The small business world is ever-evolving, and so are the trends that currently guide short-term and long-term success for everything from startups to long established businesses. Knowing what’s out there can help you make smarter business decisions that put you on the road to success and ensure you meet your business goals. If you’re looking to capitalize on some of the latest startup trends or to boost your current operation, here’s a roundup of the most current small business news to get you started.

“Uber Didn’t Create the Gig Economy; the Gig Economy Created Uber” (Small Business Labs)

So what’s the gig economy and how might it impact your business strategy? There’s been a lot of conversation lately about the emergence of the so-called gig economy, where independent contractors are replacing traditional employees. While some experts have claimed that the success of Uber is driving the growth of the gig economy, those at Small Business Labs claim the opposite: that Uber is a product of the growing need for even high income households to supplement their income in order to make ends meet.

“The Best Businesses to Start from Home This Year” (Inc.)

Thinking about starting up a new home business? There are certain sectors that are seeing a greater degree of success, including accounting, graphic design, portrait photography, real estate, and packaged-food retail. The key is to find a startup idea that doesn’t require much space and has lower initial costs.

“Video: Startup Funding. Bootstrap. Then ‘Be So Good They Can’t Ignore You.'” (BPlans)

Are you trying to get a new venture or startup funding, or do you need more capital to expand your business? This video is a must-watch. It offers key information on the venture capital business and provides critical tips on a wide range of funding topics, including the importance of bootstrapping and strategic business development.

“Protecting Against Risks with Seasonal Staff” (Small Biz Daily)

Are you expecting a busy summer season? Do you need to temporarily ramp up your staff? Seasonal staffing is a smart business move, but it doesn’t come without some important risks to be aware of. Here’s a great guide to some of the technologies available today to make the onboarding and “off boarding” processes easier and to protect your company from unexpected (and avoidable) loss.

“5 Reason You Should Adore Your Customers” (Small Business Bonfire)

In today’s competitive landscape, customer experience is more important than ever. In the world of social media, your customers can end up being your most effective marketers. But if that’s not enough to convince you, here are some more reasons why you should adore your customers and make them a central part of your business strategy and road map.