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SmallBusiness Today’s

TODAY’S SMALL BUSINESS

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Issue 02 - JAN/FEB 2014

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January/February 2014

PRESENTED BY SUPERIOR BMS

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

HERE’S TO A SUCCESSFUL YEAR FOR ALL!

Tools For New

GUERILLA MARKETING TIPS

FREELANCERS Just Getting Started? We Got You Covered!

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Make Your Business Stand Out In 2014 With These Unique Marketing Tips From Our Expert.

Pg 22

The WHAT WHY WHO & WHEN of Responsive & Adaptive Web Design Pg 06

REPUTATION MANAGEMENT

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The Important Plan Many Entrepreneurs Overlook

Could Your Businesses Be At Risk? Pg 12

It’s Not Just About Covering Your *%!

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Nov/Dec 2013 - Issue 01 Always Free - Always Online


Contents

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TODAY’S SMALL BUSINESS

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Issue 02 - JAN/FEB 2014

TOOLS FOR NEW FREELANCERS

Podcast Coming In January

THE POWER OF MANY MINDS Are You Tapping Into This?

Start Off Right - Save Time

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08 SOCIAL BUTTONS Are You Pushing Them?

THEM VS US

MOBILE APP DESIGN

Competing with the Big Guys

A Look Inside SHOPKO

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ALWAYS FREE

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SETTING GOALS Starting Out Right in 2014 PAGE

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Join Us On Social

16 ON A DIME

Low Cost Marketing For Your Small Business

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pages

Full of useful

small biz content!

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Fresh Content Every Month - By and For Small Business & Entrepreneurs

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ENTREPRENEUR Q & A

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BY SUPERIOR BMS

WELCOME Thank you for checking out this issue of Today’s Small Business, a bi-monthly magazine dedicated to YOU, the small business owner.

A Chat With The Owner of Dirty Gloves Junk in New York

It is the intention of the editor to bring you information which you can apply to your business the minute you finish the article. Please have a look to the left to see what we have to offer you in this issue.

DISCLAIMER

The views expressed in the articles presented in this magazine are those of the Authors. They are not the views of the publisher. The publisher is not responsible for the opinions, statements or remarks made by the Authors.

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Please forward all comment to: tsbmagazineonline@gmail.com PUBLISHER

Superior Business Management Solutions LLC EDITOR

Deirdre Baker SUBSCRIPTIONS

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BECOME A CONTRIBUTOR EMAIL US FOR MORE INFORMATION TSBMagazineOnline@gmail.com

ARTICLE SUBMISSIONS

If you are interested in submitting an article for a future issue of Today’s Small Business, please view our content guidelines and complete the form on http://superiorbms.com/contribute ADVERTISING

We drastically limit ads within the magazine but if you would like about advertising rates and availability email tsbmagazineonline@gmail.com or call 888-247-5183 x704 THIS MONT’S CONTRIBUTORS

Samantha Joergens, Soozy G. Miller, Tobe Brockner, Faith Glenn-Thompson, Adam Salzman, Jeff Jockisch, Keo Bun, Barry Davys, Christopher Lankard & Kevin Byington PAGE Thank You!

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Issue 02 - JAN/FEB 2014

Editor

The

“Set fire to the broken pieces; start anew.” ~ Lauren DeStefano, Sever

Corner

When I was younger I distinctly remeber my mother telling me how the years were just flying by. She said “the older you get, the faster they go Deirdre. You’ll see!”. Boy she wasn’t kidding!

New Year

new beginnings

Reflect without regret!

I feel like this year wizzed by me. How about you? Be that as it may, with the new year comes an opportunity for a fresh start. We have a chance to look back on the past year and use the experiences and challenges we faced to help us make 2014 even better. What are your goals for this year? Have you set any? For so many years I was not a goal setting person. There is a part of me (and a part of you too I’m sure) that doesn’t want to fail...doesn’t like to fail. I had set goals in the past and felt horrible disappointment in myself when I didn’t reach those goals and so, I just stopped setting them. I went on like that for a long time until I realized that I really wasn’t getting very far. Sure, I would get things done, but I’d forget some of the plan along the way or a great idea I had. So a few years back I started to hold myself accountable and began to once again to start setting goals for myself....and not just in my head. I bought a notebook and started laying out my monthly goals, then weekly and then daily. The more goals I set, the more I got done. Imagine that! Did I miss some along the way? Sure! And I felt that tinge of disappointment in myself again....but, I decided that I wasn’t a machine and there were only so many hours in the day. I also began to realize that many of the goals I was setting were a bit unrealistic and not manageable with everything I had going on. So, I learned to set more realistic goals and where I gave myself an hour or an afternoon to get something done, I now gave 3 hours or a day. And it worked! It worked so well that I take a little time each day to write, review and rearrange goals. It is an integral part of my day and I make it as important as brushing my teeth and eating. I set goals and things get done! I know that if I don’t have it there stareing me in the face, I simply don’t make it a priority...or I forget about it which seems to be more likely as I get older. But, I digress. So my hope for you this year is when December 31 2014 arrives you have a pile of accomplishments and a better life, personally and professionally because of setting realistic, manageable goals! Happy New Year to you!

Deirdre My Best,

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SOCIAL MEDIA Pushing the Brain’s Buttons The world of social media changes quicker than you can say “why do I need a Facebook anyway?” Yes, the models have changed. Sure, the demographic focus has shifted. Certainly, our utilization of such platforms has increased. But what about the psychology behind it all? As artisanal and small business owners, we invest far too much time reading articles highlighting the “how to’s” of Facebook success when incorporating social media platforms into our marketing plans. Don’t get me wrong, these articles are a mustread. However, you might be implementing all of these “how to’s” successfully, yet may not be seeing the return that you would like to see. We depend so heavily on the quantifiable that we often forget about quality. Everything we do from the time we post to the first word we use (and the last) makes an impression that will either make the consumer on the other side of the screen like, share, comment, or scroll right past you. Don’t throw away all of those principles you’ve read in past articles, just put them on the back burner for a second. Your potential success may lie in you simply humanizing your clients (current and potential) and understanding what makes them tick on a neurological level. You may be thinking, “why won’t people just like my post, share it even, or maybe just a retweet once in a while?” I have a secret for you: it’s too much work. People decide whether or not they ought

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By Samantha Joergens

to engage in your post within a split millisecond. That’s all you have. Peel back the layers of the mind and find out why they like your content, what makes the investment worth it for them, how they desire their relationship with you to be, and so on. Always remember, what you may think is important may not be what is relevant to your consumers. See what they want from you... Not what you want from them.

Social Trafficking Tip: Trying to attract more traffic to your website via social media? No one wants to feel like they are being sold something. Make it a game. Place a picture of something relevant to your business hidden on the bottom of one of your websites pages. Invite all social media followers to find the hidden picture to receive an entry into a giveaway you are hosting. This makes people fish through your site in order to win a prize of sorts. Meanwhile, they are subconsciously absorbing a large majority of the information dispersed throughout your website. Those who may never have visited your site before, will now.

Samantha Joergens is rapidly becoming known as the go-to PR/social media guru of New Jersey and New York. With a strong focus and concentration on the artisanal businesses that make up the fabric of the tri-state area, Joergens has brought the smallest of businesses to large revenue-generators. Known for her keen eye for website design and social media campaign execution, she is tapping into the niche markets of beauty, wellness, and consumer products.

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The WHAT WHY WHO WHEN of Adaptive/Responsive Websites

by Soozy G Miller

WHAT

“Smartphones and tablets now account for 59% of time spent on e-commerce sites.”

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is an adaptive/responsive website? A website that looks neat, functions well and is user friendly on any size screen—from the biggest projection screen down to smallest flip phone.

If you really want to get down to the details, there is a difference between the two. Adaptive Web Design (AWD) uses coding that adapts graphics and interactive features to pre-defined screen sizes; the coder is given screen specs and creates the website around that. Responsive Web Design (RWD) relies on flexible and fluid grids to let the information “flow” onto each device. For the majority of the population—us non-programmers—the difference between these two design concepts is insignificant. The bigger picture is more important: Companies, particularly those that have a retail element, must adapt to the mobile sales market or be prepared to eventually phase out. Though the numbers are still low (and reports continue to come in from the holiday season), the mobile market is heating up—fast. So far, mobile-based transactions only accounted for about 2% of total U.S. purchases in 2013 (and 4% globally), but that figure is expected to grow explosively in the next few years. Smartphones and tablets now account for 59% of time spent on e-commerce sites. Markets in Africa and Asia-Pacific already see more mobile-driven transactions than the U.S.

WHY?

Currently, the four big companies that have nailed mobile are Amazon, Ebay, Pinterest and Wal-Mart. These companies have figured out how to use sales, social media, customer feedback and location software to interact with their huge customer pool and bring the customers what they want when they want it. These companies have built a loyal buying base that will keep coming back for business again and again. Analytics from around the Thanksgiving holiday weekend show that sales

WHO?


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through Pinterest grew by 260%. Mobile presence is now crucial in the high-competitive retail world. So why aren’t more companies on mobile? According to a recent survey, the vast majority of CIOs (81%) believe that the cost of developing or re-engineering applications for use on mobile devices is currently too high because of the “highly fragmented and complex nature of the mobile market.” In other words, there are too many factors to consider when a company goes mobile—general compatibility, design, security, server space, fulfillment, delivery channels, digital marketing—going mobile feels like starting a whole new business. Finding the right talent to accomplish a company’s mobile goals also is not easy—and it’s expensive. The pool of talent that works on adaptive/responsive websites is small. Consider this: There are an estimated 7,000 types of mobile devices in the world. Apps have to run on all the major mobile systems (Apple, Android, Google, Microsoft) as well as on all of the web browsers (Chrome, Firefox, Navigator, Internet Explorer). To design an interactive website that is accessible to all users—projection screen to flip phone—companies need to hire “full stack” developers who have knowledge of website design plus vast knowledge of mobile-related systems (servers, databases, server side programming, HTML5, Javascript, CSS3, PhoneGap, and more). Developers who can cover this range are of a rare breed. The rapidly-increasing demand for them will result in a 7.8% salary increase overall. This is the hot new job. This is happening now. Some companies have lowered their adaptive/responsive website costs by creating apps designated to take care of only specific retail transactions. Other companies can go full out and bring their entire site to the mobile marketplace. Either way, mobile buying is happening now and retail-based companies should be ready to join the fray.

WHEN?

Soozy G. Miller has been a business writer for over 25 years. She works with clients on publicity, marketing, social media, book editing, blogging, web content, technical writing and other projects. Soozy runs SoozyPR in East Hampton, NY where she lives with her two children. Soozy can reached at soozyg@yahoo.com PAGE

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The Top Seven Reasons to Start or Join a Mastermind Group By Tobe Brockner

W

hat did Henry Ford, Thomas Edison & Andrew Carnegie Have In Common? They all leveraged the power of mastermind groups to grow their businesses. Mastermind groups have been around nearly as long as businesses have existed. The goal of these groups is to connect business owners so they can share ideas, solve problems and identify opportunities—collectively growing businesses through the experience of the group. These are the top seven reasons to join a mastermind group.

The Ability to Work “On” Your Business Instead of Just “In” It. When you get bogged down in the daily minutiae of your business, it can be difficult to see the bigger picture. By joining a mastermind group, you can dedicate time each month toward developing your strategy, planning your business’s future, and making broader decisions that affect the direction of your business. PAGE

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Camaraderie and Understanding I have long said entrepreneurs are some of the loneliest people on the planet. Most of us are surrounded by people who are close to us but rarely by people who understand us. In mastermind groups, I can associate with people who experience the same challenges, who see things the same way, and who can identify with me.

Unique Perspectives Other business owners will often have fully developed ideas that can easily be applied to your business with just a few tweaks. I’ve seen this happen many times. Through participation in the group, members are able to glean the unique perspective of the other members, effectively shortcutting the creative process.

Motivation Staying motivated and inspired is a constant challenge. That’s why it’s so important to meet regularly with a group of people who feel your inner-motivation. It’s a way to recharge and reset each month.

Accumulated Experience No two people will ever see the same event the same way. Each year you are in


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“Through participation in the group, members are able to glean the unique perspective of the other members, effectively shortcutting the creative process.” business adds layers of experience to your perspective. When you combine your knowledge with that of other business owners, you create a brand new perspective from which to work.

Ability to Serve

Even as a kid, Tobe

Brockner knew he wanted to be an entrepreneur.

I know it sounds cliché, but it’s still true: the more you give, the more you receive. Joining or creating a mastermind group is a fantastic way to give back to other business owners in your com- He started his first marketing company after graduating munity. If everyone in the group has the attitude of being of as from college, and also runs much service as possible, then everyone benefits exponentially.

Accountability I saved this benefit for last because I believe it is the most important. Being an entrepreneur, you report to no one but yourself. That all changes once you join a mastermind group. There’s something to be said for having a group like this to hold your feet to the fire and keep you accountable for getting things done.

several thriving mastermind groups for business owners. Tobe is CEO of CMO Marketing, a speaker, and the author of “Mastermind Blueprint:

How to Start, Run and Profit from Mastermind Groups.”

The benefits of joining a mastermind group are substantial and can significantly change your life and business for the better. When you surround yourself wit business people who are excited, passionate, and energetic about the challenges they’re presented with, you cant help but feel the same way. PAGE

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Marketing On A Dime FREE TOOLS and clever thinking ensure success Small Biz Marketing Tips FAITH GLENN-THOMPSON - CALIFORNIA SPRINGS

You know you have a great business venture and entrepreneurial success is staring you in the face. You’ve crossed your t’s and dotted your i’s with a stellar business plan and momentum to run through a troop. Then reality hits. This stuff looks great on paper, but what can you do right now to get things moving? Let’s face it. As small business entrepreneurs, success can seem so close and yet so far away when we don’t have the finances to market our services and reach the clientele we would like to. Don’t fret. Lots of small business owners find themselves between this rock and hard place. This requires some clever thinking on our part to get ahead. PAGE

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just coming up with a great idea to make you money. It also requires we become clever marketers who know how to talk to our customers and convince them to buy our products or utilize our services.

You must be willing to do the research and be diligent... Here’s the good news. There are quick and easy online resources to help us. Never underestimate the power of an online search and a video tutorial. It may take you a little longer than someone who does it regularly. But, there’s a wealth of tools within your reach. Be proactive in finding them and using them to benefit your business.

Faith Glenn-Thompson is a small business entrepreneur of seven years. She operates a professional writing and marketing consultation business and freelances. Faith is also a corporate marketing professional with experience managing a full-service marketing department in Michigan. Her passion lies in helping business owners achieve success in their business ventures and also provides career services to individuals seeking to enhance their careers. In her spare time she volunteers with youth teaching music and mentoring, singing and writing music, and loves family time with her son and husband.

There are resources out there that can help you more than you may think. You must be willing to do the research and be diligent in using these resources to get you a good head start in marketing your products or services. Chances are you can’t afford to hire someone to help with your marketing. A part of being a business owner is not

There are sites that offer free websites, free video ads, free business cards, free advertising, and more resources for very little money. The key is to know who your customers are and what the best ways to reach them are. Then spend your time, attention and money there to get better results. If your customers spend less time using the internet, there are other traditional approaches

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you can take, such as using business cards and postcards to place in other places of business that will allow you to, as well as public places where your target customers may frequent. A small business owner can’t afford to market in dead places where your target customers won’t even see it. Go where your customers are. Some helpful tips to consider for do-it-yourself marketing include: Consistent messaging – If you have a friend who is a great writer, use them. Lots of research – Google and YouTube should become your two new best friends. Be organized – This will help keep your gray hairs to a minimum. Use free first – Exhaust any free resources available first to offset marketing costs. Emulate, but don’t copy – It’s OK to model after others’ success. But don’t be a copycat. Let’s face it. We have many hats to wear. But it’s refreshing to know that we don’t have to be perfect at all of them. Use the online tools that are at your fingertips and let your awesome products and services do the rest.

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You’re a Small Business Owner Without an Estate Plan? You Probably Want to Fix That.

By Adam Salzman

I travel in a lot of small business economic engine for your family circles these days. And the small that you’re building or have built business owners I spend time with will be made by a court of law. seem to share some basic traits: I’m a lawyer so I don’t mind goThey have tremendous initiative. ing to court. But your family will. And chances are even greater that They have families. a judge will not handle your estate in exactly the way you want They aspire with their business- it handled. So don’t leave things es to create a lasting foundation up to chance and luck of the draw. for the benefit of their children. Take the necessary step of conThese are all good things. It means tacting an estate planning attorthat our local economies are in- ney and scheduling a consultation fused with motivated and highly to talk about your goals and priorcapable small business owners. ities. Protect your family against But there’s a fourth characteris- the unexpected and ensure that tic these small business owners they will enjoy the fruits of what share: If you ask them whether you have worked so hard to build they’ve drafted an estate plan, the for as long as possible. answer is almost always no. And that’s kind of a problem. Why? If you are your family’s principal wage earner (or onehalf of your family’s financial prospects for the future,) it’s necessary to contemplate what would happen if you were suddenly unable to fulfill your economic potential, whether through an accident or unexpected death. If you don’t have an estate plan to cover these contingencies -- even if you have life insurance -- determinations on the future of the

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Adam Salzman is an attorney and the principal at The Salzman Law Office. The Salzman Law Office is an estate planning law firm that believes in building lasting relationships with our clients, rooted in trust and focused on simplifying the complexities of estate law. We empower our clients so you can make clear, informed choices- the choices that are best for you and your family.


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Top Tools For New Freelancers Save Time and Get Started Right in 2014 BY DEIRDRE BAKER

Productivity and Project Management Basecamp – If you are looking for easy to use project management software, give Basecamp a try. For each project you can keep track of your tasks, assign who is responsible for each task, assign due dates, upload files of all types and communicate to your clients or an entire group in one email. The perfect way to manage all of your projects and provide ongoing accountability. Free trial, and free to use for limited projects. Very reasonable monthly rates as you need to expand.

File Storage and Sharing

You are going to start freelancing! CONGRATULATIONS!

Dropbox – One thing you learn quickly as a freelancer is the need to exchange large files which are just too big for email. Enter DROPBOX. Think of it as your personal file cabinet in the cloud, but with local access which makes it super easy to add shared files right on the desktop. Mobile versions let you add from any mobile devise making it virtually accessible from anywhere you are. Free up to 2GB (Which goes faster than you might think) then you pay per amount of storage needed.

And…DON’T TAKE IT LIGHTLY! Keep in mind the boss you have freelancing is the greatest, coolest and most important boss you have ever had and it is important that you treat your freelance work just as you would any other work, or better. Definitely better!

Ge.tt – Need a limited free option? Try Ge.tt. Exchange large files quickly without the hassle of creating an account (if you need not save in the cloud). You do? No worries, get 2gb free storage. No desktop access though.

Well, I have been there and started out with limited resources. I also remember how frustrating it was to find what I needed. Sooooo… I thought I’d help you out and give you a few great tools I have found and which are now indispensable in my day to day operations. You’re Welcome!

Lunk.it – When communicating passwords and secure data, Lunk.it offers secure transfer “by enforcing ssl for all requests, and putting restrictions in place for information shared. Lunks are only viewable once, so you don’t have to worry about information sent being viewed later if the link gets out.” A great tool to keep in your arsenal!

Communication Tools for Freelancers

Office Suites

Skype – Free and one of the most widely used online communication tools by freelancers worldwide. Use it for ‘skype to skype’ online calls, video calls or chat. No need to pay for anything unless you need to use it to call landlines, cell phone, or to assign your own phone number in which you can receive calls. Skype is a terrific communication tool for freelancers who often work with other countries. It can save you a ton of money in long distance fees.

OpenOffice – Like Microsoft but FREE and open source. So, if you can’t shell out the $100+ for Word, Excel and PPT, try OpenOffice. Similar interface but free…did I say free?

Join.Me – If sharing your screen or your clients screen is important, join. me is a great free tool for this. Very helpful when you are trying to explain something which is just better explained visually. Share your entire screen for free – no time limits.

Invoicing and Time Tracking for Freelancers Freshbooks – If you are looking for a great starter option for your time tracking and billing…THIS IS IT! Free accounts get up to 3 clients which is more than enough to start out. Has a built in timetracking feature which is extremely helpful in tracing individual project time and billing out accurately. Your clients will love the detailed invoices and accountability. Work like a grown up with Freshbooks accounting software.

Google Docs (Google Drive) – My personal fav, but some people are not Google fans and will avoid their products at all costs. I love that all docs and spreadsheets are available in the cloud and accessible from mobile or desktop. Plus they have a great app for my android phone which puts everything at my fingertips. There. That should get you started, eh? What? Not enough you say? Well okay greedy…In case you are looking for some more tools to help you along, check out my free list of over 250 tools for businesses. Compiled by me personally over 5 years and updated regularly. You can get the list of tools on my business site here. How’s that for a starter list! Again… You’re Welcome! PAGE

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Testimonials were only th Building Reputation and Authority for a New Business 10 years ago if you were looking to take your presence online, chances are you were told to focus on creating a nice webpage and to make sure to throw in some customer testimonials to make your company feel trustworthy. It was a good strategy because it made your business feel more real, more trustworthy to those that visited. But the world has changed a lot in 10 years, and your business needs to do a lot more than propping up a website to have a shot at success. In fact, the website itself is generally the smaller part of the equation today and few people trust testimonials in a vacuum. In 2014 we have to think about social media, pull marketing, authority building; all items based upon the reputation of you personally and your company brand. Your goal must be to differentiate yourself while at the same time building ‘social proof’ that you are who you are and that you deserve attention. So, how do you go about effectively building a reputation and social proof for a new business? You have to create content, interact, blog, microblog, show people you know things. It can be scary to jump in, to walk the walk even as you learn the ropes. But that’s almost always how those with more reputation than you got to their stature. You are probably thinking that reputation-building sounds like a lot of work. And it can be. But there is really no alternative if you want to organically attract business to you. There is too much noise in the world and reputation will be the great filter. Don’t let it filter you out.

Building a reputation isn’t the

in fact it’s likely to be wildly d

Basic Tenets of Reputation-building in 20

Make sure you have really nailed your that is a big problem. Keep it in mind a your personality so that it is authentic o especially if you have a lot of competit

Get a small cheap website; one that all something like WordPress.

Setup your social accounts. Get on Goo identities for yourself. Twitter and Face in the long run.

Link up your website/blog with Google write are actually from you and will hel

Start creating content. Post about your make you tick too, as that is part of yo socially sensitive subjects, unless you r

Find the people that already have a rep content. Ask them questions. This is th notice you.

On Google+ look for ways to get into C

Look for opportunities to do instruction get videos of you and your business int

Get you and your company on LinkedIn control it directly. Aggregate your test

Be on the lookout for opportunities to experts always get more attention, and

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Use your clients and your employees a single on-topic interaction will help; esp testimonials to your reputation.


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he beginning… ByJeff Jockisch

e same for every owner or type of business,

different, but here are some basic tenets:

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Unique Selling Proposition (USP). Starting without as you do everything else below. Be sure that it fits or you are likely to fail. Be sure that it is memorable, tion.

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Building a reputation isn’t the same for every owner or type of business, in fact it’s likely to be wildly different

lows you to create posts and landing pages. I recommend

ogle+ as a priority and build both business and personal ebook can work too, but Google+ will give you more value

Authorship code. This tells Google that the things you lp you immensely in the coming reputation economy.

r business. Things related to your business. Things that our authenticity. However, do beware of politically and really know what you are doing.

putation in your field and interact with them. Read their he #1 way to get experts, and others following them, to

Communities and Circles that work for you.

nal Hangouts on Air in Google+. These are great ways to to the hands of potential clients.

Schooled in Organizational Behavior at Cornell. Jeff enjoys studying digital identity, reputation and their effect on society and search. He is crazy about start-ups and disruptive tech and currently works as the Director of Content and Tools for ChaCha.

n. It’s a great place for social proof, since you do not timonials and endorsements here as a priority.

guest blog or self-publish guides and books. Published d this is an attention economy.

nd your friends to help create your reputation. Every pecially when they are making direct or indirect PAGE

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Mobile Apps Shift to Goal Achievement Shoplisto Leads Keo Bun This is a pivotal time in the app world, because I see a huge shift happening, that I don’t think people are thoroughly recognizing. There was a lot of effort for the last five years or so to creating applications that tied users to their smartphones or tablets, but users are getting tired of all of this digital time. So when I created Shoplisto, the big focus was to get the user to an end goal faster, and allow them to spend less time using the app, and more time enjoying life. You can see in the Apple ads that came out recently, they’re now trying to show that this technology is used in conjunction with your life, instead of a replacement entertainment source for real, live company. Shoplisto is a mobile app partnered with eBay that lets users post unwanted clothes and books for sale in about a minute. We just launched our Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign December 2 (http://igg.me/ at/shoplisto), and if you get in early, there are some great perks. We’re developing for Android because we’re bullish on that platform. I’ve have always been driven as an entrepreneur. I spent a considerable amount of time brainstorming up business ideas. One of which, I recognized that eBay used to be incredibly popular, but now that we PAGE

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are all so used to quick apps and instantaneous gratification, it was waning among my friends, who found the posting process too burdensome. I wanted something that connected to eBay, because it was an obvious inspiration, but I wanted something much better than any process eBay currently offered. In terms of other excellent companies I had my eye on, there were some attractive aspects of Amazon that have also really driven the motivation for my own company, Shoplisto. eBay must be the largest second-hand goods catalog there is in the form of an auction, and Amazon offers brand new and used goods at reasonable prices. It’s obvious that these two dominant e-commerce companies would bring genuine inspiration to our own ideas, but I guess I was surprised that with all of their capital and resources, they hadn’t bridged the gap I saw in the market. In terms of choosing how to get funded, we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to tap into crowdfunding. This is an option that didn’t exist a decade ago, and not only does it shore up the capital you need, it also gives you a base that is excited about your product or service… an instant fan base. In terms of picking a site, we choose Indiegogo as our crowdfunding medium because their system is more frictionless than other services, while maintaining reward based support. We have direct transfer of funds through Paypal for any contributions made. Kickstarter uses Amazon as their payment gateway, and funders have to sign up for

both services beforehand in order to pledge support. It just made sense to choose Indiegogo, but I’m also doodling with the idea of using services that offer real cash investment rewards for micro funding support, as well. If you’d like to find out more about shoplisto please visit our main blog (http://www.shoplisto.com)

UX Designer, Mobile Developer, and Entrepreneur. I also have interests in branding, and building a following from target audiences, segmenting it into demographic lists. I am also a first time Director of Feature-Length Films, and visual storyteller., so understanding audiences, as important as branding, helps the overall picture. Visit my crowdfunding campaign at http://igg.me/at/shoplisto or visit my blog at http://www.shoplisto. com for more information on me.


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Apple, Amazon, W Google e have read in the last two weeks of developments that can make us as an owner of a small business shiver with fright. The big boys are stepping up their game, using ever more sophisticated technology to make life even more difficult for us. For example, Tesco a major UK supermarket, have introduced an eye scanner that scans the eyes of the people waiting in the queue in each of their 450 petrol stations. This scanner will tell the digital advertising board whether the people are male or female, older, middle aged or young. The digital screen which is facing the queue then changes the adverts to target the group in the queue. Wow!!! Yet this system is from one of Alan Sugar’s companies (remember Amstrad). The company Amscreen has a customer list that reads like the World Biggest 100 companies. American Express, Ford, Continental Tyres, Fosters Lager, Honda, Mercedes, O2, T mobile and Toyota to name but a few so to be fair to Tesco, they are only joining the big boys club. You can buy an Amscreen system. It is available to any business. But here is the rub. We probably don´t have the money to buy it, we don´t have the 450 locations to put it in and therefore could never recover the cost.

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(them)

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So lets look at how to compete in a different way. Lets start by watching and copying what the industry big boys do, but do it small. Here are our Top 5 Tips for competing with the big boys.

Tip 1 What exactly are the big companies doing. Don´t be blinded by the amount they are spending. For example, the Tesco exercise is about identifying the target market and delivering a message relevant to that group. Do the same.

Tip 2 Do not spend zillions on a project, or perhaps for a small business do not spend more than you can afford. Take small steps. These will allow you to assess whether the change is positive. A secondary effect of this approach is to leave some money in your account for the marketing of the new project. We have seen businesses spend all the money on technology, manage to launch it in spite of the size of the project and then find no-one knows about the new product, system or service.

Tip 3 Use technology only where it benefits your target market or improves your business efficiency. Websites are a great example of how many businesses simply do not apply this rule. How many “company brochure websites” are there which do not solve someone´s problems or give an online service? The just simply say “we are the best widget maker”

Tip 4 Technology projects can be difficult to manage, especially if you are trying to do it alongside running your own business. Don´t try to go too big or “techy” in one go. Have a plan of action BEFORE you start which includes what you want the technology to do, how much it is going to cost, when will it be ready and how will I tell my target market about it.

Tip 5 Don´t sit on your laurels. Apple has issued ipad Air, a new ultralight ipad, iphone 5S, iphone 5c and it will not be long before iphone 6 is here despite the company having done VERY well in the past. Look for ways you can make improvements to your products or service to better solve your clients needs? Ipad Air is much lighter than ipad so it is easier to carry around. What can we do to help our clients? As a small business it is often better to focus on an improvement to a service rather than an improvement to a product as it is both easier and quicker to implement. By following these 5 tips, being creative and making improvement a continuous part of our business we can compete. We will then give the big boys a run for their (customers) money. With 27 years experience of small business management, two successful business sales and a thirst for knowledge, Barry Davys is a hands on businessman. Realizing early on that he could be running his business better, he studied and gained an MBA from Warwick university. He now runs his business from Barcelona, where the mobile app development is done, whilst his daughter handles the sales process from Scotland. Their customers are all over!

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ENTREPRENEUR The Entrepreneur Q&A let’s you get inside the head of a business owner, not unlike yourself, and hear their story, good, bad or ugly. We think you’ll find these stories may sound familiar. This month we interview Christopher Lankard of Hyde Park New York who started out with just a dump truck and his work ethic and turned it into a thriving small business in just 3 years! TSB Mag: What is your business and how did you get started? What is your business story? After working 9+ years in a dead end job, and being miserable day in and day out, I finally decided to take a chance and start my own business. It was something I always wanted to do, but felt uneasy about. With the support of my wife, we decided to go for it. I had done side jobs in the past helping people move things who didn’t have a truck and saw there was a need for that as well as for getting rid of stuff. There seemed to be a growing need for people having to get rid of junk or move things from point A to point B. We started off as a Junk & Hauling company, we bought some equipment and started off slow. As I was doing jobs and gaining a reputation, people would ask for other things like lawn care, or mulch, or gutter cleaning. I made a name for myself, bought more equipment, and now I have a great following. Our motto is, “Let us dirty our gloves, so you don’t have to”. It’s a common scenario, people don’t have the time, equipment, know-how, or ambition to do some of the labor intensive tasks themselves. We have since upgraded equipment, fine-tuned our policies, and just provide a service people love. Do a great job, get referrals, and business will grow! When did you know you were and Entrepreneur? What is your back story and experience? I always knew I wanted to be my own boss, it was just a matter of setting things into motion. It takes a lot of research, trial and error.

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What were some of the biggest challenges you faced when starting your business? Where to start was a big one. I knew what we wanted to do and kind of what was involved, but I had no formal business background other than ‘do a great job and get paid for it’. With the help of Google, we learned about commercial insurance, taxes, permits, and business related issues. I also sought out mentors in other geographical areas with whom I would not pose a competitive threat to. Their insight was invaluable as well! What was something you simply did not expect on your journey, but was a true ‘game changer’? We spent a lot of money on advertising at the beginning, everything from business cards to radio ads. However, looking back, we have received most of our business via word of mouth and Google searches! What is the hardest thing about owning your own business? You have to put a lot in to get a lot out! It’s expensive to own a legit business. Everything from taxes to high fuel prices affect us. We are young and local and realize fair prices are as important as a great job. So with high insurance costs and fuel prices, it sometimes hurts us. It is also important to differentiate yourselves from the others. What do you love best about being your own boss? Flexible hours and just the stress of not having someone watching and micro managing all week. I really enjoy working outside, with a great pair of headphones and not being interrupted or taken off a task continuously. Also, every job is different which makes it fun. What is your favorite business tool? Is there anything you simply could not live without?


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An interview with Christopher Lankard of Dirty Gloves Junk in Hyde Park, NY

A smartphone is definitely one of the most important tools. Access to emails, maps, forms, pictures, as well as Google and Facebook. How do you de-stress and find down time? Aside from business I really enjoy spending time with my family (wife and 3 daughters) and perfecting my own property/home. I’m a self-proclaimed neat freak so even though it’s what I do all week, I enjoy mowing, plowing, weeding, painting, cleaning and making our home perfect. There’s a never a dull moment with three young kids and a business. What is your best advice for a new business owner or for someone looking to ditch their 9-5 and go out on their own? Go for it. It takes a little getting used to but well worth it in the long run. You reap the benefits of your hard work and not someone else. Be smart , do a great/honest job so people will refer you, and be prepared for some slow times. Two years ago I was waiting for the phone to ring and now the phone is ringing off the hook!

To learn more about Chris and Dirty Gloves, visit them on the web at DirtyGlovesJunk.com and on Facebook with the link below,

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5 Ways to be the MacGyver of Guerilla Marketing!

SIDEWALK MARKETING

People probably walk by your business everyday and don’t really notice you. They have things to do, people to see. But, even with their eyes plastered to whatever electronic device is in front of them, people notice things on the sidewalk. It’s instinct to look…then avoid if needed. But the catch is, they look first. We had a coffee shop client in San Diego create a hopscotch court on the sidewalk in front of their shop and had it curve into their business sidewalk. It ended with, “Hop on in for a cup of coffee”. They did $325 worth of business that first morning. Their average was $110. So they earned $215 more in one business morning. Just because they bought sidewalk chalk and appealed to the kid inside all of us.

COUPON TREES During any busy holiday one guerilla marketing tactic that works well for our clients who have a brick and mortar building is a coupon tree! Build a Christmas tree (or a heart for Valentines Day) out of just about anything or buy a cheap display and plaster it with coupons for your business and set it outside your shop. People respond when they see something out of the ordinary. The tree could have a buy one get one free, a bounce back coupon, anything. However, we strongly suggest a mix of different coupons. This way you can tally them up at the end of each day and see what type of coupons your clients prefer. Use this information for future promotions.

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What is guerilla marketing, exactly? It is unconventional yet innovative marketing ideas that are low cost but very effective in obtaining brand exposure and new clientele. With these 5 guerilla marketing ideas we are hoping that it will motivate and inspire you. Motivate and inspire you to think out of the box when it comes to marketing for your small business. We are often asked for one piece of advice when it comes to guerilla marketing and our response, every time is, “What would you want to see from your store if you were the customer?” Keep that question in mind when you are looking for new customers and you will always walk down the right path. Armed with these ideas about how to implementing guerrilla marketing for your business, it’s time to sit down and do some thinking. What are the specific angles unique to your business that you can take advantage of? What can you do that will be fun for your potential customers? Can a guerilla marketing idea help you expand your demographic? How can you make people stand up and take notice? At Gorilla Marketing, The Gorillas tagline is “Don’t be afraid to get creative and experiment with your marketing.”


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PRESS RELEASES Go old school! For a whole host of SEO reasons, it is prudent and effective to post press releases on your website. However, if you really want the press and media to react and investigate you, old school press releases will get the most attention! Be succinct, be informative and have something interesting to write a press release about. Use the correct format, typed and then faxed AND emailed to the correct people. Speaking of emails, don’t email it to the press release desk. Spend a bit of time and look for the email address of the “on site” reporter for each news channel. Within one week of your press release, go to the on-site locations that your local news stations are broadcasting from. For example, If they are doing a live spot from the local bakery, drive there! After they are done shooting, humbly introduce yourself and give them a copy of your press release. If you sell a product, have one on hand to give away to them. If you sell a service, have a gift certificate ready to share with them.

Written by Gorilla Marketing Inc. San Diego, Ca. We were born out of a love of hardcore and in your face style of marketing. We are never shy about getting your name in front of people. We are clever innovators, solid strategists, and hardcore marketers with a kick ass street team!

FRIENDLY FIGHTS

CO-BRANDING Small businesses unite! Two brains are better than one, right? Well, two businesses are better than one as well. If you look at your existing business relationships you are more than likely to find a good fit. But that is the key, a good fit. If you own a specialty coffee house, there is no sense in creating a co-branding relationship with your best friend who owns a apple farm. It doesn’t make sense. However, if you own a specialty coffee house and you have a friend who makes vegan donuts and breakfast items, yes! There is a co-branding relationship that is worth exploring! Sell each other products and create marketing material with both brands on it. We have even created a “half and half” shirt with this model. Half of it with a coffee logo and the other half with a donut. Think of what your customer would want to see. Then go for it!

What is your favorite burger place in your town? Would you defend them on social media? Of course you would! A friendly fight is when you and one of your competitors battle it out through social media platforms on who has the better product. No, it doesn’t harm your business. Rather, it gets people thinking, trying, liking, voting and sharing. These are all the dynamics you need to create clientele! Make sure you are on you’re on your “A” game!

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COMING IN JANUARY Join us in January for the Today’s Small Business Podcast. All of the same great information you see in the magazine PLUS a more indepth look into the entrepreneurs behind the stories, tips, news and so much more. More details to come! Stay tuned on the SuperiorBMS blog and on our social media pages below for updates.

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Today's Small Business Issue 02