In tough economic times, the best solution for economic recovery continues to be the efforts and ideas of small business entrepreneurs who spend their effort and creativity to chart their own way. We hope this edition of the Small Business Trends small business news roundup will give you ideas for your venture and the inspiration to lead with fellow small business owners in tough times both now and in the future.

Trends

Thinking about a new product or service? Here’s a brief but wonderful exercise from Larry Janesky that will help you focus on the questions you need to answer in order to create a product or service that really connects with your customers. The answers to these questions may be different for everyone and will depend upon your business and the customers you serve. Think Daily for Businesspeople

Are you integrating social media into your e-mail marketing efforts? Nearly 70 percent of small business marketers are using some kind of social media and 77 percent say combining social media with e-mail marketing improves overall effectiveness according to a recent survey. See some other important specifics on the value of combining social media and e-mail marketing efforts. MarketingProfs

Franchises

Is it time to think green when looking at franchises? Joel Libava has this great post on a major player in the franchise industry that’s leading the way. Is it time to think about green applications in the franchise you are operating, thinking about acquiring or thinking about starting? What do you think? The Franchise King

So you want to buy a franchise. Franchise consultant Ed Teixeira cautions those thinking about getting into the industry to look at demographic shifts likely in the marketplace in the coming decade. While many franchise opportunities are likely to emerge, it’s important to take some steps in searching for the ideal opportunity and determine the difference between fads and opportunities with real staying power. Franchise Know How

Policy

Did the recession ever end? As small business owners have worried for quite some time and despite talk of billions in federal dollars spent to boost loans for small businesses, consumer spending remains anemic. Could political leaders finally be coming around to the notion that less government spending might be better for the sputtering economy? Tech Ticker

Private sector to government: “lower our taxes”. It’s a video exchange likely to get huge online traffic as a frozen custard stand proprietor spoke for small business owners everywhere. We don’t like to get too partisan here at Small Business Trends. Our constituency is the small business sector everywhere regardless of political leaning, but the data presented in this post explains pretty conclusively the problems standing in the way of economic recovery. Power Line

Marketing

Is your business on Twitter? A recent marketing survey shows the popular microblogging platform is the focus of increasing interest from the business community. But how do you go about using Twitter to benefit your business? Here are five simple steps that will help you set up your business’s profile and have you twittering. Cindy King

It’s more than just a revenue stream. Marketing consultant Cindy Lavoie suggests how pay per click ads can be much more than a source of revenue for your site. PPC helps provide metrics for the effectiveness of your keywords and copywriting and can even help provide data about the kind of traffic and leads being generated by your site. Are you using PPC for online marketing in your business? Sound Web Solutions Blog

Startup

Should you delay your startup plans in the face of recession? Business broker Scott Messinger is not so sure. After all, won’t you need to run your business in good times and bad? Some questions you may want to ask. Is the product or service you will be offering something your customers must have or something they can wait to procure until times get better? Also, if you delay your startup, how long are you willing to wait? Sell A Business Florida Blog

Bootstrapping

Getting back to bootstrapping Whether impacted by a natural disaster or an economic meltdown, blogger and entrepreneurship professor at Belmont University argues the best road to recovery for small businesses as well as for starting of new ones is to avoid taking on excessive debt keep operating costs low and focus on cash flow to grow your business and create your own economic recovery. The Entrepreneurial Mind

From Small Business Trends

Small Business News: New Strategies For Tough Times

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