This Week in Small Business: Healthier Owners
(This post originally appeared on the New York Times)
What’s affecting me, my clients and other small-business owners this week.
A proprietary trader and hedge fund manager explains the benefits of hiring good people instead of nice ones. Carl Bass distinguishes between the myths and the truths of 3-D printing. Working mothers are now the top earners in 40 percent of households with children. Carl McCoy advises college grads not to do what they love.
Economy: Give People Cash
Robert Frank explains why millionaires are still holding on to their money, and Chris Blattman suggests that to help the poor and transform the economy, governments should just give people cash. The economy grew at a modest 2.4 percent in the first quarter, and the global economy is advancing but the pace of recovery varies, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. The expectations of chief financial officers rise. Joshua M. Brown welcomes the new R&D (repurchases and dividends). More Americans are feeling the effects of sequestration. A Gallup survey finds that more small businesses are letting workers go than are hiring, and another survey from Sage finds that the majority of small and midsize businesses are not seeing enough demand to justify hiring. Anthony Ha, meanwhile, pokes fun atsurveys.
Data: Healthier Owners?
Consumer confidence is the strongest in five years, home prices accelerated the most in seven years, and Jared Bernstein credits the Federal Reserve. But these charts show we’ve still got a long way to go to return to the levels of last decade. Banks report record earnings. Real median household incomes were up 0.5 percent in April. Christopher Drose offers the “real reason” inflation hasn’t hit, and Nathan Lewis suggests one thing “classical” economic thinkersagree about. A study finds small-business owners are living healthier.
Social Media: What’s New on Facebook
Research released by Microsoft dives into the raging debate over whether social tools like Twitter, Facebook, and Microsoft Lync belong in the business realm (Microsoft Lync?). Christopher Mims explains why Facebook’s stock is dropping. Jennifer Van Grove believes the hashtag symbol is Facebook’s “obvious hole.” Danielle Cormier suggests the best time for posting Facebook updates, and Jefferson Graham shares what’s new on Facebook for small businesses. A report says social media advertising is about to explode. Megan Bernstein has five tips for using social media in the real estate industry. Here are seven tips to improve your LinkedIn company page.
Marketing: A Marijuana Brand
Douglas A. McIntyre predicts these 10 brands will disappear by next year. Casey Newman says data is at the heart of marketing. Some savvy marketers are reaping benefits from an olive oil shortage. Evan Pennisi lists threereasons to attend an international trade show. Here is what Jon Stewart and “The Daily Show” can teach you about branding, and here are four small-business promotion ideas. An ex-Microsoft manager plans to create the first national brand of marijuana.
Cash Flow: Finding $10,000
A former baseball player is offering microloans to start-ups, and a new crowdfunding platform for young entrepreneurs focuses on education. What prosecutors call a $6 billion money-laundering scheme is uncovered. These are the basics of business leasing in 2013, and here is how to minimize expenses when shipping from China. A 10-year-old finds $10,000 in a hotel room. An accountant explains how to master the financial side of your business, and Jon Stow lists a few common purchasing mistakes.
People: Conflict Management
America is the only wealthy country that does not guarantee paid vacations or holidays. A Taco Bell job application spurs a Reddit debate. Greg Giesen says the fourth rule of conflict management is to take the initiative. A webcast this week explains how to create an exceptional workplace. Jessica Stillman says you will encounter problems if you squeeze employees too hard, and Amanda MacArthur offers five methods to improve employee loyalty and reduce turnover. Executives at small companies say they give their staffs enough recognition. Jimmy Fallon introduces the “Game of Desks.”
Entrepreneurs: 27 Books
Martin Zwilling explains why technologists need to team up with an entrepreneur. Eric Tyler discusses the momentum behind the social entrepreneur movement, and here are five examples of great social franchises. A modern-day Robin Hood applies his business skills to philanthropy. Melissa Anders reports on an age group that is starting new businesses. Here are 27 books every entrepreneur should read. These three businesses go togetherlike peas in a pod.
Retail: Angry Customers Do You a Favor
Some retailers in the United States are starting to communicate with shoppers through a smartphone app that uses in-store sensors to track location in the shop and send personalized offers and recommendations. After decades of decline, independent bookselling has become a growth industry. Here’s how to find the perfect space for a pop-up store. George Rodriguez lists 10 ways small businesses can compete with the big boys. Andy Sernovitz shares tips for dealing with angry customers, including: “Remember, the folks actually speaking up are doing you a favor.” Virtual fitting rooms may be in our future.
Management: Storm Season
A Staples survey says natural disasters are the top safety concern among office employees, but the majority of businesses said recent disasters haven’t led them to reassess their safety plans. Here are a few questions to ask yourselfbefore storm season. Here are six ways small businesses can take advantage of the summer slowdown. The editors at Entrepreneur think these 100 companies are brilliant, and J.D. Harrison has advice to prepare your business for growth. Alina Dizik offers thoughts on managing a business partner. These three games can teach you business skills. New research shows that busy people are happier. Here is what you should consider when choosing a business location.
Around the Country: Too Much Money
Arvind Mahankali of New York wins the National Spelling Bee. Texas citieslead the nation in population growth amid an expansion in manufacturing and potential tax cuts for businesses. A Hiscox survey finds Austin small-business owners are socially connected and well financed. A report says New York small businesses are hiring and expanding again as confidence improves. California has too much money, and after decades of decline the Great Lakes region is pinning its hopes for an economic comeback on water riches. A Philadelphia business remains frozen in time, and here are the winners of Memphis’s small-business awards. A teenager from Nashville has been awarded a $100,000 two-year fellowship to start a company — as long as he does not return to his college classes in the fall. In South Florida some organizations are mobilizing to immerse talented college and high school students in start-up life. ALemonade Day in three New Jersey locations throughout June aims to provide hands-on business experience for youths. Angie Hicks will headline National Small Business Week.
Around the World: Australians Are Happy
Unemployment hits a record high in the euro zone, and Ashoka Mody warns: “the euro zone is operating under the pretense that public and private debts will, at some point, be repaid, although, in many countries, the distress now is greater than it was at the start of the crisis almost five years ago.” Australia is again ranked the happiest developed nation. A start-up hub at the old port of Haifa, Israel, is a magnet for entrepreneurs. Stefano Bernardi gives advice forgoing global with your start-up.
Online: Gmail’s New Inbox
Mary Meeker and Liang Wu share their presentation on Internet trends. McAfee says that the security needs of small businesses have not been met. Kevin Woodcock shares a few e-mail forwarding tips, and Gmail gets a new inbox. Online video may be more popular than Facebook and Twitter by 2017.
Mobile: How to Break a Contract
Each of the big PC makers has a stake in Android, and a new survey says mobile is now a top priority for corporate app builders. Megan Totka says these five mobile apps will help you take care of business, and AT&Tintroduces a new mobile workplace for small businesses. Nelson Aguilar explains how to get out of your AT&T contract early. Here are 10 things theBlackBerry Z10 does that the iPhone can’t. A French Open player uses his iPhone to dispute a call.
Technology: Budgets Are Up
Tech budgets are up the most in three years. Here are five ways to improve technical skills without spending a dime. Danny Stieben assesses the pros and cons of Skydrive and Google Drive. A “hairdo archaeologist” solves an ancient fashion mystery. Here are 10 “Star Trek” technologies that have almost come true. Apple suggests that more wearable devices are in our future. This is a summary of some new wireless products that could improve your business. Jason Nazar suggests 30 tools for small business, and here are three tips forgetting the most from small-business technology. Dane Carlson likes this freeonline appointment scheduling tool, and McKinsey notes 12 disruptivetechnologies. Dropbox suffers a service interruption but communicates the situation well. Manufacturers are designing the factories of the future.
Tweet of the Week
@Navy_Bean_Soup: I’ll never be as passionate as the people willing to debate economic policies of the varying Star Trek universes on an internet forum.
The Week’s Best Quotes
Dayna Steele lists ways to create a Disney-like addiction to your company, including: “Every Disney employee looks you in the eye and smiles. Every employee I passed in the hotel and in the parks — from managers to ride operators to cleaning staff and more. Every. Single. One.”
Kevin Colleran says that if you don’t need the money, be grateful: “If you’re in a position where you can comfortably turn down funding, you must be doing something right. So if you are considering taking an investment, don’t rush into it. Take your time by exploring all these issues to make sure it’s the right partnership for you, your company and your potential investors.”
This Week’s Question: Does your small business make you healthier?