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55 Small Business Website Features You Must Have

Maurer Consulting Group recently created and published a four-part series of articles on the importance of a small business website.  As THE most important hub of any small business marketing plan, a high quality website is critical to the success of every small firm.  Putting together someone else's idea of an quick, do-it-yourself website, and calling it a day, simply isn't the way to go. Any site does not guarantee a good, strategically focused representation of your company at it's best.  Using as many small business website features as you possibly can will improve the quality of your website and the messages it sends to customers. Not every small business website feature that is important and necessary could be addressed.  Topics  in our series included why a small business [...]

By | August 30th, 2016|Marketing|0 Comments

M-commerce: What On Earth Is It?

Now that everyone is finally familiar with eCommerce, along comes a new kid on the 'X'-commerce block of Cyberspace: m-commerce.  Electronic commerce, commonly written as e-commerce or eCommerce, is the "trading or facilitating of trading in products or services using computer networks, such as the Internet or online social networks," according to Wikipedia. Now, media publications all seem to be talking about m-commerce.  Until last week, I was totally unfamiliar with the term and what it stood for.  But, a few minutes of online research told me all I needed to know. M-commerce:  What Is It? M-commerce is the new techo-term for mobile commerce - selling things to customers through a mobile device like a smartphone, tablet or notebook.  Needless to say, with the rise in [...]

By | August 26th, 2016|Marketing|0 Comments

Small Business Growth: 5 Important Stages

'Designing Strategies' Newsletter July - Aug 2016                      Volume 13 -- Issue 72 Do you ever think about the stage, or phase, your small business enterprise is in, or has passed through? We are all aware of when our family members and friends birthdays are. We celebrate anniversaries, graduations and other of life's watershed moments. We celebrate in a big way with parties, gifts and major events to celebrate these great moments as we move through different stages of our lives. Small business growth stages aren't much different. It seems that our small businesses, into which we have poured our hearts, souls, time, energy and money, deserve at least the same milestone recognition. After all, it [...]

Small Business Website Basics – Part 4

This is the fourth, and last (at least for now) part of our series of posts on Small Business Website Basics.  When I began working on this topic, I had no idea just how much information there was to consider when beginning work on a website to represent your small business to the world.  'An' article grew into two articles, then three, now a fourth.  If you missed any of the previous articles, you can link to them below: Small Business Website Basics - Part 1:  A Small Business Website is Not an Option Small Business Website Basics - Part 2:  What does a Small Business Website Cost? Small Business Website Basics - Part 3:  What to Include on a Small Business Website Disclaimer:  I [...]

By | June 6th, 2016|Marketing|0 Comments

Strategic Planning According to Dilbert – Dilbert Asks: “Why Bother?”

'Designing Strategies' Newsletter May - June, 2016                      Volume 13 - Issue 71 One of my favorite comic strips is 'Dilbert' by Scott Adams. Day to day, Dilbert represents corporate America in a way that has never been done before in a syndicated comic strip. My take on the strip is Dilbert represents Generation X, dealing with management in a corporate world run by Baby Boomers.  He has all kinds of opinions, most of which are ignored by his supervisors.  Of course he would have an opinion on strategic planning and how effective it is - or isn't. He is frustrated on a daily basis by his superior, Pointy-haired Boss, and coworkers. Dilbert is often drawn [...]

Small Business Website Basics: Part III

Tiramisu Studio / www.freedigitalphotos.net Welcome to Part III of our ‘Designing Strategies’ Small Business Website Basics series.  This four-part series covers these important topics as they relate to a small business website: Part I:   10 Reasons a Small Business Website Is a Necessity, Not an Option Part II:   What Will a Small Business Website Cost Me? Moving on to Part III of our series, we'll talk about what a small business owner should consider when it comes time to develop the content for your site – which would be NOW if you don’t have one yet. What To Include On a Small Business Website Every small business website needs to be customized to include information specific to your firm.   Your company needs be different enough [...]

By | May 18th, 2016|Marketing|0 Comments

Small Business Website Basics:  Part II

What Does a Small Business Website Cost? Krom Kratthog / www.freedigitalphotos.net  In our Small Business Website Basics series, Part I post, our discussion covered small business websites being necessary, not optional, to the success of a small business and ten reasons why it is true. It was pretty alarming to learn that 46% of small businesses in the United States do not have a website for their business.   It never ceases to amaze me how many small businesses still do not understand the need for a web site to represent their company online.  Let customers know you are out there.  Tell them why they need you. Most Common Excuses for Not Having a Small Business Website “I’m on social media, so I don't really [...]

By | May 9th, 2016|Branding, Marketing|0 Comments

Small Business Website Basics: Part I

A Small Business Website Is Not an Option Can you believe that 46% of small businesses in the United States still do not have a website? It’s 2016. The world revolves around the Internet. Yet, nearly half of the small businesses have yet to launch a website.  Crazy, isn't it? Entrepreneur.com posted an article quoting statistics from a report prepared by Business-to-Business research firm, Clutch.  A small business website is a necessity, not an option. Stuart Miles at freedigitalphotos.net A small business website is the main hub piece of any marketing plan.  A website is critical for the success of any small business.  So many other elements in the realm of public relations and marketing your business rely on this hub.   Please say you aren't [...]

By | April 20th, 2016|Branding, Marketing|0 Comments

Millennials – Quit Thinking About Them Coming – They’re he-re!

'Designing Strategies' Newsletter March - April 2016 Issue                       Volume 13 - Issue 70   Talk has been going on for the past ten years that 'soon' Millennials would become a major force in the marketplace and the workplace. In case you haven't notices, they're here. They are here in massive numbers – large and in charge. If you have not seriously worked on your marketing strategy for reaching them, you are way behind. They are here and in force. The leading edge of 76 million of them are now thirty-somethings with the ability to seriously flex their economic muscle on any industry. Millennials need your attention - now.  It doesn't matter if you are a [...]

Affordable Internet Security Tips

Internet Security Is Important for Small Businesses Starting a small business and becoming successful is a dream many of us share. But the journey is often long and hard, wrought with traps and dangers for the unprepared. As technology becomes an increasingly important part of every business, so too does the use of appropriate security to safeguard that technology.  Internet security is important for small businesses, not just Fortune 500 giants. What has made a big splash is the integration of the internet into nearly every aspect of business. Even a company selling cupcakes needs to have an online presence to survive. That melding of the real world with the online world presents security challenges that can prove very costly—for the uninitiated. Even online professionals [...]

By | March 25th, 2016|Miscellaneous|0 Comments