users tend to have influence over their peers, Lee Odden writes. The data derived from analytics "can provide direction for optimizing social media marketing efforts for better performance, whether it's different topics for blog posts, words used in tweets, or types of images shared on Pinterest," Odden writes. ClickZ (11/5) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
  • 4 steps to a successful B2B content strategy
    One key to creating effective content for your business is to gain an understanding of your customers and prospects, Guillaume Bouchard writes. "Conducting user research is no small task, but sketching a thorough portrait of potential partners is imperative to the success of your content strategy," Bouchard writes. It's also critical to set clear goals for what you hope to accomplish with your content. (11/5) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
  • Are your policies putting off top talent?
    Many companies are still restricting their employees from using social media even though research reveals many job candidates would not want to work for a business that would not allow them to use social sites. Likewise, employers risk irritating top job candidates by failing to offer high-quality benefits or flexible schedules, Lizzie Smithson notes. "And I can say as long as you're treating people like people, giving your employees and candidates great healthcare and letting them tweet shouldn't be a big deal," she writes. The Starr Conspiracy (11/6) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
  • 5 tips for an awesome holiday party
    You can save money while throwing a great holiday party by holding the celebration in the office or at your home, Rieva Lesonsky writes. "It feels extra-special when [employees are] invited into your home, and you save money on venue rental to boot," she writes. No matter where you hold the party, be sure to give a speech where you thank your employees for their hard work. (11/2) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
  • Expenses: You've got to keep them separated
    It can be tempting to mix personal spending with business expenses, but doing so can have tax implications and might put your business in a negative light, attorney Ben Straughan said. "[E]ntrepreneurs who aren't focused on their businesses, who blur the line and use the business as more of a lifestyle operation, run the risk of getting a negative reputation that has long-lasting repercussions," he said. Bloomberg Businessweek (11/6) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
  • Where to find financing with a flawed credit history
    Having good credit can be a key factor in securing a loan, but there are some ways to get financing even if your credit isn't spotless, Tom Gazaway of Hawkeye Management writes. For example, you could turn to equipment financing, purchase order financing or merchant cash advances, he writes. Small Business Trends (11/6) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
Tips & Tools 
  • What Obama's re-election means for small-business owners
    President Barack Obama's re-election means the federal health care law will move forward, but it remains to be seen how the law will affect business owners' bottom lines. Obama's re-election also might pave the way for a showdown with congressional Republicans over his tax proposals, which might end in standstill. "I don't think anything's going to change," Peter Cohan of Babson College said. The Washington Post/The Associated Press (11/7) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
  • Should you include negative information in your sales pitches?
    It's natural to focus on the benefits of your products when selling to clients, but it can be wise to volunteer some negative information as well, Tom Szaky of TerraCycle writes. You should talk about your competition in a positive manner and you should address potential challenges that your customer is likely to know about. "When you do this, it's best to have a solution ready to offer," he writes. "Such action will show your client that you don't shy away from challenges; you take responsibility for them." The New York Times (tiered subscription model)/You're The Boss blog (11/5) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
Just for Fun 
  • Toothpick art too big and clunky? Try toothpick-splinter art
    You've probably seen sculptures made from matchsticks or toothpicks, but artist Steven J. Backman takes the concept to a new level. His work involves shredding a single toothpick, and using the splinters to create tiny but highly detailed architectural models of structures such as the Eiffel Tower. (11/4) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
Negative information is like salt on one’s food. It should be applied in moderation."
--Tom Szaky, CEO of TerraCycle, writing at The New York Times' You're the Boss blog
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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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