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Week in Small Business part - 47

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-Small Business- Takes Payroll Tax Spotlight

Small business — the phrase, rather than an actual small business — is (again) playing the part of the rope in a political tug-of-war, with Congress wrangling over proposals to extend the current payroll tax cut set to expire at the end of the year. A number of op-ed pieces note one glaring problem with the debate: The many ways -small business- can be defined to suit a particular viewpoint or agenda. The Christian Science Monitor says those muddy classifications may render a potential small business exemption more trouble than it-s worth.

We Don-t Need No QR Codes

About to put some of your marketing muscle behind QR codes? Consider your audience: If your customer base skews younger, the modern-day barcodes might be lost on them. Nearly 80 percent of college students included in a recent study didn-t know how to scan a QR— short for -quick response- — code. CNN. com lists some reasons why the mobile technology might not be catching on. Check out the Intuit Small Business Blog-s 5 strategies for using QR codes.

#DoesThisSweaterComeInRed?

L. L. Bean isn-t a small business, even if its brand evokes a small-town vibe. But the clothing concern may provide an interesting case study for companies of all sizes as it adapts its longstanding catalog-and-phone business to the social media world. The New York Times profiles L. L. Bean-s recently created 10-person social media staff, which is charged with engaging with consumers on Facebook, Twitter, and other social sites. The company isn-t without its social qualms, though. -People will be airing their gripes to a bigger audience,” says the company-s SVP for e-commerce.

No Email For You!

Do your employees spend too much time on email? Consider the approach of one very large business: Atos, a French IT firm, recently announced a -zero-email policy- for its 74,000-person staff. The company-s CEO said the decision was driven by the fact that just 10 percent of the email received by employees was useful — and 18 percent was spam. Instead, Atos will use a mix of instant messaging and social media tools to communicate internally.

Go Bold with Your New Year-s Resolutions

Tired of the same old ideas for how you — and your business — can do better in the New Year? Check out The Harvard Business Review-s -2012 List of Audacious Ideas.- The podcast offers up 13 big ideas for companies to consider for the coming year.

Kevin Casey has worked for more than 11 years as a writer and editor at companies large and small. He is a regular contributor here and at InformationWeek. Follow him at twitter. com/kevinrcasey. View all posts by Kevin Casey This entry was posted in Trends and tagged email, new year's resolutions, news, payroll tax, QR codes, social media. Bookmark the permalink.
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