The benefits of multilingualism in a small business setting include the ability to do business with a broader range of customers as well as the highly focused ability to serve them in their native languages, allowing them to feel more comfortable, experience better customer service and create a stronger relationship with your business and your employees. Marketing in another language is another story from simply having the ability to do business with those who speak other languages, since it necessitates the ability to onboard bilingual or non-English speaking customers with much greater frequency than a single customer here or there, at which point having one or two bilingual staff members may not be enough. When small business owners are planning their growth, much of their later success or failure will come down to how well they anticipated the performance of the marketing they invested in, so making a blunder in terms of allocating marketing budget can put a damper on the ability of the business to

Home Depot is the latest major retailer to suffer from a digital security breach, with 56 million credit cards effected, according to a Mashable report on the aftermath of the breach, reminiscent of a similar hack of Target customer accounts. Another highly publicized breach should mean that small business owners now have no excuse for neglecting their own digital security protocols, especially considering the fact that many cyber-criminals specifically target small businesses, knowing that business owners may feel that the relative chance of them getting targeted is low compared to the costs of updating and maintaining their security. This type of thinking is dangerous, since in the event that they do get hacked, a data breach has the ability to put a small business in a position of losing customer trust, sales and even the ability to continue operating. Let the fate of major brands serve as a wake-up call to the reality of digital crime. As small businesses increasingly take advantage of the many great

The Fall is the beginning of the time of year with the highest concentration of major holidays, and with multiple religious and secular holidays coming up, there is plenty of room for seasonal marketing directed towards a wide range of demographics. Small businesses often report their strongest sales during this time of the year, bolstered by holiday shopping and also the movement of Americans across the country to visit family and friends, so being prepared to win business with clever marketing is of the essence as competition becomes more intense. As today marks the official transition to Fall along with the Autumnal equinox, planning now to make the most of the Fall is highly important for making the most of the season and avoiding underwhelming performance. Review sales histories and make cash flow predictions. Small business owners should take steps to prepare for the potential influx of business by creating a prediction of their cash flows and inventory needs. While alternative capital can allow a business

A small business’s email list is a valuable tool, and like other tools that a business uses, such as computers or machinery, it needs to maintained in order to keep it at peak effectiveness. Not only is it important to maintain your open rate and keep content fresh and interesting, it’s also essential that business owners manage who is on their lists and test for spam filter compatibility to protect the deliverability of their emails. The danger of a healthy mailing list being crippled by poor ability to deliver messages is present if maintenance is neglected, lowering the value of the customer information that it took time and effort to gather. Prune your contacts like you would prune a tree in order to keep your list growing healthily. As an email list grows, it is likely that some of your contacts will become inactive or lose interest in your service. What often happens when a person is no longer interested in receiving email marketing is that

A new habit can be the start of even more positive change in a small business lifestyle. One of the reasons why entrepreneurs become  self employed in the first place is often because they crave more flexibility in achieving a balance between their work and their lifestyle, so taking full advantage of that should be something that you think about as the seasons change. Fall is a great time both for growing your business habits and your lifestyle habits, with plenty to do outdoors and a lot to plan in order to be ready to take advantage of the prime sales months of the holidays. Creating a habit isn’t something that happens overnight, and generally speaking the best way to integrate a new aspect of your routine is through building it up gradually. For example, someone who doesn’t jog would probably not be able to adjust to running four or five miles multiple times a week, since they would quickly become burned out. Still, jogging

You may remember reading about the FCC’s proposed Net Neutrality rules, which would allow for a tiered approach to internet bandwidth. In essence, it would create reserved high speed channels for the websites of entities that would be willing to pay for them, relegating those who do not to “slow lanes” which could create excessive loading times, seriously hampering the ability of those pages to rank in search results. Small businesses are among those who would be particularly hard hit, as they could lose significant shares of leads and digital commerce they gain through managing strong web presences. In protest to these proposed changes, on the 10th, many major websites participated in a “Go Slow” day displaying messages warning visitors of the reality of what the internet could become, and the danger present in allowing the creation of a segmented and corporation dominated internet. In an article that appeared on dailyfinance.com, the problems that could be created for small businesses by hampered internet speed include

  Running a small business is a marathon, not a sprint, so avoiding fatigue and burn out is essential in order to allow yourself  to effectively manage your endeavors. Fatigue isn’t something that you plan for, it often arrives in the middle of important work, when you have been pushing yourself for a while and finally receive signals from your mind and body that are hard to ignore. Combating fatigue is possible through long and short term strategies, but in order to prevent it as much as possible, a combination of both is recommended. Balance is an essential principle in both management and life, and without it, you run the risk of putting both yourself and your business into a corner. 1) Get the sleep that you need. The amount of sleep that a person needs each night to be effective can vary, but the commonly accepted “optimal” number of sleep hours per day is eight for an average person. You may or may not be

In a recent article from the Motley Fool, five different small business insurance policies were looked at. Business insurance can be important as a stop-loss when things go wrong, helping to protect the capital invested into the business which may represent all the assets to a business owners name, depending on their level of investment. Part of making smart decisions regarding small business  coverage is making sure that you possess a real understanding of the risks facing your particular business. Every small business is unique, and will face different challenges based on location, the strength of its sales, as well as what kinds of products it provides. Before you make final decisions regarding the insurance that you purchase for your business, sit down and analyze where you stand in terms of risk, and how you can balance the types of coverage that you purchase to offer protection from the potential negative events that can befall you as well as remain affordable. Historical data on the types and

  When it comes to offering support for small business customers, the most immediate means of getting into contact with your customers can often be the best. Especially on websites dedicated to e-commerce, having the ability to instantly offer customized guidance and support for those who are visiting is a very powerful tool for preventing lost business as well as increasing customer satisfaction. Customer support is one of the most important areas to pay attention to, since it is the satisfaction of your customers that will drive the word of mouth exposure that many businesses rely on to grow. Towards furthering this goal, having on page chat support on your site can help reduce the number of potential sales that you miss out on as well as provide an convenient means to troubleshoot basic support issues. Maintaining a strong standard of etiquette on a chat client is just as important as any other support channel. When using chat as a support tool, the need to respond in a

Small business owners are continuously proving themselves to be strong adapters of social media technology, using the prevalence of social media across almost every market as a springboard to connect more closely with their customers and acquire new ones in the process. One of the most interesting variables of internet marketing is the fact that the internet has its own culture, being composed of a stew of ever growing information and human interaction. One of the phenomena to come out of this is the idea of memes, essentially template images such as the picture with this article, that have a connotated personality trait or pun that is then played on with an overlay of text. While that description makes them sound dry, the reality is anything but, with the customization of memes meaning that pretty much any demographic has the ability to produce their own jokes playing on the highly recognizable personas represented by each meme image. Memes are part of the culture of the

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