04.29.20166 min read

5 Things You Need to Read: The Small Business Week Edition

Next week, May 1–7, is National Small Business Week 2016. Every year since 1963, the President of the United States has issued a proclamation to set aside one week to recognize entrepreneurs and small business owners for their hard work, their many achievements, and the great value they add to our national economy.

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The Small Business Administration (SBA) champions this week, taking the opportunity to highlight outstanding small business owners and entrepreneurs throughout all 50 States and U.S. territories. These businesses are noted for their exceptional ability to grow small businesses, create jobs, drive innovation, and increase America’s global competitiveness.

Throughout the week, the SBA will host a number of free events around the country open to the public to discuss a variety of current issues that small business owners face.

In the District of Columbia, for example, the SBA is hosting a panel discussion on cybersecurity; while in Atlanta, you can learn about what it takes to launch a small business of your own. Millennial entrepreneurs get special treatment at the Apollo Theatre in New York, while in Phoenix, you can join an armchair discussion on topics such as access to capital, effective marketing, business growth, and more. 

All of these events will be broadcasted live, so anyone can participate remotely. Check out the full SBA site for National Small Business Week for schedule and details.

We’d like to contribute to the festivities in this week’s roundup by offering articles that complement the NSBW events that will be hosted around the country and highlight issues small businesses face right now.

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Main Street Is Open for Business: Bank of America Survey Reveals Strong Economic Outlook Among Small Business Owners (via @BankofAmerica

It never hurts to take a minute to look at how fellow small business owners perceive the five-year outlook for the economy. Bank of America recently ran a poll of small business owners across the nation asking their input on the next five years. This excerpt from the article is comforting: “Small business optimism is at its highest since the survey’s inception in 2012, with expectations for revenue growth and plans to hire hitting a three-year high.” Yet, small business owners are concerned about cyber attacks, the global economy, and “workplace 2.0.”

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Bad Bots, Bad Bots, Whatcha Gonna Do? (via @smallbiztrends

If you’ve been paying attention to the constantly changing landscape of tech innovation, you’ve probably heard the word “bot” thrown around. No, we’re not talking about the robot apocalypse.

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We’re talking about programs that can interact with applications in such a way as to mimic human interaction. They can be a force for good—they are revolutionizing customer service, for example. Or they can be a force for evil. This article gives insight into how bad bots work, and how they could affect small businesses.

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Advice for Aspiring Millennial Business Buyers (via @Inc

So there’s this group of people who were born between 1980 and 2000, perhaps you’ve heard of them? They’re called millennials. Ring a bell?

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While society has tended to paint this demographic as a bunch of fun-loving adult/child hybrids, it turns out that millennials are some of the most driven, innovative, savvy people in the workforce. Not only are they starting their own small businesses, they’re also acquiring them. This article offers some great advice for millennials who aspire to one day own their own business.

Small Businesses Report Increased Access to Capital, Greater Demand for Financing, and Optimism for Future Growth (via @DnBUS)

Access to capital is critical for the growth of small businesses. Dunn & Bradstreet’s Private Capital Access Index Report for Q1 can help small businesses understand the climate around private capital investment and the outlook for near-term. This report is chock full of important stats that can help you think through your financial strategy, even if you don’t anticipate seeking venture capital.

12 Things Not to Do When Using Digital Marketing In 2016 (via @Forbes)

Success for small businesses hinges on digital marketing. While digital marketing is still just marketing, it’s got its own particular set of rules (both spoken and unspoken). Businesses that don’t consider the rules of the road will be left in the dust.

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This article breaks down exactly what you should not do in your business’ approach to digital marketing.

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