What’s New and What Lasts: Small Business News – January 28-February 1, 2013

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Regardless of the growth of the economy, innovative business ideas are constantly being created, discussed, and tested. They either become the new dogma, or are discarded, but all of these ideas have an intrinsic value for small business owners.

The news this workweek focused on the discussion and testing phases of some ideas that are on their way up to the boardroom or on their way out the door. Feel free to leave your own thoughts and predictions in the comments section at the end of this page.

Small business marketing should target micro demographics
According to Seth Godin, current marketing is based on an Industrial Revolution model, where the marketing conveyor belt churns out messages that are meant for a broad audience. He believes that targeting very specific niches is the way for small businesses to succeed in today’s business environment. Is he right?

Does mobile technology help small business?
Tablets like the iPad® and the various AndroidTM varieties are products so attuned to people’s needs and lifestyles that they’ve become almost digital extensions of ourselves. Now business owners are beginning to see the value in them for their operations as well. Could they improve the way you do business?

Payroll tax bump may hurt consumer savings
It turns out that America’s Baby New Year bump wasn’t a boy or a girl; it was a payroll tax. Forgive me if I don’t hand out cigars. The New York Daily News reported on that extra 2 percent that started coming out of everyone’s paychecks this month, and Time magazine covered how it could affect personal savings plans. Do you think the 2 percent tax will have a significant effect on your sales?

Tech giant falls in the stock market
Apple’s stock experienced a 10 percent drop in shares last week, which Forbes magazine posited was a calculated move to increase the stock’s value down the road. And this is why I don’t personally play the stock market. Buy low, sell high…it’s never quite that simple. Where do you think Apple’s stock is heading?

New technology allows professionals and amateurs to invest in startups
What could possibly be wrong with making impulsive investments? Well, nothing, if you believe the emergence of click-to-spend angel investor sites. However, the Center for Venture Research at the University of New Hampshire disagrees, citing the idea that “you’re adding a whole layer of risk to an already very risky investment class.” As with any investment, the truth lies with that most classic of mottos, “your results may vary.”

New small business insurance policies a big issue for franchises
We received a nice retweet from NY Times columnist @genemarks pointing to this article. Thanks, Gene. We have some ideas why it was Tweet-worthy, such as how it reports on The Street’s five areas of franchise operations that are excellent bets for potential owners, and how it gives an update on how franchise owners are reacting to a lack of clarity around Health Care Reform.

Are women business owners the future of the global economy?
For many of us, this is a rhetorical question. Yes, most definitely, women will have a large and increasing role in the future economy. Yet, how will women business owners get to that point, and when? The gap right now lies in the period between building finances and intellectual property in the first four years of operation, and turning those gains into large, money-making corporations over time. Fortunately, there is a support system in place that is ready and willing to empower the new generation of business owners to even greater heights of success.

BYOD policies can cut costs, boost productivity for small businesses
The acronym BYOD makes the idea of bringing your own device to work seem almost inappropriate or childish, don’t you think? But the idea and its ramifications are serious business. Recent research by Good Technology shows that BYOD is gaining respect, and traction, in the U.S. market and around the world. Does your business have a plan in place for employees to bring their own devices to work?

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