Trending On Thursdays

We hope you and your #smallbiz survived last week’s Jonas! If the blizzard gave you a financial headache, we’ve got you covered with this week’s Trending on Thursday with a look on the bright (and dry) side. We’ve also got some advice for leveraging LinkedIn for your business and retaining top talent, as well as innovation advice from one of the most creative voices in music.

See all of the trending #smallbiz news below and let us know how you bounce back when bad weather impacts your business.

  1. TrendingJan28(1)If your small business was in the path of winter storm Jonas last week, you may have lost some serious revenue. Abha Bhattarai reports at The Washington Post that small businesses in the area will have accumulated billions in losses by the time it is all added up. A similar blizzard in 1996 cost small businesses a whopping $4.6 billion in today’s dollars. Still, small business owners pointed out that the communities always rally in times of trouble and January is the slowest business month of the year anyway, so there’s no doubt you will bounce back as the snow melts away.
  1. There’s a popular (if somewhat questionable) statistic that eight out of 10 businesses fail before the end of their second year. The easy thing to assume here is that the majority of new businesses aren’t founded on good ideas, don’t have a solid infrastructure or don’t pay attention to customer service. But we’ve all had the experience where our favorite small retailer or coffee shop closes up shop, so there must be something else going on. Larry Alton at Entrepreneur says even good business sometimes neglect these five key elements of entrepreneurship.
  1. TrendingJan28(2)Is your #smallbiz making the most out of LinkedIn? The social network is an inescapable part of online life for working professionals. Over and over, small businesses make mistakes on LinkedIn because they are patterning their strategies after approaches that work for larger companies with huge budgets, lots of brand awareness and extensive social-media systems. Alexandra Samuel at The Wall Street Journal has a few tips on the best ways to leverage the platform for your small business, including tapping your personal network, keeping critical activity private, and not focusing on lead generation.
  1. We’ve written before about the importance of attracting top talent to you business. Now, Rob Bogosian has some advice for making sure those great employees stay there once you get them. He says, “if your employees are silent — when you don’t hear any ideas or complaints — beware.” The best way for small business owners and entrepreneurs to retain top talent is by fostering a culture where employees aren’t afraid to speak up. The three ways to do that? Trust the people you hire, always listen to what they have to say, and make sure you disseminate information quickly and transparently.
  1. Damian Kulash is best known as the front man of super genius creative musical group, OK Go. Whether it’s art projects, dabbling in physics, tinkering with biology, creating visual illusions, or reinventing marketing, bringing their musical visions to life in interesting ways has always been a huge part of the band’s creative and business culture. Fresh off a 2015 MTV VMA win, Damian sat with Chris Denson of Inc. to talk about everything from having one of the first viral videos on YouTube to maintaining team chemistry, working with brands, being business minded, and printing an album on strands of DNA.

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