Is your small business taking advantage of the visual web? If not it should be. Today, effective marketing is more than just great copy accented by a related image. Images and video are fast becoming central to the message. Infographics are being used to tell the story, not just illustrate it. Pinterest and Instagram are now valuable direct marketing tools. Video for everything from customer testimonials to product demonstrations is now an essential component of every business website. And an online marketing program is not complete without video postings to Google-owned YouTube.
The following tools will help you simply and easily create visual content for your small business:
The ability to take an idea and turn it into a company is a large part of what makes small businesses succeed. But initial success is just the first hurdle. As a small business owner, it is important to seek out and embrace the changes required to provide the best possible products and services to your customers. To stay ahead you need to think ahead, and you need to build and lead a team that is up to the challenge. 99U provides resources that can help you do just that.
The site takes its name from Thomas Edison’s famous quote that “Genius is 1% inspiration, 99% perspiration,” and aims to be the university of that 99 percent. It is sponsored by Behance, which is an online platform for artists’ work to be showcased and purchased. The stated purpose of 99U is to “focus on what happens after inspiration — researching the forces that truly push ideas to fruition” providing resources that help you move “beyond idea generation into idea execution.”
If you are like many small business owners, you wear multiple hats and often find yourself with too much to do and too few hours in the day. Your team is likely just as dedicated and busy. So how can you help yourself and your team relax and ease the feeling of having too little time to get everything done? According to a recent study, encouraging them to take altruism breaks each day works wonders.
An altruism break is taking time out of the day to do something for someone else, such as writing an encouraging letter to a sick child or performing a non-work related service for a customer. The study, Giving Time Gives You Time, from researchers at Wharton, Yale and Harvard found that such breaks provide a feeling of “self-efficacy” and productivity that spending time on oneself does not.
Tips and resources for using conferences and other speaking opportunities to promote your small business
As a small business owner, one of your many responsibilities is to be the public face of your company. You are likely already the key customer relationship manager. But to grow your small business you need to be its champion and lead promoter as well. One effective way to do this is to attend and actively participate in conferences related to your industry. Another is to give educational talks to groups of potential customers.
The following tips and resources will help you find conferences and speaking opportunities relevant to your business and your expertise, and they also will help you land speaking engagements.
Hopefully your small business is off to a great start in 2013. If it is, you may be thinking about adding new team members. Making the right hires can help energize your business and propel it to the next level. Making the wrong hiring choice can drain time, money, and energy from your team and drive away your true superstars.
So whether you are about to make the big leap and hire your first employee or add to an established team, the following resources provide help with the entire hiring process, from where to look for great candidates, to what to ask during interviews, to how to make the final decision.
Accepting cash, like bartering with chickens, is no longer viable as a primary means of accepting payment. To compete in today’s world, businesses of all sizes must accept credit and debit cards. However, there is a technological requirement for this golden payday. A merchant account is necessary to accept card payments.
Understanding your competitive environment is essential to helping your small business succeed. Large companies spend considerable time and money on business intelligence, but small companies often do not have the resources required to undertake this type of comprehensive research. To address this gap, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) contracted with SizeUp, a business intelligence company, to offer its users free access to the SizeUp Business Analysis Tool.
This tool enables small business owners to benchmark their company against competitors in their region, locate new customers and suppliers, and identify the best markets for advertising.
Most industries have been impacted by the ever changing winds of technology. In 2012, perhaps no other industry felt this more than the payments and finance spaces. As consumers become more attached to their mobile devices and easy online access, they expect their financial tools and services to work the same. What this does is set the stage for an even greater opportunity for mobile payments in 2013. One that will surely define the payment landscape for the years to come.
The New Year is an invitation to fresh starts. If you’re like most small business owners, you’re thinking about how to optimize your strategy and energize your team to make 2013 a resounding success. But have you given any thought to your computers? They too have likely become cluttered with last year’s problems, programs, and processes and need an airing out. A new utility, SlimCleaner Free, uses an original approach to helping you do just that for your Windows systems.