HTML Coding Cover Photo

When building a small business website there are a lot of options to consider. For example, should you pay a graphic designer to assist in the layout, should you hire a company to program the site for you, or should you keep 100% control over the design and code by building your own website?

While we may be a bit biased, we think that having ownership of the look and feel of your small business website is essential to showing your brand and demonstrating your dedication to your business.

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Running a small business can be a difficult job. The responsibilities can be daunting, and the tasks can quickly pile up. Running a micro-business can be even tougher. Similar tasks are placed on fewer people, and your to-do list can get crowded in a hurry. Compounding the challenge is the fact that many people simply procrastinate their duties. After all, why do something now when there will be time for it later? There’s no clear reason why some people tend to procrastinate. Research suggests that procrastination might actually be a factor of genetics, something that’s been passed down through the generations. Maybe you even fall into that category. But just because you might be a natural procrastinator doesn’t mean you have to give in to your instinctual behaviors. A variety of productivity tools are out there, ready to help you overcome the urge to delay what should be done right away.

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Magnifying Glass Trends

Scanning thousands of websites to try and understand daily industry trends is not how a busy small business owner or entrepreneur should be spending their time.

That’s why we gathered the top 14 sites with the best coverage of news and trends to minimize your search time and assist in your imminent success.

1. TechCrunch
Follow every company, from startup to NASDAQ-100, and all of the technology and innovations they share with the world. It is a great place to form new ideas and be inspired by like-minded individuals.

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This guest post is provided by Kabbage, Inc.

There’s a reason people put “taxes” next to “death” on the list of things we can’t avoid. No matter how much you wish to change or avoid tax season, the government will want its piece of what you’ve earned every year, without fail. It’s the law of the land – one sometimes-hefty price of doing business. But, what if you don’t have the money to pay off your tax bill by the due date? We’ve gathered five trusted ways to ensure you pay your taxes in time.

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Social Media Marketing can be a challenging (and very time consuming) job.  Between finding sharable content, writing high quality blog posts, engaging with your followers, and scheduling posts on all major social platforms, you could drive yourself crazy!

That’s why we’ve put together a list of 16 social media marketing tools that will keep you sane AND reduce the amount of time you spend managing a successful social media presence for yourself or your clients.

Enjoy!

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10 Benefits of Digital Marketing Cover Photo

We have done our homework on the topic of digital marketing.

We surveyed 2,200 small business owners in the United States, and found that 63% are currently using digital products as part of their overall marketing strategy. We have shared how to integrate digital coupons, videos, and even GIFs into your marketing campaigns.

Yet no matter the amount of digital articles we have written, we are still finding ourselves wanting to demonstrate the pertinence of businesses going digital.

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In the digital age, it becomes easier and easier to build your business with virtual toolkits filled with software and apps that can help your small business function like big business.

But at the same time, we know that the same technology can change in the blink of an eye and unveil a whole new toolbox of resources that can grow your business.

With 63 million Americans telecommuting by 2016 (Global Workplace), it makes sense to evaluate if your own business is providing the necessary technology to keep current employees happy and prospective employees knocking as the typical workday shifts from office to home.

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If you run a business with an online presence, your success is likely limited by the traffic your website generates and the leads you acquire. And while driving traffic to your web pages isn’t always easy, there are a number of tools and resources available to you. You simply need to know how and when to use them for optimal results.

While there used to be a time when you could separate yourself from the competition by simply paying a little extra to develop an aesthetically pleasing website, that’s no longer the case. Having a sleek, well-designed website is pretty much the norm for competitive small businesses these days. It takes much more than good-looking pages; you have to attract the right traffic to them. You have to be capable of weeding through irrelevant traffic to find potential customers that will actually be interested in what you have to offer. Typically, you can accomplish this by focusing on five important areas:

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On April 1st, it seems no one can be trusted.

Your favorite brands, your prankster friend, and even your beloved grandpa love to participate in the day known as April Fools’ Day.

So while on every other day you can rely on social media and your inbox to get your breaking news or special promotions, today we realize you may need to take a second and scratch your head before trusting the messages flooding your feeds.

To relieve you of some of the trickery today, here is some truth – your content marketing campaigns and email marketing strategy will benefit from participating in this holiday hubbub (which is currently a trending topic on Twitter).

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Bullseye - Content Marketing Mission Statement

Looking to get started (or start fresh) in content marketing for your small business? You’re in luck – we picked up some great tips at Social Media Examiner’s recent Social Media Marketing World conference and we’re dying to share!

The first session we attended was with content marketing expert Joe Pulizzi. One of the takeaways we most wanted to share with you from the presentation is the idea of creating a content marketing mission statement.

Long before you create a blog, brainstorm topics, or write your first blog post, it’s critical to make sure that you (and anyone else who will contribute) know exactly what it is you’re setting out to do. If you aren’t sure, how can your audience be?

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