Why Businesses Fail

The Small Business Association states that 30% of new businesses fail during the first two years, 50% during the first five years, and 66% during the first ten years. So why do these businesses fail? Why is it that even if they make it past the first couple years, the odds of them failing goes up even more? The way consumers purchase products and the way companies market those products to consumers has changed dramatically over the last couple years. This means that every step in a businesses’ process, from marketing the product, to manufacturing the product, and finally to delivering the products to the customer and ensuring their satisfaction, has become increasingly important to that businesses’ success. In considering today’s market and consumer marketability, we have established the top 3 reasons why businesses fail today…

Not Adapting to Change

The most important reason why businesses are failing today is because they are not adapting to changes in the industry, economy, or consumers. New companies are emerging every day and in every industry, and today more than ever before, these new businesses have almost equal opportunity of surviving, if not better opportunity, than companies that have been around for years. Customer loyalty has dropped dramatically as customers are more informed about which product or brand is actually better than the other. Customers in previous years, such as Generation X, simply chose the brands they were most familiar with and stuck with that, causing businesses to depend on customer loyalty. With Millennials and Generation Zers, customers are actually turning their products over and looking at the ingredients, looking up brand ethicality, and so on.

Businesses are failing because they are not adapting to these changes. Utilizing new technologies to quicken business processes, using social media marketing rather than traditional advertisements, and constantly improving and maintaining brand image is only a couple of the ways businesses need to be adapting to these recent changes.

Poor Management

The second most common reason businesses fail is because of poor management. This does not just mean from an upper-level stance, but lower-level management as well. Ensuring that everyone involved in your business, both externally and internally, knows your business inside and out is extremely important in ensuring management is aligned throughout the company. This includes knowing what the business stands for, the goals of the business, and the reason your business was created. Many companies do this by telling everyone who begins working for the business, the history of how the business began and why, as well as accenting on the importance of abiding by the company norms. This allows every individual inside and outside of the company, to be aware of how they should be operating, and how people under them should be operating as well, leading to improved management overall.

Unsustainable Competitive Advantage

Competitive advantages are becoming extremely difficult to maintain today as more and more businesses are entering the market, with increased chance of success. A business can no longer rely on one competitive advantage, such as a successful product, to maintain their business’ success. Companies with sustainable competitive advantages are not only consistently ensuring their product is the best on the market, but ensuring their brand is constantly improving their processes ethically and financially. This ensures that even if a new product comes out on the market, it is in direct competition with your own product as you’ve been consistently innovating and improving it. This also ensures that if a new company comes out that is ethically attractive and financially stable, you have also maintained your brand’s image and effectively improved your processes as well.

The key to ensuring your business does not fail is to constantly act like it is a brand new business. No matter how long your business has been around, whether it’s 5 years or 35 years, if you treat your business like you just started it up yesterday, you’ll be constantly working to improve it and therefore never fall behind your competition. This is evolved around your own motivation to be the best in the business and the perseverance you have, and your employees have, in consistently and effectively improving your business.

If your business could use some improving, click here to check out our MaxExposure products on our website today!

Top 3 Apps for Small Businesses

With all the new and emerging technologies and applications today, starting up and maintaining businesses has become much easier to manage. There are now applications used for various functions from organizing business tasks, to keeping track of paychecks, and even to measuring and reporting a company’s current success and status. Below are three of the best applications for your small business or organization!

Evernote

Evernote is a downloadable software, or mobile application, which contains note taking, organizing, and archiving capabilities. Evernote allows for small businesses to maintain fluidity and organization throughout the business by giving visibility into projects, work flows, and deadlines across various employees in the business. This allows business people to work better and more efficiently together by ensuring everyone in the company, or in a specific department of the company, has up-to-date information.

Zoom

Zoom video conferencing is another software application which greatly improves business management and functions for small to medium-sized businesses. Zoom allows for HD video conferencing with simultaneous screen sharing and white-boarding aimed to greatly improve group collaboration long distance. If a business partner or employee is traveling or out-of-state for a conference, networking, and so on, they are still able to easily collaborate and communicate with their fellow employees, allowing business to maintain speed in business projects.

Square

Square is another application that has greatly improved business efficiency, as well as the customer experience. Square allows for online payments to be made right from a smartphone, removing the need for cash registers and computer systems at the checkout. The application also allows businesses to manage inventory, customer directories, and digital receipts. You can also send invoices to customers, save cards on file, use Square to sell online off of your company’s website, and it even works with no signal so there are no disruptions or inconveniences!

These applications allow for business management to be made easy, improving your business efficiency and success, and overall customer satisfaction as well. Utilizing these apps, along with the various social media applications to market and manage your business will allow your business to continuously expand and improve every year.
Click here to check out our MaxExposure products and get started on improving your business today!

Employee Feature: Briana Cefaloni

What do you do for MaxExposure? 

I am Client Service Representative for Max Exposure. I help with on-boarding and the continued satisfaction of our customers. 

What is your favorite part of your job?

My favorite part of my job is the family feel of MaxExposure. Being away from home and extremely close to my family, it is so nice knowing I have a family at MaxExposure. Getting to work alongside the sisters in my sorority and having such an inspirational boss, Aly, I am constantly motivated to better myself. 

Why do you feel companies should choose MaxExposure?

Companies should choose MaxExposure for its small business feel and personal attention. Being a small firm, we are able to put a greater focus on each of our customers. We do things like quarterly customer calls and give constant feedback and guidance to our clients. This personal attention is much greater then one would get at a larger social media business. 

What is your favorite MaxExposure product?

My favorite MaxExposure product is Facebook Advertising. Since I run them for customers every month I truly get to see the impacts they have on businesses. Advertising on Facebook allow businesses to reach hundreds or thousands of new people every month in their region. This is getting them more exposure, which is the ultimate goal. 

Click here to check out our MaxExposure Facebook Advertising product!

The Key to Marketing Small Businesses

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Operating a small business is not something to try to sneak past your customers, but rather something to accent on throughout your marketing strategy. There are so many benefits to purchasing from small businesses as opposed to large businesses. Accenting on the personalized customer service, increased customer value, and high quality products and services your small business offers, will greatly increase the effectiveness of your company’s marketing. Below are three tips to helping you unlock the key to marketing your small business!

Inbound Marketing is EVERYTHING

cellphone-device-digital-marketing-893893.jpgConsidering that small businesses tend to do less business and therefore generate lower profits than larger businesses, there is less money to be allocated towards the marketing budget. Inbound marketing is extremely helpful in allowing small businesses to compete with larger businesses who can afford to spend more on marketing. TV advertisements, print advertising, and radio ads have become extremely ineffective in recent years as customers are now using social media and music and tv streaming services. Inbound marketing includes blogs, websites, and social media marketing. Inbound marketing revolves around attracting the customer to your business, rather than simply marketing a product or service to them. It’s about creating a need for your customer so they come to you as opposed to the other way around.

If your business needs help with improving its inbound marketing, click here to check out our MaxExposure products on our website!

Give your Customers the Inside Scoop

One of the best parts about working with a small business is that you actually get to know the people you are working with. New customers want to know what to expect when meeting your business’ employees for the first time, and existing customers love to see the employees they love and are familiar with! Make sure to post an image of your employees at work either in-office or out of the office and keep them updated on your employees’ lives to engage them and increase their trust in your business! Posting content about an employee’s promotion or recent wedding shows your customers that you care about your employees and allows them to build relationships with your employees as well.

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Customer Satisfaction Goes a Long Way

Last but not least, one of the most important aspects in effectively marketing your small business is following through on the customer service your customers expect. Satisfying your customers not only ensures they continue purchasing from your business, but that they will recommend your company to their friends and possibly even write you a review online! Customer recommendations and reviews go a long way in marketing your small business. Small businesses are typically not well-known and trusted right off the bat because many people have never used or heard of them before. Through customer satisfaction, reviews, and recommendations, your small business expands its customer base and improves its branding.

Check out our MaxExposure social posting products for your small business by clicking here!

5 Millennial Marketing Tips for Hotels

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The hotel industry is one of the fastest growing industries in the world. Travel has become increasingly popular over recent years, expanding much of its popularity with the Millennial generation. Bookings in travel and tourism reached almost $1.6 trillion in 2017, with global hotel industry estimated to exceed $500 billion by the end of 2018. Although this industry is growing rapidly and expected to continue to grow in the coming years, it is still essential that businesses operating within the hotel industry market to their customers effectively to continue to stand tall in this competitive landscape. Here are 5 marketing tips for marketing to Millennials in the hotel industry…

A Picture Says a Thousand Words

Screen Shot 2018-12-12 at 5.17.27 PM.pngOne of the most important aspects for customers in choosing a hotel is what it looks like; does the bed look old and dusty? Are the carpets outdated and ugly? How big is the bathroom? Is there a TV? The questions are endless. Customers turn to pictures to answer their questions. It’s easy enough for you to claim, “Beautiful, picturesque views of the countryside right outside your window!”, customers need to see it to believe it!! Posting pictures of your hotel rooms is a great way to attract customers as well as gain their trust that you offer high quality accommodations!

Click here to view our MaxExposure Social Media posting products!

LOYALTY is KEY

In the hotel industry, customer loyalty is essential. Once customers have had a good experience at your hotel, they are encouraged to choose your hotel brand for their next travel location as they are already familiar with it. Offering discounts for first time customers is a great way to get new customers in the door and enjoying your services. If your hotel is offering a lower rate and your hotel looks high quality in your pictures, they will be more willing to give your hotel a try over others they have already visited.

There is no Such Thing as no Transparency

With all of the reviews on travel sites for hotels, airlines, and so on, there is no such thing as no transparency. Be sure to be 100% honest on your site and social media accounts in regards to the services your hotel offers and the quality of the accommodations. If customers visit your hotel with false expectations, they will be disappointed by what they receive and therefore give your hotel a terrible review. If they go in with more realistic expectations, they are more likely to be presently surprised by extra offerings they are given and added customer service they did not initially expect!

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Maximize Reviews and GET MORE VIEWS!

Reviews are extremely important in the hotel industry as many customers first instinct in searching for a hotel to stay at is to look at third-party sites such as Expedia or TripAdvisor. After looking at price and pictures, the third aspect they’re going to look at is your customer reviews. To insure you build up your reviews and always have relatively new reviews for your hotel, offer incentives such as, “free breakfast in the morning if you write us a review!”

If you want to increase the amount of views your hotel receives online by improving your SEO click here to view our MaxExposure SEO products!

Utilize Online Efficiencies

With the new technologies and advances in Internet usability, you can greatly enhance your customers experiences in booking a hotel room, viewing new price deals, and so on. Many hotel chains have taken advantage of this by adding virtual 3D visualization of hotel rooms on their sites so customers can get a more enhanced look at what their accommodation is going to look like. Making customers’ experiences on your hotel site easier and more engaging encourages them to directly visit your hotel’s site as opposed to looking for deals online amongst you and all your competitors. This will maximize your hotel’s profitability by increasing your customer loyalty and sales!

Click here to check out our MaxExposure website builder product!

Employee Feature: Alli Burns, Marketing Assistant

Hi!! My name is Alli and I’m the face behind many of the MaxExposure blog posts! I have been working with MaxExposure for a little over a year as a marketing assistant. To give you a little background on me, I am originally from Connecticut, I am a marketing major attending Bentley University, I am a big red sox fan, and on the weekends you can catch me watching Friends reruns!

What do you do for MaxExposure?

I am responsible for creating and posting social media content for customers to maximize their social media engagement and following. I am also responsible for creating and publishing content on our MaxExposure blog to give our customers, and blog viewers, social media tips and inform them of new marketing trends to help them improve their own marketing strategy!

What is your favorite part of your job?

My favorite part of my job is hearing back from my boss, Aly, that one of my clients is loving the content I am posting for them. To know that I am not only helping a company increase their online following and sales, but that I’ve actually excited them about their social media account, and their business in general, is extremely rewarding.

I’ve also greatly enjoyed writing and publishing our MaxExposure blogs and learning about new marketing topics, tips, and trends that not only can help our customers, but make me a better marketer as well! ((Click here to check out more of our MaxExposure blogs and get tips on how to improve your company’s marketing!))

Why do you feel companies should choose MaxExposure?

I think companies looking to improve their marketing tactics and company profitability should choose MaxExposure because they are a family-run business. Being a family-run business means they are extremely invested in their customer’s satisfaction with our services. In using a larger marketing company, often times your only point of contact is “customer service” calls and email. At MaxExposure, any time a customer has a concern about their products, they have the opportunity to reach out and speak directly with the employee in charge of providing their services.

Speaking with the actual person in charge of the services gives the customer an opportunity to not only consult that employee regarding their concerns, but collaborate with them and get advice from an expert on how to improve.

What is your favorite MaxExposure product?

My favorite MaxExposure product is the new Website Builder product! A lot of small businesses have outdated or nonfunctional websites so being able to see the transformation of their online company image has been amazing! 

 

If you need us to boost your social media following and engagement, check out our MaxExposure Social Posting products today!

How to Effectively Market your Home Improvement Business

The home improvement industry is an extremely fun one, especially for customers in the target market. Customers love learning about and purchasing home improvements because their home is something they live in and enjoy every day. Accenting on this rather than simply trying to market your business in particular will differentiate your company from other companies in the home improvement industry because you will not only engage and attract customers, but excite them. Below are five social media marketing tips for your home improvement industry…

 

Showcase Customer’s Home Improvement Projects

Customers love seeing what you’ve been able to do for people in renovating and improving their homes. This way, when they see something they like, they’ll hire you and maybe show you a picture from your Instagram and say, “I want to do something like this.” Posting pictures of your previous home improvement projects gives them an idea of what they may want you to do for them in their own home. The customer whose home you are posting about will also love that you recognized their improvement project enough to publish it to your company’s social media. This will enhance your relationship and customer loyalty with them as they feel like they are appreciated and important to your business.

 

Give Ideas for DIY Home Improvement Fixes

Although giving customers quick DIY home improvement fixes is not going to generate profit for you in that fix, it will show the customer you care about them. You are not only showing that your company is knowledgeable in home improvement projects, but that you are willing to help customers with the small stuff that they don’t need to hire a company for. They may use your quick home improvement fixes for the small projects, but they will also be familiarized with your company, and turn to you for the bigger projects they prefer to hire someone for.

 

Post Pictures of Employees

Customer service is extremely important in the home improvement industry. New customers are going to be wary about letting “strangers” into their homes, so be sure to show your employees rather often on your social media. This will build a sense of trust with your customers because they will get to actually see who’s going to be showing up at their door for the project.

 

Be Specific in your Written Content

When customers are looking at doing a home improvement, they do their research. They find out which material is most durable for their wood floors, which tile grout is easier to clean, and what brands of windows are the most secure. Customers familiarize themselves with many of the home improvement materials and terms so being sure to say “mahogany” instead of just “wood floors” will reassure your customer that you know what you are talking about, and that they know what they are purchasing.

Enlist the Help of an Expert

Even though you and your employees know the home improvement industry front and back, marketing your home improvement company is an entirely different battle. This is when it can help to hire an expert on marketing and social media to insure you maximize your online presence and customer following. Marketing experts will post the most effective content, on a regular basis, and allow for your own input as well such as new company images or products you want to showcase.

If you are looking to maximize your home improvement company’s outreach on social media, click here to check out our Home Services package today, or give us a call for more information!

Start your Business with Microbranding!

Approximately 543,000 businesses are started each month. Although hundreds of thousands of businesses are started each month, even more than that shut down each month. So how do startups survive in today’s market? The new trend helping thousands of businesses start up successfully and grow their success rather than shut down is called, microbranding. A microbrand is defined as “a small-scale brand recognized only in a certain geographic location or by consumers in a specific micro market or niche market.”

rawpixel-661940-unsplash.jpgMore and more businesses are starting by first developing and promoting a microbrand in which they sell one specific type of product. Once the product proves successful and gains a customer base, the business has the opportunity to add more products related to the initial product. This way, by the time they develop more products and invest more money in the company, they already have a customer base to sell their new products to, giving them a higher chance of success with their new products.

One company that has been successful in starting up using microbranding is Kylie Jenner’s cosmetics company, Kylie Cosmetics, LLC. Kylie Cosmetics started off as a microbrand that just sold individual lip glosses. After gaining a following and continuously selling out new lip gloss lines within minutes, Kylie Cosmetics now sells various types of makeup including eyeliner, mascara, eyeshadow, and so on.

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Here’s the key to successful microbranding:

Find your Niche

Even though there are millions of products out on the market, there are products in every industry that could use improvement. It is important that you find a niche that makes sense for you as well. Going into an industry you are passionate about and knowledgeable of will allow you to develop a high quality product, and build a better relationship with your customer base.

 

Build your Following through Marketing

I cannot stress this enough, but just like with any startup, marketing and public relations is an absolute must if you want to start a successful business. Kylie Jenner didn’t have much difficulty in this aspect of starting her company because she already had millions of followers on her social media accounts. One way to get your microbrand noticed is to reach out to people on social media that are in your target market and send them a free sample of your product, or a discount on their first order if they sponsor you. This means they will send out a post or story of them using your product and/or write a review for you on the product. This allows you to reach their followers as well, most of whom are also in your target market.

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Quality is Essential

Considering you are gaining a following primarily based on people’s satisfaction with your product or service, quality is essential. If they are not satisfied with your product, they are not going to want to recommend it to their friends and you are not going to be able to increase your following. Make sure that your marketing of the product and product quality match up on all counts.

 

Have a Long-Term Plan

A microbrand is a great way to get your business started, however no company carries on for years and years on selling and marketing just one product. You need to have a long-term plan and long-term goals for your business so that once your microbrand does gain its following you know where to go next to grow your company even further.

 

If you are looking to start your own business through microbranding and need help marketing your product click here to check out our social posting products!

 

Small Business Tips: Using Personalized Marketing to Reach Customers

Let’s Get Personal.

As many of us have noticed, companies online have been getting increasingly “personal” with their customers…maybe even so personal that we’re a little creeped out. For instance, when you are online shopping on a clothing website and then you go on Instagram and there’s an ad for the same exact dress you were just looking at a moment ago. Many people can even recall a time when they were discussing let’s say a certain book with their friend and that same book showed up in an Amazon advertisement without them ever having viewed it online. Maybe it’s our phones listening to us, or maybe, it’s the businesses we shop at.

Although some forms of personalized marketing can come off as a bit creepy and are not super effective in boosting sales or customer retention, personalized marketing, when done correctly, can have a significant positive impact on your business. So how do we use personalized marketing correctly?? Here’s how…

 

Get CONSENT!!!

Screen Shot 2018-11-07 at 12.24.08 PMFirst things first, if you’re going to personalize emails, text messages, printed mail, or Facebook messages, you have to get consent from the customer first. This means that the customer has to have given you their Facebook account information, phone number, address, email address, and name. One way many companies do this is at checkout when they ask if the customer would like to receive text or email alerts on upcoming sales, promotions, and company news. This way when they receive the personalized marketing, they don’t think your company is tracking down their information or stalking you online because they gave you the information themselves.

 

Track Purchases

Now that you have the information you need to send them more personalized marketing, you need to figure out what type of message you’re going to be sending them. Seeing as you are operating a small business, you may not have access to softwares that track individual customer purchases, so tracking which products are selling the most currently is an easier alternative.Utilizing your social media can be helpful here too by viewing the posts your company is tagged in by consumers. Keeping track of which inventory is selling, and promoting a related product or service will get you a much better return by boosting sales of that product even more. 

 

Comments, Compliments, & Concerns

ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS write down anything a customer has to say about your business. Whether it’s in regards to a specific product or service, a specific customer experience, or customer service. If you run a restaurant, write down what customers have to say about certain dishes so you can either change up recipes, or promote a popular dish more often. Even viewing customer reviews on Google, Yelp, or Facebook can be extremely helpful in receiving more specific input on your company’s progress.

 

If you want to get personal with your customers and boost your sales, let us show you how! Click the hyperlinks to check out our Customer Voice and Reputation Management products!

Window Shopping Isn’t What it Used to Be

Window shopping is not what it used to be. In this day and age, it’d be rather difficult to find someone who’s strategy for shopping is simply to go to a store, find the item they want, and purchase it on the spot. Generations today, especially Millennials, perform a lot of research before making a buying decision. I’ll take you into further depth of the purchasing process of today’s generation, as well as how to hold on tight to your customers throughout their research!

Consumers today have access to a number of sources, supplying them with endless amounts of information regarding products, pricing, product quality, and brand news. Let’s take a look into my own purchasing process (considering I am part of the Millennial generation):

Let’s say I want to buy a new pair of black booties. I already have a couple brands in mind, however that doesn’t mean I have my heart set on one!!

First things first, GOOGLE.

I search…

         “Black booties steve madden”

          I like the booties on ASOS so I’m going to click through onto their site.

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HINT: THIS IS WHERE SEO IS EVERYTHING!!! Your search engine optimization is going to get your company noticed on Google.

 

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Next step, visit ASOS Instagram…

I will visit a company’s Instagram to see if there are more pictures available of the product I am looking into and other products I may have missed on their site. I also look at their Instagram to check posts the company has been tagged in so I can see other customers’ choice of product and what the product more realistically looks like.

Even though I have my mind on one specific pair of shoes at this point, I will still visit Instagram accounts of other shoe brands I am familiar with and make sure I haven’t missed any of their shoes I might like.

When I have finally decided on a pair of shoes, I search the specific name of the shoe on Google to find out all of the different sites the pair of shoes is sold on so I can get them for the best price available.

Looking back at my process for selecting and purchasing a pair of shoes online, although it may seem overwhelming and unpredictable, there are three important factors impacting my decision:

             

                1. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

                         2. Website

                                3. Social Media Accounts

 

If you prioritize maximizing your company’s SEO, website functionality and appearance, and engagement and effectiveness on your social media accounts, you will maximize your sales and your customer base.

 

Need help improving your company’s SEO, website, and social media accounts?! Click here to check out our services or give us a call for a consultation today!