The United States loves small businesses – it’s official! That’s according to a survey by the Pew Foundation (reported here on SmallBizTrends) which found that 71 percent of Americans view small business more favorably than any other institutions, including religious organizations. Why is this? Well, small businesses are seen as a positive influence “on the way things are going in this country.” But it’s more than that. Small businesses are in a unique position to create valuable customer experiences. Their...
Social media may have the lowest cost of entry of any marketing tool, but is not actually that easy to do well. In fact, a report by eMarketer found that small businesses are struggling to adopt social media, with only 24 percent of small firms having integrated social media in a structured way into their operations. Knowing where to start is perhaps the number one obstacle holding many small business owners back. Knowing what to do when you get there is next. So, whether you are new to social media or looking to go beyond using it in an...
Father’s Day is right around the corner, providing another opportunity for small businesses to reach out to customers with an incentive to visit their stores, restaurants or websites and make a purchase. Who’s your target market? Wives, moms, children and even grandparents are all about to start thinking about gift giving and doing something special for the fathers in their lives. And they spend big; according to a National Retail Federation survey, the average person will shell out $117 on a gift for Dad – that’s $12.7...
Just graduated from college and looking to start your own business? With the economy still in recovery mode, many students are actively seeking an alternative to traditional post-college career paths. According to Kauffman Foundation, young entrepreneurship in the U.S. is on the rise, with the 20-34 age group comprising 29 percent of the total new entrepreneurship activity in 2011. Starting a business isn’t easy, and clearly for many young people it’s a risky path to take. Concerns range from worrying about being able to get a...
Looking for ideas to incorporate the summer season into your marketing plans this year? Whether it’s a busy or quiet time for your business, here are some things you can do to take advantage of the summer months! Take Your Business Into the Fresh Air Don’t wait for your customers to come to you; look for ways to get in front of them. Whether you run a retail store, restaurant or provide a service to customers, consider the following: Host a Cookout – Invite your customers (past and present) to join your business for a...
Did you give your business a spring clean this year? Are you looking for new ways to boost sales, build your brand or get your business plan back on track? This is the topic of one of SBA’s monthly web chats – Small Business Spring Clean: How to Keep Your Business Ideas Fresh – hosted by Octavia Kuransky, Program Development Manager at Central Alabama Women’s Business Center (and archived on SBA’s Learning Center). Check out some of these great suggestions from Octavia’s session and be inspired! Q:...
Are you a stay-at-home mom (or dad)? Hoping to kick start an entrepreneurial dream or simply looking to bring in some extra income? Starting a home-based business is a great way to do this. In fact, 52 percent of U.S. companies operate as home businesses (source) and many of today’s biggest brand names were established by stay-at-home moms – (Dorothy) Gerber, Mrs. (Debbi) Fields, and Julie Aigner-Clark (Baby Einstein), to name but a few. But what types of businesses can grow and thrive in the home environment? Here are some...
While the U.S. economy continues to see positive signs of growth, consumer spending in one sector is booming – tourism. Consider the facts – spending by international travelers to and within the U.S. increased 10.5 percent in 2012 (source: U.S Travel Association). Travel also continues to lead export growth, accounting for a 23 percent rise in U.S. exports. Home grown tourism is also experiencing a surge, with more and more Americans opting to take “staycations” – enjoying recreational and entertainment options...
Are you a teenager or in your early 20s? Do you have a great business idea? Perhaps you’re already making headway towards starting your own business. But how do you get others to believe in you and your business idea? Here are eight surefire ways that you can be taken seriously as a young entrepreneur: 1. Have a Plan Having a plan means knowing where you want to be and what steps you are going to take to get there. If you can’t communicate this to investors, vendors, distributors, employees, and so on, you will never be taken...
When did you last take a marketing 101 course? Don’t have enough time or perhaps you leave marketing up to others? Whatever the stage of your small business, a marketing plan can help ensure you are putting your customers at the front and center of your business. Likewise, an effective approach for its execution will ensure you satisfy your customers’ needs while generating profits for your business. So if marketing concepts are new to your or you just want to dust off your marketing hat, check out SBA’s free online course...
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General small business tips and tricks.
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