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9 Ways to Master Small Talk (Even if You’re an Introvert)

9 Ways to Master Small Talk (Even if You're an

“That’s all small talk is – a quick way to connect on a human level – which is why it is by no means as irrelevant as the people who are bad at it insist. In short, it’s worth making the effort.”— Lynn Coady

 Introverts naturally despite small talk because, in some ways, it seems forced or unnatural. However, deeper connections have to begin somewhere, which means sitting through a few generic conversations to start with. An easy question like “What do you do for work?” can easily lead to other exciting topics. Just because the discussion doesn’t include in-depth issues right off the bat doesn’t mean you shouldn’t get to know someone.

If you think about it, all connections begin with some form of small talk that an introvert seems to dread. Thinking back to your very first date with your significant other. You can probably recall it being a little awkward. You may also have not talked about anything beyond surface-level stuff, like your jobs, family, or favorite movies. Humans need to build up a level of comfort before they delve into the more complex or sensitive conversation.

An introvert doesn’t digest this well, however, as they have a more challenging time with small talk. They crave stimulating, deep conversations and want to skip the awkward phases. Many introverts (and maybe even some extroverts) find typical conversation topics uninteresting and impersonal. For introverts, the societal rules surrounding social interactions between new people seem oppressive and inauthentic.

Why introverts hate small talk

  • It usually lacks in depth and meaning. Introverts need either in-depth intellectual discussion or an emotional connection. They don’t want to know “what’s up.”
  • It creates barriers between people. Talking about societally acceptable topics such as jobs, the economy, or kids gets boring for introverts. They believe this doesn’t allow room actually to get to know someone on a soul level.
  • It seems forced or fake. An introvert needs authenticity, and small talk seems like the exact opposite of that. They crave conversations where they can get lost for hours and truly vibe with someone.
  • Small talk lacks real emotion. Since introverts thrive on emotional connections, small talk drains them. They may overshare when getting to know someone because of this.

If you have trouble with small talk as either an introvert or extrovert, perhaps the following tips can help you.

9 Ways to Master Small Talk (Even as an Introvert)

1 – Ask the other person to tell a story, or suggest one yourself.

If you feel unsatisfied in your conversation with someone, maybe ask them to tell a story about themselves. People usually love to tell personal information about themselves, which gives you a chance to get to know them. Try these questions when the conversation stalls or you want to shift in a new direction:

  • “What’s the most interesting thing about your job?”
  • “What’s your favorite thing about where you grew up?”
  • “How did you choose your career/job?”
  • “What would you do to earn an income if money was no object?”
  • “What is the coolest place you’ve traveled to?”

These questions don’t cross any lines or push boundaries, so they still fit in with small talk. However, they allow you to get a little more out of a person than the usual questions. They can also make great icebreakers that lead to even more in-depth conversation.

2 – Be authentic.

Introverts crave authentic conversation and people but may have trouble expressing themselves honestly. However, if you want to attract these types of people, you have to be bold. Don’t pretend or hide who you are for the sake of fitting in. People love honesty, and if you don’t want boring conversation, bring something interesting to the table.

Express your real thoughts and feelings, even if you feel afraid of what others may say. Just remember that your people will love your realness, and the people meant for you will stick around. Not everyone will love you, but don’t let this stop you from being yourself.

For example, if you find yourself at a party, you can use these as your guide:

  • “I honestly don’t go to parties much. I feel kind of awkward being here.”
  • “I am kind of bashful at first, but I warm up after a while.”
  • “I’m better at listening than talking, honestly.”
  • “Sometimes, I want to walk away from my job and travel. Do you ever feel that way?”
  • “It took all my energy to come to this party! Being an introvert is hard.”

Of course, you can tweak these to fit your personality and life circumstances. This will hopefully give you a few fresh topic ideas for your next social event, though, and help you feel more comfortable.

3 – Share small details about yourself.

It would help if you did not get too deep with this, but sharing facts about yourself helps others feel comfortable, too. For example, you could talk about what you love to do after work or a cool place you recently traveled to. Small talk doesn’t have to equate with the mind-numbing, flat conversation. The more you contribute and share, the more others will follow your lead.

4 – Ask more why questions.

If you ask someone’s favorite ice cream flavor, you get an answer and then move on to something else. However, when you ask why questions, it helps the conversation expand. For example, if you ask someone about their career, you could ask why they chose it. This could apply to anything, such as why someone prefers nighttime to daytime or why they drink black coffee.

Simply put, asking people why makes them contemplate their answer more, which can lead to some interesting conversation avenues.

Here are the habits of introverts that most people.misunderstand.

5 – Keep in mind that small talk can boost your happiness.

If you have an aversion to small talk, keep in mind that even an introvert can benefit from a brief conversation. In fact, studies have proven that idle chit-chat or “shooting the breeze” increases feelings of belonging. It also boosts people’s happiness, whether they had a quick conversation with a mailman or their barista. Humans were wired for connection, but in our fast-paced world, we often miss out on it.

We spend train rides staring at our phone screen or listening to music instead of saying hi to the person next to us. However, this disconnection only increases tension and anxiety. If you want to feel more engaged with your surroundings, smile at a stranger or give a compliment to your neighbor. You’ll feel better, even as an introvert.

6 – Don’t overthink it.

We realize that overthinking and introvert often belong in the same sentence, but they don’t have to! We overcomplicate so many mundand things in our lives by thinking about them too much. When you socialize with people, go with the flow and don’t force conversation. Listen if you feel more comfortable doing that, and talk when you have something to contribute.

If you worry about awkward silences, remember that the other person probably feels the same way. Try to remember that other people are human too and that we all have some degree of social anxiety. If you genuinely listen and act friendly toward people, you’ll make a good impression.

7 – Talk about something meaningful to you.

Small talk only gets a bad rap because people expect of others what they won’t give themselves. In other words, conversations with people don’t have to stay superficial and devoid of meaning. If you want to steer any conversation in a different direction, talk about things you enjoy. Perhaps the other person will find the topic just as interesting and have a lot to contribute as well.

8 – Try to find some common ground.

Maybe you and other people have similar hobbies or went to school for the same degree. Finding common ground with people helps you establish a bond and perhaps a friendship. If you find similarities between you and someone else, you’ll feel less awkward during small talk.

9 – Listen and be engaged with the conversation.

You don’t have to talk constantly to have a good connection with someone. Do not put a lot of added stress on yourself about what you’ll say next. Instead, practice active listening, don’t look at your phone while they talk, and smile when appropriate. If you decide to look forward to social interactions rather than dread them, it could change your whole outlook on small talk.

Final thoughts about how to master small talk as an introvert

Many introverts loathe small talk, but perhaps it just requires a change in perspective. Instead of dreading it, think about how you and the other person can benefit from it. What can you learn from the other person? What can you share with them that could improve their life? Look at social interactions as a chance to make an impact on someone’s life and vice versa.

This way, you’ll start looking forward to small talk instead of wanting to avoid it at all costs.


3 Tips for Creating a Contact Us Page for Small Businesses

3 Tips for Creating a Contact Us Page for Small

3 Tips for Creating a Contact Us Page for Small Businesses

Starting a business is easy. The hard part is keeping your business alive, especially in times of crisis like right now. One of the biggest reasons new small businesses fail is that they don’t know how to get repeat business from clients.

A well-designed, easy-to-navigate contact us page is vital to drawing customers in and bringing them back. If you’re not the most design-savvy and are worried about communicating with customers, don’t worry. Here are three helpful tips for creating a small business contact us page.

1. Getting International Attention

If you write, sell internationally, or do other intercontinental work, contact us pages can present difficulty. If you’re based in the United States, a Canadian caller might be turned off from your business if they don’t have a way to call you without incurring long-distance charges.

Luckily, virtual calling services eliminate this problem. It’s simple to get a Canadian phone number and other international numbers. Taking a moment to add this feature to the list of emails and phone numbers on your site helps you expand your business to other countries.

2. Making Your Contact Us Page Accessible to All

One commonly overlooked aspect of making a contact us page is that not every client has the same physical ability to see, read, and process information.

The accessibility features you know from your computer’s settings can only do so much, leaving blind and vision-impaired computer users, people with sensitivities to bright and clashing colors, and others in a difficult position. Images without alternate text are impossible to parse with screen readers, and certain fonts are confusing to dyslexics and others.

Disabled people need to use services like yours as much as any others do, but when websites are hard to read, they’re forced to go elsewhere to find information, goods, and services. Following accessibility guidelines and using a template is a good way to ensure that everyone can get in touch without issue.

3. Think Professional Design

Throwing together a contact us page might seem like easy work. After all, it’s just your company building address, an email and phone number, and maybe an embedded contact form. You can make one in five minutes, right?

Sure, you can, but a contact us page that looks like a middle schooler made it in Microsoft Word isn’t going to get the most value out of your contact us page. If you don’t have design experience, it’s a good idea to invest in hiring a web designer to do the work.

Aesthetics matter more than you might think, and a sleek and professional contact us page gives customers confidence in your business.

Improve Business With Marketing Articles and Advice

Now that you’ve read these three great tips for creating a contact us page, you can improve your website and draw in more business. Once you’ve perfected your contact us page, take a look at our other articles to keep improving your website and other aspects of your business.

In these lean times, it’s important to jump on all the business opportunities you can. Lucky for you, we have all the business news that matters right now lined up right here. Get to reading and get on top of your game.


7 Tips on Improving Cybersecurity for Small Businesses

7 Tips on Improving Cybersecurity for Small Businesses

7 Tips on Improving Cybersecurity for Small Businesses

Did you know that 43 percent of all cybersecurity attacks target small businesses?

This is a staggering percentage, and to think your business could be targeted should be worrying. It could be anything from web-based attacks, phishing or malicious botnets and codes and improving cybersecurity should be a priority.

What’s more surprising is that over 70% of organizations don’t have cybersecurity response plans in place, making them vulnerable to more attacks. If there’s one thing you should know, cybercrime is one of the biggest threats your business could be facing, and you need to be prepared.

Better yet, why not protect yourself?

Why Would a Small Business Need Cyber Security?

Some small business owners feel that since they’re running a small business, hackers and cybercriminals will have no business targeting them. There’s not much to steal, right? There are plenty of large businesses out there worth spending their time on, right?

Well, the thing is, small businesses are attacked more often than large ones, and criminals obtain personal information for identity theft. The reason why criminals target small businesses is that most of them are vulnerable, making the work easier for them.

They could hack multiple small businesses and steal more files instead of targeting a secure large business. Let’s take a look at some of the strategies you can use to avoid being a victim.

You can easily do this by improving cybersecurity in your small business and safeguarding yourself. So how do you do this? 

1. Implement a Robust Firewall

The first line of defense you need for cyber-attack is a firewall. A firewall is the one thing standing between your sensitive data and information and cybercriminals, and the outside world. Unauthorized individuals will have no access to your network.

A standard external firewall is recommended, but you can go the extra mile and install an internal firewall as well just to be safe. It’s imperative for your employees working from home to use the firewall as well.

2. Create and Enforce Password Practices

Who likes changing passwords? No one. However, you can’t underestimate how important strong passwords are. Strong and unique passwords should be used for all your systems.

Implement stringent password policies for all your employees and teach them how to create strong passwords. Consider using a password manager and ensure all passwords are changed after a maximum of 90 days. Explain why your policies are vitally important and enforce the policies through the right group policy settings.

3. Improve Security With Two-Factor Authentication

Technology is advancing so fast, and cybercriminals are getting clever by the day, so sometimes, passwords are just not enough. Once you input your username and passwords, you have an extra step to verify yourself. This is a piece of information that only you would know, such as a one-time code sent to you via text on the phone number attached to your account.

There is no way a hacker would get such a message, and it would be harder for them to bypass. This is one of the best ways of improving cybersecurity for your small business. Ensure that it covers all devices that login to your office, from smartphones to tablets and laptops, ensuring they are secure in case they’re stolen.

4. Train Employees on Data Breach Prevention

Most security breaches are attributed to human error, not the IT department. One of the easiest ways for cybercriminals to infiltrate a network is by preying on employees that don’t recognize or understand the risks involved. Whether they go through email attachments, malware, or document downloads, an easy phishing attempt could lead to your downfall.

To prevent this from happening, teaching your employees how to avoid these mistakes is vital. There needs to be a tech protocol in the employee handbook covering all the steps involved in protecting your data and, ultimately, your business.

5. Store Customer Data in an Encrypted Database

Improving cybersecurity involves storing customer data in an encrypted database, and for very good reasons. All information containing customer information or trade secrets should be encrypted. Encryption converts information into code, preventing unauthorized access.

6. Perform Regular Vulnerability Checks

Regular vulnerability checks are essential because you’ll minimize risks and prevent breaches. You’ll also know if there has been a breach without your notice. A study found that, on average, it takes over 200 days for a company to detect a data breach, a time in which they lose thousands, if not millions of dollars, and sensitive information.

Conduct regular firewall configurations for penetration testing, software updates, and employee training to ensure they stay vigilant at all times.

You can hire an IT company to conduct these checks. What’s more, such a company will offer other technology services that suit your business. You can visit to learn more. 

Beyond that, you should complete data backups on hard drives or the cloud on a regular basis.

7. Have a Cyber Security Disaster Plan Ready

If there’s one thing you need to understand about improving cybersecurity, is that it’s an ongoing process. In the event of a data breach, you should have a disaster plan ready. If the breach could result in identity theft or cause harm, you should inform all your vendors and customers affected.

Bonus Point: Implement Web and Spam Filters

Phishing is the most common small business cybersecurity threats, and implementing web and spam filters is a great way to prevent it. Web filters prevent employees from visiting phishing websites or websites that may contain malware, preventing or minimizing the chances of a web-based attack.

Emails are also an easy gateway for cybercriminals. Having a spam filter will block malicious spam emails, which will prevent any phishing emails from reaching any inbox.

Improving Cybersecurity for Your Small Business

These tips will help in improving cybersecurity for your small business. Even though there’s still a chance of a breach, protection is always better. Having a plan will also go a long way in containing the situation.

Kindly check out our other insightful posts!


10 Local Business Advertising Tips to Increase Revenue for Your Small Business

10 Local Business Advertising Tips to Increase Revenue for Your

10 Local Business Advertising Tips to Increase Revenue for Your Small Business

There’s a big difference when you’re trying to market a local business and a national business. It’s not like you have a social media video go viral in Canada and you have a ton of customers.

Getting a social media post to go viral is great, except that you’re not reaching your target audience. That’s the people who live in your service area who have a very specific problem.

How can you use local business advertising to boost your visibility and sales? Keep reading to find out.

1. Fill Out Local Directory Listings

The first thing that local businesses need to do is to fill out your local directory listings on Google and Bing. This is the first step in reaching people who are looking for your services online will use a search engine.

If you don’t have a directory listing filled out, search engines will have no idea that you serve that area. When you do fill out the listing, make sure that it’s complete and you have high-quality pictures that make people want to know more about your business.

2. Understand Your Audience

Local business advertising comes down to reaching the right person with the right message at the right time. It sounds easy, but so many businesses get this wrong because they don’t truly understand their customers.

You might be a plumber who wants to attract anyone in a 30-mile radius who needs plumbing services. Who are these people? Are they DIY people? Are they the type that will just throw money at a problem? What is the emotional issue underneath?

This is how you understand your audience. The more you truly understand them, the better equipped you are to create marketing messages that show that you relate to them and their problems.

3. Leverage “Near Me” Searches

People will search for restaurants, products, and services on their phone. They want something, they want it now, and they want to find a solution nearby.

They’ll use the term “near me” in the searches. For example, Italian restaurants near me, auto repair near me, and bicycle store near me are all local searches.

You want to make sure that your business is positioned to capture these searches. That’s one reason why directory listings are so important. You tell search engines where you’re located and the search engines will list your business as long as it’s near the person searching.

4. Work With Local Influencers

Who are the influencers in your local community?

Those are the people that you want to know. They don’t need to be YouTube or Instagram stars. They just need to be influential in their network.

They could be board members of big organizations or they could be people who have a wide reach. You want to connect with them and build relationships with them. After a while, ask them to spread the word about your company.

5. Get Out in the Community

Being visible in your local community is a great way to build your brand and generate your business. You can become a member of your local chamber of commerce.

You can also sponsor local events like a 5K or have a booth at a trade show. Attending industry networking events is another great way to get out in the community.

Make it a habit to follow up with people you meet with handwritten notes after the event. No one does this anymore and these types of notes have become a lost art. This personal touch will make a huge impression with potential prospects.

You can use rubber stamps to save time writing your return address and signature over and over again. Check out this page for more information.

6. Be a Content Producing Machine

When Google produces search results for users, it tends to weight businesses that are near the searcher near the top of search results.

Having a blog on your website will get your business in front of prospects early on in the buying process. That give you time to show off your expertise and build trust with prospects before they’re ready to buy. When they are ready to make a purchase, your business will be front and center.

7. Get to Know the Local Press

In order to get your business name out in the community, you need a little help from the local media. It helps to establish relationships with news editors and business beat writers well before you issue your first press release.

8. Use Pay Per Click Ads

When you have your messaging down and you know your audience responds well to it, put gasoline on the fire.

You can use pay per click ads to generate more web traffic to your site and more business. This will supercharge your local business advertising efforts and take your business to the next level.

9. Get More Reviews

One of the factors that is used to determine if you’ll rank well in search engines is reviews. It’s also a big influencing factor for potential customers.

You want to make sure that you follow up with your customers and encourage them to leave positive reviews of their experience with your business.

10. Collect Leads Everywhere You Go

The more often you can get your local business in front of your customers and potential customers, the better. You’ll want to make sure that you use your website as a lead generation tool to encourage site visitors to sign up to your newsletter.

You’ll be able to connect with them with specials, events, and general information about your business.

Local Business Advertising Tips to Grow Your Business

Not all of the marketing trends and buzzwords apply to your business. As a local business, you require a different kind of visibility.

These local business advertising tips are geared to helping you reach the right people in your local service area. There are countless ways to reach them. You want to make sure that you use digital marketing and offline marketing strategies for the biggest impact.

Do you want more great marketing tips? Check out this blog regularly for articles about digital marketing and writing better content.


Keep Your Business Secure: The Best Shredder for Small Business

Keep Your Business Secure: The Best Shredder for Small Business

Keep Your Business Secure: The Best Shredder for Small Business

If you run a small business, you almost certainly have confidential documents which need to be eliminated. While there are a number of ways to eliminate these documents, perhaps the best option is to utilize a shredder. 

Interested in buying a shredder for your business? Need a little help finding one? You’re in the right place. 

We’re going to help you find the best shredder for small business.

What’s the Best Shredder for Small Business? 

There is no shortage of shredders on the market today, each of which offers something a little different in terms of capacity, shred precision, and construction quality. While all of these shredders could prove successful for your small business, some are deemed better for small businesses than are others. They are as follows. 

Bonsaii EverShred C169-B

The first shredder we’ll review is the Bonsaii EverShred C169-B. This shredder is available for a moderate price, yet offers a great deal in terms of functionality and construction quality. 

Capable of shredding up to 14 pieces of paper at once, it can run continuously for up to 30 minutes. A cross-cut shredder, it trims paper down to a P-3 security level, making it almost impossible to piece back together again. 

Featuring a jam-protection system as well as an auto-reverse feature, it rarely runs into mechanical issues. Plus, with an anti-overheating system in place, it runs smoothly throughout the duration of its use. 

Overall, this is a terrific paper shredder for small businesses. It’s durable, it’s functional, it’s affordable, and it gets the job done quickly. You couldn’t ask for too much more. 

Fellowes Powershred 99Ci

Next up is the Fellowes Powershred 99Ci, a long-running shredder with an above-average shredding capacity. While it offers greater functionality than the C169-B reviewed above, it’s also around twice its price. For this reason, it’s been ranked below it. 

This shredder can handle 18 pieces of paper at once and can operate continuously for up to 30 minutes. This makes it a great machine for offices which must shred ample amounts of paper on a regular basis. 

A jam-proof shredder with an automatic-off safety feature, it allows users to shred documents in a safe and efficient manner. Offering a P-4 shredding security level, it leaves shredded items almost impossible to piece back together. 

AmazonBasics 24-Sheet Crosscut Shredder 

The AmazonBasics 24-Sheet Crosscut Shredder is one of the best budget buys on the market, offering extraordinary power and speed at a mere pittance. Possessing top-notch construction quality, it’s built to thrive through years of use. 

Capable of shredding up to 24 pieces of paper at once, it can run continuously for up to 25 minutes. Note, however, that its cool-down time is around 60 minutes. This is quite a bit longer than the cool-down times of many other shredders.

This shredder provides a shredding security level of P-3. While the pieces it produces could conceivably be put back together, putting them back together correctly would take days. 

In short, this is a terrific shredder for small businesses of all kinds. No other shredder on the market provides this level of functionality at such a low price. 

Royal 1840MX 18-Sheet Crosscut Paper Shredder 

If you spend all of your workday shredding paper, you should think about buying the Royal 1840MX 18-Sheet Crosscut Paper Shredder. Possessing a continuous runtime of 60 minutes, it can slice through 18 pieces of paper at once. 

Because it’s a crosscut shredder, it delivers great, but not outstanding shredding security. However, as long as you’re not dealing with world-changing documents, you shouldn’t ever have to worry about an individual piecing its work back together. 

Possessing auto-reverse and anti-jam features, it’s as efficient as shredders come. In short, if you’re looking for something fast, secure, and reliable, this shredder will have you covered. 

Bonsaii EverShred C149

Another high-quality shredder for small businesses is the Bonsaii EverShred C149. Capable of shredding 18 pieces of paper at once, it can run continuously for up to 60 minutes. 

Offering both anti-overheating and anti-overloading features, it does a great job of protecting itself from prolonged damage. With auto-reverse capabilities, it almost entirely does away with paper jams. 

As far as security goes, it slices paper down to a P-3 level. For most small businesses, this is more than sufficient. 

Aurora AU1210MA

If you’re looking to optimize security, you should consider going with the Aurora AU1210MA. This is a micro shredder, capable of slicing paper to a P-4 security level. Once it’s through with a piece of paper, there’s almost no chance of someone piecing its remnants back together. 

This shredder can handle 12 pieces of paper at once and can run continuously for up to 60 minutes. For its price, this is fairly substantial shredding efficiency. 

Offering both auto-reverse and anti-jam features, it corrects all of its own problems. Just plug it in, slide through some paper, and reap the benefits of its optimal technology. 

GBC Cross Cut Shredder Duo

The last shredder we’ll review is the GBC Cross Cut Shredder Duo. This affordable yet effective shredder can handle up to 11 pieces of paper at once and can run continuously for around 30 minutes. 

It trims paper to a P-3 security level, offering easily enough security for the purposes of most small businesses. With auto-rest and anti-jam features, it regulates its own performance to prevent breakdowns. 

If you’re looking for a solid no-nonsense shredder that will get the job done, this one’s it. To check it out more closely, view here.

Need More Help With Your Business

And with that, you’ve learned of the best shredder for small business. While the Bonsaii EverShred C169-B is arguably the best of the bunch, each of the shredders reviewed above has its merits and is worth a purchase. 

Looking for more help with your business? ArticleCity can help. We offer top-notch writing services to small businesses, helping them to optimize their digital marketing efforts and stand above their competitors. 

Utilize our services today!


5 Benefits of Using Company Brochures for Your Small Business

5 Benefits of Using Company Brochures for Your Small Business

5 Benefits of Using Company Brochures for Your Small Business

Companies in the United States spend approximately $207 billion in marketing every year. They spend most of the money on televised ads, product events, and online promotion.

When searching for effective marketing materials, look no further than company brochures. Brochures offer a myriad of marketing benefits to your small business.

Here are five important reasons why you want to use brochures for your small business.

1. Brochures Are Easy to Distribute

Unlike newsletters, distributing brochures is easy. They are light enough to place in a variety of locations within a building.

You can bundle tangibles such as t-shirts with brochures to market your business.

Many people appreciate handling information in small packages such as brochures. Resources such as newsletters and company journals can be overwhelming.

2. Brochures Are Cost-Effective for Small Businesses

Most print shops will not turn away your business due to budget. In most cases, they will adjust their work to fit the bill.

You will also realize these cost savings using brochure templates, which help save time. There is a wide range of free and paid templates available on the internet.

There are numerous web resources available used to design marketing material. This will allow your small business save costs even more.

You should be aware that high-quality professional designs don’t come cheap.

3. Company Brochures Personalize Communication

Using a brochure gives you an opportunity to communicate with your audience easily and quickly. Personalized messages are more effective than those meant for a larger audience.

As your small company grows, adjusting the message on a brochure will be quite easy.

Many small companies have limited resources until they become profitable. Additionally, clients perceive brochures as professional tools common in established businesses providing quality products or services.

4. Business Brochures Are Effective for Marketing Purposes

Brochures will allow you to distribute important news about your products or services.

You can print a map on a brochure to direct potential customers to your business location.

A small business can use brochures to announce upcoming events such as sales and expos. This works if your business deals with niche products or services. The method is cheap and convenient for any small business.

The adage goes that “a picture is worth a thousand words”. Any well-designed brochure will prove this point. Many businesses use charts in brochures to announce important news to potential customers.

5. Brochures Provide Consistent Branding

Whenever an ad is out of sight, it’ll be out of mind. This applies to both televised and online marketing platforms.

Businesses that use brochures don’t face such a problem because the target audience carries them home or places of work. This is an important aspect of creating a brand identity.

Get Started!

Often, all the information that can lead to a sale is well-summarized in a standard brochure. A small business can rely on these tools to generate engagement through such a tool.

Brochures are versatile tools which are necessary for every small business. Company brochures will supplement your small business efforts allowing it to grow. Contact us today and learn more.


How to Drastically Cut Expenses in Your Small Business

How to Drastically Cut Expenses in Your Small Business

How to Drastically Cut Expenses in Your Small Business

Sources show that 82% of small businesses fail due to cash flow problems. Money problems are mainly caused by poor planning, overwhelming expenses, and low revenue.

When it comes to small businesses, every penny counts. This means making any possible cuts on expenses and improving productivity wherever possible. It is often much easier to balance the books by lowering business spending than increasing income.

To keep your business thriving, here are five tips on how to drastically cut expenses.

1. Stick to a Business Budget

Careful budgeting is crucial in managing finances. Cutting down on expenses begins by planning the available resource and predicted revenue. This gives you a clear idea of how to spend the funds that you already have and prepare for the future.

A budget is only useful if followed precisely. Practice a high level of discipline and avoid deviating from the laid-out plan. This way, your expenses will remain predictable, and you can easily find areas to make cuts.

2. Digitize Your Business Operations

Use technology to your advantage. With inexpensive and convenient technologies like VoIP and cloud computing, you can drastically cut down on communication, labor, and time expenses. You could even have virtual offices such as Hoxton Mix, and outsource work and services at relatively low cost.

Entire departments or roles can be made redundant by simply automating mundane tasks such as virtual assistance, data management, and emailing.  

3. Cut Down on Energy Consumption

The cost of energy keeps going up, and it amounts to a large portion of recurrent expenses. Find ways to reduce your power bill and bring your costs down. The cheapest way to do this is to go green.

Begin by installing solar panels to generate free electricity. You could also modify the building to consume less energy by improving natural lighting and replacing inefficient electrical systems. The initial cost of changing the energy infrastructure may be high, but it pays for itself in just a few years.

4. Ditch the Print Media

On average, an American office worker uses about 10,000 sheets of print paper every year. Now, multiply that with the average cost of paper and the numbers go way up. Sadly, most of this paper ends up in the shredder or the dump.

And that’s only looking at papers alone without the added cost of ink, printers, and other stationary supplies. Transition to a paperless work environment and make huge savings. Use digital documents on computers and smartphones instead of printed reports, receipts, invoices, and postal mail.

5. Maximize Employee Productivity

Use incentives to motivate your employees to be more productive. Introduce training, rewards, and performance evaluation schemes to boost the employees’ morale and increase productivity. Don’t waste labor expenses on an under-delivering workforce.

Try New Creative Ways on How to Drastically Cut Expenses

These five ways on how to drastically cut expenses should guide you to making significant savings on your business’s running costs.

However, don’t stop there. Find other ways to cut more expenses depending on your business model and operations. Identify any cots that the business could do without and cut them off or reduce them.  

Keep in mind that decreasing expenses requires a certain level of commitment and flexibility to cope with the changes.

Explore our blog for more business tips.


15 Social Media Tips for Small Businesses

15 Social Media Tips for Small Businesses

15 Social Media Tips for Small Businesses

Did you know that the average social media user spends 135 minutes every day on social media platforms? As a small business owner, this means that this is a great way to reach your potential and current customers.

But if you haven’t done much social media marketing before, it can be hard to know how to get started. You have so many things on your plate and this can seem like too big of a project to undertake.

The truth is that there are actionable things you can do starting now to begin your social media marketing efforts. And they will pay off!

We’ve compiled the 15 social media tips for small businesses that you need to get started. Check them out below.

1. Focus on One Network to Start

The list of popular social media platforms is long: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, Snapchat, LinkedIn. And the truth is that it keeps growing.

So when you’re just starting out with social media, don’t try and have an active presence on every single network. There are simply too many and so it’s better to focus on quality rather than quantity.

Do some research and see what platform makes the most sense for you as you’re just beginning. Are you interested in sharing photography based posts? Instagram is the best option for that.

If you’re wanting to post multiple short updates every day, Twitter might work for you. LinkedIn is where businesses connect best with other businesses.

No matter your goals, think through these things and then choose which network will be best for you.

2. Decide on Your Goals

With any digital marketing campaign, it’s crucial that you start by deciding your goals. Without clear goals, you will lack direction. The same is definitely true for your social media marketing.

What do you want to accomplish with your social media efforts? Do you want to establish your company as an expert in your field? Do you want to generate leads?

Perhaps you’re looking to keep your customers up to date with product updates.

Decide what your main goals are and then make a plan. Create some SMART goals that will be easily trackable. And then get started!

3. Know Your Audience

This is one of the most important social media tips for business. Knowing your audience will give you direction about what to post and content topics.

You will want to understand your audience’s age, gender, location, goals, and average income. How can you find this information though?

The answer is simple: market research.

Start by coming up with personas for your customers. These are qualities of your ideal consumers.

You can do this by doing surveys, focus groups, and customer interviews. Then once you have this demographic data, look for trends. This will give you an idea of your average consumer’s information.

Then, once you know this, you’ll have a better idea of which networks to use and the type of content that will be most appealing to your audience.

4. Always Engage with Your Audience

When it comes to social media, always remember that it is a two-way street. You will have the ability to send out content but your audience will also be able to comment, leave questions, and send direct messages.

You want to provide great customer service in these situations by quickly responding to all comments and messages. Make sure you set up notifications in your social media apps so you always see when someone engages with your posts.

You’ll also get negative comments from time to time from frustrated customers. Always respond in a positive and helpful way because other people will see your responses.

5. Consistency is Key

One of the biggest questions small business owners ask when starting out with social media is how often they should post. Well, the truth is that there’s not one answer.

Every industry is different and companies have found success with all different types of publishing schedules. The biggest thing is to be consistent.

It’s all about balance. You want to post enough so you stay at the top of your audience’s mind, but you ever want to be annoying.

Also, remember that every social network has different norms for posting. On Twitter, it’s totally okay to tweet multiple times a day. On Instagram, though once or twice is better.

6. Separate Your Business and Personal Accounts

This may seem obvious, but far too many companies don’t follow this simple advice. Always keep your business and personal accounts separate.

This way, your followers or subscribers will only see content related to your company. They don’t want to be updated on your family parties or see all your vacation pictures.

It’s more professional to have everything separate. This will make your business seem much more legitimate.

7. Add a Time Budget to Your List of Social Media Tips for Small Businesses

If you use social media for personal use, you’re probably familiar with how easy it can be to waste time scrolling your news feed.

One second you’re just opening your app and 30 minutes later you look up and realize how long it’s been. While this is fine on your personal time, you don’t want this to happen during the work day when you have a lot of other projects to get done.

Instead, create a social media time budget. Pick a time every day to check your accounts, post new content, and to respond to comments.

8. Take Advantage of Your Bio

Almost every social media network has a bio section. This is where you can display a little information about your business and your contact information. Don’t let this space go to waste!

You should include the following:

  • Your logo
  • A short description of what you do
  • Your phone number
  • A link to your website
  • Your address is necessary

9. Utilize Visuals

Visuals like photos and videos will make your posts much more engaging. In fact, one study found that tweets with images earned up to 18 percent more clicks, 89 percent more favorites, and 150 percent more retweets.

So whenever you can, include a photo or video content with your posts

Want more help with your social media content? Check out

10. Remember the 80/20 Rule

Speaking of your content, here’s another thing you should keep in mind. 80% of your posts should provide something of value to your followers.

This valuable content could include an infographic, video interview, or blog post.

It’s okay if the other 20% is more self-promotional. This can include information about current offers, new products, or other company changes.

11. Show Some Personality

In everything you do on social media, remember that it’s a good thing to show some personality. This is where you can humanize your brand.

Don’t get stuck in the rut of using only formal corporate language and instead let your walls down a little.

It’s great to have a sense of humor. You can also show some behind the scenes pictures or videos about your business here.

12. Learn from the Best

One way to get started with social media is to learn from those who are more experienced. Spend some time on your chosen platforms and follow other brands in your industry. What do they do that’s successful?

Also study some of the biggest brands in the world like Coca-Cola, Nike, or Apple. How do they use social media?

You can learn a lot from watching.

13. Don’t Be Confrontational

Even though you should have fun with your social media, you shouldn’t ever be confrontational. On your business accounts, never attack your competitors or vent about your industry.

Avoid political issues as much as possible and don’t engage in confrontations with customers who leave negative comments.

And if you have employees posting for your company, make sure they are well-trained in these areas as well. You don’t want your brand image tarnished by inappropriate social media activity.

14. Don’t Over-Automate

Social media automation software is a great tool you can use. It can help you schedule your posts out in advance and get detailed metrics on your results.

This can be really helpful for your overall social media strategy.

However, be careful to not over-automate. Don’t let your automation software respond to people’s comments. It’s very easy to notice when a computer-generated response is used.

15. Test, Evaluate, and Adjust

With any marketing campaign, you should always evaluate your results and then adjust them. Look at the number of clicks and the number of page visits.

For most businesses, the biggest metric to notice is conversions. Whether you want leads or sales, you should pay attention to your results.

If they’re not that great, make some adjustments and keep testing. It’s important to not give up. A lot of social media marketing is trial and error.

So brainstorm some ideas on how to improve and try them out!

Final Thoughts

Now that you’ve read through these social media tips for small businesses, what’s next for you?

It’s time to pick your favorite tips and try them out. And before you know it, you’ll be a social media marketing pro.

Want to learn more? Check out our other business blog posts.