Make These Changes in Your Business — Today

News for your businessEDIT

The new year is a time for new beginnings, both in life and in business. If you haven’t already, it may be time to consider making a new year’s resolution for your business. Members of our small business community have some suggestions for things you should consider in the new year, whether it be new tech trends or simple tips for a better workplace.

Read on for a full list of tips in our weekly Small Business Trends community and information roundup.

Prepare for the End of Credit Cards


Technology is opening new doors for payment options.

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20 Brands Killing It With Vine Marketing

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Vine presents a unique opportunity to visually promote your brand. It’s a great way to connect with your customer base as well as branch out to extend your business’s reach. However when talking about such a short span of time, the challenge is clear. When you only have six seconds, how can you make it count?

To help answer this question, take a look at these Vine marketing examples of brands that are making Vine work for them.

Vine Marketing Examples


Target has made a game out of their Vine videos. By utilizing hashtags, fans create their own videos based on a game of tag.

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13 Ways to Make Your Marketing Efforts Seasonal

Do you ever tie your marketing to the seasons? Why or why not (and if you do, how do you do so)?

Marketing Tactics

The following answers are provided by Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launched StartupCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.

1. Yes: Every New Season Breathes a New Story

It is always important to tailor your strategy to what is relevant. Seasonality is extremely important, especially if you are in seasonalindustries like fashion. Customers needs change depending on the time of year, so do their spending habits. If you aren’t focusing on key buying days like Black Friday and/or holidays, you are missing out on a ton of business. – Alexander MendeluktheDisruptive & SpiritHoods

2. Yes: Sports Are Seasonal and We Market Accordingly

Absolutely! Private coaching, and sports in general, is a seasonal business. Before the start of the athletic season, we tailor our email campaigns and SEM keyword bidding towards the sports that are in season. Now that we’ve been around for awhile and have a couple years worth of data, we can actually pinpoint exactly when our customer base will change sports/seasons. – Arian RadmandCoachUp

3. Yes: Weave It in Naturally

Seasonal marketing should be subtle to show customers that you‘re keeping up with the seasons, not exploiting them. For example, for the Leadnomics publishing offers we update our animated character, Gabby, to be dressed for the current season. We don’t change the language to scream seasonal discounts, but our subtle background change keeps our marketing strategy dynamic and relevant. – Zach RobbinsLeadnomics

4. Not Really: Our Marketing Changes With Technology

The “seasons” that drive our business are more related to technology cycles and launches such as Apple or Samsung events that produce new, timely reasons for consumers to shop for accessories to related items they’re buying. We work well in advance to source offers for accessories to these launches that we know these buyers will want. – Josh Payne,StackCommerce

5. Yes: Certainly on Social Media

It is a powerful marketing strategy to create seasonal content, especially on social media where people typically respond to and comment on real-time happenings. We have great traction with marketing that uses seasonally themed visuals and leverages popularseasonal hashtags. Take advantage of seasonality to provide your audience with content that is most helpful for them in the moment, too. – Doreen BlochPoshly Inc.

6. Yes: To Stay Topical

Using the seasons and holidays is an easy way to enter the conversation that is already happening in your customers’ minds. For example we deployed a Veterans Day battle plan for our financial clients. We talked about the fact that our soldiers have a plan when they go into battle, and that they should have a plan to battle retirement. In December we are wrapping the entire month around “It’s A Wonderful Life.” – Greg RollettCelebrity Expert Marketing

7. No: We Stay Evergreen

We do not tie our marketing to the seasons because evergreen marketing gives you a better ROI. Plus, our marketing budget is not big enough to do both. – Vladimir GendelmanCompany Folders, Inc

8. Yes: The More Timely the Message, the Better

While you can push the same marketing message year-round, we’ve found season-specific messaging has helped dramatically drive up sales and conversions each time we use them. Fortunately, you can recycle those messages for the same season next year (and the year after), so you never really have to start from scratch, either. – Firas Kittaneh,Amerisleep

9. Yes: Because Marketing Should Be Fun

At ZinePak, we love tying marketing to the seasons. Our social fans love when we do “12 Days of Christmas Giveaways” or put together fun BuzzFeed lists for holidays. Seasonal marketing is a great way to keep your product top of mind during holidays, and to create fun, sharable content that is relevant to your fans. – Brittany HodakZinePak

10. Yes: Relevance Is Key for Content Marketing

We rely on heavily on PR and content marketing to drive word-of-mouth referrals for our software. Creating insights that are relevant to the season makes it much easier to pitch journalists on using our data to supplement their stories. Similarly, we follow seasonalentertainment trends on our blog. – Jared FeldmanMashwork

11. Yes: Product Companies Must Tie Into the Seasons

Seasonal marketing is crucial for a product-based company. Simply, folks expect light “beach” designs in the summer, and darker, more festive designs in the winter. Aligning your marketing is critical. Not only do people want to see your story match what you‘re launching, but they also expect certain things (e.g. holiday sales) during certain times of the year. Sometimes, surprises aren’t good! – Aaron SchwartzModify Watches

12. Yes: It’s Important for Our Industry

In the beauty industry, seasonal changes are important. Not only do our skin’s needs change, but there is also a desire to start fresh and get in the spirit. We offer seasonal mani/pedi specials and create treatments that have different scents or go with a new season. Right now we are offering “Sugar & Spice + Everything Nice” which features cinnamon, apple and brown sugar scented products. – Samira FarBellacures Franchising LLC

13. Yes: It’s Relevant to Our Customers

We tie our content and email marketing to the seasons because our customers are companies, and many companies confront the same legal quandaries at the same time of year. For instance, in the last quarter of the year many companies try to wrap up loose financial ends, and in the first quarter of the year, many of our small businesses have tax related concerns. – Basha RubinPriori Legal

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Bootstrapping with a Paycheck: Moonlighting to a Million Dollars


Moonlighting can be big business. As Americans,  the idea of moonlighting isn’t new. We know of many business people who started off working on the weekends or in the evenings after work. For some, this brought in a little extra income or possibly even a new career path. For others, though, it could be the path to a $3 or even a $130 million business.

In Bootstrapping with a Paycheck: Entrepreneur Journeys, business consultant, Sramana Mitra, tackles the issue of how full-time employees managed to create these million dollar empires as moonlighters.

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5 Apps to Help You Keep Your New Year’s Resolutions

If you’re like most of us, half way through the New Year you can barely remember (let alone keep track of) the New Years resolutions you set for yourself. Maybe it was to quit smoking, save money, travel the world or eat healthy—which is the most common New Years resolution broken every year. Whatever change you want to make, most people believe that completing a task for 21 days in a row forms habits. Here are a few apps to help you keep motivated and focused throughout the year:

21habit: This app allows you make or break a habit and keep track of it for 21 days. When you sign up, you have two options, a free mode or committed mode. The free mode allows you to start your challenge, check-in every day to track your progress and stop your habit or starts a new one at any time. The committed mode requires that you invest $21 in your habit. For each day that you succeed, you’ll get $1 back and each time you fail, the $1 goes to charity.

Lift: This mobile app was created with the premise that you have a better chance of reaching your goals and establishing new habits if you add friends who can help make you more accountable. You can find friends on Lift by connecting to Twitter and Facebook, or by searching for them by name. Once you add friends, you can see each other’s checkins to give props or add comments for encouragement.

Fitocracy: A winner of Mashable’s Innovation Index for Health & Fitness, this is a fitness app that features a more fun, addictive experience by adding challenges, quests, rewards, and a fitness community to help keep you motivated. Here’s how it works:  You can get free workouts for any goal and experience level, earn points for every workout logged, earn badges for unlocking special achievements, view progress on any exercise with interactive charts and get support and motivation from the online fitness community.

Goals on Track: If spending your money on a challenge motivates you to complete a task, the “goals on track” app is worth a try. For $68 a year, you can make your S.M.A.R.T goals (“smart, measurable, attainable, realistic, timely), break them down to small bite-sized tasks, and make a tangible action plan then sync between the mobile and web-based versions so you can manage your goals on the go.

Proof!: If you’re guilty of using your mobile camera several times throughout the day, Proof is a fun way to challenge yourself and friends to complete a goal. Whether you’re looking to loose a pound or two or stick to a routine you can capture a photo or video proof with your smartphone. You can also customize a 7-day challenge from experts or create your own. And, if you’re really competitive you can raise the stakes or add a “prize feature to keep family and friends engaged in the game.

Liam Neeson, LinkedIn and an $800 Million Adobe Acquisition


Actor Liam Neeson made news this week with a unique offer on LinkedIn. And LinkedIn itself recently announced some new changes to its profile section. Meanwhile, Adobe acquired a service aimed at giving customers on its Creative Cloud more options.

Read on for a full list of headlines in this week’s Small Business Trends news and information roundup.

Social Media

Liam Neeson Could Endorse Your Particular Set of (LinkedIn) Skills

In the 2009 movie “Taken,” Liam Neeson’s character Bryan Mills boasts about his “very particular set of skills.

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