Are you interested in environmental responsibility and stewardship? Think you’ve got the skills to turn this into a career? Becoming a “green consultant” might be the ideal home-based business opportunity you’ve been looking for. According to Rieva Lesonsky, CEO of GrowBiz Media, green consultants who help businesses assess their environmental footprint and develop sustainable strategies are poised to be the next hot industry, growing 9.4 percent per year to $30 billion in 2016. The environmental industry is, of course...
Most of us in our business lives are required to deliver some form of presentation, and most of us breathe a deep sigh of relief when it’s over, when spotlight is off and we can sit back down. But if your business success hangs on your ability to deliver a knockout sales presentation, then it’s worth spending some time refining and perfecting your technique. Here are some tips for upping the ante and going beyond a one-way sales presentation by assessing your delivery, building rapport, using alternatives to PowerPoint, and finding...
Absenteeism in the workplace is a problem all managers encounter, and although absences are often due to legitimate reasons, they can get out of control if they’re not managed carefully. Persistent unexcused absenteeism, particularly when it involves just a few individuals, not only lowers productivity and increases everyone else’s workload, but it can precipitate a sour atmosphere in the workplace. It’s something that needs to nipped in the bud. Statistics vary on the monetary impact of absenteeism, but the...
Cloud computing is surely the buzz technology for the early 21st century. Yet, as red hot as it seems, confusion remains about what it is and what benefits it brings, as well as how secure it is for sharing and storing business information. Cloud computing may seem like a new technology, but in truth, we’ve all used cloud computing in some way, shape or form for years. Take Facebook, for example; this social sharing site stores your comments, photos, videos and so on right up there in the cloud. Gmail, Picasa, Flickr, and others all rely...
Here on SBA.gov we have amassed a catalog of blogs that offer a variety of proven techniques that small business owners can use to plan, execute and nurture their marketing efforts. We’ve touched on how to plan and budget your marketing activities, as well as how to craft a brand message that communicates the true value of your business. We’ve covered how to use email, online, event marketing, public relations and social media tactics to reach and engage with your customers. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg: there...
If you operate a Facebook fan page, then you’ll have noticed a plethora of changes in recent months. While many of these changes are cosmetic, some are not, and they could have a big impact on your social media success. One of the most notable changes you may have noticed is to the dynamics of your “newsfeed.” I say significant, because these changes don’t just affect how users consume updates; they ultimately reward and promote business brands that are more engaged with their fans. Why Engagement is More Important...
Holiday sales for the 2011 season are unfortunately forecasted to be “average.” That’s the word from the National Retail Federation (NRF), which anticipates only a 2.8% increase, a number far lower than last year’s 5.2% increase. That being said, the retail industry is in a better position than it was in 2008-09, and according to the NRF, merchants are optimistic that “…a combination of strong promotions and lean inventory levels will help them address consumer caution this holiday season.” But it...
One of the first steps in the business planning process is determining who your target market is and why they would want to buy from you. It sounds simple, but do you really know what you are selling and to whom? Is the market you serve the best one for your product or service? Are the benefits of dealing with your business clear and are they aligned with those or your target customers? If you aren’t sure about the answers to any of these questions then you need to step back and revisit the foundation of your business plan. The following...
It was a scary Halloween weekend for those living on the Eastern seaboard as many plans were pre-empted by a massive and unseasonably heavy snowstorm. Travel was halted as more than 30 inches of snow fell in some places. More than two million homes and businesses lost power as snapped tree branches toppled power lines, and several fatalities were reported. Just a few days earlier, parts of Colorado and southwestern Wyoming were hit by heavy snows, unusual for late October. Human nature keeps us from thinking about preparing for the...
Many consider email marketing as the de facto way to generate leads—just think of the countless offers and specials you get in your personal Inbox daily. But email marketing is more than that, it’s a general outreach tactic that every business can benefit from to help improve brand awareness, promote events and compliment your social media efforts. Is Email Marketing Still a Valid Tactic? There’s been a lot of debate too about whether social media has replaced email marketing as a primary marketing communication tool for...
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