2015 Small Business Industry Predictions: An Infographic

2014 is about to wrap up, and, as is the case with the closing of each year, we can’t help but think about what the coming year will mean for small business. So we scoured the internet for predictions about 2015 and lessons learned from 2014 to create our latest infographic, “2015 Small Business Industry Predictions.”

One of the best things we found was this hopeful statistic: 58% of small business owners expect that they will experience growth in 2015. Entrepreneurs everywhere think it’s going to be a great year for business!

What are your predictions?

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Could a Microloan Be the Right Fit for Your Company?

Why You Should Hire For Personality Instead of ExperiencesIf you’ve come across the term “Microloan” while searching for small business loan options, you’ve likely inferred that it is a loan with a small borrowing limit. Maybe that sounds like just what your company needs, but you most likely have questions about how this funding alternative works. Just how micro are these loans? How do they compare to traditional bank loans and other borrowing alternatives?

Here are answers to small business owners’ most frequently asked questions about microloans: Continue reading

3 Priorities You Shouldn’t Overlook When Launching A Small Business

Business_Owners_Holding_Money_SmYou have your business plan in one hand, and a cup of very strong coffee in the other. The paperwork is being processed, and the website is in the final round of edits. Your small business is almost ready to launch, but you’re worried you might be missing something.

Websites and business books are full of best practices, quick tips, and mistakes to avoid, but building a successful business isn’t strictly about the business itself. You need to build three pillars that will help launch your vision into the world. Continue reading

CRM Solutions and Your Business: A Story Retold

CRM Solutions and Your Business: A Story RetoldWhat does CRM mean anyway? Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is essentially a system that enables businesses to manage data and information pertaining to clients. The aim is to increase sales and offer clients a better service and this goal is achieved by storing information, accounts, leads, and sales opportunities in a central database so that it is easily accessible by all members of the company, especially sales and customer service reps.

But isn’t CRM only available for the use of large firms? Not at all. Not only can small firms afford CRM solutions, but they can also easily integrate them with their existing operations (customer service, sales, and marketing) too. Once customer relationships start to improve, you will automatically generate a greater ROI in the process.

If your small business is ready to take on CRM, read on to find out which tools are the best bet for your business.

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7 Ways Social Media Can Take Your Business from Good to Great

7 Ways Social Media Can Take Your Business from Good to GreatIn the early days of the internet, the extent of digital marketing for most businesses was deciding whether to bother setting up a company website or not. These days it’s rare to find a business of any size without its own website and the rise of the social media has brought with it a new way to engage with existing and potential new customers. Make social work for you by using these 7 tips to take your business from a good online presence to a great one!

1. Spread brand awareness

According to research from the Pew Research Center, 73% of online adults now use at least one social media site. Facebook remains the undisputed leader with almost one and a quarter billion monthly users – more than 1 in 6 of the global population. Other sites like Twitter and Instagram are also huge and 42% of adults online now use multiple social networking platforms. A social media marketing campaign or presence offers the potential customer to reach a vast new audience across a range of demographics and expand your customer base.

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Why Are Your Designers Leaving You?

Why Are Your Designers Leaving You?Whether your firm is small and speaks to niche-based needs or you are a large company that is trying to be everything to everyone, you won’t get far if you lose designers along the way! A good UX designer is hard to come by, and if you find them and keep losing them, you may need to consider some of the factors going into play as to why you’re losing quality professionals.

You’re Not Paying Enough

Everyone likes to talk about how a great work environment and perks really matter in the workplace, but at the end of the day, it’s all about money. If you are not paying a competitive wage, you are going to find that great professionals may end up at your company, but aren’t going to stay there. Design is an industry that is notorious about underpaying the people who work in it, and if you are guilty of this, word will get around. Make sure that you know what the industry standard is. Depending on the designer that you hire and what their experiences in the field might be, you can be looking at anywhere from $40,000 to $100,000 a year. Good designers expect to get paid for their efforts, and if you do not step up, they’re going to step out!

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6 Ways New Business Owners Can Save Money When Starting Up

6 Ways New Business Owners Can Save Even More Money Starting UpIf you’re a brand new small business owner just bursting out of the starting block, how you decide to save money matters. Even if you’ve gotten off to a good start, and revenues are flowing in, every dollar you save goes directly to the bottom line. In order to maximize your savings, keep the following six tips in mind.

1) Score Free Office Supplies

If you typically pick up your office supplies from your local office supply retailer, understand that there are ways to score supplies for free. Enroll in the store’s rewards program and wait for 100% cash back sales. You buy the supplies at full price, then receive the amount you spent in the form of a rewards certificate, usually issued the following quarter. Common free items include printer paper, pens, notebooks, folders, staplers, and scissors.

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