If you are running a small business on a tight budget, you have likely seriously considered how social media and marketing content could be used to build up your customer base. Though it is not free, social media marketing has proven a very affordable, highly worthwhile tool for many small businesses. However, there are several obstacles that you will have to overcome to make your online presence and content creation work for you.
Make Your Blog Work With Your Social Many small businesses make the mistake of treating their blogs as a separate entity. In truth, however, your blog can be a big part of your social media marketing strategy. When you have them working together, they can draw more traffic to your website, which means an increased chance of making a sale. Don’t know what to write about on your blog? Attend an innovation seminar or iFestival from time to time. You are certain to be inspired and will likely find that you suddenly have plenty to tell your audience about.
Use Social Media as it is Intended Another big mistake commonly made by small companies is failing to appreciate the main purpose of social media. While automated services can be very helpful, they should not be the entire basis of your social media marketing strategy. Be sure you are signing in, networking, interacting… being social. This is the best way to build a real and loyal following. Also, when you do go to the I festival or an innovation conference, take the time to connect with those you meet on social media, so you can continue the conversations.
Understand the Real Purpose of Creating Great Content There are many, many blogs that you can find online that have twenty or fewer posts. They were started with good intentions, but the authors gave up on them when they failed to build a sizeable audience or garner any comments. Yes, one of the purposes of writing new content is to have others read it. With a bit of good luck and a strong strategy in place, your niche will eventually find and follow your site or blog because they recognize it as a worthwhile source of information. However, aside from that, content creation can actually help drive traffic to your website, help establish you as an expert in your field, and help to ensure that Google and other search engines don’t lose interest. The search engine algorithms are written to investigate how often a site is updated. If it isn’t updated often, it becomes stale in the eyes of Google, Yahoo, and Bing.
A content creation and social media strategy can help you build a bigger customer base, can help you establish brand credibility and can even help you attract the angel investors who may just finance your company’s future ambitions.
Should You Form an LLC?
An LLC (limited liability company) is, quite simply, a business formation that protects those owning it from personal liability. The owner or owners are the members of the LLC, and there can be one or many. Millions of small businesses opt to file LLCs for the personal protection that they offer. There are, however, pros and cons to choosing an LLC instead of a corporation.
If you have come up with a great and innovative product, unlike anything else seen at the iFestival or innovation seminars that you’ve attended, then you’ll, of course, want to bring it to the market. However, you don’t want to risk all of your personal assets – personal savings, home, vehicles, etc. Whether operating in the pet health sector or ifood& beverages market, there are risks in any business. So, you may consider forming an LLC.
There are many advantages. The biggest of those is the protection previously mentioned. Additionally, the tax structure for LLCs is much simpler and often less costly than that faced by corporations. It is fairly easy to establish an LLC, and there is little needed to maintain the structure.
There are reasons, though, why you may want to consider incorporating your business instead. LLCs are limited (which is implied in the name) in the protection that they offer. Though they are meant to protect personal assets, if a judge feels that you have engaged in fraudulent practices or that you have failed to draw a clear line between business- and personal assets, then you could, in fact, stand to lose some of what is yours.
Furthermore, because the LLC tax structure is designed to be very simple, the profits will be taxed as personal income of the members. That can lead to very substantial self-employment tax. This is compared to the corporation, which ensures that the owners only pay personal tax on wages paid to them by the company. The corporation will be responsible for paying taxes on any additional profits.
Perhaps the biggest benefit for a pet technology-, home automation-, health & technology, or other small business to form a corporation is the appeal it holds for investors. Both venture capitalists and angel investors will be more apt to give financial support to a corporation. There are certain tax implications that will deter these investors from supporting an LLC. Additionally, corporations more readily allow for partial ownership to be transferred, and many investors do want to take an active role in the companies that they back financially.