This week in small business: Productivity, management tips to make 2018 your best year ever

The emphasis this week seems to be on management and productivity, and with competition heating up to claim the riches promised by this growing economy, we can use all the tips we can find.

Leadership, management, and productivity

With hiring and retaining employees one of the critical challenges today, this article by Liz Greene on successful onboarding is timely indeed.

You’ll find practical advice in 4 Things to Know About Ecommerce Returns to Minimize Lost Profits and Keep Customers Happy, by Rafael Zimberoff.

You need to keep your relationships healthy in business. Lewis Howes discusses how to set boundaries to build thriving relationships.

When Michele Buck was tapped to run Hershey in March 2017, she became the first female CEO in the company’s 123-year history. Susie Gharib profiles Buck in this Fortune article.

Aashish Sharma gives us sound advice on how to outsource to boost productivity.

Marketing and sales

Do you ever ask your Facebook followers to share, like, or comment on a post? If so, watch out, because Christopher Hutchens says Facebook will penalize your page.

Chris Parbey delivers 10 social media marketing tips in this Edgy Labs article. Number eight is easy and should be a staple.

Writing for Ecommerce Times, John P. Mello Jr. outlines the trends he sees for 2018, including voice, subscriptions, and personalization. Mello isn’t alone forecasting 2018 ecommerce trends, Ann-Marie Alcántara has five she thinks you need to pay attention to.

Entrepreneurship, startups, and innovation

We’re past the official time for New Year’s resolutions, but readers found Alyssa Wright’s The New Year’s Resolution Every Female Social Entrepreneur Should Make, compelling reading nonetheless.

How about boiling success down to four steps? That’s what Erin (Pink) Mosley does in this article. (BTW, each step is summarized by one word! Couldn’t be more straightforward.)

The off-term elections are looming big, so you might want to take a look at Lyneir Richardson’s piece on how entrepreneurs can make sensible political donations.

Politics, government, and the economy

If you think the economy is good now, Jonathon Trugman says it’s in store for even more success in 2018.