10 Summer Marketing Ideas for Your Small Business

small business summer marketing

Are you looking for new, fun, unique and creative ways to market your small or micro business this summer? Try the following ten summer-marketing ideas.1. Create a partner packagePartner with non-competing businesses that share the same target audience to develop a winning package for everyone.  A restaurant, theater and a hotelier could partner together to create a romantic couples' weekend package, for example. Each company would market and sell the package, and all three would split the proceeds.2. Sidewalk mistersWhen it gets hot, shoppers can be miserable. Venture into busy shopping districts armed with a backpack/spray … [Read more...]

How To Turn a Business Sale Into a Customer Experience

How To Turn a Business Sale Into a Customer Experience

In business, it takes a special sort of finesse to turn a sale into a hospitable experience.   To be hospitable to your customers is to make them feel as if the sale is on the back burner, even better - like the sale does not exist.  Instead, energy and focus gets poured into a customer’s needs, wants and curiosities.When customers feel appreciated, like their time and money is being well spent, they pay a business back in both loyally and reputation.  With exceptional customer service so hard to find these days, it could be the thing that sets your business apart and gets people talking.  Every business owner has the potential to revive … [Read more...]

How To Keep Your Small Business Relevant in a Changing Economy

Are Your Business Meetings Time Wasters or Time Well Spent?

These days, it’s hard to keep your company relevant.  Technology moves at such a fast pace that the business world is evolving much more rapidly than it used to.  Trying to keep up can be difficult, especially if you have a business that has been around for more than twenty years.  Rather than just throwing in the towel and leaving the market to younger companies, fight back.  Utilizing the power of social media, diversifying your offerings, and cutting your losses, are all ways you can reinvent your business.Social MediaThe way that people communicate today is remarkably different than it used to be, and trends are constantly … [Read more...]

Why Should Your Small Business Invest In Online CRM Software?

When you get down to it, your business comes down to one important thing – customers. It doesn’t matter how great your products or services are or how unique your branding might be. If you can’t acquire and retain customers, you’ll never be successful. Many a promising company has failed because it simply couldn’t attract customers.That’s why it’s so important for your small business to make a constant effort to both acquire new customers and to retain the customers you already have. And that’s where online CRM software can help. CRM (customer relationship management) software helps you manage interactions and relationships with prospects … [Read more...]

The Seven Deadly Sins of Office Relocation

moving your small office

Moving your small business to a new office? That usually means you’re expanding and that’s a good thing. But planning and organising a move can be fraught with problems, especially to the understaffed small business. To help you avoid them, we’ve put together our seven deadly sins of moving offices in order to keep you on the right track. 1. Not Having a Plan Your move is guaranteed not to go smoothly if you don’t have a clear plan. There are some things you need to get sorted from the start. These include why you want to move, are you looking for bigger premises? Something cheaper? A more central location? You also need to have a clear … [Read more...]

Using Web Apps to Streamline Your Small Business

web apps

As businesses have continued to evolve and adapt to the digital landscape, so too have the tools and applications that they use. In the past few years businesses have started to do a lot more work online from eCommerce to banking and even business networking. Many of these services were initially provided as static websites but have since expanded into multi-device web applications, perfect for companies and freelancers to take advantage of to remain lean in their business processes.These new web services have made serious impact on the traditional software purchasing process, where business owners had to buy many licences for a product, … [Read more...]

Sales Effectiveness: How To Turn A Profit Using Sales Analytics

Business intelligence

The amount of data available today has increased significantly and has revolutionized sales effectiveness. Businesses have access to more information than ever and are able to utilize it not only to understand what has worked and why in the past, but are able to predict consumer trends and behaviors for the future. This allows businesses to much more accurately forecast the needs of their customers and acclimatize their business accordingly. The high rate at which data is produced and can be distilled also means that you can devise a new theory or approach and test it to gauge its level of success almost immediately without having to embark … [Read more...]

Why Should I Use Bar-coding for my Small Business?

Barcodes are one of those things in life that most of us recognise, but never really fully appreciate. We see them every day in supermarkets, on labels, on the back of greeting cards and consumable goods. But, have you ever taken the time out to appreciate how remarkable they are? How is it possible that a series of black bars and white spaces of varying widths can be printed on a label, in order to uniquely identify it?A label, which can then be read with a scanner (another remarkable invention) which measures reflected light and then interprets the code into numbers  and letters that can be read by a computer, and processed into a … [Read more...]

Why Sticking To A Formula Could Be The Death Of Your Content Marketing Efforts

Chemistry candy- blogging formula

We’ve all been there; you’ve just started a blog post, you’re completely out of ideas and you’ve just typed the phrase ‘we’ve all been there’ like you’re an advertising executive from the 1950s. You’re stumped, and you’ve got no idea what to do next.The answer, of course, is simple; you fall back on a tried and true content formula. It could be something that has worked for you in the past, or something you’ve read while delving through the many, many guides to ‘quality content’ on the World Wide Web. You take some ideas, goes through the paces and viola, you’ve got a 500 word post ready to go and capture the attention of eyeballs from … [Read more...]

Starting a Customer Loyalty Program for Your Small Business

Customer loyalty

You’ve heard it said a million times – it’s much cheaper to keep an existing customer than it is to acquire a new one. That’s great and it’s one of those things people like to spout off at business meetings, but what are you actually doing to keep your customers loyal? What are you doing to get them to spend more money?Hopefully, you’re already covering the basics, like providing great service and a memorable customer experience, delivering products and services that exceed expectations, and focusing on building relationships with customers. These things are all important, but here’s the truth – they might not be enough.The fact is … [Read more...]

Embrace Social Media: Make your Small Business More Visible

The world of social media

For every small or large business organization, the capacity to execute or plan the most effective marketing strategies is a huge challenge. Small businesses nowadays take lots of efforts to improve their visibility online so that more and more people can see them. There are various strategies that you need to take into account in order to boost your company's visibility.  Below are outlined certain clear goals for your social media marketing campaign that you may take into account.Facebook: The entire world is accessing Facebook and this particular social networking website offers exceptional low cost marketing opportunities for all … [Read more...]

Negotiation Tips for Women in Business

Successful business woman

They say that women aren’t very good at negotiating because they aren’t as aggressive as men. But that’s not always the case, and it definitely depends on the circumstances, as well as on the personality of a certain woman. The following negotiation tips and tricks might really help women become better business negotiators.Don’t let emotions influence youWhen you are about to start a negotiation, put your fears aside and try to feel as confident as possible. You need to make a smart decision for your company or for yourself, so you can’t let your fury and troubles affect your judgment.Keep your nerves under controlEvery time … [Read more...]

How Social Media Marketing via Pinterest Procreates Small Businesses

The offline and the online marketplace is extremely crowded. So, if you want to establish a strong foothold in the online market, you will have to get help of social media. Social media is one such platform, which has improved the way in which businesses promote themselves online. With social media marketing, access to quality clients increases. However, it is Pinterest which is currently ruling the nest. In just a year, Pinterest has come to establish itself as one of the best social media marketing platforms. How Pinterest helps businesses May it be the small or the mid level business, Pinterest extended its helping hand to one and all. … [Read more...]

Direct Marketing: Stand Out With A Targeted Sales Letter

snail mail marketing

What's this package in the mail? The curiosity sparked by an unexpected package is exactly the reason why direct mail is still one of the most powerful marketing tactics.Of course, your direct mail doesn't have to take the shape of  a package. It doesn't necessarily have to include the requisite "bulky item," either. What it absolutely needs to contain is an awesome letter. There's no need for the letter to be  complicated, either, writes Lois Geller at Forbes.Here's the tricky part: how do you quantify an "awesome letter"?To the uninitiated, "awesome" is difficult to identify because it looks deceptively simple. The letter … [Read more...]

“How to Blog” Posts…What a Joke!

Faces

I HATE seeing posts titled “How to Blog” on websites that I visit.  I can see the theory and thought process behind the title.  I mean “how to blog” gets about 1 gazillion exact match searches on Google each month.  But really?  “How to blog” explained in one, 700 word post?  C’mon people!Don’t get me wrong. If you’re a casual blogger who just wants to write and see your words on the internet then those types of blog posts will come in handy...at first.  Soon, though, even the novice blogger will outgrow the the “how to blog” and “make money blogging” types of posts that there are OH SO MANY of.Business blogging is a different animal … [Read more...]

Optimize your social media marketing strategy

Facebook social media

Set profits rolling for your business When you feel lost in the social media world, there's nothing apart from the basics that can bring things back. According to a recent survey, it has been found that 90% of the small business organizations use social media as the main part of their marketing strategy, and yet a surprising 30% say that they don't find their Facebook presence to be valuable enough according to their brand value. Facebook and other social networking websites all have enough value and therefore instead of thinking that it is the uselessness of the social media, you should recheck your social media strategy and also your … [Read more...]

3 Best Practices for Starting Up Your Business

Startup business

Putting up your own business is like having your own baby – you have to take care of it and attend to its needs all the time! You need to deal with employees, customers, deadlines and make sure that everything else runs smoothly otherwise, your business will fail. Most businesses are focused too much on profit-making that there is a tendency to loose focus by employing business strategies that are not suitable for the company.As a business owner, there is a constant need to determine the best business practices that you can employ to make your business grow. However, there is no secret formula that will guarantee you positive results. In … [Read more...]

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 picture … [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...]