Category Archives: Small Business

The Top Three Mistakes I See Small Business Owners Make

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I wrote up these three ideas in response to a HARO query looking to compile a list of mistakes small business owners make. If you don’t know what HARO is, you should most definitely check it out.

Anyway, the three mistakes I submitted are as follows…

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Do Better Part II

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Part I received some (well deserved) criticism for identifying a problem without providing solutions. So, here are a few quick tips to help small business owners do better when it comes to social media and blogging.

Tip #1: Post frequently. Here is a simple set of guidelines to follow (at a minimum):
Facebook: Post at least 1x daily, Monday through Friday.
Twitter: Post at least 3x daily, Monday through Friday.
Blog: Post a blog at least 1x weekly, preferably on a weekday.

Tip #2: Post quality content. Don’t be in such a hurry to post frequently that you throw up garbage. Think of ways to add value to your customers’ lives. It doesn’t have to be groundbreaking, just useful.

Tip #3: Fill out all the information. Facebook, more than other sites, provides several places to put company information. Fill out every bit of it. Then do this on every other site your company is on.

Tip #4: If you don’t know, ask. If you don’t know what kind of content will add value to your customers, ask them. I promise they’ll tell you. If you don’t know how to use Facebook or Twitter, Google it or consult with an expert. The internet makes it more embarrassing and difficult than ever to use the excuse, “I don’t know.” You can’t just throw up your hands and go home. So, ask. The answers are there just waiting to be found.

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Do Better

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Will tools like Facebook, twitter, LinkedIn and a Blog drive thousands of people to your site or to your business? Maybe, maybe not. But that’s not why you’re using them. You’re using them because they are free (from cost but most likely not time) and because you don’t have the big marketing budget for tv, radio, or billboards.

However, just because Facebook, Twitter, etc. are free-ish doesn’t mean you should approach them haphazardly. Think of a restaurant that spends tens of thousands of dollars on remodeling their dining area. New booths, new silverware, new paint, the whole nine yards. But then they cheap out on the menus. There are typos and grammatical errors, and overall it seems as if the owners couldn’t care less about what the menus look like. Patrons might find themselves asking what else the owners don’t care about, like the food.

You can do a million things right every day in your business, but if you’re bad at something as public as social media (or menus) it’ll be noticed more than anything you’ve done well.

Edit: Due to some constructive feedback, I’ve posted a Part II of this blog where I’ve addressed what small business owners can do to be good at Facebook, twitter and blogging. 

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Beating a Dead Horse

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I’ve talked about this before, and I’m talking about it again because I still see it all the time.

You can’t just start a business – a retail store, a restaurant, a consulting firm, etc. – and expect people to magically show up. Customers don’t fall off trees. It’s not “build it and they will come.” It’s build it, talk about it, advertise it, market it and hopefully they will come.

It’s tell a story. Tell a good story. Then trust that the story is so good people will start telling it for you. I can’t say it loud enough or often enough, but an open sign hanging in your window simply is not enough. If you want to succeed, you have to do more. There is no magic pill – no simple solution to becoming a success – other than hard (smart) work.

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