The Week in Small Business – 07.23.11

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

AmEx Launches Deals on Facebook

American Express has joined the daily deals game, introducing its “Link, Like, Love” program on Facebook this week. The platform enables merchants to tailor targeted deals to “based on the likes, interests, and social connections of cardmembers, and their Facebook friends,” says AmEx. You might be thinking: Really? Another deals site? But TechCrunch sizes up the winners and losers and says American Express, Facebook, and small businesses stand to gain. In the loss column? Groupon, LivingSocial, Google, Foursquare, Visa, and Mastercard.

Banks Can Now Pay Interest on Business Accounts

The antiquated federal rule that prevented banks from offering interest-bearing checking accounts to business customers trudged quietly into the sunset this week. But it’s not necessarily cause for celebration. Given today’s rock-bottom rates, don’t expect newfound riches: The New York Times notes that a $10,000 balance would bring in about enough extra cash to buy a latte — once a year. Inc.com says businesses should be wary of possible fees and other hidden costs associated with interest-bearing business accounts. That could be particularly common as banks look for ways to make up lost revenue from the recent cap on debit card transaction fees.

Check the (Virtual) Locks on Your Business

Think you’re too small to be a target of hackers and other cybercrooks? Think again. The Wall Street Journal hops on covering the growing trend of smaller businesses falling victim to digital crimes. Scammers love small businesses because they rarely spend the same amount of time and money in security as do larger companies. Help is here: Check out the Intuit Small Business Blog’s primer on computer security. Here are four other basic steps you can take, and four more tips for keeping your website secure.

8 Words You Should Never Have in Your Twitter Bio

BNET’s Jeff Haden lists eight words that make him wince when he reads them in a Twitter bio. Of particular note for business owners: “Serial entrepreneur.” Haden points out that the phrase is often misappropriated. Perhaps more importantly: “There’s nothing wrong with being ‘just’ an entrepreneur.” Any of these in your bio?

How to Stay in Business for 90 Years (and Counting)

A lesson in longevity and customer service: Dick’s Hot Dog Stand, a family-run business in Wilson, North Carolina, has been serving customers for nine decades and counting. Lee Gilarmis went to work for his father’s business during the Great Depression. Now 83, he still gets behind the counter six days a week.

About Kevin Casey

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