I think many owners are doing lots of online marketing not because it's effective, but because it's so much easier than picking up the phone or putting yourself out there in the flesh. Or because it's cheaper than direct mail. Or because they hope somewhere down the road, it's going to pay off.
There are some signs that the report won't make much difference to clients, but it's always likely that bad press will have a negative impact.
But now the company is going a (big) step further with a contest that will give away over 100 franchise opportunities--worth $1.5 million total--to qualified veterans.
Tomorrow, Outright co-founder and CEO Kevin Reeth will be in Los Angeles hosting the second in a series of Unintentional Entrepreneur networking events. If you're in town, here's why you should attend. (Check the schedule for upcoming events in New York City, Washington DC and Atlanta.)
The institution's woes could hurt already struggling businesses that rely on CIT for cash flow lines of credit that allow them to keep inventory at proper levels. As a result, some experts are speculating that consumers could see less variety on retailers' shelves come fall and extending through the holiday shopping season.
For businesses in places like California--with a state minimum wage of $8--the hike is irrelevant. But for the nation as a whole, there's no telling. According to a recent Wall Street Journal article, the Economic Policy Institute estimates the increase will add $5.5 billion to the economy, as workers spend (relatively) fatter paychecks. But that same article also describes a franchise owner who will be cutting employee hours to make payroll.
In a letter addressed to Secretary of the Treasury Timothy Geithner, IFA President and CEO Matthew Shay pointed out that CIT has been the largest originator of SBA-backed loans to franchisees since 2000 and cited a recent IFA report showing that every $1 billion lent to franchisees results in 34,100 jobs and $3.6 billion of additional economic output.
Everyday business owners will be able to vote with their pocketbooks, too. Will they stay with the licensing fees, compatibility and convenience of Microsoft, or will they take a chance on an unknown system that happens to be free?
An eye-tracking study of 25 people said to represent the average social-networking site users found that a majority of them approved of seeing advertisements and even engaged with ads while searching for products and reviews on their favorite social portals, according a report released this week.
The study, titled "Seeing Search Go Social," by search marketing agency Oneupweb, finds that 65 percent of that small sample that used sites such as Facebook and Twitter to find out about products ended up "engaged with sponsored ads within the first 10 seconds of their search. "
Rarely a week goes by that, during our interviews with entrepreneurs on unrelated topics, Obama's policies towards business creation come into question. He gets it from all sides, too: Liberals seem to fault his Small Business Administration for allegedly being pro-big-business, while conservatives fault his tax policy and stimulus packages as, as they put it, taxing the rich and providing a safety net for the unproductive.
Nearly 25 percent of respondents said online reviews benefited their businesses, and only four percent indicated a negative impact. And not only are reviews six times more likely to help a business, but the numbers also imply a correlation between good testimonials and business growth: 71 percent of small-business owners who said they didn't know the impact of an online review reported a decline in business; but 55 percent who stated reviews had a positive effect perceived either no change or positive growth.
So in plain-speak, what's the significance of a business's online reputation? I asked RatePoint CEO Neal Creighton to explain.
Disappointment, along with a healthy dose of frustration, seems to be the popular sentiment, but in keeping with the (tentative) renewed optimism over the economy, I'd like to share a conversation I had with Steve King of research and consulting firm Emergent Research, in which he explained to me why it's just a matter of time before small-business owners see benefits from the stimulus.
Already, t-shirt and memorabilia entrepreneurs are on the move outside the venue where the memorial is taking place. Jimmy Jam of Jimmy's Jam T-Shirts in South Los Angeles says he's received orders from across the country for custom silkscreen designs in the king of pop's honor. Most of the customers want to turn around and sell the tops, he says.