6 ways to find inspiration to fuel innovation in your small business

As you systematically reach out to employees, customers and other stakeholders for ideas and insights to fuel innovation in your small business, keep in mind these six ways to get the most out of such efforts and to enable these stakeholders to be more sensitive to ideas when they come along.
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Encouraging innovation: Rebuilding your airplane while in flight

The ability of a business to thrive depends to a large degree on its culture and employees. Successful companies create a culture and establish practices that foster innovation.
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Is your small business ready for a crisis?

In my experience, small business owners tend to ignore the possibility of a disaster befalling their company. They don’t contemplate, much less plan for, the type of disaster that many business owners are now experiencing here in Western Massachusetts.
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Hot small business trends you should know about: Co-working offices and business accelerators

The growth in resources across the country to help small businesses, especially in their early stages, is phenomenal. Innovative new responses to help small business owners meet the challenge of getting off the ground are everywhere. Here are two trends to keep an eye on:
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Good small biz reads #11: A cautionary tale about Facebook, how to use Google like a pro, and why online meetings are a smart small business tool

This month’s roundup of recent articles that I found helpful and want to share with you has a definite online focus.
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Small Business Success Q&A #17: Manor Hall Soap Company

This small business success profile is of Susan Mann of Manor Hall Soap Company in Springfield, MA.
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What 3 TED talks teach about small business marketing

I’m highlighting three talks that provide insights and underscore important ideas to keep in mind when thinking about marketing for your small business.
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Your business model: Could less be more?

When was the last time you took a good look at your existing business? Would you be better off with a smaller, more focused operation?
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Leadership communications: Do people really know what you’re asking them to do?

It is vitally important for people working together to have a shared language – words that everyone knows specifically how to define. If you’re frequently frustrated by the results your people are achieving, a lack of a share language may well be at the root of the problem.
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Hiring etiquette: What message does your process send to job candidates?

As hiring picks up, companies, including small businesses, need to make sure their poor hiring etiquette is not damaging their reputations.
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