Abt Electronics, Radio Flyer make Forbes' best small-biz list

| January 3, 2017

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Choices have become more limited, especially if you don't want to pay a fee. That scenario isn't likely to improve soon, although a pending recommendation by the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency for new electronics recycling standards eventually could make it easier for all consumers to clear their homes of unwanted devices.

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Ingredients of a Marketing Plan That Are Essential to Make an Impact

Article | August 18, 2021

Each business endeavor begins with a well-defined business plan and, more crucially, a marketing strategy. An effective marketing plan is chock-full of different marketing selections for your firm and is a must-have if you want to get to your destination. But, unfortunately, the market is full of competition and uncertainties. It is estimated that about 20% of small businesses fail in their first year as per the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. After five years, 50% fail, and after ten years, 80% fail. Here are a few ingredients of a marketing plan that help you outshine in the diverse and competitive markets. A marketing plan is the first stage in establishing a successful marketing program. In addition, a marketing strategy serves as a road map for efficiently allocating precious time and resources to prevent wastage. A marketing plan includes a written document that describes an organization's advertising strategy, marketing techniques, tactics, promotional activities, and marketing efforts over a specific time. Market research, SWOT analysis, thorough information about its target consumers, competition positioning in the market, marketing plan budget, target market profile, distribution methods, promotional tactics, and marketing objectives are just a few of the ingredients of a marketing plan. Importance of Marketing Plan A marketing plan is vital because they make sales easier for any small business owner. When you target your ideal target customers, you increase the chances of generating leads and converting them into sales. Below is a few more importance of marketing plan: It aids in the effective management and accomplishment of your business objectives It facilitates cross-departmental collaboration and communication It contributes to the avoidance of future dangers and uncertainties It contributes to the success of marketing activities It contributes to reducing the chance of failure It enables the efficient and prudent use of resources while taking market opportunities into account Extensive Market Research Market research is one of the crucial ingredients of a marketing plan. Market research is the act of collecting and analyzing data to have a better knowledge of your consumers and the current state of the market. For marketing success, you must conduct a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats) analysis compared to your competitors and a PESTND (political, economic, sociocultural, technological, natural, and demographic) analysis to better understand your competitors business's operating environment. Marketing research involves certain areas to be given utmost importance: The dynamics and trends of the market, including seasonality Vendors in whom you will place your trust Demographic information about customers, market segmentation, target markets, product needs, and purchase decisions Industry benchmarks What is presently available and what competitors are providing Current industry sales Robust Market Strategy The marketing strategy is the overarching company plan for attracting and converting new customers. It would be best to do a scenario analysis to understand your market position concerning your competitors clearly; only then can you develop a solid and successful market strategy. Market strategy plays a key role among all the other ingredients of a marketing plan and contributes to marketing success. A marketing strategy covers the 4Ps of the marketing mix: product, price, place, and promotion. In addition, a marketing strategy entails brand messaging, its value proposition, demographic information about its target customers, and other advanced elements. Below are few B2B marketing strategies: Social media marketing Search engine optimization Content marketing Search engine marketing/PPC (Pay-per-click) Referral programs Industry events Appropriate Financial Planning Another crucial element of a marketing business plan is financial planning. Marketing your campaign is a costly aspect of the business; it is necessary to have an appropriate and realistic budget plan to avoid financial wastage. Allocate your budget for each activity planned and manage your cash flow. For 67.4% of respondents, a limited marketing budget is the top marketing challenge facing small businesses. Plan your financing considering the organization's budget cycle, organizational events, seasonality, festivities, etc. The following points demonstrate why financial planning is essential. Prudent financial management Long-term view Profit and loss measurements To determine the value of liabilities and assets Utilization of Marketing Channels There are several marketing channels, but they are constantly changing and evolving. Therefore, due to a shortage of time and funds, select the appropriate channels. Choose the channel that is the most effective for promoting your products, services, and brand identification to potential consumers, depending on whether your firm is B2B or B2C. Channels provide a variety of purposes, that includes assisting you in discovering new methods to sell to your ideal client and help you to create experiences for your audience that help establish your brand reputation. Here are few channels that are utilized: Retail or Ecommerce Social media channels Email marketing Websites Referral channels SEO Word of mouth Pay-per-click (PPC) marketing Analyses of Competitors While a marketing strategy entails several analyses that aid in the operation of your firm, a marketing competitors' analysis is conducted concerning your competitors. You should be aware of your competitors and the distinctions between your products and services. Analyses of competitors are a crucial component of every marketing strategy. Conduct a competition analysis to learn about your competitors' goods, sales, and marketing tactics. Marketing competitor analysis is a critical component of any marketing plan since it helps differentiate your product or service from the competition. Competitor analysis enables the following: Identify market inefficiencies Identify market trends Create innovative goods and services Increase your marketing and sales effectiveness Conclusion: A sound marketing plan will help you generate leads. Ascertain that your marketing strategy is recorded. Numerous marketers assess the effectiveness of their efforts in relation to their objectives. This enables you to plan more effectively for the future and provides a clear picture of continuing changes. FAQs: What are the key ingredients in the marketing plan? Here are the critical ingredients of the marketing plan Extensive market research Appropriate financial planning Robust market strategy Utilization of marketing channels Analysis of competitors Clear marketing objectives What is a successful marketing plan? A successful marketing plan generates a positive return on investment (ROI), additional revenue, client lifetime value, and cost per win (sell), among other metrics. A marketing strategy is successful when it maximizes the benefits to your firm. { "@context": "https://schema.org", "@type": "FAQPage", "mainEntity": [{ "@type": "Question", "name": "What are the key ingredients in the marketing plan?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "Here are the critical ingredients of the marketing plan Extensive market research Appropriate financial planning Robust market strategy Utilization of marketing channels Analysis of competitors Clear marketing objectives" } },{ "@type": "Question", "name": "What is a successful marketing plan?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "A successful marketing plan generates a positive return on investment (ROI), additional revenue, client lifetime value, and cost per win (sell), among other metrics. A marketing strategy is successful when it maximizes the benefits to your firm." } }] }

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9 Tips For Starting a Digital Business as a Non-Technical Person

Article | June 17, 2021

How do you start a digital business as a non-technical person? To help you start a digital business as a non-technical person, we asked tech experts and digital business leaders for their best advice. From surrounding yourself with tech experts to finding expert content, there are several things you can do that may help your digital business run smoothly.

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How to Know Where to Cut Expenses When Needed

Article | July 2, 2021

Are you wondering how to save money and keep your business as profitable as possible? You’re not alone, especially after the curveball we faced in 2020. Where should you start? While there are a variety of ways to cut expenses, you’ll need to find the right places to make cuts for your unique business. Here’s a guide to help you learn more about your options and how to get started.

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Small Business Trends & Forecasts for 2021/2022

Article | June 24, 2021

The year 2020 saw the impact of a sudden outbreak of COVID-19 that had a significant impact on all facets of life: education, shopping, environment, health, jobs, and many more. But the effect that it had on businesses was prominent and was the most challenging years in the history of small businesses across the globe. However, 2021 came up with a few small business trends & forecasts that gave some relief to small business owners and allowed taking advantage of these trends to survive small businesses. With everything turning digital, customer's behaviors changed, their preferences and values changed, markets turned volatile, and so did their expectations evolve. Hence, small businesses had to renew their focus on changed customers. Even though the coronavirus outbreak has not yet ended, small businesses are optimistic and ready to be resilient, adapting their business model to changing conditions. This blog provides crucial small business trends that can smoothen the way you run your business. Current Business Outlook National Federation of Independent Businesses (NIFB) says small businesses in the United States are going through a rough patch ever in their business history. COVID-19 affected different industries differently. The most common small business challenges faced during COVID-19 are: Loss of revenue Budget cuts Reduce salaries Temporary closure Temporary pivot Government restrictions are gradually easing with the increase in vaccine rollout taking place in full swing across the US in 2021. As everyone adjusts to the new normal, small businesses will be at the forefront of the economic recovery. According to the Small Business Trends survey, 23% of respondents reported revenue loss during the pandemic, while 6% reported increased revenue. In addition, 11% of small business owners polled said they had cut their budgets, and another 11% said they had temporarily closed their doors. As more small business owners become optimistic about 2021, there is no doubt that this optimism should go with proper planning and preparation. Find out few small business trends which are likely to dominate in 2021 and beyond and how to take advantage of the trends for your business growth: Faster adaptability and flexibility to any crisis With the change in consumer behavior resulting from the pandemic, the business operation also changed and adapted to the new normal of doing business. To stay afloat, many business owners spontaneously adapted and were able to identify innovative approaches to change how they operate. In addition, with the need to reduce in-person transactions, an increasing number of businesses emphasize the use of technology. Few small businesses have achieved record sales even during the pandemic by implementing a new and renewed business model that allows them to operate even with few in-person transactions. How are businesses innovating to survive the pandemic? Because of the pandemic, 43% of small businesses began to rethink how they do business. 32% of small businesses discovered new ways to deliver existing service offerings. 22% of small businesses encouraged their employees to reinvent themselves to adapt to new business changes. Rise in continuous remote work For many companies and professions such as teachers, creatives, trainers, and more, where remote work culture was just a possibility, it became a reality because of the pandemic. As a result, COVID-19 played as a game-changer and proved to be the perfect time for businesses to create their online presence. Remote work had existed even before the pandemic started, but COVID-19 accelerated this and turned into compulsive adoption. Remote work is here to stay even after the pandemic ends and might become a preferred way of working. Many businesses will transition to a distributed working model by 2021 and beyond. It makes perfect sense for small businesses to jump on board with this trend and go remote. The 2021 State of Small Business Trends Report has been released by the Small Business Expo, America's most prominent business networking and educational event for business owners, start-ups, and entrepreneurs. According to the report, three in ten respondents said they intend to keep their employees working from home after COVID-19, one in ten will return to the office, and six in ten said the Work from home policy did not apply to their business. Implementation of contactless payment options Cash-free or contactless payment was very helpful during the pandemic and has become a new norm. This pattern is expected to continue through 2021 and beyond. Small businesses have immensely benefited from electronic payments such as digital wallet payments, touchless debit cards, and credit card payments. These payment modes are easier to manage, more secure, ensure transparency, and saves time. When it comes to payment options, small businesses should consider being extremely flexible. As a result, selecting the right payment gateway platform is the first step in dealing with this trend. This is among one of the very encouraging small business trends for growth. E-commerce Dominance and Social Commerce Growth E-commerce was already flourishing before the pandemic, but its emergence just accelerated the e-commerce growth. According to the report, e-commerce will be the dominant force in 2021 and beyond. Thus, small businesses can capitalize on this boom by providing a seamless e-commerce experience for their customers by making their website mobile-friendly. Improved emphasis on employee happiness and well-being The pandemic followed by worldwide lockdown was complex for everyone, and one thing it made us realize was the significance of our physical health and, more importantly, mental health. Lockdown and remote work was mentally draining to most employees. For every organization employee, health and wellness became an utmost priority. Hence they had to come up with something to keep their employees engaged and happy during working hours. You have the advantage of smaller teams as a small business, and you can foster close relationships among your co-workers. Even if you work from home, you can always plan a fun evening together via video call. Small gestures can go a long way toward bringing your team together and increasing employee morale. You must go above and beyond by identifying ways to increase employee happiness. Embark on Influencer marketing Influencer marketing is like celebrity endorsement, which is common in the age of mass media. Social media has grabbed a large chunk of marketing in today’s world and stays in contact with the world. Influencer marketing is a subtle form of marketing that has emerged as a viable strategy for various brands. Because of their low cost and broad market reach, influencers are used by 25% of small businesses for social media marketing. The influencer marketing industry is the fastest-growing online customer-acquisition method and expected to expand further in the coming years to become the biggest future small business trends 2020/2021. Leveraging Digital Technologies Small businesses adopted technologies before the pandemic, which improved their bottom lines. Small business owners discovered that leveraging digital technologies and the internet enabled them to operate smoothly in the face of the COVID-19 crisis and restrictions while also ensuring the safety of their employees and customers. It allowed them to identify new revenue streams and reinvent their business models. 5G network and AI have become a big part of digital technologies for small businesses. Small business owners should invest in digital technologies and systems that will allow them to provide personalized customer service. In addition, using digital technologies can automate business processes and manage employees who work remotely. Digital tools have the potential to boost productivity and efficiency. They make you more agile. According to the survey, 77 percent of US small-business owners use technology for personal reasons, such as online shopping or media consumption. The 5G Network and Artificial Intelligence (AI) 5G network rollout and Artificial Intelligence (AI) are a big part of the business plan. The 5G network is a larger and better version of our 4G LTE network. The 5G network provides lightning-fast internet speeds, which expands the possibilities for using AI across industries. As a result, this combination opens new possibilities for IoT. Experts predict that by 2024, 5G networks will have a global penetration of 40%, handling 25% of all mobile data. In addition, 5G networks provide a much simpler setup process. AI can assist small businesses that are typically short on staff in automating processes and improving efficiency. AI can learn from data sets, analyze new information from various sources, and adapt as needed. This decision can help small businesses compete with larger competitors and prove the best small business trends and forecasts for 2021 and beyond. The Gig Economy As small businesses embrace the gig economy, owners and managers can hire freelancers to complete specific tasks within specific timeframes. When you allot a short-term project to your contracted worker, it eases the stress, and your staff workload brings flexibility and agility to your budgeting. You can hire as per your need of the time. By phasing out some employment setups for your small business, you can save resources and time by outsourcing expertise and equipment. Starting a side gig can help you create a business without losing an essential source of income from your current job. The gig economy in the United States grew to around 77 million people in 2020 and is expected to grow even more in 2021. In the United States, 57.3 million people work for themselves. Furthermore, freelancers account for approximately 36% of the total workforce. Thus, the gig economy is only going to get bigger. As a result, you must stay current on marketing trends affecting small businesses. Millennial Small Business Owners Millennials, or those born between 1981 and 1996, account for a quarter of the American population. This generation is most likely the most researched. Millennials are the first generation to grow up surrounded by technology, from computers to smartphones and tablets. With all this knowledge, this generation is transforming the world of small businesses. They adapt to the changing technology fast. This generation has altered the way we conduct business, from pressuring companies to improve their business practices to simply responding quickly to customers via digital channels. In addition, they are more aware of the current social climate because they are collective movers and shakers. As a result, millennial Small Business Owners are in favor of small business trends for 2021 and beyond. FAQs What trends do you foresee in small businesses? The trends in small business that will continue in 2021 and beyond are remote work will be the new standard, contactless payment options, 5G and AI technology, digitization will accelerate, businesses will continue prioritizing e-commerce. How new technology helps small business to grow? Technology allows small business owners and employees to work in the office, on the road, from home, on the road, or even across the country. As a result, technology can assist businesses in gaining a competitive advantage in the global marketplace. Why should small businesses adopt new technologies? The impact of new technology on business operations is significant. It enhances business communication while also optimizing production, inventory management, and financial record-keeping. { "@context": "https://schema.org", "@type": "FAQPage", "mainEntity": [{ "@type": "Question", "name": "What trends do you foresee in small businesses?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "The trends in small business that will continue in 2021 and beyond are remote work will be the new standard, contactless payment options, 5G and AI technology, digitization will accelerate, businesses will continue prioritizing e-commerce." } },{ "@type": "Question", "name": "How new technology helps small business to grow?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "Technology allows small business owners and employees to work in the office, on the road, from home, on the road, or even across the country. As a result, technology can assist businesses in gaining a competitive advantage in the global marketplace." } },{ "@type": "Question", "name": "Why should small businesses adopt new technologies?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "The impact of new technology on business operations is significant. It enhances business communication while also optimizing production, inventory management, and financial record-keeping." } }] }

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Institute of Life

Our target audience is 18-28 years old who are keen to develop themselves and want to be successful at work and in life. Anyone who feels part of this age range is also welcome.

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