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Source: Entrepreneur.com

Forget the stereotypical leadership image of a buttoned-up person in a gray suit hauling around a hefty briefcase. Today, standout leaders come in all shapes and sizes. She could be a blue jeans-clad marketing student, running a major ecommerce company out of her dorm room. He might be the next salt-and-pepper-haired, barefoot Steve Jobs, presenting a groundbreaking new device at a major industry conference.

Source: Forbes.com

Keeping up with the latest developments in marketing for your small business means staying up-to-date on the world of social media. Aside from the challenge of simply staying informed about new platforms and changes to existing platforms, figuring out how to maneuver within the sometimes overwhelming sea of actual socializing to make your company’s presence felt – and not ignored or resented – presents a serious challenge to small business owners and marketing professionals.

Source: HuffingtonPost.com

Let's face it: The "big box" brands have the marketing muscle to both create and dominate most of the noise in the consumer marketplace - be it stores, restaurants or services. Smaller or emerging merchants might be intimidated by today's business landscape, especially when considering they don't have the resources to outspend larger, more established brands in marketing, or provide rock bottom prices.

Source: Entrepreneur.com

Social media can level the playing field between industry leaders and upstarts, between multinational corporation executives and small-business owners, making peers of all participants. Yet appearances can be deceiving. To borrow from George Orwell's Animal Farm, all social-media users are equal, but some are more equal than others.

Source: Entrepreneur.com

In the new summer blockbuster Man of Steel, Clark Kent spends his youth on Earth completely ignorant of and confused by his superhuman abilities. It's only upon acceptance of his true self that he dons the red-and-blue caped suit and becomes the superhero he was meant to be.

Even if your startup's mission isn't as grand as saving the world, entrepreneurs can be more successful business leaders by focusing on sharpening strengths rather than compensating for weaknesses.

Presented by Ernst & Young:

Young Entrepreneurial Winning Women Program

Deadline for applications: Friday, June 28

The Ernst & Young Entrepreneurial Winning Women program is a national competition and executive leadership program that identifies a select group of high-potential women entrepreneurs whose businesses show real potential to scale — and then helps them do it.

Source: Smallbiztrends.com

In a square mile radius in Germantown, Maryland are about 6 Asian grocery stores. Yet I visited the one store whose location was way off the main road and was difficult to find. I saw a sign for the business in another Asian grocery store and knew that they stocked goat meat, which is a delicacy for meat eaters from the Indian sub-continent.

Source: Inc.com

I recently had the opportunity to collaborate on a project with one of my agency's clients that captures the very best of what Instagram has to offer for brands. NewYork.com, a city guide for both locals and tourists, was officially launching its website earlier this month. Though the site had invested heavily in building a top-notch editorial team and commerce platform, it was new to a very cluttered market of similar sites.

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Are you thinking of starting a business with your friends? Or want to take your current business to the next level?

Source: Huffingtonpost.com

With the economy still far from recovered, it seems like a less-than-ideal time to start a new business. Yet right now is actually the perfect opportunity to dream big, follow your passion and create your own path to success.

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