Small Business

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Every business, no matter how excellent they may be, will have its bad moments. How it responds in the aftermath is the key to not just recovering a single customer relationship, but improving its customer service overall.

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Photo by Chad Kirchoff on Unsplash


All of us have experienced it at one time or another. If you’re lucky, it’s a rare occasion. On the other hand, if you feel like you’re an unlucky person and a dark cloud hovers over you, well, it might be a more frequent occurrence. However, whenever it happens, such an event can be upsetting, irritating and, most importantly in the big picture, a relationship killer!

What are we speaking of? The “event” that it’s referenced is a customer service failure. This is when the kitchen in the restaurant loses your…

#2: A unique methodology

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Photo by MerryDolla on Deposit Photos

When I first started selling online courses in 2018, I thought all I needed was a blog, some course modules, and a few emails before I started making sales.

At the time, I saw so many influencers and entrepreneurs selling courses about everything from Pinterest, email marketing, social media, and more.

And I was buying them and getting results myself. I figured if they could do it, I can too.

I realized the world was moving online and figured it was now or never to bet on myself. If you didn’t know, the online course business is booming. …

Americans are spending more time in their homes and more home-focused on their spending than ever before. What does this mean for businesses going forward?

A woman and two kids sit on a couch and look at a tablet.
A woman and two kids sit on a couch and look at a tablet.
Photo by Alexander Dummer on Unsplash


Who doesn’t love a good buzzword? 2020 has certainly provided its share of them and more. After all, who would have thought just a short year ago that major consumer trends — and the strategies of companies both large and small alike — would be defined by two-word buzzwords like:

  • social distancing.
  • curbside pickup.
  • contactless delivery, and
  • ghost kitchens.

As a strategic management professor and consultant, all of these buzzwords have helped define how consumer-facing businesses have changed, survived, and yes, in some cases thrived during a year defined by the impact of the coronavirus.

However, I recently read an…

Just in time for the holidays

Picture of gag gift featuring a hammer and a packet of ketchup behind glass with “emergency break glass” written on it.
Picture of gag gift featuring a hammer and a packet of ketchup behind glass with “emergency break glass” written on it.
Source: Author

Out of pure boredom, I decided to make two TikTok videos featuring a going away gift my former roommate had left behind after moving across the country.

I hadn’t seen anything like it before and I couldn’t get over how perfect of a gift it was for a ketchup lover.

In the first video, I tried using the attached hammer to break the glass to access the emergency ketchup. It took me about 60 seconds to film it, add some text and sound, and publish it.

After the video was uploaded, I put my phone down and didn’t think twice…

The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted marketing messaging and campaigns, but the pause can be an opportunity to adjust content for the changing times. Here are a few ways to approach a renewal

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Image: Pierre DeBois

There are a ton of articles that explain how to get started with content marketing, but what about what happens after a year or two of creating content? Or three? Or even if it has been ignored for longer? The thought alone can leave a small team unmotivated.

Every year marketers face the task of reviewing their content calendar and updating old content. This year looks more complex after a series of major disruptions due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the economic shutdown of retailers. …

And yours could be next

Photo of a laptop screen exploding
Photo of a laptop screen exploding

If you follow my work at all, you’ll know I love talking about self-help and write tons of inspirational stuff but every now and then the business side of Iva comes out.

I’ve written my fair share of how to start a blog and how to use Pinterest to grow your business type articles. I actually used to sing songs of praise for Pinterest. Until now.

The Power of Pinterest

When I first learned how to use Pinterest I was amazed by how powerful it was at helping bloggers and small business owners grow their businesses. It was mind-blowing, to be honest.

The recipe…

The secret to growing a small business quickly is in automation. Is your business ready to take your marketing on autopilot?

A view from the cockpit of a plane flying over the countryside
A view from the cockpit of a plane flying over the countryside
Photo by Adam Johnson on Unsplash

Choosing the best marketing automation software becomes challenging for you as a small business when your budget is tethered.

Or, if you think your business is small enough to be marketed manually.

Or, if your customers walk into your store and you never needed to meet them digitally.

But your business goal is to grow, right? You aim to get more sales, grab a bigger market, open multiple branches, bring in more profits, and stand up to your competitors.

So here is the secret, the missing link, the hidden gem: automation.

By automation, we mean allocating time-consuming, monotonous, redundant, and…

Are simple games the key to gaming success?

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Photo by Author

If you have been on the internet at all in the last three months, then you have undoubtedly heard of Among Us and Fall Guys — two games that have taken over the gaming world in a very short amount of time. The success of these games has got me thinking — are simple games the way forward in the gaming industry? This article is going to take a look at how Among Us and Fall Guys have become so successful, and what we can learn from these two very popular games.

What Are These Games?

Before we discuss how these games got into…

Start with where your traffic is from

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Pumpkin flavor has spread across many products, like these Twinkies. It is a reminder of the seasonal changes that bring annual retail behavior

Retail managers have been facing an extraordinary time with the COVID-19 pandemic. But the typical plans to prepare for seasonal sales will be a new challenge. More seasonal products have been introduced over the years, making August the best point to conduct a seasonal analysis. So this means you, as a marketer, can get to understand seasonal shopping.

I have a nickname for the online metrics associated with seasonal retail behavior. I call them Pumpkin Spice Metrics or PSMs, given that so many products with a pumpkin theme arrive in stores during the fall.

Pumpkin Spice Metrics aid overall marketing…

I self-published, and I had no audience

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Photo by Rashtravardhan Kataria on Unsplash

On August 24th, 2020, I self-published my book, Buddha to Bezos. I had no audience, and I expected about 10 sales (best case) on launch day. I ended up with 4X my expectations within 12 hours.

Five Steps to Self Publish an Ebook Without an Audience

  1. Get help to improve your book, and credit the helpers in your book.
  2. Craft the right positioning and a likable personality of the book, keeping in mind who your readers are.
  3. Sell on Gumroad and Amazon Kindle. Offer a free sample.
  4. Launch on ProductHunt. Credit the helpers from step 1 in the first comment. They might join the discussion, or share the post.
  5. Tweet…

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