This week in small business: Harsh truths, sweet fragrances, and sound advice

Jo Malone’s fragrance company story passes the smell test, Joleena Louis recommends a prenup, and Jessika Phillips gives delivers some harsh marketing truths in this week’s collection of curated content.

Dig in!

Leadership, management, and productivity

If you’re a local merchant, you need to read what Jia Wertz has to say about the long-term impact of Amazon on your ability to survive.

Are you a leader looking to increase your productivity? If so, you’ll appreciate these 10 productivity hacks from startup founders posted by Susy Alexandre. However, you don’t have to be a big-time founder to be productive. Courtney Connley relays five productivity habits of high-performing employees; #5 is one you don’t see stated that way very often, or at all.

Attention women entrepreneurs: A prenup may be your best friend. That’s according to Jenny Odegard’s article where she interviews attorney Joleena Louis.

Jim Morack does a great job examining the critical relationship between customer service and sales.

Have a little time to watch some videos? Zameena Mejia has three inspirational TED talks you should check out to help boost your productivity.

Marketing and sales

You won’t consistently hit your target if you can’t improve your aim, that’s why Ruby Rusine’s infographic on matching your social media KPIs to your goals is so relevant.

Ouch! Jessika Phillips delivers the 12 harsh truths of marketing no one wants to talk about. After you’ve faced those harsh truths, then it’s time to check out Joyce Solano’s Forbes article to learn the three marketing mistakes you need to avoid.

(Hey! No pain, no gain!)

Writing for HubSpot, Marcus Andrews says that the future of social media is now and outlines the trends we need to know.

Annie Pilon sends you to a lot of excellent curated content in her article, 10 Tips for Creating an Online Marketing Strategy to Consistently Bring in Customers.

Here are seven reasons to start a new focus on inbound marketing from Martin Zwilling. (Number one is very revealing and something that needs to be internalized.)

Entrepreneurship, startups, and innovation

Jo Malone started her fragrance business from her kitchen table, later selling it to Estee Lauder for millions. Carmine Gallo relates her inspiring story in this article.

If you’re bootstrapping your startup or want to lengthen your “runway” then you need to watch every nickel and dime. Kelly Lovell’s advice on how to whittle down your travel costs will prove valuable.

Few things are as important to entrepreneurs as their personal brands. Take Marsha Hunt’s advice – it will serve you well.

Sometimes the best way to support women entrepreneurs isn’t to take the “feel good” approach. You need to go way beyond cheering them on, says Lisa Abeyta.

Tech entrepreneur and investor Arie Abecassis gives you five ways the best board members will add value to your startup.

Politics, government, and the economy

Robb Starr pulls together the data from Paychex’s last small business employment report. Job growth is tailing off a bit – 0.7 percent slower in July than last year at the same time.