Small Business Spending on Digital and Social Still Growing

2011 Outlook for Small Business Digital Marketing

Just received some updated statistics on Small Business advertising spend from the 2011 Outlook report from Borrell Associates. Borrell surveyed over 2,800 Small Business owners to find that, of the 84 percent who will spend on digital, 53 percent plan on increasing their budgets in 2011. Money invested in website development, social media and e-mail marketing will grow more than 30 percent in 2011. On the flip-side, local print media, newspapers, directories and radio will continue to get squeezed out of the budget with double-digit cuts across the board from most SMB’s.

According to the report, Small Business represents a huge growth market, and accounted for over 70 percent of all online advertising expenditures last year. Social media is especially interesting for SMB’s and most are interested in Facebook, Twitter, location-based services, and daily deals platforms. I think YouTube also makes sense for the right kind of small business so I’d expect to see some interest and spending there as well. It was interesting that Borrell did not include any data related to YouTube or Mobile marketing strategies. Despite all of the buzz around mobile and video, it seems that small business owners just have not caught-on the way larger brands and retailers have.

Potential Pitfalls

Despite all the data suggesting growth and willingness to spend, the reality is that there is still a lot of confusion as to who to work with to make all of this happen. There is so much noise in the market right now, with average small business owners getting 22 new media advertising pitches a month. These pitches range from local boutique agencies to national solutions like Yodle, ReachLocal and Web.com. It is this noise and shear amount of options that paralyzes decisions makers. With so many so called experts and best-of-breed technology platforms to review and analyze, making a decision alone can take several weeks.

Furthermore, many Small Business owners still lack a real understanding of digital. Website analytics, social media insights and search engine marketing tactics are still fuzzy. Due to this minimal amount of knowledge, SMB’s must trust the provider they partner with to do the right thing. Unfortunately, most of the “big-boys” of SMB marketing are focusing on market share and not the quality of the products or services they provide. This mentality leads to less than stellar results for business owners and a burned relationship for the provider – which ultimately hurts the perception of every SMB marketing company.

How Important Is a Business Broker to Buyers and Sellers?

Establishments and companies change ownership at some point. As such, the services of business brokers prove to be highly valuable for both the seller and the buyer. An aspiring entrepreneur needs to evaluate a target business establishment, and this is where a professional business broker can offer valuable assistance. The seller also will find it rewarding to seek the assistance of a business for sale broker for the advertising and the negotiation facilitation with prospect buyers.

Benefits of Hiring Business Brokers

Selling a business can be a demanding and tiresome process. This can take up a lot of time and can even affect the value of the business, as you spend more time on its sale process rather than on the daily operations of the business. This is where the services of business brokers come in handy.

First off, a professional broker can give you confidentiality, and can assure you that only the prospective buyers you approve will be contacted. A trustworthy and experienced broker can save you time in screening prospective buyers in advance. Brokers can already check if a prospect buyer has good financial resources to buy your business. They will also ask buyers to sign a confidentiality and non-disclosure contracts. If you attempt to sell your business openly or independently, you would most likely damage your staff’s morale. You would also give your competitors the opportunity to spread damaging rumors about you and steal your valued customers. When you hire a business for sale broker, he can work anonymously, ensuring the protection of your business.

Moreover, selling your business all by yourself can be inefficient, especially if you lack the experience. A business broker generally has more experience, resources, and tools to effectively reach potential buyers faster and easier. However, reaching target buyers is just one part of a broker’s job; getting the best price for your business is his other important job. A professional broker should have the capacity to advertise your company in such a way that it can attract serious and financially stable buyers. This would definitely increase your benefits and advantages in selling your business.

Finally, business brokers can name the value of your business. This process involves more than just revenue or profit, thus, you may undervalue or overvalue your company, and these mistakes bear indicative consequences. For an experienced business broker, there is a rare chance to commit such mistakes.

From a business buyer’s perspective, a business for sale broker brings a lot of advantages as well. If you are a buyer and asked the assistance of a broker, you will be able to have access to opportunities that you won’t likely find on your own. If you do not have enough knowledge regarding the industry you chose, you can get helpful advice and useful insights from a good business broker. Your broker can also facilitate other essential tasks such as researching recent market conditions, current prices, and reasonable financing.

Trusting only Certified Business Brokers

With the increasing number of sale brokers out there, you may face challenges identifying which ones are trustworthy and which ones are bogus. To resolve this dilemma, all you need to do is check their certifications and experiences. The main organization that provides business broker certification opportunities is the International Association of Business Brokers (IBBA). A certified business broker should have at least one of these designations:

– Accredited in Business Valuation (ABV)

– Certified Business Appraiser (CBA)

– Accredited Senior Appraiser in Business Valuation (ASA-BV)

– Certified Valuation Analyst (CVA)

Although a certification may be a good sign that a business broker is legitimate and trustworthy, it does not fully guarantee his competence in the field. The broker’s practical experience is also an important aspect to consider in choosing which one to trust. Do some research or ask around for the number of transactions that your prospect broker has successfully closed, as well as some positive feedback regarding his experience in the industry. An insightful business broker can benefit a lot from his or her experiences, such as building significant relationships within the industry and learning from past mistakes. Certification cannot match such benefits and advantages.

While certification is a vital requirement in establishing a broker’s credibility, you should always take into account the experience of a business for sale broker before making a decision. Choose one who has the knowledge and experience that you will not get anywhere else. Don’t you agree that the role and importance of business brokers is essential to both business sellers and buyers?

Digital Signage Solutions – 4 Reasons Why You Need to Start Using a Digital Signage Solution

Nowadays, digital signage solutions are being exploited by a lot of business owners because it is offering a lot of advantages that you and your business can benefit from. However, there are still a lot of business owners who are not aware of the power behind digital solutions. This article was written with the intention of helping you learn more about digital signage solutions and the four reasons why you need to start using it for your business. Read this article if you want to outrank your competitors in terms of brand awareness and overall performance.

Here are the four reasons why you need to start using digital signage solutions:

  1. Modern and Impressive – when it comes to advertising, there is some kind of psychological effect if a company uses advanced technology when advertising. Although it is not proven, what do you think will your customers’ reaction be, if they saw two banner from two competing companies; static banners and digital signage solutions. Where do you think would people go? Exactly! They will check the one that uses a more advanced advertising platform.
  2. Interactive and Informative – now that we are in the Information Age, people are always going with the ones that can give them more information. If you are going to use digital signage solutions, you will be able to provide more content which can either be informative or persuasive. Both of these features are the reason why digital solutions are considered as the best advertising platform today.
  3. Convenient and Cost-Effective – unlike static banners that should be re-printed every now and then; digital signage solutions can easily be managed with a few clicks of a button. If you are going to use a player, you don’t have to worry about spending a lot of money just to change the information being shown on your boards. It also produces much better results, making it very cost-effective for all businesses of any size.
  4. Eco-, and Budget-Friendly – using digital solutions will save you from using toxic materials such as paint and plastics. The monitors that you will be using are made from fully-recyclable materials, which makes it very eco-friendly. Aside from this, it is also much cheaper compared to static banners. You can have your very own independent digital signage solution for as low as $300. You will also be able to save a lot of money in the long run, considering the fact that you don’t have to spend money when you need to change your banner.