Tag Archive : customers

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:

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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.

Holiday gifts hold more meaning and value when you shop local and support small businesses. Every dollar you spend at a local spot filters back into the community by creating jobs, boosting the area’s economy and supporting the region’s talent.

Where we spend our money matters to the community, and there are so many ways to buy local. Grab a coffee at the independent café. Stop for a sandwich at the corner deli. Peruse local boutiques for something to wear to a holiday party. Find interesting gifts at shops run by people who live in the community. Dine out at a neighborhood restaurant.

Small businesses are a thriving, growing sector in our economy. They improve our neighborhoods and change our lives for the better. Here are seven reasons to shop local this holiday season.

Feed the local economy. When you shop local, the dollars spent at small businesses filter directly back into the community. The food, drinks, supplies, clothing, gifts and more you buy are taxed—and that tax income is confined to the area. Tax dollars support improvements in infrastructure, schools, parks, safety and more. So that gift you buy at your local shop is one powerful way to make important positive changes in your neighborhood. And every dollar counts.

Support our ‘makers.’ Entrepreneurs have a dream, and you’re supporting it by shopping at their places of business. The creative seamstress who opened a clothing shop—the home baker who went out on a limb and started a patisserie: These brave, hard-working individuals are making their dreams reality. Let’s patronize their businesses so they can thrive. Shop local, support our makers and their dreams. (After all, they’re supporting our communities.)

Find unique gifts for hard-to-shop-for relatives. You never know what to buy for your uncle. Your sister’s closet is already full of clothes you see at typical retailers. Let’s face it, some relatives are very difficult to shop for. Small businesses offer items you won’t find in the Big Boxes or run-of-the-mill national retailers. Some shops feature hand-crafted items or one-of-a-kinds. Isn’t it fun when you find a special gift that elicits an enthusiastic “Where did you get that?!” Explore area shops and wrap up something different this year.

Local shops create local jobs. Local businesses hire area talent. They need staff to keep their doors open. They need workers with an array of skills. Small business owners hire people from our own neighborhoods, people like us. When we keep local shops in business, we secure local jobs, which means improving the regional economy and boosting the community’s tax base. The goodness goes round and round.

Boost real estate values. You know that abandoned storefront? Remember that tired, old building? When local shops take up residence in our neighborhoods, they not only improve infrastructure by creating unique, interesting places to visit—they attract the visitors. More people shop, spend, enjoy and return for more fun. Everyone in the community benefits when local shops are successful.

Support local causes. Small businesses are tireless community champions. They sponsor our Little League teams and support school fundraisers. They volunteer time and talent to community causes. They pay taxes that improve the schools and local services. Our small businesses are true friends and thoughtful citizens, and they’re constantly giving back to our cities. By patronizing their shops, we help them continue to thrive so they can continue being good stewards.

Get to know the locals. Shopping is more personal when you get to know the owner. By frequenting local businesses, we build relationships with interesting people who are serving our communities by providing places to eat, drink, dine, shop and buy goods of all kinds.

 

Original article here.

As a small business, it’s important to choose a marketing channel that offers the best results with the most prudent resources. Nowadays, more small businesses prefer social media marketing to other marketing channels, to help increase their brand’s reach, increase sales, and expand their professional network.

In order to know how social media can help promote your business while saving you valuable time and resources, we’ve compiled six tips on social media marketing for small businesses.

Tip #1: Use social media marketing to sell your products and services

Before major social media networks made the foray into e-commerce, the selling relationship for businesses looked like this: listen, help solve problems, and make the sale. With the rise of social selling, the opportunity to connect with potential customers during the research phase got much easier with social media engagement tactics.

Tip #2: Large networks like Twitter can improve your customer relationships

With 72% of people more likely to make a future purchase from a small business after they interact with them on Twitter, there’s no reason for companies not to be on Twitter. The key to finding success on social media is to be on the social network your customers are on—and with over 200 million active users, there’s a high chance many of your customers are on Twitter. Twitter can help your business build relationships with customers, and connect you with the businesses and communities you are interested in.

Tip #3: Social media marketing can drastically increase your reach

Social media advertising has made it possible for companies to increase their reach through targeted ads and sponsored messaging. Social media marketing provides businesses with an opportunity to reach customers across the world—as opposed to a more traditional advertising medium such as a billboard, which is only visible to people on a particular route in a single city.

Tip #4: A LinkedIn business page can expand your professional network

One of the most important social networks, where all businesses, big or small, should have a presence, is LinkedIn. LinkedIn allows businesses to provide authenticity and credibility of their brand through a business page that houses information covering the bases of who, what, and where of your business. It also allows small businesses to be in a space where professionals, potential investors, and customers are.

Tip #5: Facebook Page can improve your business’s customer support

Providing customer support can be expensive and time-consuming. But, with social media networks like Facebook, you are provided with an outlet to effectively solve customer problems. With the availability to post on your Facebook wall or send private messages, customers can connect directly to companies if and when they have a problem or feedback.

Tip #6: Use your social media presence to manage your brand’s online reputation

Trust is an important element in obtaining customer loyalty, and one of the best ways to gain this trust is giving people easy online access to information about your company. Neglecting your social media presence is one way of losing the opportunity to gain new customers or nurture current relationships. Gain the trust of your current and potential customers by creating social media profiles like a LinkedIn company page, Facebook business Page, Twitter profile, or an Instagram account. This puts a voice (and a face) to your company, which will give people more incentive to trust your brand.

 

Original article posted here.

As a small business owner, email marketing is 100% essential. Often times you’ll get sucked into a purchasing a program that leaves you wondering how to write HTML code. Wouldn’t it be great if there was an EASY and FREE email marketing platform? Well, thankfully, there is! Here are the top 6 reasons why your small business should be using email marketing (even if it’s not Save Local Now’s).

  1. Email Marketing is Affordable

With Save Local Now, it’s actually free. We understand small business and we know that things are tight. One thing we often cut is our marketing budget; now, you won’t need to.

  1. Email Marketing is Easy

You could get all fancy with email and make it into something complicated. With SLN, you don’t have to. Create a business promotion on your SLN platform and publish it. From there, it’s as simple as clicking on that little email icon and pushing it out to your personal distribution lists. Get creative and separate your lists; your messaging for new customers and repeat customers should be engaging and – most importantly – different.

  1. Email Marketing is Quick

With SLN, you can share a published post to your email list in a matter of minutes. Our email platform does the work for you, bringing in your image and copy so you don’t have to. We’ve also integrated Google Maps into our responsive template (just to make it THAT much easier for consumers to find you).

  1. Email Marketing Delivers Retention 

You’re focused on improving customer experience and retention. Stats prove that email marketing is still the #1 way to do this. Make sure that when you’re sending out an email, you have something purposeful to say. Educate and reward the customers who open your emails every week.

  1. Customers Want Email Marketing 

Even in today’s fast paced world, email is still the preferred communication channel for consumers. With the hundreds of thousands of emails sent out every day, what will make yours different? Be creative, engaging, and honest. If they care about your brand (your product, your service, your staff) then they will open your email. Make sure they continue to.

  1. Email Marketing and ROI

Email marketing delivers revenue. This revenue stems from sharing a message with your following and encouraging them to take action. Blindly sending emails to your distribution list won’t get you anywhere. Know your customers, watch their patterns, educate and reward them. Remember: you are a customer, as well. What email marketing messages stand out to you? What have you responded well to? Don’t be afraid to integrate what’s working for others into your marketing agenda.

While using social media is a no-brainer for most people looking to promote their small businesses, few understand how to use it correctly.  There is an art to posting, tweeting, and pinning that will attract new customers while ensuring loyalty to old ones.

#1  First and foremost, social media is not a blank billboard for your business to advertise on!  If you follow a business of any kind on social media, you can attest to the irritation you feel when ads start filling the news feed. Use this platform as a way to send out information about your business or promote special deals and events.  Loyal customers will be drawn to well-timed, thoughtful posts and will share it with friends.  New customers will be drawn to the special offers and ideally become regular followers.

#2  Secondly, use social media tools to let your expertise shine.  Let people see what makes your business special!  Use the visual side of social media to display new products, videos, and testimonials. If you own a hair salon, post hair style demonstration videos on YouTube and Facebook.  If you own a bakery looking for more wedding business, pin pictures of your recent creations along with special promotions for wedding cakes and desserts.  Social media really is simple if you analyze a goal and the best way to reach it.

#3  Lastly, social media is a two-way street.  Don’t let the opportunity to interact with customers pass you by!  The beautiful thing about these sites is the ability for users to leave comments and feedback.  It’s a wonderful chance for you to improve your business.  They will let you know what they like and don’t like (so be prepared for criticism).  They will tell you what deals you should repeat and which products you should order more of.  Make sure you are responding to posts and comments so customers feel they’ve been heard.  Your business will appear more personal, and that’s how you build relationships with your customers!

Using social media effectively will do wonders for your small business.  It’s a cost effective way to promote and reach new customers.  Loyal customers will appreciate updates from your company and the chance to interact with you too.  Remember, don’t try to do everything.  Be an expert in your field.  Keep it small, and use the tools to your advantage!

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The holidays are great for a lot of businesses. As people make their lists, and check them twice, errands get run, gifts get purchased, and restaurants become holly and jolly. One of the problems though is once the holidays are over, the businesses can be left a little less merry and bright…

Not to worry! I have some great tips for businesses of all kinds to keep their holiday hustle and bustle well into the new year!

1. Network with other businesses

The holidays are a perfect time to get out and mingle with your fellow businesses. Support other local businesses by attending their holiday parties and events and while your there, strategize about the upcoming year! Here are a few great topics to discuss

      • Ask them if they have promoting the Save Local Now platform to help the community.
      • See if they would be willing to do a little deal bundling in January to keep customers coming in.
      • Invite them to your own holiday parties.
      • Ask them if they would mind combining email lists with you.

Follow each other on social media platforms.

2. Get to know your customers

Aside from the typical sales pitch, the holidays offer a great time to ask customers more personal questions without being too nosy. Ask them what their plans are for this special season and share some traditions of your own! You can then ask them if you might put together a custom gift package for them, or if they’d like to sign up for emails. Whether you are a retail store, a dry cleaner, or a dentist, customers will always remember a good conversation, and hopefully come back for more.

3. Hint at future savings.

A lot of people unfortunately do not always shop local on black friday and cyber monday. So why not save the blow out sales for January or February? This is especially beneficial for anyone in the service industry that offers things that might have been neglected during the holiday rush, such as an automobile repair shop. Set up events or deals on Save Local Now ahead of time so you can share them through social media and emails. Remind customers once now and again after the new year.

4. Take advantage of any slow times.

If you are finding yourself with too much free time on your hands, why not use it while you’ve got it! Here’s some things you can do:

  • Poll your employees for new creative ideas you could try in the new year
  • Schedule deals and events on your Save Local Now platform for future publication.
  • Clean up your files, update your email lists, or even re-brand yourself!
  • Rearrange the space! Nothing makes customers take a new look at you like rearranging things.
  • Set goals and “resolutions” for the new year.

5. Spend time with family and friends!

I know, this has nothing to do with your business, but it’s important! And who knows it could lead to inspiration for your business as well. After all, I bet your 17 year old niece has a few words of wisdom for your company Facebook page, and your grandmother might have a great new recipe for the winter menu! If not, it’s still worth it.

Happy Holidays all!

 

 

The madness of Black Friday may be over but there are still many consumers running around getting last minute Christmas gifts. Here are some tips to help spread holiday cheer and get more shoppers this year.

1. Decorate the store and show how festive you are!

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2. Put together a holiday gift baskets for shoppers to buy

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3. Crank up that Christmas music and get people in the holiday spirit!

4. Offer gift wrapping with purchase

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5. Offer small stocking stuffer items
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6. Decorate your businesses Christmas tree
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7. Plan a fun holiday Event and upload it on $LN
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8. Don’t forget to smile!
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9. Post a Christmas Deal on $LN to get them excited!
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10. And of course, wish all your amazing loyal customers a Merry Christmas!
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The holiday season is among us! I know, hard to believe right? So, how are you going to get crowds to deck the halls at your business this year? Don’t worry if you don’t have an answer to that just yet, we’ve got a few tips to help you out!

Host an Event

Hosting events is a great way to promote yourself and get people going through the door. Think about it, are you more likely to go to a mall with smelly food courts and pretentious stores or, go to that really cute store around the corner that’s hosting an event that gives you free cupcakes with purchase? I vote cupcake. If your feeling really creative, get that local cupcake store to work with you. Cross promotion is the best way to get the local community involved and it’s a win win for both of you! Be creative and festive also by hanging up decorations and playing seasonal music to get people in the holiday spirit. You can also take to social media. Hold Facebook competitions where winners receive prizes that encourage them to come to the store. You’ll not only build your following, but you’ll also get more shoppers in your store.

Sell Small

Everyone’s looking for a great way to save. Selling products that make good gifts makes everyone happy. Put together a small gift package like roll on perfumes, travel sized hair products, lotions, and packets of tea and voila you’ve got a great product you’re customers will love and appreciate. These items can be marketed as great stocking stuffer too! It’s also a great way to get shoppers to sample your products as well, which will encourage them to come back again and again which brings us to our final tip…

Encourage Loyal Customers

Everyone wants to feel like they matter, and you should be treating your loyal customers like VIP. These loyalty programs can be super effective during the holiday season. It can be as simple as sending them a holiday card or giving them a free ornament with purchase. These little things mean a lot to the customer and makes them feel like they get something special when they shop with you. Your employees also deserve a little appreciation. Host a Christmas party or have an employee appreciation night and allow them to bring their friends. Show them how grateful you are for their hard work and maybe they’ll be encouraged to work even harder.

Of course we’ll always be here to provide more ideas but these quick tips should help get you started! What are you waiting for? GO!

We all love to share our photos whether it be a meal you just ate or your dog in a funny hat, we can’t get enough of sharing images with our friends. There might be more to the photo sharing than just dogs and hats though. Instagram, the leading social network for photo sharing, is also a creative and inexpensive way for businesses to attract new customers. I’m not just talking about the small clothing boutiques either. You can be a law firm, a bank, or a construction company or anything really. Instagram is great for personalizing your business and allowing your “followers” to connect with you on a more human level, and the more personality you can give to your business the better. Even us here at $LN enjoy using instagram to share a few precious moments (you can follow us at @savelocalnow).

This article shows how companies that don’t have visual products are able to integrate themselves into instagram.

Showing your customers a more personal side of your business can help build loyalty and it’s a cheap way to advertize!

Here’s some helpful hints to get you started:

  • The best times to share are Thursdays between 1 and 4 (that’s when most people don’t feel like working anymore).
  • Create #hashtags on subjects that are current and relevant to your business
  • Follow people who influence your business, and follow your favorite customers!
  • Show both office/business related things as well as giving it a personal flair. Allow your followers to get to know your staff through photos!

Want more? Check out this article for even more great tips for business accounts on instagram

So what are waiting for? Start instagramming today!