Are you concerned about pending interest rates hikes? While they may not happen until later this year or early next year, small business owners in particular take this issue seriously. But this week’s Trending on Thursday may help relieve some of your concerns, as we detail why rising interest rates can actually help your business. We also explore why September is the second-best time of the year to make a resolution and provide a guide for leveraging the latest technology trends.

See this week’s #smallbiz roundup below and tweet us at @MarlinBusiness with your September resolution.

  1. trendingsep151Every time the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meets, the world holds its breath waiting to see whether or not they will finally raise interest rates. When it looks like rates will rise, global instability and widespread fear about the impact on the global economy prove to be enough to convince the FOMC to stay the course. This fear is particularly acute in the realm of small business. Many entrepreneurs and small business owners believe that higher rates would mean more expensive capital and a slowing of economic growth. But according to Forbes’ Chris Meyers, these fears may be overblown. In fact, Meyers says, rising interest rates may prove to be a boon for entrepreneurs.
  1. According to the calendar, September is just another month in the year. But according to our emotions, this time of year often feels particularly weighty. With summer at an end, many people experience a pang of nostalgia for the good weather and days off. Inc.’s Jessica Stillman has a great article detailing why, according to science, September is the second-best time of the year to make a resolution – so get to it!
  1. Learning how to use social media is a proven, effective way to help your small business grow. To help you better leverage these tools, Melinda Emerson details effective social media strategies in this Small Business Trends article. According to Emerson, “Once you master how to leverage social media for your business, you will be able to reap the benefits and watch your revenues grow.” From exposure to building relationships to boosting search rankings, it’s clear that savvy business owners must embrace social platforms to stay ahead and be successful.
  1. It’s never been a better time to own a small business and that’s partly because small businesses have such unfettered access to enterprise-level technology, at a fraction of the time and expense required for traditional solutions. This creates an unprecedented level of possibility for small businesses that want to run lean but mighty operations. Business 2 Community’s John Oechsle has a helpful starting guide for small business owners to leverage the latest tech shortcuts.
  1. Are you eager for more business? Who isn’t! If you’re in a crunch and need to drum up some sales, try using some of Wendy Keller’s strategies to quickly attract more customers. One tried and tested method: give away something for free. It may seem counter-intuitive, but by giving something away, you activate the “Law of Reciprocity.” This ancient law is embedded in the human psyche: if you give me something, I’m subtly obliged to reciprocate at the next appropriate opportunity.