Experts Debate whether Instagram or Facebook is More Effective for Small Business

I say Instagram Stories and John “Colderice” Lawson is ready to jump into it on the latest edition of This Week in Small Business.

We kicked off this week’s show by talking about one of my favorite recent articles from Small Business Trends. This one from Alex Yong in which he interviews rising entrepreneur Nicholas Kirchner, who at 21 already owns his own marketing agency, got John going right away.

“I’m just starting to love it,” he says. “What it’s great for marketing is that you can actually tell a story. Or I could give you all the designs of a specific SKU. You can save that Story on your Instagram profile and people can get to it. It’s got a lot of functionality to it.”

Instagram vs Facebook for Business

I temper John’s enthusiasm a little when I put him on the spot — which should small businesses focus on more: Instagram or Facebook? Or both?

“I’m starting to skew Instagram a little more over Facebook,” he says.

To find out why John thinks you may want to spend more time on your Instagram marketing efforts, check out the full show above. We also discuss the even earlier Christmas shopping season — and how your business should respond — as well as how you can keep your expenses to a minimum while you’re on the road for business.

To get notifications and updates when another This Week in Small Business goes live, be sure to subscribe to the Small Business Trends YouTube channel today.

Economy

Truck Tonnage Index Increases by 1.9% with Much Work Going to Small Operators

The American Trucking Association just announced its advanced seasonally adjusted For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index rose 1.9% in July. And a portion of this includes work going to the nation’s small independent truck operators. July 2018 Trucking Industry Statistics According to the association, the index showed a noticeable increase compared to the 0.5% decline in June revised from 0.4%.

Finance

Give Employees the Power to Save for Retirement with Spave App

The way people save for retirement is shifting, particularly when it comes to employer sponsored retirement accounts. Today’s employees, millennials in particular, like to have control over their money rather than contributing to accounts set up by their employer. They also aren’t as likely to stay with the same employer for their entire career as those in past generations have done.

Marketing Tips

Consumer Email Use Up 17% Over Last Year, Is Your Business Engaging?

The fourth annual Adobe Consumer Email Survey has revealed consumer use is up 17% year over year. This is despite the fact there are now more channels available for consumers to interact and engage with their favorite brands. The survey points out consumers are checking their personal email an average of 2.5 hours on any given weekday. This is in addition to spending an average of 3.

82% of Marketers Report Increased Open Rates Through Email Personalization (INFOGRAPHIC)

Get this, 82 percent of marketers reported an increase in open rates through email personalization, while 75 percent believe that personalization yields higher click-through rates. This information and more is featured in a new infographic ActiveTrail, a company specializing in marketing automation.

Sales

LinkedIn Launches Pipeline Management Kit for Your Sales Team

While digital technology has improved commerce, it has also increased the complexities of the sales funnel. LinkedIn has introduced a Pipeline Management Kit for salespeople so they can remove blind spots from the modern sales process and manage the difficulties of B2B sales.

Small Business Operations

65% of Retailers Will Offer Same-Day Delivery by 2019 (INFOGRAPHIC)

Small businesses are always looking for ways to have a competitive advantage in the market. Now they are not only competing on price and customer service, but also on speed. According to a recent report by Go People, a Sydney-based on-demand delivery and courier startup, 65% of retailers will provide same-day delivery services by the year 2019.

Uber Freight Finds Small Businesses More Shippers

The trucking industry is undergoing a huge transformation with the integration of digital technology. Uber Freight is pushing this transformation with a new platform designed to connect shippers and carriers of all sizes more efficiently.

Startup

55% of Remote Workers Now Telecommute Full Time, Survey Says

Digital technology has upended the way we work and where we can work. And a new survey from AND CO and Remote Year has some insightful data regarding the state of remote workers in 2018. According to the survey, 55% of the respondents said they worked remotely 100% of the time.

Weebly Mobile Upgrades for Small Business Ecommerce

Weebly just unveiled a series of enhancements to its mobile app that could improve usability for ecommerce businesses. Sellers now have the ability to print and manage shipping labels, chat with customers, approve customer reviews, create coupon codes and edit listings right from their mobile device.

Technology Trends

SeePlus Manages Your Small Business’s Digital Files and Folders

The need to organize, manage and preserve a vast number of invaluable digital assets is paramount for any business. And this is especially true for small businesses lacking the time or manpower to stay perfectly organized.

Transform Your Business Back in Time – If Only for a Moment – with Windows 95 App

Who can remember 1995? Millennials born in the 1990s won’t remember that year, when the STS-71 Space Shuttle mission was launched to dock at the Russian Mir Space Station, and an unprecedented heatwave engulfed the Midwest, which saw temperatures exceed 104 degrees Fahrenheit for five consecutive days. Nor will they remember Windows 95.

PayPal Mobile Updates Make Small Business Payments Faster and More Secure

The latest development to the PayPal (NASDAQ: PYPL) mobile app will make it easier to send and request money. PayPal has become popular with consultants, freelancers and other small business operators as a quick and easy way to invoice clients and get paid online and a way for other small business owners who need those services to pay for them as well.

Splashtop Gives Small Buinesses Remote Access to At Least 2 Computers

With the launch of Splashtop Business Access Solo and Pro, Splashtop is expanding its offering of remote access for business professionals and teams. Splashtop Business Access Individuals and teams will now be able to access remote computers securely on Windows, Mac, iOS, Android and Chromebook devices.

This article, "Experts Debate whether Instagram or Facebook is More Effective for Small Business" was first published on Small Business Trends



via Small Business Trends Business Feeds

Experts Debate whether Instagram or Facebook is More Effective for Small Business

I say Instagram Stories and John “Colderice” Lawson is ready to jump into it on the latest edition of This Week in Small Business.

We kicked off this week’s show by talking about one of my favorite recent articles from Small Business Trends. This one from Alex Yong in which he interviews rising entrepreneur Nicholas Kirchner, who at 21 already owns his own marketing agency, got John going right away.

“I’m just starting to love it,” he says. “What it’s great for marketing is that you can actually tell a story. Or I could give you all the designs of a specific SKU. You can save that Story on your Instagram profile and people can get to it. It’s got a lot of functionality to it.”

Instagram vs Facebook for Business

I temper John’s enthusiasm a little when I put him on the spot — which should small businesses focus on more: Instagram or Facebook? Or both?

“I’m starting to skew Instagram a little more over Facebook,” he says.

To find out why John thinks you may want to spend more time on your Instagram marketing efforts, check out the full show above. We also discuss the even earlier Christmas shopping season — and how your business should respond — as well as how you can keep your expenses to a minimum while you’re on the road for business.

To get notifications and updates when another This Week in Small Business goes live, be sure to subscribe to the Small Business Trends YouTube channel today.

Economy

Truck Tonnage Index Increases by 1.9% with Much Work Going to Small Operators

The American Trucking Association just announced its advanced seasonally adjusted For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index rose 1.9% in July. And a portion of this includes work going to the nation’s small independent truck operators. July 2018 Trucking Industry Statistics According to the association, the index showed a noticeable increase compared to the 0.5% decline in June revised from 0.4%.

Finance

Give Employees the Power to Save for Retirement with Spave App

The way people save for retirement is shifting, particularly when it comes to employer sponsored retirement accounts. Today’s employees, millennials in particular, like to have control over their money rather than contributing to accounts set up by their employer. They also aren’t as likely to stay with the same employer for their entire career as those in past generations have done.

Marketing Tips

Consumer Email Use Up 17% Over Last Year, Is Your Business Engaging?

The fourth annual Adobe Consumer Email Survey has revealed consumer use is up 17% year over year. This is despite the fact there are now more channels available for consumers to interact and engage with their favorite brands. The survey points out consumers are checking their personal email an average of 2.5 hours on any given weekday. This is in addition to spending an average of 3.

82% of Marketers Report Increased Open Rates Through Email Personalization (INFOGRAPHIC)

Get this, 82 percent of marketers reported an increase in open rates through email personalization, while 75 percent believe that personalization yields higher click-through rates. This information and more is featured in a new infographic ActiveTrail, a company specializing in marketing automation.

Sales

LinkedIn Launches Pipeline Management Kit for Your Sales Team

While digital technology has improved commerce, it has also increased the complexities of the sales funnel. LinkedIn has introduced a Pipeline Management Kit for salespeople so they can remove blind spots from the modern sales process and manage the difficulties of B2B sales.

Small Business Operations

65% of Retailers Will Offer Same-Day Delivery by 2019 (INFOGRAPHIC)

Small businesses are always looking for ways to have a competitive advantage in the market. Now they are not only competing on price and customer service, but also on speed. According to a recent report by Go People, a Sydney-based on-demand delivery and courier startup, 65% of retailers will provide same-day delivery services by the year 2019.

Uber Freight Finds Small Businesses More Shippers

The trucking industry is undergoing a huge transformation with the integration of digital technology. Uber Freight is pushing this transformation with a new platform designed to connect shippers and carriers of all sizes more efficiently.

Startup

55% of Remote Workers Now Telecommute Full Time, Survey Says

Digital technology has upended the way we work and where we can work. And a new survey from AND CO and Remote Year has some insightful data regarding the state of remote workers in 2018. According to the survey, 55% of the respondents said they worked remotely 100% of the time.

Weebly Mobile Upgrades for Small Business Ecommerce

Weebly just unveiled a series of enhancements to its mobile app that could improve usability for ecommerce businesses. Sellers now have the ability to print and manage shipping labels, chat with customers, approve customer reviews, create coupon codes and edit listings right from their mobile device.

Technology Trends

SeePlus Manages Your Small Business’s Digital Files and Folders

The need to organize, manage and preserve a vast number of invaluable digital assets is paramount for any business. And this is especially true for small businesses lacking the time or manpower to stay perfectly organized.

Transform Your Business Back in Time – If Only for a Moment – with Windows 95 App

Who can remember 1995? Millennials born in the 1990s won’t remember that year, when the STS-71 Space Shuttle mission was launched to dock at the Russian Mir Space Station, and an unprecedented heatwave engulfed the Midwest, which saw temperatures exceed 104 degrees Fahrenheit for five consecutive days. Nor will they remember Windows 95.

PayPal Mobile Updates Make Small Business Payments Faster and More Secure

The latest development to the PayPal (NASDAQ: PYPL) mobile app will make it easier to send and request money. PayPal has become popular with consultants, freelancers and other small business operators as a quick and easy way to invoice clients and get paid online and a way for other small business owners who need those services to pay for them as well.

Splashtop Gives Small Buinesses Remote Access to At Least 2 Computers

With the launch of Splashtop Business Access Solo and Pro, Splashtop is expanding its offering of remote access for business professionals and teams. Splashtop Business Access Individuals and teams will now be able to access remote computers securely on Windows, Mac, iOS, Android and Chromebook devices.

This article, "Experts Debate whether Instagram or Facebook is More Effective for Small Business" was first published on Small Business Trends



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51% of Small Business Owners Say There is Too Much Government Regulation

August 2018 Small Business Expo Bi-Annual Trends Report

The Bi-Annual Trends Report from Small Business Expo was just released, and more than half or 51% of respondent in the survey say there is too much government regulation.

The report looks to gauge small businesses sentiment to gain insight into the challenges and trends currently affecting this segment. This is the first of the bi-annual reports, and the data represents what has taken place in the first half of 2018.

The impact of regulations is disproportionately higher for small business owners. According to the US Chamber of Commerce Foundation, the cost of regulations to small businesses with 50 employees or less is almost 20% higher than the average for all firms.

While the Trump administration has gotten rid of many regulations, small businesses owners still feel the impact of some of those remaining on the books.

It is important to note just as the Small Business Expo survey points out, businesses owners agree with many regulations. Forty-two percent of the owners say there are just enough regulations along with another seven percent who say there isn’t enough. The problem is the consequences of the regulations are more severe for small firms.

Zachary Lezberg, owner of the Small Business Expo said in the press release, there are considerable challenges and benefits in running a small business. Lezberg added, “Starting your own business has long been the American dream. However, there is a reality about owning your own business that is not always discussed. The goal of our Bi-Annual Trends Report is to help shed light on the more challenging aspects of owning a business while also highlighting the benefits.”

The data for survey comes from 400 U.S.-based small business owners across industries in retail, manufacturing, education, non-profit and government agencies.

Small Business Expo has the largest small business networking and educational events with more than 100,000 small business professionals and entrepreneurs participating every year.

Key Findings in the August 2018 Small Business Expo Bi-Annual Trends Report

When it comes to the current administration and its support for small businesses, only 30% of the respondents agreed. Almost half said they disagree or strongly disagree, with a little over 20% staying neutral on the issue.

At the same time, more businesses owners are confident about their business, with over 60% agreeing or strongly agreeing with this sentiment.

This is being driven by the current state of the US economy as indicated by 42.5% of respondents who said it is a factor in the success of their business. And an almost equal number or 41.4% said they feel optimistic about the future of the US economy in the next 12 months.

As to what they consider to be the factors in the success of their business, the majority said the resources available to them. This was followed by cash flow, the state of the economy and location.

August 2018 Small Business Expo Bi-Annual Trends Report

You can look at the rest of the data in the survey here (PDF).

Image: Small Business Expo

This article, "51% of Small Business Owners Say There is Too Much Government Regulation" was first published on Small Business Trends



RSS Business Feeds

51% of Small Business Owners Say There is Too Much Government Regulation

August 2018 Small Business Expo Bi-Annual Trends Report

The Bi-Annual Trends Report from Small Business Expo was just released, and more than half or 51% of respondent in the survey say there is too much government regulation.

The report looks to gauge small businesses sentiment to gain insight into the challenges and trends currently affecting this segment. This is the first of the bi-annual reports, and the data represents what has taken place in the first half of 2018.

The impact of regulations is disproportionately higher for small business owners. According to the US Chamber of Commerce Foundation, the cost of regulations to small businesses with 50 employees or less is almost 20% higher than the average for all firms.

While the Trump administration has gotten rid of many regulations, small businesses owners still feel the impact of some of those remaining on the books.

It is important to note just as the Small Business Expo survey points out, businesses owners agree with many regulations. Forty-two percent of the owners say there are just enough regulations along with another seven percent who say there isn’t enough. The problem is the consequences of the regulations are more severe for small firms.

Zachary Lezberg, owner of the Small Business Expo said in the press release, there are considerable challenges and benefits in running a small business. Lezberg added, “Starting your own business has long been the American dream. However, there is a reality about owning your own business that is not always discussed. The goal of our Bi-Annual Trends Report is to help shed light on the more challenging aspects of owning a business while also highlighting the benefits.”

The data for survey comes from 400 U.S.-based small business owners across industries in retail, manufacturing, education, non-profit and government agencies.

Small Business Expo has the largest small business networking and educational events with more than 100,000 small business professionals and entrepreneurs participating every year.

Key Findings in the August 2018 Small Business Expo Bi-Annual Trends Report

When it comes to the current administration and its support for small businesses, only 30% of the respondents agreed. Almost half said they disagree or strongly disagree, with a little over 20% staying neutral on the issue.

At the same time, more businesses owners are confident about their business, with over 60% agreeing or strongly agreeing with this sentiment.

This is being driven by the current state of the US economy as indicated by 42.5% of respondents who said it is a factor in the success of their business. And an almost equal number or 41.4% said they feel optimistic about the future of the US economy in the next 12 months.

As to what they consider to be the factors in the success of their business, the majority said the resources available to them. This was followed by cash flow, the state of the economy and location.

August 2018 Small Business Expo Bi-Annual Trends Report

You can look at the rest of the data in the survey here (PDF).

Image: Small Business Expo

This article, "51% of Small Business Owners Say There is Too Much Government Regulation" was first published on Small Business Trends



via Small Business Trends Business Feeds

Choosing Office Chairs: Your Essential Guide (Infographic)

The stakes are high when you’re choosing new chairs for your office. Get this right and you’ll provide your employees with a comfortable, attractive base to work from; get it wrong and you could cause your personnel to experience discomfort and at the same time make a serious style faux pas.

Businesswoman working

To keep you on track during the deliberation process, here’s your essential guide to selecting the right workplace chairs

Know your spending limit – and shop around

If you’re not careful, you could end up overspending on your seating solutions. To prevent this from happening, it pays to set a strict spending limit before you start perusing your options.…



RSS Business Feeds

When is the Right Time for Online Business Owners to Setup a Virtual HQ?

Online business owners often enjoy the flexibility of working from home or on-the-go, but as any company grows, there are certain needs that will arise. In the case of online businesses, needs typically transform with growth.

Running an online business

In this article, we’ll discuss when an online business owner should consider setting up a virtual headquarters. There’s a time and place for everything, and it’s important that online business owners setup a virtual headquarters at the perfect time. After reading this article, you’ll know what a virtual headquarters is, how it can benefit an online business, and when it’s the right time to setup a virtual headquarters.…



RSS Business Feeds

Space Age Travel Center’s Focus on Food and Cleanliness Keeps Customers Coming Back

Editor's note: Darren Schulte, NATSO vice president of membership, frequently visits NATSO members to review their locations and offers impactful merchandising and operations improvements. Contact Schulte at dschulte@natso.com or (915) 526-5820 to learn more about the costs and details of this service.

Space Age Travel Center-Marquee-FuelIsland-CarsFuelingJI.jpg

Space Age Travel Center, which is located off of Interstate 84 in Hermiston, Oregon, welcomes customers in with its excellent design, thorough offerings, and bright, open layout. I visited the location a little over a year ago, but it is always great to return to a location to see what is new.

Space Age Travel Center-Grab Heat & Eat ItemsJI.jpg

Food is a top priority for locals as well as drivers, and Space Age Travel Center is full of great food. They have a comprehensive roller-grill program, a section of grab-and-heat items, and a big walk-around cooler and several modern fixtures for cold grab-n-go items, such as sandwiches, fresh fruit, yogurt, cheese and granola. 

Space Age Travel Center-Cold Grab-N-GoItemsJI.jpg

Space Age Travel Center-A&WDriveThru-CustomersOutsideJI.jpg

There is an A&W attached to the travel center. While I was there, they had National A&W Root Beer Float Day. Customers could enjoy a free float on the house for a set time period.

Space Age Travel Center-CoffeePlanetCoffee-On-DemandJI.jpg

Space Age has focused on its coffee program, emphasizing its Coffee Planet brand. They use a coffee-on-demand system that gives customers a perfect cup every time.

Space Age Travel Center-LargeDonutsJI.jpg

They have an awesome donut program. The donuts are huge, and they are brought in daily fresh. At times Space Age has long lines of customers waiting for them.

Space Age Travel Center-FreeWi-Fi&Charging Stations.jpg

During a remodel a few years ago, Space Age Travel Center put in new Wi-Fi stations on both the gas and diesel side. In addition to the free Wi-Fi, the stations offer places for customers to plug in their cell phones and laptops. Customers stay a little longer so they can sit and charge, which means there is more time to sell them something.  

Space Age Travel Center-Grab-N-Go-StoreSignage-A&WEntranceJI.jpg

There is signage throughout the location that helps customers find what they are looking for and makes them aware of all of the location’s offerings. 

Space Age Travel Center-SaltySnacksJI.jpg

This location also excels with merchandising. The shelves are full, and Space Age does a great job with market price retailing. Don Nelson, the general manager, does an exceptional job. He is a great operator who knows his numbers and, equally important, his customers. The location’s management has really focused on keeping the facility clean and uncluttered and making it easy-to-shop, and their efforts are continuing to pay off. 

Space Age Travel Center-RefuelingStationJI.jpg

Space Age Travel Center-Marquee-Cars & RVsSignageJI.jpg

/// Did you know most weeks can find Darren Schulte, NATSO's Vice President of Membership, visiting a NATSO member truckstop location, spending three to four days, using his merchandising and operations expertise to help them grow their business? Learn about NATSO’s Profitable Retail Review program here.

RequestaVisitBanner.jpg

Photos Credit: Darren Schulte/NATSO



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Is Your Business Having Problems with Consistency?

Open Sign Business Cartoon

Sometimes a cartoon just hits you out of the blue. No hearing something on the radio. No reading something in a book. No running across a phrase in conversation.

Just … BAM! Here’s a cartoon for you!

This was one of those.

They don’t happen often, but when they do you just draw it up and back away slowly.

This article, "Is Your Business Having Problems with Consistency?" was first published on Small Business Trends



via Small Business Trends Business Feeds

Is Your Business Having Problems with Consistency?

Open Sign Business Cartoon

Sometimes a cartoon just hits you out of the blue. No hearing something on the radio. No reading something in a book. No running across a phrase in conversation.

Just … BAM! Here’s a cartoon for you!

This was one of those.

They don’t happen often, but when they do you just draw it up and back away slowly.

This article, "Is Your Business Having Problems with Consistency?" was first published on Small Business Trends



RSS Business Feeds

3 Ways to Get Started in Real Estate Investments

Real estate is a popular form of investment for many reasons. For instance, it’s an excellent way to diversify your assets and enjoy significant tax advantages. Since real estate is a tangible asset, the longer you hold on to a property, the more its value will tend to improve over time. If you buy a home, for example, it’s value will increase over the years, and you’ll also build equity. For these and other reasons, real estate is usually considered a safe financial bet.

Real estate investing

Still, it’s never a good idea to own property in your own name. You will be far better off with a real estate LLC as it will protect your personal assets from risk.…



RSS Business Feeds

10 Things you MUST Look for in a Marketer for Your Small Business

What Makes a Great Marketer?

In my career as a startup founder I’ve discovered 10 traits that a unicorn marketer must possess in order to be a major asset in marketing campaigns.

Unicorn marketers are magical creatures that help your company bloom into a billion-dollar business.

If you’re ever lucky enough to find a unicorn in the wild, you want to hire that unicorn as soon as you can.

What Makes a Great Marketer?

Here are 10 traits that the best of the best marketers will possess.

What Makes a Great Marketer?

Analytical

Unicorn marketers love to analyze data and trends, and they use to inform their strategy and messaging.

Whether it’s diving into sales reports or pouring over site analytics, they’re eager to use every scrap of data they can find.

Good Storyteller

At their core, unicorn marketers are good storytellers. They know how to captivate the attention of their audience and influence them.

No matter how complicated the service or product, they can break it down into something users can not only understand, but get excited about.

Sincere

People can spot insincerity a mile away. Millenials are particularly adept at spotting inauthentic messaging, and are immediately turned off by it.

Unicorn marketers craft messages that are sincere and transparent, and in doing so, earn the trust of their audience.

Resourceful

You’ll never hear a unicorn marketer say something can’t be done.

They will always find ways to accomplish goals are set before them, even if there’s a shoestring budget or a tight deadline.

Stays Relevant

Whether it’s Facebook Messenger marketing or creating Instagram stories, the best marketers find out where their audience is and meets them there.

That includes diving into unfamiliar territory.

Objective

No matter how large the workload, unicorn marketers are clear on their objectives.

They are adept at prioritizing their tasks, and are able to reassign priority as needed.

Driven and Motivated

The best of the best possess an inner drive and fire.

They give every project everything that have, and are always looking for ways to improve, learn and grow (no hand-holding required).

Humble and Open-minded

Unicorn marketers are confident, but they’re also humble and open-minded.

They’re willing to take constructive criticism, and are always thankful for the opportunity to improve.

Audience in Mind

The best marketers have one thing in common: their audience is always at the forefront of their mind.

They conduct persona research and every message they write is crafted with those personas in mind.

SEO-Minded

You can have the best marketing campaign in the world, but it won’t matter if no one sees it.

That’s why unicorn marketers optimize their content for search so that their messaging is seen by everyone.

If you encounter a marketer that possesses all of these qualities, you’ve found yourself a rare unicorn. Hire them as fast as you can and watch your company grow!

Photo via Shutterstock

This article, "10 Things you MUST Look for in a Marketer for Your Small Business" was first published on Small Business Trends



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