5 ways Artificial Intelligence can help small businesses

PAUL JOY | June 24, 2020

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The most remarkable aspect of the 21st century's technological revolution is how many of the technologies once considered beyond reach are accessible even to the general public. It would be an understatement to say that Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning is changing how we did business. It is altering the decision-making strategies for enterprises, helping retail chains in finding the best routes in mobilizing their supply chain, etc. Artificial intelligence is helping businesses in ways unimagined.

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The Basics of Paying Yourself As an Entrepreneur

Article | June 29, 2021

If you’re a sole proprietor, a partner in a partnership, or a member of a standard LLC, you’ll likely pay yourself with an owner’s draw. This is the most flexible payment method, allowing you to withdraw cash from your company’s equity account (your business earnings plus any capital you’ve invested in the business) at any time.

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Top 12 Email Marketing Tips for Small Businesses

Article | June 18, 2021

The world of marketing has changed with the advancements of modern technology. Today’s marketers use several digital platforms to outreach their prospects. Are you a small business owner and hesitant to try email marketing? Let me ease you with successful email marketing tips for small businesses. Email marketing is the best marketing channel to drive leads. Email marketing remains a popular and lucrative medium yet underrated business expansion techniques with varied mediums to share your information and news. With varied mediums to share your information and news, email marketing remains to be popular and lucrative medium yet underrated business expansion techniques. Many small business owners are under the impression that email marketing is ineffective and is for the big business owners, still small business owners can gain a lot from email marketing. Email marketing is the most effective marketing channel for connecting with the audience. To reap -a high ROI, it is time to bring these email marketing techniques to practice. Why is Email Marketing Important for Small Business? Start-up businesses and small businesses are low on budget and cannot afford to spend thousands of dollars on costly marketing platforms. But aggressive marketing strategy is required to reach maximum people and appear on SERP. Here is the important part of an email, email marketing is cost-effective and engaging new customers as well as retaining the loyalty of older customers. In addition, email marketing is a transparent and honest form of marketing tool. Email marketing fulfils small business needs by helping to reach your target customers, send personalized messages based on customer actions, and promote relevant services to them. Email is extremely versatile and allows marketing, relationship building, and expanding your customer base with well-planned small business email campaigns. As per data from Pew Research, about 92% of adults in the United States use email. Thus, if you want to be competitive in digital marketing, you must take up email marketing. Email Marketing Benefits for Small Business Email marketing benefits your small business in many ways. Here are few ways where it can help you. Email marketing can be personalized for your leads, and in turn it gives a boost to your sales. It is easy to set up. It can be automated, saving you time. You can segment your audience and share semi-personalized emails to them, like sending targeted emails to your audience. You can send promotional emails or new releases. It helps in building a relationship with your leads. Lead generation and lead nurturing. Here are the top 10 email marketing tips for small businesses to enhance the performance of your next marketing campaign. Top 12 Email Marketing Tips for Small Businesses Stay compliant When using email marketing, it is important to be compliant with the CAN-SPAM Act. As per the CAN-SPAM Act, consumers are protected from getting unsolicited emails. Make sure you use the opt-in and opt-out form on your website, where users can choose to subscribe and unsubscribe at their will. Be sure to send emails only to people who have subscribed to your email list. It will help if you abide by the guidelines to avoid any significant fines and other sanctions in case you miss. Personalize your emails When sending an email, keep the style and tone friendly and go beyond just using the subscriber’s name in addressing or subject line. You can follow few more personalized techniques, such as Send anniversary emails. Send behavior-triggered emails. Send personalized videos. Segment your audience and then send personalized emails to give a personal touch and grab their attention. This way, email marketing strategy for small businesses will be more effective. Make signup easy Registration is the most important step among email marketing techniques. Make signup on your website as easy and as accessible as possible. Use an embedded signup form to make the registration easy. Include signup forms on your homepage, blogs, contact page, and your footer, and other places of the site where customers are likely to visit. You can collect all their details and offer them special discounts. This step will help you build a quality email list and capture contact information about the interested audience. Segment your email list This step is one of the significant steps of email marketing tips for small businesses. Once your email list is ready, segment them based on customers’ interest and their characteristics. Segment your list according to your customer’s age, preferences, location, and previous purchases made. A segmentation list is important because each customer differs from the other, having unique needs. Now send a personalized email with special offers and discounts as per these segmented lists. Creating your email segment list will enable you to drive more ROI and effectively target your audience. Write captivating subject lines The subject line of an email is a very crucial aspect of email marketing. It is an important part of the email. Create a stunning and catchy subject of the email because it acts as the first impression on the user. Make sure to keep the subject line short and specific. Try to generate unique and impressive subject lines that raise curiosity and trigger recipients to open an email and not take the chance of missing it. Once you develop a good number of ideas on the subject line, you can go for the A/B testing method. Promotional emails Promotional emails provide special offers and discounts to attract subscribers and customers for your services or products. The main aim of sending promotional emails in email marketing is to convince customers to make purchases. Promotional email offers incentives to drive revenue and sales for a business. Promotional email content and design should be focused on persuading the recipient to act. Make your emails mobile-friendly and optimized for purchases Around 70% of the population use a smartphone for the maximum of their activities, so it is necessary to make sure your emails are mobile optimized. Make sure your email marketing campaign is mobile-friendly and is an effective email marketing technique for small businesses. Format the content of the email correctly and ensure its adaptability to several applications, regardless of where it’s being used (desktop, tablet, mobile) or on which browser. It is important to analyze open-rate, unsubscribe rate, click-through rate, and user action rates for your small business email campaign. This is one of the trendiest and highly in-use email marketing tips for small businesses to gain success . Automated emails Make sending automated emails for small businesses a top priority in 2021. Email automation saves a lot of time. Once an automated email campaign is set, it sends automated relevant emails to the users when a specific trigger is met. Sending automated emails is one of the best email marketing tips for small businesses and is a powerful email marketing technique. Set up an automated welcome email for new subscribers, which will help you to build trust with your new customers. You can make use of email marketing software options to automate B2C and B2B email marketing tasks. Through automated emails, you reach to right people with the right message and at the right time for your small business marketing. Make your emails easy to read/scan Your subscribers are busy people, so make sure your emails are easy to read, not very lengthy, and stick to your user's experience theme. Users will open your email and scan it without spending a lot of time reading the full content of your email. Make sure your content is interesting crisp, and stands out. Use valuable text in the form of bullet points, subheadings, keywords or gifs, or infographics that cover the maximum of your valuable content in just one look. This email marketing tip for small businesses gives your email a chance to stand out from other emails in the client’s list. Design your emails around your brand Design your email that reflects your brand. Make sure your email is instantly recognizable. Follow your brand guidelines for font, image, styles, color palette, and make sure they are consistent with your brand. To make your emails user-friendly, use similar elements as per your website design. Track engagement and monitor results You will be able to send the right information to the people who are engaged the most, which is possible only when you track the engagement. It is important to track various metrics, monitor your email campaign’s success, and take corrective measures required to improve the success. Small businesses need to track the below metrics for their email campaigns: Open rates Click-through rates Conversion rates Referral traffic Bounce rates Unsubscribe rates Monitoring results is a continuous ongoing process. First, monitor the analytics information in email marketing to know what works and what does not. Be consistent with your editorial calendar Be consistent in sending emails to customers from your email list. You can do this by creating a schedule for your email campaign that helps you plan and execute your marketing campaigns. Be sure to contact your recipients more than once a month to keep them interested and subscribed. Not hearing from you for a longer duration hampers the email campaign leading to a significant drop in the subscriptions. Observe consumer behavior and tailor your plan accordingly. Wrapping Up Email marketing is one of the best ways to reach target customers, keep customers informed, and prospects engaged affordably and easily. Email marketing techniques are one of the most effective and beneficial marketing strategies for small businesses to improve their ROI, increase customer engagement, generate leads, and grow business. To launch an email marketing strategy for your small business, pair it with the above email marketing tips for small businesses and benefit from successful email campaigns in 2021. Frequently Asked Questions: What are the types of marketing emails? Email marketing is nothing but sending commercial emails to promote services or products and develop relationships with potential customers or existing clients. There various types of emails sent are welcome emails, promotional emails, lead nurturing emails, email newsletter, sponsorship emails, transactional emails, brand story emails, and many more. Every brand is different, so tailor your email marketing strategy accordingly. Why small businesses need email marketing? Email marketing helps small businesses increase brand awareness and credibility, contact customers, and provide them with up-to-date information about your business. Email marketing helps to generate leads and turn them into sales. The biggest benefit email marketing offers to small businesses is that it allows reaching the right audience at the right time. Is email marketing still effective for small businesses? Often small business owners are under the impression that email marketing for small businesses is not effective, and it is just for big business owners. On the contrary, email marketing is the most impactful marketing channel for small businesses connecting with the audience. { "@context": "https://schema.org", "@type": "FAQPage", "mainEntity": [{ "@type": "Question", "name": "What are the types of marketing emails?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "Email marketing is nothing but sending commercial emails to promote services or products and develop relationships with potential customers or existing clients. There various types of emails sent are welcome emails, promotional emails, lead nurturing emails, email newsletter, sponsorship emails, transactional emails, brand story emails, and many more. Every brand is different, so tailor your email marketing strategy accordingly." } },{ "@type": "Question", "name": "Why small businesses need email marketing?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "Email marketing helps small businesses increase brand awareness and credibility, contact customers, and provide them with up-to-date information about your business. Email marketing helps to generate leads and turn them into sales. The biggest benefit email marketing offers to small businesses is that it allows reaching the right audience at the right time." } },{ "@type": "Question", "name": "Is email marketing still effective for small businesses?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "Often small business owners are under the impression that email marketing for small businesses is not effective, and it is just for big business owners. On the contrary, email marketing is the most impactful marketing channel for small businesses connecting with the audience." } }] }

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The ratio that can fix your small business finances

Article | February 26, 2020

You have a lot of responsibility as a small business owner, whether you’re managing numerous people or are a self-employed army of one. You have to worry about expenses, numerous financial statements, tax season and more, all while trying to build your net worth. One of the biggest obligations that looms over the head of nearly every business owner is the thought of debt. Debt can greatly impact the growth capacity of a business, and even worse, it can cause a business to go under completely. Fortunately, there’s a great tool that can help you determine how much debt you can handle and help you understand your company’s general financial health. That tool? The solvency ratio.

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Top 8 Options of Startup Financing for Small Businesses

Article | July 23, 2021

Are you set with the business idea? So now is the real mammoth-sized challenge that is how to get startup finance? As the adage goes, "never put all your eggs in one basket," and this is especially true when it comes to startup financing options for your business. Entrepreneurs ought to understand the importance of diversifying financial sources and the available options. It is crucial to select the appropriate startup financing for small businesses. According to a 2020 Federal Reserve report, new company small businesses are the primary source of job growth in the United States. Still, they are much more likely than larger firms to face financial difficulties in accessing borrowed capital. Millions of Americans start their businesses each year. According to the Census Bureau, there would be over 4.3 million new business applications in 2020 alone. It is vital to choose the suitable funding options as per your business requirements. Because every business's needs and circumstances are unique, no financial solution is one-size-fits-all. Some choose to finance their startups with their years saved capital or get “love money” from family, spouse or friends, or any other funding options. How you choose to fund your business determines the structure and operation of your business. Hence, finding appropriate funding for startups is a bit tricky. In this blog, explore few options of startup financing for small businesses and grow your business. What is startup financing for small businesses? Startup capital is a large sum of money raised to help with the financial needs of new businesses. Small business startup loan covers all the major company’s initial costs, such as purchasing equipment, working capital, machinery inventory, supplies, licenses, office space, furniture, product development, purchase of construction equipment or real estate. Funding for startups can be provided by venture capitalists, angel investors, banks, or other financial institutions. It is pretty common that a new business might require more than one round of startup capital investment. In addition, many investors ask for a solid business plan in exchange for their money due to the risk involved in investing in the young company. Advantages and disadvantages of startup financing for small businesses Advantages: • You will have enough money to start your own business. • Personal wealth can be safeguarded. • You have the option to retain ownership. • You can establish business credit. Disadvantages: • It isn't easy to get startup business loans approved. • High-interest rates. • These loans may limit cash flow. • Your personal credit may be jeopardized. • You might not get all the money you asked for. Where can I get a small business startup loan? Small Business Credit Cards Business credit cards are the most preferred option of startup financing for small businesses. As a result, small businesses are highly targeted by business credit card issuers providing them multiple offers, unique benefits, and applications. Small business credit cards give small business owners easy access to a changing line of credit and a set of credit limits for making purchases and withdrawing cash. Business credit cards are safe, convenient, and a great alternative to startup business loans. Applying for small business credit cards can be quickly done online or through banks. The criteria to qualify for a small business credit card depends on the business owner’s credit score and combined income (personal and business). Small business credit cards are convenient startup financing options. Choose a credit card with a 0% APR to save money on interest. You will be able to pay off your debts in full each month once you start generating revenue. According to a recent Federal Reserve Small Business Credit Survey, 53% of small businesses use credit cards to help fund their operations. The most significant advantage of a small business credit card is that you can access the funds immediately for short-term needs, potentially increasing your company's purchasing power. Venture capital Venture capital funding is a good choice of startup financing for small businesses. Venture capital is a type of equity and financing provided by investors to start-ups and small businesses with the potential for long-term growth. Venture capitalists are a type of investor who typically invests in a business against equity and holds a small portion of the company's ownership in exchange for capital. When investing, venture capitalists consider a few criteria, such as specific industry sectors, company stage, and geography. In addition, venture capitalists frequently seek entrepreneurs with a robust business model that has the potential for higher returns. Venture capital financing is difficult to obtain because, as a business owner, you must ensure that their focus matches your company's and its stage of development. Venture capital is a time-consuming process that looks for more considerable opportunities that are stable, have a strong team, and have good traction. However, because venture capitalists provide a lot of mentorship and ownership, this may not be the best option for you if mentorship and compromising do not fit in your books. Crowdfunding Crowdfunding is a new trending option of startup financing for small businesses and has increased over the past few years due to its low risk for business owners. Crowdfunding is a way to raise startup capital through small contributions or investments from many individuals via crowdfunding websites or crowdfunding platforms. To raise funds for startups through crowdfunding is not very difficult; it just requires setting up your company profile on the popular crowdfunding websites or crowdfunding platforms available. The profile needs to describe your company, its business, the products or services you deal in, and the amount of money you wish to raise. Interested people can contribute to your campaign in exchange for a reward for their contribution. In addition, setting up a crowdfunding campaign gives exposure to your young company seeking money for the startup. Crowdfunding for startups is accomplished by gathering donations from diverse people in exchange for a special reward. This incentive could take the form of free products, exclusive discounts, first access to new products, premium merchandise, the opportunity to join the team, or even becoming a significant capital investor. Some of the popular crowdfunding platforms in the US include Kickstarter, Indiegogo, RocketHub, Onevest, SeedInvest, and many more. Each crowdfunding platform charges a fee to list your campaign, a flat fee or a percentage of the funds raised. Because each crowdfunding platform is unique, make sure to read the fine print and fully understand your financial and legal obligations. Love money from family and friends Love money is nothing more than approaching your spouse, friends, and family for a loan to start your business. This is the most common type of financing option used by many companies, and it is one of the most essential sources of startup financing for small businesses at early-stage businesses. Regardless of whether you have a personal and healthy relationship with your family and friends, never approach them solely for financial assistance. The mature move is to present them with a well-prepared business plan, financials, and other necessary documents. Then, request their valuable feedback on your business plan, as well as their advice based on their business experience, if any. This approach demonstrates your regard for their knowledge and expertise. Despite all the benefits listed above, a business relationship with family or friends should not be taken lightly. Never assume that your close family or friends will lend you money. Do not take their financial assistance for granted. Angel Investors Angel investors are another excellent source of startup financing for small businesses. Unfortunately, many people believe that venture capital and angel investors are the same things, but this is not the case. Venture capital is the companies that invest in your business. In contrast, angel investors are wealthy individuals or successful retired business executives who invest directly in small firms and take an equity stake in the new venture. Angel investors are one of the few startup financing options sought out during the early stages of a new business's growth. Along with funds, angel investors offer advice based on their experience, technical and management knowledge, and network of contacts. As a result, Angel investors frequently have a low profile and invest less than venture capitalists. Personal loans for business A personal loan for business may be worth considering for entrepreneurs with excellent personal credit and a new business idea worth putting your own money on the line for. The benefit of this option is that there are no hidden fees; it is simply a personal loan. Personal loans have lower interest rates and easier repayment terms than business loans. This is an effective startup funding option because it can be used for almost any purpose. The most significant disadvantage of a personal loan is that you are the sole accountable if your business fails and is responsible for the repayment of the outstanding balance. However, this can be a viable option as a startup financing for small businesses if you need a relatively small startup capital. Small business administration (SBA) loans The SBA does not lend directly to small businesses; instead, it offers various loan guarantee programs to qualifying banks, non-profit lenders, and credit unions. For example, some banks offer low-interest loans to small businesses that are backed and guaranteed by the Small Business Administration (SBA). They target underserved companies and make loans to start-ups. The loan application process is time-consuming, with stringent requirements for qualified small businesses. As a result, the Small Business Administration (SBA) offers a few startup programs such as micro-loans and Community Advantage. Equipment financing Equipment financing is the top option if you need startup financing to purchase equipment and machinery. Because the equipment you will buy will serve as collateral for the loan, lending standards for equipment financing may be less stringent. However, if you do not return the money, the bank may seize your equipment to cover the cost of their lost money. Dealerships, banks, and online equipment finance providers all offer equipment financing. The main advantage of equipment financing is that you gain ownership of an asset, the payments for which are spread out over time, which is generally one to five years. Frequently Asked Question: What do you mean by startup funding? Startup funding is money raised to help a new business meet its initial costs. To raise startup capital, entrepreneurs must create a compelling business plan to sell their concept to potential investors. Where can I find startup financing? Angel financing, crowdfunding, small business credit cards, venture capital, equipment financing are few popular options to find startup financing. What are the types of funding? Crowdfunding, venture capital, angel financing, small business administration loan, small business loans are few types of startup financing to businesses. { "@context": "https://schema.org", "@type": "FAQPage", "mainEntity": [{ "@type": "Question", "name": "What do you mean by startup funding?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "Startup funding is money raised to help a new business meet its initial costs. To raise startup capital, entrepreneurs must create a compelling business plan to sell their concept to potential investors." } },{ "@type": "Question", "name": "Where can I find startup financing?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "Angel financing, crowdfunding, small business credit cards, venture capital, equipment financing are few popular options to find startup financing." } },{ "@type": "Question", "name": "What are the types of funding?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer",

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Designkitchen

Designkitchen is a creatively-driven digital agency focused on brand activation and mobile & social initiatives for Fortune 500 companies and brands including Motorola Solutions, TD Ameritrade, HP, GE, Allstate, United Airlines, Wells Fargo, Blue Cross Blue Shield and Best Buy.

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