Small businesses have been doing their part -- outperforming big business on the job creation front every month for the past year. But, they can do more if Washington will only step up and take a role in helping fuel this engine for growth.
Today's most successful businesses are memorable brands because they have a trusted reputation that keeps customers buying products again and again. As a small business owner, creating a clear-cut brand will increase the effectiveness of your company's advertising and marketing efforts.
Developing a brand signature means figuring out what, specifically, you are good at, what you want to provide or produce, as well as what you stand for, what you want to devote your time, love and attention to, and what you wish to say to the world.
There is absolutely no reason why your business shouldn't be blogging on a regular basis. Keeping your website updated with new blog posts gives your visitors new fresh content to engage with each time the visit.
Despite reminding myself that I was a smart, invincible, solutions-driven entrepreneur I could feel that failure was headed my way. Sales had dropped significantly and profits dried up. I found myself crying every day in the car on the way to work.
With the Where We Are Tour in full swing, it's time to admit it: I'm a self-proclaimed newbie Directioner. Yep, for real. While I'm not *that* obsessed to attribute my business growth to these lads, there's a thing or two that One Direction has taught me about being in business.
My eyes scanned over page after page of items I would have expected to find in the kiosks of Daytona Beach, not on a website for handmade goods. I sat at my computer with my jaw on the keyboard, wondering what had just happened.
The Beatles are often credited as the greatest rock band of all time. Their following is huge now, but if you look at their beginnings you'll discover something else about the Beatles. They are great content marketers.
Local businesses have a love/hate relationship with Yelp. On one hand, having an active Yelp page with great reviews can be a real boon. But just a few irate customers can sink a company's reputation on the site.
It's not just entrepreneurs that can turn adversity into opportunity. All people face startup-like challenges. And we all benefit from learning and perseverance. I believe much hinges on how we exercise our free will to create a personal resiliency.
The fact that data has the power to change our business and personal lives has put data science and analytics at the center of how marketing is done. Every digital click, swipe, "like", buy, comment and search produces a unique virtual identity.
Here's the funny thing about being in business for yourself -- if you're not comfortable with visibility it can be really hard to put yourself and your business out there in a way that attracts new clients.
Money is tight, especially as you continue to build your startup. We know as well as the next entrepreneur that the bottom line is always top of mind. However, there are a few particular areas in which you should focus on early to secure future success.
Startups need to understand and deploy their culture first, because that's how their customers will understand them best. There's a good reason for this: products are easily commodified. They can copied and sold at a lower price.