Small Business Brief for 11/11

Politics and Government

Small Business Groups Press for Quick Healthcare Reform
Small business advocacy groups are joining together to press President-elect Barack Obama into making healthcare reform a top priority.

Democratic Gains Increase Chances of Union Card-Check Bill Passage
A bill at the top of organized labor's agenda, the Card-Check Bill, now has a much better chance at passage with President-elect Obama bound for the White House and larger Democratic majorities on Capitol Hill.

Economics and Labor Issues

Small Banks Consider Local Economy When Making Loans
Small community banks and credit unions are seen by small businesses as more willing to give them loans, now that lending has become tight, because they are more familiar with the local business environment and are more willing to examine business plans.

A Crisis Brings Great Opportunities and Responsibilities For All of Us

If Karl Marx were alive today, he’d maintain that greed destroyed the capital market, easing the way for the triumph of socialism. Peter Drucker, the father of modern management and champion of responsible business, might reply, “Not so fast. The roots of democratic capitalism are strong. Unexpected results create great opportunities.”

Law and Regulation Enforcement

Voters Approve Mandatory Paid Sick Leave
The idea of mandatory paid sick leave is spreading. Following San Francisco and Washington, D.C., Milwaukee voters have also approved paid sick leave. The new law mandates up to nine days of paid sick leave a year for larger businesses, while small businesses with fewer than 10 employees must pay for five sick days.

Doing Business

Finding a Willing Lender
Credit may be tougher to get, but it is not impossible. According to Marilyn J. Holt, CEO of Holt Capital in Seattle, It is important to develop a relationship with a lender, interview potential lenders, be prepared to guarantee the loan, and consider credit unions.

Get Your Employees to Speak Up and Lose Their Fear of Being Fired

Do your employees hesitate to share their ideas, take initiative, or speak openly and honestly for fear of being labeled or even losing their jobs? Here are ten things you can do to manage their fears and help them find their courage.

Six Things You Might Be Doing Wrong with Your Website (And How to Fix Them)!
When you look at what is and isn't working for a small business Web site, you'll find that the most frequent issues fall within six categories. Some are flaws in site architecture, while others are the result of poor planning or marketing discipline. All are fixable, if you know what to look for.

Sales and Marketing

10 Characteristics of Successful Salespeople

What separates successful sales people from everyone else? Is it their people skills? Their determination? Find out what ten qualities successful salespeople possess.

Barter Exchanges Catch On as Credit Tightens

Small businesses find that trading for goods and services not only conserves cash; it can also substitute for borrowing and rack up savings.

Don't Let Hard Times Derail Your Advertising

Life is not a zero-sum game. O.K., maybe in politics it is. If your candidate wins, the other guy loses.

How Small Stores Can Lure Holiday Shoppers

Call it a customer service Christmas. Consumers are expected to rein in spending this year, and the retail climate favors big-box stores that can offer bargains.