Small businesses use Twitter to connect with existing and prospective customers. It is indeed a simple way to share, promote and enhance word of mouth communication about your business. Here are five valuable tips how to rewardingly use twitter for small businesses.
With the new year just around the corner, now’s the time to get your small business ship-shape for 2014 by making some important and necessary changes to kick-start the year off right. Build your business’s audience, attract attention and position your small business for success against the big boys with inbound marketing and many more tips. Inbound marketing includes leveraging popular cost-effective marketing methods such as blogging, social media platforms, email, SEO, and content marketing.
While the holiday season is undoubtedly a busy period for small business owners, it’s important to set aside time to plan your marketing strategy for the year ahead. How will you continue to maintain and grow your business in 2014? What plans do you have to keep your business on track and stay ahead of the competition?
Some great statistics here relating to small business and some useful tips
It is true to say that a productive relationship means hard work for both parties. And it's also right to acknowledge that for both parties in the creative and dynamic partnership, that mentoring can produce enormous benefits. Indeed, I'd go as far as saying that if the mentor is not gaining from the relationship, then they're less effective.
If you're serious about being successful in your business, then an ear to bend, shoulder to cry on or a voice of experience is a must.
A recent study found that one in four SMEs trust their kith and kin for business advice rather than the specialists.
Research from Bibby Financial Services found that 23% of small business owners said they trust the advice of friends and family most when seeking guidance. Financial advisers, the internet, accountants and solicitors come lower down the list of where SME owners turn to for advice.
What do you think? Is there a nugget of wisdom from your parents that keeps you going in times of crisis? Or has a piece of advice from a well-meaning friend thrown your business entirely off-course? Have you ever regretted shelling out for a specialist adviser, or is paying for professional advice always money well spent?
This is quite scary that nearly a quarter of businesses turn to family; worrying in as much as family either look on the negative side or big something up. Based on what? Just an opinion. One way or the other, ideally an small business owner wants some impartial, independent and practical advice when it comes to making business decisions.
This post marks the start of a weekly series were we will explore and unpack financial topics relevant to small business. The goal of the series is to provide both insight and education. The topics covered will range from basic financial principles important to small business to more in-depth financial analysis methodology that can be used in conjunction with the Desk Jockeys web application.
In this weeks post, we will cover the foundational principles associated with performing a basic financial analysis of your business. As we move forward in this series we will cover more specific topics related to financial analysis such as the financial statements and ratio analysis.
There are 3 main focus areas that need to be taken into account prior to actually performing the analysis.
It's important to know the finances within your business and the considerations that need to be made to ensure that you manage your cashflow properly.
Social media, once the province of teenagers and the PR people who work for celebrities, crossed the chasm some time back and has become so mainstream that your grandmother probably has a Twitter handle.
The decision to go into business requires a lot of forethought and many factors need to be considered, such as: the product or service you will offer; market research; financing options; and whether you should start up your own business, buy an existing one or go with the franchising model and buy into an established, successful brand. There is no right way to start your own business and what works for someone else may not work for you, but there are many wrong ways to start a business so you must think carefully and have a sound business plan before you begin.
If buying a franchise is something you are considering, you should first take the time to familiarise yourself with this type of business model to understand what it entails, and it is vital that you seek the right advice and guidance early on. Whilst franchising can offer many excellent opportunities, it can present certain pitfalls that simply won’t work for some people.
According to Bloomberg, 8 out of 10 small businesses fail within 18 months after operations start. Small businesses are often referred to as the backbone of America but it takes more than bravery and a good idea to make your enterprise work. Consider these seven reasons why most small businesses fail and how you can avoid the pitfalls.
If anything, the financial crisis has prompted many people to think outside the box and take the leap in setting up their own business. But while the prospect of being your own boss or turning that dream into a reality is understandably alluring, building up a business from scratch takes dedication, enthusiasm and a firm belief you have something valuable.
Unsurprisingly, the first thing start-ups need to consider is funding. As the saying goes “money makes the world go round” and it’s certainly crucial in getting a business idea off the ground. Some would-be creators will have been lucky enough to have built up a cash buffer themselves, but others will need to beg and borrow from family and friends to get their business started.
Most of us wish we could create a few more hours in the day to allow all of our work to be carried out and still have some free time at the end of it. With the demands of home-life, external factors working their way into the mix, increasing workloads and fierce competition, this may seem nigh on impossible, particularly for those who work from home or run a small business. If you wish to keep your sanity intact, maintain your business, pay your bills, get your necessary sleep and still have some essence of a social life you must learn to become smarter, wiser and more efficient with your time-management, rather than running yourself into the ground and living only for work.
Reputation is everything in business whether you are a one man band or a multi-national, people need to know you, like you and trust you before they part with their hard earned cash.
Public Relations (PR) is the management and maintenance of a favorable image of your business and/ or you with the public and the press. Where as advertising generally comes directly from your business, PR is powerful because often the message about your business is delivered through a 3rd party, usually the media.
PR however should not be confused with press relations or media relations which focus primarily with building relationships with the press, though this is an important factor in PR it is not the only factor. PR deals with building relationships with a variety of key stakeholders for example professional bodies, local government and regulators.
Sounds good right? But how do you get started? There are a number of great tools and techniques that can be used to build and manage your reputation below I have pulled together my top 7 PR tools for small business owners.
Most individual companies and small business owners don't have time to site all day on social networks (you have a small empire to run), here is a neat checklist that allows you to use social networks quickly and efficiently.
Rather than wasting valuable time working out what you posted, where and when; use these guidelines for small businesses to ensure that you cover the main bases. Depending on your time available and how long is takes you as a person to carry out all the tasks in the checklist, try and complete the whole cycle either daily, weekly or monthly.
The state of social media will continually change, just like all popular technological advances throughout history. But what has the state of social media to small businesses looked like in the last few years?
Well, the first stat on the infographic below from SocialStrategy1 that jumps out at me is that 12% of small businesses think that social media won’t impact their business.
Unless their businesses are based solely outside digital spaces and only serve a handful of returning clients, this is naive. I can’t think of a rock solid example – perhaps something like a local handyman?
But even then, a handyman would be able to network with his wider friends and community through social media to leverage more opportunities. Do you see where I’m going?
So you’ve created an amazing blog post, some of the best content to hit your website yet, hit the publish button, and then waited for the traffic to start pouring in to see your brilliant creation.
Unfortunately, all you heard were crickets. Of course your best friend visited the site and said it was AMAZING. She’s your #1 fan
But she’s also the ONLY fan…
Because you’re missing a critical piece of the blogging puzzle.
It doesn’t matter how great your content is. Without actively promoting your content, systematically, your blog is STILL going to be in nowheresville. Actually I take that back. Your work must be inspiring and must create great value otherwise even if it is promoted no one will read it. So the number 1 step is to of course create GREAT value.
As everyone prepares for holiday parties and gatherings, thoughts come to mind about the new year ahead. People often make personal New Year’s resolutions. There are also 7 ways small businesses can plan for a more productive and happy new year. A few simple changes can make 2014 your best year ever.
Running a small business can be exceptionally rewarding, providing the opportunity to be your own boss and create jobs. But it's also incredibly difficult, and success or failure is yours to bear alone.
For a little insight and inspiration, we talked to several successful, highly motivated small business owners to find out how they make it work every day.
Some great tips and advice from successful business owners.
It’s what we all want to know: how to find that perfect business idea that will make us heaps of cash without actually needing much work, and little or no investment. If there were such businesses, we’d probably all own one, but there are some ways that you can create a successful business relatively quickly and painlessly.
Want to be your own boss, but stuck for ideas - take a look at this article, it may give you food for thought.
This infographic is quite surprising! It’s hard to believe that print marketing is more widely used than social media marketing and online advertising, but the percentage of businesses who intend to increase social media usage is fairly high, which is great!
Knowing the top challenges small businesses face is also important, and for those of you who provide services to businesses that can help with these common problems, jump on it!
A very informative infographich that may have you think about where you are directing your marketing activity
Picking the right payment gateway for your online business is an important, but confusing, task. Not all of them are created equal. Each provider has fees and features that are best for different industries or company sizes.
If you’re overwhelmed by all of the options, don’t fear! Formstack, an online form building platform, has put together a handy websitecomparing several of the most popular payment gateways on various aspects like transaction fees, accepted cards, and recurring billing.
Business growth comes with a price, and some smaller businesses don't have the budget for expansion. That cloud, however, does have a silver lining.
There are technological ways in which you can expand your small business that won't break your budget. I don't mean purchasing new systems or adding a fiber pipe to your building (though that couldn't hurt); I'm talking about inexpensive and/or free ways of embracing technology and tech-based services to help with your business expansion.
It starts off innocently enough. Let’s say you have a brand-new coffee shop, and you are super proud of it, as you should be. You know you need a Facebook page to promote it, so away you go, setting up your business page and inviting your friends to like it.
A handful of friends take the bait, and pretty soon you’ve got 50 fans. You are diligent about posting daily status updates, and people like them. Your “Come on down to the shop today and mention our Facebook page to get a free cup of coffee!” earned 33 likes and 14 shares. You’re feeling pretty good about yourself.
And then, it happens. Suddenly, without warning it seems, your little Facebook page has exactly zero engagement, even on days when you remember to post an update. If you listen closely, you will hear crickets.
What happened? It isn’t just the frantic pace of entrepreneurship that causes business Facebook pages to sink into oblivion. If you’re making one or more of these social media mistakes as a small-business owner, the sooner you fix them, the better:
Sharing your scoops to your social media accounts is a must to distribute your curated content. Not only will it drive traffic and leads through your content, but it will help show your expertise with your followers.
How to integrate my topics' content to my website?
Integrating your curated content to your website or blog will allow you to increase your website visitors’ engagement, boost SEO and acquire new visitors. By redirecting your social media traffic to your website, Scoop.it will also help you generate more qualified traffic and leads from your curation work.
Distributing your curated content through a newsletter is a great way to nurture and engage your email subscribers will developing your traffic and visibility.
Creating engaging newsletters with your curated content is really easy.