Small businesses use many resources when trying to expand. Experts see a recent increase in small business lending as a sign small firms may be preparing to start hiring. But there are many ways you can grow your business besides going into debt, especially in economically uncertain times. Today we look at businesses gearing up for growth with increased financing and then examine some of the other tools at entrepreneurs’ fingertips to build a more profitable future.
Ready to Explode
Rob Peter to pay Paul. PayNet, an organization providing small business credit ratings, reported earlier this week that small business lending is up by 11 percent. One possible explanation is that these businesses are gearing up for more hiring, a conclusion that could be borne out by a report from the U.S. Labor Department later this week. If so, it’s good news as far as lowering unemployment numbers. But it also means more debt for businesses in an uncertain economy. Here are some other ways to boost your business without robbing Peter to pay Paul. Washington Post
Get your house in order. Digital media consultant Aliza Sherman gives some tips to get your business “fired up” for 2013, especially the traditionally slow time right after the New Year, without making substantial additional investments. Sherman suggests maximizing your opportunities, stretching out deadlines, pushing for payments, and avoiding procrastination when invoicing during the Holiday season. Work on getting the most you can from your business now while preparing to hit the ground running in January. Your Digital Diva
The Latest and Greatest
Overhaul your online store. It’s easier than ever to join the e-commerce revolution, and Danny Pajevic can show you how. In this post, Danny explains how to add profit to your online business with the new Checkout by Amazon feature. This blog post looks at the details of partnering with the Internet’s largest retailer and Danny even offers a tutorial video to show you how to get started. With more customers buying online, it’s easy to see the benefits of adding more e-commerce capability to your business today. Creating a Webstore
Testing one, two, three. You probably already know about many of the techniques that can improve revenue in your business. We’ll talk about some of the more common strategies you should already be using later in this roundup. But one tool that might not immediately come to mind is the podcast. Here solopreneur Kelly McCausey gives you five unique ways podcasts can boost your business and takes you step by step through each to show you how you can make them work for you too. The Future of Ink
Better and Better
Make the move to mobile. The importance of mobile cannot be overstated. Guest blogger Chrissie Cole starts with some simple questions to gauge how mobile your online presence is already. Then she shares some statistics that explain why mobile marketing will give your business an advantage. But perhaps more importantly, these numbers will show you why businesses that don’t use mobile marketing effectively find themselves at a considerable disadvantage in the current marketplace. Get Busy Media
Effective e-mail strategy. Despite all the new tools and strategies, some comparatively old-school approaches can still boost your profits if executed well. Best of all, they cost little more than time and effort and so won’t drain your bank account or add to your debt. Take e-mail marketing, for example. Still a favorite among retailers this time of year, e-mail is inexpensive and effective. Here Rieva Lesonsky tells us how to get the most out of an e-mail campaign. Grow Smart Biz
Content is still king. Content marketing has changed a lot over the years, but it still remains an effective strategy. Sure, video and visuals in general are more important than ever when using content marketing to grow your business. But diving deeper, Joe Pulizzi shares with us more than 100 predictions about how content and social media marketing will be transformed in the coming year. No doubt you already use some kind of content marketing in your business. Gaze into this crystal ball for a look at the future. Content Marketing Institute
Great roundup. Thanks for the resources.