Small business owners may or may not be aware of the phenomenon of cryptocurrency, which in plain English is the use of digital currency that is unregulated and exists purely in a digital form, usually encrypted in some manner to protect against hacking and other forms of fraud.  Bitcoin is the first, and most prominent of these currencies, and has received much media attention as it’s prices have fluctuated wildly, with peak values of the cyber money reaching an impressive $1,200 a piece. The increasing prominence of Bitcoin enters the small business picture as some bold small business owners have begun to accept the cryptocurrency as payment. As reported in the Oneida Daily Dispatch, multiple NY businesses are making sales with the digital dollars, with one business reporting that a full 8% of its sales were made in Bitcoins. The payments are made using an app, and customers can buy more bitcoins through ATM like kiosks, which appear in some business locations. Aside from being another

Small business owners with bad credit must pay close attention the the cash flows of their businesses, as not only are they vital for making payroll, obtaining supplies and financing any number of operational necessities, they also are a major factor in applying for bad credit business loan alternatives which can be important growth boosters in lieu of traditional loans. In the hustle and bustle of a typical office day, small business owners can have their attention fought over by many conflicting commitments, all equally vital to the overall health of the enterprise. However, a real danger that can potentially set a business back is pursuing sales, but slacking when it comes to the often tough work of making collections on outstanding payments. Business owners can fall behind on their collections for any number of reasons, from allowing extensions on payments, forgetting about them, to being distracted by other areas of their business that specifically demand their personal attention and expertise. Whatever the case may

BYOD, or “bring your own device” refers to the business practice of allowing your employees to use their own technology in the office, usually in an attempt to conserve capital and reduce the expenses related to purchasing computers and other devices for strictly company use. In principle, a bring your own device plan sounds like it can bring a lot of upside to small businesses. They conserve funds that they would otherwise have to allocate to purchasing and maintaining their own technology, and allow their employees to use technology that they are already comfortable with and proficient in troubleshooting (at least on a basic level). That being said, like many good ideas that don’t turn out to work as well in practice, a BYOD policy has the potential to put small business owners into uncomfortable situations that they may not have even thought of as a possibility when creating their policy. Forbes has put out an article on the dangers of BYOD. One of the primary issues

While written content is of vital importance for SEO purposes, and small business owners engaged in digital marketing should be creating engaging and readable material, a lot of the time a simple picture can say a whole lot about their brand and create a lot of engagement on the right platforms. Social media seems to be increasingly moving towards more visual mediums, with breakout apps like Vine  proving the allure of even a few seconds of looped video to content hungry viewers. Why are visual mediums so interesting to consumers? The answer most likely lies in the fact that video and images are extremely simple to consume, not requiring even the effort of reading a few lines of copy. Video and images are also much more dynamic to look at then text, explaining why a single vine or instagram post has the power to attract many repeat viewings. In fact, a Moz.com article demonstrated through analytics data a marked drop in time on site when they removed a

In the hierarchy of importance of departments, customer service is often not given the prominence that it deserves, especially when a growing business has to put sales, accounting and marketing at the forefront in order to create the revenues needed to sustain growth. Customer service improvements can get put on hold during scrambles to expand, but not paying enough attention to these areas is a big mistake for growing businesses lest they find themselves with a growing client base and no means to appease them should things go wrong (and something will always go wrong). So what is a small business owner to do? How can you create satisfactory customer service practices without taking away from building the other aspects of your business? Here are some suggestions for developing a customer service experience that will keep your customers happy and coming back for more. If you lack a dedicated customer service department, plan to create one. Right off the bat, if you don’t have a customer

A small business’s website will often contain an order form or other type of application that can turn the web traffic the page gets into leads. Besides the obvious benefit of creating more business, lead creation forms can also give small business owners some self -reported information on who is visiting their website and converting. Business owners can be surprised to find that their service appeals to a demographic on the web that does not frequent its physical location, and the information they gather surrounding a lead allows for a finer picture of core client bases to emerge as well. More fields means more information, but more “friction”. Business owners should respect the utility of an application for gathering information on customers. While you may only need a couple of questions answered in order to determine if you can do business with a prospective applicant, it may behoove you to also ask information regarding their age, sex, location, contact information or whatever you need to know

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

Snowy weather has made its mark on small business sales in the new year, with reports of lowered revenues compared to last year’s Winter. The culprit is obvious: the polar vortex of cold air that has set in over much of the country, leading to record cold temperatures, heavy snow falls and congestion of infrastructure. When whole work forces have been stuck at home due to excessive difficulty traveling, it can be tough for small businesses with already limited cash flows to strain to meet their obligations to their employees and customers. Additionally, many of the customers that might otherwise frequent their businesses have been discouraged from spending time outside, leaving businesses hungry for the volume that they would otherwise have expected. Should small business owners slow down their plans? While small business owners have recently been reporting a heightened level of ambition and optimism, the limits imposed by the weather have some considering abandoning their expansion plans. The Wall Street Journal has reported on the

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

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

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