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The Small Business Observer Archives


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We appreciate your interest! We'll periodically send you articles, news, and more to help you run your business.
June 2014

Long June days mean the opportunity for great productivity sayeth the Small Business Observer team. In keeping with such early summer positivism, we share some insight on how to become a great business storyteller, some good reasons to get involved with your local Chamber, five customer types you should cherish, and how to determine if you are really living your calling.


May 2014

Spring’s in full bloom and spirits are up as summer draws ever near. Take note of a few call out pointers by the Small Business Observer and you’ll be in prime position to capitalize over summer, when you’re competitors hit their lazy lull. Discover 5 super-easy content tips for your Facebook business page, 7 items your website might be falling short, 10 winning daily habits, and even some great ideas to stay positive and motivated whether you’re at work or play.


April 2014

If April is for fools, the April edition of Newtek’s Small Business Observer is for the antithesis. In this issue, we shower you with relevant information concerning how to best reach Millenials, how to stop procrastination in its tracks. In addition, we even share a few quick steps to a comprehensive HIPAA risk analysis for our medical industry clients. And don’t look now, we are currently offering an industry-first “meet or beat” offer for your credit-card processing.


March 2014

Finishing off 2014’s first quarter, fully in-in-the-know is now possible with your copy of Newtek’s The Small Business Observer. You can learn who needs to be HIPAA compliant (and make sure you are), see which technology companies are being acquired for billions, discover why “storytelling” webdesign is all the new rage, and even keep on top of those all new, all important Healthcare Reform mandate delays.


February 2014

February here and whether the weather’s hot or cold where you are, we know your workload is the former – and you are already into the groove of 2014 and hitting it hard. The Small Business Observer is designed to provide hot topic perspectives to help you optimize business success and in keeping with tradition, we have some great content to share. In this issue we give you some worst case scenarios in cybercrime and how to avoid them; 7 things a start up business needs to succeed; and a really fantastic article that will help determine when a small business loan would be better than an investor.


January 2014

Welcome 2014! What a great year it’s going to be for business leaders (who read the Small Business Observer)! In this first month of the New Year, we really have it all. There is a link to download our incredible FREE magazine that is nothing less than a tough economy survival guide! You will also find 5 business mistakes to avoid this year; what social media sites to leverage (and how); and we even share the 7 most critical questions to ask before beginning a new business. Oh yes, if you do decide you are going to start anew, we even tell you the 5 best industries to do it in!…


December 2013

As we await the annual changing of the guard, December is a month of reflection and the Small Business Observer is here to serve as your guide. We take a detailed look at credit card compliance, the Healthcare Reform Act, and discuss some great tips for marketing analysis. And with the New Year’s resolutions approaching, we even explain why you can’t do it all in your small business. Enjoy the last month of 2013. Stick around, we forecast blue skies ahead (as long as you stick with us)…


November 2013

For SMBs “November” is synonymous with “get ready.” November marks the ascent into Holiday season which means busy, important,  and oftentimes stressful days. To Newtek, November means opportunity, and to help our customers and friends get ready, this month’s Small Business Observer explains how to leverage The Cloud to improve efficiency at nearly every level. We also discuss how to improve sales by leaving pitching behind, preferring instead the art of asking better questions. And then, we finish off, with the seasonally appropriate topic of strengthening your business’s service core. Well, what are you waiting for? Get readin’ …


October 2013

This month is known for closing with a fright, and with the debut of the Health Care Exchanges on the first, a bit of concern or confusion is certainly the norm amongst the may. However, your ability to navigate unchartered territory could be spookily seamless with October’s Newtek Observer in tow. In this issue, you will discover the 5 most important things to know about Health Care Reform, while deeply improving your understanding. You will be able to assess if it truly spells imminent disaster, or if it might just be a benefit over time. And if its marketing you are interested in, find out how to boost awareness by hooking up with social media wonder site "Foursquare."


September 2013 September is upon us (a particularly exciting time for our technology division located in scorching hot Phoenix) and, it is time to dig in our business heels. So, to keep you in lockstep with another fast-paced Autumn, we share how Generation Y will change the workplace forever (and what impact to expect). We’ll also talk about how to leverage QR codes to help your business, what your logo really needs, and we even have some great information on background checks for new hires. For marketing professionals, we discuss effective call-to-actions, while office managers and IT decision-makers can learn about the business benefits of Hosted SharePoint 2013 (it’s extraordinary). If you travel a lot for business, we have some tips and for business owners and security pros – everything you need to know to bolster your cyber-security including how to deal with “BYOD policy.” Enjoy September’s The Small Business Observer!

August 2013 August, the month of Leo, is upon us. With all the ammo in this month’s SBO, we can approach our work with the tenacity of lions as we learn about leveraging social usage, a break before the Obamacare employer mandate, a better way to let down job candidates, and even some great advice on how to “fire” a bad client. We also get some thoughts regarding employee hours for the rest of summer, hear about Microsoft’s denial regarding PRISM involvement, enjoy some great business reading recommendations, a word of caution about competing on price alone, and even find out what the most unsatisfying position in America is.

July 2013 Summer continues to heat up, and with it, The Small Business Observer’s July Newsletter stories to help business our business owners maintain their edge. Start off by learning a few steps to “hacker proof” your business, how to earn “real” sales from social media, and even get a few tips on how to get the most out of your summer employees. In this issue we also discuss digital marketing strategy, what Google’s new search algorithm means to your SEO Strategy, and we even include links to some FREE white papers regarding some hot button items that could affect your business.

June 2013 Could it really be June? Could we actually have already arrived at Summer 2013? According to The Small Business Observer we have, and with it, we get to enjoy some really good information. For starters, it appears Newtek revenues should grow by 13% percent by year’s end. We learn some cool, new ways to measure success; we get some YouTube Business moxie; and we even get some great ideas for bolstering company culture. Not only that, but we learn how to effectively interview, why MySpace flopped … twice, how to seamlessly move a brick and mortar, 7 ways to make customers return “magically”, and we even find out some great news about online marketing successes!

May 2013 May 2013 is rife with lessons and tips to stay ahead of the curve. Find out how to get a business loan in what remains a difficult environment. Learn what to consider before rebranding your social media, along with how go bolster long-term client relationships. Determine if your business would benefit from a blog, if remote workers make sense for your business, and how to strengthen your brand through message repetition. Also, get the skinny office supply savings, a peek at graphic format capabilities, news, tips, and much, much more!

April 2013 What a better way to start a monthly newsletter than a video interview with Newtek CEO Barry Sloane? One that complements him with a great secure electronic payment piece, advice on procuring small business loans, and the grail for managing a bad online review. April also showered us with valuable information on finding a solid insurance provider, qualified employees, and how to set the stage for effective brainstorming sessions. And to top it off, we share the secrets to content marketing, branding mistakes, and social media no-nos – just to keep you ahead of the pack.

March 2013 With winter weather warming into spring, we share some seasonal insights on payroll updates and tax changes. Additionally, we will learn the difference between brand and branding. If you are working on a new startup or refreshing your business model, we will show you how to write a mission statement. If you aren’t familiar with “second screen” you will be! Also, learn 7 SMB winning habits; how to sponsor a great community event, and even a valuable lesson on CyberSecurity from the President.

February 2013 In our fun-filled February issue, we find out who is (and who isn’t) ready for Healthcare reform. We learn how to mend fences with customers when WE mess up … and find out what to look for when hiring a social media manager. Learn how to improve your networking skills; a few tricks to managing health cost increases; and, discover the latest marketing trends for 2013. Also, you will find out what small business expenses are smart to put on credit cards, and which aren’t. And, when it comes to your employees, find out what inspires, motivates, and ultimately serves to retain your very best.

January 2013 In this issue, the first of 2013, we help businesses navigate Obamacare. Find out all you need about new payroll & tax changes.  Review the implications of the fiscal cliff.  Wonder what smart businesses did to survive the holidays? Client testimonials could be the most important aspect of marketing that you regularly ignore. Pay heed to this warning about BYOD. Get off that social media site, there’s a better way to connect with other businesses. Discover the importance of client testimonials. You mean businesses are taking to the iPad? 3 tools available to help customers find your website.

December 2012 How did small business brick & mortars and eComm fair this Holiday Season? Machine to Machine (M2M) connections are growing by 36 percent annually – 115 million by 2016! It seems that IT and Exec. Marketeers are demanding open source Web Content Management solutions. For those naming new businesses, we’ve got some tips. Be careful before downloading those helpful apps – some are risky. Social Media is still proving a worthy business investment. Learn some hard facts about keeping your data safe. Studies show that it might be time to implement some BYOD security policies at your office.

November 2012 Is iOS 6 a game changer or a step backward? Discover some interesting insights concerning BYOD. Drop that pen and uncover the note-taking tools of the web. Don’t forget – cash flow is always about timing. Hey coders out there – Adobe presents its new suite of tools for Devs and Facebook turns toward native app code. The device or the carrier, when it comes to your smartphone which do you value more?

October 2012 How would you like to bring down some fixed costs? Did you know you can track mentions of your brand online? Android to enhance digital cameras.
Some winning techniques to build trust, credibility, and motivation among your employees. Automate and streamline sales with 3 crafty tools. A glimpse of the tussle between Samsung and Apple.
OS X no longer immune to viruses and malware. Microsoft creates new development center to attract Window Phone app developers.

September 2012 So what’s in your business DNA, anyway? Want to know some easy and affordable ways to better your online advertising?
Apple’s OS X  roars in the arrival of Mountain Lion. Have you become that boss that you swore you would never be? People are doing business on tablets everywhere – could you be next?
New Microsoft acquisition helps to grow their cloud service. Do you know how to thrive in spite of constant change?


August 2012
Is carrying your credit card becoming obsolete? What does the future hold for mobile payments and the virtual wallet?
Why Windows 8 may not be for everyone. What are the preview users saying?
Do you have a disaster recovery plan? Is it important? Find out what most IT executives are doing about it.
The SB Authority index reports another slight improvement in the small business economy.


July 2012
Does your business have an online presence?  Stay protected from cyber attacks! Be sure to protect your customer data and take payments securely.
The SB Authority index reports a slight improvement in the small business economy.
Our latest poll surveyed business owners on trends within their health insurance premiums, are your costs rising?  We are here to help!


June 2012
Are you a small business owner having trouble with obtaining a bank loan or looking to refinance your existing bank loan?  The Small Business Authority will lend your business up to $5 million dollars!
The SB Authority small business index reports a decline in the small business economy.  How is your business doing?
Check out the podcast featuring Geraldo Rivera, Monica Crowley and Barry Sloane – which presidential candidate is better for small business?  Obama or Romney?

May 2012 The Small Business Authority is offering a FREE mobile credit card reader for your business to accept payments on the go.  This card reader is compatible with the iPhone, iPad, Android and Blackberry unlike other card readers.
Be sure to check out The Small Business Authority survey regarding hiring trends in the next 6 to 12 months!  Is your business hiring?
Incase you missed Chief Economist, Maury Harris, be sure to catch up on The Small Business Authority Hour.


April 2012
As a business you have to have an online presence. We offer you the do’s and don’ts to keep in mind during the design period.
The tablet revolution is upon us! Over 65% of you told us that you are currently using a tablet to manage your business applications.
CEO Barry Sloane breaks down recent technology trends in the small business market, including the rise in tablet implementation into small businesses on this month’s radio show.
Plus: What you need to know to ensure a successful business future.
Oh yeah…we’re giving away a FREE Website!!

March 2012 Does your business offer Group Employee Benefits? We give you 6 ‘benefits’ of your business should.
Small business tax expert, Gary Milkwick, from The Corporate Tax Network stops by to discuss tax season with CEO Barry Sloane on this month’s radio show.
With tax season in full swing, over 55% of you told us that you did not understand all aspects of your business tax return.
Do you have an Ecommerce site? We give you can’t miss ecommerce essentials.
Plus: A $200 cash refund on Windows servers?

February 2012 Get a primer on cloud economics—how do the savings go beyond the price tag?
The SB Authority Index went up 34 percentage points in December. Find out why.
It’s never too early to prepare for the tax deadline—and many of you are on your way. More than 70 percent of business owners who took our Market Sentiment Survey said they have external tax advisors to help them prepare for the tax season ahead.
We also get you warmed up with some tax-planning and deduction tips, and we tell you how to get paid by your late-paying customers.
And, we inform you about mobile malware, a big worry for business owners in 2011.
Plus: Managers, outside sales people, and overtime exemptions: Find out what you need to know.

January 2012 With big banks tightening their wallets when it comes to small business loans, trust the #1 Non-Bank lender (that’s us) to get you approved.
TIME magazine recently named the Protestor its Person of the Year. Early projections for 2012: The Entrepreneur. The tools you’ll need to master this economy.
With a new year brings new hope. Nearly sixty percent of business owners are optimistic about the future economy.
During The Small Business Hour on 77WABC Radio, CEO Barry Sloane talks with several exciting and up-and-coming entrepreneurs about the health of the small business economy.
Plus: Interested in a little extra cash for your business? How to find, and WIN, Small-Biz competitions.

December 2011 A recent poll of business owners conducted by Gallup concluded that the biggest issues facing business owners are government regulation compliance. We break down the data and what it means to you.

An overwhelming amount of you, ninety percent to be exact, told us that government health insurance is not at the top of your wish list in 2012, or ever!
CEO Barry Sloane talks with Kyle Sloane and Steve Riegler from The Small Business Authority about healthcare during this month’s radio show.
Plus: Social media No-No’s. Just the smallest tweaks to your strategy can make a big difference to your bottom line.


November 2011 It has become more than just a social media site and Oscar winning movie. Facebook has become one of the largest online developer platforms and is changing the social web and the fundamental way business owners engage with their customers. We take you inside the Facebook platform.
Can employers fire employees exercising their First Amendment on the social web? We give you the insight into the reasons why they can, and the cases that paved the way.
Using social media to call together a group of complete strangers to do random things is supposed to be fun. But what happens when a few bad eggs use it as a form of critical activity. We give you the tools to avoid the future of criminal mischief: Flash-Mob Robberies.
Plus: Why Ecommerce sites are more effective than a ‘Free Kittens’ sign.

October 2011 The internet can be a dangerous place without the right precautions in place. We tell you the Cyber Security habits your business needs to adopt.
Yikes! Seventy-three percent of you told us that you have never tested your websites for cyber security. Fear not, business owners, from in depth cyber security articles to cyber security experts we’ve got you covered.
Processing over $70 million in U.S. Small Business Administration loans in 2010, we’ve taken our place amongst the countries lending giants. The Small Business Authority’s CEO Barry Sloane touches on our success in the October issue of Fortune magazine, “David vs. Goliath”.
Plus: Cyber security expert Bo Dietl talks to CEO Barry Sloane about the importance of cyber security and vulnerability assessments for your business website, helping you prevent hackers from accessing you or your customer’s financial information.

September 2011 What makes an entrepreneur successful? Read about the seven traits we see every day in the customers we work with—and we work with a ton of them.Sixty-nine percent of you told us that you don’t plan to hire within the next year, and the SB Authority Index indicates that the small-business economy needs to eat a can of spinach.Plus: Stew Leonard and Michael Dermer talk to CEO Barry Sloane about business confidence, and Janover LLC ponders New York’s Marriage Equality Act and addresses the question, “Should we get married?”

August 2011 Is Groupon a good idea for your business? We tell you what to consider before offering a deal.Concerned about website accessibility? The DOJ Civil Rights Division is currently reviewing comments about a possible rule regarding website accessibility for people with disabilities.CEO Barry Sloane and Janover LLC’s Mark Goodman talk taxes on this month’s radio show.Plus: Check out the latest Facebook updates, learn how to build traffic to your website, and find out how incorporating can protect your business name and help you build credibility.

July 2011 Still mystified by cloud computing? We tell you why it matters and how it can help your business. We continue the cloud talk on this month’s radio show.We tell you about the Senate’s rejection of a swipe-fee rule delay, and the Obama administration’s freeze on the creation of new federal websites.Plus: Read why some lenders turn down business-loan requests, measure your social-media activity, and celebrate wacky warning labels.

June 2011 Heard about cloud computing? If not, you’re not alone. A majority of respondents to the May Market Sentiment Survey said they hadn’t heard of it.Discover the five things business owners should know about cloud computing, and listen to this month’s radio show for all things cloud.Plus: Find out the best days and times to tweet, blog, and post to Facebook; read how we help a customer get the word out about heart rhythms; and learn about the Michaels Stores PIN-pad breach.

May 2011 This month, we explore the habits of highly effective ecommerce sites. This off the surprising news that 50 percent of business owners polled in our SB Authority Market Sentiment Survey do not have a web presence. We learn how ecommerce can transform your business and help your bottom line. We also provide tips in how to use a shopping cart, what to ask before signing a commercial lease, which blogs we recommend you read, and more more. Finally, The Small Business Authority and Forbes invite you to nominate your business, or your favorite small business, as one of America’s Most Promising Companies. The link is provided in the newsletter.

April 2011 This month, we update you on the recent attempt to raise the small-business lending cap on credit unions. Also, read what respondents to The Small Business Market Sentiment Survey said about credit conditions, and find out what CEO Barry Sloane said about small-business lending on The Small Business Authority Hour.We also give you a recap of our tax-related articles. Some articles explain the differences between exempt and nonexempt employees, and between employees and independent contractors. Others cover which questions to ask before you file, and whom to call if you have an issue with the IRS.What else: We tell you how to make money with your blog, how to name your product or business like it’s a person, and what you need to know about wage garnishment.

The Small Business Observer - March 2011
March 2011
This month, we focus on health care reform. President and CEO Barry Sloane dives into the details on The Small Business Authority Hour on 77WABC, and experts from Humana Inc., J.H. Cohn, and Rampart Insurance Company join the discussion.We also inform you about the small business health care tax credit under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, and we ask you what you think about health care reform.Don’t forget to check out “Tax Week” on our blog page. Visit every day for a new tax-related blog article.What else: Get information on how to take advantage of programs for veterans who are business owners, how to sustain your business while taking leave, and how to use internet marketing to attract local customers. Don’t miss the piece about women-owned businesses.Finally, find out how we guarantee to reduce your cost—or we pay you $250.

The Small Business Observer - February 2011
February 2011
What is The Small Business Authority Index and what does it mean that it grew in 2010? What do 68 percent of small-business owners consider to be their focus for the year? When can you catch the premiere of The Small Business Authority Hour?Find out in this month’s newsletter.Keep reading to learn about 10 handy iPhone apps for small-business owners, minimizing business risk, and what the Small Business Jobs and Credit Act can do for you.You can also discover which works better for you: merchant processing or a third-party solution.




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