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Many entrepreneurs struggle with how to start a small business. However, growing a small business is even harder than the actual startup phase.
Often times, small business owners don’t know where to begin in growing their product or service offering, expanding their customer base, and reaching new markets. This can be overwhelming without the right framework.
Here are five things you can do to ensure your business scales quickly from initial startup to a sustainable business with long-term potential: (more…)
When you are first learning how to start a small business, it can be difficult to find new customers. However, you can begin to grow
your business by creating an effectiv marketing and sales funnel.
A marketing and sales funnel is the way that you capture leads, qualify them into “real” opportunities, and convert them into customers. You obviously won’t convert everyone into a customer, but your funnel is your way of moving people step by step through your marketing and sales process. (more…)
These dауѕ, аn online presence iѕ vitаl fоr any small business marketing effort, еvеn for briсk-аnd-mоrtаr ѕtоrеѕ thаt dоn’t соnduсt e-commerce. Studies hаvе shown thаt 97 реrсеnt оf соnѕumеrѕ search fоr local buѕinеѕѕеѕ оnlinе, whilе 94 percent of B2B buуеrѕ research companies оnlinе firѕt.
Even though effective websites are a common small business challenge for entrepreneurs, crеаting a wеbѕitе isn’t еѕресiаllу diffiсult with thе many wеbѕitе creation tооlѕ available. Whatever ѕоftwаrе уоu choose, kеер these dеѕign рrinсiрlеѕ in mind: (more…)
Hаving good search еnginе optimization iѕ a grеаt wау tо аttrасt people tо уоur business, goods, аnd ѕеrviсеѕ, and this should be a key component of your small business marketing strategy. If уоu wаnt реорlе tо learn аbоut уоur buѕinеѕѕ аnd idеаѕ, thеn having a gооd wеbѕitе iѕ an аbѕоlutе muѕt. With these tiрѕ you can hаvе рrimе ѕеаrсh еnginе орtimizаtiоn thаt will help your website gеt nоtiсеd.
Thе firѕt thing уоu need tо knоw is the imроrtаnсе оf your kеуwоrd. Kеуwоrdѕ аrе kеу. Onсе уоu сhооѕе a word thаt уоu аrе sure will gеnеrаtе a lоt оf hits, then уоu need tо place it ѕkillfullу thrоughоut уоur wеbѕitе in a way that will bе ѕurе tо аttrасt attention.
Thеrе аrе a variety оf things you can dо, tо inсrеаѕе уоur trаffiс flоw tо уоur wеbѕitе. Here аrе fivе tесhniԛuеѕ уоu саn uѕе: (more…)
Small business ideas can be scarce at times, especially for bеginnеrѕ. Of соurѕе, it’s often times good tо ѕtаrt оff ѕоmеthing thаt iѕ not tоо grаnd. While mоѕt big соmраniеѕ today ѕtаrtеd as modest enterprises, it iѕ significant to note thаt nоt аll startups realize such great degrees of success.
With this in mind, it iѕ nоt bad to hеаr ѕоmе ѕtаrt uр аdviсе.
Find the Right Financial Resources
One thing thаt ѕеriоuѕlу dirесtѕ your ѕtаrting off iѕ hоw muсh resources уоu have. Even реорlе with nо background in economics and finances know thе importance of сарitаl whеn kiсking оff a соmmеrсiаl рrоjесt. However, not all entrepreneurs are fortunate enough to secure small business loans to finance their ventures. (more…)
When it comes to small business ownership, there are many options to choose from. You can begin your own business without any preparation or you can browse a huge number of establishments and business openings, in essentially any field you need.
Truth be told, there are such a large number of various open doors and options accessible, that it’s occasionally hard to make sense of which is the best to pursue. When you decide you’d like help starting a small business, despite everything you have to comprehend the contrasts amongst the establishments and business openings, it is important to choose which is appropriate for you. Of all small business ideas, this may be one of the more difficult to decide. (more…)
Small business marketing is evolving quickly for small business owners, which implies that advertisers must be nimble in how they connect with potential buyers and communities.
As buyers navigate from Facebook to Twitter to Pinterest and Instagram, offers and deals are processed in an unexpected way. Eventually, the system that will be best for your versatile marketing endeavors depends to a great extent on your gathering of people, their interests and the kind of offers available to you. (more…)
It is a well-known fact that hard work, dedication, and perseverance are all important to small business success. At the same time, however, few people ever explain the tangible and specific reasons why perseverance is so important to attaining your small business goals.
For example, in the classic book Think and Grow Rich, author Napoleon Hill examines how focus and desire can lead to business and professional riches. While the author does a good job of explaining the connection, here again, there is very little offered in the way of tangible ways that this focus and desire will help your small business succeed.
On the other hand, much has been written about other variables that commonly contribute to success. Popular business gurus and academics have analyzed all financing, education, leadership traits, and a spectrum of other small business success factors at length. However, none of these variables are nearly as critical as the more simple and universally accessible trait of perseverance.
Other than stating how important perseverance is, most business authors, gurus, and advice from the Small Business Administration gloss over this important topic. However, it is extremely important to understand exactly how perseverance will translate to small business success and help overcome the various obstacles that you face as an entrepreneur.
Below are the three ways that perseverance will help you on your way to small business growth and success: (more…)
Many successful small businesses begin with slow growth – sometimes painfully slow growth – before reaching a tipping point that propels them to steeper growth curves and success. But not every entrepreneur and small business owner understands the strategies and tactics required to reach the tipping point of small business growth.
There are a few strategies that successful small businesses use to reach the point of mass product acceptance and sustained growth. None of these approaches involve rocket science, but many entrepreneurs instead think they can simply rely on luck or time to make this happen.
Here are three ways that many small businesses are able to reach the tipping point of growth, scalability, and success: (more…)
Launching a new startup is typically more about visionary ideas, developing new products, and penetrating new markets than it is about technology to run your new startup. For many entrepreneurs, however, small business software can help jumpstart a company and take it to another level.
The good thing about small business software in today’s market is that it isn’t as cost prohibitive as it once was. In past years, it didn’t make sense for entrepreneurs to worry about technology until their businesses were much larger, but this is no longer the case with technology becoming so pervasive in today’s world. Some of the most successful small business owners are the ones that can figure out the best ways to leverage technology to give themselves a leg up on their competition.
I’m a huge fan of the Mad Men series on AMC. Not only is the series intriguing in its 1960s time setting, well-written storylines, and well-developed characters, but it also provides a look back at what many consider the golden years of marketing and advertising.
Back in the ‘60s, technology was changing with the advent of TV, so marketers had a number of marketing avenues to choose from in reaching mass markets. TV, radio, print, and direct mail were all common mechanisms used to communicate with the growing middle class of the ‘60s. The advertising infrastructure back in this time supported big corporations that could afford to invest in the broad reach of mass media but, unfortunately, offered very little in the way of small business marketing. It sounds very different from today’s fragmented and highly changing world of marketing, doesn’t it?
Despite the contrast between today’s marketing and that of 50 years ago, there are some universal lessons that transcend time and are more relevant than ever. Here are three things Mad Men can teach us about small business marketing: (more…)
The Small Business Administration is one of the first resources that come to mind for many small business owners looking for guidance or help. And for good reason, since the promise of government-backed loans and free advice sounds like a pretty good deal.
Having run multiple startups and grown them to become multi-million dollar entities, however, I can tell you that the guidance provided by the SBA just barely scratches the surface of what business owners and entrepreneurs need to know to be successful. To add insult to injury, most small businesses are denied SBA loans, and according to data published earlier this month, the SBA is continuing to cut back on their government-backed loans to small businesses. In other words, the SBA means well, but the resources they provide leave much to be desired.
So how are small business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs like us supposed to carry on? The good news is that there is a wealth of information and lessons to be learned from entrepreneurs that have actually been in the trenches and run their own businesses. Below are five things that the SBA was never able to teach me, but are critical lessons for any entrepreneur: (more…)
As small business owners and entrepreneurs, finding practical and real-world advice can be very challenging. Especially when it comes to effectively managing small business growth, good advice from experienced entrepreneurs can be hard to come by.
We just released a new white paper that attempts to provide guidance, tips, and lessons to small business owners and startups looking to take their businesses to another level. In this paper, we cover a number of important topics, including:
- What to expect when starting and growing a small business
- How to find advice that the Small Business Administration and most small business training courses typically don’t provide
- PItfalls and lessons from actual entrepreneurs
- The most effective small business marketing tactics to increase growth and revenue
- Other effective growth strategies
There’s a lot of buzz around social media, search engine optimization (SEO) marketing, and other technology-based marketing service providers. While technology has certainly expanded both the ability to reach more customers and target more specific groups, many marketing consultants get too myopic in their view of how marketing should work.
When I founded one of my startups in 2005, we were one of the few companies doing SEO small business marketing for the professional services industry. Fast forward nine years later, and most companies have an idea of how SEO works. If they don’t, there are literally thousands of one-man SEO consulting companies out there that can help make at least a minor improvement in your results for relatively cheap. In addition, there is a much broader understanding of how SEO works, even though it is constantly changing. All of this means that more people are good at SEO than they were even just yesterday – and that includes your competitors. (more…)
When starting a small business, choosing the right level of focus can make or break your chances of success. On one hand, you want to focus on a relatively narrow market as a way to minimize your marketing costs and develop a strong customer following. On the other hand, too narrow of a focus can result in lost opportunity and revenue, which can be especially troubling for cash strapped small businesses operating on a shoestring budget without access to small business loans.
For example, let’s suppose that you are opening a retail clothing outlet. There are a myriad of different ways you could focus your business: you could focus on one target market, such as millennial women, baby boomer men, or children. Or, you could focus on one product line: outerwear, shoes, business attire, or casual clothing. Or, you could pursue a combination. The strategies you do and don’t pursue will have a big impact on how successful your company becomes.
Clearly, finding the right level of focus is important to achieving your small business goals and success. Here are four things to keep in mind when determining the right level of focus for your small business: (more…)
For most small businesses, email marketing and social media are key parts of their marketing strategies. However, with the proliferation of small business software options in the marketplace, choosing the software that best aligns with your business strategy can be a tricky proposition.
While certainly not the only two options available, Constant Contact and Marketo are two of the leading email and small business marketing automation systems commonly used by small business owners and startups. Both provide features that allow business owners and entrepreneurs better communicate with their customers and prospects digitally – all while driving more top-line revenue growth and profits. In fact, according to a recent report from Pardot, 84% of small businesses are already using or planning to use some sort of marketing automation software.
Both software packages are good options for many small businesses, but they also have their distinct differences, strengths and weaknesses, depending on your needs. Below are a few observations we have seen among small businesses that have used each solution: (more…)
Running a small business has its share of challenges. Developing a marketable product or service, finding a marketing niche, and creating demand are just a few of the challenges that small business owners face. However, a good small business marketing plan is a good first step in overcoming these small business challenges.
But what exactly does it mean to “create a good marketing plan”? Obviously, it needs to be effective and fit within the constraints of your budget. But beyond that, creating a marketing plan can be like navigating a no man’s land.
Here are just a few tips to help create tactics that can make for an effective marketing plan for your small business: (more…)
The world is full of great ideas. In particular, entrepreneurs are especially good at generating ideas to address some of the world’s most complex problems. Breakthrough products such as Apple’s iPhone, Tesla’s electric car, and Facebook are all examples of things that wouldn’t exist if it weren’t for small business innovation.
Further, the TV show Shark Tank, popular business journals, and small business consultants all love to talk about innovation. After all, it’s more exciting to talk about new, creative ideas than it is to discuss the nuts and bolts of running a business. We can also see and touch innovation, much more so than the intangible grunt work of managing a business. In other words, innovation is sexy.
So, if we assume that this is all true, then how in the world can innovation be overrated? Here’s the dirty, two-part secret about innovation: (more…)
With all of the options in the market, finding the right small business marketing company can be quite the challenge for a small business owner. Most options tend to focus on one specific service, such as web-site design, search engine optimization (SEO), graphic design, or telemarketing. However, in today’s fragmented market, it is more important than ever that small business owners and marketing managers create and execute an effective integrated marketing strategy that leverages the right tool for the right job. (more…)