Weekly Buzz: We scour the headlines so you don’t have to. 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.
While culture may seem an ambiguous and fuzzy concept, strong cultures are the best way for leaders to manage their companies throughout their evolution. One founder/CEO described his company’s rapid growth to several hundred employees in just a few years this way. First, I was one of a few founders. As we grew, I became a manager of people. Then a manager of managers. And now I’m a manager of managers of managers. (TOMASZ TUNGUZ)
Last week, Instagram — the image-based social network with more than 300 million users — made a change that barely received notice outside the tech world. It officially switched on its API, or application programming interface, for ads. The reaction, or lack thereof, was predictable. APIs aren’t generally the stuff of front-page news. On a technical level, the change means that ads can now be posted on Instagram by just about anyone, using online tools that plug directly into the network. (Re/code)
My sales director and I traveled to Bentonville, Arkansas earlier this year to pitch to Sam’s Club. We were invited to the Sam’s Club’s “30 Minutes to Win It” event, a way for small vendors to get in front of some of the most important buyers in the world, when buyers stopped by our booth at CES. (YFS Magazine)
The worst thing about having a phone or laptop stolen isn’t necessarily the loss of the physical object itself, though there’s no question that that part sucks. It’s the amount of damage control you have to do afterward. Calling your phone company to get SIMs deactivated, changing all of your account passwords, and maybe even canceling credit cards are all good ideas, and they’re just the tip of the iceberg. (Ars Technica)
The fund-raising by Mr. Hommels is perhaps the strongest evidence yet that investors have rekindled their interest in European venture capital. Just like in Silicon Valley, where companies like Uber, the ride-booking service, have attracted eye-popping valuations, venture capitalists, private equity firms and other investors are now flooding into Europe. (The New York Times)
The key to building revolutionary businesses and achieving careers success is mastering productivity. After all, we all have exactly the same number of hours in the day in which to reach our goals. It is what we do, and how we do it, that makes all the difference. Peak productivity makes the difference between achieving greatness and simply getting through each day with mediocrity. We reach excellence by focusing on the little patterns that shape our daily lives. (The Web Writer Spotlight)
The most potent weapon in sales is understanding a buyer’s perception of time. As Mark Roberge wrote, “At HubSpot, this lacking sense of urgency is the number one objection we face in the sales funnel.” To succeed, SaaS startups’ sales teams must consistently create urgency in the sales process. Time is scarce. Either the seller’s time is scarce or the buyer’s time is scarce. Understanding that scarcity and focusing the buyer on it is the key to repeatable sales. (TOMASZ TUNGUZ)
Almost 9 in 10 consumers have contacted customer service at some point in the past year, according to a recent survey from the Consumer Reports National Research Center. The study found that poor experiences abound, with half of respondents reporting having left a store without making an intended purchase because of poor service, and 57% hanging up the phone without resolving their issue. So what are their top irritants? (Marketing Charts)
Under the new health care law, sometimes called Obamacare, the “employer mandate” kicks in for businesses with 50 or more full-time equivalent employees (FTE). For purposes of the mandate, FTE includes full-time employees plus each 30 hour period worked by non-full-time workers. (Forbes)
Intuit Inc. unveiled plans to sell three units, including its well-known Quicken home-accounting software, as it forecast sales and earnings that trailed analysts’ estimates.
The company plans to sell the businesses, which also include Demandforce and QuickBase, to shift resources toward small businesses and handling taxes in the U.S. and Canada, the company said in a statement Thursday. (Bloomberg)
My team wanted to gain a better understanding of how people engage with our website so that we could make even better content. Engagement as our one metric brought clarity and focus to our content strategy. I love spreadsheets as much as the next data-driven marketer, but I simply wasn’t satisfied with the data collection process, or the quality of insights we were producing. Measuring engagement proved tedious. (Digital Telepathy)