Today’s roundup starts with tips on how to get five referrals per customer and includes a story about the success of pet-centric businesses and why you’re not as busy as you think.
Yep, that’s right. As Jonathan Farrington of The Customer Collective writes, receiving at least five referrals per customer should be customary in your business. How do you accomplish this? By incorporating referral requests into your sales process (just make sure to ask for them after you’ve secured a positive/trusted relationship with a client) and by contacting existing clients to ask for help.
Out with the old and in with the new. Forget this year (especially if you struggled with sales and hiring). Next year promises to be much better. As Laurie Kulikowski of The Street writes, small business trends for 2012 include more innovative daily deals (no more one-and-done), an increase in government contracting opportunities and more loan availability.
There are tons of ways to save money on 2011 taxes before Dec. 31. As Kristin Ewald of Intuit Small Business Blog writes, small business owners are smart to buy new business equipment before year-end, invest in solar energy and hire more employees (you’ll get a tax credit).
Pet owners are a passionate bunch. As Karen Axelton of Small Biz Daily reports, those who own cats and dogs are not skimping on spending despite the country’s economic woes. Not that I’m surprised…yesterday I dolled out $120 at PetSmart, where I bought (among other things) a—very necessary—new holiday sweater for my beagle, Lucy. Wannabe entrepreneurs: consider starting a business in the pet industry. The hottest micro-areas include pet food, pet grooming and pet safety services.
Back in October 2010, technology prodigy Kevin Systrom founded Instagram, a photo sharing Web app. In less than 18 months, the company has skyrocket to more than 13 million downloads and reportedly adds a few million more every few weeks. How are they doing this? As Matt Rosoff of Business Insider writes, founders are not investing a dime into marketing, but instead focusing solely on the quality of the product.
Making a salary is one big thing I miss from working in an office. Do you feel the same way? As Scott Shane of Small Business Trends writes, the level of uncomfortably relating to uncertain income varies by country. Turns out that only 19 percent of South Koreans spend time worrying, while 40 percent of Americans fret over it.
How many times have you looked at your schedule and felt totally overwhelmed? Next time you feel this way, sit down and dissect exactly what you are doing and why. Because, as Chris Brogan writes on his blog, no one is as busy as they think they are. Most people just fill their time to feel busy and look busy (i.e. important). So if you fit into this category, consider saying ‘no’ to invitations and focusing on your core tasks at hand—then watch your time free up.