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Entrepreneurial

The term “melting pot” first became popularized in America more than 100 years ago.  When a play by the same name opened in Washington, D.C., on October 5, 1908. That production portrays a Russian immigrant escaping violent upheaval. It lays out the protagonist’s dream of a society free of any ethnic divide.Around the time of the 2020 U.S. Census, it’s expected that more than 50% of this country’s children will be part of a minority race or ethnic group. With Americans’ genetic makeup more varied than ever before, your staffing efforts must support and mirror that mix. But ensuring diversity is more than just a buzzword takes commitment to the cause. Here are three actionable ways that you can strengthen your strategy of retaining a diverse staff.

 Contrary to what some may believe, there are still effective methods of advertising your small business that don’t involve the internet. If you just let out a gasp and clutched your chest, we understand why you’d feel that way. Between display, social media, search engine marketing, remarketing, video and email, the tried-and-true approaches of yesteryear seem all but forgotten. But the truth is, tactics like direct mail can still work if done in the right way.Postcard marketing is a perfect example. In one survey conducted in the UK, 57% of respondents said that postcard marketing made them feel more valued and that a postcard created a more authentic relationship. As it turns out there’s something to be said for a tangible ad. One that you can hold and put on the fridge. If using postcards is an approach that you’re considering adding to your marketing mix, you should be aware of both the pros and cons.

The most successful small businesses are usually those that stick to well-defined processes that run like clockwork. Whether it’s over the course of bidding, product development, customer service or invoicing, developing a proven and effective flow for how, when, where and why things happen can be the difference in a company thriving and not surviving.While many leaders of small businesses recognize the value in a referral program as a lead generation source, less will realize the importance of process planning. In the same way, a lack of control can cause chaos in product development or in customer service, let's say, the same can be said about a referral program. If you really want to do it right, here are four questions to ask yourself before starting a referral program.

Being a business owner or a manager can be a challenge for a variety of reasons. One of the biggest is putting a plan in place to keep employees accountable. There’s a fine line between being a supportive manager and being a micromanager. Lean too far to one side, and your employees yearn for freedom and start to resent you. Lean too far to the other, and you strip them of the chance to learn and grow. With such a thin margin of error, it’s crucial that you develop a plan to keep employees accountable. Whether they’re located in the office or out in the field. We’ve put together three quick tactics to consider incorporating as part of that plan.

There are about 30 million small businesses in America today and these companies are as diverse as the American economy as a whole. Ranging from restaurants and auto-body shops to construction and renovation firms, hair salons, and home repair businesses, they account for 48 percent of all U.S. jobs. You might say that small business IS big business. But even though they employ fewer workers and often focus on a local or regional customer base, small businesses are subject to the same forces as large corporations. Large businesses usually have an established customer base and steady cash flow to keep them afloat during periods of change. Small businesses often do not. They need to be nimble and responsive when it comes to marketing their company, developing customer relationships, and keeping records. Here are some of the best practices for small businesses entering 2020.

Think about the last few purchases you made. How many of them were purely impulse buys? Where you hadn’t done any research on the manufacturer/provider, the product/service, or even spoke with someone who had? The fact is that 90% of people believe in brand recommendations from friends. Word-of-mouth marketing has never been more critical than it is today. In addition to the bump it provides in conversion rates, a huge benefit to utilizing word-of-mouth is that there’s no cost. Word-of-mouth isn’t the only cost-effective way to reach potential customers in a targeted way. The rise of social media has also given small businesses the type of publishing platform that used to come with a pretty expensive price tag.

Conventional wisdom often suggests that while large corporations grow more advanced, small businesses retain a more old-fashioned identity. This may be true in some cases. Small businesses often operate on local or regional levels. As a result, they don't have to win customers in a national competitive landscape. Many rivals pour millions into new technologies and cutting-edge strategies for boosting profits. Further, their own rivals sometimes aren't especially forward-thinking, either. This eases the pressure on them to pick up on the latest business trends and evolve with them.

Many businesses have peaks and valleys, but few understand the gravity of these swings like those in a seasonal market. For instance, a landscaping company in a cold climate doesn't have the same type of work lined up in late January than it does in late July. If you’ve been racking your brain for a few ways to increase awareness during your downtime, we've got some ideas to help you. Here are three ways for your business to stand out in a seasonal market.