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The Power of Content Marketing Small Business Owners Don’t Know About

Investing into new technologies and content that you are unfamiliar with can be difficult for small businesses with limited resources. Content marketing can be a beneficial ally if your marketing team takes proper advantage of SEO and latest trends in your particular niche. Let’s take a look at some of the powerful ways in which content marketing can help small businesses that you might not be aware of right now.

Higher search engine ranking

All content on the internet is accessed through a search engine at some point or another. Not every internet user will know your website address or a particular article title – they will search for anything relevant to that topic. read more

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Customer Feedback: Why Ask if You Do Not Really Want to Know?

Posted by Stephanie Valentine on December 3, 2009 in Small Business Customer Service |

Do you want to just laugh when you have a lousy interaction with a company’s customer service department and then they ask you to take a survey about their customer service?

The other day I dealt with customer service at a software company. The representative blew me off, his supervisor did the same, and the top dog manager was only mildly accommodating. At the end of all this merry-go-round, they asked me to take a 3 question survey to rate their customer service. I told them they had to be joking! read more

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Why Cranky Customers Can be Good for Small Business

Posted by Stephanie Valentine on December 1, 2009 in Small Business Customer Service |

small business customer loyaltyHave you noticed that the number cranky customers is on the rise? This isn’t a huge surprise, since the current economic situation tends to make people testy about anything to do with money, including shipping fees, taxes, and product cost. And while it may be irritating to deal with unhappy customers, finding ways to soothe these customers can actually increase your small business profitability and generate customer loyalty in the long run.

Cranky Customers and Profitability: An Example
Recently I have had several interactions with cranky customers that has reshaped the way I handle customer service for my small businesses. In one case, a customer complained about the shipping cost for a single bottle of nutritional supplements he ordered from my small business website. read more

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Small Business Owners: Do You Suck at Personal Finance? Go Scrooge Yourself

Posted by Stephanie Valentine on November 24, 2009 in Small Business Cash Flow, Small Business Opinion-Making, Small Business Strategy |

Asking if you suck at personal finance can seem insulting, but the question is not meant to be insulting. It’s just that, being a small business owner and having recently taken a deep look at my personal finances, I have to say that I suck at personal finance. A lot of my small business owner buddies do, too. How do I know this? Because we have all been taking the 30-Day Challenge by Ramit Sethi of the Scrooge Strategy, and it has been truly eye-opening.

What is the Scrooge Strategy 30-Day Challenge?
Basically, it’s an ebook written by national bestselling author Ramit Sethi. The challenge is to see if you can save $1,000 in 30 days by doing the steps in his ebook. There is one step per day. read more

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Small Business Owners: Never Give Up!

Posted by Stephanie Valentine on November 17, 2009 in Small Business Leadership |

With the current business environment, small business owners are definitely struggling and “giving up” may start to look like a better and better option. While only you can decide when enough is enough, I heartily encourage you to consider staying in the game as long as possible.

For one thing, small businesses are the engines that really drive our economy, so just by keeping your doors open you are helping the economy to recover. Second, if you have been in business for more than 5 years, you have already beaten the odds, since 95% of small businesses fail by their fifth year. If you have come this far, maybe it’s worth trying to keep your small business afloat a while longer. read more

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The Art of Monkishness for the Small Business Owner

Posted by Stephanie Valentine on November 10, 2009 in Small Business Management |

Adrian Monk is one of my favorite characters on television, probably because my husband resembles him so much … everything has to be “just so”! I catch reruns of “Monk” on the tube at least once a week, and I love how he uses his OCD mind, which is truly detail-oriented, to solve crimes. It has occurred to me more than once that small business owners could benefit from a little Monkishness to create a more efficient and productive business.

Small Business Owners and Adrian Monk
It’s true that Monk’s OCD tends to hinder rather than help him on a daily basis, since he spends so much time staying sanitary and clean. However, his “devil is in the details” approach is pretty useful for the small business owner. read more

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Three Crucial Questions for Small Business Owners

Posted by Stephanie Valentine on October 6, 2009 in Small Business Leadership, Small Business Management |

There’s no doubt that most organizations, from small businesses to large corporations, are struggling. It’s been a darn hard time for most people. And yet giving up just really isn’t an option for many small business owners since the job market doesn’t offer a lot of hope and many retirement plans have suffered serious setbacks.

But even though the economic situation is less than perfect, it does present us small business owners with a perfect opportunity to ask some penetrating questions. It allows us to ask ourselves what is important about our small businesses. It helps us remember why we started our small businesses, and determine whether those reasons are still important to us. read more

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Now is a Time for Mavericks and Old-Fashioned Values

Posted by Stephanie Valentine on September 29, 2009 in Small Business Management, Small Business Opinion-Making |

It pays to be a maverick these days because nothing seems to work like it used to. Sure, a lot of people are doing their best ostrich act, sticking their heads in the sand and hoping that when the alarm beeps in the morning the world will have returned to its normal order.

Not gonna happen, folks. “Business as usual” isn’t going to cut the mustard in this new economy, this time of prolonged uncertainty. By the way, did you know that prolonged uncertainty is one of the greatest causes of stress a human being can suffer? They’ve done studies that prove it. So here we are, in a time of prolonged uncertainty, and we are, well, uncertain. read more

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3 Time Management Tips for Small Business Owners

Posted by Stephanie Valentine on September 22, 2009 in Small Business Management |

Time is one of the most precious commodities for a small business owner. Between business development, client work, employee or contract worker management, marketing, and fire-fighting, there’s hardly enough time for coffee and bathroom breaks.

In fact, recent studies show that time management issues are among the main obstacles to small business owners being successful and keeping the doors to their businesses open. So what’s a small business owner to do? Here are some time management tips I recently gathered from a workshop sponsored by my local chamber of commerce. read more

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