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March 21, 2012
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Business news you can use from your Better Business Bureau®

  Trends & Trust 
  • What sets the most-trusted brands apart from the competition
    Brands such as Starbucks and Apple that are successful at fostering emotional relationships with their customers tend to be among the most trusted. Coca-Cola, for example, has a "deep and healthy respect for their past and for the people who have gone before them. They never forget why they started and where they came from, which means a lot to consumers," said Jim Stengel, author of "Grow: How Ideals Power Growth and Profit at the World's Greatest Companies." Entrepreneur online (3/20) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Building trust in a barbershop brand
    Successful branding can help to foster trust in consumers, as Michael Portman, a founder of Birds Barbershops, has discovered. The line of barbershops has established a unique identity by offering reasonable prices, music piped through jukeboxes and free beer for customers. Entrepreneur online (3/20) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Customer Satisfaction & Marketing 
  • Why your marketing efforts have flopped
    If you think marketing isn't worth it, that could be because you have hired the wrong person or tried to do it yourself, John Follis writes. "[I]f you truly believe in the benefits of smart marketing there are professional resources that your small business can afford." It's also important to have a realistic idea of what success means in a marketing context, he writes. Small Business Trends (3/19) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Customers are clamoring for digital coupons
    Digital coupons are becoming more popular, and your business might be able to benefit from them, John Jantsch writes. "Consumers are growing to expect [digital coupons], admit they help seal the deal and remain loyal to brands that offer them." Duct Tape Marketing (3/20) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Management & Leadership 
 
  • 5 ways to slay the procrastination dragon
    If your tendency to procrastinate is hurting your business, evaluate your strengths and weaknesses. Then think about finding someone else to handle the tasks that you aren't good at, recommends Rachel Karu of RAE Development. Also, realize that completing tasks might take longer than you anticipate and add important items to your schedule. Intuit Small Business Blog (3/19) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Why you should look past disabilities when it comes time to hire
    Hiring people with disabilities can be good for your business, according to the National Association of Social Workers. "[A]side from having equal or higher performance ratings compared to workers without disabilities, workers with disabilities have the lowest attrition rates of any employee group in this country," the group notes. The government provides information about the Americans with Disabilities Act, which applies to businesses with at least 15 employees, writes Khary Cuffe of Heritage Link Brands. Inc. online/Married with Company (3/16) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • You need to reward your creative thinkers
    Companies that want workers to focus on innovation must come up with new evaluation systems that reward them for their creativity, writes Jeffrey Phillips, author of "Relentless Innovation." "These innovation activities need to receive as much 'weight' in the evaluation and compensation program as other tasks that sustain business as usual." FastCoDesign.com (3/20) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
Most small business owners know the importance of managing credit effectively and that a "one size fits all" model won't work. Use Managing Credit - Made Simpler to find the right credit management model for your business and to help identify strategies to ensure you are on top of your business's financial condition.
  Funding & Finance 
  • Why now is a good time to pass on the family business
    The rules are set to change for gift and estate taxes, which could make the present a good time to transfer control of your business to your children. "Assuming a parent wants to turn over 100 percent of the business to his children, the best year to do it is in 2012," according to Ed Kohlhepp of Kohlhepp Investment Advisors. If you're ready to retire, it's a good idea to get a valuation for your business and to find a succession planner, Karen E. Klein writes. Bloomberg Businessweek (3/19) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • New tax rules business owners should know about
    A new rule, which requires that payment processors report their transactions with businesses on 1099-K forms, could allow the IRS to uncover unreported income. Businesses should also be aware of new questions on tax forms that ask whether they have filed all required 1099 forms. The Wall Street Journal (3/16) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Weekly Poll 
  • Do you trust the financial-services industry?
    No  82.04%
    Yes  17.96%
  • Do you offer your customers digital coupons?
Yes
No, but we're preparing to start
No, and we have no plans to start

  Featured Content 
 

  BBB in the News 
  • How to protect yourself from tax scams
    Video: BBB: Tax Scams  
    With the tax deadline fast approaching, unscrupulous individuals are targeting the public with phishing e-mails and other underhanded tactics, according to BBB's John North. Be wary of unsolicited e-mails and phone calls, and avoid downloading files from companies that you don't trust, he advises. Also, get recommendations from others before settling on a tax preparer, he says. ClipSyndicate/WDTN-TV (Dayton, Ohio) (3/20) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  SmartQuote 
It is useless for the sheep to pass resolutions in favor of vegetarianism while the wolf remains of a different opinion."
--William Ralph Inge,
British author, priest and educator


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