Summer vacation and social

June 21 marked the first official day of summer and we couldn’t be more excited! The summer season brings warm weather, longer days, and well-deserved time off.  For micro and small businesses, though, summer vacations can feel impossible. Small business owners feel conflicted about being away as it has real implications on the business. Yet on flip side, they’re working around the clock and need a vacation. On top of that, social never sleeps so allowing your social presence to dwindle while away isn’t an option.

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Website Text Vector

For your small business, your website plays an important role in establishing credibility and enticing people to become consumers. It is a primary method of verification among the public, and people don’t take website appearance lightly. If you’re an established business, your website is expected to reflect your level of professionalism and legitimacy. In fact, according to the Vistaprint Digital Impact Report on Online Identity,

“45% of people are unlikely to buy from a business with a poorly designed website.”

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Large lightbulb vs. bunch of small lightbulbs

Small businesses need small goals; that sounds trite, right? While it may sound ‘cute’, it’s actually quite true for businesses of any size. Small goals are not a reflection of the ambition or overarching strategy of a business, but rather speak to the strategic way a business approaches its long-term goals. Small goals enable businesses to chip away at large objectives and celebrate their wins along the way. It takes time and effort to get a business up and running in a sustainable way, so taking time to note accomplishments of any size bolsters morale and helps you refocus on the bigger business goals. Jack Nickell, the owner of Threadless.com, perfectly summarizes what it takes to start a company:

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Web design vector

For small businesses, websites play an integral part in building brand image, awareness and credibility in the marketplace. Crafting a thoughtfully-designed website demonstrates to your audience that you care about your business image as well as conveys a level of integrity that is consistent with a reputable brand. There are certain best practices for small business websites and we’ve gathered them here for your convenience.

Use these six tips as a checklist when you’re building your new website or modifying an existing site.

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Call to Action vector

I have to admit I have never been very good at writing Calls To Action. Some people seem to have this preternatural skill, getting customers to click effortlessly. For me, it was always a major struggle. One that held me back for a long time, keeping my content from ever reaching the potential I knew it could.

Thankfully I have gotten over that hurdle. What pushed things in the other direction was learning about click triggers, and how they can improve your CTAs almost instantly.

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Time management vector

Being a small business owner is an incredible feat. You’ve pursued your passion and made it into a reality. It is certainly exciting to be at the helm of a business, but it can also be overwhelming. You’re responsible for everything, and properly attending to every factor of your business takes time. You may have noticed that your day can easily be derailed by sales call or troubleshooting an unexpected and urgent issue. These kinds of interruptions are part of being a small business owner, but in order to maximize your time and not work 24/7, try setting a schedule. We have five recommendations for setting a schedule that works for you and helps you stay on track for reaching your business goals.

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Customer Service Vector

We recently touched on the importance of customer experience and how companies large and small are tuning into this relatively new business area. However, with the advent of customer experience, we can’t forget about good old customer service. Customer service is a company’s backbone, and plays a central part in any business’s success. Yet, in these ever-changing times, traditional customer service methodologies are no longer making the cut. Customers have higher expectations, there is greater competition in the market, and support is no longer an ancillary entity, but rather an integral part of the customer experience. As consumer demands increase, innovating with the changing atmosphere is necessary.  As a small business, it’s the time to up the ante and refresh your customer service strategy.

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World and Blog Icons

We’ve talked a lot about web design and best practices for setting up a professional business website, but once that’s complete, what do you do next? Generating traffic to your beautifully crafted website is the next hurdle to overcome. This is where backlinks come into play. Simply put, backlinks are inbound hyperlinks from one website to another website.

You may be thinking, “How is this relevant to my business?” Well, every backlink to your website increases your site’s popularity and pushes it higher in SEO rankings for your industry or niche; they improve your credibility and authority within the marketplace.

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Monthly agenda with sticky notes and pencil

Congratulations! You’ve successfully set up social media accounts for your business and are gaining followers and increasing engagement daily. Your hard work is paying off, but do you feel like social media management is becoming a full-time job, on top of running your small business? With the numerous platforms available, all which have different functionalities and requirements – cue Twitter’s 140 character limit for tweets – it can be a cumbersome undertaking. You may find that you spend a shocking amount of time on this one piece of your business. If you’re nodding your head in agreement, then keep reading!

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Smartphones with message icons swirling around

As small business owners, you know that networking is of utmost importance to building your business and credibility. Word of mouth endorsements are invaluable and you never know the connections you will make at an event or during an online networking hour. Yet, as a small business owner, attending hours-long events to establish relationships and potential partners is just not part of your daily routine because they’re a major drain on your most precious resource: time. Luckily in this fast-paced digital age, there are a number of professional networking apps that help you to network effectively on your own time.

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