Article | March 16, 2022
Have you ever wondered how important your business credit profile is? If not, now is the time to pay attention to your credit profile and improve it. A business credit profile is the face that a business puts forward to its lenders, suppliers, insurance companies, lessors, and other businesses when they are contemplating whether to give credit or do business with that firm.
As a business owner, you should develop a good business credit history that will reflect on your business credit report. It would help if you always worked to enhance your business credit profile. A good business credit score helps your business get credit and loans to grow and manage cash flow. Additionally, if you are a small company owner seeking financing, it is critical to understand how your business credit score is calculated and to get your business credit report.
For example, Nate Masterson, CEO of Maple Holistics, used business credit cards to help his company enhance its credit record. According to Nate Masterson, business credit cards are critical for developing a company's credit record. It is particularly beneficial for small businesses that rely on loans and grants. Using a business credit card can also help you separate your personal and corporate funds, which will help you build business credit.
Here is a famous quote that says important about business credit score:
“I have always advocated doing everything possible to pay off credit card balances; it’s good financial management and the ticket to a strong FICO credit score.”
- Suze Orman, American Financial Advisor
What Is a Business Credit Report?
A business credit report is a compilation of data regarding your company's financial commitments to vendors and other business partners. Lenders make lending decisions for businesses based on the information included in this report.
Monitoring your business credit information on a regular basis is crucial. Certain companies charge a fee for access to company credit reports, while others give them away for free. Dun & Bradstreet, Experian, and Equifax are the three major business credit bureaus that offer company reports. If these major credit bureaus do not have credit reports for your firm, it is possible that you have not yet created business credit.
How to Improve Your Business Credit Profile
Keep Your Profile Accurate and Regularly Review It
Regularly reviewing and updating your profile is necessary for establishing a solid business credit history. Minor errors in your profile might make qualifying for a loan difficult for your business. Therefore, keeping your business credit profile up-to-date through regular checks is the first step in improving your business credit profile.
Make Payments on Time
Making timely payments is critical for any credit score, but it is imperative for business credit. This recommendation holds the most weight with potential creditors when asking for a small business loan. Credit is simply an agreement between you and a lender who will pay for a product or service you require immediately. Therefore, when payments are due, make sure they are paid on time or early to build a good business credit score, which will lead to a healthy business credit profile.
Establish Trade Accounts with Your Suppliers
Establishing trade accounts with suppliers or companies that report to commercial credit bureaus is one of the simplest ways to generate company credit. Numerous vendors and suppliers provide favorable payment arrangements to the most loyal clients. Pay on time, and you will establish credit references that may help in boosting your company credit scores. Often, creditors want to see a favorable track record before extending a small business loan to any organization. It's an excellent way to preserve cash flow and gradually enhance your business credit history.
Keep Your Personal and Business Credit Separate
Keeping your business and personal credit clean can be a time-consuming procedure. The benefit of keeping it separate is that you'll know your personal credit is secure if something goes wrong with your business. It not only safeguards your personal assets but also simplifies the process of qualifying for company loans and lines of credit.
Opening Business Credit Card
Establishing business credit by opening, using, and repaying a business credit card that reports to one of the major commercial credit reporting agencies is an excellent way to improve your business credit profile. Once your firm is formed, apply for and maintain a business credit card. As a business owner, determine which credit card is most suitable for your business. If your business is new, the credit limit will not be too much . As the credit score improves, the credit limit can be increased. Along with helping companies establish a healthy credit profile, credit cards often provide perks such as cashback, travel rewards, or other forms of rewards that might benefit businesses.
Why Does Credit Report in Business Matter?
Your business credit report is a critical financial statement. When applying for a business loan or other type of financing, you will be required to provide the financial bank with your business credit report or score. Simultaneously, it is an important way of building relationships with vendors and other B2B sellers.
According to the Nav American Dream Gap survey, small business owners that understand their business credit are 41% more likely to report receiving loan approval. Your credit report will reflect your creditworthiness, which is necessary when applying for a business loan. This is especially true if you ask for an unsecured or no-collateral loan.
Your company’s credit report is impacted by numerous significant aspects, which include
How long has your business been in operation?
Payment frequency on all debts and lines of credit
Every small business should prioritize building a strong credit profile. While achieving overall creditworthiness takes time, the effort is worth it. The above five recommendations will help you build a strong profile.
What is a business credit profile?
A business credit profile is the face that a business presents to lenders, suppliers, insurers, lessors, and other businesses when they decide whether or not to provide credit or do business with that organization.
How can I build my business credit faster?
To build business credit faster, you need to:
Register your business entity
Open trade lines with your suppliers
Get a business credit card
How to maintain business credit?
You can maintain business credit by:
On-time payment of business bills
Keep business debt levels low
Do not cancel old business credit cards
Article | March 4, 2022
“Success is not final; failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.”
– Winston Churchill
When starting a new business, small business owners are often surrounded by numerous business myths. As entrepreneurship is growing in the global culture, so are its myths. This may create a notion and discourage you from starting your own business. However, not all the myths about business are necessarily true.
Additionally, the myths of starting a new business can also involve unique challenges and experiences.
Small Business Myths
You Should Have a Unique Idea
Having a unique idea is the most pervasive business fallacy in the corporate world. Entrepreneurs frequently feel they must have a unique and original idea to be successful business entrepreneurs. However, this is not always true, as there are countless examples of the same. Instagram and Twitter set a perfect example as they are similar to Snapchat. However, this does not imply that you can infringe on trademarks, patents, or intellectual property.
For instance, there are countless pizza establishments selling pizza. However, what distinguishes them from their competitors is their use of innovative marketing strategies to broaden their reach and expand their firm. Additionally, having a novel, original, and unique idea, product, or concept does not guarantee that they will be a successful businessman.
When evaluating a business idea, it is critical to examine the problem it is attempting to solve and the success of your competitors in resolving the issue. A marketing plan based on these principles can help you get more of the market.
Need a Perfect Business Plan
The widely accepted assumption is that you must have an impeccable, well-structured business plan. However, having a simple, one-page strategy that lays out your goal and vision is sufficient to guide you.
Indeed, Apple, Microsoft, Facebook (Meta), and Google, among others, have all experienced success before developing a business strategy. Therefore, your business plan should include a data matrix outlining
How will you measure success?
Your customer’s value proposition
The problem your market faces and how you intend to solve it
Who is your target market?
How do you expect to finance your firm sufficiently?
However, many business owners get overwhelmed by the idea of having to perfect a business plan for starting a new business. Before you begin, you can employ someone to write it and file for a trademark. Avoid becoming paralyzed by business plan analysis paralysis.
You Are Your Own Boss
You being the sole proprietor of your business is a complete fallacy. While you may have more choice over your schedule, you won't have a superior hounding you. You will undoubtedly have stakeholders, such as investors, clients, and workers, who rely on you.
Often, owners think that starting their own firm will alleviate stress. You are accountable for everything that happens, and you may feel significantly more pressure than you did as an employee. You are solely responsible for ensuring the seamless running of your firm.
Most Successful Entrepreneurs Are Young
There is no age limit when it comes to starting a new business. You can be an entrepreneur if you believe you have the business sense, acumen, funds, and resources. People in their forties and fifties are the founders of some of the most successful firms.
For example, Mark Pincus developed Zynga at the age of 41. This is how old Ray Kroc was when he started McDonald's. John Pemberton came up with Coca-Cola at the age of 55. Harland Sanders started KFC at the age of 65.
Contrary to popular belief, older people are more successful in business because they have years of experience.
High-tech Based Business
The world is rapidly becoming more digital and technologically aware. While the world's attention is currently focused on technology enterprises, other industries are equally successful without technology. Not every company or innovation is based on technology. You do not have to focus exclusively on IoT, apps, artificial intelligence, or cryptocurrency to be successful.
Consider Blissim, which works without relying on cutting-edge technology to sustain its operation. Rather, it was chosen and sent out in boxes of beauty products each month, which made $150 million in sales.
Not only do entrepreneurs believe in the myth, but executives and managers often cling to the notion of innovation as new technology as well.
Don't Allow Business Myths to Sabotage Your Plan
Executives sometimes fall into the trap of believing the myths associated with starting a new business. What is the good news? First, it is possible to transform your leadership style and corporate culture.
As a budding entrepreneur the first thing you must invest in is the human capital i.e. people who will be working for you. Considering that, the leader sets the tone for healthy working relationships and a favorable climate for accomplishment. Following that, evaluations of personality, behavioral, and emotional intelligence can help you gain a deeper understanding of yourself and your team. Finally, when times are tough, maintain your modesty and encourage the best in your team, but avoid resorting to past practices.
Now that you know the business myths and their relative insignificance, it's time to evaluate them. Based on these, you can certainly make an informed decision about whether or not to start a business.
What is the main obstacle to starting a business?
The main obstacle most small business owners face is the lack of capital required to start a business.
What are the challenges of starting a new business?
Below are the most common challenges to starting a new business:
• Hiring suitable employees
• Financial management
• Cyber security
• Winning the trust of customers
What are some common mistakes made when starting a new business?
The common mistakes that every business owner should avoid when starting a new business are:
• Lack of a business plan
• Missing out on online marketing
• Failure to keep track of progress
• Insufficient financial planning
• Failure to acquire knowledge
SMALL BUSINESS TRENDS
Article | March 2, 2022
“It’s not the best content that wins. It’s the best promoted content that wins.”
~ Andy Crestodina, Chief Marketing Officer and Co-Founder, Orbit Media Studios, Inc.
Have you ever wondered why there is a rising need for content syndication for small businesses? One of the prime reasons is that content syndication turns your best content into a powerful lead generation tool. The practice of sharing your material in various ways to reach your target audience is called content syndication. B2B marketers use it to improve the effectiveness of their content in terms of lead creation.
Content marketing is difficult for small businesses. Every day, millions of blogs are published online. Having a social media promotion plan is a fantastic idea. However, it is still challenging to be discovered by new eyes.
“Content is king, but distribution is queen, and she wears the pants. It's not nearly enough to create a good piece of content. You have to understand how content spreads across the web”.
- Jonathan Perelman, VP of Agency Strategy and Industry Development, BuzzFeed
Cathryn Lavery and Allen Brouwer are the co-founders of BestSelf Co., a finalist in Shopify's Build a Business VI competition, and creators of the Self Journal. BestSelf Co. developed a content syndication plan, which got them featured and gained readership on significant sites, such as Business Insider and The Huffington Post.
Through content syndication, they were able to accomplish the following:
186,000 new monthly visitors
$2 million in revenue
Content syndication is a crucial part of any content marketing strategy and is a must for every business that wants to make a significant impact in the digital world. When syndicating your content, be smart, purposeful, and creative.
Content Syndication Is on the Rise, Again
The benefits of content syndication are the primary reasons for its increased use. Here are a few factors responsible for this resurgence in content syndication.
Inbound Marketing Is Inadequate
The results of traditional inbound marketing do not scale to meet the demands of enterprises. Due to the increasing relevance of account-based marketing and the saturation of inbound marketing approaches, expanding inbound outcomes has become significantly more complex and expensive. Additionally, the cost of inbound marketing strategies has ascended dramatically.
Approaches for Content Syndication Have Evolved
The approaches to content syndication have evolved in perfect sync with the evolution of content types. As a result, marketers now place a far higher premium on innovative content syndication programs. For example, earlier, only blog articles were syndicated. Now, other forms of content are increasingly being syndicated. And, despite advancements in SEO over the years, syndication remains critical.
B2B Marketers Can Use Syndication More Effectively
Marketers' capability to track and optimize program success has also increased. As a result, B2B marketers have a slew of different B2B marketing methods at their disposal, among which content syndication is critical. B2B marketers have created four types of content syndication. They are as follows:
Syndicate third-party content on the blog
Publish your content on other blogs
Distribute your content through content syndication websites
Successful B2B marketers leverage syndication programs to establish thought leadership and influence their target audience. It enables you to reach new audiences or existing consumers, increases your brand's authority and exposure, and foster a reasonable brand opinion, all of which might result in qualifying business inquiries. Effective content syndication platforms enable B2B marketers to generate, moderate, and syndicate material with complete confidence, which leads to a higher conversion rate.
Types of Syndication Outlets
Exploring syndicating content across many platforms or networks is essential to maximize audience reach. Well-planned content syndication for small businesses may provide a slew of benefits. When seeking for third parties to syndicate your brand's content, there are a few options to pursue.
Numerous multi-author publications accept syndicated material and republish entire or partial pieces, integrating your blog's RSS feed. For example, Social Media Today is popular business-related syndication sites.
There are numerous blogging platforms that allow users to create their blogs on the platform or website. In addition, there are several blogging systems available, generally known as Content Management Systems (CMS), which serve as the home for your content. Blogging platforms are an excellent alternative for content syndication for small businesses because they have built-in audiences and allow you to control how much you post.
Some of the most popular platforms are WordPress, Blogger.com, Tumblr, Typepad, and Drupal. However, according to blogging professionals, currently, WordPress is the most popular blogging platform available. Indeed, WordPress powers almost 50% of the world's top 100 blogs. Among these are several top-rated sites, like The Wall Street Journal and NLF.com.
This syndication outlet is the most widely used content marketing strategy among small business owners.
Numerous social networking platforms allow you to publish content directly to their platforms. It's ideal for including links to your website to improve traffic. In addition, it's a means to post and promote your content across the most powerful social media platforms for your business.
Instant Articles on Facebook and LinkedIn's Publishing Platform are two such platforms where you can syndicate your material. These are great options because you'll be able to use content discovery and analytics tools to optimize your pieces for social sharing.
Social syndication delivers:
Easy to consume
Easy to share
Enjoyed by thought leaders
Always lead back to your offer
The Building Blocks of an Effective Content Syndication Program
While content syndication is seeing a resurgence, B2B marketers should exercise care before delving into this promotion channel. Content syndication is gained importance due to new capabilities and unfavorable circumstances. However, a few factors must be considered for establishing successful content syndication.
Target the Right Persona (Executives)
Although CEOs have considerable decision-making authority, they are not the main contenders for target content syndication. Therefore, targeting executives makes sense if you offer a content solution designed to benefit them. First, target personas who understand the challenges and appreciate the solutions you offer. The targeted personas will have an internal influence on others, which is more effective than approaching executives directly. However, you must first create your persona profiles.
Right Content Assets Based on a Buyers' Journey
It is critical to pick content assets based on an in-depth buyer's journey map, matching content with targeted personas and funnel stages. In addition, your content syndication efforts should be broken down by target accounts based on the research they conduct on certain topics.
Your content asset should be:
Educate target audiences about current issues and challenges
Inform about the latest trends
Advice on what they can do to improve their situation
Introduce your brand's approach to solving the problem
Businesses who are interested in your company, your brand, and your brand's solution (at a high level) may learn about them through content syndication at the top of the funnel. It may also be used for middle-of-the funnel projects.
Create Nurturing and Follow-up Systems
Content syndication leads are not the same as website inbound leads. Prospects engage with your material via content syndication leads: the research, ideas, and recommendations surrounding a certain issue. Lead nurturing with relevant content is critical before business development rep (BDR) follow-up. If you already use intent data to target accounts for syndication, you should use it to target content and messages for nurturing, like emails and videos.
Content Syndication Is Here to Stay
While the world of digital marketing is continuously evolving, it's safe to assume that content syndication is growing in relevance and is here to stay for the foreseeable future. Small businesses that invest more time and effort in content syndication will get a significantly higher return on their investment. By utilizing a variety of content syndication platforms and outlets, you can increase the reach of your content and brand visibility. Content syndication is a solid content marketing strategy that will help boost your marketing efforts if done correctly.
Is content syndication effective?
Content syndication is cost-effective, helps you reach larger audiences, boosts brand awareness, and improves SEO performance. Hence, it is an effective marketing strategy.
What is B2B content syndication?
B2B content syndication refers to the process of republishing digital information such as whitepapers, blogs, and videos on a third-party website. Content syndication's primary objective is to create new leads from prospective client accounts.
What additional content syndication best practices exist?
Here are some of the best content syndication practices:
Select the appropriate publishing partner
Distribute your content across multiple platforms
Combine it with your ABM campaigns
MARKETING AND NETWORKING
Article | February 28, 2022
Even if you have the most effective marketing strategy and the desired reach for your business, traditional word-of-mouth continues to be one of the most effective techniques for acquiring new customers. A successful small business requires a face-to-face networking strategy with other entrepreneurs. Over the years, small business networking has gained immense popularity among small business owners. Let’s not forget that every large corporation today was once a small enterprise. The expansion did not happen overnight. Networking is critical for small business success because no firm grows in isolation.
"Networking is an investment in your business. It takes time and when done correctly can yield great results for years to come."
- Diane Helbig, Business and Leadership Development Advisor
Business networking may help you grow your customer base and get more referrals, as well as give you numerous chances for learning, development, and growth.
Despite the undeniable value of networking, most small-business owners are at a loss about where to begin. You may be wondering how you might enter the world of networking. This article shows you how to use the best business networking ideas for your small business.
Reasons to Grow Your Business with Networking
Every businessperson understands the importance of investing in money, but only the wise invest in relationships.
95% of professionals believe that face-to-face contact is critical for long-term company success (HubSpot)
Networking connects you with peers in your sector and opens the door to new opportunities. It shows you how important it is to have good interpersonal skills and how important face-to-face interactions are.
Meeting with a venture capitalist can assist in securing funding. Finding a partner across the nation might result in the start of a new venture. In addition, small business networking may help by giving unique opportunities, growing confidence, expanding your community, and learning new skills.
This is a perfect example of why businesses need to consider their networking strategy. Eloqua, a platform for marketing automation and intelligence, was acquired by Oracle in 2012 for $871 million. The entire transaction proceeded well because Eloqua co-founder Paul Teshima had developed strong, shared ties with Oracle's executives. Eloqua was acquired for more than 200% of its projected public market value, resulting in $400 million increase in a shareholders’ net worth.
Small Business Networking Ideas
“When you network you develop a list of resources that you can share with others. This increases your value to those prospects and clients you deal with.”
- Diane Helbig, Business and Leadership Development Advisor
Join Online Business Communities/Groups
The most effective strategy to boost brand recognition for your firm and overall performance is to join business organizations and participate in "face-to-face" business networking groups. Numerous small business networking groups provide members with the opportunity to promote their businesses to the group or receive customized business advice.
Some excellent small business networking groups you can join are the Chamber of Commerce, SCORE, the Entrepreneur's Organization, Business Networking International, Young Entrepreneurs' Council, Rotary Club International, and the American Marketing Association. However, being an active member of a lot of business organizations doesn’t have the same benefit as being a member of just one or two.
Cross-promotion is an excellent approach to building relationships with other small companies. Collaboration and cross-promotion are efficient strategies for growing your brand, acquiring new consumers, and diversifying the services you provide your clientele. Cross-promotion may take place in different forms, from pooling resources to sponsoring an event to bundling your items.
You can collaborate on promotional videos and share them on each other's social media accounts. You can also develop a collaborative advertisement for publication in local retail journals and publications. Here is one perfect example that will help you understand better the benefits of cross-promotion.
La'mariette and Selena Gomez collaborate on a campaign — La'mariette is a swimsuit company that believes that every body type is beautiful. They teamed up with Selena Gomez, singer and influencer with 195 million Instagram followers. Selena shared a photo of herself wearing a La'mariette swimsuit. She debuted the brand with this post. Additionally, she tagged La'mariette and shared their Instagram link. Selena's photo was then put on the brand's website.
Cross-promotion brings a lot of benefits for small business owners with limited resources and budgets.
Networking Business Cards
Business cards play a crucial role in your small business networking strategy, whether you attend a small business conference, join a local networking event, or participate in a trade show as an exhibitor. Along with the necessary contact information, business cards may help strengthen your brand and make you more distinctive.
Visiting/business card is the first and long-lasting impression, extension of smile or handshake, mark of professional. Additionally, owners are hesitant to discard business cards, probably because they understand that the cards need time and money to make. Business cards will help to build a strong customer relationship management (CRM) system.
Attend Small Business Conferences
Small business conferences are an excellent opportunity to network with other businesses and establish vital contacts. When you go to conferences, you get to reconnect with colleagues you haven't spoken to in a while.
There are several ways to network at or during a conference. You can choose to stay at the same hotel as the conference, be prepared with conversation starters, be receptive to individuals who wish to meet you, and sign up for conference dinners, meet-ups, parties, and others.
Connect With Other Local Businesses
While being a member of the community helps small business owners in several ways, it also provides a chance to give back to the society. Just as you rely on the goodwill, referrals, and patronage of folks in your immediate circle, so do the other companies in your neighborhood. For example, a simple visit to say hello and leave your business card. This not only creates an opportunity to sell your products or services, but is also a neighborly thing to do.
“Create a company culture that focuses on personal development, both inside and outside the workplace to influence your local community.”
- Christian Valiulis, Automatic Payroll Systems
Business networking is a fun part of developing small businesses. However, as you implement the above networking strategy, pay attention to how it impacts everything around you. For maximum exposure, choose the best option from the suggestions mentioned above.
How can networking help a small business?
Networking helps small businesses to find new customers, expand their business and provide exposure for their brand. Business networking helps build relationships with others.
What are the advantages of networking?
Below are a few advantages of networking
Raise your profile
Strengthen business connections
Solutions to business problems
How can I improve my business network?
You can improve your business network by considering the following:
Attend offline events
Connect the connectors
Get busy on social media
Join online business communities/groups