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Happy Valentine’s Day to all you small business owners out there– you work hard every day to make your small business a success, and you deserve some love! Hopefully you have someone to give you cards, candy, caring, and all the sweetness you can handle, as that’s a bit too much to ask from a blog post. But, this week I’ll try to provide the next best thing: A heart shaped box chocked full of sweet small business offers and freebies.
Posts By: Lisa Hephner
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One of the ongoing missions for this Tip of the Week series is to provide information about free or low-cost software that can help your small business improve productivity. This week’s tip lets you in on a tool that can help you get that free Windows software quickly and safely, with a single download. It can even enable you to update your freeware in the future, so that you are always running the latest available version—which is particularly important if updates are required to patch security holes.
So, what is this wonder tool called and where can you get it?Read More »
While driving into work yesterday, the radio informed me that it was National Bubble Wrap Appreciation Day. At first I was dubious and couldn’t believe that was a thing; then I wondered why it needed a designated day…as far as I’m concerned every day you get to play with bubble wrap is worthy of celebration. That perverse pleasure in popping shouldn’t be reserved for the last Monday in January.
So in honor of National Bubble Wrap Appreciation Day, the following tips will help make your small business marketing pop.Read More »
US companies hold, on average, 11 million meetings per day. That adds up quickly to 55 million meetings per week, 220 million meetings per month, and over 2.6 billion meetings per year. As a small business owner, you probably face many meeting dilemmas– Do you spend too much time meeting with your team? With your customers? With your vendors? Are those meetings productive and a good use of your time (which as we all know IS MONEY)? Do you even know how much those meetings are costing you each year? You should.
The following resources will help you understand the impact meetings have on business productivity and how they directly affect your bottom line, provide tips for how you can make your small business meetings more effective, as well as provide some laughs at common meeting dysfunction.Read More »
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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.
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.Read More »
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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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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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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.
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.Read More »