Taking Advantage of the Trends of 2012 in Your Small Business

Well, as a former businessperson in retirement I am often contacted by a small business startups and asked questions about how best to do business in such a dismal economy. In fact generally the questions are accompanied by excuses and complaints. Indeed, just as the economy presents challenges, hardships, and crisis for small businesses, I would submit to you on a reciprocal side it also unveils excellent opportunities at every turn. Indeed I’d like to talk to you about this for a moment if I might.

Is it possible to take advantage of the economic downturn and slow growth economic trends? Is it possible to take advantage of other cost-saving strategies to improve efficient marketing in 2012? Yes it is, and let’s go ahead and talk about this for a moment

Slow Growth Economy

A slow growth economy means your competition is not expanding as fast as it normally would. It also means if you’re starting a new business you’re going against businesses that are well-established, but ones which are also experiencing challenges with cash flow and have been beaten down. If you come into the market hot and heavy, they may not be able to compete, they don’t have anything left in them.

Consumers – Low Cost High Volume Strategies

Gaining market share very rapidly in a downturn economy is pretty easy if you use a low-cost high-volume strategy to gain market share. This also creates an abundance of referrals, and a very large customer base extension to perhaps market segments you would normally not have.

Inexpensive and Over Qualified Labor

Downturns in the economy also mean that fewer people are employed, and that means some top-notch people who are over qualified will be willing to work for you at half the salary. This means you can put together a significant team of experienced employees. When the economy is cooking along very nicely, you will be able to do this.

Deals on Supplies, Inventory, Vendor Assistance

When times are tough and other small businesses are hurting, that means your vendors, suppliers, and those who sell your inventory to you are willing to make deals, give you better terms, and offer you assistance. That’s free for the taking, and it will lower your costs, allowing you to pass those lower costs onto consumers to grow your business.

Low Cost Loans

Right now interest rates are at an all-time low, and if you can qualified to get a business loan, the amount in which you’ll have to pay back later in interest is quite reduced. If you can get the loan, this becomes an advantage to your business. Your competition may not be able to get the loans because they cannot prove their cash flow is adequate enough considering the hardship they’ve had going through during the last recession.

Deals on Business Location Leases

Lastly, right now some retail centers have extra unoccupied space, and they are willing to do deals to fill out the spaces, improve their own revenue, and allow them to keep those business buildings from being foreclosed on. This gives you the advantage in negotiating a good deal on a lease with excellent more favorable terms well below what your entrenched competitors are already paying.

Therefore I ask that you stop complaining, and start using your mind and thinking about how to take advantage of the current economic crisis. Please consider all this and think on it.

3 Benefits of Hiring a Small Business Social Media Manager – Bottom Line, More Leads!

As a small business owner, it is important to establish an online presence to connect with the online consumer. This is what social media marketing is all about. Social media is a revolution as far as business interactions are concerned. In today’s world, brands are built and torn apart on social platforms. Because of this, you would do well as a business owner to make sure you use the available platforms to grow your brand and your reputation. Unless you fall in the lesser percentage, it is very likely that you are one of those business owners who can’t keep up with technology and media advancements.

Yes, you may know how to transform an idea into a million bucks but you don’t know the first thing about LinkedIn or Twitter. How do you make use of social marketing when you are lacking in expertise in the said field? Simple, hire a social media manager.

A social media manager is a professional who is skilled in taking care of the communication and marketing aspects of your business. In basic terms, this is the person who gets in touch with the consumer on your behalf on the social platforms. There are various reasons why hiring a small business social media manager is a good idea.

In this article we will outline 3 reasons;

1. Social marketing platforms are constantly changing. What may have worked last year will not necessarily work this year, even last month. As a business owner, you may not have the time, energy or knowledge to keep up with changing trends. Because they do change often! It is the job of the SM manager to keep up with these trends for the sake of your business.

Remember, if you ignore current trends you run the risk of being irrelevant and losing your clients/customers to your competitors. If there’s one thing that’s certain about the online consumer, it’s their erratic and impatient nature. They are not willing to waste too much time on a brand that does not seem to care about its online image and presence.

2. As a business owner, you may already know how important it is to have an online presence. You have definitely heard this before. However, you may not know how to get the right audience for your brand.

For instance, if you sell products targeted at older people, you want to make sure that you reach out to them and not anyone else. It is one thing to have an audience and it is another to have the right audience. Your social media manager will help you identify avenues that will lead your brand to the right audience.

3. SM managers are also able to monitor the progress made through digital campaigns. If you embark on a marketing campaign, it is important to track any milestones reached by the campaign. Otherwise, you run the risk of investing too much in a campaign that yields nothing. The best person to keep tabs on the digital campaign is your SM manager. They will also recommend new ways to do things if the current methods are not achieving the intended goals.

Instead of worrying that you don’t know how to take advantage of social media, hire someone who does and watch your business grow.

Game Changing Business Trends for 2013

We have compiled a list of game-changing trends that will have a profound impact on the way we conduct business now and in the future. Our list makes recommendations on how to define your marketing and sales strategy for the near future. The underlying trend is concentrated around the principle of cautious spending habits, new and exciting marketing demographics, and a new value proposition.

Baby Boomers: Just when you thought you heard the last of the baby boomers, they’re back. This 76 million strong demographic represents over 30% of the adult population base (the people who are spending money). This demographic has a lot of power, you need to seriously consider a strong marketing strategy pointed towards this group.

Social Shopping and Networking: Research studies show that nearly half of all Americans are member of a social network and this group is spending money from online sources at an alarming rate, ecommerce has gone social. Marketing to this group of people through the paid advertising medium will prove to be very beneficial for your company when 2-3 years ago it really had no impact.

Home Improvement Expenditures: The recession has forced consumers to spend more time in their homes and they have also postponed their home improvement projects while conserving money. Unfinished and pent-up remodeling projects will blossom in the next 2-3 years, especially given the fact that most consumers are going to stay put rather than buy up even if they need more space.

Health Care: According to the US Census Bureau, 10 of the 20 fastest growing occupations are health care related. This industry will generate 3.2 million jobs in the next 5 years. This is an occupation with high income and an important group when defining your marketing strategy.

The Green Revolution: Sustainable profitability is the process of converting your business to a green model. Consumers favor business owners that employ the green revolution and if this applies to your business, use this as a marketing strategy to attract more customers. For example, something as simple as installing LED lighting in your business can increase traffic flow – bottom line – let your customers know!

Affordable Luxury: The recent recession has created a more selective and intelligent consumer. Retailers and manufacturers alike are hungry for new markets and consumer satisfaction; the savvy ones have created a blend of luxury and value within their respective product lines. “Bridge lines” are the new buzz word; these are lower tiered collections with the same quality characteristics at a fraction of the price.

The New Male: Over the course of the recession, the guy dominant industries were hit pretty hard making marketers think long and hard on how to appeal to this demographic. The intelligent choice is that the guys want to embrace things that reflect more diverse interests. Steak houses are out and boutique shave cream is in.

Fitness on Demand: Much has been written about the impressive stats in the fitness industry and health club phenomenon. Gym memberships increased steadily throughout the recession, and fitness clubs are turning up everywhere. As people continue to spend cautiously and time management is the utmost concern, working out at home has become a popular alternative.

Small Business Stimulation: The recession has paved the way for many new concepts and ideas. Consumers will avoid doing business with large companies at any cost and you will see a consumer migration to small business.