During tax season, communicating with your accountant just happens naturally.
After all, everyone has questions about what forms to submit, what deductions they can claim, and what hours the office will be open and available to help.
But what happens when all the forms, receipts, and paperwork have been filed, and your refund has already been spent? Is there a place for an accounting firm in the off season? Continue reading
Are you one of those people for whom a blank piece of paper is the most terrifying thing?
Do you freak out at the prospect of writing blog posts, posting to social media, or sending email campaigns to your customers?
If yes, then you should know you’re not alone. Even the most prolific of writers sometimes get that uneasy feeling when it comes to putting finger to keyboard. What am I going to write about now? (Been there, said that.)
One thing I like to do to avoid writer’s block is keep a running list of ideas at my desk, so I’m never at a loss when it comes time to write another blog post. The second I think of an idea, I write it down. That way, I won’t forget it later. (Sometimes, I’ll even write the first paragraph or two while it’s fresh in my mind.)
For a busy small-business person who needs to fill an email newsletter, blog, or social media profile on a regular basis, coming up with ideas can be daunting. But it doesn’t have to be.
Here are 7 ways to come up with content ideas. Continue reading
If you’re anything like me, then you’re a fan of spy movies and TV shows.
After all, who doesn’t enjoy watching a James Bond or Sydney Bristow kick butt as they go after the bad guys and save the world?
Of course, before any of that action can take place, there’s a lot of research done to find out exactly who the bad guys are. That’s where a team of investigators and agents come in who don’t get to take part in the car chases or gunplay, but whose roles are just as important.
Business is not a game of good guys and bad guys, but the spying metaphor is still reasonably apt because you need to know who you’re up against before you can be a real competitor in your area or industry.
So with that in mind, here are 7 ways to figure out who you’re up against so you can “spy” on the right businesses and keep pace with your competitors. Continue reading
Today is Earth Day, and everywhere you look, people are talking about “going green.”
It’s true of businesses too: Whether they’re promoting earth-friendly practices like recycling paper and plastic, encouraging employees to ride their bikes to work, or offering a discount to customers who use recycled bags when they shop, everyone is trying to help the planet today.
Of course, Earth Day is something that should be celebrated every day. It doesn’t have to be a holiday for you to make changes that have a big effect on your business and the environment.
If you ask me, riding your bike to work every day is a little extreme — especially if your typical attire is a suit and tie (not that mine is). But you can do other things, like cut down on the amount of paper and unnecessary items you might be wasting every day. For example, keeping a recycling basket near your printer and reusing pages when possible can go a long way towards minimizing the amount of paper used and the reducing the costs incurred by buying all those reams.
“Going green” can extend beyond your daily internal business practices, though. Continue reading
You have questions, and your customers have the answers.
So what are you waiting for? Ask away in an online survey!
But before you hit Send, let us ask you a question: Is your survey set up to get the most responses possible?
Here are a few tips to make sure your survey is well received, gets your audience excited, and gives you the data you’re looking for. Continue reading
All too often, email marketing is treated like just another way to push information at customers.
You have an agenda and things you want your customers to read. The question is, what do your customers want? What’s in it for them if they read your email?
With so much in your customers’ inboxes, you need to find and send content that will cause recipients to stop, open your email, and act on what you’re sending. Otherwise, your messages will fall victim to the delete button and they’ll be ignored.
So put yourself in your customers’ shoes and think about what it is that they want to hear from you. Chances are good it’s one or some of these five kinds of content: Continue reading
If a tree falls in the woods, will anybody hear it?
Now let’s rephrase the question: If a website goes live, will anybody find it?
Not unless it’s been optimized to be found by search engines.
Search engine optimization (SEO) is one of the most important aspects of inbound marketing, and knowing how to make the most of search engines, and traffic that may come your way as a result of them, is critical.
If you haven’t the foggiest idea what SEO is or how you can optimize your website, don’t worry. Today we’re just going to focus on one aspect of it: keywords. Knowing your business’ keywords and how to use them is one of the most important ways to make your website easily findable by people searching on Google, Bing, or Yahoo!. Continue reading