Got Sales? Sales Skills for Non-Salespeople

Are you dealing with problems in convincing your manager to take over a new project? Or you don’t seem to get your team’s support in introducing a new system? You’ve certainly had to deal with clients who needed to be convinced into buying your services and products, so you know that a salesperson needs to know how to be convincing, without having to turn to aggressive sales tricks. Knowing some good sales techniques is essential even for people who don’t have a formal sales role. When you need to convince someone to join a certain organization or describe a product to a certain client over the phone, you should know how to make uses of … [Read more...]

Top 5 Mistakes New Bloggers Make With Social Media

social media mistakes

Social media has become so popular over the last couple of years. It's hard to believe that these networks are actually relatively young. Yet, the technology, principles and applications behind them continue evolving. These evolutions are causing marketers to rethink their strategies on a regular basis. As a result of the constant changes, beginner bloggers make some pretty common mistakes that are usually avoidable. Some of these mistakes are related to social media, and how they use it to market their blogs. Here are those top five mistakes: 1) Not Responding To Or Acknowledging Direct Messages and Comments How would you feel if you … [Read more...]

Using Attendance Policies to Minimize Employee Absenteeism

employee absenteeism

Managing employees is always difficult. Many small businesses have a problem managing employee absenteeism as it is difficult to determine when employees are taking advantage of sick leave. However, there are a few techniques that have proven effective and relatively easy to introduce into your business. One way to minimize employee absenteeism is to introduce attendance policies into your business. This will help to ensure that employees are only absent from work when there is a real reason and when it is appropriate, and it will help to reduce employees taking advantage of this benefit. Attendance policies can be very effective, … [Read more...]

Serviced Offices: Saving Your Initial Office Investment

serviced offices

One of the biggest costs of starting your own business is setting up your own office. Start-ups or small businesses may find this as a huge capital expenditure. So as a business owner, you’ll have to spend money on capital assets that you will purchase, sustain, upgrade and even refurbish. These may include facilities, services and other supplies that may not be fully used and maximized while at the workplace. But there can be a cost-effective approach - using flexible work spaces known as serviced offices. What are Serviced Offices? Serviced offices are completely furnished and staffed spaces. There’s the usual need to spend when procuring … [Read more...]

Would You Move to WordPress after Yahoo! Acquired Tumblr?

Yahoo buys tumblr

So after weeks of speculation, Yahoo has officially acquired the popular blogging site Tumblr for a whopping $1.1 billion in cash. In a blog entry posted on her own Tumblr account, Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer announced that the two companies have finally “reached an agreement to acquire Tumblr”. She also promised that they would not “screw it up”, adding that Tumblr already has a great thing going and will therefore operate independently from Yahoo. Mayer also added that its current CEO David Karp will keep his designation. This is good for Tumblr since it currently hosts 105 million different blogs and has 300 million monthly unique visitors … [Read more...]

Why Would You Back Up Your Tweets?

Twitter

Every day millions of people around the globe are sending more than 340 million messages on Twitter. Businesses and individuals can be chatting, marketing and promoting, performing customer service, or simply publishing their wisdom via their PC, mobile or tablet. With such a fast-paced flow of messages ranging from jokes to presidential campaigns and revolutionary activity, why would you take the time and effort to back up your tweets? That facility has recently been made officially available by Twitter itself, but only to a limited set of users. Until such time as this is rolled out to everyone, there are reliable third party … [Read more...]

Sure Signs Your Business is Heading for a Crisis

business in crisis

In the current economic climate, almost every business is finding things a little harder than usual, but when do your problems stop being "just the economy" and reach the level of being a crisis? It's all too easy to assume that any problems your business is having will blow over when the economy picks up again; thinking this could lead to the mistake that’s fatal to your business. If you’re feeling a little concerned about the direction of your business now, and need a little guidance, we’ve addressed a few of the most common signs that your business is on the brink of a crisis. 1 - You Depend on One or Two Suppliers I've seen this … [Read more...]

Why You Need to Be Blogging (And How to Do It Well)

Confused by blogging? Don’t be! Today's blog post explains why you should be blogging for your small business and how to write the type of blog post that gets readers every time!

How can you get more customers and exposure for your small business this year? Bring your blog back from the dead. You know, the one you started a while ago, with only the best of intentions, but haven’t posted anything on in a year? I get it. Blogging takes time. And energy. And effort. All three of which you probably feel you don’t have any more of to spare. But, next time you catch yourself saying that you wish your store was busier… that your website got more traffic… that you were making more profit, remember this blog post -- and remember these stats. The average company that blogs gets: 55% more visitors 97% more inbound … [Read more...]

5 Factors that Influence Small Business Growth

small business finanace

All small business owners wish their growth trajectory was ever upwards. Unfortunately, real business is complex, with many ups and downs in expansion. A multitude of factors influence and determine small business success, including finance, staffing resources, new competitors and technology. However, there are a number of easily-manageable factors that have the capacity to change the way your business grows: Your Personality According to the Founders Institute, which helps entrepreneurs in technology around the world, there are a number of traits that successful business people exhibit. However, if you’ve just created a mental … [Read more...]

Employee Surveys: A Useful Tool to Increase Business Productivity

employee surveys

Starting a small business and ensuring its productivity is certainly not an easy task. Experience in the field, attention to detail, and commitment matter the most. A proficient executive should have the ability to identify any problems that might come along and solve them immediately. In order to make sure that your business keeps thriving, caring for your employees is equally important. Employee surveys – an excellent way of analyzing productivity Workers do their job better in work environments that are encouraging to them. If those who work for you are satisfied, this will influence the efficiency of your business in a positive way. … [Read more...]

Why Social Media is a Small Business Essential

Social media for small business

Social media is becoming an essential marketing tool for small businesses looking to stay ahead of the curve, connect with customers, and increase visibility for their organization. Most small businesses, however, aren't capitalizing on the opportunity or are doing it wrong. In this article, I'll explain why its worth every small business' time (the little you'll have to invest!) to take advantage of the benefits that social media. Let's start with some numbers. Facebook has over 1.6 billion members. YouTube has over 1 billion. Twitter, over 500 million. That's nearly half the world's population and I haven't even mentioned Instagram, … [Read more...]

Content Marketing to Benefit Your Small Business

Small business content marketing

When it comes to marketing campaigns for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) there are a number of options. Companies can employ traditional marketing techniques like adverts or they can choose content marketing. A study has shown that content marketing actually costs 62% less than traditional marketing, so is this the way to go for SMEs? Old School Small Business Marketing Techniques An infographic from Demand Metric has shown the impact of implementing content marketing into your strategy, rather than just sticking to traditional methods. That's not to say that there isn't any benefit in employing these techniques however. Advertisements … [Read more...]

Essential Software for Small Business

software for small business

No matter how big your small business might be, getting the right software to help you achieve your goals can free up time for you to focus on your core business. Whether it's software to simply update your company website or it's part of your everyday job, these (often) frustrating little devices called computers are a big part of the way we do business. Thanks to the developments in technology that have come about in the past decade, there are now systems and software that actually make humans redundant – such as those used in the manufacturing industry where robots have replaced humans in creating certain materials and parts, such as … [Read more...]

How Small Businesses Can Boost Employee Loyalty Through Office Design

Writing

Contrary to popular belief, sitting all day behind a desk is not relaxing, nor desirable. In fact, quite the opposite is true. Perhaps no one knows this as well as the online marketing community. Marketing, an inherently creative job, requires inspiration, motivation and drive. It takes people with fresh ideas who can create captivating content and design that ultimately drive business. But sitting all day behind a desk rarely inspires creative thinking, making the task of the marketer more difficult. When jobs become less enjoyable for marketing teams, people start to search elsewhere. Small businesses struggle to hold on to the top … [Read more...]

Should You Invest in Facebook Marketing?

Facebook marketiing

It’s a shame to say that the idea of using Facebook as a fantastic business tool completely gratis is all but a distant memory. With the goal-posts shifting all the time, and the likelihood of your non-suggested posts receiving significant views amongst your followers diminishing all of the time, we have come to the stage where we really need to consider whether or not it’s worth throwing money at Facebook in the hope that it works. Understand What You Want To Achieve One certainty is that if you use Facebook marketing without really knowing what you want to get out of it, the likelihood is that you won’t get much out of it at all. Any … [Read more...]

Should a Small Business Owner do their own Bookkeeping?

small business accounting

Every small business owner has a need to understand how their business is doing financially. Keeping track of sales, expenses and disbursements is the first step in this process. Once all this information is collected and entered in appropriate journals, analytical reports such as profit and loss statements and cash flows can be created. For the very small business with limited transactions, using a good spreadsheet can provide the basics for this tracking and reporting. There are templates and pre-formatted worksheets available that make the job much easier. By entering the necessary information, a great deal of the work is done … [Read more...]

The Office Space Immutable Rules of Business Management

You've read the articles, you've seen the results, and yet somehow, the message never gets through to the managers. Somewhere along the way, they skipped a step and tried to rewrite the rules. Some rules are made to be broken, but these are almost immutable rules. The kind that if you break them, they end up breaking you. As you manage your employees, is this you? In your small business, how do you lead your people? Do your employees take initiative, take responsibility, work harder when necessary without being asked, come up with efficiencies on their own, spearhead creative new projects without being prodded, clean out the coffee pot … [Read more...]

Restaurant Case Study – Using Social Media for Marketing and Customer Engagement

Marketing your restaurant

Oooh la la Multi-cuisine Restaurant is an organic, multi-cuisine restaurant in West Bengal. From the time it opened its doors with a promise of delicious food, the restaurant has been an agressive user of social media channels to connect with its customers, and grow its footprint. This restaurant strives to be much more than a place to dine. It wants to be a vast social media experience for all its visitors, most of whom are considered the "young and happening" crowd of the city. Building Customer Relationships The restaurant was using digital marketing strategies to the maximum extent possible for customer engagement. The benefits of using … [Read more...]

Planning a Winning Email Marketing Campaign

Thought Reach Girl - simple email marketing software

If you looked at the rate at which you personally delete spam from your inbox, you might assume that email marketing is completely ineffective as a small business marketing tool. On the contrary, when used properly, the email channel generates a higher ROI than any other online medium. Like any marketing campaign, your email campaign should have a specific objective which is measurable.  Once you press the send button, what do you anticipate to see in return? If you don't have a specific end-goal in mind, you'll never know if you're achieving what you set out to do. And, like all areas of business, honesty and transparency will pay off in … [Read more...]

Why Small Business is a Bigger Target for Cyber Criminals

small business security

When you think about cyber crime, you might think of identity theft. Or you might think about major security breaches that have hit big-name corporations, such as the PlayStation security breach. In actuality, there are dozens of security breaches happening every day, affecting small businesses, individuals and major companies. While you don’t hear about small business security breaches as frequently, they’re one of the biggest targets for cyber criminals. Small Business Represents Big Chunk of Security Breaches There’s a clear trend among hacking and cyber crime targeting small businesses. Verizon recorded a total of 621 security … [Read more...]

Got Funds? How to Develop a Small Business Finance Strategy

Small business finance strategy

It can be intimidating to start a small business! But, if you are the entrepreneurial type, you will not let the challenges of running a business dissuade you from following your dreams. From choosing the right location for the products and services you plan to offer, to hiring the right staff members that will help you drive your company forward. Starting and running a successful business involves a lot of pre-planning. Time and money decisions encompass the most stressful decisions you'll need to make, both before and after your company has gotten itself off the ground. One of the biggest challenges involved with running a successful … [Read more...]

A Small Business Guide to Handling Disgruntled Employees

Bowl of berries. Not all employees in a small business are made the same.

Operating a small business is not always an easy task! There are many aspects of a company that require constant attention and care. At any given time, issues may arise from outside sources as well as from internal conflicts. One of the most challenging issues is found when dealing with disgruntled employees. No matter what type of small business you run, at some point along the way, one of your employees is bound to become discontented. It’s always best to have a person on staff who has earned their Human Resources Degree, but for many small businesses this may not be an option. So before this happens, prepare yourself with these … [Read more...]

Can’t Get Bank Funding? Funding Alternatives for Small Businesses

Small business funding alternatives

Individuals raise funds for their small businesses in various ways. The way you raise capital for your small business will depend on your business needs as well as your circumstances. But if bank funding is not an option, and your small business is in need of funding, here are some alternatives. Personal Savings If you have adequate personal holdings to finance your business this can be of great benefit since you will not be required to borrow from third parties. When you fund your small business from personal savings, it gives you full control over the running of your company since you are not responsible to any third … [Read more...]

How to Choose an Email Service Provider for Your Nonprofit

colorful tiles- choose an email service provider

Email is a powerful tool that benefits commercial and nonprofit organizations alike. With that said, it is a tool that performs at its best when supplied by email service provider (ESP). An ESP has the tools you need to create professional looking campaigns, gauge your success, and make sure your messages are actually delivered, which isn’t guaranteed when trying to reach even small groups of people from a standard account. But with so many vendors on the scene, how do choose? Use these pointers to find an email service provider that accommodates the needs of your nonprofit. Determine What Your Nonprofit Needs Before heading out to … [Read more...]

Do Good Social Online! How to Use Social Media for Charity Fundraising

Joy! Do something GOOD with social media

People are always talking about how social media makes it much easier for small businesses to reach their customers and engage the people who are most interested in what they do. But, have you ever thought about applying similar social media marketing strategies to those used by successful businesses to raise money for a good cause you care about? Whether you manage a charitable organization yourself, or are simply a member of the community who wants to do something to help a charity, here are some ways the Web can help. Sponsored Events — Get More People Behind You If you are thinking about asking for sponsorship to do something like a … [Read more...]

An E-commerce Business Owner’s Guide To Pinterest

IT support for small business

Pinterest has really taken off in the past few years leaping from humble beginnings in its beta form in 2010, to over 25 million users in 2013. Not to mention, the demographics of Pinterest users sit comfortably on the side where users have a decent amount of disposable income – perfect if you’re running an ecommerce store and looking to grab new customers. If you’ve been hiding in an underground bunker and don’t know what Pinterest is then here’s a very simple run down; Pinterest is a site that allows users to ‘pin’ images onto ‘boards’. These images all link through to the site from which they came from, allowing people to successfully … [Read more...]

Defend your Sales Price: A Small Business Strategy to Sell Anything

Small business sales strategy

Sales skills are some of the most valuable, applicable talents you can possess in today’s (small) business world. While you may think that being a good salesperson only applies to selling products, it’s important to realize that commodities are not the only important things that are sold. You also have to sell good ideas to your colleagues or supervisor, and if you’re just getting into the job market, you have to be able to sell yourself and make people aware of everything you bring to the table. Sales skills aren't just reserved for marketing geniuses or people who have a passion for selling products. It is important for you to learn … [Read more...]

How do I Find a Small Business Web Design Pro?

small business web design

As online purchasing continues to climb steadily, no business can afford to ignore the power of the Internet. If you want to grab eyeballs, you need a website that ranks high on search engine results – one that attracts and retains visitor attention. Hiring a good web designer can help you achieve this; but, this is easier said than done. For a small business owner who has no idea of what goes into creating a website, it can be a confusing task; here are a few tips on how to find a web designer to take your business to the next level. How to find a Web Designer for your Small Business Website A web designer is someone who is an expert at … [Read more...]