Networking: Show your Value

Mark Twain is quoted as saying, “Be good and you will be lonesome.” It is something that a lot of developers and writers know either intrinsically or passively. You can’t spend hours in front of a computer screen, typewriter, word processor, notebook, or even dictating without it being time away from socializing. The problem in the business world is that the common idea is networking is how you achieve success. But is it? This article in the NYT argues that it isn’t, and we tend to agree.   One Cannot Live on Networking Alone About halfway through the article the author, Adam Grant, cites a colleague’s attempt at climbing the corporate ladder via networking alone. Side note: Argentina has a … Read More

Small Business and Community: Volunteering

Chances are very good that if you own a small business, you live near your business. That means you are a part of that community both as a business owner and as a citizen. Whenever a natural disaster, like Hurricane Harvey, occurs there are always examples of people and businesses pitching in to help victims. It’s a good time to reflect on how you and your small business can prepare for and help those in need, not just during a disaster, but especially during a disaster.   Send Cash to National Disaster Victims For a major disaster like Hurricane Harvey, victims are going to need money. If you know someone specifically, send them cash. If you know someone by extension, … Read More

Crawl, Walk, Run: Small Business Growth

Small business development can be tough. It can take patience, discipline, and faith. But all of these can pay off massively. Knowing your small business better than anyone and building on your success are some of the best ways to create a viable company. If you try to grow too fast, or get into unfamiliar waters, or pigeon hole your company, those can be costly mistakes.   Crawl Bootstrapping is a common term for doing things yourself. As a small business owner, you may have expected to most things on your own, or maybe you have the income or capacity to hire someone to help. The important thing is that you build a solid base that your company can grow … Read More

Small Business Survival: The Pivot

There are many small businesses out there that started with one idea or concept, ended up on the verge of failure, pivoted, and succeeded. Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Groupon, HP, Apple, and even Sony all started down one path and saw a better path to success. A well timed pivot can mean the survival of your small business.   The Art of the Pivot It seems to be rooted in the idea of satisfaction, does the pivot. If YouTube founder Steve Chen had been satisfied with a video dating site, or Mark Zuckerberg had been satisfied with a hot-or-not website, the world might be a different place – certainly, the internet would be different. Instead, these founders saw that their websites … Read More

5 Tips for Small Business Hiring

How do you hire the right people for your small business when you are expanding? There can be a ton of trepidation with small business hiring. When you decide to expand your business from just yourself to include another employee you are putting a ton of trust into that person. You aren’t simply hiring an employee, you are hiring someone that you are going to have a ton of contact with and that means looking for more than just the skills to get a job done.   Small Business Hiring: Nurturing Growth The first question to answer is whether or not you actually need to hire someone. You can outsource marketing – once you have a product – or other … Read More

The H-1B Visa and Small Business

While the current administration is trying to tighten immigration in the US, we feel strongly about accepting immigrants. The H-1B visa is a great way to bring educated immigrants into the country with support from a business. The H-1B requires sponsorship from a business, but even a small business can sponsor an H-1B visa for a qualified candidate.   Avoiding Brain Drain One of the early trademarks of a dictatorship is the brain drain: when the top level of educated people leave a country, fearing for their safety, their family’s safety, and their livelihoods. Other countries typically welcome them with open arms because these people represent some of the best and brightest of their nation. The videos in this article … Read More

Benefits of a CMS

  Do you know coding languages like JavaScript, CSS, C#, or HTML? If so, then this post might not be for you. A CMS (content management system) is an awesome way for those of us without coding knowledge to still update a website. Drupal, WordPress, and ExpressionEngine are all examples of popular CMS that still allow you or a developer get into the backend and make a super custom website in the backend while still allowing you to update blogs, news, and other content on your site. Squarespace, Wix, and Weebly are all examples of CMS that don’t allow you any flexibility except in moving blocks around on your site. Businesstastic was created to fill the gap in small business … Read More

Filling the Small Business Web Platform Need

There are lots of ways to get a great website: you can pay a digital firm to build you something that is typically over $10,000, you can pay a freelance designer or developer to build you something that is slightly less than $10,000, you can build one yourself and just pay hosting fees, or you can find a small business web platform (like Businesstastic). There are pros and cons to every type of website, but here are some quick notes that should be helpful as you are thinking about the best website for your small business.   Using a Design/Development Firm First off, these guys are expensive, and that is the biggest setback. If you have a limited budget, chances … Read More

Quality Content SEO for Small Business

You’ve filled out all of the meta descriptions, all of the title text and alt text, all of the blocks and forms that you didn’t think mattered before; all of your pages are focused and contain good keywords that pertain to each page. But your site isn’t converting the traffic that comes to it despite showing up in SERPs. Maybe your site is getting a lot of impressions – showing up in SERPs – but people aren’t clicking on the links. The answer to your problems? Quality content.   How Do You Know if Your Site Has Quality Content? If you’ve built your site solidly and you have good keywords and you have individual pages that are focused around a … Read More

The Best Tools for Small Business SEO

A solid SEO gameplan doesn’t have to cost you a ton of money. Luckily there are some great tools for small business SEO that can help you audit your site, find out what is working, and fix what is broken. Good SEO is like free advertising. It means your site shows up higher in SERPs and gets more viewers and potential users. Really, really good SEO helps convert those users to sales and customers. While you can pretty easily inspect a web page for some basic SEO, there are tools that make small business SEO improvements much easier.   Screaming Frog The folks at Screamingfrog have built a site auditor that crawls your website like the Google crawl spiders and … Read More

Eclipse 2017

Since we are based in Portland, OR, we feel like it would be a huge miss on our part to not talk about how excited we are for The Great American Eclipse – because we own the sun now!   TRAFFIC AND THE APOCALYPSE!! A few of our colleagues aren’t even going to chance the traffic come Monday. Reports range from apocalyptic panic of don’t go anywhere or do anything thanks to Seattle-ites trying to catch a glimpse of our eclipes (IT’S OURS!), to less severe stay off of major highways and less major highways that you can’t stay off of necessarily. In town, we aren’t too worried since side streets should be mostly open, right?? It’s cool though, there … Read More

Marijuana Website Essential for Small Business

Small business is constantly evolving and pushing the envelope for what exactly business is and does. Even 5 years ago, almost anyone who grew, sold, or consumed marijuana was committing a criminal act. Fast forward to today and recreational marijuana is legal in every West Coast state, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, and Washington D.C. The stigma associated with pot is quickly evaporating and a massive new industry has taken over. Not only does marijuana offer its host of medical benefits, but it also offers a new channel for small business. Not only is marijuana legal in those states, but medical marijuana is available in 21 other states in the US.   Small Business in Marijuana There are so many ways to … Read More

B2B: Face-to-Face Meetings

It seems like, no matter how digital or technology focused we get, there are a few things that we simply cannot leave behind.   Face-to-Face Meetings Sure, we have definitely closed sales over the phone, or via email but there is nothing like an in-person meeting. There are lots of quotes regarding knowing something about someone through a handshake, or how important it is to look someone in the eye, or even about going to someone’s home to really meet them. They are all true and despite building websites and spending most of our days in front of computers, we make an effort to meet with clients and potential clients face-to-face. We are interested in meeting this way for several … Read More

5 B2B Networking Styles

We spend a ton of time talking about websites here: SEO, web development, digital marketing, link building, site architecture, social media and on and on. All of these things are in an effort to build a digital network, of sorts, but there is still nothing like good old fashioned face-to-face networking. Last week, we attended the SEMpdx Rooftop Networking Party, which is one of, if not the, best networking party in Portland for digital types. It got us thinking a bit about networking and how it is still an essential part of B2B business and how we are not very good at it.   B2B Networking: Stranger Danger On the whole, the developers and marketers at Businesstastic are more introverted … Read More

B2B User Engagement

Without user engagement, your website might as well be dead in the water. You might as well have a billboard that is hidden behind a bunch of trees on a road where everyone goes too fast. Engagement for a B2B website can come in the form of blogs (like this one!), video, or infographics, but they all share the same purpose: educating leads. As we all know, an educated customer is the best customer, but educating a customer takes a bit of work. It takes solid B2B content and it takes a bit of progression through your B2B sales funnel, and both of those things mean engagement.   B2B User Engagement The goal of your site is to educate users … Read More