Blog Posts by Michael Germanovsky

  • Companies Set New Year Goals For 2014


    New Year’s resolutions aren’t just for personal improvement. For businesses, the New Year is an opportunity to set goals, both big and small. But what’s even more important than the resolutions is the ability to follow through.

    Set goals. Goals provide accountability and help gauge the necessary efforts to achieve results. Set a long-term, overarching goal, but also set smaller, more manageable goals that you can review on a weekly or monthly basis. This is where follow-through comes into play.

    As a business owner, at the end of the month or fiscal year, ask yourself if you are meeting the goals set at the beginning of 2014. If so, great; keep going and keep improving! If not, reevaluate and continue to strive for those ultimate goals, so 2014 is great and 2015 is even better.

    Here are three goals some businesses set in 2014:

    Rebrand the company. This is a big change and certainly doesn’t apply to all businesses, but for those who choose to rebrand, the move can breathe new life into a

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  • Word of Mouth Drives Social Media Marketing

    Word of Mouth

    One of the most common questions I hear from small business owners is “How do I leverage social media as part of my marketing campaign?”

    It’s a fair question, for both business owners who launched their companies pre-Y2K and those who launched their companies yesterday. Social media is relatively new to everyone, even though Facebook has been around nearly a decade, and remains unexplored by many small businesses.

    But social media marketing is fairly simple and fundamentally straightforward.

    “At the risk of over simplifying, social media marketing is word-of-mouth marketing at its core,” says Adam Fridman, CEO and found of Mabby, a digital marketing agency that focuses on small businesses and startups.

    Experts agree that the tricky part is executing and creating the “buzz” that drives word-of-mouth marketing. Chicago-based social media professionals Fridman and COO of Mabbly, Vlad Moldavskiy, share three tips for amplifying social media marketing efforts through word of mouth:

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  • The Trajectory of Social Networking Shows Specialization

    In recent years, a successful trajectory of social networking for small businesses owners was closely tied with specialization in online marketing. By establishing a dialogue and building social environments for consumers, small businesses were able to grow out of their local markets.

    So you’ve started a business, bought a domain name, and registered a Facebook page. Now what?

    Nowadays, it is not enough to own a simple social profile and a template based website. More small business owners are becoming experts in various forms of specialization in social networking, including online social marketing.

    Keeping a focus on the next big thing – by sharing news, pictures, and comments - is detrimental to building a social network. Small business customers expect extra attention; and want to see what YOU are doing. Positive comments and testimony on social pages have a higher bearing on consumer’s decision making, according to research published by the Johnson & Wales University.

    When selecting

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  • Broaden Your Customer Base with a Merchant Account and a Website

    Internet shopping continues to grow at record levels and smartphones are ubiquitous. Whether your business is in retail or the service industry, a merchant account and website are important tools to help grow the business.

    ComScore estimated that online holiday shopping in November rose 28% this year over last, and purchases on mobile devices were up 10%. Cash is out. Plastic is in. According to the Small Business Administration, credit cards are the most common method of customer payment. So if you don't have a merchant account, you could be losing revenue.

    A merchant account is a special bank account that allows business owners to process e-commerce transactions. Merchant accounts are available to everyone these days, regardless of the size or type of business. Companies like Square and Intuit offer devices that are compact and that easily attach to your mobile phone. This allows you to accept credit cards on the move, anywhere there is an internet connection and a smartphone.

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  • Building Business Credit


    As your entrepreneurial spirit shines through and you embark on your new venture, it is important to separate your business and personal credit. A mistake many new business owners make is using their personal credit to open lines of credit for their startup. Using your personal credit history can be problematic for several reasons. Not only will it increase the number of inquiries made to your personal credit profile, but it will also prevent your business from building its own credit.

    Establish an Identity for Your Business

    You need to register your business with state and local governments in order to begin building credit for the entity. A sole proprietorship can register in the form of a DBA (Doing Business As). However it may be more prudent to register as a Corporation or LLC (Limited Liability Company), which decreases the liability of the owner and adds more separation between business and personal finances.

    Regardless of how you register your business, it is important to

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