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Small Business Week in Review : topic :: American Express OPEN ...

Small Business Week in Review

July 6, 2012

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Checking In On Sales

Learn the science behind sales - from how to accurately forecast what you have and what you need to which customers to focus on.

Read On

Each week, our editors round up the most compelling entrepreneurial news and advice. Here are this week?s highlights.

6 Ways This Family Business Has Survived Since the Civil War

Think your business has been around for a while? Hillenmeyer Landscaping in Lexington, Ky., has operated continually under the same family since 1841. Business Insider writer Samantha Cortez talked to the fifth-generation owner, Stephen Hillenmeyer, to get his insight and advice on how to keep a family business going strong for over a century. Plus: Contently's Jennifer Gregory profiles a bridal shop in Michigan that has managed to beat the recession.

Sound too good to be true? Well, all it takes is a little planning, as sales and small-business expert Mike Michalowicz will show you. The secret lies in creating systems that keep running without you. Mike's advice is just the thing to get some space from your business this summer. Plus: Reporter Courtney Rubin brings you the details of a new report that shows that small-business lending is up but hiring is still down.

George Washington. Benjamin Franklin. Alexander Hamilton. We know these names as the fathers of our country. But they were also entrepreneurs whose business sense helped guide the drafting of the Constitution. Business writer Katie Morell talked with a leading historian to show you the businesses of the founding fathers. Plus: Find out why this year's Fourth of July was a dismal one for fireworks vendors.

Ever heard of kaizen? This idea is what brought Japan back from the brink of ruin after World War II to become one of the most powerful industrial nations in the world. Matthew May explores the concept of kaizen and shows you how you can employ it in your business. Plus: Contently writer Vivian Wagner explains how simply changing your thinking can help you create new products.

"Command and control" used to be the mantra of business owners, believing that a successful business runs only by handing down ideas and innovations from the top. Culture Beat columnist Alexandra Levit explains why this concept is being quickly outdated?and what is replacing it. Plus: Marketing expert Dan Schawbel shows you the importance of interacting with your customers on Facebook.

Did you know that LED lights can help prevent food spoilage, keep clothing from fading, and make jewelry look better? If you have a retail shop and have been deterred by the cost of LEDs or the negative stigma of it's "harsh light," it's time to take another look. Wise Bread's Carl Natale explains why LEDs can be a great investment. Plus: If you want to know more about your customers but aren't sure how to perform market research, TJ McCue as the inside story on a new, affordable service called GutCheckIt.

Yes, many of the tax incentives for adding eco-friendly improvements to your business have dried up, but they're not all gone. Contently writer James O'Brien shows you what you can still qualify for in the realm of green tax breaks. Plus: Samantha Cortez explains how to tell when your social media "expert" may not be qualified.


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