This week in small business: Creative and practical advice for 2018

Creativity and thinking outside of the proverbial box is on display this week, especially in our curated collection of marketing articles. You’ll also find ways to beat your self-doubt and cope with the EU’s new data regulations.

Leadership, management, and productivity

In this USA Today article, Rhonda Abrams delivers seven solid rules for small business growth. Make sure you aren’t breaking any.

At times we’re all riddled by self-doubt, so we can all use Ruth Umoh’s four ways to get our confidence back.

Do you do ecommerce with Europeans (even if they aren’t located in Europe)? Then you better be ready for the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Christopher Rence explains in this Digital River article.

Rieva Lesonsky knows that boosting productivity is a perennial goal for small biz owners and in this piece she outlines five ways to improve.

It’s right about now when our New Year’s resolutions start to go the way of fanny packs, so you should appreciate this article by the Entrepreneur staff on forming better habits.

Kevin Kruse’s piece on Likable Media co-founder Carrie Kerpen is titled, Advice From The Boldest Women In Business. (It might also be the boldest title we’ve seen in a long time!)

Marketing and sales

Wow. Shutterstock analyzed billions of image searches to determine marketing design trends for 2018. Amanda Zantal-Wiener presents the overview in a striking infographic.

Mike Jarrell zips through four tips that will give your ecommerce operation a kick in the pants. I think the first tip is powerful and easy to do. And while we’re on the topic of ecommerce, Zohar Gilad says that 72 percent of those sites fail on site search expectations. He tells you how to make sure you’re in the other 28 percent.

Twitter seems to be the troubled child of the major social media platforms, but nonetheless it could be your best kept networking, marketing, and information secret, says Dakota Shane.

Even a small business needs a digital marketing strategy and if you don’t believe it, hear what Ryan Kh has to say on the subject.

Joshua Baez goes in-depth in his Heinze Marketing blog article titled, B2B IRL: A Scalable Content Marketing Strategy to Drive Long-Lasting Results.

Entrepreneurship, startups, and innovation

It’s something we all dream about: a $3-million, one-person business. Elaine Pofeldt tells how one stiletto-loving, corporate mom did it.

Great marketing is no joke…or is it? In this article by Alex Yong, he talks with Billy Mann on how to use video humor as a marketing tool.

Even if you’re essentially flat broke, Sujan Patel says you can start a business. He offers five options in this Entrepreneur article. And for more on business financing, look over Rohit Arora’s article on loan options.

Need tips on how to pitch your business idea? Nina Zipkin reveals the secrets of the Shark Tank’s Barbara Corcoran. And if you want more from Nina, check out her 10 LinkedIn tips.

Politics, government, and the economy

Jonathan Bernstein does a good job demonstrating how our biases sway our views on the economy. It’s a good lesson to learn because business owners need to make decisions based on what is really happening in the economy with their political prejudices set aside.