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Do’s And Don’ts Of Social Media For Small Business

As competition continues to get fierce in the business landscape, social media comes to the rescue of those business owners who are desperately seeking means to float their boat. If on the one hand, social media has the potential to turn any business into a money-making machine, on the other hand, there are certain dos and don’ts associated with social media as well. One wrong step can bring a brand down on its knees. Therefore, it is crucial to use social media carefully to avoid any hassles.

We will now take a look at the do’s and don’ts of social media for business.

 Do Set Realistic Goals

Social media can amplify the effect of your efforts. However, expecting it to bring your business overnight success is not going to get you anywhere. It takes time to build a social media campaign from scratch. Similarly, it will take some time before you will be able to see the profits pouring in. Don’t get restless for results and don’t let anything encourage you into taking desperate measures you may regret later on.

Do Update Regularly

Social media is about putting your business on auto-pilot mode. In the business arena, the key to success is reminding customers of your existence frequently. Going out of a customer’s mind is tantamount to going out of business. Have an active presence on a variety of social media platforms for things to work the way you want.

A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words

Let’s face it. In a world where every other individual is on the go, who has time to read an overwhelming amount of text? Use pictures or videos instead. Give your creativity a chance and get the gears going in the right direction.

Don’t Confuse Customers

One of the biggest mistakes a business can make is to send mixed messages. You have to be clear and concise about what your business is all about. If you are present on three different social networks, the content on every platform should be in sync. In fact, the color schemes, graphics and layout should also be consistent. Uniformity facilitates the creation of brand-awareness.

Don’t Ignore Customer Comments

Customers are the lifeblood of any business. Social media has empowered customers to immediately scream their opinion of your goods and products. No matter how hard a business tries, there will be unhappy customers. It is crucial to address their disappointment at once. Ignoring them will give everyone the impression that your business is only concerned with happy customers. This can be devastating for your business. It will be a bit difficult not to lash back at negative feedbacks but one has to remember that a business needs customers more than customers need a business.

Don’t Ignore Your Stats

Unless you find out whether or not your efforts are paying off, you won’t be able to make the most out of social media. It is crucial to keep track of how a business is doing. These stats not only provide the desired motivation, one finds out the most effective strategies to attract desired client base with them as well.

Use the tips listed above as these are the little details that can make a big difference.

Mark is Social media consultant, currently working in Globalserve an International company formation firm, providing fiduciary services for Business

5 Costs Cutting Ideas For Your Small Business

The most important thing about running a small business during periods of rising costs is to cut expenses every way you can so that you can maximize profits. Even though it’s impossible to eliminate costs completely for most businesses, costs for basic services can be greatly reduced if you shop around. Here are some tips for making your company more cost-efficient.

1. Use VoIP for Phone Calls
Switching to a SIP phone provider or VoIP service providers is a great start since communication is a key to success and regular phone service can be expensive. You can cut phone bills by up to eighty percent and sometimes even get free phones by choosing VoIP.  Using VoIP helps you save by eliminating high cost standard phone lines, phone switch (PBX) hardware, and charges for long distance.

2. Market Your Business Online with SEO Content
Instead of gambling on expensive traditional media for marketing your brand, build a content rich website that serves a niche, which can cut marketing costs to almost zero. Use keywords that describe your business as web page titles. Concentrate on giving useful information that people are already searching for.

3. Interact with Customers on Social Media
Social media helps businesses save money in many ways. By engaging with customers on Facebook or Twitter, you can share product knowledge and get instant feedback. Social media can also help you build your client list and quantify responses so that you can quickly study how people feel about your product or service.

4. Consider Outsourcing
Instead of hiring employees you can cut overhead costs by outsourcing through websites that bring entrepreneurs and freelancers together. You can usually find experienced professionals through these channels willing to work for lower wages than regular employees.

5. Find a Low Cost Office Deal or Move to a Virtual Office
Working from home not only cuts office space costs, it can also save you money on transportation. If your work mainly involves a computer and/or a telephone, then you should definitely consider this option. Paired with VoIP phones, you can almost eliminate office rent and utility costs.  If you need to rent office space, ask a friend who owns an existing business if they would rent you space at their facility for a discount.

Your business will be much more efficient if you focus on reducing traditional costs as much as you can. Thanks to cloud computing, VoIP service providers and other modern tech solutions, it’s possible to run your business on a shoestring budget and still turn a nice profit. Keep in mind that the reason many businesses fail is because they spend more money than they bring in. Be very conscious of your accounting and you will have a much better chance of being successful.

Choosing Software For Your Small Business

Computers have changed the way small businesses operate. While they have been around for decades, it is hard to find a business that does not utilize a computer in their daily functions. It does not matter if you are speaking about a small business or a multi-national international business; computers play a pivotal role in how the job is done. The computer is just part of the equation as you need to consider software that you are using. How can you choose business software that are right for you? Below are few hints that can help you choose software which will benefit your business.

Know the purpose

Before you decide to purchase software, you should have an idea on what part of the business you need to streamline. Consider the needs of your business when shopping for the software. Are you selling candles and want to keep track of your inventory? Or you are a freelancer who wants submission tracking software? There are particular needs like these, and there are the basics as well. Each small

Business Sign X

Business Sign X (Photo credits: www.roadtrafficsigns.com)

business owner should keep track of his finances and this means shopping for a good accounting package.

Begin your hunt

When you have identified the goals of purchasing your software, now it is time for you to begin your search. You will have a number of options. There are software that you can download straight from the Internet and the ones that you can purchase in a computer store. If you do not want the risk or hassle, it is ideal to purchase online particularly one that offers you a one month money back guarantee.

Ascertain your budget

You need to plan carefully and determine the amount of cash you are willing to spend. The software you purchase ought to be able to aid you with the business rather than cost you more. Therefore, plan carefully and select the right software. Planning entails selecting the right features for your program. Each software provides a host of features but you will hardly ever need all the features. Select the right features and also the right software. You can try the software and ensure you are at ease with it.

Research the software

You want software that will grow with your company. It should knob the immense amounts of growth that you envision for your business. Purchase a software program that accommodates a high growth level. Listen to recommendations from people who have used such software program. These people will give you honest feedback. Ensure that the software provides value for your money and it’s not loaded with useless features. Search for discounts and purchase the lowest price possible.

If you have any inquiry as to the kind of software you’re going to utilize, a lot of higher end software suites give a trial. This will offer you the opportunity to utilize the software comprehensively. Be sure to back up the information just in case it becomes unavailable when the trial period expires. The right software can grow your business, hence be sure make the right decision.

Darren is a passionate blogger about business technologies and works as a developer of farm software for organisations.

Advertising For Your Small Business – What’s The Right Way?

Businesses today, specifically small business, are constantly toying with the idea of advertising. Is advertising important? A necessity? And then, of course, there is the task of advertising cheaply and affordably. Can it be done? It’s important for growing businesses to be familiar with and understand the ever changing and different advertising methods available.

Social Media

It’s not a secret that social media is widely popular and constantly changing. A quick and random survey would undoubtedly show that more people (kids and adults included) have a Facebook page, a Twitter account, or an Instagram membership than those who do not. And in most cases, those being asked probably participate in all three of the above-mentioned, social media pheromones versus just one.

It’s been proven time and time again that social media is a great tool to take advantage of if you want to get your business name or product out to the masses. Though there are fees and different packages available that will assist you in marketing your company on these different sites, there is also a “free” option that is still available. Simply put, you could actually be getting free advertisement just by joining Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. Of course, some maintenance and up keeping will have to take place on the business owner’s part to make sure the pages are constantly looking fresh and offer quality information; however, it’s a great way for new businesses on a budget to get started.

Believe It Or Not, Everything Is Not All About Social Media

Social media is huge right now, that’s a given. However, businesses are still using other methods to advertise their products or events. For example, outdoor banners are not only constantly being purchased, but also proven to be quite effective.

Let’s face facts: not everyone gets on the computer daily. There is still a portion of the world (albeit, a small one) that enjoys old school methods and means: enter the use of an outdoor banner. Outdoor banners come in different sizes, materials, colors, and looks. Not only used for advertising, these banners can and have also been used for different purposes, such as: sporting events, parties, open houses, and much more. Outdoor banner printing has even progressed to sign printing and poster printing.

Other Ways To Advertise

If you think about it, there are a million different ways to advertise your business or company. Basically, just talking in general about what you have to offer, in a way, is advertising. Other inexpensive ways to get your business known include, but are not limited to: handing out free items, giving away flyers, going door-to-door, and making phone calls to different neighborhoods and residences.

Because there are so many different businesses to choose from today, it’s important (especially for small businesses without corporate backing) to advertise what items they have to offer. How is the public supposed to know about your business or product if you don’t advertise and get your name out to the consumers? And with the effective and variety of ways to advertise (even cheaply and freely), there is really no reason for a small business to not advertise.

5 Ways Your Business Can Be Making More Money

You have a business and you’re making more money, so that means you’re one of the lucky few. You have wandered out into the world without anything and built yourself a mini-empire that brings in enough riches to feed your family. You’re reading this because you’re not completely happy. You have a fire in your belly and you want more. You want to take your business up to the next level by making more money than you could ever imagine.

It’s not easy taking a small business and increasing the profits enough to make a considerable difference. It’s not easy, but you’re going to try anyway because it’s something you’re passionate about. If you’ve been thinking about taking it to the next level for a while there are probably a few ways you’ve thought about doing it. Let’s look at some ideas below that will help you reach your goals and you can see if you have already considered any of them.

Bring in new products

If you’re selling a particular product at the moment is there any way to expand into other areas? You ideally want your average customer to by buying both products. There isn’t much point in bringing out a second product if people are just going to choose between the two. If you can’t add anything else to your product line you might want to think about slowly increasing the price of what you’re selling at the moment and make sure you measure the results.

Great marketing

There is a great way to market your business and there is a bad way. Are you doing it the great way at the moment? I doubt you are because if it was working effectively you would know exactly what was needed to be making more money. You would just invest more into whatever was increasing your sales. Start looking through your marketing strategy very carefully and try to figure out the ROI on everything you do. That will tell you what you should be focusing on.

Get more work done

If your employees can find a way to work harder they will get more done. Lots of companies like to monitor computer usage and you should do it too. You will probably have a few people who like to sit around all morning looking for flights and praying for their next vacation. If they know someone is watching them it will mean they start doing work instead of messing around in your time. If you don’t monitor their computer they could be doing anything.

 

Find an easier way to do something

There is more than one way to do something, but for some reason companies seem to be stuck in their ways. You could be making more money right now if you found a quicker way to carry out a particular job. It’s time to change the way things are done and the best people to ask are your employees. Ask them to send you an email asking if they have any suggestions about ways to streamline any of the jobs they do on a daily basis.

Retain your customers

Can you imagine what would happen if someone kept coming back and buying from you? It would mean as time went on your profits would keep increasing because not only do you have the new customers walking through the door, but you have all the ones that return and spend money. You need to make sure whatever you sell is perfect so everyone will love it. Your customer service should also be great because that can be the difference between someone coming back or not.

Featured images:
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  •  License: Royalty Free or iStock source: http://pixabay.com/static/uploads/photo/2013/02/15/06/49/capital-81820_150.jpg
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Sheldon Lewis is a business analyst by profession and works for Webwatcher. He has vast experience in this field and has worked on many critical projects. He often gives advise on matters of business and has written several articles explaining its various facets on his blog.

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