From mistakes to successes, small business operations is a learning experience. Some of that learning is painful at times. But don’t worry about mistakes so long as you learn something from them. We’ve assembled some advice, both dos and don’ts, that we hope will make things go a little smoother. Here’s to your small business this week!
Open virtual mouth, insert virtual foot. But online gaffes have real consequences, especially in the Twitterverse. Learn to NOT be like Ashton Kutcher. Think before you tweet! Pacific Ridge Media
Keeping an open mind about your marketing mix is no mean feat. We judge the world by what we are, our likes, our dislikes, and sometimes we allow our biases to close the door on things that work, just because they’re not our cup of tea. But not everyone’s the same, and one person’s spam might just be another’s golden opportunity. B2BMarketingSmarts
The dog ate my hard drive! Excuses, excuses. Sure, coming up with solutions to problems beforehand can make some excuses more palatable, but if you really want your business to get ahead you’ve got to stop using them to justify inaction. Barrel of Crafts
Lip service or legitimate support? Lately there’s a lot of talk from the Fed about the need to support small business to spur economic recovery. Dennis Lockhart, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, has a great deal to say on the subject, but will the powers that be listen? American Express Open Forum
Put your marketing budget on a diet. If you’re trying to get new customers and having poor results, maybe you’re spending on the wrong things. Here’s a must-have checklist when off to market we go. Dirty Marketing Secrets
Buzzword of the day: “branding”. It seems like everyone’s on the “brand-wagon” these days; businesses sometimes spend hand-over-fist in hopes of defining their product with perky packaging and slick ad copy. But that is no substitute for substance. True “branding” is really how customers experience your product. Inc.com
The writing is on the wall…or at least it should be. It’s best for both you and your customers when the policy is in print and the ground rules for business are clear. There’s a fine line between customers’ rights and your business needs, but someone’s got to draw it. Let that person be you, and your customers will thank you. StepByStepMarketing.com
Fight the stain of sour grapes. Sometimes relationships between small business owners and employees just don’t work out. What to know and how to fight back when disgruntled former employees embark on a smear campaign to ruin your business. Bloomberg Businessweek
No home office exists in a vacuum. And no self-employed person is an island. Entrepreneurs face countless obstacles, but some might be in your own living room or even in your own mind. Find out what you were never told about being your own boss. #FinCon12
The pursuit of office happiness. It’s not guaranteed by the Constitution, but it should be supported by any small business that’s looking for increased productivity from its workers. See the correlation between employee contentment and contribution to business success in this insightful infographic. Balanced WorkLife
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Small businesses should look into audio marketing for growing a customer base, brand awareness, and expanding marketing efforts. This image-enhancing, cost effective marketing strategy can be implemented on your phone system (voicemail, Message and/or Music On Hold, IVR) or through your overhead system. Using a professional voice for these messages will make your brand sound sophisticated and larger than it actually is.