Showing posts from November, 2014

Top 10 Mistakes for Businesses to Avoid When Dealing With a Disaster

Let’s say you created an amazing disaster recovery plan for your small business, and you were able to reopen shortly after a ferocious storm. Meanwhile, your employees’ homes were damaged during the storm, and several roads are closed. So you’re open for business minus the team that keeps your operations running. Failure to inform and prepare your employees for disasters is one of many common mistakes entrepreneurs make when doing business continuity planning. Not being adequately insured is another oversight that can lead to the failure of your business. Get free tips on ways to avoid these and other costly errors at a free webinar hosted by Agility Recovery and the U.S. Small Business Administration on Tuesday, Dec. 9. True stories about business owners’ pre-disaster missteps, plans not followed and lessons learned will also be discussed. SBA has partnered with Agility to offer business continuity strategies through its “PrepareMyBusiness” website. Visit www.preparemybusine

Five Ways to Turn New Holiday Customers Into Loyal, Year-Round Patrons

As 2014 winds down, the results of your retail holiday strategy will slowly come into focus. Hopefully, you're having a merry old time, reaching record heights in sales, customers, revenue, website traffic—all the things that help to make a holiday marketing season bright. However, now is no time to rest on your laurels (or lick your wounds, as the case may be). As every retailer knows, there's no off-season in retail marketing, especially in the online world, where if you're not moving forward... you're automatically falling behind. Even before the ball drops in Times Square to mark 2015's official start in the US, it's critical that you begin cementing the customer gains you've made during the 2014 holidays. If you want to ensure a truly happy new year in the e-commerce space, make sure you take some or all of the following steps. Read more at MarketingProf

Happy Thanksgiving! Here are 11 Things you didn't know about Thanksgiving

We all know that the first Thanksgiving dinner took place when the Pilgrims celebrated a good harvest in the New World, and that the tryptophan in turkey isn't actually what makes you so sleepy. But did you know that there was a crisis in the late 1930s called “Franksgiving?" We rounded up 11 of the best facts about Thanksgiving, which might come in handy during those awkward silences at the family dinner table. 11 Things You Didn't Know About Thanksgiving

10 Marketing Predictions for 2015 (Infographic)

2014 showed us so much change within online marketing, particularly the massive boom in content marketing. 2015 is a different year and more change is inevitable. Will content marketing still have such a huge presence? Will it evolve or become replaced by something else completely different? Will the other trends of 2014 such as, social media marketing and guest blogging, continue as strong as ever or fall flat on their face? You need to know where to allocate the bulk of your marketing budget, based on the tactics your customers and prospects are engaging with more frequently. That’s why we’ve tried to make this infographic as comprehensive as possible, addressing issues from Email Marketing, to lead conversion, to automation platforms. So, get ready for the future of marketing. Here are Wheelhouse Advisors’ 10 Marketing Predictions for 2015: Read more at business2community

How to Answer the Age-Old Question, 'What Has Marketing Done for Us Lately?'

In the last three years, there has been a tremendous transformation in marketing. We have infinitely more data to tap and analyze, many more tools to use in each stage of the funnel, and new, fast-changing ways to engage customers. What hasn't changed, though, is the prevalence of the age-old question, "What does marketing do, and why do we spend so much on it?" As marketing budgets and buzzwords increase, the question is more prevalent than ever. Unlike development and engineering teams that produce tangible products, and sales teams that close deals, Marketing often lacks a clear line of sight between action and outcome. When resources are scarce or when growth slows, it's not uncommon to look at Marketing and question the investment, thus making Marketing a lightning rod—that is, unless the marketing team has communicated (within the company) its goals, metrics, actions, and progress... and it delivers against those goals. The following tips can help you se

#DineSmall on Small Business Saturday Night

November 29th is Small Business Saturday – a day circled on the calendar of savvy entrepreneurs across America. Small businesses are the engine of our economy and create two out of three new jobs. Seven in 10 Americans are now aware that the day after Black Friday is a time to shop small and support local economic growth. This year, the SBA is helping to expand this important day into the evening to support entrepreneurs in the food and beverage industry. This year, America’s bars and restaurants are extending the hours on the daylong festivities by promoting Small Business Saturday Night. The SBA is partnering with the National Restaurant Association to encourage families who shop small to #DineSmall at local restaurants and watering holes in the evening. We’re also encouraging small business merchants to extend their hours so they can take advantage of increased nighttime foot traffic.

WEBINAR: SBA and the U.S. Postal Service Present: The Power of Direct Mail

Think that direct mail is dead? Think again: According to a 2012 study by Exact Target magazine, 65% of consumers have made a purchase as the result of a Direct Mail piece. Attend a presentation on Thursday, December 4 at 3 PM ET to learn about: • Using Direct Mail to acquire new customers • Using Direct Mail to retain existing customers • The 40/40/20 rule and how it means more dollars for your company • How Direct Mail amplifies your campaign by boosting your conversion rate Register HERE

Small Farm Funding Resources

As the popular saying goes, No Farms No Food.  But small farms constantly face difficulty in competing with the big players and in order to compete they need assistance.  They need funding.  The National Agricultural Library of the United States Department of Agriculture has compiled a list of Small Farm Funding Resources .  There is assistance provided on how to write a business plan, financial and planning resources, funding and program assistance, useful organizations and websites, and more.

Complimentary Holiday Success Guide

For many businesses, the holidays bring in half of annual sales, and this crucial time of year can easily sneak up on them. The time to get ready is now, before getting wrapped up in the day-to-day holiday rush. To help businesses make 2014 their best holiday seasons yet, PlanningShop and Rhonda Abrams have assembled their 14 best tips of the season into a FREE downloadable e-Guide! The 2014 Holiday Success Guide is packed with actionable tips, 'Do this now' instructions and interactive worksheets. You can use the guide to plan for the season no matter what type of business you are running. Rhonda has included tools for planning a social media calendar, capturing new customer names and contact information and even a guide on all the apps that Santa himself will be utilizing this holiday season. Please share this FREE guide with others via or via social media utilizing the hashtag #HolidaySuccess.

Top five enterprise technology trends for 2015

What technological trends can we expect to shape the enterprise in 2015? According to predictions released by US carrier Verizon, strategic network investments will be a top priority for chief information officers (CIOs) working in the corporate world next year, as more and more companies seek to make sense of Big Data, profit from the internet of ihings (IoT) and make the transition to the cloud. In the coming year, now perhaps the worst of the recession is behind us, companies will also begin to adopt technologies that drive business innovation and provide a strong basis for future growth. More from ZD Net

Marketers: It's time to own the sales funnel

Sales and marketing teams both have helped break down the sales process by perpetuating leads from poor-quality customers who will never buy anything. Sales teams often dump erroneous information into the customer relationship management system without running it through marketing software to scrub the data for authenticity and other data problems. But marketers, too, have been known to pass leads on to sales departments without knowing whether they are prospects who are ready to buy... "These leads are no good," a salesperson would say, and I would say, "What are you talking about? These are great names: Look at the titles, look at the companies." And she'd say, "Yeah, but you know what? They're not ready to buy." More from Search CRM .

Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP) conference call November 18

Online enrollment in the SHOP Marketplace began Saturday,  November 15th. Today, you can: See if you qualify for the SHOP Marketplace See if you qualify for the Small Business Health Care Tax Credit Browse plans and prices for 2015 SHOP coverage in your area Learn how to  apply online  or use an  agent or broker If you offered SHOP coverage to your employees in 2014,  learn how to renew or change your offer online. Join representatives from Small Business Majority, the Small Business Administration, and Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services for a conference call and Q&A, where we'll discuss how the marketplace works and answer any specific questions you have about using it. We'll also discuss the individual marketplace, which also begins open enrollment on November 15, where the self-employed, small business employees and others can shop for quality, affordable insurance online. Register HERE .

Chinese Entrepreneurs and their four Silicon Valleys

On September 19th, 2014, Alibaba, a Chinese e-commerce company that provides consumer-to-consumer, business-to-consumer, and business-to-business sales service via web portals, broke records when at the end of the day of their Initial Public Offering, Alibaba's market value was measured at US $25 billion. For a long time now, Westerners have viewed China as an inferior country when it comes to business.  But things have changed, and now China is making it's mark on the international business market, especially when it comes to technology.  China has four Silicon Valleys compared to one in the United States.  Read more about how "China Triumphs as Silicon Valley Primps"  here . Text from Wikipedia ( ) used  under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License.

How to Create an Inspiring Home Page for Your Small Business

Now that you've decided to build a website for your small business (congratulations, BTW), there’s no room or reason for procrastination. Right now, your potential customers are on their smartphones, tablets and computers looking for products or services like yours. The facts don’t lie: -- At least 85 percent of today’s consumers use the Internet to find local products and services. -- More than one-third of U.S. smartphone owners use their phones to find store locations online. -- And people used their phones, tablets and desktops to shop online to the tune of more than $70 billion in 2013. Most likely, your competitors are already online. You’re losing out if you’re not. Of course you’re busy. More from America's SBDC

The complete guide to DIY small business PR

Public relations, "free advertising," media coverage, TV and newspaper interviews—whatever you want to call it, PR is an exciting and powerful part of doing business. Good PR brings you more customers and higher sales, and great PR can completely transform your company into the kind of multi-million-dollar powerhouse you're dreaming of. Of course, that's exactly why PR firms are so expensive to hire, and so out of reach for most small business owners. But what if you had the tools to do great PR yourself? More from Palo Alto Software

5 Reasons Why Veterans Make Excellent Entrepreneurs

According to the Small Business Administration, "Veteran business owners are responsible for nearly one out of every ten small businesses in America, employ nearly six million workers, generate over 1.5 trillion dollars in receipts each year and are 45 percent more likely to be self-employed than non-veterans". So what exactly makes veterans so well suited for entrepreneurship? 1. Work Ethic See more at: the New Jersey SBDC for Monmouth and Ocean Counties

Wait, What? 5 Ways to Improve Your Attention

It happens to the best of us. You're sitting in class or in a meeting and you suddenly find yourself daydreaming, losing focus, and not paying attention. In one study of over 2,000 adults, people reported that their minds weren't really on the task at hand almost 50 percent of the time. Perhaps even more importantly, people report feeling less happy when they are distracted. So what can you do to improve your attention, increase your focus, and prevent your mind from wandering? Researchers have discovered a few different things that might help. More from About Education

New York SBDC Client, Brazzlebox, Announces It's Going National

Brazzlebox, the exclusive social network for small and home based business, has announced it is launching nationally as of September 18, 2014. Small, at home, Veteran owned and start-up businesses will be able to go to and sign up FREE. They can quickly develop their profile page and immediately start connecting with businesses in their community or industry. Brazzlebox is the brainchild of serial entrepreneur Glen Zinszer. Brazzlebox will be working to fill the current B2B and B2Community social networking void. More from America's SBDC

7 little household farms in big cities

It's possible to become a real farmer with 25 square feet of space, even if skyscrapers are your neighbors. But it does take a bit of planning and innovation. Luckily, there is a core group of artists, designers and farmers leading the charge to help city-dwellers lower their food costs, eat local and turn their urban homes into homesteads. With the "moderate cost" of food for the average 19 to 50-year-old man in the U.S. at $295.90 per-month, according to the USDA, why wouldn't you want to feed yourself from the land where you're already paying to live? Plus, filling an urban space full of leafy vegetables, fruit trees, roosting chickens and buzzing bees is a lot more beautiful than covering one in concrete. More from CBS News .

Top 10 Reasons for Getting Fired

There are many reasons that companies fire employees. If you take a look at the stories about getting fired shared by readers you'll find a variety of reasons people were fired from their job, including for posting on Facebook , for having a bad attitude , and for stealing , just to mention a few. Unfortunately, for many fired workers, in most cases employers don't need a reason to fire you unless you are covered by a bargaining agreement or employment contract. It's called employment at will. Employment at will means that an employee can be terminated at any time without any reason and without notice. That said, most employers won't fire an employee without cause. Most firings are termination for cause, which means the employee is fired for a specific reason. More from About Careers .

Why permission-based marketing matters

Constant Contact has long been an advocate for permission-based marketing. [It is] the best route to developing the long-lasting customer relationships that small businesses work so hard to achieve —the relationships that can drive customer engagement, and encourage repeat sales and valuable word-of-mouth for your business. Over the summer, this topic was brought to the fore in the world of email marketing, as Canada began enforcing a new Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL). The legislation requires all those that market to Canada with commercial electronic messages (email, some forms of social media, etc.) regardless of where in the world they are located, to adhere to the some of the strictest anti-spam regulations in the world or risk serious penalties: up to $1 million for individuals and up to $10 million for businesses. Even if CASL doesn’t affect your business, it serves as an essential reminder of how important it is to get your customers’ permission before adding them to your em

Is Your Small Business Financially Prepared to Rebound After a Disaster?

Whether or not your company’s financial house is in order has a big impact on post-disaster recovery.  Having a plan in place to save your organization’s assets from business interruptions will ensure a quick recovery, satisfied clients and long term-economic stability. Get tips on how to protect your core operations, revenue flow, and your company’s reputation at a free webinar on Thursday, Nov. 20, hosted by the U.S. Small Business Administration and Agility Recovery. The webinar will also cover essential planning strategies, with a discussion on how corporate preparedness can protect a company’s market value and establish financial resilience, regardless of whether the disaster comes in the form of a flood…or a lawsuit.

Median weekly earnings, 2004–2014

Median weekly earnings of the nation’s 106.9 million full-time wage and salary workers were $797 (seasonally adjusted) in the third quarter of 2014. Women who usually worked full time had median weekly earnings of $722, or 82 percent of the $880 median for men. After adjusting for inflation in consumer prices, women's earnings have changed little over the past decade and men's earnings have declined slightly. More from the Bureau of Labor Statistics

Veteran Entrepreneurs Honored During National Veterans Small Business Week Nov. 3-7

WASHINGTON – The accomplishments of Veteran small business owners around the country will be celebrated during National Veterans Small Business Week (NVSBW) November 3-7.      U.S. Small Business Administration district offices and resource partners nationwide will host more than 100 local events, including entrepreneurship training such as Boots to Business: Reboot classes, veteran access to capital workshops, and government contracting roundtables.   Veteran entrepreneurship workshops will also be held at U.S. military installations in Germany and Korea.  On Friday, Nov. 7, the ABC television network will host a special “ Shark Tank ” episode featuring veteran entrepreneurs