January 15, 2021
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Connecting with Customers
This infographic from Facebook reveals global trends from a survey of consumers conducted by Ipsos across 14 global markets. Highlights include 82% of respondents saying their relationships with brands have deepened due to social media, 78% citing augmented reality as a fun way to engage with brands and 83% are open to brands taking part in their online communities.
Full Story: Social Media Today (1/13) 
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Start with a unique angle to persuade news outlets to cover your small business, columnist Steve Strauss writes. Strauss details how to find the right journalists, what to put in your email to them and how to follow up.
Full Story: USA Today (1/8) 
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Why it matters: registered versus unregistered trademarks
Read our blog to find out how being an owner of a registered trademark guarantees certain rights and privileges.
Keeping Shop
It's time to use benchmarking in your business
Benchmarking your results against historical data or the performance of other businesses can provide insight about potential areas of improvement, writes Nicole Fallon. Fallon lays out steps for a typical benchmarking process, including identifying relevant metrics, implementing an action plan and monitoring progress.
Full Story: Business News Daily (1/12) 
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When employees are feeling "stuck, struggling or successful," leaders should be able to reframe stories to provide hope, encouragement and motivation, writes Mark Sanborn. "Sometimes people need to be resold on themselves; to hear the encouragement from someone they know and trust that they can do it," he writes.
Full Story: Mark Sanborn (1/11) 
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Innovations and Adaptations in Supply Chain
As retailers enter 2021, they need to be ready for both in-store and online shopping – and adaptability is key. The ability to quickly adopt supply chain innovations is paramount to success, if not survival. This whitepaper dives into how omnichannel technology and fulfillment services have become essential to retailers' success as they work to meet the needs of their customers and manage their supply chain. Download the whitepaper
Managing the Money
The threat of fraud exists for every small-business owner, but there are ways to guard your company against scammers, writes Chris Porteous. Start by gaining an understanding of the tactics that will be used against your company and ensuring staff members are educated about the threat.
Full Story: Entrepreneur (1/14) 
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Cyberinsurance won't protect businesses from hackers but can mitigate financial losses. Among the coverage to look for are business interruption, network security, errors and omissions, and privacy liability, insurance executive Dan Burke says.
Full Story: TechRepublic (1/14) 
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The future is #FrontlineForward
2020 showed us just how quickly things can change. Especially in Retail. It also taught us how critical it is to have a frontline that's ready for anything. Join this Big Ideas Session and see why Frontline Forward is 2021's winning strategy. Register Now
Policy & Trends
NRF: Holiday retail sales grew 8.3% to beat forecasts
(Scott Heins/Getty Images)
Holiday season retail sales were up 8.3% in 2020 compared to the same period in 2019, according to a report from NRF, which in November forecast an increase of between 3.6% and 5.2%. "Faced with rising transmission of the virus, state restrictions on retailers and heightened political and economic uncertainty, consumers chose to spend on gifts that lifted the spirits of their families and friends and provided a sense of normalcy given the challenging year," NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said.
Full Story: CNBC (1/15) 
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Stories from the Street
Kammie Osborn, who became the owner of Jan's Rock Shop in San Juan Bautista, Calif., thee years ago, carries a wide variety of stones, minerals, carvings, jewelry and fossils. The business was a destination for school trips prior to the pandemic, and Osborn says she still does her "best to provide a service for the children who come in."
Full Story: BenitoLink (Hollister, Calif.) (1/13) 
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NRF News
Retail's Big Show: Network virtually to move forward
Catch fireside chats with retail CEOs, join us in the Equality Lounge for a discussion on amplifying minority business and mentorship through partnerships and collaboration, network, win prizes and more. NRF 2021: Retail's Big Show - Chapter 1 continues Tuesday, Jan. 19. Learn more.
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Learn new strategies from big retailers for your small business
Join some of the world's largest retailers from the comfort of your home as they deliver important insights at NRF 2021: Retail's Big Show - Chapter 1. Don't miss this transformative virtual event and the opportunity to watch sessions on demand. Register now.
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MainStreet SmartStat: Jan. 15, 2021
NRF 2021: Retail's Big Show - Chapter 1 attendees come from more than 100 countries representing 3,500 companies. Learn more.
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Leaders who operate without monitoring benchmarks end up being left behind -- there's always a price to pay for ignoring what's happening in your business environment.
Sahin Boydas, founder and CEO of RemoteTeam, as quoted by Business News Daily
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