6 Weird But Successful Small Business Ideas

| February 9, 2018

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5 Reasons why SME's are struggling to stay in business

Article | February 17, 2020

As we enter a new decade, 58% of small businesses in the UK anticipate a plateau, or for their business to struggle in the year ahead. Only 1 in 4 predict to see growth. A new report, which surveyed 1,000 small business owners and sole traders across the country has been carried out by financial technology experts, Takepayments Limited, unveiling a snapshot of the small business landscape in the UK. It uncovers key challenges for small businesses in 2020 and tips on how business owners can secure a more consistent cash flow. Below the report unveils the five biggest reasons why SME’s are struggling to stay afloat in a digital era;

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Overspending Mistakes Your Small Business May Be Overlooking

Article | February 18, 2020

For small businesses, every dollar counts. That's why it is important to make sure you aren't overspending in areas you can't afford to. Starting up a new business is rarely an easy endeavor and keeping it growing and thriving for years to come will always require work and attention. Industries change and consumer spending habits can shift from year to year. How a business manages its finances to adapt to these changes is often a determining factor in its survival. The best way to ensure that entrepreneurs don't steer their new business ventures off a cliff is by planning ahead to avoid potential money mistakes. Hidden overspending pitfalls could be one of the more dangerous issues small businesses face.

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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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Fast, free, and sustainable: Here’s how ‘fulfilment’ is driving the ecommerce market

Article | August 24, 2021

The past 18 months has presented unimaginable challenges for many businesses seeking to stay afloat in times of crisis. But as with any challenge, shifting needs, perceptions and practices develop opportunity, opening doors for product and service differentiation. Notably, in this time, sustainability has moved its way to the forefront of many minds. Not only has the pandemic forced businesses to re-evaluate commercial models for future resistance, but the constant reminder of issues regarding the climate crisis and ethical practices has magnified the need to think sustainably, too. But in this sense, sustainability is no longer a differentiator between businesses, and instead, an expected value any commercial enterprise must keep at its core. The solution therefore, lies in the way in which sustainability is injected into every business practice - from manufacture to fulfilment. In this article, Nate Burke, CEO of technology, digital marketing and ecommerce solutions firm Diginius, discusses the latter end of a product's journey, and how sustainability can help businesses gain an edge on the competition. As it stands, fast and free shipping is proving an attractive offering, often outperforming other cost-saving strategies. Understandably, these deals grab the attention of deal-savvy consumers who want their items delivered quickly and without extra charges on top of their original basket cost. In fact, how many of us have paused, hesitated or even abandoned an order for the opposite reason? Well, you’re not alone - 64% of all online consumers expect their orders to be shipped for free and within five working days. What’s more, 68% of us will check a returns policy before making purchase. Present major obstacles here, and retailers will be providing an instant turn off in an ultra-competitive sales sphere. Ultimately, an attractive delivery option can make all the difference in a customer choosing your products over a competitor’s. Unless they have developed long standing brand love, the chances of a customer remaining loyal to an offering which they can get for less and in quicker time elsewhere, are low. This isn’t to undermine the importance of sustainability and environmental responsibility, though. While fast and free shipping is expected, it may not necessarily be the most ethical business model, particularly if it will mean greater emissions for more frequent deliveries, and cost-cutting measures in other areas of the business in order to make up for lost shipping fees. Global reports state that consumers would be more likely to purchase from companies with an established reputation for sustainability too. This suggests it is just as important for online businesses to focus their efforts on acting ethically, as it is for them to fulfil orders efficiently. But with the rise of online shopping, which has been propelled by the pandemic with a 48% increase in online spending coming as a result of lockdown restrictions, businesses may be finding themselves weighing up the two. Clearly, there is misalignment between consumer expectations and commercial values here, and choosing between the two will require more than a look at a business’s bottom line. Sustainability and credibility It should be noted that today’s consumers are incredibly switched on when it comes to buying from sustainable brands. They can see through the smoke and mirrors or false claims to make informed decisions about the products and services they choose. And more often than not, these decisions are based on a brand’s credibility. Any business can say they are doing certain things to protect the planet and their people, however, not all can provide sufficient evidence. And as competition increases, these are the businesses that are finding themselves falling behind. We only need to look to recent examples such as Boohoo for proof. In 2020, the fast fashion giant found itself in hot water when it was revealed it was not following sustainable or ethical business practices. Poor warehouse conditions, less than minimum wage pay and inadequate health and safety standards were just a few of the concerns. As a result, the company experienced huge losses, with its share price falling by more than a third during the first two days of the scandal coming to light. There is an undeniable perception on sustainability and ethical working practices, and people do not want to support brands that don’t support their economy and their people. Interestingly however, as a fast fashion retailer, Boohoo is renowned for its speedy shipping and low prices, even offering unlimited next day delivery for a small, one-off yearly cost. Therefore, in this case, it is clear that efficient fulfilment alone is not enough to sustain commercial success. Its ethical responsibility had a larger part to play. And while the company has attempted to correct its wrongdoings internally and then communicate these through marketing strategies, its tainted reputation is proving difficult to rebuild, suggesting just how important credibility is for a sustainable business. But that’s not all. When it comes to free and fast shipping, credibility continues to play a significant role in shaping consumers’ perceptions of the service they are going to receive. For larger brands with established reputations, this is less of an issue, but for smaller companies who may be starting their ecommerce journey, it is vital that you appear a reliable, trustworthy and credible enterprise that is going to follow through with its promise of a fast and free delivery. This may be through clear contact details for consumers to get in touch with queries, customer reviews, business information and responsive and helpful customer service via email, live chat, direct messaging or phone calls, for example. A balancing act Of course, building credibility will not solve every issue for a business, but it is a place to start. It is also a common denominator for sustainability and fulfilment and can help businesses differentiate themselves from the competition. However, the misalignment between attractive cost saving deals and sustainable business practices can cause confusion. Often, lower delivery fees and fast shipping incentives, particularly for items that are already low in price, can set off alarm bells and leave customers questioning the ethical impact of their purchase. Alternatively, high fees and long delays can send customers looking elsewhere - both are bad for business. Instead, businesses need to find a balance. Find the point at which free and fast shipping can be offered without impacting profit margins, and therefore, the sustained success of the business. For example, ASOS offers free delivery for orders over £35. While the majority of its customers are likely to spend this amount anyway, those that are not are enticed to do so, generating greater income for the business and an attractive deal for the customer. And in the minds of customers, the reasonable threshold amount helps justify the cost saving as a sustainable offer, rather than something that will put the business out of pocket and force them to act unethically elsewhere to make back lost earnings. The threshold will be different for every business, but through the use of data and analytics tools, the amount that is best for your business can quite easily be found. These tools can also help centralise activity, from sourcing and manufacture to product marketing and post purchase service. With this in place, processes can become much more streamlined, which can in turn, increase the efficiency of order fulfilment. If things are delayed, for instance in the case of pandemic disruption, email updates can be automated, ensuring you are also providing high quality customer service. With all this in place, not only will a business be sustainable and efficient, but its credibility will only go from strength to strength, too.

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Spotlight

Built In Colorado

Built In is a tech platform that unites people and companies around their shared passion for tech and the universal need for purpose. We've revolutionized the process of finding + filling jobs by putting people first — at a time when algorithms often “read” resumes before humans do.

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