Autumn squirrel stealing acorn

One of the big differences between the life of a full-time marketer and the life of small business owner is the time frame in which you live your daily life. The entrepreneur is often living in the moment, putting out the fires of the day, and making sure everything is running smoothly. The marketer, on the other hand, is already spending their days planning the next month, quarter, and even year.

The challenge that small business owners face as they decide to grow their businesses is that they must also become marketers. This requires that they split their focus and see not only today’s performance, but also next quarter’s goals.

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Google recently announced AdWords Express: a simpler way for small businesses to advertise in search results. AdWords Express promises to help you find valuable new customers, even if you only have a small budget. Is it a good fit to grow your business? How can you get the most from search advertising? Let’s take a look.

Why advertise on search engines?

Search engine advertising is one of the most efficient ways to grow your business. If you mail out postcards or buy a radio ad, you pay to reach a certain size of audience. But the majority of that audience doesn’t need what you’re offering, or isn’t looking for it right now. You pay whether or not a single person actually considers your business.

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Are you getting ready to design a small business logo? Before putting pen to paper (or hiring a designer to), you’ll need to make sure you have a clear idea of what you want your logo to convey to your audience. After all, one of the main purposes of a logo is to get across a great deal of information about your brand as quickly as possible.

Once you have your list of adjectives, you’re ready to choose a predominant logo color. Color has a huge subconscious impact on the viewer, so be purposeful about your choices. Luckily, you don’t have to be a student of color theory in order to create an effective logo. You can use your own intuition, combined with the fantastic infographic below from FinancesOnline.com.

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The Inbox Diaries is a series designed to help busy entrepreneurs keep up with all the latest news in small business, marketing, and social media. I’m scouring my inbox every day for interesting tidbits – so you don’t have to.

This Week’s Stories:

Communication is Key When Things Go Wrong.
When your business depends on the Internet to function, occasional interruptions are almost inevitable. But whether an outage is caused by hackers, spammers, scammers, or general computer gremlins, it’s important to be transparent. When Facebook went down for about 30 minutes last Friday, the company got the first step of transparency down okay, but fumbled the follow through.

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A couple of weeks ago I stumbled upon this article describing the connection between ballet and business. Instantly, I was eager to read its contents based on my infatuation with dance and my admiration for all those who committed themselves to the art and “made it.”

As I continued to read the article, I found myself making connections and comparisons between sports to business I had never made before. For instance, I realized an athlete’s career is fleeting, with most and their careers end within a decade. On the contrary, an entrepreneur’s career can begin as a start-up and span twenty or thirty, hell even forty years – and then their business’ legacy could even be timeless.

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Businesses that generate 40% or more of their sales with repeat customers have almost 50% higher revenue than companies with low levels of repeat business. So how do you get your customers to come back? Here are six ways to drive up your repeat business percentage.

Encourage an Initial High-Dollar Purchase
According to market analytics company SumAll, there is a direct correlation between the dollar amount of a customer’s first purchase and the probability they will return to buy from you again. You see this principle in action with cosmetics companies, for example.

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The Inbox Diaries is a series designed to help busy entrepreneurs keep up with all the latest news in small business, marketing, and social media. I’m scouring my inbox every day for interesting tidbits – so you don’t have to.

This Week’s Stories:

Facebook Releases Slingshot App
Facebook’s much-rumored answer to Snapchat is finally here – and not all that much like Snapchat. Sure, Slingshot lets you casually share candid moments with friends, but Slingshot is more different from Snapchat than it is similar. Here are a few key features of the new app:

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The Inbox Diaries is a series designed to help busy entrepreneurs keep up with all the latest news in small business, marketing, and social media. I’m scouring my inbox every day for interesting tidbits – so you don’t have to.

This Week’s Stories:

Editing Google: Exercising Your Right To Be Forgotten
If you happen to live in the European Union and have some questionable content out there on the internet, you can now officially apply to have it removed from Google’s search results. Just fill out this handy webform from Google. According to Mashable, Google received 12,000 request submissions in the first 24 hours since launch.

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Over the past 15 years, Netflix has built what is likely the most successful subscription service of all time.  Their users are incredibly engaged, fiercely loyal, and absolutely love the service.

However, despite this incredibly deep connection with their subscribers, users revolted when Netflix tried to dramatically increase their prices and fundamentally alter their suite of products.  Over the next 4 months, the company lost 800,000 subscribers and its stock price fell 77%.

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Doodle 4 Google logo

We have talked about the idea of building your brand through philanthropy here on the blog before, and all the benefits it can have for your business. A great example of a brand paying it forward is Google’s annual Doodle 4 Google Contest, which started in 2010.

The voting for this year’s contest is going on right now through May 9th,and you can vote for your favorites in each of the 5 grade groups by clicking here. The challenge this year was for participants to come up with a doodle of an invention that would make the world a better place.

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