) -- What's happening in small business today?

1. Small Business Saturday success.

Even though sales figures aren't available,

Small Business Saturday

, sponsored by

American Express

(AXP) - Get Report

OPEN, was a "HUGE" success, according to a status update on the

Small Business Saturday

Facebook page.

The day followed a strong

Black Friday

. Sales on Black Friday this year hit an estimated $52.4 billion, according to the National Retail Federation.

Yet some business owners who commented on the thread had mixed results. One business, Cedar Hill Florist & Gifts of Cedar Hill, Mo., said: "Not one customer came into the shop for Small Business Saturday. And we promoted it!"

Small Business Saturday is in its second year. An Amex OPEN spokeswoman says the preliminary sales figures won't be ready for a few days, as small businesses "tend to submit their transactions slower than large ones."

Hopefully e-small businesses are experiencing success today, Cyber Monday.

2. A good mentor is key to starting a business.

Adults who have access to a mentor are three times more likely to say they plan to start a business than those who do not, according to a recent

Gallup survey

. The survey polled respondents in 83 countries. Broken down by region, those in the sub-Saharan Africa were most likely to start a business over the next 12 months (20%), followed by the Middle East and North Africa region (10%) and Asia (8%).

3. Consider this before moving to the cloud.


cloud services

for a business' storage of client files, invoices and the like is a good way to increase space, but


magazine says there are three things to think about before making the move: researching vendors to get reliability and good customer service; how a cloud vendor handles privacy laws; and backing up data stored by a cloud service, just in case.

Cloud services

can also help an e-commerce business avoid Web site crashes -- a necessity for small retailers looking to compete with the big boys.

-- Written by Laurie Kulikowski in New York.

To follow Laurie Kulikowski on Twitter, go to:!/LKulikowski

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