Posts By: Lisa Hephner

Lisa Hephner

Does Your Small Business Marketing Have Game?

Posted by in Tip of the Week, Uncategorized

ps-match
The Game’s the Thing. The marketing thing that is—and a great way to engage your customers with your company and with your brand. This approach goes far beyond simply sponsoring or placing a logo into a game that has nothing to do with your business or your industry. It includes gamification techniques which apply game elements such as leader boards and awards to business goals such as brand loyalty or increasing sales. It also includes the fairly new Advergame, in which branding such as a logo, color scheme, and/or branding concept is made an integral part of an online or mobile game.

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Lisa Hephner

A Simple DIY Trademarking Guide for Small Businesses

Posted by in Tip of the Week

trademark
Your brand is one of, if not the, most important assets your small business owns. This brand includes your company name, along with your logo, a tagline or slogan, and any unique names you have created for your products and services. This branding is not only a large part of what makes your company unique, it is also an integral part of your relationship with your customers as well as a hallmark of the quality, reliability, and service your small business routinely provides. Something that valuable should be protected. After all, you wouldn’t leave your inventory sitting out on the curb, and you wouldn’t let your customer list fall into your competitors’ hands, so why would you let something as important as your brand remain exposed to infringement?

Protection is a simple trademark application away.

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Lisa Hephner

2017 Predictions for Small Business

Posted by in Tip of the Week

crystal_balls
As we all get back to work and hit 2017 running, there’s no denying that 2016 is firmly in the rear-view mirror. Hopefully it was a successful year for your small business, and you are looking to build on that success this year. (Or if things did not go as well as planned, you are primed to make them take off in 2017!) If you need some advice on strategies and tactics to help your small business thrive in 2017 and beyond, there is no dearth of predictions for hot technology, must-implement marketing tactics, and heightened security threats. While they might not all apply to your company or your niche, the following predictions are a great place to start your 2017 planning.

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Lisa Hephner

Small Business Tip of the Week: The Best of 2016

Posted by in Tip of the Week

bestof2016
Tis once again the season for year-end wrap-ups; and as today is the last Tip of 2016, it is once again a best of post. The following are the most popular Tip posts from 2016 in a number of categories, along with posts from previous years that generated the most traffic in 2016. If you missed them, or simply meant to check out the links but never had the time, here’s another chance to take a look.

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Lisa Hephner

The Best of 2016 Best of Lists

Posted by in Tip of the Week

bestofbestof2016
It’s that time of year again—the time to look backward and take stock of the year almost past. What have we done well, what have we made a colossal mess of, and what made the year that’s about to be special and unique? If you don’t have a ready answer, don’t worry: there’s a list for that. While not all directly related to small businesses, the following 2016 best of lists will provide information, instruction, and inspiration that can help you and your small business thrive in 2017 and beyond.

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Lisa Hephner

Tips for Small Business Tipping and Bonuses

Posted by in Tip of the Week

holiday_bonus_envelope
The end of the year always brings up the question of whether to give bonuses to your team and tips to your service providers; as well as how much these bonuses and tips should be. If your small business had a tough 2016, stretching things further to give year-end bonuses can be ultimately self-defeating. But if you’ve had a banner year, sharing the wealth can go a long way towards motivating your team, and the third parties that support your business, to work even harder to make the next year even more prosperous.

Knowing how other small businesses like yours handle tipping and bonuses can be useful in making your own decisions. The following trends and survey results may be helpful.

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Lisa Hephner

Small Business Gift Ideas (2016 edition)

Posted by in Tip of the Week

present_2016
Holiday shopping is in full swing now, and hopefully your small business got off to a great start over the after-Thanksgiving sale period. Along with selling, now is the time to join the buying party and select the perfect present for everyone on your small business gift list. From employees, to customers, to vendors, service providers, investors, and promoters, a thoughtful (even if inexpensive) gift is a great way to say “Thank You!” for supporting your small business throughout the year. The following are some unique suggestions that will make your gift stand out from the crowd of generic food baskets and towers that are all too common this time of year.

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Lisa Hephner

Why Small Businesses Should Celebrate Giving Tuesday

Posted by in Tip of the Week

giving_tuesday_2016
With the first leg of the holiday shopping frenzy behind us, take a breath from buying and selling to celebrate Giving Tuesday. Today marks the event’s fifth year, and the #GivingTuesday mission to be, “a global day of giving fueled by the power of social media and collaboration” is going strong.

Why should your small business get involved? Studies find that 90% of consumers want companies to tell them how they support causes, 85% find a product or company more attractive if it supports a cause, and 80% would switch to a similar brand if it supports a cause they support. Additionally, other studies note that employees who have a favorable impression of their company’s philanthropic program are five times more likely to remain with their employer.

So, cliché aside, your small business truly can do well by doing good. Here are some suggestions for getting involved on #GivingTuesday and all year long.

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Lisa Hephner

The Security Turkey Helps You Combat Card-Not-Present Fraud [infographic]

Posted by in Tip of the Week

turkey_cnp_banner_image
Thanksgiving is just about here, so the time is right for the Security Turkey to make an appearance again. Last year the Security Turkey provided tips for combatting phishing. This year he takes on card-not-present (CNP) fraud, a growing concern for e-commerce merchants as well as any small business that accepts credit card payments online, over the phone, or in the mail.

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Lisa Hephner

5 Holiday Promotion Tips for Small Service Businesses

Posted by in Tip of the Week

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Grabbing a piece of the holiday shopping pie is a no-brainer for retail businesses, whether bricks-and-mortar, e-commerce, or a hybrid, and there are a myriad of sources offering advice on how to optimize holiday sales.

However, if you own a service-based small business (and according to the most recent SBA report, that’s more than half of all US small businesses) it is easy to feel, and get, left out of the holiday shopping spree. But, it is also just as easy to employ a bit of creative thinking that will not only help you profitably boost sales this holiday season, but also help you acquire and retain customers that will help make your small service business a success throughout the year.

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