There has likely never been a more dire time for new businesses in America than during the COVID-19 pandemic. According to recent reporting on the economic impact of the coronavirus, a control group shows nearly 300,000 businesses have closed their doors since the start of the pandemic in March 2020, with closures happening in greater numbers month-over-month. Of these nearly 300,000 businesses that have closed, 60% are not planning to reopen. Of those that are still open (or that plan on reopening), many have admitted that they likely won’t return to pre-covid conditions for at least six months.
In light of all that small businesses have to contend against right now, effective marketing has become more crucial than ever before. Luckily, the audience is there, and in a volume heretofore unseen. One of the strangest instances of societal dissonance is that in a year of mass closures and mounting medical devastation, businesses great and small with a substantial internet presence have posted record gains during the pandemic. Understanding that the internet is the greatest tool for communicating in the history of mankind, those businesses that properly utilize it have the best chance for survival, regardless of the crisis.
Social Media is a Megaphone
While traditional advertising can reach a much larger audience on the internet just by utilizing sidebar and banner ads, or by sending marketing emails to the nearly 4 billion daily email users, social media is the ace-in-the-hole of any small business. Of all the typical marketing tools on the internet, social media offers something that none of the others are capable of doing: engagement. In fact, the ability to interface directly with their clientele means that businesses can bring up important topics concerning their industry and carve out a lucrative corner for themselves, even in a competitive market. If you want to talk with your fans about the pros and cons of weighted blankets for your Minky blanket start-up, and make a killing every FB Live, social media makes it possible.
This type of control over your industry is a far cry from how the same process was done in the past. In the golden age of printed media, the most effective advertisement capable of capturing the humor, outrage, wonder, or envy of an audience was still at the mercy of an entire interlocking web of businesses and systems working in sync in order to be seen, let alone discussed.
- A writer would come up with a tagline and some copy.
- The art department would bring it to life visually.
- The advertising coordinators then buy ad space to be featured in newspapers, magazines, and billboards.
- The printers would then copy the master ad.
- The distribution department coordinates the sending of these newspapers and magazines to newsstands and paperboys all over the country.
- The finished product makes its way to the consumer, and the advertisers pray that they’ve come up with something that would lead the person holding the paper to turn to someone they’re sitting next to and discuss the ad.
With social media providing the tools, the distribution, and the potential audience, a new business can have more confidence in the control they have over the fate of a particular ad. They can instead focus on the all-important task of getting to know better their clients and the market.
The Growing Relevance of Waning Attention Spans
One important piece of information for every business attempting to curate a presence online: the smartphone has seen attention spans in humans drop drastically. Whereas the average attention span topped out at 12 seconds in the year 2000, now studies show that the average person can only focus on something for 8.25 seconds. That’s shorter than the attention span of a goldfish. This means that a great marketing campaign must be all the catchier, all the more relevant, and all the more succinct if a business hopes to keep a person grounded long enough to sell them something.
One way around this is to invest more in video production. On average a person will watch a video for 2 to 3 minutes before clicking away, and a majority of people would rather watch something than read the same information if they had the chance. As such, the desire for a competent and professional video production team is on the rise.
These days, the most competitive production companies offer not only space to film commercials with the latest technology but also handle all the sound mixing and ADR in-house. These businesses pride themselves on being the first to properly interpret your vision for an ad and then making it happen for the rest of your audience.
The Marketing Potential of a Great 3PL
Once the audience is found, the ad is created, the engagement is underway, and the orders are made, the next step in leveraging the internet to your advantage is arguably the most important. All the other (admittedly important) work done thus far is merely a preamble to the most crucial part of keeping a small business alive: fulfillment.
In the year 2020, during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic, Amazon posted record-breaking revenue by both internal and external metrics. In the third quarter alone they had cleared over $96 billion, a 37% increase from the previous year. How was Amazon able to do this? Ultimately, it’s because they have already achieved recognition as the global marketplace, and when people are quarantined and are using less of their income on going out, they end up spending more money online. But the underlying reason for their success and why they are considered the most ubiquitous place to buy anything is because they have mastered the art of fulfillment.
When thinking about order fulfillment, it’s difficult to determine which link in the supply chain is most important. Therefore, a solution that makes your business good at everything is the logical, albeit difficult, answer. Finding a 3PL partner who can master order fulfillment may be a daunting task for a small business it’s an extra expense, and knowing the right company from another can be hard but being reliable is the best type of marketing a company can do. If a business has the reputation of being quick, accurate, and helpful, word will spread and the people will come.
4 Reasons You Should Start a Blog
Writing your thoughts and experiences down can be valuable to both yourself and others, whether you’re writing as an expert in your field of work or as a passionate hobbyist, and blogging is a great way to get started doing just that. Here are four great reasons to start your own blog today.
Help Other People
Chances are that you’re not the only person who cares about what you’re writing about. Perhaps your blog covers a work-related topic that you’ve amassed knowledge about; think of all of the people in similar jobs who are searching online for solutions for their own workplace challenges! Or if you’re writing about something more personal, your blog can inspire and help others toward excellence in that sport, art, or other pursuits.
Grow in Your Knowledge
Blogging can also be part of growing your own knowledge and expertise about whatever it is that you choose to write about. Research is a natural part of any writing project, so time and time again you’ll find yourself reading content from others to get ideas and learn more. That’s one of the great things about the internet; it’s essentially a massive collection of information being shared by millions and millions of people all over the world. In other words, blogging can also be a way for you to grow yourself in your work and hobbies.
Organize Your Thoughts
If you have a hard time keeping track of all of your thoughts and ideas, a blog can be the place where those things find organized expression. Over time you’ll see a solid body of work taking shape, and it’ll all be in one place that you can come back to time and time again. This built-in organization of blogging is a huge plus especially for those who don’t naturally stay organized.
Make Money on the Side
Finally, blogging can also become a source of passive income for you. While it certainly won’t happen overnight, over time as you grow your audience you can use your blog to sell ad space to those willing to pay for it. It may not pay all your bills, but it can grow over time if you keep an eye on it and especially if you reinvest some of that income into getting more traffic to your blog.
Perhaps you want to start a blog but are worried you won’t always have the time to write enough content to keep it going consistently. If you do ever find yourself unable to stay consistent with your writing (whether just for a short time or for the long term), you can always hire a monthly blog writing service. These companies will not only write content for you but will also work to strategically plan the content on your blog as well as optimize it for SEO.
Blogging can be a fulfilling endeavor if you discipline yourself to stick to it. The four reasons covered above can help motivate you to get started, but it’s ultimately going to be your passion for what you do that drives your writing forward and gives your blog the momentum it needs to be successful.
Is It Beneficial Leasing an Airplane?
If you planned on getting yourself a private jet or a fleet of airplanes, then you know your case the best. Better than anyone else can guide you or teach you about the pros and cons.
Buying a jet is not something that you do every day when you wake up; for some, it is once in a lifetime, and for some, it is just a daily business that generates revenue. Suppose you are starting to fulfill your dreams and aspirations by buying a luxurious plane or starting a small airline company. In that case, this article will briefly take you through the famous question of ‘is it beneficial leasing an airplane?’
If you can buy an airplane or put up a loan sanction against it, you must take that road because there is no better feeling than ‘ownership’. But if you do not want to invest a big chunk of money into buying an airplane, the best way to enjoy the experience would be to lease it for a couple of years.
Most airline companies nowadays lease at least some of the jets that they have. There are technical aspects intermingled with it as the lease price of 10 aircraft would certainly be almost ten times lesser than the actual price clubbed together. You can quickly get yourself to save a great deal of money while leasing a couple of airplanes, especially if you are in the airline business.
Often, the leasing companies offer you the crew, pilots, insurance, and other benefits covered in your leasing agreement. So, you can always take that trip around the globe whenever you want, as you will always have a cabin crew ready to fly. On the other hand, if the lease does not offer the benefits, you will need to look elsewhere.
Thankfully, recruiting a pilot and other crew members is not that difficult, especially if you are looking to get them for a private jet. What you can do is seek some professional assistance to find the right crew. Aerospace Union Limited can point you in the right direction.
But, on the other hand, if you choose to loan or buy a plane of your own, you will have to figure out everything starting from the operational costs to the training of crew and even pilots, which becomes an arduous process least. If your requirements are singular and not frequent enough, it is better to lease an aircraft rather than fully fund it. Because who wants to let go of all the additional benefits that really come in handy along with the lease agreement!
Freedom of Use
With business airplane renting or personal luxury plane renting, it’s yours to do as you will inside the rent term. Inside legitimate and protection limits and any rent conditions, it’s dependent upon you where the airplane flies, when it flies, and how frequently you take a trip. The only limitations are climate conditions, air traffic rules, booked upkeep, and the accessibility of your pilots and group.
Personal luxury plane renting gives you admittance to a more extensive scope of air terminals than business trips through carriers. This can permit you to land nearer to your final destination, decreasing the time spent and extra efforts brought about by booking and voyaging through road transport like cabs, buses, etc.
Renting an airplane liberates you from the endless formality and holding up occasions included when taking business flights. There are more and more additional benefits and a bubbling sense of luxury that you will experience if you go ahead with the plan of leasing an aircraft!
Most aircraft leasing options come to you with a choice- own or not to own after the period ends. Although you keep on paying a regular sum for years on end, you can decide if you want to complete the remaining payments and own the jet or try your luck with a new fleet.
On most occasions, after 10-15 years, airplanes with more recent technologies are launched, which makes the decision of keeping the aircraft previously on lease a decision that isn’t much feasible for people. But, the entire availability of having a choice is all you need when you are getting yourself in an agreement with a party. You never know if you can extract more benefits from the same flights.
As you can see, the benefits of leasing an aircraft are supreme as they come with a lot of additional growth points. You can always ride your plane with ease and comfort whenever you want without having the burden of financing a considerable amount of money for an aviation unit that will probably be replaced with new technology in the next couple of years.
So, if you are someone who’s just buying the jet for meetings around the globe or just because they want to feel the luxury, then the best thing to do is to lease the aircraft without thinking much about it. So, are you ready to fly and up to reach your world of dreams with zero hassles?
5 Things Every Entrepreneur Should Know
Your Product Should Fill a Need
Perhaps the number one rule of business is that your product or service should fill an existing need. And it should solve a problem in a better way than any existing product currently on the market. Do your research so you know what your competition is, and forge ahead.
42% of product launches don’t succeed because there is no need for the product or service. Can you think of examples of such failures?
- New Coke – Original Coke didn’t need to be improved so customers boycotted this new version.
- The Zune – Microsoft tried to compete with Apple iPod and failed to create a product better than what already existed.
- Google+ – Google attempted its own social media network, but became another example of a service that couldn’t outdo what was already available.
- Bic for Her – Women don’t need pens specifically designed for them, so this pen flopped.
- Hammacher Schlemmer’s Night Vision Camcorder – marketed toward children, this product doesn’t solve a practical problem; why do kids need to record things in the dark?
Sometimes a novelty product takes off because, although it’s impractical, it strikes a chord with customers. However, you may not want to take that risk! Your product or service should stand the test of time, and not just end up the gag gift at the next Holiday office party.
As soon as you have your idea, get started!
Research your brand or business name the right way to see if they’re already trademarked. Even if it will be a while before you launch, apply for the necessary permits and licenses now. Doing so will give you peace of mind while you secure funding or save your own money, develop a business plan, and work on your brand’s mission statement, slogan, and marketing strategy.
Keep it Simple
Your mission statement should be clear and concise. Everyone in your business should know what they’re working toward, and how to achieve it.
Examples of Mission Statements
A mission statement tells your employees and customers what your brand is all about. It should concisely share your brand values, your company’s actions, and your company’s objectives. It is not what you hope your company will become but, rather, what your company currently is. When drafting your mission statement, start by answering the following questions:
Mission statements are usually about three sentences long, and provide direction to your brand and its employees. Keep in mind that your mission statement should include attainable goals for your company, i.e. objectives you’re already working toward. Be sure to include inspirational messaging and personality without being cliche; avoid popular slang that may date your brand or phrases that don’t provide clear direction.
To get your creative juices flowing, here are some examples of mission statements that get the point across.
- To bring the best personal computing products and support to students, educators, designers, scientists, engineers, businesspersons, and consumers in over 140 countries around the world. – Apple
- Bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete in the world. – Nike
- Offering all women and men worldwide the best of cosmetics innovation in terms of quality, efficacy, and safety. – L’Oreal
- To strengthen our position in the marketplace by developing high-quality relationships with our supplies and customers and earning a reputation of dependability, innovations, and exceptional performance. – M&M’s
- Creating loving connections through our blankets. – Minky Mamas
- We deliver the promise of the digital world to our customers. We make their innovative lifestyles possible. – Verizon
Examples of Slogans
Can you name the brands responsible for these popular slogans (hint: some are listed above)? Chances are the simple phrases stand out in your mind and immediately make you think of the product or service they represent.
- Think Different
- Just Do It
- Because You’re Worth It
- Melts in Your Mouth, Not in Your Hands
- The Breakfast of Champions
- Can You Hear Me Now?
- What’s in Your Wallet?
- The Happiest Place on Earth
- They’re Grrrrrrreat!
- Nothing Runs Like a Deer
Slogans are catchy phrases, short and sweet, that are used in a brand’s advertising. We repeatedly see them on packaging and billboards and hear them on commercials. A lasting slogan can be used out of context and still conjure up thoughts of the brand it represents. You want your slogan to potentially offer a promise as well as make a lasting impression on potential customers.
Marketing your brand can seem overwhelming. Where do you start? How much do you spend? Customers may stumble upon your product or service with an Internet search, but how can they know your brand is reliable? This is where marketing comes in.
Once you know your mission statement, have a slogan, and a brand aesthetic, you have to get to work. Your message needs to not just reach people, but the right people. Social media makes it easier than ever to target your demographic with paid or sponsored content. It’s a less expensive way to analyze your customers’ behavior and engage with them. Your online presence establishes a connection with potential customers, building trust in your brand. Marketing is more than just selling your product or service; it’s telling your story to your customers. It’s an opportunity to further expand upon your mission statement and let your customers know why you started your business in the first place. Through this storytelling, you can share your passion for your product and build your reputation.
Also, it is important to speak the language of your target audience. Be buyer-centric, not seller-centric. If you are a company, for example, that offers power storage solutions for solar users, don’t drone one about your fancy stuff. Most buyers don’t care about the science behind the solution. Instead, talk about the importance of being prepared for natural disasters or illuminating your home renewably, etc.
Sometimes You’ll Fail
As an entrepreneur, sometimes you’re going to fail. There’s no such thing as an “overnight success” in business, so pull up your bootstraps and know that there’s a lot of work ahead.
Tips for Overcoming Failure
- Plan for failure – regularly analyze your business’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats to stay one step ahead.
- Manage cash flow – get a good forecast of your income and expenses so you can plan for the future.
- Focus on your customers – keep your customers at the forefront of your business so you have support in leaner times.
- Reframe failure – sometimes you can take a step back and see failure as a setback rather than a stopping point.
- Invest in your team – don’t go into business alone if you don’t have to.
- Invest in your business – be sure your IT systems and software help you work smarter and not harder.
With a clear vision, mission statement, and business plan, you can find yourself on a bumpy, but manageable path to success. Remember that it won’t happen overnight, but even the best ideas take time to catch on.
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