Today’s roundup starts with news that small business owners need collateral to secure funding and includes stories about why things are getting better for small businesses and what to do when an employee dresses provocatively.
Farmer Craig Holman risked it all to start a small business. As Angus Loten of SmartMoney reports, Holman leveraged his hardwood tree farm—his life’s work—to start a mold removal franchise. It worked—the banks responded with an $85,000 loan and now Holman’s business is going strong. What are you willing to leverage for a small business loan?
This year’s holiday season won’t be cheerful for most small business employees. As The Wall Street Journal’s Emily Maltby writes, 71 percent of small business owners do not plan to give bonuses this season and 65 percent aren’t going to hold a holiday party. Why? Economic woes are still present in the small business setting and last minute sales make it difficult for SBOs to plan ahead. Are you planning to give bonuses this year?
Get ready for a much-needed breath of fresh air. As Jay Goltz (owner of five businesses in Chicago) writes inThe New York Times, things are getting better in the small business community. People are hiring again and businesses are getting busier (largely because of pent-up demand). So why all the doom and gloom in the media? We are in the heat of an election cycle; news stations need to focus on fear to boost ratings.
Have you noticed your employees acting a little lackluster lately? If so, you’re not alone. As Rieva Lesonsky of Small Business Trends writes, more than 70 percent of U.S. workers (ages 30-64) are not engaged at work. Why? They’re stressed out. Here’s a tip: walk around your office, talk to your employees and learn their pain points—don’t ignore it.
Aaawkward! Seriously, what are you supposed to do when an employee comes in looking more like a club-goer than a professional? As Karen E. Klein of Bloomberg Businessweek writes, review your company’s dress code guidelines (if you don’t have any, check out the Society of Human Resource Management) and then pull the employee aside for a little chat. Just make sure to do this ASAP; waiting will only make you (and other employees) more uncomfortable.
I equate Facebook ‘likes’ to seventh grade playground popularity. You don’t want to beg anyone to be your friend—it’s just uncool. As Ramon Ray of Small Business Technology writes, businesses that want more customers to ‘like’ them online should take advantage of a host of applications. Try downloading a video channel, a sweepstakes app or share a deal with clients. You’ll be the coolest cat on the swing set in no time.
Whenever Apple releases a product, it makes headline news. Whenever your company releases a product, it doesn’t make the local papers. What’s wrong with this picture? As Dan Schawbel of The Huffington Postwrites, it’s not difficult for small businesses to score big media placements—they just need to get creative. Try breaking news on your blog, becoming a niche expert or creating an infographic based on your topic research. The New York Times, here you come.
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