5 Ways To Make Social Media Work For Your Small Business

JOHN PEARSON | September 26, 2019

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Social media is an excellent way to get people to find out about, talk about and become engaged with your small business.As soon as you get your business off the ground, or even in the early stages, be sure to set up social media accounts and tease your audience with things that are happening. For example, if you are opening your own café, share sneak peeks into the décor, before and after photos and even random things you might have found during the clear out. Be sure to start as you mean to go on and engage lots with your potential clients. Furthermore, be clear about what your business does, who your target audience is and where you are based. If those things are unclear, you will likely engage with timewasters, whether intentionally or not.

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BigFoot Retail Solutions Pvt

BigFoot Retail Solutions Pvt. Ltd.® is a privately held retail solutions and services company. With a young and energetic workforce, BigFoot aims at being the growth engine for the eRetail revolution in India.

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Treasury management at SMEs - Still too neglected?

Article | August 18, 2021

Treasury management or more generally Supply Chain Finance management is still a neglected topic at many SMEs. While large international corporations make the investment into expensive treasury management solutions (often part of their ERP solution) and even setup their own In-House Banks, this is considerably more difficult for the mid-corp segment and even more so for the smaller segment of the SMEs. Often SMEs lack the funding, time and expertise to deploy those platforms and often those platforms lack the flexibility required by an SME. Nonetheless in this globalized competitive market with fast moving cash, even SMEs are in need of an effective treasury management. Every SME has its own specific challenges, due to its specific payment cycles and cash reserves. Nonetheless most SMEs (estimated to about three-quarters) still do their treasury management via (complex) Excel sheets, requiring a lot of manual effort. This gap forms a big opportunity (in Europe SMEs account for more than half of all gross value added) for incumbent banks and Fintechs to offer easy and user-friendly tooling for this. In recent years, more and more Fintech players try indeed to provide an answer to this gap, often via SaaS platforms, which connect easily to the customer’s banks (via Open Banking APIs) and for which the setup cost is limited. The gains for an SME in optimizing their treasury processes can be very substantial. A good treasury management can reduce costs in multiple ways: Reduce working capital by reducing the time to collect money from customers, by reducing inventory and/or by paying suppliers only at the payment due dates. Reduce unpaid invoices by a better follow-up and good debt collection techniques Reduce penalties (such as administration costs or late-payment interests) due to late payments and indirectly also improve the relationship with suppliers. Reduce effort (resource workload) for financial management, like the follow-up of payments of incoming and outgoing invoices, automated generation of payment instructions for incoming invoices… Optimized cash management allowing to keep on your current account only the required cash amount to run your business, thus allowing to invest excess cash, but also to avoid requiring short-term debt when too much cash is invested (and blocked in medium- to long-term assets) Reduce foreign currency costs and exposure risks by keeping the right reserves of foreign currencies, applying hedging (like swaps or options) techniques, correctly taking forex rate fluctuations into account in future cash flow predictions… Reduce transaction commissions for bank transactions, by selecting the right banking products, but also by using the right banking partner(s) (especially for international foreign currency payments big price differences exist between different banking parties) Reduce cost of fraud by improving control, transparency and accountability via a pro-active, automated monitoring of all cash flows, allowing to detect anomalies as soon as possible … This can be achieved in multiple ways: Setup and optimize the processes and tooling with the help of specialized services companies (like e.g. the offering of BelPay) Setup or acquire software solutions (often in the form of SaaS offerings, i.e. Treasury in a Box) for cash & liquidity management, like invoice generation and follow-up (including invoice and payment matching), debt collection, incoming invoice processing (including payment), cash pooling, cash forecasting/capital planning… These software tools allow a more pro-active treasury management and reduce manual effort by automating certain steps in these processes. Examples of such platforms are HighRadius, Gtreasury, CashForce, Kyriba, Nomentia, Monite, Pair Finance, AiVidens… But there are also more specialized tools, offering only a specific service, like debt collection (e.g. Virteo, recovr, Pair Finance, TrueAccord, CollectAI, CollectionHub, inDebted, Attunely…), digitalization (through OCR) of paper invoices (e.g. Tangentia, Contract.fit, Metamaze, Klippa, SimpleOCR…), expense management (e.g. Payhawk, Rydoo, Expensify, Spendesk, Pleo, Circula…), account aggregation and payment initiation (e.g. Isabel 6/Ponto)… Capture revenue by allowing customers to pay for products or services in a way that is most efficient for them and for the SME, allowing to increase sales, but also to ensure the best possible payment ratio. This includes solutions like digital onboarding and management of Direct Debits (e.g. via Twikey or DigiTeal), including a Pay button (e.g. via Twikey or POM) in invoices which allows to pay the invoice with a pre-filled credit transfer, card payment or other payment option, integration with PSPs (like Adyen, Mollie, MultiSafePay, Ingenico, Stripe…) for online payments, digital invoicing allowing to combine invoicing and payment (e.g. PEPPOL platform or offering invoices with immediate payment option via UnifiedPost, ZoomIt or Doccle), "Buy Now, Pay Later" solutions (like Klarna or AfterPay) or new solutions like PSD2 Payment Initiation or the upcoming new scheme of SEPA Request to Pay (SRTP). Improve integration between accountancy software (and/or accountant) and the cash management solutions and associated bank accounts. Solutions like Silverfin, TOCO, Yuki, OkiOki, Billit, Furoo, Clearfacts, Billtobox, sevDesk, Candis… can provide (a part of) a solution to this. Usage of solutions for cash management (e.g. international cashpooling, sweep accounts…) and more general treasury management services offered by banks to their customers. These can be incumbent banks or new Fintechs, which specialize in the niche of serving SME customers. Examples are Tide, Qonto, Azlo, Arival, Fyrst… Reducing costs of international payments and forex transactions via new Fintech offers, like XE.com, TransferWise, CurrencyTransfer.com, WorldFirst, iBanFirst, Ebury…, but also via specialized software tools, like Kantox, FiREapps, Money Mover, Acumatica… Get cheaper financing via specialized credit institutions and banks (e.g. OakNorth, CapitalBox…), by issuing commercial paper (short-term paper) or long-term debt, via crowdfunding and peer-to-peer lending (e.g. Funding Circle, Auxmoney, LendingCrowd, Iwoca, Look&Fin, Crowdcube…), via Credit Lombard loans or inventory-based loans (e.g. Finventory) or via invoice factoring (e.g. Edebex, Previse, Optimum Finance, GapCap, BlueVine, BillFront, Crowdz…). There are also more and more marketplaces and comparators assisting SMEs to find the best financing option, e.g. Funding Options, BusinessComparison, Crowdz… Improve risk management (like currency risk, interest-rate risk, market risk, credit risk, counterparty risk…) via trade finance, like bank guarantees (cfr. Ebury), via better authorization and fraud detection mechanisms (detecting patterns and anomalies) or by better assessing counterparty risk (e.g. DueDil, InsideView, PitchBook…) Apply tax optimizations, by optimizing for different tax regimes worldwide and also optimizing for tax deductions (like e.g. generate revenue on entities which have collected losses in the past) Clearly the Fintech market for SMEs is in full evolution, but still quite immature. As a result dozens of offers exist, making it very difficult for SMEs (which was one of the reasons in the first place they work with Excel) to select the best and right offering(s) for their company. As such there is a big market for consultancy and other services firms, specialized in helping SMEs to improve their treasury management processes.

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Compelling Benefits of Video Marketing for Small Businesses

Article | August 18, 2021

Video marketing has existed for an extended period of time. It is, nevertheless, a relatively recent development in the commercial sector, particularly for small businesses. The blog discusses the benefits of video marketing for small businesses in-depth. “Stop thinking of ‘video marketing’ as this separate entity that is optional for your business. Video is an effective form of communication that needs to be integrated into each and every aspect of your existing marketing efforts.” –James Wedmore. Video advertising is the fastest increasing kind of advertising. Despite this, small business owners remain wary of video marketing as a marketing strategy. Yet, small business video marketing is one of the most successful marketing strategies in today's fast-paced digital environment. According to Hubspot, 85% of firms, utilize video as a marketing strategy. But the ball doesn’t stop there. Your users prefer videos when compared to other forms of content. Explain Ninja, a leading video content creator says that YouTube presently has a mind-boggling 2+ billion users. It is equivalent to nearly 13% of the internet. The benefits of video marketing are that it helps to enhance customer acquisition, conversion, CTR, ranking, and sales. If small company owners learn to exploit the benefits of video marketing, they will significantly increase their chances of success in the internet trends. Additionally, the advantages of video marketing may vary according on the sort of video marketing used. Let us take a short look at the various types of video marketing. Brand videos Demonstrations and showcases Event videos Trailers and teasers Success stories and testimonials Webinar videos Instruction Videos Question and answer Videos Company Culture Videos Let Us Peep into Some Benefits of Video Marketing for Small Businesses Increase Brand Awareness and Better Online Presence Because videos are more entertaining and quickly attract viewers, their reach to an audience is increased. Effective video marketing may also help you boost your internet visibility. In fact, one of the primary benefits of video marketing for small businesses since it establishes a robust online presence. Videos are posted on a variety of social media platforms. Optinmonster reports that video marketers boost brand awareness by 54%. Generating Leads and Increases Visitors Campaign Monitor reports that around 54% of customers want to see more video content from companies they support. Video marketing may assist businesses in generating new leads and keeping their sales funnels filled. YouTube has become increasingly crucial for businesses' marketing efforts. According to Lemonlight statistics, video-assisted 84% of marketers in generating leads. Video marketing enables audiences to consume content in bite-sized chunks that address their problem areas. Builds Trust In comparison to other forms of marketing, videos enable you to engage with your audience on a more personal level and establish an emotional relationship, which contributes significantly to the development of trust. Creating videos for small businesses is one of the most effective methods to get recognition and earn your consumers' confidence. Hubspot research confirms that 84% of buyers purchase after seeing an explanation video.. Increases Sales and Conversions Another essential benefits of video marketing for small businesses is increasing sales and boosting conversions.When customers are convinced, having a video about your product or service on social media increases engagement and purchases. According to a Cisco study, online videos will account for more than 82% of all consumer internet traffic by 2022, 15 times the amount in 2017. In accordance with the Vidyard research, marketers reported a 34% boost in conversion rate when they used videos as part of their campaign Increased revenue and conversion rates are two of the ultimate advantages of video marketing. As a result, video marketing is in great demand in the realm of digital marketing due to its success. According to EyeWideDigital, using video on your landing page may boost your conversion rate by up to 80%. Increases Engagement on Social Media Connecting with your prospective customer is very important. Therefore, engagement plays a vital role in the digital world. Videos promote social media engagement; thus, video marketing for small businesses is of utmost importance. Videos posted on social media platforms garner a more significant amount of attention. Along with more engagement, videos have a longer lifespan in the ecosystem due to the increased interactions and sharing. According to Explain Ninja, over 93% of companies report gaining new consumers from videos shared on their social media pages. Social media is a video-centric platform. As a result, there are several benefits of video marketing on social media. Improves SEO Ranking With videos on your website, you can boost visitors and keep them engaged, improving your page views. Also, improving your page views will result in improving your SEO ranking too. This is because longer visitors stay on your site, the better the degree of trust with search engines and hence the higher the rank. If you embed your video on YouTube and your website, you will enhance your chances of appearing in search results. According to Alexa, YouTube is the world's second most popular website (after Google). If you advertise your videos on social media, you increase your chances of being discovered. One of the significant benefits of video marketing for small businesses is an increase in SEO ranking. Final Thoughts With the numerous benefits of video marketing, small company owners should prioritize video marketing above more traditional forms of promotion. Adopting video marketing for small businesses is a fantastic approach to increase brand recognition and conversions. Lastly, the marketing team may save time and resources by editing old video creative with relevant messages about fresh offers. Video marketing is a powerful performance driver for any sized business. FAQs: Why is video marketing important for small businesses? Video marketing help in understanding the product or service, increases engagement on digital and social platforms. It helps in brand awareness and reaches a larger audience quickly. Most importantly it builds a long-lasting relation with the customers and ultimately improves sales. What are the advantages of video marketing? Here few listed advantages of video marketing: Increase brand awareness and better online presence Generating leads and increases visitors Builds trust Increases sales and conversions Increases engagement on social media Improves SEO ranking { "@context": "https://schema.org", "@type": "FAQPage", "mainEntity": [{ "@type": "Question", "name": "Why is video marketing important for small businesses?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "Video marketing help in understanding the product or service, increases engagement on digital and social platforms. It helps in brand awareness and reaches a larger audience quickly. Most importantly it builds a long-lasting relation with the customers and ultimately improves sales." } },{ "@type": "Question", "name": "What are the advantages of video marketing?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "Here few listed advantages of video marketing: Increase brand awareness and better online presence Generating leads and increases visitors Builds trust Increases sales and conversions Increases engagement on social media Improves SEO ranking" } }] }

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COVID-19 crisis communication for small businesses: advice from a PR pro

Article | August 18, 2021

There’s rarely any downtime in the world of public relations, but the COVID-19 pandemic is kicking crisis communications into overdrive for small businesses across the country. On Monday, March 16, Vancouver-headquartered Reformation made a big move: on Instagram, Facebook, Linkedin and its website, the PR firm began offering free consulting for Canadian businesses with 50 or fewer employees. “First and foremost, we’re a small business,” says founder and principal Amanda Haines Lazeski. “We know the inherent risk that this crisis comes with, especially for small businesses—it really has the potential for massive devastation

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As Small Business Hiring Booms, Distributors Sit on the Sidelines

Article | August 18, 2021

As most industries allocate time, money, and other resources into finding new employees in a labor market where the national unemployment rate is hanging at 3.5% — and substantially lower in some areas — at least one index says that distributors are sitting on the sidelines. According to the CBIZ Small Business Employment Index (SBEI), which tracks hiring trends for U.S. companies with 300 or fewer employees, 2020 kicked off with a seasonally-adjusted increase in hiring of 1.61% for January. “This is a notable improvement over the 1.16% decline in December,” CBIZ SBEI says. “It is also a remarkable number for January, as companies tend to contract their labor forces due to the end of the holiday shopping season.”

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BigFoot Retail Solutions Pvt

BigFoot Retail Solutions Pvt. Ltd.® is a privately held retail solutions and services company. With a young and energetic workforce, BigFoot aims at being the growth engine for the eRetail revolution in India.

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