What Holiday Movies Teach About Small Business

Everything you need to know about small business can be found in Frank Capra’s It’s a Wonderful Life. Well, maybe not exactly. But there must be a reason a community bank in Oregon insists employees watch the film. In a stirring speech near the beginning of the movie, hero George Bailey, portrayed by actor Jimmy Stewart, says his dad’s savings and loan is needed to provide an alternative to big business solutions. Could the same thing be said of our ventures? Read on for more about why small businesses are important and how to make them thrive.


Let your small business have a heart. See how small banks, like this one in Eugene, Oregon, aim to connect with their customers on a basic human level, realizing that each account represents a person or family, and that the decisions the bank makes can make a difference in the greater community. With the new year approaching, the time is right to look at how connected you are with your customers and community and how your small business can make a difference. The Register-Guard

Ringing in the new year tolls success for this niche small business. The tinkling and ringing of bells is a hallmark of the holiday season, but did you know that many of these seasonal bells are the products of just one family-owned small business? This profile shows how this one small company is working hard to put the jingle in your holidays. NPR


Polish up your brand for the new year. Powerful branding can cut through the clutter of other businesses offering the same products or services as yours, so get out your elbow grease and put a shine on your branding with these insightful marketing tips. Network Solutions

Handle your social media responses with care! As your small business navigates the social network it’s almost unavoidable that a customer or client may “call you out” publicly when you’ve made a mistake or have somehow failed to satisfy. The trick is to respond, not react. Read how one blogger keeps her cool when faced with friction on Facebook. Tweak Your Biz


Easy as Christmas pudding! Normally we’d say “easy as pie” when describing how simple it really is to create a LinkedIn company page for your small business. This easy to follow to-do list is already assembled, and you only have to check it once to get your LinkedIn page up and optimized today. BusinessInfoGuide.com

What are your priorities? That’s a question you should be asking your potential clients. See why understanding your client’s motivation can provide the knowledge you need to craft your pitch to show them how your product or service can help them reach their goals. BizCompare.com


We all make mistakes. Hopefully we learn from them. But you don’t need to make these social media missteps for your small business to benefit from the lessons learned. See what one blogger discovered from her worst social media screw-ups of 2011. Forewarned is forearmed! Resonance

A Google tool for after Yule. Now, in the slight lull between holidays, it might just be a good time to explore the power of the Google Keyword Tool with this helpful how-to and learn how to boost your ranking on the popular search engine for the new year. Sales Tip A Day


Don’t let your Website be a weak sister. Many small business rock their brick-and-mortar venue, but when it comes to their online presence they miss the mark. Often customers want to see small business beat the big guys, however the same customers cringe when presented with a cluttered niche Website where they have to work too hard to get what they want. Learn why it’s paramount to make your Website a strong sibling for your offline business. The New York Times

What postal cuts mean to some entrepreneurs. Certainly, many have been calling for cutbacks at the U.S. Postal Service and, from the standpoint of fiscal responsibility, perhaps many small business owners can empathize. But for other small entrepreneurs who depend upon cheap shipping, the decision may have dire repercussions. Bloomberg Businessweek

Joshua Sophy Joshua Sophy is the Editor for Small Business Trends and has been a member of the team for 16 years. A professional journalist with 20 years of experience in traditional media and online media, he attended Waynesburg University and is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists. He has held roles of reporter, editor and publisher, having founded his own local newspaper, the Pottsville Free Press.