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SMB Nation has been serving the Bainbridge Island area since 2001, providing IT Support such as technical helpdesk support, computer support, and consulting to small and medium-sized businesses.

101 Small Business Marketing Ideas

By Alyssa Gregory
Updated July 31, 2017


TatOne universal small business goal is to sell the business's products and services. This is usually best accomplished by positioning the business in front of the target audience, and offering something that solves a problem or that they can't refuse or find elsewhere.

To this end, one of the smartest things a small business owner can do for his or her business is to take the time to develop a small business marketing plan that will set them apart from the competition.

A marketing plan clearly outlines how you will reach your ideal customers by effectively implementing your marketing strategy.

There are thousands of ways you can promote your small business. With the right mix of activities, you can identify and focus on the most effective marketing tactics for your small business. Here is a list of 101 small business marketing ideas to get you thinking about all of the different ways you can promote your business.

Marketing Planning
1. Update or create a marketing plan for your business.
2. Revisit or start your market research.
3. Conduct a focus group.
4. Write a unique selling proposition (USP).
5. Refine your target audience and niche.
6. Expand your product and service offerings.

Marketing Materials
7. Update your business cards.
8. Make your business card stand out from the rest.
9. Create or update your brochure.
10. Create a digital version of your brochure for your website.

11. Explore a website redesign.
12. Get creative with promotional products and give them away at the next networking event you attend.

In-Person Networking

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SMALL BUSINESS INDICATOR: WEB DEVELOPER MARKET BOOMING, WITH RETAIL AND TRAVEL LEADING THE WAY, ACCORDING TO NEW GLOBAL RESEARCH STUDY

80 Percent of Web Professionals Report Client Growth of 25 Percent or More a Year, According to Study of United States, Germany, United Kingdom, India, Brazil and Mexico

Web Designers Leading Indicators of Small Business Growth: Retail, Travel, Health and Fitness Industries Growing Fastest Globally

Growth Creates Pain Points: Web Developers Report They Have to Play Too Many Roles and Struggle Managing New Clients

Constant Need for Learning/New Skills: Web Developers Report Strong Support for Certification Program to Create Standards

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz., August 10, 2017 – A survey of web developers and designers – a leading indicator of small business growth - finds that the web professional industry continues to boom two decades after the emergence of the Internet. Rapid growth in clients is fueled by the retail and travel industries, according to a new global research study commissioned by GoDaddy.

The industry study, conducted in the United States, Germany, United Kingdom, India, Brazil and Mexico by the research firm Evans Data, found that web developers and designers – many of which are relative newcomers to the industry - at times struggle to keep up with demand for services from industries such as retail, travel, health and fitness.

Seventy-nine percent of web developers and designers reported client growth of 25 percent or more a year – with more than 1 in 3 saying growth was 50 percent or more. Nearly half reported they have been in business less than 5 years, but revenue was still high: a majority had revenue of $250,000 or more and 1 in 3 reported revenues of over $500,000.

“Two decades after general internet adoption, this research indicates that the ‘Golden Era’ of web development and design shows no sign of slowing down,” said Raghu Murthi, SVP of Hosting and Pro at GoDaddy. “But the research also provides lessons to new web professionals on the importance of continued learning and the need to manage growth and focus on looking where your next clients will come from.”

Regionally, the industries that were driving growth varied:

 US  DE/UK  INDIA  BRAZIL  MEXICO
 Retail  Retail  Creative  Retail  Travel
 Travel  Food  Education  Travel  Retail
 Health/Fitness  Creative  Health/Fitness  Real Estate  Food


The primary drivers of business globally are:

  • Selling new services to existing clients: 40%
  • Providing support to existing clients: 31%
  •  Finding new clients: 21%
  • Reselling 3rd party products/services: 7%

The research also shows key differences between more mature markets, such as the United States, German and the United Kingdom, and other regions. For example, in more developed markets, developers and designers are more likely to work for a small firm and concentrate their work on fewer clients who provide larger retainers. That has enabled them to focus more time on securing new clients and growing their business.

As the industry continues to mature, the study finds a strong desire for continued learning and support for certification programs. Overall, 83 percent of developers and designers support a certification program that focuses on improving the skills and expertise of web professionals.

The research found that developers and designers grapple with how to keep up with technical and business skills to serve clients – but how they do that often differs based on where they are from. While online training courses are universally used, industry publications are much more popular in the United States (60 percent) than Mexico (32 percent) or Brazil (31 percent). Conferences and meetups are popular in India, but not as popular in Mexico, Germany, or the United Kingdom.

“Web pros are clearly looking for help in managing their client base, so they can maintain quality while expanding their business,” said Raghu Murthi, SVP of Hosting and Pro at GoDaddy. “That is why integrated services that help them manage multiple clients and sites from one place, are in such demand.”

Overall, the study provides insight into an industry that is integral to small business growth[DCR4] and the overall health of a digital economy. For example, two in five respondents said they now tailor web pages specifically for mobile devices, with the majority reporting they spend most of their time on mobile. It also shows key differences between how web professionals operate globally:

· Length of time in business varied among the regions, varying between more and less mature markets. The newest web professionals are in Mexico, India and Brazil.

 Time in Business  US   DE/UK  INDIA  BRAZIL  MEXICO
 0-12 Months  1%  5%   5%   4%   6% 
 1-2 Years    5%    9%    12%    11%    11% 
 2-5 Years  26%  30%  32% 40%  36%
 5-10 Years  54%  43%  35%  33%  40%
 10-plus Years  14%  13%  15%  13%  13%



Revenue per client can vary widely based on where the web professional works. In India, for example, only 1 in 3 clients provides revenue of at least $10,000, while in Mexico and the United States the majority of clients provide that amount.

The skills needed to be a successful web developer or designer varied by region, with technical and creative skills viewed as most important in India and Brazil.

 Most Important Skills  US  DE/UK  INDIA  BRAZIL  MEXICO
 Technical   Creative  Technical   Creative  Creative
 Project Management  Technical   Creative  Technical  Managing Clients
 Business  Managing Clients  Project Management   Managing Clients  Technical



Where web professional work can vary. Those in India, Germany and the United Kingdom are most apt to work in an outside office. While 72 percent of U.S. developers and designers report that they work out of their home (either in a home office, at a table, or on a couch). That is also reflected in how they view their work environments: over half of German, UK and Indian web professionals called it “conventional,” while the majority of U.S. workers said it was “loose.”

New tools such as video apps and services such as Slack are popular in the United States, with 56 percent reporting they primarily use them to stay in touch with clients. But email remains the primary source in other countries, with India and Mexico reporting only 1 in 3 use those new tools to communicate with clients.

The research project surveyed 1,500 web professionals in May 2017. The margin of error of the research is +/- 2.6 percent. A summary of the data is available upon request.

To learn more about GoDaddy Solutions for Web Professionals visit www.GoDaddy.com/pro.

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The future of transportation is already here

Apr 13, 2017 / Alex Moura

Let’s shake ourselves out of our four-wheeled stupor, look at the vehicles and devices being developed, and reimagine how we’ll move around our cities, says TED technology curator Alex Moura.

Humanity has come a long way from traveling by horse, but when we consider the future of transportation in cities, too many of us are still stuck in the 18th century. We still envision our streets full of four-wheel chariots (minus the horses), and our future as relying on cars or car-like vehicles, because that’s all we know. Why this myopia? For most automakers and transportation companies, adhering to the status quo is more profitable than experimenting; their business models, even for forward thinkers like Tesla, depend on their keeping drivers tethered with maintenance and service. And builders and urban planners have learned to limit their thinking because existing regulations and clunky political processes have made it nearly impossible to innovate without years of negotiations. As a result, we’re laying the foundations for a transportation future that carries forward the problems of the past.

But there can be another way forward, a new vision of transportation that upsets the four-wheel chariot model. And signs of it are already rolling across the landscape. By looking at some of the most advanced vehicles and devices out there — not just concept cars and prototypes but vehicles that are already in use or being road-tested in the real world — we can start to see a more interesting, less car-based future. Based on this new crop of transportation-related devices, I’m making the following four predictions:

Car

Courtesy of i-Road.

1. Cars will become much, much smaller.

While SUV and truck sales have been on the rise worldwide, that trend has been boosted by low gasoline prices, which can’t last given the finite supplies of fossil fuels. As we move forward, personal urban transportation will be dominated by individual vehicles. In 2015, Toyota launched a trial run of its three-wheeled i-Road electric vehicles — which resemble an enclosed motorcycle and fit only a driver and perhaps a small passenger — through a network of sharing stations in Tokyo. (We road-tested them at TED, too.) The project is now expanding throughout Japan, a nation with more electric car-charging stations than gas stations. In a bid to become the first country to embrace smart transportation systems, government officials have gone as far as trying to create international car-charging standards.

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Learn to Love Networking

by Tiziana Casciaro, Francesca Gino, and Maryam Kouchaki

Networking

I hate networking.” We hear this all the time from executives, other professionals, and MBA students. They tell us that networking makes them feel uncomfortable and phony—even dirty. Although some people have a natural passion for it—namely, the extroverts who love and thrive on social interaction—many understandably see it as brown-nosing, exploitative, and inauthentic.

But in today’s world, networking is a necessity. A mountain of research shows that professional networks lead to more job and business opportunities, broader and deeper knowledge, improved capacity to innovate, faster advancement, and greater status and authority. Building and nurturing professional relationships also improves the quality of work and increases job satisfaction.

When we studied 165 lawyers at a large North American law firm, for example, we found that their success depended on their ability to network effectively both internally (to get themselves assigned to choice clients) and externally (to bring business into the firm). Those who regarded these activities as distasteful and avoided them had fewer billable hours than their peers.

Fortunately, our research shows that an aversion to networking can be overcome. We’ve identified four strategies to help people change their mindset.

1. Focus on Learning
Most people have a dominant motivational focus—what psychologists refer to as either a “promotion” or a “prevention” mindset. Those in the former category think primarily about the growth, advancement, and accomplishments that networking can bring them, while those in the latter see it as something they are obligated to take part in for professional reasons.

In laboratory experiments we conducted in the United States and Italy with college students and working adults, and in an additional sample of 174 lawyers at the firm we studied, we documented the effects of both types of thinking. Promotion-focused people networked because they wanted to and approached the activity with excitement, curiosity, and an open mind about all the possibilities that might unfold. Prevention-focused people saw networking as a necessary evil and felt inauthentic while engaged in it, so they did it less often and, as a result, underperformed in aspects of their jobs.

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Check-in: Kaseya

I recently had a surprisingly transparent conversation with Fred Voccola, the CEO of Kaseya. He has gained his sea legs just crossing his second work anniversary. The tone and tenor of the interview was three-fold: Hello World, No IT and Office 365.

Hello World
Voccola reached out to reinvigorate the Kaseya conversation in the SMB Nation community. To be blunt, Kaseya hasn’t been top of mind for some time at SMB Nation. It was always perceived as an expensive tool for the big Fred Voccola Kaseyaguys. But Voccola had a different explanation. A couple of years ago, Kaseya was essentially acquired by a private equity group and had “lost its way” with the MSP community. Voccola promises it has returned with partner momentum. I’ll continue to monitor the situation.

No IT

I enjoyed a spirted conversation about the transformation MSPs are undergoing in a volatile business community. Loosely translated – everything is changing and very quickly. Voccola is committed to assisting MSPs with that transition to be, in my words, business advisors. I contributed to the conversation by highlighting how the IT spend is moving away from the server room (read CIO) and to other departments such as marketing (read analytics). It’s gonna be a rodeo ride and Kaseya wants to be right there with you, the SMB Nation MSP.

Office 365
I pressed hard on Kaseya’s commitment to Office 365. It acquired some dashboard technology but I had reason to believe it was put 365 Command on the shelf. Voccola insisted that recent actions such as moving internal operations to Las Vegas wasn’t a sign that the 365 Command team had been disbanded. Rather it continues to invest in this technology area.

BTW – the Kaseya Connect conference is May 9-11. I’ll miss it as I’m already committed to the Sage Summit in Atlanta. So many conferences, so little time!

UPDATED May 10, 2017 808AM Pacifc:

Hey Harry,

I am at Kaseya Connect and I read your piece on Fred Voccola. I know it was a short blurb, but one thing that underscores the “little guy” theme is that their PSA, called BMS is full featured and a lot less expensive than most other PSAs. It integrated, of course, with the Kaseya VSA, as well as Quotewerks, IT Glue and other vendors.

Yes, Kaseya had a bad two years (had to wait for their self-inflicted foot wound to heal up), but they are doing quite well and the ecosystem is back up and functioning due to a robust API in their products.

Randall C. Spangler, MCP, CSSA

Merit Solutions

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