For those who have a business and have grown to the point that it’s time to hire that first employee. Plus more about refining your niche and get more advanced with marketing.
THE DOING AND GROWING STAGE
You’ve been on your own for awhile, and through some ups and downs, you’ve hung in there. Now it may be time to add someone to help you. But should it be an employee, or an independent contractor? And how hard is it? How does your role change?
“But I can’t afford to hire anyone!” What if your business is not making it?
When and How to Hire
- What to consider before you make your first hire
- Hiring First Employee is Big Step
- One small business owners tells about her major decision point
- Delegating without freaking out your clients
- Employee handbook resources
- Hire better people with The Collaborative Hiring Process
Growing Without Hiring: Outsourcing and More Options
- 10 Ways out of crunch without hiring
- 9 Outsourcing options you shouldn’t ignore
- How to send 1099s and who you send 1099s to
- Employee vs. Independent Contractor
How to Work with a Virtual Assistant
Besides adding new people, you need more advanced business information. You get the basics, so now you need more in-depth articles on accounting, planning, marketing, and productivity.
Refining your Niche:
- The narrower your niche, the wider your opportunity
- Find a niche, fill the niche and kill the niche
- What to do if you can’t pick a niche
- Finding clients inside your niche
- 4 Ways to define your niche
- How a small town photographer survives in a crowded field
You Are Not Your Target Market:
- Stop hanging around with your own people and go find the customers
- What you like is not what they like
- You know too much
More Advanced Marketing:
- Talk less about you and more about them
- 3 Elements of Effective Marketing, whether online or not
- 3 Steps to Develop Your Customer Base
- Build Your Small-business Marketing Tool Kit
- Teaching your customers
- Educate your customers without being taken advantage of
- Why you should start varnishing your customers
- No, your customers do not know what you mean
- Boost sales with ratings
- Sell more by giving samples of your services
- It’s hard to ask for help, isn’t it?
- Understand Consumer Buying Behavior
- Can you use a photo of a person without their permission?
- Be specific to attract more customers
- Repeat your message 7 times
- 5 Ways to be easy to find
Special Marketing Tools:
- 7 QR Code mistakes that can kill your marketing efforts and how to avoid them
- Are QR codes just a fad?
- CRM Tools to get to know your customers
- How to use social CRM and why
- How smart automation helps you be more personal
- How a small business can use the new Flickr
- Putting social media icons on your printed materials
- PR tips to get more news coverage
- What CVBs can do for agritourism businesses
Focus on Customer Service:
- Your next customer is an important reviewer
- Great Customer Service Begins With a Smile
- With customers, it’s better to explain before than apologize after
- Downtown businesses: Do you close during the parade?
Retail Merchandising Ideas:
- Boost sales by hiding something
- 4 Ways to get more people through the doors during the holidays
- Customers are Showrooming: using smartphones to compare prices from your store
- Holiday retail ideas
- Small town retail ideas Part 1: Exterior selling space
- Small town retail ideas Part 2: Interior selling space
- How to pack Main Street for a big sale
- Multiply your sales with this simple trick (hint: let them touch)
- The Retail Doctor makes a small town house call
- How do you get noticed in the middle of the block?
- The small town take on Small Business Saturday
- The Number One Complaint About Small Town Businesses
- How we switched to an iPad Point of Sale System
- Alternative ways to take credit cards. Ditch your merchant account!
- Getting started guide to Google+ Local Pages
- You need a mobile friendly website
- Blog post planners and social media calendars
- What to do when a blog post is suddenly popular
- Make your destination website copy-proof
- Is your website missing the 1 most used feature?
- What is your website for?
- The second question you should be asking about your website
- How do you get found in search results?
- What search terms lead people to your site?
- When to get professional website help
- 21 Ways to use video for your small business
- 5 Things not to do when you connect on social networks
- A simple trick to measure social media efforts
- What do we do about a negative review online?
- Top small business blogging questions answered
- 9 Reasons to blog even if no one subscribes
Alternative Business Financing
- Financing your startup business
- Loan matching service
- Local loan funds
- Local grant funds
- Community ownership
- Employee ownership
Boosting Your Productivity
- Where to find an hour to focus, and the five best ways to spend it
- Maximize Your Small-Business Efforts
- Using Gmail’s Tabbed Inbox wisely
- How I manage email and stay at inbox zero (for services other than Gmail)
- Why you can’t finish things and what to do about it
- Keeping your fire alive
- What counts as income producing activities
- My cheesy productivity folder
- Treat it like a business
- Dress for (Productivity) Success
- How to find time to write and blog
Accounting and taxes
Insurance and Safety
- Insurance and home-based businesses
- How risk management saved one guest ranch $10,000 on liability insurance
- Safety basics for all kinds of business: slips, trips and falls
- 5 places you’re forgetting to backup data