Small Business Reading List, Jan 8 2016

Happy New Year! I’ve selected a number of articles to help get the New Year started off right for small businesses. First, we have an article from Small Biz Survival on how small town businesses can work together to the benefit of everyone involved. From there, we’ll dig into how to thrive in a competitive market with an article from Sales Training Connection. After that, we have an article on the state of free ad coupons as of 2016. Next, the Insightly Blog looks at conferences and offers advice on what small businesses can get out of them. We’ll finish with an article from Funding Gates that’ll help you keep your 2016 resolutions with a few useful tech apps. Enjoy.

This is my first post here, but I’ve been curating these lists for Startup Digest for some time. To receive this list by email, you can sign up at StartupDigest.com.

How to Get Small Town Businesses to Cooperate

Becky McCray — Small Biz Survival

Businesses in small towns don’t work together very well. That was one of the top findings in our Survey of Rural Challenges. Intriguingly, another key finding was that small town businesses have difficulty in marketing themselves. Competing locally, nationally and online is challenging. Several people mentioned the difficulty of keeping up with changes in marketing. Reduced effectiveness of newspaper advertising, the fast rate of change of online marketing, and difficulties in reaching customers today leave some businesses at a loss. Seems like these two things might be related, hmm?

Beating the Competition in an Undifferentiated Market

Janet Spirer — Sales Training Connection

When is selling the most fun? Certainly when you have a superior product. Perhaps it’s even a “killer product”, like the Xerox copier vs. the mimeo machine. Unfortunately with global competition and advanced manufacturing technologies, those days are rare and if they do occur they are difficult to sustain. Today even when you have a superior product a competitor is likely come out with one that is just as good or better than yours in half the time of yesteryear. Or you come face-to-face with the dreadful “it’s good enough” response.

How to Get a Free Facebook Ad Coupon

Marc Prosser — Fit Small Business

Can you get free advertising on Facebook? What about Google, or Bing-Yahoo? As of 2016, the answer is “sorta” yes. All the companies above want to encourage new companies to start advertising and, from time to time, run promotional campaigns which offer free advertising credits. Google and Bing-Yahoo make these coupons readily available, although Facebook is far less predictable, and it’s unlikely you’ll be able to pick up a completely free Facebook ad coupon.

Conferences Aimed at the Small Business Owner

Insightly Blog

In our busy, interconnected world, where we can chat in real time from and to location in the world, it’s easy to forget the value of an in-person connection. Conferences take us out of the daily grind, while still offering full industry immersion. They offer an atmosphere where you have opportunities to learn new processes and share ideas with interesting people who speak your language. As a small business owner, you may wonder if taking several days off from business to attend a conference is doable…or even worth doing.

5 Tech Solutions to Help You Keep Your New Year’s Resolutions

Funding Gates Blog

December is well underway and it’s time to start thinking about how you’ll improve for next year. Resolve to grow your business and find better work-life balance with the help from these 5 awesome tech solutions! What tech are you going to use to keep your business resolutions in the new year? Share in the comments!

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