The Week in Small Business – 06.11.11
We do the legwork of finding the best in small business news and links. You have more time to do what you love.
What's Next for Debit Card Transaction Fees
The big news this week for small businesses — not to mention banks and consumers — was the Senate vote to not postpone the Federal Reserve's proposed cap on debit card fees. (Get a recap of the new fee limit and this week's vote.) The business and political media continue to dissect the vote's fallout and the coming July 21 deadline for the new rules to take effect. The International Business Times notes that the Fed may still implement modified rules; meanwhile, The Wall Street Journal takes a look at Republican strategies for retooling last year's financial reforms (the debit card fee limits were mandated by those reforms); and The Hill says that while retailers are celebrating, small businesses need to reinvest the savings rather than pocket them.
How to Get a Page One Google Ranking
BNET small business columnist Steve Strauss fields a question on the minds of many online businesses: What's the best way to earn a page one ranking in Google's organic (vs. paid) search results? The short answer: Video. The longer version — read his complete advice — notes recent research that indicates SEO-friendly video can dramatically improve your chances of a page-one placement, and also offers some tips for creating good online videos.
A Bicycle Built for Laundry
Philly.com profiles a green business not worried about gut-wrenching gas prices: Wash Cycle Laundry, started by 28-year-old entrepreneur Gabriel Mandujano, is a laundry delivery service that uses an unorthodox delivery fleet: Bicycles. The company's cyclists can tote 200 pounds of laundry on their two-wheeled, environmentally conscious vehicles. (Does the delivery staff get free washing?)
A Different Kind of Green(s) Business
Golf's U.S. Open gets underway next week, and it will do so without the sport's most recognizable star: Tiger Woods recently withdrew from the field due to injury. But golf is still a big business, to the tune of $80 billion each year. With one of the game's premiere events around the corner, TheStreet.com takes a look at three smaller businesses that compete for a slice (no pun intended) of the golfing industry.
The Oracle of Omaha Goes to New Orleans
Legendary investor Warren Buffett paid a recent visit to New Orleans to offer a few words of advice and encouragement to 30 entrepreneurs. The audience had just completed its studies as part of the 10,000 Small Businesses initiative sponsored by Goldman Sachs; Buffett is an advisor to the program. "If you delight your customers, it works," Buffet told the crowd, according a Times-Picayune recap of the event. "I've never seen a business fail that's delighted its customers."
Well, That's Not Very Nice
As Groupon's growth continues flying skyward, fueled in part by the building buzz around its planned IPO, PC World takes a look at the downside for small businesses. The headline isn't very subtle, but the story highlights some inherent risks that you should consider before doing a deal. Among the more important ones: Angering loyal customers and the possibility that you'll lose a lot of money.
Kevin Casey is a business writer for Intuit and is passionate about solving small business problems.