Article | July 1, 2021
To help veteran entrepreneurs flourish in business, we asked business professionals and CEOs this question for their best advice. From finding a mentor to getting your finances in order, there are several resources for veterans that may help your entrepreneurial efforts thrive.
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.
Article | July 6, 2021
With the emergence of COVID-19, social media became a powerful platform for small businesses to connect directly with an audience and thus, build brand awareness, direct sales, reaching the target audience, and cultivate customer relationships. As a result, social media strategy for small businesses is in high demand.
According to the most recent data, there will be 4.33 billion social media users worldwide at the start of 2021, accounting for more than 55% of the total global population. With more than 70% of the US population having a social media account, these platforms and services have risen to prominence as some of the most popular online activities in recent decades. As a result, the number of social network users in the United States will reach 243 million by 2025. Furthermore, the world spends more than 10 billion hours per day on social media platforms, equating nearly 1.2 million years of human existence.
The statistics states that maximum people spend most of their time on social media apps; thus it is a powerful platform of marketing for small businesses.
What is a social media strategy for small businesses?
A social media strategy enlists everything you want to do and achieve on your preferred social media platform. It contains information about your goals, what you intend to post, and how you intend to measure the success of your goals. Social media strategy requires setting social media goals and objectives.
A smart social media strategy helps you build brand awareness, connect directly with customers, increase revenue, and build relationships with your audience. The more detailed your social media plan, the more effective it will be.
The primary goal of social media strategy is to create a systematic plan for maximizing engagement and interactions across social media platforms to achieve a company's goals.
Why do you need a social media strategy for your small business?
Trying to build a strong brand on social media is not a piece of cake. It demands a well-defined strategy that will help you to build a strong and organic presence online. Having a well-built social media strategy helps you save time. Social media is a crucial part of an inbound marketing strategy and requires a lot of effort. At one point in time, social media was just an option for small businesses, but 2020 has made it essential. Social media strategy enables targeting your audience more effectively and will also help you stay ahead of the competition.
To taste success, small businesses should have a social media strategy in place. According to the study, 53% of customers who follow a company on social media are more likely to be loyal to them specifically.
There are several social media channels available such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, etc. From a social media marketing perspective, Facebook is the most used social platform and can be one of the best social media channels for small businesses. However, having a dynamic social media strategy for small businesses is extremely beneficial for its success.
Set social SMART goals
It is easy to start using social media for business, but before that, it is important to create a social media plan that ensures all social efforts support specific business goals. Be clear on your goals for making social media plan. Hence, create smart goals with a SMART framework.
A SMART goal is defined as specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound. You can keep your efforts focused and effective by setting these goals for social media marketing tips.
Specific: Be specific with your goals and objectives to set your strategies and determine which channel will assist you in achieving them. The goals of each business owner differ; some want to connect with customers, while others want to increase conversations or traffic to their website.
Measurable: Your goals need to be measurable to determine the effectiveness of your strategies. Each social media network has a set of metrics that businesses can use to gauge their efforts. However, few tools like Google Analytics help to track engagement and conversion metrics.
Achievable: Your goals need to be achievable by your business.
Relevant: Your goals need to be relevant to the objectives of your business.
Time-bound: Your objective must be time-bound. But determining the best time frame can be difficult. Set a quarterly goal to ensure you don't waste time on ineffective strategies for too long. Evaluation will be simpler and more frequent.
Setting a SMART goal is an essential social media strategy for small businesses. For 2021 and beyond, SMART goals are the most popular and long-lasting goal-setting frameworks in the industry.
Hand-pick the right social media platforms
Choosing the right social media platforms among over 100 platforms available is a bit tricky. How do you know which is the right one for your business? If you try to use multiple channels at the same time, your chances of success will decrease, and it will be difficult to deliver a consistent experience across all platforms, especially for small businesses with limited resources.
All social media platforms have advantages and disadvantages; you must be cautious when choosing the right network, keeping in mind your target audience and where your current customers are most active. Choose the platforms that make the most sense for the nature of your business.
Pay attention to trends of social media
It is a good practice to pay attention to trends in social media because they change all the time, so you will be aware of what people are looking for in social media platforms when they are active. As a result, you will be able to create content that is relevant to the search. It is critical to monitor social media trends and keep your social media strategy up to date to achieve your business goals.
Keep in mind your current audience’s needs so that you can change your strategy accordingly. Customer’s tastes, behavior, and likings are dynamic, and you will know it only when you keep track of social media trends. If small business owners want to take advantage of social media platforms, they will have to pay attention to the social media trends.
Track and measure your social media goals
Tracking and measuring the performance and progress of your social media goals is important once you implement your social media strategies. Consistency is essential for the success of social media strategy for small businesses.
There are analytic tools such as Google Analytics that give you information about the metrics. Social media goals determine your metrics. Social media metrics give you a clear picture of how well your social media strategy is performing.
Once you know how your strategy is working, you can find ways to improve it further. When you have determined your goals and social media metrics, you can choose the right social media tools to help you manage your accounts, monitor engagement, and advertise on social platforms. To track and measure your social media goals is one of the important social media marketing tips.
Schedule social media calendar for small business
A small business owner needs to be consistent in their presence on social media. Now the question is, how do you do this? When you have a long list of things-to-do, you can schedule posts in advance by making use of technology and tools. By using tools, schedule a social media calendar for small businesses to post them automatically at the right time.
This will give you consistency as well as save time. It is of utmost importance that your social media plan for small businesses include certain fixed days every month or a fixed few hours every week to schedule your social posts. It gives you ample time to concentrate on other aspects on different platforms for real-time engagement when you plan it well. This is an effortless social media strategy for small businesses.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Which social media is best for small businesses?
The most common social media platforms used by small businesses include Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest. Social media is easy for small business owners because it is cost-effective. Among all these, LinkedIn is considered best for small businesses to connect with other businesses and professionals.
Why is social media good for small businesses?
Social media helps you build brand awareness, connect with current customers, and increases your customer base. Social media platform gives you a better understanding of your customers.
What are the five benefits of social media?
The benefits of using social media are endless. A few benefits to pen down are it helps to build relationships, increases visibility, helps connect with wider audiences anytime, anywhere, reduces marketing costs, and provides better search engine rankings.
"name": "Which social media is best for small businesses?",
"text": "The most common social media platforms used by small businesses include Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest. Social media is easy for small business owners because it is cost-effective. Among all these, LinkedIn is considered best for small businesses to connect with other businesses and professionals."
"name": "Why is social media good for small businesses?",
"text": "Social media helps you build brand awareness, connect with current customers, and increases your customer base. Social media platform gives you a better understanding of your customers."
"name": "What are the five benefits of social media?",
"text": "The benefits of using social media are endless. A few benefits to pen down are it helps to build relationships, increases visibility, helps connect with wider audiences anytime, anywhere, reduces marketing costs, and provides better search engine rankings."
Article | August 12, 2021
Starting a small business is challenging due to tough economic times in this pandemic. However, this time is both a blessing and a test to conquer.
The world economy has suffered significantly because of COVID-19. Additionally, the tough times exposed company owners to unforeseen and unfathomable difficulties and compelled them to devise novel business methods. As a result, starting a firm became more accessible, as new owners could enter the market with specific recession-savvy equipment and techniques.
Crucial obstacles to beginning a new small business during challenging economic times include:
A sluggish economic recovery.
Uncertain consumer spending.
Funding was becoming scarce due to tight credit markets.
According to The Wall Street Journal, numerous major financial institutions, including Bank of America, Chase, and Capital One, have tightened lending rules in response to the uncertain financial environment.
Despite the challenges mentioned earlier, a new small business can succeed with proper preparation and business strategy.
According to New Business Statistics, applications fell to slightly more than 1.1 million in the 4th quarter of 2020 before increasing to 1.37 million in the first quarter of 2021. Then the figure increased to 1.44million in the second quarter. More than 448,000 new company applications were lodged in June 2021 alone. Mentioned statistics show that launching a small business during this economic downturn is also possible, albeit with some caution.
This article will put forward a few tips to be considered when going for a new small business in tough economic times.
Create A Well-Researched Business Plan
2020 was one of the challenging economic times in history. The success of every firm is contingent upon its business plan; small business owners must have a well-researched business plan. Therefore, small business survival is heavily reliant on a sound and well-planned business strategy.
Since tough economic times have altered market demands significantly, you should build your company plan accordingly. Work on many business factors such as marketing costs and tactics, budget planning, pricing strategy, sales strategy, personnel capacity, and needed infrastructure, among others.
Difficult economic times may work to your advantage as well since fewer competitors mean less competition and lower overhead expenses.
Consider all the obstacles associated with the pandemic's time and tailor your business plan accordingly. If you intend to pitch your firm to investors, your business plan does not have to be complex.
Securitize Capital for Investment
The economy received a significant blow due to COVID-19, and many financial lenders tightened their lending requirements by demanding a higher credit score and income verification.
Numerous financing alternatives exist, including personal savings, personal or small business credit cards, bank loans, venture capital, crowdsourcing, and angel investors. Before considering pursuing any of the mentioned options, consider having your business plan examined by expert advisers, close friends, or a loan officer.
With a well-planned company strategy, it is feasible to securitize funds for investment. However, before getting funding, ensure that you have a financial backup plan in place for both your business and personal affairs. Then, budget carefully to ensure that you can afford the other critical payments.
Credit cards are the most often used form of financing amid tough economic times.
Enlightened Market Savvy
Evaluate your redesigned company plan and develop game-changing new marketing components that include innovation. By narrowing your focus, you increase your chances of success.
Keep a careful watch on your competitors to develop an intelligent marketing and promotion strategy and budget for marketing. Competitive assessments educate you about your competitors' strategies and advertising tactics. In addition, competitive analyses can provide you with the vision necessary to develop polished and intelligent marketing strategies.
You need to make a list of what you're giving. For example, what is the nature of your product/service? Who is your target audience for your business? Which social media platform would you utilize to promote your business?
By segmenting your clients, you may increase the effectiveness of your marketing. For instance, if your firm sells sports items, you should target young clients interested in pursuing a career in sports. This will ensure that your marketing approach is highly effective.
Utilize Cutting-Edge Technologies
Cutting-edge technology in businesses is the newest trend in reaching out to customers in a tough economic time. By leveraging contemporary technology, you may automate several areas of corporate operations, resulting in cost savings.
Utilize cutting-edge digital technologies such as cloud-based apps and software to streamline company processes while being cost-effective.
Online marketing, namely online advertising, may help you reach out to the relevant audience and offer your products and services.
Several advantages of contemporary technology include the following:
Increased brand visibility.
Additional payment options.
Easy remote operation.
More in-depth market research.
Act with Consummate Customer Service
When you give outstanding customer service, you may build stronger customer relationships. Conversely, as is frequently stated, one negative review from a client may jeopardize your entire existing customer.
It is critical to provide timely and pleasant service to your consumers, especially in tough economic times. Excellent client relationships do not arise by accident; they require much effort.
You can give excellent customer service and keep your clients satisfied by following the below tips:
Make your consumers feel valued for their patronage.
Anticipate and resolve client issues before they become a significant issue for your organization.
Attend to their inquiries and respond. They are deserving of being heard and appreciated.
Provide an excellent support network and a diverse array of client resources.
Anticipate what services the consumer will require in advance.
Develop A Robust Networking Infrastructure
Networking is pivotal for reaching out to consumers during tough economic times to start a small business. Connect with other entrepreneurs, meet your competitors, visit your suppliers, and keep a contact list of everyone you know.
Expanding your network enables you to establish relationships with people; in exchange, they may suggest clients to you and vice versa, thus assisting in the growth of your organization.
You can join a local business networking organization, attend business seminars, or become a member of professional associations. Exchange business cards, exchange information about your product/service supplied and seek out their experience or perspectives, which they will share with other small business owners, assisting you in expanding your network.
Often, the small business owner's networking activities provide the most extensive returns in their firms.
How can you start a small business with tough times?
You may establish a small business during difficult economic times and succeed. The key to success is building a well-researched and solid business plan, getting adequate finance, designing an intelligent marketing strategy, and cultivating vital networking.
How do you deal with tough economic times?
While difficult economic circumstances can make any company owner anxious about making choices, it is critical to be mindful of the economy and cautious with long-term planning. Concentrate on rivals' methods and entice clients away from them. Try to learn from their successes and mistakes and provide your consumers with something more or different from what your competitors provide.
How can small businesses engage customers in tough economic times?
Provide your consumers with unique discounts on your products/services. Respond quickly to their questions or concerns, establish a customer loyalty program, and engage them on social media.
"name": "How can you start a small business with tough times?",
"text": "You may establish a small business during difficult economic times and succeed. The key to success is building a well-researched and solid business plan, getting adequate finance, designing an intelligent marketing strategy, and cultivating vital networking."
"name": "How do you deal with tough economic times?",
"text": "While difficult economic circumstances can make any company owner anxious about making choices, it is critical to be mindful of the economy and cautious with long-term planning. Concentrate on rivals' methods and entice clients away from them. Try to learn from their successes and mistakes and provide your consumers with something more or different from what your competitors provide."
"name": "How can small businesses engage customers in tough economic times?",
"text": "Provide your consumers with unique discounts on your products/services. Respond quickly to their questions or concerns, establish a customer loyalty program, and engage them on social media."