Category Archive : SOCIAL

2016 came and went so quickly. As far as businesses go, no year ever feels totally satisfying. That said, goal setting remains important. Goals are defined as the object of a person’s ambition or effort; an aim or desired result. New Year’s Resolutions are the perfect opportunity to organize your business aspirations for the next 365 days. According to a study conducted at the University of Scranton, only 45% of Americans set New Year’s Resolutions, while an even lower 8% actually end up achieving those resolutions. Make the most of 2017, and be part of that 8%! Here’s some inspiring resolution ideas for your business, and a few tips on how to see those goals through:

Improve Time Management
There are only 24 hours in a day, so plan your time wisely this year. Make a point of gaining awareness about how you spend your time at work. Are you dedicating too much time to one area? Are you forgetting to make time for yourself? Time management could be as simple as taking a lunch break, or as complicated as breaking up a project wisely.
Advice: In order to improve your time management, you must be disciplined. Self-motivation is important. Find it in yourself to set a plan, and stick to it. Becoming lenient or less strict with your timing is a slippery slope! You will find better results for this resolution if you

Focus On Your Employees
It’s easy to take your loyal, hardworking employees for granted. This year, try to pay attention to their contributions to your business. Let the gratefulness sink in. It feels good. Alternatively, focus on training/hiring solid, reliable people. Notice which individuals stand out, or fall short.
Advice: Next time a member of your staff goes above and beyond, express your gratitude to them. Or, if you notice that a certain employee is not performing well, do not be afraid to address and confront them. Chances are, they will appreciate your attentiveness, and you can both benefit from the confrontation.

Increase Revenue
This is an obvious goal for any business owner. Unfortunately, it’s easier said than done! Financial planning is important for the success of your business. Perhaps 2017 is the year to enforce a new financial plan, or improve upon your existing strategy.
Advice: Keep up with digital marketing using SLNconnect. Create great content and make sure to share it on social media. Customers will respond well to content such as promotions and deals. Solid digital marketing will lead to an increase in revenue over time.

Hopefully one of these resolution ideas inspires you to achieve one of your own this year. 2017 holds endless possibilities- do what you can to optimize those possibilities for your business!

Any small business owner knows how stressful the holiday season can feel. December comes around, and it becomes hard to participate in the holiday spirit amidst the hustle and bustle of the fourth quarter. Here are a few guidelines to staying sane during this busy time:

Eat a Balanced Diet
You may think eating has nothing to do with running your business (unless you run a restaurant!), but studies show that’s not at all the case. In fact, there are signals sent directly from your stomach to your brain, which impact your level of stress. So swap out junk food for some fruit and vegetables, and focus on portion size when attending holiday parties with indulgent treats. Eating better will actually make you feel better during those long days at work this month!

Ditch Your Coffee
Caffeine may feel good in the moment (like, really good), but overtime, too much caffeine can cause you to be emotionally overreactive to stress. Drink some festive egg nog instead of your usual cup of joe a few times a week. Cutting back on caffeine will increase its positive effects when you do drink it.

Time to Unwind
Another thing that will make you feel a whole lot better during those long days is a reward waiting for you at the end! Whether it’s time spent baking some christmas goodies, hanging out with your family, or even watching A Christmas Story- you need some down time to balance all your hard work. Also, reward your employees or co-workers by including them in a festive wine night, or treating them to dinner, where you can all focus on making spirits bright.

Get Enough Sleep
The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute recommends seven to eight hours of sleep per night for adults. This holiday season, make a point of having lots of silent nights. You will feel more productive in the morning and be more motivated when helping your many customers!

Play Some Music
In the words of Buddy the Elf: “The best way to spread christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear!”. Okay; so maybe the constant Christmas music echoing through the month of December is not something you find completely relaxing. That said, music is good for your brain. It makes you happier, more productive, and more motivated. Your mood can be improved by simply listening to your favorite tunes. Try listening to music on the way to work, or even playing it in your work environment.

Take some deep breaths, and keep calm this month. After all, the holidays are about appreciating our lives and loved ones, and spreading kindness. Keep that in mind, along with these relaxing tips, and you’re sure to have a successful holiday season.

It’s no secret that Millennials are different from their predecessors. We are known for our lazy, entitled attitudes (but also for our passion, risk-taking, and open-mindedness!). With over 80 million Millennials in the U.S., we are the largest generation in Western History, according to a study conducted by Initiative in the United Kingdom. Regardless of your opinion on our unique generation, it’s ever important as a business owner to understand Millennials, and even more essential to understand how to market to them. Here are four marketing strategies that will attract Millennials to your business in no time:

1. Keep Things Authentic
Millennials respond well to authentic content. We spend hours upon hours online each week, and even more on social media. Content is important to us, and so is originality. So next time you create content, keep your brand identity in mind. Also, keep in mind that Millennials will respond best to a casual, colloquial tone.

2. Stay Away From Traditional Advertising
Most Millennials are drawn to the influence of peers or other individuals they see as influential. We are more likely to react well to word-of-mouth marketing than to an ad in the paper, for example. The best thing you can do is make sure people are saying good things about your business- keep your reputation in great condition! In addition, make sure to run updated social media accounts to catch the eye of Millennials.

3. Create Great Content
Millennials tend to be very visual people, since we grew up staring at screens all day. We know what good content looks like, and we are not ashamed to favor businesses or brands with better content. Anything from emails, to Instagram accounts would be a great place to display solid content for your business. Luckily, SLN makes this easy and

4. Do Something New
Instead of hosting the same sales, events, and products year after year- try experimenting with something new. Millennials are interested in trying new things, and taking risks. If you try new things and take risks, chances are, they will support it.

If you want to impress your Millennial customers, try applying these four strategies. After a little practice, you’ll be a pro!

Just like all things in life, your business changes over the course of time. To you, these changes feel natural. But, what about to your customers? Little things such as discontinuing a certain product, or big things like moving locations may take your customers by surprise. It’s best to avoid a frenzy of confusion, and keep your customers in the know. Easier said than done, right? Follow these tips about creating a great business announcement:

Prioritize your Content
If your business is moving in a few months, for instance, you would want your announcement to say something along the lines of “Guess What? We’re Moving!” first and foremost. All the details, logistics, and less important content should follow. Just make sure to start off on the right foot.

Use Your Best Writing Skills
Any piece of content you show your customers is a direct representation of your business. No matter what kind of business you run, you definitely want to use proper grammar, parallel structure, and a tone that suits your business image. You want your customers to remember the content of your announcement, not a spelling error!

Make It Visually Appealing
This way, your announcement will grab people’s attention and they will be more likely to read on. Take the time to experiment with colors and fonts that represent your business, but also appeal to the eye.

Use a Variety of Mediums
If your business has something important to say, then you need to do everything you can to be heard. This means sending the announcement via mail, email, social media platforms, etc. If you are unsure where to begin, start with us. On SLN, we allow you to share your content with just the click of a button.

Just in case none of that made sense, here’s what a great business announcement looks like:

business-name-change-announcement-flyer_58519

Sometimes a formal business announcement is the best way to help customers through a change within your business. Keep them informed, and your business is sure to flourish.

Being the wise, experienced adults that we are, we tend to discount the imaginative, if not impractical visions of the children in our life. But in so many ways, we’re really missing this unfiltered perspective in regards to our careers. Small business owners- I’m here to tell you that kids can open up a world of budding information, which you can apply to your business. Here’s seven business (or life) lessons children instinctively know, but adults have somehow forgotten:

1. Take More Risks
Often when a child makes a decision, they do not factor in the effect of this choice. Because of this, children are prone to risk taking. Why is that important for your small business? Great, otherwise unforeseen opportunities come from risk-taking. Go out of your way to try something new in terms of your business plan, or even just introduce a new product/service.

2. Every Day is a Fresh Start
Just because yesterday didn’t go so well, doesn’t mean today won’t be brilliant. Children naturally grasp this concept, and seem to start everyday with a positive demeanor. Adopt this perspective and the stresses of your small business could decline massively. When it comes to small businesses, one day truly does not define the next. Having a bad day of sales, does not mean you will have a bad year. So, take advantage of every passing day!

3. Creativity Can Open New Doors
Most adults know the importance of encouraging creativity in children. Crafts, cooking, playing games: these are all creative outlets for kids. You should view your business as your creative outlet. Just like kids relish in the satisfaction of problem solving, you should do the same. Brainstorm new ideas on a regular basis to keep your business lively.

4. Be Fearless
When we were young, confidence was like our second language. As we age, however, we lose a good amount of this initial self-assurance. That said, its truly important to possess fearlessness as a small business owner. Be brave when it comes to difficult times, and keep pressing on!

5. Scars are Honorable
When children break their arm or wrist on a playground, they walk through the halls of their school as a champion! Their peers sign their cast in awe, and sometimes even become envious of this battle wound. But, as adults, we learn to hide our struggles and mistakes. As a business owner, remind yourself frequently that your struggles are not something to be ashamed of. Every time you hit a low point, its just another opportunity to say “Hey, I got back up again”.

6. How to Forgive
Children can be upset with a person, then hug them five minutes later like the incident never even happened. Even though it might take a little more focus as an adult, try to act this way towards your customers. If a customer causes you to feel annoyed or upset at one point, don’t hold it against them. The next time they visit your business, act as if the incident never even happened.

7. Love Unconditionally
Earning a child’s affection is usually a breeze, because children love unconditionally. When they’re introduced to a new person, they greet them with a smile and a positive outlook. Take a step into this direction, and treat each customer with this same love. Greet them with a smile and no judgement. Furthermore, love your small business unconditionally, nurture it with the attentiveness of a child, and only benefits can prevail.

Take a moment to reflect and appreciate your kids, or any children in your life. They bring a naive, but unexpectedly wise perspective which we can all learn a thing or two from.

Small business owners encounter customers, staff members, and others on a daily basis. Some days, interacting on a personal level can feel like a chore. Extra energy and attentiveness are required for your profession because your connections with people contribute to your overall success as a business. In addition, business owners must master their listening skills in order to become an effective communicator. So next time you feel discouraged, or catch yourself losing focus during a conversation, remember the following ways that listening better will strengthen your business.

1. Information and Inspiration
It might surprise you how much information you can gain just by listening closely. Customers may inspire you with new ideas or express their needs and suggestions. Moreover, having a discussion with an employee allows you to evaluate their attitude towards your business.

2. Maintaining a Great Reputation
Reputations are an important category for small businesses. Whenever you converse with a customer, you represent your business. So, listening to them completely and willingly will only boost your reputation, and continue to build a lasting relationship with said customer.

3. Conflict Resolution/Reduction
Next time you have a conflict with a customer or employee, make a point of applying your very best listening skills. Make eye contact, focus on the person speaking and fully absorb their concerns. In addition to a more timely resolution, this allows you to make a mental note of the conflict, so you can prevent it from happening again.

4. Driving Sales
This may sound like a stretch, but listening actively can actually lead to higher sales. If you listen to your customer’s needs, you have a better chance of providing a solution for them. Therefore, you have an opportunity to satisfy a customer and make a sale. That’s music to your ears!

Adults spend about 45% of their overall time listening (Adler, R. 2001). Choose to spend that time benefitting your small business a whole!

Did you know that 76% of consumers say they view customer service as the truest test of how much a business values them (2015 Aspect Consumer Experience Survey)? Chances are, your business already employs a few methods to increase customer service. Good customer service requires  a positive attitude, teamwork, and creativity. All of these attributes lead to higher sales. Once in a while, your business should consider treating your customers to a special event or party to drive sales, and also remind your customers how much you appreciate them. Here’s a few pointers:

– Keep your event local. Choose a location close to your business so customers do not have to go out of their way, and the experience feels personal.

– An event could also be hosted inside your business. Invite customers for complementary food and drinks while encouraging them to shop, or offering a special deal along with your event.

– You could also use your event to promote a best-selling or new product. Invite the product’s representative to come to the event and talk to customers!

– For a more sophisticated event, serve appetizers and refreshments, for a more casual gathering, go with a cookout to appeal to a family oriented crowd.

– Whatever event you choose, make sure the event represents your business image. It should reflect your business’s personality and appeal to your target customers.

– Make sure to promote your event using digital marketing, personal reminders, in-store signage, and invitations for your customers. Save Local Now offers email marketing and easy to use deals and promotions templates for your business- perfect for organizing this type of event.

– Do not be afraid to socialize with your customers! Add a face to your business and get to know customers on a deeper level.

– Always remain professional. Even while you’re socializing, it’s important to keep a responsive, appropriate attitude.

Hosting an event to promote your business does not have to be intimidating. So go ahead and plan a fun, casual, and complementary event for your loyal customers. Show them how much you care about them, and they will return the favor!

As a small business, it’s becoming increasingly important to be active on social media. Facebook seems like the most natural form of social media for a typical small business, but what about Instagram? This could be the best way for your business to reach the fingertips of eighteen to thirty four year olds. Along with the email marketing, content marketing and search engine optimization offered by Save Local Now, Instagram is the perfect next step to elevate your business’s image! Take a look at these Do’s and Dont’s to get started on Instagram:

DO
Use Hashtags
Hashtags are a great tool for small businesses. Try making a specific hashtag, using clever wording, or simply your business name, which could become your signature at the end of every post. Aim to gain the attention of your followers with these short, to the point hashtags. Some brands you use or sell in your small business may even have their own brand hashtag which you can include! #brilliant
Show Off New Products
Make your new merchandise look better than ever using filters, and editing tools. It’s crucial to update your followers on what’s new in your small business. That way, they are more likely to come see you in person.
Post Special Deals and Promotions For Followers Only
This is a perfect way to gain new followers on Instagram. Post a photo with a caption mentioning that all new followers get 10% off their first purchase at your business, or $5 off if they come in that day. When you limit the deal to only followers, customers are more likely to take the time to follow you.
Update Followers on Sales and Events
Do you have an event planned for next month, or even next week? Let your followers know by updating your instagram account. In the Bio of your account, you should include the address of your business, along with any upcoming event dates.
Be Interactive
If a customer or follower leaves a comment on your photo, make sure to respond to them in a timely manner. This way, you represent the attentiveness of your business, even through social media.
Set A Location on Your Photos
Make sure to enable location on your device, then set a location on all of your photos, notifying your followers where the picture was taken. This is another way to create buzz around your small business.
Get Creative With Posts
Use filters on your Instagram photos, or edit them using apps such as Rhonna or Afterlight. These apps allow you to add words over your photos-a perfect way to advertise a sale or upcoming event! Instagram also includes Layout, which acts as a collage of photos.

DON’T
Post Low-Quality or Blurry Photos
Think of all your social media accounts as a representation of your business’s image. The quality of the photos you post should reflect the quality of the products you create or sell.
Use an Overwhelming Number of Hashtags
Yes, hashtags are a great tool; but a little goes a long way. Stick to 3-5 hashtags per photo, as to not cause disinterest in your followers.
Make Your Username Too Complex
Refrain from using extra numbers or words in your instagram username. Use the name of your business as your username so followers, who are your potential customers, can avoid confusion. If the name of your business is already taken, come up with a simple, creative solution. Example: if Main Street Coffee is your business, try using MainStCoffee.
Use Boring Captions
Your captions are a way to entice your followers to come visit your business. Make sure they represent your business in the best possible way.
Forget to Attach a Link to Your Website!
Make sure you have your website and SLN webpage as links in your Instagram Bio. This makes shopping easy for followers, and draws attention to your small business.

For many small towns, June and July are the peak of tourist season. It can be overwhelmingly busy for local businesses who have limited space and time, but want maximum sales. The following are some strategies to help YOUR local business grow during these busy summer months:

1. Use or Sell Local Products
If you are a restaurant, this could mean using locally grown vegetables and fruits. If you are a gift shop, offer products created by local artists, or merchandise unique to your community.

2. Reach out to your Chamber of Commerce
Coordinate with the Chamber and other small businesses to use Save Local Now as a marketing platform, supporting local shopping!

3. Make it Easy for Tourists to Shop Again
Make sure you have a user-friendly, updated website, where customers who live out of town can visit to make purchases from afar.

4. Participate in Local Fairs or Events
Set up a booth and get involved! This is a way to grab the attention of tourists who could become new customers.

5. Remind Tourists Why Your Business is Worth Returning to
Email marketing and Search Engine Optimization are key components to grabbing the attention of long-distance customers. Along with these tactics, social media is a smart way to stay in contact with tourists. Keeping active accounts on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook can only increase business. Lastly, Save Local Now allows you to create enticing deals and promotions, while pushing out your information, which keeps customers returning again and again.

So don’t shy away from June and July. Embrace tourist season and make the most of it. You will meet new people who can become customers all year long!

Social media has become somewhat of a necessity for all businesses. When it comes to companies that provide services, social media is a must. Why is this? Social media is the easiest (and cheapest) way to generate buzz about your brand. It is critical for service based businesses to create posts and share them to engage followers and create separation from other similar service providers. Need some inspiration for your next post? Check out these popular ideas from other Save Local Now activity based businesses:

  • Special Discounts – Veteran discounts, teacher discounts
  • Promote your Special Events – If you’re hosting an information session about your services, invite people via social media
  • New Services – Let your followers know when you offer something new
  • Social Media Exclusive Offers – Get 10% off your next service if you like us or $5 Off if you RT #savings
  • Establish Yourself as the “Expert” – create posts about financial strategies, the best way to wash your car or how to lower your insurance premiums

Save Local Now provides an easy-to-use digital marketing platform that allows you create and share your own posts to Facebook, Twitter and Google+. Login to your SLN account now to start sharing!