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Running a small business is no easy feat. It requires tenacity and ambition, but above all, a willingness to adapt and learn.

Here are some of the biggest questions small business owners have.

Q: How important is it to create a brand for my business? Does it really make that big of a difference?

Answer = A well designed and thought out brand is essential to business. No matter how big, small, young, old, or well known your business are, a brand will not only help create business familiarity among customers, but will allow you to stand out among your competition.

A brand creates an identity for your business; what you do and why you do it should both be transparent in your brand. Even a simple, yet eye catching logo, thoughtful brand messaging, and well designed support materials can help your brand pop.

Q: How can I come up with a great name for my business?

Wednesday, 24 December 2014 16:00

Make 2015 Count for Your Small Business

Make 2015 Count for Your Small Business

Can you believe the end of 2014 is here?!

Many people treat the dawning of a new year as an opportunity to reflect on the previous year, identify goals for the months ahead, and create action steps they can use to make things happen.

With that in mind, here’s 5 ways to make 2015 a year that counts for your small business…

1. Review your end-of-year monthly and quarterly performance.

How did performance compare to where you were when you started the year? Were you able to increase your business’ bottom line as 2014 came to a close? Do you have a larger social media following or more leads on your email list?

If you aren’t ending the year where you wanted to be, see if you can identify one to three actions, derived directly from your performance numbers, that you can put into practice to make sure you see growth in 2015.

Example: If your website lost sessions and unique visitors as you moved from August to December, and you know it’s because a certain referrer wasn’t performing well, your action step could be to improve referral performance or even invest that time in an alternate referrer.

2. Identify weak areas.

Even if 2014 was a booming year for your small business, there are always areas that can be improved. Use a critical - but not harsh! - eye to look at all aspects of your business. There might be something that can be better optimized.

Example: Is it easy for you to drive traffic to your website but difficult for you to convert those visitors into leads? Take some time in 2015 to assess your landing pages and optimize.

3. Assess your 2014 goals and create new ones for 2015.

Published in Marketing & Strategy

Take your business to the next level with 3rdSpace‘s series of digital marketing workshops!

Jaime Nacach and Justine Dolorfino (Bloominari) and Ryan Berg (Ryan’s Creative Universe) will explain what digital marketing is and how small businesses and entrepreneurs will benefit from using tools like websites, social media, and email marketing to build brand awareness and drive traffic.

Whether you’re just getting started or already have an existing website and online presence, Jaime, Justine, and Ryan will help you make sure that your digital marketing is making a great impression.

San Diego Online Marketing Workshops 2014

Choose one or all of the workshops to attend, depending on your needs:

  • Wednesday, August 6, 6-7PM: Introduction to Digital Marketing Strategy and Branding
  • Wednesday, September 17, 6-7PM: Effective Websites and Email Marketing
  • Wednesday, October 8, 6-7PM: Marketing with Blogging and Social Media

Each workshop will cost $10. Time will be reserved at the end of each event for questions, brainstorming, and networking.

RSVP today to reserve your spot   DOWNLOAD SLIDES

See our event on: Facebook | 3rd Space | Eventbrite

Published in Events

Whether you’re preparing to launch your small business or have been open to customers for years, it’s never too late to get started with social media!

This post will focus on quick and cost-effective ways to use social media to help customers learn about you, monitor conversations about your company, track reviews and comments, and improve your business.

1. Control your digital footprint and help customers find you.

Make sure your business is easily found online and that all of your key information is up to date by setting up your business on Yelp, Facebook, and Foursquare. These networks allow customers to share information, tips, and reviews about businesses and to share where they are with their friends.

Even businesses without a brick-and-mortar location can benefit from claiming their brand names online. Make sure to add a well-written description that includes keywords people may use to describe your business, like ‘brunch,’ or ‘web development.’ Users who search for these keywords may find your business this way.

Published in Marketing & Strategy

Every small business wishes that it had unlimited resources to do whatever it desires in order to grow. Whether a company wishes to create a new product, build things faster, make bigger marketing campaigns, attend more trade shows, or develop a bigger brand, the reality is that everyone’s resources of time and money are always limited.

With this in mind, the constant question businesses ask themselves is: How can we stretch every minute of our time and every penny of our dollars to still show the same power, products quality, brand equity, leadership, expertise, and trusted perception as our main competitors who probably have larger budgets, bigger teams, maybe more experience and been around for longer?

Want to learn how a small business can be perceived to be greater than it really is?

The short answer is: Use the power of today’s digital marketing age, quality design, technology, and branding techniques to make everyone believe that your company is one of the “big players” in your industry. Let’s take a deeper look at how this can be achieved.

It’s all about perception...

Intro

It may be very obvious what I’m going to talk about during this post, but you’d be surprised how many people aren’t yet aware of the key digital tools their business needs in order to move towards the online world - and YES, there’s still companies out there that are working the “old school” way (without using email marketing, having a website, using social media, and using today’s abundance of technology) and have no digital strategy whatsoever. Thus, I’ll be talking about the true essential tools a business needs in order to join the digital world and catch up to the rest of the world’s businesses.

1. Website

Before social media was around, this was probably (and may still be) the most important digital tool for any business. A business website serves as a digital concierge that’s always there to help current and potential customers 24 hours a day to learn about your company.

A website allows your visitors to learn everything about your business at any moment they want and from the comfort of their home, office, the park or anywhere (using tablets and smartphones). Although many businesses today - small and large - do have a website, there are still thousands of them still without one. For those who still haven’t taken the step to build a website for your business, here are 5 reasons why you MUST get one immediately:

Reasons your business must have a website:

  1. Everyone is looking for solutions to their problems online, is your solution there too?
  2. The majority of people research the Internet before they make a purchase.
  3. It’s an opportunity to start building a relationship and trust with your users.
  4. People can learn about your company while your physical store or office is closed.
  5. Your company can be perceived as greater, bigger or more professional (based on your web design, online content, portfolio, testimonials, and much more)

Still not convinced?
Then think about when was the last time you looked at the yellow pages to find a solution to your problem or a service provider?

 

The workforce is changing. In 2014 millennials account for more than a third of the driving force of our economy, a group of roughly 80 million people born between the years 1976 and 2001. By 2020 that number will nearly reach 50 percent. Why is this information newsworthy? Generation-Yers possess a unique skillset where are absent in previous generations. Unfortunately many employers are wary of hiring ‘green’ employees en lieu of their more experienced counterparts. If your firm is looking to hire new talent, here are a few reasons why you should seriously consider recruiting recent college graduates to fill your vacant positions.

Less Expensive & More Flexible

No need to beat around the bush here--young people are a much cheaper addition to your payroll. Entry level salaries are much lower than those demanded by tenured workers. Tom Szaky, the CEO of the environmental group TerraCycle prefers to hire new grads, stating that they can afford to hire “two or three junior people for the price of one senior hire.”

Young people do not necessarily feel taken advantage of for making less. For many this is their first full time job, and the average newly grad prefers social media freedom, work flexibility and a comfortable office environment over a higher salary. In fact, according to a study recently conducted by the University of North Carolina’s Kenan-Flagler Business School, this current upcoming generation places the potential for personal growth and career progression, not a high salary, as the two most important factors in choosing a job.

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