Small Business Digital Marketing: Using the Internet to Grow Your Business

If you are a small business and you are not yet marketing yourself online then you are really missing out. On the other hand, maybe you’ve tried it but you just haven’t been able to generate the results you’d like? Either way, it’s time to change things and get serious about this opportunity…The sad truth is that most small businesses aren’t marketing themselves effectively using the internet. This is usually because they lack the expertise to implement their marketing campaigns in the right way, or they believe that it is expensive and thus not something they can afford.What can you achieve with small business digital marketing?The reality is that digital marketing is a constantly changing landscape. If you really want to succeed with it and generate great results for your business then you definitely need to know what you are doing. If it is done in the right way however then this type of marketing can enable you to grow your business and reach new customers in a way that has never been possible before.The digital world creates a wonderful opportunity for small businesses to grow their income, find new clients and better engage existing ones. From advertising through social media to reach new audiences, generating leads through carefully crafted website landing pages, or engaging existing customers through content-filled email newsletters, this tool can generate real tangible results for your company.Getting started with small business digital marketingThe first thing to get clear on is that you need a definite plan. Diving straight into the field without thinking about what you want to achieve, and how you are going to achieve it, is simply setting yourself up for failure. Failing to plan is probably the number one reason why most small businesses fail with this inception.It is very important to have a clear and detailed strategy. You should set out specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-bound marketing objectives and targets, and you should ensure that you think carefully about the digital marketing channels you are going to use to get your message out there.It is also important to remember that digital marketing isn’t an instant solution. Achieving effective results requires consistent action, on-going testing and regular reviewing of progress.Getting help with small business digital marketingAs we have already touched upon, digital marketing is a complex field that’s constantly changing. It is therefore crucial to have a good understanding of the subject and know exactly how to plan and implement digital campaigns for maximum results.Many small business lack in-house expertise and thus choose to seek the help of a digital marketing agency. This is often a smart decision because it brings much-needed expertise to the table. A digital marketing implemented by professionals is much more likely to generate great results than a campaign implemented by someone who is relying in trial and error. In addition, getting external help with small business digital marketing frees the company to concentrate on running their business, without worrying about their digital campaigns.
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What Are The Greatest Changes In Shopping In Your Lifetime

What are the greatest changes in shopping in your lifetime? So asked my 9 year old grandson.

As I thought of the question the local Green Grocer came to mind. Because that is what the greatest change in shopping in my lifetime is.

That was the first place to start with the question of what are the greatest changes in shopping in your lifetime.

Our local green grocer was the most important change in shopping in my lifetime. Beside him was our butcher, a hairdresser and a chemist.

Looking back, we were well catered for as we had quite a few in our suburb. And yes, the greatest changes in shopping in my lifetime were with the small family owned businesses.

Entertainment While Shopping Has Changed
Buying butter was an entertainment in itself.
My sister and I often had to go to a favourite family grocer close by. We were always polite as we asked for a pound or two of butter and other small items.

Out came a big block of wet butter wrapped in grease-proof paper. Brought from the back of the shop, placed on a huge counter top and included two grooved pates.

That was a big change in our shopping in my lifetime… you don’t come across butter bashing nowadays.

Our old friendly Mr. Mahon with the moustache, would cut a square of butter. Lift it to another piece of greaseproof paper with his pates. On it went to the weighing scales, a bit sliced off or added here and there.

Our old grocer would then bash it with gusto, turning it over and over. Upside down and sideways it went, so that it had grooves from the pates, splashes going everywhere, including our faces.

My sister and I thought this was great fun and it always cracked us up. We loved it, as we loved Mahon’s, on the corner, our very favourite grocery shop.

Grocery Shopping
Further afield, we often had to go to another of my mother’s favourite, not so local, green grocer’s. Mr. McKessie, ( spelt phonetically) would take our list, gather the groceries and put them all in a big cardboard box.

And because we were good customers he always delivered them to our house free of charge. But he wasn’t nearly as much fun as old Mr. Mahon. Even so, he was a nice man.

All Things Fresh
So there were very many common services such as home deliveries like:

• Farm eggs

• Fresh vegetables

• Cow’s milk

• Freshly baked bread

• Coal for our open fires

Delivery Services
A man used to come to our house a couple of times a week with farm fresh eggs.

Another used to come every day with fresh vegetables, although my father loved growing his own.

Our milk, topped with beautiful cream, was delivered to our doorstep every single morning.

Unbelievably, come think of it now, our bread came to us in a huge van driven by our “bread-man” named Jerry who became a family friend.

My parents always invited Jerry and his wife to their parties, and there were many during the summer months. Kids and adults all thoroughly enjoyed these times. Alcohol was never included, my parents were teetotallers. Lemonade was a treat, with home made sandwiches and cakes.

The coal-man was another who delivered bags of coal for our open fires. I can still see his sooty face under his tweed cap but I can’t remember his name. We knew them all by name but most of them escape me now.

Mr. Higgins, a service man from the Hoover Company always came to our house to replace our old vacuum cleaner with an updated model.

Our insurance company even sent a man to collect the weekly premium.

People then only paid for their shopping with cash. This in itself has been a huge change in shopping in my lifetime.

In some department stores there was a system whereby the money from the cash registers was transported in a small cylinder on a moving wire track to the central office.

Some Of The Bigger Changes
Some of the bigger changes in shopping were the opening of supermarkets.

• Supermarkets replaced many individual smaller grocery shops. Cash and bank cheques have given way to credit and key cards.

• Internet shopping… the latest trend, but in many minds, doing more harm, to book shops.

• Not many written shopping lists, because mobile phones have taken over.

On a more optimistic note, I hear that book shops are popular again after a decline.

Personal Service Has Most Definitely Changed
So, no one really has to leave home, to purchase almost anything, technology makes it so easy to do online.
And we have a much bigger range of products now, to choose from, and credit cards have given us the greatest ease of payment.

We have longer shopping hours, and weekend shopping. But we have lost the personal service that we oldies had taken for granted and also appreciated.

Because of their frenetic lifestyles, I have heard people say they find shopping very stressful, that is grocery shopping. I’m sure it is when you have to dash home and cook dinner after a days work. I often think there has to be a better, less stressful way.

My mother had the best of both worlds, in the services she had at her disposal. With a full time job looking after 9 people, 7 children plus her and my dad, she was very lucky. Lucky too that she did not have 2 jobs.

Good Nutritional Guidelines

It’s difficult to know what exactly makes up a healthy diet. Many are not just concerned for themselves, but for their family, as well. There are a ton of diet plans to find in supermarket checkout lane magazines, each of them claiming to be the easiest and quickest way to lose weight without compromising on nutrition, but which, if any, are the real deal? Unfortunately, many of the foods we love to eat are often the worst to eat when it comes to nutritional value. This is one of the main reasons so many refuse to even think about it, which gives room for the myths and confusion that surround the topic to grow.The most confusing thing of all is the way the “experts” seem to differ on even the most basic of premises, each one contradicting several others from week to week, it seems. New studies always come around to disprove something we all knew was true when it comes to nutrition, and now something that we thought was good for us is now bad for us, or vice versa. Just think about the shifting opinions over the years regarding such things as coffee or red wine. It seems impossible to be knowledgeable about subjects that seems to shift so much, where even some of the basic premises don’t seem consistent.Places to Find Good Nutrition InformationHow good the information may just be a factor of where you get it. All those checkout aisle magazines with their diets of the week are probably not good sources. Some of these may literally have made up their information for that week’s issue. Many of these diets have tailored their information for specific reasons, usually to sell their products or prove some sort of pseudo-scientific point. Anyone can write a book saying anything, fill it with a lot of technical-sounding words and pass it off as fact, but if the studies backing it were not scientifically done and legitimately put together, they are only advertisements shilling whatever the magazine wants to sell that particular week.The best place to get nutrition information is, of course, from a doctor or nutritionist. If news comes from trusted sources such as these, it’s more likely they are acting in the best interests of the reader, not of a company trying to sell you something.Information can be found online, but be careful of it – many of them are merely trying to sell something that really has no nutritional value at all.What Is Good Nutrition Made Of?Everyone has different needs when it comes to nutrition. We all need the same basic nutrients but we may need them in differing amounts. Each person needs a certain amount of calories per day and those calories are divided into protein, fat, and carbohydrate. Someone taller and heavier will generally need more calories than someone smaller and lighter. The more one weighs, the more calories it takes to maintain that weight. Weight loss, then, means having a diet with fewer calories – but it does not mean a drastic cut. Too sharp a drop in calories can actually make it more difficult to lose weight.If you are trying to lose weight by reducing your caloric intake, your nutritional intake may suffer in the process. It is important to not only get the right number of calories, but the right amounts of vitamins, minerals, and macronutrients.What’s the Deal with Nutrition, Anyway?Food is essential to life. The things we eat are used to heal, to help strength the body against illness and injury, and of course, to give us the energy we need to go about our daily business. Everything the human body does, the smallest action and the most complex processes, all get the power they need to function from the food we eat. A steady diet of junk food is poor nutrition and the body will become sluggish and begin to store excess fat. It will also become easier to get ill and it will just be difficult to move around in general. The longer a diet like this continues, the longer the body goes without good nutrition, which means more sickness and more weight gain.To be strong and healthy, a body needs good nutrition. This is the way the human body gets strength to move around and keep active and keep excess weight off.Protein Supplements as an Aid to Good NutritionIt may not be very easy to get all the protein or other nutrients your body needs, depending upon the nutritional goals you’ve set for yourself. Many people try to lose weight by eating less – a lot less than their bodies require to stay healthy. Oddly enough, going from eating too much to eating too little can actually make weight loss more difficult. A body that feels as if its starving triggers a slow metabolism, which means those calories you do ingest are hoarded by the body, instead of burned as energy. And of course it probably still lacks the nutrition it needs to keep the body properly functioning. Using a protein supplement to replace a small meal or as a between meal snack can be the solution to a diet with fewer calories but sufficient nutrition.