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.
Customer experience (CX) has become a hot topic over the past few years and with good reason. Superior customer service is no longer a primary requirement for attracting and retaining customers. The customer’s experience must be stellar, memorable, and positive in order to provide the traction previously supplied by white glove customer service. How the customer is left feeling dictates their impression of a brand and impacts whether or not they will return to the business. “When people make purchases today, they want that purchase to make them feel a certain way,” says Daniel Newman, President of Broadsuite.
The second biggest holiday in the Small Business world is coming up in just about a month, and it’s time to start planning how you can get involved. National Small Business Week takes place May 1st -7th here in the U.S., and this year’s theme is “Dream Big, Start Small.”
Created by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) back in 1963, National Small Business Week provides:
“An opportunity to highlight the impact of outstanding entrepreneurs, small business owners, and other from across the nation.” (SBA)
We’re all guilty of it: toggling between screens and applications; answering emails while talking to someone on speakerphone. These are normal daily activities that eat away at our productivity. The ability to focus on a singular task has become a novel idea; we have forgotten the importance of paying attention to one thing at a time and having complete focus. With increasing responsibilities and deliverables, the average person has resorted to ‘multitasking’ all the time. It is so common that it doesn’t even seem like multitasking anymore.
When you consider your brand’s identity, which element do you consider most important?
That can be a hard question to answer. Instead, consider this question: which element of your brand do consumers connect with the most from a visual point of view? It has to be the logo, right? Well, the bad news is that many businesses have outdated logos and don’t even realize it.
5 Signs Your Logo is Outdated
How do you know your logo is outdated? Here are five common signs your logo is no longer doing the job:
We are only one day away from 2016, which means that we have become a bit nostalgic about the last year of content we have created for you.
In a digital world, tips, tricks, and tools are often being changed, updated, or have disappeared. However, we think the following articles we’ve written about web design, digital marketing, SEO, branding, and your small business growth this year will be helpful in preparing you for a happy and successful 2016.
So to get ready for the year ahead, dive in, and reflect on what we’ve learned from 2015:
You know just how important websites are to your small business. But did you know that a third of small business owners maintain their websites themselves?
- 41% of small business owners who plan to improve their websites, say design and aesthetics are the top choices of action.
- 25% of business owners say the cost of maintaining the site is a big hurdle.
- 60% do not have mobile websites or know if their websites are mobile-capable.
- 26% of small business sites cannot be found in online searches.
Luckily, you are least likely to commit these unforgivable mistakes with sophisticated DIY website builders like Webs. Webs offers many themes for pleasing aesthetics, a budget-friendly plan structure, a mobile website option, and a local listings tool available to be found in hundreds of directories online including Google and Yelp.
The foundation of a successful small business is the understanding of who you are, and differentiating yourself from the rest of the businesses already out there.
In order to accomplish this you must explicitly identify your brand to reflect your true self through every piece of content that your customer may come across; whether that is your website, your social media, or even just a flyer found in the neighborhood. Many businesses struggle to build a successful brand identity, but when done correctly the results are astounding.
You may be starting to think about updating your website for the holidays and the New Year…
WeddingWire did you a favor and created a great do’s and don’ts infographic list to check (and check it twice) as you look to improve your small business website this season.
Our top three favorite do’s and don’ts are:
- Do use easy-to-read and simple colors and fonts
- Do create navigation bar and bucket your content by theme
- Do add your business reviews to your website homepage
- Don’t make it hard for visitors to find what they are looking for or they will leave within 10 seconds
- Don’t underestimate the power of strong SEO
- Don’t forget to test what your website looks like on mobile
For the full list, take a look at the infographic below, and tell us your favorites in the comments!
Small Business Saturday 2015 is Saturday, November 28th! If you are unfamiliar with the event, think of it as the Black Friday for your small business. In other words, it is a day for communities all around the nation to show their love for small businesses, just like yours!
In 2014, 88 million people shopped small on Small Business Saturday. To prepare for a monumental day of traffic and sales for your small business, there are three ways you can participate and make the most out of the occasion: