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Most startups and small businesses begin with a grand vision or idea capable of propelling it to prosperity. As such, most entrepreneurs and small business owners are focused on the vision and strategy of the company rather than more mundane things such as small business software.
However, small business software can help your flourishing enterprise reach the level more effectively and more efficiently than if you were to gloss over this important aspect of small business ownership. Below are three areas in particular where small business software can help your business growth more quickly and profitably: (more…)
The holiday season is of course about giving and the holiday spirit. It’s a time of year when most are less concerned about themselves and more concerned about their families, the spirit of giving, and being thankful.
As we enter a new year, however, it is also a good time to reflect on the risks and rewards that we all experience as small business owners. Most entrepreneurs have a strong passion and belief in their businesses, but too few are reaping the rewards that they hope or expect to see. In fact, in our ongoing survey of small business owners, we find that most are not only concerned about having enough cash to sustain their businesses over time, but we also find that most are dissatisfied with the level of personal income they are making from their efforts.
This may not be surprising on the surface, but it is a bit concerning since most entrepreneurs start businesses to create wealth for themselves and their families. This is typically not the only reason for starting a new company, but it is an important one. Combine this desire with the level of risk that entrepreneurs face – whether it be risk of financial duress, legal issues, or the possibility of failure – and there is clearly a disconnect between what entrepreneurs should be earning and the pay they actually take home for themselves.
So what’s the right answer? Unfortunately, there is no single answer for all entrepreneurs since every small business is different, but here are four questions you should ask to determine the “right” amount to pay yourself: (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.
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…)
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…)
In this brief video, we outline three important components of small business growth:
- Developing a viable product or service
- Marketing and selling that product or service
- Scaling a company to meet demand for that product or service
Unfortunately, too many small businesses and entrepreneurs struggle with the #3 component. (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…)