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Posts Tagged ‘business owner’

Order Business Cards and Get A FREE Domain Name

By John Joyce on August 23, 2011 - Comments 0

MOO and Network Solutions have teamed up to bring a great offer to small business owners here in the US.  If you purchase MOO Business Cards or MiniCards between now and September 4th, you’ll get a free domain name from Network Solutions.

It doesn’t get much easier than that.  MOO alllows you to create high-quality, unique Business Cards or MiniCards where you can showcase yourself or business with a unique image on the back of each card.  Take advantage of this offer now.

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Want Some Cool Free Stickers to Promote Your Business?

By John Joyce on June 29, 2011 - Comments 0

I have been a bit lax in writing here at The Small BizNest since joining the MOOCrew but figured I could make up for it by offering some freebies to you all.  MOO has developed some great new sticker products that allow businesses of all types to add some creativity to their offline marketing efforts.  MOO round stickers and labels are printed on thick, durable vinyl with a glossy finish. There are four stickers/labels printed on a perforated sheet, so you can tear and share one or more at a time, or use an entire sheet to show off 4 of your different designs at once.  The sticker sheets come in a protective box that you can easily re-brand and sell or give as a gift to clients.

If you’re one of the first 75 people to follow this link, you’ll be able to order a set of round or rectangular stickers completely free!

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Can You Afford To Ignore Mobile Marketing Any Longer?

By John Joyce on March 24, 2011 - Comments 0

Mobile MarketingThis question is reminiscent of the discussions many of us had 10-plus years ago when business owners were contemplating whether or not they needed a website. In hindsight, it’s pretty easy to see that Bill Gates’ vision of “a PC in every home and in every business” has been realized and online search is now universally available.

So, before you ponder the merits of mobile marketing and your specific business goals, let’s first take a look at evolving online marketing tactics and the associated opportunity cost of excluding … [Read more at OPEN Forum]

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The New Small: Gain Leverage Through Technology

By John Joyce on February 16, 2011 - Comments 0

How a New Breed of Small Businesses is Harnessing the Power of Emerging Technologies

The New Small:  How a new breed of small businesses is harnessing the power of emerging technologiesPhil Simon offers a comprehensive view of technology past, present and future as it pertains to empowering small business owners to compete, adapt and grow as effectively as possible.  Many of the stories and examples highlighted in the book include lessons learned from Simon’s past experience working with big companies – mostly how NOT to operate your business.

The New Small takes a holistic view of working smarter  by identifying major technology trends and explaining how the landscape has changed and why you need to understand the impact on your business.

Employees can be only as productive as their company’s tools let them be.  Even the hardest working person who requires zero sleep cannot move heaven and earth.  Many New Small founders know from their previous jobs the frustration of having to make do with outdated technology.  As such, they do not want their employees to struggle using inadequate tools.  The New Small wants -and needs- their employees to be as productive as possible.  Emerging technologies are crucial in this regard, especially collaborative ones.

Before giving you examples of successful New Small business owners (and there are plenty of great stories in the book), Simon explains the evolution of technology and the impact it can have on your business.  Simon refers specifically to “The 5 Enablers” as follows:

  1. Cloud Computing
  2. SaaS
  3. Free and Open Source Software
  4. Mobility
  5. Social Technologies

Once you understand these “game-changing” technologies and the impact they can have on your business, and combine that knowledge with the real world examples in the book, you’ll be ready to enter the realm of the New Small.  Kudos to @philsimon for combining technology and business insights in one book that is well written and so densely packed with nuggets of insight and inspiration that it will certainly become more of a “operational reference guide” in the future.

I recommend this book to any small business owner that embraces the fact that change is inevitable/ongoing and you must be ready and willing to adapt to the uncertain world around you.

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5 Free Tools That Automate Your Business

By John Joyce on February 15, 2011 - Comments 0

5 Free Tools, small busines marketing, online marketing, zoho, zopim, freshbooks, hootsuite, spiceworksThe challenging economic climate has taught business owners that it’s absolutely imperative they embrace solutions that will help them work smarter and focus on generating revenue. Of course, limited budgets make business automation solutions that much more difficult to evaluate and implement. If your number one goal for 2011 is to bolster lead generation, customer acquisition, or customer retention, you must ask yourself this question: How am I going to create operational efficiencies that will free up my time, give me leverage, and allow me to grow my business?  Read the entire post over on OPEN Forum.

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50% Discount for Small Business Technology Tour In Boston

By John Joyce on October 19, 2010 - Comments 0

The Small BizNest invites small business owners to attend the small business technolgy tour

Friends of The Small BizNest are eligible for a 50% discount on admission to the Small Business Technology Tour in Boston next week.  Ramon Ray, founder of Smallbiztechnology.com, has put together a great series of events to educate growing companies – whether you are an entrepreneur or a small business owner – in how to use technology as a tool to grow your business.  The next event will be taking place on October 25th at the Microsoft New England Research & Development Center. (NERD)

Check out our latest newsletter for more information on enrollment and other cities where you can attend this great event.

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3 Ways Small Businesses Should Leverage Location-Based Marketing In 2011

By John Joyce on October 13, 2010 - Comments 0

Small business owners have an opportunity to take advantage of several great technologies to broaden their local reach and position themselves as the big fish in their respective small pond.  I’m going to assume that most local businesses are listed with the three major search engines (Google, Bing, Yahoo) but, if not, refer to this white paper for instructions.  Each of these platforms has local search embedded, to some extent, so you want to be able to take advantage of this free marketing platform.

To go one step beyond simple search, let’s take a look at ways you can proactively deliver your message to prospective customers based on their geographic location:

1)  Twitter

I just read an article this morning about a local bakery, Sugar Coated Bakery, that has managed to thrive in this difficult economy even with the rising cost of ingredients like flour and sugar.  They have a Facebook page but no Twitter account listed on their site and I immediately thought of a product I read about last year, Baker Tweet, which enables you to scroll through your list of baked goods and Tweet when a new batch comes out of the oven.  Also, Advanced Twitter Search allows you to identify people based on their location, follow them and, hopefully, they’ll follow you back.

Give people the opportunity to friend, follow or like you in any way they choose and then make sure you keep the conversation going.

2)  Foursquare

I’ve written about Foursquare before and it has defined the location-based marketing space by proving the value of building a participatory community as opposed to the more conversational platforms like Facebook.  This is a solution where you can reward your best customers and build an army of evangelists simply by letting them take part in your success.

This is one of the best ways to build loyalty and generate repeat business from your most loyal customers.

3)  Location-Based Advertising

If you’re having trouble building a following within social media platforms, help may soon arrive in the form of location-based advertising from Twitter.  Wouldn’t it be great if you could reach your core demographic within 20 miles of your business with a very focused value proposition?  Foursquare has stumbled in their efforts to deliver location-based advertising options but maybe it’s a sign that their platform is best suited for DIY campaigns only.  Google just announced that Marissa Mayer has been promoted from VP of Search and User Experience to a new role focused on location-based services.

Three big players all vying for your advertising dollars.  Let’s hope at least one of them comes up with a solution that delivers.

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Building Your Online Persona vs. Being A Narcissistic Blowhard

By John Joyce on September 12, 2010 - Comments 0

Facebook Breeds NarcissistsA recently released “study” by a psychology student at York Univiersity in Canada showed Facebook users are more likely to be narcissistic.  Their next piece of research will likely answer the age-old question, “do the Irish like beer?”  Seriously, though, this should serve as a reminder to companies using social media -  be genuine and don’t try to project a false image.

Self-promotion is an integral part of social networking but you can’t change your message or image simply because it’s different from more traditional channels. The unique advantage of new online communities is that they are bidirectional and in real time so feedback is instantaneous.  In the future, when you’re interacting with prospects and customers online, make sure you follow these three guidelines:

  • Be honest
  • Be consistent
  • Listen
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LinkedIn Adds “Share” Functionality To Help Boost Your Presence

By John Joyce on June 2, 2010 - Comments 0

I just received an email from LinkedIn announcing a new feature that essentially allows you to share your favorite news and media from within your profile.  This is really a natural progression and I’m sure there were plenty of customers clamoring for more publishing and sharing capabilities to be built into the application.

Now you can share your favorite news and media from within your LinkedIn account

Personally, I use CoTweet as my main dashboard for posting updates and then send them to LinkedIn via Ping.fm but, for someone who spends the majority of their time on LinkedIn, this is a very easy way to position yourself as an expert from within the most powerful business networking platform.

The process is very simple and can be seen in the video below:

Give it a try and let us know what you think!
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Why Aren’t You Measuring The ROI Of Your Online Marketing Efforts?

By John Joyce on May 28, 2010 - Comments 0

Measure Your Marketing ROII recently participated in Omniture’s ”2010 Online Analytics Benchmark Survey” and received a customized report from them yesterday and wanted to share some of the information with you.  It doesn’t take a genius to understand that businesses shouldn’t spend money on new marketing channels without having the ability to track their success, but that’s exactly what the majority of us are doing.

The main takeaways from this survey are as follows:

Key Web Analytics Challenges Include Talent, Measuring ROI and Multi-Channel Support

Top challenges for online marketers include:

  1. Difficulty finding and training top talent
  2. Determining what actions to take based on their data
  3. Maximizing marketing ROI through full funnel measurement and automatic multi-channel integration.

Do you find yourself or your staff spending large chunks of time developing programs and campaigns, delivering them across an assortment of online marketing platforms and then wondering if they had any impact?  It looks like you’re not alone.  The most telling statistic from this study is glaring proof that, since many of the emerging online marketing platforms are very much in their infancy, businesses are unable to track their success as illustrated below:

Marketers know which metrics are important to measure, however they are not capturing all the metrics they need to achieve their goals.  Eighty-two percent of survey responders believe ROI is somewhat to very important to measure, but only 30 percent of marketers can effectively measure marketing ROI!  Additionally, 86 percent of respondents think conversion rate is somewhat or very important to measure yet 27 percent of marketers cannot effectively measure conversion rates.

We all know measuring the success of offline marketing is difficult to nearly impossible but that’s because there’s no system available to allow for granular collection of metrics.  Conversely, online marketing offers so much data that we become overwhelmed by a never ending stream of seemingly valuable information .  They key, however, is knowing how to interpret that information and turn it into an actionable plan that exploits the repeatable successes you have unearthed.

If you’re going to “try” a mobile marketing campaign, social media campaign or viral video campaign, make sure you develop a system to track and measure success against your business goals.  Work smarter and not harder.

Have a great Memorial Day weekend!

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