By Samantha Garner | January 23, 2015
Have you read any great small business blog posts over the past few days? We found some interesting ones, and wanted to share them with you:
- Brand YOU Year: How to Brand Yourself Without Sounding Like Everyone Else at the LinkedIn Blog
- Toronto couple quits city life to start goat farming business at the Globe and Mail
- Dysfunctional Products Come from Dysfunctional Organizations at Harvard Business Review
- 5 Inexpensive Ways to Create a Company Culture Like Google’s at Entrepreneur
By Samantha Garner | January 17, 2015
The social media universe can seem thrilling for most entrepreneurs. A captive audience, just waiting to hear what your small business is all about!
Unfortunately, the reality doesn’t quite line up with that image. What if nobody responds? Or what if you find yourself overwhelmed by all those accounts you’ve signed up for?
Success in social media isn’t gauged by how many networks your small business signs up for. Instead, you increase your odds of social media success when you pick the best outlets for your small business.
For example, a small business that is more focused on demonstrating professional expertise might have better luck networking on LinkedIn. A business like a small café or online graphic novel reseller, one that depends on regular customer contact, might thrive on a more real-time, chatty outlet such as Twitter or Facebook.
Think about your target market and your small business’ goals. Which part of the wide world of social media really suits your business the best? New networks constantly come and go, but knowing when to dive in and when to sit it out can make all the difference to your small business’ success in social media marketing.
By Samantha Garner | January 10, 2015
We’ve talked before about tips for making your small business website as effective as possible. We wanted to keep that theme going and share with you three easy website tweaks you can make right now to increase the strength of this very important marketing tool.
1) Do a quick and basic website functionality check
Are all email links going to live addresses? Do your contact forms work? You can have the world’s most engaging content and an award-winning design, but if your customers can’t get in touch with you, there’s no point. Ensure your most vital links and forms are working, and that any messages are going to the person on your team best equipped to take action.
2) Make it easy for customers to find you
On the internet, time is a precious commodity. Make sure your site has your small business’ name and all the contact info that applies: location, phone number, and/or email address. If you have operating hours, list those too. And put all this info on a page that makes sense and is found in the blink of an eye – either on your home page or on your Contact page. Your customers want to find you – don’t make them click around forever or you could lose their interest.
3) Add calls to action
A call to action is as it sounds – it’s a prompt for website visitors to perform the action you want them to, whether that’s phoning you, filling out a form, or downloading more information. You can do this on each page, and it can take the form of a “Get a quote now” link that leads to your contact form, or a beautifully-designed button that viewers can click to start a download. This way, your website will do a lot of the work for you in making sales or generating leads.
See? No sweat! Your website is one of your most important marketing tools, so make sure it’s working for you, and not against you.
By Samantha Garner | January 3, 2015
Can your business benefit from associating with a charity or other good cause? We think so, and one study has shown that customers are more likely to do business with a company that’s associated with a cause.
Read more about how a good cause can help your small business in this 2011 blog post by GoForth’s President, Dr. Leslie Roberts. Let us know what you think!
By Samantha Garner | December 27, 2014
Another year of entrepreneurship is almost behind us. This time of year puts us in an introspective mood, so we wanted to share some of our own small business blog posts that we were especially pleased with in 2014. We hope that you found our blog helpful, and that you’ll continue to join us here in 2015. Best wishes for success in the new year!
- Is your small business ready for virtual workers?
- How to create a strong family business environment with non-family employees
- Five networking tips for small business owners
- A 20-question location checklist for your small business
- Quick eight-part customer survey
- 22 job interview questions for employers to ask