At some point during your career, the time will come when you are required to step up and become a leader. You may find yourself managing a team of people, running your own business, or even just trying to inspire a colleague. While it may seem like some people are natural leaders, there are many leadership skills you can develop even if you feel like leadership does not come naturally to you. Read on so you can learn how to be a leader.
1. Becoming an Expert
By performing exceptionally well in your current role, you can get noticed as someone who is willing to grow within your organization. This will provide a path to a position of influence.
2. Keep Learning
The only way that you will be able to become an effective leader is by learning and adopting good leadership traits. This will require constantly working on your leadership skills, as well as becoming better at your job role.
3. Empower Teammates
Rather than being critical, be a mentor to others when they lack certain knowledge or skills. Provide them the guidance they need to succeed. Support them in their pursuit of improvement and show them that you have confidence in their abilities.
4. Take Risks
Sometimes tough choices have to be made for the good of the entire organization. When making such choices, remember to remain accountable for your actions and make sure that team members are held accountable as well. Do not let the fear of criticism prevent progress.
5. Be a Team Player
Photo by Rebrand Cities from Pexels
6. Listen to Criticism
While hearing criticism is never pleasant, understanding the error of your ways will allow you to grow as a leader. This way, you will be less likely to repeat past mistakes. Also make sure to ask your superior for honest feedback so that you can continue to improve in your own job role.
7. Care for Team Members
Not only will compassion earn you admiration from team members, but listening to and addressing their needs will increase their job satisfaction. A caring leader can bridge the gap between the needs of workers and their organization.
Displaying confidence in your team members’ abilities will help them to believe in themselves. By placing your trust in them to get the job done, they will start trusting you in return.
9. Recognize Talent
By identifying your team members’ unique strengths, you can place them in suitable roles that will help them exceed. You can also help them to become well-rounded individuals by helping overcome their weaknesses.
Once your subordinates know how to perform their job functions, provide them with the freedom to complete tasks using whatever method they deem fit. There is no need to get in the way of someone who knows how to get the job done.
11. Do Not Micromanage
By micromanaging, you are not providing subordinates with the independence that they need in order to excel in their roles on their own. By stepping back and giving them the freedom to develop on their own, you are placing your faith in your team.
12. Get Leader-like Skills
13. Leverage Your Team
You cannot do all of the work on your own. Sometimes you will need to rely on team members to carry out tasks on your behalf. This means placing your faith in them and providing them with the authority to act in your capacity when you are unavailable to do so.
14. Communicate Effectively
Learn to express to subordinates exactly what work needs to be done and why. Ensure that you provide them an understanding of the goal that you are trying to achieve. Make sure that they understand the potential challenges that face them, and provide them with recommendations on how to overcome them.
15. Manage Your Emotions
Your emotions often dictate the energy inside the office. If you keep your emotions in check and inspire an air of confidence, then you will provide your team members with a positive work environment.
16. Take Responsibility
By providing team members with the authority to complete important tasks on their own, you are showing them that you trust in their abilities. This not only boosts their self confidence but develops their trust in you.
18. Keep Promises
19. Commit to Growth
Rather than just committing to your own personal growth, take an interest in other team members’ growth as well. As team members grow in their abilities, so too will service levels and operational efficiency improve.
What is trueleadershipat work?
You can probably think of great leaders, and not just in business: Steve Jobs, Warren Buffett, Nelson Mandela and Gandhi all fit the bill. So what’s the difference between how to be a leader at work and in other situations? Being a leader at work involves a specific set of skills that anyone can develop with practice.
Employees often look out for themselves and potentially their immediate coworkers; they certainly don’t have the company’s values at heart. While this may not seem that important, you’d be surprised how rare it is to find an employee who can verbalize the goals and beliefs of the organization they work for. That’s why leaders are more than employees – they embody the vision of the company. A true leader has a deep understanding of the company’s mission and believes in its core values .
Leaders don’t get far if others won’t follow them. When an employee keeps the cultural mainstays of the company at the forefront of all they do, they are in a better position to influence others . This is often where leadership at work begins – not in an executive office, but out in the bullpen or in the field : making connections and creating goodwill that is based on a genuine interest in others.
– Emotional intelligence
This is the ability to understand others’ feelings and reciprocate in kind, while also controlling your own emotions. Emotional intelligence requires deep self-awareness, social awareness, empathy and humility – but it can be developed and practiced. In one study, 71 percent of managers valued emotional intelligence (EQ) more highly than intellectual intelligence (IQ), and experts agree that a high EQ correlates directly with being a leader at work.
07 How to Lead a Team to Success
Success is measured and defined differently by all, which means that good information on how to lead your team to success or understanding what makes a successful team can be hard to find. Before you know how to lead, you need to know what a successful team looks like.
CliftonStrengths makes this easier. Having team members discover, develop and lead with their strengths can lead to higher employee engagement and performance, which are outcomes of a successful team. However, they aren’t the most important outcomes because giving your employees the opportunity to do what they do best is the greatest measure of a successful team.
Conventional wisdom says that to become a better leader, you should develop the areas where you are naturally weak. And to be a good leader, you encourage your team to do the same. But CliftonStrengths says you should invest in the places where you’re naturally strong.
Position individuals to do what they do best, better use each individual’s strengths, build more effective partnerships and teams, and then mobilize the team to increase individual and team effectiveness.
08 Leadership Development
If your attempts to develop in the past have fallen short, it may be because too few leadership development programs can clearly define the experiences that lead to excellence in leadership. They don’t individualize, they can’t match leader to experience at the time it’s most needed, and they don’t help leaders analyze their experiences so they can effectively apply them in the future.
1 We believe that knowing your strengths is a great foundation for creating a leadership development plan. When you take the CliftonStrengths assessment, you will get a report with personalized results. Our CliftonStrengths 34 report (featuring all 34 strengths in rank order) will help you discover what you do best and give you the confidence to live and work every day using those strengths.
The descriptions of your top strengths, and the order in which they appear, will be unique to you. Because just as we believe that no two leaders lead the same way, we also believe that no two people have the same strengths.
2 Learn to identify your own key experiences. Key experiences are some of the most critical components of leader success. Put simply, “Key experiences are events in a leader’s life that result in learning, growth and/or increased capacity to effectively lead.” Every role and every industry looks different, but key experiences are one of the foundational elements to leadership development anywhere.
Although those key experiences will look different for each person, you can notice a pattern or commonality between them all. Embracing new situations and being uncomfortable are important parts of developing as a leader. When things look tough, lean in. That’s where growth happens.
3 Take a look at the seven expectations for leaders. If you truly want to develop, those are where you should begin. Start with a self-assessment. At first glance, which one of these core leadership competencies do you do really well? How can you get even better? Then determine which one doesn’t come as naturally. How can you use your natural strengths to develop it?
I call it the “Do you know what you’re doing?” factor.
That means that if you have no idea what you’re doing or how to blog as a business, you could have hundreds of thousands of pageviews a month and be making just a few hundred dollars a month.
On the opposite spectrum, if you’re very experienced and know exactly what you’re doing… You could have 50,000 pageviews a month and be making $10,000/month from blogging easily. There’s even a cheat sheet called The First 10 Steps to a Profitable Blog that walks you through the things you have to get right in order to actually make money at this. You can get that cheat sheet for free here.
The truth is, it’s not the pageviews that matter, it’s how you use them. But there’s a minimum number of pageviews where you should absolutely be earning a full time income (hold on…. we’re getting to that!)
The variables that affect how many pageviews you need to make money.
How many of those questions you answered yes to determine how much income you can make from the pageviews that you have. The fact of the matter is that someone can make $5,000/mo with about 30,000 pageviews a month while someone else struggles making $500/month with 200,000 pageviews.
That doesn’t mean that the second you hit that 100,000/month pageview mark that someone will send you a check. It means that if you’re already at 100,000/month and you’re not pulling in full-time income then you’re doing something wrong (which is pretty common and isn’t a testament to your business sense or character at all).
That being said, if you have less than 100,000 pageviews and more than 30,000 pageviews a month, it’s possible to pull in full-time income from blogging if you really know what you’re doing.
How Many Page Views Should My Blog Get?
The number of pageviews your blog gets really depends on many things: your topic, your skill and knowledge, how long you’ve been blogging, how active you are on social media, how good you are at SEO and digital marketing, how competitive your niche is, and what the goals of your site really are.
It’s hard to find concrete pageview stats for blogs because people tend to not want to report those if they’re unimpressive. Still, here is a completely random smattering of self-reported pageview numbers from various bloggers around the web:
An informal study done by Blogelina in 2010 (so take it with a grain of salt. I’ll explain why later) of 20 bloggers found the average number of monthly page views to be around 4000, which comes to around 130 per day.
If you’re not getting at least 250 unique visitors (per day) by the end of the first calendar year then there is something significantly wrong with how you’re executing on your content, strategy, and brand.
If you’re getting triple digit pageviews per month, push yourself to break 1000. If you’re getting 1000, see if you can crack 2000. Try to get yourself into the next tier. Not by scheming and spamming social media or buying traffic, but by tirelessly improving your blog:
Don’t worry if you’re not stacking up to benchmarks or other self-reported pageview counts from bloggers like yourself. You’re not in trouble until you become too lazy to change strategies and you start to see your traffic plateau.
How Much Blog Traffic Do I Need to Make Ad Money?
When you have built up enough traffic (from 10,000 to 25,000 pageviews per month), you can start applying to premium ad networks like Ezoic, MediaVine, and AdThrive (at 100k). They offer unbelievable RPMs (revenue per mille, or thousand visitors) — upwards of $12 in many cases.
The easiest and most common way to sell ads on your blog is through Google’s AdSense, where you earn 68% of the revenue generated through ads on your site. Revenue here is usually calculated on a CPM basis, or Cost Per Thousand Impressions. Meaning, advertisers pay a certain amount every time 1000 people see their ad. Got it?
According to Monetize Pros, CPMs vary depending on industry, competition, and some other things. The post behind that link has some really interesting benchmark info about CPM benchmarks. But, generally, CPM should be somewhere between 800 and $3, excluding some super high value verticals.
$2000 might sound pretty good ($160 a month or so), but there are costs. Time spent optimizing your ad placement. Negative impact on your content and the user experience of your site.
And beyond that, it takes a long time, and a LOT of work to get to the 1000 pageview per day level. Oh, sure, a lot of prominent bloggers will make it sound easy (“Just write 100 blog posts that each get 100 uniques a day!”).
That way, when you have something to sell beyond just your pageviews, your blog works as the content marketing arm of your business. You can keep it stripped down, focus on creating great content that provides proof points for your expertise, and sell something a little more high margin than CPM ads.
Also, if you put in the work to establish authority in your niche, you may be able to start doing paid freelance writing around your topic for other publishers. Chelsea Fagan touches on this in her post, “A Brutally Honest Breakdown of How I Make Money as a Blogger”.
And finally, a lot of bloggers have a ton of success with affiliate links and programs. Again, these allow you to keep your website clean and free of ads while you focus on building a loyal audience that trusts your opinion.
TL;DR — If you want to make money from your blog, you’ll need to either compile a crap ton of pageviews (and I mean a CRAP ton), or you’ll need to really dig deep and figure out how you can turn your brand and expertise into a valuable product, with your blog serving as your content marketing department.
3) Get at Least 11% of Traffic from Organic Search
Across all of the blogs we analyzed (including older, more established blogs), we found that organic search was the biggest source of traffic: 59.22% of all blog traffic came from search. But crucially, blogs with fewer than 10,000 monthly pageviews differed in two ways:
Traffic from social and email remained relatively constant—and inconsequential—across all blogs we analyzed, accounting for roughly 2% and 3% of total traffic, respectively:
You probably recognize this finding from your own performance data. Without much in the way of brand recognition, backlinks, or referring domains, it’s difficult to outrank more established blogs. All but the lowest competition keywords are—for now—out of reach, and until they’ve strengthened their domain authority, younger, newer blogs usually struggle to generate substantial organic traffic.
4) Grow Your Organic Traffic by 8% Each Month
Thankfully, our data shows that this doesn’t remain a problem for long. With each additional article published and backlink acquired, it becomes a little easier for new blogs to compete for keywords and drive organic traffic. In the 12-month period we analyzed, it was the smallest blogs that saw the greatest rate of organic growth: 8.13% CMGR.
This is equivalent to a blog starting out at 500 monthly organic pageviews and finishing the year at 1,181—a 136.2% increase, more than doubling monthly organic traffic in a year.
According to our data, in your first year, organic traffic should be your fastest-growing source of traffic. The best way to help accelerate this curve is to focus on long-tail keywords. We recommend a “bottom-up” approach for newer blogs: start by targeting low-competition, low-volume keywords, and gradually build up to higher-competition, higher-volume terms.
Do you feel like you are not appreciated at work or undervalued? If you feel like your work goes unrecognized and your ideas are often neglected, it can be demoralizing, defeating and frustrating. As human beings, we all want to be patted on the back for hard work — and, moreover, we want to be treated and paid fairly for that work.
But if you’re working for a company that isn’t giving you the recognition you deserve, it may be time to reconsider your job. Not only is a hostile workplace that doesn’t appreciate you de-motivating (which can make your work feel less fulfilling and hurt your happiness), but it’s also a hindrance to your success. You’ll likely be far less productive if you don’t feel like your work is appreciated, and even if you are productive, you’re probably not being paid or promoted for those contributions.
It’s important that you feel respected in the workplace. Studies show that employees who feel appreciated and are shown gratitude are up to 50 percent more productive and have higher morale and satisfaction than those who are not appreciated at work — and that all leads to lower turnover rates for companies. Respect in the workplace is a win-win for employees and their employers.
You Don’t Receive Function Invites
Exclusion is one of the most apparent signs you’re not valued at work, and it’s equal to “the silent treatment.” Your employer knows you work there, but they see you as too insignificant for inclusion. Hence, their low view of your worth may cause them to overlook you.
Don’t assume the worst if the people at work exclude you once. Human errors happen, and there might be a legitimate reason you didn’t get the memo. Look for consistent patterns first and take action if you realize they’re trending.
How To Cope
Don’t keep quiet if you suspect intentional exclusion. Request a meeting with the person who left you out and ask what happened. They’ll explain with a sincere apology or a gaslit excuse, and you will know the difference.
Some exclusions might happen because you’re not an outgoing person. Because of that, the event planners might think you’re disinterested in attending functions. You can fix the issue by channeling your warmth and expressing your interest in events.
Exclusion could also be a whipping stick in your workplace. It could be an extension of ostracization used to harass “weak” employees. That behavior has a different solution that requires your absence. You don’t have to cope with mistreatment.
Communicating Effectively with your Supervisor
It may surprise you to learn that most managers do not get any formal training in the art of management. As a result, they learn by practicing on you. Even business degrees do not have many classes on managing people. They primarily focus on subjects such as finance, marketing, etc.
No boss is purely one of these. Depending on the situation, a boss may switch from one of these types to the other. However, most of the time, your boss will have a dominant style that will reflect one of these types.
“Did you do what I told you to do?”
Approach privately, don’t contradict them in public.
Ambitious. Concerned about own image.
“How does this reflect on me?”
Understand their goals. Support them or avoid embarrassing them.
Wishes to avoid criticism from above.
“Will my boss/the company be happy?”
Align your work with corporate/group goals.
Minimize hassle, collect pay, go home. Value peace above fairness.
“Who is causing me a hassle now?”
Pitch assurances of safe ideas.
Values safety of the proven past. Operates on inertia and fear.
“This is how we’ve always done it.”
Present ideas as small, safe, and as tiny deviances of current systems.
Made a manager because of craft excellence, not management skill.
“Is this work at my standards?”
Ask for their expert opinion and help. Be meticulous in your work.
Value adherence to instructions.
“Did you do it exactly as I told you?”
Invite oversight and give frequent updates.
Cannot say no. No balance.
“I’m so busy, I have no time for this.”
Set boundaries, offer help, bother them rarely.
Remote. Delegates the day to day. Trusts employees.
“Call me if you need me.”
Hand problems you can, call them quickly if there are issues.
Values team players. Struggle with disruptive or selfish employees.
“How can I help you succeed?”
Work towards team goals.
Disempowered. Common in fast food, mall stores, etc.
“That’s what HQ said; I can’t change it.”
Adhere to the letter of the rules.
Deep emotional ties. Threats to business are threats to them.
“My name is on the building.”
Treat their business as personal property.
Should I Quit if I am not valued at work?
Often, mental wellness challenges such as a lack of self-worth, anxiety, or depression can manifest as apathy or dissatisfaction at work. Even if you quit this job, those feelings will follow you to your next job. Therefore, it is vital to work on those before quitting.
It is worth noting that quitting may be warranted in some situations if management cannot address the situation adequately. Examples include sexual harassment, unsafe working conditions, racist abuse, etc. There are no skills to build or feedback to consider in this situation. The priority needs to be switching to a safer environment. 79% of employees would refuse a higher-paying job from a company that failed to act against sexual harassment.
Life has been a whirlwind for the chairman and CEO of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg. He famously launched the ubiquitous social media website while he was still in college and later dropped out to fully focus on its development. The site now has well in excess of one billion users, and its 2013 revenue topped over $6 billion. Zuckerberg has some exciting methods of generating ideas and fostering innovation within his company. For example, Facebook stages “hack-a-thons” in which engineers work all night creating anything they like. Moreover, in 2013 the CEO announced his groundbreaking plan to get the whole world online through the foundation of Internet.org. “The richest 500 million have way more money than the next 6 billion combined,” Zuckerberg said. His solution: “Getting everyone online… by building out the global internet.”
What is business innovation? (Definition, types and careers)
Innovation is a common concept among businesses that allows them to adapt to market changes, build their brand and increase revenue. There are many ways in which organisations of all sizes can approach innovation, for example, by modernising their processes or improving their products. Learning about common types of innovation in business can help you determine what changes you want to implement to help your department or employer thrive. In this article, we explain what’s business innovation, discuss its importance and provide information about key technologies and careers that fuel innovation within companies.
Business innovation is the process of introducing new processes, services or products within organisations. The primary goal of an innovation of this type is to inspire positive changes that can happen internally, for example, to increase that company’s revenue. When a company invests its resources, such as people or money, towards innovation, it can improve its market value, create a better environment for growth and boost employee productivity.
Reed Hastings – Netflix
In 2020, Netflix progressed exceptionally well under the leadership of CEO Reed Hastings, who co-founded the company as a mail order movie rental business in 1998. Over the years, Netflix has, of course, evolved into an on-demand internet streaming company. In 2013 the firm saw its stock triple, and in September the same year it counted a whopping 40.4 million subscribers. This ascent may well be due, at least in part, to one of Hastings’ most successful innovations: in 2013 he launched original TV shows Orange is the New Black and House of Cards on Netflix, to much acclaim. Some industry experts have noted that people are turning their backs on cable since they can get their favorite shows on Netflix and elsewhere on the web. “Hastings could be the successor to [Steve] Jobs as the model in Silicon Valley for how to innovate,” said Paul Carroll of consulting company The Devil’s Advocate Group.
Jørgen Vig Knudstorp – LEGO
Many kids love playing with LEGOs, and plenty of adults have happy memories of building with the multicolored bricks in their own childhoods. Still, not so long ago, in 2004, the future of LEGO looked bleak because the company was bleeding money and seemed out of touch. In October 2004, Jørgen Vig Knudstorp became LEGO’s CEO and completely reorganized the firm and changed its culture. LEGO’s sales are now increasing by 24 percent each year, and profits have soared annually by 40 percent. The company has also introduced a range of licensed kits, including Pirates of the Caribbean, Toy Story and Star Wars. And with a new LEGO movie due to be released in 2014 starring Hollywood royalty like Morgan Freeman, Liam Neeson and Will Ferrell, LEGO’s star has never burned brighter.
The Role of Lean Innovation
Collier recommends companies start with a hypothesis: “I have this new customer and here’s the problem I’m solving for him or her,” for example. From there, employees can start to test those key assumptions using different ideation and marketing techniques to gather customer insights, such as surveying. That customer feedback can then be leveraged to develop a pilot or prototype that can be used to measure the team’s assumptions. If the first idea doesn’t work, companies can more easily pivot and test a new hypothesis.
The choice to pursue product, process, or business model innovation will largely depend on the company’s customer and industry. Executives running a product firm, for example, need to constantly think about how they plan to innovate their product.
Innovation Doesn’t Always Come Easy
While the examples above demonstrate that innovation is an important part of running a business, it’s also clear that it doesn’t always come easy. Corporate history is littered with examples of companies that were unable to innovate when they needed to the most.
Learning the fundamentals of how businesses and industries change will prove to be instrumental in enabling you to carry out your own initiatives. Assess and dissect the successes and failures of businesses in the past, and learn how to apply these valuable lessons to your own challenges.
About Lauren Landry
3 Types of Innovation Changing the Future of Business
3 Reasons an Estate Planning Career Might Be for You
Send marketing messages online to your customers from a web-based SMS portal with ClickSend , making business messaging easy. You can send thousands of messages throughout the world with the Web to SMS service. You can even control transactional SMS through the SMS Gateway API.
12 Best SMS Marketing Platforms to Engage with Your Users
What is SMS Marketing?
SMS marketing is an evergreen marketing channel that involves sending a transactional and promotional message to prospects and customers through text messages that they can find helpful to take action or get information about your product or services.
That said, SMS marketing platforms or software can help you create text messages in bulk and send them to a list of different phone numbers. It can handle all the promotional, informative, and transactional messages effortlessly.
Why is SMS Marketing still effective?
At present, approximately 3.8 billion people in the world use smartphones. It’s not necessary that they are all active on social media or check emails regularly, but they receive text messages. Hence, SMS marketing provides an ample opportunity to stay on top of your customers’ minds and increase your conversion rates.
Why use SMS marketing software?
Faster delivery 🚀
Spreading your messages through SMS is faster compared to social media or emails. It’s because an SMS delivers directly to your customer’s phone no matter what type of mobile phone they use or from which provider. And they don’t have to go to their social profiles or emails to check the message.
Higher open and click-through rates 📱
Measurable results ✨
Using SMS marketing software, you can track the performance of your SMS campaign. You can view the total SMSs sent, how many were opened and answered, and generate reports to review. This way, you can evaluate and improve your strategies based on the results.
With bulk messaging options, you can send a large volume of messages to your customers without spending much. Unlike email campaigns requiring more creativity, design, efforts, and the cost associated with these, SMS marketing lets you save on these aspects.
Best SMS marketing platforms
TextMagic’s top features
TextMagic’s distinguishing feature is its global sending coverage from Afghanistan to Virgin Islands US. Using their pricing calculator you can get a straightforward quote for your SMS campaigns. Just select where you want your campaign to be delivered and the number of your messages to get the total cost of your campaign.
Personalized bulk messaging: TextMagic lets you to send bulk messages from their web app. What’s interesting about their web app is that you can easily create templates with personalization tags (first name, last name, company name, phone, email, and appointment time). Your conversations will then appear as a chat conversation in TextMagic’s web app.
Amazing team features: you can add an unlimited number of users (or sub-accounts) to your account for free and share your credits with them. You can also monitor your users’ SMS history and costs to manage their future activities.
Phone number/email validation: easily identify the invalid phone numbers or email addresses through their validation service and API. This will improve your deliverability and reduce costs.
TextMagic offers a 30-day free trial which is great to test out all the features. After that you have the option to choose a pay-as-you-go or a monthly plan. Through their monthly plan you get to pay 2.5% to 25% less per text for a monthly fee that starts from $99. Their full pricing is on their page as well as a calculator to estimate the cost of sending.
SimpleTexting is an all-in-one text message marketing platform. They offer unlimited keywords in all its plans. They also have all other standard SMS marketing features. This makes them a valuable choice for a text message marketing platform.
SimpleTexting top features
Advanced automation: send an automated series of messages after someone joins your list. This reduces drop-offs. Generate an automatic response when someone texts a particular keyword to your number.
SimpleTexting offers a 14-day free trial with 50 outgoing text messages. Their paid plans are different based on the number of text messages you can send. Zapier integration and API are available for all plans, custom made integrations are available in the $145/month plan and above. You can see their pricing overview here.
3. Attentive Mobile
Attentive Mobile claims to be the most comprehensive text message marketing solution. They also claim to create “an average of 20.5% of total online revenue for modern e-commerce brands.” They offer all the necessary features for a complete text message marketing platform.
Attentive Mobile top features
Audience Growth: refers to building and growing your SMS and email list. You can design sign-up forms and promote them on your website for maximum conversions. Create forms and display them as popups on your website (mobile and desktop versions). Offer incentives at the check-out to capture subscribers at the point of purchase. Show opt-in links through your social media accounts. Drive sign-ups from your email list. Or create shortcodes and increase sign-ups from your physical stores.
Audience Manager: this contains the set of tools for personalized audience targeting. Segment your audience based on various criteria. Onsite behavior, browsing and purchase history, and demographic insights are some examples.
Messaging: refers to their advanced messaging features. You can create campaign messages, design journey maps, and send automated transactional messages. They also offer A/B testing features and real-time analytics to decide what works best for you.
Integrations: there are a bunch of tools you can integrate with Attentive. They offer integrations with popular eCommerce platforms such as Shopify, BigCommerce, or Magento. However, popular marketing tools, mainly email marketing tools, seem to be lacking here. Their recent Zapier integration or their API lets you connect any tool with Attentive.
12 experts on the benefits of SMS marketing
1. Morgan Mulloy, Associate Director of Email Marketing, Avex Designs
Also, don’t treat your SMS like your email program! Your frequency should not be the same. Email is more of an ‘interact at your leisure’ channel where as SMS is intrusive and at the palm of their hand with a notification staring at them.
2. Joseph Hsieh, Founder, Retention Commerce
“Start collecting SMS opt-ins today! It’s only going to be more competitive, harder, and more costly as time goes on. Even if you don’t plan on a full board SMS program, capturing SMS opt-ins and using them sparingly is a great start for any brand that has yet to do it.”
A customer is trading you something really valuable––direct access to a text notification they will most definitely see. Define your strategy before starting and ensure you have a plan for providing value back to those customers.
4. Ken Ott, Co-Founder, Metacake
Try to start with texts that you know will add value VALUE for the customer. Tell them they’re the first to get access to a sale or new product launch. Or use it to remind them of a coupon that is about to expire or items in their cart they are about to miss out on.”
5. Jen Brennan, Director of Digital Marketing, Northern Commerce
6. Ashley Scorpio, Senior Vice President of Partnerships, Hawke Media
Just like email, one of the biggest hurdles of launching SMS is getting the contacts in the first place and then knowing how to work with the data you have. Don’t mass text your SMS audiences in the same way you shouldn’t just mass email your contacts there.
If you’re hitting up consumers with things they don’t need or don’t want to hear you’re going to get a lot of unsubscribes very quickly. If you’re providing a personalized, unique value to each person based on the tagged segments you’ve created, you can see a ton of specific income come from this channel.”
7. Casey Armstrong, CMO, ShipBob
Go sign up for and buy from Verb Energy, then steal everything you can from them. They do it better than anybody. It’s like texting with your buddies, except you’re paying them for their amazing products pretty much every time.”
8. Ben Zettler, Owner, Ben Zettler Digital (Digital Marketing & Ecommerce Consultant)
9. Abby Siciliano, Director, Business Development, Tinuiti
10. Arjun Jolly, COO, adQuadrant
Measure what works––and what doesn’t. Go global, but deliver locally. To do this, cast a wide net, but speak to each individual area and even persona with localized bespoke copy., And, finally, leverage promos to capture attention quickly.”
11. Drew Himel, CEO and Founder, PCR
“Now is the time to tap into SMS. It’s a much more personal channel than email and when a subscriber consents to SMS, they are definitely interested in your brand. Use it wisely and ensure you’re not spamming your subscribers with too much content.”
This text marketing service covers SMS, MMS, RCS marketing campaigns, detailed reporting, segmentation, some fancy features such as text-to-win, voting, etc. Even though Tatango is easy to use, customer support is responsive and helps if you need them.
Our brain and SMS
SMS marketing doesn’t have to compete for the bottom of the brainstem in order to be successful. SMS marketing campaigns should fit around the customer’s everyday life and offer a service or offer that their brain can’t ignore.
The personal touch
Text message marketing doesn’t swamp customer’s spam folders the same way emails do. If you’ve registered the Sender ID and message content with the provider you are using for SMS delivery, you can guarantee all text messages will be seen by the customer.
The feedback is rapid if you make it easy for the customer to reply. Two-way conversations can be initiated between businesses and customers, this is a great way to correspond and keep customers up to date with your business.
It’s easy to track
Customers are always on the go. Location-specific sales can be integrated with your web platform to alert customers on the move. All smartphones have browsers so you can track click-through rates with URL-shortening links such as bit.ly.
It’s cheap and boasts a great return on investment (ROI)
Not only is an SMS campaign affordable for all budgets but you’ll also see a healthy return on investment from SMS marketing. You can target customers with your campaigns without breaking the bank. An average SMS message costs around 0.02€.
So, if you send out a campaign to 100 000 recipients (and take into consideration that we’re talking highly targeted persons who opted in), it’ll cost you 2000€. If each conversion leads to an average purchase of 10€, you’ll need 200 people to make a purchase to break even on the cost of the SMS campaign.
Oh, and it’s eco-friendly too
In comparison to email, direct mail, and face-to-face meetings, a text message has the lowest impact on our carbon footprint. If you’re looking for ways to make your business greener, SMS marketing is a big step in the right direction. So, think of the environment, send an SMS 🙂
SMS is powerful, affordable, trackable and aligns with our psychology. SMS is also a dream tool for marketers to build brand loyalty, gain traction with their clients, and convey messages. Making use of modern technology such as geolocation and CRM integrations with hyperlinks makes the tool super versatile in the modern setting and will enable the message to be heard loud and clear.
The Best SMS Marketing Examples for Inspiration
Top 6 Things to Think About When Considering SMS Marketing
How SMS Is Better Than E-mail?
How SMS Messages Add a Personal Touch to Brand Loyalty
How SMS Marketing Can Help You Kick-Start Your Business
The Best SMS Marketing Tactics
Entice the customer
Read more about SMS marketing psychology
The Psychology of SMS Marketing
1. Tracking click-through rates with Google Analytics
Using Google Analytics, you can access the number of unique clicks from your SMS marketing message. Then, simply divide the number of unique clicks by the total amount of SMS sent and the result will reflect your CTR.
2. You can also monitor opt-out rates
Every marketing campaign in the world is going to have users that opt-out. So, don’t be disheartened when you see customers unsubscribing from your content. It’s key to understand that with the personal touch, we also invade a person’s privacy.
Opt-out rates are calculated by dividing the number of users that unsubscribed from your SMS campaign by the total number of subscribers. In our experience, the average SMS opt-out rates sit between 2.5% to 4%, depending on the product, industry, and frequency of use.
3. Understanding delivery rates is key in using SMS
You can access the status of all your messages from within our messaging platform. Allowing you to track the times of delivery and if something seems off, the connections can be changed to ensure optimal delivery.
SMS providers use routes to send messages to customers. The quality of the route can affect whether a text message is delivered or not. If there are a high number of unsuccessful deliveries, switch to a provider that offers premium routes. Being directly connected to a local carrier is the best way to go and helps ensure the highest delivery rate.
4. Cost per conversion
If your SMS marketing messaging is linking directly to a landing page that requires users to complete an additional form or is selling a product/service, you can evaluate the exact cost per conversion of your campaign and later compare it to the cost of the campaign directly to get the ROI.
Cost per conversion can also be worked out using coupons. If you’re getting low conversion rates, consider making your offer more valuable. Using over-the-top messaging (OTT) can make text messages stand out by adding multimedia.
Record both the conversion and the opt-out rates too. To assess the performance of a campaign in its entirety, all metric measurements should be used. This data can then be used to make your next campaign better.
Combine methods and build number lists
You can acquire a dedicated number for two-way communication.
You can encourage consumers to text in a particular keyword, e.g. “Yes” to sign up to receive special offers and marketing material.
Dedicated numbers work well with text-to-win competitions or loyalty programs. The pricing will vary in markets though, as will the reliability of the service. For example, shortcodes are more reliable, yet more expensive.
If your business sells products or services online, this is the perfect opportunity to obtain your customers’ contact number along with other details.
To follow the best practices, give the customer the option to sign-up for marketing material, in the EU you need to provide an opt-out option. Also, make sure you register and log the consent given and indicate a clear way for the client to take it back to ensure compliance.
Asking for a customer’s mobile number during in-store transactions
It can be just as effective as online shopping. Not only does it have a more personal touch due to the face-to-face interaction, but saying no is more difficult than simply unticking a box. It will need a salesman’s touch though since giving out our private numbers is a big thing.
Account sign-ups and client verification
Use multiple channels to segment subscribers
In the context of coupons, you could send a 5% off coupon right after the subscriber signs up, a 10% coupon after three weeks, and a 20% off coupon after two months. The longer they stick around, the bigger the potential. You’re incentivising the action you want. Best of all, you can schedule these to run automatically.
Prior to executing your marketing strategy, check that you have these key elements down: make it personal, entice your customer, track your success, and combine methods to have a bigger impact. SMS is a multifaceted tool that can easily be tailored for specific personal needs and tracked to ensure you are getting your money’s worth.
How to Build an SMS Marketing Strategy
8 Hacks That Will Increase SMS Marketing Conversion
How to Increase Sales with SMS Marketing
How to Use SMS in Different Stages of the Customer Journey
Top 3 Ways to Make SMS Work for Referral Campaigns
With Omnisend, you can send promotional SMS campaigns as well as automated workflows with integrated different channels. Omnisend is an email and SMS marketing platform that allows you to mix channels and send your messages through customers’ preferred media. In this case, you can boost your overall campaign engagement as well as save on spending per message.
At Omnisend, marketers on any plan can to use our SMS marketing tools. Users on the Free and basic Standard plans have a limit of 60 SMS/month (with the option to top up at any time), while Pro users get free SMS credits equal to the price they pay for the pricing plan.
6 SMS marketing best practices
1. Get permission (and keep it)
The same opt-in rules as email marketing apply to SMS marketing, too. Marketers are bound by law to gain explicit consent from customers or subscribers before sending marketing communications.
The real challenge, however, is maintaining permission. Start off with full disclosure: tell them what types of messages they can expect. And don’t abuse the permission granted. We advise using SMS marketing campaigns for time-sensitive and critical information. Overusing it can quickly send customers away.
Father Sons includes an unsubscribe link in its SMS
Another convenient option for collecting your people’s permissions is Omnisend’s Text to Join feature, where customers simply text a keyword to your number. All you have to do is promote that number elsewhere to encourage people to text it and sign up.
Since it isn’t dependent on people visiting your online store, Text to Join is a particularly convenient SMS marketing opt-in method: your customers can find this option anywhere you share it, including emails and social media.
2. Use an SMS marketing tool
An SMS marketing tool will also provide you with important metrics and reporting to see the exact impact. With that data, you can adjust your text campaigns and try different tactics to get the highest ROI possible.
3. Keep it short yet valuable
Think about the value. Ask yourself one question before sending any SMS campaign: How will this SMS text message add value to my customer’s life?
Identify yourself. Your recipients should immediately know who you are. Otherwise, they won’t understand the context of your message. This is the stuff of fundamental brand marketing.
Use proper grammar. Stay away from text slang and abbreviations since they’re not understood by everyone. Unnecessary abbreviations, text speak, and improper capitalizations make your brand look unprofessional.
Make your message different from the subject line if you’re promoting an email campaign. “Create a text message that you would actually send to someone,” advises ecommerce marketing veteran Lucas Walker of the Rolled Up Podcast Network. “That will have a huge impact on whatever quality metrics you’re looking for.”
Always include a clear call to action (CTA) to prompt the recipient to take the next step, as well as a link that has more detailed information. Some examples:
Subscribe through to receive weekly email marketing news.
Use at checkout before 6PM today for free shipping.
Answer our survey for a chance to win prizes!
Visit by midnight to snag clearance items before they’re gone.
5. Personalize SMS campaigns
Personalization also involves sending an SMS at the right time. Many people have their text message notifications enabled. Deliver your messages during the hours that people are typically awake—and not too early or too late—to avoid aggravating anyone.
6. Add an SMS layer into marketing automations
“Three of the highest converting automations you can have with any email service provider out there are a welcome series, abandoned cart and browse abandonment. So if somebody hasn’t opened or clicked on the first two emails of a welcome series, I’ll suggest that third communication be a new channel,” he explains. “That’s the lowest-hanging fruit in terms of where a lot of value is.”
Divatress includes SMS in its top-performing workflow. The abandoned cart series averages a 29% conversion rate. It accounts for 28% of all revenue generated through Omnisend marketing, yet totals just 5% of all sends.
How much does SMS marketing cost?
One important thing to note is that the price per SMS depends on the country in which you’re sending the text messages. You can use Omnisend’s pricing calculator to get a good idea of how much your SMS campaigns will cost in different countries.
Do I really need a marketing tool for multiple channels? Won’t a platform for SMS marketing do the trick?
No, you don’t need an omnichannel marketing platform. A platform designed solely for sending SMS messages does a great job at reaching your audience. But your marketing efforts will be so much easier—and better—when you can work multiple channels from one command post and not worry about misaligned data.
What is MMS?
MMS (multimedia messaging service) is an enhanced version of SMS that features imagery, either static or an animated gif. Character count can expand to 1,600. MMS is a great tool to create compelling messages that play on emotion.
How often should I use SMS?
Remember that communicating via text is more intimate. It’s best not to abuse the trust that someone hands over when providing their personal phone number. Unless you have verified that your fan base wants to hear from you a lot, go about your SMS marketing plans more conservatively than you might when sending email campaigns.
Tell your customers what to expect from your SMS campaigns. Treat that as a promise and keep it. If you tell them you’ll only use SMS for critical or time-sensitive information, don’t use it for anything else.
Reserve this channel for the most exciting or compelling messages so you can condition your customers to be happy to hear from you. They won’t just be more receptive to what you have to say, but they’ll be more open to whatever it is you have to offer.
“Push SMS deep into the funnel as a retention or post-purchase support channel,” said Aaron Orendorff, VP of Marketing, Common Thread Collective. “Integrate it with shipping and fulfillment first — much like Facebook Messenger — so it becomes a natural place for relevant information. Only after establishing it as a genuine place for helpful — and human — interaction should brands then begin to leverage it for personalized upsells, reorders, and loyalty programs.”
Guide to SMS for Ecommerce in 2022: Resources, Checklists, and Real-time Examples to Maximize This New Channel
Take Gary Vaynerchuck’s family business for example. In 2011, Wine Library was pulling in nearly $67 million in annual sales. That same year, Gary left the family company and went on to create VaynerMedia. In 2PM’s Polymathic Audio #3 between Web Smith and Gary, Smith describes:
“When Vaynerchuk and I spoke with 2PM for Polymathic, he relayed a recent story of his father reaching out to him and asking for him to come back to the Vaynerchuk family’s original business and course-correct a company that had halved in size since Gary’s departure.
To solve the problem for Wine Library, Vaynerchuk recruited some help from his VaynerMedia team. The result was WineText, an SMS-based marketing and commerce channel. The user begins by signing up on the homepage, providing a few key details: name, address, phone number, and payment data. Like Amazon’s 1-Click system, WineText saves users’ credit cards with the help of Stripe. Powered by Twilio, Vaynerchuk and team can send a daily deal to the list at a cost of anywhere between $240 and $360 per text. According to Vaynerchuk, the SMS list of nearly 9,000 customers consistently outperforms Wine Library’s email list of 400,000 by a magnitude of 9x.”
This gives a new meaning to getting someone’s number in our modern era. SMS for ecommerce isn’t for all of ecommerce. There will be people who remain on the sidelines –– both companies and customers –– who prefer email or other channels of information. But for the loyal, for the niche audiences who prefer to receive near-immediate updates sent to the device they check more than 80 times per day, text message marketing and community building can generate millions in revenue.
“I can’t stress the importance of SMS marketing enough because of how astounding the numbers are in comparison to email,” said John Lim, CEO, AZN FLUSH. “On average, a great email list will get 20% open rate and a 2% CTR. We’re seeing closer to 90% open rates on SMS and 20% CTR. Those clicks aren’t just visits either. We’re seeing great conversion rates and, on a per message basis, SMS is outperforming email for us.”
This is the type of success Vaynerchuck tapped into for Wine Library years ago. He essentially created a one-click type system similar to Amazon’s 1-click technology that gave them the edge for decades in online retail.
“One good way for merchants who want to allow customers to buy in-message is using Postscript + Recharge + Shopify. Recharge allows for that sort of open access to credit cards of saved customers,” said Postscript Co-Founder and President Alex Beller.
How can I grow my SMS list? Ecommerce brands can grow their SMS marketing list through popups on their website, as well as text-a-keyword programs that can help grow a list on non-owned channels like social media.
SMS marketing for ecommerce brands is incredibly effective. 98% of text messages are read by the end of every day, and 32% of consumers respond to SMS marketing from a brand (in comparison to email marketing’s 20% open rate and 2% clickthrough rate).
You can send pretty much any type of text message to customers, but you’ll want to be as on-brand as possible, as well as mindful that you aren’t sending too many messages in a short period of time. Some of the best types of texts to send include conversational texts when a customer has initiated the outreach and is looking for information, birthday or anniversary messages, and reward program updates.
We’ll break all of that down even further here. This new channel is still in its infancy, and we already know what early adopters on Facebook ads or with 1-click technology were able to achieve: a massive leg up in their market.
Everything you need to know about SMS marketing
What do you do when you receive a notification on your cell phone? Run to see the content of the message, right? This need to check your smartphone makes SMS marketing one of the most efficient strategies for companies to communicate with their consumers and therefore provide unforgettable experiences.
Using mobile text messages is a great way to interact with customers in a direct and personal way. In addition to encouraging purchases, nurturing relationships and loyalty, the tool can be used to promote other channels in cross channel actions.
SMS marketing is a strategy that uses mobile text messages to communicate business with customers and prospects. Since this is an instant and extremely personal way to interact, using it for marketing is an opportunity to sell and strengthen relationships.
The power of SMS marketing is still underestimated by many businesses. Big mistake! This is a modern tool that promotes interaction between companies and consumers. Here are the key benefits of using this tool:
According to an article published in Convince & Convert, more than 90% of SMS messages are read in up to 3 minutes. And there is a reason for this: consumers don’t detach from their cell phones, and even if they’re offline from other media, they can read SMS messages. According to a US study, an average user touches their cell phone about 2,617 times a day. Use this immediacy in your favor!
The expenses involved in an SMS marketing campaign are relatively low. After all, you do not need to create complex graphics involving images, video and audio production, printed material, or anything like that. The content is a well-made text message. There are interactive materials that have technology involved and raise the cost of SMS. Even so, the value still does not compare to that of direct mail, for example.
Plenty of advantages, right? But all this ease is like a double-edged sword: it attracts consumers and also drives them away. This is because some customers like invasive and inconvenient communication. For this reason, you need to take some precautions to maintain campaign effectiveness. One of these precautions involves being compliant with the law.
Once you understand SMS marketing and know its benefits it’s time to get started. However, it’s more complex than just using your cell phone to start sending messages to your entire contact base. Effective campaign management needs to start with good planning. After all, it is at this point that you will study your client’s behavior and understand his journey in order to deliver appropriate messages. In addition, there are a number of good practices for promoting SMS marketing actions. Follow the tips below.
How can you succeed in a campaign if you don’t even know what goal you want to reach? For this reason, it is essential to define an objective. It could be to increase sales, recover inactive customers, advertise new products, stimulate up-selling and cross-selling, or nurture relationships to ensure brand loyalty. Depending on their purpose, actions can take a totally different course.
When you know where you want to go, it is easier to define how you’ll reach the destination. After setting a goal, you need to think about how to impact your customers. To create loyalty, for example, you can send rebate coupons on the customer’s anniversary day or give priority to the purchase of new releases.
There are many legitimate companies that can help you send SMS messages in bulk. However, there are also many companies that offer pirated service, which violates the privacy of consumers and may not deliver all the promised messages. Although it is a much cheaper alternative, opting for this service can jeopardize the effectiveness of an entire campaign.
Be very careful when choosing software for sending the messages. Ideally, you should conduct thorough reputation research and choose easy-to-use tools that allow customization and detailed performance reporting.
SMS marketing automation programs allow you to scale interactions with consumers, but without losing personalization. This is because specialized software can identify customers and accompany them throughout the shopping journey. In this way, it is possible to make submissions based on behavioral triggers and increase the efficiency of actions.
Imagine that you sent a promotional coupon to the consumer. If he opened the link and made the purchase, for example, it does not make sense to send the same content. After all, he is no longer in the same stage of the sales funnel. At the moment, it is recommended to use SMS to do after sales and satisfaction surveys.
It is consumer behavior that determines the timing and type of content that customers will receive. Automation software does this analysis automatically and delivers the right messages to the right people.
Textedly: Best Text Message Marketing Service for Businesses With Simple Texting Needs
Textedly offers the lowest per-text price of any full-featured text messaging platform. The price is its chief selling point, but please don’t mistake cheap for substandard. With Textedly, you can easily build lists, have two-way conversations with clients, run bulk campaigns, and link up to dozens of popular apps like Salesforce. It’s also one of the few platforms that allow you to text your customers directly from your Instagram business profile.
On Textedly’s cheapest service plan, the price per text is just 2.4 cents. It’s still cheap if you intend to use SMS marketing a lot – you’ll pay just $140 a month for 10,000 texts. You have the option to pay monthly or annually. Unlike other providers, Textedly doesn’t offer a per-month discount for annual plans; instead, it offers 20% more texts. So, if you pay for a year of the $140 plan upfront, your cost per message goes down to 1.17 cents. Be careful, though – unused texts don’t roll over from month to month, and while you can upgrade your plan, you can’t downgrade it.
We love that the company’s resources section gives you 65 templates to choose from – far more than most competitors offer. Textedly does charge extra for text personalization, drip campaigns, and automatic replies, but the actual charges are low and one-off. There is a slight learning curve to some of the more advanced features, but the standard functions are simple to operate for novice as well as experienced text marketers.
EZ Texting: Best Text Message Marketing Service for Ease of Use
EZ Texting is an exceptionally intuitive text messaging platform full of useful features. Nontechnical business owners and those with little or no marketing experience should have little trouble with the software, because it’s so easy to use.
An aspect of EZ Texting that we particularly like is its vast array of industry-specific content to give you marketing ideas that prompt you to action. Additionally, the template library is superbly integrated into the messaging apps within EZ Texting. Competitors should follow its lead with this, because most make using templates much harder than it needs to be. EZ Texting has 49 built-in templates, and you can connect it to more than 3,000 apps through Zapier.
EZ Texting has partnered with photo library Shutterstock, which provides access to 20 million images that you can use for MMS business messages. There is also an intuitive Canva-like feature built in to help you create branded announcements, invitations and promotions. It has plenty of design templates too, in case you’re not familiar with graphics packages. For those who need help (although the platform is so easy to use that not many will), the EZ Texting website is full of guidance and helpful information.
The platform’s three main pricing plans range from $19 to $49 per month, and each includes 200 outgoing texts and free incoming texts. If you need to send a lot of messages, EZ Texting is expensive compared to other platforms. Unfortunately, your expensive unused text credits don’t roll over from month to month.
There are four plans, which are flexible for any size or type of business. EZ Texting uses a credit system for messages, so you are in control of the volume of messages you want to send and your budget. The Value plan is $24 a month and offers 200 credits at a rate of 4 cents per additional credit. The Custom package costs $374 per month, and while it also includes 200 credits, the rate is only 1 cent per additional credit. Annual plans offer savings of up to 20% per package.
In early March, EZ Texting and Shutterstock announced a partnership that allows EZ Texting users to send MMS picture messages. For no extra cost, EZ Texting customers can now choose from Shutterstock’s collection of millions of royalty-free images to create promotions, announcements and invitations. Users also gain access to an image editor and hundreds of design templates to quickly design an MMS marketing campaign to boost sales, drive engagement and promote their product or service.
Always dreamt of owning a restaurant but not quite ready to take the plunge? Test out your concepts with a food truck. It’s a great way to become familiar with food and restaurant licensing in your state, see what people like and don’t like, and build a ravenous following before ever opening or investing in a brick-and-mortar location.
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How to Apply and Win Business Grants
Do’s and Don’ts of Winning Business Grants
Make a schedule – Many grants are only open to applications once a year. Schedule time to put together an application ahead of time.
Write a business plan first – Most grants ask for a business plan. More importantly, you should know how exactly the grant money will help your business. Here’s our guide to writing a simple business plan.
See what companies have been funded in the past – This can help you determine which grants you have a good chance of winning. If they funded similar types of businesses, that’s a good sign.
Get help from local business organizations – I went through many types of local business organizations that provide assistance to small business owners. This includes helping you find grant opportunities and presenting your business in the best light.
Consider professional help – If you come across a grant that requires a well-written cover letter or essay, consider hiring a professional freelance grant writer if you can afford it. (Usually only worth it for big grants.)
Quick Tips for Getting More Grants
Always look for new grant opportunities (Setting up a Google Alert is a good idea).
Make sure the time spent to apply for a grant is actually worth the grant amount.
Read over the individual application instructions to each grant. Some are similar, but few are the exact same.
Double-check that you are eligible before spending a lot of time on an application.
Provide specific numbers on how the grant will be used and how it will help.
Double-check your spelling and grammar.
Submitting your application early may make you look more prepared than late-submitters.
Back up claims with credible citations.
Be realistic when mentioning your business’ costs or revenue.
Find a book from your library on grant writing if you want to write better grant proposals.
Where to Find Grants for Small Businesses
Government Sources for Small business Grants
Corporate Business Grants
Business Grants for Women
Business Grants for Veterans
Business Grants for Minorities
How to Apply and Win Business Grants
Do’s and Don’ts of Winning Business Grants
Quick Tips for Getting More Grants
Common Questions and Answers
How Do You Qualify For a Small Business Grant?
Do You Have to Pay Back Small Business Grants?
What is the Limit on the Number of Grants I Can Apply For?
What Type of Credit do You Need to Get a Grant?
How Much Money Can I Get?
DON’T FORGET TO FORM YOUR NEW BUSINESS
Government Sources for Small business Grants
Grants.gov: The first place all small businesses should go to look for a federal grant. It’s a database of thousands of grants with powerful filters that will help you quickly narrow down the results to grants that you have a good chance of getting.
: The SBIR is a longstanding funding program for research-based businesses with commercialization potential. They award grants through 12 main federal agencies:
Department of Agriculture
National Institute of Standards and Technology
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Department of Defense
Department of Education
Department of Energy
Department of Health and Human Services
Department of Homeland Security
Department of Transportation
Environmental Protection Agency
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
National Science Foundation
: The STTR program is similar to the SBIR program. It also focuses on businesses involved with research, but is only available to businesses that work a formal research institution. It’s also more restrictive by industry, as only 5 federal agencies award STTR grants currently:
Department of Defense
Department of Energy
Department of Health and Human Services
National Science Foundation.
: This program awards grants to small businesses involved in exporting. Not too much information about this grant is available online, you’ll need to contact the SBA’s Office of International Trade to see if you qualify.
SAM.gov Grants(formerly the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance): This is another great federal grant database with a modern re-design. While there is some overlap with Grants.gov, you’ll find a few unique ones as well that makes it worth your time to check. You can use the advanced search filters to only see grant results, or also see other funding sources like loans.
Challenge.gov: This technically isn’t a site that offers grants, but they do offer significant amounts of prize money for solving challenges facing a variety of industries. Many are technology-oriented, but there are non-tech challenges as well. If your business is doing something innovative, monitor Challenge.gov for relevant challenges that might be easy for your small business to win.
Department of Agriculture (USDA) Grants: If you have an agriculture or food service business, you may have a good shot at a grant from the USDA. They have multiple grant programs:
National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Grants: This is where the NIST lists their grants. They are intended for small businesses involved with science or technology in some way. You can either find the currently active grants here, or through Grants.gov.
Department of Education Grants: The Department of Education maintains an active list of several grants they offer to small businesses in the education industry. The award ceiling for many grants is up to millions of dollars, so if you run an education-based small business, you should actively monitor these grants.
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Grants: The EPA offers dozens of grants to small businesses that are trying to improve the environment, particularly in innovative ways. There are grants targeted towards air quality, environment quality, water quality, pollution prevention, and more.
Economic Development Administration (EDA): The EDA offers grants to small businesses aiming to improve infrastructure of communities. The only issue is that there’s no easy directory of grants to monitor, you’ll have to check this page often for new announcements. You can see previous opportunities to check for relevance on this page.
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Fill out this form to build your business plan today.
If you’re like Brian and you’ve already thought about a solution for a problem you encounter in your life — or you’re on the path to doing so — then starting a small business may be in your future. It may also be for you if you dream of clocking out of your nine-to-five job for the last time and becoming your own boss.
Are you always fixing things around the house? Often on-call when friends need small projects completed? Create a website, conduct a competitive analysis to determine what your time and expertise are worth, and turn to the friends you’ve helped before for referrals.
A handyman business is a good idea if you’ve already built a robust set of skills to help others fix up their homes. Consider specializing in what you feel well-prepared to do — for instance, if you know your way underneath a sink and water system, then you might provide sink fixing services to start, then expand your offerings once you earn more skills.
No certifications are needed to become a handyman, and there are no special education requirements. You might need, however, a license if you’re planning to undertake jobs worth more than a certain dollar amount. Some states might not require this license.
Similarly, if you have a passion for crafting beautiful furniture or other home goods out of wood, that could be a small business niche for you. Get started by listing a few of your pieces on sites like Etsy. Once you build a following, consider starting a website, accepting custom orders, or expanding to refinishing work and upholstery.
A woodworker small business is ideal if you already have a passion for woodworking, as well as the tools to begin fulfilling orders as they begin to come in. Since delivering a well-made product is key to keeping your customers happy, you don’t want to be “training” as you create a custom shelf or a custom storage box. It’s recommended to have at least one year of experience as a woodworking apprentice.
To start a woodworking business, there are no special education requirements, but there are a wide range of woodworking training certifications online, so we suggest starting with a certification. The Woodwork Institute, YesTomorrow, and The School of Fine Woodworking are potential places to start.
3. Online Dating Consultant
Dating consultants usually charge for their time. They help people create successful online dating profiles, source possible matches from outside the typical online channels, and offer a level of personalization that a site like Tinder can’t. Think you’ve got a knack for the match? This might be the business for you.
Online dating consultants need to have strong communication and interpersonal skills, as well as heightened levels of empathy. The good news is that there are no special education or licensure requirements, though we recommend getting a certification such as IAP College’s relationship coach certification or Hart Academy’s online dating coach certificate.
To start an online dating consultant business, you’ll need a website that shares all about you and offers free dating resources your customers might benefit from. Once they download a resource, you can loop them in for a free consultation.
4. Sewing and Alteration Specialist
People will always need clothing hemmed and buttons mended — and you could be the person to do it. If you love sewing and have a sewing machine at home, start by offering simple services like those mentioned above and expand your repertoire to dressmaking and design as you build a customer base and demand.
You don’t need a special license or degree to begin a sewing and alterations business, but it’s essential to build your skills so you can take on more complicated projects. High-value clients will want to customize complicated items of clothing such as suits, pants, gowns, and dresses. That’s where you’ll see the highest potential for profits.
5. Freelance Developer
From building websites for other small businesses to providing technical support for certain projects, quality web development is in high demand right now. As a web developer, you’ll naturally have a technical skill set. Distill your knowledge and expertise so customers who don’t have your experience are able to understand what it is you’ll be helping them achieve.
To help with this, test your messaging on friends and family who don’t have a firm understanding of the work you do. If they’re able to summarize what you do, your messaging is likely effective among people outside of your industry. You can start finding your first freelance contracts by visiting different freelance websites.
Best Businesses to Start with Little Money
Speak a foreign language? Start a translation service. Consider specializing in a specific genre of translation, like medical or financial translation, as you might be able to fill a niche need in your community.
2. Garden Designer
Many people have the willingness to do the dirty work in their backyards, but few have the know-how to complete the first part of this process — designing and planning the backyard space. Draw up the designs for your clients’ outdoor spaces and let them do the actual digging.
3. Ecommerce Store Owner
Do you create, collect, or curate anything special? Consider starting an ecommerce store and turning your hobby into a full-time job. Whether you need somewhere to sell all that pottery you’ve been making, or an excuse to search for the sports memorabilia you love tracking down, an ecommerce store can make it financially viable for you to pursue your passion.
4. Travel Planner
The time of the travel agent might be passing, but people are still looking for those with a knack for more nontraditional travel coordination. If you always plan the perfect vacations complete with beautiful hotels, the ideal location, and a bevy of delicious restaurants lined up for every evening, consider advertising your services as a more modern approach to travel planning.
5. Home Inspector
Working as a home inspector requires certification and a great deal of expertise, but it can offer a flexible work schedule and stable income. Confirm the licensing requirements in your state before getting started with this type of small business. You’ll want to make sure you’re providing the best service to your clients by having all of your credentials in order.
6. House Cleaner
With a low barrier to entry, house cleaning can be a great way to start doing what you love — soon. Consider advertising to homes in your neighborhood and get more bang for your buck by earning a few small businesses as clients as well. They’ll usually bring in a higher paycheck for a similar amount of work.
7. Personal Chef
We all love to eat, but few of us have the time or energy to cook healthy, delicious meals. Advertise your services to local families and businesses alike. To save on start-up costs, consider scheduling certain groups of clients together — say, vegetarians — so you can cook larger quantities of the same dish.
8. Property Manager
Many people maintain properties they don’t live in — often based in different cities or states. As a property manager, you can help a property owner ensure their home is being well taken care of, handle small fixes as they arise, and serve as a liaison to renters.
9. Packing Services Facilitator
10. Massage Therapist
Soothe aching muscles and promote peace for your clients as a massage therapist. Look into training and certification courses in your city and state and invest in a portable bed to take on client visits.
Creating novelties by hand is a fun and unique way to start a small business. Whether you make jewelry, knitted comfort items, or even custom wigs, there’s probably a market for your products. Tap into your audience with creative marketing on social media and optimize your website for the search engine using keywords that describe the products you make.
12. Interior Designer
Similar to landscape design — there are many people who have the ability to buy the furniture and home decor they need to fill their rooms, but few who know where to start. It might take some time to build a portfolio but documenting your projects and sharing them online can build a fanbase beyond your wildest dreams.
13. Nonprofit Owner
If you dream of devoting your life to a cause you believe in, it might be time to start a nonprofit. You’ll need to incorporate your business and file for 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status — and then you’ll be required to meet ongoing standards of compliance, but the payoff is making a meaningful impact on a cause you believe in.
50 Most Profitable Small Business Ideas in 2022
Should you possess some special skills, you can definitely start your own small business with low investment. While some such small business ideas can be operated from your home, in other cases, you may need to lease small premises.
Funding small business: Generally, small businesses begin with whatever little capital you may have . Loans on very soft terms are also offered by community organizations and cooperative credit societies. You may consider procuring a loan to fund your small business idea.
Further, acquaint yourself well with your prospective competitors and their offerings. Talk to people you trust and seek advise if necessary. Additionally, build a database of your prospective customers before launch.