Month in review: July 2022

Our COSE member contributors shared some hot tips on the blog in July. Check out some of our favorite articles from last month and let us know yours on twitter.

Retail business security: Risks and threats
 
We talk a lot about cybersecurity, but if you own a brick-and-mortar location, it's important to understand the in-person risks and threats you may face – and how to keep your business safe.

>> Read more

 

BBB tips: Authentic customer reviews
 
Customer reviews can be very valuable to both consumers and businesses. But, it's important to be able to identify scam reviews when you see them.

>> Read more

 

5 reasons why blogging is still relevant for small businesses

Personal blogging might be on the decline but small business blogging is still a highly effective way to reach your target audience, build thought leadership and drive sales.

>> Read more

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  • Next up: Month in Review: June 2021

    Month in Review: June 2021

     

    Things are heating up on the blog this summer as we explore topics such as future-proofing your website and providing five-star customer service. Check out our favorite articles from June.

    What is Appropriate Small Talk at Events?

    The weather, local sports teams, and now COVID... these are all topics awkwardly thrown into small talk when attending networking events. We all hate it, so why do we do it?
     
    In this installment of FAQs with Phil, our resident communications expert Phil Stella discusses how to change that repetitive small talk into effective Big Talk, and achieve big results.

    Good Customer Service is Key to Small Business Success

    Behind every great business is an excellent customer service team. And with superior customer service, comes customer loyalty—something every business owner strives to achieve.
     
    Learn how to provide the five-star customer service treatment with these five easy steps.

    Future-Proof Your Website with these Seven Easy Tips
     
    Changes in technology are about as frequent as changes in Cleveland weather. And you don't want to have to completely re-imagine your website every time a new technology emerges.
     
    From focusing on evergreen content to investing in SEO, here are seven tips to future-proofing your website.

    Start Delegating Your Way to Success Today
     
    The items on your to-do list are growing. You think nobody can handle your tasks as well as you do and that explaining them to someone else takes longer than doing them yourself. So you keep at it, spreading yourself thin and wearing yourself out.
     
    We're taking a deep dive into the art and science of delegation—a key to any entrepreneur's success. Learn why and how delegating is critical to your small business.

    Let us know your favorite articles on twitter.




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  • Next up: MYB month in review: June 2022

    MYB month in review: June 2022

    Check out some of our favorite articles from the blog last month.

    Our blog contributors authored some very informative articles this month. Check out some of our favorites:

    Shifting your mindset from work-life balance toward work-life integration

    In this first article of a two-part series, discover why work-life integration is important and then stay tuned for the next article outlining ways to achieve more of an integrated professional and personal life.

    >> Read more

    Saying it again for the people in the back: Workplace culture matters

    Recent research indicates that toxic workplace culture is the biggest reason for turnover. Here are three key takeaways from this research to consider as you reflect on the culture at your small business.

    >> Read more

    Implement an effective employee wellness program with these 9 tips

    Make sure the wellness program you choose for your business is effective for your workplace with these nine tips.

    >> Read more

    BBB tips: Common business scams and how to avoid them
     
    From phishing to brand hijacking, scams can impact every business, regardless of location, size or industry. Better Business Bureau Serving Greater Cleveland is here to help you identify common scams and provide tips on how to protect yourself, your team and your business.  

    >> Read more

    Introducing the "Platinum Rule" of communication and how to embrace it
     
    You've heard of the Golden Rule, now let us introduce you to the Platinum Rule. Start communicating with others the way they want you to communicate with them, not the way you want to communicate. 

    >> Read more

    How to create an impression that LASTS
     
    If you're in the business of selling — and we all are — creating a good impression is not enough. The key is to create an impression that LASTS (read on to find out what this acronym stands for).

    >> Read more

    What was your favorite article? Let us know on twitter.

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  • Next up: Key American Rescue Plan Provisions Will Help Advance GCP Priorities

    Key American Rescue Plan Provisions Will Help Advance GCP Priorities

     

    Last week, President Biden signed the American Rescue Plan Act - a $1.9 trillion economic stimulus bill. Here are some key provisions that will help advance our priorities:

     

    - Public Transit: Provides $30 billion for transit agencies who have been deeply impacted by the pandemic and forced to cut service and jobs in 2020.

     

    Our 2021-2022 Public Policy Agenda calls for revitalizing development around our existing transit hubs and funding multimodal transit that better connects residents to jobs, goods, and services. 

     

    - Broadband: Invests $7 billion in broadband so millions of public school students will receive the internet services they need for their education.

     

    We are a strong advocate for affordable, high-quality broadband in digitally divided communities, understanding that Cleveland’s unaffordable and unreliable internet service options prevent economic progress. Our long-term success hinges on a strong partnership with local governments, the state of Ohio, federal partners and the private sector. 

     

    - Small Business Support: Provides $15 billion in additional relief for the nation’s small businesses and hard-hit industries through increased funding for Targeted EIDL grants; $25 billion in funding for a new dedicated grant relief program for restaurants; $7 billion for expanded PPP assistance for nonprofits and digital news services; and $1 billion in Save Our Stages grants for independent live venues, independent movie theaters and cultural institutions.

     

    Our agenda lays out our federal priorities to build wealth for minority entrepreneurs and small businesses but doing so will mean addressing disparities in lending. 

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  • Next up: Make a great impression every time

    Make a great impression every time

    We are slowly returning to in-person events and we will soon be networking face-to-face again. Check out these six tips to making a great impression.

     

    Now that we’re getting back into more in-person business and networking events, it’s time to revisit best practices for making a Great Impression with the people you meet. The strategy is really simple and easy, yet the devil is in the details of execution.

    Here are six tips to making a great impression.

    Tip no 1: Talk less, listen more. Tell less, ask more. Actively listen to their words, tone of voice and vis-ual cues.

    Tip no. 2: Value their time. Keep the conversation short and focused. Defer to a later time if it gets overly interesting or complicated.

    RELATED: What is appropriate small talk at networking events?

    Tip no. 3: Ask focused questions. These questions can be about them on a personal or business level. Let them know that you value them enough to remember what to ask about.

    Tip no. 4: Compliment. You can give a compliment on a recent award, mention in the media, etc. This approach also subtly lets them know that you read and are interested in their accomplishments.

    Tip no. 5: Givers always gain. Be sure to ask if there’s anything you or someone you know can do to help them with a particular problem or challenge. I promise giving of your time and talent in this way will come back around to benefit you at some point down the road.

    RELATED: Read more from Phil Stella

    Tip no. 6: Follow up. After the conversation, send a brief email or hand-written note indicating that you enjoyed the chat and look forward to next time.

    And if it isn’t obvious by now, each of these tactics works with networking via email or over the phone. The medium of the communication may change, but the strategy of striving for positive first or ongoing impressions remains the same.

    Like I said, easy and simple. And don’t tell me these strategies won’t work until you try them and can tell me they didn’t work for you.

    Phil Stella runs Effective Training & Communication, www.communicate-confidently.com, 440 804-4785, and empowers business leaders to reduce the pain with workplace communication. A popular trainer and executive coach on writing, communication styles and sales presentations, he is also on the Cleveland faculty of the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses program.   

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  • Next up: 3 things to know: Marketing your business during COVID

    3 things to know: Marketing your business during COVID

     

    While we are still facing a global pandemic and the accompanying economic impact, your business might need a marketing boost. Here are three things we think you should know when it comes to marketing your business during COVID.

    1. You’ve got to go with SEO
    Getting your website up and running took a lot of time and effort on your part. Now that it’s where you want it, don’t hit the brakes—it’s time to get your website seen. Enter search engine optimization marketing—the best way for you to stand out to potential customers in a sea of other businesses. Still not convinced? Here are five reasons to invest in SEO, as well as 9 SEO tips to get your website noticed. We promise it’s not as overwhelming as you might think. In fact, you can set up an effective SEO strategy in just four steps. 

    2. Take it to the next level with an elevator speech
    An elevator pitch is about as outdated as handshakes. It’s time to turn it up a notch with an elevator speech—keeping the mindset that these opportunities are for sharing information, not making obvious sales pitches. Here are some tips to improving your elevator speech so that—whenever you’re ready to take elevators again—you are prepared with this effective marketing tactic. 

    3. Outshine, don’t outspend
    Your budget might be a little tighter these days, but that doesn’t mean you need to skimp on marketing. One excellent and free marketing tactic is to become an MYB contributor! As an expert in your field, what better way to share your knowledge and promote your business than writing for a small business blog. Email Marie Zickefoose at mzickefoose@greatercle.com for more info and to get started.

    More tips for branding on a budget include doing pro bono work and promoting customer testimonials. And, don’t forget that as long as you have your cell phone and a social media account, you can produce engaging content and free videos to amplify your marketing and drive results

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