Tag Archive : success

Have you heard the idea that your thoughts become the words you speak? Then those words become beliefs, then actions, habits, character and ultimately, your destiny?

It’s true.

And as society exclaims that small business is local, you stand alongside, beaming with pride.

Unfortunately, your belief manifests into your actions of remaining local, and in doing so, you place limitations on your success. Yes, you may be successful — but only to the few thousand people in your local neighborhood.

The world-view model of location, location, location doesn’t exist anymore for small businesses. You used to be constrained by geography, building relationships with your neighbors, friends and co-workers in anticipation of the limited amount of revenue you’d receive for your products or services month after month.

As the Internet exploded, you realized there was less traffic to your store, less demand for your services and less profit to take home. The global marketplace brought new plumbers to your neighbors, computers direct to their doors and ready-to-eat meals to their kitchen tables.

The world of small business shifted from local to personal in the blink of an eye.

Markets have expanded, and the opportunity to challenge yourself and release the shackles of being “local” is within reach, yet too many entrepreneurs are constrained by a choice to remain local.

You’re an entrepreneur. You’re out to create something great. But, you must choose to change your mindset and shift from local to personal.

The small-business advantage:

As a small business owner, you have many advantages over large corporations in your ability to be agile, make quick decisions and pivot. You’re not constrained by the bureaucracy that plagues larger corporations. You can review the data, make inferences on the trends and shift directions when you choose to do so.

You also have the distinct ability to build close relationships with your customers. Your customers are people that you care about and often know by name. They know they’re not a number to you because you work diligently to provide the high level of quality and customer service that they’ve come to expect from you.

It’s your ability to make personal connections that set you apart from your behemoth counterparts. Like 72 percent of small businesses, you use customer referrals as a way to generate new business offline. You personally follow up with customers to the best of your ability with phone calls, direct mail or emails.

Technology changes the game

If you’re like most small businesses, you don’t have the labor resources that many large companies have. You’re often limited by the number of hours that you’re physically present to answer questions, close the sale and do the work. You know that in order to grow, you’ need to remove the constraints on your time with either labor resources or technology advancements.

The ability to scale efficiencies in your business used to be unheard of. A few short years ago, you managed your accounting using a written weekly bookkeeping record or perhaps you hired a CPA to take care of it for you and waited for their response to your inquires about the financial health of your business. Now, you can have instant access to your books 24/7 and can assess the financial health of your business in a matter of seconds.

Your ability to reach, acquire and nurture new customers has greatly improved as well. Through personalized automated follow up, you can send a response that’s based on your customer’s actions. When customers click an offer in your email, you can follow up with a series of emails that drives them closer and closer to purchase. You can close deals and sell products to anyone, anywhere, anytime without physically being present. You have the power to scale and achieve efficiencies like never before, if you choose that path.

Why small-business success matters

Technology allows you to take your personalized approach and scale it to the masses. You can reach more people than you ever could before. You can impact more lives with what you have to offer, but you have to find the solutions that enable you to shift from local to personal. By taking advantage of technology, you can expand your market outside of your local community and increase your chances of success.

Small-business success matters because it will change the trajectory of the middle class. When small businesses are successful, everyone wins. You win because your confidence grows, you’re providing for your family and living your dream. Your family benefits because you’re positive, present and involved. The local community benefits from more jobs, revenue and philanthropy.

Of course, you can still have a business relationship with the guy down the street. Just don’t limit yourself. Success has no boundaries or geographical limitations. It’s only limited by the constraints that you place upon it.

Original Article Posted by Clate Mask, Co-founder and CEO of Infusionsoft: http://entm.ag/1OeDjDG

What is branding? To some, it is the visual identity a company presents to the public, to others it is a business’ overall reputation. More often than not though, branding is a misunderstood field, often generalized and simplified by many. Because of its ever-changing nature, and our inability to concretely measure its success like we do with sales, market share, stock price, etc., branding is often viewed as an insubstantial add-on. Truthfully though, neglecting a brand is not only naïve but also shortsighted for any company, big or small.

When managed properly, a company’s brand can be their most valuable asset. Of all the things a business owns, its brand is one of the few items that will never depreciate. Rarely do companies intentionally manage their brands as the valuable resource that they are. Effective branding improves the visibility of and respect for a product, service, or company. It draws attention and can drive sales. It can also enhance margins, as customers are far more willing to pay more for a product or service from a company that they know and trust.

It is also important to remember that anything done or not done within an organization effects how the brand is perceived.  Company leaders who ignore this are doomed to fail. A company’s brand is not just their logo or mission statement. Branding includes everything from how a PR department deals with customer complaints to how a company is being represented on social media. A business’ brand needs to stand for something and give the customers something to believe in.  It must be presented with clarity, consistency and continuity. With the explosion in digital technology, mobile and social media companies now have the opportunity for a closer, more intimate relationship with consumers.  This increased connection between businesses and their consumers demands a stronger more consistent brand identify.

Here are 5 quick tips for how to better your brand:

1.     First off, build a brand you’re passionate about. Your enthusiasm will shine through all of your branding efforts and will get your customers excited about your product.

2.     Define your brand, and become an expert. Take the time to determine exactly what your company is and what makes it unique. Whether you are looking to gain media attention, attract new clients or build your business, you should focus your efforts on becoming an expert in your field.  Keep it relevant to the goals you want to achieve.

3.     Incorporate a philanthropic component. People are drawn to companies that have a strong sense of corporate responsibility. Building a reputation and status with the community will help establish your company as a trustworthy and compassionate business.

4.     Establish an online presence. Social media, online networking opportunities, and web-based marketing are vital when it comes to establishing your brand. Like previously stated, the increasing importance of digital technology, mobile, and social media give companies the opportunity to establish real and personal relationships with consumers. Businesses not using online resources to engage with its customers are throwing away a valuable opportunity to further establish their brand.

5.     Remember the 3 Cs of branding. Clarity, consistency, constancy. You need to establish a solid foundation for your brand that is easy to understand, consistent with your goals, and use it whenever possible. By doing this your customers will develop a sense of understanding and trust for your brand.

Here are 3, simple, kick-butt tips that will help grow your business, bring in more customers, and make YOU money. Be sure to log into your $LN account and put these great tips to use!

  1. Download the app: You’re business is already on it, so download the app (iPhone or Android) and see what the buzz is all about!
  2. Choose a $LN Ninja: Choose someone to be in charge of posting deals and events! You don’t need to hire anyone, either you or one of your current employees can be in charge of keeping your business on $LN current.  Click Here to view the $LN ninja plan of attack. Hay-ya!
  3. Educate & Engage your employees: Save Local Now will bring customers to your door, so it’s important that your employees understand how $LN works, and even more important you get them excited about it.  Make sure every employee has the $LN app downloaded on their smart phones and that they use it! Not only will they stay informed about your business, but they will also save some bucks at other chamber businesses. Be sure to ask them for feedback on deals, promotions and events. Employees are the best source of customer feedback and inspiration, so ask them what customers may want to see from you. Who knows? One lucky employee may just become your $LN ninja..

That’s it, that’s all it takes to reap some of the great benefits of $LN’s free platform. If you want even more tips, tricks, and help. Check back with us here at the blog for business articles and $LN advice on how to best market yourself locally!

Is it just us, or do unlimited options take the ease out of decision-making? When you were little and your teacher said, “Draw whatever you want,” nobody could decide what to draw! Sometimes, for a business owner, creating a deal with limitless options is a lot harder than it should be.

Here are few tips on how to create the best deal for both your business and your customers’ needs.

1) Find out what people want.

Ask your employees, ask your friends and family, and definitely ask your customers. Answers will vary but you will get an idea of what people want. A few important questions might be: “What items/services would you like to see discounted?” “What would you buy more of if it was offered as buy-2-get-1-free?” “What item/service are you most likely to tell a friend about?”

2) Use what’s available.

Check your books on what items are overstocked or what services would be easy to discount. Offering a deal is only beneficial to you if it is easy to make a profit. You don’t want to offer a discount and lose money!

3) Consider these options or get creative.

There are so many popular kinds of deals these days.  Consider what is right for your business and your customers. Here are a few suggestions:

  • Exclusive deals to $LN: Encourage downloads and shopping local by creating a deal only for those who have the app or printed the deal from savelocalnow.com! read more here
  • One-day flash sales: These work best with a quick email early in the day to tell people what will be discounted for that day only. Make sure you have enough supply to make the offer.
  • Social media sharing: Offer something to people who can show that they have shared your business or deal with at least 3 friends! This can last any amount of time and is best for businesses that have a page set up on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and other social media sites.
  • Business to business deal: Encourage other local business owners or employees to stop in!
  • Deal bundling: Offer a discount as long as something else is purchased. This works well with introducing a new product or service and can even be done as a co-deal between multiple businesses. see here

The possibilities are endless. With Save Local Now, you can test different options and track them on your statistics page to see which are most popular with customers.

Hopefully this helps inspire creativity! Remember to check back for more ideas, and don’t forget to use “Contact Us” if you have questions or want to share your success. We’d love to hear from you!

The Greater Belleville Chamber of Commerce in Belleville Illinois has shared some fantastic news with us! After launching in early February this year they added 7 new members to the chamber in the first 2 weeks after launching!

Wow! First we’d like to say a big

HELPING LOCAL CHAMBERS OF COMMERCE GROW IS WHAT WE’RE ALL ABOUT and so we’re thrilled to hear about your success!

Wendy Pfeil, Belleville’s membership director, has been working with her Save Local Now account manager to get both new and existing members excited about the value $LN provides member businesses. Immediately after launching Wendy set up several training sessions with current members. “I am excited to see how welcoming our Chamber members are to this new app.”

Wendy also said she was using the $LN as a tool to garnish new membership. “We are working on a campaign with our local paper to push $LN out to the Belleville Community.” Great idea! The more people (both businesses and consumers) know about the suite of products offered by Save Local Now, the more people will be using it. We are only successful when the chamber is successful and the whole community grows and thrives! Let’s grow local from the inside out!!

 

Like your favorite Ninja weapon, Save Local Now™ will help you slice and dice your way through the competition.  But like any weapon, it’s only as good as the Ninja using it.  Lucky for you, 5 minutes per day is about all it takes to keep Save Local Now™ sharp.  Here’s what to do:

$LN Ninja plan of attack:

1.  Choose your $LN Ninja – You do not need to hire anyone.  We repeat.  You do not need to hire anyone.  You just need to identify the $LN Ninja on your team.  Who knows?  It may even be you.

 

2.  Login – Bookmark this page and login to Save Local Now™ every day with your unique username and password.

 

3.  Update – It’s pretty important that customers (and potential customers) can find the most current information about your business on $LN.  Be sure to update your business hours, logo, categories, keywords and custom button.

 

4.  Create – Create as many deals and events as you like.  It’s FREE, UNLIMITED and IMMEDIATE.  Business slow? Post a great deal and share it to attract customers.  Planning a sale?  Schedule it on $LN and tell your customers about it.  Have a weekly promotion?  Remind customers everyday on $LN.  What’s the worst that can happen?  A deal doesn’t work…well…create a better one.  A deal works too well?  Well, that’s not really a problem…is it?

 

5.  Share – Share new deals and events immediately and often.  It takes just one click to promote your business through Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and email.  Ever see that movie “The Butterfly Effect?”  Social Media is kind of like that, but in a good way for your business. People that find you on $LN can share with people that didn’t = More potential customers that know about you.

 

6.  Track – $LN gives you simple, accurate real time “stats” that you can actually use.  Check your stats daily to see how many people have clicked on your business, your deals, events, or shared your stuff on Facebook, twitter, etc.

 

7.  Learn – Check out our blog here for more great ideas. We are constantly posting valuable content that you can use, including promotional ideas, strategies and tactics to help you attract more customers.

Your $LN Ninja Training is complete.  Hay Ya!

Save Local Now™ will bring customers to your door, so it’s important that your employees understand how $LN works.  To assist you, our team of experts developed this very detailed, highly sophisticated 3 step training regimen.  Please read carefully, understand each step and then tell your employees to:

1.  Download the $LN App and use it!  Not only will they keep informed about your business, but they will also save some bucks at other chamber businesses.

 

2.  Share your deals and events with their friends/family/sworn enemies….you get the point.  Encourage them to do it every time you post a new deal or event, so the word gets out immediately.

 

3.  Ask for feedback on deals, promotions and events.  Employees are the best source of customer feedback, so ask them what customers may want to see from you.  Who knows?  One lucky employee just may be your $LN Ninja.

Whew…that was intense!