Category Archives: Blog

Save The Date! Small Business Saturday: November 29, 2014

thinkbigshopsmallIt’s almost time for our favorite day of the holiday season. No, not Thanksgiving (though we are thoroughly looking forward to our turkey-induced comas), “Small Business Saturday” is our favorite day of the year.

Small Business Saturday is a day to recognize, celebrate, and support small businesses within our communities. In just its fourth year, The Movement has generated billions of dollars for local retailers around the nation. Newtek wouldn’t be here without the millions of bold individuals who have taken the ultimate leap of faith to become small business owners and entrepreneurs.

Thank you. We admire your tireless hard work. We applaud your success.

Newtek invites our community to join us in shopping local and shopping small on November 29. For our small business owners out there, it’s your time to shine! Leverage the extra attention in the following ways:

1.)  Prepare Marketing Materials – American Express, originator of Small Business Saturday, has created a fantastic packet of information for small business owners with email templates, printable materials, social media content, and much more. Be sure to stay as active as possible in promoting your business during Small Business Saturday. If you’re an American Express merchant, you can also register your business on the Shop Small map.

2.)  Offer Deals and Create Contests – This is a perfect opportunity to rally your customers and attract new ones by enticing them with special offers. Go above and beyond to make your customers feel special and give them a compelling reason to return.

3.)  Showcase What Makes Your Business Unique – If consumers can’t buy what you offer in chain stores, let it be known! Celebrate that which makes your business exceptional.

4.)  Coordinate With Other Businesses – Many small businesses find they can create more publicity for their business by joining forces with other local businesses. Working together with other businesses and enlisting the help of neighborhood associates or economic development groups can help generate more awareness for the day.

5.)  Be Present on Social Media – Your various social media pages are great places to educate your followers about Small Business Saturday. Add a personalized digital banner from American Express to your Facebook page, or tweet about special offers and events at your business. Be sure to use the hashtag #smallbusinesssaturday (and its variations) – we want to see it trending on Twitter!

How to Use Social Media to Generate Sales Leads

Sensational-Social-Media-Facts-Figures-and-Statistics-6-InfographicsVast numbers of prospective customers await businesses on social media, and salespeople who ignore these hugely popular sites do so at their own peril.

At the same time, simply plunging in and bombarding social media platforms with pre-fabricated sales messages will get you nowhere. Today’s sophisticated, web-savvy audiences will likely reject a hard sell wherever they encounter it.

When it comes to generating new sales leads on social media, a nuanced, user-friendly approach is more effective. Here are strategies to employ when reaching out to your desired target audience via social media.

4 Tips to Help Avoid a Data Breach

broken_security_lockYou are now a victim of credit card theft. Your information has been hacked and you are on the phone with your bank explaining how you were out to lunch at 1pm and not racking up a $300 dollar bill in light bulbs at home depot. Credit card theft has been a fear for everyone for many years now, and is still a reason some people choose never to shop online. As a consumer, it is a great concern. As a business owner, it is a loss in revenue. With data breaches continually hitting the newsstands, business owners can’t help but to worry when they might be next.

SSL Websites Rank Higher In Google Search

HTTPSGoogle has announced that equipping your website with an SSL 2048-bit key certificate – going HTTPS – will give you a boost in search ranking. Because obtaining an SSL certificate is both uncomplicated and affordable, it’s the easiest thing site owners can do to get a leg up in the Google Game.

Security has been a top priority of Google’s this year. They feel this is a move to make the Internet a more secure place, and a more secure Internet begins with more secure websites. HTTPS is a way to encrypt the data that is transmitted between a user’s web browser and the site they are on. With an SSL certificate, a website can keep payments and other customer data secure (passwords, credit card numbers, etc.)

Sadly, We Can’t All Be Mark Zuckerberg. The Business Value Of Dressing For Success

MZUCKMonday morning can be a drag for anyone. You had a great weekend, hung out with some friends, and perhaps watched some Sunday Night Football. Now it’s back to the grind. With deadlines approaching, most people are focused on the daily tasks and work to be done for the week. But there is one aspect of work that may slip your mind. The way you present yourself! When is casual, too casual?

How to Handle BBB Complaints

bbbUnfortunately, customer complaints from the Better Business Bureau cannot be ignored. It doesn’t matter if it was you and your team who dropped the ball, or if your organization was merely a victim of an irrational customer, if not handled properly, grievances can have harmful and lasting impact on a small business.

Complaints cloud a company’s record for three years, so it’s best to avoid them whenever possible. However, if you do receive them, here’s what you can do to curtail the damage:

Outsource Your Payroll, You’ve Got Enough To Worry About

HelpLet’s shoot straight: managing payroll is an annoying obligation; an especially time consuming and detail-oriented task that can quickly consume even the sharpest business owner. Add to that the stiff penalties for a tax filing omission or a mistake on an employee paycheck and now we’re talking a full-blown pain in the rear.

Outsourcing payroll is an excellent alternative to in-house payroll processing for today’s small businesses. This practice allows business owners to streamline operations, freeing them from the liability and annoyance of payroll duties, and allowing them to focus their efforts on the tasks that impact the bottom line. While there are many reasons business owners choose to outsource payroll, here we’ve identified the top advantages:

How to Motivate Your Seasonal Employees

season employeesThe holidays are just around the corner and, if prospects look good, you’re anticipating the need to hire seasonal workers. At the same time, you may dread doing so, only because past experience has shown that motivating temporary employees to do a good job is a challenge in and of itself.

The good news is, a little advance preparation and guidance can make all the difference between seasonal workers who just take up space, and those who make a real effort to generate sales and provide quality customer service.

Here are a few tips to tilt the odds in your favor:

SEO Basics For Small Business Owners

SEO flow chart on chalkboardEvery small business should have a basic knowledge of search engine optimization. In fact, you should almost be exhausted by the term “SEO” at this point, as you’ve been undoubtedly told time and time again just how important it is. But unlike many trending industry buzzwords, SEO is here to stay. Why? In our web-facing world, the (already) dominant search engines are becoming the cornerstone of the internet. Standard procedure for individuals looking for information is to search first.

Use Technology to Improve Customer Service

Bulter with Call BellThe internet has afforded us the ability to connect with customers and clients like never before. Your business should be wielding the power of web-based resources for opportunities to connect with patrons and to improve customer service. The following internet-based practices will help create excellent service experiences, which will result in loyal and satisfied customers.

  • Be Available – If a customer is not able to get ahold of a company representative when they attempt to make contact, kiss them goodbye. We understand that many small businesses do not have the ability to man a dedicated, 24/7 chat queue or an around-the-clock call center, but free services – like Gmail, Twitter – are all you need. Create a dedicated avenue for customer contact, and commit to checking it daily (or more) to stay on top of customer interactions.