TIP OF THE WEEK

As the U.S. economy continues to move at a healthy pace, many analysts are projecting a 2.5 percent growth for 2018, which would represent the best two-year run since 2005.

A big contributor to this growth, and to the high U.S. consumer confidence, which reached a 17-year high in Nov. 2017, were small businesses. And they remain well positioned to benefit from the current economic boom.

To take advantage of the favorable economic environment, consider these four moves to set your small business up for success.

Leverage software to optimize efficiency. While newer businesses can make do with basic tools like spreadsheets, you’ll need more advanced software to manage operations successfully. For instance, automating your manual processes can help you run your business more efficiently and help grow your bottom line.

Futureproof your hardware to avoid buying twice. Having the right hardware can be one of the most important drivers of success. In fact, the right hardware means employees can do their jobs better and more efficiently, saving you capital and time.

Find free financial resources to aid growth. When your business is on the up and up, the money coming in from increased sales will help cover your increased expenditures, but it may not be quite enough to scale. If you’re looking for additional routes to cover costs without relying solely on your profits, there are a few options. Consider reaching out to supportive networks and financial institutions for loans and potential new investors. Or consider leasing your hardware. Instead of tying up your capital in equipment acquisitions or utilizing bank loans, lease options allow you to pay for your IT needs in low monthly payments while retaining your cash for investing in higher return opportunities.

Build a team that will flex with your company. When scaling your team, do not sacrifice company ideals just to increase head count. Maintaining the company culture will help keep your company focused on achieving its mission, ensure passion does not burn out and help with retention.

— Brandpoint

THE LIST

According to Forbes, the world’s 10 most powerful executives are:

1. Jeff Bezos (Amazon)

2. Larry Page (Alphabet)

3. Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook)

4. Warren Buffett (Berkshire Hathaway)

5. Jamie Dimon (JPMorgan Chase)

6. Jack Ma (Alibaba)

7. Doug McMillon (Walmart)

8. Tim Cook (Apple)

9. Elon Musk (SpaceX/Tesla)

10. Ma Hateng (Tencent)

NUMBER TO KNOW

$8 million: A former Chipotle Mexican Grill manager was recently award $8 million for wrongful termination by a California jury. The manager, Jeanette Oritz, was accused of stealing $626 in cash from a safe in 2015. Chipotle claimed the theft was recorded on surveillance video, but when Oritz asked to see the evidence, she was informed that it had been destroyed.

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TECH TALK

Facebook finds 200 nefarious apps

According to the early results of Facebook’s app audit, the social media giant found 200 applications (among “thousands”) had misused personal data. Although the names of the apps haven’t been released as of yet, Facebook has suspended the offending apps. The company said that if an app has been found misusing personal data, the user will be notified by Facebook.

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