Weekend Reading: Sit back, relax, and enjoy our curated weekend reads. Here’s our weekly link roundup of small business buzz, musings and muchness. A curation of the best small business talk around the web.
The smallest companies are making the biggest splash on business school campuses, according to a survey released this week. Slightly more schools saw more companies of any size coming to campus to recruit MBAs, driven by a flurry of startups that started to hunt for new hires. The survey by the MBA Career Services & Employer Alliance, an association of business school career-management offices and companies, found that 55 percent of business schools saw a rise in on-campus recruitment in the spring of 2014. But that growth—up from 48 percent a year earlier… (Bloomberg Businessweek)
Today’s customers are much more in control of their buying decision, as they have more choices and more information than ever before. Almost instantly, via the Internet or on their smartphone in the store, they can find the lowest price alternative or their favorite features, without waiting for push marketing or listening to your best sales person. This can be an advantage to startups who don’t have the resources and brand awareness of mature businesses, if they understand and position themselves to win in the decisive moments of the new customer buying process. (The Huffington Post)
With health care costs continuously being shifted onto individuals, very few small business employees now say they are satisfied with their company’s benefit offerings — highlighting an opportunity for benefit advisers to work with employers to create more comprehensive benefit packages with employee needs in mind. Only 12% of small business employees say they are extremely satisfied with their benefits and only 14% say their benefits package meets their current family needs extremely well, according to the Aflac Workforces Report for Small Businesses, released July 10. (Employee Benefit Adviser)
Over time, as you keep churning out content, your quality starts to suffer. You aren’t getting the big results you hoped for. The more you create, the more your quality suffers. So you start producing mediocre content. And that leads to lower traffic and fewer conversions, the exact opposite of what you had hoped to achieve with more content creation. Eventually you lose momentum and face burnout because it all seems futile. This is the vicious content cycle. (Search Engine Watch)
When you’re a small business looking for funding, you’ll find one of the first places people recommend you go is the Small Business Administration. The SBA has a variety of loan programs available, and given their consistent support of Main Street, it’s easy to see why you would choose this as a starting point. However, you might be surprised to learn that the SBA doesn’t make direct loans. Instead, it provides loan guarantees to businesses, promising banks to pay back a certain percentage of a loan if the borrower is unable to. Sadly, that’s a clarification often not made. So, if you’re pursuing this as an option, it’s important you learn the truth about SBA loans. (Fox Business)
Entrepreneurship is a path that very few people have the ability to pursue and stick with. The challenge of entrepreneurship goes beyond the simple day-to-day tasks or even the skills required to achieve success. There’s deep differences that separate entrepreneurs from everyone else and it starts with these 10 things that entrepreneurs do differently. (The Huffington Post)
In a report released this week, Facebook researchers found that people engage with advertisements on the site more frequently when they tell a story or are otherwise “sequenced.” Facebook may be trying to speed up the process, it seems. On Thursday, the social media company announced in a blog post that it’s testing a “buy” button on ads and brand page posts. “With this feature, people on desktop or mobile can click the “Buy” call-to-action button on ads and Page posts to purchase a product directly from a business, without leaving Facebook,” the blog post states. At first blush, it’s unclear whether the “buy” button could be a magic ROI solution for social media marketers. Facebook is being cautious. (PR Daily)
If you are looking for a way to get a competitive edge, now is the time to start building a relationship with your customers, which includes active listening. In a business context, here are some old-fashioned guidelines for effective listening, for you and the members of your staff who have been distracted by all the things you can now do online. (The Huffington Post)
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