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Want to stand out? Learn to be 'enchanting'

Fun facts and information for small business owners and entrepreneurs from across the web, brought to you by Report on Small Business. Find us @GlobeSmallBiz or on our LinkedIn group.

Looks are important, enchantment is everything

It will get you the job, the promotion, the best table at the restaurant and all the other wonderful treats in life. It's enchantment, says Penelope Trunk, and it's 'what makes someone in the top 10 per cent of performers catapult into the top 2 per cent.' And though the career advice blogger acknowledges that physical beauty plays a role in being liked and getting what you want, it's not everything; after all, 'you can be good looking and be a bore.' To become more enchanting, she says, you need to do the following four things: say yes, be passionate, make people better than they are, and perhaps most importantly, show gratitude. Penelope Trunk

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Social media isn't just for 'cool' companies

Sure, Facebook may be the perfect promotional tool for coffee shops, Twitter is the bomb for food trucks and Pinterest is ideal for fashion retailers. But what if your business isn't sexy, at least not in the traditional sense? What social media platforms exist for a plumber or a laundromat? Here's how three so-called 'boring' businesses (i.e. exterminator, roofer and home building) are using the social networking tools of the trade not only to promote their businesses, but to build relationships with existing clients and to generate leads. The New York Times

Survival of the fittest

Thinking about finally making the move and starting your own business? Well, before you leap in headfirst, check out this infographic on 'The Most Tried and Failed Small Businesses.' While 40 per cent of businesses are profitable, 30 per cent break even and 30 per cent are bleeding out. Oh, and steer clear from the retail clothing sector, unless you're prepared to face an 80 per cent chance of failing in the first five years. Small Biz Trends

Countdown to the smartwatch showdown

Everyone's jumping on the bandwagon. Nike's got one, and the tech heavyweight trio - Apple, Samsung and Google - is venturing into smartwatch territory as well. For fitness performance, it makes complete sense: Hardcore and gadget-happy runners and cyclists who track their heart rates, blood pressure, calories and whereabouts know the value; in fact, the 'fitness watch market,' which includes GPS-enabled smartwatches, is expected to top $1-billion this year, 50 per cent more than it was last year. But what will the smartwatch mean for the non-sporty crowd, and is it really poised to disrupt the consumer electronics industry? Megan Rose Dickey suggests that it will depend on how the watch integrates with the already existing ecosystem of products (think iPhone, Apple TV, etc.).

Mentor match-making

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Most young entrepreneurs know the value of a good mentor, especially during the early stages of growing a startup. But finding a suitable sherpa and building a strong rapport isn't always straightforward. Dan Peña, who founded Great Western Resources Inc., offers advice on determining what kind of mentor your need, on nurturing the relationship once you've made the commitment and going the extra mile.

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