What are the best marketing strategies for a locally owned small business in Metro Detroit?

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We get asked constantly, what is the "best" this, and what is the "best that. People are so inundated with information over the internet, that many just want to cut through the clutter and find out what the "best" actually is. If it was only that simple. Right? For starters, there really isn’t a good, better, or best. Marketing depends on your industry, time in business, branding, geography, goals, budget, etc, etc. It’s important to do your research to to find out what the cost of customer acquisition is in your industry. Most people skip this step and it winds up costing them more for marketing campaigns than their margins bring back in. Another words, if your marketing campaign costs X, and it’s not making you Y, that’s not a prudent form of marketing for your particular business. If I say a PB&J is the best sandwich ever, and you're deathly allergic to peanuts, I'm sure you wouldn't agree that a PB&J is the best sandwich. One size fits all, never fits. So figure out what works well for your industry, and go from there. There are a myriad of factors that must be taken into consideration, before making a leap into any specific direction.

DO YOUR RESEARCH AND MAP OUT THE COSTS OF ALL MARKETING EFFORTS TO FIGURE OUT WHAT THE COST OF CUSTOMER ACQUISITION IS. IT’S ALL ABOUT ROI.

What are tips on building customer loyalty in a local small business?

With that being said, many experts say inbound is by far the best form of marketing you can do. It may take a bit longer to see results, but slow and steady wins the race. Content. Content. Content. And more content….

When planning your business’s key messages, you likely spend a good amount of time thinking about how to promote your products, services and specials. Informing your potential customers about all you offer might sound like a good plan, but it’s self-serving and should only account for a small portion of the information you share.

Small Business Tips for Local Metro Detroit Businesses to Boost Revenue in Autumn.

Content marketing is a valuable strategy that keeps your brand top of mind with your customers without overselling your business. Your audience can only handle so many posts, emails and other pieces of content that highlight the work you do. When companies continuously beat their own drum, the messages begin to feel like spam and customers are more likely to tune them out or un-follow the business altogether.

With content marketing, businesses begin to share fun, interesting and industry-adjacent information that they think will keep their audience engaged. A real estate agent might share “10 tips and tricks for streamlining your spring cleaning,” or an auto mechanic might post “5 summer road trips you need to take.” The information might not highlight what your company can do for the customer, but it keeps your brand in front of your audience, making it easier to recall your business at the time of purchase.

Consistent Exposure Is The Key To Small Business Growth

RELATIONSHIPS! There is simply no substitute for relationships with members of the community and other local small business owners. Organic growth is sustainable, marketing campaigns typically are not - not to mention very costly.

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Here are a few more tips you might find useful:

  • Local small businesses should have different approaches to capture data. One has to obtain the data, which is called data mining. Only then can one prepare a database and then churn it to crack sales. Let us explore some simple ways to generate leads. You can capture data from people who walk-in to your store. Just a phone number or email would be good enough. You can use online inquiries or calls to capture the required data. You can be at local events, circulate fliers or brochures and use newsletter subscription on your website and at the store or office to generate data. Remember, these are not leads but data. And you have to begin with a database to generate leads.
  • One of the most effective lead generation strategies for any small business is a referral program. Employees can be incentivized to refer, customers can be offered rewards to refer and people who aren’t your customers but can refer should be offered some perks so they feel motivated to walk that extra mile. We often think of talking about a product or service with our friends or in our social circles but we forget. Having a few perks will keep people motivated to talk about the small business.
  • Networking is the absolute key to exploring new avenues. Local small businesses find large networking events futile as there is little scope to grow the business into a massive scale. However, cross selling and networking with companies that have some shared interests would always benefit small businesses. A vendor that supplies essential items to businesses in a neighborhood can always tie up with another company or vendor that supplies other items. There can be an exchange of customers, leads or database so to speak.
  • There’s no denying the importance of a strong social presence in today’s marketing world. Your brand absolutely needs to be present on major networking sites like FacebookTwitter and Instagram. B2C interactions have evolved from “you need this” (where the business drives the market) into “but we want this” (where consumers are king). Many purchasing decisions are made before customers ever step foot inside a store. Consumers expect to be heard, to have input and, more recently, to interact with the companies they do business with. Social media provides businesses with the platforms they need to have these interactions and foster more meaningful relationships. As social sites change, grow and multiply, it’s vital for businesses to try their hand at emerging networks. Did anyone believe that Snapchat would skyrocket to popularity the way it did? Most did not. And now it’s believed to be one of the most important up and-coming social marketing tools. What does this mean? The idea of “fringe” sites no longer exists, and instead, businesses need to be willing to try new things and spend time figuring out what new social networks work best for them. A realtor might have a lot of success using Instagram because of the visual elements of his or her job, but that might not hold true for a criminal defense lawyer. Every business matches up differently with various elements of social media, so try things out and find your own recipe for success.

Metro Detroit Small Businesses Turn to LVRG Funding for Capital. Small Business Loans Detroit.

Small businesses throughout Detroit are growing and thriving, thanks to LVRG Funding. Don’t let another day go by without the financing that could do the same for your business. Unlike other firms, we are fully committed to providing the best financing options available that benefit your bottom line, not ours. We know that time is of the essence when it comes to obtaining financing and our quick closing time will ensure that you get the money you need, when you need it. Headquartered in Detroit's Historic Ford Building, we are a local finance company dedicated to helping the local small business community thrive and grow. With a dedication to our clientele and a reputation for excellence, you'll understand why LVRG is such a respected member of Detroit's small business community. Give us a call today (855) 998-LVRG. As always, we’re here to help

 

Should I choose a merchant cash advance as a funding option, and is it right for my small business?

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Among business analysts, lenders and small business owners alike, there’s continued controversy over the value and potential risks of a little understood lending alternative called the merchant cash advance. While this quick capital option continues to be shrouded in negative speculation, an increasing number of business owners seem to be availing themselves of a merchant cash advance, and with good results. So just what is a merchant cash advance, and how did it get such a bad reputation?

Although Often Misunderstood, a Small Business Cash Advance or Credit Card Merchant Cash Advance Could Work Wonders For Your Business...If Used Correctly!

Let’s break down the facts:

In a nutshell, A Merchant Cash Advance (MCA) can provide business borrowers with an upfront fixed amount of cash in as little as 24 hours. The funding amount is based upon a percentage of the businesses credit card receivables or daily cash balances using historical credit card receipts and bank statements to determine the initial advance. The business pays back the advance, plus a percentage, often referred to as a discount factor, from a portion of their credit card receivables or cash available plus a percentage which is often referred to as a discount factor. The remittances are drawn from the business customer on a daily, weekly or monthly basis until the obligation has been met. An MCA is not technically a small business loan and as such MCA's are not limited in what rates they charge or what terms they establish and therefore often have high interest rates. For this reason it is very important for a business owner to be completely aware of how the MCA product works and how it could affect their business. MCA's are good options for small business owners who may not have strong credit but have lots of credit card activity and need financing quickly.

Think all small business loan lenders and funding companies are created equal? THINK AGAIN!

Merchant cash advances are classified as commercial transactions, not loans. Here are the distinguishing characteristics of merchant cash advances:

No Fixed Terms. Providers estimate the term for repayment based on the business’ sales history. The customer is charged a set fee, referred to as a factor rate and there are no interest charges.

Cash Advances Are Unsecured. The provider does not receive any collateral or guarantees, accepting all risk of the client going out of business.

Minimal Documentation. Often, a client can simply provide six months of processing statements, two months of bank statements, a copy of a mortgage statement or property lease, and a driver’s license.

No Fees. There are no late fees or penalties attached to the product.

Fast Approval and Funding. Most cash advance providers can approve and fund an application in 2-7 days, LVRG can get you funded in less than 1.

Daily Repayment. This varies according to the volume of the merchant, and changes according to the business cycle. The provider receives a set percentage or amount of the merchant’s daily card settlement batch.

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Merchant Cash Advance - A Simple, Quick Way To Grow Your Business

Simply put, for small businesses who need cash immediately and don’t qualify for a traditional loan, an MCA could be a lifesaver. Despite the controversy, here are a few reasons this lending alternative deserves a second chance:

Fast access to cash

Cash advance applications typically require less paperwork and have faster turnarounds than traditional loans. In fact, LVRG is able to transfer lump sum capital in as little as a day in some cases, which can be lifesaving for a business with an unexpected cash flow emergency.

A good option for bad credit

Merchant cash advances biggest advantage as a loan product is that it opens up a channel for business owners with bad credit to get liquid cash. Additionally, the customer’s credit score isn’t as important as their future sales projections, given that the provider is paid back through a percentage of daily credit card sales.”

Flexible return payment

With a traditional loan, the same minimum payment on principal and interest is due month to month, regardless of whether business is in a slump. This can be a big challenge for seasonal businesses that don’t have a regular cash flow. But because a merchant cash advance is repaid through a fixed percentage of daily sales, borrowers have the flexibility to repay more when sales volume is high and less during slower sales periods.

No collateral required

If an entrepreneur doesn’t have significant personal assets to leverage, traditional bank loans can be almost impossible to obtain. And even for business owners who do have significant home equity or other assets to be used for collateral, the risk that entails doesn’t always sit well. One benefit of the MCA model for borrowers is that no collateral is required, meaning if the business fails, the provider has little recourse to collect.

With all that said, it's imperative you understand that not all merchant cash advance lenders are created equal. There is no barrier to entry or regulation in the merchant cash advance industry, which is why anyone and everyone seems to be selling merchant cash advances these days. The reality is, most of the employees at merchant cash advance funding companies have no knowledge, background, education, or experience in finance, or business. Which leads to a very scary situation, as these people are offering highly specialized advice, without knowing what they're even talking about. So they essentially are providing advice to small business owners based upon their commission scale, not what's in the best interest of the business.

  • Do you know what the level of education is needed to offer small business loans, merchant cash advances "MCA's" and other small business funding products? NONE
  • Do you know how many certifications are required to offer financing advice? NONE
  • Do you know how many courses are needed to work at a funding company? NONE
  • Do you know how much regulation is behind the small business loan industry? NONE

Think a Merchant Cash Advance is Bad for Business? Think Again...

A decade ago there were only about ten Merchant Cash Companies in existence. Today there are thousands. There is wide variation between the pricing and terms across MCA providers so it is very important to know what lenders are out there, and the fees attached. Furthermore, not all Merchant Cash Advance lenders are created equal and many are only interested in increasing their bottom line, not yours. So, it's imperative you choose wisely. LVRG is a team of the right people working with the right data getting you the right-sized funding for your business. At LVRG, we believe we are different from other lending firms. We never set out to be the biggest, but we do strive to be the best. Our deep sense of integrity, professionalism, and commitment to the spirit of entrepreneurialism propel our determination to provide assistance to small business owners in a challenging economic climate. Hope this helps… For more, feel free to get in touch!

 

6 Undeniable Reasons To Absolutely Love Locally Owned, Independent Small Businesses

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As the owner of a local small business, it can be difficult sometimes to remember just how much you matter. Locally owned independent small businesses are the backbone of virtually any community, and yet they are rarely appreciated for how much they bring to their particular community. Especially in today's technology overloaded environment. If you own a brick and mortar shop, you know what we are talking about.

What options do you have for funding when a bank denies your business loan?

But there are always reasons to remain encouraged that local shops matter. The shop small movement is getting more and more attention these days. Many businesses are seeing increased attention from consumers. Then you have the fact that certain locally owned independent retailers are always going to have a steady source of customers for one reason or another.

The truth of the matter is that local small businesses are more popular than ever. Why is that the case? As you will find, there are some pretty major reasons to love locally owned independent small businesses.

Why People Love Locally Owned Independent Small Businesses

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We love what a local small business can bring to a community. We know you do, too. Here are six undeniable reasons to love locally owned, independent small businesses:

1. The contribution to local character/prosperity: Local shops help communities to avoid becoming overly homogenized, which no one really wants. Unique businesses like yours help to contribute to the uniqueness of the community, and communities receive economic advantages for taking that fact seriously.

2. Community comfort: Those who shop small help to create strong communities, in which neighbors and local businesses are linked on a variety of different levels. Economic relationships and social relationships are created through this linking, and local causes are championed and assisted.

What sources are available to finance working capital needs of small businesses?

3. Small businesses are still the heart and soul of the economy: Locally owned independent small businesses continue to make up around 99.7% of all employers in the United States. Locally owned independent retailers are also responsible for creating around 75% of the new jobs in our economy.

4. People love guts: Let’s be honest, and let’s say that few in the world of commerce have more guts than small business owners like you. These are the people who put everything on the line to make their dreams come true. People inherently like that, and often want to support that.

5. Local economy: Money spent on small businesses stay in the local economy.

Building Small Business Strength Through Securing Capital

6. Product diversity: Local shops contribute to product diversity, which enhances a community in a variety of ways.

We hope you enjoyed this post. Please visit our knowledge center for more great tips!

 

15 Best Twitter Accounts to Learn About Small Business

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You either love Twitter or hate it. Doesn't seem like there's shades of gray. Quite frankly, not too many small business owners (including us) even understand it. You wind up following more accounts than you can possibly keep up with, so you wind up missing the majority of the content that may actually interest you. Your DM inbox is totally filled with robo tweets, asking you to buy something or click on a link for some useless e-book that you could care less about. Most of the accounts are fake. Followers can be bought, so you really never know who's really popular, or who just paid to look cool. Most social media platforms such as Buffer and Hootsuite automate the process, which means there's typically nobody behind the tweets you follow anyway. So what you have is a social media platform filled with fake accounts, robo tweets, and spam messages, on a clunky platform that is so cluttered that you often wonder if it's worth your time to even be on it. What's the future of Twitter? One really has no idea at this point, some experts say it's fading away, and some say it's here to stay. It's one of those social media that you should probably be on just for additional branding exposure, yet serves no real purpose. OK, that made no sense... But either does Twitter. That said, if you're one of those die hard Twitter fans looking for some great small business relevant accounts, here are our top 15.

Drum roll please............ Here are the best 15 Twitter accounts deliver top-notch, super-useful content for that provide useful content tailored to small business owners. 

1) LVRG LLC l @LVRGLLC

America's Go-To Funding Company for Fast, Reliable, Small Business Cash Flow Solutions. Voted No.1! Made With Passion and in Detroit. 16,000 followers strong, LVRG tweets the latest and greatest small business tips, growth strategies, marketing tips, expert financing advice, and much more. Great resource, if you didn't already know!

2) Twitter | @TwitterSmallBiz

408,000 followers
Their tweets provide resources, tips, news, and success stories to help your small or medium-sized business succeed on Twitter.

3) Forbes Magazine | @Forbes

8.8 million followers
It’s certainly not the only publication in the small business market space, but Forbes could win the prize for most influential. Nearly 9 million Twitter followers can’t be wrong.  If you’re a technology news and insights fan, @ForbesTech is a great resource, too.

4) Inc. Magazine | @Inc

1.6 million followers
Incis another magazine with high-quality articles that teach you what you need to know to start and grow your business. Lots of great shareable content, too.

5) Entrepreneur Magazine | @Entrepreneur

2.1 million followers
Whether you’re a startup or a business with a few years under your belt, Entrepreneur is great source of reliable and interesting business news and tips. It’s also a good source for finding retweets. Under 35? Check out their millennial version: @YoungEnt.

How do you establish a good social media strategy for a locally owned independent small business?

6)  Fast Company Magazine | @FastCompany

2 million followers
Expect a steady stream of out-of-the-box business models and inspiring success stories from Fast CompanyThose in the design and creative world should follow @FastCoDesign.

7) Fox Business News | @FoxBusiness

304,000 followers
A great site for following daily business headlines and checking out expert analysis.

8) The Wall Street Journal |  @WSJ

10.3 million followers
Probably only the Wall Street Journal has enough clout to trump Forbes. It’s not quite as focused on small business issues as I’d like, but there’s a clear business slant here, and nobody can deny this is one of THE newspapers of record in our country.

9) Harvard Business Review | @HarvardBiz

2.5 million followers
Despite its lofty origins, the Harvard Business Review is actually a practical, engaging, entertaining read for any small business owner. Plus, you’ll get to say stuff like, “Oh yes, I read about that in the Harvard Business Review.”

10)  Marketing Profs | @MarketingProfs

334,000 followers
Forbes calls Ann Handley the most influential woman in social media. Her company, Marketing Profs, offers great training and education for today’s marketers, and her tweets are a first-rate source for practical, hands-on digital marketing information on the Web.

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How can a small local business leverage social media?

11)  HubSpot | @HubSpot

665,000 followers
HubSpot is pretty much the best of the best for inbound marketing advice. They make it easy.

12)  Small Business Administration | @SBAgov

194,000 followers
SBA tweets have great general small business information and keep you abreast of news, tips, and resources. Very useful information, especially if you don’t have a marketing background.

13)  Duct Tape Marketing | @DuctTape

110,000 followers
If you’re a “solopreneur” or a consultant,  Duct Tape Marketing is a must-follow account. John Jantsch’s blog is essential reading, too.

14)  National Federation of Independent Businesses | @NFIB

122,000 followers
Their tweets cover a broad spectrum of small business topics such as minimum wage, social media, loans, legal issues, and advocacy. Great resource for government-related business news.

15) Small Biz Trends | @SmallBizTrends

134,000 followers
Owned and managed by Anita Campbell, Small Business Trends is a massive website of marketing, management, technology, and financial advice for small businesses.

The Significance of Social Media for Small Businesses

There you have it, the top 15 twitter accounts to learn about small business. For more valuable small business boosting tips, check out our knowledge center.

 

I own an upscale retail fashion boutique in Birmingham, MI. How can I promote my shop in my local community?

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In the past decade, much talk has been generated in the academic and industry worlds regarding brand communities. Broadly speaking, a brand community is a social network (or “community”) formed by a common attachment to a brand or product. People who actively participate and advocate this concept are much more easily observable today, through SNS platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Fans of sports teams or clothing brands can simply share online contents or post pictures of the product with them to gain social bonding. As a relatively new phenomenon, brand communities have been mostly attributed to large, major corporate brands. But could small businesses in Birmingham, MI., also build such loyal communities for their brands?

Detroit Small Business Loans; Including Corktown, Downtown, Eastern Market, Midtown, New Center and Riverfront.

According to several marketing practitioners, the brand community is not an exclusive concept for big name companies. As mentioned above, the advent of social media and particularly the increased power of mobile devices (smartphones, tablets, etc.) allow people with similar tastes and values to be more easily connected. Moreover, by uploading pictures and reviews on Google and Yelp, even people without any prior acquaintance can promote a brand community for small businesses.

What are tips on building customer loyalty in a local small business?

What is the role for the small business owner or manager to help aid building a loyal brand community? This can be answered in two broad perspectives. First and foremost is to create unique and positively provoking (emotionally or cognitively) product and service. One example is a craft brewery that serves a line of beer products that require an “acquired taste”. The point is that not everyone will like it but some will absolutely love it. Heterogeneity in taste is an absolute gold mine for small businesses to target, especially through effective product experimentation with local customers.

A "Local" Small Business Loan Company, Fueling Metro Detroit's Small Businesses!

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The Fourth Industrial Revolution: Preventing Economic Collapse by Fostering Independent Businesses

A second approach to encourage brand community building is to create avenues for customers to socialize about your brand. One easy step today is to create and maintain social network pages (namely Facebook and Twitter), and regularly post exciting news, events, and achievements by your brand. Occasionally hosting small and fun competitions or sweepstakes can also help engage customers to become loyal followers. However, this is still a secondary approach, as they need intriguing and reliable product and service to associate with your brand as mentioned in the first point. With a much level playing field in terms of marketing communications, small businesses should absolutely seek to maximize their exposure and strategic positioning through the available tools online. Building a brand community is a great way to expand a small business, successfully and sustainably.

Ready to start building your brand community? Start with us! Click here to get in touch, we can't wait to hear from you... 

-LVRG Funding is a local funding firm dedicated to helping the local small business community throughout Metro Detroit thrive and grow. With a dedication to our clientele and a reputation for excellence, you'll understand why LVRG is such a respected member of Detroit's small business community. Give us a call today (855) 998-LVRG, we're here to help!