It’s time for another edition of the Small Business Trends Community News and Information Roundup. We survey the online small business community and bring you what’s being talked about. Today’s roundup starts with a question more common than you might think.
According to the National Knowledge Commission, 63 percent of small business owners “self-finance” their startups. And at least half get the money from family and friends. Journalist Lisa Furgison interviews business consultant Tom Scarda about how to ask family and friends for startup funds.
When considering the money you’ll need for startup, don’t forget to include some of the more obvious expenses in your budget. Things like marketing, labor and maintenance costs will be inevitable parts of any business. Don’t discount them! Blogger Tricia Borren lists six of the biggies right here (including the three we just mentioned) with a few more specifics on each.
Create the Right Kind of Website. (Shade of Info)
In this post, online entrepreneur Andrew M. Warner isn’t talking about the format, design or platform you use to create your website. Instead, he’s talking about creating a website that gives your visitors value before they even become your customers. It’s the kind of website people will not only flock to but also share with their friends.
Maintain Your Online Business Reputation. (The Digital Squad)
In the age of the Internet and Google search, news about your business can travel fast. Unfortunately that can include both the positive and the negative variety. Maintaining your online reputation is an ongoing effort and something you must devote time to. Here are some suggestions from online marketing consultant Jesse Erickson.
Measure Your Social Media ROI. (Olivier Blanchard)
Some businesses measure success in social media using the wrong set of metrics, says business consultant Olivier Blanchard. Instead of looking at “likes” and other criteria not directly connected to your business, he advises, consider instead how social media achieves your business goals.
Twitter has a new profile design, in case you haven’t noticed. Here marketing and sales strategist David Meerman Scott makes some suggestions about how to use the new profile to boost your personal brand. See also some brief discussion in the BizSugar community.
4 Tips for Networking with Instagram Direct. (Social Media Examiner)
You’re probably already aware of Instagram, the photo sharing community now owned by Facebook. The network is not only growing by leaps and bounds. It is also a powerful marketing and networking tool. Here online marketer Maggie Hibma explains how to use the Instagram Direct feature.
At one time, online advertising meant Google AdWords, but no more, says blogger Mahesh Mohan. It’s time to consider Google AdWords rival Bing Ads when thinking about how you will advertise your business. Here is a comparison including at least 10 features Mohan insists are unique about the newer advertising platform.
Consider Taking Your Business Global. (Catarina’s World)
With many communications and export possibilities today, taking even the smallest brand global is more possible than ever before. Business consultant Catarina Alexon suggests some of the lessons small businesses can take from big global exporters with a bit more discussion in the BizSugar community.
Become a Better Business Leader…by Listening More. (The Smarter Blog)
As your business grows, you will find yourself to be not just an entrepreneur, but also a leader. If this is a first for you, you may need some advice. Trey Praytor has some suggestions. And they start with the recommendation to keep your mouth shut and listen to others more.
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