AFCEA Named Best Nonprofit by the Small Business Expo

JULIANNE SIMPSON | January 7, 2019

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AFCEA International has received the 2018 Best of Small Business Award as the Best Non-Profit and ranked 16th in the Small Business Top 100. The Small Business Expo presents these awards to recognize America’s preeminent small to midsize business visionaries. The Best Non-Profit Award honors nonprofit organizations that specialize in supporting small businesses and small business owners with workshops, business counseling and guidance. The SB100 Award recognizes the top 100 small to midsize businesses in the U.S. and celebrates their growth and accomplishments in the previous year. “We chose to submit a nomination for Best Non-Profit and for SB100 to showcase AFCEA’s initiatives in creating opportunities for small businesses,” says Katie Helwig, director of corporate development. In 2018, the association hosted training courses, procurement networking events and webinars to inform, instruct and engage small businesses in activities that help grow their companies.

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Employee Retention Strategies That Work for Small Businesses

Article | April 15, 2020

Whether you are the boss of one or many, each employee is important to your small business. Would you rather work on retention, or retraining? According to statistics, more than 3 million people quit their jobs every month, with one-third of those quitting during the first month of employment. Millennials, Generation X, Baby Boomer – they all cite the same reasons for leaving a job. What’s the main reason? If you guessed money, you’d be right, but only partly right. “Money can’t buy happiness,” is an often-used quote, but it’s not the actual quote. It was “Money can buy material things, but real happiness must be truly earned,” which appeared in the William & Mary College quarterly publication in 1792.

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How to Establish a Small Business in Tough Economic Times – A Massive Challenge

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. Enhanced security. 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. FAQs: 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. { "@context": "https://schema.org", "@type": "FAQPage", "mainEntity": [{ "@type": "Question", "name": "How can you start a small business with tough times?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "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." } },{ "@type": "Question", "name": "How do you deal with tough economic times?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "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." } },{ "@type": "Question", "name": "How can small businesses engage customers in tough economic times?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "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." } }] }

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How Can Entrepreneurs Capitalize on the Potential of Mobile Technologies

Article | August 23, 2021

The use of smartphone/mobile technology has become the new standard, permeating every area of life. As a result, it gave rise to mobile technology opportunities for businesses. According to Statista, there are currently 3.8 billion smartphone users worldwide, which equates to 48.20% of the world's population owning a smartphone. India, China, and the United States have the most outstanding smartphone penetration rates. Between 2016 and 2020, the global smartphone user base rose by 40%. WARC asserts, by 2025, 72% of all internet users will access the web only through their smartphones. With the primary data and projections, it is abundantly evident that mobile technology represents the future of the corporate world and commercial innovations. On average, in the United States, four hours of each day are spent on mobile devices, which account for more than half of all online traffic. COVID-19 created obstacles for many areas of society; many company owners encountered several difficulties operating their businesses because of the limitations imposed, especially small businesses. But, on the other hand, the pandemic provided an unprecedented boost to mobile technology opportunities in every facet of life. Mobile is gaining traction not just in marketing and retail but also in healthcare and education for convenience and safety reasons, and gradually gaining popularity. Patients could not visit their doctors during the pandemic but could communicate through text, virtual meetings, or phone calls. Similarly, the education sector saw a dramatic shift in its teaching framework when everything went online. With the increased use of mobile to link teachers and students, mobile technology became an unavoidable factor in the education sector. Save Time, Save Money The potential of mobile technology is evident when it saves company owner’s time and money. For example, apps replace paper forms, cloud solutions replace resource-intensive local filing, and scanning and image functionalities assist field-based customer or supply chain personnel. From mobile applications to the operating systems of mobile devices, there are various ways that mobile technology helps businesses save time and money. Here are few benefits of mobile technology how they reduce business expenses and time. Online mobile apps have reduced offline paperwork. Mobile communication does not include any additional expenses, such as those associated with setting up a landline connection. Even without being on-site, you may place or confirm business orders over the phone. You may use mobile banking applications to send and receive paychecks or any other type of payment without visiting clients or banks. Mobile technology is vital in business, from texting to phoning, sending voicemails, or recording them using VoIP. Cashless Payment Options Mobile technology opportunities opened a door for cashless payments. All these years, opting for this mode of payment had been just an option, but it became vital during coronavirus to avoid spreading the virus. Both online and contactless payment methods gained popularity among both company owners and consumers. With social distancing norms in place, more individuals in established and emerging nations began to embrace contactless payments as a safer method to handle their money According to Finaria.it, the worldwide digital payments sector is anticipated to reach a value of $6.6 trillion in 2021, a 40% growth in two years. Furthermore, by 2025, mobile payments are expected to nearly double in size and reach a value of $4.6 trillion. Numerous payment methods exist, including mobile wallets, peer-to-peer mobile payments, real-time payments, and cryptocurrencies. Contactless payments are significantly faster than conventional modes of payment. 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In addition, entrepreneurs can incorporate it into their businesses in an inventive way. Maintain Orderly Physical Spaces QR codes date back to 1994, but they never acquired widespread acceptance or were widely used. However, the pandemic's onset altered the entire situation. Because the COVID-19 standards for maintaining distance, avoiding physical contact, and exchanging anything were deemed hazardous, consumers began to prefer digital connections over physical ones. That is when QR code-based payments became the most convenient payment method, requiring only the use of a mobile device. The pandemic has created unprecedented opportunities for touchless technologies (QR Code being the leading player). According to a recent poll by Statista, an estimated 11 million homes in the United States alone were predicted to have scanned a QR Code in 2020. This shows an increase from the projected 9.76 million scans performed in 2018. QR codes are used to make payments as well as place orders. Elimination of physical touchpoints from your business provides a more seamless experience for your consumers. Winding Up While the utilization of mobile phones or smartphones is not new, the manner they are used has evolved considerably over the previous five years, particularly during the pandemic. Indeed, the mobile phone has evolved into the most helpful tool/asset for information, communication, purchasing goods, and scheduling. Rapid advancements in cloud technology increase corporate use of mobile devices by enabling more flexible working habits and remote access to services. FAQs What is the future of mobile technology for business? The business has a bright future with mobile technologies. Everything is becoming virtual, including the corporate sector, where mobile technology plays a critical role. In addition, mobile technology has aided in the communication of businesses. What are the effects of mobile technology on entrepreneurs? Numerous mobile technologies, such as smartphones, mobile applications, and GPS devices, link everyone and enable company owners to stay connected with their consumers. As a result, mobile marketing is gaining traction and assists small businesses in reaching clients, and contributes to increased sales. { "@context": "https://schema.org", "@type": "FAQPage", "mainEntity": [{ "@type": "Question", "name": "What is the future of mobile technology for business?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "The business has a bright future with mobile technologies. Everything is becoming virtual, including the corporate sector, where mobile technology plays a critical role. In addition, mobile technology has aided in the communication of businesses." } },{ "@type": "Question", "name": "What are the effects of mobile technology on entrepreneurs?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "Numerous mobile technologies, such as smartphones, mobile applications, and GPS devices, link everyone and enable company owners to stay connected with their consumers. As a result, mobile marketing is gaining traction and assists small businesses in reaching clients, and contributes to increased sales." } }] }

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5 Ways Google Alerts Can Help Build Your Small Business

Article | June 1, 2021

Does your small business use Google Alerts? Do you even know what Google Alerts are? Once you set them up (see below), Google Alerts will notify you anytime the keywords you choose appear online. This is only for newly published content, not content already published on the internet. So, what can you even use Google Alerts for? Here are some ideas and how they can help you build your small business.

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