October 30, 2014

Small Business News: The Small Business Solution

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Banks won’t be loaning any time soon and despite (or perhaps because of) government intervention an economic recovery is definitely in the hands of entrepreneurs. That’s OK by us. Here at Small Business Trends, we’ve always had unlimited faith in the ability and aptitude of small business leaders to change the world. Here, first, are some facts about the state of the economy and the new world in which our businesses will be operating. But this small business news wrap-up is also jam packed with tools that will help you succeed. Enjoy!

Policy

Still no loans for small business. Even after what could be a very costly and heavy regulation of the banking industry, an article reports financial institutions are unlikely to do much loaning. This is because new regulations will reduce the amount of credit outstanding at most banks. Even so, bank officials say, lending rates are down currently because most businesses aren’t interested in the added debt. CNNMoney.com

The true path out of recession? Blogger and professor of entrepreneurship Dr. Jeff Cornwall muses about the debate at the G20 economic summit between a U.S. philosophy based on continued government spending to bring the current recession to an end and a European view of government spending cuts and increased taxes to eliminate growing deficits. He also proposes a third world view with small business and entrepreneurship as the answer. The Entrepreneurial Mind

Book Shelf

Making small towns viable. Pierre DeBois gives us his review of Hollowing Out The Middle, a book on the importance of supporting small town businesses in an effort to save middle America and shore up the national well-being. Certainly small businesses everywhere are critical to the national economy and those in small towns are no exception. Small Business Trends

Product Reviews

Looking for the perfect e-commerce software? So, you’ve got a great product you believe will sell, but finding an efficient way to create your storefront online is another story. If you’re not a software designer by trade and don’t have the budget to hire one, have we got a product review for you. TJ McCue gives us this overview of the Volusion Shopping Cart for your online storefront. See his full review with a rundown of what’s best about the system and what could be better. Small Business Trends

Comparing three online marketing management services. Arkayne, Hubspot and Kutenda provide three separate services that help analyze your Website’s SEO and bring more eyeballs to your content online. There are cost differences, of course, but the comparison doesn’t end there. Read a brief overview with the highlights and key features of each to decide on the right service for your online business.smallbiztechnology.com

Marketing

Does your marketing plan have “the viral factor?” Ed Baker, co-founder and CEO of Freind.ly, a site that helps people interact on Facebook, explains the key components necessary for a successful viral marketing campaign (including a diagram) and shares ideas in this interview about what creates conditions that will make people want to spread your idea to their friends. Entrepreneurial Minded

Online

How’s your Website traffic? It may depend on the tools you’re using to measure it. Website statistics can be key for online businesses both in selling advertising on your site and as important marketing information to learn about the effectiveness of campaigns. See this rundown of the key players in online statistics with their pros and cons. MediaScope

LinkedIn: The Facebook for professionals. This overview of new features for LinkedIn shows how the third big player in the social media revolution has created advantages for small business owners and professionals that easily rival the features of Facebook and Twitter. The post also includes a video detailing how to use one of LinkedIn’s key components, its group feature, to start conversations and create opportunities for your business online. smallbiztechnology.com

Operations

Zen and the art of lemonade stands. When Ken Kauffman’s kids recently made a brief foray into the cold beverage industry, he couldn’t resist giving them a lesson in entrepreneurship. Here are five principals applicable to any business whether you’re selling a glass of lemonade for 25 cents or a new smartphone for considerably more. Ignore these principals at your own risk. CFO Wise

Branding

Are you the face of your business? More than ever before entrepreneurs cannot hide behind their brand or their company as anonymous individuals beyond the scrutiny of the public. In this video and post, we see some obvious examples of entrepreneurs who have used their personal brand to leverage their businesses and build their companies. With examples ranging from Donald Trump to Richard Branson, you’ll also learn some steps you can take to successfully become the face of your company. Business Done Now

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