Category Archives: Blog

Three (Inexpensive) Social Media Monitoring Solutions

social-media-monitoringYou can’t control what is said about you online, but it’s always a good idea to know what is being said. Monitoring your brand’s social reputation allows you to make impactful decisions based on public opinion, and it is one of the most effective business-building strategies you can employ. When you have a social media monitoring strategy, anytime your business, website, or product is mentioned somewhere on the Interwebs, you are instantly alerted to the conversation. This empowers you to engage interested prospects, increase word-of-mouth, keep an eye on your reputation, and respond to negative discussions.

There are many tools available that will automate monitoring your brand’s social media mentions, and can range from free to thousand dollar enterprise solutions. Choosing which plan is right for your business will be dependent on your organization’s size and budget.

Check out the following inexpensive solutions to get you started on the right track.

Hootsuite: The mentions tracked by the Hootsuite dashboard only apply to Twitter. Nevertheless, Hootsuite is one of the most popular social media monitoring systems of all. Hootsuite is an easy and cost-free way to monitor your brand’s Twtter reputation.

Google Alerts: Leave it to Google to create yet another awesome tool for the small business owner. ‘Alerts’ allows you set up as many keywords as you’d like, simply enter a search term (business name, names of competitors), and select how often you’d like updates. You will receive an email alert every time a new webpage is found with your keyword(s) mentioned.

Unfortunately, Google Alerts will not alert you of social media-based mentions and only works for webpages (blogs, news sites, etc.). Also, Google Alerts is merely email-based, which in the year 2014 seems very restrictive. But for a free software, Alerts is great for basic brand monitoring.

Mention: If you’re looking for a more comprehensive digital media monitoring solution, Mention is capable of monitoring both millions of webpages (such as forums, blogs, and news sites) and references on social media platforms. Price will vary depending on the level of services you’ll require. You can sign up for a free Mention account, which you give you one alert and up to 250 mentions per month; but if you’re serious about keeping up with your brand’s complete conversations, look into a paid solution.

Rankur: Rankur alerts you of mentions in real-time, and includes a huge range of search tools designed specifically to pick up detailed mentions. If you are looking to monitor a specific website or track your latest press release, Rankur makes it easy.

This relatively cheap software is great for monitoring every mention of your keywords, but it also allows you to drill down your approach and track your brand on a more granular level.

13 Types of Insurance For The Small Business Owner

small_business_owners_imageIf you are a small business owner, insurance is something you will eventually need to address. It can be stressful to think about the additional costs involved in getting your business up and running. However, every business owner should have some basic type of business insurance in order to safeguard your business and your livelihood.

Yes, insurance is expensive, and at times you might feel like your cash may be better spent elsewhere – but having coverage for your business is always a good investment.

Here are 13 types of insurance for a small business owner.

Apple Breaks Into Mobile Payments

applepay_applewatchSmartphone makers have been trying to replace our wallets with digital pay methods for several years. While the trend has yet to widely catch on outside of the tech sphere, Apple (so often the bridge between the super geeky and super chic) believes that they may be able to change that.

On Tuesday, Apple announced it would soon be offering its own version of the mobile wallet, dubbed Apple Pay. Apple claims to have already established relationships with three major credit card companies, and retail giants like Target and McDonald’s – meaning soon you’ll be paying for your Number 3 with your iPhone or Apple Watch.

Use Technology To Be a Better Manager

better managerIt’s no secret that here at Newtek, the only thing we respect as much as small business owners is the power of technology. Technology has transformed the business landscape, creating more efficient solutions, better business practices, and an open line of communication between businesses and their customers. If you’re not using technology to be a better business owner, here are some good places to begin.

Project Management Software
If your business is project-heavy and includes multiple team members, management software will greatly improve productivity and efficiency. These programs will help conquer time-consuming obligations such as scheduling, generating reports, process tracking, and budget management among much more. Project management software also allows you to store all information related to a project in one, easily assessable location.

Small Business Loan Basics

bank-loan-1940x900_30167Securing a loan for your business is an intimidating process; it requires patience, time, and a great deal of documentation to complete. However, with proper planning, you’ll find that grueling loan process is definitely something you can handle. It’s all about preparation.

The first step is to get organized, neatly gather required documents, and mentally prepare to answer questions about your business. If you can illustrate to potential lenders that you are confident in your business, fiscally responsible, and can provide a solid plan – securing a loan will be easier than you think.

Overcoming “Lonely at the Top” Syndrome

lonely at the topMost small business owners are ready and willing to take on the many tasks involved in running a successful enterprise—from devising a budget to hiring staff and planning both short-term and long-range strategy. It’s what they’ve aspired to do since setting out on their own.

But the role of entrepreneur/owner/CEO is a double-edged sword. No one’s telling you how to run your business, but on the other hand, no one else can take responsibility if and when things go wrong. More importantly, as the person in charge, you should steer clear of expressing your doubts about the business with your employees, since they look to you for round-the-clock leadership and inspiration.

Grow Your Business

Grow Your BusinessBeing an entrepreneur takes guts. It doesn’t matter if you’re setting out on your own for the first time or have been maintaining your business for many years – successfully managing a business is a scary but exhilarating undertaking. Everyone’s experience is unique, but it’s rarely easy. It’s even more difficult to begin on the high-risk journey of growing your business.

Here are some tips on how to make sailing a little smoother.

Data Security Procedures to Implement Immediately

cyber-data-securityIt’s not just the big boys like Target that are at risk of a data breach. For every high-profile case, there are hundred of data breaches experienced by small businesses across the country.

Fortunately, there a many simple things small business owners can do to protect their sensitive customer data and their own business information.

Doing the following quick fixes will go a long way to reduce the likelihood of your organization falling victim to a data breach:

Best Time Tracking Apps

clocksEver feel like you don’t have a good handle on time? Most of us have only a vague idea of how much time we spend (waste) on personal and professional tasks each day. Luckily for people like us, there are plenty of internet-based services devoted to helping us stay on task. After all, there’s no shame in seeking a little digital assistance.

Here are some of our favorites:

  • Chrometa – This smart time tracker captures your activities without you having to click start or stop. It automatically records your software usage, like time spent on Facebook, or the length of time spent working on a spreadsheet. (Desktop, Android, Apple)

The Facebook Color Change Scam Is Back

don't like FBNO – you cannot change the color of Facebook. Well… you can (at your own risk), but that app you just downloaded, it’s a scam.

Cheetah Mobile, security software researcher and provider, was the first to confirm the reemergence of the hack. The scam appears as a Facebook app that can be shared or posted on the News Feed. So far, more than 10,000 people have been tricked into downloading the malware, according to the Cheetah Mobile Security blog post.