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The Curator: Silicon Valley’s Drought, Women Treps, PR Endings, Cold Email Success, Convert Customers

Here’s our weekly link roundup of small business buzz, musings and muchness. A curation of the best small business talk around the web.

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.

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Silicon Valley Has Officially Run Out of Ideas

Every year the tech blog TechCrunch holds a competition for tech startups at its New York and San Francisco “TechCrunch Disrupt” conferences and crowns a winner at the end. Over the years, the competition has proven to be something less than a fountainhead of world-changing ideas. Past champions include a conference-calling app, a car-sharing service that is not Uber or Lyft, and a half-hearted “Second Life” ripoff that hasn’t been heard from since 2012. At this year’s San Francisco conference, however, the blog has outdone itself, anointing as winner a startup so frivolous and asinine that it makes its lackluster predecessors look like Hewlett-Packard and Fairchild Semiconductor by comparison. (Slate)

 

5 Small Business Insurance Policies Every Business Should Consider

Things go wrong. People make mistakes. Natural disasters are a fact of life. Protecting your small business from these unforeseen events with the right insurance policies could mean the difference between prosperity and going belly up. Here are five types of small business insurance policies that every small business owner should consider. (The Motley Fool)

 

The Power of Investing in Women Entrepreneurs

The data is in! Investing in women entrepreneurs results in new jobs, revenues and contributions to communities, according to our report, Investing in the Power of Women: a Progress Report on the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Women Program. The 10,000 Women Program was launched in 2008 by the Goldman Sachs Foundation to provide business education, access to mentors and networks, and links to capital for 10,000 underserved women operating small businesses. (Forbes)

 

Personal Relationships Influence Small Business Owners Most

Small business owners can get pretty personal. At least, they’re influenced by personal relationships more than anything else, according to a new report by the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO) and credit card company Ink from Chase.
In fact, at 89 percent, a vast majority of small business owners said that their personal relationships have an impact on the way they run their business, and 67 percent said their peers influence them. Fifty-three percent reported that other small business owners influence them as well. (Fox Business)

 

3 ways to improve your press release endings

Stories are only as good as their endings. If you have an amazing story but goof up the very last part it leaves a bad taste in readers’ mouths. Even though they enjoyed the story up until that point, the bad ending will be the main thing they remember—guaranteed. This goes for every single thing you write, be it a creative short story, a blog post, or even a press release. The very ending solidifies the piece with your readers and, in the case of a press release, can help create real interest in your announcement and the company as a whole. (PRDaily)

 

Should Startups Be Charitable? Four Strategies To Decide

There have been some successes like Warby Parker, which donates a pair of glasses for each one sold. But often, “charitable startup” is like a liver smoothie – packed with nutrients, but only consumable by the cast of Jackass. Some of the best known even harm their cause. Or, they act as a leaky prophylactic against first-world guilt – as long as customers never think too hard if anyone’s really being helped. So here’s the brutally honest advice (and strategy matrix) I’ve given to aspiring social entrepreneurs. (Forbes)

 

7 Keys to Cold Emails that Guarantee You a Response

You’d imagine that with all the new marketing platforms and email-optimizing technology, we’d have figured out the secret to cold emails by now. Yet here we are — still hitting send and blindly holding out hope this will be the one that gets a response. Entrepreneurs are still struggling to convince VCs that their pitch email is worth opening… (OpenView Partners)

 

Paid Social Ads Convert More Customers

The digital marketing world has been abuzz for months about Facebook’s dialing-down of organic brand content in the average user’s newsfeed—and the declining importance of the “like” or page follow in its wake. But Q1 2014 research by Convertro and AOL Platforms suggests that even if Facebook is doing what it can to push brands from an earned into a paid media model, paid ads on social networks do have better conversion rates than organic content. (eMarketer)

 

7 Tips For Startups To Attract And Retain Top Talent

Bringing the right people on board is important for any business, but startups in particular can’t afford to make hiring mistakes. When money is tight and credibility has yet to be established, a wrong hire can set you back for months or keep your business from taking off altogether. In addition, a lack of resources and recognition can make it difficult for startups to lure the best and brightest. (Forbes)

 

 

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