Research studies are sending mixed messages lately about the what businesses are getting back from their social media efforts, but a recent survey from Social Media Examiner showed that 89% of SMB owners say it’s all good in the hood. That 89% claim that social media has been successful in boosting visibility and fairly large percentage, 43%, said it has helped them increase sales.
One number that we really like is the 69% that said social media has helped them grow a loyal fan base, because we know by now that loyal fans will keep a good business afloat even during tough times.Read More
While it’s no surprise that 90% of consumers trust reviews from their peers, you might be surprised to know that 70% trust online reviews. Maybe that’s why the folks over at Amy’s Baking Company Bakery went crazy recently after an influx of negative online reviews this week. They were featured in an episode of Hell’s Kitchen on Monday night and got dumped by Gordon Ramsay for not cooperating. The internet went crazy, and so did they.
In related news, the research shows just how important it is to run a clean restaurant, reminding us how the mexican chain of Chi-Chi’s went out of business after their famous Hepatitis A outbreak.Read More
Sundays are traditionally nights that you close early, and Monday is hardly a business day at all, often closed completely at some restaurants.
And when it’s just you running the business, it’s pretty hard to come up with a good reason to stay open late. If people like you, they’ll come when you’re good and ready, right?
But for those who are expanding, or do business in college towns, late-night customers are big business.
Bonnie Riggs, a restaurant-industry analyst at NPD Group says that late-night hours appeal to the younger folks.Read More
Don’t believe the hubbub about online shopping killing local retail because an independent study by Swirl shows that 76% of women still prefer to shop for clothes and shoes in-store. In addition, 92% said they like to see and touch what they’re going to buy, while 90% said they like to try on the clothes. These are two must-haves that online shopping will always have a hard time trying to replace.
There are drawbacks though, 84% said that the one thing they hate about in-store shopping is dealing with crowds and 70% hate that whole driving and parking bit of it.Read More
It’s officially tax season, and for us “normies”, doing taxes and calculating expenses while trying to fit it into the right expense slot can be like trying to learn Japanese. And what successful small business owner has the time?
As a small business owner myself, I can appreciate the benefits of online tax software like TurboTax, which is cheap, fairly well-guided and typically connects to your expense software of choice.
Unfortunately, it also requires you to be organized and somewhat educated on the big question of “where to start”.Read More
A report recently published by NPD Group’s Healthy Eating Strategies by Generation showed that, “43 percent of the more than 5,000 adults surveyed indicated that they ate smaller portions always or most of the time during the past year. Also, 57 percent of adult consumers said they planned to eat smaller portions in the coming year.” In the past few years, chains like T.G.I. Friday’s, Kentucky Fried Chicken and McDonalds have been successful with snack-sized portions, but the report says that it’s not necessarily lower-calories that diners are seeking, either.Read More
According to Forbes, a 5% increase in the cost of beef will cause a new trend of proteins in 2013. They predict “a major shift in the nation’s protein food supply away from meat-based proteins and shifting to meatless proteins like eggs, nut butters, tofu, beans, legumes, with an increase in awareness and consumption of vegetarian and vegan meals.” While “fake meat” is rumored, the growing trend of all-natural eating a soy-based allergies disagree. Also according to Forbes, recipe development startup Foodpairing is seeing a trend of chefs who plan to combat the price increase by developing dishes that “incorporate more vegetables and smaller servings of better meat, without compromising flavor and satisfaction.” What’s your plan for 2013?Read More
According to Ed Jay, senior vice president of American Express Business Insights, it’s not the typical baby boomers and seniors who are splurging on the holidays this year. Instead, Generations X and Y (the millennials) are the only demographics who have increased, not decreased spending. Although the percentage increase in sales this year will not be as significant as previous years, the National Retail Federations says that holiday sales this year will still increase by 4.1%.
The best way to make a sale in any business is to identify a customer’s pain point, and find out how your product or service can help them solve that problem.
During the holidays, the biggest pain is stress. Recently, author Tim Ferriss asked his Facebook fans what they considered the most stressful part of the holidays.The word “perfect” came up over and over again, as fans griped about their need to create the “perfect” holiday for their families. Suzi Loeffelholz admitted, “My stress is self induced.Read More
While millennials are the new largest generation of consumers, baby boomers make up a quarter of the population and are still the majority leader in spending. Baby Boomers have, in fact, increased spending at restaurants more than any other group.
Last year, baby boomers decided to eat out an average of 218 days, and restaurant owners say that “this demographic is most drawn to reasonable portions of simple, well-executed classics, as well as dishes that stir nostalgia and emphasize healthfulness and value.Read More