Our small business blog contains information which you should find helpful in running your business. If you have a suggestion for a topic, contact us and if we publish the topic on our blog - you'll get a gift card!

According to the latest statistics, in 2013 there were 78,430 small businesses brought to life, and 83,240 closed. That’s left the country less 4,810 small businesses. We don’t have the statistics for the years since, but we do have some thoughts on why small businesses tend to fail, and what entrepreneurs can do about it.

The second most common complaint we hear about website design is about time:

“The last time we did a website redesign it took more than 6 months!”
“I need the website to launch on X date. How can you guarantee we’ll make that?”
“Our last website designer was slow to communicate. I can’t afford that kind of time.”

Sound familiar?

The short of it is that your brand is the identity of your company. The long of it, branding, is what inspires loyalty in your customers, thus, the longevity of your business. Here’s how.

Have you been told that your website needs a redesign? Or maybe you’re looking for an excuse to bring it up at the next team meeting?

You know that feeling when you’ve created a new piece of marketing for social media or your newsletter, and something about it just isn’t quite right? Graphic designers can help! Not only can they create impactful images, they are also layout masters. Send them that file you’re gnawing your nails off about and in short order, they’ll send back magic. Thinking about hiring a graphic designer? Here’s what you should know.

Beam potential customers straight to the bottom of your sales funnel with landing pages! That’s right, we said pages, as in plural, because why stop at one when you can have it all? Sure, you’ve got your website’s homepage set up like a landing page, but did you know you can also harness the powers of the online search by setting up landing pages specific to your individual services? The concept works because it makes you easier than ever to find, and cuts down on the customer’s embark on a quest to find what they’re looking for. Yeah, we’re for real!

The signs of summer marketing are everywhere, beckoning customers in from the street for a spontaneous summer sale. And you should get into that game! Summer is a traditional time to hit a sales slump, what with all of your customers spending their hard-earned money on family vacations, which is why a good sale is deliciously enticing. Summer shoppers are looking for wedding gifts, inexpensive rewards and treats, nostalgia, and fun. Once you’ve set up the details of your deal, you need spread word, and since you don’t have to do battle with ice storms and snow piles, outdoor temporary signage is worth working into your budget.

Hosting a customer appreciation barbecue? Talk about personalized customer experience! No really, let’s talk about it. You’ve heard all about social media marketing, and while it’s a big task, old-fashioned social marketing is worth all the effort. One of the easiest ways to score a face-to-face meeting with your clients is to throw a customer appreciation barbecue. 

Mail call! You may recall that one of the hot topics of Canada’s most recent federal election was door-to-door mail delivery. Despite the increasing number of businesses going paperless, your customers are still invigorated by snail mail.

While everyone is looking to lay blame in the most recently data mining scandal involving Facebook and Cambridge Analytica, it’s time to take a close look at ALL of your online profiles and scrutinize the safety of your information.

Social responsibility has always been integrated with business, and thanks to the reach provided by social media, small businesses have just as much right to get involved and help change the world as massive corporations. Maybe you can’t sponsor a tuition program or organize the build of an entire neighbourhood, but your business can still step up and take care of customers as well as your community.

Holiday sales are the best! Customers are in a great mood and excited to score a great deal. Some holidays already have established sale expectations, like Christmas, Mother’s and Father’s Day, Canada Day, and Back-To-School (hey, it’s a major holiday for parents so we celebrate!). But your bottom line doesn’t have to live and die by Boxing Day if you strategize carefully. Truth is, you can spin any holiday into a saleable celebration.

When you find the right tools to support your business, and your clients, your efficiencies increase and you find reaching stretch goals not only possible but happening! Tech tools are incredible performance boosters – particularly for small business, and especially now when subcontracted and work-from-home teams are the norm. With your team split up physically it can cause a communication breakdown that could slow productivity and scuff your customer service delivery.

When we talk to our clients about their corporate blogging strategy we always start with why we’re blogging for search engines as well as potential customers. The reason you blog exists is to foster a relationship with customers as well as to attract the attention of potential customers, (and customers who have forgotten about you), by showing up in their online search results.

In business, we know that slow and steady wins the race, but you’ll be pleased to hear that there are some quick-fix strategies you can implement to help you through a sales slump. The only caution we raise is that you be sure you can keep up with an increase in orders and services! Here are our top tips to boost sales.

In July 2018 Google says it will roll out the final phase in its quest to force the internet’s hand in providing secure websites for users. For the last few years Google has been pushing websites to switch from http:// to https:// on every page rather than just pay and login pages. Eyes glazed over yet? Hear us now: If your website doesn’t have that super “s” after the http by July, Google Chrome will tell your mom, and will eventually put you in time out. Sounds extreme, but proving a secure website experience for your customers isn’t a bad thing!

Conflict is a natural part of being human, and with good reason: if we all agreed on everything life would be rather boring. We would certainly miss out on a ton of efficient problem-solving opportunities. But there’s a time to revel in differing opinions, to agree to disagree, and a time to compromise. Oh, also a time to admit you’re wrong. As a small business owner you’re often large and in charge of production, HR, and customer service, and it’s easy to focus on production, but it’s vital to your business that you succeed in conflict resolution.

We’re finally in the homestretch of winter, and while spring is in sight, the February blahs have set in. It’s a good time to be keenly aware that seasonal depression or Seasonal Affective Disorder is very real. Have you noticed a drop in the vitality of your staff? Now is a fantastic time to deploy an employee engagement strategy.

By Guest Blogger: James Niehaus, Perfectcutsandmiters.com

With more than 1.8 billion websites and counting, the internet is a crowded, competitive space. Many business owners mistakenly assume a generic cookie-cutter website with little-to-no content website will generate traffic, only to discover this isn't the case. Thankfully, though, there are ways to improve your business's online visibility, including blogging and sharing content.

Have you ever visited a website and a little chat system pops up in the corner? There’s a picture of a person and you see the three little dots jumping up and down so you wait to see what they’ll say?

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