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When budgets are tight, marketing might be the first expense you look to cut. Let me stop you right there. While traditional advertising methods are costly and hard to measure, small businesses have never had greater access to cost-effective, trackable marketing tools. But with so many digital tools available, how do you know where to start? Email marketing is the tried and t ...
“Make hundreds of dollars a week just by stuffing envelopes.” Remember that tiny ad that used to run regularly in virtually every newspaper’s classified ad section? I suppose a fair number of people answered the ad, otherwise they would have gone extinct quite quickly. However, most of us didn’t take the bait. Why? Because we didn’t have any trust in it.
What does it mean to “grow your business”? Is it the same thing as increasing profits, the bottom line? Or does it mean increasing sales, the top line? It’s important to understand the relationship between these two approaches to business “growth” and how they fit into the evolution of your business.
There’s one commodity that always seems to be in short supply, with no way to get more of it. I’m talking about time. I don’t think I’ve met a small business owner yet who didn’t say something like, “There just aren’t enough hours in the day!” As far as I can tell, there are only two ways to give you more productive hours each day.
To reveal why your open-ended questions in sales are more important than any of your spot-on answers, let me relate a conversation I recently had. A young couple was telling me about their new car buying experience. Her Nissan Cube had been totaled in an accident (fortunately no one was hurt) and she wanted a replacement that offered an interior somewhat like the Cube’s.
Here’s an interesting paradox for you: Boredom may be the biggest cause of burnout. Consider the times in your life when it has been most difficult — on a regular basis — to pull yourself out of bed in the morning. It’s very likely that those were periods when you had boredom breathing down your neck — not when you were being challenged by a long list of daunting projects.
Climb into your time machine for a moment and set it for 1965. Ready? Push the big red button. Okay, you’re in 1965. Walk into the first small business you see and ask if they have a phone. Go into the next small business and ask the same question. Once you’re convinced that every small business has a telephone, get back in your time machine and set it for today.
It can be lonely at the top! And in the long run, that can be a major de-motivator for the small business owner. Of course, the stress and the long hours can also make it difficult to maintain your enthusiasm or commitment to your small business. If you’re wondering how to get your motivation back, try out these 19 different motivation tips.
I’m a collector. Some might call me a hoarder, but I haven’t filled my living room with boxes of unopened Hummel figurines purchased during any late night cable shopping sprees. No, I collect business tips. Usually, they are big enough that they can command an entire article in this space. However, sometimes I end up with a pocketful of smaller tips that are more or less unrelated to each other.
A friend of a friend gave his wife a vacuum cleaner for Christmas. Relating this story to me, my friend wondered out loud how it was possible that his buddy was still alive. This is the classic gift-giving mistake: gifting something that’s supposed to be practical, but comes off as too impersonal and utilitarian.
Most small business owners appreciate the value of a loyalty program. However, the word “loyalty” often blinds them to other benefits they can enjoy from these strategies. They think that if they can squeeze a few extra sales each year out of a punch card or some similar gimmick, that they’re doing okay.
Free publicity. It’s the dream of every small business owner. But sadly, it’s not the goal of every small business owner. We can dream in our sleep, but to achieve a goal we need to be fully awake, alert, and working hard at it. A media kit (also called a press kit) takes some work upfront to create, but once you have it pulled together, it will help you gain publicity for your business.
If your small business has a following on Instagram, you need to understand how the algorithm governing its feed has changed recently. Items used to appear reverse chronologically in your followers’ feeds, so if your followers checked their Instagram accounts shortly after you posted something, your photo would appear at the top of their feeds. That has changed recently.
Local small business retailers have been witnessing this scene for a few years now: Shoppers roam their aisles finding good merchandise.They scan the barcode on their smartphone and then use a price comparison application to see if they can find a better deal…often online. The routine is called showrooming; if the search starts on the Internet and ends in a local store, it’s called webrooming.
Without bloated budgets and big staffs, generating and implementing small business marketing ideas is never easy. You can’t buy the communication power of a major television ad buy. However, when it comes to word-of-mouth advertising, you’re on equal footing with the huge corporations. When one person says something great about your small business it carries as much weight as ...
It’s become a common complaint: Small business hiring is difficult due to a lack of good and readily available talent. At the heart of this issue is the fact that small business owners are usually at a handicap compared to bigger employers when it comes to good sources of applicants. However, if you make smart use of LinkedIn, one of the best sources of applicants opens up to ...
Talk to successful veterans of the startup world and one piece of advice most will give you is to launch your startup early. Let’s unpack this a little. There are three possible times to launch your startup: Early, Right on time, or Late We can eliminate “late” as a good option because, by definition, it’s a mistake to launch late.
Before we start talking about how to find the best hashtags, let’s do a little review of what exactly hashtags are — this is for those of you who aren’t exactly social media gurus; the rest of you can feel free to skip over. A hashtag is just a way of labelling and finding social media updates. It could apply to something that’s trending, like #Movember, or it could be specifi ...
A friend lives in a townhouse and it’s about time to pressure wash the exteriors. The homeowner association got a few bids, but one owner spied a Groupon deal, which would have been significantly less expensive. He tried, unsuccessfully, to talk all the other owners into jumping on the deal. Had he been successful, imagine what the owner of the pressure washing business would have been thinking.
I’ve participated in a number of Tweet chats. They’re a great way to gain followers, establish your authority, and both interact with and learn from others. Tweet chats are quite popular, and if you plan on being a Twitter power user and leveraging it to become a recognized influencer, you need to jump in and get involved.