With midterm elections on the horizon, fear is the talk of the town. But numerous writers and small-business experts have reminded us this past week that even amid political and economic uncertainty, successful enterprises and their leaders can find ways to overcome their fears. How? In short, by emphasizing security, shoring up processes, and staying true to established brands and organizational cultures. PR and marketing strategists might call the last goal “staying on message.” Here are some ideas for thwarting fear and sticking to your message.

Vision

If You Haven’t Failed, Then Maybe You Aren’t a Real Entrepreneur

If fear is the name of the game, then Martin Zwilling of Startup Professionals, writing for Business Insider, comes out swinging at the greatest source of fear among any business leaders: failure. In Zwilling’s view, if you haven’t failed as an entrepreneur at some point, something is wrong. Who are some of the biggest failures? Zwilling chronicles past flops of Apple CEO Steve Jobs, Segway inventor Dean Kamen, and Thomas Edison — and advises how you can get the most out of failure.

Technology

The Small-Business Owner’s Guide to Secure E-mail

One of the persistent fears of small-business leaders is that their companies’ e-mails will be hacked or stolen. It’s a valid concern in an age when companies must send and receive more tax and health care forms that at any time in the past, and when hacker sophistication is at an all-time high. Encryption-free (open) e-mail, still the more common option among small businesses and average people, is undoubtedly susceptible to security breaches. But encrypted, secure e-mail is becoming more of an option after first being dominated by large corporations and IT gurus. Entrepreneur writer Jonathan Blum explains four e-mail encryption options of varying prices and degrees of security.

Cost-Saving

Set Up a ‘Managed Travel’ Program

Afraid to fly? You’re not alone. I’m not referring to the disorder aerophobia but rather the fear of spending money on it. Since the recession of 2007 began, almost every business cut its travel budget. But now it’s 2010, and for business to resume as normal, reps and executives insist they start traveling regularly again. As a result, business travel is up 6.2 percent this year from its recessionary nadir in 2009. If you manage the cash flow, the increase probably makes you nervous: it’s not like you have carte blanche to treat everyone to first class. You might look into a “managed travel” program as described by the staff at Inc. this week. What is managed travel? It’s leveraging your relationships with hotel chains, restaurants, airlines and rental car companies to the max, squeaking out every corporate discount you can. Because these companies are still reeling from the recession, they’re willing to negotiate with you to earn your loyal business.

Here’s a sampling of more that came out this week in marketing, sales, security and technology.

How Many Small-Business Half-Truths Make a Whole?

With political ads and mudslinging filling the airwaves, Joe Public’s perception of small business and the government might be different than it used to be. Source: SmallBusinsessTrends

17 Mutable Suggestions for Naming a Startup

When naming a startup, consider domain name availability, Twitter handle availability, and SEO value (searchability) of the company name. Source: OnStartups

Google Sales Director on Google Instant’s “Brand Bias”

Notice how when you type an “A” into Google Instant, the top suggestion is Amazon? For an “e,” it’s eBay? Google’s Online Sales Director Alan Moss addressed this issue this week.

Apple’s iPhone Goes Global, Vaults to No.4 Mobile Phone Vendor Worldwide

Taking the iPhone global has made Apple the fourth-ranked phone manufacturer in the world. Will Apple phone ascend to the mobile throne among business users?

Airport Security and MacBook Air

Considering the new 11-inch MacBook Air? It’s small enough to make your airport security screenings a little easier. Source: Inc.

Should You Stop Blogging, Too?

A well-known online marketing expert announced this week he’s abandoning his popular blog in favor of creating e-books and other specialty content. Would you consider this strategy? Source: JonathanFields.com

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