Hope your summer’s going well! Don’t get too caught up on the beach—or running a business—to miss these insightful reads from the past week.

1. Planning is key

A series of studies done by Rice University found that when it comes to launching a business, preparation is often far more important than passion.

2. Poor sales mean poor moods

Small business optimism is down, according to the National Federation of Independent Businesses. Taxes, inflation, and poor sales were the most common concerns.

3. Watch out, startups

Martin Zwilling has identified how many startups waste their resources without adding value.

4. Prime Day problems

Amazon hailed this week’s Prime Day as “bigger than Black Friday,” but customers came away disappointed, with many taking to social media to get their wisecracks in.

5. Higher rates for the Fed

Janet Yellen says the U.S. economy is on track for the Fed to raise rates later in the year.

6. The benefits of listening

Richard Branson talks about the forgotten art of listening and how it can benefit leaders and entrepreneurs.

7. Don’t pay for LinkedIn

Ever wondered if a paid LinkedIn Account is worth the cost? Sarah Santacroce says it has its uses, but for most users, her answer is no.

8. The gig is up

Inc. warns entrepreneurs to stay wary of the so-called “gig economy.”

9. Time to get serious

Small Biz Trends talks about what it takes to seriously engage in digital commerce.

Business advice from the headlines:

Which story did you find most interesting? How did you feel about Amazon Prime Day? Let us know in the comments!

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Michael X. Heiligenstein
Michael X. Heiligenstein

Michael X. Heiligenstein manages communications and marketing at Fit Small Business, a product and service review site for small businesses. Previously he has written and edited for the Saturday Evening Post and run his own small business as a marketing consultant and copywriter. In his spare time, he enjoys writing, playing guitar and learning new things.