Three Things Small Businesses Should Look for in '09

 

Government, Politics and the Economy

Three Things to Watch in the Second Half of '09

Halfway through the year is a good time to pause, reflect, and take inventory. We have probably survived the worst of the recession but the question is, what's next? Here are three things to keep an eye on. NYTimes.com

Tyson: More Stimulus Needed

According to Obama advisor Laura Tyson, the US should consider a second stimulus package focusing on infrastructure projects because the $787 billion approved in February was “a bit too small.” Bloomberg.com

Management and Operations

Accomplish More by Taming Your Meeting Monsters

You know the meeting monsters, those often well-intentioned folks with a knack for disrupting, distracting, and disintegrating potentially great meetings. Here's a guide for taming your meeting monsters and getting more done. BusinessKnowHow.com

When Your Partner is Your Sibling

Growing up, Brenda and Mary Maher shared a bedroom and a Hasbro (HAS) Easy-Bake oven. As college students, they shared a passion for baking elaborately decorated cakes. Since 2000, they've shared Cakegirls, a thriving business that sells $300,000 worth of specialty cakes a year. BusinessWeek.com

Legal Issues

High Court Ruling Complicates Diversity Efforts
As a result of the recent US Supreme Court decision in a reverse discrimination case brought by firefighters passed over for promotion in New Haven, Connecticut, employers now have less flexibility in implementing affirmative action and diversity programs. Workforce.com

Audit Your Policies – Prevent Litigation

Employers today are doing what they must to stay in business including terminations, salary and wage cuts and temporary furloughs, all of which carry a litigation risk. A full audit of your company’s personnel policies and practices will help you spot problems. BusinessManagementDaily.com

Taxes and Financial Issues

Income Surtax on High-Earning Taxpayers Likely in House Health-Care Bill

The House Ways and Means Committee appears likely to propose a surtax on high-income Americans to help pay for an overhaul of the healthcare system. Bloomberg.com

IRS Stops Small Business Penalty Collections

The IRS has announced that it will temporarily stop collecting penalties from some small businesses that have been hit with big fines for not disclosing the use of questionable tax shelters. USAToday.com

Technology Issues

Microsoft: Serious Computer Security Hole

Microsoft is warning about a serious computer security vulnerability affecting Internet Explorer users whose computers run the Windows XP or Windows Server 2003 operating software. The vulnerability, which was disclosed Monday, has not been fixed yet. Yahoo.com/AP

Tweeting the Deal

Smart entrepreneurs are now doing some pretty big deals in 140 characters or less on Twitter. CNNMoney.com

Health, Benefits and Labor Issues

Survey: Most Employers Oppose Healthcare Mandates, Taxing Benefits
While Washington observers say it is highly likely that an employer mandate will be part of health care reform legislation, a new survey shows that employers are opposed to it and other healthcare reform proposals. Workforce.com

Rewards at Work Help Soothe Hard Times

Despite the recession, more downsized small businesses are offering rewards to their remaining staff in an effort to boost morale and to compensate them for doing extra work. WSJ.com

Branding, Sales and Marketing

Customer Data: Recognize the Individual Pt-2
When it comes to the experience you offer your online customers, you must avoid adopting a one-tool-fits-all approach. Here are some tools that can help with quantitative reviews. ClickZ.com

Is Your Contact Center Social Networking Yet?
According to independent market analysis firm Datamonitor, companies of all sizes are engaging customers and prospects on social networking services. Much of that activity is pure marketing, but some companies are offering customer service and support through social networking. ManageSmarter.com