Monday, March 28, 2011

A little Review of Last Week's Small Business News

Here's a few articles that you might have missed. Catch up quickly! It's already Monday... who knows what exciting small business news will make headlines this week! 

Burned by Daily-Deal Craze, Small Businesses Get Savvy (WSJ)

Many businesses felt burned after their early experiences with Groupon. Now the small retailers that form the base of its business have become savvier about working with Groupon and other social coupon companies. (Read more)

Made in USA Gives Small Business an Edge (Business Week)

As labor and shipping costs in Asia increase, small stateside apparel makers are able to flaunt their domestic addresses. (Read more)

San Francisco Yellow Pages Ban Heads to a Vote (WSJ Blog)

San Francisco’s Land Use Committee this week unanimously approved a proposal to ban unsolicited deliveries of the Yellow Pages, a move local small-business owners say will deny them an important outlet for advertising and marketing. (Read more)

Small Business Owners Still Don't Get Search Marketing (Media Post)

Search marketing -- an intent-driven approach driving the highest returns -- should come as an easy decision for small businesses, but many still don't understand the benefits and the pitfalls. (Read more)

Smaller Walmart stores: A threat to local businesses?

Walmart announced plans to introduce hundreds of new smaller stores. Should small business owners be worried? (Read more)

Friday, March 25, 2011

Hey Thanks!

We're happy to report that in a recent customer satisfaction survey, 89% of our merchants said they'd recommend MerchantCircle to other business owners. (Thank you!)

We love hearing that! And, it's only getting better….

The MerchantCircle team is crazy passionate about local business merchants and creating the very best user experience possible. We've been diggin' in to our site, looking for ways to improve and we've got some screen shots to share. Check out the mock-ups of the soon-to-be-released merchant profile pages. And leave some feedback for our design team. We'd love your input!

In our last Merchant Confidence Index Survey, we learned that about 50% of our merchants are using smart phones. So… we're building an iPhone app. MerchantCircle in the palm of your hand! (Sounds pretty good to us.) Want to weigh in on those designs? Check out our work so far in the MerchantCircle forums!

Our "Merchant Success First" motto continues to drive the products we build and the improvements we make. If you've got suggestions or idea, we want to hear from you! The forums are a great place to sound off while getting connected to other local business owners.

We very much believe in the power of small business and we love providing a platform that helps local merchants connect to local customers. Thank you for your confidence in us, and for all your thoughts, comments and ideas that help us make a better MerchantCircle for you!


Sunday, March 6, 2011

Local Online Week-in-Review. (The news you might have missed!)

We know you always mean to read everything that pops into your Bloglines feed, your Twitter page, and your email inbox. But just in case your week got crazy, we've got you covered.

Bing Announces Live Deals - Available on Your Desktop and Phone

What's always hot on the web? No matter where you are or how small a city it, what are users usually looking for? The answer is coupons.

Bing is entering the coupon market by aggregating other coupon listings from many different networks. With over 200,000 deals in 14,000 cities and town all over the United States, since Bing has partenered with Dealmap to provide deals from Groupon,, and Living Social, they are able to provide a valuable service right out of the gate. (Read more)

Higher Gas Prices Have Impact on Small Businesses (USA Today)

When watching news about the turmoil in the Middle East, you probably weren't thinking, "How's this going to affect my small business?"

But take a look at the gas pump, and you'll see. (Read more)

Small Businesses Ramp Up Jobs (CNNMoney)

Small businesses have ramped up their hiring in recent months, fueled by a recovering economy and more optimistic business owners.

That's a far cry from little more than a year ago, when the sector was losing thousands upon thousands of jobs each month. (Read More)