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TheStreet Open House

3 Things You Should Know About Small Business: February 11

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- What's happening in small business today?

1. SBA Administrator Karen Mills resigns. The U.S. Small Business Administration's Karen Mills announced her departure on Monday to President Barack Obama.

In a note sent to SBA staff, Mills wrote:

"Four years ago, when I arrived at the SBA, America's small businesses and entrepreneurs were struggling in the face of the worst economic environment since the Great Depression -- and a banking sector that was frozen. Together, we rolled up our sleeves and went to work."

"Because of your hard work, the SBA has established itself as the voice of small business and entrepreneurship both in Washington and across the country. We have a seat at the table because President Obama knows the important role that small businesses play in our economic growth and global competitiveness. And he understands that the SBA has the tools and the team to take America's small businesses to that next level, so that they can drive energy and momentum into the economy. That's why the president elevated my position to his Cabinet, so we can make sure that small businesses and entrepreneurs are a centerpiece of America's growth agenda."

2. How a small yarn shop became a social media phenomenon. Jimmy Beans Wool, located in Reno, Nev., is a small shop that sells a big assortment of knitting and crochet supplies and lots of yarn. Amazingly the store, a fixture in Reno, has annual sales of $7 million, mostly online.

"Some of those online buyers are so loyal to the store that they make pilgrimages to it from around the world," the article says.

So how did they do it? Like Zappos, Jimmy Beans believes in giving its customers instant gratification. "We have a rule in our business," owner Laura Zander said. "All orders must go out in 24 hours."

Read Melinda Emerson's full account of the success of the yarn store at New York Times .

3. Entrepreneurial lessons from Mark Zuckerberg. Facebook (FB) founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg has been criticized for his young age and clothing choices, which apparently determine his ability to lead the multibillion dollar company. However, what gets lost at times is his entrepreneurial abilities and making the transition from "startup CEO to corporate CEO," according to KISSmetrics.

Of course Zuckerberg has made mistakes along the way, but one of his assets is his honesty about his slip-ups and learning from those mistakes, the blog says. Other lessons we can learn from Zuckerberg is the need for businesses to have a higher purpose (Facebook was never meant to be a company, much less a public company; learn from the motto "move fast and break things," meaning many times large companies are afraid to take risks for fear of making mistakes, but in order to stay ahead of competitors you must be innovative; and finding people who complement his skills to form a great executive team.

-- Written by Laurie Kulikowski in New York.

To contact Laurie Kulikowski, send an email to: Laurie.Kulikowski@thestreet.com.

>To submit a news tip, email: tips@thestreet.com.

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Disclosure: TheStreet's editorial policy prohibits staff editors, reporters and analysts from holding positions in any individual stocks.

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