This week in small business: Hot chili peppers, Shark Tank, automation tools, and more

In this week’s collection of curated content, you’ll a look at a chili pepper “empire,” see how to break through that stubborn SEO wall, and get a lot of information to help you automate your small business marketing. And that’s just for starters.

Leadership, management, and productivity

The difficulty of finding talent has been a small business complaint for a long time. Here are four strategies that will help you recruit the folks you need.

Marketing and sales

Small business marketing demands are ever increasing. Can marketing automation save your content strategy? And if you need specific info on automation tools, this article by Sujan Patel will get you started.

You can pick up some tips and insights by the way The Tile Shop uses data to design its marketing strategy.

Be sure you’re taking advantage of all these 10 ways to grow your business through social media.

Steal a few pages from the playbook of these four brands who excel at marketing to Millennials.

In this post sponsored by MasterCard Biz, I give you seven creative ways to increase sales in your store.

Entrepreneurship, startups, and innovation

We’ve read a lot about “social entrepreneurship” in recent months. Jake Hayman wonders if we’ve seen its end in this Forbes article.

Want small business success? Maybe you need to unleash the inner entrepreneur inside each of your employees.

If you believe you have a winning formula for a startup, why not enter Miller Lite’s “Tap the Future” contest? Shark Tank’s Daymond John was promoting it recently in Chicago.

Hot growth: Here’s how one Baton Rouge entrepreneur engineered an international pepper empire that he never aimed to build.

Hit the wall in your SEO efforts? Learn how to break through it.

This infographic delivers a wealth of information on the state of female entrepreneurs: an interesting slice of startup life.

Politics, government, and the economy

See if you agree or disagree with Michael Green in his Harvard Business Review article, “Why Americans Are So Angry Despite America’s Strong Economy.”

The latest Bank of the West Small Business Growth Survey cites uncertainty and burnout as key concerns, yet most see rewards from business ownership.