The Week in Small Business – 11.26.11

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

Black Friday: Gahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!

The early reports on the annual consumer craze known as Black Friday indicate, well, craziness. Violence plagued a number of Walmart stores, including a Los Angeles location where a woman used pepper spray to call dibs on several “door-buster” deals. Looking beyond bad behavior, the recent trend toward midnight (or even Thanksgiving night) Black Friday store openings appears to be working — and sticking around for future years as a result. Meanwhile, today marks the second annual Small Business Saturday — promoting local, independent businesses — with online retail’s Cyber Monday to follow. Let us know how your business fares in the comments.

Start a Software Company on the Cheap

Looking for a high-growth venture with shrinking startup costs? It might be time to channel your inner Bill Gates. The News & Observer takes a look at how lower up-front costs for everything from computing to labor are fostering an increasing number of software startups in North Carolina’s Research Triangle and elsewhere in the country — even in a sluggish economy.

Partner, Schmartner: Lawyers Launching Small Firms

Are law firms the next big thing in small business? In the midst of a major downsizing of legal industry jobs, a growing number of lawyers are eschewing the potential perks of the partner track at large firms. Instead, they’re setting out on their own and opening small, bootstrapped practices — and quickly learning that running a business involves a bit more than just billable hours.

10 Questions to Ask About Your Brand

An early New Year’s resolution from Lisa Barone over at Small Business Trends: Know thyself. As the final month of 2011 approaches, Barone poses key questions for small businesses to ask about themselves, their competitors, and their customers — all with an eye toward figuring out what’s working well, and what needs improvement in 2012.

The Muppets Take Facebook

It’s not easy bein’ green, but the digital age eases the burden. Mashable breaks down how an online marketing campaign helped recharge The Muppets franchise leading up to the Thanksgiving weekend premiere of the new movie by the same name. The highly coordinated, multichannel approach — which included a variety of social and mobile tactics — is worth a look for any business owner or marketer.

About Kevin Casey

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