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The beginning of the year checklist every small business owner needs
The Huffington Post
As we dive on into 2015, entrepreneurs everywhere are taking the time to evaluate the business choices they've made throughout the last year. After all, it's beneficial to take a look at what worked and what didn't work so you can make educated choices as a business owner in the coming years. Here are four actionable items to check off of your beginning-of-the-year to-do list right away.
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Answer these 6 questions — and customers will love you
Forbes
So many people talk about customer engagement these days, and a lot of that talk is pretty complicated and/or platitudinous. It's hugely refreshing to read something about dealing with customers that goes right to the heart of what's most important in relating to them, and does it in such a straightforward way. Here's the essence of Jim Connolly's post — his six "truths" and the questions that arise from them — followed by my take on some ways to answer these six important questions.
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SPONSORED CONTENT


5 ways to stress less at work
U.S. News & World Report
As the pace of life becomes increasingly stressful and hectic, everyone is seeking relief. The concept of mindfulness, which was once the purview of a fringe minority, has now become front and center for many employers hoping to restore a sense of sanity to the workplace.
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50 big ideas, predictions and trends for small business in 2015
Business News Daily
Out with the old, in with the new — 2015 is fast approaching, and that means a whole new year of new trends in the small business world and beyond. Business News Daily asked small business owners and business experts what they think will be the next big thing in 2015.
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How to keep your employees motivated: 6 tips for creating happier employees
Business 2 Community
Every business owner and manager knows that motivated employees are more productive and also, they do more quality work. Therefore, you need to keep your employees motivated and make them feel excited to come to work every day. There are many ways to keep your employees happy and motivated without raising their pay.
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Website development tips for small business
Small Business Computing
A website is one of the most powerful tools that small and midsize business operators have in their arsenal. Acting as a 24/7 online home, a good small business website gives visitors information about the company, customers a place to order products and a unique landing spot for links on social media. All that functionality comes at a price, though. Since most small businesses come with limited budgets, it's crucial to develop a small business website site that's both effective as well as cost-efficient.
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BEVERAGE NEWS


Coffee with sugar rally on Brazil concerns to defy oil collapse
Bloomberg
Defying the rout in oil prices, the coffee and sugar markets are rallying because of supply concerns in Brazil, the world's top producer and exporter of the so-called soft commodities.
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Best time and temperature to drink coffee? Late morning. 136 degrees.
The Washington Post
Scientists work tirelessly to uncover the mysteries of the natural world, from the reasons people binge to the best way to wash hands. Recently it was revealed that they've figured out why coffee served in white mugs tastes so bitter. (The contrast between the color of coffee and a white mug makes the joe look and taste bolder) Coffee served in clear glass mugs tastes sweeter. So, yes, those lab rats (the people, not the animals) are obsessed with getting (and studying) that jolt of java. That study got us thinking: What other crazy things do we know about coffee thanks to science? Answer: a lot.
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New uses for used tea bags
DailyFinance
While a lot of us enjoy tea for the potential health benefits, did you know that used teabags can be good for your budget, too? Here are a few handy ways to reuse these bags to save, long after your cup is empty!
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Maui farms brace for destructive coffee beetles to arrive
The Associated Press via Houston Chronicle
Coffee growers on Maui are bracing for a destructive beetle to eventually make its way to the island. The coffee berry borer has been wreaking havoc on the Big Island for years. The pest made its way to Oahu in December.
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Is coffee doomed? One Portlander's plan to save the bean
Portland Monthly
Rainclouds sweep over a plateau studded with newly planted coffee trees. On a dirt road cutting through the fields, Portlander David Griswold herds about 25 people from 11 countries for a group photo. For these coffee farmers from Brazil, Colombia, and Peru, and coffee roasters from Norway, Australia, and the US, this amounts to a pilgrimage. Griswold, the president and founder of the Portland coffee importer Sustainable Harvest, has led them to one of the world's most storied coffee farms, Panama's Hacienda la Esmeralda.
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Havana: The world's best city for coffee
The Daily Meal
The Daily Meal recently ranked the World's 10 Best Cities for Coffee. To develop our list, The Daily Meal considered the number of coffee shops in each city, the city's ranking on lists created by sources like Travel & Leisure and the BBC, and the growth of the city's coffee culture. At the top of that list is none other than Havana, Cuba.
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CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY


Doing good is good for business — Corporate Social Responsibility in 2015
The Huffington Post
Corporate social responsibility is no longer an obligation that corporations feel they need to take on, but has become central to the operations of many of the best companies today Here is an update on new trends emerging and on how companies are redefining their CSR platforms.
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8 CSR trends to watch out for in 2015
Forbes
From Giving Tuesday to the Ice Bucket Challenge to Climate Week NYC, 2014 brought plenty of opportunities for companies to get creative with their corporate social responsibility initiatives and experiment with new types of engagement. As a whole, the corporate social responsibility industry continued to gain traction this year, with social impact increasingly making its way in to the C-Suite and transparency becoming the new norm. With 2015 having recently arrived, we asked industry experts to share their top CSR trends from 2014 as well as their predictions for the new year.
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The biggest corporate social media blunders of 2014
The Telegraph
OMG. Look who just got bashtagged. Twitter and Facebook are used by the world's biggest brands to reach out to customers. But when things go wrong on social media, there's nowhere to hide. Lots of companies fell foul of the viral power of these networks in 2014. Here's our pick of the best of the worst offenders.
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Keeping In Touch With NAMA
Colby Horton, Vice President of Publishing, 469.420.2601
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