This Week in Small Business: Learn from the big guys, compete with the big guys

football giants public domainThere are a number Big-Biz-Small-Biz David and Goliath themed stories this week, and let’s be sure that the Bible isn’t the only place where David reliably wins!


We’re always talking about thinking “outside the box.” Here are three marketing campaigns that took major risks and actually worked.

If you woke up this morning thinking that Google was the #1 producer of referral web traffic, you were wrong. Social Media referrals now have the top spot.

Here are some great fundamentals of website design and implementation that convert prospects along with some examples. Spotify (good) : Macy’s (bad).

How can you seize what is called “the mobile moment”? Mobile marketing is more than finding a developer to build an app for your business. Also, get up-to-speed on the variations in location-based mobile advertising. Are geo-conquesting ads in your future?

The single most important element of any marketing plan is knowing who your targeted customer is. Here are four tips to getting it right. You also need to know how they behave. Finally, to personalize your marketing efforts, here are the sites, services and steps.

If you have three and a half minutes to spare and need a good primer on how to create an email marketing campaign, this video from Constant Contact fits the bill. Then to build your list, several of these 10 tips will prove extremely helpful.

Need inspiration to find the ideal place to shoot a marketing video? YupVideo offers some practical advice. Continuing on this subject, here are five things your video marketing strategy should include.


What good can come from bickering children? Her four imps inspired Laurie Canata to create a successful startup. Inspiration is where you find it.

Successful people never fall into the traps of these 10 behaviors.

Women in STEM professions have been lagging. However, one place where they are dominating is big data, i.e. statistical analysis.

What can you learn about realizing the American Dream from the American Girl (dolls)? Here is a lesson in entrepreneurship.

Provide a unique and incredible customer experience if you want your business to grow crazy fast. Jeremy Sandow takes us to Seattle for an example.

Economy, government and politics

Surveys are like the weather. If you don’t like what you have right now, just wait a few hours. Gallup says that optimism among owners of small businesses in the US is the highest it’s been since 2008. Then again, this NFIB January survey says optimism has ticked down a couple of points. (Choose one.)

Writing for The Hill, Amit Narang says the Republicans are pushing a bill in the name of small business that is really merely a way to deregulate some big businesses.

Stock market gains have fueled the recent appetite investors have had for startups. Will the trend continue?

So far the plunge in oil prices hasn’t caused panic among small business owners in North Dakota; they see it as short term. And even though oil is down, Texas is still creating jobs in non-energy sectors.

It’s not your parents’ “small business” anymore: The revolution in what it means to be a small business.

There are major free trade agreements on the table. Get the big picture and see how your business might fit in.

In the name of small business, lobbying groups continue to push for tort reform to limit liability due to injuries. However, surveys say it’s not a major issue for small business owners; it matters more to big business.

Net neutrality is also in the spotlight. This blog at Xerox gets to the heart of the major issues, including how to keep the playing field level for big and small businesses.

Franchising is outpacing the rest of the economy in terms of job creation. This article gives a good overview of recent survey results and takes the pulse of franchising in general.

Management and leadership

Do you have some real complainers on your team? Here’s how to handle them. And since we’re on the subject of teamwork, collaboration is critical today. Check out these tips on how to create and locate a “workplace magnet” to foster the right atmosphere and opportunities as well as these four ways to engage employees using LinkedIn.

Jill Konrath shares a very instructive sales narrative in: Lost Art of the Quick Start: An Unusually Enlightening Story.

It takes years to build a successful small business, don’t drop the ball when succession time rolls around. Related to that: Do you plan to hand over your business to your children some day? Be sure you teach them these fundamentals about money. And if you’re looking to start a business today with excellent “flipping” potential, here are the top eight industries to consider.

Snow days are a mixed blessing. However, when we’re stuck at home we tend to do a lot of online shopping. Can your business position itself to take advantage of this?

Steal the concepts behind processes such as lean, agile, and DevOps from the tech world and use them to improve your back-office functions.

Small businesses can leverage advantages to compete with the big players in the ecommerce arena. Think “mom & pop” online shops.

Just because you’re good at something doesn’t mean you’ll be successful at it if you build a small business around it. Here’s a cautionary tale

Startups in the “sharing economy” depend on trust for success. Trulioo CEO Stephen Ufford explores how trust can be established. Ed Schauweker says public relations is the best way to build trust, credibility and awareness for your small business.

Personal branding can be extremely powerful today, but it’s probably what led to the downfall of newsman Brian Williams, whose career crippling blow didn’t come at the hands of some upstart David, but was self-inflicted.

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