If you have a brick-and-mortar location, chances are you're doing some sort of decorating for the holidays. Even if you don't celebrate, it's likely your customers do so in order to spread the holiday cheer you get festive.
The same should be true of your website. While you don't need to decorate per se, you do need to prepare for holiday traffic. Even if what you do or sell has nothing to do with Christmas, people often turn to the internet or online solutions during the holiday season. Plus, if you run a business that helps people prepare for the holidays, even if just peripherally, you want to make sure your website is ready. Here's how you can go about doing that:
By now you’ve likely seen the statistics that shopping small/local keeps roughly $68 out of every $100 in our community, whereas shopping at a national chain means about $43 remains here. Why is that important and what does it mean to you and your family? A lot more than you may think.
How Small Business Spending Makes a Big Difference in Our Community
Where Do the Dollars Go?
While it’s difficult to track the exact path of a dollar spent locally versus one spent at a chain, you can imagine it looks something like this:
That image is an example of what’s called “indirect impact.” Indirect impact is felt when a local business owner or employee spends the money they make locally but it’s not the only kind of impact that can be felt by spending local.
Johnny Goes to Band Camp
When your son or daughter has a school expense like a club trip, sporting event, yearbook expense, camp, or graduation program, do you email Elon Musk to fund it? No. You ask your local pizza parlor or favorite small business owner. They get their name listed as a sponsor and your child is one step closer to their goal.
Small Nonprofits Win
Along the same lines of sponsors, when it comes to local nonprofits and raising money for local causes or even natural disasters, it’s the local businesses that come through. They understand the importance of helping neighbors. Yes, large companies give hundreds of thousands of dollars to large nonprofits. We’re not discounting that. But local charities and nonprofits are often not on their funding radars. Chains are doing their part donating to the United Way and national groups like the American Cancer Society. Local charities often rely on local support.
We Enjoy a Better Quality of Life
According to studies compiled by the Institute of Self Reliance, “the more locally owned businesses per capita that a community has, the better off that place is on many of the other indicators of community health. The larger the share of transactions in our economy—buying, producing, investing—that involve a locally owned business, the more thriving, equitable, and resilient our economy and community can be.”
Local Vendors and People Win
During COVID and immediately after reopening, there were supply chain issues (we’re still feeling them in some industries). Many of those issues were due to lack of transportation or lack of labor in the transportation industry. That caused many businesses to look for local options to meet their needs.
When local businesses pay for things they need to do business (like inventory, utilities, equipment and pay to employees) locally, that has a direct impact on the local economy.
Chains and local businesses pay a salary to local employees so they both have a direct impact on the local economy. However, a chain is limited in where it can get its inventory, equipment, and other items from. These costs are probably paid to, or dictated by, corporate. A small business owner makes those decisions themselves and can choose to keep some of those purchases local as well.
Jobs Are Plentiful
In times when jobs are needed most—in high unemployment—local businesses are there. According to the article “The Contribution of Large and Small Employers to Job Creation in Times of High and Low Unemployment,” which appeared in the American Economic Review, “…in times of high unemployment, small businesses both retain and create more jobs than large firms do.”
Where you spend your money is an investment in the growth and prosperity of our area. You’re either investing for maximized returns on your holiday dollars by spending local or you’re not. We hope it’s the former.
Whether your team works from home or in an office, whether you are a business of one or one hundred and one, taking care and making time for wellness is becoming increasingly important. Stress levels because of what’s going on in the world around us are increasing. You may not even be aware of the outside stress someone is under.
Making sure you create an atmosphere where wellness is stressed and made a priority is critical to successful performance. Stressed out employees make more mistakes and have difficulty making good decisions.
Many of us have spent this year concerned over the health of our businesses or those in the community. Ultimately, a healthy business has a good balance sheet. It has more coming in than it does going out. But that is not the only indicator of business health.
In today’s world, where a quick decision from a politician can radically affect your business overnight, it’s important to know the early indicators of business peril. This of these things as your business’ “canary in the coal mine.”
Do you want to appeal to a younger demographic? Want to get people talking about you? Maybe you want to attract an ultra-cool influencer or celebrity customer? If you do, rebranding and becoming a “fun” company may be just the way to get more attention.
Why are we suggesting “fun”? With Gen Y being the largest generation in the U.S. in 2019, with an estimated population of 72.1 million, they have strong purchasing power. They also enjoy experiences and tend to tell others about products and businesses they like.
If you want more customers, becoming a “fun” business with an identifiable tone and brand, can help you build a loyal audience that enjoys talking about you.
News stations are finally embracing the word that COVID numbers are going down and vaccine administrations are going up. That’s allowing people to see the light at the end of the pandemic tunnel. If you have weathered the storm so far, you know your business is not completely in the clear. There are always unexpected challenges like freak snowstorms and mass electrical outages that are keeping us all on our business toes, regardless of where you sell or operate from. Nothing will tell you faster how interconnected we are than understanding how weather in one part of the country can stimy business operations in another.
But as we begin to see COVID numbers drop and (eventually) restrictions loosen, there are several common marketing mistakes you’ll want to avoid.
You current clients/customers are likely an untapped resource of additional revenue. After all, it is much easier to sell to someone who already likes you than it is to win over a new person.
But there’s a lot of competition out there.
There’s a saying in the restaurant industry that a diner who described their meal as “satisfactory” will never be back again. In order to get return customers, upsells, and referrals you must do better than just meeting expectations. You must exceed them.
Thankfully, as they say, the difference between ordinary and extraordinary is just a little extra. In this article, we’ll give you seven quick ideas on how to create those extra opportunities that will translate into greater upsell and referral opportunities. When someone is “wowed” they will buy more and talk about you (exactly what you need for referrals).
A few years ago, a trend hit—customizing your offerings to what your customers wanted. It involved surveying every part of their experience and shaping your business based on results. Customer-designed offerings kept a lot of businesses alive during COVID. The idea is a great one, give them what they want, make them feel important, and they’ll return.
This premise was so widely adopted that we all became professional survey takers. Now every moment you spend with a business (online or in-person) is followed by a survey on your experience. From airlines to doctors, they’re all doing it. These requests are exhausting and make people regret giving out their emails.
But it’s important to ensure your business offerings are in-line with what your customers want, right? So how do you ensure this without giving them survey fatigue? Here are a few ideas that will help you get the information you need without annoying them.
When I was in marketing for a tech company in the beginning days of content marketing, links were gold. Every time someone linked to our content my boss got excited. While I loved the free publicity and SEO awesomeness we acquired from links, I hated the act of actively pursuing them. It felt like we were begging people to like us and—let’s face it—we were.
But while a lot of things have changed since that time, the importance of links is still relevant. Search engines use links from other sources to your website as an indicator of quality content. While it’s not the only indicator, it is an important one.
Your business website needs links to show the search engines you’re loved by others. But not all links are of the same worth. Here’s how you can get some great links for very little effort.
The world is full of gurus who will tell you to set some goals, drive action, make it happen. And that’s good advice.
But just because you can, doesn’t always mean you should.
Launching a new product or service is not something you want to do because you had a wild idea one morning over coffee or in the shower. There’s a lot more that goes into the launching of that product or service. But research and development can be pricey.
What if you have a business idea you want to run with but don’t have the money to hire someone to crunch numbers and present data? Should you launch without it? If you do, that could prove to be even more costly.
So how can you test an idea without a huge investment?