Click bait, or link bait refers to content that is engineered with the express purpose of getting a strong attentive response from readers. Often this overlaps with “viral content”, or massively shared articles and videos that are either discovered and popularized organically or created specifically with the goal of becoming popular in mind. As soon as viral activity was noted as a phenomenon of the internet age. marketers everywhere sat up and took note. The interesting aspects of viral content include the fact that there is no such thing as a “standard” piece of viral content, both high budget corporate backed projects and videos recorded on cellphones go viral on a regular basis. Another is that content that gets no promotion at all frequently becomes viral by virtue of being discovered by influencers as much or more as through promotion through high traffic channels. Click bait attempts to play on psychology and trends to pull attention through a link to a desired landing page or action. Some

Commercial trucking financing plans have been put out of whack by snows. This winter, small business owners in the logistics industry have felt the same negative effects as other small business owners due to the cold weather. The difference between logistics and other business models, however, is that small businesses in areas that are not as strongly effected by the snows have still felt the impact in their revenues, making commercial trucking businesses into some of the more widely effected business models. Trucking financing can be dependent on driver pay, and lost hours still need to come from somewhere. One point mentioned in an article from WRCBTV Chattanooga is the fact that, as drivers are caught in snow storms and are unable to make deliveries, they are still drawing billable driving hours that can’t be rolled over onto customers. This can mean that a period of snow related delays can create serious consequences for small business owners who are still required to make payroll. The limitations of

Business owners want their businesses to grow, but in order for them to grow effectively, the deployment of capital needs to be approached from a strategic angle. One of the mistakes that business owners frequently make is using up all of the available capital they have access to in order to push their business forwards, without first thinking of the actual amount of growth they are ready for from a logistical standpoint. Things like market size, seasonality within small businesses and the ROI associated with various types of equipment will all dictate when a business needs an infusion of funding and when it should actually hold back on the throttle. When is a good time to push forward business growth? Particularly good times to fund growth projects are in preparation for an anticipated period of heightened business activity, such as right before a holiday peak in sales or the beginning of a the busy season for a seasonal business. Debt, once taken on, must be paid

Business owners should constantly be looking out for ways that they can market their products to more people within their demographics. One of the strongest ways to do this is by identifying locations where you can retail your products that are complementary to your business model and highly trafficked by those in your demographic. To start out using this technique, business owners will need to approach the task form a place of strength. In order to convince other retailers that your product has a place within their location, you need to prove that you are intimately familiar with your target demographic and can demonstrate that the demographic that appears in a potential partnered location will overlap with your sweet spot. Having market research and an analysis of your own sales record to show will get your foot in the door and help to convince a partnering location to try your products out. Where does your target demographic go? Where do they spend their money, and

Whether you have successfully bootstrapped your business to the point of wanting to expand, are just starting to develop your products from home and are making your first sales while maintaining a full time job, or are about to turn your business into a franchise, the value of a mentor cannot be understated for small business owners willing to loan an ear to a trustworthy business veteran. Approaching a small business from an egocentric perspective and rejecting guidance and advice may not hurt your business, but it is possible that you are missing out on advice and perspective that you could use to accelerate your growth and make fewer mistakes. The hardest part about a mentor relationship is creating one in the first place. Finding an industry veteran who is willing to spend time giving you advice and coaching can be tough, and anyone who you would want as a mentor you should be able to trust completely. Naturally his means that finding a qualified

There are so many components that go into the management of a small business, each one of them vitally important in their own ways. However, one of the most important by far is the physical location of a small business (assuming that it has one). Where your business is actually located can make a big difference on what kind of foot traffic it will get, what times will be the most busy and who will be passing by. Another big potential impact is the rent that you are paying and the agreements that you have signed into the lease. Here’s what small business owners need to consider before they sign a lease for a brick and mortar location. Don’t put the cart before the horse. If you aren’t ready to get started doing business out of your location, don’t sign a lease. Often, small business owners will find a location that they fall in love with, but don’t have inventory or any clientele, yet sign a

The term “bootstrapping capital” refers to the practice of small business owners scraping together the funds they need to get started, and it’s a term that many visitors to the SBA’s forum on Loans and Grants are introduced to after posting about their need for financing. A typical message on the boards will start out with a business owner speaking about their unique model, touting the benefits that it will bring to their community, and then asking if there are any grants that exist that can help them to develop their project. The answer to their inquiry is usually “no, there are no grants for for profit businesses.” While Federal grants do exist, they are primarily set aside for non-profits and medical research, leaving business owners, in particular female, minority and veteran entrepreneurs wondering what is available for them. While it is a misconception for business owners to think that there is free money for their enterprise available from the Government, the SBA does have

Small business owners often have wildly varying opinions on Yelp. Depending on who you ask, it’s either a great tool that can help them to gain exposure and connect with their local customers, or an unfair playing field wherein a single negative review can hurt business and exposure is meted out to those who are willing to pay for it. Regardless of your opinion on it, Yelp is poised to partner with Yahoo in an attempt to bolster their local search game, as currently, Yelp is the major player in local business listings. In truth, small business owners should loan attention to their Yelp profiles regardless, as they are a potentially major source of referral business. Now that Yahoo is getting into the mix, the exposure that Yelp profiles get is poised to increase as Yahoo funnels their share of web traffic into the site. Get your business’s profile up to snuff now, and your business may stand to benefit from the strategic partnership. Fill

The return of the polar vortex has seen many business owners once more forced to contend with subzero temperatures and an abundance of snow. While in some areas the snow and cold are mild enough to allow businesses to remain open, there are other businesses that have been forced to close either because of the white stuff piling up and gumming up transportation, or because their areas have not been able to adequately prepare for post-snowfall response. Issues related to business loans another source of anxiety to owners who are already worried about being snowed in, as every day they are not in operation is a day that revenue is lost. Still, there are things that small business owners can do in order to keep their businesses running in the right track even during snow days. Here are some ideas: Do you have power and internet? Then  you can still work with your employees. While the neighborhood is covered in snow, you and your employees can

All small businesses have to pay attention to where their products are selling, and where they have potential to grow. Sometimes, business owners have to take a step back and re-imagine who their products appeal to and where their demographic is in the best position to notice and purchase them in order to continue to grow their sales. A perfect example of small business owners discovering a strong new market for their products, almost unintentionally, can be seen in an article from the Concord Monitor, which details cases of small businesses expanding sales through innovative techniques and product placement. One of the cases examined related the discovery of a strong niche for the product “sinus plumber”, a strong nasal spray originally marketed in health food stores. By placing sinus plumber by checkout areas within hardware stores where impulse buys often occur, the product was able to sell much more strongly. Wondering at the robust sales, which represented 40% stronger demand than non-hardware and auto stores, the

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