There’s an App for that: The Transformation of Small Business Marketing

Small business used to rely heavily on the power of print to convey the bulk of their marketing messages. Yes, some used digital media such as radio advertisements or television ads, but printed materials were much cheaper and easier to manage. By manage I mean bring a stack of cards to a shop, place them on the counter, and replace when the pile is gone. For the more organised business owners who kept track of which locations handed out more cards, they were practicing an early form of marketing data analytics. Small business marketing has come a long way since the days of endless stacks of flyers, licking envelopes for direct mail campaigns that most likely would never get opened, and paper being your biggest marketing expense. Nowadays, you will see less print ads. If you do, they almost certainly contain a QR code or at the very least a URL for the purposes of additional information. Tracking these QR codes allows marketers to track traffic to their sites based on the landing page. The URL is generally harder to track unless you put a specific landing page in the ad.       With the development and proliferation of
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Your Cup of Tea: The Importance of Networking as a Small Business Owner

  Networking and collaboration are vital ingredients in the recipe for success for small businesses. How do you achieve this? Meetings. There is no other way to build strong, personalised relationships without face-to-face meetings. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, so why not start off everyone’s days on the right foot with a breakfast meeting? In networking, it is important not to pre judge people. Anyone could turn out to be your best ever client, a key supplier or a perfect partner in a new venture. Make an extra effort to approach newcomers. You never know, they might be the next Bill Gates waiting in the wings for their opportunity. Starting conversations at small meetings can be extremely awkward. However, at networking meetings, everyone is there to meet new people and welcomes the opportunity to talk to someone new. Let other people do the talking because until you know something about them, you don’t know how you can help them or what connections you can make between them or their connections. If you focus on finding opportunities to help the person in front of you then you’ll find it much easier, you won’t be a sales bore
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Why a dedicated mobile website is the best choice for a small business

In 2014, more than half of all internet activity will take place on mobile devices and so it makes sense to offer potential clients the best possible interaction with your business. A mobile version of your website is offered up to those people using a mobile device. It means that everything is sized and formatted for the mobile device and navigation is easier to use. It can also provide mobile specific functions and content depending on the way it is implemented. There are two main solutions available to you for a mobile website: responsive design and dedicated mobile site. Responsive Design mobile website A responsive design means that your existing mobile site responds to the device that it is being viewed on and resizes/reformats content according to an additional design for mobiles. It can also remove certain content elements that would be too slow to download or difficult to access on a mobile. Dedicated mobile website This solution involves developing a separate version of your website which is called when someone accesses your website. It is designed specifically for mobile devices and has content written specifically for the mobile user. As it is written specially for a mobile device, it
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How to keep your website up to date?

If your saw a dirty shop window with a lot of sun faded products and out of date offers, how likely is it that you would want to enter the shop? Websites that look up to date with news, offers and changes to products and services, are more likely to attract attention and encourage people to spend time on your website. It also gives people a reason to keep coming back to your site and reviewing the content. Up to date and relevant content to your business sector will encourage people to reference your site in links from social medial and other websites. Google loves websites that are constantly adding new content and updating their website pages. It serves its purpose to offer good content and provides Google with a higher level of trust in the website which is an important factor in its ranking. How can you keep your website content up to date? Maintain a blog on your site that adds relevant information relating to your products and services. This could include tips, advice and general expertise. You can also add information on industry related news Add any press releases, local news related to your business or community
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How to be found in local search results

Many small businesses just want to be found for people searching in their local area for products and services. As a small business you don’t need to conquer the world and you would prefer to be doing business locally. Local business makes sense for a small business for a number of reasons: It reduces your costs in terms of travel time, petrol, parking, congestion charges etc. People want to use services from businesses who are based in their area and don’t want to travel far to premise based businesses e.g. Hair  Salon Working locally allows you to build a reputation in the area and you are more likely to get further referrals from satisfied clients. In London, 95% of homes have Internet access and will use the Internet to search for local services. Google will prioritise search results based on i) how close the service is to the user (Google knows the location of the the user) or ii) how close the service is to the location specified by the user either in their search query or in their location preference. It therefore becomes important for a business to ensure that it’s website is indexed by Google for the area
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