11 Things Entrepreneurs Need to Know
By Rieva Lesonsky
1—Digital Marketing Trends
Campaigner recently released a survey revealing digital marketers’ priorities for 2017. One item of note—many marketers will drop buy buttons this year—nearly 75% say they currently see no sales from them. Other key findings include:
- A shift in focus from customer acquisition to brand awareness and loyalty efforts
- Content marketing will be top-of-mind
- Email marketers are finding it tougher to maintain click-through rates from 2016
The infographic below tells more of the story.
2—100 Sales Questions
First time salespeople often make the mistake of selling their products or services way too hard. They focus on making sales so much they forget to establish a connection with potential clients first.
But where does a newbie salesperson even begin making connections? Simple: Ask questions.
Most psychology articles and books will tell you that people are more likely to like you if you keep asking them questions and listening to their answers. Essentially, the more you ask and the more you listen, the more they will like you. And voilà! Connection!
However, you shouldn’t just ask random questions—you need to ask the right questions. Sean McPheat of HubSpot together with Visme provided a great list of 100 sales questions you can ask your prospects in this handy infographic below.
3—Does Office Décor Affect Productivity?
The simple answer is yes it does. A Gallup poll indicated unhappy workers cost businesses $550 billion in lost productivity—every year.
A report from Pots Planters & More and Digital Third Coast on Office Design + Décor shows it won’t cost you a fortune to make your staff happy. In some cases, all people want is natural light and some plants.
Check out the infographic below to see how you can improve working conditions.
4—Beauty Biz Spending
Interested in the beauty business? Well, then you should know Latinas are the fastest-growing and highest-spending market segment for beauty representing 13% of the total $4.3 billion beauty market. In fact, 45% of Latinas believe “outer beauty is a reflection of inner beauty, a trait instilled at a young age by their beauty-conscious mothers.” To Latinas, beauty is more than a social norm, but also a cultural norm that plays a part in their everyday decisions.
Latinas are brand loyal and use social media channels to engage with products. Plus, they spend twice as much as all other women in the United States on beauty products.
The infographic below from the Jelena Group tells the whole story.
What keeps customers from making online purchases? How can you calm their concerns and earn their loyalty? Narvar surveyed consumers to find out what they want and how you can turn them into loyal customers.
One key is the retailer’s “ability to make the post-purchase experience seamless.” The survey shows “an on-time, easy delivery experience was ranked over loyalty points, responsive customer service, and association with a good cause” for attracting loyal customers. Consumers also want to shop with companies that make the return process as painless as the purchase process—70% say an easy return or exchange is likely to make them a repeat customer.
Learn more in their free report, The State of Post-Purchase Experience, available here.
6—Small Business Priorities
DHL Express conducted a survey last November to determine what small business owners were concerned about for 2017.
Some of the top survey findings include:
- 33% of DHL customers point to Asia as the region of highest priority for their business in 2017, suggesting that disruption in trade relations with this region could have a significant impact on U.S. companies engaged in international shipping.
- 57% will target e-commerce as the top area from which to drive business sales.
- As the logistics industry continues to leverage technology tools, a significant majority of DHL customers involved in international shipping expressed interest in the introduction of online streamlined customs documentation requirements and procedures. Almost 70%of DHL customers noted that international shipping sustainability measures are important to them and gave equal priority to cleaner emissions for transport, sustainably sourced and recycled packing materials and the offsetting of greenhouse gas emissions.
7—Listen & Learn
We all know one of the hardest part of being an entrepreneur is raising money. Josh Muccio and Sheel Mohnot just launched the second season of The Pitch podcast, which Josh describe as Shark Tank without the “TV drama” though, as he says, “there’s actually plenty of suspense in a real pitch to investors.” Josh says $1.5 million will be invested in the startups featured on the show. You can also listen on iTunes.
If you’re interested in e-commerce, you know there’s always something new going on—always something to learn. One of the best ways to do that is by attending conferences. The folks at RedStag Fulfillment have compiled a great listing of the e-commerce conferences this year. Take a look.
9—Should You Contract with the Feds?
The Federal government can be an important market for small businesses. According to the Trends in Federal Contracting for Small Business report from the OPEN for Government Contracting initiative from American Express, U.S. small businesses were awarded approximately $90 billion in Federal government contracts in FY 2015.
Other findings from the study:
- Bidding activity has rebounded strongly since its lowest point measured in 2013, during the recession. On average, active contractors submitted nearly 18 prime contract bids between 2013 and 2016, and participated in 11 bids as a subcontractor.
- Over the past year, the amount of time and money that active small business contractors have invested while seeking Federal contracting opportunities has averaged $148,124—which represents a 72% increase over the past six years, and a 15% increase since 2013.
- Small business contractors report that there are now fewer bidding opportunities and increased competition. Nonetheless, over the past three years, nearly half of prime contract bids were successful, and two-thirds of subcontracting participation likewise yielded some contracting activity.
Learn more about Federal contracting here.
10—Employees’ Retirement Benefits Wish List
A recent 401(k) survey from Fisher Investments 401(k) Solutions shows there’s a “startling knowledge gap among Americans, when it comes to the 401(k) plans offered by their employers.” Nathan Fisher, head of Fisher Investments 401(k) Solutions, says that while
most people may think they understand their 401(k), 71% of respondents failed Fisher’s 401(k) IQ in the Workplace Quiz.
The 401(k) Wellness in the Workplace Survey also revealed the items at the top of employees’ retirement wish lists.
- 4 out of 5 say they prefer to work for companies that offer a 401(k) plan
- 25% wish they knew if their 401(k) savings plan was on track
- 20% wish they had more personal support (401(k) training sessions and one-on-ones with retirement counselors)
- One out of six wish their 401(k) plan was easier to learn about
- 39% wish they started their 401(k) plan investments earlier in life
11—Stand Up & Work
How can you help your employees stay healthy on the job? The peer-reviewed British Journal of Sports Medicine recommends office employees work their way up to standing for four hours per day. Standing while you work keeps you more alert and focused—and burns more calories than sitting, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine.
Here in the U.S., we’re particularly sedentary, so introducing standing desks to your staff (or for you) can be a big first step to healthier living.
- Doesn’t require assembly
- Provides easy adoption, fits atop all standard-sized desks
- Works in limited spaces and small cubicles
- Has a maximum load of 88.2 lbs (versus 35 lbs of competitors)
- Is constructed from zinc alloys and aluminum components, not plastic
- Has space for two monitors, a full-sized keyboard and mouse
- Comes with free shipping within the continental United States
- Has a 30-day return policy