The Week in Small Business – 06.04.11

by Kevin Casey on June 4, 2011
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We do the legwork of finding the best in small business news and links. You have more time to do what you love.

Are “Loser Pays” Laws a Victory for Small Businesses?

If your business has been on the wrong end of a lawsuit — especially a frivolous one — this story’s for you, though it has implications for every small business. Texas Governor Rick Perry this week signed a “loser pays” bill to reform the state’s courts system. In short, the law means that plaintiffs in civil suits are liable for the defendant’s legal costs if the suit is judged to be meritless, a move intended to reduce frivolous litigation. An op-ed piece in The Wall Street Journal lauds the reform as a victory for small businesses, though FindLaw.com notes that it won’t offer foolproof protection. Multiple news reports indicate that other states are considering similar reforms.

Buttons For Everyone!

Has your business caught button fever? The internet sure has, with plenty of digital ink spilled this week for Twitter’s new “Follow” button, which allows web visitors to follow your feed without leaving your site. (Think of it as a close cousin of the Facebook “Like” icon.) Twitter’s latest feature was  followed the next day by Google’s new “+1″ button. PC World offers some ideas for how to use the new buttons on your website. Search Engine Watch has some specific tips for Google’s +1, noting that it could become a must-have when it rolls out to YouTube, Blogger, and the Android Market for mobile apps.

Carolina Firms Try to Get Back to Business After Tornadoes

The News & Observer profiles several small, locally-owned businesses still picking up the pieces in Raleigh, North Carolina, more than a month after tornadoes wreaked havoc around the state. A lesson in perseverance when you’re staring down a business challenge: the owner of an ATV retailer and his brother have been living in their store — with a tornado-damaged roof and without power — to prevent thieves from stealing valuable inventory. Things have started to look up, though: The brothers recently received their insurance check, and they can get started on repairs with hopes of re-opening soon.

Daily Deals Go South For Australian Firms

Here’s an interesting look at the daily deal craze from the Sydney Morning Herald — and a reminder of the potential risks for small businesses that run offers on sites such as Groupon and LivingSocial. The newspaper reports that daily deal sites are all the rage with Australian shoppers: in the city of Perth, a site called Scoopon (sounds like…) runs two or three offers a day just to meet consumer demand. But some small businesses have done more harm than good by listing offers. The story includes a beauty salon that ultimately had to cancel its deal after it couldn’t handle the avalanche of customers wanting to cash in. Seller beware.

Four Fatal Flaws That Could Foretell Your Doom

They say you should learn from your mistakes; better yet, why not learn from the mistakes of others? Entrepreneur lists four no-nos that can usher in the end of a small business. Number two: Complacency. Don’t rest on your laurels, even when business is booming.

Kevin Casey is a business writer for Intuit and is passionate about solving small business problems.

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