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Keeping up With Your Small Business Content When you are Running out of Ideas

In some of our previous articles about blogging and content creation, we have mentioned about keeping your content relevant to your customers and followers. In other postings we have mentioned that the key to keeping your audience is keeping up your blogging and social comments, not letting too much time pass between them. This is not always easy, as sometimes you just cannot come up with ideas for your content that you have not already posted. In a recent blog, we advised small business owners not to try to follow trends, but to build on their previous successes. This might not be as true when it comes to what blog and social media content you may want to create. But you you always want to be current and relevant in the content you are providing to your followers. The last thing you want ...

Small Business Owners Should Know SEO Basics

Small business owners are generally not website developers, so they hire a developer. On paper, the site they design for you may look amazing, but does it follow SEO (Search Engine Optimization) best practices? Take some time to look up SEO best practices, so that you know what your designer can or cannot do when developing your site. While SEO is always changing and it would be best to hire an SEO consultant, there are things that you, as a small business owner, should know and understand. If your designer is a graphic designer and not a web designer, he or she needs to know the basics of what will and will not help you to be found on the internet under your company’s key categories. You want to be found for the product or service you offer, but you also want to be found for your lo...

Focus on the Successes of Your Small Business and not on “Trends”

Almost every other blog posting that you might see from various sources is telling you about the trends to watch for in 2015 – but there are few that remind you to improve on your 2014 successes. Many small businesses discovered some great things that were successful for them in 2014. Just because the year has changed, does not mean they will not work again in 2015! As a small business owner, you have to look back at what worked and what did not. Think of ways to improve upon your successes. Yes, you may have to modify or tweak those strategies and plans to gain even more, but never let a supposed “trend” make you abandon them. When a random blogger tells you that you have to watch for certain trends in 2015, go ahead and monitor them – but do not let them stop you from improvi...

Public Cellphone Usage Advice for Business

Have you ever been on public transit or in a confined public place and could overhear the intimate details of a loud cellphone talker? Most of those overheard conversations are about where a person is heading or what some of their private plans are. So, they are simply annoying to hear – not to mention being downright rude! But what if what you were hearing was private information about a company, its clients, its employees or financial information about the company or one of its clients? It happens more frequently than you might think. People tend to forget that sometimes they are prone to talk louder on their cellphone (especially if they are wearing ear buds). Most people will tell you that they cannot stand it when people talk too loudly on their phone in public. According to Microsoft...

Expanding a Service-Based or Non-Retail Business Into Canada

For a variety of reasons, Canada remains a top choice for many United States companies or brands looking to expand outside their home market. Some reasons for this are geographic proximity, a common language and a similar legal system, as well as similar consumer income and spending habits. But there is also the advantage of developing into a market where there is a much greater chance of the market having awareness of the company or its brand. This is mainly due to American media that Canadians are exposed to. U.S. franchises (many in the restaurant industry) often look to Canada as the first place to expand internationally. In fact, in recent years U.S. retailers and non-retailers have started to expand here. Not just the large ‘big box’ store retailers, but also smaller nove...

Stepping Into a New Office to Begin the New Year

It is this time of year when home-based small business owners make resolutions to take their small business venture to that next step. They are at a point in their business where they can no longer use their home address as a business address. Some small business owners who are looking to get away from using their home address or a P.O. Box will look into getting a virtual office address at a prestigious business centre. They may even get a virtual office package that includes telephone answering by a professional receptionist to make them really look like they are an established business that is not going anywhere. Many consumers and other businesses will tend to shy away from a business that is located in a home residence or through a P.O. Box. This is simply because past experience has ...

Building Influence Online Can Help Grow Your Business

Many small business owners and entrepreneurs are trying to use social media to get their message out to the masses, but are they actually building influence? Or do they know why they should be building influence? We want to help educate you on why your business should be an ‘influencer.’ Yes, you may be posting on a blog or social media about your product or service, but that is not building influence. In some forums, such as Google+ communities and LinkedIn groups, posting strictly about your product or service and providing a link to your blog or webpage is seen as ‘link dumping’ or ‘spam.’ These practices are frowned upon and can actually have a negative impact on your influence level and your brand. So why should you build your online influence? Well...

How Well do you Know Your Customers? Can you Name Each of Them?

There is a café in Toronto called the True Love Café. From time to time, I will stop in for a coffee on my way into the office. I am by far not a regular, but the owner remembers my name every time I go in. That is what I call customer service. However, knowing your customers and knowing them by name is very different. There is a special skill that many politicians have learned, and that is remembering names and faces. When you are able to address a customer or potential client by their name, they instantly perk up. Dale Carnegie wrote a book in 1936 “How to Win Friends and Influence People” that was inspired by Simon & Schuster senior staffer Leon Shimkin after attending one of Carnegie’s speeches. One of Dale Carnegie’s most important messages was to “re...

How Should Small Business Owners Deal With Holiday Season Stress?

This can be a very stressful time of year for small business owners. Even those who do not celebrate Christmas can get stressed in December and early January. It is almost expected that small retail owners are stressed by the crowds, but they are also stressed by wondering if they will make enough sales to get into the black or make a profit. For non-retail small businesses, the holiday season can be even more stressful. Quite simply, it is because of the holidays that customers and clients have their attention diverted elsewhere. Some clients take extra time away from their offices to get in that Christmas shopping mood or to attend holiday celebrations with employees, friends and family. So having that business meeting or making that business purchase is not at the top of their list of t...

An Entrepreneur Needs to be a Detective

Before entrepreneurs begin working on their business venture, they need to do some detective work. Thinking of starting a business is similar to how you buy a car. You just don’t walk into a random dealership and say you want to purchase a car. You need to do some research before making such an important investment. Bottom line:  You want the car that is best for YOU. The first piece of detective work an entrepreneur needs to figure out, is if there is demand for his or her product or service. If there is a market, who else is in that market and what market share do they hold? Sometimes gathering market and competitive analysis information requires some detective work of talking to experts in the industry – or even potential buyers of the product or service. While looking for demogra...

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