Archives for April 2011

Emerging Social Media Tools Small Businesses must be Aware of

We have been looking at various social media tools that all small business owners need to consider for their marketing. With more and more customers utilizing social media; small businesses that fail to integrate these tools will lose their customers to their competitors. We view the ability to track your return on marketing spend as well as lower your marketing cost as the two significant benefits that small business owners can get from the use of social media.
We showed two of the widely used social media tools – Facebook and Twitter in an earlier post. In the previous post we talked about two other tools – YouTube and Flickr. In this post we will discuss some of the emerging social media tools that may not be as popular as the ones we discussed; but are equally helpful.
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Additional Social Media Tools Small Businesses Must Consider

In the previous post we discussed two must-have social media tools every small business needs to use to market their business. We argued that social media marketing provides perfect opportunity to get the marketing exposure without spending lot of money.
Many more social media tools beyond Facebook and Twitter have emerged recently. Some of them have the potential to become next Facebook. We want to explore those tools in this post. By jumping on some of these emerging tools small business owners can get advantage over their competitors and improve their sales and profit at a relatively low cost. They can even compete with their larger rivals by harnessing the power of these tools at an early stage.
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Social Media Tools Every Small Business Must Use

It is said that half of the money spent on marketing is wasted; you just don’t know which half! Many small business owners have misconception about marketing because of which they end up spending lot of money without getting proper return. One of the 5 fundamental rules of marketing we believe in is that good marketing techniques should not cost lot of money. Internet and social media marketing provides perfect opportunity to get the marketing exposure without spending lot of money.

The reasons for using social media marketing are numerous. [Read more…]

Improve Sales of your Small Business with Free Publicity

Most small business owners do not pay sufficient attention to public and community relations. As a result they miss out on the great opportunity to improve sales and build business brand value at low cost. Instead they are focused on marketing and advertising that cost substantial amount of money. While there are number of differences between marketing and public relations, in the simplest form, marketing can be viewed as “in your face” way of putting your business in front of customers; while publicity is a more subtle approach that doesn’t cost much and can bring equally compelling results.
Why is it important to focus your efforts on publicity in addition to traditional marketing?
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How to Combat External Forces Working against Your Business

In the previous post we highlighted external market forces that can drive you out of business if you are not careful. The changes in economy, competition and consumer habits have hurt many small business owners in the last few years and can bring down sales and profit for your small business too.
To be fair, these external forces impact both large and small business alike; however small business owners feel this impact in a more profound way. Also, the small business owners can feel the impact very quickly. After all, unlike large businesses they do not have large financial cushion to withstand the impact. They also have their personal and business lives intertwined with the business. This will make it hard not for themselves; but also for others around them, including spouse, children and friends.
How can small business owners prepare themselves to be able to withstand the impact better than their peers?
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External Market Forces that can Drive you out of Business

In case you have not heard Blockbuster; the go to place for video rental just a few years ago; was purchased by Dish Network for peanuts. This is the company that was valued at Billions of dollars before the market and technology changed around them and new competitors such as Netflix and Coinstar came along. They completely missed the boat.
Such is the power of free market economy! Business owners who focus only on internal operations of their business without paying attention to external market forces will get hurt. The market forces will put them in oblivion in a few short years or even months.
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Why Embracing KISS Principle Leads to Happiness

KISS -Keep It Simple Stupid.
Many small business owners like to take the road less simple. If a task takes 2 steps to finish they will manage to stretch it to 10 steps. They are wired to think complex. We have pondered on the question for some time – when you are running a small business should you opt for a simple operation or a complex one?
You can see the examples of simple and complex operations in franchises as well. On one hand you have a pizza franchise such as Little Caesar’s – home of $5 Pepperoni Pizza with no delivery. On other side there is Pizza Hut with large number menu items and toppings and it not only has carry out; but also delivery and dine-in. Which one is easier operation to run?
There are number of reasons why you should try to keep things as simple as possible.
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Improve Sales and Customer Loyalty with Subscription Model

Many people incorrectly assume that the subscription model only applies to specific types of business and miss out on the benefits it provides. The business that is closely associated with subscription model is newspapers and magazines. After all, magazine industry was the first one to introduce subscription business model. A number of other industries have since adopted this model including health clubs, DVD rental (Netflix), cell phone companies, etc.
The subscription model creates a win-win opportunity for both business owners and customers. Businesses benefit from subscription model because they get guaranteed sales. In some cases, they also get advanced payment for the services that customers will enjoy over a period in the future. Subscription model also builds a customer loyalty and reduces the marketing / customer acquisition cost for small business owners.
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