To Groupon, Or Not to Groupon?

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15 Oct

To Groupon, Or Not to Groupon?

As a small business owner, you want exposure wherever exposure is available. Whether it’s social media, pay-to-play advertisement or even IRL marketing strategies (guerrilla marketing, anyone?), the more visibility you have, the better, right? But what if that “exposure” means that you peddle your wares at a significant discount, a la “daily deal” coupon sites like Groupon, LivingSocial or any other “buy this now and...

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24 Sep

The Pros and Cons of Amazon for Your Small Business

Don’t look now, but Amazon has just taken another giant step in its neverending question to dominate retail. Amazon on Sept. 17 launched Amazon Storefronts, designed for U.S.-based small and mid-size businesses (SMB) that offer products in 27 categories ranging from handmade crafts (think Etsy) to automotive parts, pet supplies, home and business services and more. The site also offers curated collections for things like...

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17 Sep

Should Your Small Business Get Political?

Stop us if you’ve heard this one: “A politician walks into a nondescript farm-to-table restaurant named after a scarlet female fowl …” Oh, so you already know about Sarah Huckabee Sanders’ quick jaunt to Lexington, Virginia’s Red Hen restaurant? If not, here’s the skinny: In June, the White House press secretary was asked to leave the restaurant because Red Hen co-owner Stephanie Wilkinson didn’t agree...

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10 Sep

Should You “Kickstart” Your Small Business With Kickstarter?

It’s a common problem for business owners across the globe: You have a big idea and a small budget. You’ve probably spent a ton of time thinking of solutions to this issue, ranging from the traditional (bank loans, business partners, investors) to the non-traditional (panhandling, bank robbing, begging your friends and family for money until they finally pay you to go away). But what if...

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04 Sep

5 Professional Development Sources for Small Business Owners

Small business owners are a diverse lot. Some of you have a fancy business degree from a fancier university; others haven’t seen the inside of a classroom since shortly after prom. That’s the cool thing about owning a small business -- there are no prerequisite courses to take. Anyone with a great product or service and some startup capital can make a go of it....

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27 Aug

Is Your Small Business Embracing Technology? (Hint: It Should)

Small business is increasingly going electronic. But is the switch from brick-and-mortar locations to e-commerce cause for concern? According to a recent Gallup poll, 15 percent of small business owners say it’s helping their business, while 16 percent say it’s hurting their business. That leaves a wide moat of 68 percent that say it hasn’t affected them at all. So … what’s the deal? Is technology...

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20 Aug

Online Reviews: Your Small Business Needs Them!

Imagine you just moved to a new city. You’d love for someone to recommend the best restaurant, the most dependable babysitter or the most reliable mechanic – but you don’t know a single soul here. Where do you turn? Google, of course, or whatever your preferred search engine may be. You’ll patronize the restaurant, book the babysitter and hire the mechanic to fix your brakes...

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13 Aug

11 Classic Fails in Social Media Marketing

Social media: Done correctly, it’s a fantastic marketing tool for your small business. However, when done the wrong way, you can sully your brand and send customers packing. That’s why it’s important to have a very clear idea of what “doing it wrong” looks like. The following 11 brands clearly did not do social media correctly. Check out these cringe-worthy, real-life posts, and you’ll gain...

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30 Jul

Can Customer Referrals Boost Your Bottom Line? Yes!

Pop quiz: Which of the following two options will bring in more customers? A killer marketing campaign A current customer boasting to their friends and family about how awesome your small business is, how well they were treated and how much money they saved If you said B, you passed with flying colors. Yes, customer referrals hold more weight than even the best marketing campaigns...

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23 Jul

Will YouTube Work for Your Small Business Marketing?

YouTube. To some, it’s a video sharing site that your kids use to watch videos of other kids playing games, making slime or “unboxing” their recent Amazon deliveries. But does it have a place in small business marketing? Is it a useful addition to your overall strategy? In short, is the time and effort you put in to making a video and sharing it with...