Small Business Blog - daily small business software blog
:: Pricing Strategies for a Strong Bottom Line
A price strategy is every bit as important as what you have got to sell. After all, they dictate what you will charge for the goods and services you have on the market. In the end, getting these pricing strategies right is a bit of a balancing act. You will need to find that sweet spot between market demand and maximum profits.
1. Competition Based Pricing Strategy
If you are selling things that are similar, this is the pricing strategy your small business should be looking at. Here’s how competitive pricing works. First off, this works best for products rather than services. It works when the price for those products has reached a balancing point between your business and others.
This pricing strategy starts out using the going market rate to set a price.
2. Value-Based Pricing
Basically this is pricing based on what customers are willing to pay.
There are several steps to this pricing model. You need to do a bit of detective work here to find a competitive product. Next, you will need to list all the ways your product is different. Stress the financial value on these differences. This is a reasonable way to defend your pricing strategy.
:: 5 Smart Small-Business Moves to Make During COVID-19
1. Apply for a line of credit
2. Have cash on hand
3. Negotiate with your vendors
4. Be as adaptable as possible
5. Invest in safety
:: Small Business Administration will not name PPP borrowers
A small, overlooked federal agency is shouldering a massive relief effort for the nation's small businesses and their workers left reeling by the novel coronavirus. The U.S. Small Business Administration has committed to auditing every sizable emergency loan it approves, yet nearly two months since the $660 billion Paycheck Protection Program was launched, the agency has yet to make public the recipients of taxpayer aid.
:: 6 Cybersecurity Must-Haves for Your Business
In the current environment, cybersecurity is essential for businesses of all sizes. Many small or medium-sized businesses find themselves without adequate cybersecurity, either as a result of believing that they don’t need it or simply overlooking it among the many demands that come with running a business.
1. Use protection against ransomware
2. Invest in employee security training
3. Adopt multifactor authentication
4. Use a Security Information and Event Management system
5. Implement effective systems for protecting and monitoring data
6. Have a plan for mobile device security
:: 75% of Consumers Plan to Support Small Businesses More Often
The survey shows that consumers have already been going out of their way to support small businesses. 86% of those surveyed say they have continued to support locally owned businesses during quarantine.
The research uncovers how consumers have been supporting local businesses during lockdown. For example, 77% said they have been participating in a virtual experience offered by a local business. 60% of consumers said they have been ordering more takeaways and deliveries from local restaurants.
:: Small-Biz Wish List: 5 Ways the PPP Could Change for the Better
Small businesses could soon see a rollback of several universally loathed measures attached to the original Paycheck Protection Program, the $669 billion loan and grant initiative aimed at helping small businesses keep employees on the payroll.
When the House convenes next Wednesday, it is expected to vote on the Paycheck Protection Flexibility Act, a standalone bill that would, among other things, lengthen the time businesses may spend the funds from their PPP loans. The bill would also eliminate the requirement that 75 percent of a loan's proceeds must be spent on employee pay and benefits. The measure was originally proposed on May 15 in the House by representatives Dean Phillips (D., Minn.) and Chip Roy (R., Texas).
:: How answering questions helps promote your business
The opportunities to answer questions for potential publication can come from various sources. Help a Reporter, known as HARO, matches journalists with sources for their stories. Quora allows users to answer any question posed by their community. And professional membership organizations offer business leaders the opportunity to share their insights in industry publications.
The opportunities to add your own insights are out there. But why would you, as a business owner, devote your time to answering these questions? What are the benefits?
Here are five ways that answering questions online can help promote your business.
Search engine optimization (SEO)
:: Small Business Guide to Video Marketing
The current global forecast estimates the average person will watch 100 minutes of online video each day in 2021. In fact, a survey of marketers reveals 88% of them say video marketing provides them with a positive Return on Investments (ROI). Furthermore, 92% of marketers say video is an important part of a marketing strategy. With 75 million Americans watching online videos every day, video marketing offers enticing opportunities for marketers to capitalize on the rise in popularity of online videos.
The good news is you don’t need much to get started. With a good camera or a decent smartphone, you too can make great videos for your business. Your marketing video can be used for your website or social media platforms like YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram; the sky is literally the limit. A caveat here is making a marketing video requires a bit of a learning curve. First, you will need to have the right amount of knowledge and tools to make a meaningful impact from your video marketing effort.
:: 5 Things You Can Do Right Now to Prepare for the Post-Coronavirus Business World
Social distancing. Telemedicine. Self-quarantine. These are all words that at the start of 2020 weren't part of our vocabulary, but several months into the new decade we are all hearing and using them daily. There is no denying that the coronavirus outbreak has dramatically changed just about every facet of just about every person’s life around the world.
From a business perspective, the stock market saw its largest one day loss and largest one day gain in history. The U.S. saw the largest job-loss report ever. We are in uncharted waters, and how long we will remain in them remains uncertain. However, there is one thing that we all know, and that is that this outbreak will change the lives of everyone for years or decades to come. Nearly 20 years after 9-11, enhanced airport security, no-fly lists and counterterrorism efforts are still the norm. The same will be true of the COVID-19 aftermath. Is your business ready for the five largest macro trends we are about to see?
1. The rise of enhanced websites and digital tools
2. Cybersecurity concerns take center stage
3. An increase in virtual meetings
4. Increased control in expenses
5. Even more remote employees
:: How Marketers Can Help Restore Consumer Confidence
Since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, consumer confidence has declined in all 50 states, according to ongoing research from Morning Consult. And we all know that consumer confidence is a critical component of economic growth. As businesses begin to reopen across America, they need to work hard to restore this critical sentiment. To that end, consumer confidence may well be the only marketing message that matters for some time to come.
As consumers weigh the pros and cons of carefully reemerging from quarantine, many marketers will need to make a point of reassuring them in their messaging. Here are four smart marketing approaches to consider as you seek to restore consumer confidence.
1. Reframe social distancing.
2. Acknowledge the struggle.
3. Build consumer trust.
4. Emphasize safety.
:: Why Did This 17-Year-Old Turn Down $8 Million for His Coronavirus-Tracking Website?
Seventeen-year-old Avi Schiffmann is an entrepreneur. But he is a different kind of entrepreneur. He’s not in it for the profits, fame and continued growth opportunities. At least, not right now.
Schiffmann, a high school teenager who lives in Washington State, has attracted worldwide attention through his amazing Survival Rate Calculator website, which tracks critical information related to the coronavirus outbreak. Since launching the site during the early stages of the pandemic, Schiffmann's web crawlers have been configured to pull in, parse and process real time data from the World Health Organization, Centers for Disease Control and other governmental websites and convert that data to show infections, deaths, recoveries and rates of change for all countries around the world. The site breaks down infections on user-friendly maps, provides health information and also attempts to calculate a survival rate of someone who contracts COVID-19, based on user-submitted health data of age, gender and other health factors.
Is the site popular? You bet. According to a profile of Schiffmann on Business Insider, the site attracts about 30 million visitors a day and 700 million total so far.
:: These Companies Found a New Niche in Coronavirus Disinfection
The pandemic is revealing to small businesses just how versatile they are. So: A home-decor company, a skirt designer, and a business that makes boots for horses all realize they can craft face masks. A manufacturer of pet supplements and a hot sauce company join myriad craft distilleries in production of hand sanitizers.
The task of disinfecting workplaces tainted by or vulnerable to coronavirus also has attracted a variety of unexpected entrants. At AK Wet Works, the partners set out at once to reengineer their dustless blasters to produce a cold vapor fog that can sterilize 20,000 square feet an hour. In 100 hours, they produced a working model and began converting all 10 of their machines.
Seeking validation for their plan, the founders reached out to FQE, a local chemical company with an EPA-approved coronavirus disinfectant, to create a blend for them. Thinking their idea might have legs outside the Houston-area market, they next approached MMLJ, the original blaster manufacturer, which agreed to mass-produce the modified parts and market them to its large client base. MMLJ is paying a royalty to AK Wet Works, Bland says.
:: Verizon Business Survey Finds 68% of Small Businesses Believe They Can Recoup COVID-19 Related Losses
Verizon Business today released findings from a recent survey, Small Business Response to COVID-19 to better understand the impact small business owners and decision makers feel COVID-19 has had on their businesses. The survey, conducted by Morning Consult, focused on 500 small and medium businesses that are currently open or plan to reopen. One of the survey’s key results is that small businesses have renewed confidence, with 68% believing they can recoup COVID-19 related losses.
Key Survey Findings:
As businesses grapple with the economic impact of COVID-19, these responses highlight the assistance small businesses feel they need, the communities they feel most supported by, and the changes they have made to adjust to the new normal.
1. A Renewed Confidence
The small businesses that have weathered this pandemic to date express an overall optimism and the financial wherewithal to eventually reopen.
68% of small businesses believe they can recoup COVID-19 related losses
46% (nearly half) of small businesses that remain open say their businesses will be able to stay open for more than six months if the pandemic continues in the same way
48% of small businesses say it’s unlikely they will need to resume operations with a smaller staff
While 78% of small businesses indicate declining sales, less than a quarter (24%) say that they have missed or withheld any payments of bills (rent, utilities, etc.).
:: 60% of Small Businesses Do Not Have a Cybersecurity Policy: Survey
Social distancing amid COVID-19 has forced millions of businesses to set up remote workstations that rely solely on Web applications and services (SaaS) to conduct business operations. According to a new survey by the Cyber Readiness Institute (CRI), the virtual workplace has increased cybersecurity concerns for small business owners, as most of them have not implemented remote working policies to address cybersecurity threats.
The survey, which included 412 small business owners, revealed that while most small business owners are concerned about cyberattacks, many lack the resources to invest in necessary security measures – and half of them are worried that remote work will lead to more cyberattacks. It revealed that only 40% of small businesses have implemented a cybersecurity policy. Around 40% of businesses stated that economic uncertainty prevents them from making security investments. While 46% have offered training to help their employees stay secure while working remotely.
Nearly 51% of business owners surveyed said they provided employees with technologies to improve cybersecurity for remote work. And 55% of them said they believe federal and state governments should provide funding for cybersecurity products and services.
:: Your Cybersecurity Spring-Cleaning Checklist
For small business owners, tidying up your digital space means conducting a virtual sweep of your website and organizations security practices. I recommend that small business owners use the following cybersecurity spring cleaning checklist to ensure they don't miss any important items.
Spring Clean Your Website
The first step of cybersecurity spring cleaning is to deep clean your business website. By clearing out what you do not need, you can improve the overall health of your site.
Start with decluttering plugins and software. You should only keep the ones you're using and delete the rest to reduce your sites cybersecurity risk.
After you remove any plugins and software you are not using, make sure the ones you keep are updated. In addition, continue to proactively monitor your plugins and software on a regular basis and check for security updates.
It's also the perfect time to take a closer look at the data you're gathering from customers. Ask yourself if you are collecting information that truly benefits your business, such as information that drives value for marketing, sales, and services. If the type of information you collect has changed over time, delete any data and applications you're no longer using such as analytics code, remarketing snippets, affiliate tracking, and CRM tracking.
:: Web.com Offers SEO Solution for Small Businesses
Search engine optimization is an effective tool to build awareness and increase sales. If you’re thinking about using search engine optimization (SEO) to grow your business, then the latest offering from Web.com will excite you.
The Company recently announced the launch of an innovative SEO marketing solution, Simple SEO, to help businesses improve their search engine rankings.
It goes without saying that people search online before buying any product or availing any service. According to the search engine giant, Google, 83% of shoppers used online search before visiting a physical store.
So, being found on search results when potential customers type relevant phrases can improve awareness for your business, increasing sales eventually. And implementing the right search engine optimization techniques can boost the visibility for your business on search results.
:: Why Branding Matters Now More Than Ever
As the Covid-19 outbreak wreaks havoc on the retail industry, some are asking a curious question, namely: will companies boost their spending on branding in the aftermath the crisis?
What I find strange about this question is the assumption that branding is something you turn on and off, like a light switch; that it is somehow a conscious decision or undertaking that brands embark on as necessary or when it best serves them. I suspect this is because we’ve long confused the concepts of branding and advertising. They are not the same.
Advertising is what a brand says about itself to consumers. Advertising is a conscious effort on the part of a brand to promote itself, its products and its services. Advertising can be bought and sold. Advertising is transactional.
Branding, on the other hand, is a very different thing. Branding is what others think and say about you. And it’s informed by a wide range of inputs, far beyond what a brand says about itself. More critical is what a brand actually does or doesn’t do. Branding reflects the sum total of every organisational action, set against the backdrop of culture, all of which reveals the true character of a company. Branding cannot be bought or sold. Branding is transformational.
:: Evolutionary Branding: Know The Jungle
The law of the jungle states, in evolutionary terms, that only the fittest survive. Before you can effectively brand an organization, you need to understand its clients/customers/donors/community and its competitors. In the marketing world, this is called a landscape analysis.
Often, companies — especially startups and nonprofits — will say they do not have competitors. Let me get this out right away: Everyone has competitors. Even nonprofits. If you think you do not have competitors, that means you don’t understand what a competitor is. A competitor is any person or organization taking business away from you.
:: 10 Tips For Digital Marketing During a Pandemic
Understand the Challenges Your Customers Are Facing
Before you can market during any period, you need to be able to solve a problem for your customers. During a pandemic, the problem you are solving may change. So you have to be able to communicate that. Part of this is just understanding the current climate. It is probably safe to say that many small business customers are hurting financially. Some may also be in a hurry to receive specific types of items. By understanding your market and staying up-to-date on news in your industry, you should be well versed on the basic challenges that might impact your strategy or talking points. However, Perkin also recommends surveying customers however possible so you can quantify how many of them are struggling in specific areas. Once you know the problems your customers are facing, you can work backward to create your marketing communication strategy.
Learn How to Communicate with New Customers
In fact, you may need to pivot all or part of your business strategy in order to stay afloat during the pandemic. For example, Marran pointed out a UPS client that previously sold pet costumes, but has recently shifted into manufacturing face masks and PPE. This is likely to be a temporary change. But they still need to shift their marketing and communication strategy toward hospitals and B2B customers, rather than focusing on the consumers they normally serve.
:: 5 Marketing Hacks On The Cheap To Grow Your Business During a Pandemic
For small businesses, resources can be tight. Especially right now.
Limited budgets can present challenges for how businesses raise awareness, acquire customers, and generate revenue.
In fact, 39% of small business owners agree that a limited budget is a major roadblock in growing their businesses.
However, there are plenty of low-cost, high-yielding marketing hacks that can help you reach your customers.
Get featured in press by responding to journalists and podcasters
Personalize cold outreach campaigns
Correct Existing Mentions of Your Brand
Add videos to your landing page
Repurpose old blog content
:: 10 Must-Have Content Marketing Tools For Small Business Owners
Customers go through a journey before they commit to a purchase. As a small business owner, it is your duty to engage and interact with them until they do so. And when they do, you continue to nurture them so they become your brand’s advocates.
With content marketing, you can convert random online searchers to website visitors, make them a part of your tribe and drive more sales by consistently providing them with valuable information.
:: How to Market Your Business During Covid
Make communication a priority
In response to the restrictions temporarily in place, companies large and small have made changes to the way they do business. Restaurants are offering curbside pickup. Many retailers have closed their brick-and-mortar stores but are ramping up e-commerce with free delivery and 24-hour customer support. Grocery stores have introduced new cleaning protocols and special senior shopping hours.
No matter your industry, be proactive in sharing this information with customers and keeping them updated. In this digital-first era, all types of businesses are much better equipped to reach customers, both existing and prospective. By using multiple platforms — posting on social media, sending mobile messages, and updating your website and directory listings such as Google My Business — your business has the ability to connect with customers quickly and easily.
We are living through a period of uncertainty in which nearly every American is affected by this pandemic in some way. It’s important to acknowledge that publicly. Practicing sensitivity and transparency in light of our current economic climate is not only appropriate — it’s necessary. Soften the tone in your messaging and infuse empathy in recognition of what’s happening all around us.
:: The Email Marketing Statistics You Need to Know in 2020
Email marketing continues to be one of the most powerful tools for growing your business. (Need proof? Check out stat #1 below.)
And although email marketing has been around for decades, it’s everchanging.
New email marketing tools — like AMP for Email — pop up all of the time. Marketers are taking innovative approaches to email marketing. And email marketing benchmarks change every year.
Want to see how your own email marketing strategy compares and what other businesses are doing to innovate?
Check out this ultimate list of email marketing statistics to find out how you stack up and see email marketing benchmarks to compare your results.
General email marketing statistics and usage
79% of small businesses say email marketing is important to their business strategy. [AWeber]
60% of small businesses say their email marketing strategy is effective or very effective. [AWeber]
64% of B2B marketers use a dedicated email marketing platform. [Content Marketing Institute]
40% of B2B marketers claim that email newsletters are the most important tactic in their content marketing strategy. [Content Marketing Institute]
43% of small businesses have 500 or less email subscribers. [AWeber]
42% of small businesses with over 500 subscribers have effective or very effective email marketing strategies. [AWeber]
46% of emails are opened on mobile devices. [Litmus]
61% of consumers prefer to be contacted by brands through email. [Statista]
On average, consumers spend 2.5 hours checking email on a typical weekday. [Adobe]
:: Thank You, Small Business
It is hard to believe that six weeks ago we were all living life as we previously knew it and making plans for the life we thought was ahead.
It has been an exhausting six weeks. It has been a frustrating and angering six weeks. It has been a scary and anxiety-inducing six weeks. It has been a life- and business-altering six weeks.
And yet, every day — over and over and over again — I have seen small-business owners around the world step up, persist and display the type of character that I am inspired by.
I saw an amazing quote last week. It reminded that character is not built during crisis, but that character is revealed during crisis. How true is that? I look around and I see people who have been revealed as power hungry and self-centered, but I have also seen people who are kind, generous and committed to the greater good. And so many small business owners fit into that category.
:: How Mobility Is Helping Three Small Businesses Stay In Business
When it comes to turning business challenges into opportunities, small business owners are quick, nimble, and creative. With state governments around the country shuttering all non-essential businesses to combat COVID-19 still in full swing, this is truer than ever.
But, unlike years past, where such an unprecedented closure would have put many small businesses out of business permanently, today they’re turning to mobility and connectivity in large numbers to keep their doors open—if only virtually.
:: 5 Small Business Trends to Pay Attention to in 2020
As an entrepreneur, you've likely had to embrace change lately so you not only continue to succeed, but you also find ways to dominate during unprecedented times. One of the best ways to gain a competitive edge is to stay on top of trends so you can create new opportunities and stay ahead of your competitors.
With that in mind, here are five trends all small business owners should embrace in 2020 and beyond.
1. Employee health and wellness must become a priority.
2. AI will continue to change the business world.
3. Mobile marketing will be used more creatively.
4. Younger consumers will declare World War Z.
5. It is time to go cashless.
:: Your Sleep Habits Need a Spring Reset. Try These 5 Tips Tonight
Chances are good, few habits need more of an overhaul right now than your sleep routine. You probably picked up a few bad sleep habits during the cold, dark winter and any additional stress you're facing is helping the situation, says Brown University associate professor and medical doctor Katherine Sharkey.
:: The top 10 Prospecting Tools for Your Small Business Sales
The customer acquisition process is a long journey. As any salesperson knows, there are many phases to this journey, and while the close might get all the glory, the most important part of the process may be all the way at the beginning: prospecting.
:: Essential Business Survival Guide for the Covid-19 Crisis
Expert advice on handling panicked customers, interrupted supply chains, webinars, Zoom meetings, hyper kids, and a work environment that changes by the hour.
:: Best Sales Tactics for Your Small Business
There are no magic formulas or secret sales tips for boosting your sales metrics and performance. Sales are dependent on a myriad of factors lining up in your favor, and many of them are out of the numbers on your sales dashboard. The best you can do is do your best putting in the work.
:: 8 Ways Business Owners Can Take Advantage of the Federal Stimulus Package
There is a strategy to maximizing all the benefits of Congress recent $2 trillion stimulus package in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. It is not just applying for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) or tapping into your 401k. In fact, there are actually eight key pieces to the legislation that can assist business owners in one form or another.
:: One Way to Start a Lucrative Career From Home That Could Pay $50,000 in a Day
We are in the midst of a difficult time in history. The COVID-19 pandemic is causing a health crisis, and both the economy and jobs are suffering as a result.
While many of us can work from home, others cannot. But if a silver lining exists, perhaps it’s this: Now is the perfect time to learn a skill or launch a new career. Affiliate marketing gives you that opportunity.
:: Half of Small Businesses May Close Within 2 Weeks
Fifty-four percent of U.S. small businesses have either closed or expect to close temporarily over the next 14 days, according to a new Chamber of Commerce survey.
:: What it is like to lose your small business to coronavirus
We had to terminate all of our employees. We talked about different options, like furloughing employees, which is a temporary termination. We talked to tons of other business founders and really leaned on legal advice to the extent that we could. In the end, we had to terminate all of our employees, which we thought was the best for them, because they could file for unemployment very quickly. When the seven-day wait period for filing for unemployment was waived, we felt that was the best way forward.
:: 7 Ways to Train Your Brain to Make Better Decisions
Every day brings a tidal wave of choices, from hiring to product features to marketing plans. As the founder and CEO of JotForm, I know that decision-making is one of the toughest parts of my job. Technology and markets evolve at lightning speed, and there’s endless data to weigh with every choice.
On the bright side, learning to make smart decisions can help you work more productively, manage stress, dodge burnout and feel more satisfied in your business and your life.
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