Have you ever wondered how you can get your businesses’ products stocked on the shelves of a large retailer? It does happen, and it’s refreshing to see. For example, my local supermarket makes a point of stocking locally grown produce front and center as soon as you walk in the store, while other stores make a point of promoting the latest gadgets from small business inventors. The truth is, retail buyers are always on the lookout for products that will appeal to their customers and complement their brand, but how do you find them...
Have you ever written a marketing plan for your business? Do you keep putting off the task? Whether you are launching a new product or promoting your latest offer, a marketing plan is worth taking the time to complete. Why? As a small business owner, it’s likely that you not only own the task of coming up with a strategic plan, but also the act of executing it (writing email copy, hosting events, etc.). If this is you, then a plan can help you direct your day-to-day activities, guide your approach, and ensure you are making the most of...
Got a loyalty card in your wallet? Small business loyalty programs are a great way of showing customers that they are valued. They encourage return business and help you gather information about your customer demographic. Loyalty programs can also boost your marketing efforts. According to Experian CheetahMail, email campaigns that target loyalty program members are more successful – generating higher open rates, transaction levels and revenue. Even emails that invite prospects to join loyalty programs outperform regular email blasts. Of...
Businesses move for all sorts of reasons. Existing rents may be too high; neighboring anchor tenants may have left; or perhaps you just need a bigger premise for your growing business! But how can you ensure your existing customers move with you and how can you go about attracting new customers to your new location? Here are six tips: 1. Communicate Pre-Move and Post-Move First, be sure to use every available touch point to communicate with existing customers about your impending move—and well in advance. Utilize e-mail lists, your...
Hiring employees is probably the most important decision any entrepreneur will ever make. But relinquishing some of the responsibility of your business to others is tough. The key to getting it right is finding employees with the right value alignment and attitude (often easier said than done). Of course, you need to work at it too. Once you’ve built your team, learning to let go and empower employees is critical if you want focus on growing your business. These steps are explored in one of SBA’s Learning Center videos–Hiring...
Start-up accelerator programs are popping up all over the country offering industry-focused programs and support for a variety of business owners. Although traditionally focused on high-tech businesses, accelerators now serve a variety of entrepreneurial needs, including those of women, through programs that facilitate mentoring and education, access to investors, and networking opportunities. Take for example The Women’s Small Business Accelerator of Central Ohio, a nonprofit organization launched last year, with a mission to support...
Looking for ways to become a supplier to a larger company? A recent study showed that after a small supplier lands a big purchase order or a contract from a bigger company, the small company’s revenues go up 250 percent and they create about 150 percent more jobs in just two or three years. This is a great opportunity both for small business and for the economy. But how can a small business go about landing a contract to be part of this lucrative business growth opportunity? Here are some tips, tools and resources that can help you get...
Trying to grow your business, but thwarted at every turn by problems within your own organization or by external factors such as broken supply chains? For many businesses, the biggest obstacle to growth isn’t poor sales, financing or tough competition; it’s often the business itself! So, if you find yourself operationally ill prepared to grow, what can you do about it? Here are some strategies that can help you break through some of the common barriers to growth that many small businesses experience. 1. Watch the indicators...
As business owners, we’d all like to think of ourselves as providers of great customer service. As small business owners in particular, it’s quite possibly your biggest differentiator. After all, how often is it that you walk into a national chain restaurant and are greeted by name, handed your favorite drink and made to feel like part of the family? But great customer service is also about knowing how to handle problems, responding to and resolving issues—something at which agile small businesses can often excel. If customer...
Late last year, I hosted a web chat with the SBA offering holiday marketing tips and ideas to small business owners. And while many business owners submitted questions relating specifically to the holidays, a large percentage of the questions centered on that age-old question: “How do I get more foot traffic to my store?” Here are seven tried and tested steps you might want to consider: 1. Start from the outside and look in If you are in a pedestrianized area, get to know who passes by your store. Literally, sit outside or...
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General small business tips and tricks.
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