This Week In Small Business: Big Bang Theory, Downton Abbey, Zero-interest loans and more

news you can use

“Downton Abbey” may have recently aired its final episode on PBS, but it managed to make its way into our discussion of small businesses for the first time! (What do you think of Mrs. Patmore as a small business owner?)

But don’t worry, we also have a lot of practical advice for small business owners who aren’t serving the British nobility.

Entrepreneurship, startups and innovation

Where will you find the best small business or small business owner on television? The Simpsons? Modern Family? Shark Tank? Big Bang Theory? Downton Abbey?

Need funding? Here are your top five alternative options for funding your small business or startup.

A zero-percent loan? For real? Here are all the details.

Leadership, management and productivity

If an SEO agency promises you the sky, beware, and know how to protect yourself from shady search marketing.

Social media is fantastic for customer service…as long as you avoid these 10 common mistakes!

Do you think that Apple’s refusal to cooperate with the FBI might be a publicity stunt?

You want to be honest with your customers, but apparently you shouldn’t tell them when your Googling…

Marketing and sales

New to social media? This short article will introduce you to four ways you can use it to built rapport with your prospects.

Local Adwords campaigns can be confusing, yet when they are done right, they can be profitable. This article will get you started down the right road.

Are you ready to hand over some of your marketing to a social media star? It might be a good idea, especially if comedy will serve your brand well.

Your blog is one of your most powerful marketing tools. Use some of these 105 tactics to promote it.

Sales effectiveness: Do you really know what it takes to make a sale?

Neil Patel checks in with advice on combining SEO with content marketing to maximize your web traffic. And when you need more fundamental SEO advice, this no-nonsense article will give it to you.

If you’re a local retail small business, you need to understand the three ways location-based marketing is shaping retail.

Politics, government and the economy

It took 20 years, but the federal government finally met its goal of awarding 5 percent of contracts to women-owned small businesses.

Two views of the economy: Strong. Weak. Choose one…or better yet, read both articles.

The IRS is making it even more difficult for small businesses to provide healthcare options for employees.