Weekly Buzz: Sit back, relax, and enjoy our curated 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.
Instagram is hands-down, the hottest social media site of the moment with 100 million unique visitors each month. If you are not aware of what Instagram is, it is a free app that lets you take a photo or video, choose a filter to transform its look and feel, then post it to your Instagram profile. The key to getting noticed on Instagram is the use of #hashtags. (Business 2 Community)
Over the past five years, law firms in Silicon Valley, New York and Boston have put online – for free – the documents that startups need to execute basic legal transactions. New sites, Cooley GO and WHLaunch, join first-movers Founders’ Workbench and Start-Up Forms Library, to enable entrepreneurs to incorporate their company, secure early-stage financing, hire employees and compensate them with stock options. (TechCrunch)
Every small-business owner needs to know some numbers — total revenue, profit margin, cost of goods, and the like. But as we start 2015, every entrepreneur needs to know other numbers to stay competitive and succeed. (USA Today)
When someone on Brian Kardon’s marketing team asks him if they can experiment with a new marketing tactic, tool, or approach, the Lattice Engines CMO’s answer can typically be summed up in three simple words: Just do it. It’s not that Kardon — who was previously the CMO at Eloqua and prior to that CMO at Forrester Research — is a big fan of Nike (and its famous slogan). It’s that he’s a big believer in trying new things, pushing boundaries, and validating ideas with real-world results. (OpenView Labs)
As cannabis becomes increasingly legal in the U.S. and elsewhere, investors are chilling out about the risks of their money going up in smoke. Privateer announced today that its $75 million Series B round will be the first known time institutional investors have put money into a weed startup. (Re/code)
Startups have popped up in every industry disrupting the notion of workplace productivity using everything from unconventional workplace design to flexible hours and generous healthcare benefits, as they look to attract and retain talent in a competitive market. To attract and retain the best talent, young, emerging companies are investing into creative office designs, flexible work arrangements, and lavish welcome packages – and with great returns. (The Economic Times)
A website is one of the most powerful tools that small and midsize business (SMB) operators have in their arsenal. Acting as a 24/7 online home, a good small business website gives visitors information about the company, customers a place to order products, and a unique landing spot for links on social media. (Small Business Computing)
Businesses ultimately fail when liabilities exceed assets — when the company doesn’t have enough money to pay its bills and keep operating. While there are many reasons or ways that a business can get to that point, for ecommerce operations there are two strategic blunders that will almost certainly lead to failure: (a) discounting too heavily, and (b) spending too much on marketing. (Practical Ecommerce)
I have many opinions about people starting small businesses because starting my own small business saved my life. I had wanted to start a coaching business originally in 1999, and after almost a decade of excuses, working in TV news, law school (i.e. more excuses), whining, drinking heavily and even more whining, I finally, with much terror and very little true understanding of what I was letting myself in, did it. (The Huffington Post)
As a busy business owner, you likely don’t have time to create new content at the rate at which your audience demands it. But with content marketing now being the No. 1 driver of search rankings, you can’t afford not to be constantly publishing new content. (PRDaily)
Instagram is growing quickly — faster than the competition, it turns out. New data from the Pew Research Internet Project released Friday found that Instagram was the fastest growing major social network among U.S. adults last year. The segment of U.S. adults using the photo-sharing app grew nine percent over 2013, meaning 26 percent of the U.S. adult population is now on Instagram. (Re/code)
eMarketer estimates that this year, nearly 85% of US companies with 100 or more employees will use Facebook for marketing purposes, and just under two-thirds will use Twitter. Those using one or both of the platforms to distribute content lay out their plans very differently, based on October 2014 research by Percolate. (eMarketer)
Rule #1. Focus on the smallest possible problem you could solve that would potentially be useful. Most companies start out trying to do too many things, which makes life difficult and turns you into a me-too. (Ev Williams)
Twitter is planning to unveil its new video product in the next few weeks, according to sources familiar with the company’s plans. The feature, which will allow users to shoot, edit and post video directly through the app, is Twitter’s attempt to get more clips on the service — and more engagement. (Re/code)
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