PROTECTING SMALL BUSINESS, PROMOTING ENTREPRENEURSHIP

Small Business Accelerator: Tips, Trends and Resources for Entrepreneurs

By at 5 August, 2018, 12:03 pm

Here’s 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.

Sales, Marketing and Branding

Twitter Chat Roundup: How to Attract and Retain Customers, Groupon Merchant.  “On July 26, small business thought leaders, advocates, and industry experts came together to share tips and resources to help aspiring and existing business owners start, grow, expand, or recover their small businesses.”

Best Practices for Using Live Chat in Customer Service, Nextiva. “Using live chat on your business website can keep you from losing customers: according to Forrester data, half of U.S. online adults will abandon their online purchase if they can’t find a quick answer to their questions…Chat can also boost your sales: Forrester says site visitors who use web chat are 2.8 times more likely to convert than those who don’t.”

71% of Consumers Watch Videos on Social Media to Laugh, Says Report, Small Business Trends. “As for what consumers are looking for when watching social videos, laughter was number one at 71% followed by a good story at 59% and inspiration at 51%.”

7 Proven Ways to Increase Customer Engagement on Social Media, CrowdSpring. “If your social media marketing efforts aren’t taking off the way you’d hoped they would, it’s time to take a different approach.”

Small Businesses Find Micro-Influencers a Good Marketing Avenue, Forbes. “Unlike celebrities with hundreds of thousands or millions of social media followers, micro-influencers may have anywhere from 1,000 to 50,000, possibly more. While the exact numerical definition varies among experts, statistics suggest smaller niche players may wield more influence when it comes to effective social media marketing.”

Startups and Entrepreneurship

Best States to Start a Business in 2018, Fit Small Business. “To succeed, small businesses need a favorable economic environment to limit costs, a high-quality labor market, and a local quality of life that attracts both employees and clients. We compiled and analyzed publicly available data for all 50 states to compile a definitive ranking of the best states to start a business in 2018 to help you decide where to start your business.”

6 Important Strategies for a Successful eCommerce Business, Small Biz Daily. “There is no better time than now to jump into the world of eCommerce. More and more users are flocking towards digital stores to make their purchases.”

Thinking About Names for Your New Business? These 20 Startup Name Generators Could Help, Small Business Trends. “These tools essentially allow you to input some basic information about your business and then automatically generate suggestions that could help you create a relevant brand for your new venture.”

How to Strategically Build a Successful Business with Family and Friends

SCORE Webinar

August 7, 2017  –  1:00 p.m. ET

Business ideas often are first nurtured in our circle of family and friends. They might become investors and employees. Without a strategic plan in place, navigating those relationships can lend itself to emotional stress and regret.

In this webinar, you will learn the top ways to work with family and friends successfully and strategically.

Participants will learn to:

● Identify complementary skills, strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT) within those familial, fraternal and social relationships

● Discover relationship differences for meaningful discussions

● Develop a growth mindset framework for effective decision making

● Create opportunities amidst problems and challenges to your strategic plan

Learn more or register here.

Opportunities for You in Opportunity Zones?, SBE Council Small Business Insider. “The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act created new tax incentives in “qualified opportunity zones” (QOZs, or Opportunity Zones). These are areas designated by a state (and approved by the IRS) as economically-distressed communities for which the new tax incentives apply. The tax incentives are designed to spur investments in these areas, which in turn, should help these areas to prosper. What opportunities do Opportunity Zones present to you?”

Trends in the Markeplace

5 Kinds of Businesses Able to Take Advantage of the Shifting Retail Mall Market, Small Business Trends. “As the way consumers shop changes, malls are losing the big department stores that were their traditional anchor tenants. While that’s bad news for mall owners, it can be good news for small business owners.”

What’s Cookin?, Small Business Trends. “Three main themes dominated the Summer Fancy Food Show held earlier this month in New York City, according to the Innovation Group from JWT Intelligence—health, novel ingredients and multifunctional products.”

Operations, Management, Capital Access

Do’s and Don’ts for the Home Office Deduction, Barbara Weltman. “Despite the prevalence of home-based businesses, many owners fail to claim a home office deduction because they fear it’s an audit red flag. The truth is that there are no statistics supporting this belief, and if you qualify for the deduction you should take it.”

Before You Begin the Patenting Process, Read This, Forbes.  “The USPTO is your friend, not a foe. There is a specific process for examining patent applications. If you’re unaware of how that process works and how to win, you may feel surprised, upset, and indignant upon learning the claims in your patent have been rejected.”

How Venture Capital Works, Forbes. “Venture capital firms are without a doubt the muscle behind innovation as they support the company they may invest in, from the early stages, all the way to IPO — especially those with larger funds that have billions of dollars under management.” 

Success and Motivation

Army Veteran Went From Selling Water on Street to Building Multi-Million Dollar Online Business, Forbes. “Need a little inspiration on your own path to entrepreneurial success? Take a page out of [Manny] Hernandez’s playbook.”

Jeff Bezos Says These are the Five Secrets to Success, Success. “Focusing on the long term has always been at the cornerstone of Bezos’ empire state of mind. Beyond that, here are some key principles he employs.”

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