5 Tips For Word of Mouth Marketing

shutterstock_141838129Even start-up tech companies that are seemingly rooted in the digital realm place value on the importance of word of mouth marketing. However, it’s important to remember that a business that offers a personal service should be naturally aligned towards a referral plan. If you think of a wedding photographer, virtually all of their business will come from referrals. Now think of a home swapping service for vacations, the company is completely different, but it still offers a personal service. All companies of this ilk should have a strong focus on referrals, but there is virtually no company that shouldn’t consider them at some level.

Referral schemes are often misunderstood, pushed to the side, or simply neglected and allowed to underperform. Below you will find a few handy tips that will help you to ensure that your referral scheme doesn’t suffer the same fate. Continue reading

MyCorporation’s 2015 Small Business Industry Predictions

2015 is officially here! And business forecasters all across the internet are scrambling to their crystal balls to give their predictions as to what is, and isn’t, going to work in the new year. Of course, if you regularly follow our blog, you’d know we beat them by a good month with our infographic “2015 Small Business Industry Predictions.” But just in case you missed it, or you want a refresher as to what we think will be the best industries to start a small business in, here’s a quick rundown of what we think is going to happen.

What industries are going to do well in 2015?

Fastest growing industries

Continue reading

Our 5 Favorite Holiday Marketing Campaigns

It’s almost Christmas! And with the holiday season has come the annual barrage of holiday advertising. As someone who works with businesses, entrepreneurs, and brands, I actually really enjoy holiday marketing. Not only does it help you get into the spirit, but it’s a lot of fun to see how major marketing firms tackle the holidays. After asking around the office, it seems I’m not the only one who actually likes holiday marketing! And so we thought it’d be fun to take a look at Team MyCorp’s top 5 holiday campaigns.

Coca-Cola Sundblom Santa

Coke knows how to use its brand, and every year we normally see a new iteration of an image Coke has been using since 1931 to market during the holidays. That Santa-Claus, which was drawn by Haddon Sundblom for Coca-Cola ad agency director Archie Lee, is such a ubiquitous and long-lasting part of Coca-Cola’s brand that, for a while, it was rumored Coca-Cola actually created our modern image of Santa Claus, with the white and red being Coke’s primary colors. Though that rumor isn’t true, as time wore on, many began to associate the Sundblom Santa with all of the pleasant feelings that normally accompany Christmas. And Coca-Cola has certainly ensured that their trademark Santa would continue to be an important part of the holiday season. Nearly every year, that Santa shows up in some way – be it in a wider marketing campaign, on branded merchandise, or on the cans themselves. Continue reading

The Perks of Participating on Small Business Saturday

We’re huge fans of Small Business Saturday here at MyCorp. Along with offering our own annual promotion for newly minted entrepreneurs, we try and spread word of the event as far and wide. Past Small Business Saturdays have been wildly successful – in 2013, customers spent $5.7 billion at independent merchants during SBS. But if that isn’t enough to convince you to participate, take a look at these other awesome perks! shopsmall1

American Express Promotional Material
Small Business Saturday was actually created by American Express, and the credit card company continues to sponsor the shopping holiday. And so there are tons of perks from AmEx that small business owners can use! They offer free ads and signage to everyone, and if you accept American Express cards, they’ll even put your business on their map so potential customers can find you.

Premier Partner Perks
AmEx has lined up a few premier partners with their own promotions to sweeten the deal for small business owners. You can list yourself on EventBrite, get free signs from FedEx, and free ads from Yelp! Facebook is also a partner, and if you need some social marketing advice to help you promote the big day, there’s plenty of the official page.

Community Support
Most communities really rally around the idea of supporting their local main street merchants. So, at the very least, your local chamber of commerce will probably plan on putting something together for to support and promote Small Business Saturday. Check in with them and see what’s on the agenda, and how you can get your business listed as a SBS participant.

Small Business Saturday is November 29th, so if you haven’t started prepping, start now! You’ll be part of a growing tradition, and reach plenty of busy shoppers. And be sure to check back here to find out what we are offering to new small business owners this Saturday!

ABCs of Small Business Industry – M is for Marketing

We are onto M in our series, and this week we are looking at the marketing and public relations industry. Marketing and PR is often seen as a hard industry to break into. There are a lot of rival firms – some big and some small – and new businesses often have trouble figuring out how to stand out. But with a good amount of experience, the right contacts, and enough work ethic, it is possible for a company to succeed in the growing marketing and PR industry. marketing industry

What do you need to start a business in the marketing industry?

Most experts say that the most important factor to a new firm’s success is marketing experience. You need friends and contacts to really succeed. And while it is totally possible to build a successful business with no experience in the marketing industry, it’s really, really hard. There are a lot of lessons you learn about marketing and PR by working within the industry, and a major part of that industry is who you know. Networking is much more effective than cold-calling.

Continue reading

Business Basics: Return on Investment (ROI)

Welcome back to business basics! In case you’ve forgotten, every week we take a look at a basic business concept in order to try to help new business owners better understand it. This week, we are covering Return on Investment, or ROI – a fairly straightforward, but often misunderstood, part of running a business! Though you may think you know all about ROI, you could be using it incorrectly. But first… ROI

What is ROI?

Return on Investment, or ROI, is pretty easy to grasp – heck, the definition is right in the name. It’s whatever return you get after your invest in some part of your business. So if you hire 2 new salespeople, a basic measurement of ROI will be the money they bring in, minus their wages. Continue reading

How to Market Your Small Business Successfully From the Start

How to Market Your Small Business Successfully From the StartIn the early days of a start-up, you have to wear pretty much every hat possible. You have to develop your products, sell and support them, keep your accounts and other legal documentation up to date, and never take your eyes off cash flow. All of which, plus managing a few people, takes up lots of time and energy.

Marketing is one of those things that are a bit ethereal. It’s not concrete. It doesn’t deliver immediate results. It’s so intangible that it’s easy to push it to another day. Isn’t it?

You may want to reconsider doing that. Ignoring your marketing could be the biggest risk to your company’s survival. There’s still time to get started though, if you keep a few of these tips in mind.

Continue reading

Business Basics – Cross-Blogging

Content marketing is amazing. Studies have found that inbound and content marketing cost 62% less than traditional marketing, and yet brings in three-times as many leads. If you don’t blog, you’re missing out on a huge marketing opportunity, and a great chance to network. Over the last year or so, we’ve really amped up our cross-blogging, and we’ve seen some amazing results. New markets have opened up, our web presence has never been bigger, and we’ve made some great new partners. cross-blogging

But, in finding new partners to blog with, we’ve noticed that some businesses don’t know the first thing about cross-blogging. So to help those of you experimenting with inbound marketing out, here are a few tips on how to make your cross-blogging experience positive and rewarding.

Make suggestions and share ideas

Some of the best articles we’ve ever written have come from ideas brainstormed with our cross-blogging partners. However, entrepreneurs can be a little skittish when it comes to sharing ideas. Now when a business is built on an idea, guarding it makes a lot of sense, but if that idea is nothing more than a possible topic for an 800-word article, you don’t have to treat it like a trade secret. So feel free to pitch ideas with your partners, and build off of each other’s suggestions. A major part of cross-blogging is networking. You want to forge a strong, working relationship with the people you partner with, and brainstorming is a great way to do just that.

Keep the relationship light

New bloggers sometimes get a bit overly zealous when contributing or accepting a post. Before anything is written, they want a thirty-page contract filled out in triplicate and faxed to their attorney’s office. Remember, you aren’t sharing revenue or starting a business together. You’re cross-blogging. A few simple requests like ‘don’t plagiarize’ and ‘don’t publish this somewhere else’ are really all that you need.

Don’t ask your partner to do all the work

We feel like this should go without saying, but we’ve had way, waytoo many potential partners ask us to just write the post for them. There’s no quicker way to ruin this networking and marketing opportunity than by shirking all of your responsibility and expecting someone else to pick up the slack. Treat others the way you want to be treated. Would you want a crummy, hastily written article, riddled with spelling and grammar errors on your blog? We doubt it. Any articles you send to your partner should be insightful, unique, and engaging, and you should expect the same of them. That way no one feels slighted, and your new partnership starts off right. 

Interested in contributing a guest post? We’d love to talk to you! Click here to read our author guidelines, pitch an idea, and get in contact with our social media team.

5 Signs That It’s Time to Update Your Logo Design

5 Signs That It’s Time to Update Your Logo DesignHave you heard? Netflix just redesigned its logo. Just a few months prior, so did Black & Decker, Yahoo, VISA, Absolut Vodka, and a long list of other major companies. That’s because every logo design has a shelf life, one that varies from business to business. So how do you know if your logo is becoming stale? Good question. Here are the answers.

1) Revamp your logo design if it looks unprofessional or too generic. Your logo conveys the quality and professionalism of your company and should reflect your corporate mission and values. A poor quality logo does damage to any company, at any size. Often early-stage businesses choose overly complicated, obscure or cluttered logo designs that screams old fashioned. Aim for a simple, clean design with a stylish flourish.  Another common mistake is to choose a logo that looks too similar to a competitor’s. Your logo design should always be unique to your unique brand.

Continue reading

12 Must-Know Rules for Startups

12 Must-Know Rules for StartupsIn 2012, entrepreneur Mark Cuban wrote “12 Rules for Startups“ for Entrepreneur.com, contained valuable insight and some entertaining ideas from Mr. Cuban. The article shared some snackable ideas to the startups to roll out with large profits and tag their business as ‘successful’.

Keeping the same spirit, this post is going to narrate 12 additional rules of thumb for startups to follow in 2014 – for both those launching new businesses and those associated with these startups. It’s been a two year leap since Mr. Cuban wrote his article and while the market and tactics have changed quite a bit, startups in 2014 still have plenty of exciting things to look forward to.

Rule 1: Grow Your Passion

Startups are diligent, and have to build a problem-solving attitude since the launch of business. Startup strategy must consist of moving two steps forward and one step backward. However, it’s critical that all start-ups include plenty of passion as it’s important for entrepreneurs to deal with business upheavals.

Rule 2: Never Give Up

As startups grow and experience challenging times, they need an attitude in place that tells them to never give up! Overall persistence in business works to help startup owners grow a strong survival strategy in the long run.

Continue reading