Business leaders outlook 2016

| April 19, 2016

article image
To tap into the pulse of today’s market, we surveyed nearly 1,000 small businesses—asking questions about everything from growth expectations and underlying concerns to the adoption of new technologies. The overall results for 2016 are promising, and consistent with feedback we’ve received for the previous three years of conducting these surveys

Spotlight

Justia

Justia works on free legal information projects. Justia is involved in online public interest projects, legal aid, civil rights, free legal and consumer information and educational projects. We have free case law, statutes and regulation databases on Justia.com. We developed a US Supreme Court Center, with all of the US Supreme Court decisions with Oyez.org at supreme.justia.com. We also have free community tools, including legal services & lawyer directory, blawg directory and legal twitter directory.

OTHER ARTICLES

6 ESSENTIALS OF A PAYMENT PLATFORM FOR SMALL BUSINESS

Article | May 13, 2021

In this blog, we will look at some important factors that should be considered when selecting a payment platform for a small business. Sometimes, small businesses make decisions based solely on price. However, many other factors can have a significant impact on payment solutions for businesses and their customers. Below are what we consider to be six essentials necessary to make a payment platform optimal for any small business.

Read More

Top 12 Email Marketing Tips for Small Businesses

Article | May 13, 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." } }] }

Read More

Best Small Business Insurance

Article | May 13, 2021

As the head of your small business, you probably feel the weight of responsibility on your shoulders. Your business is an investment you need to protect — it’s not only the service or product you provide but the financial livelihood of you and your employees. Small businesses need comprehensive insurance protection, and Benzinga has done the research to take the burden off of you. Take a look at our guide to better understand the insurance needs of small businesses and find the best small business insurance provider for you.

Read More

Artificial intelligence for Small Businesses – Transformation Guide in 2021

Article | May 13, 2021

The effect of COVID-19, the pandemic nationwide, was inevitable and became a catalyst for every business's digital transformation, irrespective of a large, small, or medium-sized business. 2020 saw a boom in digital transformation and escalated demand for artificial intelligence (AI). A few years back, artificial intelligence for small businesses was just a buzzword for owners, and today it is a new reality of our day-to-day life. Many companies have recognized the extensive benefits of AI. As the growing power of AI for small business owners has been considered, they have integrated them to achieve their goals. Artificial intelligence, also called machine learning, offers small businesses the opportunity to become profitable, efficient, and effective. With time and evolution in technology, AI delivers results and has become affordable for small businesses. The unprecedented nature of the pandemic crisis brought in a set of new challenges and forced small companies to change and improvise their business strategies. This crisis led AI and machine learning to play a substantial role in various aspects of businesses. According to statistics, the artificial intelligence industry will be worth $190 billion by 2025, with global spending on AI systems already reaching $57 billion by 2021. The machine learning and deep learning segment accounted for nearly 65% of the market in 2019. According to ReportCrux Market Research, the global demand for artificial intelligence in the IoT market estimated to be around $ 2.64 billion in 2019, revenues are expected to be around $ 15.72 billion by the end of 2027, representing a 25.0% CAGR from 2020 to 2027. Moving forward, before you hit the core topic of this blog, here are few additional aspects you need to know about AI and small businesses. AI and small businesses Today AI is the new headline of every business news and has become a prevalent technology adapted by almost every industry. However, before delving into the implications of machine learning and artificial intelligence for small businesses, let me throw some light on what artificial intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) are. AI is creating computer systems capable of performing tasks that generally require human intelligence, such as visual perception, speech recognition, decision-making, and language translation. Machine learning is defined as “an artificial intelligence application that allows systems to learn and improve based on experience without being programmed automatically.” AI and machine learning have become a mainstay of the new business world. Yet, as per the common misconception, this technology is still considered for bigger businesses with big budget to spend. However, as technology advances, artificial intelligence for small businesses has become more affordable, making it an industry reality for them as well. According to the 2018 Vistage survey on the role of AI for small businesses, 13.6% of small-to-medium companies (SMBs) are currently using AI technologies to improve business operations and customer engagement. In addition, according to another survey of CEOs from small and medium-sized businesses, 29.5% of CEOs support AI technology. Artificial intelligence has gained trust from few big names such as Bill Gates and Elon Musk. AI and deep machine learning can be implemented through AI tools and AI software across different parts of business operations. AI tools help streamline all the processes of the business, thus transform the industry. AI tools for small companies benefit in various ways, including helping to improve sales and marketing efforts, improving recruitment and HR activities, and automating customer service and communications. Here is how artificial intelligence (AI) can help your small businesses improve your performance efficiency. Top 5 artificial intelligence recommendations for small businesses in 2021 AI-Infused CRM Since the digital approach towards business operations, machine learning and artificial intelligence for small business operations are changing. However, it necessitates a well-planned marketing strategy for small businesses to maintain a personal touch in their approach. As a result, customer-relationship management (CRM) systems play an essential role in gathering customer data across various omni-channels such as email, social media platforms, and phone. This customer data aids in the improvement and automation of the sales process. HubSpot CRM and Salesforce have incorporated AI into their technology; these AI-infused CRM for small businesses can help their owners in analyzing customer feedback. As a result, marketing and lead generation activities will be adjusted based on that information. AI-infused CRMs not only improve lead generation results, but they have also begun to demonstrate how AI can be used to acquire marketing and sales-relevant insights, as well as to improve the customer acquisition process. Effortless data-driven predictions and decision-making Data plays a key role for businesses in the decision-making process. The data-driven approach helps to improve decisions, but for this, the companies need to recognize and adapt artificial intelligence (AI) into their workflow. Data holds the insight that enables better decisions, integration of AI and machine learning in workflow validates effortless data-driven predictions and more robust decision making for further actions. The question is, how does AI help in the decision-making process based on data? Here is the solution; firstly, AI examines massive amounts of data and then provides insights to business owners, who make decisions based on this information. Then, do you see how artificial intelligence for small businesses in workflow simplifies decision-making and makes data-driven predictions with ease. Application of artificial intelligence (AI) in human resource The human resource was the most unexpected department into which artificial intelligence (AI) crept. Effective implementation of AI tools in human resources helps to streamline the hiring and onboarding process. Furthermore, it is beneficial to obtain employee feedback on how HR can improve the hiring process. AI tools for small businesses offer their marketing teams to handle repetitive and tedious tasks like data entry, cleaning up extensive data, and testing sales campaigns' efficiency. In addition, artificial intelligence for small businesses empowers them to optimize their staff output. AI-powered customer service The big players in online retail are no longer the only ones. Small and medium-sized businesses are also gradually becoming a significant part of selling their products or services on an online portal. In the form of conversational platforms such as chatbots, IVRs, and visual bots, AI can enable proactive customer self-service. First, however, it is necessary to develop personalized customer service for their satisfaction. This can be done with the help of integration of the most used AI-powered chatbots. Many small business owners are investing in this process to provide customer communication and service. Chatbots use natural language (NLP) processing technology of the machine learning tool. Since the introduction of deep learning in AI, it has become a need of an hour to deliver better results to customers, as approximately 30% of all online retail transactions are made on a mobile phone. Most small businesses are utilizing AI to provide customers with first-hand product experience. According to Gartner, “46% of SMBs (surveyed) are currently using or plan to use a chatbot within the next two years.” Another 21% of the small and medium-sized businesses polled were evaluating chatbots for use, according to the study. Chatbots is like a sales and customer rep working 24/7 for you. Among the many artificial intelligence for small businesses available, this relieves stress and allows you to devote your time to more critical tasks. For example, with AI-powered customer service, you can simplify many tasks, facilitate customer communication and customer experience. Cybersecurity Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, most businesses turned online, giving rise to online data storage by companies both big and small. Thus, exposing them to new cyber threats to business and consumer data, which are called cyber-attacks. One of the most talked-about cyber-attacks in 2019 is ‘Ransomware,’ a form of malicious software that is often deployed via social engineering tactics. According to the survey, ransomware attacks increased 350% globally in 2018, and ransomware attacks are expected to cost $6 trillion per year by 2021. For small businesses with a minimal budget to spend on cybersecurity or sudden ransom, such attacks can be devastating. According to recent reports, 60% of small businesses that suffer a cyberattack go out of business within six months. But luckily, cybersecurity powered by AI may provide some relief from these attacks. AI-powered cybersecurity programs look for unusual activity or cyber threats detected and can stop the attacks or raise alerts earlier. You can revitalize and empower your small business by employing artificial intelligence for small businesses to meticulously maintain an account database, stay in touch with customers, or protect your company from hackers. AI is the future of businesses In the future, AI can transform how businesses interact with customers, compete with one another, and grow in the market. On the other hand, the pandemic served as a catalyst for businesses to embrace the business benefits of artificial intelligence (AI). As a result, what would typically take years to implement on a large scale was completed in a matter of weeks and months. According to survey by Salesforce research, 51% of customers say their expectations of companies are now being influenced by AI. According to a report, the global artificial intelligence (AI) market was worth 28.42 billion USD in 2019. According to the same report, the AI market will be worth 99.98 billion USD by 2023, with a compound annual growth rate of 34.86%. Machine learning and artificial intelligence for small businesses help their owners reduce manual work and increase productivity with little effort and in a short period. FAQs Can small businesses use AI? Yes, small businesses can use AI and need an hour to implement it in their process. Small business owners can use artificial intelligence (AI) to provide the first-hand experience of their products or services to their customers. AI helps small businesses to handle repetitive and tedious tasks with great ease. How can small businesses benefit from AI? Implementation of AI in a small business can help to improve sales and marketing, streamline HR tasks, automate customer communication, provide cybersecurity from unpredictable threats, etc. Thus, artificial intelligence for small businesses can completely transform their position in the market. How is AI implemented in small businesses? AI technology can be implemented in small businesses using various AI-based tools, applications, or software. { "@context": "https://schema.org", "@type": "FAQPage", "mainEntity": [{ "@type": "Question", "name": "Can small businesses use AI?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "Yes, small businesses can use AI and need an hour to implement it in their process. Small business owners can use artificial intelligence (AI) to provide the first-hand experience of their products or services to their customers. AI helps small businesses to handle repetitive and tedious tasks with great ease." } },{ "@type": "Question", "name": "How can small businesses benefit from AI?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "Implementation of AI in a small business can help to improve sales and marketing, streamline HR tasks, automate customer communication, provide cybersecurity from unpredictable threats, etc. Thus, artificial intelligence for small businesses can completely transform their position in the market." } },{ "@type": "Question", "name": "How is AI implemented in small businesses?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "AI technology can be implemented in small businesses using various AI-based tools, applications, or software." } }] }

Read More

Spotlight

Justia

Justia works on free legal information projects. Justia is involved in online public interest projects, legal aid, civil rights, free legal and consumer information and educational projects. We have free case law, statutes and regulation databases on Justia.com. We developed a US Supreme Court Center, with all of the US Supreme Court decisions with Oyez.org at supreme.justia.com. We also have free community tools, including legal services & lawyer directory, blawg directory and legal twitter directory.

Events