Yearly Archives: 2010

How to Be Your Own Public Relations Firm: Part Two

In part one of “How to Be Your Own Public Relations Firm,” we discussed Help A Reporter Out. Now that you’ve all joined HARO, you’re ready for the next level of self-promotion. In addition to a multitude of social media options, there are many ways to score traditional media hits for your company.

For example, in the Phoenix market, The Arizona Republic asks citizen reporters to submit content in what it calls “news by you.” It’s an invitation for community representatives to share news stories written in the same manner as those generated by the publication.

How to Be Your Own Public Relations Firm: Part One

I would guess that most of you don’t have marketing or public relations budgets that parallel those of Starbucks, Google, or Apple. If you do, please ignore what I’m about to say and call your big-city public relations firm to set up your next campaign brainstorm session.

For those of you who don’t, you’re not alone. You can still invest quality time into your own PR efforts. It’s a do-it-yourself world these days, especially because people are operating on leaner budgets.

Many free tools exist to help you step up your efforts. I’m happy to share whatever I can with you, but I will do so in increments—otherwise, this entry could become quite long.

How to Protect Your Business: Five Steps to Keep Hackers at Bay

Here’s something to think about: At this very moment, cybercrooks are looking for ways to loot the bank accounts of small businesses. According to the FBI, hackers targeting small businesses, nonprofits, and other small organizations have tried to make off with about $100 million in fraudulent transfers so far. It’s getting bad enough that both the feds and the American Bankers Association are now advising businesses to use dedicated PCs for online banking.

What Cybercrooks Are Doing

Through phishing scams or malware attacks—both usually initiated via email—cybercrooks attempt to capture your online banking credentials, then use your credentials to log in and obtain the information they need to transfer money out of your account, often through ACH or wire transfer.

Does Your Business Need a Mobile Website?

If you’re a person who follows technology news, you may have noticed that “mobile” pretty much dominates the chatter these days. The iPhone, first introduced in 2007, spurred an ever-increasing craze for mobile gadgetry, which can be explained by both innovation in smartphone technology and a head-on collision with another tech obsession. The tech obsession known as social media—blogs, Facebook, Twitter, Yelp, and location-based services, such as FourSquare—thrives on mobile platforms.

What are the implications of these technological advancements for small businesses? Does your business need a mobile website now? Or perhaps an iPhone app? An iPhone app and an Android app? What about an iPad app?

Three Reasons to Consider a Custom Website Design

There are many reasons to consider custom web design services, especially if you have complex needs and are willing to invest more resources into the overall process.

Here are three reasons to take the custom website design route:

1. You don’t even want to entertain the thought of doing it yourself. Let’s face it. When the lawn needs mowing, you’d rather make a call to a landscaping company than head out there to start yanking on the mower chain. Just because you can do it yourself doesn’t mean you should.
More importantly, as a small-business owner, you value your time. If you’re already pressed for time, you may be more inclined to take the custom route.

The Lowdown on Small-Business Lending With Peter Downs—Part Two

In part one of this two-part interview, Peter Downs, President of Business Lending at The Small Business Authority, shared about small-business lending and the ability of nonbank lenders like The Small Business Authority to accommodate small-business owners seeking loans.

Part two of the interview delves further into the small-business loan process, providing a glimpse at what applicants can expect as well as how The Small Business Authority’s unique relationship with community banks across the country comes into play.

Many business owners seeking loans may prefer to work directly with their community credit unions, because they’d prefer to support the little guy. What would you say to someone with that motivation?

The Lowdown on Small-Business Lending With Peter Downs—Part One

There’s been a lot of discussion in 2010 surrounding the role the small-business community plays in the current economy—specifically, how small businesses could be the key to buoying the sluggish economy.

White House officials have gone to great lengths to ensure that those small-business owners looking for funding are able to have a fair shot in accessing those funds—in fact, the U.S. Small Business Administration stimulus extension was again renewed. Of course, the hope is that out of the small-business owners who receive U.S. Small Business Administration loans, all will not only invest in their businesses but also hire more employees—which will hopefully make a dent in the unemployment rate.