Monday, March 31, 2014

Motivation Monday

With all the daily struggles that accompany running a business, motivation can often be hard to come by. Here are a few insightful quotes that have the ability to inspire many different outcomes.

  1. You are not your resume, you are your work. – Seth Godin
  2. If you see a bandwagon, it’s too late. – James Goldsmith
  3. Even if you are on the right track, You’ll get run over if you just sit there. – Will Rogers
  4. Every accomplishment starts with a decision to try. – Unknown
  5. Yesterday’s home runs don’t win today’s games. – Babe Ruth
  6. Hire character. Train skill. – Peter Schutz
  7. Do or do not. There is no try. – Yoda
Your BBB wishes you a successful and productive week!

Friday, March 28, 2014

Custom Short URLs

If you’re a regular Twitter user or engage in other social media, then you've no doubt seen shortened URLs, also called shortened hyperlinks or links. They save space, making them convenient for social media messages with character limits. Shortened URLs give you more room to express yourself in a condensed space. And, let’s admit it, they look much better than a link that sprawls across two or three lines of text.

For those who aren't familiar with shortened URLs, here is an example of one link shortened by five different services. Let’s take a look at the BBB’s Business Login located at https://www.bbb.org/boston/login/. When shortened by the following popular URL shorteners, the link becomes: 

These custom short URLs are great for building your business and brand, which brings us to our next point; you can purchase a domain for your shortener. This is similar to finding a domain name service. It's important to note that the short domain name can only be used as a shortener. 

For example, BBB has the custom short URL, go.bbb.org. The previous example using the custom shortener would look like this, http://go.bbb.org/1dyuPGc.

Once you've purchased your new shortened URL, you can set it up with a service like bit.ly.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

New Changes for Facebook Pages

Do you have a Facebook page for your small business? If so, let's connect! Check out our page here.

Networking aside, let's get to the point - Facebook is making some major changes to the layout of pages for businesses. Here's what you should know:

In this new Timeline layout there are two main columns. The right column contain all your posts and statuses. They post in order by published date.

The left column is all about your businesses information. Visitors to your page can view a map, your hours of operation, phone number and website URL, as well as photos, videos and any apps you have installed.

The notification and admin tools are now easier to access within the new layout. With one view, users can review their paid advertisements and notifications. In the top left corner, you will find links to the Activity Log, Insights and Settings.

Lastly, you should be aware of Pages to Watch. You can choose pages that are similar to yours and compare their performance against your page. This will come in handy if you're looking at competitors!

Tell us, are you excited about the new Facebook layout?



Thursday, March 20, 2014

Small Business Marketing: LinkedIn

LinkedIn is a key social network for the development of all businesses.

Employee Leverage
It is a great asset to have as many employees as possible connect with your company page and group. It's also important for them to list and display the proper information. By doing this, it will help your following grow organically.

Great Advocates
LinkedIn is a great venue for your employees to both promote your business and their own personal brands. By joining relevant groups and sharing content with their connections everyone can make meaningful contributions.

SEO
Having properly optimized employee pages can boost SEO and organic visibility. You should encourage your employees to optimize their pages using the following tips:

  • Included a photo
  • Link to company blog under “websites”
  • Add Twitter handle
  • Write a summary in first person highlighting your personality and skill sets
  • Add plenty of skills in the “Skills” section


In the comments, tell us how your business uses Linkedin. 

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Benefits Recap


BBB provides a service that markets TRUST in your business and brand. Building TRUST is great for you business but it is not the only benefits that come from being accredited. 

What do you value the most for your business?

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Setting Goals: Strategies for Getting the Most Out of Your Business

For any business, setting benchmarks is essential to achieve success. Better Business Bureau recommends these three strategies for achieving your business goals.

Find mentors to emulate. Who do you aspire to be like? Potential mentors could be people you work with, or even in a completely different industry whose road to success is worthy of imitation. Identify your mentors’ work ethic, habits, education, or whatever it is that deems them worthy of your aspirations. If possible, talk with them about how you can achieve your goals by following in their footsteps. Use the resources available to you in order to achieve your goals.

Make adjustments to your business and its direction as quickly as possible based on facts and results. When things aren’t going well or as you had planned, take a step back and analyze why this may be happening. As soon as you realize that you need to make a change, consult with mentors and use the information you have to adjust. Test out a new approach, review the results, and adjust if necessary. There is no sense in repeating an action that fails to deliver your desired outcome.


Build a strong foundation for your business by avoiding shortcuts. Your business must be built on ethical business practices, knowledge of your product and company, a desire to improve via professional development, and a commitment to representing your company and serving customers to the best of your ability. If you take shortcuts in any way, your business will suffer. One area where many business owners take “short cuts” when they are busy is skipping professional development, but that could shortchange your success. Make it a priority to attend, listen to what is being taught, incorporate relevant matters into your business, and always strive for improvement. You cannot expect success without hard work. The positive side is that by putting in the work and avoiding such shortcuts, you are more likely to rise above the fray and meet your goals more quickly.

What strategies work for your business?

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

8 Steps to Building Trust in Your Business

T-R-U-S-T

Find out what it means to me

T-R-U-S-T

Take care, TCB


There’s something reassuring about interacting with a business you have a relationship with – especially if that relationship is built on trust. 

Trust may sound like a “fuzzy” concept.  Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines it as assured reliance on the character, ability, strength, or truth of someone or something. But knowing the definition is far from what is required to build a meaningful amount of trust with your consumers.

Laying a foundation built on trust is a key aspect in taking care of business.

8 Steps to Build Trust


Do What You Say You Will

This seems like an obvious course of action, but without knowing limitations, priorities and available resources you should not commit to customers just achieve a sale. They will hold you responsible to your word and one failure outweighs countless deliveries.

Track Your Commitments

The quickest way to lose trust is to promise and then not deliver. As a business owner you must keep track of all your commitments. Customers, employees and vendors should all hold the same weight in your eyes. Keeping a list of what you need to accomplish and deliver is a quick and easy way to make sure you keep on track.

Be Authentic

If you are over your head or unsure of the next course of action, do not try to fake your way through it. Humans have an innate ability to notice the struggles and uncertainties in the actions of others. By being truthful about the situation you may be given more leeway with the final deliverable and will definitely not be caught between a rock and a hard place if the struggle becomes too much.

Be Clear and Concise When Communicating

Pay attention to your customer. Are you 100% sure they understood all that you explained to them? If you fail to deliver your message in a way that each person understands, you run the risk of misunderstood agreements and deliverables. By ensuring that you are both on the same page, neither one of you should ever be surprised at any point of the business relationship.

Listen Well

Communication is a two way street, and you may be excited about the chance of a sale or acquiring and new customer but you must make sure you understand their perspective. Make sure you listen to their every concern and desire before you begin formulating your response. You never want to over look any details they provide, because you never know how important that one aspect could be to their end goal.

Credit Others

Most business owners if not all, had some form of help along the way to their success. Make sure to credit for the commitments they have provided you. Could be the quality material supplier you often use all the way to the employee that brainstormed your most sought after service.

Transparency

If the customer knows how you plan to fulfill your commitment and every step you plan to take, it provides peace of mind throughout the process and can go a long way towards building your relationship.

Exceed Expectations

While you are expected to follow through with the agreed upon work, going the extra mile could be the key factor in repeat business. Anything from listening to their concerns and carefully waking them through a purchase to leaving the job site in better shape than when you arrived.

Using a few of these steps in your everyday business interactions will steadily increase the amount of trust your consumers have in you and your service.

How important is trust to you?