4 Things We Learned During Small Business Week 2015

4 Things We Learned at the 5th Annual Small Business Week Event sponsored by Constant Contact

InMotion Hosting attended the 5th Annual Small Business Week put on by Constant Contact at Pasadena City College on May 13th, 2015. The event was organized by the Small Business Administration (SBA) with the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) as a primary sponsor.

The event brought together over 1,000 business owners, social media professionals, marketers and web designers and hosted them in small business workshops and keynote lectures orated by business leaders. InMotion Hosting had the opportunity to attend a variety of these workshops and lectures. A lot of them had some major similarities in the concepts that they shared in order to establish a successful business. Here are some business solutions that will help you promote your business and build a stronger customer following.

1) Email is Not dead!

Whoever started the rumor that “email is dead” must have had a marketing campaign go awry, because email is most definitely alive! Email addresses are the greatest asset that you can get at a conference – especially one that is tailored to small businesses or your specific industry. People opt in on their own volition because they’ve liked you (or what you’ve said) enough to offer you a way to keep in touch with them(i.e. they want to hear from you). Email addresses are free and nearly effortless to collect, and once you have enough people opt in to your email list – you’ll have yourself leads to contact in the event of a promotion. Email marketing can only be dead if you’re doing nothing with those email addresses.

Check out: E-mail marketing 101 

2) Be Useful to Your Customers

If you either have a business with a list of products or you’re looking to start your first business, always remember to ask yourself: What does this product solve? Products are popular to consumers because they are useful to consumers. Part of creating a successful business is bringing people onboard and then helping them become successful. Tesla Motors can’t sell a $100,000 car run by a battery if consumers didn’t want to save on gas. The same thing applies to SaaS platforms or web design. Sell useful products, but more than that, offer your customers information on how they can improve their business, their website, their product, and even themselves.

Check out319+ Site Hosting Tools You Can Have 

3) Say Thank You

When you have a consumer become your client, they essentially are the people who are proving that your business model works. Does this not invoke a feeling of gratitude in you? Sure, sure, they should be thankful for your product or service, but remember, they took the chance on your new service, so – be thankful. This has to do with the model of good customer service (and social responsibility too), but more than that it’s just a nice thing to do. Some might say “nice doesn’t sell!” – on the contrary though! “Nice” doesn’t need to sell. Consumer loyalty is your goal with this gesture, and in order to have the loyalty of your customers, if nothing else, say “thanks.” This can be done through text, phone, social media, whatever you want.

We suggest not up-selling in a ‘thank you email’ if you’re really just starting out. A promotional offer that you can afford (like a discount on service) would should be considered if you’re large enough of a business to handle the promotion.

4.)  When Going to Trade Shows: Be There!

A lot of times, especially these last 10 years, everyone who is seen on a smart phone is assumed to be ‘busy.’ There is no doubt that if you are a business owner, you’re busy with ideas, content, emails, promotion, etc, etc, etc.  BUT. When you go to trade shows, workshops, and conferences, it’s tempting to check your email because you don’t know anyone around there and you want to look “successful” by being “busy.” And hey, maybe you really are busy.

But you’ve taken the day off to attend an event to network and learn – so we suggest you: network and learn. Some of the best business partnerships start at events and conferences, and we’ll guarantee you that shaking a hand and getting a cell phone number from a potential business partner can do more than a blast email to people who have never met you.

Be there – Be aware

In all – customers and business owners are people. Sounds like an obvious fact but it’s something we sometimes forget when we are blasting off as entrepreneurs or in an enterprising role. Sure there are those who just want something and go to a place to process the transaction – you can offer that too. But when you’re looking to grow your business, you have to communicate, and actively reach out to your customers. If you don’t, then your competition will most definitely have that advantage over you.