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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Over the past month, both Haiti and Afghanistan have been pummeled by tragic disasters that left devastation in their wake.

In Haiti, a 7.2 magnitude earthquake erupted, leading over to 2,189 deaths and counting. A few hours later, in Afghanistan, Kabul fell to the Taliban just after U.S. troops had pulled out after 20 years of war.

In many ways, these disasters are both chillingly connected to US interference. The United States invaded Haiti in 1915, ostensibly promising to restore order after a presidential assassination but really intending to preserve the route to the Panama Canal and to defend US creditors, among other reasons.

But the US forces soon realized that they were not able to control the country alone, and so formed an army of Haitian enlistees, powered by US air power and intended to quell Haitian insurrection against US controls. Then, in 1934, the US pulled out on its own, disappointed with how slow progress was going. Haiti's institutions were never really able to rebuild themselves, leaving them immensely vulnerable to natural disasters.

Something similar happened in Afghanistan, where the US sent troops and supported an insurgent Afghan army – only to pull out, abandoning the country they left in ruins, with many Afghans supporting the Taliban.

In both cases, defense contractors benefited by far the most from the conflict, making billions in profits while civilians faced fallout and devastation. While the conflicts and circumstances are extremely different and while the US is obviously not solely to blame for either crisis, it's hard not to see the US-based roots of these disasters.

Today, in Haiti and Afghanistan, civilians are facing unimaginable tragedy.

Here are charities offering support in Afghanistan:

1. The International Rescue Committee is looking to raise $10 million to deliver aid directly to Afghanistan

2. CARE is matching donations for an Afghanistan relief fund. They are providing food, shelter, and water to families in need; a donation of $89.50 covers 1 family's emergency needs for a month.

3. Women for Women International is matching donations up to 500,000 for Afghan women, who will be facing unimaginable horrors under Taliban control.


4. AfghanAid offers support for people living in remote regions of Afghanistan.

5. VitalVoices supports female leaders and changemakers and survivors of gender-based violence around the world.

Here are charities offering support in Haiti:

1. Partners in Health has been working with Haiti for a long time, and they work with the Department of Health rather than around them, which is extremely important in a charity.

2. Health Equity International helps run Saint Boniface Hospital, a hospital in Haiti close to the earthquake's epicenter.

3. SOIL is an organization based Haiti, "a local organization with a track record of supporting after natural disasters." They are distributing hygiene kits and provisions on the ground to hospitals and to victims of the earthquake.

4. Hope for Haiti has been working in emergency response in Haiti for three decades, and their team is comprised of people who live and work in Haiti. They focus on supporting children and people in need across Haiti.

via Tiffany & Co.

When the new Tiffany's campaign was unveiled, reactions were mixed.

Tiffany's, the iconic jewelry brand which does not (despite what some might be misled to believe) in fact serve breakfast, featured Jay Z, Beyoncé, and a rare Basquiat painting in their recent campaign.

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Road trips can be a lot of fun — but they can also drain your wallet quickly if you aren't careful.

From high gas costs and park admission fares to lodging and the price of eating out every night, the expenses can add up quickly. But at the same time, it's very possible to do road trips cheaply and efficiently. Without the headache of worrying about how much money you're leaking, you can enjoy the open road a whole lot more. Here's how to save money on a road trip.

1. Prepare Your Budget, Route, and Packing List in Advance

If you want to save money on a road trip, be sure you're ready to go. Try to count up all your expenses before you hit the road and create a budget. It's also a good idea to plan your route in advance so you don't end up taking unnecessary, gas-guzzling detours. And finally, be sure to pack in advance so you don't find yourself having to buy tons of things you forgot along the way.

2. Book Cheap Accommodations — Or Try Camping

All those motel rooms can add up surprisingly quick, but camping is often cheap or free, and it's a great way to get intimate with the place you're visiting. You can check the Bureau of Land Management's website for free campsites. Freecampsite.com also provides great information on If you don't have a tent or don't want to camp every night, try booking cheap Airbnbs or booking hotels in advance, making sure to compare prices.

Camping camping road tripConde Nast Traveler

If you're planning on sleeping in your car, a few tips: WalMart allows all-night parking, as do many 24-hour gyms. (Buying a membership to Planet Fitness or something like it also gives you a great place to stop, shower, and recharge while on the road).

3. Bring Food From Home

Don't go on a road trip expecting to subsist on fast food alone. You'll wind up feeling like shit, and it'll drain your pocketbook stunningly quickly. Instead, be sure to bring food from home. Consider buying a gas stove and a coffee pot for easy on-the-go meals, and make sure you bring substantial snacks to satiate midday or late night cravings so you can avoid getting those late night Mickey D's expeditions.

Try bringing your own cooler, filling it with easy stuff for breakfast and lunch — some bread and peanut butter and jelly will go a long way. Bring your own utensils, plates, and napkins, and avoid buying bottled water by packing some big water jugs and a reusable water bottle. Alternatively, try staying at hotels or Airbnbs with kitchens so you can cook there.

4. Avoid Tolls

Apps like Google Maps and Waze point out toll locations, so be sure to avoid those to save those pennies. (If it takes you too far off route, you might have to bite the bullet and drive across that expensive bridge).

You can also save on parking fees by using sites like Parkopedia.

Road Trip Road TripThe Orange Backpack


5. Save on Gas

Gas can get pricy incredibly fast, so be sure that you're stopping at cheap gas stations. Free apps like GasBuddy help you find the most affordable gas prices in the area. Also, try going the speed limit on the highways — anything faster will burn through your tank. Be sure that you don't wait till you arrive at touristy locations or big cities to fill up.

6. Get a National Park Pass

All those parks can get really expensive really fast. If you're planning on visiting three or more parks, it's a great idea to get an America the Beautiful National Parks Pass. For $80 you can get into every National Park for one year.