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Coronavirus (COVID-19) Relief Resources

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Quicklinks to Relief Resources

On March 27, 2020 the president signed into law the “C.A.R.E.S. ACT” in response to COVID-19. So what does that mean for you?

When a disaster occurs in the U.S. laws specific to the disaster are written, and passed to help Americans recover from the disaster. Federal agencies like F.E.M.A. and S.B.A. help manage the recovery efforts with grants and loan programs.  Many of us are familiar with FEMA during natural disasters. In order to receive grant assistance from the federal government you must apply for a disaster loan through SBA, if denied then FEMA usually provides recovery in the form of a grant.

For the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic the government is offering guaranteed loans for small businesses through SBA.gov. $10,000 of the loan is forgiven if the business or individual meet the qualifications. Everyone effected by the pandemic should apply for those resources. I complied of list of resources with direct links to apply.

Unemployment Benefits (Texas) – https://www.twc.state.tx.us/ 

Texas unemployment program pays benefits to those individuals who lost their jobs through no fault of their own. TWC determines eligibility. NoteUnemployment varies by state, the information above only applies to Texas residents. 

Anyone who’s lost wages because of COVID-19 can qualify including freelancers, private contractors, gig workers, other small businesses and their employees.

Paycheck Protection Programhttps://www.sba.gov/paycheckprotection/find (link to search for a SBA lender near you)

This loan program provides loan forgiveness for retaining employees by temporarily expanding the traditional SBA 7(a) loan program.

You can apply through any existing SBA 7(a) lender or through any federally insured depository institution, federally insured credit union, and Farm Credit System institution that is participating.

Economic Disaster Injury Loanhttps://covid19relief.sba.gov/#/

Small business owners could qualify a loan up to $200,000 and a grant of up to $10,000

SBA Express Bridge Loans – small businesses who currently have a business relationship with an SBA Express Lender to access up to $25,000 quickly.

SBA Debt Relief – small businesses who currently have a business relationship with SBA can apply for forgiveness of their current loan. Contact your local SBA lender.

Note: All information regarding Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) is subject to change at any time due to the changing nature of the pandemic. Please revisit this page regularly for updates.

Top 10 Review Sites

TOP 10 REVIEW SITES

HOW THEY BENEFIT SMALL BUSINESSES

No matter if you are online or not, you need to be aware of what people say about your business. Over 80% of customers read reviews before choosing which local business to contact, and that number jumps to 95% for people under the age of 34. Even more important, over 50% of consumers will only use a business if it has over 4 stars from a review site. You not only want to monitor your reviews, they also act as great feedback for your business. 

If you are getting several negative reviews from different people, then there is likely some disconnect between your services and customer satisfaction that will have to be changed. There’s an old adage that while a happy customer will tell 10 people about your business, an unhappy customer will tell 100.

This is unfortunately magnified online, where the entire community (actually, the entire world) can see any review from your customers, good or bad. Keeping track of reviews and responding to all of them – positive and negative – is known as reputation management, and the difference between a good and bad reputation can mean the difference between enthusiastic new customers confident in what you offer and you closing your doors due to lack of new sales and customers, who steer clear of you on purpose.

What are Review Sites?

Now that you know that review sites are vitally important to the success (or failure) of your business, where can they be found? Not too long ago, there was only ONE business that mattered when it came to reviews: The Better Business Bureau. That venerable institution wasn’t so much as a place to find reviews as a place to make sure there were no bad reviews! Since the Internet has been become the primary communication tool in people’s lives, dozens, hundreds, even thousands of review sites have cropped up online. Juggling between all of them is impossible. Fortunately, there are only a handful that really matter. Some are strong nationwide and even worldwide, while others are more important based on where you live. Here are the top ten:

Google my business

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Digital Resources

Tips to Gain Customers with
Google

You’ve opened your business and you created a website. Now what? This guide will provide you with 7 vital tips that will transform your business from just getting by to a powerhouse of customer leads and sales!

Even if you strictly do all your business offline, the reality today is that almost everybody will only find you through an online search. Long past are the days of a Yellow Pages listing and a small community advertisement. The fact is, 97% of people looking for a business to solve their problem (be it a plumbing issue, planning a party or simple hunger), searched online to find it.

If you have a physical location, 85% of people would have looked up Google Maps to see where you are.
You MUST have a presence online to survive, and more than that, you MUST be listed in the search engines so customers can find you.
This guide includes 7 tips to illustrate how to climb and rank in the search engines, and how to stay there.

Tip #1: Keyword Research

Before you begin to rank in the search engines … you need to know what your potential customers are typing in. You won’t gain much traffic if you rank for terms completely unrelated to your services! To do this, first brainstorm what terms a potential customer might type (or speak) in order to find your business. If you are a plumber in Brooklyn, they might type one of these keywords in:

  • Plumber in Brooklyn
  • Drain cleaning
  • Licensed Brooklyn plumber
  • Residential plumbing services
  • Plumbing repairs
  • New York plumber
  • Emergency plumber
  • Sewer cleaning

List all these terms down in a spreadsheet. Next, you can use a tool that actually researches keywords. The best of these is Google itself, in their Keyword Planner. It is part of their Adwords program, but you can sign up for a free account and pretend you will start an Adwords PPC campaign … but actually don’t.

Type in a keyword term, and Google will give you a multitude of ideas:

Google returned 310 keywords for you related to “plumber in Brooklyn” … this should give you plenty of ideas for keywords! As a bonus, Google will also return a range of numbers for monthly traffic. This is the amount of times people searched for that keyword phrase in a month. As you can see, people typed in “emergency plumber Brooklyn” far more than “plumber in Brooklyn” … something you will want to keep in mind.

…For More Tips Download the Full Guide Below ↓

3 Powerful Business Marketing Solutions

Choosing The Best Digital Marketing Plan

With so many ways to market your business, it can be hard to master all marketing outlets. Unfortunately, all this power and choice causes all sorts of problems due to the incredible complexity and the inability to really focus. As a small business owner, what do you choose?
With the many options, you may suffer from “paralysis by analysis” because since you have so many things you could be doing, nothing gets done.
Worse, you may be constantly worried that your competition is doing so much better than you are, and understands everything they need to know about digital marketing. They seem to show up when people search for the services you also provide.

How do you even know where to start? So what is the solution to this dilemma and complexity of choice?

Solution 1: Become an expert in digital marketing

You could spend all of your time trying to learn how to be an expert Facebook marketer, how to be an expert with reputation management, how to build the best customer relationship management software you can possibly can, how to do search engine optimization within Google, etc.
You could conceivably become an expert in all those things but is it not easy to do. Where do you have the time, when are you able to focus on it? After all, you have your own business to run!
It’s not that it’s impossible to learn it all, but it takes time and an investment that most small business owners don’t have. After all, they are busy trying to grow their own business services!
The other annoying thing is about digital marketing is that it changes regularly, and is often hard to keep up with.
You shouldn’t have to take the time and effort to learn the complexity of digital marketing, especially if it detracts from your own business.

Solution 2: Hire somebody

Since digital marketing can be complex, a lot of small business owners don’t really know what questions to ask. This makes it more difficult to evaluate people and what kind of a job they say they are going to do.
As there really is no certification or definition of who constitutes a “digital marketer,” there are a lot of really bad actors out there. You’re probably getting bombarded by calls and emails by people vowing to do your “SEO” for you and “rank you #1 on Google.”
You don’t know these people, and you don’t know exactly what techniques they are going to do to market your business online. On top of that, they could charge you $5,000 or more for their services, and you won’t exactly know how well that $5,000 is spent.

Solution 3: Hybrid 80/20 rule with hiring a digital marketing expert

The final solution is a hybrid solution. That is, figure out what to focus on, and apply the 80/20 rule (aka the “Pareto Principle”).
The concept of this is that 20% of what you need to focus on will give you 80% of the reward.
Let’s learn a little bit about what this 20% is. With this quick foundation of knowledge, you can then be more informed when you approach a digital marketing expert to help you. You’ll know the questions to ask and you’ll know exactly what you need and what you’ll receive for your budget. 

More on the Hybrid 80/20 rule…

2020 Best Digital Marketing Secrets

Digital Marketing Secrets For
Small Business Owners

Understanding the Problem with Digital Marketing

Digital marketing is absolutely the key to success for pretty much every single business. With close to all new customers today first finding a business online, It’s safe to say that if you don’t nail the specifics of digital marketing, you’re just not going to be successful, particularly if you are a new business. Even if you are an existing business, you’re just not going to get the new customers, it will be increasingly difficult to keep your existing customers, and you’re not going to increase your order value.

However, it can be a frustrating nightmare for small business owners because there is just no common repository of knowledge of help and advice. While it’s critically important to devote a good chunk of your efforts to online promotion, it’s ridiculously frustrating and hard to get right.

What Do You Focus Your Marketing On?

The internet is key to getting new customers, whether it’s from Google or Facebook, referrals or reviews.
Any marketing plan needs to focus on the following three things:
1. Getting new customers
2. Keeping existing customers
3. Increasing average order values
This has always been true for any business in history. Things are exceptional today, as never before has there been so much power available in the hands of a small business owner.
Just 25 years ago, the marketing platform of choice would have been the Yellow Pages. Sure, you had radio ads, television, mail and the newspaper, but for the Google of search 25 years ago, everybody went to The Yellow Pages! End of story.
Today, though, we have a huge variety of sources to market our business:
• Google Search
• Google Maps
• Email marketing
• Text marketing
• Paid advertising
• Facebook and social media
• Review sites and online directories
• Video media
• Podcasts
Unfortunately, all this power and choice causes all sorts of problems due to the incredible complexity and the inability to really focus. As a small business owner, what do you choose?
With so many options, you may suffer from “paralysis by analysis” because since you have so many things you could be doing, nothing gets done.
Worse, you may be constantly worried that your competition is doing so much better than you are, and understands everything they need to know about digital marketing. They seem to show up when people search for the services you also provide.

Digital Resources

Tips to Gain Customers with
Google

You’ve opened your business and you created a website. Now what? This guide will provide you with 7 vital tips that will transform your business from just getting by to a powerhouse of customer leads and sales!

Even if you strictly do all your business offline, the reality today is that almost everybody will only find you through an online search. Long past are the days of a Yellow Pages listing and a small community advertisement. The fact is, 97% of people looking for a business to solve their problem (be it a plumbing issue, planning a party or simple hunger), searched online to find it.

If you have a physical location, 85% of people would have looked up Google Maps to see where you are.
You MUST have a presence online to survive, and more than that, you MUST be listed in the search engines so customers can find you.
This guide includes 7 tips to illustrate how to climb and rank in the search engines, and how to stay there.

Tip #1: Keyword Research

Before you begin to rank in the search engines … you need to know what your potential customers are typing in. You won’t gain much traffic if you rank for terms completely unrelated to your services! To do this, first brainstorm what terms a potential customer might type (or speak) in order to find your business. If you are a plumber in Brooklyn, they might type one of these keywords in:

  • Plumber in Brooklyn
  • Drain cleaning
  • Licensed Brooklyn plumber
  • Residential plumbing services
  • Plumbing repairs
  • New York plumber
  • Emergency plumber
  • Sewer cleaning

List all these terms down in a spreadsheet. Next, you can use a tool that actually researches keywords. The best of these is Google itself, in their Keyword Planner. It is part of their Adwords program, but you can sign up for a free account and pretend you will start an Adwords PPC campaign … but actually don’t.

Type in a keyword term, and Google will give you a multitude of ideas:

Google returned 310 keywords for you related to “plumber in Brooklyn” … this should give you plenty of ideas for keywords! As a bonus, Google will also return a range of numbers for monthly traffic. This is the amount of times people searched for that keyword phrase in a month. As you can see, people typed in “emergency plumber Brooklyn” far more than “plumber in Brooklyn” … something you will want to keep in mind.

…For More Tips Download the Full Guide Below ↓