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:: New Years Tech Resolutions for Small Businesses

Theres no telling what the future will bring, but one thing is sure: In the world of technology, nothing stays the same for very long. The year 2010 wasn't terribly turbulent for tech, but 2011 is shaping up to be more of a thrill than you might expect. From Androids scorched-earth march across the industry to malware threats that we have yet to wrap our arms around, it seems as if everything is about to change.

With that in mind, here are nine resolutions for the small business operator to think about for 2011.

9 Resolutions for Small Businesses

:: Innovative Small Business Funding

Funding extended through 2018 for the Small Business Innovation Research Program and the Small Business Technology Program

Small businesses in the science and innovation field got good news recently when the U.S. Senate reauthorized two National Science Foundation programs, aimed at helping entrepreneurs gain access to capital.

In one of the final moves of the year, the Senate passed a bill which will extend funding for the Small Business Innovation Research Program and the Small Business Technology Program, both of which were established in order to help small businesses get better access to federal dollars and development funds. Thanks to the passage, the program will be funded through 2018, after relying on short-term funding to solve the issue.

Innovative Small Business Funding

:: Small Businesses Heros or Victims?

Over the last two years, it has been widely reported that small businesses create more jobs than big businesses and thus are critical to the recovery. It has also been widely reported that small businesses are getting squeezed — by the credit freeze, by skyrocketing costs like health and unemployment insurance, and by cheap imports, to name a few examples.

So, if you own a small business, is the deck stacked against you? Can you overcome all of the obstacles? Is it harder than it used to be to start a business? Is it going to continue to get harder? Are the banks going to loosen up? Is the recovery ever going to reach small businesses the way it has big businesses? Which is it: Are small businesses going to be saviors or victims?

Small Business Future

:: Small Businesses Mixed on Economic Future

Despite hiring figures that point to positive gains for entrepreneurs, this group still has mixed emotions about the direction of the economy in 2011, according to a survey from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation.

The data indicate that more than 50 percent of entrepreneurs rated the economy as bad, with another 20 percent rating it as "very bad." Another 20 percent rated the economy as fair. These figures suggest the level of caution with which small businesses will conduct hiring in the new year.

:: Yahoo Cutting Staff, Trimming Products

Fresh from cutting its workforce, Yahoo! is looking at getting rid of products that do not fit the struggling Internet pioneers efforts to re-invent itself.

complete article

:: Online Shopping Numbers

Right now, U.S. shoppers have already spent $21.95 billion shopping online during the first 40 days of the November - December holiday season, according to data from comScore. That figure represents a 12% increase from the amount spent during the same time period in 2009.

Online Shopping Numbers

:: Paypal Alternatives

Paypal is one of the biggest and most widely adopted forms of online payment on the web today. With the weight of Ebay behind it, PayPal has truly went from strength to strength, and is a well recognised web brand. That said, it has not avoided negative press, with reports of accounts being frozen, and Paypal slow to respond to support queries, many people have been forced to review and compare other options.

Paypal Alternatives

:: Amazon Invests in Groupon

12/07/2010 Inc. said Thursday that it invested $175 million in social coupon service LivingSocial — the latest sign that the online retailer is delving into promising new methods of e-commerce.

Similar to popular online coupon site Groupon, LivingSocial lets users sign up for daily discounts that are generally for 50 to 70 percent off at local businesses like pizzerias and hair salons. If you refer three friends who end up buying the same deal, you get the deal for free.

complete article

:: Top 100 Websites

Did you ever want to know which domains have the most backlinks? Worldwide or country by country? Now you can. The online SEO tool suite publishes a free daily updated list of the domains with the most unique backlinks.

Check out the top 100 Websites

:: Small Business Websites Get On The Map With Google Places

Only the first seven results in Google Places are shown on a specific search and, since the service is free, there is ample opportunity to not only get listed, but to break into the top seven.

more on Google Places

:: Taking Stock of Small Business Saturday

The very first Small Business Saturday, courtesy of the branding folks at American Express, is over. So did it do as it intended and lure more shoppers into the privately-run boutiques, the mom-and-pop stores, the independent non-big box retailers? Judging from a review of local stories from various publications around the country, the answer is resounding meh.

complete article

:: Twitter is Not for Sale

Twitter co-founder Biz Stone said today that even if the company was offered $4 billion or $5 billion, it is still not ready to be sold.

:: Enticing Purchasers - Closing the Sale

Compelling customers to take the final step from browsing to purchasing is not always an easy transition. Marketers and entrepreneurs who have studied purchasing habits have found that the following enticements can help encourage potential customers to take the final step to purchase...

Enticing Purchasers - Closing the Sale

:: Small Business Facts

Small business is the lifeline of our local economies. Small businesses have generated 60 to 80 percent of net new jobs annually over the last decade; and represent 99.7 percent of all employer firms (according to the SBA). In fact, for every $100 spent in locally-owned, independent stores, $68 returns to the community through local taxes, payroll and other expenditures.

Small Business Facts

:: Small Business Struggles

When the economy struggles, small businesses are often hit the hardest.

Only about half of small businesses survive for at least five years.

Small Business Struggles

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