This week in small business: Getting ready for the economic apocalypse and the holiday shopping season!

As rosy as most people think things are today, this week we have advice from 11 entrepreneurs on how they’re prepping for when the S#%! inevitably hits the proverbial fan. But, in the meantime, we have a lot of tips on branding, productivity, and even how to protect yourself from credit card chargebacks.

Politics, government, and the economy

The next economic collapse isn’t a question of “if,” but “when,” so you might want to know how these 11 entrepreneurs are hedging their bets for when the S#%! inevitably hits the proverbial fan.

Leadership, management, and productivity

Tech guru wages and fees can break a small business owner, that’s why I wrote this sponsored post for MasterCard Biz that helps you be your on CTO (chief technology officer).

Trust is the foundation of long-term success online. Thammy Marcato lays out the critical fundamentals of understanding and establishing online trust.

Everything in an upheaval? Then check out Beth Kowitt’s Fortune article: Top Tips from the Most Powerful Women in Business on Leading through Turmoil.

Are you guilty of any of the seven ways managers degrade employee productivity as described by Varika Kashyap?

Allie Briggs captures the wisdom of cancer survivor Angela Benton on the truth about work-life balance.

Go through Janet Mesh’s list and see how many of these seven overlooked biases are creeping into your work and holding you back.

You might be surprised by what Jay Kim says is the #1 productivity hack of high achievers.

If you want some practical advice, check out Gabrielle Pickard-Whitehead’s 10 Tips to Avoid Fraudulent Chargebacks from Online Sales.

Marketing and sales

I know that many of you are going to relate to this Forbes article written by Justin Christianson on three reasons your marketing is not getting the results you want.

Alignable CMO Dan Slagen outlines three ways to get more word-of-mouth referrals and even gives us a four-week schedule of action items!

Want some last-minute ideas to make the most out of the holiday shopping season? Read Michael Della Penn’s Marketing Land article on three ways to combine online and offline insights this holiday season.

Brand signals. They are the unmeasurable but extremely important SEO metric, explains Tyler McConville. And, speaking of brands, Mike Kappel has solid advice on brand protection for small business owners.

Not all innovation is purely digital. Andrew Fegley talks about how CMOs can innovate with direct mail.

Entrepreneurship, startups, and innovation

I love the title of Tim Denning’s piece, Get To The Point! What Does Your Business Do? He makes it clear that to be successful, you need to be succinct.

To quote the song, “Money, money, money, money!” And considering the primacy of money to a startup, Adam Rowe’s article on questions to ask when monetizing your startup is a worthy read.

Nina Zipkin talks to entrepreneur Tracy DiNunzio and shares the trick that helps Tracy discern the difference between being busy and being productive.