Small Business SEO: Guide on Local SEO

Small Business SEO
Do you run a small business? Are you a part of a small business? If you are, then you should surely consider local SEO for small businesses.

Small business owners are increasingly aware of the internet's significance and how to leverage search engine optimization (SEO) to increase revenue. The most frequent problem that small businesses face when competing with major brands is a limited budget. This is why local SEO is seen as a great marketing tool for small firms. In today's extremely competitive industry, local SEO enables small businesses to compete with large brands. Therefore, local SEO has had a big influence in today's digital environment. Local SEO is an excellent way for small companies to gain maximum exposure and reach out to each local consumer.

While it is very cost-effective, local SEO also assists small companies in generating leads. Many of the same methods apply to optimizing your small business website for local searches as they do to general SEO.

97 percent of users looked for a local business online. (Safari Digital)

“On a broad scale, I see SEO becoming a normalized marketing tactic, the same way TV, radio, and print are traditionally thought of as marketing tactics.”

- Duane Forrester, Senior Product Manager, Bing
 

What is Local SEO?

Local SEO is a term that refers to SEO that is based on a specific locality. Local SEO is simply the practice of increasing search engine exposure for local businesses, which helps to generate more leads and attract more consumers. Local SEO services for small businesses work wonders for brand development.

For example, you may open Google and type in "best world cuisine restaurant." What is the name of the restaurant on your screen? The top results aren't always the greatest global cuisine restaurant in the entire country. They are frequently restaurants in your city that are near to where you are. That is the true strength of SEO. This is how local SEO for small business owners may provide a significant chance for development.

Let us further explore the importance of local SEO for small businesses and the need of it.

Importance of Local SEO for Small Business

Many small company owners frequently fail to appreciate and acknowledge the significance of small business SEO. If you operate a small business, local SEO for small businesses is an excellent kind of marketing that can be used to maximize visibility.

In addition, local SEO helps businesses reach local customers to build relationships and to target a local audience. Local SEO is critical for mobile searches, since it aids in the development of local relationships and partners. The return on investment (ROI) of local SEO is higher than other kinds of online marketing efforts.

Safari Digital estimates that 46% of Google searches are for local information.

Building relationships, creating long-term networks and extending your business are the three most important goals of local SEO for small businesses.

“A real estate agency in Wichita has no shot at ranking for the phrase “real estate;” a lawyer in Fresno has no shot at ranking for the word “lawyer.” Optimize for relevant, specific keywords that will bring targeted traffic.”

– Matt McGee, Content Marketing, HomeLight

This blog will provide the most effective small business SEO strategy to maximize your local reach.

Tips to Improve Local SEO for Small Business Owners


Optimize Info on Google My Business

This is one of the crucial strategies for successful small business SEO. The importance of optimizing your Google My Business listing cannot be understated. This is one of the biggest factors that determine the success of local SEO. It is imperative to create a Google My Business listing and make regular updates so that it appears on the local search results in Google Search as well as Google Maps.

You can add name, address and phone number (NAP) details, opening hours, photos, and so on., to manage your listing on Google My Business.

To get optimized for Google My Business, you will need to take the following steps:
  • Verify the business location
  • Update accurate information
  • Use Google Posts within your account
  • Respond to and manage reviews
  • Update your operating hours and phone number

Embed Google Maps in Your Website

It is of great benefit to embed a Google Maps API into your website, since finding your business in local results or on Google Maps will increase your chances of capturing new leads. When incorporated into your website, it acts much the same as your contact details.

To make it easier for prospective leads to find your contact page, it is advisable to add the opening hours, phone call links, driving directions, and social media links. This will also make your website more useful to the people who visit it. A map will help people locate your office or business site easily, allowing them to compare the information against office hours, phone numbers, and more.

Create Local Citations (NAP)

Local citations are a critical ranking element for local search. A local citation is an internet reference of a business's name, address, and phone number. Local citations are used by search engines to determine a business's relevance and authority. Additionally, they aid the firm in establishing relevancy with search engines.

The top must-have local citation sites are Google My Business, Facebook, Bing Maps, Apple, Trip Advisor, and Yelp. Having your business included in reputable web directories offers signals to Google that your business exists, increasing its degree of assurance.

Create and Distribute Locally-focused Content to Build Links

Backlinks are quite important when it comes to a website's local rating. To begin, build local content by including local keywords into your website material; this will have a significant influence. Write about broad issues that will appeal to a broader audience and disseminate them through numerous means to reach a large, local target audience.

Here are a few ways you can create local content and build links:
  • Write guest articles on locally-oriented websites
  • Invest in local events
  • Form ties with local companies and organizations
  • Networking
  • Get added to local citations and directories

Enhance the Structure of Your Internal Linking

Internal links are the most essential ranking component for organic results in local SEO. Internal linking establishes a connection between one page of a website and another page on the same website.

Internal linking fulfills three purposes:
  • Provides support with website navigation
  • Deals with the information architecture and structure of the website
  • Distributes the authority and ranking power of a page to its subpages

Internal linking improves a website's overall SEO, thus improving its rating in search engines. However, the issue is how to optimize your internal connecting structure through small business SEO strategy.

You may accomplish this by:
  • Creating lots of content
  • Using links that are natural for the reader
  • Using anchor text
  • Utilizing a sufficient number of internal links
  • Linking deep within the structure of the site
  • Using relevant links
  • Using follow links

Building internal linking is the most successful small business SEO strategy.

FAQ:


What is local SEO for small businesses?

Local SEO is a part of search engine optimization that focuses on increasing the visibility of a local business in local search engine results. It helps to generate more leads and attract more consumers.

Is SEO important for small businesses?

SEO is a powerful tool for small businesses. Most consumers are looking for brands online every day. SEO is one of the best ways to reach these potential customers.

What is the most effective method for ranking local businesses in local SEO?

Here are a few ways to rank a local business in local SEO:
  • Optimize info on Google My Business
  • Embed Google maps in your website
  • Enhance the structure of your internal linking
  • Create local citations (NAP)
  • Create and distribute locally-focused content in order to build links
  • Optimize for voice search
  • Focus on local keywords

Spotlight

Tecture

Tecture brings visions to life by weaving innovative UX and design with cutting-edge software. We design and build exceptional web and mobile experiences, ranging from scalable cloud-based web apps to native mobile apps to custom SaaS ecommerce infrastructure - all designed and crafted to provide users with a premium experience. Tecture, founded in 2001, is located in downtown Chicago and serves clients nationwide.

OTHER ARTICLES
TECHNOLOGY, BUSINESS STRATEGY

Small Business Grants: Get Free Funding

Article | July 11, 2023

Doesn't free money for small businesses sound wonderful? Thus, free money to small-medium enterprises (SMEs) is the core purpose of small business grants. As a small business owner, you are constantly looking for funding opportunities for small businesses to expand your enterprise. This requirement became even more desirable during the coronavirus pandemic. The following are the top challenges facing small businesses: Cash flow is limited or inconsistent Lack of capital raising No provision for unforeseen expenses Inadequate tax compliance Absence of a budget Combining commercial and personal finances “It’s almost always harder to raise capital than you thought it would be, and it always takes longer. So plan for that.” – Richard Harroch, Venture Capitalist and Author How About We Figure Out What a Business Grant is? A grant is a sum of money provided to a business for a particular purpose. There are several financing possibilities for small enterprises when applying for start-up business grants. You only need to know where to find it. Government (federal and state), charities, and private institutions all offer small business grants. Unlike small business loans, small business grants do not need a repayment. In addition, unlike loans, you are not required to provide security, are not charged late fees or interest, and are not required to give away any ownership of your business. As a result, grants for small businesses are an appealing source of finance for businesses. Small business grants are frequently awarded based on specific areas, industrial sectors, community groups, or types of enterprises. Grants come in various forms, including those granted by the government, those supplied by private firms, and those directed for specific groups such as women, veterans, or women. In addition, considering the current pandemic crisis, a new grant has been established to assist individuals negatively impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. The federal government does not provide start-up business grants; instead, its grant programs are often directed toward non-profit organizations or other government agencies that face financing challenges. COVID-19 Small Business Grants Several types of COVID-19 small business grants are available to mitigate the loss caused by the coronavirus to small businesses. First, government grants for small businesses provide economic relief from the loss of revenue. The United States Small Business Administration (SBA) administers federal small business funds for coronavirus recovery under the Economic Aid to Hard-Hit Small Businesses, Non-profit Organizations, and Venues Act. Paycheck Protection Program (PPP): Small Business Administration (SBA) provides financial help by introducing financial assistance programs like Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). However, Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) concluded on May 31, 2021. Even after the termination of the program, you can still qualify for loan forgiveness. This program was a significant part of COVID-19 small business grants. As of May 10, 2021, the SBA has authorized $782 billion in PPP loans. To qualify for loan grants, you must establish the following: Maintaining employee and pay levels The revenues of the loan are used to cover payroll costs and other allowable expenses At least 60% of the earnings are used to cover payroll expenditures COVID-19 Targeted Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) The Federal government recognized the coronavirus's impact and introduced many COVID-19 small business grants, and Targeted EIDL was one of the leading financial assistance programs offered. The SBA makes targeted economic injury disaster funding available to small companies in low-income regions that have suffered revenue loss due to the coronavirus pandemic. This is more of a donation than a loan, as it is not returnable. The targeted EIDL offers up to $10,000 in advance if your firm is: Located in a low-income neighborhood Has sustained a higher than 30% economic loss Employ no more than 300 people Due to COVID-19, small business owners and qualified agricultural companies in all 50 states and territories of the United States are presently eligible to apply for a low-interest loan. Shuttered Venues Grant As of August 2021, the Shutter Venues Grant program is ended. However, later that month, the Small Business Administration (SBA) planned to establish a supplemental Shuttered Venue Operators Grant (SVOG) application for 50% of the initial amount, up to a maximum of $10 million. The Economic Aid to Hard-Hit Small Businesses, Non-profits, and Venues Act established the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant (SVOG) program, modified by the American Rescue Plan Act. The initiative, managed by the SBA's Office of Disaster Assistance, would provide over $16 billion in subsidies to closed venues. Eligible candidates may receive up to 45% of their gross earned revenue in the form of a grant. The maximum grant is ten million dollars. Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF) The American Rescue Plan Act established the Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF) to provide emergency assistance for eligible restaurants, bars, and other eligible businesses impacted by the pandemic. This program compensates restaurants for income losses caused by the pandemic, up to a maximum of $10 million per firm and no more than $5 million per physical location. As of now, RRF is closed for new applications. Government Grants for Small Business Numerous government grants for small businesses have been made available for free by the federal, state, and municipal governments. However, accepting free government money entails a considerable bit of paperwork and is time-consuming and technical at the same time. Federal Government Grants for Small Business The federal government offers many other additional grants for small businesses along with COVID-19 assistance. Federal government grants for small businesses are generally available to firms engaged in research, technology, or health. The government agencies that support small company grants are the SBA, the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and the Department of Agriculture. Let us find out which are the most competitive government grants for small businesses. Small Business Innovation Research Program (SBIR) Small Business Technology Transfer Program (STTR) U.S. Small Business Administration State Trade Expansion Program (STEP) NIH Grants U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) State Government Grants for Small Business State offers government incentives to a small business that address the state's social or economic issues. However, due to the minor application set for state funds, competition may be less severe and easily accessible. Federal agencies occasionally award grants to state governments, which then distribute the monies. Below is few resources body that offers funding opportunities for small businesses: U.S. Economic Development Administration State Business Incentives Database Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs) Private Small Business Grants While government grants are beneficial to small companies, the financing levels are insufficient. Occasionally, private corporations and charities step forward and provide small business grants. On the other hand, private business grants need separate applications and may have eligibility limits confined to specific industries. Numerous corporate-sponsored small business grants require applicants to compete in pitch competitions or something comparable. Unfortunately, few major private corporations provide substantial financial incentives to small businesses for joining (and winning) contests or pitch competitions. However, even if you do not win, you may receive a runner-up reward or exposure for your business. Below are few private small business grants available FedEx Small Business Grant Contest National Association of the Self-Employed (NASE) Visa Everywhere Initiative Wells Fargo Community Investment Nav's Quarterly $10,000 Business Grant Patagonia Corporate Grant Program Start-Up Business Grants A start-up business grant is money provided by the government or another entity to assist small businesses and organizations in establishing and developing their businesses. Initially, small business grants are often not accessible to launch a firm; nevertheless, they are available for specific businesses and owners. The following is a list of different sorts of businesses eligible for start-up small business grants: Innovators Rural Businesses Green businesses Women, veteran, or minority-owned businesses Non-profit organizations Here is an example of small business start-up grants 4.0 Schools fellowships Jack Daniel's pitch distilled Final Thought As the information above indicates, there are several small business grants available. However, applying for grants is time intensive and may result in your firm not receiving the money needed. Finally, explore the small business grant, whichyour business is eligible for. If small business grants are not a possibility for you, several alternative funding choices are available that fit your budget. FAQs: What can a small business grant be used for? Small business grants are used for a variety of purposes: to establish a business, to stimulate minority entrepreneurship, to support research and development in a particular industry, to bring innovation, and to assist businesses in the domains of science, technology, and health, the list goes on. How can I get a grant to start a small business? There are several websites and organizations where you may obtain small company grants, including the following: SBIR.gov USDA Rural Business Development Grants Small Business Development Centres Grants.gov National Association for the Self-Employed (NASE) FedEx Small Business Grant Contest What distinguishes grants from small business loans? The primary distinction between small business grants and small business loans is that grants are not returned (with certain circumstances), but loans need to be paid back. In addition, grants are generally reserved for small firms, requiring more time to process and receive the funds.

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Business Strategy

How Are Small Business Accounting Software Meeting Industry Needs Today?

Article | June 2, 2023

Introduction With numerous tasks and operations to take care of, from basic invoicing and billing to project management and tax calculations, small business owners find it a nerve-wracking challenge to keep track of all monetary transactions and manage accounts payable. In addition, the advent of digitization, the growing penetration of cloud-based solutions in the industry, and the introduction of cutting-edge accounting software, among others, are eliminating the extra use of paper, pens, files, and voluminous binders. Because of these small business financing trends, businesses and start-ups are increasingly inclined toward online financial management tools, such as small business accounting software, to handle their financial data. The small business accounting software assists them in examining their financial condition along with accurately recording businesses’ cash flow, generating reports, tracking transactions, monitoring account balances, billing customers, creating purchase orders, and much more. Owing to such compelling features, these small business financial management solutions are garnering massive popularity in the industry. Small Business Accounting Software: Emerging Financial Needs in the Industry Running a small business sometimes entails wearing several hats, such as sending emails, paying suppliers, invoicing, creating processes, and preparing financial reports. All these are essential tasks, along with the other small business operations, such as employee management and work management, among others. None of the additional responsibilities faced by small business owners are as crucial as accounting. Robust accounting processes are vital for keeping businesses in excellent financial condition and helping owners to make smarter decisions. Accounting software provides various features that can facilitate the smooth operation of the organization. From processing invoices to monitoring cash flow, here are the primary ways accounting software can assist owners to meet financial requirements for small businesses and promote growth. Automate Invoicing and Billing Due to the shortage of cash inflow, it is vital for small businesses to keep the cash flowing by billing clients and crediting customers on time. Accounting software assists small businesses in automating the billing process, enabling owners to create recurring invoices, send follow-up reminders, and accept digital payments directly from the invoices. It also assists in tracking all unpaid invoices and preventing accidental missing payments, thereby fending off potential losses. Expense Tracking A common accounting mistake that small businesses often make is failing to accurately track business costs and expenses, which causes a shortage of cash flow. The deployment of the right small business accounting software prevents this from happening and enables firms to keep track of all the spending and identify the source where the money is being spent. Efficient Inventory Management Proper inventory management is a crucial part of small businesses as they cannot stock products in large quantities due to the unavailability of a large amount of capital. Good inventory management is necessary to guarantee an adequate supply and deliver superior customer service. Accounting software aids small businesses in recording stock keeping unit (SKU) codes, monitoring goods, preparing reports, tracking products sold, and running reports on which items firms are doing well and which ones aren’t. Bank Reconciliation Small business accounting solutions simplify one of the most fundamental tasks of the company—bank reconciliation. It enables small business owners to access their bank statements directly from the accounting solutions, along with comparing bank statements, balancing debits and credits, and identifying any discrepancies at the end of each financial period. The Final Thought Maintaining correct financial records at all times is essential for the success of small businesses and start-ups. For maintaining proper accounts, these businesses need a system that overcomes the drawbacks of traditional accounting tools such as spreadsheets. With the introduction of novel accounting software integrated with artificial intelligence, big data, and other technologies, these financial management solutions are paving the way for small businesses.

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Technology

How Can Small Business Digital Transformation Opportunities Be Bagged?

Article | July 17, 2023

Small businesses are the backbone of the US economy, generating local jobs and innovation while encouraging entrepreneurship among minorities, women, veterans, and other community segments. As stated by Florida tax monitor data, small companies employ 48% of all Americans and generate 43.5 percent of the country's gross domestic product (GDP). At the speed of light, the corporate environment is continuously moving to new digital technologies. However, many small company owners are unable to keep up with this small business digital transformation. In the opinion of recent Google-commissioned small company research, 80% of small businesses in the United States are not fully utilizing digital technologies. A few more reasons at play prevent small firms from adopting digital technology and falling behind on digital transformation trends. Ignoring digital benefits or refusing to adjust is a surefire way to fail in a constantly evolving digital world. "At least 40% of all businesses will die in the next ten years… if they don't figure out how to change their entire company to accommodate new technologies." — John Chambers, Cisco Factors Contributing to the Lag in Digital Transformation Race Keeping up with New Technologies Is Tough Numerous small business owners are unable to keep up with emerging digital transformation trends. Various digital opportunities for small businesses exist to employ in their operations. However, companies lack the will to leverage digital capabilities and so fall short of their full potential. In addition, limited resources create an impediment to digital adoption inside. Employee experience and digital skills are other significant impediments to SMBs adopting digital technologies. Small businesses need to overcome their fear of change to capitalize on the digital dividend, accelerate growth, and scale effectively. Change in Customers Behavior and Persona Changes in customer behavior and knowledge of SMB consumer personas are critical components of small business digital transformation and are the primary issue confronting small business owners. The most significant change that small companies anticipate in the next five years is a shift in consumer expectations and personas. Owners believe they understand their businesses since they are small or medium-sized business owners. Still, customers have a different perspective more than 70% of the time due to social and digital transformation trends. For the next five years, the top three consumer trends are expected to increase product or service customization, increased emphasis on customer experience, and higher expectations of quality or value for money. "Clients are going to expect a lot of personalization in their businesses; consumers are going to expect the same. To avoid data silos, having an emphasis on driving real-time information from customer data and sources is core for any company to become digitally native." – Bibhakar Pandey, Vice President & Leader of Customer Experience, Marketing Services, Capgemini. Need Assistance for Right Decisions Making technological decisions is challenging for small firms. Additionally, many business decisions are made by small business owners. Therefore, they must have the appropriate knowledge and help when making digital decisions involving various conflicting obligations. Because the costs of digital technologies are so high, it is critical for small businesses to have sufficient information about the value of sales, service, and marketing technologies to select the appropriate digital systems, upgrade digital skills, and provide adequate protection and security. In addition, the small owners need timely assistance to cope up with small business digital transformation. Digital Gap Small firms have several digital gaps in various areas, including internal skills gaps, financial gaps, and digital infrastructure shortages. Due to the utilization of high-speed internet connections and cloud-based technologies, these disparities are more significant for small businesses than large enterprises. The owners need to cope up with different stages of digital transformation in small businesses. However, there is no denying the link between digital and productivity, which is critical for productivity. Digital Transformation Approaches: Adoption and Upgradation to CRMs To evaluate client behavior, it is critical to implement and improve your customer relationship management system (CRM). In addition, businesses should leverage cloud-based solutions to strengthen their relationships with their consumers. According to Deloitte, SMBS that use CRM generate 44 percent more income than those who do not have a system or only have a rudimentary system. However, numerous CRM features, such as omnichannel customer care, marketing automation, social tools, and predictive analytics with automation are not part of the classic CRM model. "Right from the start, based on our ICP, we focus on what level of personalization and automation needs to be built out and what touchpoints like overlays, retargeting, and remarketing are to be done to convert the customer in the end and take them to the SQL stage." – Amitabh Ramani, Global Marketing Director, Jade Global. Adoption and up-gradation of CRMs will open new digital opportunities for small businesses. Improvement in Digital Infrastructure To fill the digital gap and be a part of digital transformation trends, small businesses must embrace high-speed broadband for small business digital transformation. In addition, adopt digital technologies in the workplace to enhance SMB productivity and connectedness. By incorporating innovation and technology, small firms may increase their competitiveness. Below are few actions that can be taken for more digitally engaged small businesses: Raising awareness of digital opportunities SME training and upskilling programs Promoting business innovation and the provision of new digital solutions Implementation of Sales and Marketing Tools In today's competitive corporate climate, the focus is firmly placed on the sales and marketing aspects of the enterprise. As a result, small businesses strive to capitalize on possibilities for personalized marketing based on prior interactions or sales and engage clients through customized marketing. Amaysim is an example of a company that focuses on customized marketing using a cloud-based marketing platform; they ensure timely marketing communication and connect with clients in real-time via SMS. Only one in every five small businesses uses digital tools or social media platforms to acquire new consumers or connect with existing clients. Incorporate artificial intelligence into different business processes, such as predictive analytics, automated product recommendations, and upgrade suggestions based on consumer behavior. Shift to Online Interactions Face-to-face transactions have decreased as a percentage of total sales, and the line between physical and digital is becoming increasingly blurred, resulting in behavioral adjustments. The purchase is moving due to internet channels, or you might say that more consumers favor online purchases over in-person transactions. With the increase in online sales, small companies also need to enhance their delivery services to keep up with the demand. In addition, the shift in communication channels to emails, social media platforms, and websites have altered consumer behavior about enquires and complaints. As a result, implementing CRM software for service interactions has become a necessity of the hour to ensure a fast response. Shift to online interactions of sales or any business operation is an escalating demand for small business digital transformation. Final Thoughts With the evolution of digital trends in small businesses, owners can leverage small business digital transformation benefits by using the techniques as mentioned above. Regular use of digital tools may help small businesses enhance their performance and adapt to dynamic business conditions and changing consumer expectations and the surrounding environment. Engage small companies in new digital prospects for success and business growth, resulting in a greater return on investment (ROI). FAQs Why is digital transformation important for small businesses? Digital transformation enables small businesses to ease out their operations, increases efficiency, automates workflow, helps to improve customer relationships. Adopting digital transformation enables to fulfill changing behaviors and needs of customers. What are the most significant trends of digital transformation? Here are few significant trends of digital transformation in the coming year 2022 that will impact the work culture of businesses. Improved connectivity (5G) AI technology Cybersecurity IoT Multi-cloud and APIs What are key areas of digital transformation? The key areas of digital transformation are as follows: Business process transformation Domain transformation Business model transformation Cultural/Organizational Transformation { "@context": "https://schema.org", "@type": "FAQPage", "mainEntity": [{ "@type": "Question", "name": "Why is digital transformation important for small businesses?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "Digital transformation enables small businesses to ease out their operations, increases efficiency, automates workflow, helps to improve customer relationships. Adopting digital transformation enables to fulfill changing behaviors and needs of customers." } },{ "@type": "Question", "name": "What are the most significant trends of digital transformation?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "Here are few significant trends of digital transformation in the coming year 2022 that will impact the work culture of businesses. Improved connectivity (5G) AI technology Cybersecurity IoT Multi-cloud and APIs" } },{ "@type": "Question", "name": "What are key areas of digital transformation?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "The key areas of digital transformation are as follows: Business process transformation Domain transformation Business model transformation Cultural/Organizational Transformation" } }] }

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Small Business Advice

Small Business Financial Management: One-Stop Solution for Financial Hurdles

Article | September 23, 2022

Introduction Managing finances is crucial for organizations, especially small businesses, to create a stable financial future in which the business is less likely to fail. Small businesses and start-up companies have to face numerous challenges and even bear losses at their introductory stage due to the difficulties in maintaining proper cash flow. According to a study, around 61% of small business owners say that they face challenges in handling consistent and steady cash flow. Many start-ups undertake operational business activities after obtaining loans from different financial institutions due to insufficient cash flow and capital. Hence, to keep small business operations running smoothly, they need to optimize the inflow and outflow of cash and financial management. Small business financial management assists these start-up companies in reducing financial costs, facilitating the availability of investment, and planning, organizing, directing, and controlling financial activities. With competition intensifying in the sector, the need for financial management is becoming even more critical for small businesses. Why Are Financial Management Solutions Becoming Imperative for Small Businesses? Running a small business is not an easy task. Even if you have a great idea and a large number of people longing for your product or service, the financial difficulties of operating a small business can quickly escalate and hamper the business. A plethora of expected and unexpected issues, such as overhead costs, rising interest or inflation rates, impending tax deadlines, remediating damage from a natural disaster, and many more, can create insurmountable obstacles for small business owners. Whether it is insufficient cash flow or a lack of accurate monthly reconciliation reports, many small business finance-related issues can be avoided with the proper management of finance and reporting. What are the other small business money management challenges that financial management solutions can assist to overcome? Let's see: Poor cash flow management Managing a budget Planning future expenses Controlling debt Inconsistent cash flow Tips for Effective Small Business Financial Management Small businesses today are highly fragile due to excessive competition in the industry. Hence, start-ups and new companies have to invest a significant amount of money in order to keep their business fully functional and running. Right from accumulating funds to allocating and spending them, it is crucial for small business owners to have a transparent view of their financial position and business undertakings to engage in planning for efficient utilization of available resources. Effective financial management not only assists in managing small businesses' finance and rotating the cash invested in the business, but it also assists in analyzing revenue generation, formulating suitable financial strategies, and calculating adequate returns, among others. It is undoubtedly one of the most important aspects of businesses, irrespective of their size. With an increasing need for managing huge funds, continuous transactions, daily cash flow, payrolls, and others, it is becoming even more critical for small businesses and start-ups to manage their finances effectively. Here are some of the vital tips that can help small businesses analyze and manage their finance effectively: Prioritize business financial planning Create a budget and stick to it Analyze cash flow Keep business and personal finances separate Focus on expenditures but also ROI Monitor spending Opt for a financial solution or service Final Thoughts With the fast-changing financial requirements of small businesses and the emergence of novel small business financing trends, entrepreneurs are emphasizing streamlining and managing their financial chores. To overcome a growing number of financial obstacles, leading financial solution developers are aiming at integrating advanced technologies such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, and data analytics in novel small business financial management solutions. This is anticipated to create a strong demand for innovative financial management tools, such as small business accounting software, across the industry in the forthcoming years.

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Spotlight

Tecture

Tecture brings visions to life by weaving innovative UX and design with cutting-edge software. We design and build exceptional web and mobile experiences, ranging from scalable cloud-based web apps to native mobile apps to custom SaaS ecommerce infrastructure - all designed and crafted to provide users with a premium experience. Tecture, founded in 2001, is located in downtown Chicago and serves clients nationwide.

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Finance

Mainvest Now Listed on Meta’s Small Business Funding Resource as a Source Funding

Mainvest | March 30, 2022

Mainvest partners with Meta and is listed on Meta's Small Business Resource as a source of funding. Mainvest is the investment platform connecting small businesses with local investors. Meta established its Small Business Funding section in 2021 to link SMBs to purpose-driven grant and loan possibilities, business resources, and small business networking groups. With the advent of Mainvest, SMBs may now explore alternate funding choices that support their community engagement and long-term growth. Mainvest is a regulated crowdfunding platform according to Regulation Crowdfunding, which was enacted under Title III of the JOBS Act in 2016. Mainvest, as a non-traditional source of finance, decreases capital access obstacles and provides a more flexible choice for SMBs at all stages: There is no requirement for credit checks or personal guarantees There is no dilution of ownership as a result of the debt-based structure. Note on Revenue Sharing Repayments are based on revenue rather than a fixed interest rate Since debt is subordinated, it is easily combined with traditional sources of funding Small brick-and-mortar businesses should be aware of Mainvest as a source of capital that does not need them to engage private equity investors or take on additional term loans. Businesses may also increase consumer loyalty and marketing buzz by launching a fundraising drive. "We're excited to engage with a wider audience of SMB's on Meta's platform and to help them unlock the ability to raise funds from community investors. Furthermore, we're seeing that investors are excited about the chance to invest in brick and mortar SMBs, so it's a win-win for businesses seeking funding and investors seeking new opportunities." Nick Mathews, Mainvest CEO

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Business Strategy

Vejii Announces Definitive Purchase Agreement to Acquire VEDGEco USA Inc., a leading online B2B wholesale platform for plant-based products

Vejii Holdings Inc. | December 24, 2021

Vejii Holdings Ltd. ("Vejii" or the "Company"), a North American online marketplace for plant-based and sustainable products, is pleased to announce that it has entered into a share purchase agreement (the "Purchase Agreement") to acquire VEDGEco USA Inc. ("VEDGEco"), a leading online business-to-business ("B2B") wholesale platform for plant-based products. "VEDGEco launched as one of the first online wholesale platforms dedicated to providing restaurants and independent grocers with a large selection of high-quality plant-based options. This meant that small business owners could at last gain access to a large selection of plant-based products and ingredients without the requirements that typical larger national distributors have in place, such as large minimum order sizes." Kory Zelickson, CEO of Vejii Pursuant to the terms of the Purchase Agreement, the Company will acquire 100% of the issued and outstanding shares (the "Purchased Shares") of VEDGEco (the "Transaction") from the shareholders of VEDGEco (the "Vendors"). The total purchase price for the Purchased Shares will be US$6,250,000, payable as follows: (a) on the date of the closing of the Transaction (the "Closing"), the Company will issue such number of common shares of the Company (each, a "Common Share") with a deemed value of $3,500,000 (the "Consideration Shares") to the Vendors, as determined based on a price per Consideration Share of the greater of (i) C$0.35 per Consideration Share and (ii) the closing price of the Common Shares on the Canadian Securities Exchange on the date immediately preceding the announcement by the Company of the Transaction, converted into United States dollars at the Bank of Canada exchange rate on such date; and (b) earn-out payments up to a maximum of US$2,750,000, payable in Common Shares (the "Earn-Out Shares"), priced in the context of the market, to be issued to the Vendors upon VEDGEco meeting certain milestones as more particularly set out in the Purchase Agreement. The Consideration Shares and the Earn-Out Shares issued under the Purchase Agreement are subject to a statutory hold period of four months and one day, restrictions on transfer under applicable United States ("U.S.") securities laws and a contractual lock-up as set out in the Purchase Agreement (the "Voluntary Lock Up"). Subject to compliance with applicable securities laws, 12.5% of the Consideration Shares and the Earn-Out Shares will be released from the Voluntary Lock Up on a quarterly basis for a period of 24 months from the date of issuance. VEDGEco's key personnel are expected to continue to run the operations of VEDGEco following closing of the Transaction. The Transaction is expected to close on or around December 31, 2021. Closing of the Transaction is subject to customary closing conditions. The Transaction will significantly augment Vejii's offering of plant-based brands, which have, to date, through ShopVejii.com and VeganEssentials.com, leveraged Vejii's platform for sales, marketing and order fulfillment and distribution across the U.S. and Canada via Vejii Fulfillment Services. "We heard consistently from the brands that we serve that they were seeking to make the leap from e-commerce, to grocery and foodservice distribution. This could mean shipping samples, managing broker relationships, or gaining access to those restaurants and grocers not served by the larger wholesalers," added Zelickson. "We already work with our brand partners on a business-to-consumer ("B2C") strategy through our marketplace, but now we can also help our brand partners get access to distribution in local restaurants and grocers, expanding Vejii's capabilities from just B2C to also include B2B and food service." "I built VEDGEco out of a necessity, given the limited plant-based options available in the small and local grocers and restaurants where I live in Kailua, Hawaii," said Trevor Hitch, CEO of VEDGEco. "Most of us are likely to have our first experience trying new plant-based products at a restaurant before purchasing those items to enjoy at home. With VEDGEco, our mission is to make plant-based options more broadly available by making them accessible to thousands of local restaurants across America. This access gives owners the ability to test products on their menu through our easy-to-use platform, without the need for long-term commitments or high, minimum order volumes. Owners can then see what works for their customer base and then return to re-order or test new options." The Transaction is expected to drive synergies across purchasing, customer service, technology, and logistics for Vejii and VEDGEco. Vejii will also be able to leverage VEDGEco's existing facilities in Hawaii, Northern California and Georgia, while providing VEDGEco with access to its facilities in Texas, Wisconsin, and its soon-to-be operational third-party logistics operation in Southern California. "The acquisition of VEDGEco will allow us to add a new revenue stream while increasing our buying power and margins with large brands, and also adding tremendous value for the brands on our platform. As restaurants and grocers expand their plant-based offerings, we will be strategically positioned to serve them while helping plant-based brands scale their businesses by offering those brands access to national distribution through the VEDGEco wholesale platform." Darren Gill, COO of Vejii In addition to providing VEDGEco's existing offering of wholesale plant-based products, Vejii will now have the ability to significantly expand VEDGEco's product selection by leveraging its existing case-lot purchasing and expanding the range of products on its platform through VEDGEco. VEDGEco operates its distribution centers from Hawaii and California, which will further expand Vejii's distribution network, reducing shipping costs and expanding the Company's offering of regionalized same-day delivery. About VEDGEco USA Inc. Headquartered in Kailua Hawaii, and launched in 2020 VEDGEco, the first nationwide plant-based foodservice distributor, helps restaurants go vegan by offering a selection of uncompromisingly delicious plant-based options that are easy to prepare. With a goal of bringing the freedom of food choice to all restaurants and businesses, VEDGEco distributes plant-based products in bulk to the restaurant and wholesale food industry, as well as to consumers across the U.S. Carrying a carefully curated selection of the best plant-based meat, dairy, and egg alternatives, VEDGEco ships frozen and in recyclable and compostable packaging to reduce our carbon footprint. About Vejii Holdings Inc. Headquartered in Kelowna B.C, Vejii is a unified digital marketplace and fulfillment platform featuring thousands of plant-based and sustainable-living products from a growing list of hundreds of vendors. The platform offers an easy-to-use, omnichannel experience for both vendors and buyers, leveraging big data and artificial intelligence to elegantly connect brands with a targeted consumer base, both organically and through specialized marketing programs. Dynamic fulfillment services empower brands to offer tier-one service, with ongoing engagement being driven through features like smart lists, subscription programs, reordering functions, sampling programs, and more. The Company also owns and operates U.S.-based Veg Essentials LLC ("Vegan Essentials"), which operates VeganEssentials.com. A staple of the plant-based community, Vegan Essentials was established in 1997 and contributes more than 20 years of consumer insight, data, and buying power. VeganEssentials.com was awarded best online vegan store from 2005-2018, as well as best online vegan grocer from 2018-2021 by VegNews Magazine.

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Impact

Bubblr, Inc Launches Community App Based Licensing Opportunity

Bubblr Inc. | December 22, 2021

Bubblr Inc., an ethical technology company focused on the development of Open Source 3.0 tools for the advancement of a better Internet, today announces another licensing for their Open Source Platform. Two weeks ago, Bubblr announced their first licensing agreement with media company UFF (Ultimate Football Fan). UFF and AFTV (Arsenal Football TV). Now Bubblr is adding the community app-based licensing opportunity as an entirely different marketing channel geared towards helping local communities. Utilizing Bubblr, Inc's open source app templates, a city or a town can build their own community app as a platform for local businesses. Many small businesses already subscribe to single-purpose app platforms. Example market sectors dominated by single-purpose apps include fast-food, hotels/accommodation, restaurants, trades-people and ticketing. These single-purpose apps are typically very costly for small businesses, often involving significant monthly subscriptions combined with a percentage of any sales generated through the apps. The Bubblr open-source app templates make it easy for towns and cities to build multi-purpose community apps for any market sector quickly. Initially, these community apps will operate on a freemium model. Eventually, local businesses will be charged a low-cost monthly subscription fee to be listed on the community app. The community will retain most of the revenue generated by these community apps, with Bubblr, Inc. charging a license fee. These community apps will provide a much needed new revenue source for hard-pressed local services. Bubblr, Inc. are already in negotiation with several candidate towns/cities to become the candidate for their own community app. Bubblr expects to make an announcement for its first community app licensee in January 2022. "All of the back-end development work to provide these community apps has already been completed. We are already in the process of building the open-source community app templates that will be completed by March 2022. From a business point of view, it is a win for all parties involved. Local businesses get a new low-cost marketing channel. Local communities get a new revenue source. Bubblr, Inc. does not have to pick up the high cost of acquisition of the local businesses or local app users." Bubblr, Inc.'s Chief Technology Officer Steve Morris About Bubblr, Inc. Bubblr, Inc. is an ethical technology company focused on mobile-first technology that aims to bring back privacy to users, trust in online content, and sustainability to the digital marketplace. Our mission is to empower developers to join in our commitment to improve the Internet and create a new Ethical Internet Ecosystem (EIE) by leveraging our intellectual property through our open-source platform advanced digital tools that enable the building of fair-forward digital solutions.

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Finance

Mainvest Now Listed on Meta’s Small Business Funding Resource as a Source Funding

Mainvest | March 30, 2022

Mainvest partners with Meta and is listed on Meta's Small Business Resource as a source of funding. Mainvest is the investment platform connecting small businesses with local investors. Meta established its Small Business Funding section in 2021 to link SMBs to purpose-driven grant and loan possibilities, business resources, and small business networking groups. With the advent of Mainvest, SMBs may now explore alternate funding choices that support their community engagement and long-term growth. Mainvest is a regulated crowdfunding platform according to Regulation Crowdfunding, which was enacted under Title III of the JOBS Act in 2016. Mainvest, as a non-traditional source of finance, decreases capital access obstacles and provides a more flexible choice for SMBs at all stages: There is no requirement for credit checks or personal guarantees There is no dilution of ownership as a result of the debt-based structure. Note on Revenue Sharing Repayments are based on revenue rather than a fixed interest rate Since debt is subordinated, it is easily combined with traditional sources of funding Small brick-and-mortar businesses should be aware of Mainvest as a source of capital that does not need them to engage private equity investors or take on additional term loans. Businesses may also increase consumer loyalty and marketing buzz by launching a fundraising drive. "We're excited to engage with a wider audience of SMB's on Meta's platform and to help them unlock the ability to raise funds from community investors. Furthermore, we're seeing that investors are excited about the chance to invest in brick and mortar SMBs, so it's a win-win for businesses seeking funding and investors seeking new opportunities." Nick Mathews, Mainvest CEO

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Business Strategy

Vejii Announces Definitive Purchase Agreement to Acquire VEDGEco USA Inc., a leading online B2B wholesale platform for plant-based products

Vejii Holdings Inc. | December 24, 2021

Vejii Holdings Ltd. ("Vejii" or the "Company"), a North American online marketplace for plant-based and sustainable products, is pleased to announce that it has entered into a share purchase agreement (the "Purchase Agreement") to acquire VEDGEco USA Inc. ("VEDGEco"), a leading online business-to-business ("B2B") wholesale platform for plant-based products. "VEDGEco launched as one of the first online wholesale platforms dedicated to providing restaurants and independent grocers with a large selection of high-quality plant-based options. This meant that small business owners could at last gain access to a large selection of plant-based products and ingredients without the requirements that typical larger national distributors have in place, such as large minimum order sizes." Kory Zelickson, CEO of Vejii Pursuant to the terms of the Purchase Agreement, the Company will acquire 100% of the issued and outstanding shares (the "Purchased Shares") of VEDGEco (the "Transaction") from the shareholders of VEDGEco (the "Vendors"). The total purchase price for the Purchased Shares will be US$6,250,000, payable as follows: (a) on the date of the closing of the Transaction (the "Closing"), the Company will issue such number of common shares of the Company (each, a "Common Share") with a deemed value of $3,500,000 (the "Consideration Shares") to the Vendors, as determined based on a price per Consideration Share of the greater of (i) C$0.35 per Consideration Share and (ii) the closing price of the Common Shares on the Canadian Securities Exchange on the date immediately preceding the announcement by the Company of the Transaction, converted into United States dollars at the Bank of Canada exchange rate on such date; and (b) earn-out payments up to a maximum of US$2,750,000, payable in Common Shares (the "Earn-Out Shares"), priced in the context of the market, to be issued to the Vendors upon VEDGEco meeting certain milestones as more particularly set out in the Purchase Agreement. The Consideration Shares and the Earn-Out Shares issued under the Purchase Agreement are subject to a statutory hold period of four months and one day, restrictions on transfer under applicable United States ("U.S.") securities laws and a contractual lock-up as set out in the Purchase Agreement (the "Voluntary Lock Up"). Subject to compliance with applicable securities laws, 12.5% of the Consideration Shares and the Earn-Out Shares will be released from the Voluntary Lock Up on a quarterly basis for a period of 24 months from the date of issuance. VEDGEco's key personnel are expected to continue to run the operations of VEDGEco following closing of the Transaction. The Transaction is expected to close on or around December 31, 2021. Closing of the Transaction is subject to customary closing conditions. The Transaction will significantly augment Vejii's offering of plant-based brands, which have, to date, through ShopVejii.com and VeganEssentials.com, leveraged Vejii's platform for sales, marketing and order fulfillment and distribution across the U.S. and Canada via Vejii Fulfillment Services. "We heard consistently from the brands that we serve that they were seeking to make the leap from e-commerce, to grocery and foodservice distribution. This could mean shipping samples, managing broker relationships, or gaining access to those restaurants and grocers not served by the larger wholesalers," added Zelickson. "We already work with our brand partners on a business-to-consumer ("B2C") strategy through our marketplace, but now we can also help our brand partners get access to distribution in local restaurants and grocers, expanding Vejii's capabilities from just B2C to also include B2B and food service." "I built VEDGEco out of a necessity, given the limited plant-based options available in the small and local grocers and restaurants where I live in Kailua, Hawaii," said Trevor Hitch, CEO of VEDGEco. "Most of us are likely to have our first experience trying new plant-based products at a restaurant before purchasing those items to enjoy at home. With VEDGEco, our mission is to make plant-based options more broadly available by making them accessible to thousands of local restaurants across America. This access gives owners the ability to test products on their menu through our easy-to-use platform, without the need for long-term commitments or high, minimum order volumes. Owners can then see what works for their customer base and then return to re-order or test new options." The Transaction is expected to drive synergies across purchasing, customer service, technology, and logistics for Vejii and VEDGEco. Vejii will also be able to leverage VEDGEco's existing facilities in Hawaii, Northern California and Georgia, while providing VEDGEco with access to its facilities in Texas, Wisconsin, and its soon-to-be operational third-party logistics operation in Southern California. "The acquisition of VEDGEco will allow us to add a new revenue stream while increasing our buying power and margins with large brands, and also adding tremendous value for the brands on our platform. As restaurants and grocers expand their plant-based offerings, we will be strategically positioned to serve them while helping plant-based brands scale their businesses by offering those brands access to national distribution through the VEDGEco wholesale platform." Darren Gill, COO of Vejii In addition to providing VEDGEco's existing offering of wholesale plant-based products, Vejii will now have the ability to significantly expand VEDGEco's product selection by leveraging its existing case-lot purchasing and expanding the range of products on its platform through VEDGEco. VEDGEco operates its distribution centers from Hawaii and California, which will further expand Vejii's distribution network, reducing shipping costs and expanding the Company's offering of regionalized same-day delivery. About VEDGEco USA Inc. Headquartered in Kailua Hawaii, and launched in 2020 VEDGEco, the first nationwide plant-based foodservice distributor, helps restaurants go vegan by offering a selection of uncompromisingly delicious plant-based options that are easy to prepare. With a goal of bringing the freedom of food choice to all restaurants and businesses, VEDGEco distributes plant-based products in bulk to the restaurant and wholesale food industry, as well as to consumers across the U.S. Carrying a carefully curated selection of the best plant-based meat, dairy, and egg alternatives, VEDGEco ships frozen and in recyclable and compostable packaging to reduce our carbon footprint. About Vejii Holdings Inc. Headquartered in Kelowna B.C, Vejii is a unified digital marketplace and fulfillment platform featuring thousands of plant-based and sustainable-living products from a growing list of hundreds of vendors. The platform offers an easy-to-use, omnichannel experience for both vendors and buyers, leveraging big data and artificial intelligence to elegantly connect brands with a targeted consumer base, both organically and through specialized marketing programs. Dynamic fulfillment services empower brands to offer tier-one service, with ongoing engagement being driven through features like smart lists, subscription programs, reordering functions, sampling programs, and more. The Company also owns and operates U.S.-based Veg Essentials LLC ("Vegan Essentials"), which operates VeganEssentials.com. A staple of the plant-based community, Vegan Essentials was established in 1997 and contributes more than 20 years of consumer insight, data, and buying power. VeganEssentials.com was awarded best online vegan store from 2005-2018, as well as best online vegan grocer from 2018-2021 by VegNews Magazine.

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Impact

Bubblr, Inc Launches Community App Based Licensing Opportunity

Bubblr Inc. | December 22, 2021

Bubblr Inc., an ethical technology company focused on the development of Open Source 3.0 tools for the advancement of a better Internet, today announces another licensing for their Open Source Platform. Two weeks ago, Bubblr announced their first licensing agreement with media company UFF (Ultimate Football Fan). UFF and AFTV (Arsenal Football TV). Now Bubblr is adding the community app-based licensing opportunity as an entirely different marketing channel geared towards helping local communities. Utilizing Bubblr, Inc's open source app templates, a city or a town can build their own community app as a platform for local businesses. Many small businesses already subscribe to single-purpose app platforms. Example market sectors dominated by single-purpose apps include fast-food, hotels/accommodation, restaurants, trades-people and ticketing. These single-purpose apps are typically very costly for small businesses, often involving significant monthly subscriptions combined with a percentage of any sales generated through the apps. The Bubblr open-source app templates make it easy for towns and cities to build multi-purpose community apps for any market sector quickly. Initially, these community apps will operate on a freemium model. Eventually, local businesses will be charged a low-cost monthly subscription fee to be listed on the community app. The community will retain most of the revenue generated by these community apps, with Bubblr, Inc. charging a license fee. These community apps will provide a much needed new revenue source for hard-pressed local services. Bubblr, Inc. are already in negotiation with several candidate towns/cities to become the candidate for their own community app. Bubblr expects to make an announcement for its first community app licensee in January 2022. "All of the back-end development work to provide these community apps has already been completed. We are already in the process of building the open-source community app templates that will be completed by March 2022. From a business point of view, it is a win for all parties involved. Local businesses get a new low-cost marketing channel. Local communities get a new revenue source. Bubblr, Inc. does not have to pick up the high cost of acquisition of the local businesses or local app users." Bubblr, Inc.'s Chief Technology Officer Steve Morris About Bubblr, Inc. Bubblr, Inc. is an ethical technology company focused on mobile-first technology that aims to bring back privacy to users, trust in online content, and sustainability to the digital marketplace. Our mission is to empower developers to join in our commitment to improve the Internet and create a new Ethical Internet Ecosystem (EIE) by leveraging our intellectual property through our open-source platform advanced digital tools that enable the building of fair-forward digital solutions.

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Events