7 Things Entrepreneurs Need to Know

By Rieva Lesonsky

 

 

1—Hispanic Small Business Owners are Significantly More Optimistic

Owners of Hispanic small businesses are incredibly optimistic about the year to come—much more so than their non-Hispanic counterparts, according to the inaugural Bank of America Hispanic Small Business Owner Spotlight. They are significantly more hopeful about revenue and hiring plans in 2017—which, as the fastest-growing segment of the small business sector, cements their roles as a critical driver of local economies and growth.

The study, which focuses on the aspirations and pain points of Hispanic small business owners across the country, reveals:

  • 71% of Hispanic entrepreneurs expect their revenues to increase in 2017, 20 percentage points higher than that of non-Hispanic respondents (51%).
  • More than half of Hispanic entrepreneurs plan to hire more employees over the next 12 months, compared to one-quarter of non-Hispanic small business owners.
  • 76% predict business growth over the next five years, compared with 55% of non-Hispanic small business owners.

“For our community of Hispanic small business owners, the American dream of prosperity through hard work is alive, real and inspiring,” says Elizabeth Romero, Small Business Central Division executive, Bank of America. “They see opportunity for themselves, as well as their families, and are leveraging personal networks and communities to help them realize their dreams. Even in the face of the same challenges and economic concerns that affect all small business owners, they are proving to be not only resilient, but incredibly bullish about their future plans and prospects for success.”

If you’d like an in-depth look at the insights of the nation’s Hispanic small business owners, read the 2017 Bank of America Hispanic Small Business Owner Spotlight.

There are many more details in the infographic below.

2017_Hispanic_Small_Business_Owner_Spotlight_Infographic

 

2—Creating Brand Advocates

Our friends at JitBit tell you how.

What if you could build an army of sales of reps for your business, for free? What if each sales person had a massive influence over your target audience, and regularly shared positive information about the stuff you sell?

A powerful formula for passive leads, sales and revenue. But, how do you get there? Two words: brand advocates.

These people are the bedrock of your business. Highly satisfied customers who scream your company’s name from the mountain tops without being incentivized to do so. Brand advocates are twice as valuable as your average customers, and 90% will write something about their purchase experiences. Considering 92% of people trust the recommendations of people they know, it’s clear how big of an impact advocates can have on your bottom line.

While advocacy is the driving force behind 20-50% of all purchases, there is still a massive advocacy gap. In the U.S., over 80% of companies are not using advocates in their marketing strategy, and 58% don’t even know who their advocates are! This gap creates a huge opportunity for most businesses, no matter what industry you’re in.

But, who are your brand advocates? Where do they share information online? How do you build an army of advocates that will sell your stuff without being asked or paid to do so?

Check out the infographic below, which covers the who, what, where, how and why of brand advocacy.

brand advocates

 

3—St. Patrick’s Day is Only 51 Weeks Away

I know we just celebrated St. Patrick’s Day, but it’s never too early to prepare for next year’s holiday. One of the coolest promotions I heard about came from Clover, which sponsored the Food Truck Park at the Savannah, Georgia’s St. Patrick’s Day festival. The event usually draws around half a million and for the first time ever the food trucks and the Savannah downtown business association (SBDA) were able to accept cashless payments.

Since cash is always in short supply at events like this, the ability to take cashless payments is game changer. If your city doesn’t have St. Patrick’s Day festivities, you might talk to your local chamber or business association about creating some. A look at these 2016 numbers from the First Data SpendTrend Report shows restaurant sales in Savannah increased for a 10-day period around the holiday. Transactions at bars in Savannah in 2016 were up 24% over average sales and 42% on the weekend after the holiday.

This year, instead of festival goers having to carry cash around with them, they purchased 21+ wristbands using their debit and credit cards via First Data’s Clover Point of Sale solutions. You can read more about it here.

 

4—Mobile Ads

The mobile ad business is booming. So how do SMBs compete with the infrastructure and scale of a Facebook when it comes to applying data and insight to their mobile advertising strategies?  StartApp democratizes social and mobile data, and enables apps without the infrastructure or the scale to compete with Facebook.

StartApp CTO and cofounder Ran Avidan explains, “One of the biggest challenges that small publishers and businesses face on mobile today is the amount of user data locked in so-called ‘walled gardens’ like Facebook, Google, and Amazon. Each of these companies has an incredibly large user base with the infrastructure to collect and analyze bulk amounts of user data. Beyond just collecting the data, each of these companies also uses analysis and insights to their advantage to stay at the top of the marketplace by creating extremely personalized and hyper-relevant user experiences that keep customer interest and build customer loyalty.

“At StartApp, we aim to democratize access to mobile data so that small businesses and publishers can have access to the data they need to optimize apps and products that are competitive in today’s market. Our database of over 1 billion mobile users gives small businesses insights into a global audience across a variety of channels, including our network of over 300,000 mobile apps that are active on our ad platform and SODA, our social data platform. SODA enables partners to share small pieces of the mobile data puzzle that they have received from their users. This raw data is analyzed in real-time, as opposed to other aggregative platforms, and then combined with the raw data shared by all our SODA partners and our database of SDK partners. Once analyzed, the newly processed data is made available to partners, giving them a more complete data puzzle for a mobile user.

“With this complete data puzzle, social app publishers can offer more dynamic and tailored experiences for every user, giving them the kind of mobile experience they have come to expect from today’s social media. Mobile marketers are also better able to target campaigns on a more granular user level, helping them focus their campaigns only on the highest-value users from the most relevant mobile traffic sources. To use a specific example, one of our partners, Bel Media, increased their meaningful user engagement rate in their WeMeet dating app by 17% after 3-months with the platform and also saw a 30% increase in their users’ time-in-app.

“StartApp doesn’t collect any personal identifiable information, as each user data profile is built on the advertising ID or IDFA level. In addition, partners only have access to the final processed data so any raw user data is protected.”

 

Quick Links

5—U.S. Consumption (Best chart ever!)

This is one of the coolest things ever. Couponbox.com has created a real-time view of consumption in the U.S. For instance, last night (9:30 pm Pacific time, 12:30 am Eastern time), in 4 minutes $15,000 worth of sex toys, $470,000 of beer and 13,500 Dunkin Donuts were sold.

6—DIY Websites

Do you have what it takes to build your own website? Learn about best practices. And read the reviews of DIY website building companies so you can make a more informed choice.

 

Cool Tools

7—Data Solutions

Radius, a leading business-to-business predictive marketing platform, recently added Radius Data Stewardship to its solutions. Radius Data Stewardship gives marketers “access to the highest quality data for deriving precise insights that expand visibility into new and existing markets, effectively informing decisions for campaign planning and more accurately predicting and driving pipeline growth.”

According to Radius, recent research finds only 70-75% of Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and Marketing Automation Technology (MAT) data is accurate. For many businesses, this equates to tens of thousands, if not millions of inaccurate records. Faulty data delivers sub-optimal insights, leading to ineffective results across pipeline. As marketers continue to adopt Artificial Intelligence (AI) based systems, this data problem will become increasingly important to solve, since the strength of any AI-based system is directly related to the underlying data. Left alone, inaccurate and incomplete data hinders revenue growth, regardless of any AI-system introduced.

Radius Data Stewardship allows customers to leverage the best foundational data available for all marketing and sales activities. Radius Data Stewardship analyzes the overall health of internal ecosystems and identifies within CRM and MAT systems duplicate records, records no longer in business, incomplete records and additional information relevant to businesses—leveraging the over 450 attributes Radius tracks.

More information about additional services from Radius can be found here.