Preparing a Business for Winter Holidays

 Best practices for business during the end of year holiday season.

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As the holidays draw closer, there is much preparation to be done. For business owners, there is a lot more to be considered and it is not always clear what needs to be accomplished during this time. Even some of the most basic aspects of business operations, such as announcing changes to hours, are commonly overlooked throughout this time of year. To help make winter holiday preparations for businesses less challenging, we have comprised a short list of best practices that may help your business be more successful than ever before.

Update Business Hours of Operations

Hanging a “Closed” sign on a business’ door will get the message across to anyone that tries to visit but, it will also be aggravating if it happens to contradict the business hours that are published online. This is especially true if the business is hospitality or retail. Now more than ever consumers check online to determine when a business is open. Misinformation may quickly lead them to seek out a competitor.

There are three main places where these updates should be applied online, at the very minimum. Those places being 1) the business website, 2) business profile on Google, and 3) Facebook. If you are a restaurant or caterer, you will also want to update any Yelp listings, if applicable. These are the most popular places people go to check when a business is open. Keeping them up-to-date is a fundamental part of managing a business and providing good customer service. If there are other websites or profiles where the hours changes can be applied then we highly encourage a business take the time to do so.

Create a Closing Checklist

Yes, that is right. We are essentially suggesting a checklist within a checklist but, bear with us a moment while we explain. Most if not all businesses, especially those with employees, have particular steps set out for closing time. These procedures maybe written out or just a mental checklist for the normal closers. However, during the holiday season it is common for vacations to be taken, shifts to be changed around and the business facilities to be unoccupied for longer periods than normal. Therefore, it is important to provide every employee with the steps that need to be done in order to safely and securely close up shop.

When making a checklist of closing procedures, a manager needs to make special considers for their type of business and facilities. Does the building or office need to be winterized for the 3-day Christmas weekend? Have all appliances been turned off and unplugged? Are security systems armed and doors locked? It is worth taking to time to make sure all that can be done is done right so you can enjoy your time away from work with a little less worry.

Share the Spirit of the Season

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If you are able to give gifts, donations or simply thanks with festive celebrations, then why not share it with the world? Many people are pleased to see a company actively giving back. Whether a business owner is throwing a holiday party for staff at the office, passing out toys to less fortunate children or hosting a gala, it is worth a the extra effort to photograph the event and share it with the general public.

Do not feel bad if your business is not able to do much this year. Sharing what you have and your thankfulness is more than enough for people to appreciate. Allowing the true spirit of the season to shine through your business in any way possible not only helps to humanize the brand but also creates opportunities to reach and engage new audiences.

Some of the best tools to use to share these experiences are likely already at your fingertips. Many professional choose to post details to a blog or a page of their website designated for such occasions. Those posts are then shared across a business’ social media. When posting to social media, we recommend tagging any charities and partners you are working with to make an event happen. You may also want to create a Facebook event to increase participation and awareness if you are a main organizer.

Businesses that are current clients of Leads Online Marketing can make quick, easy work of this task by submitting a support ticket requesting posts to their website, blog and/or social media accounts. Just make sure to send us all necessary details and within 24-hours we will be sure it is published or scheduled to publish at a time you have designated.

Sales, Deals, Discounts and Clearance Events

A promotion is not much of a promotion if it is never properly promoted. Try saying that 3x fast. All joking aside, this is an all too common problem for small businesses. A business may have a sales event running but returning customers and potential customers have no way of knowing about it. There may be a physical sign in the store or a service person may mention it but this is not an efficient way to increase sales. Details of any sales and special offers are best published to the business website along with social media unless it is a highly exclusive offer.

For businesses that still utilize print advertisement, a high quality digital copy of all ads should be requested from the graphics designer and forward to the website developer for online publication. In most cases, a business is paying an advertising company to create the graphic (the ad image) in addition to the actual printing and distributions. So, many times the business holds the rights to reuse that graphic as seen fit including in use for online display ads.

These are just a few things that business owners, operators and managers should do to prepare for this time of year. The L.O.M. team understands that ever business is unique, which is why we offer customized marketing programs to meet your exact needs and budget. If you feel overwhelmed by trying to create or manage an online presence for your business, then we encourage you to give us a call to discuss how we can help your business stand out across the web.

We wish you all a happy, healthy holiday season and thank you for your support this year!

Now on to planning for 2021!

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Your Guide to Maintaining Good Internet Etiquette

Gone are the days when “internet” simply meant talking on chat rooms and typing-in old documents. So many different things are done via the internet these days – from talking with friends and family in real time (even when they’re on the other side of the globe), to talking on forums and seminars, and even maintaining entire offices. With so much being done online today, it is all the more important for people to put their best foot forward online in every way they can. From talking on social media to answering emails and online advertising to website content, it is always good to think before you share while also following some basic rules.

Here are some ways in which you can keep your internet etiquette (or should we say, “netiquette”) in check:

Mind Your Manners

Just because you’re not actually talking face-to-face with the other person, doesn’t mean that you are free to say or do anything you like and not bear the consequences. Remember, any professional relationships you build online are just like the ones you make in real life – they are based on mutual respect and politeness.

Here’s a small tip to help you get started: If you would not normally say or do something in a face-to-face conversation, make sure that you don’t post it online either.

Avoid Strong Language

While strong language does include rude and foul words, those are only a part of the concept. Strong language can mean a lot of things. For instance, refrain from writing overtly verbose language – you are communicating to another person, not showing-off your superior vocabulary skills. Avoid words and expressions that qualify as rude and foul in any way.

Another thing to take notice of is not using all caps while writing. While many consider this a way of making their posts and messages more easily readable, it is often interpreted as a shouting expression, which is considered rude in most instances.

Proofread Your Work

As in real life, there are different ways of communicating with friends and co-workers or colleagues. For instance, a ‘Gr8’ can work with your sister, but won’t fly with your boss. Sticking to formality, writing in proper writing style and keeping up all the grammar rules is always the best practice.

Be Extra-Careful With Sarcasm and Humor

When it comes to sarcasm and humor, interpretations vary from one culture, and even from one person to another. While it is understandable for you to express sarcasm and/or humor every once in a while, you must make sure that the message you convey expresses the intended message clearly. More often than not, a well-meant joke can be interpreted as an offensive statement.

Don’t Forget to Cite Your Sources

One simply cannot be expected to come up with a fabulous original thought all the time. If you do borrow a thought or an idea that in fact belongs to someone else, make sure to credit them even if your expression of the idea isn’t a word-by-word copy. Not only does that keep you out of possible copyright-related trouble, it also creates a good impression on others by showing them that you are humble enough to mention when a great idea isn’t yours. Copyright infringement in the form of duplicated website content is also greatly frowned upon by Google and, if abused, is a penalizable offense.

With the internet expanding into virtually all facets of our lives, there are now countless things that are done online; from texting your best friend, to booking an appointment, and even working in offices. While it may be tempting to forget the rules and “hide” behind your computer, it is certainly not a good thing to do and can do irreparable damage to your reputation. Before you click that ‘send’ button, make sure that you have followed all there is to proper internet etiquette.

For more business, internet and marketing articles, visit our blog at LeadsOnlineMarketing.blogspot.com

Springtime Tips for Small Businesses

Today, spring has officially sprung here in the Southeastern United States and across the Northern Hemisphere! Even though the temperature is due to drop back down to near freezing tonight, we can still look forward and start planning for the warmer weather ahead. A mental to-do list may include beach days, family holidays, and lakeside hikes but, there are seasonal changes to consider for your business as well as your personal life.

In this article, we will explore ideas to help business owners make the best of the spring season. Most of these tips can be utilized throughout the summer too.

Spring Clean

Keeping an office tidy throughout the year is important for promoting better time management and productivity in employees. However, ‘organized’ does not equate to ‘clean’ and most offices need a good deep cleaning at least once a year. This is the type of cleaning not being done by the nightly custodian such as deep carpet cleaning, air vent cleaning, dusting high surfaces, and descaling the coffee maker just to name a few.

To tackle the spring cleaning of your office you may hire a cleaning service or devote a day for employees to work together to get it done. Consider structuring this as team building activity. Be sure to reward employees for their efforts, perhaps by providing them with a free lunch.

Make Changes Known

Spring time usually brings about many changes surrounding basic business operations. If there is something changing about your business that could impact customers, then make it known. Announce it on your website, change your Facebook status, update Google, and whatever else you can think of to make new information known to the public.

One of the most commonly overlooked seasonal changes is the updating of business hours. Many businesses operate on seasonal schedules, fall/winter hours and spring/summer hours, but some neglect to make this known. Having the wrong hours posted is a sure way to upset potential customers wanting to contact or visit a business. To avoid this mishap, contact your online marketing company to request a business website and listings update. (Don’t forget to do this again come fall.)

Enjoy the Fresh Air & Sunshine

It’s been proven that a regular dose of fresh air and sunshine can improve a person’s health and vitality. Employees along with employers should have the opportunity to enjoy the benefits of our natural world and there are several ways to make this possible. Planning team outings, picnics, and volunteering as a team are great ways to shake things up and get outdoors. Another idea is to invest to create or improve upon an existing outdoor sitting area to give office workers the best place to relax in the time allotted for breaks. A couple benches, chairs or a picnic table and a few seat cushions are all you need to get started.

For companies fortunate enough to own their building and have adequate outdoor space available, the opportunities are virtually endless. From grilling stations and garden plots to corn hole sets and smoking zones, you can create the perfect outdoor spaces for yourself and your employees to recharge -whether it is to be enjoyed every day or bi-weekly.

Stay tuned to the Leads Online Marketing blog for more tips to help you improve your business, including a special article on Office Gardens that will publish next month. If you have any questions or feedback about the article above, please feel free to reach out to us at leadsonlinemarketing.com/contact-us/

We appreciate you reading our blog! Be sure to visit our website to learn more about our online marketing services. Give us a call to discuss how we can help your business stand out across the web, (704) 251-6519.

We Provide A Comprehensive Portfolio of Advertising Programs Dedicated To The Success of Our Clients.

This Includes PPC, SEO, SEM and Many Other Top Industry Tools, Services and Strategies At Our Disposal.

Contact Us Today To Learn More About How We Can Help You Make A Better Statement Across The Web!

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These guys do a phenomenal job with our company. Very knowledgeable and bright, our organization had around 35 employees when we started and weve grown our service business to 50 plus employees. We love the personal touch that leads on line offers, unlike a lot of the large corporate seo and sem marketing companies. We would highly recommend if youre looking to grow

These guys do a phenomenal job with our company. Very knowledgeable and bright, our organization had around 35 employees when we started and weve grown our service business to 50 plus employees. We …

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These guys more than pay for themselves with the it results. Excellent data every month too.

These guys more than pay for themselves with the it results. Excellent data every month too.

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Best web marketing company I have delt with in the area.

Best web marketing company I have delt with in the area.

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Ricky and his crew are GREAT to work with. I had the pleasure of starting working with Ricky 45 years ago, and it has been problem free. 5 all the way

Ricky and his crew are GREAT to work with. I had the pleasure of starting working with Ricky 45 years ago, and it has been problem free. 5 all the way

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This company has helped my business grow since the very beginning We have 3 retail locations now and we are still growing. Results are transparent and easy to follow. Also would like to mention that you can view your reports or login to view your results as you go Been letting these guys do my advertising for over 4 years. Wouldn't go anywhere else

This company has helped my business grow since the very beginning We have 3 retail locations now and we are still growing. Results are transparent and easy to follow. Also would like to …

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I just started working with Leads Online Marketing although my company has been with them for several years. I'm already very impressed with Ricky and his team. I look forward to seeing where this partnership takes us.

I just started working with Leads Online Marketing although my company has been with them for several years. I'm already very impressed with Ricky and his team. I look forward to seeing where …

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Ricky and his staff have been amazing to work with My company has really reaped the benefits of using Leads as our online marketing company.

Ricky and his staff have been amazing to work with My company has really reaped the benefits of using Leads as our online marketing company.

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Ricky and his staff have been amazing to work with My company has really reaped the benefits of using Leads as our online marketing company.

Ricky and his staff have been amazing to work with My company has really reaped the benefits of using Leads as our online marketing company.

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Last March I had an appointment with Lead Online Marketing. Thinking this was just another advertiser promising me the moon I still decided to sit down and talk with Ricky. To my pleasant surprise he was very up front about what he could and could not do. Many other marketers are disingenuous. Once deciding to go with Ricky and his team my website was on the first page of Google organically within 4 months and is now a mainstay there thanks to the great communication and effort from the 'tech' side of Leads online marketing Chris. Chris is great to work with and has done a fantastic job for us. In fact they have done so well for us last year I had them take over my PPC campaign. Last February we had 3 leads total for the month. Today is the 5th of February and I have 16 on schedule. We are coming up on 1 year with Leads Online Marketing and very pleased with my investment and how they are very responsive and courteous to us. Bottom line We are being found online by our customers and business is good Highly recommend

Last March I had an appointment with Lead Online Marketing. Thinking this was just another advertiser promising me the moon I still decided to sit down and talk with Ricky. To my pleasant …

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The leads group has increased my business. Lots of people talk but few deliver like this group. Sit down with Rick and tell him what your short and long term goals are and they will put a plan together that really works. My customer base has increased almost 35 in the two years I have been with Leads and my only regret is not using them sooner..

The leads group has increased my business. Lots of people talk but few deliver like this group. Sit down with Rick and tell him what your short and long term goals are and …

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Leads Online Marketing built our website and has been in charge of our internet marketing at Ballantyne Plastic Surgery for the past few years. They have far exceeded what any company has done …

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Ricky and his staff at Leads Online Marketing are some of the best people you will ever come across. I am so glad that I got introduced to Ricky almost a year ago. I was looking to do a website and just did not know who , where or what to trust. Luckily, I came across Ricky. His staff is always looking for ideas to help my business. Their web pages are A in design, simplicity, and getting the necessary traffic to your site. They are always on top of things. Whether it is info for your blog or just helpful reminders of social networking ideas. I would highly recommend Leads Online Marketing for all of your online needs.

Ricky and his staff at Leads Online Marketing are some of the best people you will ever come across. I am so glad that I got introduced to Ricky almost a year ago. …

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Any business owner who experienced the startup process of launching a website knows how difficult the job is. Thankfully, a friend of mine recommended Leads Online Marketing in Charlotte. I hired them to handle the website design of our company. We had an ambitious design concept for our website, but I was very happy with the outcome. It was even more impressive that they managed to get the website working efficiently within the time frame we gave them. Most of the web designers we've worked with in the past always never completed the project on time, even the most skilled designers. Thus, it is definitely a bonus for us I would gladly recommend this company

Any business owner who experienced the startup process of launching a website knows how difficult the job is. Thankfully, a friend of mine recommended Leads Online Marketing in Charlotte. I hired them to …

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Owner operator Ricky is the best , I was always sceptical of these marketing company's and never would have thought of spending my hard earned money on these things until I met lRicky I have been harassed cold called emailed and down right irritated by so called company's that were going to build my business, but with leads I met with Ricky he showed me what he could do , spent a great deal of time with me at no charge and no pressure and left it as call me if your interested, no bull just straight up honesty , he has built me an incredible website , increased my business and at an extremely affordable price I have links and sites , even social media pages I didn't even know existed and the best part he's a regular guy , we talked business over a beer at the cigar bar right up the road, again no corporate bs just results , check him out you won't be disappointed

Owner operator Ricky is the best , I was always sceptical of these marketing company's and never would have thought of spending my hard earned money on these things until I met lRicky …

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