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Happily, summer has arrived. While many businesses tend to slow down in the warmer season, summer can be a boon to your business. How? Because the slower season is the perfect time to give your business a mid-year check-up.

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You can wisely use this typically slow time to reflect on 2019 to see what is working, what is not, and then institute some changes to put you ahead when business picks back up.

 

Mid-year reviews help your business stay on track and keep your goals in sight. Whether it be a simple status update or an overhaul of some of your practices, this mid-year review can help you formulate a better plan.

 

There are three steps to the process, and it is deceptively simple. Essentially the mid-year process involves sitting with your team and answering three big questions about your small business:

 

  • What has worked?
  • What has not?
  • Where can we do better?

 

Let’s drill down into each.

 

1. What have we done right and what successes can we acknowledge?

 

Begin with the positive. What were your best successes so far this year and how did you achieve them? Outlining practices that worked, goals that were met, customers satisfied, and money that was made and saved is critical to understanding next steps you might want to take for your business.

 

This part of the review is an opportunity to find the pattern in why things worked well. Which area of your business produced the most profit? What services have been popular? What performed well on social media?

 

In this regard, you might want to employ the 80-20 rule. Which 20 percent of your efforts created 80 percent of your successes? You might want to emphasize those going forward.

 

2. Which failures are obvious and why didn’t you reach some of your goals?

 

This part of the review can be the most painful but is also the mostnecessary. Looking at failures gives you an opportunity to get your business back on track. A mid-year review is an ideal time to take a look at mistakes made in the last six months. What didn’t work well - and why?

 

Dig in. Look at it all: products that fizzled, where your team may have dropped the ball, opportunities missed, dissatisfied customers, marketing mistakes, money lost and squandered.

 

Understanding the why is critical here. Again, we can look to the numbers to help see where our business didn’t excel. Where have you been losing money? What posts didn’t get good engagement? Is your marketing bringing in clients? Having these numbers provides crucial insight into what needs to be changed moving forward.

 

Suggested reading: Use a Small Business Dashboard to Understand your Data

 

List the mistakes, list the root causes, and begin to think about needed pivots to correct the situation.

 

3. What do you want the future to look like for your company? How can you implement some changes?

This is the payoff: A mid-year course correction.

 

Knowing the successes and failures of your business and the numbers that drive those ups and downs should lead you to some conclusions. This final step helps you consciously manifest the future of your company. This is where you outline your vision, and importantly, the steps it will take to get there.

 

Ask yourself: How can we not make the same mistakes again? And how can we double-down on our successes? What has stopped or hindered our progress? And given all of this, should you have some new, updated, concrete goals based on the above? You want to be both big picture and minutiae oriented here. What is the vision, and what are the exact steps needed to implement that vision?

 

Finally, write down and keep your new goals in view at all times - this way, they’ll always be in sight, even when the day to day gets in the way.

 

Related content:

 

 

About Steve Strauss

 

Steve Strauss Headshot New.pngSteven D. Strauss is one of the world's leading experts on small business and is a lawyer, writer, and speaker. The senior small business columnist for USA Today, his Ask an Expert column is one of the most highly-syndicated business columns in the country. He is the best-selling author of 17 books, including his latest, The Small Business Bible, now out in a completely updated third edition. You can also listen to his weekly podcast, Small Business SuccessSteven D. Strauss

 

Web: www.theselfemployed.com or Twitter: @SteveStrauss

You can read more articles from Steve Strauss by clicking here

 

Bank of America, N.A. engages with Steve Strauss to provide informational materials for your discussion or review purposes only. Steve Strauss is a registered trademark, used pursuant to license. The third parties within articles are used under license from Steve Strauss. Consult your financial, legal and accounting advisors, as neither Bank of America, its affiliates, nor their employees provide legal, accounting and tax advice. Bank of America, N.A. Member FDIC.  ©2019 Bank of America Corporation

We know Generation Z will transform workplace culture—but not all of this cohort will enter the workplace. This demographic, whose oldest members are between the ages of 18 and 23, is already displaying a passion for entrepreneurship. What’s driving Gen Z to be their own bosses, and how might they transform the business world?

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Fiscally Responsible

 

Gen Z grew up in the shadow of the Great Recession, seeing their parents struggle financially and their older millennial siblings battle for scarce jobs. They don’t want to live out the same nightmare, so they are wary of taking on debt (21 percent percent already have savings accounts). Although the Center for Generational Kinetics predicts a higher percentage of Gen Z will attend and graduate from college than any prior generation, they are already planning how to avoid college loans.

 

More than half (60 percent) of Gen Z believe money is evidence of success, compared to 44 percent of millennials at the same age, according to a survey by We R Gen Z. Already, the survey reports, 70 percent of Gen Z’ers earn their own spending money—about the same percentage as millennials, except that Gen Z is 10 years younger.

 

Freedom and Self-Reliance

 

To avoid being at the mercy of employers, Gen Z is choosing non-traditional ways to earn a living. Nearly half (46 percent) of Gen Z workers are freelancers, Upwork reports, and 73 percent are freelance by choice, not from necessity.

 

While some Gen Z workers choose the self-reliance of freelancing, others go one step further by pursuing entrepreneurship. Almost two-thirds (65 percent) of Generation Z want to be financially independent by age 30, Barna Group reports; five years after finishing college, 20 percent want to be entrepreneurs, Robert Halffound.

 

Gen Z is realistic about their prospects—77 percent expect to work harder than previous generations to achieve success. They’re also confident: 80 percent of high school students believe they’re more driven than their peers.

 

The Digital Generation

 

How will Generation Z businesses differ from prior generations? This is the first demographic to grow up in a fully digital world. Weaned on YouTube videos, Gen Z’ers know they can learn anything online—from how to make natural cosmetics to how to use 3D printers or find suppliers. They live their lives online and are natural social media marketers.

 

For some, showing bigger businesses (and older people) how to reach Gen Z is a business in itself. Back in high school, Tiffany Zhong knew she wanted to be her own boss, so she started asking venture capitalists for advice. When VCs started asking herfor Gen Z insights, Zhong realized she had a business on her hands. Today, her marketing firm Zebra Intelligence helps brands connect with Gen Z. Connor Blakley and Jonah Stillman are others who have capitalized on their Gen Z status to consult with businesses on managing and marketing to this generation.

 

Other Gen Z entrepreneurs sell products, not knowledge:

 

  • Taylor Frankel co-founded cosmetics brand Nudestix at 17; today, the company’s products are sold in Ulta and Sephora.
  • Allan Maman and Cooper Weiss, founders of Fidget360, gained viral fame (and made hundreds of thousands of dollars) by capitalizing on the fidget spinner craze in high school. (Weiss has since been involved in other startups while Maman is working on a new venture.)
  • Teni “Tia” Adeola launched Slashed by Tia from her dorm room in 2017, creating clothing based on her passion for Renaissance painting; today her designs are worn by celebrities such as SZA and Gigi Hadid.

 

For all three companies, social media marketing and an instinctual connection with their peers online were key to success.

 

How will Generation Z transform the world of business? It remains to be seen—but I, for one, am looking forward to finding out.

 

About Rieva Lesonsky

 

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Rieva Lesonsky is CEO and Co-founder of GrowBiz Media, a custom content and media company focusing on small business and entrepreneurship, and the blog SmallBizDaily.com. A nationally known speaker and authority on entrepreneurship, Rieva has been covering America’s entrepreneurs for more than 30 years. Before co-founding GrowBiz Media, Lesonsky was the long-time Editorial Director of Entrepreneur Magazine. Lesonsky has appeared on hundreds of radio shows and numerous local and national television programs, including the Today Show, Good Morning America, CNN, The Martha Stewart Show and Oprah.

 

Lesonsky regularly writes about small business for numerous websites and for corporations targeting entrepreneurs. Many organizations have recognized Lesonsky for her tireless devotion to helping entrepreneurs. She served on the Small Business Administration’s National Advisory Council for six years, was honored by the SBA as a Small Business Media Advocate and a Woman in Business Advocate, and received the prestigious Lou Campanelli award from SCORE. She is a long-time member of the Business Journalists Hall of Fame.

 

Web: www.growbizmedia.com or Twitter: @Rieva

You can read more articles from Rieva Lesonsky by clicking here

 

Bank of America, N.A. engages with Rieva Lesonsky to provide informational materials for your discussion or review purposes only. Rieva Lesonsky is a registered trademark, used pursuant to license. The third parties within articles are used under license from Rieva Lesonsky. Consult your financial, legal and accounting advisors, as neither Bank of America, its affiliates, nor their employees provide legal, accounting and tax advice.

 

Bank of America, N.A. Member FDIC. ©2018 Bank of America Corporation

It’s never been easier for a small business to connect with customers and leads. Open a Facebook page, target some advertising, and within a few days a business could have thousands of followers all within its market area and matching its customer demographics.

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That’s valuable and it can bring sales. But it’s no replacement for the word-of-mouth recommendations that come from networking.

 

These are two very different strategies. Online networking gives you the lightest of contacts with a large number of people. Offline networking gives you deep, powerful relationships with a relatively small number of people.

 

While networking on social media can provide sales, networking in the real world can give you loyal customers who return to you again and again. Those customers also act as advertisers, sending the people they know to your business.

 

But networking doesn’t just increase sales. Networking ensures that businesses that need help with the Christmas rush or over the summer break have people to ask when they need temporary staff. Instead of advertising and interviewing, they’ll be able to call a contact and ask whether their friend’s student offspring is coming back from college and needs some work.

 

When they need an insurance policy, a good connection can tell them where to turn. If a business owner is looking for a new location, networking can put them in touch with people who know of outlets for rent and who understand the market area.

 

And if the city decides to make changes that could affect their business, networked owners will hear about those changes, and have the channels to influence them before they’re fully implemented.

 

Social media marketing is about sales and branding. Networking is unique. It’s about information, which is no less valuable.

 

Building those networks doesn’t happen quickly or easily. But it does happen enjoyably because meeting people is interesting and fun. Local chambers of commerce might be ideal networking centers, venues in which people with shared interests swap information and advice. But they’re also social hubs where people with similar outlooks meet and talk.

 

They’re good places to start networking, but the value of a network depends on its nodes. Some people are just more connected than others. We all have friends who have huge contact lists and who seem to know everyone. It pays to build a relationship with those people.

 

They may be consultants whose work requires them to network at conferences around the world. They could be local activists whose volunteer work puts them in touch with the municipality and with other local service providers. Or they could be teachers who meet dozens of parents each year and manage to stay in touch with many of them.

 

Every community has individuals with extraordinary numbers of friends. Good networking should include identifying those people and building a relationship with them.

You can often find them by volunteering in your local area, by taking part in PTA events or by joining local clubs and schemes. Don’t do anything you wouldn’t enjoy—if you don’t like golf, don’t join a golf club—but look for activities that you find meaningful or important.

 

Most of a small business owner’s work involves creating products and making sales. That effort is made in the workplace and during work hours. Networking happens outside the store or office, and it happens after working hours.

 

But it doesn’t just make sales. It also makes friends.

 

 

About Joel Comm

 

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As an Internet pioneer, Joel has been creating profitable websites, software, products and helping entrepreneurs succeed since 1995. He has been at the frontlines of live video online since 2008 and has a deep expertise in using tools such as Facebook Live, Periscope, Instagram or Snapchat to broadcast a clearly defined message to a receptive audience or leveraging the power of webinar and meeting technologies.

 

Joel is a New York Times best-selling author of 15 books, including “The AdSense Code,” “Click Here to Order: Stories from the World’s Most Successful Entrepreneurs,” “KaChing: How to Run an Online Business that Pays and Pays and Twitter Power 3.0.” He is Co-Host of The Bad Crypto Podcast one of the top crypto-related shows in the world and has spoken before thousands of people around the world and seeks to inspire, equip and entertain.

 

Web: https://joelcomm.com/ or Twitter: @JoelComm

Read more from Joel Comm

 

Bank of America, N.A. engages with Joel Comm to provide informational materials for your discussion or review purposes only. Joel Comm is a registered trademark, used pursuant to license. The third parties within articles are used under license from Joel Comm. Consult your financial, legal and accounting advisors, as neither Bank of America, its affiliates, nor their employees provide legal, accounting and tax advice.

Entering into the Real Estate business attracts many people who are looking to establish a business or career on their own terms. That being said, one of the keys to the industry is establishing some sort of consistency in sales and income year over year. There isn’t a magic wand to becoming established in any industry and as always requires hard work, persistence, the right strategy, and don’t forget about timing. Now think about the image of what one would think the average Realtor® is in regards to demographics. It will become clear that a lot of Realtors® became one as a second career act.

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The median age of all Realtors® is 54 and the median experience of all Realtors® is 10 years[1].

 

Surprising right? Those numbers are saying that the average Realtor® started their real estate career at the age of 44. In addition to this, there are more than two million active real estate licenses in the U.S., and according to the U.S. Department of Labor, real estate broker growth is expected to grow 6% year over year from 2016 to 2026[2].

 

Based on the median age of Realtors® it is more than likely that most have already had some sort of experience with saving for retirement in a 401(k), IRA, or Roth IRA.  Although, some agents may not have experience in running a business and it would be prudent to look at a company’s real estate operations as a business and run it like one. Those working in the industry that have not owned their own business prior may also not be aware of what can be done to boost retirement savings as most real estate agents are self-employed independent contractors.

 

Many real estate agents may feel that they don’t need to save for retirement because they will either utilize income-producing properties or will be able to retire by selling off their book of business. While that may be the case in some situations, it is typically only part of someone’s bigger retirement savings picture.

 

Real estate agents have financial opportunities and obstacles due to the nature of how they are paid. Uneven cash flow due to fluctuating commissions can present a challenge. Although, that challenge can be met by selecting the right Small Business Retirement plan that would allow flexible contributions.

 

Small Business Retirement Plan offerings

  1. Small Business 401(k)
  2. SEP IRA
  3. SIMPLE IRA

 

Contact Merrill EDGE for assistance in choosing the correct Small Business Retirement Plan for your business.merrill.png

 


[1] https://www.nar.realtor/research-and-statistics/quick-real-estate-statistics

 

[2] https://www.bls.gov/ooh/sales/real-estate-brokers-and-sales-agents.htm

 

Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Incorporated (also referred to as “MLPF&S” or “Merrill”) makes available certain investment products sponsored, managed, distributed or provided by companies that are affiliates of Bank of America Corporation (“BofA Corp.”). MLPF&S is a registered broker-dealer, Member SIPC and a wholly owned subsidiary of BofA Corp. Banking products are provided by Bank of America, N.A., Member FDIC and a wholly owned subsidiary of BofA Corp.

 

Investment products:

Are Not FDIC Insured

Are Not Bank Guaranteed

May Lose Value

 

 

© 2019 Bank of America Corporation. All rights reserved.

 

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With new reports coming in regularly about the negative impact humans are having on the environment, there is growing urgency to addresses our impact on the environment, or to join coalitions like the United States Climate Alliance.

 

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As a small business, you can contribute to creating change in a big way.

 

Why? Because, as opposed to governments and large corporations, we have adaptability on our side. Small businesses have the unique ability to pivot and adapt quickly. This, paired with a growing sense of urgency to go green, means your small business can implement little changes that can make a big impact, for the environment andyour wallet.

 

Undertaking a CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) initiative like this makes sense for all sorts of reasons. Of course, it is the right thing to do for the environment. And yes, it can save you money. But additionally, it will also make a difference to the people you most depend on – your staff and your customers; they will appreciate your efforts.

 

Here then are 5 easy ways to make your small business greener:

 

1. Reduce, Reuse and Recycle: There are several simple ways to reduce, reuse and recycle in the office:

 

      • Reduce water usage with low-flow toilets and faucets
      • Bring reusable cutlery, cups, and plates into the office
      • Opt to buy recycled products like paper and printer cartridges
      • Don’t use single-use plastic bags

 

Not only will doing these sorts of things help the environment and minimize your carbon footprint, but it can also save you money.

 

2. Upgrade the Office: There are several other ways you can reduce your office’s environmental impact:

 

      • Buy Energy Star products. Energy Star certification means that the appliance or product you are buying and using is green, and highly energy efficient. And again, this can save you money.
      • Use compact fluorescent lightbulbs. By simply replacing your standard bulbs with CF bulbs, you can reduce your power usage significantly. Added bonus: The new bulbs also provide better color and flicker less.
      • Install timers on lights. Lights are often left on in offices or other rooms when they are not in use. By installing occupancy sensors, you will be assured that your office energy use will be efficient and not wasteful.

 

3. Go Paperless: To the extent that going paperless is an option, you should definitely consider the benefits. There is an abundance of apps that help us do just about every task virtually. From cloud services to file management systems - even digital scanners! - our paper trail can be significantly reduced with one of the many available apps. Many companies also offer paperless billing, which could be a helpful option for your office.

 

4. Encourage Alternative Transportation: Vehicles are now the largest source of greenhouse gas pollution in the U.S., so one easy way to help would be to incentivize your employees to carpool, use public transportation, or bike to work.

 

Carpooled cars, for example, can have access to better parking spots than non-carpooled cars. Or for every day of riding public transport or biking, employees can get entered into a company-wide raffle to win a prize. This not only saves your employees money through lower transportation costs, but also ensures one less car on the road.

 

5. Explore Green Energy Options: It is estimated that at least half of all small businesses are located in areas that offer the option to buy energy from renewable sources like solar and wind. Many local utilities offer customers renewable power from green sources. Often, there are local incentives for using such sustainable energy supplies, as well as federal tax incentives for alternative energy use. Similarly, there are all sorts of tax breaks for investing in green tools like solar panels.

 

With these simple, affordable options, there is no reason to not make your business greener. Employees, customers, and most of all, the planet, will appreciate your efforts.

 

 

About Steve Strauss

 

Steve Strauss Headshot New.pngSteven D. Strauss is one of the world's leading experts on small business and is a lawyer, writer, and speaker. The senior small business columnist for USA Today, his Ask an Expert column is one of the most highly-syndicated business columns in the country. He is the best-selling author of 17 books, including his latest, The Small Business Bible, now out in a completely updated third edition. You can also listen to his weekly podcast, Small Business SuccessSteven D. Strauss

 

Web: www.theselfemployed.com or Twitter: @SteveStrauss

You can read more articles from Steve Strauss by clicking here

 

Bank of America, N.A. engages with Steve Strauss to provide informational materials for your discussion or review purposes only. Steve Strauss is a registered trademark, used pursuant to license. The third parties within articles are used under license from Steve Strauss. Consult your financial, legal and accounting advisors, as neither Bank of America, its affiliates, nor their employees provide legal, accounting and tax advice. Bank of America, N.A. Member FDIC.  ©2019 Bank of America Corporation

Success is a habit—and like all good habits, you have to work hard to achieve and maintain it. We talked to 11 small business owners about the daily habits they believe contribute most to their success. From exercise to quiet time to diligently tracking sales in QuickBooks, here’s what some successful entrepreneurs do every day.

 

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Todd Brabender, President, Spread The News PR, which specializes in generating media exposure for innovative products, services and experts.

 

  1. Research: I spend the initial part of my day researching the media markets applicable to my client base. I scour multiple media outlets and formats to see what topics are being covered. What angles are popping, what trends are developing? Based on that research, I forge messages incorporating my clients with those solid news pegs and pitch to my media contacts all over North America to consider.
  2. Respond: I pride myself on being as immediate as possible in my email and phone correspondence replies with clients, associates and media contacts. When it comes to communications, my mantra has always been: Review. React. Respond = Results!
  3. Relax: By relax, I mean breathe. Several times a day I stop working, look away from the computer screen for a few minutes and take a string of cleansing circular breaths. It refocuses the mind, eases stress and helps stoke new creativity for ideas.

 

Charles Bragdon, President, Water Saver Solutions, which helps commercial and institutional clients optimize their water flow into cash flow.

 

  1. I spend time at the beginning of each day in prayer and reading a daily devotional. This helps me start with the right frame of mind and reflect on my many blessings. I also use this time to think about my challenges ahead for the day.
  2. Aside from our formal weekly production meeting, I also meet with my department managers daily to discuss project status, challenges or anything else on their plates. This gives me valuable time for mentoring and coaching and helps me forecast any obstacles.
  3. In my office, I update a whiteboard daily of long- and short-term projects. Having a visual status board in my office keeps me focused.

 

Laurel Delaney, founder of GlobeTrade, president of Women Entrepreneurs Grow Global™ and best-selling author of Exporting: The Definitive Guide to Selling Abroad Profitably.

 

  1. I write a blog post every evening that is published the following morning (except Sundays) at the Global Small Business Blog. This has helped grow the blog’s readership and bring in new consulting opportunities. If you build an audience, you can build a business. After I write the post, I read The Wall Street Journalto relax and keep up with world affairs.  
  2. Even though I meet with exceptional business owners all the time through my consulting work, I still turn to business books for answers to burning questions, challenges I face or ideas I wrestle with. I scan a book a day, many of which can be esoteric or quite old—from Winners Never Cheat by Jon Huntsman to Heroic Leadership by Chris Lowney to On Second Thought by Wray Herbert.
  3. I try to either run or walk outside every day to get fresh air, clear my head, change the scenery and take photographs of simple things with my iPhone. This alters my state of mind and eases business pressures. When I return to my office, I have newfound energy, a better perspective on what needs to be tackled next, and a far greater motivation to get things done.

 

Jill Dominguez, President, ESSERGY,a consulting firm that helps businesses, nonprofits and governments harness energy for social change.

 

  1. First thing every morning I check my email, review my schedule and task list before the open of the business day (which means 5 a.m. PT, since my clients are all over the U.S.). This practice keeps me organized on what can be a complex schedule of activity with several projects happening at once [and dealing with] many team members.
  2. Every evening I update and review my company task list with “To Do’s,” each color coded according to urgency with a drop-dead date.  Every team member who is involved with a task is asked for an update or status regarding the task with the corresponding date.
  3. I write everything down in my notebook. It is with me at all times. I prefer taking handwritten notes, as it does not require me to look away for long periods. I am a firm believer in eye contact, and when [you take notes on] a tablet or phone, it seems as if you are not paying attention to the meeting. The notes are the basis of our digital archiving system for the company. All notebooks are archived chronologically; I have notebooks going back 27 years. I doubt that is necessary, but I have been asked to go back and check on an issue or conversation for a client many years later, and recalling details is much easier when looking at my own notes.

 

Monika Jansen, Head “Kick-Ass Copywriter” and Strategist, Jansen Communications, a boutique marketing agency.

 

  1. Every morning, I go for a two-mile walk, which I consider a walking meditation. I don’t listen to music or podcasts; I just let my mind wander.
  2. I do a quick check-in with myself: Is everything I’m doing that day contributing to my greatest and highest good? If not, I will cancel or reschedule projects and calls.
  3. Finally, I don't schedule calls or meetings before 10 am. This allows me to settle into “work” mode, which is especially helpful on Mondays!

 

Erika Kotite, co-founder of She Shed Living, which helps women create a space of their own by offering custom shed design, build and installation services as well as a proprietary line of exterior chalk-based paints.

 

  1. Daily contact with my partner, Sabrina Contreras. Sabrina and I bring different things to the table—she has a business background and I have a creative/marketing background. We keep each other grounded and motivated to do all the things we need to accomplish that day. I firmly believe in utilizing that “second eye” when making important business decisions. Just like a writer needs a good editor to be successful, we need each other's perspective and critique to improve.
  2. Staying up-to-date on QuickBooksand banking. Since my background leans to the liberal arts, I’ve had to invest considerable time and training into learning how to keep our books. By disciplining myself to check our bank balance daily and input items regularly into QuickBooks, I’ve been able to avoid costly tax accountant charges. In addition, I have a much better idea of how we are doing financially and what we need to adjust in the future. For example, I know exactly how many shed sales per month we need to reach our business goals for 2019.
  3. Add content and stay engaged on Instagram. We have numerous social media outlets including a growing Facebook Group, but Instagram is where people discover us, present us with opportunities and refer clients to us. I carefully monitor not only our growth in followers but also engagement levels for each post. It’s equally important to support others on Instagram by liking, commenting and reposting, which I do every day.

 

Mika Leah, CEO, Goomi, which brings onsite fitness and wellness sessions to offices and other workplaces.

 

  1. Determine the three things I need to get done that day. Then I focus on only those three things.
  2. Plan ahead for the following day, review my calendar, write my three things to-do list, and even lay out my clothes.
  3. Have weekly mandatory status meetings with my team every Monday to connect on a personal note, review successes and failures from the prior week, and discuss the week ahead.

 

Barry Moltz, Author, speaker, host of the Small Business Radio Show, whose Shafran Moltz Group helps small businesses get unstuck.

 

  1. Determine my two priorities to accomplish that day (and do them) before checking email, social media or anything else.
  2. Check filtered emails and social media lists for current customers’ and key prospects’ messages or posts.
  3. Exercise—cycling and karate.

 

Charley Moore, Founder and CEO, Rocket Lawyer, which provideshigh-value legal services at an affordable price.

 

  1. I’ve been doing my best work in the early morning since I was a kid. We had a family business and I learned to open up shop at daybreak. Today, my most productive hour is usually between 6 to 7 a.m., when I can read the news, review KPIs and get a jump on email without meetings and distractions.
  2. I exercise six days per week. Even when I’m traveling, which is often, I stick to this exercise routine, which includes meditation and stretching. Leading any organization creates stress. Being able to be physically active is a blessing that I cherish as essential to a balanced life.

 

Adam Rizza, President, Sunscape Eyewear, wholesaler and e-tailer of sunglasses.

 

  1. Our main challenge is cash flow, so we watch our accounts receivable daily and budget properly. This is an exercise all entrepreneurs should apply, no matter their size. You have to have a good understanding of your cash flow.
  2. Daily meetings with my operations team. You have to make sure you are shipping daily—and accurately. This all ties into cash flow: When you ship on time, you get paid on time.
  3. Every day we work on new product development, retaining current clients and prospecting for new ones.

 

Aliza Sherman, CEO, Ellementa, a global women’s health company focused on cannabis, and author of Cannabis and CBD for Health and Wellness.

  1. Wake up early.My best work gets done in the wee hours of the morning; I get a good two hours of work in before things get busy. Once the workday actually begins, calls and meetings make up my day and by the afternoon, my brain is spent. Those early mornings are a time for me to really focus and produce. During the week, I’m often in bed before the kids!
  2. Eat a good breakfast.I can’t function without [eating] something substantial in the morning. My go-to breakfast is gluten-free toast with avocado and egg.
  3. Move around.My work tends to be sedentary—me, at a desk, on a computer. After writing the book The Happy, Healthy Nonprofit, I learned a lot about the tremendous value of moving your body throughout the day to clear your mind, boost your energy and prevent disease. My co-author, Beth Kanter, inspired me to walk more and to track my steps using a health app, something that suits my need to see progress. I alternate standing and sitting when at my computer and get some steps in walking when I’m talking on the phone. The better I take care of myself, the more successes I see day-to-day in my work.

 

Reading about other business owners’ daily success rituals is inspiring—but as Delaney says, “We cannot replicate business success by copying another business owner’s daily rituals—we need to cultivate our own.” What are your daily business success rituals?

 

 

About Rieva Lesonsky

 

Rieva Lesonsky Headshot.png

Rieva Lesonsky is CEO and Co-founder of GrowBiz Media, a custom content and media company focusing on small business and entrepreneurship, and the blog SmallBizDaily.com. A nationally known speaker and authority on entrepreneurship, Rieva has been covering America’s entrepreneurs for more than 30 years. Before co-founding GrowBiz Media, Lesonsky was the long-time Editorial Director of Entrepreneur Magazine. Lesonsky has appeared on hundreds of radio shows and numerous local and national television programs, including the Today Show, Good Morning America, CNN, The Martha Stewart Show and Oprah.

 

Lesonsky regularly writes about small business for numerous websites and for corporations targeting entrepreneurs. Many organizations have recognized Lesonsky for her tireless devotion to helping entrepreneurs. She served on the Small Business Administration’s National Advisory Council for six years, was honored by the SBA as a Small Business Media Advocate and a Woman in Business Advocate, and received the prestigious Lou Campanelli award from SCORE. She is a long-time member of the Business Journalists Hall of Fame.

 

Web: www.growbizmedia.com or Twitter: @Rieva

You can read more articles from Rieva Lesonsky by clicking here

 

Bank of America, N.A. engages with Rieva Lesonsky to provide informational materials for your discussion or review purposes only. Rieva Lesonsky is a registered trademark, used pursuant to license. The third parties within articles are used under license from Rieva Lesonsky. Consult your financial, legal and accounting advisors, as neither Bank of America, its affiliates, nor their employees provide legal, accounting and tax advice.

 

Bank of America, N.A. Member FDIC. ©2018 Bank of America Corporation

While the rain poured outside, the mood inside was sunny as National Small Business Week kicked off in Washington D.C.  on May 5. Small Business Week is the Small Business Administration’s annual tribute to “entrepreneurship and innovation.”

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During a panel discussion on the “Next Wave in Digital Commerce,” featuring Nate Smith (VISA), Courtney Robinson (Square) and Rishav Chopra (Intuit), the group identified how digital technology is changing the buying habits of businesses and consumers—and that small businesses need to act now so they don’t get lost in the digital wave.

 

Consumers today expect their online experiences to be simple and intuitive. Chopra said it’s important to be where consumers are—you can’t have a presence in just one channel—you need to be discoverable by phone, on the web, and in person. And, he added, “You need to eliminate any friction in the process.”

 

This underscores one of the main drivers of buying behavior—customer experience. If you want to attract buyers (whether B2B or B2C), you need to provide an excellent customer experience. To accomplish this Robinson advised the audience to “use data to drill down on who your best customers are, what they want and the best way to target them.”

 

Robinson said a common mistake small business owners make is “thinking your customer is everybody.” It’s not, she added, “You have to drill down to find your ideal customer.”

 

Chopra said the No. 1 pain point small businesses experience today is how to get customers in the door. “It is 6-7 times more expensive to acquire a new customer than to retain an existing one,” he said. And once you “get them” Smith added, “it’s about creating loyalty.” You have to be proactive—reach out to your customers and get to know them better.

 

The digital transformation of small business impacts so many parts of your company: marketing, sales, customer loyalty, even raising or borrowing money. Plus, implementing digital solutions in your business gives you more time to better serve your customers.

 

Social Media Part of Marketing Mix

 

Day two started with a panel discussion, “Social Media Tips for Your Small Business”, moderated by Betsy Dougert (SCORE) and featured Dave Charest (Constant Contact), Brandon Olson (AWeber), Julia Cabral (LinkedIn) and me. Our panel emphasized the importance of integrating social media into your overall marketing mix and budgeting for it appropriately. The consensus of thepanel was:

 

    • Pick one or two platforms to get started. Start where your customers and competitors are.
    • Take social media seriously—this is your reputation on the line. Don’t relegate the job to interns.
    • There is no secret sauce to social media. What works for one company will not necessarily work for another. Plan your social campaigns and establish a consistent tone and presence.
    • While social media marketing canbe free, the panel recommended incorporating paid ads in your marketing plans.

 

How much should you spend on social media marketing? Here’s a formula I shared from  WebStrategies to help you budget: 

 

First, determine how much you’re planning to spend on all your digital marketing efforts. Then, decide what percentage of that budget should go to social media. Most companies spend about 5 percent-15 percent of their annual revenues on marketing in general and 35 percent-45 percent of that on digital marketing. Social media marketing should get about 15 percent-25 percent of the digital spend. Once you’ve done these calculations you can allocate the appropriate amount to your social media marketing efforts.

 

Each Small Business week I learn something useful and new! Did you attend any events this year? If so, what did you learn about?

 

 

About Rieva Lesonsky

 

Rieva Lesonsky Headshot.png

Rieva Lesonsky is CEO and Co-founder of GrowBiz Media, a custom content and media company focusing on small business and entrepreneurship, and the blog SmallBizDaily.com. A nationally known speaker and authority on entrepreneurship, Rieva has been covering America’s entrepreneurs for more than 30 years. Before co-founding GrowBiz Media, Lesonsky was the long-time Editorial Director of Entrepreneur Magazine. Lesonsky has appeared on hundreds of radio shows and numerous local and national television programs, including the Today Show, Good Morning America, CNN, The Martha Stewart Show and Oprah.

 

Lesonsky regularly writes about small business for numerous websites and for corporations targeting entrepreneurs. Many organizations have recognized Lesonsky for her tireless devotion to helping entrepreneurs. She served on the Small Business Administration’s National Advisory Council for six years, was honored by the SBA as a Small Business Media Advocate and a Woman in Business Advocate, and received the prestigious Lou Campanelli award from SCORE. She is a long-time member of the Business Journalists Hall of Fame.

 

Web: www.growbizmedia.com or Twitter: @Rieva

You can read more articles from Rieva Lesonsky by clicking here

 

Bank of America, N.A. engages with Rieva Lesonsky to provide informational materials for your discussion or review purposes only. Rieva Lesonsky is a registered trademark, used pursuant to license. The third parties within articles are used under license from Rieva Lesonsky. Consult your financial, legal and accounting advisors, as neither Bank of America, its affiliates, nor their employees provide legal, accounting and tax advice.

 

Bank of America, N.A. Member FDIC. ©2018 Bank of America Corporation

When a company makes a mistake, what do you as a customer want? It’s easy. You want acknowledgement that something happened. You’d love an apology. And you want the company to act to resolve the problem.

 

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These are the “Three A’s” that I learned from teaching customer service years ago. More so, in all aspects of the business, we want something other than the plastic perfection portrayed by PR and advertisers.

 

We Want the Real Thing

 

In a recent New York Times article about the Gen Z pop artist Billie Eilish, it was reported that the singer forgot the lyrics to one of her own songs at Coachella, the massive concert event. Instead of skewering her, the live audience and millions of YouTube viewers erupted with loud support for what they took as Eilish being human. And as bizarre and otherworldly as her music and videos might be, right there beneath the angsty exterior is a strong sense of “I can relate to this person.”

 

Companies should highlight and promote their quirks, their unique employees, the stuff that makes them specifically who they are. Good or bad. A crabby company president might be perceived as humorous as long as their interactions are straightforward and spelled out ahead of time. Can you imagine? “Our president can be grumpy, but she’s also great at solving your challenges.” I’d trust that far more than a fake smile or clip-art people all over your website.

 

While I’m on the subject of websites for a moment, don’t use clip art. Multicultural people shaking hands over an office table is generic. So are happy old people at your counter. Look into using real pictures of real people and make the site even more believable.

 

We CAN Handle the Truth

 

Sorry, Jack Nicholson. We’re ready. When dealing with customers, it’s imperative that companies communicate and interact with a genuine, sometimes-flawed, human point of view and perspective. We want people with real names at the company to represent the brand. We want to reach out and connect with these people before, during, and after the purchase process.

 

Oh, and if your small business is just you? Then say “I” and not “we.” That “we” for just one person was a tactic back in the 1980s. It just took a while for people to catch up.

 

When your company makes a mistake, make a clear and straightforward apology and don’t try the old cover-up routine. There are too many examples of companies being found out, and then trust is shattered.

 

“People Won’t Want That”

 

I’ve been studying how culture and companies keep trying to map their reality to something from decades ago. It’s interesting to watch entertainment for one marker.

 

  • “People won’t go to a primarily African American superhero movie.” - Black Panther nets $1.34 billion.

 

  • “People don’t like female superheroes.” - Captain Marvel just passed $400 million.

 

This happens all the time on Main Street, too. We think that “people” won’t want a barber shop that also pours whiskey, but then someone opens a unique store concept and it thrives for that reason. It’s not the same as everything else.

 

Times are changing faster than ever before, and a lot of what used to be a “known good” is in flux. But one trend that companies must adapt to or risk running afoul of the world around us is that you must strive to create the most “real” version of what you offer and how you represent yourself and the company.

 

Be personable. Be quick to apologize when you’re wrong. And deliver an accurate depiction of who your company is and what it represents. Your buyers will appreciate it and that will reflect in your efforts to retain customers and earn referrals.

 

 

About Chris Brogan

 

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Chris Brogan is an author, keynote speaker and business advisor who helps companies update organizational interfaces to better support modern humans. The age of factory-sized interactions is over. We all come one to a pack. And it’s time to accept that we are all a little bit dented. Chris advisesleadership teams to empower team members by sharing actionable insights on talent development. He also works with marketing and communications teams to more effectively reach people who want to be seen and understood before they buy what a company sells.

 

Web: https://chrisbrogan.com Twitter: @ChrisBrogan

Read more from Chris Brogan

 

Bank of America, N.A. engages with Chris Brogan to provide informational materials for your discussion or review purposes only. The third parties within articles are used under license from Chris Brogan. Consult your financial, legal and accounting advisors, as neither Bank of America, its affiliates, nor their employees provide legal, accounting and tax advice.

 

Bank of America, N.A. Member FDIC. ©2019 Bank of America Corporation

In a previous story, we discussed how to find your target audience on social media. Now, you need to entice your audience to visit your store and become paying customers.

 

Here are five key strategies for getting online shoppers to your brick-and-mortar store:

 

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1. Offer exclusive store discounts

 

Create discounts that can only be redeemed in store. This shows that you value your online community and wish to reward them for their loyalty. At the same time, it encourages your community to visit your store offline. To add a sense of urgency, consider adding a time limit or create a mini-event offline to add to the experience.

 

2. Utilize Instagram shopping pins

 

If you qualify, use Instagram shopping pins. This will allow you to sell your offline items online. To learn more about this, you can read my post on How To Sell Your Products On Instagram.

 

3. Answer Q&As in your Facebook and Instagram Stories

 

When you answer every objection your customer has, you help them to reach a positive buying decision. By encouraging your online community to ask you questions and being transparent in your response, you help build trust, provide value and show people why you are a company in which they would want to invest their money.

 

4. Include clear calls to actions

 

When people are scrolling on social media, they aren’t in a ‘buyer’s mode’. Your audience isn’t going to take the desired action unless you ask them to. Be clear in inviting your online audience to come and check out your store with clear calls to actions on a consistent basis. Back this up with reasons to visit each time for the greatest impact.

 

For example, ‘Come and check out our Fall collection,’ or ‘Enjoy a warm cup of hot chocolate this rainy Sunday.’ It goes without saying that by setting aside a small budget for Facebook and Instagram ads, will enhance the results you can achieve with your direct promotions.

 

5. Promote offline

 

Just as you are trying to attract your online shoppers to your offline store, you are also trying to encourage your offline shoppers to interact with you online. If you can build an online audience out of your current customers, you can attract new people through social proof and the engagement they provide.

 

Your social media accounts should become an extension of your customer service. They should be part of your customer’s experience. If you can build a like-minded community of people and a culture around your brand, your customers become even more invested. Not only will they visit your store; they’ll bring their friends with them!

 

 

About Mari Smith

 

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Often referred to as “the Queen of Facebook,” Mari Smith is considered one of the world’s foremost experts on Facebook marketing and social media. She is a Forbes’ Top Social Media Power Influencer, author of The New Relationship Marketing and coauthor of Facebook Marketing: An Hour A Day. Forbes recently described Mari as, “… the preeminent Facebook expert. Even Facebook asks for her help.” She is a recognized Facebook Partner; Facebook headhunted and hired Mari to lead the Boost Your Business series of live events across the US. Mari is an in-demand speaker, and travels the world to keynote and train at major events.

 

Her digital marketing agency provides professional speaking, training and consulting services on Facebook and Instagram marketing best practices for Fortune 500 companies, brands, SMBs and direct sales organizations. Mari is also an expert webinar and live video broadcast host, and she serves as Brand Ambassador for numerous leading global companies.

 

Web: Mari Smith  or Twitter: @MariSmith

 

Bank of America, N.A. engages with Mari Smith to provide informational materials for your discussion or review purposes only. Mari Smith is a registered trademark, used pursuant to license. The third parties within articles are used under license from Mari Smith. Consult your financial, legal and accounting advisors, as neither Bank of America, its affiliates, nor their employees provide legal, accounting and tax advice.

As a small business store owner with a brick-and-mortar presence, you have three main digital priorities:

 

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    1. Reach your target audience online.
    2. Engage with your target audience.
    3. Entice your target audience to visit your store and become paying customers.

 

It’s a good bet much of your target audience spends a lot of time on social networking sites. There are currently 4.39 billion internet users, and 3.49 billion of those are active on social media, spending an average of 2.5 hours per day on the platforms of their choice.

 

Regardless of whether you are an online business or a brick and mortar store, social media is a fantastic way to accomplish your top business priorities in a time- and cost-efficient manner.

 

Reaching your target audience online comes down to answering the following three questions.

 

1. Who exactly is your target audience?

 

Social media is massive. It’s important that you hone in on who exactly you want to attract.

Here’s a tip: it’s not everyone. When you attempt to talk to everyone, your message becomes diluted and, as a result, it doesn’t resonate with your audience.

 

Instead, you want to focus on building a community around the type of people who buy from you. This way you can communicate in a way that captures your community’s attention and piques their interest to learn more. As a brick and mortar store, location will play a big factor here.

 

Consider demographics such as age, gender, occupation, income level and household set up. Think about the personality of your customers. What are their pain points? What do they value? What interests them? These can all be used to define your niche and the people you want to attract online.

 

2. On which platforms do your audience members spend most of their time?

 

On average, people have 5.54 social media accounts. It’s your job to choose the one or two platforms where the largest portion of your audience is engaged and focus your efforts there. For most brick and mortar stores, I recommend Facebook and Instagram. They are perfect for the visual aspects of retail.

 

If you try to be on every platform, you’ll likely run into resource issues related to the amount of time, staff and budget required to manage your social media accounts. It’s better to focus your efforts, stay consistent and make one or two platforms a success before adding more.

 

The easiest way to find out where your target audience is most active is to simply ask them. You can bring it up with current customers while in-store or ask them to fill out a survey. If your current customers are spending a significant amount of time on a certain platform, chances are, the rest of your potential audience is too.

 

3. Which similar accounts might they be following?

 

Most likely, your competitors are active on social media. They may have already built a community of your ideal audience, making it easy for you to find them. Similarly, there are likely to be a number of non-direct competitors who share a similar audience to you. They also have communities you can tap into.

 

You can easily search accounts on both Facebook and Instagram if you know your competitors’ names. On Instagram, you can search hashtags that your customers or competitors might be using. You can also search for your location on both platforms, which is a big advantage as a physical store.

 

Once you understand the locations, hashtags, and accounts that are performing well, take time to reach out and engage with your audience members.

 

Like posts, add thoughtful and relevant comments on posts, reply to Stories and show you are invested.

 

Connect with local business owners and learn from them. With the right ‘collaboration over competition’ mindset, you’ll discover opportunities to serve your customers by tapping into the community of others.

 

Now you’re ready to engage with your target audience

 

Once you’ve found your target audience, you need to earn their attention and their engagement with your brand. This is not always easy. It takes time and consistent effort but there are some best practices for you to follow.

 

1. Be consistent

 

Consistency will always have the greatest impact on your success. It’s important to post consistently and ensure you optimize your post for each platform. When it comes to Facebook and Instagram, a combination of photos and videos works well.

 

Aim to post on a daily basis if you possibly can. To help with consistency, come up with a content plan and consider using a tool like AgoraPulse, Hootsuite or Buffer to plan and schedule your content in advance.

 

2. Create thumb-stopping content

 

Your content has to be thumb-stopping to capture the attention of your audience. Use high-quality photos and videos that are visually compelling.

 

Definitely allocate a budget for content creation, particularly if you have a visual brand. Consider hiring a photographer and setting up your store aesthetic so that you encourage customers to take photos in your store and publish them online, too.

 

Share your products online and in a setting in which your audience can relate. Showcase your store. Give your prospects a reason to visit you!

 

3. Be sure to include well-written captions

 

Your captions should speak to your audience rather than at them. Including a question and some fun emojis can be a great way to spark a conversation and boost engagement. In fact, emojis increase Instagram engagement by 48 percent.

 

For video posts, always add captions, as 85 percent of videois watched with the sound off. If you’re unfamiliar with how to do this, you can use a tool like Rev, Zubtitleor Temito create these captions for you. Or, Facebook has the caption tool built-in for most video lengths.

 

4. Use location tags and hashtags

 

When posting on Instagram, always add your location to each post and include hashtags relevant to your audience. You can use up to 30 hashtags in each Instagram post. Discover which hashtags are popular and relevant simply be searching within the Instagram app and filtering through ‘Tags.’

 

5. Use Stories daily

 

Use Stories on a daily basis to give your audience an insight into the offline experience they can expect when visiting your store. Share behind the scenes of what goes on in your business. Not only does this build trust through transparency, it helps to build real relationships with people online and generate excitement around visiting your store.

 

Stories have a number of fun, interactive features. Use quizzes, questions, polls, GIFs, and stickers to showcase your brand personality and encourage engagement. Invite your audience to be part of store decisions such as which items to put in your storefront, your next offline promotion, etc. It shows you genuinely care about providing the best experience possible and helps your audience to feel invested in your brand, again, giving them even more reason to visit.

 

You can also use Stories to share experiences posted from other customers who have visited your store. This will create a buzz and provide social proof to those who are yet to visit.

 

For more tips on Stories, check out How to Make Stories Work for your Small Business.

 

Bonus Tip: If you really want to generate excitement, create a small ‘Instagram Booth’ in your store to encourage current customers to take photos/videos and post online tagging your company. This way you are also growing your online word of mouth through your current customer base.

 

 

About Mari Smith

 

mari_0362xFACE_preview.jpg

Often referred to as “the Queen of Facebook,” Mari Smith is considered one of the world’s foremost experts on Facebook marketing and social media. She is a Forbes’ Top Social Media Power Influencer, author of The New Relationship Marketing and coauthor of Facebook Marketing: An Hour A Day. Forbes recently described Mari as, “… the preeminent Facebook expert. Even Facebook asks for her help.” She is a recognized Facebook Partner; Facebook headhunted and hired Mari to lead the Boost Your Business series of live events across the US. Mari is an in-demand speaker, and travels the world to keynote and train at major events.

 

Her digital marketing agency provides professional speaking, training and consulting services on Facebook and Instagram marketing best practices for Fortune 500 companies, brands, SMBs and direct sales organizations. Mari is also an expert webinar and live video broadcast host, and she serves as Brand Ambassador for numerous leading global companies.

 

Web: Mari Smith  or Twitter: @MariSmith

 

Bank of America, N.A. engages with Mari Smith to provide informational materials for your discussion or review purposes only. Mari Smith is a registered trademark, used pursuant to license. The third parties within articles are used under license from Mari Smith. Consult your financial, legal and accounting advisors, as neither Bank of America, its affiliates, nor their employees provide legal, accounting and tax advice.

The act of starting a business is often arduous and lonely. Long days and nights hunched over a computer, bouncing ideas off yourself since there’s no one else around.

 

But it doesn’t have to be like that. Imagine being surrounded by like-minded entrepreneurs — and experienced coaches—soaking in a pool, staring at a volcano. Or savoring some alone time, taking the time to be mindful and reflect on your goals — and what you want to be when you grow up.

 

Sound like a dream? It’s not — it’s reality thanks to childhood friends Brian Helfman and Josh Gershon, the cofounders of Startup Island, who are determined to empower young entrepreneurs to be the CEOs of their own lives.

Rieva Lesonsky: What is Startup Island?

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Brian Helfman: Startup Island is a personal development accelerator designed to connect entrepreneurial-minded college students and young professionals through shared travel experiences. We host an alternative spring break program in Costa Rica for college students from all over the world. We also host summer camp weekends for “older” millennials (ages 23 - 39) in upstate New York and run a New Year’s trip, Ignite, for that same demographic, which is in a new location every year.

 

During our trips, participants have a chance to de-stress in an inspiring environment, develop meaningful connections with entrepreneurial-minded peers, and work with a team of experienced coaches. On all our trips, we try to maintain a 4:1 ratio of participants to coaches. Each coach leads a workshop within their realm of expertise and conducts one-on-one “Island Office Hours” with participants looking to dive deeper into their own goals.

 

Lesonsky: What was the impetus for launching Startup Island?

 

Helfman: Josh and I have been friends since we were 11. During the summer of 2015, I was two years into building another business when Josh approached me with the idea to do a retreat for entrepreneurs. He wanted to call it Startup Island. The more we talked about the idea, the more passionate I became about it. I realized Startup Island could be a perfect combination of the things I enjoyed, and the things I was really good at — creating meaningful experiences, travel, spending time in nature, mentorship, and building businesses. So in October, we decided to launch and began marketing our first trip — an alternative spring break program for college entrepreneurs. During that trip, in March 2016, I decided to shift my focus to Startup Island full time, to grow a business that could make massive positive impact.

 

Lesonsky: What’s the feedback from alums of the program?

 

Helfman: The feedback from our travelers has been really special. Some of the overarching themes include business breakthroughs, positive mindset shifts, and the development of a supportive community. There are traveler testimonials on our community page.

 

Lesonsky: One of your goals is to build a community. Have you accomplished that?

 

Helfman: One of the coolest things to witness as our business continues to grow is how much value our participants realize from the community itself. We always say, our participants arrive as strangers and leave as family — corny, but true. And the trip is just the beginning. Our travelers stay in touch through online forums we’ve built and organize their own in-person meetups around the world. We’ve seen everything from business partnerships to lifelong friendships form, even between people who originally went on different trips.

 

Lesonsky: You believe entrepreneurial thinking is not just for people starting a business.

 

Helfman: We believe having an entrepreneurial mindset is useful whether you’re starting a business or not. An entrepreneurial mindset helps you take ownership over your entire life. That said, we have seen many of our participants start businesses, especially those who were in corporate jobs when they first joined us.

 

They’ll start ramping up a side hustle after they get home from their Startup Island trip, and eventually they make that side hustle their full-time focus. Many of our alums credit us for helping build the confidence, network, knowledge, and resources to execute and build on their big ideas.

 

Lesonsky: What have you learned from creating Startup Island?

 

Helfman: I’m so grateful to be building this business for many reasons — the most significant is being surrounded by so many smart, ambitious, impact-driven people, who are equally as kind, funny, and genuine.

 

I’m also driven to learn more about the world’s problems, so I can do my best to help the members of our community solve those problems. Entrepreneurship is hard. Making an impact is hard. And doing it alone is even harder. Perhaps the biggest thing I’ve learned is a mutually supportive community of impact-driven people can help maximize the chances of success for each member of that community. I’ve seen it start to happen, and I’m so excited to see how each member continues to grow and change the world for the better.

 

Lesonsky: Looking back, would you have done anything differently?

 

Helfman: Yes, thousands of things. Mostly optimizations that could’ve made our trips even better, or things that could have saved us time. But I’ve learned from all of it, and I’m very happy with where the business is today.

 

About Rieva Lesonsky

 

Rieva Lesonsky Headshot.png

Rieva Lesonsky is CEO and Co-founder of GrowBiz Media, a custom content and media company focusing on small business and entrepreneurship, and the blog SmallBizDaily.com. A nationally known speaker and authority on entrepreneurship, Rieva has been covering America’s entrepreneurs for more than 30 years. Before co-founding GrowBiz Media, Lesonsky was the long-time Editorial Director of Entrepreneur Magazine. Lesonsky has appeared on hundreds of radio shows and numerous local and national television programs, including the Today Show, Good Morning America, CNN, The Martha Stewart Show and Oprah.

 

Lesonsky regularly writes about small business for numerous websites and for corporations targeting entrepreneurs. Many organizations have recognized Lesonsky for her tireless devotion to helping entrepreneurs. She served on the Small Business Administration’s National Advisory Council for six years, was honored by the SBA as a Small Business Media Advocate and a Woman in Business Advocate, and received the prestigious Lou Campanelli award from SCORE. She is a long-time member of the Business Journalists Hall of Fame.

 

Web: www.growbizmedia.com or Twitter: @Rieva

You can read more articles from Rieva Lesonsky by clicking here

 

Bank of America, N.A. engages with Rieva Lesonsky to provide informational materials for your discussion or review purposes only. Rieva Lesonsky is a registered trademark, used pursuant to license. The third parties within articles are used under license from Rieva Lesonsky. Consult your financial, legal and accounting advisors, as neither Bank of America, its affiliates, nor their employees provide legal, accounting and tax advice.

 

Bank of America, N.A. Member FDIC. ©2018 Bank of America Corporation

Whenever you hear about some big advertising campaign or catch a clever commercial on TV, it’s easy to think: “But I’m a small business. I can’t do that. They must have an astounding budget.”

 

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You’re right. It can cost quite a lot to build what a company needs to be seen in the modern age. But I want to share that marketing with little or no budget can still earn big results if you use a little creativity, some personalized effort and free internet tools.

 

Here are five ways you can build strong customer and community engagement:

 

1.  Launch monthly events - No matter what you sell, there’s a reason for people to gather. I live right beside a smaller, old-timey hardware store. If they had monthly or weekly events like “Simple Fixes” where they show us how to change out a bathroom faucet, it would work well. Make the event about the product or about the kind of people the product serves. You might sell insurance. Maybe your event could be “Small Business Meet & Greet.” There are plenty of options.

 

2.  Publish an email newsletter - My No. 1 marketing technology after all these years is a personable, well-written email newsletter. I’m advocating for a “looks just like Mom sent it” plain old black text on white background email template. And instead of sending the random “junk drawer” of whatever you find online, think about what your customers might actually want to know more about. You deal with accountants? Teach them how to sell packages instead of just billable hours. Make the newsletters reasonably brief (300 words or so) and to the point. It’s your option whether you end with a call-to-action of some kind (but I would).

 

3.  Shoot Brief Videos - Five seconds, 30 seconds, a minute at most if you can do it. Use your smartphone to shoot small videos. What should you cover? How-to answers. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ). Interviews (super brief) with employees. Video testimonials where the story is about the customer, not about how great you are. “Show and tell.” Post them on YouTube and/or on your website.  [Check out How to use Compelling Video On Social Media for your Small Business by Mari Smith for some great tips.]

 

4.  Send Personal Messages to Your Best Clients - My buddy Mick runs a gaming and comic store. In the old days, when he was selling more comics (and I was buying some), he’d email me or tweet me pictures of new comics that came out on Wednesday. Not “the” comics but “my” comics, the ones I’d care about. That one move can be copied and stolen by almost any business. Send specific one-on-one messages that engage and encourage your customers or prospects to come in and visit. It makes a difference. These can be in email, text, private Facebook messages, or postcards for all it matters.

 

5.  Build a Great Onboarding Process - A lotof customers express frustration with the “purchase and forget” experience they have with lots of smaller businesses. They buy a product or a service and the company stops interacting right there. Depending on what you sell, a great way to engage and reach people and earn their continued business (and referrals) is to follow up after a sale to see how things are going, to provide how-to instructions if that makes sense, and to offer any further assistance. There’s a wealth of “next sales” hidden in those connections.

 

What I love most about these recommendations is that nothing here takes a whole lot of time to put together, nor does most of what I recommended cost money. Time? Yes. Effort? Absolutely. But not much (if any) money.

 

If we want to sell and serve the best in our community, we will need to build better levels of engagement. It’s simple but not easy, and you can do it.

 

 

About Chris Brogan

 

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Chris Brogan is an author, keynote speaker and business advisor who helps companies update organizational interfaces to better support modern humans. The age of factory-sized interactions is over. We all come one to a pack. And it’s time to accept that we are all a little bit dented. Chris advisesleadership teams to empower team members by sharing actionable insights on talent development. He also works with marketing and communications teams to more effectively reach people who want to be seen and understood before they buy what a company sells.

 

Web: https://chrisbrogan.com Twitter: @ChrisBrogan

Read more from Chris Brogan

 

Bank of America, N.A. engages with Chris Brogan to provide informational materials for your discussion or review purposes only. The third parties within articles are used under license from Chris Brogan. Consult your financial, legal and accounting advisors, as neither Bank of America, its affiliates, nor their employees provide legal, accounting and tax advice.

 

Bank of America, N.A. Member FDIC. ©2019 Bank of America Corporation

These days, small businesses have no lack of data. You can run analytics for how well your Facebook posts are doing, the open rate for your e-newsletter, shopping cart abandons, what time of day products sell best, and a whole lot more.

 

The question is not whether you generate data – you do – but rather, do you have the time or insight as to how to digest these numbers and determine what they mean for your small business goals?

 

That’s where a good dashboard comes in handy. In the parlance of analytics, this is called Business Intelligence, or BI. The good news: Several innovative companies have created a slew of BI tools to analyze and interpret your data.

 

So which dashboards are worth your time and can best help you run your business?

 

Here are some of my favorites:

 

Bank of America® Business Advantage 360: This is a superior financial dashboard from our friends at Bank of America. Business Advantage 360 (BA360) is a digital tool designed to make it easy for small business owners to manage the various financial aspects of their business, especially the all-important cash flow.

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Available to any Bank of America client with a business deposit account, Business Advantage 360 provides a birds-eye view of business cash flow and access to real-time expertise and guidance. With BA360, you can:

 

      • Create and graphically display cash-flow projections
      • Integrate account information to easily keep track of finances
      • Manually adjust projections with additional data like new sales
      • Set up cash flow thresholds and display them graphically and add alerts when adjustments may be needed

 

Here’s a good video that can show you how Business Advantage 360 can help your business.

 

Dasheroo: Dasheroo began as a tool that collected and curated social media data. You could compare your Facebook Likes and Insights, Twitter follows and analytics, Instagram hits and so forth all in one place. Simply set up your customer Dasheroo dashboard, attach your different accounts, and the system would give visually interesting analysis and insight of all of your social media metrics.

 

Now, Dasheroo allows you to corral data from many of your other useful business apps, including:

 

      • MailChimp
      • PayPal
      • YouTube
      • SalesForce
      • Infusionsoft
      • Google Analytics
      • SurveyMonkey
      • QuickBooks®

 

You get the idea. A great analytical tool.

 

Zoho Reports: Most of these dashboards offer the same eye candy functionality. That is, you have access to:

 

      • Beautiful dashboards
      • Drag & drop report creation  
      • Interactivity
      • Customization
      • Visually stunning graphics

 

Zoho offers this as well. By taking the headache out of producing reports, Zoho Reports makes it easy to generate clear, powerful, useful reports based on your data.

 

Board: According to Board, “We feature some of the best data visualization tools available alongside in-depth planning and forecasting functionality, providing users with a consistent, self-service, fully integrated approach to reporting, analysis, simulation, and planning.” With Board you can:

 

      • Plan, monitor and get insight into your sales processes
      • Track, analyze and plan your sales "lead to revenue" process
      • Plan and analyze across the entire supply chain management
      • Streamline workforce planning and get better insights into human resources performance
      • Automate financial planning and analyze business performance down to operations

 

And these are just a start. Check out some of the tools listed here – you, and your business will be better for it.

 

 

About Steve Strauss

 

Steve Strauss Headshot New.pngSteven D. Strauss is one of the world's leading experts on small business and is a lawyer, writer, and speaker. The senior small business columnist for USA Today, his Ask an Expert column is one of the most highly-syndicated business columns in the country. He is the best-selling author of 17 books, including his latest, The Small Business Bible, now out in a completely updated third edition. You can also listen to his weekly podcast, Small Business SuccessSteven D. Strauss

 

Web: www.theselfemployed.com or Twitter: @SteveStrauss

You can read more articles from Steve Strauss by clicking here

 

Bank of America, N.A. engages with Steve Strauss to provide informational materials for your discussion or review purposes only. Steve Strauss is a registered trademark, used pursuant to license. The third parties within articles are used under license from Steve Strauss. Consult your financial, legal and accounting advisors, as neither Bank of America, its affiliates, nor their employees provide legal, accounting and tax advice. Bank of America, N.A. Member FDIC.  ©2019 Bank of America Corporation

Transforming a hobby into a small business takes preparation, passion and faith. On this episode of “The Heartbeat of Main Street,” Karen Anderson shares the story of her company, Tiny Doors ATL, and its evolution from a personal art project into a successful business and local phenomenon. Karen takes listeners behind the scenes of her journey, offering advice to anyone looking to turn their passion into a business.

 

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“The Heartbeat of Main Street” delivers timely insights tailored to the needs of small business owners and entrepreneurs. Featuring a rotating line-up of small business experts and industry leaders – and covering a range of topics – each episode explores the trends that have an impact on revenue creation for small business owners.

 

The series is hosted by ForbesBooks, and more information can be accessed through a dedicated home page. New episodes will appear regularly on the Small Business Community podcast page. Be sure to check back often – so you don’t miss a beat.

 

Check out more small business stories:

 

Podcast transcript:

 

Narrator:                    Welcome to “The Heartbeat of Main Street” with ForbesBooks at ForbesBooks.com and Bank of America at BankofAmerica.com. Here’s your host, Gregg Stebben.

 

Gregg Stebben:        Welcome to “The Heartbeat of Main Street” with ForbesBooks and Bank of America. I am here with Karen Anderson, she's the principal artist and director of the company, Tiny DoorsATL. The website is tinydoorsatl.com, on Facebook and Instagram @TinyDoorsATL. Karen, I'm gonna let you explain what you do, I'm just gonna explain that the ATL part stands for Atlanta. You're on your own for explaining the Tiny Doors part. Welcome and tell us about your business, Tiny DoorsATL.

 

Karen Anderson:        Hi, thanks for having me. I'm really excited to be here. Tiny DoorsATL is a fun little thing to try to explain to people and I think a lot of small business owners have this issue of the elevator speech, how exactly you explain what your ... what your thing is.

 

Gregg Stebben:         Is it a tiny elevator door from Tiny Doors, for the tiny elevator pitch?

 

Karen Anderson:       Yes, that's a perfect idea — I have made tiny elevator doors for a Marriott, actually, so that's a good little segue way. I went to art school, art school is not business school…it is just making art. They don't really teach you about the business of making art, and so it became something, I started making these tiny doors and then they started to get more and more demand for them. I found that I wanted my business model to be just making a few of what I was doing a year and making them matter.

 

 

                                   Instead of taking that large-scale production I went with smaller scale and with a more impactful way about it. What I do is I make literally seven-inch doors, they're one inch to one foot, so it would be a seven-foot door to seven-inch door. It reflects and respects the neighborhood that's around it so it's gonna look like it belongs where it is, whether it's at the business or in a neighborhood, I try to make something that is interactive and feels like it belongs to the neighborhood. Does that make sense?

 

Gregg Stebben:         And so we are literally talking about tiny doors, I just want to be clear about, and not just tiny doors, by the way. For instance, I'm looking at one, I think it's at either a pet food store or a doggy day care center. It's a tiny door with a tiny dog door in the tiny door and a tiny dog behind going through the tiny dog door. We actually find out there's this little secret or an Easter egg. It's actually a cat behind, not a dog behind.

 

 

                                   What I love about what you just said is that you have a completely different — maybe you have to go to art school to come up with this — but you have a completely different take on supply and demand because, as you said, many businesses think you have to get bigger and do more and more to grow. What you actually did was decide to get smaller and to address supply and demand in a completely different way.

 

Karen Anderson:       Yeah, and you know what's funny, is that I thought that didn't qualify me as a small business. I have an LLC, I am a small business, and I still didn't think of myself that way because I wasn't doing the more demand.

 

Gregg Stebben:         There was no tiny door factory — you are the tiny door factory and there's only one of you.

 

Karen Anderson:        Right. I'm an artist and this is my art that you're looking at. I do have some employees who work for me, I do have all the other things that a business would have, I just don't have a factory that makes a thousand tiny doors a year.

 

Gregg Stebben:         Yes. So I guess I have to ask. I'm talking with Karen Anderson, she's the principal artist and director of Tiny DoorsATL. You can see the tiny doors at tinydoorsatl.com, the ATL part stands for Atlanta. She's on Facebook and Instagram @TinyDoorsATL. It is such a joy to go and look at the photos, it is so much fun, almost as much fun as I'm sure being there. There's a map of where you can tour the tiny doors in Atlanta, but I am hoping you will give us a little insight into the business model of your business. You've alluded to it, but I think, for some of us, it's a bit of a mystery how you could make a living, create a successful business, creating tiny doors and deliberately only creating a few.

 

Karen Anderson:       Yeah, you know, it's certainly never been done before, and I followed the business model of a lot of other artists, say muralists, who can't make a thousand murals a year, but they can make 10 or 12 great murals a year. So, they look for 10 or 12 companies who are interested in commissioning. That's what has ended up happening with me, is that I get commissioned to do these doors, and then there's a lot of business that goes on around that.

 

                                   I have a lot of merchandise that people buy, things like that, that aren't doors, and it also has led to public speaking, which is another part of the Tiny DoorsATL business. I do conferences and I do schools — it's been really fun to go talk to students who have seen the doors and are interested. There have been a few facets that this business has turned into rather than just being a door production factory. It's become meeting demands as they come up and really sticking with having the doors themselves be my resume rather than be a product you could buy off the shelf.

 

Gregg Stebben:         You've said so many really great things here. One is, I actually want to direct our listeners back to “The Heartbeat of Main Street Podcast” because we did another interview that was really focused on what you just described, which is creating multiple profit centers. Again, it sounds like you've done a brilliant job of that, merchandising things around the doors, merchandising yourself as a speaker. There's probably all kinds of ways you can continue to grow the business without actually making more tiny doors.

 

Karen Anderson:       Absolutely.

 

Gregg Stebben:         So, in the evolution of this is a business, given that you went to art school, at what point did you realize, "Oh — oh, I have a real business here." Was there any conflict inside you about that? Did you ever think, "Well, wait a minute, I'm an artist."

 

Karen Anderson:       Yes, I think all artists get that sort of starving artist thing thrown at them so many times that they might start to feel guilty about making money and a lot of people at the beginning of this process, the beginning of Tiny DoorsATL, becoming more known, started to ask me to become a non-profit. They were like, "Okay, here's the time. Become a non-profit, we'll help you file the paperwork," and I looked at what it meant to be a non-profit, and I thought about whether I wanted that or not, whether I could stomach being for profit as an artist.

 

 

                                   It was something that I really struggled with but the thing about profit is it's what you do with it. With my profit, I choose to pay my employees as much as I can, I choose to reinvest into the business. I’m not doing anything nefarious. I’m taking care of the street art that I've made in Atlanta, with the money that I make from private commission, so I literally take care of street art with my profit. But if I were a non-profit, I would have had to go about it so differently and I decided that wasn't for me.

 

Gregg Stebben:         That's a really wonderful way that you describe that, and it actually leads into one of the questions I wanted to ask you which is, with your art and with this business philosophy you just shared with us that includes things like taking care of your employees in the best possible way, have you found that turning your passion into a business has given you the power to reach a wider audience? Did you envision that, is that something you embrace, is it something that you want to do more? Talk more about the power that having this successful business gives you.

 

Karen Anderson:       Yeah, I’m gonna use the M word. I'm a Millennial, and I think that's important to note because I came of age at a time when the economy had tanked. I graduated from high school in 2001, and so I was heading off to college right at the beginning of a recession. It really empowered me. I felt like I could follow my passion because there was no safety, there was no route where you could go and you were guaranteed, at least for me, at least for someone who didn't want to study math.

 

Gregg Stebben:         Or business.

 

Karen Anderson:        It wasn't a safe route for me to get through, and so I felt like, "Well, you know what? The only way I'm gonna do it is if it's something that I love. Then starting Tiny Doors, I had other things that I was trying. Tiny Doors wasn't ... I didn't start this thinking, "This will be my career, this will be my business." I just had been listening to people paying attention to it, people wanting to participate, wanting to buy more art from me. It has made me feel empowered to keep building and keep growing.

 

                                   It's also, I think, just really good to listen to what's going on around you and respond to that, and that's a lot of what I've done with this.

 

 

Gregg Stebben:         I want to ask one last question, Karen. Talking with Karen Anderson, she's the Principal Artist and Director of Tiny DoorsATL, tinydoorsatl.com, on Facebook and Instagram @TinyDoorsATL. Go to the website, go to the Facebook page, go to the Instagram page. Look at the tiny doors.  They're tiny doors, but way more than tiny doors. As you can hear in Karen's voice, they're really, it sounds like transforming neighborhoods and communities and even businesses that embrace this because of everything that's included in this whole, I'm gonna call it a tiny door movement.

 

Karen Anderson:        I think that what people respond to is honesty. Like, I have a t-shirt that I bought from a company, that I love the honesty of the people who put that company together with the materials that they use. There's that story of why it was important to you, why this was created. This project is so honest to who I am. I've always made miniatures, I've always loved it. I'm a little bit shocked that people are as nerdy as I am and they love it right along with me. But I embrace that and I move forward with it as much as I can.

 

                                    I think a lot of that, a lot of the success of this business has been the response to how real it is.

 

Gregg Stebben:         That's a perfect place for me to ask this last question which is, what advice would you offer others who see what you're doing and your success and hope to turn their own passion into a business? What advice can you give them to get started and give them the courage to go for it?

 

Karen Anderson:       I'm kind of, I'm pretty deliberate. For somebody who has pink hair and makes tiny doors, I'm actually pretty reserved when it comes to making choices like that. I chose not to take a job teaching art, I chose to nanny when I first moved to Atlanta because I wanted to pursue making art. So, I chose not to take the status position. I chose to take a job where I could pursue my passion as a hobby, and see if I liked it. I ended up two years into that job writing my TedX talk while the kid was taking a nap because I just was afraid to make that leap, because I liked my job and I liked having it all, but I was like, "This isn't gonna move forward until I really give it everything I have."

 

                                  I slowly and deliberately made that leap into Tiny Doors, and I'm really glad that I did. There have been a lot of leaps along the way — I know every small business owner will say that. It's not as though you made one big decision, it's like a lot of little decisions that ended up as a business.

 

 

Gregg Stebben:         Could we summarize what you just said as saying you had faith in yourself?

 

Karen Anderson:       I did. I did have faith in myself and I think that when you're doing what you absolutely love, there's that faith that's in there because you know that it's something that you're never gonna give up on. There was one day when my business took a big leap forward. I was posted on Instagram's Instagram, which has hundreds of millions of followers, and then I was on the Travel Channel all in 24 hours. And I was freaking out, honestly, I didn't know what to do with all that attention at once and so I called a friend, who has been a rock star for about 30 years and I asked her what she does.

 

                                   She said, "Here's how I think of it. You’ve got to find the one thing that you love about what you're doing and do more of that. Do as much as you can. Take one thing, just pick one thing that you don't like, and don't do that thing anymore, hire someone to do it. Find a way that you don't have to do that one thing," and she said, "Everything else is just your job. Even if it's your dream job, it's just your job, just do it." It really changed how I felt about this project. It really helped me get some perspective. Do more of the thing I love, it seemed so simple.

 

                                  She was like apologizing to me, going "I know that's so simple," and it was brilliant and I hope it helps someone else.

 

 

Gregg Stebben:         And we get to know who the rock star is, so we can give credit where credit is due?

 

Karen Anderson:       Sure. Sure, it was Emily Saliers of Indigo Girls.

 

 

Gregg Stebben:         That's awesome. If you were as charmed as I am by Karen and her story, go to the website tinydoorsatl.com, Facebook and Instagram @TinyDoorsATL. If you want to hear more great small business stories and tips just like those we just heard from Karen, check out Bank of America's online Small Business Community at bankofamerica.com/sbc. Karen, thanks again for joining us.

 

Karen Anderson:        Thank you, it's been a pleasure.

 

Narrator:                     Thanks for listening to “The Heartbeat of Main Street” with ForbesBooks at ForbesBooks.comand Bank of America at BankofAmerica.com.

There’s never been a tougher time to own a local business. Today, anyone can order the same goods they’d find in a brick and mortar store using their mobile phones from billion-dollar businesses with huge economies of scale. They can get those purchases delivered to their door the very next day, or even the same day, without ever leaving the sofa, let alone looking for a parking space or waiting in line.

 

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It’s no wonder chains as ubiquitous as Toys R Us, Payless Shoes, and Borders have all closed stores or gone out of business in the last few years while the value of Amazon’s shares almost doubled between April 2017 and April 2019.

 

The rise and convenience of Internet shopping mean local firms need to look beyond the simple exchange of goods for money as the foundation of their businesses. Any outlet can do that. They need to offer something that Amazon and other online businesses can’t deliver—and that’s a personal service.

 

They need to stop being stores and start becoming neighborhood institutions.

 

It’s a role some stores have always played. The owners of local hardware stores never just sold hammers and bags of nails. They also talked to their customers about the projects they were working on or the repairs they were making. They pointed them to tools better suited for the job and gave them advice about avoiding mistakes. That advice was both personalized and localized.

 

The value of that personal advice is why a huge company like Apple has expanded its Today at Apple sessions. Those creative lessons help customers to get more out of their iPads and Macs, but they also turn Apple stores, already best known for their Genius Bars, into personal learning centers as well as retail outlets.

 

They give people a reason to come through the door instead of buying online.

 

That’s exactly what local businesses need to do. They must expand beyond retail sales to include events and experiences related to the products and services they sell.

 

    • It’s always possible to buy clothes online, for example, but only a local clothing store will work with local designers and provide an outlet for students studying fashion at the community college.

 

    • Paint supplies are easy to purchase but only a local art shop can also run a class and provide models for local artists.

 

    • Anyone can work out alone but only a local fitness center can provide a personal coach and the camaraderie of working out with other people.

 

All those services allow the business to do more than exchange a good or supply a service. They build a relationship with a customer. They turn the customer into a friend. They make the customer feel welcome and they lead the customer to trust the business that they buy from.

 

Check out how Barebottle Brewing Company builds relationships with their customers in the Bay area.

 

The way for local businesses to compete with online businesses is to make use of their local advantages. Make customers feel welcome. Know their names and the problems that they want the store to solve. Give them an experience they just can’t get online.

 

When that happens people won’t just be willing to put down their phones and get off the sofa. They’ll want to visit you. They’ll want to do business with you.

And they’ll want to keep you in business.

 

Watch our videos about Nashville and Atlanta small businesses:

 

About Joel Comm

 

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As an Internet pioneer, Joel has been creating profitable websites, software, products and helping entrepreneurs succeed since 1995. He has been at the frontlines of live video online since 2008 and has a deep expertise in using tools such as Facebook Live, Periscope, Instagram or Snapchat to broadcast a clearly defined message to a receptive audience or leveraging the power of webinar and meeting technologies.

 

Joel is a New York Times best-selling author of 15 books, including “The AdSense Code,” “Click Here to Order: Stories from the World’s Most Successful Entrepreneurs,” “KaChing: How to Run an Online Business that Pays and Pays and Twitter Power 3.0.” He is Co-Host of The Bad Crypto Podcast one of the top crypto-related shows in the world and has spoken before thousands of people around the world and seeks to inspire, equip and entertain.

 

Web: https://joelcomm.com/ or Twitter: @JoelComm

Read more from Joel Comm

 

Bank of America, N.A. engages with Joel Comm to provide informational materials for your discussion or review purposes only. Joel Comm is a registered trademark, used pursuant to license. The third parties within articles are used under license from Joel Comm. Consult your financial, legal and accounting advisors, as neither Bank of America, its affiliates, nor their employees provide legal, accounting and tax advice.

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