Small Business Accelerator: Tips & Trends News Highlights

By at 8 October, 2017, 11:01 am

This week’s roundup of “How To” articles, educational resources and future events, business news and success stories recommended by SBE Council President & CEO Karen Kerrigan.

National Cyber Security Awareness Month

The theme for week two: Cybersecurity in the Workplace Is Everyone’s Business.

Small businesses of all types can protect themselves, their employees and their customers against the most common cyber threats.  Here is an infographic that covers basic steps on how to protect your business and respond to a cyber attack. Learn more on how to cybersecure your business here.


Branding, Marketing & Sales

Get Your E-Commerce Site Ready for Black Friday, “E-commerce sales are expected to grow by 18 to 20 percent this holiday season, according to Deloitte’s 2017 Holiday Shopper Report. While online retailers have lots of opportunity this season, they also face lots of competition. To grab your share of Black Friday sales, you’d better start preparing now. The Holiday Shopping Intentions Survey reports that 66% of shoppers are going to start before Thanksgiving — and more than one-fourth have already started.”

Pros and Cons of DIY Website Builders Versus Custom Websites, Small Business Trends. “There are two main methods to get a website up and running. (1.) You can use a DIY website builder tool such as Wix, Squarespace, Weebly or GoDaddy Websites. (2.) You can have a web designer or developer build a custom website for you. Both approaches include both positives and negatives.”

How to Redesign Your Blog (or Website) the Right Way, The Next Web. “The brand concept encompasses everything that has to do with your business or personal identity. Starting with the logo and up to the customer services you provide, it defines not only your visual image but also the way your customers or followers perceive you.”

Packaging Design Tips Every Small Business Owner Should Know, Young Upstarts. “Aside from having a good product, an important element to pay attention to is the packaging of that product. Packaging is the first line of branding and marketing that should never be taken lightly.”

Instagram Advertising: How to Promote Your Small Business, Fit Small Business. “Instagram is not just a fad for teenagers. With 600 million users and growing every day, it is likely that a meaningful percentage of your target market is using the app.”

4 Free Google Tools for Improving Your Online Presence, Smart Hustle. “Recently I spoke with Soo Young Kim, the Head of Small Business Outreach at Google, whose job it is to help business get online and reach their customers. In our interview, she shared advice on how small businesses can beef up their online presence. Even better, there is a FREE Google tool you can use for each of her tips!”

Webinars & Events

Cyber Secure My Business: Let’s Talk About Ransomware and Phishing
October 10, 2:00 p.m. ET
SBE Council has joined the National Cyber Security Alliance in support of National Cyber Security Awareness Month (October). SBE Council will be sharing various resources throughout the course of the month, and we encourage small business owners to visit the Cyber Secure Your Business portal for helpful resources and information.

On October 10, NCSA and its partner organizations will host a webinar on Ransomware and Phishing, which is on the minds of business owners from small to large companies. Public and private sector experts will help small and mid-size businesses and nonprofits better understand how to combat these common attacks.  Register Here.

The SBA is also hosting a cybersecurity twitter chat on October 10 at 3:00 p.m. ET.  Join the conversation or ask questions at #SBAchat.


SCORE LIVE Webinar: Making Smart, Ethical Business Decisions

October 12, 2017 | 1:00pm ET/10:00am PT

We often read of businesses that fail due to bad decisions, sometimes related to unethical choices. Even the most ethical business owner can make what seems to be a small mistake, but it ends up destroying a company.

During this session produced by SCORE, a resource partner of the U.S. Small Business Administration, Ed Perry will explain causes of bad decision-making and arm you with a simple-to-use framework to help you make smart decisions. You will learn:

• Why staying within the law is not enough to ensure your company’s success

• How entrepreneurial business leadership drives decision-making practices, that left unchecked can create problems

• How to change your decision-making to serve you and your business better

• How to teach your employees to make the right decisions on your behalf

Small Business Master Class, October 17, Tampa

Join the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council for the Small Business Master Class in Tampa on October 17. Network with over 200 small business owners and entrepreneurs while also learning the tools and strategies from experts on how to successfully grow your business in today’s competitive environment.

Featured speakers: Kevin Carter, Super Bowl Champion, NFL Pro Bowler & College Football Analyst; Leigh and Mike Harting, founders of 3 Daughters Brewing; and Amanda Brinkman, Chief Brand and Communications Officer at Deluxe. We will have a variety of other speakers including executives from Juxtapose Apparel & Studio, AC4S, Majesty Title Services, Inc., Mise en Place Restaurant Group, and more.

Friends of SBE Council will receive complimentary attendance with the code TampaSBE. Click here to register.

SAVE THE DATE! The Phoenix Small Business Master Class will be held November  16.


Global Small Business Summit, October 20, Chicago

E-commerce is booming and is considered the new retail. All companies must prepare for the digital age, like it or not, and in the global economy there is extraordinary opportunity for small to mid-size firms.  Learn more at the 3rd Annual Global Small Business Forum! SBE Council is a proud sponsor of this exceptional event.

Management, Operations & Growth

6 Key Benefits of Building Systems, GrowThink. “While building systems takes time and often does not put immediately cash in your pocket, the 6 key benefits above will pay for themselves over and over again and are definitely worth doing. So start systematizing your business today.”

Can You Be Fired for Your Political Views, Small Biz Daily. “Federal and state laws are all over the place when it comes to discrimination on the basis of political affiliation (as opposed to, say, race or religion), especially if you are a private employer. Contrary to what a lot of people believe, the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution does not give employees the absolute right to voice their political opinions in the workplace.”

What Do Post-It Notes, Amazon Drones and Gmail All Have In Common? They were Developed with the Same Leadership Technique, Entrepreneur. “In a nutshell, intrapreneurship is when organizations harness the entrepreneurial drive and vision of their employees to their own benefit.”

8 Weak Change Signals that Can Have Explosive Impact, Startup Professionals. “No business or startup wants to be the next Myspace, or even the next RIM (BlackBerry), where changes in the marketplace were subtle. Recognizing and interpreting weak signals into timely decision making is critical to your business, and it takes skill and focus.”

Big Data and Small Business, Barbara Weltman. “Small companies have the data sets for big data; they just need to use the information. Here are some ways that big data can help your business.”


Data & Policy

Where America’s Highest Earners Live, Forbes. “…16 of the 20 counties with the largest share of full-time employed residents earning over $75,000 were functionally suburban, with most people driving to work and living in low to moderate density environments.”

Meet the Biggest Money-Making Industries of 2017, Inc. “From health to media to environmental services, companies that landed atop the 2017 Inc. 5000, a list of the fastest-growing private companies in the U.S., amassed more than $206 billion in sales, up from $199 billion in 2015. But not everyone can make the big bucks.”

Dig In: There’s Actually Some Good News in the September Jobs Report, Small Business Insider, SBE Council. “…questions lurk given the storms and their aftermath, but in terms of the more reliable look at jobs via the household survey, September was a very positive month on the jobs front. Let’s hope that this turns into an extended trend.”


Startups & Entrepreneurship

6 Untold Reasons Why Businesses Fail, GrowThink. “Most of the time, the business owner doesn’t realize that these reasons are what caused their failure, and consultants generally don’t ask the kinds of questions that would identify them.”

A Standard Business Plan Outline, Bplans. “If you don’t have a specific immediate need to show a formal business plan to a banker or investor, then you are probably better off doing just a lean business plan, for your internal use only.”

How to Write a Market Analysis, Bplans. “Whether you do a comprehensive analysis, or just spend a few hours on a leaner version, what you learn can be the difference between thriving and struggling.”

5 Ways Your Startup Can Save Money in the First Months, Blogtrepreneur. “You don’t want to prevent your business from purchasing and investing in the things it needs to grow and be successful, but you also can’t afford to be lavish or careless with your spending.”


Trends & Notable News

EY Embraces the Gig Economy, Small Biz Labs. “EY’s announcement is yet another example of corporations moving to embrace the gig economy. And as we recently pointed out, gig economy companies are pivoting to serve this large and growing market.”

How the Membership Economy is Disrupting Big Auto and Pretty Much Every Other Industry, Young Upstarts. “Specifically, the Membership Economy is responsible for a mindset change from ownership to access. Now more and more, consumers are craving access, and savvy entrepreneurs are wisely taking advantage of new technology and using it to address customers’ unmet needs and wishes.”


Success & Inspiration

They Started with $10,000. Now They’re Taking on ESPN, Inc. “FloSports’ subscriptions (which currently cost $150 annually) doubled in the past year, and it’s currently adding 30,000 subscribers each month. Its backers include Bertelsmann, Discovery Communications, and World Wrestling Entertainment­.”

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