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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Gold medal with ribbon

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.

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National Small Business Week Poster

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)

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April 15 Calendar and Clock

Just like April showers bring May flowers, April 15 brings Tax Day. Even though we know it’s coming, somehow the tax deadline tends to sneak up on us. As a small business owner, you have an incredible responsibility for filing correctly and in a timely way to save both time and money. It takes time to properly organize and file taxes, and the 2014 Small Business Taxation Survey found that 40% of small business owners spend 80 hours preparing for their income taxes. Whether you DIY or employ an accountant, we want to take the heartache out of tax preparation and save you precious hours and resources.

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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.

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Small businesses strive to define themselves in a marketplace filled with competitors. Having a credible website and stellar products and services are the pillars for any business, but in order to succeed, high rankings in search engine queries are essential. But with millions of search results available, how does a small business rise to the top? We’ll tell you: creating content with Search Engine Optimization (SEO) in mind. Optimizing your content, through your website and other distribution channels, enhances your business’s position in search results. When you develop content in this way, it drives customer action and increases revenue.

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A recent study done by Clutch found that 46% of the 350 small businesses surveyed did not have a website. 22% of those businesses say they do not plan on ever having a website. Some of the reasons behind this include cost, social media presence and lack of knowledge. If you recognize yourself in any of those scenarios, bear in mind that not only is having a website more important than ever today, it is also easier than ever to create one!

Why Your Business Needs a Website

A website is a crucial aspect to any growing company. In this digital era, an online presence is necessary to reach potential customers. It is a place where your customers know they can get reliable information and where your business can stand apart from others.

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Any words you read will evoke an emotion. A news article chronicling a devastating event will make you feel a certain way, while a humorous story will elicit an entirely different response. Or maybe you’re reading an opinion piece you vehemently disagree with.

Whatever the subject matter, the genre and tone of the writing will determine a reader’s emotional engagement with the text. But did you know that font has just as much of an impact on reader emotions? Let’s take a look at how to leverage fonts as you design your website.

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There’s something very powerful about the human face. It’s relatable, trustworthy, and familiar. Even if you’ve never seen a particular face before, there’s something comforting about it that draws you in. Well, this concept holds true when looking at modern web design. If you want to engage users and establish a sense of trust and familiarity, then you’ll want to find ways to incorporate human faces into your website design.

4 Reasons to Use Faces in Web Design 

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Assuming you have a valuable proposition, there’s only one thing that can stop your users from converting: trust. If a user trusts your brand, they’ll gladly partake in an exchange with you. However, building that trust is no easy feat—it takes consistently good service across multiple recurring transactions and exchanges, sometimes spanning months or years, before a user intrinsically trusts your brand.

The Time Problem

This doesn’t do you much good considering most users entering your website will form a lasting first impression of your brand based on their first eight seconds of activity. Provided you get lucky enough to win a first-timer’s business, you can build trust with your level of service, but how can you build trust from the very first interaction, with no prior user knowledge of your brand or product?

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