Category Archives: Tip of the Week

Lisa Hephner

Tips for Launching a Small Business Website

Posted by Lisa Hephner on September 1, 2015 in Tip of the Week

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Though 97% of consumers search online for products and services, according to the 2014 SCORE Customer Friendly Websites infographic , only 51% of small businesses had websites. A newer January, 2015 survey of over 14 million businesses (of all sizes) by the US Census bureau paints an even more astounding picture, reporting that only 24.8% of them have websites.

If your business falls in that 49% (or 75.2%!) without an online presence, ditch the excuses and get a website. You really do need one, even if your business has only a local or regional customer base, and for as little as $12 up-front and a bit of time, you can do it.

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Lisa Hephner

11 Mobile Email Statistics Your Small Business Should Know & How to Take Advantage of Them

Posted by Lisa Hephner on August 25, 2015 in Tip of the Week

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Even with the growth of Chat, text messaging, and other social media messaging, email is still the primary means of business communication. According to a recent report from technology market research firm the Radicati Group, there were 4.1 billion worldwide email accounts in 2014 and that number is predicted to grow to 5.2 billion by the end of 2018. And, while consumer email is actually slowing down (in favor of social media, text messaging, and other non-email online methods), business email is growing– From 108.7 billion business emails per day in 2014 to an expected 139.4 billion emails per day in 2018. This equates to business users receiving 121 emails a day in 2014 (excluding those removed by SPAM filters), which is expected to grow to 140 emails a day by 2018.

That’s a lot of email! But, it doesn’t mean businesses people are sitting at their desks all day answering email on a computer. Increasingly, email is being read, responded to, and acted upon using mobile devices.

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Lisa Hephner

Free Full Feature Photo Editor

Posted by Lisa Hephner on August 18, 2015 in Tip of the Week

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In a world where it seems like nothing worth having is ever free, it is refreshing to find truly useful freeware available without strings attached. PhotoScape is one such application. It provides robust image editing and enhancement features that rival those in expensive industry leading applications such as Photoshop, in an easy-to-use package ideal for small business owners on a budget.

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Lisa Hephner

A Scientific Approach to More Effective Small Business Social Media Marketing

Posted by Lisa Hephner on August 11, 2015 in Tip of the Week

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Research, Test, Target, and Measure: These are the keys to ensuring small business success, be it in product development, operations, or marketing. In some cases, small businesses are at a disadvantage because they don’t have the budget to tackle all four steps as effectively as do big business; but luckily social media marketing doesn’t have to be one of them. Even a small business can have a big presence in social media, with a minimal expenditure, if it develops great content, nurtures key influencer relationships, and promotes effectively. These research findings and free social media marketing applications give small business owners the tools to do just that.

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Lisa Hephner

Home Office Designs: The Practical to the Extreme

Posted by Lisa Hephner on August 4, 2015 in Tip of the Week

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Whether it’s telecommuting as a large company employee or running a home-based small business, studies show that working from home in the US is on the rise. Are you one of us? And, if you are what kind of workspace fits you best? Are you a take over the dining room table kind of person? Or perhaps you want a quiet dedicated space that lets you get away from it all (and helps you keeps the “all” away from your business operations).

The following examples from around the web (and around the globe) provide ideas from across the home office spectrum including everything from practical and cool small-space offices, unique office furniture, and extreme workspaces.

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Lisa Hephner

Free Business Intelligence Application Designed for SMBs

Posted by Lisa Hephner on July 28, 2015 in Tip of the Week

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Knowledge truly is power. When it comes to successfully running your small business, there is no denying that the more you know about your operations and your customers, the more effectively you can manage and grow your company.

If you’re like most small business owners, you probably have a prodigious amount of data on everything from sales, to payments and refunds, to appointments, invoice history, search marketing metrics, email response rates, inventory levels, external vendors, payroll, cash flow, and more. Unfortunately, simply having data is not the same as understanding what it can holistically tell you about your business. In fact, unless you use a program or system to analyze that data and put it in context, you are more likely to be overwhelmed into inaction than enlightened.

That’s the problem business intelligence software is designed to solve.

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Lisa Hephner

Four Key Steps for Closing a Failed Small Business

Posted by Lisa Hephner on July 21, 2015 in Tip of the Week

eyes-795647_640Over the past week I have been dealing with the impending and then actual death of a family member. During this time our family has gone through the emotional turmoil of coming to terms first with the realization that our loved-one was not going to beat her cancer, then that she only had a few days left, and finally with her passing. After that came the immediate demands of final arrangements and the memorial service. And now we are embroiled in all the paperwork, legal requirements, and logistics of closing down a life. (Honestly—it should be easier!)

As we work through our family situation, I am constantly reminded of how similar it is to closing down a beloved, but ultimately failed, small business. While there is plenty of advice floating around about how to bounce back from a business failure, and how to learn from it, that is the end of the process. It is just as important to be prepared to handle everything that leads up to it.

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Lisa Hephner

Free Design Tool for Small Business Social Media Marketing

Posted by Lisa Hephner on July 14, 2015 in Tip of the Week

social-mediaToday’s quick-glance social media world makes creating striking visual content more important than ever. Once you have the perfect image, you need the perfect marketing template in which to deploy it. This free design tool (available as a web or iOS App), will help you do just that. It is a very simple drag-and-drop interface, packed with templates, fonts, images, photo editors, and filters you can use to create stunning online and offline marketing materials. A unique feature is its many templates for social media marketing such as Facebook posts, apps, and covers; Twitter posts and headers, YouTube channel art, blog graphics, Kindle covers, Etsy banners, Pinterest graphics, and Instagram posts.

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Lisa Hephner

A Test for Your Small Business Problem Solving Skills

Posted by Lisa Hephner on July 7, 2015 in Tip of the Week

problem_solving
Small business owners are problem solvers. Whether it is how to do more with less, how to fill an unexpected large order on short notice, or how to expand in a shrinking market, the successful small business owner will find a way to get it done. However, what separates the modestly successful from the uber successful may just be the effectiveness of the problem solving approach and techniques employed.

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Lisa Hephner

The Age for Small Business

Posted by Lisa Hephner on June 30, 2015 in Tip of the Week

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What is the best age to start a small business? When you have the enthusiasm of youth, the wisdom of old age, or somewhere in between? The research is mixed, but suggests 25-44 as a good (and rather wide) range. But, regardless of study findings, there are many examples of successful entrepreneurs and small business owners of all ages.

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