The Young and the Restless: Small Business News – January 21-25, 2013

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What’s the matter with kids today, what with their innovation and their desire for employee engagement? The news for this past workweek was concerned primarily with young people, their penchant for unique ideas and entrepreneurialism, and how to hire good workers just like them. As a former young person myself, I’m proud of where these new entrepreneurs are headed. And I hope that BuildMyBiz can play even the smallest part in their success.

Aspiring entrepreneurs know the importance of fostering innovation
A lot’s been said about the generation gap between Baby Boomers and Millenials. As a poster child for Generation X, I tend to stand on the sidelines and watch rather than get involved. But when it comes to innovation, you can count me with the “kids.” According to Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited, 78 percent of younger employees believe in the sharing and developing of unique ideas for driving and expanding company operations.

IRS “Where’s My Refund?” Update
Tax return overachievers, pay heed. The IRS will not process your paper or electronic tax return before January 30. The Where’s My Refund page has also been updated with information on new features for this useful tax-time tool.

Is employee engagement a strong focus among small businesses?
A study by Dale Carnegie and MSW Research found that only 29 percent of employees feel engaged by their companies. While I work for Paychex, not paychecks, if you know what I mean, what can smaller businesses do to improve their employee engagement?

Ignoring social media can be bad for small businesses
According to Zeno Group, a large number of company leaders do not focus on the social media reputation of their businesses. That may sound familiar to you, if you’ve read “Aspiring entrepreneurs know the importance of fostering innovation.” In fact, 71 percent of big company executives are aware of their companies’ social reputations, while only 55 percent of local merchants said the same. Find out how you can help close that innovation gap.

Could small business blogs be successful?
Of course they could! “When done right, a blog will establish you as an expert in your field, and create a degree of familiarity and trust with your prospects.” Technorati wrote. How do you make that happen? Ask Forbes, which provided helpful tips for developing a blog for your business.

Focusing on small business success tips for 2013
The countdown has ended, the ball has dropped. New Year’s was almost a month ago. And business owners are diving into strategies and actions to make their businesses more successful in the new year. If you’re looking to cut costs and improve efficiency, Offers.com recently released a report highlighting tips for small businesses and how they can make 2013 their best year yet.

Younger professionals more likely to follow their entrepreneurial dreams
Almost half of entrepreneurs around the world are between 25 to 44 years old, says the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor. These young professionals, and a few who might be better described as young at heart, share a strong focus on their goals and the motivation to achieve them. As for the rest of humanity, you’re not entirely excluded from the party. “We see people participating in entrepreneurship at all ages,” according to Donna Kelley, Associate Professor of Entrepreneurship at Babson College.

How can small businesses find the right workers for hard-to-fill positions?
Anyone who has ever hired an employee has most likely rued the decision at some point. Fortunately, you can avoid the ruing (not to mention the suing) by getting better at wooing the right employees. Small Business Trends recommends some strategies for effective hiring, like, for example, making use of social media. Yes, I’m looking at you, “Ignoring social media can be bad for small businesses.”

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