Today’s snapshot starts with news of an e-mail scam and includes an article on a $2 billion government program to help startups and why turning off your smart phone could make you more successful.
Have you recently received an e-mail with the subject line ‘Complaint from your customers’? If so, it is probably a scam. As Geoff Williams of The Huffington Post writes, the Council of Better Business Bureaus is warning customers not to click on links embedded in e-mails with the return address firstname.lastname@example.org. Be vigilant; you don’t want to crash your server. If you suspect another scam, report it to the BBB.
Here’s some good news for your Thursday. As Brian Proffitt of allBusiness writes, today the Obama Administration announced the expenditure of $1 billion in cash, as part of the Startup America program, to help early stage startups—providing 1-to-1 private capital fundraising match. In addition, the program will provide another $1 billion to help with software, consulting and legal services to 100,000 startups over the next three years. Sign up on the Startup America site ASAP.
Take that big box stores! As Janean Chun of The Huffington Post writes, Small Business Saturday was a smashing success; a record 103 million Americans shopped at small businesses, dramatically exceeding forecasts of 89 million shoppers. Public awareness rose 65 percent (compared with 37 percent last year) and more than 2.7 Facebook users ‘liked’ the holiday. Mark your calendars for next year’s holiday, Nov. 24, 2012.
The unemployment rate for veterans is at a startling 11.1 percent compared with the national rate of 8.6 percent. But as Sarah E. Needleman of The Wall Street Journal writes, there are several companies trying to help. One is Veteran Entrepreneurial Transfer Inc., or VETransfer, a business accelerator out of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. So far, the accelerator has helped 160 veterans.
Giving direct (read: harsh) feedback to an employee that is trying hard can be a difficult task. But As Mark Suster of Both Side of the Table writes, hard feedback is far more effective than acting like a softie. Bottom line: you don’t have to be a jerk, but don’t let your people slide either. As an extra bonus, check out Suster’s post ‘Don’t be a Grin F***er’—great read.
Talk about bad luck. As The New York Times’ John Grossmann writes, Pulling Down the Moon, a Chicago-based yoga studio for women undergoing fertility treatments, has experienced two floods and multiple relocations. Now the owners are consider yet another change of scenery. What would you do if your business was hit with a natural disaster?
I’m willing to bet you keep your iPhone, Blackberry, fill-in-the-PDA on your nightstand and check it before getting out of bed in the morning. Don’t worry—you aren’t an awful person, but as Deborah Huso of SUCCESS writes, this practice could be hindering your upward career mobility. Instead of checking your e-mail and Facebook posts first thing in the morning, try sitting in silence and thinking about what you will do that day to propel you forward. Focus on big projects and make sure to turn off your ‘feel-food additions’ for a few hours per day.
Is it a smart phone, laptop or tablet? Business Insider’s Lindsay Campbell poses this question to New York City’s top entrepreneurs in a three-minute video. Answers will surprise you.