The Week in Small Business – 01.21.12

We do the legwork of finding the best in small business news and links. You have more time to do what you love.

Could Obama Proposal Hurt Small Biz?

President Obama’s plan to roll up the Small Business Administration and five other federal agencies into a single, streamlined unit is being touted as a potential boon for small businesses. But USAToday columnist Rhonda Abrams is afraid the change, if it goes through, could do just the opposite.  Her underlying fear: Could a realigned SBA spend too much of its time and resources helping bigger businesses, leaving the self-employed and genuine small businesses out in the cold?

Cashing in on the Republican Convention

Shrewd small businesses can turn a pretty profit when a major event rolls into town. That’s the apparent hope when the Republican National Convention sets up shop in Tampa Bay, Fla., next August. Some 500 folks showed up to the Host Committee’s recent informational meeting on how small businesses can give themselves the best shot at winning convention-related contracts and other opportunities. The Tampa Bay Business Journal points out, though, that while the committee will offer some help, the heavy lifting will ultimately be left up to the businesses.

What Is Your Major Malfunction?

It can be hard to be self-critical — we’d all like to think we’re brilliant businesspeople, right? But too much self-esteem can make it difficult to identify areas for improvement in your company and its bottom line. The New York Times is here to help: Check out its 10 steps to diagnosing what’s wrong with your business.

More Businesses Changed Hands In 2011

Sales of small businesses increased for the second straight year in 2011, according to recent data from online marketplace BizBuySell.com. A bump up in small business borrowing helped, but The Wall Street Journal notes that it’s not all good news for owners looking for the exit sign: Conditions still favor buyers, and motivated sellers have had to keep asking prices in check to get the deal done.

In Favor of the Four-Day Work Week

Unlimited vacation time, “thinking days” — what’s next? The four-day work week, that’s what. Business owner Jay Love serves up six reasons why his company shrinks five days into four. Key pieces of the case for a compressed work week: Recruiting and retention efforts skyrocketed with the new plan in place, and Love says the longer workdays brought a boom, not bust, to energy levels. “Even though the team is working 10-hour days, the sense of urgency brings a high level of energy, and, in my opinion, focused collaboration,” he says.

About Kevin Casey

Kevin Casey is a regular contributor here, at InformationWeek and elsewhere. Find him on Twitter @kevinrcasey.
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Businesses For Sale
Businesses For Sale

Cash has been dethroned, or at least it should be — so says blogger and business owner Jay Goltz in The New York Times. Goltz argues that too many small business owners ignore the basic principles of accounting when assessing their financial health, and that profit.

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