Owning a small business is difficult. It’s hard to stay ahead of the curve. One way to keep yourself on top is by staying educated and constantly improving yourself and your business. The best way to do that? Read. Read anything you can get your hands on (Jason reviews one book every quarter for our newsletter), whether it’s books or blogs or magazine articles. By keeping yourself informed about the world of small business, finance, and your industry, you can ensure your continued success. Below, we’ve gathered a list of bloggers who write about small business so you can add them to your list of reading material.
Excerpt from their article entitled “Confluence Marketing: The Top Digital Marketing Strategy for 2017”:
“The Internet has enough content. People are inundated by it. Overwhelmed by it. What we're short on is influence and that is not very easy to come by. Fortunately, there is a great strategy for building influence - it's called content. Ok, so I know I've literally just stated that there is too much content, but hear me out. There's a big difference between creating content to compete directly in the search results and creating content to build influence. In fact, they are fundamentally different. Luckily, creating content for search doesn't work. This means most of your competitors are wasting their time. This is really good news for you.”
Excerpt from their article entitled “Financing Your Expanding Business with the SBA”:
“The SBA does not lend the money directly to entrepreneurs to grow a business, but sets certain stipulations for loans made by its partners (lenders, community development organizations and micro-lending institutions). The SBA helps to eliminate some of the risk to lenders by guaranteeing that these loans will be repaid. Spend time reviewing your past few quarters and make projections for the next six months to two, or even five, years. Think of best and worst case scenarios, particularly if your business relies on a specific demographic, technology or season. Get your trusted staff members, advisors and accountant involved in the process for support. Financing a growing business is a good problem to have, if you are equipped with what your options are and how they can help your situation.”
Excerpt from their article entitled “7 Ways to Set Team Goals”:
“Take some times to sit down with your team and get a sense of what their professional goals are. While the reality is that they were, of course, hired to fulfill a specific role within your company, chances are they have their own growth goals that you can help them achieve.”
Excerpt from their article entitled “Don’t Sacrifice Profit for Value: Innovate and Automate your Business”:
“Growing a successful business is a balancing act, with time and resources on one side and profit on the other. Ideally, the scale should tip in your favor. But what happens, when expansion ends up costing you money? This is a common occurrence when businesses don’t take the time to answer one crucial question: What is their cost to deliver good value? Is there a way to provide those lesser paying clients an equally valuable experience without sacrificing your profit margin? Absolutely. By finding ways to automate and innovate your business offerings, your company’s value proposition will stay intact while your business will remain profitable.”
Excerpt from his article entitled “Two Secrets to Staying Motivated and Hungry”:
“Being motivated is all about a mental shift in perspective. It’s the understanding that time is your number one asset; you have to do right by it by being grateful with the time you’ve had and selfish with the time you have left. You have to make the most out of the one life you get. This “you’re going to die” mindset might be considered dark, but it helps me stay motivated very easily. The selfishness of legacy over the currency, along with the urgency of a limited amount of time, adds up to competitiveness and drive. Because, who really knows what tomorrow brings? That’s what keeps me hungry.”
Amy authors podcasts, and they’re definitely worth a listen. One podcast is called “Where Should I Spend My Money As I Build My Online Business?”
“Of the hundreds of online tools and resources out there— and there are hundreds—it’s tough to know where to spend money and where to save. My team and I have used many and have found the ‘tried and true’ tools that will assist you for the long run and give you the resources you need to navigate your online business through the three stages of launching. Today it’s all about growing a profitable business with the right resources, while also keeping it lean.”
Excerpt from their article entitled “3 Insights for Creating Viral Content”
“Regardless of the audience, earning high-quality coverage from the media to reach those audiences requires creating original content from credible data sources. Sources for the campaigns analyzed vary from government databases to mass social media scrapes to original data gathered from first-hand research, but the campaigns went beyond just regurgitating the data into a visually appealing infographic or concise blog post. Be sure to take a journalistic approach in your content by analyzing and highlighting the most compelling findings of the data that would prompt an emotional response by the audience– which leads to the next point.”
Excerpt from their article entitled “Learning How Businessmen Can Deal With Stress More Effectively”
“Operating a business means that you face problems on a daily basis. One of the best ways to deal with these problems is to address them immediately. Instead of procrastinating, you should immediately begin to investigate the problem and its origin. Once the issue is found, you will need to devise a plan that will eliminate and prevent it from reoccurring again. Quick reaction will reduce your stress level, because you are dealing with the problem and solving it in an extremely quick manner. This will keep your mind entertained, so you do not have too much time to spend thinking about the situation.”
Excerpt from his article entitled “Why Collaboration Beats Competition”:
“ Companies need to learn fast and focus on what they do best and leave the rest to collaboration with partners. For example, distribution really can no longer be a competitive advantage, since so many are just outsourcing that to Amazon. Kevin believes that the successful companies need to focus on what are the 20% of the inputs yielding 80% of the outputs. As he says “where do we have unfair advantages?” i.e. what does our company do better than anyone else? This is critical since there is really very little room for average companies to make a profit in today’s market.”
Excerpt from his article entitled “What Successful Entrepreneurs Know About Selling”:
“If you’re not already super clear on who your ideal customer is, stop everything right now and get 3 pieces of paper. At the top of each, write three names of people who represent your target market. They can be real or invented. Once you’ve got their names, write down several bullet points about each of them. Where are they from? What do they do for work and pleasure? What’s important to them? What are they struggling with? Once you get going, this is really easy, I promise. It’s even kind of fun to brainstorm the personas of the people you want to serve. Once you’ve got a page about each of them, tape them above your desk. Look at them every day. They are your North Star. They are the inspiration behind every piece of content you’ll create.”
11. Preferred IT Group
Don't forget this blogger, either! While our content centers on the security and technology required to run a business., it is still incredibly valuable information that will help you to keep your business growing in this modern world.
Stay up to date in the fast-paced world of entrepreneurship and owning a small business. Learn from others in your peer group, and let them learn from you. These are my favorite bloggers, but I’m always looking for more. You’ll notice that a lot of them focus heavily on blogging and marketing for a small business. Since that’s where I spend the majority of my day, these are the bloggers I read. Do you read other bloggers? Who are they? What do they blog about? I would love to know, so please leave their blogs in the comments below or tell me on Facebook!