We like working with small businesses; how about you?

(Author’s Note: This article originally appeared on Inside919 Local Business Networking, but the conversation seems relevant to this group too so we thought we’d extend the discussion here…)

In honor of May being Small Business Month (says who? We’re not certain, but you may have seen it mentioned around the net as we have…), we’d love to exchange thoughts with you on this key sector of our economy.

Do you like to shop with small businesses? Do you like having small businesses as clients?  If you are one, do you like being a small business? Our answers can help us all do even better. Or perhaps you prefer big businesses… in which case feel free to state your position!

There are a few key reasons we prefer and seek out small businesses, both when we’re the “buyer,” and the “seller”:

  • We usually get to interact with the owner, at least on some level. That’s fun because business owners are usually energetic, creative and friendly people who are a pleasure to be around. They tend to make decisions quickly, and be focused on goals and relationships.
  • From a business standpoint, our work goes faster and more smoothly when we can work directly with the owner… and (perhaps somewhat selfishly) we also like the underlying potential for making a connection that could be good for both of our businesses.
  • We’re less likely to be lumped into the “commodity” category when we’re working with a small business, too, and that means we’ll have more of an opportunity to know more about a customer’s goals and needs, so we can bring out-of-the-box solutions.
  • Cash flow tends to be easier to manage with smaller businesses that are placing smaller orders, and that helps us get a better night’s sleep
  • And last but not least, it’s very satisfying to know that buying from a small business is making a bigger difference, both to the business and to the community — more of their income gets reinvested locally than happens with larger or national franchise businesses.

What about you? Are you a fan of the small business?  What draws you to them or, conversely, keeps you away if that’s more the case? Please share your thoughts on our Facebook page: facebook.com/aimgrouptwo!

Renee Groom – AVON

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Small Business – Diversify Your Marketing Approaches

This is a video review of an article written by David Wallace called Why You Should Not Place All Your Eggs in One Basket . It encapsulates a lot of good suggestions for developing a 360 degree marketing plan for your business, online and offline.

What do you think of this video?

Submitted by Aaron T. Hyde, owner and founder of BrewedFresh Media, a web design, hosting and content management service for individuals, small businesses, artists and musicians.

Copy Writing – A Key to Conversion

There is a lot of discussion and focus on driving traffic to your web site. We talk about keywords, descriptions, content, keyword density, links, and many ways of using search engines and other techniques to get people there. One area that is just as important as getting people to your site is helping them understand whether what you offer solves their problem or provides the answer to a question they have.

If you are like me, when I search for information on the Internet, most times, I’m looking for a solution to a problem. I use search terms that relate to the topic and it’s usually terms about the “problem” that I have or the “solution” I want to find.

The copy on your home page should help people identify determine if you can help them with the problem they are trying to solve or provide the solution for which they are searching. Good copy writing serves as a great way of filtering site visitors and when someone does contact you because of your content, they are more than likely a highly qualified prospect or customer because they can relate to you.

I’m not a copy writing expert but I learned to appreciate people who have that skill. In my previous life of product management, there were people on staff who were responsible for taking the features and solutions of products that I work on and crafting messages for those features that spoke to the customer needs, problems and “points of pain”.

Copy writing takes creativity and fine tuning to get it right. As you learn more about your customers or market, you are constantly tweaking it until it moves people from finding your site to contacting you about what you have to offer.

I’ve changed the content on my home page several times since launching my web hosting business and I’ll be doing it again soon. I’m learning more about what how to speak to my target market through my home page.

If you don’t have the resources to hire someone to create your web site copy, here is an article, 4 Copywriting Steps That Will Sell Ice To Eskimos by Stoney deGeyter at Search Engine Guide, that I read that could help. Read the article and let me know what you think.

Submitted by Aaron T. Hyde, owner and founder of BrewedFresh Media, a web design, hosting and content management service for individuals, small businesses, artists and musicians.

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