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After what seems like eons of customer complaints regarding an early breakfast cutoff time, McDonald's has finally assented to serving breakfast all day. The shift is seen as a response to declining sales and increased competition from the likes of Starbucks and Taco Bell.

But a peek inside the move reveals a few more details that can provide some valuable lessons to entrepreneurs and small business owners:

Google has announced that it won't make advertisers pay for ads that aren't 100 percent viewable. This is great news for small businesses using the global search engine to get the word out. Only paying for those ads that potential customers can see means you're getting more bang for your buck.

But how do you know which ads are getting viewed, or are viewable? And what are the viewability criteria?

In Europe, merchants abandoned magnetic credit card swiping machines long ago, in favor of cards with embedded computer chips. Thus far, American stores and shops have lagged behind.

But that's all about to change. Starting today, retailers who don't install microchip card readers could be on the hook for any fraudulent charges on old magnetic swipe machines. So what does your small business need to do to catch up with this new technology?

In what seems like an annual occurrence at this point, the federal government is nearing another potential shutdown over budget squabbles. And while this might all sound like political wrangling to you, there are some real ways a government shutdown could affect your small business.

So what can you do to prepare? Here's how to gear up for a potential government shutdown:

Employee perks, especially at tech startups, are becoming the stuff of legend. When you have companies competing for the best and brightest by mandating paid sabbaticals, you know it's a decent time to be in the job market.

When one tech company sends its entire staff to Cambodia to work remotely for an entire month, you may wonder how your company can keep up. And if employees can work effectively from a beach on the other side of the globe, are there any limits to where they can telecommute from?

Long-time, recurring contracts are essential to small business. They allow you to focus on the quality of your product and running your business. But it's exactly because you're not paying attention to your recurring contracts that you could be paying too much.

With online banking and bill pay options, it's easier than ever to pay your bills without reading the fine print and itemized charges. Here's what you might be missing:

Volkswagen had just begun to dig itself out of a public perception hole that its cars were unreliable and expensive to fix throughout the 1990s and early 2000s. The German automaker's latest scandal may bury it for good.

VW was caught cheating on emissions tests, polluting the environment, and trying to cover the whole thing up, the trifecta of business scandals. So what can Volkswagen's implosion teach small business owners?

If you've got a really great hire, the last thing you want to think about is that person taking an extended leave. After all, it doesn't seem to make sense to pay someone to take time away from your business.

But sabbaticals aren't just for academia anymore. Businesses from law firms to craft breweries are granting employees sabbaticals (and in some cases forcing their employees to take an extended leave). So what's the secret to offering your employees sabbaticals?

What to Know Before Your Business Goes Global

Many business owners dream of international expansion, but there are important issues to consider before going global. Forays into foreign markets have all the usual problems and risks of any new business, plus cultural and linguistic challenges. And an unsuccessful international venture can be much more costly than failing at home.

Of course, nothing ventured, nothing gained, so going global also presents opportunities for profit that are otherwise impossible. To prepare for the bold step of international expansion, consider the following. If you are not daunted by these questions and suggestions, you may indeed be ready for business adventures abroad.

As a small business owner, you're probably more focused on your product than on employee pensions, but if an employee dies, knowing how your company and the state deal with death benefits could come in handy.

So here's a primer on what death benefits are, who's eligible to receive them, and how they could impact your business.