Do you live in the Midwest? If so, you’re in one of the best regions in the country to start a small business. We round up how the rest of the country fares in this week’s Trending on Thursday, and look at the best ways to combat seasonal downtime for business, explain the best way to avoid employee lawsuits and detail the top technologies small business owners need to keep an eye on.

See this week’s full #smallbiz rundown below and tweet us at @MarlinBusiness with why your state is the best for small businesses.

  1. If you’re thinking of starting a small business but you’re not sure where the best place to do it is, you should check out Ellen Chang’s TheStreet article. Chang lists the top ten states to start a small business, and their determining factors, such as demonstrating the best startup activity, business survival rate and cost of living, among others. Rounding out the top ten are Nevada, Alaska and Wyoming
  1. Most small business owners know when to expect a seasonal slowdown. But expecting the slowdown and actually experiencing the slowdown are two very different things. Many industries, known as cyclical consumer goods and services, face slowing sales from weather, economic and seasonal shifts. In order to best mitigate the fallout from these consumer cycles, small business owners should read Cris Burnam’s helpful Entrepreneur article.
  1. trendingoct132A worst-case scenario for any small business is to be greeted by a process server who is delivering a notice of an employee lawsuit against the business. The employee might be complaining of discriminatory treatment or harassment, or some violation of federal or state laws and rules by the employer. These types of cases are not limited to current employees, as small businesses have been targeted by prospective and former employees as well. In order for small businesses to avoid all lawsuits, and particularly employee lawsuits, they need to take the Huffington Post’s William Morrow’s seven precautions against them.
  1. Our world is evolving more quickly than ever. To stay competitive in business and ahead of the game, it’s increasingly important to continually learn new skills and information. That’s why mega-moguls like Bill Gates and Oprah Winfrey swear by constant learning as a vital part of their success. To help us reach these levels, Inc.’s Elle Kaplan has some fairly simple methods for turbocharging your brain and mastering any skill faster.
  1. Small business owners and entrepreneurs need little convincing that technology is important, rapidly evolving, and likely to have a profound impact on their businesses. But keeping track of developments, and knowing where to focus one’s attention, is anything but straightforward. Luckily for us, the Guardian’s Jon Card has compiled a list of eight technologies all small business owners need to keep an eye on, including augmented reality, drones and 3D printing.