Ever emailed or called a company’s customer service department and got no response or a poor response to your comments? Did you instead post a rant on Twitter or Facebook until you got a response? You’re not alone – more and more customers are expecting brands to step up and respond to these posts. According to a recent report by Gartner, by 2014, organizations that refuse to communicate with customers by social media will face the same level of wrath as those that ignore today's basic demand that they respond to emails...
Autumn and the holidays are the high season for events, from holiday parties and private shopping events to turkey trots and fall festivals. It’s time to consider hosting or sponsoring an event this holiday season as a way to stand out from the crowd during this busy time. But how do you get the best return on your investment? Here are six tips: 1. Sponsor events that matter to your customers If you sponsor an event this season, pick something that matters to your customers. Who attends the event? What are their interests? If they...
Between 2009 and 2011, U.S. exports grew by 40 percent and the federal government is pressing to provide programs and resources that help U.S. companies succeed internationally. Making the decision to export, however, is significant. Is your product marketable overseas? Can your business tolerate the benefits versus the trade-offs of exporting? To help you assess your exporting readiness, take a look at SBA’s Export Business Planner. This invaluable, hands-on exporting guide provides a roadmap for creating an export business plan,...
When we think of holiday marketing – which can be critical to your business success – we often think only of promotions and discounts. But you don’t have to cut your margins or break the bank to stand out from the crowd any more. Here are seven budget-friendly steps you should consider to promote your small business while meeting the needs of your customers this holiday season. Host an “Open House” If you operate a retail business, restaurant or any gift-oriented business, why not plan an open house event in mid-...
Are you worried you’re not getting tangible results from your email campaigns? Wish your emails stood out more in a crowded Inbox? Email marketing is a core asset in any lead generation activity or campaign, even a good old email newsletter usually has one or more calls to action. But if you’re finding that your click-through rates are falling short, what can you do? Here are eight tips to help you get strengthen your emails and get customer to act. Start with a robust and engaged list Before you do anything, stop and take a look...
Not sure how to handle negative comments or criticism of your business on social media? Is the open nature of social media actually stopping you from jumping on board? Receiving criticism is never easy; it can also damage your business reputation. However, feedback and criticism in an open and social forum also gives your business an opportunity to deflect negativity and even earn you respect – if you handle it right. Here are some steps you can take to manage criticism of your business, products, or even staff on...
If you are in start-up mode and want to launch a new product, secure private funding or bring visibility to your company, then public relations is an essential tool for your box. But how do you get started if you have few resources? Here are some tips for things you can do on your own, without the help of a PR agency or expert, to get visibility for your business with potential customers or financiers. Disclaimer - I don’t take credit for these tips. They come directly from professionals via this on-demand webinar: PR 101 for Start-Ups...
Technology moves fast these days. Sometimes it’s hard to keep pace with how it can help you be more successful in business – boosting productivity, saving money and improving collaboration. This SBA guest blog from SmallBizTrends’ Anita Campbell, 4 Ways Technology Helps you Run Your Business, offers some useful tips and recommendations on how technology can help you redesign your business processes to be more efficient and save you money. Many of the innovations Anita mentions are still rather new – tablet computers,...
When it comes to purchasing products as consumers, our buying behavior typically falls into two buckets: 1. Impulse purchases (e.g., that garment that caught your eye at the store) 2. Planned purchases (TVs, cars, cell phones, tablets, vacations, home renovations, etc.) The key difference between these two purchasing models is the length of the sales cycle – and it’s an important distinction for business owners to know. Why? The sales cycle for impulse purchases is obviously the shortest. While branding, marketing,...
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. Entrepreneurship can be an exciting adventure, and for the young it can be easier than you might think. The barriers – including cost of entry –are low, (working at home, online, etc.), and younger people are often unconstrained by the commitments of family and marriage. And of course, there are inspiring role models from big names like Facebook...
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General small business tips and tricks.
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