This Week in Small Business: Cloud apps to boost your small biz and a cloudy economic crystal ball…

news you can use

Get your head – or at least your small business – in the clouds, get a better understanding of virtual teams, and decide if the U.S. economy is a basket case or Mr. Reliable. All of these topics, and much more, are explored in this week’s collection of curated content.

Leadership, management and productivity

If you haven’t jumped on the cloud services bandwagon yet, you owe it to yourself to read this article on six services for growing your small business.

Check out these four easy ways to brand yourself as an industry expert.

Looking for a loyalty program? Here are 13 loyalty/referral programs you need to consider for your small business.

Get inspired by the four success stories these small business owners have had using PayPal.

Hackers aren’t stopping at taking websites hostage, they are also taking control of Facebook small business pages.

In this “Open For Business” Article, Dionne Lew gives 11 compelling reasons social media need to be part of your business strategy.

An engaged employee is involved in his or her work, enthusiastic, and committed to contributing to the company and its vision. Here’s how to better engage those valuable team members.

You see the term bandied about a lot, but really, what is a “virtual team”?

Marketing and sales

Marketing automation helps your organization increase operational efficiency to grow revenue and reach strategic business goals faster…and it’s not just for the big guys anymore.

They looked at data from 10,000 articles and found that content marketing really works!

Thirty-nine experts weigh in on the best ways to promote your website. And this article explores which social media platform is best for boosting your WordPress website.

If you want to grow organic traffic through content, you need to be doing the seven things outlined by Robert Kramers.

Julie May takes us on a “voyage” to describe five tools every marketer needs. Have a good anchor?

It’s important to create personas to automate and segment your marketing. This article focuses on B2B marketers.

For effective Facebook ads, you need to understand the science of testing.

Entrepreneurship, startups and innovation

Bigger isn’t always better. Hiring on with a small business or startup offers a lot of advantages.

Ja-Naé Duane goes over five steps for a startup marketing plan from her book, “The Startup Equation.”

Politics, government and the economy

The landscape of online information is changing and Americans are moving away from the wired home Internet model and relying more and more on their phones.

Christine Emba explores the question, “Has our economy become too ‘financialized’?” in this Washington Post article.

It can be painful to look at, but you probably should check out this article that outlines the cost of small business health insurance by state.

If you think the American economy is basically strong and want to bolster your view >> click here. If you fear otherwise >> click here!