What's New This Week in Small Business

By Lauren Simonds | Posted August 15, 2014

Looking for ways to grow your small business, improve productivity, cut costs, embrace technology, or become a better leader? Every week, the Small Business Pulse curates exciting, educational and often inspiring stories from around the Web.

Customer Service

  • The best way to provide customer service is to remember that you—Mr. or Ms. Small Business Owner—spend a huge part of your life being a customer. How do you want to be treated? If you're like most customers (and you are), there are just two kinds of customer service that you remember.

Entrepreneurship

  • There's an old adage that says the best way to eat an elephant is one bite at a time (apologies to vegetarians). The same principle holds true for building your business. But forget bites. Think 60-minute increments.
  • If you want to grow your business, you also need to grow as a business leader. A business coach can help you develop leadership skills that can take you and your business to the next level. Don’t go in blind: ask the right questions.
  • Business partnerships have a lot in common with marriage. As with any long-term relationship, you have to take the good with the bad. But sometimes, you're better off ending the relationship altogether. How do you know it's time?
  • If you're looking for a budding start-up opportunity, you might consider going where the big guys fear to tread—an industry where going up in smoke is a good thing.

Finance

  • Financing a medical marijuana start-up remains challenging. But, taking a cue from the Treasury Department, banks might be more willing to invest in the pot business.
  • It's not how much money you make; it's how much you keep. Why risk losing 50 percent of your Schedule C profit? Educate yourself instead.
  • It's an old story. You've got a great idea, entrepreneurial chutzpah, and the knowledge to build a business. But because the good lord blessed you with a pair of ovaries instead of a pair of—well, you know—you're having trouble breaking down the walls of male-dominated venture capitalism. Don’t despair. There's one financial arena where women outpace their male small-business counterparts by a wide margin. Yessir, sisters on Kickstarter are doin' it for themselves.

Marketing

  • A recent marketing survey indicates that small business owners fall into one of four "attitudinal segments." Yep, that sounds like a marketer to me. So…what’s your small business attitude?
  • Everybody loves videos. Just consider the millions of viewers who visit YouTube every day. As small business owner, you want in on that action. Check out 12 things you need to rank on YouTube.
  • You're no idiot, so why waste time with Marketing for Dummies? Try a free online marketing course for smart folks.

Mobile Payments

  • Here's the theory: the more ways that you can accept payment from customers, the more money and customers you'll make. Do mobile payments make sense for you?
  • That 800-pound gorilla known as Amazon has entered the mobile payment business with a product called Local Register. Some people question the giant online retailer's true motives.

Technology

  • Do your employees bring their own mobile devices to work? That's a recipe for a security disaster. Consider BYOD management designed for small business.
  • Thanks to add-ons it's possible to take a good thing and make it even better. Case in point: Gmail.

Friday (Bittersweet) Fun

  • A master of his craft describes the origins of golf. Thanks for the laughs, Robin. (Language is NSFW, so plug in your earphones).

Lauren Simonds is the managing editor of SmallBusinessComputing.com

Do you have a comment or question about this article or other small business topics in general? Speak out in the SmallBusinessComputing.com Forums. Join the discussion today!

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