PROTECTING SMALL BUSINESS, PROMOTING ENTREPRENEURSHIP

Small Business Accelerator: Tips, Trends and Resources for Entrepreneurs

By at 14 July, 2018, 5:27 pm

This week’s roundup of “How To” articles, educational resources and upcoming events, business news and success stories recommended by SBE Council President & CEO Karen Kerrigan.

AMAZON PRIME DAY

There’s Room for Small Businesses to Compete with Prime Day (July 16), AP. “While entrepreneurs may not be able to go head to head with the online behemoth in some areas, experts say they should differentiate themselves by offering unique products and experiences, whether their business is rare books or shoe repairs… How else might small retailers capitalize on Prime Day?”

What Amazon Prime Day Can Teach You About Pricing, Inventory and Promotion, Inc.Inc. checked in with several small Prime vendors to get a sense of how they’re preparing for the onslaught–which should be instructive for any company girding for a big sales event. Here are their top five recommendations.”

Small Business Sold More Than 40 Million Items During Last Amazon Prime Day, Small Business Trends. “Amazon says thousands of small and medium-sized businesses have reported more than $50,000 in sales during Prime Day 2017. Overall they sold 40 million items, which was double the number for 2016.”

Workforce Development

Key Steps to Getting Top Performance, Startup Professionals. “The research shows that senior leaders at these [top] companies focus more on an efficiency culture, team makeup, and remove more obstacles to team productivity.”

The Biggest Secret to Hiring (It’s Not What You Think), Inc. “Research shows increased retention among employees who are encouraged by their prospects for advancement and feel obligated to employers who invest in them. And a well-developed training muscle allows companies to react quickly to shifts in demand…”

How to Build the Company Culture that Fuels the Growth of Companies Like Apple, Netflix, and SpaceX, Inc. “Innovation is a mindset. To fully live it, you have to build a company that bakes the process of innovating into the fabric of your DNA. That means it needs to be a core part of your company culture. Here’s how.”

23% of Employees Decide Where to Work Based on the Office Environment, Survey Finds, Small Business Trends. “For small businesses looking to attract the best talent, simply making the working environment flexible and comfortable can be an added value. According to Continental Office, the workspace should be used as a recruitment tool to attract employees and retain them.”

5 Common Small Business Human Resources Mistakes, Progressive Commercial. “Small business owners have a passion for their products and the customers who buy them. Sometimes, back-of-the-house functions, like human resource management, take a back seat to the daily operation of the shop. That’s a mistake, because a solid HR strategy is vital to the growth of your business.”

Record Number of Americans are Quitting Their Jobs to Seek Better Opportunities: Report, The Hill. “The rate of U.S. employees quitting their jobs reached its highest rate in 17 years, rising from 2.3 percent in April to 2.4 percent in May, when 3.56 million Americans left their jobs. Rising “quit rates” are considered positive because they often indicate employees are leaving their current positions for jobs with higher wages and better benefits.”

Marketing, Branding, Sales Growth

67% of Smartphone Users Prefer Google Maps, Will they Find Your Business There?, Small Business Trends. “The survey and report were meant to help businesses understand the importance of mobile navigation apps for attracting potential customers. As a small business, making your company available on Google Maps or another app allows your customers to find you easily on their mobile devices.”

5 Metrics to Measure Marketing ROI, Small Biz Daily. “If you have no clue where to begin and how to calculate marketing ROI so you can satisfy stakeholders, stick with the following metrics to get started.”

8 Lessons from the Field on Building a Premier Brand, Startup Professionals. “The overall goal of these eight new rules is to help your startup forge the tightest possible emotional connection with the most customers in the shortest amount of time. These customer advocates lead to more love, loyalty, advocacy, and the exponential growth of an enduring brand.”

Why and How to Rename Your Company, CrowdSpring. “A strong business name identifies your business, tells your customers and prospects something meaningful about your brand, and helps to differentiate your business from your competition.”

Millennial Marketing Tips for Restaurants, Main Street Hub. “According to Toast, millennials are the most common users of apps and ordering sites. To make their experience the best it can be, they suggest implementing the following tech upgrades to your restaurant if you haven’t already.”

SCORE WEBINAR – July 19  1:00 p.m. ET

Outdo Your Competition by Optimizing Your Online Search Listing

Today, 4 in 5 consumers use search engines to find information about local businesses. Local online marketing is getting more and more competitive, and the first page of Google search results is getting smaller and smaller.  Standing out is a challenge, but it is possible if you work at it.

This webinar will demonstrate how to optimize YOUR Google My Business listing and other local search strategies.

You’ll learn:

●The top online directories/citation sites you should get your business listed on

●What’s NAP and why it’s so important

●What pictures you should add to your listing and who else can add them

●How the new Google My Business Q&A feature can backfire if you’re not paying attention

●Why frequently logging into your listing is crucial and how it can prevent business from being lost to your competition

●How long videos should be and what formats you can upload

●Other local SEO strategies that your competitors probably aren’t using

Note: Before you attend this webinar, it’s best if you claim and verify your Google My Business listing in advance.  Register Here.

To Connect with Customers, Connect Your Company, Forbes. “Many companies are doubling-down on the front lines of customer interactions, but very few are taking the more holistic path to tightly connecting their entire enterprise—front, middle, and back offices—to deliver the seamless customer experiences that today’s consumers demand.”

Startups and Entrepreneurship

The Ultimate Side-Hustle How-to Guide: Ten Rules for Side Hustle Success, Inc. “An estimated 44 million people in the U.S. have a side hustle; that’s over six times the number of workers who hold multiple jobs. The process is easy; it only takes a few hours to set up your own small business. Making a side hustle actually pay off, both professionally and personally? That’s a lot harder.”

Management and Operations

9 Innovation Practices for Long-Term Business Health, Startup Professionals. “The rate of change and competition in the world is increasing, rather than decreasing. This is all the more reason for no more excuses, delays, or negativity about the costs of change. It’s time to create your own innovation manifesto for leading the way, rather than the “business as usual” struggling to keep up.” 

Want Your Own Chatbot? Don’t Move Forward Without Taking These 3 Steps, Entrepreneur. “Thankfully, entrepreneurs don’t have to get on Google or Amazon’s level to drive business results with chatbots. But implementing them the wrong way will do more harm than good. That’s why it’s absolutely crucial to understand the pros and cons of chatbots before unleashing one on your customers.”

FREE Conference on Small Business Intellectual Property Know-How

Invention-Con 2018 – August 17-18

United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO)

Alexandria, VA

Invention-Con 2018 is a free, two-day independent inventors’ conference to inform and equip inventors and small businesses with intellectual property know-how! The Agenda for Invention-Con 2018 is full of hot topics of interest for inventors and entrepreneurs and the speakers assembled are ready to share their expertise and personal experiences with patents and trademarks. Learn from successful business owners and inventors who will relate their personal experiences of bringing their ideas to market.

For the full agenda and FREE Registration information, click here.

Access to Capital

Small Business Loan Approvals Continue to Rise, Says New Biz2Credit Report, Small Business Trends. “For small businesses looking for loans, now is a good time. Because the cost of borrowing money will get more expensive.”

Report: FinTech Companies Originated 36 Percent of Total Personal Loans in 2017, Crowdfund Insider. “Today, there are a whole squadron of online lenders and banks are moving into the sector recognizing that the future of their business is digital and mobile. Marcus, the emerging money center digital bank created by Goldman Sachs, has originated billions of dollars in personal loans and it is expected to enter new lending verticals in the coming months.”

Protecting Small Business, Promoting Entrepreneurship

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