As a small business owner, you’re frequently adjusting to changing circumstances, new business conditions, and unforeseeable challenges. Being able to consult with a mentor -- someone who knows what you’re going through – can be invaluable. A business mentor is someone who’s “been there, done that”; someone with insight into your business type and your specific challenges. Mentors can provide tailored guidance, general best practices, and an example of a successful business that the protégé can learn...
Despite the exponential growth of social media as a tool for staying in touch with your customers, permission-based marketing tools such as e-newsletters are still a critical part of any business owner’s marketing toolkit and a vital way for getting new content in front of your audience. According to the latest data from the Direct Marketing Association*, opt-in email marketing lists managed in-house secure an average open rate of nearly 20%; a 6.64% click-through rate; a conversion rate of almost 2%; and an unsubscribe rate...
Written by Caron Beesley Despite the fact that we live in a budget-conscious, coupon-clipping, recession-bruised culture, customer experience still counts for a lot. A good customer experience resonates with our challenges and needs, makes us feel warm and fuzzy, and ultimately, it generates repeat customers. For example, I’m a dog owner and I want the best for my dogs. The best food, treats, toys, and so on. I’m also practical and budget conscious. So when it comes to purchasing products for my dogs, I have two options. I can...
Is your business using social media to get the word out? How engaged are you with your social media following? Is your following growing? Being “social” on Twitter or Facebook isn’t simply a matter of following basic Twitter etiquette and thanking folks for retweets. Being “social” in an online world involves strategic planning and execution. In Part 1 of this series, I outlined some tried and tested ways of growing your social media following through careful planning and engagement. In this...
Did you know that the average office worker in the U.S. uses 10,000 sheets of copy paper per year! And that copy paper is the most common type of office waste paper. The good news is that Americans are now recovering 57.4 percent of the paper they consume (source*). But what role can small businesses play? Going paperless not only de-clutters your office and reduces your storage space, it saves money, reduces your carbon footprint, helps reduce risk and can make it easier on you should the tax man come knocking on your door. Going...
Social media is a great tool for communicating with your customers, however unlike other forms of marketing communications, social media is exactly that “social”. Simply pushing out posts is not enough, and it’s a big mistake that many business owners make – treating social media as if it’s another vehicle for simply getting the word out. Yes, it is, but it’s also a vehicle for listening to your customers’ needs, prompting them to share their opinions and feedback, as well as showing your...
It’s no longer uncommon to witness neighbors, colleagues and partners taking a “work from home” day. In fact, telework practices are considered a highly desirable perk, if not a downright necessity, for today’s increasingly agile and mobile workforce. As a small business owner the benefits are also significant . Cost-savings can be realized in abundance – from reductions in office space, to decreased absenteeism (employees no longer need to take a full day’s leave if they need to stay at home...
5 Tips for Managing a Successful Family Business If small business is the backbone of the U.S. economy, then family-owned businesses for the most part make up a large portion of the vertebrae! In fact, family-owned businesses account for 90% of all businesses in the U.S. (large and small) and continue to be a powerful force. However, the day-to-day job of a family business owner can easily be compromised and complicated by relatives who need to be reconciled to working together. These challenges are very real – emotions can interfere...
If you business is growing and you still find yourself trying to control every aspect of it then you may just be your own worst enemy and on the brink of a total burn out. But letting go in business is hard. After all, your business is your baby. You gave it life, nurtured it and invested hours and money in making it a success. So how on earth do you let go of all that and learn to trust some of your business functions to others, while staying in command? Here are some tips for stepping back from the fray and taking control of your business,...
Starting a business is an exciting prospect, but unless managed properly it can quickly become a hairball of administrative and regulatory mis-haps. For example, how are you going to register your business? Should you incorporate your business? And what are the differing requirements that the federal government puts on new business owners, let alone your local city, county or state government? Then there are other considerations such as zoning laws, licenses and permits. Even home-based business owners need a business permit to operate legally...
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