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Small Business - Startup Digest - October 14th - October 21st

Startup Digest

Small Business

October 14, 2016

Welcome to this week’s Startup Digest. We’re opening this week’s digest with a post on big data from Lenovo. You’ve certainly heard the term big data at some point during the last couple of years and how important it is to a company to get right. But is this something that small businesses can utilize? Yes, and here’s why...

Speaking of managing big data, let’s talk about sales. Every day you’re making sales calls or sending out emails, but how do you keep track of it all? Knowing who you last spoke to and what you last spoke about is important to successfully landing that client. Which is why you need to make sure you’re keep track of as much information as possible. Sell Better has 3 ways to stay on top of your sales calls and manage your information.

We’re now moving on to a different yet important topic. Press releases, are they still relevant? Are they worth the time, effort, and expense to still promote press releases? We think so, and so does this post from Alignable. There are plenty of benefits to creating and distributing press releases which you can read more about in their post.

Let’s go to a post from SHRM on LinkedIn and its current state. If you’ve been on LinkedIn lately, you may have noticed a shift in the content that you now see there as well as the information shared by others on that site. To describe it in one word, LinkedIn is now getting “personal” but is it something that HR should keep an eye out for? See what these HR experts had to say.

Next up is an article from Fit Small Business that stays on HR. Have you ever fired someone or maybe had to, but wasn’t sure how? In this guide from Fit Small Business, learn whether or not you can fire an employee, how to break the news, preparing for future fires, and everything in between.

Our final post comes from Grasshopper. It’s a simple guide for small business owners which focuses on competitor research. It’s important to know who your competitors are and what they’re doing to know what you need to do to be successful. Check out their post to learn more.

You’ll find some incredible sites to bookmark on this list. Happy reading (and bookmarking). See you next week!

Small Business Startup Digest is curated by:
Marc Prosser

Marc Prosser

Contact Marc Prosser at

Michael Heiligenstein

Michael Heiligenstein

Contact Michael Heiligenstein at

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Is Big Data Really Big? Or Not

TJ MCCUE - Lenovo

There is always some buzzword or term floating around to consume a small business owner’s attention. For the last few years, Big Data is one of those terms. In this post, I will define it and offer some practical ideas about how you can use it. 

First, a definition: When someone uses the term “Big Data” they are generally talking about huge data sets that traditional software is ill equipped to handle. Historically, as in the last ten years, we are talking about researchers crunching extra large amounts of scientific, medical, or financial data.

3 Ways to Stay on Top of Your Sales Calls

Elizabeth Dupont - Sell Better

How many calls do you handle on a daily basis?  If you’re in sales, you probably make at least 50 calls a day, and that’s not even counting how many you calls you receive. You spend most of your day making connections and engaging customers, but it would be impossible to remember the minutiae of every conversation. So how do you keep track of who you’ve spoken with and when?

The answer is call tracking.

Are Press Releases Still Relevant?

Marc Prosser - Alignable

Modern marketers are always on the lookout for every opportunity to reach their target audience. One of the most old school, yet proven ways to do this is with press releases -- written materials that aim to report an event in an objective manner to promote that piece of news. Typically, a press release would need to go through a news agency before it can be published in any form of media.

This was before the internet era. Nowadays, people usually get their news from internet sources like news websites or social media. With the digital age taking over, written material has become almost obsolete. Which brings about the question of whether press releases are still relevant or not.

Are press releases still needed in the digital age?

LinkedIn Gets Personal: Should HR Be Wary?

Dawn Onley - SHRM

Increasingly, when you peruse your LinkedIn feed and see the posts from your friends and associates, you might see any number of posts discussing children, mentioning people going through a major illness or asking for prayers, said Celinda Appleby, head of global recruitment branding for Oracle. LinkedIn, the social networking behemoth for professionals, is now allowing users to venture into the more personal aspects of social media—including posting status updates and even blogging.

With Microsoft's recent acquisition of LinkedIn, recruiters are keeping tabs on the site. Microsoft may be making a play to enter the social media market, experts said, and that could lead to job seekers revealing more about themselves than recruiters want to see—and company leaders could wind up revealing more about themselves than they realize to potential new hires.

Should HR Be Wary?

How To Fire An Employee the Right Way

Christy Hopkins - Fit Small Business

If you are reading this article, you likely need to learn how to fire an employee because it is just not working out. While this is never a pleasant situation to be in, it’s one that should be handled with care. Whether it be for performance, insubordination, inability to follow rules, or a combination of the three, this article will guide you through how to fire someone in the easiest, most legally sound way possible. Please note that this article contains general information only, so you should consult your own legal professional before making any decisions. 

The Small Business Owner’s Simple Guide to Competitor Research

Dan Kenitz - Grasshopper

Unless you’re a marketing wonk, the word “research” might as well be “homework.” But for small business owners, there may be no work more important than your preliminary research on your competitors. Knowing your competitors means learning all about your customers, all about the marketplace, and all about the steps you need to take to go from fledgling enterprise to booming business.

Okay, fine, I admit it: I’m asking you to do your homework. But we’re not in school anymore, either. There are plenty of tools and time-saving tactics you can employ in order to get a lay of your market landscape, discerning whether or not this idea of your really has a chance of standing on its own two feet.

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