Clothing brands try to go directly to consumers | Make a splash by using LinkedIn as your landing page | Are you using your employees efficiently?
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March 7, 2013
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Stories from the Street
Clothing brands try to go directly to consumers
Clothing brands have seen varied levels of success in their efforts to cut out traditional retailers and sell directly to consumers via branded boutiques and the Web. Those that succeed enjoy higher profit margins, but others find going it alone too tough, including Pop Outerwear founders Joanne and Tim Medvitz, who switched to selling through traditional retail channels. The New York Times (tiered subscription model) (3/7)
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Caring for Customers
Make a splash by using LinkedIn as your landing page
SMBs should give serious thought to using LinkedIn as their brand's main landing page, and perhaps using Facebook as a secondary blogging platform, writes Deborah Shane. "LinkedIn is the professional playground for professional connections, so if you are serious about being taken seriously and meeting business decision makers, then LinkedIn is an amazing, turn-key ecosystem," she writes. Small Business Trends (3/5)
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Keeping Shop
Are you using your employees efficiently?
Maximize the productivity of your company by making sure all of your employees are taking on tasks that match their skill sets, writes Beverly Flaxington. Don't waste your highest-paid workers' time with low-value tasks. "Know what each task is 'worth' in terms of its importance to the organization's profitability," she writes. (3/6)
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Change the way you look at mistakes
It's important to treat employees as experts, trust them to do the right thing and ask questions instead of making assumptions, writes Josh Patrick of Stage 2 Planning Partners. For this approach to work, leaders must accept the fact that their employees will occasionally make mistakes. "Instead of thinking of mistakes as problems, we started thinking of them as learning opportunities," Patrick writes. The New York Times (tiered subscription model)/You're the Boss blog (3/7)
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Managing the Money
Is it getting easier for small businesses to get credit?
Credit standards for business loans appear to be easing, writes Bill Conerly. Whether or not your company currently has credit, it's a good idea to talk to loan officers to determine where you stand, he writes. Also, consider getting a line of credit even if you don't currently need it -- it could allow you to pursue unexpected opportunities. Forbes (3/5)
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Tips & Tools
4 ways to create a more worker-friendly office
In the past, workplaces have been designed without much regard to the needs of their human occupants. You may be able to make your office more worker-friendly by adding plants, allowing pets and giving employees the opportunity to stand or exercise and take afternoon naps, according to a post on a blog maintained by the British Psychological Society. Inc. online (free registration) (3/6)
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Get your marketing e-mails noticed
Make your e-mails more effective by choosing a tone that is appropriate for your audience, customizing messages to match the characteristics of recipients, making text easy to skim and evaluating which links are getting clicks, writes Susan Payton of Egg Marketing & Communications. Small Business Trends (3/5)
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News You Can Use
Local businesses help drive Facebook use
Facebook now has 15 million Pages run by businesses, up from 13 million at the end of 2012, according to Dan Levy, Facebook's director of small business. Local businesses are driving much of that growth, he said. Levy also said many small businesses struggle with engagement through Facebook. The company is working on self-serve tools that can help small companies better connect with customers. MediaPost Communications/Online Media Daily (3/6)
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Editor's Note
Help SmartBrief cover SXSW Interactive!
SmartBrief will cover the South by Southwest Interactive Festival through Tuesday in Austin, Texas, and we need your help! SXSW has too many must-see events for our staff to cover, so we're turning to readers to help document the best panels as blog contributors. If you're headed to Austin and want to contribute to SmartBrief's blogs on social media, leadership, finance, food and beverage or education, check out our guest-post guidelines and send a note to Jesse Stanchak.
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[I]f you expect your employees to do a great job -- and make that expectation clear -- I believe they generally will do just that."
-- Josh Patrick, founder and principal at Stage 2 Planning Partners, writing in The New York Times
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