Epic Traffic Jams And More In A July 21 Small Biz Roundup

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Once a week, PointBlank will deliver a roundup of small business news and advice from around the nation.

Turning Carmageddon Into Cartopioa

If there’s one lesson I’ve learned over my working years, it’s that you should never count small businesses out. By necessity and by evolution, their owners are some of the most adaptable, shrewd people working in the world today.

Case in point: The seemingly catastrophic road work being done on Interstate 405 in California, which is being dubbed “Carmageddon.” The closure will likely cost businesses thousands as thousands of California drivers sit in traffic for hours unable to move. If I lived there, I might get a bicycle.

But faced with such a dire situation, small businesses around the area aren’t panicking or giving up. Instead, they’re offering discounts, opening creative hours and looking to pull customers off of the congested highways to the exits. It’s the kind of tenacity so often displayed by small businesses who have much less to lose.

Let’s hope their shining example helps them get through this rough patch.

Nearly Half Of Small Businesses Have Lost Important Data

A sobering press release from Carbonite, Inc., one of the nation’s larger data recovery companies, reveals that 48 percent of small businesses have lost data. That’s up from 42 percent just last December.

Now, the sample size is pretty small (120 companies), but it is designed to give you a cross-section of American businesses. The leading cause of data loss was hardware or software failure, followed up by everything from human error to theft and computer viruses.

I wanted to call your attention to this for one simple reason: You need to back up your data. If your most important information isn’t secure and present in more than one location, you’re taking the very real risk that you’re going to lose it. You don’t necessarily need a company like Carbonite to take care of that for you, either. Just get a secure server or even an external harddrive you can keep under lock and key.

It may be a hassle to back things up, but it’s a much bigger hassle to recover them.

Mining Franchise Data

If you missed out on it, we have been periodically dipping into the data stores at Direct Capital to try to identify trends. The first in the series was a very cool look at how sales volume for a direct lender has compared to banks, and why the economic doom and gloom that follows us everywhere may not be as bad as it seems.

Other Useful Links

Farmer’s markets to help small biz

E-Verify could prove costly for small biz

Geithner says financial framework of economy stronger now


Please suggest your own links in the comments! Thanks for reading.

Photo credit to rolve at http://www.sxc.hu/photo/1185579

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