Building Better Businesses

From Small Business News found here.

Small Business News: Bettering Your Business

It takes guts, determination and plenty of drive to start a small business. But even once you’ve launched your new venture, the hard work isn’t over. You’ll make some big mistakes and learn some big lessons along the way and you’ll become better at what you do with every step in your entrepreneurial adventure. Here are some tips we hope will help you take your small business to the next level along with important news and information for every small business owner to make your small business better.


Understand your financials. It’s hard enough to raise capital these days without making things more difficult by not keeping adequate financial statements. Accountant Diane Kennedy explains what happened when one small business finally got their financial ducks in a row in an effort to gain additional capital only to discover they were loosing money and would soon be out of business.


The 10 steps to leadership. Leadership is more than a title as any small business owner or entrepreneur knows. But defining what makes one a leader can be tricky at times. We’re all leaders of something at sometime or another, says Stoney deGeyter. In this great post, Stoney discusses the basics of what can only be described as the state of mind of a leader. Do you have what it takes? Search Engine Guide


Auditing your summer business look. As the thermometer climbs, even the business world adopts a less formal, more comfortable look. But even if your attire as a small business owner or entrepreneur is inspired by the summer heat, you want to be sure it’s not sending the wrong signals to customers and clients. (This person is not to be taken seriously.) Thankfully, some compromises exist to help you create a business-like impression while still keeping cool. WSJ

Social Media

Social media marketing is not a quick fix. Social media marketing is all the buzz these days, but don’t expect it to work overnight. In fact, this post suggests it may take up to six months to see results from social media marketing efforts. Think that’s too long? How long has it taken to see returns on some of your other business investments probably made at considerably higher cost? Saying It Social


Never handle the same piece of paper twice. Todd Parent, founder of Extreme Pizza, says his first rule is to make decisions or answer questions immediately then live by that decision and move forward. His management technique seems to have paid off. His franchise now has 42 locations in seven states with annual revenue topping $24 million and he hopes to hit 100 franchises over the next 3 to 5 years. What’s your approach to making decisions in your small business? Open Forum Innovation


Provisions of the new small-business jobs bill. What’s in it for your small business? Of course, any tax breaks are always welcome, but we doubt the substantial portion of the bill dedicated to small business loans will matter to many small businesses until business improves. The most pressing need is for greater consumer spending and an important step in this direction would be to reduce taxes for the average citizen including those who may see their taxes rise with the sunset of Bush administration tax cuts beginning next year.You’re The Boss Small-Business Jobs Bill up close. A full text and complete summary of the proposed “Small Business Jobs Act” has been posted to the Senate finance committee’s Web page. We urge all entrepreneurs and small business owners to review the legislation and make your thoughts and opinions on the small business environment in the U.S. known to your legislative representatives. The United States Senate Committee on Finance

Human Resources

How to hire a rock star. In this podcast, Anita Campbell interviews Eric Herrenkohl, a recruiting expert and author of How To Hire A-Players, as he unveils five tips and details instructions for finding that top performer who can add great value to your business. People are the key to all business. So hiring even one great employee can make a tremendous difference at every level of your company. Small Business Trends Radio


How rumors can hurt your business. Sticks and stones can break my bones but names will never hurt me, the old saying goes. However, some words can hurt a business and this post gives an overview of notable examples. Though many people worry about the impact of the Web on reputation, it has sometimes made it easier to identify what’s being said about your company and to react to it early. The Yonatan Maisel Blog Protecting your small business reputation online. So what if someone out there is saying something about your business. True or not, it’s important to be proactive when managing your reputation online. The following video and accompanying post share some tips on how to identify threats to your business reputation quickly and deal with them decisively.Business Done Now