This Week in Small Business: Learn From The Other Guy’s Mistakes

mistakes errors public domainLast week was a time for confessions. I don’t know if it was because of Lent or what, but we were treated to a number of articles where otherwise successful folks confessed their marketing mistakes.

The week also treated us to a number of good insights into increasing your personal productivity as well as the productivity and capability of your team.

Marketing and sales


TopRight Strategic Marketing made several marketing missteps when it originally launched in 2006. President and CEO David Sutton shares their four biggest marketing mess-ups.

It’s always smart to learn from other people’s goofs. Here are the toughest lessons the content marketers at Pepsi have learned in recent years.

You should probably print out this list of classic marketing mistakes and put it on the refrigerator in your lunchroom.

The big picture

Customers aren’t following a linear path to buying anymore so there needs to be a revolution in marketing, says Fred Studer of NetSuite.

If you’re familiar with the lingo of web marketing, you should find this “translation” cheat sheet helpful when you move into the app marketing world.

ClickZ reports that 84 Percent of Millennials Don’t Trust Traditional Advertising. This poses some serious challenges.

Make you life easier and your business more profitable with marketing automation. Here are seven proven benefits.

Things may get crazy as brands try to figure out ways to get their message across on that teeny-tiny Apple Watch screen!

Content, online and mobile marketing

Content marketing needs to be central to your small business DNA, not just a small part of one person’s job. Here’s how to achieve buy-in.

Get the most mileage out of your content marketing with these 10 tips to boost your share-ability.

Adobe’s Giselle Abramovich takes an in-depth look at mobile marketing to help you determine if your current content will make the grade.

Online marketing is driven by metrics. Will measuring “attention” become the new holy grail of data?

Take a deep breath: Here are 47 things to put on your social media marketing to-do list. Don’t worry, you’ll be able to blast through many of them.

Entrepreneurism, startups and venture capital

There’s a direct correlation between failures and success. Are you doing enough of the first to achieve the second?

Make time to check out the full Kauffman Foundation report on entrepreneurial activity between 1996 and 2013.

The Gigaom blog had the brightest minds in the world writing about the merging of tech and business, but they couldn’t make the financials work. Goodbye Gigaom, it was great while it lasted.

Silicon Valley may have a terrific infrastructure for entrepreneurs, but there is much to be gained by venturing elsewhere with your startup.

Square became famous for the little credit card reading device that connects to smartphones and tablets. Now it’s trying hard to make itself the go-to small business financial services provider for small businesses.

It’s not for everyone, but some entrepreneurs are funding their startups by using their 401(k), IRA or other retirement savings accounts without suffering any penalties. Here’s how it’s done.

Management and leadership

With so many big-box, deep-discount retailers around, how is it possible that ANY small businesses survive? Customer service expert Shep Hyken shares the answer.

Want to put your head down on your desk and take a nap? Internalize these five ways to boost your energy throughout a long day of entrepreneur-ing.

Here are 13 productivity tips for you and while we’re on the subject, let’s look at why productivity is so critical to our future. Further, for those who depend on creativity for success, it’s time to stop wasting your brains.

Small business loan money seems to be loosening up a big so here are five tips to make yours loan worthy.

Rob Frohwein, co-founder of Kabbage, provides an overview of why and when small business owners borrow for business purposes. And if you need some tactics to better manage your debt and financing, David Finkle has eight tips for you.

Social amplifies every voice, for good and ill. Social can also make or break a brand, and often the tipping point is customer experience. Still, there are other ways to sabotage small business growth; here are 10 of them.

Gen Y internship and entry-level career expert Heather R. Huhman offers 50 free places where your employees can find valuable career-boosting resources.

Wouldn’t it be great to sit down with an expert from Google and get insights into how small businesses can leverage the Internet. This video does exactly that.

Some women may need inspiration and strategies to bolster their confidence in business. If that’s you, scan these five confidence killers and how to slay them.

A major dose of guilt can come with firing an employee. Here are ways to deal with it.

Critical to great customer service is to be a superior communicator and that requires taking control of the initial reaction.

Exporting is one path for growth. Here are some basic considerations to help you see if you’re ready to sell outside the US border.

Tesla’s Elon Musk is doing it and  John Montesi makes a good case for sharing your company’s best-kept secrets. What do you think?

The path forward isn’t always clear yet great leaders continue making progress. Patti Johnson’s article in the Harvard Business Review explores decision making in the face of uncertainty.

Government, politics and the economy

Economist Raymond J. Keating takes a good look at the relationship between free trade agreements, small business and US exports. Few US small businesses truly participate in overseas trade. Our trade policies need to be updated to include small businesses and ecommerce and stop focusing so much on major corporations.

Some areas around the globe are struggling, but in Britain the number of small businesses making a profit has reached pre-2008 levels.

Small business owners are treated like corporate big wigs when it comes to some important credit card laws. Odysseas Papdimitriou of WalletHub thinks Congress needs to act.

The weeks of snowy and icy weather took their toll on small business cash registers, a survey shows.

Seattle’s minimum wage law and upcoming rulings from Washington regulators threaten years of franchise law.

With 16,000 employees, you wouldn’t think Congress qualifies as a small business, yet in the world of Obamacare, it seems to be. In more Obamacare news, larger small businesses don’t want to be included in the program’s small business marketplace.

Note to Beltway lawmakers: Virginia politicians rose above partisanship to pass small business crowdfunding legislation.

Oorah! Two marines joined forces to push a bill that would allow veterans to leverage the GI bill for small business loans.

According to the Inuit Quickbooks Small Business Indexes, February was a mixed month. Employment went up and revenue went down. The NFIB found that small biz confidence ticked up.

What do you do when you’re a terrorist organization like ISIS and you need to fund your activities but you can’t exactly print your own currency or sit down with the local bank manager? You start using Bitcoin.

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