5 benefits of small business credit cards

ALEXANDRIA WHITE | November 14, 2019

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Small business owners manage a lot of responsibility, and when first starting out, you’re just as likely manage the trash pick up as manage the payroll. Of course, finances are a huge consideration and small business credit cards can be a major asset, when used responsibly. Opening a small business credit card is a great way to streamline day-to-day business expenses while enjoying added perks, such as rewards and purchase protection.Below, CNBC Select reviews the benefits of small business credit cards that can add up to increased savings and easier expense management.

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Payroll Tax Changes for Small Businesses Impacted by Coronavirus

Article | April 10, 2020

As small businesses across the country fight to remain in operation and generating revenue despite the coronavirus pandemic, making payroll has emerged as one of the biggest ongoing dilemmas for business owners. Businesses are now compromised in terms of their ability to pay their employees, due to a combination of health concerns, shelter-in-place restrictions, limited foot traffic, and reduced spending by customers. No business owner wants to lay off their staff, but if money isn’t coming in, there are few other options.

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7 Intrinsic Small Business Marketing Mistakes to Look Out For

Article | August 5, 2021

Marketing is the biggest challenge for small business owners because there is no one-size-fits-all approach to promote your business. And in this process, lot many marketing mistakes are incurred by small business owners. So here is a few intrinsic yet avoidable small business marketing mistakes. There are countless marketing activity combinations to choose from; all you have to do is tailor to the marketing activities that best suit your company. Small business owners frequently try new marketing methods without conducting extensive market research or measuring the results, resulting in losses. To figure out how and where to spend marketing resources for small businesses, you must first avoid marketing blunders. Effective marketing techniques are far more than just using channels, such-and-such an approach or content strategy. Here are the top 7 most typical small business marketing mistakes to avoid in your business. Not Having Written Marketing Plan A business needs to have a well-defined marketing campaigns goal that the marketing plan is supposed to achieve. Small businesses without a strong marketing plan face failure and lack the proper marketing budget. However, it is equally important to have the marketing plans and strategy documented to increase the effectiveness of the business. A business started without a marketing plan in place is a total waste of money and time. A marketing plan generally has the following: Marketing SMART objectives and tactics for achieving them. What sets your company/service/product apart from the competition? (USP). Target audience persona. Pricing strategy. Marketing budget and measurable ROI on previous marketing strategies Metrics and how you plan to evaluate the effectiveness of your marketing strategies. It is crucial to have a marketing plan because it provides a clear direction for the future, evaluates past performance, and educates anyone on your overall strategy. A well-documented marketing plan will make it easier to plan future marketing strategies and ensure that you use best practices in small business marketing. Not having a written marketing plan is one of the most common small business marketing mistakes. No Systematic Marketing Budget When promoting on any social media site, it's smart to approach cautiously and, more importantly, with a particular budget in mind. However, no systematic and realistic marketing budget plan can cost you a significant loss of time and a waste of money. It is recommended that small businesses devote 9-12 percent of their income to marketing. If you are a start-up, though, you may need to invest more to establish brand awareness. If you cannot give 50% of your time and energy to marketing, then the best option to go for is outsourcing your marketing. This holds two benefits; firstly, you can put up your 50% of time and energy into other business tasks, and secondly, a good marketing agency will do a better job of marketing than you would. When you have decided to outsource your marketing, you will have to set a reasonable budget for doing the same. Determine the budget based on your industry and resources, but it is an investment at the end of the day. A portion of your budget should be set aside for technology and software tools to provide a return on investment for your overall marketing efforts. Good marketing has a direct and positive impact on the amount of money your company generates. Lack of Strong Online Presence From a marketing perspective, not having a website is devastating and a substantial small business marketing mistake. Unfortunately, as per the study, nearly half of small businesses in the US don’t have a website. Many small business owners do not see the need for an online presence for them, and this could do fine some ten years back but now, when the world has transformed into the digital world, surviving without a website is nearly impossible. As per the research, more than 90% of consumers search online for services or products. Remember that websites should be designed for conversion rather than just information delivery. According to Neil Patel, businesses with conversion-optimized websites are "twice as likely to see a large increase in sales." Having an online presence is one of the best marketing approaches with many benefits. It enhances accessibility, reaches a broader audience, builds customer relationships and trust, enables effortless marketing, and many more. A strong internet presence may give insightful data that can be used to measure and track the effectiveness of various marketing campaigns. Marketing Metrics Ignorance One of the risky small business marketing mistakes is failing to understand your marketing metrics and ratios. However, most small businesses do not track marketing metrics. Metrics allow you to track your progress and measure your success. Marketing analytics allows you to see what works and what doesn't, assists brands in determining whether campaigns are successful, and assists you in recognizing what adjustments need to be made and providing insights to adjust future campaigns accordingly. Knowing your marketing metrics is essential no matter what type of business you run. Google Analytics and Google Search Console are tools that provide information about your visitors. Tracking is essential because what is not measured cannot be improved. Here is the suggestion that you can implement, set aside time each week to evaluate the effectiveness of your marketing. Take note of what works and what doesn’t and use that information to guide your next marketing campaign. No Emphasis on Valuing the Current Customers It is natural to focus on acquiring new customers to see those numbers increase, but never forget about your existing customers in this ongoing process. According to studies, it costs six times more to acquire a new customer than it does to retain an existing one. Listen to customer feedback because, according to Forrester Research, nearly 70% of consumers read customer reviews before buying a product or service. Be quick to appease customers when they complain; losing an existing customer indeed costs more than acquiring a new one. This will increase their trust in your brand. Finally, a satisfied customer will return to your business and spend more time and money. Furthermore, happy and loyal customers are more likely to spread the word, and word of mouth is still the most potent form of marketing. Therefore, loyal customers can be your company's most influential advocate. Right Audience Was Not Targeted No matter how well your campaign and marketing strategy may be, if you are not targeting the right audience, then all your money and effort are in vain and can be one of the most pivotal small business marketing mistakes. Sometimes targeting the wrong audience is worse than not targeting the market because you find out that none of them respond to your marketing efforts, and it leads to a total waste of your time and effort without any return. Spend some time learning about your customers' behavior, their goals, what motivates them, and so on. Market research from your customer base, such as surveys and interviews, allows you to create a strong target audience persona. Target people you know will be interested in your service. If you try to talk to everyone in marketing, you will have a difficult time reaching anyone. However, if you target your ideal buyer, you will be able to make the most of your marketing budget while also attracting and retaining more customers. Ignore Reviewing Your Competitors Many small business owners avoid keeping track of their competitors, which can be considered small business marketing mistakes. However, examining your competitors can provide you with a thorough understanding of your customers. This could be your hidden weapon. There are mainly two types of competitors: Direct competitors. Indirect competitors. Ignoring your competitors is akin to ignoring your customers. Examine your competitors' marketing efforts, successes, and failures, and never replicate them in your business practices and allocate your marketing resources to find new customers. SpyFu, Facebook Ad Library, and Google Alert all allow you to view your competitors' marketing campaigns. To put it concisely, investigating what your competitors are doing or not doing, determining what they plan, what their next move will be, and analyzing their strategies may provide you with valuable insights to use for your benefit. This clears that ignoring reviewing your competitors can be one of the pre-eminent small business marketing mistakes. Running a business is full of mistakes, especially when it comes to marketing. However, knowing the errors and rectifying them timely is the key to success. In the above article, I have listed seven essential small business marketing mistakes to be avoided. FAQs: What are some marketing mistakes? Here few common marketing mistakes to avoid: Not having written marketing planning. No systematic marketing budget. Lack of strong online presence. Not knowing marketing metrics. No emphasis on valuing the current customers. Not targeting the right audience. Ignore reviewing your competitors. What problems are small businesses facing? Major problems faced by small businesses are: Money management. Maintaining online presence. Lack of proper marketing strategy and planning. Obtaining and keeping customers. Quality and growth must be balanced. How do you avoid marketing mistakes? Marketing mistakes can be avoided by proper planning in every aspect of the business. Do thorough marketing research, focus on your potential customer’s needs, track your performance, and more. These are a few ways you could avoid marketing mistakes by being a little cautious. { "@context": "https://schema.org", "@type": "FAQPage", "mainEntity": [{ "@type": "Question", "name": "What are some marketing mistakes?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "Here few common marketing mistakes to avoid: Not having written marketing planning. No systematic marketing budget. Lack of strong online presence. Not knowing marketing metrics. No emphasis on valuing the current customers. Not targeting the right audience. Ignore reviewing your competitors." } },{ "@type": "Question", "name": "What problems are small businesses facing?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "Major problems faced by small businesses are: Money management. Maintaining online presence. Lack of proper marketing strategy and planning. Obtaining and keeping customers. Quality and growth must be balanced." } },{ "@type": "Question", "name": "How do you avoid marketing mistakes?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "Marketing mistakes can be avoided by proper planning in every aspect of the business. Do thorough marketing research, focus on your potential customer’s needs, track your performance, and more. These are a few ways you could avoid marketing mistakes by being a little cautious." } }] }

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How to Grow Your Business’s Instagram Followers

Article | June 26, 2021

decorative arrow How to Grow Your Business’s Instagram Followers Author: Dawn Weinberger | June 26, 2021 With more than one billion users worldwide, Instagram is undoubtedly a well-known social media application with a lot of reach. Launched on October 6, 2010 with the founder’s photo of a stray dog, the app is filled, of course, with memes, cute pet photos and other entertainment-oriented content, but it is also a valuable marketing tool that can play an important role in your small business’s marketing strategy. Statistics indicate that business owners are taking advantage of Instagram’s clout—71% of businesses use Instagram to at least some degree. Perhaps more importantly, 81% of Instagram users (meaning consumers with personal Instagram accounts) turn to the platform for information on products and services before making a purchase. This includes everything from doing research on products and services to getting the particulars on promotions and sales to finding links to websites and contact information. All add up to a potential goldmine for small business owners interested in updating their digital marketing campaigns with proven e-commerce strategies.

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WAYS FOR YOUR BUSINESS TO SUCCEED WITH VIRTUAL EMPLOYEES

Article | August 29, 2021

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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