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February 26 2014

February 25 2014

February 24 2014

February 20 2014

February 17 2014

February 10 2014

Seeking: America's Most Social Small Business
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Your small business is rocking its social media presence — tweeting and Instagramming, pinning, sharing and hashtagging like a pro. You've seen amazing online engagement rates, experienced steady growth of fans and followers and mastered the art of online conversation.

Developing a successful social strategy isn't easy; so here's your chance for a little recognition.

March Madness season is almost upon us in the sports world, but we're taking a more Mashable approach to this year's brackets: We're on the search for America's Most Social Small Business, presented by Capital One Spark.

Over the course of the next week (through Feb. 17), we are accepting nominations and submissions from small businesses around the country for the title of America's Most Social Small Business Read more...

More about Marketing, Social Media, Business, Small Business, and Facebook
The 2014 Tax Small Business Owners Need to Know
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Tax season is a stressful time for everyone, but for business owners, the pressure can be especially high. From January to April, it's a whirlwind of sorting receipts and pay stubs, reviewing ledgers and completing IRS forms to ensure that everything is properly prepared and filed. Even though most businesses use an accountant, digging up all the necessary documentation and information needed for tax filing can still be a hassle.

Being unaware of important tax filing changes can add to the stress of this season. Mark Faggiano, CEO of tax automation software company TaxJar, noted several changes from last year that will affect small business owners: Read more...

More about Taxes, Small Business, Business, and Us

February 09 2014

Mobile Payments Are Risky for Small Businesses
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As mobile payment options become more prevalent among small businesses, so too do the opportunities for fraud, new research shows.

A study by LexisNexis and Javelin Strategy & Research discovered that smaller mobile merchants — small businesses that accept at least one type of payment through either mobile browsers, mobile applications or mobile point-of-sale systems — rely on fewer fraud-prevention solutions, meaning they are often more exposed to deceptive schemes.

Specifically, smaller mobile merchants use on average just two different types of fraud-technology solutions, compared with an average of four types for larger businesses. Fraud-technology prevention includes such tools as PIN and signature authentication, check verification services, transaction and customer profile databases, browser/malware tracking, IP geolocation and real-time transaction tracking tools. Read more...

More about Small Business, Fraud, Credit Cards, Identity Management, and Mobile Payment

January 31 2014

Beastie Boys Nemesis GoldieBlox Is Going to the Super Bowl
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GoldieBlox, the girls' toy startup best known for its viral hit video that prompted a legal threat from the Beastie Boys, is going to the Super Bowl, thanks to Intuit.

The 15-person startup won Intuit's Small Business Big Game contest, which challenged such small businesses to tell their story in 600 words or fewer. The prize: Exposure in a 30-second ad during the game's third quarter. GoldieBlox was named a semi-finalist in the contest in November, around the same time a video from the startup went viral.

The video, which has now surpassed 10 million views, also drew unwelcome attention from the Beastie Boys, who threatened to sue over the use of the group's song, "Girls." After a short standoff, GoldieBlox pulled the song from the video Read more...

More about Small Business, Startups, Business, Advertising, and Marketing

January 20 2014

Senior Employees Are a Firm's Biggest Cybersecurity Weakness
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The biggest threat to your company's cybersecurity isn't malware, phishing scams or even hackers — it's you. In a series of studies published last week, three security research firms asked employees at midsize businesses across America about the biggest threats to corporate cybersecurity. And while the surveys each pointed to slightly different culprits, the verdict was clear: employees are the weakest link in the security chain.

The largest of the three studies — a Stroz Friedberg online survey of more than 700 information workers — found that senior management may be the biggest threat to an organization's digital well-being. Fifty-eight percent of senior managers reported having (digitally) sent sensitive information to the wrong person. Compare that with just 25 percent of lower-level employees guilty of the same misstep. And more than half of all senior managers in the study admitted to taking files with them after they left a job. Only 25 percent of rank-and-file employees were found to have done the same. Read more...

More about Cybersecurity, Business, Small Business, Startups, and Work Play

January 18 2014

Vimeo Launches Marketing Program to Help Crowdfunded Filmmakers
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PARK CITY, Utah — Filmmakers who turn to crowdfunding sites such as Kickstarter and Indiegogo typically use campaign money for shooting and production. But getting a movie made is only one part of the filmmaking process: It still needs to be marketed

Video-sharing platform Vimeo, which gets 149 million unique visitors a month, is offering $500,000 to crowdfunded filmmakers in need of marketing help. Selected filmmakers will receive assistance with website creation, targeted online campaigns and social-media initiatives. In exchange, the content will be hosted on the company's Vimeo On Demand site. Read more...

More about Vimeo, Sundance, Marketing, Small Business, and Entertainment

January 17 2014

Boost Your Small Business With These 12 Free Ecommerce Tools
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The second quarter of 2013 saw U.S. online sales grow nearly 16%, marking the 15th consecutive quarter of positive year-on-year growth. Later in the year, in the UK, there was a record-breaking holiday season for many online retailers.

With trends predicting ecommerce sales to take an ever bigger portion of retail sales in 2014, it isn't surprising to see many small businesses move toward online operations. As a small business owner, you don't have a big budget to work with, but you still want a reliable, professional online platform that you can set up and maintain with ease.

More about Small Business, Startups, Features, Ecommerce, and E Commerce

January 15 2014

How to Know When You've Outgrown Your Home Office
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There are numerous reasons to run a business out of your home, with cost savings and an easy commute being the top two. However, there may come a time when the business outgrows the home. Common signs are when boxes of inventory overtake the dining room or you need to invite employees or customers to meet in your living room

Some people can work successfully from home for years, while others outgrow their home office faster than expected. Here are some of the warning signs that you’re ready to move beyond the home office Read more...

1. Your home office affects customers or clients.

More about Small Business, Startups, Features, Business, and Contributor

January 14 2014

12 Outdated Web Features That Need to Disappear in 2014
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We've all been there — yelling at a computer screen or particular website because the antiquated design prevents you from getting where you want to go.

But outdated features on your company's website can do more than annoy — it can cost you potential clients or customers.

To figure out what exactly agitates users the most, we asked 12 entrepreneurs which website features small businesses should avoid (or get rid of) at all costs. Here's what they had to say:

1. Irrelevant Elements

Juha Liikala By far, the biggest issue I come across with new site launches is this: They use too many elements that bring no real value to the audience. In fact, these often just downgrade user experience considerably. There are too many crowded designs and too much text on one page. There are too many icons and photos. Does your site really need a search bar? Do you really need to show the tag cloud in your blog sidebar? Think hard. What are the 20% of elements that bring 80% of the results you're after? Start there. Always have a sound reason for adding new features, bells and whistles. Never add more stuff just because it seems "cool and hip." Read more...

More about Small Business, Features, Dev Design, Business, and Startups

January 12 2014

5 Kinds of Deal Seekers and What They Mean to Your Business
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While many consumers are looking for the best deal, not everyone buys on price alone, new research shows.

While many consumers expect to get a deal or discount, others are willing to pay more, provided other needs are met, according to a study by Experian Marketing Services, a provider of integrated consumer insight, targeting, data quality and cross-channel marketing. A store's environment, the brands it carries, convenience and service all were deemed more important than price for the majority of consumers surveyed. In addition, nearly 40 percent of U.S. consumers are unlikely to change their behavior as the result of a discount. John Fetto, senior analyst, marketing and research at Experian, said it is critical that marketers know which customers want a deal or need a deal, and which outright rejects them. Read more...

More about Business, Advertising, Marketing, and Small Business

January 10 2014

Virginia Court Commands Yelp to Hand Over Anonymous Reviewers
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A Virginia Circuit Court has ordered Yelp to hand over the identities of seven anonymous commenters, according to court documents dated Tuesday

The ruling was the result of an appeal by Yelp following a subpoena issued by Hadeed Carpet Cleaning, a small business near Arlington, Va. The subpoena legally requested Yelp identify seven anonymous commenters who left negative reviews for the company

Yelp objected to the subpoena, and the court ruled in favor of Hadeed. The freedom to speak anonymously is protected by the First Amendment, but the court ruled that "defamatory speech is not entitled to constitutional protection." Read more...

More about Yelp, Business, Small Business, Us, and State Supreme Court

January 09 2014

Man Pays $42,000 for Private Webcam Session With Dominatrix
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While you schmoes were dragging your butts in the cold to your desk jobs while trying to prevent snot from freezing on your face, a San Francisco-based domme named Maitresse Madeline (NSFW) was most likely sleeping pretty in her cozy bed. Why? Because Maitresse Madeline doesn't leave the house for less than $40,000 a day.

That's how much an Australian man was willing to pay for a private, one-on-one session with her. During a Kink.com auction yesterday, the unidentified buyer shelled out a staggering $42,000 for what is believed to be the most expensive webcam session of all time

The record-breaking bid was the culmination of a two-week auction on Kink.com's Greedy Bitches, a new femdom website helmed by the Maitresse. Although the idea for the auction was conceived at least in part as a way to promote the project, by the third day of bidding, offers had already reached $10,000, indicating that the auction had taken on a life of its own. Read more...

More about Business, Small Business, and Video

January 08 2014

5 Skills You Need to Be a Leader at Work
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If you've got your eye on a management role — especially one on the top of the totem pole — you have your work cut out for you. After all, there's more to being a boss than, well, bossing people around.

You see, if you want to be a truly inspirational and effective leader, there are big picture skills you need to learn — that is, figuring out how to manage your team in a way that impacts the success of the whole company in the long run.

So, for all you current, developing, and hopeful leaders out there, check out this infographic for five essential skills to start (and continue!) developing.

5 skills every workplace leader needsImage: Hulton Archive/Getty Images Read more...

More about Leadership, Business, Small Business, Startups, and Jobs
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