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Twitter 101 for small biz: Need to Know Friday

Posted by Jason Keith  April 13, 2012 12:07 PM

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If you've been following the small business news this week, you know that at least one report cited that confidence was down among the group. As I've stated in the past, I'm not sure how much confidence levels actually matter when it comes to the overall success of small businesses, but despite that, the results are interesting. I've also included two stories below that I thought were extremely insightful, one around the basics of Twitter and another around how "tax friendly" states fare in attracting small businesses. I hope you find these interesting and as always, if you have others to share, please feel free in the comments section.

Twitter terms, for the uninitiated:
Heather Clancy writes a piece for ZDNet that examines the basics of Twitter, and I mean the basics. She covers the various Twitter terms and what they mean, as well as offers advice on how to engage on Twitter, build your following and share your content. As an example, do you know what a hashtag is, or what a Tweeple is? For anyone who has no idea what Twitter is but wants to find out, this is the story for you.

Tax friendly states don't necessarily attract small businesses:
In this very interesting piece by Businessweek columnist Scott Shane, he points out that "even when a state has the most favorable tax policies for a particular type of business, the policy does little to influence where people start companies." 

Shane argues that despite some states having tax friendly policies, very few people actually relocate in order to start their businesses in a friendlier business climate. Rather, they make do with the one they have. He cites that less than 0.5 percent of Americans both change states and start businesses annually, according to Small Business Administration research. This is particularly interesting given the post I had yesterday around women-owned businesses in the Commonwealth.

Last minute tax tips:
As we mentioned, if you haven't yet thought about your tax return, this week is the week. Included in this story by the Christian Science Monitor is a number of last minute tax tips you might not have thought of, including making a contribution to a retirement plan prior to the deadline of April 17. (hint: if you file for an extension, you also get an extension on your contribution date)

Small Business Confidence drops:
As mentioned in the intro, confidence goes up and down a lot in the small business community. According to the National Federation of Independent Businesses, confidence fell 1.8 points to 92.5 for March. Nine of the 10 indicators the federation tracks dropped, with businesses showing less confidence about everything from credit conditions to hiring plans. The question, as always, is how much does this matter to the long term success of the small businesses across the country? 

SPAM email is still a problem:
According to a recent survey of small and midsize companies done by GFI Software, evidence of SPAM email continues to mount. The report stated that 52 percent of respondents are getting more spam this year. Not surprisingly, 72 percent said that they get too much spam and 70 percent claim their current anti-spam solutions are not working. What this means for small businesses is as they compete with larger companies for share of inbox, more and more clutter is being deleted, rather than consumed and acted on.

This blog is not written or edited by or the Boston Globe.
The author is solely responsible for the content.

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About this blog

Jason Keith has been working for and with small businesses in the New England area for more than 10 years, specifically small, micro businesses. Born and raised in Massachusetts and a former journalist, he provides a unique perspective on the issues facing small businesses locally and nationally.To reach him directly email

This is a personal blog. The opinions expressed here are the author's alone.

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