Do you have a five-year plan to expand your #smallbiz? Although it may not go exactly how you expect, it’s vital to develop a strategy for growth. If you’re looking for new ideas, this week’s Trending on Thursday has you covered with expansion tips, as well as the latest digital strategy approaches, productivity advice, and guidance for emulating the happiest people on Earth.

Check out the full trending #smallbiz news roundup below and tell us your favorite growth tip you’ve ever heard.

  1. TrendingApril28(1)Eventually every small business owner wants his or her business to grow and expand. But how do you grow a small business into a big one? David William at Small Business Trends has shared a list of eight tips for small business expansion. Some of our favorites include segmenting your market for growth, diversifying your product/service offerings, and leveraging new technology to stay competitive.
  1. Generating leads and bringing in new customers can be difficult when you’re a small operation, and adding the digital world into the mix may be something you’ve tried to avoid. If the digital side of your business isn’t something you are especially knowledgeable in, it can be difficult to know where to start. If you’re frustrated by the lack of leads from the web, then check out Lyndon Wood’s four killer digital approaches, which can help deliver some serious results.
  1. TrendingApril28(2)The idea of doing anything without logging in, clicking or texting something or someone is almost unthinkable. Everything we do leaves a trail of electronic fingerprints. Companies big and small are using these pieces of data to piece together the puzzle of who we are, and how we interact with the world around us. For marketing professionals, the increased focus on big data in recent years represents one of the most fruitful developments in business. Faizan Raza wrote a great piece on Smart Data Collective on how big data is impacting small business and the best ways to leverage it.
  1. If you are reading this, you probably think that you have the potential to be more productive. So what does productivity look like to you? The answer is probably about accomplishing those projects and tasks that will result in accomplishing your personal and professional goals. Beth Miller at Entrepreneur details the four things you can do to be more productive, which all revolve around focusing on what you can control, rather than stressing about uncontrollable phenomenon like hurricanes and economic recessions.
  1. How do you achieve sustainable happiness? In a world that puts end-based and goal-oriented happiness first, it’s a genuinely valid question. However, it turns out that the secrets to consistent happiness might be closer than we think. Peter Economy at Inc. put together a list of seven things that the happiest folks do every day, and you should be incorporating into your daily routine.