Using freelance workers to limit labor costs | Measuring the success of your marketing efforts | Why workers should be allowed to gripe (but not too much)
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February 27, 2013
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Stories from the Street
Using freelance workers to limit labor costs
Business owners like Xan Hood of Charlotte, N.C., are using freelancers to save on costs they would incur by hiring full-time employees. Hood, owner of a clothing company, pays seven freelancers, and that approach may have saved him $270,000 last year. "We need to be efficient and resourceful with the little we have," Hood said. Online platforms such as Elance connect business owners and freelancers looking to bid for work. CNNMoney (2/26)
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Caring for Customers
Measuring the success of your marketing efforts
After launching a marketing initiative, you may wonder how your results stack up against the competition. Jeanne Rossomme, president of RoadMap Marketing, provides information about some key metrics you can use to evaluate the effectiveness of your direct mail, online advertising, e-mail and social media campaigns. SCORE Small Business Success Blog (2/25)
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Keeping Shop
Is your hiring process hurting your company?
Certain key mistakes -- failing to follow up with applicants, for example -- can hurt your company's brand during the hiring process. The infographic included with this article includes summaries of the right way and the wrong way to look for new employees. Entrepreneur online (2/25)
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Why workers should be allowed to gripe (but not too much)
Morale is highest at offices where "people can feel free to respectfully complain," says Robin Kowalski of Clemson University. The exception is offices that have "help-rejecting complainers," who complain constantly without being open to solutions. These people can hurt morale by making workers more aware of their own dissatisfaction, Kowalski says. The New York Times (tiered subscription model) (2/23)
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Managing the Money
How fleet management can save you money
If your business has several vehicles, you may be able to lower your costs by using a fleet-management system that incorporates GPS tracking. This approach can allow your company to pick the quickest routes and monitor unauthorized vehicle use. B2C Marketing Insider (2/26)
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How to decide whether to buy or lease a commercial space
Buying a commercial space might strain your company's budget in the short term, but real estate can be a valuable investment in the long run, Stephanie Faris writes. However, leasing a space might give your company increased flexibility and can simplify the repair process when things break, she writes. Intuit Small Business Blog (2/22)
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Tips & Tools
Tweets that include links will have to be shorter
If you write a tweet that includes a link to a Web page, you will now have only 118 or 117 characters in which to compose the rest of your message. Previously, Twitter users had 120 additional characters to write tweets that included a link. It's a good idea to make sure your previously scheduled tweets abide by the new limit, writes Anita Campbell. Another tip: Keep article titles short on your website. Small Business Trends (2/25)
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News You Can Use
New anti-piracy policy could affect your Wi-Fi
A new anti-piracy policy the movie and music industries expect to launch this week could slow the Wi-Fi service that businesses offer customers. As part of the policy, five major Internet service providers have agreed to monitor user activity for potential copyright infringement and take action against the account holder if they observe repeated violations. "If public Wi-Fi is a key competitive advantage for your business, you might want to switch ISPs proactively," Amy Gahran writes. Entrepreneur online (2/26)
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Tighter budgets drive consumers to coupons
Coupon use is spiking among U.S. consumers, who are largely clipping discounts on comfort foods and beauty products to help curb their anxiety amid higher gas prices and payroll taxes, Coupons.com CEO Steven Boal said. The pattern is similar to one seen just before the last recession, he noted. CNBC/Consumer Nation blog (2/25)
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SmartQuote
Complaining has to be strategic, and it has to be done in moderation, in order to have positive outcomes."
-- Robin Kowalski, a psychology professor at Clemson University, as quoted by The New York Times.
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