Does your #smallbiz have a website? How about a Facebook page? Whether or not you do, this week’s Trending on Thursday can help you create and build your online presence, while ensuring you’re up to date on the latest social media marketing tools. Additionally, we explain why most small business owners are optimistic about the economy and why powerful people don’t usually make the best team members.
Keep reading for all the latest trending news and let us know what makes you optimistic (or not) about your #smallbiz.
- Are you optimistic about you business prospects? How about the U.S. economy as a whole? If you are, you’re in agreement with most other small business owners. But with some economists worried that we’re actually heading into another recession in 2016, Gene Marks at the Huffington Post asks, “What gives?” Marks explains that small business optimism doesn’t have much to do with the economy, politics or China. The most important factor has to do with costs, which for the foreseeable future are very much under control. Marks attributes this to low inflation, stagnant wages, technological advances, and lower taxes.
- Facebook already has more than 50 million business pages on its network. They may not be as sexy as the celebrities Facebook is reportedly trying to woo, but small and medium businesses are still an important group of customers for the social network. This week, the company unveiled a new tool that lets businesses make a short introductory video about their company. Dubbed “Your Business Story,” the video tool lets businesses create essentially a photo slide show to which they can add some music from a library and a short text description of “what they are in the business of” doing. Kia Kokalitcheva at Fortune says, “It’s hard not to see why Facebook would invest in its community of small businesses,” with the more than 50 million small businesses on Facebook, and three million of them have spent money on ads on the network, up by 50% over the last year.
- First, the good news: the majority of small companies in the U.S. have a website that both showcases their products and services, and signals potential customers that they’re open and eager for their business. The bad news: it’s a slim majority. A survey of 350 small business owners and managers operating in the U.S shows that 46 percent do not have a small business website to call their own. The top reasons respondents cited for lacking a website include the belief that it’s not relevant to their business or industry (32 percent), cost (30 percent), or an existing presence on social media (12 percent). Pedro Hernandez at Small Business Computing wrote an article on the subject, which includes advice for small businesses creating their first website, as well as other tips to keep in mind, such as the importance of the mobile web.
- For big decisions, bringing as many important people to the table seems like the smart choice. After all, high-ranking individuals typically achieved their status through merit (at least, that’s the hope). But powerful people, it turns out, don’t always work so well together. Laura Entis’ piece on Inc. examines the key takeaways from a series of studies by the University of California, which examined how people in positions of authority interacted with individuals on the same hierarchal level. The experiments concluded that teams of leaders were consistently ranked the least creative and teams that contained the most high-ranking executives were able to reach a consensus less than half the time.
- Most people assume that money is what drives a business. Having worked with thousands of small businesses over the past decade, it’s become more and more apparent to Clate Mask, CEO of Infusionsoft, that passion, freedom and impact are what really matters when it comes to creating a successful business. According to Mask, passion provides “you with a very special view of the world that others often don’t see. You’re able to have this vision because it’s something you love and believe in.” He defines freedom as what “enables you to invest time and money in causes that matter to you, whether that is with your family, friends or hobbies.” Finally, Mask says that making an impact “involves clearly defining the impacts you want to make with a business from the beginning,” which will make you more likely to ultimately succeed.