Archive for July, 2016
If there’s one thing a small business owner should know the importance of, it’s branding. Unfortunately, it’s also true that if there’s one thing small business owners often get wrong, it’s branding. Branding and marketing your small business is incredibly important, and one of the earliest tasks you will face as a small business owner. However, it’s also an incredibly delicate process; and if it’s done incorrectly in the early days of a business’s life, the business can be destroyed before it even really starts. Branding lets potential clients, customers, and investors know who you are as a small business owner, what your goals include, and what sets your company apart from others. It’s such a remarkably detailed and important task that there are companies specifically set up to market other businesses, and nothing else. Many small business owners find it better to leave marketing to professional ad agencies, rather than doing it in-house; and with good reason. Not only is marketing easy to get wrong — it’s also very time-consuming. Outsourcing your marketing to ad agencies takes a lot of work off of your plate, and in many ways it’s also more cost-effective than handling marketing yourself or hiring a specific employee to handle marketing. Let’s look into why so many small businesses are turning to advertising firms to handle their marketing strategies — and how those marketing strategies can transform your small business.
Advertising Your Small Business: How Much Does It Cost?
Many small business owners know that starting a small business costs money. But much of the money they consider in advance include the funds involved in hiring employees, getting the small business off the ground, and renting facilities for manufacturing and inventory. What many don’t think about is how much needs to be spent on advertising. The more you know about this in advance, the more you can plan and the easier it will be to allocate the right amount of money for hiring advertising agencies when the time comes. In total, 2015 saw $180 billion spent on advertising. With 59% of CMOs seeing display ads as part of a good strategy, marketers like ad agencies will spend almost $24 billion on online display advertising in this year alone. This may sound intimidating, but remember that it’s representative of a market as a whole. The ad agency you work with will require a certain amount of money, of course. But if you choose the right marketing strategies, you can be sure to see a return on your investment. And the right marketing strategies are most effectively utilized by professional ad agencies.
Marketing Strategies: What Is Right For Your Small Business?
There are many ways through which you can advertise your small business. In the past, people relied on more traditional advertising methods — from print ads to billboards. The fact is that the world of advertising has transformed in recent years, becoming more dependent on the digital world. Some businesses have moved forward with this trend; others have not, often to their own detriment. It’s estimated that only 8% of companies have email marketing teams. This is despite the fact that email is often rated as the platform with the highest rate of return on investment of an digital marketing strategy. Of course, email isn’t the only digital marketing strategy you should utilize. It’s also important that you take advantage of social media, a marketing strategy that can do a lot to change the way that your business is perceived.
Digital Marketing: What’s The Advantage?
So, why do we take advantage of digital marketing? For one thing, many people now spend a large amount of time online, enhancing your chances of being noticed as a business. Furthermore, marketing on social media platforms and through email allows you as a small business owner to target the clients that you want. This elevates your chances of success, and for that matter your chances of not only getting but keeping clients.
Are you shopping for CAT5e crossover cables, USB 3 cables, and the greatest surge protectors that modern technology has to offer? While 99% of the population doesn’t even know what CAT5e crossover cables are, let alone care to research and buy them, there are a variety of reasons CAT5e crossover cables are in your search history. Perhaps you’re setting up a home theater. Perhaps you own your own business and are a DIY network installer. Perhaps you’re an IT professional.
Whatever the reason, there is one thing that anyone purchasing CAT5e crossover cables (and any other network equipment) should be very cautious about: Not all cables are created equally. Connecting the expensive and essential equipment in your network with cheaply made and poor quality cables is a bad idea. Like, a really bad idea.
It’s not always easy to tell what makes one network cable provider better than another. If you base your purchasing decision solely on price, you could end up spending more than you should have on cables that really aren’t worth the money anyways. In order to help you out, stay tuned for our list of four qualities to look for in a network cable provider.
Four Characteristics in a Good Network Cable Provider
- A good network cable provider offers a lifetime warranty.
Installing your network with cables that have a lifetime warranty is more than just a good insurance policy in case one of them ever malfunctions (which is unavoidable from time to time, even with the best equipment). Using a company who offers a lifetime warranty on their cables means that they have confidence in the quality of their product. Let’s do the math: If a cable provider sell cheap quality cables that inevitably break and give you a headache, they’d go out of business if they offered a warranty on their poor quality product. When you use a cable supplier who stands behind their product, it’s a good sign that they sell good-quality products that you probably won’t have to replace anyways.
- A good network cable provider offers excellent tech support, before and after the sale.
If your cable purchase is significant, a cable provider may try to woo you with great technical support. But then once they have your money in their pocket, you can’t get any help when you need it. A good network cable provider is committed to providing a great experience throughout the life of their product, and will have a reputation that matches that. If you research customer reviews on cable providers, you want to see reviews of great technical support, even after the cables are purchased and installed.
- A good network cable provider has multiple distribution centers.
This is a factor that many people don’t think of. When a network cable provider has multiple distribution centers, it benefits their customers in a number of ways. First of all, you’ll be able to get your order and subsequent replacement parts quickly, since it can be shipped from the center closest to your physical location. Secondly, it’s a nice disaster recovery plan. If you a disaster struck your region, your cable provider would still be available to replace any damaged cables (see the warranty on the first point) because they’d have at least one or two distribution sites that weren’t impacted by the disaster.
- Look at the type of business you are purchasing from.
It’s something you have to consider if you work in government contracts, but it’s a good policy for any large purchase you make. Making a purchase from a huge corporation is fine, but making a purchase from a privately owned business might also offer socio-economic benefits, particularly if they are local. For example, if you care, purchasing your cables from a woman-owned or minority-owned (or both) cable business may offer greater goodwill.
Many businesses like this are manufactured overseas, which isn’t a bad thing; imported goods help our economy (by offering low-cost goods to people like you) as well as provide jobs in less privileged countries. Looking for fair labor practices might be a good idea.
Do you have any other suggestions for looking for a cable provider? Please share them in the comment section below.