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Small Business Resolutions

Small Business Resolutions for 2014

What better time than the start of a brand new year is there to create a list of smart resolutions to keep your business growing in the year to come. Below find several tips from PowerSites to consider as you plan your budget, goals and business aspirations for 2014.

Engage in Content Marketing

Be seen as a credible authority in your industry by participating in content marketing. Vary the channel in which you deliver the information to cast a wider net of consumers. Concentrate on adding high-quality, industry-related news and information to social media, your business website, email newsletters, video channels and also consider making guests posts on other websites. The more you are seen as an expert on the topics you publish, the greater your following will become.

Hire a Social Media Manager

Facebook and Twitter are often seen as the social media standard on which small business should engage. However, other platforms such as Pinterest, Google+ and Instagram, are paving new ways for small business promotion, along with new sites such as Slideshare, Path and Mobli which are quickly gaining interest. With all the social marketing possibilities, consider hiring or contracting a social media manager to focus entirely on your social presence, and target the specific audience you wish to attract.

Watch the Clouds

Cloud computing is becoming a crucial asset to large and small businesses alike. Cloud computing is not just for data storage anymore, but rather makes a plethora of applications readily available to you and your business. Think of cloud computing as a way to increase capacity or add capabilities on the fly without investing in new infrastructure, training new personnel, or licensing new software, recommends InfoWorld.com.

To make the best use of these cloud applications, make sure your business technology is ready for it. Wherever you are located, look at the options you have for broadband connectivity. Companies such as Verizon in Washington DC offer bundled internet and voice services using advanced fiber optics technology. This gives you the speed you need to do sophisticated number crunching when planning your next growth phase.

Mobile-Ready is a Must

With the majority of consumers owning a smartphone or tablet, mobile-readiness should be at the forefront of your business. Upgrade your company’s website to a responsive design that allows people to access it from any size device without sacrificing viewability and a stellar user experience.

More Ways to Accept Money

Be seen as a modern, tech-savvy company by offering mobile wallets and payment services such as GoPayment and PayPal to offer customers convenient ways to pay for goods and services. If you have a mobile business, increase your cash flow as opposed to invoicing a customer when you get back to the office. Many services offer free card readers that attach to your smartphone or tablet with low inexpensive per transaction fees allow you to collect payment on the spot.

Small Business Saturday: 7 Tips for Hyper Local Marketing

Forbes online reported that according to an Echo Research survey, Small Business Saturday was celebrated by one hundred million people in 2011. Events and promotions across the nation drew shoppers into stores looking for discounts and specials in support of their local merchants.

Hyperlocal marketing, targeting your local neighborhood, has been a successful tool for small business owners to draw in community shoppers since Colonial times in the United States. Today street hawkers and vans with loud speakers driving the streets are not as prevalent as they once were, but the results are still remarkable. Here are some small business tips from PowerSites with ways to capitalize on this special day.
Small Business Saturday: Hyper Local Marketing Tips

Banners and Signs

Make your business stand out among the other retailers on your block. Hang banners, post window signs or use a sidewalk board to show your store is participating in Small Business Saturday. You can use your own signage, or download personalized signage from American Express

Cause Marketing Strategy

Team up with a local organization, non-profit, animal shelter or other cause by making a commitment to donate a portion of sales to support the community.

Build a Web Presence

Posting coupons on your blog or website, advertising specials only-seen-online and other internet marketing tools keep your customers engaged. Tracking visits and purchases helps you tailor your strategy to your local market, too.

Print Advertising

While local news today may not draw readers with stories about the demise of pirates like Blackbeard—like the May 2, 1761 edition of the Boston-Newsletter did—online and print classifieds are still an excellent place to spread the word about your own promotions and special offers. Classified ads are perfect for listing everything from custom drapes to teacup poodles. Potential customers can quickly locate information sorted by category. You can

Email Marketing

Using an email marketing template to contact everyone on your client list saves time and money. This small business tip is perhaps one of the simplest ways to reach out to past customers to extend an invitation to your store.
Small Business Saturday: Hyper Local Marketing Tips

Social Media

Along with your email marketing campaign, spread word of mouth via social media pages like Twitter and Facebook. Post a special discount for followers or Facebook friends to drive traffic into your store. Word of mouth is still the most reliable way to increase traffic. If you’re not sure what to post, you can get free pre-written content for Twitter, Facebook and blog posts from American Express.

Mobile Marketing

Don’t limit yourself to “one-day sales”. You can capitalize on Small Business Saturday traffic by encouraging every visitor to sign up for text alerts and coupons in the future. Have a drawing for a specialty item, a gas card or a store discount pass to encourage participation

Using these small business tips for hyper local marketing will get you on the right path for a successful Small Business Saturday and help you ride the wave into the Christmas season and beyond!

What You Need to Know About Small Business Saturday

Big retailers have Black Friday. Online retailers have Cyber Monday. Now small businesses have Small Business Saturday.

Shop Local. Shop Small. The key components to the creation of Small Business Saturday, created by American Express, and first “celebrated” 2 years ago on November 27, 2010. It falls on the Saturday between Black Friday and Cyber Monday, one of the busiest shopping periods of the year, this year falling on November 24th. American Express founded Small Business Saturday to help and support small business, invigorate the economy, and keep communities thriving. Last year, over 100 million people shopped at brick-and-mortar small businesses, and now in its third year, Small Business Saturday is expecting to have an even bigger turnout and impact.
Small Business Saturday. Shop small. Shop local.

PowerSites wants to ensure that all small business owners have the resources they need so they can make the most out of Small Business Saturday. Here’s what you need to know:

Do I Need to Sign Up?

No. As a small business owner you’re already part of it, and all you need to do to participate is be open on Saturday, November 24th. The day is to celebrate you, and the contribution your business makes to the community and economy, whether you’re a brick-and-mortar store, restaurant, or online-only business.

What free resources are available for small businesses?

The founder of Small Business Saturday, American Express, is offering free resources for you to use including:

  • A marketing kit designed to help your advertising needs so you can reach more customers and raise awareness around Small Business Saturday. It includes everything you need from personalized in-store signage, to social media and email content and templates.
  • Personalized online ads are being offered to eligible small businesses, to help get your business more exposure and drive traffic to your website and/or business location. The ads run on Facebook are geo-targeted, and drive consumers to your website or Facebook page. The ads are free to eligible small businesses, but are only available while inventory lasts.
  • Testimonials from small businesses who participated last year. Need more ideas to make the most of your Small Business Saturday this year? Not sure if you’re going to results? Read these testimonials to get some great marketing tips and be reassured of the results you are expecting.
  • Your business is featured on the Shop Small Map by American Express. To help promote and drive traffic to small business locations, the main page for Small Business Saturday on AmericanExpress.com includes a map showing all participating small businesses. If your business isn’t listed, or there is an error with your listing, please submit your updates by November 15th, by either calling toll free 1 (800) 235-8916 or submitting this form.
  • American Express has a special offer for American Express cardmembers who shop on Small Business Saturday. If you are a qualifying American Express card accepting small merchant, then your customers can receive a $25 credit when shopping at eligible small businesses on Small Business Saturday. The credit isn’t automatic, there is an enrollment process for cardholders to be able to receive the credit. The best way to communicate this information to your customers it to download the personalized in-store signage, and display it prominently in your store. If customers have specific questions about the offer, direct them to ShopSmall.com or to call the number on the back of their American Express Card. Enrollments are limited, so encourage your customers to enroll early on during the enrollment period between November 18th and November 24th. If you’re not already an American Express Merchant, you can apply here.

These resources will help every small business owner make the most of their Small Business Saturday. If you want more information about Small Business Saturday, please visit Americanexpress.com/Shopsmall.

Small Business Saturday: Nov. 27!

As we all know, Black Friday and Cyber Monday are two of the biggest shopping days in America. Large retail chains and mega-large e-commerce sites seem to be the main focus every year. This year, a movement has begun asking, “What about a day meant to benefit the Small Businesses that play such a vital role in our economy?” And people are answering!

Small Business Saturday, which is being held on Nov. 27, is a national movement to encourage shoppers to make a commitment to go out on that Saturday after Thanksgiving and support local business.  According to the official Small Business Saturday web page, it is, “A day to come together in support of the small businesses we love. The shops and restaurants that employ our neighbors and reinvest our money close to home. The businesses that are the heartbeat of our communities and local economies.”

You can see more and join the movement by logging on to Facebook and going to the official Small Business Saturday Facebook Page.

To see Small Business facts, advocates for the day and much more, go the official website at http://smallbusinesssaturday.com/