Good small business reads #38: Building a strong culture, pros and cons of owning your own business and more

We start our June issue of Good Small Business Reads with great practical advice on a simple three-step process for encouraging customers to review your small business online and then leverage those reviews with your prospects. Check out “How to Generate Great Online Reviews.”

In “How Dave Goldberg of SurveyMonkey Built a Billion Dollar Business and Still Gets Home by 5:30,” Mr. Goldberg shares very interesting thoughts on how to build a strong culture. I particularly liked two pieces of this. First, he talks about hiring the right people and points out that experience doesn’t always equate with being the right fit for your culture. Then, his ideas on the importance of creating work-life balance and how he models that for his employees are definitely worth consideration.

In “Ignorance Is Not Bliss,” from Inc.com, Howard Tullman, an entrepreneur and VC, also touches on how to build a great culture. He emphasizes that in today’s fast evolving market, no business owner can afford to stop learning. Here’s a piece of his article that I particularly like:

“And if you’re not interested in life-long learning and in constantly trying to make yourself smarter and better-informed, you’re not gonna be of much value to anyone (including yourself), and you certainly won’t be able to compete effectively in the new knowledge economy. This isn’t just an attitude you need; it needs to be a prominent part of your company’s culture as well, unless you also want your company to be yesterday’s news.”

Finally, we have this month’s infographic, which you’ll want to read if you’re considering starting a business. Owning and operating a small business seems glamorous in concept. You are your own person – no boss to report to or timecard to punch. But being an entrepreneur isn’t necessarily an easier proposition than working for someone else. This infographic reveals facts based on studies that show the positive and the negative side of being a small business owner.

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