It’s Tougher Than Ever To Advertise on Facebook. What Should Small Businesses Do?

Facebook offers more control to users on what they want to see on their newsfeed; it will start filtering out ads and content they’re not interested in. This came as a response to the growing concern with regard to social media’s role on our society’s well-being.

In this article, we’ll talk how putting more emphasis on community-building over competition for viewer’s attention on social media can benefit small businesses.

Why a Change in Focus is Vital for Social Media

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube have changed the way people interact with each other. They paved the way for communities of like-minded people to share life’s experiences and interests over the internet.

Since then, users have always thought of getting more people to like their posts, and it wasn’t long before sharing became attention-seeking. Internet marketers quickly saw its potential for marketing and spared no expense getting more ‘likes’ and comments to stay on top of everybody’s newsfeed.

Other businesses won’t just stand and watch while competitors get all the attention on social media. Facebook ads, page boosts and paid ‘likes’ soon became the norm in social media marketing, and staying on top became increasingly difficult (and expensive) as more and more people and companies fight for user attention.

Ads were just one of Facebook’s many problems. They also have to deal with fake news, scams, clickbaits, and viral posts which doesn’t serve its users. Changing Facebook’s algorithm gave users a much better experience. (Notice how your friends’ most recent posts always come first. Same goes for more informative posts; irrelevant posts are demoted or removed completely.)

Facebook is getting more serious about its purpose as a company. Mark Zuckerberg is a little concerned and vows on “protecting the community” which he believes is “more important than maximizing profits.”

Facebook’s Focus on the Community

Most of us can only look back when YouTube was totally ad-free before Google bought it for 1.65 billion USD in November 2006. It soon turned into a money-making social media platform with ads taking the likeness of TV commercials but with some degree of user interaction. Remember how quickly you skipped the ad as soon as it starts, or piqued when forced to watch all 20 seconds of it?

Facebook went down the same path when it started Facebook Ads, paid likes, and page boosting. However, after dragging users into countless hours of endless scrolling and passive consumption, they’ve decided to redeem themselves by giving more attention on things that matter most – meaningful social interaction.

This might cost Facebook a lot of money, considering most of their income comes from advertising. To get around this, Facebook might give users the ability to choose ad-free subscriptions on a monthly basis for a fee which is approximately the price per user paid for by advertisers on Facebook. Another option is to provide premium accounts the ability to fine-tune their viewing experience and exceed certain limitations not accessible in free accounts.

From the standpoint of a social media marketer who rely on Facebook ads for traffic and customer acquisition, this can be somewhat unappealing, since most of their high-end clients and potential customers who can afford ad-free subscriptions would be out of reach by then, and they would have to settle with what’s left of Facebook’s free user base.

Having an ad-free, community-centered Facebook for users is much more complicated than we think. Facebook’s intention to take away distractions from the user experience is a noble one, although much of it remains to be seen. As with any kind of business, it has to somehow generate income in order to survive, i.e. by giving “free access” to services, paid for by advertising.

What This Means for Small Businesses

One of the biggest advantages of small businesses over large companies is the community that was built around it. Creating and maintaining customer relationships is much easier on a tightly-knit group of customers than having to deal with a very broad audience. Instead of social media being used as the battleground for people’s attention, it will become a truly engaging, interactive space where real businesses and customers with common interests can share their ideas.

Paid advertising will always have its place in the marketing mix, but social media is not really about throwing your ad into a prospect’s face. Be genuine with your customers, speak to them on a personal level and they will refer you to their friends. That’s the power of Facebook, not trying to outspend the competition.

Big businesses who rely heavily on advertising might have to take their outbound marketing strategies elsewhere. And what better place to advertise than Google? This way, we won’t have to worry going against these giants on an ad-free social media. We can devote more of our time and resources building a community of customers and growing our businesses through customer referrals, word of mouth, and other networking strategies.

Having your own site where you can take your customers for a brief tour of your goods and services is the next big step after you’ve accumulated enough audience from social media. This is where your business starts experiencing exponential growth through organic searches and visits driving more traffic to your site.

As a small business, we need to start somewhere, and social media could be one of those places where we can grow our audience. Creating and maintaining customer relationships has always been the key.

Take your business to the next level through sales and marketing automation. Visit and start using our suite of tools to increase your sales and profitability like never before.

The Key To Successful Business Innovations To Beat Your Competition

We live in a world where innovation is no longer an option. In fact, it’s the only way for businesses to survive in this day and age. More people, including millennials, professionals and employees, are starting their own businesses to improve their lives. As a result, competition will be more fierce than ever.

Innovation is important in helping businesses thrive, and stay one step ahead of the competition. It makes businesses stand out and gain a decisive advantage in the market.

Dealing with Hindrances to Innovation

Trying out something new is like throwing a wager on a business idea. It may or may not work. Mistakes are inevitable; but on the one hand, it can also be a game changer. It happened to many successful businesses who were not afraid to take some risks in exchange for a much bigger payout.

People who are too cautious are not eager to innovate. They take the same old route and go through the motions. One of the keys to innovation is to embrace the fact that you might not be able to get it right 100% of the time.

Companies who stop innovating will – slowly but surely – lose ground to their competitors. Ignoring the competition is fatal to any business, no matter how big it is. Some known industry leaders of the past have now been left behind by much younger companies whose innovations captured the hearts and minds of a much greater audience (think Amazon).

Different Views about Innovation

There are different views to innovation, particularly as something which is distinct from invention. Innovation focuses on improving an already existing technology, while invention aims at creating an entirely new technology that supersedes an old one. Smartphones, Android and IOS devices are the 21st century innovations of the mobile phone, while automobiles are inventions that replaced horse-drawn vehicles.

Innovations can reach a point of stagnation, where each innovation is just an iteration of the previous one – just slightly better. Portable transistor radios reached its peak in Sony’s Walkman. However, when the first MP3 player (MPMan) came out in 1998, further improvements to the portable cassette player was rather pointless.

Somewhere down the roard, small business will have to choose one over the other, i.e. improving on what they’re already good at or come up with a new business idea. Samsung started out as a small convenience store that sells merchandise. Today, it is one of the biggest industry leaders in manufacturing, consumer electronics, communications, home appliances, heavy equipment, as well as research and development.

Keys to Successful Innovations

Prepare to make the necessary change. Every so often, we need to implement some changes on how we conduct our businesses as well as the type of products and services we give to our customers. Change keeps our businesses from stagnation, moves the company forward, not to mention helps us stay ahead of the competition.

Identify problems and create solutions. Some innovation could run off-course if we’re just trying to make arbitrary changes within the system or create products and services which don’t address a need or solve a particular problem. Customers always think of our products and services in terms of value, like how they will improve people’s lives or what will be the advantages of using them.

Choose a selling point for your business. There are plenty of ways you can improve on your business depending on which customer preference you want to emphasize – also known as your unique selling proposition. Do you want to be more appealing to low budget customers, or do you want sell to high-end clients? Is customer service and customer experience more important to you than anything else? Whatever it is, it should give you a distinct advantage over your competitors.

Listen to your customers. Customer surveys and are some of the time-tested methods to stay relevant with customers. CRMs and sales and marketing automation works great in maintaining customer relationships through customer feedback, customer database, customer acquisition, sales funnel, and auto-responders.

Learn from your mistakes. Innovation has opened the door for new opportunities and important lessons on how to run a successful business. Today’s leading industries and business has had many failed attempts before getting it right. But innovate, they must. Fortune favours the brave. The only way for your business to stand out and cut through the noise is to make a difference.

Be Flexible. Small business owners must be open for opportunities and step out of their comfort zones. It’s one of the biggest challenges in business because as humans, we tend to avoid risk and be comfortable with what we’re already used to. Be willing to try and even fail. It can be scary at first, but it’s important to keep the end goal in sight.

Take your business to the next level through sales and marketing automation. Visit and start using our suite of tools to increase your sales and profitability like never before.

The Secret To Building Customer Relationships

Most successful businesses are built on customer relationships. Richard Branson built many successful businesses in many different industries but there was one common denominator across the board — his level of customer service was always topnotch.

Building relationships with potential clients and customers takes time and effort. You must have the right tools to get through the whole process more efficiently.

We’ll examine some of the best practices in building good customer relationships and how small businesses can implement a simple CRM app to accomplish that goal.

Manage Customer Data

Data management is the foundation for establishing good customer relationships. Customer information is the ‘missing link’ that connects businesses with potential clients and customers. It’s the secret to staying relevant with them despite the changing trends over a long period of time.

Many businesses have invested a lot of time and money in business applications to manage customer data. Fortunately, we can accomplish the same for just a fraction of the cost. For a typical small business with a limited start-up cost, this seems to be the best, if not the only option.

Small Business Dream’s mini-CRM allows small business owners to collect and control customer information very efficiently for less than a dollar a day. It specializes on the essential features of customer acquisition and simplifies them for the average person, as well as a follow-up system that constantly updates salespeople when a scheduled call, text, or social media message is up.

Additional features include Categories which enables business owners to segment their contacts making each survey, email campaign, and newsletter subscription very specific to different types of contacts.

Personalize Your Message

Customers still want the personal touch. Hence, we need to go beyond the usual ‘name, number, and address’, and learn about their ‘soft spots’ and circumstances that surround each purchase, customer query, or complaint.  We need to know what makes them feel good because after all, customers make buying decisions based on how they feel.

To add a personal touch, we need to keep track of every customer engagement. Small Business Dream creates a system that treats every customer as a unique individual. Even as simple as having a Notes section to put down important details from a telephone call, text or email can go a long way in determining what makes our customers tick.

Once you have this information, you can easily personalize your emails from your list of pre-written messages without having to start from scratch. Just a simple mention about their hobbies, pastimes, recent activities, or even little things they cherish will endear your company to your customers. It makes them feel respected and cared for as opposed to just being a number or a tiny dot on the chart.

Personalizing your message also applies to social media. Although secondary to email in terms of communicating with potential clients and customers, we cannot ignore the fact that social media is very much a part of people’s lives. However, we need to cut through the noise by personalizing our messages and let them know we didn’t just hit the ‘auto-reply’.

If they ended up on your Social Connect, which is a part of the Small Business Dream contact management tool, you need sift through the list and connect (‘follow’ or ‘like’) to each one who has a genuine interest in your business. Comment on things they’re currently into and have your pre-written messages below them.

Even a little extra step of personalizing your email and social media messages can make a big difference in establishing relationships with potential clients and customers.

Provide Real-time Customer Support

Real-time customer support is almost non-existent in most big companies. Part of the reason is that these companies have already grown their customer base to a point where it becomes too much to handle. As a result, many customers feel they’re given less priority and they would start looking for other businesses who might have a respect for them as a customer.

Companies who are able to respond as quickly as possible to queries and complaints are highly regarded by customers.  They might not have the best products and services, but the fact that they cared a lot about them makes them want to do business. The saying, “people don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care,” applies in businesses as well.

Small Business Dream has figured out a way to achieve real-time customer support with its Action List that updates salespersons and business owners if a new customer comes in through the Sales Funnel, or if an existing customer has just responded to a customer survey they have given out. They’ll find their way on top of the Action List, so sales people can link up with them right then and there.

Follow up Consistently

Following up with customers allows your business to accomplish two things. Aside from building trust and confidence with your customers, it’s also helps with customer feedback which is a valuable tool in improving products, services, and customer experience.

There are two approaches Small Business Dream can be used to follow up with potential clients and customers: newsletter subscriptions and customer surveys.

Monthly newsletters provide additional information about the service or product they just bought. For instance, you want your customers to maintain their hair’s luster and shine after a keratin treatment. You can invite them to your monthly newsletter about hair care and let them answer a few survey questions.

Follow-ups can also turn into cross-selling and upselling opportunities since some of your product or service can be tied to another one they just had.

After having their cars thoroughly cleaned and polished in your carwash, have them fill up a short survey form asking them about a few contact details, and if they want to be in your mailing list and avail of free car care tips, discounts, and free offers. For instance, you can inform your customers about the negative effects of using detergents on their car’s polish and why they should be using your car care products instead.

Small Business Dream’s Email Auto-responders and Survey Engine allow you to accomplish both with less effort. If you have prospects or customers that need to be followed up by phone, email or social media message, their names will show up on the Action List on that particular day. This makes sure you never miss on any of your potential clients and customers.

Take your business to the next level through sales and marketing automation. Visit and start using our suite of tools to increase your sales and profitability like never before.

Managing Customer Data for Small Businesses

In order to maximize CRM’s capabilities in managing customer data, we need to consider the important aspects of data management such as data gathering, organizing, updating, amongst other things. We’ll take a look at some of the data management strategies used by successful business owners and how we can apply them using Small Business Dream CRM.

Decide What Information to Collect and Store

When it comes to data collection and storage, we only need what’s essential to making the sale and how to get them to that point. It makes perfect sense, since we are dealing with large numbers of prospects and customers, and we don’t want our customer database to be cluttered with useless data.

The following customer information should be your top priority:

  • contact information (email, phone number, social media account)
  • location (address, country, time zone)
  • personal information (name, sex, age, date of birth, occupation)
  • transaction history (notes about recent customer engagements such as calls, emails, text messages, surveys, etc.)

Most people will have at least three ways of communication – email, phone number, and social media account. Communicating with prospects and clients by phone may seem old-school, but it still ranks as one of the best methods of sales conversions.

Email and social media accounts of your customers enable you to collect more information about them through surveys and customer feedback, as well as educate and communicate with them through automated and semi-automated messages.

Other information about the customers can be used as well. Countries and time zones lets you know when the right time is to make your scheduled call. Holidays, birthdays, and personal milestones helps maintain customer loyalty by adding a personal touch to your messages.

Of all these information about your customer, the transaction history will make up most of your customer data as they will be constantly updated each time you interact with them. Salient points from every phone call, text, email and social media message must be diligently put on record in order to stay on track with every customer.

Small Business Dream CRM has a place for each of the four types of information. Its Contact Manager has a very intuitive way of looking up every customer information, and is seamlessly integrated with other useful features such as the Action List, and the Survey Engine.

Adopt an Efficient Way to Collect and Store Data

Collecting information from prospects and customers is one of the most time-consuming aspects of managing customer data. With the advent of CRMs in business, companies have been able to collect customer information more efficiently through sales and marketing automation.

Nowadays, it only takes one, easy-to-use, simple CRM to collect customer information in a snap. Small Business Dream captures all the information you need from your customers through the Client Acquisition tools. This can save you many hours collecting and typing all the data by yourself – possibly losing it in the process.

Typing customer information on the fly is also very efficient with Small Business Dream’s user interface as it allows salespersons to add notes about their customers in more ways than one, i.e., through the Action List, Contact Manager, or customer feedback.

Centralize Customer Information for Quick Access

Salespersons should be able to access customer data, all in one place. Some companies make the mistake of having different salespersons collecting and analyzing different types of information from prospects and customers. Since only a particular data is available to some, this might create gaps in communication which either makes it too generic or completely miss the intended audience.

Getting full access to customer information, including records of previous customer engagements allows salespeople to stay relevant with them and avoid repeating the same action with a customer over and over again.

Having all the information about the customer in one app means salespeople can get back to their customers and continue where they left off. The Notes function in Small Business Dream’s Contact Manager gives a full history of all the customer engagements they have with a particular customer, each note time-stamped and arranged from the most recent ones for easy lookup.

Have a System for Sorting and Prioritizing Contacts

Salespeople waste a lot of time calling up random contacts without doing research or even getting to know their potential prospects – what they want, who they are, or their business. This type of scattered approach could mean a lot of missed sales opportunities.

Small Business Dream can deal with these situations and makes it easier for salespeople to take action by simply following the system.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Sorting contacts based on priority. Small Business Dream’s Action list sorts out customers based on their priority score (some CRMs use the term ‘lead score’). High-yield customers and patrons provide most of the company’s revenue, thus putting them on top of the list whenever a scheduled call, email, or social media message is due. New opt-ins and potential customers are considered high priority as well. Low priority contacts are dealt with afterwards. However, it’s important not to pre-judge and link up with all your prospects and customers regardless of their priority score as they could turn up into high priority contacts later on. Once the Action List is empty, you’re task is done for the day.
  2. Setting priority scores. Small business owners can only do so much with their limited time. Hence, they must be able to evaluate and set priority scores for each client to maximize their use of time. Small Business Dream’s Contact Manager contains a lot of tools that allows salespeople to make a quick assessment of potential clients. The Notes section in the Contact Manager contains all the useful information about the customer from phone calls, emails, social media messages, and answer to survey questions which serve as a guide for sales people in giving their priority score (scale of 0 to 10 from highest to lowest).
  3. Segmenting your contacts. The Contact Manager also has a feature to segment your contacts for your email campaigns, newsletter subscriptions, and regular updates about special events, promos, and discounts. With this feature, you’ll be able to stay top of mind to your customers with very little effort using sales and marketing automation aimed at specific type of customers only.

Take your business to the next level through sales and marketing automation. Visit and start using our suite of tools to increase your sales and profitability like never before.

Grow Your Tire Shop Business FAST with this Simple, Tried and Tested Technique

Small-time tire shop business becoming huge success stories in a matter of months – you’ve probably seen examples from the Internet or the television.

Every business owner is thinking the same thing:

“How could I possibly grow my business FAST without spending a lot of money on expensive ads and gimmicks?”

The answer could be as simple as a CRM application that enables business owners to keep track of its customers and communicate with them through follow ups and updates at an automated or perfectly timed intervals.  

Small Business Dream takes your tire shop business to the next level by keeping your customers actively engaged with your business in more ways than one.

The concept is very simple.

Small Business Dream enables you to:

  • keep tabs of your customer records all in one place
  • communicate with your customers consistently through an efficient follow-up system
  • use an effective content marketing strategy to promote your business
  • acquire new customers and high quality leads through the sales funnel
  • collect information through customer surveys to help improve your business

Let’s see how Small Business Dream can make a difference on how your tire business works from a day to day perspective.


Tire Change/Replacement

It’s late autumn, and you want to know how much winter tires you’re going to need for the icy months – just when the demand for winter tires starts mounting. Small Business Dream’s Survey Creator, helps you make an accurate estimate on the quantity, size, and makes to store in your shop weeks ahead by collecting these information from your regular customers or online visitors in exchange for discounts or exclusive privileges.


Tire Rotation and Balance

Educate your customers about the importance of rotating their tires (swapping tire placement) every once in a while and keeping it perfectly balanced to improve their longevity and driver safety. This, along with other useful information can be a part of your monthly newsletter via Small Business Dream’s online auto-responders or drip email campaign to keep your customers actively engaged and open more opportunities for conversions and repeat customers.


Tire repair/patching

What if a customer comes by with a punctured tire and just wants it patched as soon as possible. Opportunity? You bet it is! Here’s the deal. While waiting for their tire to get patched up, have them fill up a short survey on your tablet or notepad and leave their contact details in exchange for discounts or inexpensive giveaways.


Customer data for just a few bucks a month. Sounds like a perfect deal.

It’s amazing how a simple CRM app like Small Business Dream can do so much for your tire shop business with just a little bit of creativity and by thinking outside the box.