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Category: Small Business Sales & Marketing

Google Relaunches Its Local Business Listing Service

Posted by: Nick Leiber on April 20

Nearly two million businesses in the U.S. promote themselves by using free listing pages on Google. Today the search giant is wrapping its old listing tool, Local Business Center, into…

The Demise of the Mad Men

Posted by: Nick Leiber on March 31

With the rampant digitization of advertising and the explosive growth of performance-based marketing, the nerds are taking over advertising This is a post by guest blogger Jeff Bussgang. It is…

Big Customers Can Be Riskier Than Small Ones

Posted by: John Tozzi on January 05

Think big, established companies make less risky clients than small businesses? Not when it comes to getting paid on time, according to recent data from credit bureau Experian. Companies with…

Rock & Republic: Recessionistas Will Still Be Wearing Fashion Denim

Posted by: Stacy Perman on October 29

Last November, right around the time when the economy took a nose-dove, I spoke with Rock & Republic founder Michael Ball who had made a name and a fortune selling…

Twitter: Far from a Flight of Fancy for Business

Posted by: Nick Leiber on September 22

This is a post by guest blogger Jonathan I. Ezor. 140: The Twitter Conference is taking place September 22 and 23rd at the Skirball Center in Los Angeles. Presented by…

Can Savile Row Survive the Times?

Posted by: Stacy Perman on September 22

Last week I spoke with Savile Row tailor Richard Anderson who had recently published his book: Bespoke: Savile Row Ripped and Smoothed, his insider account of the world of men’s…

Fading Customer Loyalty: A Risk and Opportunity

Posted by: John Tozzi on June 23

Customer loyalty is wobbling. The Wall Street Journal looks at how small companies have to court regular customers today. Businesses can’t take loyalty for granted anymore. Among big U.S. brands,…

How to Get Close to Customers

Posted by: John Tozzi on June 04

Intuit CEO Brad Smith dropped by the BusinessWeek office yesterday to take Five Questions from readers in a chat with Reena Jana, BW’s innovation editor. Off camera, Smith told us…

Small Companies Up Quotas for Salespeople

Posted by: Amy Barrett on June 03

So with the economy in the tank it would seem like a tough time for sales reps. And guess what? It’s getting tougher. According to CSO Insights, a Boulder, CO-based…

Swine Flu is Good For Business

Posted by: Colleen DeBaise on April 30

Now, we’re not saying any entrepreneur would keep their fingers crossed for a worldwide epidemic of swine flu, but if you happen to be in the business of making hand…

Business Struggling? Take a Bike Ride

Posted by: Nick Leiber on April 22

For months, we’ve been reporting on creative approaches small companies across the country are employing to offset slipping sales, from layoff alternatives to discounting techniques. Now Dancing Deer Baking…

Record Store Day Tomorrow

Posted by: John Tozzi on April 17

Tomorrow (April 18) is the second annual Record Store Day, a marketing campaign started by a coalition of indie music shops. Local shops are holding sales, hosting live bands, and…

Marketing to People With Disabilities

Posted by: Colleen DeBaise on April 17

This week I attended the Disability Matters Conference, the brainchild of Nadine Vogel, a former executive at MetLife who started her own company, Springboard Consulting, to advise companies on how…

Down and Out, But Not Without Perks

Posted by: Amy S. Choi on April 16

Most small business owners are probably more concerned with making sure to keep their own staff employed than offering perks to the legions of unemployed around them. But it might…

MySpacing your business

Posted by: Amy S. Choi on April 02

So the beta version of MySpace Local, a directory of local businesses, may be helpful for entrepreneurs who want to tap into the wealth of social networking opportunities online. It…

Christian Louboutin Says: Let Them Wear A $6,295 Pair of Shoes

Posted by: Stacy Perman on February 20

Retailers of all stripes have been grappling with ways to bring shoppers into their stores, slashing prices, offering giveaways and deploying a host of other enticements. With the economy in…

One retailer’s holiday postmortem

Posted by: John Tozzi on January 05

Jeremy Shepherd, founder of, sends a note about how his holiday sales wrapped up. Throughout the season, the trend he saw was growing sales volume, but lower average amounts…

More on retail’s cold winter: snowed in in Portland

Posted by: John Tozzi on December 23

Via NPR’s Planet Money blog, retailers in Portland have been walloped by more than a week of snow and ice that basically shut down the city. Laura Gunderson writes in…

Cold snap adds to retail woes

Posted by: John Tozzi on December 22

We’ve been checking in with some small retailers to see how their holiday sales have been. Keri Holmes, who actually reported stronger sales than last year at her independent bookstore…

Holiday sales: More work, more hours, less profit

Posted by: John Tozzi on December 11

Jeremy Shepherd, founder of in LA, checked in today with an update about how his holiday sales look for the first 10 days of December. Sales volume has more…

Is it worth blogging your small business?

Posted by: John Tozzi on December 10

Over at Blogspotting, Heather Green reports on a Forrester survey that says only 16 percent of people who read company blogs trust them. The report doesn’t distinguish between small company…

Dispatches from the retail front lines

Posted by: John Tozzi on December 03

Earlier this week, we asked small retailers to tell us what you’re seeing this holiday season. So far I haven’t heard any tales of real slow sales. Keri, who runs…

Retailers: What are you seeing?

Posted by: John Tozzi on December 01

Was your store empty over the weekend? Filled with browsers instead of buyers? Did discounts translate into sales? Are shoppers clicking through on your Web site? We want small retailers…

Black Friday reading

Posted by: John Tozzi on November 26

It’s worth remembering that, lousy economy and historic financial crisis notwithstanding, most of us have plenty to be thankful for. So I hope you spend Thursday with people you care…

Where Do You Sell Online?

Posted by: Nick Leiber on November 06

There are dozens of Internet marketplaces where you can set up shop and sell online. But which sites are worth your time? To help answer that question, this afternoon we…

37signals crowdsources elevator pitch

Posted by: John Tozzi on November 04

37signals has a strong brand and dedicated following for making simple and affordable Web-based business software. So I was caught off-guard today when Matt Linderman, writing on the company’s blog,…

Where do you see signs of the recession?

Posted by: John Tozzi on October 21

Several friends in other parts of the country have asked me in the last couple weeks what New York is like in these days after Wall Street’s collapse. I wish…

Operators Are Standing By…

Posted by: Stacy Perman on September 25

This year marks the 50th Anniversary of Ronco, the company Ron Popeil, “father of the infomercial” founded. Tele-savvy Popeil of course, is the man behind such items as the Veg-O-Matic,…

How are you preparing for the fourth quarter?

Posted by: John Tozzi on September 18

The chaos on Wall Street this week makes one thing clear: those hoping that the economy will stabilize in 2008 will be disappointed. Any small business owners planning on a…

Dancing For Publicity

Posted by: Stacy Perman on August 28

Almost any chef/restaurant-owner/entrepreneur would not snub a turn at national publicity. At one time most would have coveted the kind of run Rocco DiSpirito had. Two years after opening his…

Email marketing: When less is more

Posted by: John Tozzi on August 27

Here’s an idea about email marketing: your customers should want to hear from you more often then they do. They should be so excited when they see your message that…

How Not To Build A Website

Posted by: Stacy Perman on August 26

There are few successful outfits that don’t have a website. Today having one is considered an almost indispensible tool for conducting, doing, and marketing one’s business. That is apparently except…

Viral how?

Posted by: John Tozzi on August 22

I sometimes get pitches about viral ad campaigns, products, videos, whatever. How viral is it if a PR person is sending it to a reporter? If I hear about it…

Do your customers have more money than time?

Posted by: John Tozzi on August 04

Wired editor Chris Anderson, who is writing a book on the economics of free, has an instructive post on his Long Tail blog. Here’s an excerpt: At some point in…

Entrepreneurs eye iPhone apps

Posted by: John Tozzi on July 15

The iPhone apps store opened last week, and Steve Wildstrom takes a look. As of Monday Apple said there were 800 programs available, about a quarter of them are free…

Promise Your Customers Less

Posted by: Nick Leiber on June 25

You may have shrugged off the bestseller “The 4-Hour Workweek,” particularly if you run your own business and manage more than a few employees. But a four-day workweek? Sure, it’s…


What's it like to run your own company today? Entrepreneurs face multiple hurdles new and old, from raising capital and managing employees to keeping up with technology and competing in a global marketplace. In this blog, the Small Business channel's John Tozzi and Nick Leiber discuss the news, trends, and ideas that matter to small business owners. Follow them on Twitter @newentrepreneur.

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