VIDEO: Small Business Growth

Posted on Tue,Sep 25, 2012 @ 10:00 AM

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Tags: Entrepreneurship, Startup, small business marketing, Small Business Trends, Video

INFOGRAPHIC: Modes of Marketing

Posted on Wed,Mar 07, 2012 @ 10:00 AM


From SearchEnabler, here's an infographic that weighs the merits of online vs. offline marketing for start-ups and small businesses.



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Tags: Outbound Marketing, Inbound Marketing, Infographic, Entrepreneurship, Startup, small business marketing

VIDEO: Joining the Conversation on Twitter

Posted on Tue,Feb 28, 2012 @ 10:00 AM


From Entrepreneur.com, here's a video of Jason Falls, CEO of Social Media Explorer, explaining the benefits of Twitter, and how entrepreneurs can get started with it.



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Tags: Social Media Marketing, Twitter, Entrepreneurship, Startup, small business marketing, Video

Tips for Retooling Your Business

Posted on Thu,Feb 23, 2012 @ 10:00 AM


While the recession is over, the business climate remains stormy, and small companies which survived may still be struggling. From Donald Todrin on Entrepreneur.com, here are some tips for SMBs struggling to make the bottom line.

Stop Being a Bank for Your Customers
Cash flow is important. Establish short-term or no-term payment rules for customers. Otherwise, you're loaning customers money, interest-free for 30, 60 or 75 days.

Start Collecting
Have a consistent collection strategy and process with an employee dedicated to it. Base your policies on the principle of clients keeping their word.

Prioritize Your Paying
Pay your most important vendors first, not the ones that complain the most.

Get Rid of Inventory
Businesses often tie up too much cash in inventory. Missing the occasional sale due to a lack of inventory is preferable to missing a rent payment due to lack of cash.

Add Value
Adding value to your products and services will allow you to mark up prices and be more profitable. Define a niche and exploit it.

Make the Web a Money-Generator
Dedicate time to create an online community of customers and potential customers using Facebook, Twitter, video, blogging and other social networks.

Think Outside Your History
If the business isn't performing well, you need to ignore what you were and reconsider what you want to be. Experiment with changing things and see what works. Reinvent and focus on profitability, not gross revenues.

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Tags: Marketing Strategy, Entrepreneurship, small business marketing, Small Business Trends, SMB Lead Generation

VIDEO: Social Media for Growing a Business

Posted on Tue,Feb 14, 2012 @ 10:00 AM


Chris Brogan gives advice about how small companies can use social networks to reach customers in this video from Entreprenuer.com.



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Tags: Social Media Marketing, Entrepreneurship, Startup, small business marketing, Video

VIDEO: Growing without a Business Plan

Posted on Tue,Feb 07, 2012 @ 10:00 AM


Here's a video of Entrepreneur Magazine's Emerging Entrepreneur of 2011 Adam Nelson, about growth strategies that helped his startup succeed. The founder and inventor of the Good Nite Lite never wrote a long-term business plan when he first created his product.



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Tags: Entrepreneurship, Startup, Video

Business Trends for 2012

Posted on Thu,Jan 19, 2012 @ 10:00 AM


Will the economy get worse or maybe a little better? Will consumers keep spending? From Entrepreneur.com, here are some big-picture business trends to keep in mind for the coming year.

Winter Sales Slump?
More than 40% of consumers said they overspent on the holidays according to a recent survey. As a result, sales in January and February may be more slow than usual.

Ever-shifting Markets
The small business climate is characterized by high fluctuations based on the seasons, unpredictable weather patterns and innovation. Be nimble and stay connected to your community.

Rising Prices
Discount-deal site Dealnews predicts that airfare, digital cameras, hard drives, desktop computers and groceries will top the list of goods that will see spiking prices.

Sluggish Venture-Capital Markets
IPOs in 2011 were down by 30% from 2010. Still, more IPOs are in the pipeline for 2012.

The Urge to Merge
Sell or grow through acquisition? The U.S. saw $821 billion in mergers and acquisitions in 2011. Consolidation will continue throughout the business world.

Election-Year Uncertainty
Businesses may be stalled by policy uncertainty as lawmakers either stagnate or pass laws just to appease constituents and win reelection.

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Tags: Marketing Strategy, Lead Generation, Entrepreneurship, Small Business Trends

INFOGRAPHIC: Social Media Marketing for Startups

Posted on Wed,Dec 21, 2011 @ 10:00 AM


From Udemy, here's an infographic that shows how a new business can grow using social media marketing.



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Tags: Social Media Marketing, Infographic, Entrepreneurship, Startup

Small Business Predictions for 2012

Posted on Thu,Dec 15, 2011 @ 10:00 AM


From Entrepreneur, here are ten predictions for the trends that will most affect small businesses in the coming year.

Volatility Ahead
Small businesses need to have flexibility in their long- and short-term plans as economic uncertainty continues to be a major issue.

"Right-time" Multichannel Marketing
New tools will help businesses analyze social media behavior and convert that data into tailored marketing campaigns.

More Cheap Online Ads
Low-cost channels like paid search and social media will be utilized more.

Customers in Charge
Customer polls on social media will involve customers directly in merchandise and marketing decisions.

Mobile Purchasing Grows
Businesses should optimize their websites for mobile phones as m-commerce doubled this year to $6.7 billion and is expected to quadruple again by 2015.

Credit Gets Easier
Capital will be easier to come by as underwriters continue to relax their standards.

Services Head Offshore
U.S.-based contractors will find their services in demand overseas.

Daily Deals Die Down
Expect fewer deal companies and fewer offers, as the space is over-saturated and many businesses lost money doing daily deals.

Retail-format Experimentation Picks Up
Retailers will try to make cheaper, smaller footprints work.

More Collaboration
Small businesses that can work with complementary businesses in their town or industry will be more likely to thrive.

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Tags: Innovation, Marketing Strategy, Local Business Marketing, Social Media Marketing, strategic marketing planning, Mobile Marketing, Entrepreneurship

Business Investments that Pay Off

Posted on Tue,Mar 15, 2011 @ 11:00 AM


From Entrepreneur magazine, here are ten of the top investments in which business owners can get the best return for their money.

Publicity
Prior to opening a bakery called Cinnaholic, the owner launched a blog chronicling the details and challenges surrounding the process of opening. This led to coverage in popular regional publications, and the opening was a huge success.

Customer Research
Before launching the online scrubs and medical uniforms retailer Scrubadoo.com, the owner used online-survey services to poll healthcare professionals about their preferences. This lead to better decisions about inventory and marketing.

Automation
Scrubadoo.com made a $1500 investment in software to automate the ordering system that paid for itself in three to four months.

Outsourcing
Not every task needs to be done in-house. If you can generate more money in an hour spent doing these tasks than it would cost you to pay someone to do it for you, you're losing money.

Better Bookkeeping
Keeping your books well organized, via a freelancer or accounting software, can keep your credit history sterling and help when negotiating for better terms with vendors and rates on lines of credit.

Training
Essential to tasks you keep in-house. Business-intelligence consulting firm, Piraeus Data upped internal training and productivity surged.

Technology
Cinnaholic opted for a $600 iPad equipped with Square, a free app and reader that turns iPad, iPhone, and Android devices into credit card payment systems with no contracts or merchant account required. Not only cheaper than a cash register, the novel approach got them publicity.

Sales Data
Piraeus Data uses a customer-relationship management tool from Salesforce.com, resulting in more comprehensive and current customer data. This increased the frequency of customer contact, client meetings and revenue.

'Scope Creep' Curbs
Piraeus Data spent approximately $20,000 in billable hours to analyze and evaluate projects that grew beyond original expectations, saving them nearly $200,000.

Quality Suppliers
An ideal vendor will not only work to keep your business by keeping prices reasonable and provide timely deliveries, you may even benefit from pitching their products or services.

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Tags: Marketing Strategy, Entrepreneurship

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