Who doesn’t love the extension cord? It’s super handy, it wraps up into a convenient coil, and it enables you to keep a beer fridge under your desk. (Ok, maybe that’s just us.) But the extension cord also could destroy your business! New York Times blogger and small-biz owner Jay Glotz lists 11 things that can obliterate your business, and, amazingly, the extension cord tops his list. You know, because it’s also a fire hazard if you forget to unplug it at night. (Unplug it? Who wants to drink warm beer?) Read here to learn the other 10 business killers. Among our personal favorites: under-inflated tires and texting while driving. Seriously. Whatever happened to things like failing to innovative, ignoring the competition, and being rude to customers? Guess they’re not as deadly as they used to be.
Bank on it. Small businesses haven’t gotten much love from banks lately. And that’s a shame – especially for the banks. According to the new Small Business Banking Satisfaction Study by J.D. Power and Associates, banks that pay more attention to small businesses can increase revenues by 20 percent. What does it take to make small business customers happy? Bigger loans at lower interest rates would certainly help. But also some good, old-fashioned TLC. That’s right, a little hug, a pat on the back, and maybe some soothing words of encouragement every now and then. The survey says that reaching out to small business customers just a handful of times each year can result in dramatically higher levels of satisfaction. The survey notes that highly satisfied business customers generate $4,107 of annual net revenue each year, which is $675, or 20 percent, more than less-satisfied customers.
Big Apple bites business owners. New York, New York: If you can make it there, you’re probably not a small business owner. At least, that’s what this report in the New York Post says. The paper argues that the city has all but turned its back on the 200,000 small firms that make up its economic backbone. Wall Street may be getting fat and happy once again (the average salary at Goldman Sachs hit $700,000 this year), but small businesses are reeling from tax hikes, unfair fines, and an aggressive reassessment of building values, says the article. As a result, more businesses are shutting down and retail vacancy rates are projected to hit double digits. But not all is lost. Small business owners are finally being heard, however faintly. How so? The city has established a temporary forgiveness program allowing owners to escape interest and penalties if they pay their overdue fines.