Small Business Deliveries Amid Supply Chain Delays


The last few years have been tumultuous to say the least, with a combination of pandemic-related disruption and other economic and political pressures placing unprecedented strain on global supply chains. In spite of this, it is possible for small business deliveries to account for potential hold-ups and satisfy customers. Let’s talk about what tools and techniques are available to organizations of all sizes that want to fight back against shipping delays.

Working with Third Parties to Guarantee Next Day Delivery

Consumer expectations have grown exponentially, and if customers are able to order goods online from your website, then offering next-day or even same-day delivery is becoming a base level service that even smaller companies must provide.

Enabling this in-house is often impractical and prohibitively expensive, which is why lots of organizations work with overnight courier services to get the job done.

As well as taking charge of the actual delivery of products, modern providers are capable of encompassing other elements of the supply chain, including warehousing. This reduces the budgetary burden that small business deliveries have to bear in order to ship items to customers quickly.

Being Realistic about Delivery Windows

small business deliveries

Speed isn’t everything when it comes to keeping customers happy at the delivery stage. In fact it’s arguably more important to give them a precise idea of when their package will arrive, regardless of whether that’s in a day, a week, or a month.

Everyone appreciates honesty from the companies they use, and if you know that supply chain delays are throwing a spanner in the works for your operations, there’s no point over-promising in the hope of luring shoppers away from competitors.

Of course you need to think about this from the other direction as well; if you don’t give customers any indication of when their delivery is due, that’s just as unhelpful as being imprecise or overly optimistic.

The point is that by keeping customers in the loop, and also providing updates on any delays as soon as possible, you’ll nip the potential for discord in the bud rather than allowing it to bloom and do damage to brand loyalty.

Planning for Seasonal Shifts in Demand Small Business Deliveries

Another must-do for any small business is the act of putting a plan in place to deal with peak periods of business, usually focused around particular events throughout the year as well as the holidays.

It’s not just a case of knowing that the number of orders you receive will rise at these times and making internal preparations, but also managing relationships with third parties to accommodate the challenges you’ll face.

For example, if you know that the couriers that you usually use for next-day delivery will be swamped after a certain date, setting a deadline for orders to be placed for fulfillment prior to this on your site will sidestep customer consternation.

Tracking Changes to Availability in Real Time

Your inventory will likely change rapidly, and when supply chain delays are a looming issue, you cannot afford any inaccuracies in this arena. A customer seeing that an item is in stock on the product page, only to find that it’s unavailable when they reach the checkout, will be rightly disgruntled.

Likewise if you only reorder best-selling goods from suppliers once they have sold out, you’ll face a time lag between restocking, during which time you’ll miss out on sales unnecessarily.

As such you have to invest in the latest systems that let you track changes to the availability of products in real time, and also be proactive about restocking the hottest items in your inventory.

Rectifying Delivery Dilemmas by Demonstrating that You Value Customers

It’s not possible to completely eliminate mistakes from the operations of any small business, so it pays to be prepared to deal with the aftermath of snafus.

This is particularly important when it comes to deliveries, as even small delays or missteps can leave customers feeling frustrated.

Those that do experience a less-than-stellar service, whether it’s the fault of your company or one of your partners in the delivery process, should be compensated. This could mean providing a discount off their next order, or an offer code to receive free shipping.

As well as patching up a rocky period in your relationship with a customer, this is a good way of increasing the likelihood that they’ll come back for more in the future.

Keeping Delivery Costs Low

small business deliveries cost

In among the supply chain delays, consumers have also had to contend with the gradual increase in the price of shipping from the businesses that they buy from.

This is an inevitable knock-on result of issues like rising inflation and growing fuel costs. But this also gives companies an opportunity to make themselves more conspicuously pro-customer by offering affordable or even free delivery.

The added perk of providing inexpensive shipping as an option at the checkout, or even as the only service available, is that it will temper the expectations of shoppers. Any service which does not cost them extra cash also won’t need to be especially swift.

There are ways to factor in the price you’ll pay as a business for supplying free delivery to customers. Rebalancing pricing on certain popular products, or making efficiency improvements to the way you run your warehousing, will give you the wiggle room you require to justify this.

The Last Word on Small Business Deliveries

Up and coming companies have to be competitive with global competitors when it comes to shipping if they want to gain momentum. Customers won’t stand for sub-par service quality more than once, and even known supply chain delays aren’t enough of an excuse these days.

You don’t have to overcome this obstacle alone, and there are meaningful ways to work around it which require proper planning and preparation, as well as regular reviews of key performance indicators to see if there’s even more room for improvement. This will leave you with a more robust and resilient business as a result.

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On-Demand vs. Automated Webinars: Which Suits Your Business?


Many businesses today are considering webinars as a tool for reaching a wider audience. That’s because they’re a cost-effective way of bringing your business big rewards.  For starters, hosting a webinar allows you to show your expertise in your field. Talking to existing and potential clients about your business builds a good brand reputation that’ll help you gain and retain customers.

In addition, while webinars aren’t about making a hard sell, they’re a good way of generating and converting leads. This is because sharing information about your business, services, and products increases engagement, which promotes lead generation and conversion. 

Nonetheless, deciding whether to host an automated or on-demand webinar can be challenging because they can share similar benefits. If you’re unsure which of these two webinar types is best for your business, this article is for you. This post explores automated webinar and on-demand webinar to help you determine the one that suits your business best. Stick around to find out more.

Understanding Webinars And How They Work


A webinar, also called a web seminar, is a video conference that businesses use to educate, train, or demonstrate an idea or concept. They help you reach existing and potential clients in a way that adds value. They’re also a convenient way of reaching larger audiences worldwide despite their geographical locations.

Webinars work similarly to in-person workshops, save for the face-to-face experience that characterizes the latter. They often involve a host, a panel of participants, and attendees. The role of the host is to facilitate the discussion. The panel, meanwhile, is responsible for presenting their ideas within the designated time frame.

On the other hand, attendees watch the webinar and interact with panelists via chat or, in some instances, audio. The average webinar has 100 attendees, but some can have up to 500 viewers. The majority of webinars are free, but some charge a registration fee.

Automated Webinars Vs. On-Demand Webinars

Automated webinars are pre-recorded events scheduled to begin and run automatically at a specific time with or without a host, panelists, or attendees. In this type of webinar, the host determines the content they’d like to present. This can be a presentation, a survey, a pre-recorded video, or a third-party program recording. The nature of an automated webinar requires attendees to join the webinar at the specified time to avoid missing the beginning.

In contrast, an on demand webinar doesn’t have a specific schedule despite being pre-recorded. Instead, once the webinar has been recorded, the host sends it to the participants. This provides them unlimited access to the content and allows them to join the event at their most convenient time.

Benefits Of Automated Webinars

  • They’re Efficient And Time-Saving

Automated webinars cut back on the tasks required to run a successful webinar, which saves time. For example, deciding to play an automated third-party program recording or a presentation minimizes the need for a host. This leaves you with more time to plan the next webinar or answer questions from your attendees, thus increasing engagement. 

  • They Enhance Customer Service

Customer service is critical to any business. Excellent service increases customer engagement, lead generation, and lead conversion. An automated webinar improves customer service by granting you ample time to respond effectively to your customers’ requests. This translates to good customer support, which is vital to customer satisfaction.

Additionally, automated webinars facilitate efficiency during the registration process, ensuring that registered attendees can access your webinar without trouble. Consequently, satisfying your customers’ needs enhances customer service and increases brand loyalty, allowing your business to thrive.

  • They Offer Convenience 

The success of your business is dependent on more than just webinars. Nonetheless, for your business to flourish, it’s essential to ensure your webinars are successful. The convenience of automated webinars is one of the ways you can accomplish that.

Automated webinars help you reap the benefits of connecting with your clients without working too hard. For example, because the webinar is pre-recorded, you can run it without hosting it. Instead, you get to focus on responding to your customer’s questions and concerns promptly. 

In addition, you can also take advantage of the real-time feedback to pre-record another webinar. This helps you increase engagement because your viewers see their opinions being considered, thus making them more inclined to associate with you.

Benefits Of On-Demand Webinars


  • They Increase Lead Generation and Conversion

As mentioned above, on-demand webinars allow attendees to access a webinar anytime. This is convenient to most individuals because of their varying schedules. It also means that your attendees join the webinar because they want to, not because they’re required to.

Additionally, attendance increases because attendees can join at their convenience. This increases lead generation and makes it easy for you to convert them into customers because they’re genuinely interested in what you offer.

  • They Enable You To Concentrate On Other High-Level Tasks

The nature of on-demand webinars also means that you spend less time running the webinar and more time fulfilling critical tasks. For example, while your customers attend the webinar, you and your staff can attend to other duties.

Since your operating hours and the time the attendees are on the webinar may not match, you can ensure that your business’s needs won’t be neglected. Additionally, it gives you and your team time to brainstorm more creative ideas for upcoming webinars. This helps you enhance engagement and promote lead generation.

Which Between On-Demand And Automated Webinars Is Better For Your Business?

On-demand and automated webinars are an excellent way to grow your audience. However, choosing between on-demand and automated webinars can be challenging because both benefit your business immensely. The primary difference between these webinars is that the former is accessible at any time, while the latter has a specified time for attendees to join.

Therefore, an on-demand webinar is more convenient if you’re dealing with a wide range of clients from different continents. This is because their different time zones don’t affect their ability to join your webinar, as access is unlimited. If your client’s time zones aren’t an issue, then either type of webinar would suit your business.

In Summary

Webinars are a convenient tool for reaching a wider audience. Besides being cost-effective, they help you build a good brand reputation while increasing engagement and generating leads. Choosing between an automated and on-demand webinar can be challenging because both offer similar benefits, including convenience and efficiency.

Their only difference is that automated webinars have a specific schedule for attendees to join an event, unlike on-demand webinars. Therein lies the basis for your decision on which suits your business best. If your clients’ time zones aren’t a factor, feel free to experiment with both webinars to discover the one with more potential.

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How Can Your Small Business Benefit From eSignature Solutions?


Every business, small or large, has a lot of paperwork to deal with in everyday operations. For instance, managers must sign contracts with various suppliers and service providers. They also need to sign customer forms to agree with their content. An electronic signature (eSignature) is the most effective way to sign company documents.

An Overview Of eSignature Solutions

ESignature is a process of signing digital files, and it’s an equivalent of a handwritten signature. In other words, it’s an electronic indication of an individual’s intention to agree to the content of an online file. With the convenience of modern technology, utilizing an eSignature API allows one to sign legally binding contracts without printed papers. It, therefore, enables one to sign legally binding contracts without printed papers. Some situations you may use for eSignature solutions include sales agreements, invoice processing, new hire documentation, vendor contracts, purchase orders, etc.

To create eSignatures, you must utilize an electronic signature generator. This is an automation tool you can use to sign online documents. It allows you to type your signature, download it, and attach it to your files. And the good thing about such a tool is that it allows you to customize your signature to make it unique.

Benefits Of eSignature Solutions For Your Small Business


Your enterprise can benefit in various ways by leveraging the power of eSignature technology. They include the following.

Helps Reduce Cost

Reducing costs is one of the most effective approaches to ensure your small company continues to thrive. When you minimize expenses, you can save money and promote your firm’s profitability. For that reason, ensure you find effective ways to keep costs at the lowest level possible. And one of the best ways to achieve that is by shifting to eSignature solutions.

Signing documents online enables you to minimize expenses in many ways. For instance, it eliminates the need to deal with physical files. As such, you won’t need to purchase things like printing machines, ink, and paper. Everything will happen online, including creating, signing, and sending files to users.

Additionally, signing documents online means storing them on the cloud. Therefore, you won’t have to hire a large storage space. A small one will just be enough for a few files you may want to store in your office. That helps reduce your rental expense.

You also need to note that dealing with physical documents requires you to hire delivery services anytime you want to send them to users. And that attracts extra costs. On the other hand, eSignature solutions enable you to send documents online, eliminating the need for document delivery services. All these go a long way toward ensuring you reduce expenses to maximize the profits of your small business.

Helps Save Time

You’re wasting a lot of time if you still use traditional document signatures. For instance, you must spend several hours printing documents, signing them, and then scanning them again if you want to transfer them through online platforms. If that isn’t the case, you might keep running up and down searching for delivery services to help send your files to recipients. That leads to a waste of time.

Besides, signing documents in the traditional way probably implies that you’re storing physical files in your office. That also can take much of your time, especially when arranging large volumes of documents in your office. It can also come with many hassles as you try to locate a single document from piles of files.

ESignature solutions can help you to save time. For instance, you don’t have to print the documents to sign them. You can do it online in seconds. And because you can share the signed documents online, you won’t need to keep traveling to find document delivery services. That way, you can save a lot of time, which can be utilized to complete other important tasks.

Improves Document Security

Sticking to traditional signatures exposes your documents to a lot of security issues. For instance, unauthorized persons may access your company’s information, especially when you leave documents on printing machines. Also, your files may fall into the wrong hands with delivery services. All these expose your business data to security issues. That’s why you need to invest in electronic signature solutions.

With eSignatures, you won’t necessarily have to deal with physical documents. You can send them only to the intended recipients through online portals. And because most digital document-sharing platforms have the added layers of identity verification and file encryption, you won’t be worried about cybersecurity attacks. That ensures you improve the security of your documents or company’s information.

Provides Better Customer Experience


You must be careful about customer experience and satisfaction when running your small business. With poor customer experience, your small business will barely take off the ground.

Using traditional signatures can hurt your customers’ experience in many ways. For instance, they might be forced to keep going to the postal offices or come to your office to pick up the documents you want them to sign. That harms their convenience and flexibility, and you might lose them.

You must understand that customers will always want to do business with companies with electronic services. It’s, therefore, necessary to shift to eSignature solutions. It’ll make customers happier, thus enhancing your retention rate.

Ensures Compliance

Another great benefit of eSignature solutions is that it helps your small business to comply with legal requirements. As companies continue to use technology, so are many regulations drafted regarding the collection and transfer of personal information. It might not be easy to comply with some of these regulations when using physical documents and traditional signatures.

On the other hand, most eSignature solutions are built with most of the data regulations in mind. Therefore, you won’t be worried about noncompliance. You’ll always remain compliant with the relevant guidelines when dealing with customers, suppliers, employees, and other stakeholders’ information.


Small businesses face a lot of challenges. Therefore, any strategy that can help save your company should be implemented. And one of them is eSignature solutions.

As detailed above, there are several benefits of eSignatures for your enterprise. However, you must ensure you find the most suitable solutions.

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How to Start a Retail Company in 4 Steps

retail company

In today’s time, numerous opportunities and available tools have made starting a business easier for anyone. In whatever industry you plan to build your brand and company, it is always important first to make yourself equipped with what’s needed for you to be able to catch up to existing similar businesses. A retail company, in particular, provides target customers with small quantities of products and services made available in-store, online, or both. Some retail businesses include supermarkets, clothing stores, department stores, and many others. If you plan to start your own retail company, here are some steps you may need to know.

1. Create a Business Plan

Before starting a business, different ideas about what products to create and what services to offer can come to mind simultaneously. One way to organize these thoughts and ideas is by creating an effective business plan. A business plan helps entrepreneurs document and set up necessary information about the business to create. This may include the following:

  • Business Concept. The business concept section of a business plan includes information about the company itself, which may include the form of business organization, vision and mission, business model canvas, target market, and the proposed product or services.  
  • Business Environment. The business environment section explains the different factors that affect and contribute to the business. Some of these factors may include economic, social, technological, legal factors, etc.  

Including a Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threat Analysis, also known as SWOT analysis, is vital to prepare your business for possible successes and challenges in the future. 

  • Marketing Plan. A marketing plan includes a thorough discussion of product descriptions, prices, budget, the location of the business, promotions, sales plans, and competitions. The price section of the marketing plan presents the amount needed for raw materials and the pricing strategy used in the business.  
  • Operations Plan. The operations plan explains the actions needed in each operation of the business. This section includes the hours of operation, process flows, material requirements for the business to operate, and the business layout, if applicable.  

When looking up what retail business to create, looking up what is most needed and the trend in your location can best help you decide what business to pursue. For example, in America, grocery stores, electronic shops, and home furnishing businesses are one of the highest-operated retail businesses in the country.  

Similarly, in Australia, the consumer goods retailing industry has generated over $239 million in revenue this year. Thus business owners, especially groceries and the like, are investing in needed materials and equipment for their businesses to operate efficiently. This includes proper shelving equipment and racks, accurate and reliable retail weighing scales, etc., to ensure that they provide fast and honest services to their customers.

2. Register the Business


After creating a business plan, for sure you now have enough knowledge about what your business is all about and its operations. Making your retail business official means registering it. To do this, you must set your business name and determine the business’s legal structure, which is already part of your business plan under the form of organization section.

In choosing your business’s structure, consulting a business attorney or an accountant to guide you is necessary. This legal structure can determine the tax, liabilities, and certain classifications that regulate your business. Legal business structures include Sole Proprietorship, General Partnership, Limited Liability Company, and Corporation.

Moreover, obtaining documents like retail licenses and permits is also necessary. Business insurance is also of great help to ensure that the business and your employees are protected should common risks occur.

3. Pick a Location for Your Retail Company

The location of your retail business can determine its profitability. Is your store accessible to your target market? Is it a safe location for an established business, or is it better suited for a startup? These are just some of the questions you can use as a guide when choosing a location for your physical store.

Looking closely at your target market, their location, and common interests are some of the aspects you’d want to prioritize for your business locations. Try looking at a safe, accessible space that can match your retail business’s concept and your budget.

Another way to grow your business is by building your online presence. If your business allows, you can also set up an online shop through social media or a business website. “For the latter, you could use WordPress based CMS, ensure to speed up the WordPress site, and add some website design elements to ensure your customers have the greatest experience with your brand.” That way, you can easily transact, connect, and attend to customer concerns, generating more customer leads and business profit.

4. Hire Employees for Your Retail Company

Hiring the right employees will help you and your business to operate smoothly. Depending on your retail business needs, hiring employees that can work efficiently, provide excellent services to customers, and are knowledgeable about what they do are qualities you should look up to.

Setting up specific skills, abilities, experiences, and many others through a job description is one great way to help you find the right employees for your retail business. This way, you can easily match up staff that can satisfy your business goals and operations. 

Conclusion on Starting a Retail Company

Knowing and following the steps to starting a retail company can help make the journey more manageable. Establishing your own business can equate to learning and exploring different ways to achieve growth and success. All you have to do is follow steps that can work well with your business’s initial goals and purpose; other processes will likely follow. 

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5 Ways You Can Energize Your Service Staff

service staff

It’s the busiest shopping time of year, so your service staff is working hard. Even if you regularly tell your team members how much you appreciate them, they won’t hear it unless you show them.

There are more than a few ways that you can help energize and support your service staff during this bustling time. But we’ve gathered up five of the best approaches that have worked for managers and business leaders time and time again.

1. Custom Patches

It sounds like something small, but we assure you that great things come in small packages. Empowering your service staff to customize their appearance with custom patches can boost morale by giving them more control.

It works even if your staff wears a uniform. Uniforms have proven benefits, and 50% of businesses employ them. But for workers who want to express their individuality, giving them the power with something subtle but creative is a great idea.

service staff

2. Weekly or Bi-Monthly Meetings

Communication is key to every thriving workplace. So much so that research has shown that faulty communication is a primary inhibitor of productivity and success in business.

If your staff is fighting or being insubordinate toward management, and if customers are complaining that they seem sad and combative, chances are they don’t feel heard. You can change that easily by instituting regular staff meetings.

Staff meetings are crucial for many reasons: clarifying shared goals, hashing out conflict, and ensuring everyone feels heard and supported. That last one is extra important. Giving your service staff the space to speak and showing them you listen will work wonders for morale and energy.

3. Post-Work Bonding

If the problem seems to be that your service staff haven’t bonded enough among themselves, encourage them to bond outside of work. That will promote lasting relationships that will strengthen the way they work together.

But here’s one important tip: don’t go with them. No one likes a boss that tries to be friends with their employees. Trust us. They’ll adore you if you back away and simply treat them well. But if you try to be their friend, a whole host of things could go wrong!

4. Flexibility for Time Off Requests

You should encourage your staff to take meaningful time off, not just reluctantly grant their requests. Of course, there are limits to generosity, and work should come as a priority. But no one on staff should feel like asking for time off to go to the doctor or pick up their kids is asking for the world.

service staff

5. Gamify Important Tasks

For more complex tasks that no one will willingly take on themselves, inject some fun and competition to get people excited. “Gamify” essential tasks by making them a competition over who can sell the most product or get the most customers to leave positive reviews.

Treat Employees Like Human Beings

You don’t have to treat them like your family or friends. Because guess what? They aren’t! Don’t force any false warmth or closeness onto your employees – just remember they are human beings and treat them with the respect and decency they deserve.

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10 Different Ways to Get the Most From Your Marketing Budget


Whether you are looking to expand your business or are getting ready to release a new product into the market, marketing is vital to engaging with your audience, creating awareness, and boosting sales. But without proper management, your marketing efforts can end up underperforming. And, in the worst-case scenario, even drain your company’s budget! Luckily, as a small business owner, there are steps you can take to ensure that your marketing budget is optimized. Learn how in the guide below. 

Carry Out Thorough Marketing Research and Set Clear Goals

Blindly redirecting a portion of your revenue to marketing can turn your well-planned marketing efforts into a money pit. To better manage risks, consider spending time to research your competitors’ marketing strategies, analyze current market trends, and study your target consumer’s behavior.

You can then use these insights to make more informed business decisions and minimize the risk of making the wrong marketing investment. 

Use a Performance Marketing Agency


While each business’s strategy is unique, there are a few key marketing truths worth keeping in mind. These are:

  • In today’s overcrowded digital landscape, the help of a professional marketer is invaluable;
  • Marketing efforts should be data-driven and performance-based.

So, when choosing a marketing company to work with, you should look for an agency that leverages a performance-based approach. But, what exactly is performance marketing?

Performance marketing is described as an approach to the digital market that focuses on results. Digital marketing companies operating in this way often use KPIs and multichannel indicators to continuously adjust their marketing efforts and optimize the chances of success. 

Be Clear About Your Marketing Budget

When it comes down to setting up your marketing budget, there is no “one size fits all” formula you can rely on. However, according to estimations, B2B companies spend 2-5% of their revenue on marketing, while B2C tend to spend around 5-10% of their revenue.

Of course, your digital marketing expenditure should vary depending on multiple factors, including the nature of your business (i.e.: online-based vs brick-and-mortar businesses), target audience, and future goals. Nonetheless, once you have set your budget, it is important to stick to it and prevent infructuous marketing efforts from draining your budget. 

Upcycle Your Content and Marketing Material

It is undeniable that high-quality content is a vital element of any marketing campaign. Whether it is video marketing, blog posts, Instagram reels, or Tweets, content is critical to engage with your audience, hook viewers, and spread brand awareness.

However, creating new content can be costly – especially if your editorial calendar requires you to produce new videos and posts on a daily basis. That is why you should have a content upcycling strategy ready to deploy!

To utilize material you already have, consider updating cornerstone and evergreen articles, repurposing videos you already have, or posting old material on different platforms. In any case, make sure that the content you decide to post is still relevant!

Experiment and Test Your Assumptions

Marketing is both a science and an art, and getting your strategy right from the start isn’t always possible. That is why you should be open and ready to experiment with different materials, landing pages, email copy types, and call-to-actions.

A/B testing – also known as split testing – can help you compare how your audience reacts to different marketing efforts, thus preventing you from misspending most of your budget on inefficient projects and campaigns. 

Monitor Progress and Track Your KPIs

One of the best ways to get the most out of your marketing budget is to track essential indicators and KPIs. Although these KPIs may vary depending on your marketing goals and business nature, some of the key ones worth tracking include:

  • Revenue and sales changes
  • Number of Leads
  • Customer Acquisition Cost
  • Sales Cycle Length
  • Customer Lifetime Value
  • Return on Investment 
  • Return on Ad Spend
  • Cost Per Lead
  • Lead to Customer Ratio

Be Ready To Pivot and Adjust Your Strategy


Data-driven marketing strategies are one of the best alternatives to drive business growth. Nonetheless, no matter how much research you have done, any marketing investment comes with a significant level of risk. And, this is true for both small businesses with limited marketing budgets and large corporations with an international reputation to protect.

That is why it is crucial to be ready to pivot and adjust your strategy even as your campaign is already running! Be sure to have a contingency plan in place to reduce reputation damages and financial losses. 

Leverage Free or Inexpensive Marketing Tools

Thanks to the advent of inexpensive web hosting platforms and social media platforms, most tech-savvy business owners and entrepreneurs today have access to free or affordable marketing tools.

Establishing a social media community, using SEO techniques to improve your website, and striving to secure a spot in Google’s Local 3-pack are all great options to start building an online presence for your business on a budget. 

Get Involved With the Local Community

Establishing a company is certainly not a one-person job. And, there is no doubt that, to succeed as a small business owner, you’ll need the support of your local community. That is why for growing businesses, community involvement is a lifeline.

Aside from creating meaningful connections with your direct target audience, getting involved with the community can improve your business’s reputation, enhance your public image, and gain the trust and loyalty of local customers.

If you are unsure how to get started, great ways to get involved with the community include:

  • Partnering with local charities
  • Offering pro-bono services to low-income households
  • Launching charitable initiatives
  • Being present at local events and festivals
  • Partnering with other businesses in the area to offer added value and discounts to customers.

Think Outside the Box with Your Marketing Budget

The tips above can help you optimize your marketing budget. But if the competition begins to feel overwhelming, be sure to make a conscious effort to think outside of the box. And, don’t forget that, in marketing, no idea is too creative or unorthodox! After all, Alexis Ohanian managed to create the Reddit empire with a $500 marketing budget and memorable stickers!

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10 Tools That Will Help You Improve SEO Strategy


Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is widely used to improve business marketing operations. Visibility has always been at the core of thriving businesses. With the rapid expansion of e-commerce, brand visibility and online presence go hand in hand.

SEO is a viable and affordable way to drive organic traffic to your website. Even though it is easy to begin, SEO is hard to master. You will need additional SEO tools to inspect your online traffic, keyword ranks, backlink quality, etc.

Luckily, there are hundreds of professional SEO tools at your disposal. This article will help you choose the correct SEO tools to improve your SEO strategy. They will help you climb to the first pages of Google and secure a stable position for positive, long-lasting organic traffic. 

1. Ahrefs: An Ultimate SEO Tool


Just like Google dominates the search engine market share, so does Ahrefs relating to SEO. There’s hardly an SEO professional not using Ahrefs at some point. Ahrefs excels at information availability with a “Web Crawler that powers the 12 trillion link database for Ahrefs online marketing toolset.” You will not find a better place for exhaustive site audits, historical data, data comparison, and other valuable Ahref features. For growing businesses, competitor analysis will illuminate their backlink strategy to improve yours.

Simultaneously, established brands use it to keep an eye on website performance, fix broken links, monitor website authority, and more. Ahrefs remains one of the most popular tools in the SEO field. Mastering it will significantly improve your SEO practices. 

2. Semrush: Competitive Data Analysis 

An all-in-one marketing tool Semrush is among the favorites in the SEO community. You will find reviews praising its design, information accessibility, user-friendliness, and more. You can use it for content structuring, keyword analysis, website performance improvement, and other significant SEO tasks.

What’s more, Semrush provides an outstanding Keyword gap feature. It’s a second-to-none tool to compare your websites against competitors. It allows a side-by-side comparison of up to five competitors, including their subdomains for premium subscribers. This makes Semrush one of the best tools for competitor analysis and overall SEO improvement. 

3. Proxies: Enhanced Data Accessibility 

Proxies are an essential online networking tool for regulating online communication. However, SEO specialists use proxies to enhance several SEO operations. Firstly, proxies grant access to localized Google search engine results page (SERP) results and keywords.

When you browse Google, it marks your IP address’s geographical location and returns localized results. SEO tasks often require results from various foreign markets. You can connect to a proxy server to get its alternative regional IP address. For example, you will get U.S. regional SERP and keyword results if you connect to the U.S. proxy while based in Europe.

Even though some SEO tools provide different geographical location analyses, proxies add additional value. SEO tools don’t have an inherent function to bypass geo-blocks. Sometimes it might distort their global keyword analysis. Moreover, via a proxy server, you can access geographically restricted information to enrich your SEO analysis with additional data.

Additional SEO-related proxy use cases involve real-time HTML tracking, automated keyword collection, and publicly available data gathering. Instead of gathering vast amounts of data manually, you can combine proxies with search engine crawlers for efficient and geographically unrestricted analysis. Proxies are an invaluable tool for advanced SEO practices. 

4. Answer the Public: Content Idea Generator


Any successful SEO strategy relies on possible content ideas. However, how do you know if your content is relevant to broader audiences? Answer the Public is an excellent tool to get possible content ideas and generate leads. Moreover, it’s straightforward to use from the very beginning. You can select a keyword and get a list of related questions, prepositions, comparisons, etc.

Answer the Public allows you to download this information in a .csv file to integrate with additional software. If you run out of ideas for your business blog, use this tool to inspect consumer queries and drive more relevant traffic. Furthermore, its free version is sufficiently equipped for primary SEO tasks. 

5. KWFinder

KWFinder is a professional software to generate new keyword ideas. It will also provide exhaustive information on keyword difficulty, volume, paid vs. organic, and other key metrics. It’s excellent for selecting long-tail keywords for a durable website structure. KWFinder stands out in its simplicity and additional features. Even if it is your first experience with SEO, KWFinder will make it effortless to start optimizing your website for better visibility.

Moreover, businesses value pop-up alerts when online users search for your selected keywords. It will give you a better real-time idea of SEO campaign performance. KWFinder is part of Mangools SEO toolkit, alongside backlink analytics, rank tracking, SERP, and SEO metrics analysis.

6. Google Analytics for SEO

Google Analytics is a powerful marketing tool that brings a lot to the table. Coming directly from Google, it offers more information than could be found elsewhere. Its available demographic statistics include age, location, interests, and more. It’s an essential tool to construct your consumers’ psychological profile for better product placement.

Simultaneously, you will see your landing page performance statistics, such as impressions, clicks, bounce rate, etc. You can install a unique tracking code for each website you want to monitor. Google Analytics offers numerous marketing tools. You can track visitor conversion rates, manage PPC spending, and inspect traffic referral sites. Mastering Google Analytics will significantly improve your SEO and overall digital marketing. 

7. MozCast


The worst SEO pro nightmare is waking up to keywords that are not ranking anymore. This happens more often than one could expect. In fact, it’s an integral part of SEO. Because Google owns the most popular search engine, its results depend on Google’s decisions.

What’s more, Google is continuously changing and improving its search algorithm. What was ranking one day may be thrown into the desolate second page the other. Google does this to improve search result relevance, fight backlink spamming, and other reasons beyond mortal understanding.

MozCast is a real-time Google algorithm weather station. According to their site,

“Every 24 hours, we track a hand-picked set of 10,000 keywords (across 20 industry categories and 5 major US cities) and analyze page one of Google organic results, comparing it to the previous day. The MozCast temperature reflects the degree of change in the day-over-day rankings, with an uneventful day being about 70°F. Put simply, the hotter the temperature, the more change we saw in Google rankings in the previous 24 hours.”

Instead of panicking regarding low keyword ranking, you should check MozCast. SEO is in big part adapting to new Google regulations. MozCast will give an idea of a happening change within Google algorithm. Use it to keep up-to-date regarding the latest changes and improve your SEO strategy accordingly. 

8. Ubersuggest

Ubersuggest is free keyword-tracking software. It’s an excellent choice with a limited budget and provides sufficient features to compete with paid services. Ubersuggest will assist in identifying short to long-tail keywords, reveal user search intent, keyword rank, and more.

You will need to upgrade to premium to unlock its full features. However, the free version is sufficient for most keyword-related operations. And the premium version is moderately priced. Ubersuggest is praised for its simplicity, accurate keyword data, and relevant content update suggestions. It’s an excellent tool for junior specialists that want to learn the discipline without spending hundreds of dollars. 

9. Google Trends for SEO

Google Trends is another valuable tool. It’s a free Google asset that provides meaningful insights into Internet user queries. It is extraordinarily simple to use, yet provides exclusive knowledge when used professionally. Google offers decades of online data to illustrate researched trends. You can see the popularity of specific queries over time, sort them by geographical location, compare them with other queries, and more.

As always, Google provides an endless repository of valuable data to work with. SEO specialists use Google trends to accurately predict possible keyword volumes and content opportunities.

10. SpyFu

importance of SEO

SpyFu is a professional paid search analytics tool. It wasn’t developed for SEO beginners, but its intuitive design has a gentle learning curve. SpyFu offers a lot to businesses providing keyword monetary value and detailed search advertising metrics.

Moreover, instead of ranking keywords based on Domain Authority, SpyFu populates the results with the exact monetary keyword’s worth. It’s a unique way of providing keyword results that come in handy for numerous marketing operations. This choice is perfect for improving email marketing campaigns, affiliate marketing operations, and retail site analysis. 

Final Words on SEO

SEO may sound straightforward, but there’s a lot to learn. Firstly, SEO is nearly impossible without a myriad of tools. What are netizens searching for online? What exact phrases do they use? Are they expected to keep searching or lose interest? All of this can be found on Google’s first page. However, specific tools can narrow the information to the smallest detail.

Moreover, technologically advanced Internet users combine SEO tools with proxies for more detailed insights. As you will know, SEO is closely related to the development of Internet technologies. Whether it’s an ever-changing Google algorithm or a trick to avoid geo-blocks, your SEO strategy will significantly improve if you master using the tools above.

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How to Increase Employee Happiness and Improve Productivity


If you are a business owner or team leader struggling to improve productivity within the workplace or team, then you have come to the right place! Here is how you can improve workplace productivity by increasing employee happiness.

How does employee happiness affect productivity?

Happy and motivated employees are proven indicators of productivity, and as a result, better profitability. To enhance overall business success, it is suggested that you start with improving the happiness and wellbeing of your employees.  

If your employees feel appreciated and valued by the company, they are more likely to be productive and deterred from quitting. Therefore, employee happiness is crucial in lengthening the longevity of your business! 

Rewarding employee performance

One way to boost employee happiness is to of course offer employee rewards and bonuses – whether this is a cash prize, or something like gift cards or a free trip to somewhere, these rewards can help to increase employee happiness.  

Additionally, as these rewards act like incentives, it may motivate employees to perform better and work harder at their tasks if it means receiving a reward in return! You need to show that their contributions to the company are extremely valued and appreciated, so rewarding excellent employee performance is a must.  

Boosting morale and wellbeing


Happy employees mean high morale and wellbeing – how to achieve this? Implement things that encourage this such as a biking to work scheme or discounts on gym memberships, or, and possibly the popular of the bunch, support flexible working arrangements.  

If your company survived the COVID-19 pandemic, your employees would have most likely worked from home during the lockdowns, but if you have recently enforced full-time office working, you may want to consider offering work from home solutions. 

Working from home can boost your employees’ wellbeing as it can improve their work-life balance – and, they may find it easier to work from home anyway, eradicating commute times, so productivity is enhanced regardless. 

It may also be worthwhile to actually take the time to know your employees on a personal level – remember their birthdays, significant life events or anniversaries, and surprising them with a gift, may just be the motivation for their happiness.  

Cultivating a positive work environment

Happy employees can influence the work environment positively, so you need to ensure that your employees are thriving within the workplace. Fostering a safe and comfortable space for your employees to work in is crucial when it comes to increasing employee happiness and productivity 

In addition to this, when it comes to feedback surveys, you may find your employees to be more honest and genuine as you have empowered them to feel safe and have trust in the company to be truthful. 

How to create such an environment? Encourage and support your employees both individually and as a team. You should consider planning company events to build relationships and rapport between employees, as well as having absolutely no tolerance for discrimination nor workplace bullying and harassment.

Overall, it is clear that you must be willing to actively listen to your employees whenever they have concerns and problems so that they feel that you do care and value them. In doing so, you will see a boost in morale, and thus naturally improve productivity.  

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Is OOH advertising only for big brands? Let’s discuss


The marketing expert Neil Patel explains that out-of-home (OOH) advertising “refers to the process of reaching consumers while they are, you guessed it, out of their homes.”

Patel insists that, though “this may conjure images of NYC Times Square billboards, there are many mediums that qualify as out-of-home advertising.” He cites not only billboards but also bus stops, point-of-sale displays and even blimps as places where OOH advertising can be displayed.

Nonetheless, given how often billboards are associated with well-known brands and major companies, you could have assumed that your own business is too small to even have the option of OOH media. Would this perception be borne out by the facts?

If you run a small business, should you consider using OOH advertising media?


The simple answer is yes — and one simple reason why is that many small businesses are already engaging in OOH advertising. Home Business states: “Believe it or not, roughly seven out of ten outdoor ads promote local businesses.”

Of course, as we have already seen, billboards are far from the only option when it comes to OOH advertising. However, you could be stunned to learn that, even as the owner of a small business, you don’t necessarily need to rule out going specifically for billboard advertising.

That’s because, though the cost of billboards can admittedly vary depending on what market your business occupies, billboards remain — on the whole — surprisingly affordable to use for advertising purposes.

Generally, utilizing billboards in this way is far cheaper than TV, magazine, and newspaper advertising. In fact, Home Business enthuses: “Outdoor ads deliver the best value — in terms of cost-per-thousand impressions — of any type of advertising, including digital.”

Even if your business is a start-up, you could gently ease it into OOH advertising by taking advantage of a start-up accelerator scheme. One good example of one is the Clear Start programme run by Clear Channel, the UK-based provider of OOH advertising space.

OOH isn’t just inexpensive — it’s also great value

There can naturally be quite a marked difference between the upfront price of something and the long-term value it delivers. Fortunately, there is good reason for you to believe that, if you do invest in using OOH advertising, it will more than pay for itself.

Numerous Out of Home Advertising Association of America (OAAA) figures relayed by Home Business are testament to OOH advertising’s effectiveness.

The revelations in these figures include that, of people who have seen an outdoor ad, 41% are more likely to find out about the advertised brand, while 58% have searched the web as a direct result.

Of course, it helps that, when someone sees an OOH ad, they can’t simply choose to turn off the ad like they probably would if it was an online ad where this was an option.

Similarly, while it is possible to install plugins known as ‘ad blockers’ on web browsers and consequently avoid having to see a wide array of online ads in the first place, OOH ads can’t be blocked in this manner.

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Teamwork Makes the Dream Work – 7 Ways Teams can Collaborate


Effective teamwork is crucial in any business, especially when it comes to improving productivity and overall employee wellbeing and performance. So in what ways can teamwork happen? Here are 7 ways teams can effectively collaborate.

1. Workflow management software

Implementing a workflow management, or a project management software like Trello or Asana is the perfect way to boost not only collaboration, but also efficiency, as the team is able to monitor and see everyone’s progress so that you’re all on the same page. With this software, you’re able to manage tasks and collaborate with others as you’re able to make comments, add deadlines, etc.  

2. A safe pace for ideation and sharing ideas

It’s recommended that in order to foster collaboration, you must first cultivate an environment where everyone feels comfortable to share their ideas and listen to others. If you’re a team leader in particular, it’s vital that you empower your team members to be able to actively listen and share ideas with each other to improve collaboration.  

3. Shared workspace/centralized drive

A simple method that teams can use to collaborate is to just have a shared workspace or centralized drive that everyone has access to. This enables your team to look at, download, or upload relevant documents that can be accessed by others easily. As a result, there’s no hassle when it comes to sending and receiving emails which may be delayed for any reason.

4. Instant messaging apps

Particularly for remote teams, Microsoft Teams is perfect for your communications system as this allows instant communication, regardless of whether or not the other person is online at the same time. With instant messaging apps, your team members can adequately communicate with each other, enhancing collaboration and productivity.  


5. Screen sharing

A feature that is sometimes overlooked in the evolution of communication technology is the screen sharing function. With screen sharing, your team, especially if some members are remote, are able to collaborate in a unique way. Your team members have the ability to share their screen, showing any relevant and important information to other members that they may be struggling with or would like to share.  

6. Editing documents in real-time

Microsoft Teams has a function that enables you to edit documents with others simultaneously. By being able to edit the same document in real-time, with every change or comment being added as soon as someone types it, this is a time-efficient way of collaborating when working on a document with another team member. Don’t forget about this convenient feature that’s ideal for any last minute document writing.  

7. Call and video conferencing

As communication is key in collaboration, it’s worthwhile hosting team meetings regularly. Call or video conferencing options are available on a range of platforms, so you’ll never be out of options when it comes to this. Whilst instant messaging is useful, it’s also valuable to be able to see or physically speak to other members of the team – to catch up on their tasks and build a rapport in the meantime. 

And there you have it – just few ways that you can encourage teamwork in your business.

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