Last week was the 50th installment of National Small Business Week, and companies and organizations far and wide took to social media to celebrate the successes and provide resources, tips and tricks to America’s 28 million small businesses.

Here are some of the highlights from my perspective:

MasterCard’s tweet chat centered on “knowing your customer” and explored how SMBs can work smarter to keep an edge in today’s challenging economic and “technology-driven” world. We contributed some insights and the full recap can be found here.

An excellent blog post highlighted a study that found that small businesses are not fully implementing information security measures, illustrated by:

  • Forty percent of small business owners have no protocols in place for securing data, a five percent increase from last year.
  • More than one-third of small businesses report they never train staff on information security procedures.
  • Forty-eight percent have no one directly responsible for managing data security.

Another area that small businesses often ignore is the need to secure networked multifunction printers. There are almost 30 million network-connected printers and multifunction devices in offices and homes throughout the U.S. and Western Europe. They are just as susceptible to malware and hacker attacks as PCs but for many reasons they are often overlooked by IT professionals and used without proper safeguards by employees.

The SBA Small Business of America shared a great guest post that addressed 10 financial considerations for SMB success in 2013. In addition to insights on cash flow and funding sources, one point that really struck a chord was the “need to have your documents (bank statements, business license, driver’s license, financials, etc.) in electronic format for ease of processing.”

Many businesses might not fully make use of the “multi” in their multi-function devices but doing so could improve processes, raise productivity, and allow employees to spend less time on administrative tasks and more time on the real work that affects the company’s bottom line.

Melinda Emerson, SMB expert and best-selling author, also provided helpful tips on outsourcing for SMBs. She recommends small businesses outsource their bookkeeping, payroll and marketing efforts and also strongly recommends hiring a virtual assistant to help with administrative tasks. There’s no doubt that a company has to consider the advantages of outsourcing these tasks, but they should also consider business process and IT outsourcing – allowing  them to focus on what they do best while leaving these complex services to experts.

#SBW2013 was a huge success and we really enjoyed sharing tips and perspectives as well as taking part in the conversations.

What were your biggest takeaways?