Successful Marketing Tips for SMBs to Follow in 2018

Eyeing for a bigger share of the market? Sadly, most marketing strategies demand big budget while making it difficult for a small business to stand out. The tight budget and limited time make it hard for the young startups to compete with the corporate giants.

With the changing consumer behavior and marketing trends, establishing a brand is more challenging than ever. However, with a little planning and new subtle practice, you will be able to grow your bottom line.  Here are some best marketing tips that will lead to the path of your small business to success.

Convey Your Brand’s Story

Branding Tips

Everyone knows Steve Jobs began Apple computers from his home garage and Jack Ma, the founder of Ali Baba, was rejected from Harvard 10 times. So, what’s your brand story?

Thousands of businesses are there that offer the same services as you.  So how will you distinguish yourself from the crowd? One of the best ways to do this is by telling the story behind your brand.

Customers are more likely to be loyal to the brand that inspires confidence.  Let them know how the idea triggered in your mind and what sparked your interest and what issue you intend to solve.

Offer Over-The-Top Customer Experience

Now consumers have more choices than ever. So, if you choose to compete on price, it can be a race to the bottom as there will always be someone who offers a lower cost than you. Here the trick of

Treating customers like royalty will work. As per the Temkin Group: loyal consumers are 5 times more likely to return, repurchase, and forgive and 7 times more likely to try a new offering, and 4 times more likely to refer. Building loyal customers are hard work, but it pays off.

Go For Video Reviews

The new generation is tickled more by video than text. Also, people prefer to do research and read reviews before purchasing anything. So, you can use this fact to your advantage by publishing video reviews. Reviews have more impact than direct online adverts.

Make explanatory videos about the product or services you offer and try to make it fun and informative.  You can even get an influencer to spread the word about your business if it aligns with your budget.  This way, you can increase the footfall to your business this 2018.

Provide Free Samples of Your Products

Giving out free sample or trial can work wonder for the small businesses.  Although it is not possible with some stuff like furniture or large electric appliance, other things like fabric can be given as a sample.

Similarly, a service provider can offer a trial to customer and clients to let them experience how beneficial it could be to their lives or business.

Get Into Live Streaming

In this tech-laden era, people live in the cloud.  Most of the consumers have an affinity for interactive videos and live streaming can help you reach that audience. You can start with a Facebook video, and you will see the reactions instantly in the form of emoji hovering on the screen.

Successful businesses are increasingly adopting live streaming to interact with their target audience and showcase products. You can take it up a notch with teasers, special events, limited offers, office tours etc. Also, don’t constraint your marketing medium to a single channel to explore many platforms like Instagram, YouTube and others to amplify your brand with the potential of live video.

Create Content That Add Value

Nothing drives more traffic and revenue to a business than the company blog. The biggest mistake done by small businesses is they just focus on selling the product instead of helping the customer.

Create content that provides some value to the readers. Also, don’t set unrealistic goals and don’t give up too early.  Remember, marketing business is a long-term commitment that comes with a huge payoff.

Lastly, seek advice from some SEO experts to get found and outrank the competition.

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10 Tips for Self Marketing and Self Promotion

When running a company or offering contracting services, one must know how to market their ideas. To most people, this is a difficult task. Fortunately, an entrepreneur or independent worker can promote his or her ideas with ease. Here are ten tips for self-marketing and self-promotion.

Website: One must create a website that showcases their skills and ideas. With this step, one can connect with interested people all over the world. At the same time, an entrepreneur should have an e-mail address attached to the website URL. Ideally, one would buy a domain name that matches their first and last name.

Business CardVideo: People love to watch videos on YouTube. When looking to market an idea, one should take advantage of this by making a compelling marketing video. If this task is difficult, an individual can outsource the project to a professional.

Business card: A person who wants to hand out information on the fly must have a business card. It can be as simple as a card with one’s e-mail address, telephone number and website address. Remember, people still love this old-school method to exchange contact information.

Toll free number: When giving out a business card, one can make an impact when having a toll-free number. Furthermore, potential customers are likely to call an toll free number as it costs them nothing. The next best thing to a toll free number is a local number, many virtual office services can provide you with a dedicated phone number for your business anlong with many other features click here for more information.

Blog: One should make weekly blog posts on their website. When posting often, an entrepreneur can market his or her ideas to excited followers. This is a great method for someone who wants to gain attention without spending money.

Social media: When having social media accounts, one can communicate with potential clients. Of course, a user must post relevant and interesting ideas on his or her pages. When doing so, followers will feel compelled to respond or share the information with friends.

Guest blogging: An expert in a field should offer to make guest posts. When writing relevant and intriguing information, an individual can create plenty of interest in their products or ideas.

Link exchanges: With this step, one can build a long-term marketing plan. Ideally, one should contact other businesses or people to trade a link to their website. This will help an individual climb in the SEO ranks and gain more visitors.

Book: An expert should write and distribute an e-book. When creating a book on an interesting subject, one can gain plenty of excited followers. One should not be intimidated by the step since most people can write a book when they put their mind to it.

When starting out, a confident independent contractor should give away their product or service. When doing so, one can gain a long-term customer. Remember, when giving away services, make sure it is to interested parties. In the end, a professional who has confidence in his or her work will have no problem working for free to get started.

Marketing is difficult and time-consuming. Fortunately, when following these easy tips, a person can gain followers in his or her product.

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Unusual Ways to Make Money

Christmas is just around the corner and a lot of families are now using their remaining few days to shop around for gifts to give to their love ones. However, the truth remains that the economy is still not favorable and at the same time, the holiday season being upon us means that we will be spending much of our hard-earned money to make these days more worthwhile, for our children and other love ones if not for us.

  • Start A Part-Time Business: You do not necessarily have to invest a lot of money all the day if you want to start your own business. It is just a matter of being creative and open to ideas. You can even try establishing a business which is about cleaning pet feces, or something which is about walking pet dogs.
  • Get A Part-Time Job: One of the most-reliable ways that you can earn some added and quick money is by applying for a part-time job. These days, being a barista in a coffee shop or a clerk in some random local library are common. You can also apply as a waiter in some fast food chain or in kiosks which sells meals.
  • Be Creative And Make Stuff Which Sells: If you think you are someone good in making pancakes or you have a lemon garden then maybe you can put those into good use and profit from your talent. It is not rare to see families putting up some food stand in front of their homes to sell food and even drinks.

Earning a profit does not always need to be limited to working in the office or establishing a big business. As long as you are resourceful, you can earn money.

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How To Identify The Factors Which Drives Your Business

One of the most important things that a business owner needs to do to effectively manage his business is to be able to identify the key factors that make his business grow. Here are some ways that he can do that:

  • Identify Key Drivers: These are the key performing factors which help your business profit and at the same time greatly impact your business operations. Look for factors that are measureable and at the same reflect your daily profits. Your business’ daily revenue and or annual income are often the most reliable information you could rely on. This will tell you what factors gives you profit.
  • Historical Data: Past data should not be ignored since they remain valuable information. They are facts which can tell you how a particular trend is going and what products and services are involved in this thread, the same as with your demographic market. This will also show you which problems are consistent and which products are selling consistently.
  • Recognize Other Potential Key Drivers: It does not mean that when you have found your key drivers is that you will stop there. You must always re-evaluate your business operations recognize potential key drivers in your business.
  • Company Expenses: Make sure that you carefully track down your costs as well as how much you are spending for manpower, materials for the development of products and or inputs when making these products. Figuring out what lessen or increases them is a strategy.

When you had just newly established a business, it may take a long time before you are able to identify these factors. But then again, it’s a continuous process.

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Benefits Of Asset Management Software

What is asset management, precisely? The term “asset management” refers to the processes that monitor and maintain the things that are of value to an individual or a group. To manage these assets, it requires careful planning, designing and implementing of advanced systems that control and increase the efficiency of the assets owned.

Generally, these assets cost considerable amounts of money and investments; therefore it is important to manage and secure them with the use of a good Software Asset Management system. This revolutionary system can help maximize the full software life cycle, starting from the preliminary purchase through the installation, maintenance and removal stages. Here are some of the basic benefits that an individual or a company can receive from the software:

Cost Reduction
The Asset Management Software can actually reduce costs, as well as improve the business’ financial control. Typically, the software can assist with accurate budgeting and planning future strategies for the company.

Security of the Software
The system can help track all software that is installed on an organisation’s computer network. It prevents the installation of unauthorised software into their machines. Accidental or unintentional installation of programs with viruses into the secured company’s system is highly preventable via this software.

Promotes Productivity
The software management program helps to ensure effective management of reference materials and product support, in turn enhancing efficacy. It also helps confirm that all staff members are using the same format and versions of software. Conflicts in storing and sharing of files are avoided, because there is both uniformity and consistency in file management.

It also promotes productivity, as users are able to maximize the software’s features. These features can include things like tracking an unlimited number of assets, attaching pictures, owner’s manuals and other files seamlessly. Employees can also print barcodes of the assets or use existing barcodes to categorize assets. Furthermore, employers can check the items out to employees and retain a full history of ownership. Vendors and contracts are also tracked using the software.

Support Team Is Reduced
With an assessment management software, files and documents are securely kept and there is standardization in management. Because of this type of system, the company requires less technical support. Employees who are multitasking because they are in charge of maintaining the order of the system can now concentrate on other core activities.

Asset management is an invaluable task in maintaining the company’s overall assets. With the use of such asset management software like Cohen Asset Management, the process is systematically developed to look after indispensable properties.

About the Author:  Lawrence Dahlstrom reports on developments in technology in regards to business. He recommends following Bradley Cohen for more information on the benefits of this software.

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Practical Advice in Managing Your Company’s Budget

Learning how to budget effectively has become paramount especially that today’s economy is not favorable. In fact, several companies out there have already closed down due to extreme financial difficulty and the thing is, some of them are already implementing effective budgeting strategies. At the end of the day, maybe luck has a small part in it as well. With this in mind, it does not mean that you should stop learning how to budget effectively.

  • Budget Smart: You do not need to be a genius but before you make a financial commitment; it would best to consult your company budget first.
  • Be Honest About Your Budget: Do not be ashamed to tell the vendor how much your budget for a certain order especially if you think that the price being offered to you is too much. In fact, this may sometimes work in your favor since some vendors are willing to renegotiate prices as long as they would still profit from it.
  • Learn To Trade-Off: If you find yourself needing to spend for something that is not in your budget then you have to postpone spending for something that is already in your budget for the same amount. It is important that you learn how to balance your expenses. If you have around one thousand dollars for example for your budget then make sure that regardless of how much items you buy, that same amount will be the total of your expenses.
  • Learn How To Save: If at the end of the month you came-short of your perceived profit, then there is nothing wrong in lessening your expenses for the month. Instead, redirect the money which did not generate revenue to another aspect of your marketing strategy which you think will produce better results.

It is important that you develop a practical mentality when you are managing a business. You cannot afford to over-indulge yourself. Of course, there is also nothing wrong in rewarding your employees as well to better motivate them. Budgeting is an important skill which every businessmen needs to learn.

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Best Locations In Brighton To Have A Business Conference

Holding a business conference is a big affair in many companies agendas. Business conferences can make or break a business in many respects. During a business conference, there are many subjects about the company that are put on the table. One of the hardest parts about holding a business conference is centered on where the conference is going to be.

There are plethora’s of cities all across the United Kingdom that have prestigious facilities where conferences can be held. However, even though there are no shortages of conference areas in the United Kingdom, each area will have its pros and its cons. The trick to finding a great venue to hold your conference in is ensuring that the pros of the venue greatly outweigh the cons of it.

Brighton hotels that offer business conferences are great places to hold your meetings in for a variety of reasons. First of all, the location is superb to say the least. The town of Brighton is located along the South Coast, meaning it is just a short commute from London. The gorgeous views of the sea that surrounds the town of Brighton will make your venue choice a popular one for attendees to frequent.

Business Conference at Mercure Brighton Seafront Hotel
Business Conference at Mercure Brighton Seafront Hotel

The town of Brighton can provide different types of accommodation arrangements for everyone that will be attending your business conference. Ensuring that all parties that will be attending your conference are exposed to the best of the best is important. If you want your conference to be a success, it is up to you to make it that way, venue is everything when it comes to business conferences.

The large amount of conference venues that exist in the town of Brighton shows that the area is geared towards offering large groups of people an all around pleasurable experience when they are frequenting the area. It is going to be up to you to decide where you would like your conference to be held. There are traditional venues that are specifically built for large conferences, and then there are luxurious hotels in the area that can accommodate small to medium conferences.

An area in the town of the Brighton that was built specifically for conferences is the Brighton Centre. However, facilities that are located inside of the hotels are also becoming increasingly popular, simply because they combine a lodging area for attendees and a place for the actual meeting to be held as well. The Old Ship hotel is one of the most popular hotels in Brighton for business conferences to be held.

When it comes to choosing a venue to have your conference at, the number of attendees that will be attending the event is going to make a big difference on the type of venue that the event that can be held at. Remember, that each venue is going to have its advantages and disadvantages so it is important that you analyze what your needs are prior to deciding on a venue for your conference to be held at.

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Insurance for Start-Ups: The Basics

This article is brought to you by AXA employers liability insurance, get a quote today.

Business Insurance

If you own a start-up or small business you probably don’t yet have much money left at the end of each month.  You’ll have more money going out than coming in for probably at least the first year and you should anticipate not being supported by your business for at least the first three years.  It’s therefore very tempting to skimp on insurance as it’s an expense you hope you can do without.

Employers’ liability insurance is a bit different because if you have any employees you must have that insurance in place by law, and if you don’t you can receive a large fine and a criminal record that might well scupper any chances you might have of continuing your business in any event.

Other types of business insurance might seem more optional than vital, though, especially if money is a bit tight.  But the way to think about insurance is that it is far, far cheaper and far less devastating to your livelihood than any claim for compensation would be.  It doesn’t take much to leave you open to a claim for compensation (by a member of the public, say, or a client) and if that were to ever happen you would have to pay for your legal costs, plus any compensation ordered and any legal costs incurred by the person who has sued you.

Taking out public liability insurance is vital if you want to continue trading if ever a customer slips on your floor, or if you accidentally introduce a virus into a client’s computer and network.  If you don’t have insurance in place, you would have to pay the compensation and legal costs from your business’s assets (if there were any) and/or your own assets (including your home).  Even if you are sued and ultimately win the case, you will still have had to pay all your legal fees during the case and if the court ordered that you have those repaid, the person who sued you might not be able to afford to do so.

Business insurance is calculated by insurers in the same way as any other insurance: they look at the likelihood that you will make a claim.  There are plenty of factors that can influence that likelihood, including where your business is located, how long you’ve been in business, how many claims you’ve made before and what type of work you do.  By adding extra security and fire defences such as smoke alarms and sprinklers you can reduce your annual premium, and you can also reduce the chances of having to make a claim by ensuring that all staff are trained in health and safety regulations and use all required safety precautions for their work.

Specialist business insurance is available through various insurers but you should check policy details before committing to ensure that the policy will meet all of your requirements and that there are no exclusions that would affect your business.  Online policies are far easier to compare than if you were to telephone various insurance providers but there is a greater expectation that you will have read the terms and conditions (the small print) before buying a policy.

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Getting That Capital To Start Your Business

A large substantial amount is necessary if you are to start a business. However, it can be a challenge to get that huge lump sum especially with the world’s current economy. Just saving up a portion of your salary every payday is no longer sufficient these days not to mention that there will always be those moments wherein you need to cash out for unwanted surprises.

The most common way for people planning to establish their own business is through a bank loan. Once your loan has been approved, you have to consider the amount that you will be spending to start your business. This also includes the amount that you will be paying to manufacture your products, the salary of your employees and how you will be keeping your business operating for at least half the year. Knowing this, it is important that you already have an estimated budget for this start up expenses.

Another alternative is asking friends or relatives to lend you a portion of the amount until you get your target amount. This works well especially if you are willing to add interest along with the amount that you will be paying them back with. This is provided that your business is stable for the first year. The only drawback is that in case you default on your payment, some of your relatives or friends may not be all too happy about it. Not only can this potentially ruin relationships but it can also cause unwanted complications that can go as far as court proceedings.

You also have the option of doing cash advances on credit cards. Just be wary that the interest and fees are high and you may find yourself struggling to pay it back. The good thing though is that if these cash advances can help you stabilize your business for a long period of time then you can eventually pay off your balances. Getting that capital to start your first business can be very tricky but once you are established, then you can eventually stand up on your own.

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Invoice Financing: When All Else Fails

It is important for growing business for them to be able to earn their target profit in a given time period. Not only does this help maintain its financial stability but it also helps it to grow continuously. However, looking at the current global economy, it is not surprising to see that business even old ones struggle to keep themselves afloat. The good news is that business even small ones are offered a variety of alternatives.

In addition to business loans and credit cards offered by banks, they have the option to go for invoice financing. Basically, invoice financing is selling outstanding invoices to invoice financing companies. The advantage in doing this is that you need not wait for a month or so for your loan application to get approved. Rather, they can grant you your request as soon as possible. These companies may even go as far as collecting unpaid invoices themselves.

Invoice FinancingIn this way, it can help keep your financial stability, and it can be used to cover for other company expenses. In fact, some of these companies even offer an opportunity to get a discount of as much as ten percent if the invoices are paid in an agreed time period. By doing so, you need not pay the exact amount of invoice that you used to have before. Invoice financing is similar to applying for a pay day loan except that you get the cash right there and there and you do not have to wait long.

Businesses these days do not need to limit their options. With invoice financing, they can continue to work towards the growth and expansion of their company.

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