This week in small business: All about funding!

We have some solid advice on small business funding this week and it tends to focus on the dangers of debt – both personal and from a small business loan. Be sure you read them before you sign on the dotted line or pull out your personal credit card.

Entrepreneurship, startups, and innovation

Going into personal debt to fund your entrepreneurial vision is dangerous. But if you follow the five rules Jayson Demers describes here, you reduce the danger. Also check out the two important principles I offer in When is it okay to fund your startup with credit cards?

And while we’re on the subject, Nathan Hamilton outlines one reason to avoid a small business loan in his Motley Fool article.

Somehow I think a lot of women with good ideas are going to like this one: Five Tips For The Female Entrepreneur With No Cash To Spare, by Rachel Feldman.

Elain Pofeldt tells the story of Michael Ward, a father whose life changed when his daughter was diagnosed with cancer. She’s doing well today and as he rebuilt his business after her health scare subsided, Ward discovered the potential of selling on Amazon.

Leadership, management, and productivity

In this edition of Laura Emily Dunn’s Women in business Q&A she talks to Patti Clark, Vice President of Product Development at Lakeshore Learning.

Barbara Thau gives us five signs that stores – not e-commerce – are the future of retail. (Yes, you read that right.)

Small business owners face a lot of challenges. Andrew DePietro profiles the top four in his Forbes article.

Vigilance and readily available security tools can keep credit card fraud losses to a minimum, according to John Rampton.

Marketing and sales

Go for depth rather than breadth. That’s the first of the three ways your company can better engage Millennials via your marketing, says Daniel Rounds.

UX isn’t something from Area 51. It stands for “user experience” and Sheila Kloefkorn explains its importance for SEO.

There are right and wrong ways to win new customers and in this article, John Nemo discusses the “worst type of marketing.”

Politics, government, and the economy

When it was reported that the economy created 222,000 new jobs in June, Brookings Institution analyst Aaron Klein said the economy “has room to run.” Get Klein’s outlook in this article by Michael Sheetz.

And maybe to get it running, leaders should read Anthony B. Kim and Patrick Tyrrell’s column on how to restore optimism and verve to the U.S. economy.