Small business owners cite “cost” and “the need for control” as two of the main reasons why they are reluctant to beef up their online presence.
Using hosted shopping cart solutions that do not charge transaction fees is one way to jump in the pool without drowning.
are relatively simple and affordable platforms that offer custom functionalities that can at the very least put get you into the online game.
You can hire a designer to help you set up either system and make it jive with your aesthetics and overall branding. There are a lot of independent contractors who only do Volusion setups (I know from experience) and I assume you can find the same for BigCommerce.
Once you commit to a platform, you will then find the challenge of driving traffic to your site to, at times, be daunting. But this is a strong first step. And a great way to avoid a case of the Mondays.
They are starting by giving back $25 back to 100,000 card members who register and shop at a small business
According to a national survey, 93% of consumers believe that small businesses contribute positively to their community through jobs and taxes.
And with recent earnings data showing that the country’s largest corporations are reporting record profits, do you need any more reasons to support your local small business?
Nah, better to let the big guys hoard more cash and not plow any of it back into innovation and job creation.
Better to be lazy and not drive an extra two miles to support the parent of the kid your son goes to school with.
Better to hand your hard-earned cash to a conglomerate like General Electric which generated $10.3 billion
in pretax income last year but ended up paying (are you ready for this?) exactly ZERO dollars
in taxes to the federal government.
Yup, that’s right.
You paid more in federal taxes last year than GE.
Find your brothers in arms. Find your friends in small business. Find them this Saturday.
Klout is a service that measures a person’s influence and reach on Facebook and Twitter.
To determine someone’s level of influence, Klout uses various data points which they then compile into what they call a “Klout Score”. The Klout Score ideally represents someone’s online influence and ability to compel others to action.
Scores are in the range of 0-100, with the highest scores generally (I said “generally”) representing some pretty big names in social media. Many agencies and marketing companies will not hire social media marketers who do not have at least a 30 Klout Score and companies like Starbucks and Virgin Airlines offer deals to influencers who rate even higher.
So why doe Klout exist?
It’s not so people who live on Twitter
can feel good about themselves. It’s so businesses like yours have some way to measure social media influencers who can drive action.
There really is not a better tool out there and the San Francisco-based startup seems focused on delivering a quality score based on timely updates.
We don’t shill here. We don’t advocate stuff we don’t like or believe in, especially if it’s not perfect out of the box.
You can punch holes in Klout, but it’s the first innings of social media and this is a good tool to use right now.
This time we’re breaking down what they do to create the best marketing money can buy – word of mouth.
1. It’s the culture, stupid.
You see it as soon as you walk in the door, but more importantly you feel it. This isn’t an uncomfortable place to be. People talk to you like you’re another person. Not a mark. Not a “prospect”. Just someone who is looking for some help. And help is what you get. It’s very very simple. And very very hard to get right.
2. Understand what the customer wants.
Everybody talks a big game about this one but actually executing it is something else. And to experience it firsthand sort of takes your breath away. Wait, you care that I have a budget for repairs? You said you can fix that thing for half what my mechanic quoted me? Now you’re actually doing it? It’s done? That’s the bill? Being understood, actually being listened to, is all some customers want. Do that and you have them for life.
3. Hire great people.
Remember when the Angels won the World Series? Remember that batting lineup? No holes. Top to bottom it was first-class. Everybody had a role. Everyone was on the same page. Same thing here. It’s not like the guy who sold you the car was cool and the finance person was a jerk. Or the service guy is nice but the shuttle guy is scary. They all get it.
4. Do what you say you will do.
This is another one that is self-evident but hard to execute. Talk is cheap. It’s like the Seinfeld episode: anybody can TAKE a reservation, it’s the HOLDING that matters. They tell you in the service department your estimate is going to be x. Does it come back y? z? Nope, it’s freakin’ x.
5. Exceed expectations.
Taking your car in to get serviced? Yeah, it’ll be washed and cleaned inside and out too. Need to get back to the office…quickly? The shuttle will take you NOW. Need to be picked up? He will be there at 1 o’clock. And guess what. He’s there. Not at 1 o’clock. At 12:55.
6. Follow up, stay in touch, the right way.
Now it’s easier to do than ever. There are no excuses. But do most small businesses do it? Nope. And those that do, generally do it poorly. They act like an ex-boyfriend who keep interrupting your life. Come on buddy, it’s over. It was over when you started belching at every meal. So why are you sending me junk mail now? OC Mazda does the right thing the first time, then second time and by the third time I have granted them my permission to stay in touch and NOT just interrupt me.
7. Just remember The Golden Rule.
So I got my hands on the OC Mazda training manual. It’s huge. Thick. Heavy. Like 300 pages or something. Funny thing is, every page has one line on it and they all say the same thing: “Do unto others as you would have others do unto you.”
1. We were brainwashed by school and by the system into believing that if we just do our job and do what we are supposed to do and follow all the instructions we’ll do just fine. It’s simply not true anymore.
2. Everyone has a little voice inside their head that is angry and afraid. That voice is your resistance – your lizard brain – and it wants you to be average and safe.
The way to overcome all this programming and automatic thinking is to embrace the genius that is inside you. The part of you that is artistic and creative that has been squashed by society. We need you to solve interesting problems and lead. The jobs and businesses for compliant cogs are vanishing by the hour.
Things that used to be done in an average way for an average income are either now done for free or outsourced to places like India.
It is harder and harder to make your business successful because average just won’t cut it.
You must become indispensable. You must decide to embrace what it is about you that makes you unique.
The single best thing you can do is to make a decision.
Fight off that lizard brain and decide to embrace the creative genius inside you.