The Week in Small Business – 05.21.11
We do the legwork of finding the best in small business news and links. You have more time to do what you love.
Small Business Credit Cards Put Consumers At Risk
A couple of weeks back, the news included an item on the lack of CARD Act protections for small business credit cards. This week, a new slew of related stories surfaced, prompted by a study from the Pew Health Group Safe Credit Cards Project. The advocacy group found that, among other things, millions of offers for business credit cards are sent instead to consumers. (Read the full report.) As a result, unwitting individuals sign up for business or "professional" credit cards even if they're not actually a business. If you use small business plastic, you need to know that it's not regulated by the CARD Act — read the account terms or call your bank to find out what protections it's proactively applying to avoid unpleasant surprises.
Long Live Small! and Five Reasons to Stay That Way
Some small businesses become big ones and that can be a great thing. (Hold that thought for the next item.) It might even be one of your primary business goals. But while the general business culture often places a heavy emphasis on growth — often at unwarranted or unsustainable rates — growth for the sake of it alone isn't necessarily the smart strategy. Investopedia offers up five reasons why growth is not always good; consider it food for your big-picture thoughts.
LinkedIn: From Living Room to IPO
Of course, LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman might not agree with the folks at Investopedia. The business he started in his living room went public on Thursday and the share price partied like it was 1999 — making Hoffman an instant billionaire in the process. Colleen DeBaise of The Wall Street Journal revisits a 2009 interview she did with the entrepreneur. Among other interesting tidbits: Why Hoffman thinks it's better to start a business in a bad economy. Related reading: why your business should pay closer attention to LinkedIn.
Connecticut AG Warns of Yellow Pages Fraud
The Connecticut Attoney General's Office this week warned small businesses in the state about a phone scam offering free Yellow Pages listings in hopes of prying sensitive information such as credit card of bank account numbers. It's a good reminder for businesses everywhere to be leery of such offers, both online and off. Fraudsters love smaller businesses because their bank balances are usually larger than the typically consumer account, yet they're often too busy to devote much time or money to security. In fact, identity theft is a bigger problem for small businesses than for consumers.
National Small Business Week Wraps Up
Friday marked the end of National Small Business Week. The five-day affair occurred under proclamation of President Obama, who said: "Small businesses embody the promise of America: that if you have a good idea and are willing to work hard enough, you can succeed in our country. This week, we honor and celebrate the individuals whose inspiration and efforts keep America strong." What did your business do to celebrate?
Kevin Casey is a business writer for Intuit and is passionate about solving small business problems.