What's going on in the world of small business? The short answer is: more than any of us can ever hope to follow. But it pays to keep up on the changing world of small business technology and entrepreneurship, so I pulled together a variety of articles that caught my attention—a sort of greatest hits of the week.
Perhaps you'll find them helpful, thought-provoking, or at least mildly entertaining. Read on, and feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section below.
- CRM software is one of the most effective cloud applications for small business. But according to author and small business expert Gene Marks, only 20 percent of small business owners take full advantage of it. If you want to reap the business benefits of that CRM-savvy group, check out Gene's webinar, 5 Ways to Grow Your Business Using CRM on July 22.
- Who among us doesn’t love smartphones? They give small businesses the freedom to get work done on the run. But in some settings, a walkie-talkie with push-to-talk (PTT) capability makes more sense. Well, now there's an app for that.
- Free business finance tools? Yes, please.
- Crowdsourcing has launched many a small business product. If you're hot to jump in with the cool crowd, you might want to study the marketing involved in what may turn out to be Kickstarter's most successful campaign.
- Can you name the Holy Grail of marketing? If you guessed viral video, you nailed it. Like any quest, the path is often difficult and the goal elusive (just ask Sir Robin the Not-Quite-So-Brave-As-Sir-Lancelot). If viral video fame is on your marketing bucket list, here's some mighty good inspiration.
- You know that expression "garbage in, garbage out?" It totally applies to your marketing strategy. Just say no to bad data.
- It's time to get the most out of your social media management. It starts with a plan and a strategy to maintain your posting schedule.
- Holy logo fiasco, Batman. Airbnb gets raked over the Internet coals. Don’t let this happen to you.
- Building an authentic relationship with your online customers doesn’t have to be hard. But it helps to have chickens.
- The SBA's nation-wide Small Business Development Centers consult with and help local businesses fight the odds.
- Incorporating your business is a big, exciting step. Just make sure that you avoid common misconceptions and do it for the right reasons.
- Most small business owners focus on customer acquisition. But it pays to know when to dump a client.
- Trust, a fundamental quality for building a successful business, isn’t always readily apparent or even encouraged in some company cultures. Does your company culture encourage truth-telling?
- If you're trying to restore trust in your company, you might want to consider the power of three simple words.
- Still, trust has its limits, because you do have to keep your business data secure, right? Of course you do. But try explaining that to the NSA. It's very curious about your interest in privacy.
And Just Because
- It's Friday, and because UNICEF's a good cause: Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert battle for the title of World's Biggest Star Wars Fan.
Lauren Simonds is the managing editor of SmallBusinessComputing.com
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