With disruptive technologies, start-up culture, the rise of mobile and the unfolding battleground of mobile payment technologies set to be major influences on the business world in 2015, small business owners need to be prepared to adapt and stay up to date on what matters most; that being what it is that their customers want. Shifts in consumer habits are being influenced by the increasing integration of technology into the ways that people look for and purchase goods, and should business owners ignore these persistent trends, they do so at their own peril. Be mobile friendly. Your customers are going to become more mobile-oriented as time goes on. The power of smart-phones continues to increase, and as a result, a larger percentage of the population is turning to mobile apps in order to locate stores within their areas when they want to make purchases. Review apps such as Yelp can also decisively affect customer perceptions of small businesses before they even set foot in a store,

Come the holiday rush, the usual staff of a small business may no longer be enough hands on deck to support the surge of demand created by increased consumer spending. In order to make the most of the season (and the most profit possible) small business owners may have to take on some temporary staff members in order to keep their operations running smoothly. The biggest challenge small business owners will face hiring temporary workers is competition and a smaller pool of candidates. With major retailers also in the game looking to hire temporary workers for the holidays, small business owners are going to have to think beyond traditional hiring channels in order to come up with the volume of workers they need in time to service the holiday rush. In an article that appeared in the Long Beach Post, it was suggested that business owners should branch out their hiring ads into their more immediate networks in order to get a more direct message out

  In an article from Fox Business, tips were shared from author T.D. Jakes on how business owners can create a more successful mindset for themselves. One of the tips in particular mentioned that business in the modern day should no longer be considered from a single perspective, instead business owners should strive to think of how to extend the reach of their business past their own social norms and into a truly global arena. Your social island is comprised of the circles that you keep, and if you are unable to move past the social boundaries that you have set for yourself, whether consciously or unconsciously, How can you grow your perspective past the familiar? Business owners seeking to apply a wider perspective to the development of their businesses have a multitude of options for gaining more information and insight. For one thing, by using free tools such as Google Alerts, small business owners can begin to broaden their base of influences and stay tuned

Linkedin is a social network for professionals, and thus is mostly devoid of the purely social content shared on Facebook, with the predominant focus being on sharing relevant perspectives and expertise related to business. For entrepreneurs, it  can be a great tool for meeting influencers and establishing a positive reputation as a knowledgeable member of your industry. One tool for sharing expertise on Linkedin is their long form posting tool, which allows business owners to share more detailed articles than through posting a status update alone. What are the benefits of long form posting as opposed to sharing a blog post? When you post a long form article to Linkedin, there are a few unique benefits that make it a viable option as opposed to simply sharing a post that you wrote on your business blog. According to Linkedin’s page on long form posting, a long form post doesn’t expire, rather, it is displayed as a link on your profile, meaning that it has a lot

  Social media has come a long way since the creation of Myspace and Facebook, to the point that it is a nearly ubiquitous global phenomenon, connecting people and cultures in a melting pot of digital interaction. Heavy hitters in the social media arena arena such as Facebook, with around 1.23 Billion currently active users, have been around for a while and the millennial generation who were among the first to adopt the technology have now been using the platform for around a decade, meaning that there is a user base on the network that is long standing and entrenched, but that does not meant that the platform itself is immune to challenges, and lately the latest round of networks have been making waves as they sound a challenge to long dominant brands in the space. A movement towards privacy and quality of experience. Social media has entered a phase of its growth where it has gone from being a trendy new technology to something that is

The way that a business works in the modern day is pretty much the same conceptually since the first business. Ideally, you will provide a good or service to your customer, and if they are happy with what they get they will tell others about it, which, combined with your own efforts, will bring in more business. Straightforward and familiar as this concept is, the tools that are being used to effect this result have changed dramatically in the last 10 years, with the ubiquity of the internet and the rise of mobile technology and social media effecting the basic communication habits of the majority of the population. Social media is the number one activity on the internet, and mobile continues to grow in use and importance to marketers. If your small business is not taking advantage of technology and social media (which is usually free), then you are missing out on a whole lot of potential, but beyond that, you may be allowing your

When running a business with bad credit, making something out of nothing is a skill that can come very much in handy, especially when it comes to marketing which can be very expensive when left to third party agencies. Bad credit business financing means knowing where you have to spend and where you can scale back, and fortunately for small business owners, there is a lot of functionality that they can tap into without tapping into their cash flows if they know where to look and what to do with what they have. Be open to potential new technologies. In order to begin adopting new free technology, you have to know how to find it. Millennial employees are often a great source of ideas pertaining to a business’s use of technology, since they are usually pretty well acquainted with the use of tech in their daily lives. One example of a technology that was popularized by millennials becoming a platform for savvy marketing is Snapchat, a temporary

The use of social media is now the number one internet based activity in the US, with the average American spending around 37 minutes a day on their various accounts. For small businesses, not having any social presence long ago stopped being ok, along with not having a web site it is now one of the basics of getting yourself out there and being visible to your customers. Now, in light of the increasing prevalence of mobile devices and social media, often used in conjunction, business owners should look to the future and prepare themselves to win in a world increasingly driven by social and mobile marketing. Building a presence that is valuable takes time and some strategy, but business owners can’t afford to skip out on channels that are becoming more an more an intrinsic part of how people decide what to buy. Social marketing. With the price of entry set at free for most social networks, business owners will find that they have no

  Twitter is among the pantheon of major global social networks, making it a great place for businesses to share links, thoughts, tweet at their influencers and respond to the tweets of their own followers. The way that Twitter has historically worked in terms of likes, follows and retweets has seen favoriting tweets function as a way to bookmark tweets as well as show interest in a tweet without retweeting it. A retweet would allow a user to have a tweet they liked appear in their own feed, shared with their entire network of followers, while a follow would only appear in the notification feed of the account that they had decided to follow. Now, changes to the way Twitter displays user actions are being tested which would make follows and favorites appear in feeds in the same way that retweets do, and the idea isn’t pleasing all of Twitter’s user base, according to an article from Smallbiztrends.com. While these changes are simply being tested

When it comes to social media followings, a lot of the time the prevailing attitude is “more is better” in terms of followers. While this concept may or may not hold water, depending on the quality of said followers and the ability of social updates to appear in feeds, as opposed to getting beat out by paid messages, it pays to know who is actually deciding to follow your business and personal accounts. Followers can accumulate over time, trickling in until you are not sure who exactly is following you. Just having followers is only half the battle, however. Getting the full value out of them for your business means you need to pay attention to who they are, what they are interested in, and where they fall in your market segmentation. Who is following your personal accounts also deserves attention. It may be the case that followers ignore your business page in favor of following you directly. Think about what this means in terms of your

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