When you're just starting out with a small business that's on the brink of getting attention from the public eye, creating that special "buzz" is what will make your business stand out from the pack.
So many new businesses, particularly small ones pop up every year, and even with lots of hard work, many sadly fail. Part of the reason these businesses don't make it as far as they could have is due to a lack of awareness from clients, customers, and consumers. If they've never heard about your business, how will they ever know to choose it when it comes time for their need for the products or services you provide?
Generating and maintaining a buzz is imperative to getting your small business to get to the next step. The quote from that famous baseball movie, "If you build it, they will come," is only part of the process. Having a great small business that's virtually unknown may be a nice project for you, but don't you want to hit it out of the ballpark? These tips will help you create that important buzz your business needs for success.
Unique Marketing Angle
You surely know you'll need to put some budget into marketing, from email to direct mail to ads and even TV commercials. Every small business is unique in some way, even if there are other companies in the same field, so use that "certain something" your business has in order to market most effectively.
As per Forbes, your business needs a "creative marketing hook." This could be in the form of a "short phrase that conveys your unique value proposition, a catchy jingle, an important benefit, or a 'slant' or angle of your business that gets people talking." Be sure your "hook" truly conveys what your business offers and isn't just an empty promise. Not much turns away a customer more than disappointment.
Grasshopper adds, "Differentiate yourself. Make funny fliers or tell stories that set you apart."
Once your unique angle is established, you'll be easily remembered and find customers coming back time and time again. And these are the very people who will recommend your business to family and friends.
Online Giveaways and Promos
Use social media to your advantage. While you are creating your online presence, use the various social media platforms to create buzz by doing regular contests and giveaways and sales or deals for social media followers only. You'll gain popularity far more quickly and keep people coming back to your social media pages to check for these benefits regularly.
As Hubspot notes, "From Twitter to LinkedIn to Facebook and more, investing in social media can take time. But it's free and can quickly create the kind of momentum you're looking for in the early stages."
Additionally, once you gain customers, give them the thanks they deserve with a percentage off the next time they shop, or a special deal if they refer a new customer. It will cost you very little to offer these markdowns, but it will mean a lot in the minds of customers who had the chance to go elsewhere.
Network with Movers and Shakers
Part of being a small business owner is wearing lots of hats. This means you won't likely have a marketing or sales team to do initial networking for you as you're starting out.
As per Grasshopper, "Go to networking events, startup meetups, co-working spaces, and other industry events to try to get your name out. Talk, talk, talk, until you're ready to drop." The more you put your name out there, the better chance for a hit. Plus, you'll learn more about the business from the people already doing well in the field.
Forbes adds, "Connecting with influencers in your niche can help by lending you credibility. Find ways to connect and engage with influencers online. Share and retweet their content, or reach out to them via email. You never know where these types of connections can lead; and the potential to get a link or mention from a well-known industry expert makes your efforts worthwhile."
By placing yourself among those in your industry, you may find people interested in joining your efforts and even those who are willing to back you financially if they see a diamond in the rough. Hubspot notes, "Their qualified feedback might help improve your startup's offerings, and those relationships will cultivate your startup's success."
Keep at it and never let the buzz die down. That initial push is crucial, but keeping the momentum alive every day is the key to a successful life for your small business.
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When you take out a loan for a car, charge something to your credit card, or get a personal line of credit, there is going to be an interest rate that applies to your loan.
A lot of different factors go into what you will be charged, including your own personal credit score. But even those with flawless credit still see a minimum charge that they can't get around. That all goes back to the Federal Funds Rate.
One thing consumers rarely realize is that all of our banks are lending money to each other every night. Banks are legally required to maintain a certain percentage of their deposits in non-interest-bearing accounts at the Federal Reserve to ensure they have enough money to cover any withdrawals that may unexpectedly come up. However, deposits can fluctuate and it's very common for some banks to exceed the requirement on certain days while some fall short. In cases like this, banks actually lend each other money to ensure they meet the minimum balance. It's a bit hard to imagine these multibillion-dollar financial institutions needing to borrow money to tide them over for a bit, but it happens every single night at the Federal Reserve. It's also a nice deal for those with balances above the reserve balance requirement to earn a bit of money with cash that would normally just be sitting there.
The Federal Reserve
The exact interest rate the banks will charge each other is a matter of negotiation between them, but the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) (the arm of the Federal Reserve that sets monetary policy) meets eight times a year to set a target rate. They evaluate a multitude of economic indicators including unemployment, inflation, and consumer confidence to decide the best rate to keep the country in business. The weighted average of all interest rates across these interbank loans is the effective federal funds rate.
This rate has a huge impact on the economy overall as well as your personal finances. The federal funds rate is essentially the cheapest money available to a bank and that feeds into all of the other loans they make. Banks will add a slight upcharge to the rate set by the Fed to determine what is the lowest interest that they will announce for their most creditworthy customers, also known as the prime rate. If you have a variable interest rate loan (very common with credit cards and some student loans), it's likely that the interest rate you pay is a set percentage on top of that prime rate that your lender is paying. That's why in times of low interest rates (it was set at 0% during the Great Recession), a lot of borrowers should go for fixed interest rate loans that won't increase. However, if the federal funds rate was relatively high (it went up to 20% in the early 1980's), a variable interest rate loan may be a better decision as you would be charged less interest should the rate drop without the need to refinance.
The federal funds rate also has a major impact on your investment portfolio. The stock market reacts very strongly to any changes in interest rates from the Federal Reserve, as a lower rate makes it cheaper for companies to borrow and reinvest while a higher rate may restrict capital and slow short-term growth. If you have a significant portion of your investments in equities, a small change in the federal funds rate can have a large impact on your net worth.
Whether you're leaving a job involuntarily, departing for something new, or just want to prepare for the unknown, it is smart to understand all your options regarding your 401k.
Frugal gifting often gets a bad reputation. However, this shopping method does not make you cheap — it makes you practical. Frugal gifts often avoid waste and overspending and can be just as meaningful (if not more so) as any other present.
With the National Retail Federation predicting each consumer this holiday season to spend upwards of $1,000 on holiday gifts amidst an economic recession —this year might be the perfect time to reconsider your spending budget. We've formulated the ultimate list of frugal gift-giving ideas to get you started.