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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

How Selling Affects Consumer Lives

No matter what small business sector you operate in, you must be involved in selling or you will go out of business at a record rate of speed. You may not think of yourself as a sales professional, but you need to be if you want your business to succeed. Selling and sales are overlooked topics in most university programs. Somehow we are all expected to figure it all out on our own once we graduate and enter the business world. Unfortunately, it won't happen that way.  Small business selling is one of those skills gained through self-education, company training and experience.  Selling affects consumer lives. freedigitalphotos.net - nenetus   In their book, Rainmaking Conversations: Influence, Persuade and Sell in Any Situation, Mike Schultz [...]

By | March 1st, 2016|Sales|0 Comments

About Strategy and Strategic Planning

Most successful small businesses owe their growth and success in large part to use of strategy and strategic planning.  This is accomplished through a combination of strategic thinking, planning and management.  Adopting a strategic approach to business operations clearly defines the direction a firm needs to take to achieve leadership's vision of success. So, exactly what is this concept called Strategic Planning?  It is an organized system that begins with envisioning the firm as it will be when it is all grown up. That Vision of your company in its long-term ideal state is further defined in terms of its Mission.  In a few sentences, a mission statement clearly addresses every facet of your business:  the products and services you offer, pricing, quality, service, marketplace position, growth [...]

By | January 28th, 2016|Strategic Management, Strategic Planning, Strategy|0 Comments

Sustainable Small Business Growth in 2016 – 7 ‘Must-Haves’

'Designing Strategies' Newsletter January - February, 2016                      Volume 13 -- Issue 69 In order for your small business to be wildly… or mildly… successful, it is important to grow the company. A company that grows at a steady pace increases its chance of success. For some small businesses, growth will be successful. For other small businesses, their growth plan may be a complete failure. You might ask: “Why shouldn’t all companies on a growth path be successful?” That does seem logical, doesn’t it? However, without well developed planning and attention to details, you cannot assume that your, or any other company, can achieve sustainable small business growth. It seems that if a company is growing [...]

By | January 19th, 2016|Growth, Newsletter, Strategy|0 Comments

Marketing: Most People Don’t Know You or Like You – Yet

Is there ever a tipping point when you’ve saturated the market and you no longer need marketing or advertising for your company, its products and services? According to Christopher Ramey, president of The Home Trust International, the answer is no. “The more you’re seen where you’re not expected to be seen, the more you indelibly imprint your brand on your best prospects’ minds.”   Think about some of the big corporate names that have made millions - even billions - selling their products:  Nike, Coca-Cola, Ford.  They certainly have not stopped marketing to put their names in front of consumers. At the most basic level, prospects must know you exist before they would even consider purchasing something from you.  Too many small business owners seem to think [...]

By | January 8th, 2016|Branding, Marketing, Strategy|0 Comments

How to Increase Blog Subscribers

FreeDigitalPhotos.net - Stuart Miles I was scrolling through a HubSpot email marketing piece that included excerpts of several blog posts.  Near the bottom, I found a post about doubling blog subscribers.  Who wouldn't rush to click their 'Read more...' call to action’ (CTA)?  Are you NOT interested in how to increase blog subscribers - the number of visitors to your blog who will come back over and over again? The solution recommended in the Hubspot email, of course, was something easily accomplished by those subscribers to their own software system.  The HubSpot software system focuses on inbound marketing.  But, the idea itself was something any small business owner or leader can learn to adopt into their market planning.  Essentially, their recommendation was to [...]

By | January 8th, 2016|Marketing|0 Comments

How to Handle Negative Customer Feedback

Sometimes, as hard as we might try to provide exceptional service to every customer, one of them will be dissatisfied about something.  In an ideal world, every sale or project would run smoothly and result in a highly satisfied customer.  Wouldn't that be wonderful?  But, reality means that sometimes things will go wrong.  When things go wrong, sometimes it will result in negative customer feedback if the problem is not handled promptly. It would be nice if the dissatisfied customer would give us a call, explain the problem and let us resolve it. But, that's not always the case. Sometimes they will just sit back and brood about it, wondering why we haven't figured out what the problem is via ESP or mental telepathy. Then, after they [...]

By | January 7th, 2016|Customer Experience, Customer Relationships|0 Comments