Archive for August, 2018

SBA Plans Twitter Chat to Help Small Businesses Improve Online Marketing

Saturday, August 18th, 2018

Cheat Sheet Guide to the SBA 7a Loan Program

The Small Business Administration (SBA) is holding a chat at #SBAchat to help you take your online marketing plan to the next level

On August 28 at 12:00 pm ET, the SBA will hold the chat on Twitter to share online marketing tips and resources. As the premier public resource for small businesses in the U.S., the SBA has been helping entrepreneurs succeed since 1953.

The goal of the SBA is to help Americans start, build and grow businesses and it has extensive experience in making this happen. This includes a treasure trove of marketing strategies for your online platform.

Click on the #SBAchat button, follow and join the chat.


Featured Events, Contests and Awards

#SBAchat: How to Market Your Business Online#SBAchat: How to Market Your Business Online
August 28, 2018, Online, Twitter

Do you have an online marketing plan for your small business? Take advantage of the dog days of summer to help boost your online presence. Join us for a Twitter chat hosted by the U.S. Small Business Administration (@SBAgov) as we’ll be sharing online marketing tips and resources. Follow along with the hashtag #SBAchat.

Growth & Success ConGrowth & Success Con
September 17, 2018, Online

This small business virtual conference is dedicated to supporting entrepreneurs at all stages who are stuck in the daily grind of building their businesses and struggle to get solid advice and guidance. An amazing panel of experts in various disciplines and business coaches will share tips & tricks on topics including Growth, Marketing, Management & Business Building for Success. Register today!

Dreamforce 2018Dreamforce 2018
September 25, 2018, San Francisco, CA

Every year, the world’s most innovative minds come to Dreamforce to inspire, excite, and motivate attendees. Past speakers include Michelle Obama, Taraji P. Henson, Klaus Schwab, and Susan Wojcicki. With 2,700+ sessions to help every role in every industry succeed, opportunities to get hands-on with the latest product innovations, and thousands of Trailblazers to learn from, Dreamforce is not to be missed. Register now to lock in your spot and blaze your trail to the best Dreamforce ever!

More Events

More Contests

This weekly listing of small business events, contests and awards is provided as a community service by Small Business Trends.

You can see a full list of events, contest and award listings or post your own events by visiting the Small Business Events Calendar.

Image: Shutterstock

This article, “SBA Plans Twitter Chat to Help Small Businesses Improve Online Marketing” was first published on Small Business Trends


Apply These 10 Simple Secrets to Improve Your Social Media Marketing

Saturday, August 18th, 2018

Social media is constantly changing and presenting new challenges and opportunities for small businesses. To really make the most of those platforms and communicate effectively with potential customers, you can learn a lot from online business experts. Here are some insights from members of the online small business community to help you step up your social media game.

Learn How Consumers and Brands Use Instagram

If you’re looking to make the most of Instagram as a marketing platform for your small business, you need to understand how consumers and other brands are using it. The statistics in this Jumper Media post by Gian Pepe may be able to shed some light on some of those habits and trends.

Think Outside the Box When It Comes to Social Media Content

There are tons of different brands using social media. And sometimes the content from those brands can start to sort of blend together. In order to stand out from the competition, you may need to think about your content in new and different ways. Christian Zilles elaborates in this Social Media HQ post.

Seek Out Pro Advice

Social media pros who have been making use of these platforms for years have made plenty of mistakes and learned a ton of lessons along the way. So you can gain a lot of useful knowledge from heeding their advice, like what’s listed in this Strella Social Media post by Rachel Strella. Biz Sugar members also shared thoughts on the post here.

Take a New Look at These Marketing Automation Tools

To make your social media and online marketing strategy as efficient as possible, you need automation tools to do some of the work for you. In this DIY Marketers post, Megan Totka offers a new look at a few automation tools that may be able to help your strategy.

Develop a Plan for your Social Media Efforts

Using social media as part of your marketing strategy isn’t just about making a few quick posts here and there. You need an actual plan for creating content that will have a real impact on your business and its bottom line. Learn more about using social media effectively in this Quick Sprout post by Neil Patel.

Ensure Your Next Collaboration with Influencers Is a Success

Working with influencers can drastically improve your reach on social media, as long as you know how to plan a campaign and measure results. Michaela Underdahl shares tips for making sure your influencer relationships are beneficial in this post on The Social Media Hat blog.

Take Advantage of Facebook’s Advanced Matching Pixel

Facebook’s Advanced Matching Pixel is an advertising tool that can help you used customer data to target advertising campaigns. The platform recently added an automatic version of this tool. To learn more about making this tool work for your business, check out this Marketing Land post by Justin Freid.

Change Your New Facebook Page Template Feature

Facebook recently announced a new feature that will allow business pages to change up their look with different templates. If you’re looking to take advantage of this new feature, check out the guide in this Inspire to Thrive post by Lisa Sicard. You can also see what the BizSugar community had to say here.

Learn About Using Pinterest Search Ads

Pinterest can be a powerful social tool for brands that rely heavily on visuals. To reach more people on the platform, you can invest in search ads. If you’re unfamiliar with this option, you can learn more in this Social Media Examiner post by Angie Gensier.

Study the Anatomy of a Successful Social Success

As you navigate the complicated platforms and features in the world of social media, it’s still important to remember the basics. In this Noobpreneur post by Ivan Widjaya, you can see some of the most essential elements that make up a successful social media strategy.
If you’d like to suggest your favorite small business content to be considered for an upcoming community roundup, please send your news tips to:

Photo via Shutterstock

This article, “Apply These 10 Simple Secrets to Improve Your Social Media Marketing” was first published on Small Business Trends


Job Descriptions Become Longer, More Detailed as Competition for Employees Tightens

Saturday, August 18th, 2018

Help Wanted Ad Trends Driving Changes in Job Descriptions in Competitive Job Market

The record low unemployment rate and the tight job market are making small businesses reassess many of their hiring practices. According to ZipRecruiter, this includes providing more details in their job descriptions for help wanted ads.

ZipRecruiter analyzed the data for 4.5 million posts from early 2016 to 2018 to figure out how the rate of unemployment affected job descriptions. And simply put, businesses make more of an effort when there are fewer people in the labor market.

In order to compete for talent, small businesses are being forced to raise wages and offer more incentives. And according to the ZipRecruiter report, they are going to have to create want ads with more information to attract the right candidates too.

On it’s official blog, ZipRecruiter explains, “As unemployment falls, employers write longer job descriptions that tend to identify more skills needed for the position. As we noted above, this means that companies are more clear and specific about what they need, which helps prospective applicants figure out whether this is the right job for them and makes it easier for employers to get the workers they need.”

Help Wanted Ad Trends

Compared to 2016, the average ad in 2018 is around 70% longer. Businesses are also putting detailed information about the available position, including salaries.

ZipRecruiter says this can help potential candidates get a better understanding of the position they are applying for.

The report also looked at the difference from the 10% unemployment rate of 2009 and where it currently stands now in 2018 at 4%.

Compared to 2009, ads are now 8% longer, specifying more skills. When there is an opening it is 17% more likely to be entry level. As to salary, 18% now list how much they are willing to pay their employees and when it is listed it is 7.7% higher.

What Does This All Mean?

According to ZipRecruiter, businesses are more open to early career talent and are being more transparent while paying more as well.

For applicants, this means being able to make quick decisions. Whether this will translate to more hires for small businesses strapped to fill positions, time will tell.

Photo via Shutterstock

This article, “Job Descriptions Become Longer, More Detailed as Competition for Employees Tightens” was first published on Small Business Trends


Romanian PM Tells EU: Force Against Protesters was Justified

Saturday, August 18th, 2018

BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — Romania’s prime minister has defended the use of force by riot police during a violent anti-government protest that left more than 450 people injured.

Prime Minister Viorica Dancila sent a letter to EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker on Friday in which she alleged that other politicians, including President Klaus Iohannis, had tried to “violently remove a legitimate government.” She said police legally responded to the violence.

Romania’s riot police have been accused of being heavy-handed with the mainly peaceful protesters in the Aug 10 anti-corruption protest. More than 200 criminal complaints have been filed against police. Dancila said authorities were investigating the claims.

Protesters are holding a vigil Friday to mark a week since police fired tear gas and water cannons.

Dancila’s letter was her first comment on the protest.


BDZ will Buy 42 Trains for BGN 810 Million

Saturday, August 18th, 2018

BDZ launched an open tender procedure for the purchase and maintenance of 42 new modular trains for the needs of BDZ-Passenger Transport EOOD. The company announces that the deadline for receipt of tenders is until 16:45 on October 12, 2018.

The opening of the envelopes with the offers will be on October 15, 2018 at 13 pm in the administrative building of the company in Sofia. The scope of the contract includes two main activities: “supply of 42 new modular trains in accordance with the requirements specified in the technical specification; complete technical maintenance of the delivered 42 trains for a period of up to 15 years including capital repair but not more than 2,800,000 km train running. “

The estimated value of the order is BGN 810 million with VAT


Bulgaria’s Revenue from Foreign Tourist Arrivals Grows 9.7% in the First Half of 2018

Saturday, August 18th, 2018

SOFIA (Bulgaria), August 17 (SeeNews) – Bulgaria’s revenue from foreign tourist arrivals rose by an annual 9.7% to 1.3 billion euro ($1.5 billion) in the first six months of 2018, the tourism ministry said on Friday, quoting data from the central bank.

In June alone, Bulgaria’s revenue from foreign tourist arrivals increased by 8.1% year-on-year to 490 million euro, the tourism ministry said in a statement.

Some 3.6 million foreign tourists visited Bulgaria in the first half of 2018, up 8.9% compared to the same period of last year.



The week in energy: Agreement on the Caspian Sea

Friday, August 17th, 2018

Russia and Iran strike a deal, BP is back in the US, and Australia argues over coal

This Week in Small Business, Are Facebook Video Ads Reaching their Target Audience?

Friday, August 17th, 2018


Are Facebook’s video ads really hitting their intended audience?

If you’re using video ads on Facebook, are you getting results? Honestly, I was surprised to see the results of a recent survey showing 71% of Facebook users believe the ads they see are relevant.

That’s why I had John “Colderice” Lawson join me for this latest edition of This Week in Small Business, the show where I dissect my 3 favorite articles to appear on Small Business Trends this week.

Don’t forget to subscribe to the Small Business Trends YouTube channel — and click the notifications button — to get personal updates when future episodes are uploaded. 

Do Facebook Video Ads Work?

Back to our discussion on this week’s show … John believes these numbers, despite my skepticism.

“They have to. The only way I’m going to pay to advertise my video is if I’m getting results,” he says. “Getting results requires them to have the algorithm constantly updating to find the most relevant people who are going to take action on your video. From an advertiser perspective, I get it.”

He convinced me and I actually believe that the relevance of these videos that every user sees will only increase the more people interact with the site.

John adds, “Your audience is Facebook’s audience. And your video’s audience needs to be the Facebook bot.”

That’s right, the Facebook bot. He added that the Facebook bot has its audience “really dialed in.”

Be sure to check out our whole discussion on that topic. In the rest of the show, we also talk about the use of virtual assistants and small businesses and how much content that marketing teams are creating that’s NOT being used by sales teams. That number is staggering.

That’s all in this week’s episode of This Week in Small Business.

Remember, to get future updates and never miss an episode of this show and to view past shows, subscribe to the Small Business Trends YouTube channel today.

And for the rest of the week that was in small business, check out the Small Business Trends news roundup below.


58% of Small Business Owners Say Business is Good, Up 39% from Last Year, Survey Says

The confidence among small business owners is at record highs, and the results from the quarterly CNBC/SurveyMonkey Small Business Survey has revealed as much.

Local Marketing

TribeFluence Wants to Connect Small Businesses with Influencer Marketers

TribeFluence has an influencer marketing solution which connects brands with macro and micro- influencers. The company has signed a new deal with Click & Clear Communications, making it the first authorized TribeFluence Marketing platform provider in the US.

Management Provides Employee Feedback to Improve Small Business Productivity is an employee survey platform with an improvement process designed for small and medium sized businesses. Employee Survey Platform The platform shows companies what they can do to improve their organization by showing them what is working and where their blind spots are.

BambooHR Launches Tool to Track Employee Morale

Using employee Net Promoter Score (eNPS), BambooHR is going to offer the tools which were originally designed to measure customer and client satisfaction and apply them internally within your small business. Business owners will have actionable data about the satisfaction of their employees.

Small Business Loans

Big Banks Bullish on Lending to Small Businesses, Biz2Credit Reports

Another month brings another record high small business loan approval rate by big banks. Biz2Credit Lending Index July 2018 The July Biz2Credit Small Business Lending Index reports this was a strong month for small business lending approvals.

Small Business Operations

The Most Trusted B2B Brands in 2018 are Also the Most Profitable, Report Says

Getting the trust of your customers is one way to ensure the longevity of your business. This is true whether your company is a B2B or B2C enterprise. The 2018 B2B Trusted Brands Report (PDF) from Sagefrog points out why trust is so important in B2B, and why you will probably recognize all if not most of the brands on its list.

HubSpot Conversations Gives Small Businesses Unlimited Chats and Chatbot Capabilities

HubSpot (NYSE: HUBS) has announced the launch of Conversations, a new collaboration tool that’s part of the inbound marketing and sales platform’s CRM. Hubspot Conversations This easy-to-use feature provides business users with unlimited chats and chatbot functionality, allowing teams to manage chat and email conversations from one convenient place.

Social Media

Facebook Asks Banks for Financial Data, But Small Business Experts Are Concerned

Facebook wants some U.S. banks to hand over customer financial information. They’ve asked big banks to supply balances from checking accounts and credit card transaction details when they join Messenger.

Facebook Implements New Authorization Protocol for Business Pages

In its bid to ensure the people on Facebook (NASDAQ: FB) are who they say they are, the social media giant has added yet another verification tool. From now on, people who manage a Page with a large US audience will have to complete an authorization process if they want to continue posting in their account.

Facebook Says Updates Allow Customers to Interact with More Small Businesses

Facebook (NASDAQ: FB) has announced a series of updates designed to make it much easier for users to connect with local small businesses. The social media giant said it has more than 1.6 billion people around the world who are connected to a small business on Facebook.

Technology Trends

Sprint MultiLine Allows Separation of Business and Personal Calls on the Same Phone

You want two separate numbers for business and personal communication, but do you get a separate phone or a second line? Sprint MultiLine wants you to opt for the latter because it solves a number of issues and it is much cheaper.

ThinkPad P1 Mobile Workstation Could Suit Small Business Power Users

Lenovo says the ThinkPad P1 is its thinnest and lightest mobile workstation it has made to date. And at only 0.7 inches or 18.4mm thick, Lenovo has managed to include some impressive specs in such a small form factor. In addition to the P1, Lenovo is also announcing a bigger P72.

Samsung Galaxy Watch Could Make Things Easier for the Busy Entrepreneur

At first glance, the new Samsung Galaxy Watch looks like a traditional timepiece, but it is far from that. The company has announced three versions of the new line of watches with Silver, Midnight Black and Rose Gold faces.

The Samsung Galaxy Note 9 Brings Functionality – and High Cost – to Business Power Users

The Samsung Galaxy Note is the utilitarian workhorse for smartphone power users, and each time a new version is announced this group eagerly awaits the release. Well, the Galaxy Note 9 is out and it doesn’t disappoint when it comes to specs, design and functionality.

This article, “This Week in Small Business, Are Facebook Video Ads Reaching their Target Audience?” was first published on Small Business Trends


America’s Youngest Entrepreneurs Hail From Salt Lake City, Buffalo and New Orleans, Study Says

Friday, August 17th, 2018

Top Cities with the Youngest Entrepreneurs Include New Orleans, Salt Lake City and ... Buffalo?

If you are a young entrepreneur looking to make your way in the business world, where you establish your company can go a long way in determining your long-term success. And if you’re in search of the best location, a new study from LendingTree has listed the top 10 cities in the US with the youngest business founders to give you some ideas — most of which might not even be on your radar.

In the study, LendingTree compared the age of business founders in the 50 largest US cities. The information was gathered from the LendingTree Small Business Marketplace and results were compiled based on the ages of founders in the 50 largest U.S. cities at the tie their businesses were founded.

In a post on the official LendngTree site, content writer Elyssa Kirkham says nearly a third of Americans have thought about starting their own business — according to a LendingTree survey.

But Kirkham adds, “Before launching a business, however, it’s worthwhile to consider your location and how friendly it would be to a new and growing company. The better the location you choose, the faster you can work toward founding and building your business.”

The information for the study came from anonymized data of borrowers seeking business loans on the LendingTree platform over the last five years.

The Top Cities with the Youngest Entrepreneurs

The top three cities with the youngest entrepreneurs are Salt Lake City, Buffalo, N.Y. and New Orleans. On average the founders in these cities were younger than 38 years old when they started their businesses. Oklahoma City is fourth on the list with Charlotte, N.C., Minneapolis, St. Louis, Portland, Ore., Milwaukee, and Austin, Texas rounding out the top 10 list — but all with entrepreneurs just sightly older.

Top Cities with the Youngest Entrepreneurs Include New Orleans, Salt Lake City and ... Buffalo?

In all the top cities, the millennial (born between 1981 and 1996) and Gen X (born between 1965 and 1980) generations were responsible for founding the most businesses. In most cases, they accounted for more than 70 to 80+ percent of the entrepreneurs establishing new companies.

Meanwhile, the Gen Z group (born after 1996) had the greatest influence in Charlotte where they were responsible for 5% of small businesses. Baby boomers on the other hand (born between 1946 and 1964) had the biggest impact in Portland at 18%, with the Silent generation (born between 1928 and 1945) founding the largest percentage of businesses — about 1.9% — in Austin.

The Best Business Location

When seeking a place to start a small business, LendingTree recommends  seeking out a growing local economy, business-friendly tax policies, low cost of living, strong startup network and one where business funding is available.

Kirkham writes, “Being picky about finding the best place to start your business can really pay off later.”

Here are the top 50 Cities

Dashboard 1

Photo via Shutterstock

This article, “America’s Youngest Entrepreneurs Hail From Salt Lake City, Buffalo and New Orleans, Study Says” was first published on Small Business Trends


Maersk/conglomerates: driller killer

Friday, August 17th, 2018

Spinning off oil rigs business will allow the group to sail more smoothly