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  • Geebo 9:05 am on September 4, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Small Business   

    Facebook is no friend to small businesses 

    Facebook is no friend to small businesses

    If your Facebook feed is anything like mine it’s probably filled with friends and family either oversharing details of their life you have no interest in or it’s the same people arguing politics in a not so civil manner. This is by design as Back in February, Facebook announced it was retooling its news feed algorithm to bring you more content from your friends and family and less from businesses and brands. Those changes are now said to be hurting small businesses.

    NBC News is reporting that small businesses and content creators are seeing a substantial drop in their revenues thanks to Facebook’s change to bring people closer together. Just about every business or website needs a presence on Facebook since so many people use Facebook as their sole window to the rest of the world. However, this leaves those dependent on Facebook for getting their message out at the whims of an ever-changing landscape on the platform. Following small and local businesses on Facebook is not only a great way to get a good deal but could also lead to finding more local businesses that you might be interested in. Also, notice that Facebook is cutting down on posts from businesses and content creators showing up in your feed and not Facebook’s ads. I guess they want to connect more people as long as they’re still being targeted by Facebook’s own advertising, but I digress.

    Whenever I find a new business that I’m interested in patronizing, I wince a little when I find out that their only internet presence is a Facebook page. Again, you’re at the mercy of a third-party platform that could affect your business in a multitude of ways including deleting your Facebook page if somehow your business goes against Facebook’s arbitrary community guidelines. While you may think having a website is expensive, in the long run, it’s best for your business or content. There are also many inexpensive services that allow you to not only launch your own website but also design it very easily without having to hire an overpriced web designer.

    The bottom line is, if your business model depends on Facebook it may be in jeopardy as Facebook doesn’t depend on you.

     
  • Greg Collier 7:30 am on July 24, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Advice, Business Growth, Consultant, Expansion, Small Business, Tips   

    Considering a Consultant? Five Tips for a Good Experience 

    For a small business owner like me, hiring a consultant can sometimes be the best way to get into a new market, grow the company or even understand the latest social media tool. And now that the economy is starting to rebound, an investment in a consultant may make good business sense. After all, I want to be able to tap into the same sort of brain power and strategic thinking that large companies are using to grow their businesses.

    I know that, in tough economic times, many out-of-work professionals turn to consulting, providing insight and knowledge that they otherwise would have provided to a full-time employer. That presents an opportunity for a guy like me. But with an abundance of people offering their expertise and advice in this current economic environment, it becomes a lot tougher to find the consultant who’s the right fit.

    Over the years, I’ve worked with a few consultants and learned a few things, sometimes the hard way. As such, I wanted to share a few of my own tips that can make hiring – and working with – a consultant a smoother process.

    1. Know What You Want: Before you can hire a consultant to develop a plan for you, you must have some idea of what you’re hoping to accomplish by hiring this consultant. It seems obvious but these big ideas need focus and clarity. Increase sales? By what percentage and over what time? Invest in Marketing? To increase brand awareness or promote a single product? What exactly are you looking to do and how will you measure the return on your investment?

    2. Have A Conversation: A good consultant will want to learn more about you and your goals before offering any advice or talking about fees or rates. Let the prospective consultant ask some questions. Picking your brain is a good way to understand how you think. At the same time, you’ll want to be interviewing the consultant about techniques and approaches, philosophies around his/her work and a general attitude. Be prepared for that conversation with questions jotted down and a way to take some notes. And, above all, don’t shy away from tough questions.

    3. Ask Tough Questions: Don’t be afraid to ask about things that otherwise might be uncomfortable, such as details about their work history or time on a specific job, for example. Ask them about the biggest lesson they learned from a mistake or misstep. We’ve all had them – but what have we learned from them? Consider a quick “work exercise.” Give them a scenario and ask for a few ideas off the top of head – just to get a sense for how they think.

    4. Online Consultant Check: Certainly, a good consultant should have a Web site and/or online portfolio that showcases their best work and their services. Beyond that, social media is where people live today – and your consultant is no different. Are they doing something cool with YouTube or Pinterest? That showcases their creative side. Are they positioning themselves as experts on Facebook or Twitter or are they just posting pictures of themselves in the bathroom mirror. This will give you some insight into their maturity level, as well as their commitment to their work. Check their online performance – and behavior – to learn more about them as an individual – and that might give you some deeper insight about how they work as a professional.

    5. Experience Matters: Some of the toughest experiences with consultants have been those who offered more than they could deliver – and it was clear that they’d bitten off more than they could chew. For example, a consultant may tout his experience at a big-name firm when, in fact, he was actually an summer intern his second year of college. Likewise, working on a project for a big name product or company is impressive – but how big was your consultant’s role on that project. Ask for specific details to make your own determinations. Certainly, you don’t want to question every element of a person’s resume, but you do want to be careful about hiring a young and inexperienced consultant to lead a team of 10 in the development and implementation of a new sales strategy

    Hiring a consultant can be a smart, efficient and effective way to grow your business. Don’t be afraid to invest a few dollars in a consultant – but also know when to cut your losses and move on. Know what you’re getting yourself into and, more importantly, be clear about what you’re looking to get in return.

    Good luck.

     
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