Small businesses are the backbone of America’s economy, but taking the step towards going it on your own can be daunting. In this month’s round up of the best content on the Web, we’ve winnowed out the hucksters and quick-fix marketing gurus, to leave you with some solid advice from smart people about how to get started, keep things running smoothly, and get the word out. And, as is our wont, we’ve included some of the cooler art and design related imagery we’ve encountered this month towards the end. We hope you find some actionable insights here. Enjoy!
- The 5 Principles that All Online Bootstrapped Businesses Should Swear By – The Internet offers so many bootstrapping opportunities that it almost seems foolish for the majority of us to try anything else.
- How to keep your small business financially adaptable – Staying adaptable – easy to scale up or down along with your fortunes – makes survival more likely, and at least minimises loss if things don’t work out.
- Small Business Growth – How to Get Over the Hump! – Once a business is up and running it is easy to get in a rut because managing the day-to-day operation eventually, unintentionally, transitions into maintenance mode.
- The Not-So-Sexy Details of Starting A Small Business – Here are five extremely important (and often overlooked) things in the infancy of your small business that cannot be neglected.
- 15 Small Town Business Ideas to Start In Your Own Stomping Ground – I can tell most of them wonder why I would give city life to surround myself by farmland and, in turn, limit my opportunities. Their thinking is that you have to move someplace big to make it big. That couldn’t be any further from the truth.
Spreading the Word
- 3 Simple Tools for Building a Website Fast – Having a website for your business might seem obvious to some, but it turns out more than 50 percent of U.S. small businesses still don’t have even a basic website.
- No Business Is Too Small For PR – Many small businesses fail to provide effort or time on media outreach. Which surprises me because a media hit can improve your social media efforts and increase sales.
- Study: How small businesses are using social media – Overall use of social media is up from 44% in 2011 to 53% this year among small businesses (1–99 employees) and up from 52% to 63% among medium-size businesses (100–999 employees).
- 10 Marketing Tools for Home-Based Businesses – If you have a home-based business, you may think marketing is an unnecessary expense. But, in fact, since your business has no storefront to attract attention, you actually need more marketing efforts than traditional businesses do — not less.
- 5 Ways Businesses Can Boost E-Commerce Sales This Holiday Season – The holiday season is racing towards us and it’s imperative for your bottom line that purses are willing to open when they get to your website.
- 8 Networking Tips that Can Help You Make Great Connections – Networking is a vital activity for small business owners and sales people. Networking can help you make great connections that can translate into sales opportunities as well as opportunities to grow your reputation in your industry.
- Beware Of Personal Branding: Call To The New Generation! – Want to stand out from the crowd? Definitely… but you must stand out with the right personal brand!
- Marketing Humility: What is Needed, Not What YOU Want – Now to suggest that marketing has any humility would most likely be inaccurate, but truthfully, when crafted correctly, the best strategy is laid down with complete humility. The humility is selecting the best channels for your client that gets them the results they need to move forward.
- Are you missing opportunities to build trust? – There’s more to trust-building than your impeccable integrity, and that’s where some leaders may fall short. If you are relying only on your integrity to build trust, you’re leaving trust-building opportunities on the table because there is yet another aspect to becoming trustworthy.
- Blog Topics for Small Businesses – Many small businesses have blogs to go along with their more traditional websites. A business blog is a great way to connect with your current or would-be customers.
- Why Time is on Your Side When Marketing to Small Business –
- Guerrilla Marketing Partnerships – Learning From Microsoft – A guerrilla marketing partnership is a win / win scenario for both parties involved.
- 3 Ways to Simplify Online Marketing – Technology makes the magical possible, but it’s also making online marketing complicated.
Cool Stuff From Around The Web
- 20 awesome examples of street art – If you still need a proof that art can be found anywhere, these awesome examples of great street art should convince you.
- MVRDV’s New Library Is A Glittering Monument To Reading – A lower-middle class suburb of Rotterdam played host to the Netherlands’ Princess Laurentien this week, as she unveiled Book Mountain, a new library and town center
- The Great Tree of Life– Trace any branch back through time to see how it connects to any other of life’s major branches – a very cool infographic.
And last but not least, a strange but adorable animation by the very talented Dongjie Zhu.