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 BreachesThere’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...]

5 Things to Keep in Mind When Guest Posting

Guest posting on other blogs is one of the best ways to obtain additional high quality backlinks to your website as well as get your name out there when it comes to authoring high quality blog posts.  Guest posting is the process of writing an article on somebody else’s blog and then including a backlink at the end of the post.  When guest blogging there are numerous things to keep in mind to ensure the readers react positively to your post, which increases your chances of being invited again to make another post.#1 – Ensure Backlink is to a Quality WebsiteThe primary purpose of writing a guest post and putting it on somebody else’s … [Read more...]

Using Email Marketing to Improve the User Experience

Trends come and go in the marketing realm, but one trend brands can’t afford to lose sight of is carving out experiences that fully accommodate the user. Whether it’s website visitors, app downloaders, or paying customers, the user experience is everything.Thanks to around the clock coverage, we are constantly reminded of just how important catering to the user really is. Experts tell us that its importance spans from the social media networks to the mobile arena across multiple platforms. In this post, we will focus on the role it plays in the email channel and how email marketing can be used to improve it.Setting the Tone and the … [Read more...]

The Ultimate Guide to Software Marketing

You may be the greatest software developer on the face of the universe but that doesn’t mean that you know squat about software marketing. And even if you do have a working knowledge of software marketing, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you know how to execute on that front. The following is a guide to marketing software to assist you in this endeavor. Cede Control In the infamous words of Clint Eastwood as Dirty Harry Callahan, “A man’s got to know his limitations.” OK, so he wasn’t PC in his use of the word “man,” but software marketing is a distinct and separate world to software development that requires a completely different skill … [Read more...]

The Psychology of a Brand: You are What You Tweet

KNDSGUDB9XYNSocial media understanding is still largely in its infancy. Being labeled a “social media expert” in 2013 is sort of like being called a doctor in the Medieval Times. The exact parameters for for the label and what it means might be foggy, but a swarm of people are fascinated enough by it to take the reigns and pave the way for an essential industry.Managing your social media pages certainly isn't as important as, say, inventing penicillin, but with 22 percent of online time spent on social media and 65 percent of the the world's companies on Twitter, according to The Social Skinny, social media is becoming an integral … [Read more...]

Mom’s Dating Advice and Email Marketing Tips

Chaunsea Keller

Originally published on ehotelier.comE-Mail Marketing - it is what I do all day, every day, so it is common for people to ask my expertise on design tips, deliver tips, content tips, etc, and I am more than happy to share. Sometimes my advice stems from personal/professional experiences, sometimes articles from "the experts", and sometimes I have to "trust my gut". So as I found myself telling my daughter the advice to "Trust her Gut and Follow Her Heart" (even though she is 6, it's never too early to start) my mom's voice was resonating in my head much to my surprise of "Oh my Gosh, I am sounding like my Mom"! I am happily married, so … [Read more...]

Email Marketing: Are you a good sender or a bad sender?

Good email sender

Gmail and the other ISPs are now blocking emails that you send to your double opt-in subscribers!Why? Because those subscribers aren't opening your email anymore. And since your subscribers aren't opening your email anymore, Leon, the anti-spam-guy at Gmail, took notice. Then he remembered that he's still sore over that painful fiasco in high school where he had once hand-delivered Darlene, the head cheerleader, seventeen love letters, which he had personally put into her mailbox (a 'mailbox' is what they used to call an inbox back in those days). Darlene never responded to Leon's love letters. Apparently, she wasn't interested. Go … [Read more...]

Your Small Business Website is Not Thriving – and Here’s Why

Small business websites need tools

Originally published on Quick and Dirty Tips.comYou're a small business. You have a website and you want traffic, subscribers, followers. In short, you want more customers.The prevailing wisdom has been that if you have a nice looking site, and optimize it for search engines (SEO), the customers will just show up.But, it's just not happening is it? The old "if you build it, they will come" thing just isn't working out. Your business is not thriving.Too often, this is the frustrating experience felt by small business owners as they try to get their businesses off the ground.So where are you going wrong in your approach to … [Read more...]

10 Social Marketing Mistakes Small Businesses Should Avoid

small business mistakes

No matter how skilled you are or what you’re doing in life, you’re going to make some mistakes. That’s just how it goes. Hopefully, you will learn from these mistakes and avoid making them in the future. When developing a social media marketing strategy, you can be sure that you’ll make some mistakes from time to time. The best way to work to avoid these mistakes before they happen is to learn about the mistakes beforehand. Business branding through social media can be a very cost-efficient strategy, especially for small businesses, and there’s a lot you can do yourself without any help from a large media agency. As you’ve learned here on … [Read more...]

6 Reasons Your Small Business Needs a Better Website

[xyz_dbx_default_code]Inspired by SocialMagnets who created a great infographic called "10 Reasons why small businesses need an online presence" Also published on SocialMediaToday.comYou've had this discussion before with your business partner. "Why do we need to spend money on a website?" Or, perhaps it's "Look, I know our website needs updating, but honestly, we've got so many other things to work on right now....."And the discussion goes on. But are you making the right decision? True, there are a lot of things that draw the attention of the small business owner. But stop and take a look at your current website.Your … [Read more...]

3 Ways Personal Bias is Killing your Marketing Campaign

Originally published on SocialMediaToday.comThe Chief Marketing Officer has just walked into your office, well, into your cube anyway. And she's not happy. You feel the tension."They're looking at our budget with a microscope. If we don't absolutely nail this next major campaign, they're going to, to.....well, something....."She's not being paranoid either. Marketers are under the gun, having to justify each spend. The average tenure of a CMO is just two years."I just feel like we're missing the market somehow," you tell her. "Something doesn't feel right. I mean, we're hitting all the big social channels, but it's like the … [Read more...]

How do I get more customers (and keep them)

How do I get more customers?

You are the newest of the noobs in your small business. You started out with a lot of energy, but the customers just aren't coming. Or, the ones that are coming are not coming back.You know you've got a great product to offer, but it just seems like the message isn't getting out. No one really knows about this place. So, you're asking, "how do I get more customers?"You are frustrated, and thinking of calling it quits. "How DO I get more customers?"Well, hold on for a moment. If you muster just a bit of courage I'll answer the how do I get more customers question and show you Other small business owners like you are not facing … [Read more...]

What Do You Mean My Email Subject Line Sucks?

Email Subject Line

Originally published on Social Media Today.com You've spent all that time building an email list, crafting the perfect email, creating great content, and sending it out using all the proper email deliverability hoo-ha and all that. Your anticipation of a high email open and click through rate is there. That will mean you'll make more sales, right!?After launch, you wait. And then...... nothing. Your open/click through rate sucks and your sales are as stale as that box of Cheerios you left opened last Tuesday. You spent all that time crafting the perfect email, and for what? For a 2.5% open rate, about ten click throughs, and no … [Read more...]