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What will Make Small Businesses Successful in 2018?

2018 is just around the corner and the year will most likely be eventful for small businesses. Most small business owners are eager to learn about what could drive successful trends in the coming year. Rather, how could a small business successfully reach their goal in the coming year? Here’s what Global Resources LLC consultants think would make it happen:

Great Work Environments – Successful businesses are often the most successful recruiters. In recent years, businesses that succeeded were the companies that were most innovative. Innovation is driven by employees. The business environment in most fields is currently highly competitive. So the most talented employees can be easily whisked away by bigger players. Small businesses can retain employees by creating a great work environment. This not only means creating a physically pleasant and (importantly) quiet office to work in. It also means building a great company culture where everyone is respected.

Compete with Legacy Brands Online – The past few years saw legacy brands that once dominated store shelves remarkably lose influence thanks to the rise of e-commerce. Now even the smallest player can go head-to-head with a big name because there are no slotting fees on e-stores. Therefore, if small businesses want to be successful in 2018, they should focus intensely on increasing online sales, including mobile sales.

Make Unboxing an Experience – Customers are increasingly posting videos of “unboxing” shipped items bought online. Brands can take advantage by making this unboxing event an experience. Most brands are already investing in designing the box and thinking about what the customer sees when they open it. Creating a great unboxing experience is a good way to promote products and brands on social media. It also drives word-of-mouth marketing. As brands are increasingly getting evaluated based on how many customer mentions there are on social media, making investments in things like unboxing experiences is a sound strategy.

Focusing on Efficiency – Modern companies are structuring the internal work environments to focus on efficiency and innovation. This means forgetting the timesheets and offering employees flexible hours. The aim is to allow employees to work as they like, as long as the intended results are delivered. Small businesses with small workforces can easily offer flexible hours to motivate employees to be more efficient and to get more things done.

Last but not least, don’t forget to identify and fix the mistakes of the past year. Get one of our Global Resources LLC Reviews to prepare your business for the challenges of the coming year.

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Snapchat Rising as the Dominant Social Network among Teenagers

Snapchat, the company, may be suffering through a bad month on Wall Street but Snapchat, the app, is doing very well among U.S. teens. According to data published by RBC Capital, Snapchat has surpassed Instagram as the choice social media platform among teenagers. Snapchat has even managed to catch up to Facebook, the most dominant social media network overall.

The recently published report notes that 79 percent of teens (between the ages of 13 to 18) surveyed said they use Snapchat. This is a higher percentage of usage than for any other social network. Instagram got 73 percent among the same group, while Facebook only got 57 percent.

Snapchat was also chosen by teens as the choice social network they would use if they were “trapped on a deserted island.” Snapchat snagged this honor in the previous year’s survey as well. However, in 2016, only 28 percent of teens chose Snapchat for this question, while this year, 44 percent of teens did so. It strongly indicates that the popularity of Snapchat is still growing among Gen Z.

The report’s findings are very useful for small businesses that try to target teen audiences. Teens are the future of retail. In five years or less, these teens would comprise a major segment of the consumer market. Brands interested in engaging with these teens and establishing a loyal audience would most benefit from these findings.

Though companies do understand that social networking is crucial for engaging with younger buyers, most do not choose the right social media platform for the target audience, says Global Resources LLC consultants. This survey indicates that companies should focus their attention on Snapchat, not Facebook or Twitter, for reaching teen audiences.

Advertising and driving engagement on Snapchat can be a bit tricky. Most people over 25 do not know how Snapchat works or have never used it. Teens mostly send messages on Snapchat, according to the survey data. They also popularly use the app’s “Stories” photo messaging feature. This is where most advertisers build their campaigns.

To learn more about how your small business can reach younger buyers on Snapchat, request a consultation from GR-US.com.

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How to Undo the Holiday Productivity Slump in the New Year

The holiday season is notorious for hurting productivity levels in most small businesses. Self-reported surveys note over 60 percent of employees admit to being less productive over the holidays. It’s after all the festive season. Employees are naturally distracted by the upcoming holidays, vacation planning, shopping trips and everything else.

While small businesses can tolerate a little less productivity at the very end of the year, the level is certainly not ideal at the start of the new year. Small businesses should actively work to reverse the holiday productivity slump as January begins. Here are several tips for doing that from GR-US.com consultants:

Pinpoint Productivity Downswings over the Holiday Season – Before you start fixing the problem, understand the scope of the problem. Management experts recommend firstly analyzing historical data of the company with regards to performance and attendance of employees. Look for patterns where productivity is hurt particularly. Then, the managers can formulate solutions that directly tackle a problem. This is a more effective approach than applying generic solutions, which rarely work.

Be More Flexible – This is the time of the year for employees to spend with family. People will be getting together with their extended families. If the workplace can accommodate these emotional concerns, then employees will be able to perform as usual. It’s recommended to offer flexible hours to employees who need them. It’s better to have the employee for half a work day than have an absent employee.

Offer Incentives – Boost overall employee morale by offering incentives. Most small businesses offer year-end bonuses. At the start of the year, companies can offer incentives in the manner of flexible hours as mentioned above. Other incentives to try in January include thank you meetings, staff lunches, and New Year’s gifts.

Set Short Term Goals – The workplace will be more productive overall with a goal to work towards. The start of the year is a great time to set short-term goals that employees can achieve by the end of the year. For example, the company can set sales goals to reach by December. There could even be shorter goals to achieve by the summer. Setting goals leads to progress tracking, which motivates employees to be as productive as possible.

The New Year is also a great time for small businesses to evaluate overall productivity at the company. There are always ways to improve. First, opt for one of our Global Resources LLC Reviews and have our experienced consultants analyze your company’s performance levels and offer recommendations for improvement.

How to Re-Strategize Your Company’s Marketing Campaign for the Coming Year

Yet another year has come to an end. Time certainly flies. It’s the holiday season, so marketing campaigns are in full swing. It’s also the time to think about how your company is planning to launch the coming year’s first advertising campaign. Don’t do the same old in 2018. Think about what you can do new and benefit from upcoming technologies. Here are some ideas from Global Resources LLC consultants:

Analyze Your Existing Marketing Plan – Before you start revamping your marketing campaign overall, think seriously about whether it requires redoing. This is where customer data comes into play. Analyze the collected data to learn about which tactics worked in the past year, and which ones did not. Also, keep in mind that some strategies will simply become outdated the next year as customer habits and algorithms change. Obtaining one of our Global Resources Reviews is a great way to get expert recommendations on how to modify your company’s overall marketing plan.

Introduce New Products – There’s hardly a better time than a brand new year to introduce customers to new products. The “newness” is in the air and people are more likely to try new things. Also, the business can direct the marketing plan in a new direction without losing ground. It’s also a good time to introduce combos or bundle deals, especially at the start of the year when people are still in the mood to shop.

Learn about the Latest Marketing Channels – The mainstream wisdom is that in 2018, marketing will move on to new channels like Snapchat and drop formerly glorious channels like Twitter, which has seen no growth in recent times. Also, augmented reality content is the new best thing. Marketers should certainly familiarize themselves with new content and new norms. Even small businesses can experiment with AR Snapchat filters to find out how the target audience responds.

Improve Mobile Marketing – The mobile-first approach should be in full swing in the coming year, as more and more people will be using handheld devices to communicate, consume content and shop. Reallocate resources at the start of the year to develop a powerful mobile marketing strategy.

The end of the year is also a good time to think about what your business could have done better earlier. But don’t dwell on regrets. Start anew in 2018 with help from our highly experienced consultants.

How Small Businesses Should Start off the New Year

2018 is just around the corner. That means endless possibilities for small businesses to grow and thrive. The coming year will be much like this one, but there will also be significant improvements. Businesses are already anticipating a more mobile-oriented sales approach. There will be new smart gadgets and personal tech trends to anticipate in the New Year. Not to mention the new changes to the business environment that the upcoming tax bill would bring. It will definitely be a whirlwind year for small businesses, for either good or bad. Here are several strategies small business owners can deploy with the approaching New Year, courtesy of Global Resources LLC consultants:

Stay Informed—Do you know what is happening in your business sector? You really should. Gather your managers and executives to attend webinars, networks and small business council meetings to understand what trends are driving the sector that you work in. Information is key to anticipating challenges in the New Year. Therefore, read the news and stay updated on what’s going on.

Gather More Data—Data is essential for developing sound strategies for marketing and managing the business. In addition to gathering customer data, use data collection apps to develop a keen understanding of overall trends that are moving markets. This is not as expensive now as it once was. For example, IBM recently launched an app called Watson Trend that analyzes what’s hot in consumerism. Using the app is not expensive, so even the tiniest businesses can afford it. Use tools like this to utilize available data to improve your overall business.

Get Ready for Omni-Channel Marketing—Omni-channel marketing is an updated version of multichannel marketing where the customer is provided with a seamless marketing experience across various channels. In 2018 and beyond, omnichannel marketing will become a necessity as customers start using multiple devices at once. People are already browsing the internet using desktops, smartphones, tablets, smartwatches and voice-controlled smart home gadgets. In the near future, marketing efforts will have to be present on all these channels to stay competitive.

Know What You Did Wrong (or Right) This Year—How exactly did your company fare in 2017? Did your business achieve goals you initially set out to accomplish? Did the business improve or did the customer base shift? To avoid mistakes and be more efficient in the coming year, request Global Resources LLC Reviews to understand your small business better.

Follow the above and 2018 will very likely be a great year for your business. Enjoy your holidays!

How to Market to Gen Z Customers This Holiday Season

As the Millennial generation reaches their thirties, the following Generation Z is emerging as a young and voracious customer base. As with millennials, Gen Z customers have their own quirks and peeves. Here are several tips from Global Resources LLC consultants on how to reach Gen Z buyers:

Avoid Stereotypes—Generation Z came of age firmly in the 21st century. The youngsters of this generation highly value individuality. Therefore, they won’t respond to marketing material believed to portray various stereotypes. To reach Gen Z buyers, create ads that portray diversity and glorify individuality.

Don’t Tell Them What to Buy—If there’s one thing Gen Zers hate more than anything, it’s being told what to do. When creating marketing material or online content targeting this group, do not “tell” them what to buy or choose. Instead, pen content as advice that allows the audience to ultimately make the choice.

Advertise on YouTube—Generation Z loves YouTube, even more than millennials. A typical Gen Z customer spends between 2 to 4 hours each day on YouTube. In surveys, nearly half of Gen Z customers said they simply could not live without YouTube. Brands that really want to reach Gen Z should therefore definitely advertise on YouTube. Create video content that resonates with this audience.

Use Newer Social Networking Channels—Facebook and Twitter may not be the best advertising channels to get those Christmas discounts in front of Gen Z buyers. The younger generation prefers newer channels like Snapchat and Instagram. Plan ahead to spend money on these channels to reach Gen Z buyers at all times of the day.

Hire Influencers—unlike most millennials, Gen Z buyers are highly protective of their privacy and do not trust everything they see on the internet. Gen Z buyers are mostly influenced by recommendations from their peers. Therefore, investing in peer group influence is a must for increasing conversions among this group.

Do not conflate Gen Z buyers with millennials. To find out if your company’s marketing plan is well equipped to reach a Gen Z audience, check out Global Resources LLC Reviews.

 

Should Your Small Business Prepare for an Economic Collapse?

Let’s consider the financial crises small businesses have faced in the past century or so. There have been the two world wars, of course, a major economic depression, a major recession in 2008, Brexit, and events like the dot-com crash of the nineties. Economists would say that people should ask if there would be another financial collapse, but when? So the short answer to the titular question is ‘yes,’ small businesses should prepare for a market collapse under all circumstances, advises Global Resources LLC consultants.

If the economy collapses like it nearly did in 2008, then it’s little chance that your small business would thrive. Your small businesses may face bankruptcy, not due to a lack of profits per se, but for a lack of cash. Here are some of the things a small business can do to face the inevitable:

Save Up in Multiple Currencies – Brexit, which only happened recently, sent the value of the Sterling pound into freefall. But British small businesses that had savings in Euros and dollars didn’t suffer too much. Therefore, it’s strongly advised for companies to have savings in multiple currencies. Even if the dollar value plunges, the business savings will be intact in another currency.

Buy Precious Metals – Precious metals like gold and silver has been a forever favorite of investors to act as a hedge against losses caused by economic volatility. The value of precious metals is priced inversely proportional to the value of fiat currency.  For example, if the value of the dollar depreciated in the wake of an event like another subprime mortgage crisis, the value of gold will go up. An investor who has gold in his or her portfolio doesn’t really lose wealth in this situation. Small businesses, like savvy investors, should buy gold and silver to protect the company’s overall wealth from another financial crisis.

Invest in Real Estate – Real estate is highly valuable as an essential commodity. It’s strongly advised for businesses to invest in real estate like agricultural land and rental properties for high credit tenants. Real estate deals are not made equally good. Small businesses will have to distinguish between the good real estate and bad before diversifying the investment portfolio in this manner.

It’s recommended for small businesses to have at least three months worth of emergency funding saved up just in case. Also, do develop a backup plan for the company if the market faced another financial crisis. To find out if your business is resilient enough to survive another recession, go for one of our acclaimed Global Resources Reviews.

How to Video Market on a Budget

Understandably, most small businesses do not have a bloated budget to shoot beautiful videos for marketing purposes. Shooting commercials and various video content for mobile or social media marketing platforms are indeed quite expensive. Most small businesses would prefer to avoid that. However, video marketing is a proven effective method of marketing. In the era of smartphones, it’s also necessary. Instead of foregoing video content, Global Resources LLC consultants suggest the following to engage in video marketing on a low-cost budget:

Make slideshow presentation videos – Not all videos are shot like movies. Marketing teams can definitely make videos using slideshow presentations. These videos are called screencast videos. They cost next to nothing to make and require only basic technical skills. There’s no need to learn how to animate a video. You can add a voiceover for the video, which will also cost nothing.

Shoot video testimonials – Video testimonials are becoming more and more popular among online shoppers. You may have come across video testimonials shot by e-commerce businesses or social media sites. Video testimonials are like videotaped reviews of a product. They are a great way to create social proof for a brand or a product. You can ask one or two customers to shoot video testimonials or offer a product for free in return for a video testimonial. A single testimonial can be shot with a regular camera.

Low-Cost Online Animation – Animating videos is less costly than hiring actors to shoot a live action video. These days, there are animation software and websites anyone can use to create DIY animations. The animations can look from crude to complex depending on the tools you use. Websites like Voki and Animasher don’t cost much to create compelling animations. The sites make drawings available so the creator doesn’t have to be a professional artist. This is a worthwhile option to consider.

Hiring freelance graphics artists, animators or videographers is also another option to consider. Freelancers are definitely cheaper than maintaining an in-house video team. Businesses can also get employees to shoot live video that is popular on platforms like Facebook. For more useful information, visit GR-US.com.

Tips for Increasing the Viral Potential for Content

Viral marketing is not a tween gimmick. It’s a powerful marketing tool to create brand awareness. Viral content can get your branding message in front of possibly millions of people without costing exorbitant amounts. Marketers describe “virality” of content as an exponential curve. It means that viral content creates awareness on exponential levels. Instead of just two people sharing a link, viral content is shared twenty or thirty times more.

Not everything goes viral, however. So, here are several reliable tips from Global Resources LLC consultants for increasing the potential for marketing content to go viral online:

Create Unusual Content – Ultimately, content goes viral when it can offer web users something they have never really seen before. Viral content is highly novel and attractive. Content that mimics what others have done doesn’t really go viral. Consider the most loved viral phenomena of recent times: the ALS ice bucket challenge, “Gangnam Style” music video, and the Old Spice “I’m on a horse” ad. Each of these offered something novel and unusual for viewers. Learn from old viral content that is still remembered, like the Apple Super Bowl ad in 1984. Aim for uniqueness above all else.

Give Content an Advertising Boost – Some of the marketing material that does go viral has a secret: some are boosted by advertising. Before your content can go viral, the company may need to get it in front of several thousand web users. Then, the exponential factors would kick in and result in the viral effect. Therefore, do invest in paid marketing for content that shows promise to go viral.

Use Influencer Marketing Campaign – Want to remarkably increase the chance of a video going viral? Have several social media influencers promote the content on their channels. As the social media shares increase, the possibility of going viral increases.

It’s important to keep in mind that all novel content with an ad boost and an influencer behind it will not go viral. When this happens, find out why it didn’t. Was the content not novel enough, or did the business choose the wrong advertising channels? Gather performance and user data to fine-tune viral marketing campaigns in the future. Get customized detailed information on marketing at GR-US.com.

Why Your Small Business Should Not Buy Facebook Fans

It may seem like a neat hack or a shortcut to instant traffic, but buying Facebook fans is mostly a waste of money. Small businesses are often under pressure to show a large number of followers on social media sites. This was a common enough strategy that many brands have used over the years. However, this strategy is not working against the best intentions of small businesses that pay for it. Read below to find out why as explained by Global Resources LLC consultants:

There’s No Return on Investment – Fake fans are not interested in purchasing what you are selling. Therefore, even if you have millions of Facebook and Twitter followers, these numbers will never convert to traffic. Marketer Neil Patel recently explained that he once spent $400,000 on buying Facebook fans. What did he get in return for this investment? Nothing. There was no increase in traffic to justify the investment.

Bot Profiles Could Hurt Your Brand’s Trustworthiness – Most social media followers companies buy are actually so-called bot accounts. If a fan, or worse a competitor, notices many bot accounts liking your brand’s profiles, then that fact could be used to hurt your brand’s overall integrity. Why would a genuine customer trust a brand or a product that is being followed by fake profiles? You can preserve your brand trustworthiness by having genuine followers, even if the numbers are only a few.

The Fake Profiles Will Obscure Real Customer Profiles – Companies use social media data to build customer profiles to fine-tune future marketing efforts. If the brand’s social media customer pools are overridden with fake profiles, then this will undoubtedly skew the data. The company will not be able to determine a statistically sound average customer profile, which would then only hurt marketing efforts.

Risk of Spam is High – A small business cannot actually know what else the bot profiles are doing on the internet. Therefore, having fake profiles increases a company’s risk of social media spam. That’s one major reason not to pay a spurious agency for fake followers.

Overall, GR-US.com consultants encourage small business marketing teams to spend money on attracting real social media followers. The brand can then gather real data on what the target audience is actually like.