10 SMS Marketing Best Practices for Small Businesses

ROB STARR | April 2, 2019

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One of the biggest reasons that small business needs to look at SMS marketing is the effectiveness. According to information supplied from EZ Texting,  text messaging has a 98% percent open rate. The response rate is 45% compared to 6% for email.There are other good reasons why text messages are a good choice.Small business owners don’t have a lot of time or resources to put into marketing, so they need a way to reach their customers directly but also have a tool that helps them automate their marketing messaging,” Matt Reid, Chief Marketing Officer of EZ Texting, writes in an email. “Text marketing has a low overhead, and EZ Texting makes it simple for small business owners to execute a marketing strategy on their own.”

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8 Small Business Resolutions for the Fiscal Year - 2021-2022

Article | July 28, 2021

2020 was a year of unprecedented incidents to the world as well as businesses. Now when the year is winding down, it is a time to get back on track with a bang. It is time for reassessment, better preparations, new opportunities, intelligent business strategies, and reshaped small business resolutions for the year 2021 and beyond to fight against new business challenges. 2020 had been the toughest for business owners, and 2021 is more demanding and challenging, especially for small businesses. However, small business owners must consider external and internal factors when planning for the upcoming years with a new set of contemporary small business goals. You have come a long way despite the setbacks and challenges thrown at you by unforeseeable circumstances, and you have gained a new set of experiences. Are you ready to return to business with a bang and build a more substantial business in 2021? If so, here are a few small business resolutions for 2021 to help your company thrive in the fiscal year. Review your business goals and plan A good business plan acts as a roadmap for business success. Hence, it is vital to review your business plan and goals at the start of every financial year. Then, keep this as your primary fiscal year 2021 budget resolution. Evaluation of your business plan helps you assess your last year's progress, failures and helps you to focus on the areas that need your attention. With every passing year, small business goals keep changing as per the current situation and try to adapt to the new changing business trends. Therefore, your plan needs to reflect the latest goals that small business owners plan to accomplish. It is essential to review and update your business plan focusing on the latest financial goals and marketing ideas to grow and taste success in 2021. Reviewing and updating a business plan is one of the first considerations of small business resolutions. Make online presence As the world has become more digitalized, the need for a small business to have an online presence has become essential. Having a website proved to be an asset for small business owners during the COVID-19 crisis because it allowed them to connect and stay in touch with their customers. Establishing an online presence makes your business visible, reachable and allows businesses to engage with customers. Establishing an online presence is one of the most popular and requested small business resolutions. Having an online presence entails developing a website as well as posting and engaging on social media accounts. Once your small business has an online presence, create content about your products, services, and offerings through your blogs and social media platforms. Re-evaluate your financial situation Botched financial management can cost you a big deal; that is why it is necessary to re-evaluate your financial situation every year to plan your business finance according to the current situation. Re-evaluating your finances is one of the intrinsic small business resolutions for the systematic workflow of the business. Here are few financial resolutions: • You can identify areas for improvement by reviewing your spending each month. • Pay down high-interest credit card debt. • Securing a flexible source of financing that provides you with quick access to the funds you require to grow. • Invest more money in the future of your company (short-term and long-term goals). Tune up your customer service Exceptional customer service is critical for modern and digitalized businesses of the future. According to the report, customers are more likely to become repeat customers due to the company's excellent customer service. Small businesses may provide excellent customer service, but it is necessary to improve it constantly. Therefore, small business goals must consider 2020 mistakes and attempt to avoid them in the future. It is predicted that soon, customer service will be more important than price, product, or service in a customer's decision. Therefore, ensure that your customer does not have a negative experience; negative experiences leave a long-term imprint on the customer's memory. As a result, your business may suffer severe consequences. According to Harvard Business Review, investing in new customers is up to 25 times more expensive than investing in existing ones. Enhancing your customer service is an essential aspect of small business resolutions for the upcoming year and beyond. Refresh your marketing strategy Marketing happened to be the backbone of business strategies, especially for small businesses during the pandemic. However, every year, new marketing trends emerge, and small businesses should be aware of these business trends and adjust their marketing strategies accordingly. Therefore, refreshing your marketing strategy is one of the imperative small business resolutions. Be inventive in your marketing strategies. Analyze the success and failures of your marketing efforts over the previous year and update your current marketing plan aptly. However, make sure that your business objectives are specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-bound. Email marketing is considered one of the best marketing tactics for small businesses. Besides, it is the primary channel for lead generation for 89% of marketers. It is consistently ranked as the single most effective tactic for meeting their awareness, acquisition, conversion, and retention goals. Expand your network It is vital to invest time to build your networks. Small business owners often ignore this aspect, but it is a pressing priority of 2021. Make connections with other entrepreneurs, meet your competitors, pay visits to your suppliers, and keep a record of everyone you know. It is propitious to expand your network because it allows you to form relationships with others and encourage them to refer customers to you via viva voce. In addition, networking can lead to the discovery of new clients, opportunities, vendors, collaborators, service providers, and even new friends. Below are few techniques that can help you to expand your business network: • Take your current network to the next level. • Locate networking events. • Set objectives for the event. • Maintain symbiotic relationships. • Look for new faces. Review your insurance coverage Even if cash is tight or revenues are down, small businesses should not ignore their insurance needs. Small business insurance is one of the most essential components of safeguarding your livelihood, yourself, employees, and even customers. Hence, small business owners must have comprehensive insurance coverage and regularly review and update their coverage as their circumstances change. Ascertain that you understand what is and is not covered. Furthermore, as your company grows, you should review your coverage regularly. Few insurance agents will review your current policy and make recommendations based on your company's specific needs, as well as identify any discounts you may be eligible for. Besides, once you have determined what type of policy or policies you require, you can compare prices from various insurance companies to find the best value. Prioritize and upgrade company culture The hallmark of any successful business lies in making the workplace great and healthy for work. So if your small business relies on the work of employees, focusing on prioritizing and upgrading your company culture as well as nurturing your employees, is an excellent resolution for 2021. The previous year was stressful for both employees and employers, which can harm workplace productivity. It is crucial to foster an inclusive and empowering work environment. Take a survey to find out what changes employees would like to see in terms of culture, and then create a company culture that reflects their needs. Employee satisfaction leads to productivity and innovation. In addition, employees are more motivated to take pride in their work and the company they work for when they feel safe, respected, and have a sense of ownership. FAQs: How to write resolutions for small businesses? Examine all aspects of your small business from the previous year to create a solid list of resolutions for the coming year. Consider your successes and failures and work to alleviate them. What is a resolution for a business? In business, a resolution is a proposal made during a meeting of the company's shareholders or directors. It is discussed, and its approval represents an official confirmation of any action that the company will take. Resolutions are classified into four types: elective, extraordinary, unique, and ordinary. Why should every business have a resolution? Resolutions help to focus your efforts and energy on new goals and reaching new heights. In addition, resolutions enable business owners to understand where they can increase efficiency and grow over the coming year. { "@context": "https://schema.org", "@type": "FAQPage", "mainEntity": [{ "@type": "Question", "name": "How to write resolutions for small businesses?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "Examine all aspects of your small business from the previous year to create a solid list of resolutions for the coming year. Consider your successes and failures and work to alleviate them." } },{ "@type": "Question", "name": "What is a resolution for a business?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "In business, a resolution is a proposal made during a meeting of the company's shareholders or directors. It is discussed, and its approval represents an official confirmation of any action that the company will take. Resolutions are classified into four types: elective, extraordinary, unique, and ordinary." } },{ "@type": "Question", "name": "Why should every business have a resolution?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "Resolutions help to focus your efforts and energy on new goals and reaching new heights. In addition, resolutions enable business owners to understand where they can increase efficiency and grow over the coming year." } }] }

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How to Structure Your Business: 9 Tips For Structuring New Businesses

Article | April 8, 2021

To help you develop a new business structure, we asked business leaders and entrepreneurs this question for their best tips. From determining your level of involvement to adopting innovative business structures, there are several tips that may help you develop your new business structure.

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Small Business Grants: Get Free Funding

Article | September 5, 2021

Doesn't free money for small businesses sound wonderful? Thus, free money to small-medium enterprises (SMEs) is the core purpose of small business grants. As a small business owner, you are constantly looking for funding opportunities for small businesses to expand your enterprise. This requirement became even more desirable during the coronavirus pandemic. The following are the top challenges facing small businesses: Cash flow is limited or inconsistent Lack of capital raising No provision for unforeseen expenses Inadequate tax compliance Absence of a budget Combining commercial and personal finances “It’s almost always harder to raise capital than you thought it would be, and it always takes longer. So plan for that.” – Richard Harroch, Venture Capitalist and Author How About We Figure Out What a Business Grant is? A grant is a sum of money provided to a business for a particular purpose. There are several financing possibilities for small enterprises when applying for start-up business grants. You only need to know where to find it. Government (federal and state), charities, and private institutions all offer small business grants. Unlike small business loans, small business grants do not need a repayment. In addition, unlike loans, you are not required to provide security, are not charged late fees or interest, and are not required to give away any ownership of your business. As a result, grants for small businesses are an appealing source of finance for businesses. Small business grants are frequently awarded based on specific areas, industrial sectors, community groups, or types of enterprises. Grants come in various forms, including those granted by the government, those supplied by private firms, and those directed for specific groups such as women, veterans, or women. In addition, considering the current pandemic crisis, a new grant has been established to assist individuals negatively impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. The federal government does not provide start-up business grants; instead, its grant programs are often directed toward non-profit organizations or other government agencies that face financing challenges. COVID-19 Small Business Grants Several types of COVID-19 small business grants are available to mitigate the loss caused by the coronavirus to small businesses. First, government grants for small businesses provide economic relief from the loss of revenue. The United States Small Business Administration (SBA) administers federal small business funds for coronavirus recovery under the Economic Aid to Hard-Hit Small Businesses, Non-profit Organizations, and Venues Act. Paycheck Protection Program (PPP): Small Business Administration (SBA) provides financial help by introducing financial assistance programs like Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). However, Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) concluded on May 31, 2021. Even after the termination of the program, you can still qualify for loan forgiveness. This program was a significant part of COVID-19 small business grants. As of May 10, 2021, the SBA has authorized $782 billion in PPP loans. To qualify for loan grants, you must establish the following: Maintaining employee and pay levels The revenues of the loan are used to cover payroll costs and other allowable expenses At least 60% of the earnings are used to cover payroll expenditures COVID-19 Targeted Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) The Federal government recognized the coronavirus's impact and introduced many COVID-19 small business grants, and Targeted EIDL was one of the leading financial assistance programs offered. The SBA makes targeted economic injury disaster funding available to small companies in low-income regions that have suffered revenue loss due to the coronavirus pandemic. This is more of a donation than a loan, as it is not returnable. The targeted EIDL offers up to $10,000 in advance if your firm is: Located in a low-income neighborhood Has sustained a higher than 30% economic loss Employ no more than 300 people Due to COVID-19, small business owners and qualified agricultural companies in all 50 states and territories of the United States are presently eligible to apply for a low-interest loan. Shuttered Venues Grant As of August 2021, the Shutter Venues Grant program is ended. However, later that month, the Small Business Administration (SBA) planned to establish a supplemental Shuttered Venue Operators Grant (SVOG) application for 50% of the initial amount, up to a maximum of $10 million. The Economic Aid to Hard-Hit Small Businesses, Non-profits, and Venues Act established the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant (SVOG) program, modified by the American Rescue Plan Act. The initiative, managed by the SBA's Office of Disaster Assistance, would provide over $16 billion in subsidies to closed venues. Eligible candidates may receive up to 45% of their gross earned revenue in the form of a grant. The maximum grant is ten million dollars. Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF) The American Rescue Plan Act established the Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF) to provide emergency assistance for eligible restaurants, bars, and other eligible businesses impacted by the pandemic. This program compensates restaurants for income losses caused by the pandemic, up to a maximum of $10 million per firm and no more than $5 million per physical location. As of now, RRF is closed for new applications. Government Grants for Small Business Numerous government grants for small businesses have been made available for free by the federal, state, and municipal governments. However, accepting free government money entails a considerable bit of paperwork and is time-consuming and technical at the same time. Federal Government Grants for Small Business The federal government offers many other additional grants for small businesses along with COVID-19 assistance. Federal government grants for small businesses are generally available to firms engaged in research, technology, or health. The government agencies that support small company grants are the SBA, the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and the Department of Agriculture. Let us find out which are the most competitive government grants for small businesses. Small Business Innovation Research Program (SBIR) Small Business Technology Transfer Program (STTR) U.S. Small Business Administration State Trade Expansion Program (STEP) NIH Grants U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) State Government Grants for Small Business State offers government incentives to a small business that address the state's social or economic issues. However, due to the minor application set for state funds, competition may be less severe and easily accessible. Federal agencies occasionally award grants to state governments, which then distribute the monies. Below is few resources body that offers funding opportunities for small businesses: U.S. Economic Development Administration State Business Incentives Database Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs) Private Small Business Grants While government grants are beneficial to small companies, the financing levels are insufficient. Occasionally, private corporations and charities step forward and provide small business grants. On the other hand, private business grants need separate applications and may have eligibility limits confined to specific industries. Numerous corporate-sponsored small business grants require applicants to compete in pitch competitions or something comparable. Unfortunately, few major private corporations provide substantial financial incentives to small businesses for joining (and winning) contests or pitch competitions. However, even if you do not win, you may receive a runner-up reward or exposure for your business. Below are few private small business grants available FedEx Small Business Grant Contest National Association of the Self-Employed (NASE) Visa Everywhere Initiative Wells Fargo Community Investment Nav's Quarterly $10,000 Business Grant Patagonia Corporate Grant Program Start-Up Business Grants A start-up business grant is money provided by the government or another entity to assist small businesses and organizations in establishing and developing their businesses. Initially, small business grants are often not accessible to launch a firm; nevertheless, they are available for specific businesses and owners. The following is a list of different sorts of businesses eligible for start-up small business grants: Innovators Rural Businesses Green businesses Women, veteran, or minority-owned businesses Non-profit organizations Here is an example of small business start-up grants 4.0 Schools fellowships Jack Daniel's pitch distilled Final Thought As the information above indicates, there are several small business grants available. However, applying for grants is time intensive and may result in your firm not receiving the money needed. Finally, explore the small business grant, whichyour business is eligible for. If small business grants are not a possibility for you, several alternative funding choices are available that fit your budget. FAQs: What can a small business grant be used for? Small business grants are used for a variety of purposes: to establish a business, to stimulate minority entrepreneurship, to support research and development in a particular industry, to bring innovation, and to assist businesses in the domains of science, technology, and health, the list goes on. How can I get a grant to start a small business? There are several websites and organizations where you may obtain small company grants, including the following: SBIR.gov USDA Rural Business Development Grants Small Business Development Centres Grants.gov National Association for the Self-Employed (NASE) FedEx Small Business Grant Contest What distinguishes grants from small business loans? The primary distinction between small business grants and small business loans is that grants are not returned (with certain circumstances), but loans need to be paid back. In addition, grants are generally reserved for small firms, requiring more time to process and receive the funds.

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5 Ways To Locally Advertise Your Small Business

Article | April 5, 2020

Many small businesses have a minimal budget when it comes to advertising, and that can hold them back. It’s not impossible, but it takes a lot more consideration as to where and how you spend that money for maximum exposure and benefit. Before the internet, adverts in the phone book or the local newspaper were the norm, as well as traditional methods such as flyers and posters. These days, small businesses are aware of the importance of search engine optimization (SEO) and the need to rank highly on Google, but the reality is that they also need to focus on hyper-local methods of advertising. In this article, we look at a few ways in which you can do this.

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