Salutations reader,
It gives me great pleasure to inform you that you have discovered a gem! First, to address a few pressing concerns: 1) yes, I am an intern writer at the most splendorous company North of the celestial equator; 2) yes, this is a guide to what I take to be the most pertinent and useful blog posts and articles regarding all things “small business” from the past week; 3) no, my name is not Virgil and, contrary to popular belief, the internet is in no way related to the Inferno; however, I am thrilled to be your guide as we briefly delve into the work of some of the small business world’s most influential authors and exciting subjects.

Don't Panic

Here at D&B Credibility, it is my duty to peruse many articles relating to small business each day. Some are good and some are not so good. Of all these articles there are always a few that seem to just stand out and so we figured “why not compile a few of those into a singular post for your convenience and viewing pleasure?” Well, that’s exactly what I did. My top 5 articles from the past two weeks are as follows:

5. Claim Google Authorship for Your WordPress Website in 3 Easy Steps by Brian Gardner

Hopefully you’ve already caught the importance of Google Authorship, the mechanism by which Google’s search engine rankings can be influenced by Author Rank.

If you haven’t, Google Authorship basically amounts to the biggest shakeup in search since the link. It’s Google’s way of identifying the author of a piece of content to factor it as a signal of content quality.

Though blogging may not be directly related to your small business concerns, it is a useful tool to establishing your business’s online persona (which is very important in this technology era!). If you don’t already have someone (kind of like this guy) working to make your business more visible in the online community, then you should get on that. Your writers, of course, will want to be acknowledged for their valuable contribution and Google has the answer (like always)! Brian Gardner writes a great article on the importance of Google Authorship.

4. How the ‘fiscal cliff’ deal affects entrepreneurs and small businesses by J.D. Harrison

One day after the nation started sliding down the fiscal cliff, Congress on Tuesday approved a stop-gap measure to raise rates on the wealthy, extend unemployment benefits and avert a sweeping round of tax increases and government spending cuts.

But is the deal a win for the country’s smallest employers? On first look, it appears the deal will garner the same type of mixed reactions from the small businesses community that it has from many of the lawmakers who approved it, as the compromise includes provisions likely to both help and hinder entrepreneurs going forward.

Here’s a look at some of the measures that will have the greatest impact on start-ups and small businesses.

J.D. Harrison provides his readers with a valuable perspective on how he sees the fiscal cliff deal affecting small business in 2013 (referenced in the post written by our very own Dustin Luther). Harrison focuses on a few of the major concerns such as tax rates, capital gains, consumer demand, etc. that he feels will have the greatest impact on you or your small business. It is well worth the read for anyone interested in being more informed on the issue!

3. Your Employees Are Not Mind Readers by Douglas R. Conant

As a leader, what do you want to accomplish? Do your employees know what needs to be done to reach that objective? Do they know how you expect them to behave? And — once they know the “what” and “how” — do you provide them with enough autonomy to get the job done in an effective and timely way? These are pragmatic business issues that all leaders encounter. Here are a few thoughts on how you can more effectively address these issues and reach your goals in an authentic and enduring way.

One cannot say enough about the importance of good organizational culture, and thankfully Douglas Conant agrees. In this article, Conant offers highly valuable information to the current or potential future management team of any organization. A healthy, happy work environment will inevitably yield better production from employees which, in turn, ensures happier customers; happier customers means a happier management team and the circle completes itself. It’s a no-brainer and a must-read!

2. It Isn’t the Fiscal Cliff; It’s Limited Access to Capital that’s Crippling Small Business by Ty Kiisel

The House of Representatives Small Business Committee sponsors an interactive website, Small Biz Open Mic, where earlier this year they asked the question, “What burdens does your small business face?” Access to capital was identified as the universal challenge faced by small business owners across the country.

You’re probably asking yourself, “what more can be said on the subject?” Much more. Much, much more. For you sports fans out there you know the old saying, “defense wins game.” If you want to put your small business in the best possible position to “win” in 2013, even with all of the political mayhem, then arming yourselves with a variety of perspectives is your best bet. Knowledge is power. This is definitely worth the time and effort.

1. 5 tips for small business success in 2013 by Justine Smith

As the calendar flips to another year, it’s the perfect time to take stock of your business and make some important changes for an even better year ahead. Here are five simple things you can do to start the year off right.

A few simple tips for achieving small business success in 2013. Maybe you’ll find it useful, maybe you won’t, but I found it interesting as a potential future small business owner with limited knowledge on the subject.

Well, that’s all I have for this week, folks! Tune in next Friday when we will be exploring the construction of a Death Star (wait, what?). Happy reading and may the force be with you… err, something like that.