Video is a medium that brands have used to create ad materials that engage audiences for over a hundred years. The level of emotional resonance and memorability that can be achieved with video is second to none. Just how effective is video at conveying information? According to Dr. James McQuivey of Forrester Research, one minute of video can convey as much as 1.8 million written words. This means that a single video can potentially create as many conversions on you site as multiple pages of written copy. Still not convinced? Hosting video on your website conveys other benefits at well. In terms of SEO, your web page is more likely to come up high in search engines if it contains video, as indexing robots look for video as a way of identifying material that is potentially engaging for web surfers. In addition, video can greatly increase the time that visitors spend on your site, another important aspect that search engines take into account when ranking

Is Podcasting the New Old Small Business Trend?

Wednesday, 04, September , 2013 by

Podcasting has been mildly out of fashion for the past few years, but according to Jeff Bullas, it is making a comeback as a tool that small business owners can use to market their products. What is the allure of podcasting? For one thing, it is on the rise in a cycle of trends that will banish technologies for years only to see them come back as the “hot new” way to market. But aside from the simple fashionable aspects of going back to podcasts, new technology is making them much more accessible than ever before. The prevalence of smart phones is making it so that potential podcast listeners can find the podcasts they want to listen to and then download them seamlessly onto their phones, removing steps that used to exist in the past, like plugging an ipod into a computer to download the podcast onto a device. Podcasting, for those who don’t know, is essentially the 21st century version of radio. Podcasts can

The relevance of social media in marketing is growing at a steady rate, as devices get smarter and people’s lifestyles become more and more integrated with their various profiles and friend groups. Small business owners seeking to loan themselves a leg up over the competition have been flocking to the vast and viral markets that are concentrated on the web. In general, the small business of today will require a website, however rudimentary, and a Facebook page, perhaps also a Twitter. However, there is massive potential for businesses to go even further, using trendy social media platforms like G+,  Vine and Instagram. However, small business owners need to loan time to understanding some important principles before they get too deep into the creation of their social media presence. This is because, when done the wrong way, the growth of a social media presence can actually harm a small business’s digital reputation. In order to make sure that your digital marketing campaign is functioning the right

With bad credit looming as one of the most restricting problems small business owners can experience, it can be helpful for those business owners who have worked their way around and out of bad credit to share some of the ways they were able to manage their problems and keep their business healthy. Many of the business owners that Horizon Business Funding works with on a daily basis are among those who have been marked with poor credit scores. The Great Recession that began in 2007 saw many Americans suddenly lose sources of income that they relied on to pay for mortgages, student loans and credit card debt. Small business owners were hit particularly hard, as they more than other borrowers rely on access to capital to keep their businesses moving forward and generating income. With real estate prices dropping as well as inflation, business owners found themselves with debt and little to no means of securing additional credit. And yet, many of these business

Small business owners in all stages of business growth need to know what their client base wants, how much they are willing to pay for it, and when and where they want to go in order to buy it. Market research is not simply nice to have for business owners, it is in fact an essential part of operating a business and without it you are flying blind. For this reason, it should be clearly understood by business owners just what is meant by market research and how they are able to do their own in order to develop a clear cut plan they can use for running their business. The first thing business owners need to do before they conduct their market research is identify their desired client base. This can dramatically effect the way in which you will collect your data. for example, a business whose primary clients are in their late teens and early twenties might do well with a facebook survey,

There is no question that it is difficult for small business owners to procure loans in today’s economy. The media has been abuzz with reports on the freeze of business credit, and the aftermath of the great recession has property and other forms of collateral devalued to the point that they are no longer sufficient for securing business loans. However, the Washington Post recently put out an article positing that the decline in business lending is not an entirely new phenomenon. The Cleveland Federal Reserve has released charts indicating that small business lending from banks has been on the wane since as far back as the mid 90’s when the economy was strong. Traditional banks are cutting back the percentages of their portfolios that include business funding, and evidently have been doing so for over a decade. According to the Federal Reserve, this slow downward trend indicates that there is not likely to be a thaw in the lending practices of banks towards small business owners,

The regulations created in 2011 to restrict the work week of commercial truck drivers seem here to stay, after appeals from the major truck driver constituencies, the American Trucking Associations and the Owner Operator Independent Drivers Association,  failed to have the laws overturned. The primary concern of truck drivers is the loss of billable hours that they are experiencing because of the regulations, which force them to take rest periods and change the protocols surrounding the restarting of the working week. The rationale behind the new laws is that many of the accidents caused by trucks and buses on the road involved fatigued drivers whose reaction times and awareness of driving conditions were compromised by their lack of energy. The DOT estimates that up to 13% of drivers involved in serious accidents were fatigued, and that the new regulations and mandated rest periods will save 19 lives each year thanks to better rested logistics workers. It is hard to gauge the immediate economic effect of

According to an annual survey by thumbtack.com , the best states and cities for small business in the US are Utah, Alabama, New Hampshire, Idaho and Texas. Additionally. four of the top ten residential areas for small business incubation were located in Texas, which due to a mild climate, low overhead and large population is very hospitable to entrepreneurs. Another factor that allows businesses to grow is the sense of community and preference for local brands exhibited by the local population. Surprisingly, the majority of businesses surveyed stated that taxes in their areas were not unfair, and said that the biggest factor in determining business friendliness was in fact the local licensing requirements. The easier it is to apply for licensing, be if for liquor, food services, hotels or other types of businesses, the easier it is for businesses to devote time to growth and avoid getting bogged down in bureaucracy. Another key attribute to business development is the ability for business owners to obtain small business

How to Go Green With Your Small Business

Wednesday, 14, August , 2013 by

As a small business owner, there are many concerns that you deal with on a day to day basis. Often times, independent business owners feel that they simply don’t have the time or the know-how to make their business more environmentally friendly. The top causes of small businesses not working to increase their environmental sustainability are concern that it will stop them from being profitable, apathy and costs. What many business owners do not realize is that there are many different tax breaks that energy efficient businesses can qualify for, offsetting some of the cost of updating your business. Another way to cut back on the energy consumption of your business is to try and reduce paper waste as much as possible. a good way to do this is to begin relying on cloud technology and a scanner to make as many of your documents digital as possible. This is especially handy for sharing applications, invoices, or other forms that many of your employees will be using.

The most visible collateral damage in trucking is the aftermath of a crash, where roads, vehicles, and their occupants can be catastrophically destroyed. However, the driving forces behind this kind of an accident account for a much more subtle and far reaching type of problem. Driver health has been an increasingly topical issue, with new regulations in place mandating more rest periods for drivers with the rationale being that chronic driver fatigue, sleep apnea and over consumption of nutritionally poor foods and caffeine are leading causes in many of the fatal crashes that occur each year. In the aftermath of these regulations, many drivers are reporting dissatisfaction with the way that their now mandated rest periods affect their schedules and the number of billable miles they can claim. In particular, driving at night, when traffic is lightest, is now much more difficult as drivers are required to get a good night’s  sleep. Aside from effecting the schedules of drivers, the new regulations in conjunction with

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