The Week in Small Business – 08.13.11

by Kevin Casey on August 13, 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.

Business Owners Ride the Stock Market Rollercoaster

At the Friday close of the U.S. markets, the carnage was, well, not all that carnage-like: the Dow Jones Industrial Average shed 1.5 percent of its value this week and the NASDAQ another percentage point. Those are significant losses, for sure, but not too bad considering the 500-plus-point daily swings that monopolized the financial news headlines. CNNMoney takes a look at how Wall Street volatility affects Main Street businesses.

Finding Money While the World Runs Out of It

CNBC notes the continuing financing challenges for startups and even longstanding small businesses, and offers ideas on finding cash in a wayward economy. Some, like bank loans, are obvious. Others, not so much: Have you ever considered reaching out to a larger competitor for a loan?

And If Things Get Really Tight?

Here’s one source of capital CNBC didn’t mention: Pawn shops. CNNMoney profiles an apparent increase in the number of small business owners pawning valuables as a short-term fix for cash-flow crunches. Online pawn shop Pawngo.com says half its clients are small business owners. Making payroll is cited as a common reason for hawking things like Rolexes and engagement rings.

UK Owners Pumping Personal Pounds Into Businesses

We’re on a roll: A survey from across the pond finds that more UK business owners are injecting their own money into their businesses as credit and consumer spending remain tight. Loans from friends and family and personal credit lines are two common sources. Also interesting: the lion’s share of respondents say doing business in the UK is “unbearably expensive.” What about where you do business: Expensive, cheap, somewhere in between?

When the Economy Throws You Lemons…

Innovate! (Or make lemonade, if that’s a viable revenue stream for your business.) Harvard Business Review blogger Stephen Wunker lists his five rules for innovating in a shaky economy. Though the examples include some very big companies like Proctor & Gamble, the underlying lessons could have applications for businesses of any size.

Perish the Thought!

A fun (and fake, thankfully) news item to close a week of gloom-and-doom financial news: Consumers Need Government Approval On All Purchases Over $50. </laughs nervously>

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

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