The Week in Small Business – 08.06.11
We do the legwork of finding the best in small business news and links. You have more time to do what you love.
Your Facebook Fans Are Far-Flung
A new study suggests that just 15 percent of your Facebook fans actually live in your surrounding area. That might be fine for online or national companies, but should raise an eyebrow for purely local businesses like retail shops. So what the heck are all those Likes worth? Sometimes, as with this Florida OB-GYN, Facebook isn’t a strict matter of dollars and cents. Here are two other ways beyond marketing to get value out of social media. How do you measure your social presence?
Franchisers Play the Lending Game
Entrepreneurs looking for cash to buy a franchise may have a new source of help: the franchiser itself. The Wall Street Journal says a growing number of franchise brands are either hiring in-house teams or paying third-party services to help their franchises secure capital. Their motivation is simple: Franchisers don’t make money if owners aren’t opening new stores or growing existing ones, and small business lending slowed to a recessionary crawl and hasn’t been quick to pick up.
Small Business Borrowing Hits Three-Year High
That small business credit freeze could finally be thawing, though. Sure, this week’s mainstream financial news — led by Thursday’s precipitous stock market drop — might have made you think it was time to pack up your canned goods and head for the hills. But small businesses provided some silver lining, with the latest Reuters/Paynet data showing borrowing levels at their highest levels since 2008. Loan delinquencies are down, too — another good sign, as it means small businesses are paying their bills.
It Was My Understanding There’d Be No Math
There’s no rule that says you need to know numbers to be a business whiz. But completely ignoring basic accounting principles could steer an otherwise promising business into financial disaster. The New York Times offers up a series of entrepreneurs that got nailed by inattention to the fundamentals. The good news? You don’t have to go back to school for an accounting or finance degree. But it is a good idea to (re)learn the basics, even if you rely on outside help to balance your books.
Made in Manhattan, Kansas
The best small place to run a small business? Manhattan, according to Forbes. (The one in Kansas, not New York.) “The Small Best Places for Business and Careers” list — an offshoot of the Forbes Best Places series — rounded out the top five with Sioux Falls (South Dakota), Bismarck (North Dakota), Logan (Utah), and Bowling Green (Kentucky).