Should Your Next Journey be a Product-Based or a Service-Based Business?

This has been a long lasting debate as to which type of business has greater ability to turn into a successful venture and which business doesn’t. Entrepreneurs have been, for long, confused about the choice of business they wish to make. Before taking the leap though, the most important question which bugs a young mind is that of the type of business person they want to be. “Do I found a product-based business,” comes the thought, followed by “or a Service-Based one?” 

The Difference Between a ‘Product’ and a ‘Service’

Before one can begin delving into the matters of choosing what business they want to set up, it becomes imperative to also understand the fundamental difference between a product and a service.
A Product refers to a virtual or a physical commodity which can be purchased/leased by an individual, company or a group of individuals.
There are numerous examples of products in the market. A smartphone sold by Samsung can be perfectly cited as one.

One the other hand, A Service refers to a task or a group of tasks an individual, company or a group of individuals undertake for another individual, company or a group of individuals for an agreed upon compensation. A printing press is an excellent example. When you need printing done, you can just go to one and ask for print outs instead of purchasing a printer for yourself and printing all your copies on your own. You pay the owner of the press in exchange for his services.

Product Based Business – The Good and The Bad

Having a product and its strategy is great – but the same cannot be said about the efforts in executing the strategy and getting your product to reach the audience and customers. Before you jump into the pool of selling-a-product-for-a-living-entrepreneur, a diligent look at the challenges is a must.

A few challenges which almost every startup faces, is coming with a unique product of your own. If you have a product which can solve an existing problem faced by the people, your idea might just be the next million-dollar-business idea. Let’s consider the example of cell phone accessories and phones – a shop which sells phones and every type of accessory is rare to come by. Customers more often than not, roam from shop to shop finding just the right piece for their coveted phone. Solving that problem might become the perfect product customers would flock to buy.

Another challenge is to hold on till you break through. Most products require research, development, testing, feedback and then repetition of the cycle. This is equally true for physical and virtual products. Having the patience to hold on till it clicks with your customers is crucial.

The largest hurdle by far is finance – getting the dough to actually manufacture your product with cost-effective measures.
Once these challenges are mitigated, the road ahead is clear and profits begin pouring in. Mostly, a product has a short sale-cycle – which means you get money quickly enough to mitigate cost, book gains or even reinvest the earned money back into improving your product. Most startups which have been able to break-through have registered rapid growth in profits.

Service Based Business – The Good and The Bad

More youth are attracted towards a service based approach to begin their entrepreneurial journey, since the set-up cost/initial investment is minimal. However, the service industry is not devoid of challenges of its own. The waters usually go deeper than what one might think. 

While offering a service, the most important factor that comes into play is the clientele. Thriving service-based businesses have their clients satisfied at all times, who, in turn, bring in more work through the word-of-mouth. A good service is synonymous with a profitable business. Should you be ready to take up the daunting task of managing multiple clients and keep them happy, you might just be in the right spot to take the load off a few shoulders in exchange for a handsome check. 

Product vs. Service – Comparison

In order to be able to make a solid decision should you find yourself in a state of confusion, you can take a look at a few points of comparison between a service-based and a product-based venture.

While a product takes time to be perfected and must be created before you can sell it, a shorter sale cycle brings money faster once a profitability point is crossed. This way, you can earn more and grow virtually exponentially compared to a service. On the other hand, a service based businesses usually require almost no capital. Some services like social media management can be done from the comfort of your home sofa with the need of just a laptop and a stable internet connection.

But then, It becomes easier for a product to sell itself with minimal marketing once it earns its name in the market and makes a permanent place in the hearts of your customers. Although the same can be said about a service too, product-based companies have fared better in this regard over the last few decades.

Having said that, it is also true that more and more people are getting busier and busier with the fast paced environment of the 21st century. They need someone to do a lot of things on their behalf, bringing service-providers into the picture. Average growth of service-based companies has been consistently on a rise.


While the data in the graphs above shows that both the sectors have been growing globally, the service sector has shown greater scope of growth. The growth of the service sector However, as more and more people flock towards services, that leaves a gap in the products sector which can be filled up. From the latest data, it appears that opening service-based business is the more pragmatic approach. At the same time, higher competition in the sector would also demand that you consider other viable options before making your choice.

How to craft the Perfect Email

Some small business owners are intimidated by email marketing. Having to write an individual email is scary enough if you don’t consider yourself a writer. The thought of sending an email out to an entire mailing list can be downright terrifying!

Fortunately, the perfect email is about more than just writing. And even for the written elements, once you’ve figured out the essential components, it’s easy for even those more timid writers among us to excel.

Here are the steps that go into crafting the perfect email.

Start with a Strong Subject Line

According to Campaign Manager, the average office worker receives 121 emails per day. That’s a lot of activity in just one inbox, and it means that you need to do something from the start to catch your readers’ eyes.

This starts with a strong subject line. There are a number of approaches you can take to make sure your subject line stands out. Consider including one of the following elements:

Create a sense of urgency – “Sale ends TONIGHT at 9pm”

Make an offer they can’t refuse – “Free shipping on orders of $25 or more”

Pique their interest – “What’s the secret to maintaining a healthy lawn?”

Provide value – “5 Tips for Hosting the Perfect July 4 BBQ”

An eye-catching subject line just might include an emoji, too. Of course, including emojis won’t be the appropriate choice for all businesses, but for some it can be a fun way to stand out in a text-heavy inbox.

Personalize the Message

There are a few steps that go into personalizing email messaging. You should begin by segmenting your lists. By breaking your customers and prospects down into groups based on demographics (like age, location, or gender) or by behavior (past purchases, most recent interaction with your brand, etc.) you can target different subsets of your population with messaging that will be most relevant to them.

This doesn’t mean you need to reinvent the wheel for each variant, but there are little steps you can take to tweak the messaging to best appeal to each group. Let’s say you own a landscaping business. You’re offering a big start of the summer promotion; anyone who schedules regular yard work appointments at the start of the summer will get 10 percent off each session.

This is great news for all of your customers, but you can tailor the messaging based on how you’ve segmented your list. Let’s say you’ve broken your list down by types of services those customers currently receive. For those who take advantage of your gardening services, make the messaging about how you’ll keep their flowers in bloom all season long, for a fraction of the price. For those who use your lawn mowing services, the email can say something like “The only thing better than the smell of fresh-cut grass is saving 10% off your lawn care services this summer.”

To further personalize the messages, take advantage of merge tags, which allow you to include the name of the recipient in the greeting, rather than a generic “Hey there.”

Write Smart Body Copy

This is where those non-writers start to get intimidated. What is good copy, anyway? Really it’s about being concise, clear, and helpful.

Keep sentences short, eliminate jargon and technical speak, and make it very clear what you’re offering in your email. Because we do all get so many emails each day, no one has time to sit down and read a thousand word email. Keep it to 250-500 words maximum, and devise ways to draw attention to the most important keywords. This can be as simple as bolding relevant text or including an image that draws the viewer’s eye to the most critical part of the message.

If you’re feeling shaky in your copywriting skills, check out this list of dos and don’ts.

Incorporate Elements Beyond Text

Creating the perfect email is all about standing out from the crowd. And what better way to do that than to add elements beyond text? A stunning photo, an informative infographic, or a quick video are all ways to add other media into your messaging.

If you’re going to go this route, set it up with a brief sentence or two, and then let the media speak for itself. If needed, include captions on images so that viewers have more context. Videos should also include subtitles, so that those viewing in a place where they can’t turn their volume up can still grasp the content.

End with a Call to Action

Once you’ve dazzled your readers with relevant, personalized content and exciting visual elements, it’s time to bring it on home. One simple, clear call to action that’s tied in with the rest of the email is the way to do that.

If your email was about a sale going on right now, include a “Shop the sale” button that takes readers to your e-commerce site. If your email was an offer for a free ebook, end with a “Get the book” link. Whatever the case may be, make sure that the call to action flows with the rest of the email content and is set apart visually so that readers can’t possibly miss it.

And Don’t Forget the Unsubscribe Option

Last but not least, you want to give your readers a chance to unsubscribe. Not only is it the law to give folks a chance to opt-out of your marketing messaging, it can also help you maintain a clean email list. When your email is going directly to spam folders or getting deleted without being opened week after week, that puts you at risk of being punished by ISPs. A clean email list, with higher open rates and fewer people marking you as spam, ensures that your messaging is ending up in the inboxes of your most engaged subscribers.

Once you get the hang of creating compelling marketing emails, you must keep it up! Staying in regular contact with your subscribers is the best way to remain top-of-mind, so establish a cadence for your email marketing and stick to it.

How Agile Methodology Can Help Your Business

When we mention Agile methodology, the first thing that usually comes to mind is software development. But the truth is that this kind of approach to program management can find many uses across a multitude of industries.

The Agile method is known for prioritizing teamwork by using incremental, iterative work sequences that are commonly known as sprints. Agile also integrate product developers and clients into the full process and even in their sprints. A sprint is a period of time allocated for a particular phase of a project when the entire team works together on the same phase at the same time to capture constantly developing changes, inspire best practice in each other, and empower team members to optimize products during its development.

In short, the Agile method ensures that value is galvanized throughout the development process. Small business owners are starting to recognize the potential of Agile methodology. Agile practices can help with handling larger projects and improving the capacity for what the small business can complete. It is essential for any size business to reach project goals within a given time frame, an accurate budget, and a quality end product.

While small businesses have fewer resources, compared to larger organizations, they often use them very wisely and reasonably. The great news is that Agile teams can help achieve goals more effectively. Here are some great uses of this methodology for your small business.

The Agile project management approach provides..

Better flexibility and better collaboration: If you are a small business owner, you probably rely on the work of contractors, remote workers, and remote teams. Common location doesn’t play a very big role in staffing today but it demands better communication. Team communication requires setting up a fluid workplace with different kinds of productivity tools, like Asana, Meistertask, Trello, or Basecamp. These tools assist in accountability, clarity of direction on tasks, and gives general management an easier way to monitor progress. Transparency of your company’s operations equals employees with a clear, common mission who achieve their goals from myriad locations.

More organized workplace: With the Agile approach, you can improve efficiency and accuracy. Therefore the hierarchy of your company could also change. As a small business owner, you will need to split assignments differently and learn to trust your team members with different responsibilities. This way of organizing tasks will create a better channel of communication among your team and you will deliver the desired outcomes in the promised time span.

Changing the ‘’good’’ old methods: if you are a small business owner or entrepreneur, you might be using manual methods to track everything because that is what you are comfortable with. Using tried-and-true methods is not the same as using the best methods for your company’s longevity. Being a leader means expanding your knowledge base for the growth of your vision. You might need a better and more elegant solution than spreadsheets and emails to tracking projects, staff, finances, and company goals. They got you this far, but the Agile method provides newer, more efficient tools for you.

Traditional approach vs. Agile project management

Adopting Agile manifesto may not be an easy task, but traditional methods are not without their flaws. Traditional project management fails to meet the challenges of changing dynamics in the small business world. These challenges are usually task-driven and predictive. On the other hand, Agile is fluid and dynamic. Agile project management inspires innovation and requires constant communication between teams, improving the team’s idea flow and troubleshooting skills. Traditional project management often focuses on processes and tools that are not subjectable to changes and have their own limits. This, as a result, requires comprehensive documentation. It is strictly about following the plan and tasks delineated in the contract.

Agile on the other hand accentuates the interaction and continual improvements. Developing the project is the main focus so quickly adopting changes is crucial. This all leads to better customer satisfaction and improved communication. With the Agile method, you can work on constant improvements, document it, and present it to customers. The customers know the best and as end-users, they play a major role in its success.

Think about the architecture and structure of your business

If you are thinking about improving your company and acquiring Agile methods, you need to consider a few important aspects. First, what is the current structure and architecture of your small business? Do you use neatly defined roles on your staff or do you have cross-functional teams in departments?  Does your business value creativity over stability? While the theory of stepping out of your comfort zone to lead your business and team into a new operations system sounds amazing, we often lack the skills and know-how to do so. Even if the methodology makes sense to you, finessing a smooth transition will be tricky for your team. There are numerous business consultants that can help you with process automation. If you don’t know what you don’t know, optimize your resources and seek professional guidance.

Team collaboration

To establish better collaboration in your team, it helps to take certain steps. Remember first that the team is only as strong as its weakest link. So learn your strengths and most importantly, identify the team’s weaknesses. Encourage initiative and allow your staff to take tasks they want to take on. Everyone on your team has unique talents. Allowing them to take ownership of team projects promotes innovation and accountability.

Allow resting. We all know that sprinting is all-encompassing and can be exhausting. So you need to let your team rest and recharge. If you decide to take another race right away, your employees won’t be motivated and it will not produce the same results as the prior sprint. You can use the rest periods to go over the notes and data collected, and evaluate what worked best about the previous sprint.

One of the most popular sayings in the modern business world is “80 percent of your results will come from 20 percent of your effort.” Agile methodology will help you recognize the strengths of your team and using the energy more efficiently. Ghost workflow should disappear instantly. Agile endorses completing full cycles on projects before starting another. Multi-tasking while important to life skills is often responsible for non-productive work.

Measure progress in real time, document every step and deliver

Of course, the only thing more important than impeccable teamwork when it comes to Agile methodology is delivering and measuring the results. Every part of the process is important. Keep documentation and notes during each sprint. If you by any chance fail to deliver, consult your notes to remind you in the next cycle of mistakes to avoid. You will be working in short bursts of time – so, make sure that after every cycle, you have something of value for your client.  There must be something ready for consumption after each cycle.


Overall, Agile methodology is an exciting and fascinating approach for small business owners who are eager to have a cutting edge in their field. By integrating product developers and customers in planning and the implementation process, the result is more rewarding for everyone involved. When Agile is done well, companies can find ways to increase the value to their customers. It also gives more meaning to those who are actively working on the project and creates a better experience for the customer, producing more generous end results for your company’s lifespan. If you found resonance with this methodology, start the process of Agile for your company’s potential.

5 Actionable Tips for Scaling Your Small Business

Growing a business past a plateau is not always an easy task. Once you’ve exhausted your leads and your sales are stagnating, scaling your business is the next logical step.

In order to scale, you are growing your business but without doubling your budget. Here are five key ways to scale your small business.

1. Think big

A whopping 90% of startups fail. That means that only 10% of business ideas from entrepreneurs actually gain traction and make money. Failure is always par for the course when you take a risk but enterprising people make the best from it, by learning what they did wrong and not repeating those mistakes in their next venture. The fastest way to success is to fail often and you do this by thinking big. What do you want from your business and where do you want it to go? Rather than thinking in micro-steps, think about the macro. Set goals for one year, five years and even ten years. If you are only focusing on what you can do today, you’ll never get to tomorrow. By taking big risks, you are set to have big gains.

That said, don’t risk your entire business on one growth plan. Scaling your business means continuing to do what you do well, but also taking risks to increase that success in new and different ways. This is where you need to think large. If the data is telling you that your plan isn’t working, find a way to change course or jump ship and move on to the next dream.

2. Learn to say no

Like many entrepreneurs, your great ideas are probably consuming your waking and sleeping hours. You most likely can’t have a shower without thinking about a product modification or a new way of running your business. Your great ideas are what got your startup off the ground and they may also be the way you are going to get your business to scale. But, in the words of Steve Jobs, focus is “saying no to the hundred other good ideas that there are”.

Think of a white board, filled with scribbles of ideas, connecting to one another. In the frenzied madness of idea creation, not all of your ideas will be good enough to come to fruition. Learn what to say no to so you don’t invest your business capital haphazardly. By saying no to key ideas that seem amazing, you are leaving room for even better ideas to make waves in your business. The best restaurants have very small menus, because the few things they do, they do incredibly well. Your business should follow this line of thinking, so you shouldn’t just dive into every project that seems appealing.

3. Let your customers do the talking

Your customers are the lifeblood of your business. Your ideas, your products, and even your beautifully-designed website mean nothing if you don’t have customers. Your startup may already have a great customer base, but how do you keep them loyal to your brand? Too many companies focus their time and effort on customer acquisition, when in actual fact, it costs 7x the amount of capital to acquire a new customer than it does to retain one.

The most ideal way for you to keep your customers is to find out what they want and give it to them. It really is that simple. Get your customer’s feedback on

  • what products they’d like to see sold in your store
  • what frustrates them about your product or user experience
  • what’s stopping them from buying more
  • what value you can truly give them and aren’t currently doing so

Getting customer feedback is very simple. Create a customer feedback survey and send it to your email list, or ask your customers to complete the survey after a purchase on your site. The goal is to keep it short and valuable for the customer, so they want to provide their feedback. Offer an incentive to complete the survey, like a discount off a future purchase, which inevitably is also a great sales tactic. Use your social media channels to ask your customers what they think about your brand. If these methods don’t prove fruitful for you, check your site’s analytics for more information about how long customers stay on which pages and where they stop themselves before purchasing.

4. Gather some data

Your site analytics are a great way to find out about your customer and lead behavior, but by having a goal in mind for your data, you’ll find that you can increase the results you get. For example, by taking a look at what links your leads are clicking on to get to your site, you can increase your effort on creating similar links for them to click on. If guest posting is getting customers to your site, do more of that. If your blog posts are giving your customers enough value that they decide to spend more, increase the amount of valuable blog content on your site. One of the best ways to scale your business is to find out what you are doing well and do it exponentially.

5. Become an authority

As a startup, you may not believe you are a leader in your industry. That assumption is undoubtedly false, because if you have already started seeing success, you definitely have knowledge to be shared. By becoming a thought leader or an authority in your industry, you’ll gain the trust of your customers and provide them more value than just selling them a product.

The best way to do this is to get published and often. Start small with your blog, espousing thought leadership content that relates to your products and services. Then, get the word out by engaging in guest posting and seeking publication on larger and more authoritative sources. Your content does need to be innovative and give audiences something different from what they’ve already read 1,000 times over. You can do this by being controversial, taking a different tone or stance from what’s generally seen as acceptable and adding actionable ideas.

Scaling your business by using your existing resources, like your thought knowledge, your customer base and your existing data is the best way to grow without an increased spend. Don’t underestimate what you already have in place for your business to help you grow and scale.

How to Build Trust with Potential Customers

We don’t buy products, services or companies. Well, we do, but we buy them from people we trust. We all operate in competitive industries. Our prospects can find what we sell just about anywhere. So, how do they decide who they buy it from? They buy from the person they trust. Therefore, people buy from people – first.

Importance of Building Trust With Customers

Knowing this, we have to be sure we are conducting ourselves in a way that is trust building. The number one way to build trust is to care more about the prospect than about ourselves. And yet, one of the hardest things to do is to NOT think about the sale.

So, what do we do? Start by embracing the idea that the more you think about selling, the less you will actually sell. You will be working against yourself and your best interest. If you can own this truth you are on your way to gaining trust and growing your business.

Now, focus on your prospect. The more you learn about them the more you will be able to identify if, and how, you can help them. The truth is this is all they are interested in. They don’t care about your product or service. They care about the problems they have, the challenges they are facing, and their own success. If you can connect your product/service to their situation, you are far more likely to gain their business.

You can’t assume you have a solution for them. That’s one of the traps of sales — believing your offering is valuable to everyone. Maybe it should be, but it isn’t. It’s only valuable to the people or companies who see value in it. And the only ones who are going to find it valuable are the ones that trust you to provide the solution.

Consider these three steps to being the person your prospect will buy from:

Assume nothing — Realize that you don’t know whether you have something they should buy until you know more about them. You also don’t know if you want to do business with them until you know them. Just because they look like they fit a mold doesn’t mean there’s a fit.

Do discovery — Develop a comprehensive list of questions you can ask them to really learn about them. These questions should go beyond the scope of the situation you can resolve. You want to know how they operate, what is most important to them, their budget and timeline, and more.

Really listen — This is critical. Attentive, intentional listening is the most important part of trust building. When you are really listening to someone they can feel it. And you can honestly determine whether you can help them, and whether you want to. This real listening provides you with the platform for responding to them.

When you implement these steps you will find that you are developing deep relationships where you should be. You will build trust that will positively impact your business over time. And the people or companies that should be buying from you, will.

They will want to enter into a business relationship with you, and they will refer you to others. Because people buy from people. Period.

What Every Business Owner Ought to Know About Making Employees Happy

You might assume that keeping employees happy would require more money or time off. And while both those things are certainly appreciated, employee happiness is a bit more complex. Employers are starting to recognize that keeping their employees happy and fulfilled at work means getting a little creative.

“To make customers happy, we have to make sure our employees are happy first.” – Zappos

Employee Happiness vs Profit

The well being and happiness of employees can affect their productivity, and therefore their overall enthusiasm regarding their work. Employers might be interested to learn that the Department of Economics at the University of Warwick found happy workers to be 12% more productive than the average worker, while unhappy employees are 10% less productive.

  • Companies with happy employees outperform the competition by 20%.
  • Happy and engaged employees earn 1.2 – 1.7% more than their peers.
  • Happy workers are more likely to problem solve in difficult situations faster than their peers.

The book Getting Engaged: The New Workplace Loyalty, explains that an employee who is actively engaged cares about their jobs, the company, and daily performance. For an engaged employee, it’s about much more than just a paycheck and benefits.  These are the people who will put in extra effort without being asked and will ensure their work is done well.

Creating Employee Happiness

To create true employee happiness that will impact productivity, engagement, and profit, you have to look a bit outside the standard box of employee benefits. No one will turn up their nose at a pay raise, but money can only go so far when creating a lasting change.

“…more and more evidence is showing that employee happiness is a huge reason why companies are able to earn more and be more successful.” –

So what are some of the tried and true ways to accomplish this task? Here are a few ideas:

Flexible work hours based on work getting done: adding some kind of flexibility allows employees to work at the pace and time that will aid in productivity. We know some people are more productive in the morning, while others are more energized midday. This might not be possible for all companies, but that leads into our next suggestion…

Unlimited time off: instead of having employees count their days off and try to hoard them for certain needs, providing unlimited time off means that you need to be engaged and productive in order to be able to enjoy your time out of the office. Many companies have ways to manage this, and ensure that not too many people are out at once. You might need to consult with you HR team, but it’s a great way to make workers feel that their daily hard work is appreciated.

Continued learning: providing an opportunity for continued education is a way for employees to expand their skills, do their jobs better and more efficiently, as well as help make a revenue impact on the business. Certificate programs, day-long trainings, seminars, and guest speakers are ways to provide continued learning for your workers.

Other popular engagement tools are allowing pets in the office, (within reason), providing full or prorated gym memberships, and free food in the office.

The Big Picture View

The long term results of unhappy and disengaged employees will lead to negative attitudes and low productivity – both of which can affect your bottom line. Studies have shown that low-level engagement will result in a 33% decrease in operating income and an 11% decrease in growth. However, on the flip side, companies with high-level engagement have a 19% increase in income and a 28% increase in earnings growth.

A company can stand out from their competition by utilizing their greatest asset: their employees. It has been made clear that satisfied employees create satisfied customers, who then spend more money with your company and spread great word-of-mouth reviews. Money can’t necessarily buy you happiness, but happiness seems to be the link to monetary growth.

Marketing B2B: How to Succeed Online and Beat the Competition

B2B marketing has changed drastically in the last couple of decades, taking the vast majority of activities from the real world to the digital environment. Today, social media gather over two billion daily active users, while there are more than 50 million business pages on Facebook alone.

At the same time, running a successful small business without a website or email marketing is unimaginable. But how can you combine all these channels to create a comprehensive B2B marketing plan? Are you really able to get the foot in the door and outperform competitors?

If you are not sure, keep reading to learn nine ways to craft an all-encompassing B2B marketing strategy.

1. Set Goals

Business goals set the foundation for the marketing strategy. Only 45% of B2B companies have a formal marketing plan in place, which is a great opportunity for you to step up and distinguish yourself from the biggest competitors.

Business goals set the foundation for the marketing strategy. Only 45% of B2B companies have a formal marketing plan in place, which is a great opportunity for you to step up and distinguish yourself from the biggest competitors.

The plan of activities depends on what you want to achieve, so think about your objectives. Is it to raise awareness, boost customer loyalty, generate new leads, or something completely different? The way you answer this question will tell you where to go and how to do it most effectively. At the same time, business goals give you key performance indicators (KPIs) that you can follow and measure the results of your strategy.

2. Design a Beautiful Website

A website is the first thing B2B clients search for when they want to analyze your company. For this reason, it is critical to design an attractive site that looks amazing and is easy to use. The structure of the B2B website must be simple because you want to allow visitors to find whatever they need with only a click or two. Of course, it is also necessary to optimize a site so as to be mobile responsive, improve page load speed, use the best visuals, and add all those little details that can make your company look fully professional.

3. Publish Quality Content

Do you know that over 90% of B2B buyers want content with more input from industry thought leaders? Genuine assignment masters interpret this stat as a chance to win over their audiences by proving that they have the skills and expertise to solve customers’ problems.

In the B2B universe, content creation is highly demanding because you have to discuss every aspect of the topic and support statements with data-driven insights. Don’t hesitate to use supporting files such as charts, graphs, infographics, and all other types of multimedia that can prove your thesis and make it sound more convincing.

4. Local Search Optimization

Small and medium-sized companies usually have physical branches or stores, so it’s always a good idea to optimize your business for local searches. That way, you allow users who search for your kind of products or services to find you effortlessly. The only thing you need to do is to create a Google My Business account and enter fresh business-related information such as address, opening/closing hours, and phone numbers.

5. Social Media Marketing

We already mentioned that social media have billions of daily active users, but this marketing channel demands further elaboration. For instance, YouTube is excellent for publishing video case studies, while Instagram is perfect for product-oriented organizations.

But while it can’t hurt to create accounts on these platforms, keep in mind that LinkedIn is by far the most important B2B social network. According to the research, 80% of B2B social media leads stemmed from LinkedIn in 2017. The platform targets industry professionals, so it’s up to you to take advantage of LinkedIn and post content that closely relates to the needs of your target audience.

6. Influencer Marketing

Most marketers consider influencers to be focused on the B2C niche exclusively, but the fact remains that popular industry figures can play a major role in B2B as well. If you can find a person who really nurtures the same style and values, you are good to go with influencer marketing. This mechanism is slightly different than standard B2C influencing, but it delivers just as successfully.

7. Email Marketing

Almost 80% of B2B marketers believe email is the most effective distribution channel for demand generation efforts. However, we strongly believe that email newsletter serves another very important purpose – it allows you to nurture long-term relationships with the clients.

Consistency is the key factor here because you need to send newsletters regularly. It can be once a week or once in 15 days, but it’s crucial to get the subscribers used to your content. Doing so, you will build a feeling of anticipation among potential clients and prevent them from forgetting your business.

8. Event Marketing

While it is true that digital content is dominating modern marketing, B2B companies should never underestimate the value of good old events. What makes this tactic so valuable? It gives you the opportunity to meet customers face-to-face, which is always the best ways to seal the deal. Besides that, it allows you to acknowledge regular clients, raise awareness, and build brand affinity. B2B events come in different forms, so you can organize exhibitions, road shows, VIP dinners, conferences, etc.

9. Business Analytics

The last tip on our lists rounds up the whole story. If you want to maximize the productivity of B2B marketing, you have to analyze the results of your strategy. Tools like Google Analytics, Buffer, Ahrefs, and many others provide users with real-time insights, so you can rearrange and adjust marketing operations almost instantly. But in order to do so, you need to come back to the business goals and KPIs (as explained in the first section) and compare it with the actual results of your marketing plan.


Running a profitable company without a comprehensive marketing strategy is almost impossible. If you want to stay competitive in the B2B niche, you just have to invest a lot of time and efforts into promotional activities.

But it’s never an easy task because your competitors definitely want to do the same thing. In this article, we showed you nine ways to design a great B2B marketing strategy that could make your business flourish. Keep our ideas in mind and don’t forget to leave a comment if you have other suggestions or questions – we would be glad to discuss it with you!

5 Tips for Managing Communication Overload

Remember when an overstuffed inbox or a full voice mailbox was the biggest source of your communications frustrations?

Today’s technological age has brought a wide range of platforms, programs, and apps aimed at making the exchange of information simple and intuitive. From a purely functional standpoint, that’s exactly what online calendars, file sharing programs, content management systems, online project management software, and team messaging platforms have all done.

Here’s the truth about communication overload: it doesn’t happen because of technology, but in spite of it.

Without setting some human parameters and boundaries around your communications systems, you may quickly find yourself drowning in a sea of excessive, unnecessary information that complicates, rather than simplifies, your work and life in general.

Just as technology breaks down barriers to accessibility and opens doors for collaboration, it also allows you plenty of room to create customized online environments that support your productivity instead of sapping it.

Here are five ways to put an end to communication overload:

Use notifications sparingly.

Configure your notifications so you only get alerts that you truly want and need. For example, set team messaging notifications to alert you only when someone is speaking to you specifically (normally with an “@” mention), and then let your coworkers know that if they need your immediate attention, that’s the best way to do it. And keep in mind that if you get notifications on your computer and phone, you probably don’t need a copy sent to your email, too.

Don’t be afraid to leave conversations or groups that don’t really apply to you.

From email distribution lists that don’t affect you directly to chat threads that linger on even after the central issue is resolved, you can choose to remove yourself from the conversation. If you’re concerned a group leader or owner of the email chain or chat will be offended, or that you might miss something important, reach out privately and ask to be included only in what specifically needs your attention.

Streamline your communication system.

When you have many programs running or too many windows open, it can slow or even crash your computer. Similarly, having to fetch data and information in several different places makes you less effective and more likely to lose focus. Choose a central platform for your team to use that integrates the core collaborative applications you use (i.e. text/video chat, file sharing, project management, calendar, etc.) for a more productive, streamlined work experience.

Make sure meetings are meaningful.

Regardless of whether you’re meeting in person or virtually, it’s key to make sure your meetings are well organized and include only those who need to be there. That means having an agenda, keeping to a set time, and being sure that each person who attends gets specific information that he or she needs to get his or her job done.

Block-out time to work from priorities.

It’s easy to get overwhelmed when you’re hit with a deluge of messages asking for your attention and response. Before you dive into your day, ignore your inbox, stay off social media, and keep your chat apps closed; take the first couple of hours each day to take care of the most pressing items on your to-do list. Productivity expert Rob Hatch calls this your “Success Block,” as this practice allows you to honor your priorities and your agenda before you start accommodating everyone else’s. Knowing that you’ve taken care of your most important business helps set the tone for a more relaxed, more productive rest of your day.

Suffering information overwhelm is not a given, but a choice. Diffuse the overload by organizing your online environment so it replaces your sense of panic with real opportunities for greater productivity – and peace.

How to Hire a Marketing Freelancer

Trying to run a business?  Have other tasks that you need to do? Need a break from marketing?

Well you’re in luck. Today, it’s easy to outsource all or part of your marketing efforts to freelancers. Furthermore, freelancers won’t just save you time, they also usually have the skills and connections to take your marketing to the next level. But that raises the question; How do you hire a freelancer?

Let’s find out.

Defining What You Need

If you’re considering outsourcing your marketing efforts, the very first thing you should do is define exactly what you need done. For example, if you need a new blog post for your company’s blog, you’ll need guidelines on length, subject, tone, other articles to link to, your promotion strategy, and more.

Once you’ve defined what you need, make sure to communicate it to the freelancer in detail.  Because freelancers are not full-time employees, they often don’t have full information about your company and your marketing goals.  If you don’t provide clear guidance, you risk wasting time and resources.

In addition to defining the task, you should give some thought to what kind of skill set you need in a freelancer.  Do you need someone who can write a few simple tweets? Or do you need someone with a PHD to optimize your ad spend program or to make sense of your marketing data?

Either are fine but if you hire the wrong person you’ll either spend way too much or get a poor quality of work which ends up costing you money. Once you’ve roughly defined the person you need to hire and the task you need accomplished, the next step is to actually find a freelancer.

Finding a Freelancer

Although there are many ways to find a freelancer nowadays, the two easiest ones are through referral or through a job board.


The easiest and best way to find a good freelancer is to ask your friends and colleagues if they know someone. Once you’ve defined exactly what you need, email or call your friends and explain what kind of person you’re looking to hire.

They will often know someone who is willing to make a few extra bucks or will even do the task themselves.  As a result, referrals are free or close to free. Furthermore, referrals are also great because you already know the freelancers will perform good work.

Job Board

The other avenue for freelancers is through job boards, especially boards that specialize in freelance work. Two of the best ones are and

On both sites, you can simply log on and enter the project you need done like “Content Writing” or “SEO” and you’ll be presented with a list of freelancers who specialize in that topic. Aim to select freelancers who have a high success rate (meaning they were able to complete the project) on previous projects, have positive reviews from past projects, have the specific skills you need (i.e. don’t hire someone who writes medical articles to write a piece on education) and are offering a fair rate for your project.

Hiring a Freelancer

Once you’ve found a freelancer who seems like a good fit from either referrals or job boards, you’ll want to do some due diligence before hiring them. With a freelancer, you want to focus more on ensuring the candidate has the skills and the time to complete the project.

You don’t need to spend as much time as you normally would with a candidate for a full-time position because things like cultural fit are less important.


Once you’ve hired a freelancer, focus on communicating well. Because a freelancer doesn’t fully understand the goals of your organization, if you don’t communicate well, they may make some incorrect assumptions which leads to a poor outcome.

Here are some guidelines for communicating with freelancers:

  • Establish guidelines for when you will be available for questions and how long of a delay you expect before you receive a reply.
  • Communicate in writing, even if you initially say something in person or over the phone.  Writing helps ensure that a freelancer can check what you said later and specifics aren’t lost over time.
  • Establish milestones and progress report timelines so that you can keep track of how the project is progressing.
  • If there seems to be any confusion, don’t be afraid to reiterate what you’ve said in the past.


In conclusion, you can find freelancers nowadays for almost any task your business needs to accomplish. However, hiring a freelancer is a bit different than hiring a full time employee.  You’ll need to be clear about what skill set you need in a freelancer and the project you need done.

Then you’ll need to communicate it effectively. If all goes well, you’ll be able to take your business to the next level. And remember, if you find an awesome freelancer, keep them around and refer them to friends to build the relationship.