A website helps introduce potential customers to your business, but some small-business owners are making mistakes that may inhibit their outreach, writes Jason Aten. Common missteps include failing to update the site, making it difficult to contact the business or failing to cater to mobile traffic.
This year's key social media trends include the need to establish trust, demonstrate that your brand is listening via personal interactions and polls, and engage users with stories and live video, writes Zazzle Media's Ashleigh Cain. "If you are launching new products or services, this 'live story' notification to your audience could create a sense of urgency, and you can easily rack up the views," Cain writes.
Telling stories can be an important way to communicate the value of a business and form meaningful connections between the past and present, writes Rochelle Clarke. "Increasingly, family business owners are realizing that the road toward a successful transition is paved with storied intentions," she writes.
Leaders have a number of ways to become more empathetic, including appreciating the perspectives of others, expanding their own horizons and listening deeply without getting overwhelmed, writes Pamela McLean. "Whether we over-empathize and care too much, or completely miss the opportunity to connect with empathy, the result is similar -- we miss the opportunity to build a working relationship," she writes.
Creating a working environment that prioritizes psychological safety can lead to better outcomes, and leaders can take several steps to instill this sense of fearlessness, writes Lisa Zigarmi. Focus on practicing openness, curiosity and courage as a leader, she advises.
Tariffs on Chinese goods are squeezing some small businesses and forcing them to re-evaluate their operations. Companies may pass on the costs to consumers or attempt to adjust their supply chains, but there are drawbacks to each approach.
Small businesses in Beverly Hills, Calif., serve the locals as well as the tourists who pass through the city, filling their need for produce, hardware and other goods. "People have the same problems in Beverly Hills that they have across the country," noted Jeff Tilum, owner of Pioneer & Lucerne Hardware.
Five years ago, Framebridge founder Susan Tynan identified a retail opportunity that no one else saw -- disrupt and grow the custom framing industry by focusing on the customer. On this episode of NRF's Retail Gets Real podcast, Tynan talks about founding Framebridge, why the online business is opening physical retail locations and her advice for other aspiring entrepreneurs.
MainStreet SmartStat: May 17, 2019
Computer network specialists with a retail background are 8% more likely to be promoted to a managerial role than those with a non-retail background. Source: NRF/Emsi "From Cashier to CTO" report.
How retail prepares workers for careers in tech
Working in retail can fast-track a career in technology, according to a new report released by NRF. Developed in partnership with Emsi, "From Cashier to CTO" provides new research on how retail skills and background can help technology workers advance into managerial positions. Download the full report.