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How to Boost Your Online Reputation in Three Easy Steps

While most e-commerce website owners worry about maintaining a positive online reputation, many brick-and-mortar companies that don’t sell goods online don’t think that is something they need to worry about. The truth is that way of thinking is false, and can seriously hurt their business. It can take a single negative bad review to diminish a brand’s credibility, which is why online reputation is important and needs to be monitored and managed on a consistent basis. How do you boost your online reputation? Start with the following three steps.

Monitor Your Online Reputation

The first step in boosting your online reputation is to know exactly what is being said about you online. Start by reading online reviews on your website and on review sites, such as Yelp and Citysearch. Review social media websites, like Facebook, especially if you have created business-specific pages or profiles, to see what your clients may be posting about you there.

It is advantageous to create a Google alert for your business name so that you can get current notifications right in your inbox anytime something is written about your company on the web.

Join the Conversation

To start boosting your online reputation and increasing brand loyalty, you must join in on the conversation about your brand. Start by responding to the reviews your clients leave, whether they are negative or positive.

Some business owners only respond to negative reviews, which is not a good business strategy. You want to thank the people that took the time to say something good about your business, and encourage them to do so more often. You can also use the space to follow up on their comments or suggestions by recommending a new product or service, thereby increasing sales.

When responding to negative reviews, be very careful. Even if they are untrue or extremely rude, you must remember to stay professional and on-point when representing your company. It’s best to thank the person for their opinion and explain that every single review is important to you, but correct something you don’t agree with in a calm and peaceful way.

When your clients will see that you’re actively involved and care about their opinions, they will feel valued and will remain your client for years to come.

Set Yourself Up as an Expert in Your Field

People want to buy from companies they trust, and the best way to establish trust with your clients is to set yourself up as an expert in your field. Put your knowledge to good use by becoming an educator for your customers in your marketplace.

If you own a hair salon, start a YouTube channel with advice on the best and most affordable hair management techniques. If you have a bodyshop, start a blog instructing people how to properly maintain their cars.

Whether your business is online or offline, you want your clients to see you as an authority in your space and the way to do that is by sharing your knowledge in an open forum, such as the internet.

There are many other more advanced strategies that can help boost your online reputation; however, many of them will require a financial investment. IOU Financial wants to help you grow your business with a loan of up to $300,000. Contact us to see how we can make it happen in 24 hours!

Why Your Website Isn’t Getting Traffic

If you have a functioning business website, you are on your way to connecting with customers and increasing your sales. The problem is that many business owners don’t realize that website management is not a single step, but a continuous process.

After the website is running, it is imperative that statistics are monitored to make sure that the website is getting sufficient traffic. If you see that there is a lack of traffic to your business site, there are some common problems with easy solutions that can jumpstart your traffic!

Common Problems and Solutions that Inhibit Website Traffic

Broken Links

The online world is constantly changing and evolving; for instance, you may stop selling certain products, rendering the links to those offerings invalid. You may also have linked to another site in your content that has since stopped being active, creating a broken link.

Broken links severely impede website traffic; one source states that “only 23% of users who came to 404 error page, make a second attempt to find the requested page, and the remaining 77% will leave the site forever!”

When Google’s bots peruse websites, they penalize those with broken links, leading your search rankings to suffer. To improve your website traffic, improve search engine visibility by removing 404 error and broken links from your site.

It would be very time consuming to click on every link on your site to make sure it’s working, which is why there are many online tools that can do the job for you. Try Dead Link Checker or Broken Link Checker to quickly and easily find and fix broken links.

Insufficient Content

Another reason that your website may be lacking in sufficient traffic is because no one knows it exists. You must lead online users to your site, and one of the most effective and affordable ways of doing so is with content.

Including product descriptions, website copy, articles, blogs and press releases on your website plays a big role in improving traffic. One survey found that sites that publish 16 or more new articles per month saw 3.5 times more traffic than sites than with 4 or less blogs per month.

Make sure that the content is relevant to your audience, and is informative and engaging. Include photos, diagrams and videos if possible to make your content more interesting to readers.

Poor SEO

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a strategy that tells search engines, specifically Google, what words or phrases are relevant to your brand. By conducting a search on Google Adwords Keyword Planner, you can get detailed information about what relevant keywords online users are searching for, as well as how much competition each word has.

Once you have this data, you can include these keywords in your content, or base your content on the incorporation of these keywords. Ideally, you want to focus on keywords with the highest search rates and the lowest competition.

It may be beneficial to hire an experienced internet marketing professional or content writer to help increase your internet traffic. If you need help investing in this endeavour, IOU Financial can help by providing a small business loan of up to $300,000. Call us today to find out how you can become pre-approved and financed in 24 hours!

3 Tips for Guaranteed Productivity

If you ever feel like you have worked an entire day, but accomplished very little, you are not alone. Everyone from senior management to blue collar employees tends to feel like they are not working as productively as they can. In fact, one source estimates that distractions and lost productivity are costing U.S. businesses an average of $650 billion annually. Whether you are a boss of a small company that needs to improve your own productivity, or you want to empower your employees to be more productive, you should follow these three tips for guaranteed productivity.

Take Care of Yourself First

In order to be productive in the workplace, you need to have a clear mind, energy and a positive attitude. The way to achieve this is by taking care of yourself first. If you are stressed out, tired or depleted, like many American professionals, you will never work at your maximum potential.

Insomnia is a major cause of lost productivity in the workplace, as many of us do not get the amount of sleep we need. It’s important that we get 8 hours of good, uninterrupted sleep every night to function at our best.

What we put inside our body also controls our energy and stress levels and mood. Many of us load up on unhealthy snacks and complex carbohydrates, like chips, cookies and bagels, for breakfast and lunch to save time. However, these are not balanced and nutritious meals, and simply lead to a decrease in sugar levels that makes us crash later in the day. To promote productivity, eat leafy greens, lean proteins and other foods that boost energy levels.

Hold Yourself Accountable

It’s not uncommon for professionals to procrastinate, promising themselves that they’ll accomplish a task the next day, and the next day and so on. This leads to decreased productivity and late deadlines. To guarantee productivity, it’s vital to hold yourself accountable for timely results.

When you have a big project coming up, break down the tasks and create specific deadlines for each one. You can mark them in your calendar, but consider sharing them with your staff or colleagues in order to hold yourself accountable for making sure the project is done on time.

Set S.M.A.R.T. Goals

Utilize a system that helps you become more productive with S.M.A.R.T. goals:

  • Specific: Be specific and describe the what, why and how of the goal as general goals don’t detail what needs to be done.
  • Measurable: Set goals with clearly outlined results that can be measured.
  • Achievable: Set goals that you can achieve with the skills, resources and budget at hand.
  • Results-focused: You must dictate what results you plan to achieve with each project.
  • Time-bound: Hold yourself accountable to specific due dates for each part of the project.

Making sure your mind and body are rested and properly fueled to face the day, holding yourself accountable and making S.M.A.R.T. goals are three ways to increase productivity in the workplace. However, that is often not enough as you may realize that you require additional workforce or newer software to really make a difference. If you need financial help achieving those goals, IOU Financial is ready to help! We offer small business loans of up to $300,000 in two days or less. Contact us today to learn more!

The Introvert’s Guide to Networking

Today we have a guest post from Misty Mega, Head of Accounting Education and Programs at TSheets. Check out her tips on how introverts can better network below!

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Raise your hand if you’re an introvert. Yep, me too. As a fellow introvert (with some extroverted tendencies), I find that networking doesn’t always come easy. Do you find yourself being very shy in groups where you don’t know anyone? I definitely do, and sometimes I would rather not be in that situation than make the effort.

But I force myself to meet people, no matter what. My trick is to find another person who is alone, instead of walking up to a large group and trying to become part of the conversation. As hard as that can be, I’m always glad that I did, so I’m sharing not only how I enter a conversation, but how I embrace my “why” — why I invest in relationships.

Start With a Handshake

Daunting as it may be, we need to step out of our comfort zones and start shaking hands. In today’s search for time, we need to focus on why we invest in relationships.

There are many ways for introverts to shine and network — both in person and online. Introverts are known to go deeper into relationship building with fewer people, so they enjoy quality over quantity. And building out our networks is an outstanding way for us to save time.

Take Advantage of Online Social Networks

When you build a network of individuals you trust and respect, the network becomes a lifeline that can help you cut down on research and troubleshooting. If you are not in a Facebook group with other people in your profession, find one and join one now!

In each of the groups I’m a member of, I’m continuously amazed by the responses people get when they need help. When they ask a question, they are flooded with responses from people who can either help them figure out the solution or tag someone who can. Not having this resource puts you at a disadvantage.

We need to step out of our boxes and shoot for a handful of quality, incredible people who you can offer support to and who, in turn, can be supportive. Having this network adds tremendous value to our lives.

Ask the Right Questions

Asking questions isn’t just about getting the answers you need. It can also be about getting the answers that other people need. To build effective relationships, we need to discover what motivates people and what they are trying to accomplish.

Every individual who starts a business does it for a reason. Sometimes it’s financial freedom or freedom to be their own boss, or it’s to provide their family a better life. In the same way, you need to figure out what other people’s goals are, and then dive deeper.

For example, when we ran our own business, my husband and I had a good relationship with our accountant. We spent long hours chatting with him every other week when we picked up our checks for payroll. However, he never asked us the right questions, and we never knew the right information to communicate.

If he had asked us, “What’s keeping you up at night?” we would have said we were staying at the office until 3 a.m. entering our sales invoices and receipts into QuickBooks because our point of sale system wasn’t integrated.

We would have told him that we were doing payroll by hand, calculating all of the minutes and verifying hours every time. We would have said our inventory is done on paper and it would be nice to be able to scan things in. He could have then saved us hours of frustration by recommending products that would have saved us both time.

The lesson I took from this was that when you ask a client questions about their business, they are happy to answer. If you find areas in which you can influence a client’s business, you’ll create a customer for life.

Be a Positive Force

Lastly, I want to focus on the power of positivity. The moment you begin to speak, people can hear in your tone if you are happy to hear from them. If you sound unhappy to hear from them, they will feel like they are bothering you. If that person is a client, they will stop calling you. If they’re a peer in your profession, they will be less likely to reach out to you. If people don’t feel comfortable asking questions, they won’t. Meaning that you won’t learn enough about them to be connected, solve a potential problem, or make that sale.

However, if you foster a relationship of open communication with boundaries, you will develop a great network of like-minded professionals, your clients will be happy to call you, and your team will be empowered. The power of positivity will save you time and boost your business.

Step out of your comfort zone and build your network, invest time in your customer relationships, and have a positive and open communication policy.

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About the Author

Misty Megia, Head of Accounting Education and Programs at TSheets, has over 20 years’ experience in market strategy, project management, public speaking, corporate branding, and channel marketing. In 2015 she received CPA Practice Advisor’s Most Powerful Women in Accounting Award. Connect with Misty on LinkedIn.

 

3 Podcasts That Every Business Owner Should Listen To

It’s important for small business owners to continue educating themselves on running a successful business, managing employees, marketing and customer service. This is the only way to stay ahead of the competition by learning about the latest trends and concepts in your industry.

The roadback that many business owners encounter is lack of time; with spending all of their time managing their company, they are not always able to attend classes or read books. After reading today’s article, however, no one will be able to give the excuse of not having the time to sharpen their entrepreneurial skills as we will explain how to learn on the go, while driving in the car or during a morning jog – with business-related podcasts.

Dorm Room Tycoon

This podcast is led by William Channer, who is not only the co-founder of Panda, a smart online news reader, but also a journalist and co-author of Ways to Connect: On Interface and Product Design. Channer provides his real life experience in the business world, along with other well-known entrepreneurs and industry leaders, to help individuals grow their startups.

Channer has over 150 podcasts with the likes of co-founder of PayPal, Max Levchin; founder of Tumblr, David Karp; founder of Basecamp, Jason Fried; and co-founder of Recode, Walt Mossberg.

Popular topics on his podcast include:

  • Preparing for Startup Growth
  • Why Marketing is Everything
  • Building a Consumer Product
  • Pursuing Disruptive Ideas
  • How to Acquire Users

Mixergy

If you wanted to take advice from an entrepreneur who became a millionaire in his 20s, than you want to listen to Andrew Warner’s podcast, Mixergy. He was able to start an internet business that generated over $30 million dollars a year with no business experience.

When listening to his podcast, you’ll hear over 1,110 episodes containing interviews with the likes of Wikipedia founder, Jimmy Wales; star of Shark Tank and founder of Corcoran Group, Barbara Corcoran; and Jessica Jackley of Kiva.

Popular topics include:

  • Selling on Amazon? Don’t miss this interview.
  • How to build a company using the psychology of incentives
  • Case Study: Hiring a salesperson
  • Finding Your Message, Building a Tribe, Changing the World
  • Why sell a profitable company to take a risk on a new one?

The #AskGaryVee Show podcast

The host of this podcast,Gary Vaynerchuck, has an extensive resume and professional experience. His first win happened straight out of college, when he took over his family’s wine business and grew revenues from $3 million to $60 million in five years. Since then, he has started Vayner Media, co-founded VaynerRSE, a $25 investment fund and has invested in companies such as Uber, Facebook, Tumblr and Birchbox.

Gary shares his extensive knowledge of business ownership in segments that include his advice on business practices as well as segments from his public speeches and interviews.

Podcasts include:

  • When You Get to Do What You Want To Do, You’ve Won
  • Triple Down on Positivity
  • Losing the Micro Battle to Win the War
  • Instilling Confidence
  • Overnight Success

Once you hear the interesting ideas of these industry leaders, you will need capital to realize those goals. IOU Financial wants to help you grow your business with small business loans of up to $300,000 in under 48 hours. Contact us to learn more.

How to Center your Business Goals and Finish the Year Strong

A large portion of us set both personal and professional New Year’s resolutions; however, 80% give up on those resolutions after just one month, according to a source. With only four months remaining in 2017, this is the time to revisit your business goals and finish the year off strong.

Revisit Your Goals from the Beginning of the Year

It’s a common attitude to simply give up on goals if you have forgotten about them during the previous months. Although you may tell yourself that you will simply try again come 2018, you will likely find yourself in the same situation.

It’s never too late in the year to get back on track with your goals. Start by revising your goals from the beginning of the year. Make a spreadsheet and mark the goals that you have accomplished (if any). Concentrate on the goals that haven’t been realized and adjust your plans for getting them done.

For example, your goal may have been to raise your website’s unique visitor count to 12,000 this year, which would break down to 1,000 new visitors per month. However, if at this point you have only reached 4,000, it’s unlikely you will be able to get 8,000 more in the next four months. Adjust your goals to make it possible to achieve them this year.

Set Measurable Objectives

The trick to actually realizing your goals is to avoid making ambiguous plans, and focus on setting measurable objectives. Just as planning to lose weight does not hold you accountable to lose a particular number, neither does getting a better work/life balance, raising sales or working more efficiently commit you to any particular action or number.

To increase your chances of reaching a goal, you must break down your objectives into small and measurable tasks with specific deadlines. If you want to raise sales by 10% in the next year, you must make a plan for how you will achieve that. You may need to set aside a certain budget to market every single month, or to hire and train new salespeople. Either of those actions will require you to plan and take certain steps, and the results are measurable, so that you can keep yourself accountable for staying on track.

Reward Yourself

It’s not uncommon for us to tell ourselves that a big reward is warranted after achieving a certain goal. However, promising yourself a vacation or a luxurious shopping spree can seem very far away when you are just starting to tackle a goal. Although a large and meaningful reward can be promising, you should consider the role that immediate gratification can play as a part of motivation.

Set up smaller rewards that will motivate you to keep on your path in realizing a goal. These can involve giving yourself a day to sleep in late, treating yourself to a scrumptious dessert, allowing 30 minutes to browse the internet for pleasure, etc. Although big rewards can be a lot more encouraging, knowing that a small reward is just around the corner can be a lot more motivating in helping you pursue your goals.

If your goals require financial assistance to make them come true, turn to IOU Financial. We can provide you with a small business loan of up to $300,000 in under 48 hours!

Two Effective Ways to Ensure Your Business is Generating Word-of-Mouth Referrals

There are so many forms of advertising and marketing today that many business owners forget about the most efficient, tried-and-true form… word-of-mouth marketing (WOMM). Nine out of 10 people seek out their friends and family members’ opinions about shopping experiences, and trust those over any type of ads. Knowing this fact makes it imperative to focus on actively generating word-of-mouth referrals to grow your brand’s reputation and your sales! This can easily be accomplished with these two effective strategies:

Focus on the E’s

Suzanne Fanning, President of WOMMA (Word of Mouth Marketing Association), has the following advice about generating word-of-mouth referrals – “Engage, Equip, Empower.”

Engage

 If you want your customers to talk about your products or services, you must be part of that conversation! The first step is learning all there is to know about your shoppers, their patterns, trends, likes and dislikes. The second step is engaging with them on social media, in stores and online. Respond to reviews, ask for feedback and encourage your followers to keep on talking!

Equip

 If you want your customers to talk about you, give them something to talk about! An ordinary shopping experience doesn’t generate any buzz; however, something extraordinary does!

Consider what strengths your business offers – it can be unique products, exemplary customer service, knowledgeable staff, hassle-free return policies or even some humor tied into the shopping experience.

The best salespeople learn what their customers want, and figure out a way to deliver it to them. Once your customers are happy, their natural reaction is to share that excitement with others around them!

Empower

 Motivate your customers to spread the word about your company! People want to feel needed and valued, and it’s up to the business owners to create that energy for their shoppers!

Make it easy to for your customers to generate word-of-mouth referrals by creating business profiles on sites such as Yelp, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Share your profiles with your customers, asking them to leave reviews, post pictures and share information with their circles.

Reward

Your customers may have a lot of positive things to say about your brand, but not a lot of time to say them. How do you entice them to do so? With rewards!

Consider utilizing your best customers to be your “spokespeople” and spread the word online! If you have a loyal customer write a testimonial, you can share that on your site, email it to your subscribers and upload it to social media! Offer the spokespeople exclusive discounts or special previews of new products and services to make them feel special.

Another way to encourage WOMM is with contests; you can ask your customers to write reviews, testimonials or simply share your social media page with their circle of friends, ensuring them an entry into a contest for each action!

Starting a referral program can be extremely beneficial, as well. You can reward every individual who brings in new business with discounts, free items or other perks. Take Dropbox as an example; they offered both the old and new customer free storage space for every referral – thereby increasing their customer base and sales!

Although word-of-mouth referrals are free, motivating your customers to market your company for you will likely not be! IOU Financial wants to help you fund this goal with a small business loan. Contact us today to find out how to get a loan of up to $300,000 in under 48 hours.

Tips to Capture Customer Reviews After Each Sale

Today’s customers don’t like to spend their money without researching their purchases first. While some people prefer to ask their family members and friends, a majority trust reviews from other consumers when making their purchasing decisions. In fact, 9 out of 10 people will read reviews to help them decide to visit a business or not!

What does this mean for business owners? That if you don’t have positive online reviews for your overall company (think Yelp) or for individual products or services (think Amazon product reviews), you are losing out on potential sales! Read on to find out to how capture customer reviews after each sale.

Make it Easy for Them

Most people are always on the go – at work or balancing personal responsibilities, so leaving a review is likely last on their minds. However, a lot of them may be more inclined to take a minute to do so if the process is made extremely easy for them.

Visiting a website, searching for a product and then reviewing it is a lengthy process; however, having a link to be able to leave a review right at your fingertips can make all the difference.


Implementing a customer relationship management system (CRM) can allow you to store your customers’ shopping history and their contact information, emailing them a link to review the individual purchase they made.

Stress the Importance of Their Feedback

People feel good about doing things that matter and can potentially help others. Business owners can utilize this to their benefit by stressing the importance of their customers’ feedback to the business and other clients.

Email a client after they have completed a purchase stating that your company is always looking for ways to improve your products and services, and you can’t do it without input from your customers. Additionally, use the same strategy to encourage shoppers to leave reviews to let others know about their experiences.

Reward Them

What can get people to leave a review when they are busy or simply don’t want to? A reward! There are many different ways to incentivize your customers, such as:

  • Discounts
  • Coupons
  • Invitations to exclusive shopping events
  • Gift certificates

Use Caution

A word of caution is that while trying to capture client reviews can grow your business, you need to be cautious when doing so. Some companies penalize business owners for soliciting reviews. Yelp goes so far as to prevent business owners from paying for “good” reviews by alerting Yelp users with a banner on the company’s Yelp profile if this activity is suspected.

Google and TripAdvisor prohibit review incentivization; TripAdvisor will flag an account with a red badge if its owner is suspected of paying people for reviews.

The bottom line is that you are free to ask and reward people for reviews on your own website, but should take caution when doing so on other websites.

For monetary help in setting up a review system or to offer incentives to clients, turn to IOU Financial! We offer small business loans of up to $300,000 in under 48 hours.

How to Tell if You Need a Website Redesign

Your website is the very first thing your visitors see, and it largely determines if your customers will stay on the site and make a purchase, or decide to leave. Keeping your website relevant and implementing the latest technological advances to make sure it’s innovative is an important investment in your online presence. There are clear signs that can help you tell if you need a website redesign, such as:

High Bounce Rate

The goal of any site is to retain the visitors’ attention, have them browse around and ultimately make a purchase. A bounce rate determines how many people click on a certain page of your site and leave right away to another site. Installing website analytics can provide you with this information; if you find that your bounce rate is high, you should consider making changes to your site. In fact, one source found that 94% of online users base their shopping and trust patterns based on the site’s design.

Site Not Optimized for Various Browsers and Devices

Unless you are a website designer, you are likely not aware that there is no standard one-size-fits-all website design. Your website may look different when it’s accessed from a computer, a tablet or a phone. Additionally, the screen size and browsers, such as Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome or Apple’s Safari, can affect how your visitors see your site.

Verifying that your website has cross-browser compatibility can be time consuming if you go through them one by one, as there are currently over 300; however, there are tools that can provide this information for you. Browser testing tools, such as Ghostlab and BrowserStack, can bring to your attention the issues you need to address.

Not Ranking High on Search Engines

Although a small portion of your visitors may come to your website directly, a large majority would only find it based on search engine results. To verify how your customers find you, check the referral sources which bring traffic to your site.

You should be getting significant traffic from search engines such as Google, Yahoo! and Bing. If not, you need to incorporate more Search Engine Optimization (SEO) into your content. This includes high-ranking keywords into the content, optimized images,videos and links to pages within your site.

Website Not Easily Navigable

A website that is easy to navigate is imperative for low bounce rates and efficient usability. Some websites have so much content, graphics and links that it leaves visitors confused about where they should click or how to move between pages.

Your site should be simple, not crowded and include top and sidebar navigation menus that won’t require guesswork to get the person to where they need to be.

 

Redesigning your website can be a costly expense; plus, this is not a one time solution, but a process, as sites need to be maintained and improved on a regular basis. To help you afford this cost, IOU Financial can provide a business loan is at little as 48 hours. Contact us to learn more today!

Creative Ways to Attract Local Customers to Your Small Business

Nothing is more disheartening to owners than an empty store, a phone that doesn’t ring, or a website with few visitors. You know you could make sales if only more customers would visit. Well, don’t sulk, get creative. Here are a few ways to draw in more customers:

Signage:

A sandwich chalkboard in front of your store can be a great attention getter. It’s ephemeral nature (you redo it every day) makes it timely, and when you use it to advertise one-day specials, you can expect to attract more customers. Restaurants use this technique all the time, but your retail store can easily adopt it. If the weather is bad, stick a banner in your window instead.

Flash sale:

An intra-day sale can generate excitement if it’s generous – for example, a two-for-one sale or 40 percent off from, say, 1:00 to 4:00 pm. Pick a time when the weather forecast is good. Publicize the flash sale on social media, through emails, text messages, etc. And as mentioned above, list it on you sandwich chalkboard.

Free food:

Nothing packs them in like free food and refreshments. If your store happens to sell snacks, you can use your own inventory for the promotion. Or you can do a cross-promotion with your neighborhood bakery or coffee house. It doesn’t have to be fancy, because the great masses just can’t turn down free food. Hot coffee on a cold day, lemonade on a hot one, Danish on any day – customers and potential customers will enjoy your generosity and might be more willing to buy something from you.

Mobile push:

Double down on your mobile market apps (you use these, don’t you?) to push messages to consumers in the neighborhood who might want to drop into your store while out and about. The message can include a promo code for a special discount or free gift.

Entertain the kids:

A great way to gain the loyalty of local parents is to offer free, supervised entertainment to young kids so that mom or dad can do a little quality shopping. The area can have games, books, a play table, even a balloon-blowing clown. If you run a country store, how about setting up a small petting zoo – you might even be able to charge entry. Make sure you use trustworthy, preferably bonded, employees to mind the kids, and keep your liability insurance up to date. Offer special discounts to parents who bring in their children, that should really heat up sales.

Loyalty:

Many stores have adopted loyalty programs – have you? There are many off-the-shelf programs you can adopt, and the cost is usually low relative to the bump in sales. On a slow day, your flash sale might be triple points for a few hours.

Contests:

We all love to win. Thrill your customers by having daily raffles and contests. For instance, if you are a florist, elicit poems for specific purposes, such as get well or anniversaries. The best poem gets a discount coupon for future use. You can tie this into your email lists (after all, you have to notify winners), which is marketing gold that pays off many times the costs of the contests.

Revamp your website:

If your website has gone a little stale, it’s time to refresh it. There are many techniques to increase website traffic, including fresh and frequent blogging. If you don’t have time to write new content yourself, hire a good freelance writer and flood the zone with interesting stories.

We’ve listed a few good ideas, but there are plenty more out there – use your imagination and, with any luck, you’ll be swarming with new customers before you know it. If you need additional working capital to put these ideas in action, reach out to one of our Loan Officers to see if a business loan is right for your company.