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MPOWERD and Luci in the New York Times

MPOWERD and Luci in the New York Times

Wed, 09/25/2013 - 09:25 - By siteadmin

 

Here’s what small businesses can expect from the Supreme Court’s health care ruling. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that only 1.2 percent of Americans will pay a penalty for not getting coverage, and Ezra Klein says this is not the biggest tax increase ever. Suzy Khimm asks if businesses are satisfied now that there’s no moreuncertainty. Americans for Tax Reform updates its list of health care taxes. One writer offers 11 ways to profit from the Affordable Care Act . The Wall Street Journal’s senior economics writer believes that 75 percent of the costs of the overhaul will fall on the backs of those making $120,000 or less. Meanwhile, here are the best things about being blind.

The Economy: Tepid

The monthly unemployment report shows tepid job growth. The Institute for Supply Management’s economic activity index in theservice and manufacturing sectors contracted in June. But Joe Weisenthal says this doesn’t necessarily mean a huge drop in actual business. Corporate profits as a percentage of gross domestic product slumps for the first time since 2008. Retail sales slow. Rents around the country continue to increase as vacancies dry up.Construction spending (pdf) increased in May. Factory orders risefor the first time in three months. Light vehicle sales are up 22 percent from June 2011. An investor sees signals of a full economic recovery. It’s possible that the Citigroup Surprise Index is bottoming out. Gas prices continue to fall, and carbon dioxide missions are likely to fall to 1991 levels. Intuit’s small-businessindex shows a decrease in revenue but the strongest job growth in three months. Online labor demand (pdf) is up. Small-business lending jumped in May. Mark Perry says recent economic reportsare “lookin’ pretty good.” The fireworks industry always seems to be booming.

Management: What’s Wrong With Millennials?

Gen-Xer wants to know what’s wrong with millennial employees. Fred Wilson shares his thoughts on how to ask an employee to leave, including: “I like to be generous in financial terms and emotional terms. It makes things go easier for everyone.” If something smells kind of funny around the office, you might want to check out this July 18 conference on how to talk about hygiene, appearance and other personal issues. Paul Spiegelman explains how to get people to do what they say. James Clear offers three secrets to achieving overnight success. Zack O’Malley Greenburg explains how Sony helped LL Cool J become a tech entrepreneur. Ablogger recommends a new book called “Every Leader Is an Artist.” Here are some other book picks from a few multimillionaire entrepreneurs and a few more from Wharton’s executive education team. The Small Business Administration’s Kathryn Tobias has some helpful advice to help your garden grow. And the chief executive of Renault-Nissan explains how to be a frugal innovator.

Marketing: Smartphones and Retail

Jon Stow says anonymity is not what it used to be. Brad Pitt’s brother gets a chance. Jim Smith wonders if your small business hasa trench box or a coffin. Jim Connolly asks if you own your own words? Lisa Braithwaite learned a few lessons from a drag queen. Adrian Swinscoe says that if you want to increase response rates when surveying customers, consider the length of your surveys. A Deloitte study predicts that smartphones will influence $689 billionin retail sales by 2016. Darren Rowse lists a few good resources for selling consulting through your blog. Drew McLellan shares advice on business blogging, including: “a blog is not a place for you to put your press releases, talk about what’s on sale or push your products.” Helen Bradley shares some thoughts on making videosfor your small business. Tim Gray lists five creative waysbusinesses are using Google Plus Hangouts. Here’s how three entrepreneurs used Instagram for their businesses. Did you know there are six social media personas? A Bank of America study says that word of mouth beats social media. Seth Godin says that, in our rush to get picked or get noticed or build buzz, the instinct is to promise more: “Perhaps it pays to promise less instead.” Jill Konrath shares an e-mail tip your prospects will love. Here’s atypical day in YouTube’s complaints department.

Finance: Manchester United’s Biggest Goal

Silicon Valley Investor’s TV special looks for the next Mark Zuckerberg. Manchester United files for an initial public offering in the United States. Meredith Wood shares three ways to get yourdelinquent accounts paid, including: “Just by being polite, you can increase your chances of getting paid by 5 percent.”

Red Tape: Missed Again!

Silicon Valley adds a patent office. Legislation is complicating Americans’ use of foreign banks abroad. Soda and candy makers seek to end a program that keeps domestic sugar prices high by restricting imports. The federal government misses its small-business contracting goal again. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration issues an official statement denying the existence of mermaids. Here’s how to eat one gallon and nine ounces of ice cream in 12 minutes without getting a headache.

Start-Up: The True Costs of Starting Up

Jeremy Suiter explains how start-up co-founders can avoid litigation among one another. These are amazing discoveries made by children and teenagers. A Pinterest founding investor creates a new start-up that aims to showcase new products and ideas. Arshad Chowdhury shares the true costs of introducing a start-up: “Development costs don’t decrease after launching. They can actually increase. Consider Amazon.com, Zappos.com, or even Facebook. All of these companies spend millions each year on innovating and changing their site.” Tim Berry points out a sign of the times: business-school start-ups.

Around the Country: M.I.T. and N.Y.C. Are Abuzz

Small-business hiring is up in metro Atlanta (where the Bravesshortstop applauds a fan’s catch). This is how Delaware thrives as a corporate tax haven. Andrew Tarantola explains how to get on a plane without identification. Budding M.I.T. business leaders are abuzz about a new start-up “accelerator” in town. And 250,000 bees are buzzing the penthouse of the Waldorf Astoria hotel in New York. A patriot reminds citizens of Bill Pullman’s movingIndependence Day speech.

Around the World: Invest Your Tuppence Wisely in the Bank

A banking scandal rocks London and an anonymous insider explains how it was done (here’s an amazing video about a previous British banking scandal). Umair Haque laments the scandal and the price of prosperity. Construction spending sinks in Britain, and the Bank of England injects stimulus money. But at least a Wimbledon fan gives some good advice. Business activity in Japan declines. As its ghost ships ply the bulk trade routes, China’s manufacturing contracts for the eighth month in a row.

This Week in Solar: Bankruptcies and Bright Futures

Another solar company files for bankruptcy but yet another one seems to have a bright future. Martin Lamonica explains how small solar companies can survive the shakeout. Ucilia Wang says everyone should get ready for solar sharing communities. These blow-up solar lanterns are lighting Haiti’s prospects.

Technology: Remaking Microsoft

Leslie Horn suggests some new essential apps. Duke University researchers are developing a mobile app that uses Wi-Fi antennas, cellular radios and other detectors to guide smartphone users inside buildings. Microsoft takes a big write-down and announces aninexpensive upgrade to Windows 8 for current users. A 21-year-oldtries to remake Microsoft’s messaging. This 8-year-old college student will make you reconsider life. Kathryn Buford explains how small businesses leverage technology to rival big brands. Google is about to introduce a competitor to Apple’s Siri, and a Microsoft employee reminds us of Google’s graveyard of products. A failureraises more questions about Amazon’s cloud services. Malware may knock thousands off the Internet Monday — but you can check your computer with this site.

Tweets of the Week

@DrJoeClark
If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.

@KnowledgeBishop
The good leader makes a profit: The great leader makes a difference.

@LeadToday
Thinking and talking work best when done in that exact order.

‏‏@ImLeslieChow
This economy is getting so bad that Americans have started emailing Nigerians asking for help with wiring money.

The Week’s Bests

Josh Bell shares three “hacks” to be a better you, including: “Focus on activities that make you feel fulfilled. If you have kids, spend time with them, and make some memories. If you don’t have kids, why not plant a garden? Perhaps learning a new skill might interest you. You could learn to paint, cook, golf, ski, kayak, surf, or one of so many other options. The point is, find something to spend more of your free time doing that will create a much deeper sense of accomplishment and fulfillment within you, rather than being concerned about which celebrity just entered rehab, or which A-list couple just separated.”

Ryan Spoon says there are a few keys to bootstrapping your start-up: “Revenue is king. Profitability is better. This is a key difference with venture-backed companies, who often aren’t advised to focus on revenue early on – rather, they focus on growth and usage. Bootstrapped companies usually do not have that luxury and have to focus on self-sustainability. Of course, that means that revenue (and profitability) are king. And when you get there – that buys you the ultimate luxury: optionality. You are in the luxurious position of choice: continue to operate, fund and accelerate the business, or exit the business. Profitability affords these choices.”

This Week’s Question: Is your business profitable?

Gene Marks owns the Marks Group, a Bala Cynwyd, Pa., consulting firm that helps clients with customer relationship management. You can follow him on Twitter.