Small Business Resource Center

Startup Seven Sundays Hits Target Shelves Today

Seven SundaysAfter returning from a trip to New Zealand and experiencing how muesli played such an important role in breakfast, Hannah and Brady Barnstable have been on a mission to change the way we think about our morning meal here in the U.S.  Their company, Seven Sundays, has built a steady presence in the Minneapolis area, first showing up at local farmers’ markets, outdoor events and a few select health-food stores.

Read More

Need More People to Find You Online? Claim Your Google Places Listing

Google Places for Business

The power of Google is a given, especially when it comes to helping people search for businesses locally.  With over 80% of potential buyers searching online for information about products and services, it’s vital to take steps to elbow your way on to the first page of search results.

One simple (and natural) way to move ahead is to claim your Google Places for Business listing.  In addition to setting up your Google+ profile, taking the time to fill in key information about your business on Google Places gives you a better shot at showing up in the maps listing below.

Google Maps Page

Read More

[Free Webinar] Get Started with Email Marketing in the Social Age

BFree Webinar: Get Started with Email Marketing. Access it here!

Email marketing delivers some of the highest returns on investment for businesses looking to generate more sales online. Statistics show that for every dollar invested, $45 is returned.  If your business is ready to launch an email marketing program, this webinar is a perfect start. We’ll cover the basics, but also go beyond and share ideas on how to intertwine your email and social strategies to get even stronger results.

Read More

Branding Your Business: See How Easy It Can Be

When thinking about how to share your brand story, the first thing to consider is how customers think about your company. Establishing a strong brand in the eyes of your current and potential customers allows you to build trust and set yourself apart from competitors.

Deluxe brand expert, Terri Shapiro, shares her thoughts on how business owners should dig deep into learning how their customers approach buying decisions — and embed that knowledge into how they build their brand story.

Read More

7 Tips to Keep Your Small Business Fraud-free in 2015

seven-tips-help-prevent-fraudEven if 2014 was a banner year for your small business, you can’t afford to fall victim to fraud in 2015. An infographic from the Association for Certified Fraud Examiners provides startling perspective on the costs of fraud to a business: the median cost for a single instance of fraud is $145,000, and nearly a quarter of all fraud incidents cost the affected company more than $1 million. The organization surveyed companies around the world and respondents estimated that a typical business loses 5% of its revenue to fraud each year.

Read More

[Infographic] Anatomy of An Effective Business Website

Valparaiso Animal Hospital WebsiteWith over 80% of consumers searching online for information about products and services, it’s essential to have an easy-to-find, easy-to-use business website.  And since building an effective website is a little like building a house, having a plan for what your website will contain is a must. 

We’ve rounded up the top 8 tips to get you started:

  1. Design for the people you want to reach
  2. Use relevant keywords
  3. Include multiple points of contact
  4. Maintain a consistent look and feel
  5. Make navigation easy
  6. Ensure the site loads quickly
  7. Include content that builds credibility
  8. Build social media sharing 

Read More

Using B2B Affiliate Marketing to Supplement Your Niche Business Income

Affiliate MarketingMy son told a joke the other day.  And, being the consummate professional that I am, it immediately made me think of work. The joke went like this:  “What’s green and smells like red paint?”

The answer = Green Paint.

My son, who is much older than you might think based on the quality of his jokes, went on to tell a few others in the same vein. What struck me about the joke was the confusing simplicity of it. Before I was told the answer, I had twisted my brain seven ways to Sunday, trying to think of what could possibly be green… but smell like red paint.  Green paint never occurred to me.

What this green paint joke made me realize is that I am not alone in trying my hardest to make things more complicated than they need to be.  It then occurred to me that this same issue applies in how to connect niche businesses with B2B Affiliate marketing.

“What’s niche marketing and is focused on the B2B market?”

Read More

The Cheese Story

Wedge and Wheel

Like many new start-ups, Chris Kohtz had a passion to do something really special.  Inspired after a trip to England a few years ago – where over 700 different cheeses are produced – Chris put his energy into studying about the industry and connecting with like-minded cheese enthusiasts across the world.

His dream?  To open a gourmet cheese shop where local residents would have the opportunity to taste the extraordinary flavors of cheeses from around the world, as well as from nearby farms.

He opened the doors on January 2, 2014 – literally a New Year’s business.  Although the first week saw record cold temperatures, his shop had a constant stream of locals, curious to see what this new store had to offer.

With nearly 500 Facebook followers and several media calls, Chris is well on his way getting out the word. Please join us as we continue to follow his 1st-year journey of The Wedge and Wheel!

 

A New Year, a New Blog and a New Commitment to You

New Start_iStock_resized_1189x401

2014.  I love the start of the New Year, as it always brings new possibilities on so many levels.  Whether you are a resolution-type, a list-maker or a big dreamer – the calendar change seems to lend itself beautifully to fresh starts.

Read More

Developing Your Brand’s Style Guide in 7 Steps

December 18, 2013

Brand Logo ImageIt’s time for your brand to stand up and be recognized. Your brand is like your business trademark. It could be anything from your logo and web design to a specific color or fonts. But, as your business permeates the market and becomes better known, it’s important to have consistent branding. By creating a style guide, you can make sure your brand is always properly represented both internally and externally.

Read More