A roundup of the best tips of the week from Entrepreneur.com.
Although some say entrepreneurs are born, not made, parenting can have a big influence on whether children grow up to have the necessary skills to strike out on their own. Entrepreneurs have to be able to accept risk and live with uncertainty. If children can master their fears at a young age, they will be better equipped to navigate uncertain waters as an adult.
Dr. Andrea Vazzana, a clinical professor of child psychiatry at New York University, recommends gradually withdrawing help from your child so that he or she learns independence. "Tasks should be progressively more difficult," Dr. Vazzana says. "This gives the child a sense of mastery." More: How to Raise Entrepreneurial Kids
So you've created a Company Page on LinkedIn, uploaded a photo and filled out some of the main categories. That's it, right? While that's a good start, it might take a little extra effort to get your page driving as much engagement and exposure as some of the best pages on the professional network.
As a point of reference, the professional networking site has named the 12 Best LinkedIn Company Pages of 2012 -- the ones that use their page to "showcase their brand and connect with their target audience." That means having effective imagery, rich content and compelling status updates, among other things.
The companies that made the list are:
This week's need-to-know social-media news.
Some of the hottest social companies have been acting lately like fickle teenagers. Last Sunday, Instagram broke up for good with Twitter, making it impossible to embed Instagram photos in tweets. A couple of days later, Twitter users started noticing that photos posted to Pinterest's pinboards were displaying within their Twitter stream.
It didn't end there. Twitter later announced a suite of its own photo-filtering tools, powered by New York City-based startup Aviary. It remains to be seen whether the new service will replace Instagram among camera-happy mobile users, but Twitter's new image filters are certainly worth a test drive. -- Wired and SocialTimes
As a startup or small business leader, you have the opportunity to make bold choices that keep you one step ahead of the market and make you indispensable to your customers. Innovative leaders, like the late Steve Jobs, do that by thinking like web and product designers.
"What a designer does is imagine the future," says Bill Burnett, executive director of the design program at Stanford's d.school. "That's what's powerful about design thinking for a business leader."
A designer brings two essential perspectives to every problem: empathy and creativity. "To invent a future that doesn't exist, you really have to understand what people are doing today and completely reimagine it," Burnett says.
You have to know your customers well enough to find the right problem and give yourself enough creative freedom to find the right solution. Here are four tips to help you think like a designer and drive innovation in your industry:
Political brinksmanship in Capitol Hill over the “fiscal cliff” may have you feeling nervous about your business and you might be thinking about bailing. If you are going to sell, don’t be overly emotional or rash. Consider these five tips for making a graceful exit from Bill McBean, author of the recent book The Facts of Business Life: What Every Successful Business Owner Knows That You Don’t, published by Wiley.
Search giant Google has released its "Zeitgeist 2012," the list of the top search terms and trends over the last year, culled from 1.2 trillion searches in nearly 150 languages. The list has been broken up by topic, including top keyword searches, images, people and events.
Sadly, "small business" didn't make any of the lists, which were mainly dominated by big news and pop culture references. For instance, Whitney Houston, Gangnam Style, Hurricane Sandy, iPad 3 and Diablo 3 rounded out the top five searches for 2012.
While Google's top search terms might not directly influence your industry, don't dismiss them altogether. Staying on top of popular or trending topics on search engines and social media can provide business owners an opportunity to "get your name out there by sharing something you already have online that meets the need of what people are discussing," says Jessica Bowman, founder of Austin, Texas-based SEO consulting firm SEOinhouse. "Or you can quickly whip up a great resource, blog post or video to address" the trending search terms or topics.
Here, Bowman offers three steps for monitoring trending topics and making them work for your business:
Today is the busiest pick-up day of the year for international-shipping giant DHL as businesses rush to have items delivered in time to be under the tree on Christmas morning.
Monday Dec. 17 is the busiest day for DHL to make drop-offs. Plantation, Fla.-based DHL does only international shipping and hasn't had a domestic service since 2009. Federal Express and the United Parcel Service dominate those markets.
While delivery times vary depending on how far an item needs to go, it is best to get an item out the door by Dec. 17, to help ensure it gets there by Christmas, according to John Fox, the general manager of the Southeast for DHL.
An increasing number of entrepreneurs are looking to find new customers by going overseas, Fox says. If you have overseas customers, consider the following five ways to keep your global shipping running smoothly and stress-free.
Just when you thought you had a handle on posting content and growing an audience on Facebook, the giant social network has changed its rules again. This time, though, it says its goal is to make it easier for users to manage their content.
Today, Facebook announced a number of changes to its privacy controls, planned to go into effect in the next few weeks. Among the more significant changes are Privacy Shortcuts, an easier-to-use Activity Log and a new Request and Removal tool for managing photos you're tagged in.
"We continue to strive toward three main goals: bringing controls in context where you share, helping you understand what appears where as you use Facebook, and providing tools to help you act on content you don't like," Sam Lessin, Facebook's director of product, wrote in a post.
Here's a look at some of the new changes coming before the end of the year and what you need to know.
Google recently announced that Google Apps for Business will no longer be free for new small-business users. This suite of services -- which includes Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Drive, Google Groups and many other tools -- had been free for workgroups of no more than 10 users.
Now, new businesses signing up for Google Apps must pay $5 per user per month, or $50 per user per year. So, for instance, a business with eight employees using the company's Google Apps account would spend $400 year at the new annual rate. Pre-existing Google Apps business accounts remain free of charge, for now.
For the new price, business users get some additional perks not available to individual free Google Apps accounts: 24/7 phone support, more Gmail storage (25GB compared to 10GB for free accounts) and the ability to purchase Google Vault archiving service for $10 per user, per month.
With the rush of prepping for the end of the year, taking stock of 2013 goals, and managing the to-dos and emotions of the holiday season, the end of year can be a tough time for business owners and employees.
If you find yourself or the people who work for you feeling blue, irritable, or overwhelmed, San Francisco, Calif-based stress reduction teacher and life coach Bill Scheinman, offers these four simple ways to chill.
1. Take a 30-minute time-out. Whether it’s the type of mindful meditation he teaches or simply taking a half-hour to sit quietly, Scheinman says one of the most powerful ways to ward off stress on a daily basis is to engage in some sort of regular contemplative practice. The key is to sit quietly, focus on breathing and rest, he says, so sitting on the couch watching TV and eating chips doesn’t count.
Sales of small businesses rose in 2012, and business brokers expect more sales next year, according to recent survey data released by online business marketplace BizBuySell. The increased number of sales this year has reportedly been driven by concerns over the looming fiscal cliff and the cost implications of a returning Obama administration.
The bad news? It typically takes six to nine months to sell a business, so if yours isn't already on the market, there is little chance it will sell before the end of the year.
The ideal time to start preparing to sell is two years before the date you hope to sell by, says Curtis Kroeker, general manager of BizBuySell. The more advance preparation, the better. Even if you don't plan that far ahead, there are several steps you should take before putting your business on the market.
You may spend your working hours at your computer, but you don’t have to spend them sitting down. “Individuals who sit at their desks all day long are prone not only to obesity, but diabetes, blood pressure problems, cancers, depression and premature death,” says Phoenix, Ariz.-based Dr. James Levine, an endocrinologist at the Mayo Clinic.
He encourages workers to stop thinking of working hours as the time when they need to be sedentary and off-work hours as the time to be active, and start incorporating movement into daily office activities.
Levine is the brain behind the “treadmill desk” -- a standing desk that is built around a treadmill and is designed to help office workers counteract the negative effects of sitting. “I analyzed the data [on the harmful effects of sitting all day] and thought the difference between someone who’s lean and someone who has obesity is 2 ¼ hours of walking time,” says Levine, who built the first treadmill desk prototype in 2005 out of a hospital tray and a $300 treadmill.
Becoming an authority in your industry can be a great way to promote your business and help you better serve your clients. It takes a consistent dose of education and risk, but the rewards can be well worth the effort.
Why? Becoming a go-to person for industry leadership should incentivize potential clients to seek out your wealth of knowledge. The bottom line is that authority can lead to profitability.
Here are seven steps that can allow anyone to develop a reputation as an industry leader:
Tomorrow's business leaders and startup founders will be today's young kids whose parents have raised them with an entrepreneurial spirit -- a skill that is increasingly important as young people flood the startup world and the freelance economy grows.
As a parent, you inspire entrepreneurship by fostering the emotional skills your child will need, such as comfort with risk, effective problem solving, and a positive attitude toward failure.
"It’s all about shaping the child’s behavior," says Dr. Andrea Vazzana, clinical assistant professor of child psychiatry at New York University Langone’s Child Study Center. "Social emotional skills are important and the earlier you can help a child with them, the better."
Here are five parenting tips to help you foster entrepreneurial qualities in your kids.
Negative online reviews can put a ding in your business’s reputation, but one small-business owner has decided to sue a dissatisfied customer over negative statements she made online. Christopher Dietz and his Washington, D.C.-based company, Dietz Development, filed suit in October against Jane Perez alleging that Perez made defamatory statements about Dietz on Yelp and Angie’s List that harmed his reputation and business to the tune of $750,000.
According to the complaint, Perez hired Dietz, a former high school classmate, to do some work on her new home. The trouble began after Perez allegedly failed to pay Dietz Development for any work performed and insisted work be completed that, according to Dietz, was outside the scope of the agreement. Beginning in January, Perez began posting negative reviews of Dietz Development on Angie’s List and Yelp, alleging that Dietz stole property from her home, damaged her property, and engaged in improper billing.
According to the Washington Post, on December 5th a judge granted a preliminary injunction, ordering Perez to refrain from making statements alleging property theft by Dietz or referring to a previous lawsuit between the parties. On recent visit to Dietz's Yelp page, the Perez post was no longer displaying.
Related: Got a Bad Yelp Review? Here's What to Do