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Small Business News for GSB

GrowSmartBiz small business updates for the month of 03.2013


5 Key Digital Trends That Matter to Your Business

By Rieva Lesonsky How will smartphones, tablets, social media and other digital trends affect the way you interact with your customers, market your business to consumers and sell your products and services in the coming year? comScore's new 2013 U.S. Digital Future in Focus report took a closer look at what trends will influence business in 2013 and beyond.

6 Tips for Building Your Personal Brand

Whether you're a small business owner, blogger, or employee at a large company, your personal brand is the most important thing you have. It's a combination of your personality, skills, experience, knowledge, and network - and most importantly, how you are perceived by others.

7 Ways to Make Cold Emailing Work For You

I have a confession to make: I have always been outgoing and perfectly comfortable talking to total strangers. I have walked right up to famous people I wanted to meet (mostly pro snowboarders and startup founders whose companies have gone big-time) and introduced myself.

8 Ways to Use SlideShare for Content Marketing

Let me just preface this blog post by saying that SlideShare is owned by LinkedIn. That should already give you a clue as to why you should use SlideShare, especially based on my previous blog post about using LinkedIn to grow your business. But let me back up a sec.

A 5-Step LinkedIn Marketing Strategy to Grow Your Business

If you've been thinking about increasing your use of LinkedIn to boost visibility, find new leads, and snag more business, this post is for you. I've written about LinkedIn before, but it's changed since then - LinkedIn Answers is gone and the layout now resembles Facebook in that you can like, comment on, or share updates from your network.

America's Stressed Out. Here's How You Can Help (and Profit)

By Rieva Lesonsky When you think of "stressed-out" consumers, do you picture a frazzled CEO rushing from meeting to meeting while answering emails on one smartphone and holding a conversation on another?

Are You Marketing to Hispanic Men?

By Rieva Lesonsky You know that Hispanics are a huge, and growing, market in the United States-but did you know that your business might be missing out on profits if you aren't targeting an unexpected group of Hispanic customers? I'm talking about Hispanic men.

Casual-Dining Trend Means Challenges and Opportunities for Restaurant Owners

By Karen Axelton For America's restaurant owners, the casual dining segment has been a hot market for the past several years, helping restaurants get over the difficulties posed by the economic downturn. But what does the future hold for casual dining?

Does Your Retail Business Need a Mobile App?

By Rieva Lesonsky Does your small business need a mobile app? If you're a retailer or etailer, maybe so. A new study from Flurry measured the time consumers spent using more than 1,800 iOS and Android shopping apps between December 2011 and December 2012.

Economy Positive, But Consumers' Outlook Still Negative

By Maria Valdez Haubrich. America's economy is growing again. Does that mean you can go back to marketing to your target customers the way you did before the Great Recession hit? Not so fast.

Event Marketing for Small Businesses Part 1: Getting Started

So much of our life is now digital, conducted online and not with people. Many of us small business owners also work from home with limited-to-no regular, in-person contact with our clients - and that's where event marketing comes into play.

Event Marketing for Small Businesses Part 2: Planning and Promoting Your Event

Event marketing is not for just big companies with large staffs. Small businesses can host or participate in events, too - just on a smaller, more intimate scale. In my previous post in this series, I talked about why and how to do event marketing.

Event Marketing for Small Businesses Part 3: During and After Your Event

If you've been following this series on event marketing for small businesses, you've seen in the first two posts that planning a small event like a seminar, roundtable, or breakfast, lunch, or dinner isn't really that hard - but it is a great way to grow your business and build relationships.

Facebook Says: These Are the Brand Strategies That Increase Engagement

When I saw the email from Hootsuite for their HootSuite University presentation, Facebook Brand Pages: Rules of Engagement with Jason Li, Lead Strategist with Global Creative Solutions at Facebook, I thought, "This could be all about how to spend your money advertising on Facebook, or how to really use Facebook from the company that makes it."

How Can You Get Affluent Consumers to Spend?

Unity Marketing's latest Luxury Consumption Index, which measures the spending plans of affluent Americans, shows that after a surge of optimism in October leading up to the November 2012 election, wealthy consumers are getting cautious again. The LCI lost 19.4 points in January-its second biggest loss since the first quarter of 2008.

How to Reach Niche Markets on Social Media

If your small business is targeting niche markets such as specific minority groups, age groups or other demographics, it's important to know what social media tools these individuals are likely to use. New research from the Pew Research Center's Internet & American Life Project examined what social media networks are most popular with different user groups.

How to Turn Difficult Customers Into Marketing Success Stories

When you run your own small business, you will inevitably work with a difficult customer (believe me, I have!). Difficult customers come in all shapes and sizes, whether they are perpetually grumpy and hard to please or come to the table with unrealistic expectations - and expect you to figure everything out for them.

It's All in a Name: How to Start Your Business with the Best Possible Domain

This guest post was written by Lori Anne Wardi, Vice President of .CO Internet. You can follow the company on Twitter at @dotco. Let's face it: Finding the right domain name for your small business or start-up isn't easy. While definitely a challenge, there's no need for you to fall victim to a bad name for your company.

Meet the Mobile Super-Shoppers

By Rieva Lesonsky Is your small business reaching out to Hispanic consumers on their mobile devices? If not, you're missing out on a big opportunity. New research reported by eMarketer shows that Hispanic consumers are not only far more likely than non-Hispanics to use mobile devices, but are also far more likely to use them to shop.

Restaurant Owners Are Bullish on Their Industry

Restaurant owners are feeling optimistic heading into the spring and summer seasons, and The National Restaurant Association's latest Restaurant Performance Outlook reflects that enthusiasm, reaching a five-month high in the latest survey in January. Restaurateurs' outlook for same-store sales, capital spending and the economy as a whole all improved in January.

Retailers Play Wait-and-See Game With Mobile Payments

Has your small business already adopted a mobile payment processing option such as Square? Are you scared about the technology issues mobile payments present? Or are you eagerly waiting to see what kinds of mobile payments your customers demand? If your answer is "all of the above," you fit right in with the predominant attitudes in the retail industry.

SBA Proposes Changes to 2 Small Business Loan Programs

March 14th, 2013 :: Karen Axelton By Karen Axelton Are you seeking financing for your small business? Then you may be happy to know that the SBA is proposing changes to two of its popular small business loans that would result in streamlined paperwork and easier access to capital for small businesses.

Target Market: How to Reach African-American Consumers

By Rieva Lesonsky With Black History Month just behind us, multicultural marketing agency Ameredia took a look at the buying power of the African-American consumer in America. Here are some of the interesting statistics they cite regarding the power of black consumers. The total African American population is 42.6 million, or 14,468,417 households.

The Anatomy of an Effective B2B Landing Page

One of the best ways to generate leads via your website is with landing pages. Landing pages are hidden pages (i.e., they're not accessible via your site's menu) that allow a visitor to download or access content - a demo, ebook, whitepaper, etc. - after they fill out a short form.

What Are Small Businesses Spending On, and How Does Your Spending Measure Up?

By Maria Valdez Haubrich How do your small business's spending habits stack up against those of other entrepreneurs nationwide? PEX Card's first SMB (Small and Midsized Businesses) Benchmark Expense Survey, conducted in December, has some good and bad news about small business expenses.