Is small business getting more optimistic? Yes, it may be true. Take a look at the post from the NFIB’s small business survey to learn more about what other small business owners just like you are thinking. Then read the rest of the tips and news in our small business roundup just for you at Small Business Trends.
Ready for Growth?
Be an optimist! The NFIB’s Index of Small Business Optimism showed a 1.8% increase this month, hopefully forecasting a much-needed shift in mood and expectation in the face of economic recovery. But while this seems hopeful, do these results really matter in the small business climate? Why is this important, and what conclusions can we draw for the coming year? National Federation of Independent Business
Is your niche getting crowded? You used to have your specialty market all sewed up, but now, in this increasingly competitive economy, the big guys are inching their tentacles into your territory. What can you do to stay competitive yet true to your mission and business model? Or is it time to evolve? See how one small business handles its heavyweight competitors with finesse and fortitude. The New York Times
E-mail marketing still topping the charts for 2012. It’s not really too much of a surprise that marketers are upping their budgets for this tried-and-true technique, but increasingly you’ll see it paired with other social media spending as companies seek to enhance their Facebook and Twitter presences and look into what it means to “go viral”. See where the marketing money is going for 2012 and whether you’re on track with what’s trending now. Small Business Trends
Going mobile, like it or not! That’s what customers are saying. Expectations of a seamless smart-phone shopping experience are high, however many SMB’s would love to sweep the whole crazy, complex mobile thing under the rug. But since studies show this type of shopping is here to stay, wouldn’t it be better to admit that mastering mobile marketing is a challenge, and one your business is prepared to face? Smallbiz Technology
Google rules may make honest bloggers of us all. At least that seems to be the objective of the search giant’s algorithmic changes this year. Many bloggers got hit hard by Google’s Panda and Freshness updates, but take an in-depth look at these changes and you’ll see why they might just pave the way for bloggers on the up and up. Basic Blog Tips
Is your Website too pretty to succeed? Your Website is a work of art, but you’ve noticed that online sales are still down. The problem may be that your audience is confounded by the beauty of your site and stuck in the appreciation phase. Learn how visual cues and an unmistakable e-commerce site design will dispel their confusion and help them shift gears into buying mode. Scott Fox
Operations & Management
It is said that we never really know other people. But when you’re looking to hire a virtual assistant for the first time, there’s a lot you can do to make sure you get the best candidate, even in the face of uncertainty. This simple checklist will help you prepare for the worst so you can hire the best. CreateHYPE
Cut to the chase. In movies it’s great to skip forward to an action-packed chase scene, but it’s not practical (and it’s sure not fun) to spend valuable time chasing down business prospects or their responses to your phone calls. Here are some practical techniques to make returning your call their top priority and turn phone tag into a game of the past. LeapZone Strategies
More News & Trends
Make it worth their while. With the advent of social media, marketing has turned the corner from push to pull. It’s definitely more important to provide useful content and information that could be the breadcrumbs leading to sales rather than clubbing your audience over the head with hype or traditional media messages. Learn about the power of content marketing and how you can create an environment where organic sales become a natural extension of your valuable and useful content. Todaymade
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