February 22, 2013
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SmartBrief on Small Business

Problem. Solved.
Meat shop owner struggles as new grocery store moves in
Andy Elder, who runs a small meat shop in Toronto, is concerned about the impact of a large grocery store that opened nearby. His sales were rising in 2012, but they dropped on a year-over-year basis during the three months after the store opened. Experts suggest that Elder can stay competitive by focusing on high-quality products and by offering delivery to expand his geographic reach. The Globe and Mail (Toronto) (tiered subscription model) (2/20)
How to make the most of text marketing
Text marketing, which generally involves directing prospects to text a keyword to a certain number, can be a powerful way to spread your message, writes Chris Hamilton. You can make your mobile-marketing efforts more successful by using a short keyword, providing something of value, capturing e-mail addresses and including a call to action, he writes. Small Business Trends (2/21)
4 ways to praise your employees
Some bosses find it easy to be critical of failure but difficult to praise good work, writes Mary Jo Asmus. It's important to notice and celebrate small victories as well as milestones, Asmus argues. "A little bit of noticing and letting them know what you observe can go a long way, especially if you have a habit of being critical," she writes. Aspire-CS.com (2/18)
Tips for running effective meetings
Meetings can be an important part of doing business, but poorly run meetings are a waste of time, writes Steve Tobak. Make your meetings more effective by holding them in the afternoon, documenting conclusions and asking your staff for input. "[M]ost people are more relaxed after lunch," he writes. Inc. online (free registration)/Last Word blog (2/21)
5 ways to get ready to sell your business
If you've decided to sell your business, you should do what you can to make it more attractive to buyers, just as you would when you sell a house, writes Brad Sugars, founder and chairman of ActionCOACH. "You'll want to run for the next year with good financials, so keep your paperwork up-to-date and document everything," he writes. Consult with business brokers, put together a sales kit and learn about how companies in your industry are typically valued, he recommends. Entrepreneur online (2/21)
Tips & Tools
Affordable approaches to market research
Market research helps small businesses understand their customers and how their tastes might be changing, which is information they can use to adjust their business models and set appropriate goals. Collecting market data can be expensive, but more affordable options include putting together a focus group of customers, seeking out university business programs that could provide assistance and taking time to scope out your competition first hand. Small Business Computing (2/21)
Just for Fun
Researchers say "language protein" in brain makes women talk more
A study by neuroscientists and psychologist from the University of Maryland found that women have higher levels of a "language protein" in the brain, and that could explain why they talk more than men. The Telegraph (London) (tiered subscription model) (2/21)
Not only are meetings the most efficient ways to get certain things done, they're the most effective tools for managing teams -- if they're done right, that is."
-- Steve Tobak, managing partner of Invisor Consulting, writing at Inc. online's Last Word blog.
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