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Would you win gold in the small-business games?
OPEN Forum
The Winter Games are just getting kicked off in Sochi, Russia. Thousands of athletes from hundreds of countries compete in 98 events. Many of these men and women have trained their entire lives for these games to see their dreams come true. That passion and dedication is similar to that of entrepreneurs. If there was a worldwide competition for small businesses, what events would there be?
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How to choose a lawyer for a small business
Houston Chronicle
When it comes to finding the right lawyer for your small business, doing so sooner rather than later is almost certainly the best plan. A good lawyer won't just help you deal with legal hassles that come along but also can help you avoid them before they arise. Finding someone you are comfortable working with is important but so is ensuring you select a firm that has the skills and expertise your business will require.
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Events and awards that can help your small business grow
Small Biz Trends
Here's another hand-selected list of small-business webinars, conferences, awards and other events. Want to continue your education? Want to invest in your staff by helping them improve their skills? Want to network and develop valuable connections that can lead to new opportunities? And how about getting publicity for your business and valuable prizes, by competing in contests and awards programs? All of the above can help you grow your business and make it more successful.
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2 problems with small-business advice
Yahoo
Eric Martin writes, "As much as you may think that opening an independent small business makes you an autonomous entity and puts you outside the purview of compromise and instruction, of water-cooler hemming and hawing, the case may prove otherwise. In five years of running a coffee shop in the suburbs of L.A., it's been my experience that opening a small business can mean opening the door to advice — lots of advice."
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Get your small business 5 steps closer to SERP domination
Business 2 Community
SERP domination is a beautiful thing. Unlike world domination, it isn't lusted after by cartoon villains and doesn't require making tons of enemies along the way. Nope. All it takes is a great online presence and some strategic SEO work. So, what is SERP domination?
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Would you win gold in the small-business games?
OPEN Forum
The Winter Games are just getting kicked off in Sochi, Russia. Thousands of athletes from hundreds of countries compete in 98 events. Many of these men and women have trained their entire lives for these games to see their dreams come true. That passion and dedication is similar to that of entrepreneurs. If there was a worldwide competition for small businesses, what events would there be?

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A 3-step business checkup for 1st quarter
AllBusiness.com via Fox Business
The first quarter of a new calendar year is a good time to take stock of your business's financial health with a business checkup. And while you may be tempted to think about your financial statements only during tax time, smart business owners will use their financial information anytime they are making a decision about their business.

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State of the Union Address reaction from the NASE
NASE
After President Barack Obama delivered his 2014 State of the Union address, the National Association for the Self-Employed released the following statements.

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Ways to put the spark back in your small business
HutchNews.com
"If it's not broken, don't fix it" is a familiar saying. But just because your small business seems to be just getting by in a challenging economy doesn't mean there's no room for improvement. Flat sales aren't always entirely out of your control. Does your business need a full-scale makeover to get things going or are some simple tweaks enough to spur activity?
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2 ways to find good salespeople
By Harry J. Friedman
When you went into business, did you realize that you were also going into the business of hiring? Unfortunately, staff turnover in business — particularly in retail stores — is a never-ending battle. Regardless of industry or your efforts in keeping turnover to a minimum, many people still regard retail as something to do until something better comes along. Certainly, there are many difficulties inherent to the hiring process. But there are some things you can do to eliminate, or at least lessen, some of those difficulties.
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From MVP to profitable small business in 1 month
Under 30 CEO
How long did you wait to start your business? A week? A month? A year? Many have one major regret when it comes to their business: that they didn't start sooner. Here's how Brandon Bear turned a basic idea for a service into a business averaging $400 in monthly profit after the first month. Hopefully this story will be the "spark" that gets you to start taking action on your own ideas.
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TRENDING ARTICLES
Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    State of the Union Address reaction from the NASE (NASE)
A 3-step business checkup for 1st quarter (AllBusiness.com via Fox Business)
New tax rules that may affect your 2013 return (Kiplinger)
Why toy startup GoldieBlox's historic $4 million Super Bowl ad win matters (Forbes)
Best ways to market a small business effectively (KPIX-TV)

Don't be left behind. Click here to see what else you missed.


8 big problems with small-business websites
Mycase via Digital Information World
Your website is your door to the online world; it's how your potential customer finds you and how you find them. And if you neglect the maintenance and upkeep of that door, you could be costing your small business a fair amount of money. Give you client and customers the tools they need to interact with your business and ensure you don't make these same website mistakes given in this infographic, which comes courtesy of Mycase.
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Small-business centers in Virginia and Mexico form trade partnership under Obama initiative
Washington Post
George Mason University's business development center recently agreed to partner with a similar organization in Mexico to develop better entrepreneurial training practices and help companies in both regions break into one another's market.
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Company culture is for small business, too
Crain's Detroit Business
Amy Haimerl writes, "If somebody had asked my dad what his company culture was, he would have locked them with a 1,000-foot John Wayne stare. That would sound like a bunch of woo-woo-woo hippie stuff to him, one of the last stoic sons of the West. But in truth, the family excavating business did have a culture. It was written on the back of his business card: 'The bitterness of poor quality and workmanship remains long after the sweetness of the low bid is forgotten.' In that phrase he told all potential clients that he and my brother and mother hustled. That they were fair and committed. That they believed in quality. Still, he would have thought that's just how you run a business, not some fancy business school lingo about culture. I might have agreed with him until I sat recently with Ross Sanders, the executive director of Bizdom."
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