Why Customer Service Matters More to Small Business

Consumers have so many options when deciding where to spend their money, how can a small business get an competitive edge?

Have you considered investing in and improving your Customer Service?

Small-business-customer-service

Great Customer Service Helps Grow Your Business.  And I want your business to grow as big as you can handle! So go through this awesome Customer Service Infographic  ​filled with facts, stats, and tips from the people over at Salesforce.  They are a big business that knows a little something about growing your small business (and by “little something” I mean a whole lot).

Customer Service: The Forgotten Marketing Channel

Via Salesforce

Best Business New Year’s Resolutions Posts for 2015

Best Business New Year’s Resolution

Blog Posts for 2015

by Chantelle Kadala

best business new year resolution postsWhere did the time go? In just a blink we are a week into 2015. What?!?

If you haven’t decided what things you are going to do different this year, then you are missing the New Year’s resolution bandwagon.

Maybe that is on purpose – you’re an Original and never follow the bandwagon.  But even a Maverick like you needs to make some business decisions if you want this year to be better than the last.

Following are some the best New Year’s Resolution so far for 2015. There are some common themes like DELEGATE and MORE MARKETING. And one was such a shock to me that I had to include it (let me know if it shocks you too).

So much to do. And you can’t do them all. But DO something different in 2015.

Plan. Commit. Prepare. Execute. Make this the best year yet!

 

 

Best New Year’s Resolution Blogs of 2015

Yahoo Finance: The One New Year’s Resolution All Business Owners Should Keep

The importance of your annual marketing plan. Big business does it and so should you.

 

Forbes: Business New Year’s Resolutions Every CEO Should Make

Successful business owners (and CEO’s) focus on these impactful activities.

 

DB Squared: 10 Business Resolutions You Should Make for the New Year

No nonsense, actionable steps to a better year for your business from a top business finance site.

 

All Business Experts: 5 New Year’s Business Resolutions

If you are going to do only five things, then this list is the only one you should read.

 

Say More Services: New Year Resolutions for Your Small Business

Resolutions that make you a better small business owner. (Look at that…Already started on my marketing!)

 

Bloomberg Business Week: 6 New Year’s Resolutions You Could Actually Keep

This is an odd-ball pick but if you need someone for #3, then I can be that one friend.

 

American Express OPEN Forum: Make New Year’s Resolutions for Your Business

OPEN Forum knows business, so pay attention to these three resolutions to make big changes.

 

Pitney Bowes Blog: 10 New Year’s Resolutions for Small Business Owners

Specifically for you small business owners! Quick read – 10 tips and done.

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Don’t forget your FREE 2015 Marketing Calendar Template!

No sign-up download in excel for your small business.

7 Most Overlooked Deductions for Your Small Business

Are You Missing Any of Your Small Business or Micro-Business Tax Deductions?

Small Business Tax DeductionsBy Chantelle Kadala As a small business owner, it is important to take every tax advantage you can get. Filing your taxes without investigating all the deductions available to you could be leaving thousands of your dollars in Uncle Sam’s pocket. According to the Internal Revenue Service, “To be deductible, a business expense must be both ordinary and necessary. An ordinary expense is one that is common and accepted in your trade or business. A necessary expense is one that is helpful and appropriate for your trade or business.” You’re a business owner so at least a dozen expenses immediately spring to mind that fall under this umbrella. Make sure you are getting every deduction you can by reviewing this list of small business tax deductions that may not immediately come to mind but you should look into before you file your taxes:

1. Continuing Education

Full-time students know they get a tax break but if you went to school (in the year you are filing) to take courses that pertain to your line of work, you can deduct expenses such as program cost, travel expenses and course fees.

2. Health Insurance

If you have less than 25 full-time employees and you pay at least 50% of their health care premiums then the Small Employer Health Care Credit is for you and you need to take advantage.

3. Start-Up Cost

On your business’ first tax filing you can deduct up to $5,000 of cost incurred before your opening day such as expenses from exploring business opportunities.

4. Cell Phone

That thing you are on all day and night running your business. It is part of your business property and its cost should be filed accordingly.

5. Running your business out of your home?

If so, based on the percentage of the entire home’s square footage used as space or office dedicated solely to your business, you can deduct expenses including mortgage interest, insurance, utilities, repairs, and depreciation.

6. Automobile

Obviously, if a vehicle was acquired solely for business purposes, you already have it on your list of deductions. But if you have a personal car, and you use it in your business, you can use it as a deduction. You just have to divide your expenses based on actual mileage. Check with the IRS for current Standard Mileage Rates.

7. You can NOT deduct personal expenses but…

If an expense is for something that is used for both personal and business you can divide the total cost and deduct the business portion. Here you need to be careful with your math so referring to Chapter 4 of IRS Publication 535 Business Expenses can give you the allocation rules you need to follow.

Other Deductions to Consider

•Retirement Plans (yours and your employee’s) •Rent on any property you pay for your business to use that you do not own •Interest on money you borrowed for business activities •Taxes directly attributable to your business (federal, state, local and foreign taxes may apply) •Insurance that is for your business or trade.

I.R.S. Small Business and Self-Employed Tax Center

As a last note, in my experience there are few things on this earth more tedious than filing your own small business taxes but remember you don’t have to do it alone. There are two smart things you can do: Go to the source, IRS Small Business and Self-Employed Tax Center, to search and reference the dozens of resources available or hire a professional and tell them which deductions you are looking for (and then deduct the tax preparation fees next year!).

DON’T FORGET TO GRAB YOUR FREE 2015 MARKETING CALENDAR TEMPLATE

2015 Marketing Calendar FREE

365 Special Days for Your Marketing Calendar

List of Special Days to Help You

Plan Your Content and Promotions

I have been looking all over for a resource to give small business and microbusiness owners to use with your FREE Marketing Calendar Template (click for free download).  The template includes a handful of holidays, special days, and observances but it would take some time to do an in depth search for “special” days that were relevant to your business.  This list below is so comprehensive I just had to share it!

Special days for your content and marketing calendarYes… there are A LOT of super silly days on here. But I bet there are some you can use no matter what industry you are in. For example National Drink Wine Day is so official it has its own website. It’s not too early to get ready for Feb 18th and think of all the reasons to drink… I mean promotions you can make that involve wine.

HOW TO USE THE LIST

Scan through this list and mark on your calendar the days you can use in your blogging and marketing efforts. Do an internet search for information on the “special” day and make notes on how you can incorporate them into your content marketing plan or business promotions. I know it’s a long list but the time you are going to save not having to search for this information is ten-fold the time it will take you to go through this list.

If you need any suggestions on developing content, just reach out and let me know. –Chantelle

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This was originally posted by a savvy intern named Cristina over at The DSM Group – a full-service marketing, advertising and public relations agency over in New Jersey.  Click to view their website (which is pretty impressive) or the original post.

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Marketing Calendar 2015    

Posted by Cristina on 1:27 PM on October 1, 2014

Having trouble coming up with marketing content for the upcoming year? Need a little help making a marketing calendar that fits with your company’s vision? Check out our 2015 Marketing Calendar to get a head’s up on all upcoming holidays and events.

While everyone is making their New Year’s resolutions to get back into the gym or finally quit that nasty habit, think about what you can do to improve your business. Just like any successful resolution, planning is key. Maybe offer a spring kickoff promotion or simply wish your customers a Happy Independence Day.

There are events for every day of the year, and you’re likely to find great ways to connect with your customers!

January Marketing Ideas

January 1st, Thursday: New Years Day – When to start marketing: Monday, December 1st

Ring in the New Year and roll out your brand spankin’ new marketing plan. If you’re not excited about 2015 yet, you should get excited!

Think of all the marketing opportunities this year has to bring. If you can’t think of any, you’re in luck because we’ve thought of some for you! Don’t wait for January 1st to start thinking of strategies. Getting an early start is crucial for a successful business year.

January 19th, Monday: Martin Luther King, Jr. Day – When to start marketing: Monday, January 5th

“I Have a Dream” that your business can strive to be successful this year. Martin Luther King, Jr. fought hard against racism and was a key figure of the civil rights movement.

Channel the passion that King had to bring your business the best marketing strategies you can think of. Afterward, thank him with an in-store or online display. Martin Luther King, Jr. left behind a strong legacy, and your business can too.

Other Marketing Ideas in January

January 1st, Thursday – Commitment day January 17th, Saturday – Ditch New Year’s Resolutions Day
January 2nd, Friday – Buffett Day January 18th, Sunday – Thesaurus Day
January 3rd, Saturday – Drinking Straw Day January 19th, Monday – Popcorn Day
January 4th, Sunday – Spaghetti Day January 20th, Tuesday – Cheese Lovers Day
January 5th, Monday – Bird Day January 21st, Wednesday – Hugging Day
January 6th, Tuesday – Cuddle Up Day January 22nd, Thursday – Celebration of Life Day
January 7th, Wednesday – Tempura Day January 23rd, Friday – Measure Your Feet Day
January 8th, Thursday – Show and Tell at Work Day January 24th, Saturday – Peanut Butter Day
January 9th, Friday – Apricot Day January 25th, Sunday – Opposite Day
January 10th, Saturday – Cut Your Energy Costs Day January 26th, Monday – Bubble Wrap Appreciation Day
January 11th, Sunday – Step In a Puddle and Splash Your Friends Day January 27th, Tuesday – Chocolate Cake Day
January 12th, Monday – Clean Off Your Desk Day January 28th, Wednesday – International Fun at Work Day
January 13th, Tuesday – Rubber Duckie Day January 29th, Thursday – Puzzle Day
January 14th, Wednesday – Dress Up Your Pet Day January 30th, Friday – Insane Answering Message Day
January 15th, Thursday – Hat Day January 31st, Saturday – Backward Day
January 16th, Friday – Nothing Day  

 

See the other 11 months in this easy-to-read and easy-to-print word document: Special Days Marketing Calendar 2015 or the original post.

 

FREE Marketing Calendar Template for 2015

The free download of the 2015 Marketing Calendar Template in Excel is so 4 years ago!

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