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3 Tips To Help You Target Your Ideal Customers For Small Business Saturday

3 Tips To Help You Target Your Ideal Customers For Small Business Saturday

In preparing for Small Business Saturday 2015, the important thing to remember is “Shop Small”. This basically means that you are going to support your locally owned businesses, whether it is online or offline. This event has been annually sponsored by American Express since 2010. On the homepage for the event, you can actually search by your zip code to find local businesses that you can support.

In the image below, you can see the impact of ShopSmall and how you can help on Small Business Saturday which is November 28, 2015. It’s the Saturday after Thanksgiving (US). As you can see, it explains the process in how you can play a part in supporting your local small business owners. Whether you are hired by them, chose to become a customer or even decide to become a vendor, your support is very important to the Shop Small Movement.

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Small Business Saturday

    3 Tips To Get Prepared For Small Business Saturday

    If you are a small business, there are basically three powerful tips that can help you get prepared for Small Business Saturday. They are doing a website readiness check, creating branded marketing and crafting social media message. Let’s take a deeper look into these three tips so that you can quickly learn how to implement them.

    Complete a Website Readiness Checklist. It can assist you in making sure your website is ready and can handle your target customers. Click here to check for Readiness. When you complete the readiness test, make a plan to incorporate the things that may be missing according to the checklist to your website.

    Once you start implementing the plan, test your changes to see if how they are working out. Modify things if you need to, just so you can make sure your website is ready for your target customers.

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    Create branded marketing. When you create these messages, make sure that they sync up with the purpose of your business. This includes website content/look/feel, graphic images, mission, vision and more. According to Entrepreneur.com, there are 3 Steps to Creating Your Branding Message.

    • The customer perspective: Don’t presume. Interview customers, survey them, pay attention to them on social media.
    • The internal perspective: For a brand promise to be effective it must be true.
    • The marketplace perspective: Only one brand can own a position. How do your competitors position themselves? Look at their tag lines.

    Craft branded social media messages. To do this, make sure that your messages encourage your target customers to take action on buying your products or services. Use power words that connect with your target customer on an emotional and financial level.

    When you use power words in your social media messages, it could encourage your target customers to take action. A few power words to consider are:

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    • Free
    • Sale
    • New
    • Valuable
    • Ultimate
    • Affordable
    • Outstanding
    • Timely
    • Simple
    • Last Minute

    So for Small Business Saturday, a combination of the power words can be put together to create social media message. See the sample message below:

    Just in time for Small Business Saturday, get in on our timely surprise sale for our excellent services. To learn more, visit [insert URL here].

    This is a generic message that could be used, however you can see that it includes several power words that could entice your target customers to learn more. Once you craft your message, ask your customer, peers and supporters to help by resharing your message on social media.

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    Also, to help you get started with your Small Business Saturday preparation, check out the blog post entitled, 6 Simple Things You Can Do Today To Improve Your Marketing And Get More Customers. It can help you improve your marketing efforts and reach your target customers.

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    Kim Beasley

    CEO/Business Visibility Strategist

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    Published on November 12, 2020

    5 Signs You Work in a Toxic Environment (And What To Do)

    5 Signs You Work in a Toxic Environment (And What To Do)

    What’s the most draining, miserable job you’ve ever had? Maybe you had a supervisor with unrealistic demands about your work output and schedule. Or perhaps, you worked under a bullying boss who frequently lost his temper with you and your colleagues, creating a toxic work environment.

    Chances are, though, your terrible job experience was more all-encompassing than a negative experience with just one person. That’s because, in general, toxicity at work breeds an entire culture. Research shows abusive behavior by leaders can and often quickly spread through an entire organization.[1]

    Unfortunately, working in a toxic environment doesn’t just make it miserable to show up to the office (or a Zoom meeting). This type of culture can have lasting negative effects, taking a toll on mental and physical health and even affecting workers’ personal lives and relationships.[2]

    While it’s often all-encompassing, toxic culture isn’t always as blatant or clear-cut as abuse. Some of the evidence is more subtle—but it still warrants concern and action.

    Have a feeling that your workplace is a toxic environment? Here are 5 surefire signs to look for.

    1. People Often Say (or Imply) “That’s Not My Job”

    When I first launched my company, I had a very small team. And back then, we all wore a lot of hats, simply because we had to. My colleagues and I worked tirelessly together to build, troubleshoot, and market our product, and nobody complained (at least most of the time).

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    Because we were all in it together, with the same shared vision in mind, cooperation mattered so much more than job titles. Unfortunately, it’s not always that way.

    In some workplaces, people adhere to their job descriptions to a fault:

    • Need help with an accounting problem? Sorry, that’s not my job.
    • Oh, you spilled your coffee in the break room? Too bad, I’m working.
    • Can’t figure out the new software? Ask IT.

    While everyone has their own skillset—and time is often at a premium—cooperation is important in any workplace. An “it’s not my job” attitude is a sign of a toxic environment because it’s inherently selfish. It implies “I only care about me and what I have to get done” and that people aren’t concerned about the collective good or overall vision.[3] That type of perspective is not only bound to drain individual relationships; it also drains overall morale and productivity.

    2. There’s a Lack of Diversity

    Diversity is a vital part of a healthy work environment. We need the opinions and ideas of people who don’t see the world like us to move ahead. So, when leaders don’t prioritize diversity—or worse, they actively avoid it—I’m always suspicious about their character and values.

    Limiting your workforce to one type of person is bound to prevent organizations from growing healthily. But even if your work environment is diverse in general, the management might prevent diverse individuals from rising to leadership positions, which only misses the point of having a diverse work environment in the first place.

    Look around you. Who’s in leadership at your company? Who gets promotions and rewards most often? If the same type of people gets ahead while other individuals consistently get left behind, you might be working in a toxic environment.

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    However it manifests in your workplace, keep in mind that a lack of diversity is a tell-tale sign that “bias is rampant and the wrong things are valued.”[4]

    3. Feedback Isn’t Allowed

    Just as individual growth hinges on being open to criticism, an organization’s well-being depends on workers’ ability to air their concerns and ideas. If management actively stifles feedback from employees, you’re probably working in a toxic environment.

    But that definitely doesn’t mean nobody will air their feelings. One of the telltale signs of toxic leadership is when employees vent on the sidelines, out of management’s earshot. When I worked in a toxic environment, coworkers would often complain about higher-ups and company policies during work in private chats or after work hours.

    It’s normal to get frustrated at work. That’s just a part of having a job. What isn’t normal is when dissent isn’t a part of or discouraged in the workplace. A workplace culture that suppresses constructive feedback will not be successful in the long run. It’s a sign that leadership isn’t open to new ideas, and that they’re more concerned about their own well-being than the health of the organization as a whole.

    4. Quantifiable Measures Take Priority

    Sales numbers, timelines, bottom lines—these metrics are, of course, important signs of how things are going in any business. But great leaders know that true success isn’t always measurable or quantifiable. More meaningful factors like workplace satisfaction, teamwork, and personal growth all contribute to and sustain these metrics.

    Numbers don’t always tell the whole story, and they shouldn’t be the only concern. Measure-taking should always take a backseat to meaning-making—working together to contribute to a vision that improves people’s lives. If your workplace zones in on quantifiable measures of success, it’s probably not prioritizing what truly matters. And it’s probably also instilling a fear of failure among employees, which paralyzes employees instead of motivating them.

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    5. The Policies and Rules Are Inconsistent

    Every organization has its own set of unique policies and procedures. But often, unhealthy workplaces have inconsistent, unspoken “rules” that apply differently to different people. When one person gets in trouble for the same type of behavior that promotes another person, workers will feel like management plays favorites—which isn’t just unethical but also a quick way to drain morale and fuel tension in the office.[5] It only shows how incompetent the leadership is and indicates a toxic workplace.

    For example, maybe there’s no “set” rule about work hours, but your manager expects certain people or departments to show up at 8 am while other individuals tend to roll in at 9 or 10 am with no real consequences. If that’s the case, then it’s likely that your organization’s leadership is more concerned with controlling people and exerting power rather than the overall good of their employees.

    How to Deal With a Toxic Work Environment

    The first thing to know if you’re stuck in a toxic work environment is that you’re not stuck. While it’s ultimately the company’s responsibility to make positive changes that prevent harmful actions to employees, you also have an opportunity to speak up about your concerns—or, if necessary, depart the role altogether.

    If you suspect that you’re working in a toxic environment, think about how you can advocate for yourself. Start by raising your grievances about the culture in an appropriate setting, like a scheduled, one-on-one meeting with your supervisor.

    Can’t imagine sitting down with your supervisor to air those problems on your own? Form some solidarity with like-minded colleagues. Approaching management might feel less overwhelming when you have a “team” who shares your views.

    It doesn’t have to be an overtly confrontational discussion. Do your best to frame your concerns in a positive way by sharing with your supervisor that you want to be more productive at work, but certain problems sometimes get in the way.

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    Final Thoughts

    If your supervisor truly cares about the well-being of the organization, they will take your concerns seriously and actively take part in changing the toxic work environment into something more conducive to productivity.

    If not, then it might be time to consider the cost of the job on your well-being and personal life. Is it worth staying just for your resume’s sake? Or could you consider a “bridge” job that allows you to exhale for a bit, even if it doesn’t “move you ahead” the way you planned?

    It might not be the ideal situation, but your mental health and well-being are too important to ignore. And when you have the opportunity to refuel, you’ll be a far more valuable asset at whatever amazing job you land next.

    More Tips on Dealing With a Toxic Work Environment

    Featured photo credit: Campaign Creators via unsplash.com

    Reference

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