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  • Gallup Poll Shows Small Business Owners Intend to Create More Jobs

    More small business owners intend to make new hires over the next year, according to a recently released Wells Fargo/Gallup Small Business Index poll. 22% of small business owners expect to increase the total number of jobs at their businesses, while just 8% expect to decrease the number of jobs. Here's a look at the index trend: From Gallup: The increase in small-business owner hiring intentions over the past year is consistent with the strong performance of Gallup's Job Creation Index in January and the decline in the unemployment rate as measured by Gallup at mid-month. At the same time, small-business owners have often expected to increase hiring in recent years but later reported that they actually eliminated more jobs than they created. So it remains to be seen whether the greater expectations for hiring in the next 12 months will become reality. The preference of small-business owners for hiring temporary, contract, and part-time workers may help explain why Gallup is seeing increasing numbers of people working part time but wanting full-time work even when the unemployment rate is lower. Further, this preference may reflect the continued caution on the part of many small-business owners toward the U.S. economy. Just a year ago, many owners also hoped to significantly increase their hiring in 2011, but their current reports of hiring they did last year indicates that this did not happen. Many small-business owners also continue to say they are having trouble finding qualified employees. This situation could end up hurting a lot more than one in five small businesses if hiring begins in earnest later this year. While small-business owners tend to be agile -- and have demonstrated their ability to adjust to the business cycle as needed to survive -- weak economic conditions have persisted since 2008. Read the full release here . (hat tip Small Business Trends )
  • 5 Reasons for Small Business Owners to Blog

    While some media experts have become skeptical of the future of blogging, and wonder if it hasn't already jumped the shark, the power of blogs in the small business world seems to keep gaining steam. Martina Iring , small business marketing consultant and blogger at Small Business Bliss , is a true believer. And she offers up five reasons all small business owners should be blogging. SEO (Search Engine Optimization, or Google "juice") Email marketing content A new communications channel A quick and easy way to post updates Food for social media Read 5 reasons blogging rocks for small business here . (H/t Small Business Trends )
  • Small Business Owners Still Waiting for Signs of Recovery

    Case Western Reserve Professor of Entrepreneurial Studies Scott Shane is not surprised that small business owner scoff at the notion that recovery began back in the summer of 2009. As he writes at Small Business Trends , "the economic situation for small businesses is still considerably worse than before the recession began." And he has put together a slide show of facts and figures that reveal how far business has dropped for startups and small firms since the end of 2007. For example: new business creation: Read Shane's post at Small Business Trends, and access his full slide show here .
  • Small Business Lessons From Hollywood

    The Oscars have been handed out, and the parties are likely winding down. But before we take our eyes off of Hollywood, Barry Moltz wants us to take note of how useful films are in business. Or to be more precise, how useful film quotes can be. Moltz asked small business owners for their favorite movie quotes, and shares them at Small Business Trends . For example : Movie: A League of Their Own : “There is no crying in Baseball”. (From Scratch a t Boston Baby Dolls ). Lesson: No matter how bad it gets, long term, crying does not help us in business. From the same movie “Of course this is ‘hard’: Lesson: People always tell me that their business is especially hard. Guess what, every business is hard. Moltz discussed the topic of movie quotes and business with Michael Sansolo , author of The Big Picture- Essential Business Lessons From Movies , on BlogTalkRadio. Listen here . Read Small Business Lessons We Can Learn from Watching Movies here .
  • Signs of Small Business Optimism, but Worries Abound

    A survey from American City Business Journals (ACBJ), tracking business owners' opinions about their businesses and the economy at large, shows small business owners more optimistic then they have been in almost 2 years. Kent Bernhard, Jr. writes at Portfolio (ACBJ is Portfolio's parent company): The survey shows 75 percent of decisionmakers believed at the end of 2009 that their business prospects will be “a lot” or “a little” better in the next 12 months, the best that level has been since the spring and early summer of 2007. And now 40 percent believe the economy has turned around, a big jump over the just 28 percent who believed in a turnaround in August. This, of course, does not mean small business owners aren't concerned about the state of business in America. 65% say they are "very concerned" about the U.S. economy. And 42% are worried about the long-term viability of their businesses. But the big jump in the survey's findings, according to Bernhard, is the percentage of small business owners who are "very concerned" about safety and security of their businesses. Here's the thirty-month trend: Read Worries Shadow Small-Biz Optimism here.