Have you ever seen the movie Up? In it, there’s a scene where a talking dog (he has a collar that translates his thoughts) is explaining his voice, only to be derailed by the passing of a squirrel. You may know this example as “shiny object syndrome.” Whatever you call it, it’s becoming a big problem for businesses and entrepreneurs. Here’s why and what you can do about it if it’s interfering with your success.
If you’re on Instagram, the answer is probably. And it’s easy to do.
Facebook err…Meta does it again. We have yet another social media platform to consider. Usually when advising businesses on whether they should participate on a social media platform, I ask them who their ideal client is and then we go by demographics. If your ideal customer is on the platform, go for it. If not, skip it—unless you just really enjoy being overextended in your posts and social media attention. But threads isn’t exactly a new platform. Well, it is technically. But if you have Instagram, it feels more like an extension.
Note: at the time of this writing, members of the EU cannot join because it is blocked currently owing to privacy questions.
If this article had been written in the 1990s, it would have meant something very different. Back then, personalization meant mail merges. The fact we could personalize communication to include the recipient’s first name (and later other fields), was the coolest thing ever. It showed someone who really knew how to use Word. These days when we talk about the power of personalization, we’re not referring to using someone's name in an e-mail or letter. You should be doing that anyway. What your customers expect is a lot more complex but can drive a large number of sales when done well.
Recently, the May NFIB Small Business Optimism Index results came out. While they were certainly not surprising, if you’re feeling concerned about your business, you’re not alone. Seeing what others are struggling with (and what they’re doing in the face of these struggles) can be helpful. This article gives you the highlights of the Index results for May.
First, you’re probably thinking if everyone in the chamber (and beyond) reads this article and follows the advice here, no one will be unforgettable because we’ll all be following the same instructions. But in the words of the famous Dr. Seuss, “There is no one alive more youier than you” so being the same isn’t possible if you’re true to who you are.
With that in mind, let’s talk about how you can begin to standout and make worthwhile connections, even if you hate networking.
Before you read this article, open the internet, and ask “How many business professionals are busy?” For a little extra fun, substitute business professionals with your specific industry. You’ll see pages and pages of results and studies all saying the same thing—more than half of people are busy (some studies report well over 75%) and stressed because of it.
Busyness, not to be confused with business, is the top impediment to adopting a growth mindset, and yet most business gurus will tell you a growth mindset is exactly what you need to thrive as a business owner or high-performing employee/leader.
So why are we getting in our own way and what can we do about it?
It’s predicted that by 2040, 80.8 million residents of the US will be over the age of 65 (currently, we’re at 47 million). That’s more than double the number in 2000. While we can wring our hands all day worrying about things like social security and healthcare as the population ages, an older demographic can also be a lucrative market to explore for your business. With more people staying active longer, they’re more apt to make their own buying decisions as well. In the past, many seniors got to an age where younger relatives or caretakers were making their purchase decisions. That’s no longer the case. Plus, many seniors are working longer. In some cases, this means more disposable income.
Here are a few things you can do to be more appealing to an older demographic.
This week, I had one of those rare moments where my teenage son talked to me in more than mono-syllabic answers. We were talking about AI and school projects. While AI is a boon for anyone tasked with repetitive time sucks, it’s a nightmare for school administrators and educators. Kids everywhere (other than New York, where it’s illegal) are using chatbots to do their homework, write school scripts and projects, etc. And because of AI’s generative language use, plagiarism trackers are ineffectual. But this article isn’t about “cheating.”
Many small and medium-sized business owners think that workforce development isn’t in their “lane.” They leave it to the big guys to work with the chamber and community leaders to ensure the large businesses have the skilled employees they need for the future. But unless you are a business of one and plan on remaining that way, workforce development should be a concern of all sizes of businesses. Here’s why you should want to get involved:
Influencer marketing is a powerful strategy for businesses looking to reach a wider audience and build brand awareness. But it’s not just for the big guys. You can leverage the power of the influencer even as a small business. You may not have the pockets to bring in Michael Jordan, but you can build an audience by working with (smaller) influencers.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.