Top 8 Flexible Benefits for Employees

benefits

Providing your employees with flexible benefits can have many benefits for your company. It can boost employees’ morale and increase their productivity, as well as improve your organization’s culture and reputation. However, in order for you to gain these advantages as an employer and business owner, you must choose the right flexible benefits to offer. As an aid to you, this blog post lists the top eight flexible benefits employees can take advantage of.

So let’s get right to it.

What are flexible benefits for employees?

Flexible benefits, also known as payments-in-kind, are employer-provided salary supplements in which employees receive products or services for free or at a discounted price. 

Usually, organizations set a financial limit for such benefits packages.

This flexibility allows employees to customize their benefits package according to their individual needs.

What is the difference between benefits and perks?

benefits

Benefits are part of an employee’s salary, whereas perks are auxiliary. 

Money rewards for great project results or completing it before the deadline are examples of perks.

Additionally, perks can take the form of non-wage compensations, such as in-office snacks, company cars, and more.

Why are flexible benefits important?

Offering flexible benefits means also taking multiple advantages. The following are some of the most relevant.

  1. Boost employees’ mood and productivity

As you can imagine, giving employees benefits like gym memberships makes it easier for them to spend their time doing what they enjoy. This improves your employee’s morale and performance.

When employees are happier at work, they are more productive, which makes your business more efficient. A happy working environment also boosts collaboration among employees.

  1. Improve your brand reputation

As your workplace environment improves, so does your brand’s reputation. As a result, if you promote and make your flexible benefits packages known, also external people and stakeholders will have a positive perception of your organization.

In addition to attracting potential investors, this may also attract companies interested in establishing partnerships with you.

  1. A higher retention rate and talent acquisition

Offering competitive benefits packages can help your business entice more applicants and attract top-quality employees.

You’ll have the opportunity to include these benefits along with your job listing so potential applicants will be able to acknowledge them and be more likely to apply.

Additionally, if your employees enjoy these packages they will be less likely to leave your company for another, increasing your retention rate.

Best 8 flexible benefits for employees

As promised, here are some of the best flexible benefits to offer your employees, which they will surely appreciate.

  • Private medical insurance

Private medical insurance is very often included in flexible benefits packages. 

Tax-free treatment insurance for illnesses or injuries resulting from employment is available. 

Nevertheless, employers are expected to report medical and dental insurance on behalf of their employees if they are part of a salary sacrifice agreement.

Many companies negotiate with insurance companies so that their employees are able to access the services at a lower price.

  • Wellness benefits

Benefit packages focused on wellness are among the most appreciated among employees. Discounts or free passes to a gym are examples of wellness benefits. Occasionally, they may also include free passes to specific classes, like yoga and pilates. It is not only beneficial to the physical form of your employees, but also to their mental health. Employees who participate in physical activities feel more productive and energized at work, making the entire organization more efficient. 

  • Transportation vouchers

Additionally, you may wish to consider offering transportation vouchers to your employees. When your company is located in a large city where transportation is needed, such as buses and subways, this is an extremely useful benefit. As a result, you will save them money in transportation fares and services that they would otherwise need to purchase on a daily basis or on a month or annual basis. 

  • Pension contributions

Pension contributions are also a common and appreciated flexible benefit that you can offer to your employees.

They consist in providing employees with extra money once they retire.

Plans like these will be able to attract more people and retain employees, including top talent.

  • Buying or selling annual leave

As a rule of thumb, most companies allow employees to take a certain number of days off as annual leave. 

The ability to buy or sell annual leave, however, offers greater flexibility, which many employees appreciate.

Not every employee requires the same amount of vacation time. In this way, if you offer this flexible benefit, your employees will be able to take extra days off or earn some extra money when they don’t need them.

  • Meal vouchers

By providing meal vouchers to employees, they will be able to save money or pay nothing for food during the working day, such as lunch. 

You’ll decide how much each voucher is worth.

With these benefits, employees will feel as though their salaries are increasing without the need for you to actually increase them since they won’t have to spend money purchasing food or time preparing it.

  • IT equipment and mobile

Offering working equipment, such as mobile phones, desktop computers, and other devices, can boost employee appreciation and help them save money since they won’t have to buy them on their own. 

The popularity of remote working has led to this benefits package becoming more common. So, if your company offers remote or hybrid work options, this benefit will surely be appreciated by employees.

  • Childcare vouchers

If most of your employees have children, childcare vouchers would be highly appreciated. 

This would in fact save them money on childcare facilities and other expenses.

If, however, your team consists mostly of young adults without children, you should consider a different benefit package. 

Tips for choosing a flexible benefits package that fits your company and employees’ needs

benefits

It can be difficult to develop a flexible benefits package that meets both the needs and preferences of your company and your employees. However, there are some considerations to take into account in order to facilitate this choice process. Here are some of the most relevant ones.

  • Understand your company’s availability and benefit’s return on investment

Your first consideration should be your benefits budget. This refers to how much money you can spend on offering flexible benefits packages to your employees. Depending on your company’s size and type, the budget may vary. Moreover, you must consider that each type of benefit has a different return on investment. Take annual leave as an example, it often pays for itself. Some benefits, however, don’t have a financial return. Others, such as health benefits, can enhance your employees’ wellness, both physical and mental, resulting in improved mood, higher productivity, a higher retention rate, and a lower absence rate.

As you can imagine, therefore, benefits differ in many ways, and you need to pick the one that you believe is going to benefit your employees as well as your organization.

  • Consider company location and employees’ demographics

Other factors to consider when choosing the best flexible benefits package for your employees include your company’s location and employees’ demographics. In terms of location, it is important to keep in mind where the offices of your company are located. If your company is located in a city that requires your employees to travel almost always, then you can think about offering transportation vouchers. You should also consider the demographics of your average employees. If most of your employees are above the age of 40, you may want to focus on health or medical insurance. As an alternative, if you have young staff, you may want to consider wellness benefits, such as gym memberships, or offering annual leave since they are willing to travel.

  • Take into account the employee’s personal situation

A third factor to consider is your employee’s personal circumstances. These may include their age, family status, health status, and more.

You may opt for children’s care vouchers, for example, if your team is mainly comprised of individuals with families and children. 

  • Conduct surveys

The best way to understand which flexible benefits will be appreciated by your employees is to use surveys and ask them directly what they would like to receive. Besides emails, you can also send them papers and anonymize the survey. When you get the answers, you can choose to offer the most requested package. Therefore, you will be able to ensure that most of your employees will be satisfied.

Conclusions on Employee Benefits

Providing flexible benefits to your employees can benefit your business in a number of ways, as outlined in this blog.

You can expect positive and beneficial results only when you provide the right benefits; the ones your employees can truly enjoy and appreciate.

This blog post provided you with the best eight flexible benefits for employees. 

However, if you feel that other packages would be better suited for your company, you can offer them.

Thank you for taking the time to read this article. I hope it was insightful and useful to you.

To find out more on this topic, I recommend reading this article on how to create a competitive employee benefits package your team will love.

 

Flavia Silipo is a skilled SEO copywriter and digital marketing specialist with over two years of experience. You can find her on LinkedIn.

A Business Owners Guide to Relocating – The Basics

relocating

Chances are you’ve dedicated much of your time, energy and resources to starting your own business. You’ve been there every step of the way and worked through all the stages of the business. Now it’s time for relocating, to continue success.

Moving your business to a new location can be an overwhelming experience, even for a seasoned business operator. Take a look at these helpful tips for relocating your business. With a little advanced planning, good logistics, and commitment to detail, you’ll be up and running in the new location in no time at all.  

Regardless of what type of business you’re running, or the size of your operation, organization and strategy is key. Every detail from start to finish must be planned. 

Inform Your Staff that You’re Relocating

When it’s practical to talk about the move you should inform your staff about your relocation plans. A lack of transparency on your part could lower employee morale or become a major disruption to your business. Communication is key. 

Sketch a Rough Draft

Get a blank notebook and create a rough draft of the moving plan. Jotting down notes allows you to think better and wrap your mind around big concepts and tasks. Include important dates like when you must vacate the old premise and the date you take possession of the new place. Having the timeline in front of you gives you a better idea of the scope of the project. Once you have a rough draft you can fine-tune it and turn it into a plan of action.

Master Checklist for Relocating

From the rough sketch and the notes you made, you should have a good idea of what needs to be done. Creating a master checklist or a moving out checklist is the next logical step in relocating. This checklist helps you keep track of every detail and gives you an overview of where you are in the process and what needs to be done. It also helps you delegate certain tasks to employees and managers. 

Hire Professionals

Sometimes the DIY approach to moving is not the best option. Especially when it comes to relocating a business. Hiring experts such as movers, consultants, IT or telecommunication specialists is a wise choice. Not only are they insured but it allows you to look at the big picture instead of lifting boxes or getting involved with smaller and distracting details.

relocating

Connectivity 

Most if not all small businesses rely on the internet. So, setting up internet services is key. You’ll need to schedule the end of service in the old location and start of service in the new location. It’s an important tool that should be set up as soon as possible. 

Spread the Word that You’re Relocating

Find the nearest hilltop and broadcast to the world that the business is relocating. You want to make sure that your customers, vendors, and the general public knows all about the new location and the timeline. Without your customers and vendors, you won’t have much of a business. Post the announcement on the company website and outgoing communications. If your business is customer-based you may want to consider sending out “we moved” postcards to your customer base.  

Moving, in general, can be stressful no matter how prepared or organized you are. Following the above tips will guide you, your employees,  and your business through the stress and uncertainty of relocating.

4 Things to Look Out for When Getting a Small Business Loan

small-business-loan

You own a small business and you need extra financing — it’s a tale as old as time. You want to secure a business loan fast, easily, and with no personal guarantees involved.

You don’t have a great credit score and you don’t want to go through the trouble of justifying your expenses with an elaborate business plan. Basically, you would like to benefit from a type of flexibility that one-size-fits-all types of loans cannot provide.

What You Need to Do to Get a Good Business Loan

Whenever you need capital — to expand, to keep operating, or to weather a storm — small business loans have the benefit of speed, transparency, and simplicity that more traditional financing options just cannot provide. 

In many cases, all you have to do is fill in a short online form and a financial specialist will get back to you within 24 hours. A brief conversation is all it takes for them to assess your business needs and your general financial situation. 

After that, you will generally receive a personalized offer and the possibility to sign everything online or at a nearby branch. Within a few days the much-needed funds will land in your business account and you’ll be all set.

What to Avoid When Searching for a Small Business Loan

small-business-loan

To make sure you navigate safely through the abundance of financial information out there and make an informed choice, you must first be aware of the potential traps of small business financing.

1. Avoid middlemen and third party involvement

With nobody earning a commission on your financing deal, you can pay significantly less and, by not involving third parties in the lending decision, the entire process can happen much more quickly.

You should also make sure your information is not shared with anyone else, as security should always be a priority for you, both as an individual and as a business owner.

2. Avoid excessive automation

Technology helps speed up things and cut down costs, but it can also become a burden for customers who need human interaction. As a small business owner looking for a cash advance or an online loan, being able to get in touch with an actual specialist is important, instead of just ticking boxes in a rigid form.

Unfortunately, many online lenders tend to overly automate their flows, not taking into account that small businesses have different needs and they are all unique.

3. Avoid lengthy processes and predefined offers

Getting a loan from a bank is likely to give any small business owner a headache. Not only does it take months to get through the entire approval process, but a lot of paperwork is involved as well. In the end, you are the one who has to fit their requirements, instead of the other way around. 

What you should do is opt for tailored solutions from reputable direct lenders and enjoy that extra flexibility and speed of loans for businesses with no credit.

4. Avoid predatory techniques

Stay clear of confessions of judgment and other similar tactics that prey on small business owners. Also, make sure that you can pay your balance early without penalties — there are companies that unfortunately incur them. 

In fact, it’s even better if you can get early payment discounts mentioned in your contract.

Final Small Business Loan Insights

In order to access a fast and convenient financing solution, you generally need to have been in business for at least 6 months and prove monthly sales of $10,000 or more. 

Now that you know what to avoid when looking for a small business loan so that you can fully benefit from them, get ready to take your business to the next level.

5 Ways To Spot Future Leaders Amongst a Crowd

future-leaders

When the business world moves at a fast pace, particularly during the turbulent times we are currently experiencing, taking the time to identify future leaders can prove difficult. In a large organization with a rich pool of potential candidates, pinpointing the individuals with leadership potential is especially difficult.

But devoting time to both identifying and nurturing future leaders is crucial. Fostering the talent within your own organization is both more cost-effective and less time-consuming in the long run than recruiting from outside the organization. You cannot risk losing your talent pool to competitors.

So, how do you spot those with leadership potential efficiently? Of course, those looking to progress in their career will need to demonstrate measurable skills like qualifications, knowledge and experience. On the other hand, those three qualities do not necessarily make for a good leader. You cannot focus on these alone.

5 soft skills you should be looking out for

Aside from measurable qualities, there are certain soft skills that will alert you to those who may become excellent leaders in the future.

Soft skills are those skills that are non technical but affect the way in which a person works. Soft skills make someone efficient, effective and productive in their work. Different roles require different soft skills.

To identify tomorrow’s efficient, effective and productive managers, you can be looking out for people in junior positions demonstrating the right soft skills right now.

Here are some behaviors that will help you find the talent you need to start nurturing now.

future-leaders

1. They demonstrate a natural rapport with colleagues.

Leaders should be likable, friendly and approachable. They should demonstrate a consistently positive attitude. Therefore, look out for junior colleagues who are universally liked and respected in the office. Their ability to gain rapport with almost anyone will make them an excellent candidate.

Remember to look at the most outgoing, confident people; but also look beyond the extroverts in the office. There may be others out there who are gaining the trust and admiration of others without shouting it out. These quieter people can hold just as much sway and influence as their noisier colleagues, perhaps more so. They may be perceived to be more approachable too, should times get tough.

2.  They show conviction.

A strong set of core values and a sense of purpose are more soft skills to look out for.

Seek out people working with confidence and purpose, no matter what role they currently fill. They make sure their work has meaning and that they actively seek to contribute to the community within your organization. They focus their energy and attention on tasks that matter.

Conviction and purpose help a leader overcome resistance or obstacles. They can help an organization through tough and uncertain times.

3. Future leaders are lifelong learners.

Those with potential leadership qualities are always looking to invest in themselves and learn new skills. They are not afraid to admit when there is a gap in their knowledge or skill set. They will also take time to bridge this gap.

Future leaders seek opportunities to learn. Their personal development is important to them, both in their career and outside of it. They dedicate time to learning new hard skills, seek out the right professional development workshops, and aspire to gain qualifications. They show an awareness of their own soft skills and look to develop those, too.

4. Future leaders are not afraid to show vulnerability.

Unfortunately, vulnerability can seem like a negative, and not all team members will want to admit to it. However, vulnerability is something we all possess and it can be a really positive thing.

When a person acknowledges and accepts their vulnerability, they are demonstrating self-awareness. This is a good trait that helps people develop honesty, openness and empathy with others. A person who attempts to maintain a facade of perfection and invincibility cannot expect to gain the trust of others.

A person who acknowledges their own vulnerability can accept it in their colleagues, too. They know that no human is perfect. This makes an ideal person to establish and inspire a culture of honesty and respect. This is certainly a leadership quality you’ll want to nurture.

5. They communicate well.

It almost goes without saying that a leader must be an effective communicator. They must inspire confidence in their team, their superiors and the organization’s stakeholders. Being able to communicate clearly is a huge part of this.

Communication is definitely a skill that can be polished through excellent training and more experience. However, look out for the people in your organization who show signs of talent in this area. They can initiate conversations, hold other people’s attention and express their thoughts clearly. It is also important to pay attention to the ability to communicate through the written word.

The action plan on finding future leaders

future-leaders

Spotting potential leaders isn’t a quick and easy formulaic activity. Subtle observation, and lots of it over time, is key here. Above are some easy-to-spot qualities that should help reveal the talent to focus on.

Remember that this is a hugely advantageous use of your time. The time you invest in nurturing the leadership abilities of junior colleagues will be repaid down the line and reap countless rewards.

By starting now, you can maximize potential and minimize the risk of losing great people to other organizations.

The next step is to consider how you will nurture the talent you find. This is something that business coaching services can help with.

They will help you:

  • Identify a colleague’s leadership strengths and their areas for development.
  • Develop a personalized leadership development plan for each person in the program.
  • Coach that person to ensure they realize their potential.
  • Improve their knowledge of leadership, their ability to lead, and hone their leadership style, too.
  • Help identify the right position for the right person within your organization.

Professional coaches are ideally placed to boost your organization’s productivity and positivity by improving the quality of leadership. They can help you build a positive, organized, collaborative and driven team with the next generation of excellent leaders at the helm.

AUTHOR BIO

Salma El-Shurafa is an experienced Executive Coach and founder of The Pathway Project. She is a Professional Certified Coach by the International Coaching Federation (ICF), a Certified Professional Co-Active Coach from The Coaches Training Institute (CTI) and a graduate of CTI’s Co-Active Leadership program.

The Case For Multilingual Cross-Border Marketing

multilingual

Having a good marketing strategy is essential for any business looking to sell their products. For businesses engaged in cross-border commerce, this can mean dealing with audiences that speak in different languages. Having multilingual accessibility is very important.

Language is perhaps the biggest challenge when it comes to cross-border marketing, but paying attention to language is what can make or break a business in a new foreign market. This article will talk about translation as a key strategy for cross-border marketing success, and what things you will need to keep in mind when integrating it into your business’s marketing strategy.

If that interests you, then let’s dive in!

Cross-Border and Global Marketing Strategy

Cross-border marketing refers to the strategy of promoting your products and services to a different market. It’s an important thing to consider if you want to expand your business’s reach.

It’s a concept that’s very closely related to global marketing, and shares the same basic principles. This blog post from leading translation company Tomedes provides a good breakdown of what it is, and the legal, logistical and production challenges that need to be accounted for before you even consider marketing for a foreign audience. 

When it comes to cross-border marketing, one of the most important considerations is language. If you’re running a successful domestic business, you may already have a good marketing strategy in place. But if you’re trying to reach out to a new foreign audience, you will be facing a whole new set of challenges, and communicating with this audience is the biggest of these. 

Why Multilingual Translation Is Important In Cross-Border and Global Marketing

A lot of research has shown that consumers want to be marketed to them in their own language. CSA Research’s continuously updated “Can’t Read, Won’t Buy” is one of the most authoritative studies on the matter, and its most recent iteration found that a staggering 76% of consumers around the world prefer products with information in their own language.

This makes translation essential for any good cross-border and global marketing strategy! Without it, you’re only reaching a quarter of potential customers in any new market that speaks a different language.

What Should You Target For Multilingual Translation?

So how do you integrate translation into your global marketing strategy? There are a number of aspects that you might want to prioritize:

Website

For e-commerce businesses, often the single most important platform to focus on for marketing is the website. This is where customers will go if they want to learn more about a business or buy its products, and if they don’t find it accessible they are likely to leave and take their business elsewhere instead. But if the website is available in a customer’s native language, then they will feel that your product or service does cater to them, and they will be more likely to stay and even make a purchase.

Social Media Platforms

Another major part of any effective marketing campaign is the ability to reach out to consumers on social platforms. Broadly, Facebook dominates the social media landscape, and also has a strong e-commerce ecosystem, so any business will want to carve out a presence there. But aside from Facebook, the preferences differ by country. For example, Instagram is popular in Europe and the Americas, but it’s outpaced by Twitter in parts of the Middle East and Asia. In China, the top social media platform is WeChat. It’s important to not only speak to consumers in their language, but also on the platforms they use most.

multilingual

Advertising Copy

Ads are an important component of a marketing campaign that you need to seriously consider for translation. After all, ad spend can take up a large part of the marketing budget, so you want to be sure you’re getting the bang for your buck. Advertising to consumers in their native language is the best way to catch their interest.

Customer Support That is Multilingual

A good customer support experience helps build customer loyalty. This is one thing that’s easy to overlook, but is an important thing to consider if you want sustainable success in a foreign market. Having customer support be available in your customers’ native language makes for a better experience and encourages continued patronage to your business. After all, it’s frustrating for a customer to deal with refunds or questions about your product if you don’t speak the same language!

Product Labels and Packaging

Consumers have a lot of options to choose from, and the best way to catch their attention is if your product looks and feels like it was designed for them. You might think there’s some allure in having a foreign or exotic aura, but this is often a novelty and doesn’t translate into long-term interest. Having a product that consumers can feel at home with is in most cases the better and more sustainable strategy.

Other Things To Consider with Multilingual Translation

Invest in high-quality translations. The main point of marketing is to show your business and your products in the best possible light to your customers. Poor translations reflect badly and will make customers less inclined to trust you, no matter how good your product is. Machine translation might seem like a cheap option but its quality can never approach the human touch.

Be sensitive to cultural nuances. It isn’t enough to just translate your content into a different language, it has to speak to your audience in a way that really speaks to them. This means knowing more about linguistic trends and quirks of your audience so that you can better design your marketing to appeal to them on a cultural level.

Outsource the translation work. If you don’t have the resources to do professional translation work, the best option would be to hire a reputable agency to handle it instead. This will not only lift the burden from your team so they can continue to do their own work, but will likely also be less of a headache in terms of quality control since you’ll be working with actual language professionals instead.

21 Marketers Share Marketing Strategies Every Small Business Can Afford

marketing-strategies

Starting a business requires a lot of work, time and effort. Marketing strategies are essential to a successful business.

After you define your offering and your target audience, you need to find a way to reach them. Marketing is a crucial part of establishing your brand and generating sales leads for your small business.

In this post, we discussed with 21 experienced markets the best marketing strategies that will help you grow your small business both in size and reputation.

Michael Hammelburger, Sales Therapy Sales Coaching

business

One work: Networking. With many networking meetups starting up again you should do everything you can to join. Meeting with other small business owners is not only a great opportunity to get direct clients, but also a way to be top of mind for them in the future.

Michael Rossman, MachFast

business

There will always be key digital channels that small business can rely on to drive traffic, the likes of PPC, SEO and Social ads will always be viable. But they may not always be affordable. CPCs having been rising every year, and good SEO is not cheap, and also takes time to build up.

This is where Google My Business (GMB) can come in very handy for small business. If you have a physical store, office or clinic etc you need to set one up.

Setting up a Google My Business profile is free, and will get allow you to potentially rank in the local map pack for localized search terms. Once you have you profile set up you’ll just need to request a pin to verify the location and fill out your profile as much as you can.

Make sure you set the correct categories, add products and services and start regularly posting. You’ll also want to start collecting reviews. All of these will help you rank better in local search results which will be vital in driving local customers and awareness in the early days.

As a top tip, make sure you use a URL with UTM parameters within your profile, you’ll be able to see how much traffic your GMB listing is bringing in and if it’s converting.

Anders Rydholm, PrimeTime Web

marketing-strategies

At PrimeTime Web, we take a comprehensive approach to marketing. Any small business, even with little or no marketing budget has many options to choose from to build more awareness and stronger relationships with their fans and consumers. 

This could include more established channels like social media, content marketing, and on-site SEO. It’s also fairly inexpensive to get into affiliate marketing by building up a Niche authority website in your industry and monetizing with advertising or links that earn referral commissions. 

However, in a time where rewards from external platform algorithms are at an all-time low, we would recommend focusing on product marketing, influencer marketing, e-mail marketing, and off-site SEO. Influencer marketing through content creators of audio, video, or written word is something you can build on with your credibility and social network. 

Check out SparkToro to see where your audience hangs out and which accounts they follow. It’s one of our favorite influencer marketing tools right now. 

Adam Walters, Owner muON Marketing

marketing-strategies

Because most small businesses are strapped for cash most are seeking a flexible and efficient marketing strategy to go with their lower budgets. While it would be nice to do everything all at once to drive traffic and bring in leads (i.e., pay-per-click ads, paper ads, content creation, SEO, etc), the smartest route to take for any small business owner is to focus on their website.

This means first focusing on creating content that is optimized to rank on page #1 on Google Search. We recommend using Search Engine Optimization (SEO) to do this because the value of an article on page #1 will drive more (free) traffic over a longer period of time versus spending money for PPC ads. The extra benefit of having good content on your website is you keep your potential customers from going to a competitor to find an answer. 

Feel free to contact us on our website to learn more about SEO or if you would like to see how muON Marketing can help your business succeed. Visit > https://muon.marketing/ 🚀

TL/DR: Write good content using SEO and they will come to your site. Let’s work together!

Quentin Aisbett, Pocket Insights

marketing-strategies

For the small business, one of the low effort and big impact online strategies is to work on your Google My Business listing. It’s free to manage and doesn’t require an agency to do everything if you have the time. 

Customers will find your GMB listing when they search for your business or for relevant services/products within proximity of your business. 

There are particular elements to optimizing your GMB listing including:

– Completing the profile 

– Choosing the right category

– Adding Questions & Answers

– Publishing weekly Google Posts

– Encouraging customers to upload photos

– Encouraging customers to leave Google reviews

And for those wanting to take the next step with GMB, I would also encourage you to read up on fighting GMB spam. There are a lot of spammy competitors ranking more prominently than you in those local pack (map and results) searches. Unfortunately it’s working for them but you can even the playing field and give your own listing a boost. 

Understand what’s against Google guidelines and let Google know about your competitors. For example, do a search for a term you want to rank for with local intent (pest control in Idaho) and click through to ‘view all’ in Google Maps. If you see listings where the business name is stuffing keywords, then ‘suggest an edit’ and go through the process of changing their name. 

If it’s appropriate, Google will make the change to comply with their guidelines and your competitor will stop ranking for the spammy terms. Giving you a better chance of ranking. 

Nicholas Scalice, GrowthMarketer

marketing-strategies

The #1 marketing strategy I’d share right now is to create a newsletter. But not just any newsletter, something you’re passionate about and know can bring value to a specific niche. Be focused with your topic, and don’t talk about yourself. Share amazing content, whether it is curated from various sources, or a case study that you write from scratch.

Why are newsletters so great? Well, for one thing, the value of an email subscriber is much higher than the value of a social media follower or a page “like.” Plus, you have multiple opportunities to monetize a newsletter while building awareness for your brand on a weekly or monthly basis.

There are many tools that can help you get started with your own newsletter, such as ActiveCampaign, ConvertKit, and Substack. But more important than the tools you use is the content you share—and how consistently you share it. So, be consistent, add value with each edition, and have fun! Newsletters are back and better than ever.

Justin Herring, YEAH! Local

marketing-strategies

Small businesses frequently have a limited marketing budget, which can make promoting your company difficult. The good news is that there are a plethora of free (or low-cost) alternatives for you to sell yourself to your clients. 

Here are 5 I suggest starting with:

1) Create a Free Google My Business Listing

A Google Business Profile has become one of the most efficient free marketing tactics available, especially for small businesses. The free listing will allow your company to appear on Google Maps, Google Search’s local section, and the right-hand Knowledge Panel for brand queries.

2) Engage in Local SEO

The best thing about Google’s algorithm is that it’s built to deliver the most accurate, high-quality, and relevant results for each given search query. Because it is not necessary to pay to play, the playing field is leveled, allowing local smaller businesses to compete with large corporations for page one real estate.  Start by adding location keywords in your page title and descriptions.

3) Create an Email Marketing Strategy

Email marketing is an excellent approach to attract new visitors and retain ties with existing consumers. Even though email marketing isn’t new, it’s still one of the most reliable ways to get a good return on your marketing dollars. Use MailChimp for a free platform to get started with.

4) Create a Referral Program for Your Customers

For introducing new clients, provide existing customers a free product, a free month of service, or some other very good incentive. Remember that word-of-mouth is quite powerful, and consumers referred by other customers are especially valued, therefore friends informing friends about your business is extremely beneficial.

5) Launch a Facebook Marketing Campaign

Even if you just have a small advertising budget, Facebook ads may be sufficient! Facebook advertising can have a very low cost per click. Just make sure to target your specific city and only the target prospects who you know are interested in your type of business.  Start at $5 a day and increase from there.

Kevin Dam, Kevin Dam

marketing-strategies

I can’t emphasize enough how wonderful Partnerships are! The benefits of your partnerships may last for years if they are properly nurtured and cared for. This might be as simple as a referral program.

The most crucial thing to take away is that collaboration should be mutually beneficial, so make sure you know what your partner values – it doesn’t have to be new clients for them; it might just be a one-time financial incentive.

I started by thinking about the service providers my clients would engage, either before or after they work with me, and came up with this list:

– web developers

– web hosting companies

– branding and graphics designers

– content writers

– other marketing agencies

What providers do your clients go to for help?

Start making a list of the potential partnerships you can nurture and reach out to people of influence from the service providers that you can provide mutual benefits to.

Another way to find more prospects for your business is to do the following:

  1. Find a “”how-to”” article in your field of expertise and follow the techniques in the article to learn how to do it yourself.
  2. Make a list of email addresses for individuals who have liked, commented on, or shared the post before. Chances are they engaged the post because they’re thinking about doing it for themselves 
  3. Record a video of yourself implementing the ‘how-to’ article
  4. Offer to implement the same for someone on the list via email and include your video

The important takeaways from these steps are:

  1. You’re leading with value and not asking for anything
  2. You’re demonstrating you can do what was outlined in the article with video proof
  3. You’re taking the initiative and time to give them value
  4. You’re providing something they’re most likely interested in since they engaged with the how-to article

Best of luck!

Tommy Gallagher, TopMobileBanks

marketing-strategies

More often, Small Business is servicing a local community. As a result, it has close relationships with partners and clients. 

This happens organically, but that doesn’t mean that a small business owner shouldn’t leverage it. Build trust and friendship. 

That doesn’t cost much, if anything, but requires changes to the daily business lifestyle. 

Become a brand of your small business. Everyone should know you in the community and beyond. Your clients and partners should see that you live your business. 

Have active social profiles. Post regularly about your business AND your life.

Visit your place of business often. Communicate there as much as possible. 

Run giveaways to your local community. 

Build yourself as an expert in the field. Publish expert details of your business. Participate in the trade shows. 

Partner up with other small businesses you like and launch cross-promotional campaigns. 

Leveraging your business trust and reliability in the customers’ eyes will significantly impact your sales. 

Nestor Vazquez, SEO Mexico

It’s difficult to find good business strategies. Many concepts work well for larger businesses, but they don’t produce the same results when utilized in smaller enterprises. This is because it’s difficult to find strategies that can be successfully implemented on a small budget. However, there are strategies every startup or small business can afford! 

Start a Blog – One strategy every startup or small business should consider is starting a blog. A blog gives your company the ability to post content on an ongoing basis and establish a voice for your brand. 

Keep It Simple – Another affordable strategy any startup or small business should consider utilizing is keeping things simple for customers. As most startups and smaller enterprises are already operating on a limited budget, there’s no reason to make it more difficult for customers to find information on your website. 

Let’s face it, most people don’t want to navigate through multiple pages of content when all they need is in front of them. So why not save yourself the trouble and offer up what you have in one simple page?

Eduard Agapie, Sortlist

marketing-strategies

One of the cheapest marketing strategy for small businesses is social media. You don’t need to invest anything, you just have to share good content, be creative and engage with your audience! Researching and using the right hashtags and the right tone of voice for your business only costs time. 

There are many platforms you can grow an audience on like Instagram, Facebook and even Tik Tok is becoming an essential platform for businesses. Building a blog on your website will also be a minimal investment. Researching related topics and publishing content will also costs you next to nothing. Writing a good blog can drive a lot of traffic to your website and make your business known! 

Nikola Roza, Nikola Roza- SEO for the Poor and Determined

marketing-strategies

One marketing strategy that doesn’t cost money and that every small business should be doing is Quora marketing.

Whatever the niche, there are probably hundreds of questions people ask about that niche within Quora.

A smart small business looking for free promotion and marketing would first plow through Quora and record in a spreadsheet every possible question even remotely related to what they’re doing.

Then they’d filter out questions that are too competitive or too outside of their niche.

Finally, with the batch that remains they’d organize those based on competition level and number of views the question has.

Then they’d start plowing through those giving their take on the topic, with a CTA link within each answer pointing to their property.

Pro tip: recently I’ve been playing with Jarvis the AI writer. It’s pretty good for shorter form content , not as good for long form posts.

But, Quora answer are short-form content and Jarvis even has a Quora answer template you can use to streamline Quora post creation.

I recommend it as a time saver, but only in a case if you have several hundred to a 1000+ questions to respond to.

If you have a dozen or so then don’t bother and write them manually.

Jabez Reuben, Thailand Nomads

marketing-strategies

When it comes to building your small business, you should always consider email marketing. While it may sound like a traditional technique but it still has a massive ROI. Many small businesses ignore this marketing tool as they assume that only big players in the industry can reap benefits from it. 

But you use email to improve customer retention and build qualified leads for your business. It gives you an opportunity to reach out to customers and offer your latest products or services easily. You will also be able to learn more about your audience’s likes and dislikes. 

The biggest challenge you will face is to develop compelling content to make sure your emails are being clicked. By segregating your customers based on activity or how far down the funnel they are, you can build personalized relationships with customers and nurture them into their first sale or into your loyalty program.

Ricardo Sentosa, Aemorph

marketing-strategies

There are lots of ways to market your business in 2021 that are very cost effective.

Some include:

Posting on social media such as Instagram or Facebook. Both platforms enable you to reach millions of people with a single post, you just need to make sure you’re connected to and engaging with your target audience.

Another popular one now is Facebook groups! If you do a search for your area of expertise there’s bound to be a group about it on Facebook. By participating in the groups, sharing your expertise and knowledge, you can build trust and allow others to engage with you on what you’re best at doing.

For some others maybe it’s on the rising social platform TikTok. Creating videos that tell an engaging story and getting impressions of you and your brand can help you generate more revenue very quickly and easily! 

Garrett Nafzinger, Garrett Digital

marketing-strategies

The marketing strategy all businesses can afford is working with a marketing agency or professional to build a website that clearly articulates what you do, the pain points you solve, and the things that differentiate your business from the competition. 

There are so many companies that don’t pay attention to the value proposition and business differentiators. Doing so will make your business stand out, and it will drive people who visit your website to convert into customers. 

Ben Soltana, DigiDux

marketing-strategies

Small businesses often have a tight marketing budget to work with, which can make promoting your company a challenge. The good news is, there are enough ways for you to market your business. Here some cost effective ways to market your small business.

– Create and optimize a Google My Business account: a GMB profile is one of the most effective free marketing strategies. It allows your business to show up on Google Maps and on the knowledge panel for branded searches.

– Establish a Social Media presence: whether it’s photos on Instagram or blogging on your Facebook page, social media are great to brand your business and create a consumer buzz around your products.

– Join or create a Facebook group: Facebook Groups are underrated. If you choose the right group, the members represent the core of your targeted, engaged audience. To be more specific, potential customers.

– Build an email list: an email list is worth its weight in the gold. Once you have a potential customer’s email address, it’s just a matter of driving some great email marketing flows and campaigns to turn them into customers.

– Guest post on industry blogs: a great way to build backlinks and gain a lot of weight with search algorithms.

– Sign up at HARO as a source: instead of writing the article yourself, you can provide a quote by signing up as a source at HelpAReporterOut.

– Leverage your network: One thing many small business owners forget about is their network. Hitting up your network of friends and family and asking for referrals or testimonials can give you a boost.

Darshan Somashekar, Solitaired

marketing-strategies

As a strategy for link building, explore the shoulder niches. A shoulder niche pertains to a topic that directly relates to your blog’s core content. All of them revolve around the central message you want to convey to your brand.

They can increase traffic to your website by expanding your content to new audiences. As long as those industries are relevant to your content, you can improve your online presence and authority. Take time to brainstorm for ideas of those related industries.  

Choosing shoulder niches will allow you to earn backlinks from authority sources and other bloggers. In your niche, you are constantly competing with other sites. Your website will receive more backlinks if your content deviates even slightly from that of your competitors. 

This strategy increases your content’s visibility in search engines because high-quality, relevant backlinks are a ranking factor of search engine algorithms. This neat SEO hack will allow you to grow your website’s traffic more.

Simon Woodcock, Man With A Camera Photography

Starting my photography business with very little spare cash meant I had to be resourceful when looking for ways of getting my brand name in front of potential clients.

I started by immersing myself in learning more about SEO and how I could get Google to look upon my website favorably.  One of the best areas for gaining immediate traction in the Google search results is by utilizing your Google My Business listing.  I recommend that all new businesses create one and flesh it out with as much information as possible. If you have premises that customers can visit, make sure you add photos of the exterior and interior as well as any photos of your product or service in action. 

Encouraging clients to post their photos and reviews also helps enormously.  Responding to all reviews, both positive and negative, looks great to potential customers and shows that, as a business owner, you care.

Don’t forget to post updates on the business listing regularly with useful content, special offers or recent events and upcoming occasions. Where possible illustrate these with a photo so they stand out when potential customers are browsing.  Creating a library of useful images for these regular postings is a great idea and you’ll find plenty of local small business photographers offering one-off and regular social media packages where they photograph your business and then supply a large batch of relevant images that can be used anytime.  Don’t underestimate the value of quality photography!  It’s often what will set a business apart from their competitors.

With plenty of trial and error and a large amount of patience when using my learned SEO techniques both on the website and the Google My Business listing I have seen a strong local presence develop and have cemented the website in the top 2 organic search results for some very popular search terms.  Don’t be daunted by SEO and don’t try to learn it all at once – learn one thing a week and you’ll be surprised how quickly this valuable information starts to build.

Aaron Hughes, Boost Suite

marketing-strategies

The most cost-effective marketing strategy that every small business can afford is to build on your existing relationships with past customers. 

Past customers have already demonstrated that they trust you and have a need for your product or service so reaching out again is a simple and cheap way to boost your sales.

When you reach out, the first thing you need to ask is about their experience with your company. Was their purchasing experience simple and easy or were there unnecessary barriers? Has your product been reliable and has it lived up to your promises or could it be improved in some way? Have they benefitted from your customer support or could you do more to help them utilize your product or service? 

Now comes the marketing part: if they’ve received value from your product, ask them if they anticipate needing more of your product or service in the future. If they do, set a reminder to reach out a little before when they’ll need it to see if you can help them. They already trust you enough to pay for your product or service so if your product or service has lived up to your promises, this should be an easy sale. 

Also ask them if they know anyone else who might need your product or service and if they could introduce you. A warm introduction from an exiting customer who has used your product will side-step the necessity to build trust with this new customer as you are leveraging the trust that already exists in their relationship.

The cost of this process (your time) can be even further reduced by using some automated tools to streamline this process. There are systems that can set automatic reminders to follow up with clients and even email autoresponders that will follow up with past clients without you needing to pick up the phone.

Building this into your standard customer follow up processes will boost your sales and conversion rate significantly with very little cost.

James Lee, Monetized Future

marketing-strategies

I know that sometimes it can be difficult to justify spending additional money on marketing for your small business. 

One of the easiest and most cost-effective ways to generate traffic, leads, and sales for a small business is through SEO marketing channels.

Local brick-and-mortar businesses and eCommerce stores alike can benefit from spending time and money building an SEO campaign.

Contrary to popular belief, most businesses do not have an SEO-optimized website, so just investing the minimum effort in an SEO campaign can really produce some quick wins!

If you have no idea where to start when it comes to SEO, there are plenty of resources online that can help you understand the basics. From there you need to evaluate what your direct competition is doing.

What this means is to find businesses that are ranking for the keywords most likely to bring you new customers, and reverse engineer their efforts, applying them to your own site.

Shaurya Jain, Attention Always

marketing-strategies

Use LinkedIn

One super low-cost marketing idea that’s working for me right now is LinkedIn. The organic reach on the platform is mind blowing.

LinkedIn is a powerful social media site that doesn’t get the attention it deserves because so few people know how powerful it can be. Most people inflate their network connections and sleep on it. Use the platform to create discussions with your connections, share full/part of your blog posts, share your offers, contribute to groups and above all share other people’s content. The thing is this—each piece of content you share lives on your network’s feed for days and sometimes weeks. Know what that does? It gets engagement.

LinkedIn is a good platform to educate your potential audience. This helps you build your brand while earning trust while improving your reputation. Encourage your employees to be active on the platform as well. And it’s not just B2B businesses that can benefit. If used creatively, the platform is a boon for B2C businesses as well.

This LinkedIn strategy is free and doesn’t require a lot of time or resources from your end. Despite that, you get to maximize your reach and build on your success.

Your Small Business Can Benefit From a Commercial Filtration System

small-business

What is stopping you from installing a commercial filtration system for your business? Whatever industry you might belong to, it can definitely make your lives easier. Not only will it help reduce costs for business maintenance, it can also improve the atmosphere of your establishments—literally. Various industries such as health and wellness, beauty, and food industries might also need it more due to the nature of their products and services. 

The potential of this investment is endless. Some of the benefits include improved indoor quality, prevention of the spread of airborne diseases, reduced exposure to harmful chemicals when you’re operating your business, and eliminating unpleasant odors that can affect the productivity of your staff. 

Here are some of the other benefits that should help consider installing commercial filtration systems:

  • Reduced Exposure to Airborne Diseases

When you install a commercial air filtration system, you may help decrease the chance of getting airborne diseases. In small spaces without proper ventilation, the risk of airborne transmission is higher. Aside from viruses, your filtration system may also filter out bacteria, fungi, and mold. However, this depends on the filter used and the filtration system itself.  

The technology responsible for this innovation is bipolar ionization which, according to manufacturers, may kill viruses via the generation of positive and negative particles in the air.  It also facilitates surface disinfection within the area. Another option is the UV light filter that is also proven effective for killing viruses and bacteria. Hospitals and medical centers use this type of filtration.   

  • Reduced Risk From Harmful Chemicals

commercial-filtration-system

Aside from viruses, there are many contaminants circulating in the air. An appropriate air filtration system can remove 99.7% of these harmful chemicals, allergens, fumes, asbestos etc. from your establishment. This can help in improving the overall atmosphere of your business.

  • Cleaning products: Toxic chemicals such as chlorine, bleach, ammonia, and phthalates that you use in cleaning your business premises can harm you if you or your staff are exposed. An air filtration system will reduce these chemicals to prevent serious health issues for your staff and your customers.
  • Allergens, pollens: According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 1 out of 12 people in the U.S. suffers from asthma attacks. These are people who can get irritated from inhaling certain pollutants like pollen, dust mites, etc. These pollutants can still remain hovering in the air even if you clean the infested area. Thus, an air filtration system is a must. 
  • Harmful fumes: Even a small enterprise like yours is not exempt from the dangers of harmful chemicals hovering in the air. Especially if you’re located in large cities with dense traffic, pollutants can easily enter your business premises. Carbon monoxide and nitrogen dioxide are gases often discharged from vehicles. Exposure to these gases can increase your risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. 
  • Asbestos: This is a known carcinogen that’s present in old insulation pipes and roofing materials back in the 1940s to 1960s. If the location of your business is near or in an old commercial building, you’re potentially exposed to asbestos particles. If the asbestos-containing material is still in a good condition, there’s no need to disturb or remove it. But the problem starts when its fibers are degraded and become airborne. If you breathe these particles in, they can cause scarring on your lung tissues which makes you more susceptible to lung cancer. Air filtration systems are known to catch asbestos particles in the air, so consider checking them out.
  • Radon: This is another carcinogen that’s present in the cracks on the walls, floors, and plasterwork. This gas can damage the lining of your lungs and can also lead to cancer. It’s extremely harmful because it’s almost undetectable due to its colorless and odorless nature. According to an EPA assessment in 2013, there are 21,000 deaths yearly in the US due to this radioactive element. 
  • Less Unpleasant Odors

If you’re operating a restaurant or a diner, gasoline used in cooking can cause unpleasant odors that might affect your customer’s experience. Without proper ventilation, the air and smoke will circulate from the kitchen to the lounging area of the customers. Gasoline is one example of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) which are also present in paints, air fresheners, and aerosol sprays. The odor from these can cause breathlessness, nausea, and even affect your cognitive functions. 

Through a sophisticated filtration system, these can be eliminated. According to a study from Harvard Business Review, low VOC levels in the air significantly improved productivity and performance. Think of your customers’ convenience and employees’ well-being! Once you’ve installed an air filtration system, you don’t need to worry about the smoke and other odors bothering them.

  • Less Expense For Maintenance

If you’re in tech industry or a business that heavily relies on electronic and digital equipment, you might want to consider investing in air filtration systems. Why? You might think that the most dangerous things for electronics are ‘liquid’ and ‘overheating.’ Of course, these two are indeed damaging to electronics. But dust is often left unnoticed because it takes years to do its damage. 

Dust buildup can be destructive to computers, sensors, and others electronic devices if left unchecked. This is where commercial filtration comes in. By reducing the number of dust particles in the air, circuit boards and processors will have a longer service-life. Also, expect to have less recurring downtime which means your business will spend less on equipment maintenance. 

commercial-filtration-system

Final Words on Commercial Filtration Systems

The bottom line is that a commercial filtration system is a must-have for your business. Some industries like health and wellness, beauty, and food might require it more than others. This shouldn’t prevent you from acquiring the same benefits that these industries have experienced. 

Think about the convenience and improved experience of your customers, and the enhanced productivity of your staff. This could mean more income for you. You can also reduce the potential hazard they might get exposed to. Also, don’t forget about the money you’ll save by not spending your resources on equipment maintenance.

5 Tips For An Effective Digital Campaign

digital-campaign

There’s no doubt that digital marketing has been getting plenty of attention recently, particularly when the pandemic hit the world. Regardless of industry or type of business, this marketing method has proven to be successful in reaching the right audience and drawing more revenues. That is if the digital campaign is compelling enough. That’s why it’s crucial that, as a business, you know how to create a solid digital marketing strategy that can help you achieve your organization’s objectives. 

As more consumers shift to digital marketplaces, now might be the time to consider investing in various online marketing techniques. It may take a few hits and misses before you can build an effective digital campaign that you can stick to moving forward. Still, it wouldn’t hurt to try and try until you find your match.

That said, take a look at the following tips that might help you in carrying out your marketing goals.

  • Target The Right Audience

digital-campaign

A digital campaign is only effective if it impacts the right audience. That said, it’s essential that you’re able to identify who your potential customers are. Only then will you be able to target them efficiently. Targeting the right market starts with creating buyer profiles that can potentially be your ideal customers.

In most business-to-business (B2B) organizations, one challenge is to go beyond the typical characteristics of a target audience. It’ll be more helpful to identify a customer persona or a fictional character that represents your ideal consumer. Certain factors come into play when you think of B2B buyer persona examples, including their lifestyle, purchasing power, social network engagement, and interests. As you can see, a buyer persona involves more than just a customer’s name, age, and location.

Buyer personas are more specific, data-driven, and valuable so that you can target the right consumers. The distinction makes it more efficient to know which personas are more likely to pay attention to your marketing efforts. In that sense, your digital campaigns can be as effective as you’d hope for them to be.

  • Make It Mobile-Friendly

It’s no secret that more and more consumers rely on their handheld devices when accessing information or buying anything online. The convenience that mobile gadgets offer is often unmatched, particularly among people who are always on the go. So, it’s only clever to ensure your digital campaign is compatible with mobile devices.

Having a website is no longer enough if your goal is to make your campaigns effective in more ways than one. No matter how optimized your platform may be, if most of your audience can’t view it using their smartphones or tablets, you can’t deem it effective or impactful.

Aside from making sure your digital marketing strategy is mobile-friendly, you shouldn’t also forget to consider your site’s responsiveness, simplicity, and functionality. When online visitors are impressed with your website, they’re more likely to stay longer and hopefully click on your calls to action.

  • Constantly Boost Your Social Media Presence 

It’s a no-brainer that having a social media presence is critical in digital marketing. The challenge lies in how you can boost and maintain that presence to keep your audience engaged and connected to your brand. With so many tasks and responsibilities you need to juggle as a business owner, it’s easy to get lost in the midst of it all and overlook the significance of social media in the effectiveness of your digital campaign.

digital-campaign

Updating your social media pages is a good start. If customers can see you’re consistent in posting content, they’ll know that you’re active on your accounts. Viewers and potential customers will feel more connected with your business. The posts don’t always need to be long or full of effort. Simple memes with engaging captions can already make a difference in boosting your social media presence. You can also consider automating your chat responses so inquiries will always be attended to no matter what time of the day it may be.

Social media platforms are also good for measuring the effectiveness of an ad or campaign. The different tools and features you can use can give you analytics and measurable data that can help gauge how many people were reached by your campaign. You can also get data on where those people are located, their shopping patterns, and their interests.

  • Create Valuable Content

Digital consumers will always appreciate valuable content. If you want your campaign to be effective, create content that can offer something of value to your customers. Provide solutions to their daily predicaments and let them know your brand is there to help them out. Aside from being useful, your content should also be entertaining and empathetic if you want to reach more people and create an impact.

Also, keep in mind that search engines always favor original content. Repurposing your materials may be acceptable at some point, but make sure you reproduce them so that the content won’t get flagged as a duplicate copy. This is one way you can use content marketing for your digital campaign.

  • Use Engaging Visuals

With so many campaigns, products, and services being offered online, consumers know that they have many options. So, their attention span is getting shorter and shorter. As a result, drawing their curiosity can prove to be quite tricky. If you want to keep them engaged and have them keep reading or viewing your campaign, make sure your visuals are appealing enough. Be it photos, videos, or text, they won’t keep reading unless it’s something that piques their interest. 

Photos and images should be high-resolution, while video content can include product reviews, product launches, tutorials, interviews with experts and actual customers, or press releases. Customers like campaigns that tell a story. You can also think of a particular advocacy that they can relate to or that they can connect to your brand.

The Bottom Line on Making a Digital Campaign

Creating an effective digital campaign is not an easy task to begin with. However, that doesn’t mean you should give up and make do with what you have concerning your marketing and advertising efforts.

You might want to take note of the tips above if you need help figuring out how your digital campaign can reach more audiences, engage buyer personas, and prompt customers to click on your calls to action. With the right strategy, you can develop a digital campaign that represents your brand and that can help convert leads into sales.

A Small Business-owner’s Guide To ERP Software

erp-software

Most business owners use all sorts of software and systems to help with their day-to-day activities. Most of these programs facilitate specific operations, such as invoicing, accounting, communications, and billing. However, you may also find a handful of software that can handle a variety of activities. Enterprise resource planning software, also known as ERP software, is a perfect example of this. 

An Overview Of ERP Software 

As stated earlier, ERP software is a type of program that facilitates day-to-day business activities. Unlike most business software that usually focuses on a specific activity, an ERP has numerous functions that touch many or all business operations. You can think of it as a program that fits numerous software into one system, thereby allowing business owners to cut down on costs. 

Unfortunately, while ERP software is indeed a powerful business tool for corporate giants and small businesses alike, it can be quite difficult to navigate, much less utilize for business purposes. 

For that reason, most users, specifically small business owners, consider ERP consulting services before taking on the challenge of ERP implementation for their organization. In the meantime, however, users can learn more about the software, and that’s what this article is all about. To start with, you must understand that ERP software consists of several components, also called modules. 

Introduction To ERP Software Modules 

erp-software

Normally, when you purchase software from a provider, you can enjoy all the features that come with the package. For example, the key features of a digital asset management platform include: 

  • Batch download 
  • Search 
  • Version history and control 
  • Organization 
  • Filter and sorting 
  • Access control 

However, that isn’t the case for ERP software. Unlike most systems and platforms, you can select which modules or components you want to include in the software. This is one of the main reasons that ERP software has become extremely prevalent among small business owners. By selecting only the features necessary for your business operations, you can cut down on the cost of your purchase. 

On that note, here’s a list of the different modules that comprise most ERP systems: 

  • Finance and accounting 
  • Manufacturing 
  • Procurement 
  • Inventory management 
  • Warehouse management 
  • Workforce management 
  • Marketing 
  • Automation 

While it might be tempting to select just about any module for your ERP software, you must take into consideration your business model, size, industry, and your employees’ technical expertise. If you can construct an ERP software that contains all the modules or components your small business needs, you should be able to maximize the potential of the software and enjoy its benefits to the fullest. 

Potential Benefits Of ERP Software 

Apart from the previous point concerning the customizability of ERP software, there are a lot of other benefits you can gain by implementing this type of software. Here’s a closer look at these benefits: 

  • Reduce Overall IT Costs 

A business’s IT sector includes all the software utilized for business purposes. This may include platforms like invoicing software, billing programs, and staffing software. As you may imagine, maintaining this much software can be financially draining, especially for a small business. That’s why being able to fit all these into one system in the form of ERP software can be extremely helpful, as it reduces the overall costs to maintain your business’s IT department. 

  • Prevent Too Little Or Too Much Inventory 

If you’re operating a retail business, you’ve probably experienced having too little or too much inventory a couple of times. Too little inventory means longer customer fulfillment times, while the opposite may increase your overhead costs. Either way, it doesn’t lead to any positive effects for your business. However, with the inventory management module present in your ERP, it should be possible to prevent having way too little or too many items in your inventory. 

  • Improve Customer Service 

Customer relationship management, also known as CRM, is one of the essential components of a business. Not only does it improve your customer acquisition, but it may also positively affect your retention rate. In short, it improves your customer service quality. And, as you may have guessed, CRM is yet another module that you can find in typical ERM software. 

  • Enhance Data Security 

Much like most business platforms, ERP software generally offers enhanced data security that would allow you to protect valuable business data. Considering the ever-increasing number of cyber threats, this benefit could certainly go a long way in helping you manage your business. 

  • Automate Repetitive Tasks 

Oftentimes, when a small business suddenly becomes popular among the masses, things tend to get hectic very quickly. At times like this, routine or repetitive tasks can get in the way of a productive operation. Hence, many business owners look for a way to automate these tasks, and ERP software is undoubtedly one of the best ways to approach this issue. 

  • Encourage Collaboration 

As you may already know, ERP software may consist of numerous functions that would otherwise be separate from one another. For example, the accounting software is usually separate from the marketing platform, but ERM systems make it so the two are together. As a result, your employees can establish a connection with other sectors of your business, which in turn encourages collaboration and better communication. 

As you can see, enterprise resource planning software is in no way inconsequential to an organization, much less to a small business. It brings a lot of benefits to the table, which explains why it’s incredibly popular with small business owners. But you must remember that ERP software isn’t free, by any means.  

Cost Of ERP Software 

erp-software

ERP software varies in price according to the number of modules included in the package. But for your reference, the average price for an ERP system suitable to small businesses is around USD$5,000. 

Take note that this figure is much higher for medium and big enterprises. Moreover, the price may come in the form of a subscription plan or licensing. For subscriptions, you usually need to enter a contract with the vendor to decide on the contract length. 

Conclusion

Despite the benefits you can gain from having ERP software, you must also remember that it has a few disadvantages of its own. For example, you need to train your employees before you can get any use out of the software. Not to mention that it can be quite costly to purchase your license or subscription for the software. Simply put, investing in ERP software may not be for every business, but if you decide to do it anyway, this guide should be of great help.

How Managed IT Services Can Grow Your Small Business

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Over the years, businesses have been operating more seamlessly with the help of Information Technology (IT). Proper management of the IT infrastructure is essential in ensuring efficient and smooth business operations.  If you want to improve your business operations’ overall efficiency and productivity, it might be best to consider managed IT services. When you work with a managed IT service provider, a team of skilled professionals will proactively perform the following:  

  • Regularly monitor the IT infrastructure.
  • Minimize the risks from cybersecurity threats.  
  • Maintain data integrity and networking requirements with the help of key performance indicators.  

If you decide to hire one, your business can prioritize and effectively tackle the core operations to boost efficiency. If you’re eager to know more about managed IT services, checking out Dallas based IT services companies would be a good starting point.  This might help ensure the safety of your business operations.   

What Is A Managed IT Service?  

When a business employs managed IT services, it generally involves delegating IT tasks to a third-party provider. A reliable service provider performs various IT-related functions such as overseeing the IT infrastructure, providing equipment, repairing issues, monitoring reports, and many more.  

Some of the advantages of having a managed IT service include:  

  • Monitoring and providing support for your network, including the infrastructure and software elements.  
  • Optimizing the overall performance of the system.  
  • Fine-tuning of the IT structure to gain better savings.  
  • Enhancing various functional aspects of your business.  
  • Complying with IT requirements and improving compliance, security, and maintenance. 

Different Ways Managed IT Services Promote Business Growth   

A reliable managed IT service provider deals with the IT-related aspects of your business. Thus, it will give you more time to oversee the core operations. Since you can focus on the main processes of your business, it’ll ensure seamless flow for better efficiency and productivity.  

If you’re still having doubts about whether or not to work with a managed IT service provider, here are various ways their services could contribute to the growth of your business  

  • Improve Reliability And Efficiency Of IT Functions  

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Most businesses maintain a team of IT staff who might lack the skills when dealing with the constantly changing demands of technology. By working with a dependable provider, you’ll have access to a team of IT professionals based on the specific needs of your business.  

Depending on the type of business you’re operating, you’ll access the latest technology and solutions.  These solutions may include remote monitoring and management, cloud computing, backup, and disaster recovery. Additionally, managed IT services could also maintain uptime and profitability. These are essential factors for the growth of your business in the long run.  

  • Better Maintenance  

Planning for IT-related functions such as network performance or operations and IT environment could take time. With managed IT services, your company will significantly benefit from regular monitoring. The services allow remote management while also pinpointing potential threats and utilizing the right solutions to mitigate risks.   

You’ll have assurance knowing that IT professionals will readily troubleshoot and deal with bugs. It might be time to make the most out of proactive technical solutions in maintaining the IT infrastructure of your business.   

  • Cut Down Operating Costs  

Saving on the overall operational costs is one of the advantages of working with a managed IT service provider.   In most companies, an issue of concern is the high workforce cost in the IT department. During certain times, employees who don’t have the right skills might handle tasks they’re not highly proficient to do so.  This leads to poor productivity and hampers the growth of your business.  

However, a managed IT service provider will guide you along the way in predicting and planning the monthly allocation for IT functions. A reliable provider will also deploy the correct number of professionals with the appropriate skills.  They do so to ensure consistency and efficiency. As a result, it frees other resources of your business to focus on core tasks.   

  • Help Stay Up To Date With The Current Technology   

If you want your business to grow, you need to stay updated and adapt latest technology trends. Also, it’s a cost-effective way if you decided to outsource technical functions to a reliable managed IT service provider.

Managed IT services will ensure your system infrastructure is equipped with the latest security patches and software updates to ensure seamless business operations and safety.  

  • Improve Scalability, And IT Support  

When your business faces downtime, it could be a minor or a severe loss and might come with dissatisfied customers. A reliable managed IT service can significantly reduce potential downtime, allowing your business to save on extra costs.   

Additionally, professionals will carry out IT and network monitoring to make sure the IT infrastructure is readily available. They also improve scalability depending on the current demand

  • Maintain Focus On Important Projects  

Managed IT services can help maximize your business operations to boost the productivity of your employees. A team of professionals will maximize the IT aspect which increases overall operational efficiency.  Additionally, the services will help empower your in-house IT team to focus their efforts on creating strategic IT projects and initiatives.  

  • Enhance IT Security, And Compliance  

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The increasing cybersecurity threats such as hacking and data loss are responsible for significant losses among businesses in different industries.   

Security is a crucial element if you want to ensure seamless operations for your business. There are various devices present in the workplace.  These devices include desktops, laptops, tablets, servers, applications, smartphones, browsers, operating systems. All of these devices transmit data and should comply with stringent security measures.  

When you hire managed IT services for your business, your provider will handle the security and compliance protocols. Doing so is a good move since they fully understand the importance of safety and adhere to the current regulations.  

  • Boost Productivity And Value  

Managed IT services could improve productivity by establishing a streamlined, reliable, scalable, and well-supported IT environment. When you hire their service, you’ll enjoy access to network management resources.  It also comes with a team of professionals without requiring you to make a significant upfront investment.   

Final Thoughts on Managed IT Services 

A managed IT service provider will tackle all IT-related tasks so your business could focus on its core operations. Doing so will help your business grow in various aspects. If you want to ensure the steady growth of your business, consider getting reliable managed IT service soon.