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Small Business articles. Learn a little more each week.

The Impact of Customer Loyalty

Posted by Mark Vega on 12/14/16 10:58 AM

Imagine this scenario: You own and operate a successful bakery within your small neighborhood. Your customers flock to your store for your fresh-baked cheese rolls, the delicious cupcakes you bake daily, and especially for your personalized service. You know most of your customers by their first names and can rattle off their regular orders from memory. You've got all the customers you can handle and more.

Then, one day, another bakery opens a mile away. Your business is still going great 6 months after they open. Gradually, however, you notice fewer and fewer of your regular customers coming through the doors. You're seeing some new customers but they don't seem to be buying as much as your regulars used to.

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Topics: Entrepreneurship, Sales, Customer Service, Social Media, Customer Retention

Net Promoter Score: How 1 Question Can Save or Sink Your Business

Posted by Ben Alisuag on 11/9/16 2:40 PM

Here’s a question for you...can you tell me which one of your customers are loyal to your business? Can you tell me which ones are likely to recommend you to their friends and colleagues? And on the flip side, do you know which customers are giving you unfavorable reviews?

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Topics: Sales, Customer Service, Small Business

Preparing For Your First Convention: 7 Questions with Designer Julia Van Arsdale

Posted by Mark Vega on 9/27/16 1:25 PM

Small business owners are some of the most determined and hardest working people you’ll ever meet. As a matter of fact, they can be so hardworking and so focused on improving their businesses that they may miss out on opportunities to network, learn, and showcase their companies. Conventions, trade shows, or conferences can help a business do all of those things. They may require a bit of investment in time and money but they can help a business learn about:

  • New tools that can help their business
  • Best practices for their industry
  • How to best educate others about your product or service.
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Topics: Entrepreneurship, BusinessBlocks Team & News, Sales, How-To

Tell Your Product's Story Like Shakespeare

Posted by Mark Vega on 9/11/16 10:57 AM

We get it, it’s not easy to sell. In a previous entry on selling, we focused on turning the rejection that all entrepreneurs will inevitably face into opportunity.  You believe in your product 100% and you want others to feel the same. If customers aren’t buying into your pitch, consider whether they understand your product’s story as well as you do. You may think you're speaking Shakespeare while customers hear Stephen King. If they're not as inspired as you are about your product, chances are they're not going to buy.



Let's get a bit more specific. Do customers understand what your product actually is? Have you communicated the benefits of your product to customers in a way that helps them imagine using it? If the answer to either of these questions is "no" you may need to revise the story you're telling about your product. Fortunately, it's not that difficult to get started. Here are some tips for improving the story YOU are telling to customers. We'll dive into each in further depth below.

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Topics: Entrepreneurship, Storytelling, Sales, How-To

Newsletter: Know Your Customers

Posted by Mark Vega on 9/7/16 6:00 AM

TIPS & TRICKS - BUILDING YOUR BUSINESS ONE IDEA AT A TIME

You want to understand their customers better. After all, the better you understand your customers, the better you can anticipate their needs. But how do you find valuable information about your customers? It exists in lots of places - here’s three examples for getting data on your customers online (but there are so many more): 

  • Measure social media: Facebook, Google, and Twitter provide tools to help you better understand your customers’ likes and dislikes. They only require a minimal investment of time and money. You're using these social media services already. Now you can really use them. Learn how to tap into Facebook’s massive user base here.
  • Track marketing campaigns: Wouldn't you like to understand the reach and effectiveness of your digital marketing? Google can help you track traffic to your company website and connect those website visits to later purchases.
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Topics: Sales, Newsletter, Customer Service