It’s customary for mobile tech companies to show off their new products at heavy-hitter trade show events like the Consumer Electronics Show and Mobile World Congress (MWC).
The mood among the nation's small business owners is picking up.
After the Wells Fargo/Gallup Small Business Index plunged 28 points to -11 in November 2012, the most pessimistic level in two years, the most recent index indicated small business owners are feeling more optimistic: The index improved 20 points to +9 for the first quarter of 2013. The survey, conducted Jan. 7-11, signifies increased optimism among business owners about their overall financial situation for the next 12 months. Seventy-one percent of business owners expect the number of jobs at their companies to remain the same during this time, and 17 percent expect to add jobs in the next year, too.
What's the prognosis for your business over the next 12 months? Are you feeling less gloomy about its future, as well? Every small business owner contends with issues surrounding market size, competition and demand, but the internal factors that focus on operations, strategy and leadership are within your control. Smart small business owners know that attention to these areas keep them out of the red:
Price for Profitability
Identifying your profitable price point is key to keeping business in the black. If you find you need to raise your prices, there are several... Read more
As email marketers, it's gratifying to see our sign-up lists growing. Whether we're trying to grab a new client, customer, donor or reader, it feels pretty good to know our efforts are working. “They” signed up to hear from you (or rather, your brand); they want to be kept informed. Now it's your job to provide them with communication that gets opened and drives them to take action.
By the Numbers, Email is King
When it comes to digital marketing, email communication is as classic as it gets. When done effectively, email marketing can drive a significant amount of traffic to your business; consider these numbers, courtesy of the 2012 Channel Preference Survey, conducted by the digital marketing group ExactTarget:
96 percent of online consumers use email at least weekly
66 percent have made a purchase after receiving an email marketing message
76 percent prefer email over all other channels for customer service messages
66 percent of teens (ages 15-17) prefer email over all other channels for permission-based marketing
Email marketing drives more consumers to make a purchase than Facebook and text messaging combined
To put the popularity of email into context, this helpful graph from GovDelivery shows the breadth of users across... Read more
Smart phones, groceries, copper and postage— just a short list of some items expected to be more expensive in 2013.
Among these, maybe the least surprising is a postage hike. According to Pitney Bowes Small Business, a price increase on postal rates of 2.75 percent went into effect on Jan. 27. If you rely on postage as an integral part of your business or use postage for marketing purposes, you will see price increases.
Small business owners can be more creative in their use of postal services to help offset the increase. Others may finally switch their print-mailed campaigns efforts to email marketing campaigns. In any case, these new increases can run into thousands of dollars for high-volume shippers.
There are three important things small business owners need to know about the 2013 postage increase:
* Low-cost shipping solutions are being eliminated.
* Retail shipping rates are rising an average of 5-10 percent.
* The Intelligent Mail barcode will give business owners and customers more power when it comes to tracking their items.
Here are details of the 2013 USPS postage increase:
New single-piece First-Class Mail pricing includes:
Postcards: 1-cent increase to 33 cents.
Letters (1 ounce or less): 1-cent increase to 46 cents.
Letters over 1 ounce: unchanged at 20... Read more