Small Business
Top stories summarized by our editors
2/15/2019

Retail sales fell by 1.2% in December, registering the largest decline since September 2009, according to the Commerce Department. Lagging consumer confidence and a volatile stock market were noted as likely contributors to the drop.

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Reuters
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Commerce Department
2/15/2019

Franchisors who wish to expand internationally should consider factors such as the attributes of the target market and the costs involved, writes Joyce Mazero, who will speak at the IFA Annual Convention. "The first of the necessary inquiries to make is understanding the advantages and disadvantages of your target market, as well as assessing the degree to which your business model will need to be adapted to that market," she writes.

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Franchise Update
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Joyce Mazero, IFA
2/15/2019

An experiment in which consumers were asked to choose between free ordinary chocolates or luxury truffles at a massive discount shows the power of offering things for free, writes Michael Maven. To take advantage of this tendency, sellers can offer free add-ons, upgrades that include free versions of basic items or free products that tend to lead to upselling opportunities, Maven writes.

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Forbes
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Michael Maven
2/15/2019

The best way to improve sales productivity is to stop chasing prospects your company can't help, writes David Brock. Make sure sales representatives are asking good discovery questions rather than focusing on quantity when reaching out to prospects, Brock writes.

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David Brock
2/15/2019

Sales playbooks should be practically arranged to isolate key information for sales representatives who are in a hurry while providing extra detail for those who want to read more, writes Dayna Williams. Include scripting for common objections, and try to combine the playbook with social learning channels that allow sales representatives to discuss what they've learned.

2/15/2019

Meeting automation platforms can help companies automate the activities required for meetings, including invitations, agendas, reminders and post-meeting surveys. By integrating a MAP with a customer relationship management platform, users can schedule meetings while on the move, record them in event campaign dashboards and easily access data on customers before meetings, writes Ravi Chalaka.

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CRM Buyer
2/15/2019

Feedback may go unheeded if it's negative, and leaders in particular may overlook such input. Peter Bregman reviews 13 ways people may try to reject uncomfortable critiques.

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Peter Bregman
2/15/2019

Being married to your business partner can be a challenge, but entrepreneurial couples have found ways to make it work. Defining clear areas of responsibility and establishing boundaries between work and home life can help, business owners say.

2/15/2019

Business loan approval rates at small banks dipped to 48.9% in January from 49.9% in December, the Biz2Credit Small Business Lending Index shows. Meanwhile, approvals at large banks remained at 27%.

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Forbes
2/15/2019

Business owners may know the basics of their financial statements, but the deeper details they miss could be the source of a business' undoing. David Finkel reviews four key financial questions owners should be able to answer correctly.

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Inc. online
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David Finkel