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Business Web Site of the Week – Legal Tips for a Lawful Life

U.S. law covers a lot of ground. One might say the law protects life, liberty, and – in many cases – the pursuit of business. To find out more about how legal issues affect your business, access these Legal Tips for a Lawful Life.

This site provides “quick and dirty” podcasts and transcript articles on navigating legal issues. If you’ve got questions, this site has answers. Forming a business? Thinking about drug-screening your employees? Wondering about copyright on the Internet? Learn more about
the legal repercussions to these business issues, and find legal tips for your personal life, too.

Investigate the legal aspects of these after-work issues: Good neighbor relations, ownership of a homerun ball, and/or alcohol liability. Plus, haven’t you always wanted to conduct a citizen’s arrest? Or is that just me?

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Battling Pirates, Protecting Content

In a recent post, the Hidden Business Treasures blog highlighted an example of overt plagiarism in marketing copy. This isn’t the first reported instance of pirated content online, and in our cut-and-paste-friendly era, it probably won’t be the last.
HBT suggestions for tracking down plagiarism in Google were great – and gave us here at the Hill the inspiration to dig up some additional tools to make sure the copy you create stays where it belongs. Here then are the top four tools to identify and combat online plagiarism:

Copyscape – Compare the copy on your Web site to other sites across the Internet. Just paste in your URL and Copyscape returns other sites with similar language.
ArticleChecker – Paste smaller snippets of your text into the site’s search box or upload larger files of complete text. ArticleChecker runs these through several search engines and returns sites with similar copy. 

Google Alerts or Yahoo! Alerts – Set up alerts to notify you if a site appears using key pieces of your copy.

Wayback Machine – Research the history of a site you think might be using your copy. If the suspect site posted copy closely after you created it, you may have found a pirate.

But what if you do find someone using your copy? How do you make them stop?

1. Send an email to the perpetrator if their contact info is listed on the site. If your copy shows up on a blog, leave a comment. Here’s an example of a cease and desist letter.
2. Contact the host of the infringing site and ask them to take the site down. Locate a site’s host using DomainTools.
3. Complain to search engines. Most search engines accept complaints involving copyright issues and will remove offenders from results pages.

Great copy is an investment. You’ve put time and energy into the creation of your content; make sure that content pays dividends for you, and not some Internet pirate.

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Top Corporate Citizens, and More on Ethical Business Leadership

Running a responsible business in the 21st century presents numerous challenges. CRO Magazine celebrates the top 100 companies most successfully addressing these challenges in their 100 Best Corporate Citizens, 2007. According to CRO, top indicators of excellent corporate citizenship include:
 
Environmental responsibility. Corporate governance and ethics. Fairness toward employees. Accountability to local communities. Providing responsible products and service to customers. Maintaining a healthy rate of return for investors.
 
What else is involved in sound corporate citizenship, and how can socially responsible practices be best incorporated into everyday business decisions? On October 4, Ken Melrose, former CEO of Toro Co., will kick off the opening of the Hill Center for Ethical Business Leadership with a keynote on the practical aspects of making socially responsible leadership decisions that work for business, and how he implemented that style of thinking at Toro. Register to attend this event here or contact us for more information.
 
For information on how your business can fully integrate corporate social responsibility and ethical business practice, check out the Business Ethics eQuiz at www.einsight.org.
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Business Web Site of the Week – Research Reports from Docuticker

All across the world, think tanks, NGOs, public interest groups, and governmental bodies are constantly churning out reports, studies, and papers. It’s what they love to do. But how can you sift through all of this to find research that pertains to your business?

Docuticker, that’s how. Docuticker collects publications from organizations spanning the globe and covering the full spectrum of industry, government, and academia. Dozens of these reports are added daily.

Scrolling down the left-hand column you’ll find a keyword search box and a listing of categories covered. Use these search tools to bring up reports on your industry, or your target consumer group, or just about anything else in which government, business, or academia might take interest. 

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Demographic Trends, With Attitude

The Demo Memo is a blog maintained by Cheryl Russell (editorial director of New Strategist Publications and author of books on demographic trends) and Susan Mitchell (an editor at New Strategist and a research analyst for Mintel International). Russell and Mitchell update the blog with posts related to population, generational trends, spending habits, attitudes, time use statistics, and other miscellaneous interesting tidbits.
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Email Pattern Wiki

One particularly daunting challenge that email marketers face is the task of tracking down an email address for a specific executive at a certain company. While it can be pretty straightforward to get an executive’s name from a company Web site or a company directory database, these resources do not generally provide email contacts, beyond the catch-all “info@company.com”, etc.
 
The Email Pattern Wiki provides a little extra help, by listing the email pattern used by a number of companies. Once you know your prospect’s name and company, you can search the Email Pattern Wiki by company name, and learn the general email address format used by the company.
 
For example, if you know Jane Jones is the marketing director at Medco Health, search the Wiki for Medco and learn their email pattern: first_last@medcohealth.com.
 
It’s a wiki, so it will expand based on user input. If you find it useful, and know some additional email patterns to contribute, contact the site to consider sharing what you know.
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Business Web Site of the Week – Fastest Growing Private Companies

Fast company growth can be the product of wise planning, effective positioning, or just plain old luck. Check out the lucky, the wise, and the effective with the Inc. 5,000 listing of the fastest growing private companies in the U.S.
 
In addition to searching by company name, rank, and size, Inc. organizes companies into various top 100 lists. You can use these lists to find out more about the often hard-to-research private companies making the biggest impact in your area or in your industry, along with other criteria.
 
Skip through the initial “welcome” page, and you’re quickly on your way to targeting the wisest, the most effective, and the fastest-growing companies out there.

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How We Spent Our Summer Vacation (Dollars) – Part 2

More information on new resources added to the library during the summer months…
 
Regardless of what industry you’re in, you need the latest in management, marketing, and consumer information. We’ve recently collected a lot in those areas as well. As you can see from the list of new acquisitions below, we’ve taken a special interest in corporate responsibility and sustainability issues.
 
General Management/Governance
·          Collaborative advantage : how organizations win by working together
·          Exit strategy : maximizing the value of your business
·          Fast company’s greatest hits : ten years of the most innovative ideas in business
·          Sarbanes-Oxley and the board of directors : techniques and best practices for corporate governance
·          Sarbanes-Oxley for small businesses : leveraging compliance for maximum advantage
·          Navigating risk : the business case for security
·          The art of M&A : a merger, acquisition, buyout guide
 
Sustainability/Social Responsibility
·          Green to gold : how smart companies use environmental strategy to innovate, create value, and build competitive advantage
·          Managing for a carbon-concerned future : a decision-making framework
·          Megatrends 2010 : the rise of conscious capitalism
·          Green building : project planning & cost estimating
·          The conscious consumer : promoting economic justice through fair trade
·          Residential green building smartmarket report.
·          Resisting corruption : how company programs are changing
·          Ethical sourcing in the global food system
·          Universal conduct : an ethics and compliance benchmarking survey
 
Marketing
·          15 secrets every network marketer must know : essential elements and skills required to achieve 6- & 7-figure success in network marketing
·          All marketers are liars : the power of telling authentic stories in a low-trust world
·          Marketing metrics : 50+ metrics every executive should master
·          Marketing plans for service businesses : a complete guide
·          Private label strategy : how to meet the store brand challenge
·          Total e-mail marketing : maximizing your results from integrated e-marketing
·          Word of mouth marketing : how smart companies get people talking
·          Writing winning proposals : PR cases
·          The long tail : why the future of business is selling less of more
·          The handbook of organic and fair trade food marketing
 
Consumers/Demographics
·          Naked conversations : how blogs are changing the way businesses talk with customers
·          Generation X : Americans born 1965 to 1976
·          Food spending in American households.
·          After sixty : marketing to baby boomers reaching their big transition years
·          Applying aging trends and demographics to planning.
·          The American marketplace : demographics and spending patterns
·          American health : demographics and spending of health care consumers
·          Religion in a free market : religious and non-religious Americans : who, what, why, where
·          Turning silver into gold : how to profit in the new boomer marketplace
 
Minorities & Women
·          Women-owned businesses in 2006 : trends in the top 50 metropolitan areas
·          Women-owned businesses in 2006 : trends in the U.S. and 50 states
·          Businesses owned by women of color in the United States, 2006

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Business Web Site of the Week – Industry Research

Industry research, despite being a fundamental part of business research, can sometimes take a back seat to other, sexier, topics like market research or competitive intelligence.

Not so with this guide from the Library of Congress, which offers links and citations to various industry research sources both in print and online. For instant industry research gratification, don’t miss the Industry Sources – U.S. Government section, which provides links to tons of online industry research from the Census Bureau, the IRS, and other .gov sites.

Industry research can be sexy (as far as any kind of business research can be, I guess). If you’re into this sort of thing, check out the Hill Library’s redesigned BizToolkit (select Industry Research) from the drop-down menu) for additional industry research sources.

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How We Spent Our Summer Vacation (Dollars) – Part 1

While you were on summer vacation, our collection development team was hard at work finding the latest and greatest in business information for you! Over the next few posts we’ll highlight the most interesting new acquisitions from the summer months.
 
First up – industry information. Trade journals and industry statistical resources are great for obtaining the latest and most insightful overview of an industry. In addition, many small business books are written with an eye toward giving the reader a clear picture of how the industry works and its current issues. With that in mind, here are the journals, industry references, and small business books purchased by the Hill Library recently:
 
Journals
·          Deli business.
·          Medical device & diagnostic industry.
·          NACS magazine [National Association of Convenience Stores]
·          Salon today.
·          Shopping center business.
·          Planet news. [Professional Landcare Network]
·          Ethanol producer magazine.
·          Consumer insight [ACNielsen]
·          Hispanic enterprise.
·          Instore buyer.
·          Baking & snack.
·          Biodiesel magazine.
·          Foodservice news.
·          Future age.
·          Limousine & chauffeured transportation.
·          Specialty retail report.
·          Bicycle retailer and industry news.
 
Industry statistics and directories
·          2006 state of the business incubation industry
·          2007-2008 ChristianTrade international market directory
·          Annual financial review / Food Marketing Institute
·          Annual state of the industry report [Leisure & Entertainment Industry]
·          Organic Trade Association’s … manufacturer survey.
·          Overview of assisted living.
·          Science business : the promise, the reality, and the future of biotech
·          Senior care digest.
·          The business of healthcare innovation
·          The Licensing letter royalty trends report
·          The managed care industry market datasource
·          The new wellness revolution : how to make a fortune in the next trillion dollar industry
·          The search : how Google and its rivals rewrote the rules of business and transformed our culture
 
Startup/Small Business
·          Building a successful biodiesel business : technology considerations, developing the business, analytical methodologies
·          Building a successful home staging business : proven strategies from the creator of home staging
·          Concierge & errand quick tips : an information guide to get you started
·          How to start a home-based professional organizing business
·          How to start and operate your own design firm : a guide for interior designers and architects
·          Small is the new big : and 183 other riffs, rants, and remarkable business ideas
·          Start your own blogging business : generate income from advertisers, subscribers, merchandising and more
·          The business and practice of coaching : finding your niche, making money, and attracting ideal clients
·          The concierge manual : a step-by-step guide on how to start your own concierge service and/or lifestyle management company
·          The game producer’s handbook
·          The professional personal chef : the business of doing business as a personal chef

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IMPORTANT NOTICE:

We are pleased to announce the completion of our elevator renovation at the James J. Hill Center. This project was financed in part with funds provided by the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund through the Minnesota Historical Society and the F. R. Bigelow Foundation. It will greatly increase our ability to serve patrons with accessibility needs.

Please access our ground floor elevator entrance via Kellogg Ave at the back of the building. Please ring the doorbell on the right hand side of door and a Hill staff member will assist you. If you have questions or concerns please call 651.265.5500. We look forward to having you visit our brand new elevator!

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