10 Small Business Security Systems

ANNIE PILON | January 29, 2019

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You’ve worked hard to grow your business. So the last thing you want is for a theft or disaster to destroy what you’ve built. A security system can help you monitor your business and lessen the impact of burglary, fire or similar incidents. Each business will need a different type of security, so it’s important to carefully consider your specific needs before making this decision. Daniel Putterman, CEO of computer vision and AI security company Kogniz said in a phone interview with Small Business Trends, “Find tools that make sense for what your business really needs. Ideally, find something that speeds up the process and gives you alerts or works in real time. This can help you move from being reactive to being proactive.”

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Best Small Business Insurance

Article | March 11, 2020

As the head of your small business, you probably feel the weight of responsibility on your shoulders. Your business is an investment you need to protect — it’s not only the service or product you provide but the financial livelihood of you and your employees. Small businesses need comprehensive insurance protection, and Benzinga has done the research to take the burden off of you. Take a look at our guide to better understand the insurance needs of small businesses and find the best small business insurance provider for you.

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Small Business Branding – How to Strengthen It with Economic Strategies

Article | March 11, 2020

Branding is critical for every business, large or small. It is a widespread misunderstanding that small business branding is unnecessary and that many business owners do not need it. However, branding is critical for small organizations just as much as it is for large ones. Choosing the proper brand for your business can make it or ruin it. Your brand identity encompasses more than your logo, signs, and other tangible objects used to promote and sell your products or services. Your Brand is a commitment to your consumers explaining what they can anticipate from a small business and what sets you apart from the competition. Branding is about who your business is, its brand identity, voice, and mission, and is therefore separate from the word "marketing." "One of the most common mistakes companies make is implementing a brand strategy that isn't aligned to the organization's overall business goal." -Maliha Aqeel, Director of Global Communications at Fix Network World The biggest challenge is to brand your business with a small budget, minimal resources, and limited staffing that small business owners face. In addition to a small budget, small businesses also face various other branding challenges such as: Inability to correctly describe your brand's mission and how it differentiates itself from competitors Failure to maintain brand consistency Failure to have a brand personality and voice Creativity issues Overcoming these challenges to the best of your brand’s ability will determine your customer’s interest in your brand and your business’s success. After all, without your customers, you can’t survive in the industry. However, one might wonder how branding connects with your customers? This blog highlights just that by focusing on few branding tips for small businesses to help you overcome these challenges and establish a long-lasting relationship with your customers. Before figuring out the different ways to brand your small business you need to understand the significance of branding. "A brand for a company is like a reputation for a person. You earn reputation by trying to do hard things well". - Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon. Why and How Branding is Important? Often, small businesses believe themselves to be businesses rather than brands, yet it is essential to brand your business. Small business branding enhances their worth, provides direction and incentive for staff, and simplifies the process of gaining new clients. According to Reboot study, employing a distinctive color may boost a consumer's awareness of your brand by up to 80%. Correct branding gives you some control over how people identify your business. Small business branding enables more people to recognize your firm, fosters confidence, enhances advertising and marketing efforts, cultivates loyal consumers, produces additional income, and, most importantly, inspires staff.As per the Fit Small Business survey, 59% of consumers prefer to purchase from familiar brands. Hence it is crucial for your business to invest in certain Brand Development activities. Crucial Steps Involved in Brand Development Below are few branding strategies for small businesses to stand out. Outline the Purpose of Your Brand Brand purpose is the first step and the most essential for small business branding. A brand's purpose establishes a stronger emotional connection with customers. Brand's purpose help to build a strong brand identity for your small business. Here are few questions that you need to ask yourself before defining your brand's purpose and be clear about: How is your brand unique? What issues do your services or products address? Why should customers care? Does the purpose of my brand align with the specific brand promises I'm making? Having a brand purpose results in higher sales and loyalty. Figure out Your Target Customers Determining your target audience helps you build a strong brand identity and is crucial for small business branding. Determine specific consumer habits and lifestyles to determine your target customers and further narrow your target audience emphasis. By focusing on a specific client segment, you will develop powerful and successful branding strategies and a crystal-clear brand message. It plays a key role in branding a new company with limited resources. Small company owners may identify their niche by examining demographic data, comparable or competitors' brands' target audience, sales, marketing statistics, and existing consumer surveys. Competitive Research Researching your competitors' brands is very necessary and one of the best branding tips for small businesses. Researching your competitors' brands provides you with knowledge on how your competitors' brands are being positioned and the branding tactics they are employing. Additionally, it aids in identifying and establishing your brand's positioning. Choose 2-4 competitors for the comparison and aim to Benchmark your brand against the competition. Differentiation from the competitors is a primary brand-building objective. Finally, convince a consumer to choose you over another vendor. Decide Your Brand Voice The "voice" of your business is the language and personality that you and your staff will use to communicate your branding message and connect with consumers. It is, however, frequently missed. The brand voice covers everything from the words and language you employ to the personality and image evoked by your marketing collateral. You must select a brand voice that makes sense and connects with your target audience. Here is the finest illustration from a prominent brand on how the decision-makers enabled their brand voice to increase brand awareness and sales. Pedigree, a well-known pet food brand, ran a campaign called "The Mutual Loyalty Program" that focused on the adoption of homeless dogs from shelters. Here is a page from their success story. The brand used this social awareness campaign to target its music streaming users using an array of innovative and interactive audio advertising strategies. By drawing attention to a prominent social issue- the plight of the homeless dogs, the pet food brand was able to demonstrate its support to shelter dogs. Through their ad campaign, Pedigree assisted the owners willing to adopt stray dogs by providing a welcome home care kit as a gift. The advertisement concluded with a query about the listener’s interest in the campaign. If the listener expressed interest in learning more about the gift’s contents, they shared extensive information and routed those customers to the landing page. At the same time, others who picked a different response were briefed on learning more about assisting shelter dogs. Thus, this campaign proved to be successful by increasing the product’s sales, helping in brand identification, and assisting in creating a social-inclusive brand image. “The campaign tone and style reinforced the brand's long-running commitment to the importance of pet adoption using an approachable-but-energetic voice,” -Stas Tushinskiy, CEO, Instreamatic (the interactive audio advertising platform used by Pedigree). Conclusion Small business branding plays a vital role in today's digital market world. However, for the future success of the small business, it is a need of an hour to build a strong brand identity and stand out among others. This blog provides the details of branding tips for small businesses; read and effectively implement them to brand your business. Frequently Asked Questions: How important is branding for small businesses? Branding for small businesses is important because it creates trust, differentiates you from the competition, supports your marketing efforts, generates new revenue, gives recognition, adds value to your company, and builds emotional ties. How can a small business create a strong brand identity? There are various techniques small business owners can utilize to create a strong brand identity. Outline the purpose of your brand Figure out your target customers Competitive research Decide your brand voice Choose an impactful slogan { "@context": "https://schema.org", "@type": "FAQPage", "mainEntity": [{ "@type": "Question", "name": "How important is branding for small businesses?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "Branding for small businesses is important because it creates trust, differentiates you from the competition, supports your marketing efforts, generates new revenue, gives recognition, adds value to your company, and builds emotional ties." } },{ "@type": "Question", "name": "How can a small business create a strong brand identity?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "There are various techniques small business owners can utilize to create a strong brand identity. Outline the purpose of your brand Figure out your target customers Competitive research Decide your brand voice Choose an impactful slogan Apply your branding across your business" } }] }

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WAYS FOR YOUR BUSINESS TO SUCCEED WITH VIRTUAL EMPLOYEES

Article | March 11, 2020

Although the concept of remote working is not exactly new, it is becoming increasingly more widespread as companies are responding to the COVID pandemic and the digitization of workspace. A year ago, businesses were struggling with the question of whether virtual employees can both receive and give the same benefits that were driving success – but as many of them are now making that decision for themselves, the answer seems to be a positive one. Few organizations feel prepared to implement virtual work on a large scale, but there are steps you can take to make the experience more productive both for your employees and your business. Preparing for this scenario, or optimizing its effectiveness, should focus on rethinking the necessary operational procedures to ensure business continuity. With a few considerations for your new virtual workspace, your employees will be just as engaged and excited to work for your business. Offer Support The unexpected transitions that have impacted both our lives and our work have disrupted our “normal” routines. Employees need to adjust to the new way of working just as much as businesses, so it’s vital to provide the support they need. Modern businesses are becoming increasingly aware that their employees juggle more than one challenge in their lives, both at and outside of work. To ensure that you are supporting them in any matter, you should look at employee assistance program (EAP) providers that specialize in both personal and work-related problems. And, although this should be on the top of your priority list at any time, looking for certain ways to cherish your employees might be especially useful during new and challenging periods. Making your employees feel like they are contributing and working as part of the team even though they are not physically present can help you maintain and boost success. Focus On The Output, Not The Process In a remote landscape, where many people are balancing their work with family commitments around the house, giving your employees the freedom to complete their work in the easiest way for them will keep your productivity numbers high. So, organizations that have solid employee recognition strategies in place and implement employee recognition ideas to create an emotional connection with their workforce during these difficult times, tend to enjoy stronger employee engagement, enhanced employee morale, and lower turnover. Since you essentially won’t be able to see your employees during the workday, virtual work inherently demands that you trust your employees. If you shift your attention away from the process and towards the outcome, you will likely find that flexibility will translate to more success. Essentially, if you trust your employees, they will show you their appreciation by supporting your goals. Remote work is vastly different from the office life most people are used to, which is why finding an optimal work process will likely take some time. The best thing you can probably do in such a situation is to suspend your previous conceptions of the workflow and focus on providing a supportive structure. Once the scales balance, you will likely find your success formula. Communicate Well And Often There is no question that virtual work usually comes with a dose of loneliness. While this may not be true for all of your employees, you should make sure to adopt practices that open the doors for communication, especially for important topics. Your virtual employees can’t enjoy a mid-day cup of coffee in the break room or after-work get-togethers with their coworkers. So, the culture and atmosphere of the organization will largely depend on what you communicate to them. Communicating clear goals and expectations will help you reinforce your organization’s culture and ensure everyone is on the same page. And, while it’s not always necessary to overwhelm your employees with regular check-ups and meetings, you should check in every once in a while and encourage them to reach out if they want to discuss any challenge or topic. Your company culture is a huge determinant of success, and in times when your company is only virtually connected, good communication is vital.

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7 BIGGEST ENTREPRENEURIAL MISTAKES

Article | March 11, 2020

This is the first post in a seven-part-series detailing the biggest entrepreneurial mistakes business owners make. The series will run over the next few weeks so check back to learn more. These are the 7 Biggest Mistakes I have seen entrepreneurs and companies make that can devalue their Intellectual Property (“IP”) portfolio, damage their brand, or sink a deal. If you are considering turning your idea into a business, read this carefully first. There are other mistakes you can make, but these are the deal-breakers. Any one of these can cost you big bucks, credibility in the eyes of investors and potential partners, and ultimately lead to evaporation of the value of your idea.

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