This Week in Small Business: Will Your Next Small Biz Loan Come From a Hedgefund?

Leadership, management and productivity

Everything in your small business needs to be in order if you want to get into the big box stores. Dun & Bradstreet’s Amber Colley lays down the fundamentals.

Money management

Money BagsChoices! Choices! How to find the right lending alternative for your small business. And to take the options even further: The next small business loan you get may not come from a bank, but from a hedge fund or private equity fund.

If you’re considering a small business loan, check out these Sageworks figures on which banks – both large and small – are the biggest lenders.

Red Dress Boutique owners explain how they believe “Login and Pay with Amazon” has helped them grow their business.

No small business owner ever wants to need a collection agency, but there are times when it’s absolutely necessary. But did you know that most collection agencies are themselves small businesses?

Customer service

Without a doubt there are lessons to be learned by watching the Netflix series, House of Cards. Here are 10 that apply to customer service.

Review these six ways to transform your small business by dramatically upgrading your customer service. There’s probably at least one you can implement now.

Small Business Marketing and sales

Principles and Strategies

chess-strategy-public-domainThe mobile-first design has never been more crucial as consumers all over the world increasingly prefer using mobile devices, with smartphones topping the list. Here are five ways mobile can integrate online and offline marketing.

You’ll find 10 to 12 fundamental principles of ecommerce SEO in this article. Don’t overlook a single one.

Need help with B2B Marketing? Here are five ways to use LinkedIn.

Your website should be all about conversion and here are five ways to boost your rates with zero investment.

If you want to even out the down cycles in business, developing a strong community may prove to be your most important small business strategy.

Digital, content, social media

It’s easy to lose the human touch in the digital marketing world. One marketing Zen master is making a big push to keep things humanized.

A major development today combines two important aspects of social media marketing: Influencers and Instagram.

Don’t think “big data,” think “smart data” to boost your email and digital marketing campaigns.

When James Carson took three months away from his consulting career to focus on a publishing startup, he learned more about content than he ever imagined.

Ashley Zeckman from Top Rank shares four solid tips to save your brand’s content marketing strategy.

Divide and conquer! The brains at Buffer share their tools and tips for team collaboration in your small business social media marketing program.

Government, politics and the economy

congress public domainThe advocacy group Public Citizen has accused the SBA of misapplying the law on small business set-asides. But wait, there’s more: Lawmakers love to talk about the little guy, but their policies routinely favor the big and powerful.

House Ways and Means chairman Paul Ryan says passing trade promotion authority and free trade agreements will open new markets for small business.

The National Federation of Independent Business’ small-business optimism index increased to 96.9 in April, up from 95.2 in March but below the 98.0 posted in February. On the other hand, in April the Wells Fargo small business optimism index suffered its first significant drop since November 2012. Hmmm. Flip a coin.

Entrepreneurship, startups and innovation

Here’s what it’s like to run Google’s $2 billion venture capital fund, in case you’re wondering.

If you’re planning or in the middle of a startup, you need to be totally honest with yourself. Here are six questions a VC would ask before funding you.

As the founder of a disruptive startup, are you a visionary or just plain delusional? It’s an important distinction…

lemonade-stand-public-domainLet’s keep the party going. Here are some great tips to pass your entrepreneurial spirit on to your kids.

Writing for Business News Daily, Nicole Fallon talked to several “mompreneurs” to see what they loved so much about their lives and their work.

Narratives matter as much, if not more, than facts and figures today, so be sure you have a good narrative for your startup.

Have you had a great idea for a business for the longest time? All you need is more hours in the day, right? Here’s the guidance you need.

Do you know what “meetup” groups are? They have them for every interest, even small businesses. In Silicon Valley they meet at the public library. If you don’t have one in your area, establish it yourself.

Sponsored by AT&T