If you could tell your past self one thing about starting a #smallbiz, what would it be? Almost everyone makes a mistake or two, some more serious than others, when starting a business. For those considering opening their first business this year, we’ve got some advice below on financial mistakes to avoid, preventing data breaches, and overcoming adversity in the face of trauma.

 

Catch up on this week’s trending #smallbiz news and let us know how you prepared for opening your first business.

 

  1. Starting a small business is a long sought-after dream for many Americans. Unfortunately, for half of those who pursue that dream, the ending isn’t a happy one. Businesses can fail for a number of different reasons, but in many cases a simple lack of preparation is to blame. Jennifer Woods at CNBC talked to several financial experts to figure out what steps #smallbiz owners need take before launching their dreams. Here’s a preview: start by talking to a tax expert and be sure to only commit to what you know you can afford.

 

  1. TrendingMarch31(1)Instagram recently dropped the news that it will be adapting a non-chronological newsfeed order, similar to its big brother, Facebook. Instead of sorting posts in a familiar linear order, the new algorithm will weigh in a variety of social signals, such as a number of post engagements. The update, however, has caused a storm of complains. It went as far as to prompt a petition on Change.org asking Instagram to leave its chronological feed alone. Lesya Liu wrote a piece on Entrepreneur asking everyone to take a step back. She says this update is actually a good thing and describes new tactics businesses should adopt in order to maximize opportunities for exposure here.

 

  1. Data breaches are one of the most dangerous risks that many businesses fail to protect themselves from. It does not matter the size nor the scope of your business, hackers are targeting you. According to the Ponemon Institute, it would cost your business more than $17,000 if you lost the records of just 100 customers. If that were 1,000 records, it would cost $174,000. Luckily, Mitchell Sharp detailed the proper steps you can take to prevent breaches from happening to your business in his latest recent Business2Community article.

 

  1. After almost two decades, the federal government for the first time has been able to meet its goal of awarding five percent of all contracts to women-owned small businesses. Various members of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) announced that the federal government has surpassed its five percent contracting goal for women-owned small businesses (WOSB) for the first time. In the announcement, Maria Contreras-Sweet, Administrator for the SBA said, “Meeting this goal means five percent is no longer our ceiling but our foundation upon which to build. A recent SBA-commissioned study revealed women-owned businesses already employ eight million American workers, but when it comes to receiving contracts and capital, women are still under-represented.” Reminder: if your small business is struggling to get funding from traditional banks or the U.S. government, check out Marlin’s Funding Stream, which can award loans of up to $100,000 in less than two days!

 

  1. As a psychotherapist, Amy Morin has met plenty of clients who experienced debilitating symptoms after a traumatic event. She’s also encountered plenty of people whose lives were actually better following a traumatic experience. Many of them report feeling happier, healthier and more hopeful after a major crisis. This positive change experienced by survivors is called posttraumatic growth. Studies estimate that about half to two-thirds of survivors of a catastrophic event report experiencing growth as a result of their trauma. Morin takes these lessons from survivors into lessons for entrepreneurs when they face adversity.

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