Small Business Accelerator

By at 24 February, 2019, 12:47 pm

Tips, Trends and Market Intelligence for Entrepreneurs

By Karen Kerrigan-

As we head into the last month of the first quarter of 2019, it’s a good time for entrepreneurs to review product or service offerings, and how these are marketed and supported through customer service. In addition, as detailed in some of our curated selections under “Marketplace Trends,” some positive trends – for example, in the areas of disruptive technologies, the productivity and value of older workers, and the power of the direct-to-consumer revolution – may benefit your business.  As customary, there is some valuable content for startups or for those who seek to start a business in the future.

Read, learn, execute, and grow!

Marketing and Customer Service

How to Write Compelling Marketing Copy: 7 Tips for Writing Content that Gets Results, CrowdSpring. “Writing is a tricky business. You have to choose just the right words to convey your unique message to your specific audience. And, that’s only half the battle. There’s also the question of context. Where and how will you communicate? And, what is your goal?”

The Ultimate Guide to Small Business Keyword Search, Duct Tape Marketing. “Keyword research is an important strategic marketing practice that, when thought of correctly, never really ends. While many people think of this type of thing as a technical aspect of search engine optimization (SEO), I would like to suggest that it’s so much more.”

Three Rules to Help Your Retail Business Provide the New Products Customers Demand, Small Business Trends. “According to Shopper-First Retailing, a new study from Publicis.Sapient and Salesforce based on data from half a billion shoppers worldwide, 69% of shoppers expect to see new products every time they enter a store . Here’s what the study uncovered and how your retail store or ecommerce website can keep up with shoppers’ insatiable thirst for the new.”

Chabots for Customer Service: How Small Businesses are Using Them, SBA. “Chatbots are computer programs that are able to converse with people online using human-like speech. They’re common within messaging apps and live chat features to help businesses answer customer queries, increase sales and save time. And they’re getting more popular by the day. In fact, 80 percent of businesses plan on using chatbots by 2020, according to a study from Oracle.”

Startups and Entrepreneurship

A Bplans Checklist: How to Tell if You Have a Good Business Idea, Bplans. “This checklist will walk you through the process of validating your business idea. You’ll create a One-Page Pitch—a document where you make a note of all of your assumptions about your idea, your audience, the competition, and how you’re going to make money.” 

The Ultimate Guide: How to Start a Business Online, Small Biz Daily. “Electronic commerce sales are estimated to reach more than 4 trillion US dollars by 2021. If you are already selling goods in your physical store, or if you only have an idea of a product, I am here to show you that it is rewarding to start an internet business and accept payments online.”

Hiring for Your Startup: Do You Play it Safe or Go With Your Gut Feel?, Forbes. “According to Jeb Banner, CEO of board management software company Boardable, for a startup, hiring by traditional skills and job descriptions is too limiting because everyone covers multiple areas of the business.”

Viral Marketing and Word-of-Mouth Investment, Startup Professionals. “As a result of the rising popularity of viral campaigns, the cost of developing one has increased significantly, and the increased ‘viral clutter’ has made it more difficult to stand out from the crowd…Unless you have very deep pockets, plan for some very significant marketing costs to kick-start your dream.”


What Small Business Owners Should Stop Doing to Stay Sane

SCORE Webinar – March 5, 2019 – 2:00 p.m. ET

The key to a thriving business is growing profit or the bottom line, not just sales. What if business owners could stop doing unprofitable activities, work less—and make more money?

This webinar, presented by professor, author and speaker Dawn Fotopulos, will identify four key areas where the business owner can shift priorities to improve profitability almost right away—while relieving time burden from their daily activities.

She will explain why and how you should STOP:

●  Ignoring your financial statements – Learn the basics of reading your profit and loss statement.

●  Offering loss leader products or services – Find out how to identify profitable products and services

●  Over-servicing unprofitable customers – Understand who are your profitable and unprofitable customers

●  Ignoring existing customers – Power profits are generated from existing relationships, not new customers. Learn how to grow your high-potential existing customer base to relieve the burden of new customer acquisition.

For more information or to register for FREE, click here.


Marketplace Trends

From Sexy Air Purifiers to Hide-and-Seek Stores, Here’s What’s Changing in Shopping in 2019, Forbes. “Once upon a time, however, shopping was an event — a treasure hunt, a physical exploration of the unique and unexpected, and an experience unto itself. The good news is, we’re seeing a return to those retail roots in 2019, powered in large part by the ascendance of the direct-to-consumer revolution.”

The New ‘Must Haves’ Consumers Crave, Small Biz Daily. “Sometimes the key to successful trend-watching is not spotting the newest trends, but knowing what current ones are fading or morphing into something else. This seems to be the case with two trends that have been around for a while.”

American Inventors are About to Enter a Golden Age. It Just Won’t Be in the U.S., Inc. “International companies are challenging the primacy of American innovation – which could be less of a problem for U.S. founders than you think.”

Why Older Workers are the Economy’s Hidden Asset, Fast Company. “The 65-plus rate of self-employment was more than triple the unincorporated rate and five times the incorporated rate of the 25-to-34-year-old age group. Put it this way: The 50-plus population will start more businesses in the years ahead than any other demographic.”

Food Delivery Continues to Boom, Small Business Labs. “The rapid growth of food delivery is also creating opportunities for a new kind of restaurant. Referred to as ‘ghost’ or ‘cloud’ Kitchens, these restaurants prepare food for off-site dining only and use firms like GrubHub and Uber Eats for delivery. This, BTW, is an excellent example of how digital transformation is changing industries.”

Success and Self Improvement

Guy Kawasaki Explains Why Steve Jobs Used 190-Point Text on Presentation Slides, Inc. “The strategic reason is that larger text forces you to use fewer words on a slide. Creatively, it’s a good exercise because it requires the speaker to be more thoughtful with the words they use. Also, fewer words means the audience’s attention is on the speaker, not on the words on the slides.”

Mentally Strong Entrepreneurs: The 10 Things They Avoid, Forbes. Negativity and negative people, burnout, perfectionism, indecision, distractions…these are some of the things successful entrepreneurs avoid or do differently.

Karen Kerrigan is president & CEO of the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council.

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