Dreams Animation - Web development and marketing company in New Yrok City


Dreams Animation covers the top social media news on topics like Facebook, YouTube, Gmail, Twitter, Amazon, Pinterest and More and all related with technology.

How to Avoid a Sales Tax Audit

Tip of the day

One word strikes more confusion and alarm in the minds of small business owners than most others: taxes. With the growth of e-commerce and the related regulations, sales taxes are especially vexing for today’s small business owner. Tracking your sales tax obligations manually is a gamble. Not fully complying with changing regulations in your city, county, state and beyond could leave you open to scrutiny from auditors...

Read MoreSep 28, 2015

Customer Know Best

Tip of the day

Customers are generally top of mind for those running a business, but are you giving them what they need? It should come as no surprise that most people (97 percent, actually) research products or services before buying. Yet, many small business websites miss key elements consumers look for in an initial review.

Read MoreJun 18, 2015

Journaling for Success

Tip of the day

If you’ve ever started a sentence with ‘Dear Diary,’ you already know the importance of journaling in your personal life—recording moments in time you never want to forget (and perhaps a few you do). Keeping a collection of the positives and negatives can act as an irreplaceable personal guide, and the same can be said of business journaling. Corral the business chatter rattling...  

Read MoreJun 01, 2015

Curtail The Busy & Up The Efficiency

Tip of the day

You're busy. Really busy. Stuff piles up. Daily. And out of all the places you need to check the messages, the biggest nightmare is often email. Let's talk solutions. 

Read MoreMay 21, 2015

Are You A Good Boss Or A Bad Boss?

Tip of the day

Most of us can recall at least one great teacher who really made a difference in our lives. Bosses can be the same. There are the bosses who teach, mentor, guide and help you grow in your career, and then there are those who rule more like Genghis Khan and make life miserable. Where you fall as a leader makes a difference for morale, productivity, retention and hiring. 

Read MoreMay 20, 2015

Tweet For Cash

Tip of the day

Crowdfunding has been a buzzword for some time, and while the jargon may be getting old, the buzz continues to echo through small business America louder than ever. This avenue of accruing cash to make a business plan go from a vaporous dreamlike state to hardcore tangible goodness seems to be the best thing going for many entrepreneurs. And getting the word out to raise funds en masse with a tweet.  

Read MoreMay 18, 2015

Evaluate A Greener Approach

Tip of the day

Energy costs are down, so now is the perfect time to take a look at how to become a 'greener' business - before costs begin to creep back up. You can't manage what you can't measure, so take time to gather the facts, and compare choices and data. 

Read MoreMay 15, 2015

3 Reasons Social Media Isn't About You

Tip of the day

Are you one of the last holdouts who believes the myth that social media isn't right for your business? You think your customers aren't there, or you're too busy or your industry isn't a good fit for social media. Well, think again. Using social media for your business isn't about you, it's about your customers. 

Read MoreMay 14, 2015

Cut Hackers Off At The Pass

Tip of the day

Hackers. It's a word that evokes fear in the mightiest and the tiniest of companies. Everyone is at risk. And everyone needs security that rivals Fort Knox, as well as crystal clear employee messaging about the dos and don'ts to ensure data is protected. 

Read MoreMay 13, 2015

Facebook Lends A Hand

Tip of the day

The pendulum seems to swing back and forth quite a bit in regard to Facebook and their relationship with small business owners. Is it helpful? Is it worth your time? What is really going on with that algorithm? Well, Facebook recently announced that they're kicking off Boost Your Business, a campaign to help small business owners understand and incorporate useful Facebook tips and tricks to help with their social media marketing.  

Read MoreMay 12, 2015

The Mental Health Connection

Tip of the day

Running a small business can be daunting. Work and life often become so intertwined that the idea of balance seems more like a fairytale than something achievable. And there’s that gnawing fear of failure causing sleepless nights, leading to exhaustion, anxiety and depression—and soon the cyclical loop of frustration and panic becomes so normal you forget you’re even in it.

Read MoreMay 11, 2015

Fix Your Innovation Rut

Tip of the day

No matter what your industry—or how long you’ve been working in and at it—there will always be new ways to innovate and solve problems. It’s easy for small business leaders to get stuck in a rut and think of innovation as something that happens only in Silicon Valley or in mega companies with monster budgets. Not true. Small companies drive innovation—even in mature industries.

Read MoreMay 08, 2015

15 Ways To Be More Efficient

Tip of the day

Skipping meetings and working only 4-5 hours a day are ways to be great at your job. Sound too good to be true? They're how industry leaders like Mark Cuban and Scott Lang perform their best. Follow the advice of these innovative business giants to excel in the greatest and most fun ways.   

Read MoreMay 08, 2015

Don't Melt Down In A Crisis

Tip of the day

Will your business ever face a crisis situation needing careful and strategic communication? Quite possibly. (You can’t control everything.) And the degree of the fallout will largely depend on your timely and clear response—and a precise execution.

Read MoreMay 07, 2015

Be All Ears On Social Media

Tip of the day

You’ve set up social media accounts—perfect! All business owners should have them. Now, please say you’re posting, updating and paying attention to them. Underline that last part. Monitoring social media accounts is key to gaining customer understanding, and all you need to do is listen.

Read MoreMay 06, 2015

Keep Customers Hopelessly Devoted

Tip of the day

You can, and should do this. What are we talking about? A loyalty program. Business owners want customers. But, often, they’re too focused on finding new customers, which can be one of the hardest—and most costly—aspects of running a business. Show your gratitude to current customers with offerings, discounts and rewards, and they’ll happily return again and again, all while spreading the word about your business and growing your customer base.

Read MoreMay 05, 2015

SWOT's it all about?

Tip of the day

The more you know, the better decisions you can make - this is critical for small businesses. Using your company's strengths and weaknesses to evaluate opportunities and threats (otherwise known as a SWOT analysis) paves the way for true strategic decision making. 

Read MoreMay 04, 2015

Small Business Week Opportunities

Tip of the day

Small businesses get a lot of attention these days—and why shouldn’t they? They’re the backbone of our economy and create two out of three new jobs. Let’s hear it for small businesses! Since 1963, the U.S. has celebrated this entrepreneurial bunch with National Small Business Week (May 4 – 8). What are your plans?

Read MoreMay 01, 2015

Get It Right: It's Sell, Not Tell

Tip of the day

Selling a product or service—verbally or through marketing efforts—shouldn’t be a one-sided, pushy endeavor. Since small business owners believe in what they’re selling, there’s a strong desire to tell potential customers everything all at once. But being bombarded with features, regardless of how amazing, is overwhelming and confusing. Customers gain some knowledge, yes, but they’re left sorting out whether or not it has value for them.

Read MoreApr 30, 2015

Maximize Your 20 Percent

Tip of the day

You've no doubt heard of the 80/20 rule. It's the old adage that says 80 percent of your business comes from 20 percent of sales. What you might not know is that this philosophy can be applied all across your business - especially when it comes to time management. 

Read MoreApr 29, 2015

Think Before You Post

Tip of the day

Opinions - everybody's got them. They're an inherent part of being human. And the Internet has the pull of mythological sirens, luring us to tell the world how we feel about everything from celebrity fashion choices to politics and religion - the big no-nos your mom steered you away from. The digital world makes it easy for us to share our thoughts, so as a business owner (and human with opinions), where do you set the boundary when posting online? Or do you?

Read MoreApr 28, 2015

Cut Costs In 5 Steps

Tip of the day

Just the act of flipping the 'Open' sign means costs are accruing. Can you hear the pennies slip away? Oh yes, running a business is expensive, and controlling costs should be a constant priority. But please don't make an immediate switch to cheap toilet paper and revoke all bonuses. Simply start paying very close attention to where the dollars go, and use your wisdom to make smarter decisions about what's necessary (leave the marketing alone!) and what's wasteful. 

Read MoreApr 27, 2015

An Apple A Day For Health Care

Tip of the day

Health care reform is one of those topics that can evoke less than zen-like reactions from something meant to provide wellbeing. Debates begin, blood pressure rises and the commotion commences. But, regardless of where you stand within the debate, in the end, everyone wants to stay fit - both physically and financially. So, if health care benefits aren't something you can provide, consider the old adage of an apple a day and introduce a healthier office environment. 

Read MoreApr 24, 2015

Track Down Your Ideal Customer

Tip of the day

Every business has a perfect type of customer. Not too 'this' and not too 'that' - you want that same kind of sweet spot Goldilocks was after - the one that's just right. Chasing after the wrong types of customers wastes time and burns money. Do your homework to uncover who you should target. 

Read MoreApr 23, 2015

Weave The Perfect Mobile Website

Tip of the day

With all of the recent talk of the Google's latest algorithm change, it's hard not to wonder (or worry) whether or not your site is up to par. It also raises the questions of how to effectively optimize for mobile and who to trust to do the work?

Read MoreApr 22, 2015

Simplify Health Care Questions

Tip of the day

Whether or not you provide health care insurance for your employees, The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act ("Obamacare") is the law of the land. Everyone is required to carry health insurance, so your employees need answers - and since you're the boss, they're likely to look to you as the expert. Make it easier on them, and yourself, by taking a few minutes to prepare with tools that keep it simple. 

Read MoreApr 21, 2015

Google's Pulling Rank

Tip of the day

Ready or not, here it comes. Google is at it again, tinkering away and tweaking their top-secret algorithm. And while Google has long-considered mobile usability a factor in ranking sites, this time the stakes are higher. If you’re a part of the majority of small business owners who have been riding the wave and still are not in great mobile shape, you may see some negative shifts in your ranking when all is said and done. G-Day hits April 21, and their advanced warning should not be ignored.

Read MoreApr 20, 2015

Keep Your Cloud Safe

Tip of the day

Everybody, it seems, is putting something in a cloud. Photos, music, even precious small business data. The cloud is clearly the way information storage is headed, and offers big benefits like the flexibility to work remotely, reduced costs, and it can save the day when laptops die. Cloud computing gives us peace of mind, knowing files, data and applications are tucked neatly away in a metaphorical vapor. But, despite all of the good, there’s still the looming question around security. Read more

Read MoreApr 17, 2015

Up Your Emotional Intelligence

Tip of the day

Emotional intelligence is probably a term you’ve heard thrown around. But what does it mean? And how can it help you become a better leader? Read more

Read MoreApr 16, 2015

Marketing Under the Influence

Tip of the day

Ads come at us from every angle, every day—buses, billboards, email, newspapers, flyers—and let’s not forget the over-saturated Internet. That’s a lot of money being spent on advertising, yet many people feel advertising is deceptive. So, how should a small business owner strike the perfect balance of promotion and sales pitch, all while trying to achieve the often-elusive attribute of trust? Influencer marketing offers hope. And it has small business written all over it—huge benefit without the price. Read more

Read MoreApr 15, 2015

Brokers, Agents, Exchanges. Oh My.

Tip of the day

No matter the size of your business, shopping for health insurance can make you feel a little like the scarecrow—that you really need a brain. Many hire a professional who can help navigate the yellow brick road of health insurance. But should you use a broker, an agent or the exchanges? Read more

Read MoreApr 14, 2015

Take a Bite Out of Stress

Tip of the day

The old saying, ‘works like a dog’ conjures up images of stressed-out, overworked employees. Work pressure and anxiety coupled with everyday office frustrations can turn into an endless cycle of anguish, causing detrimental health concerns from asthma to heart disease. So, how do you keep employees (and yourself) feeling good and working smart? The answer may lie with man’s best friend. Read More

Read MoreApr 13, 2015

3 Sexual Harassment Policy Tips

Tip of the day

Owning your own company comes with a lot of perks. You might get your name on the door, your own parking space and a little more flexibility than others, but there’s also great responsibility when it comes to employees—especially if treading the murky waters of sexual harassment. Read More

Read MoreApr 10, 2015

P'interesting Changes

Tip of the day

Pinterest—the social site known for ‘pinning’ images users aspire to have, or know more about, or just share—is making changes that are getting a lot of buzz. If you’re using social media to promote your business and develop brand awareness, and you should be, it’s time to consider adding Pinterest to your social media mix. Read More

Read MoreApr 09, 2015

Are You Health Insurance Literate?

Tip of the day

On the recent March birthday of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA, aka ‘Obamacare’), the news revealed that waters swirling around health care are still muddy. And, according to a poll from Vox Media, it seems one of the few things that’s clear is continued misperceptions of the law. Read more

Read MoreApr 08, 2015

Crowdfunding and Taxes

Tip of the day

The term crowdfunding went from faint kitten purr to reverberating buzz—and it’s getting louder by the minute. And why shouldn’t this alternative source of funding be getting some well-deserved attention? It’s a big win for small business owners, entrepreneurs and artisans. But be aware, Uncle Sam still wants a slice of your small business funding pie. Read more

Read MoreApr 07, 2015

Use the Power of Story

Tip of the day

Now and then you have to go back to the basics. And there’s nothing more basic than telling a story. A good story makes an impact. People remember a good story. Read more

Read MoreApr 06, 2015

Mobile Wallets & Your Business

Tip of the day

Between the success of Apple Pay, Google Wallet and rumors that Samsung will incorporate Samsung Pay on its upcoming top devices, it’s clear consumers are accepting and expecting businesses to provide the convenience of mobile wallet solutions. At what point should you jump in? Before you decide if implementing mobile pay is right for you, it’s important to do some homework.. Read more

Read MoreApr 03, 2015

Work Ethic: Five Lessons

Tip of the day

Search ‘work ethic’ on Indeed.com and you’ll get hundreds of thousands of results. Why? Because employers want it. In fact, they want it so much that it’s often listed above education and experience. But guess what? Work ethic doesn’t exist. It’s not a real thing. Read More

Read MoreApr 02, 2015

Optimize Images: Reduce Load Time

Tip of the day

The tortoise may have outsmarted the hare, but don’t be fooled into thinking all slow movers win the prize. If your website loads at the speed of a snail, you’re likely to lose customers. We live in a fast-moving, site-hopping society, and if a page doesn’t appear in a fraction of a second (not an exaggeration), fickle as it is, most people jump to the next one. Read more

Read MoreApr 01, 2015

Stop the Bleeding: Staff Turnover

Tip of the day

Any way you look at it, employee turnover is costly. From recruiting to lost productivity, you should aim to hire and retain. Unfortunately, it’s not always as easy as it sounds. Whether you’re currently experiencing high turnover or you have a good retention track record, pinpointing trends can help isolate causes and improve best practices. Read More

Read MoreMar 31, 2015

Softer Side of Customer Service

Tip of the day

It should come as no surprise that consumers make the bulk of their purchasing decisions based on emotion vs. any kind of rational calculation—and more emotionally engaged customers will probably recommend a company, product or service more often. This doesn't necessarily mean you have to pull at the heart strings through your marketing (although it wouldn't hurt), but rather identify impactful ways to make meaningful connections. And small businesses have the size and agility to do this well. Read more

Read MoreMar 30, 2015

Cloud Computing: Find Your Silver Lining

Tip of the day

Haters of technology and technophobes, listen up! The forecast calls for an even bigger wave of cloud computing to hit, so ditch the negativity and take another gander at why this storage option may be an effective tool for your business. Read more

Read MoreMar 27, 2015

Social Responsibility? Yes, Please!

Tip of the day

Did you know that American consumers are more likely to trust and be loyal to companies that support corporate social responsibility (CSR)? So, if you think CSR is just for big corporations, think again. It's not. And small businesses can not only benefit, but the potential collective impact is enormous. Read more

Read MoreMar 26, 2015

Co-Working Reaps Awards

Tip of the day

While it may be trendy, co-working is not just a trend—it's here to stay. If you currently run your business out of a home office, you know the pros and cons of working independently. Co-working offers not only social and professional engagement, but as this niche market expands and spaces become more specialized, it also provides opportunities for sharing equipment, technology and other nice-to-haves that many small business owners otherwise couldn't afford. Read More

Read MoreMar 25, 2015

5 Ways to Destroy Business Credibility in Less Than One Minute

Tip of the day

Are you guilty of neglecting your website and online presence? According to a web credibility study done by Stanford University, 75% of users admit to making judgments about a company’s credibility based on a website’s design. Moreover, there is mounting evidence that brands with little to no social media marketing are more likely to suffer from poor online conversion. Read More

Read MoreMar 23, 2015

8 Tips to Jumpstart Your Productivity and Boost Your Success

Tip of the day

Do you find yourself constantly overwhelmed and always running to stay in place? You’re not alone. It’s easy to get lost in the maze of urgent deadlines, multiple projects and conflicting priorities. Here are 8 awesome tips that will boost your productivity and change your life. Read more

Read MoreMar 19, 2015

Why Being a VISUAL Storyteller Just Got More Important

Tip of the day

Whether you call it PEOS or PESO, the "P" (which stands for Paid in the Paid, Earned, Owned, and Shared media segmentation) became a lot more interesting on November 14 of last year. On that day, Facebook said that they were going to rework how "promotional posts" (i.e. posts from brand pages) appeared on followers' news feeds, starting January 1. Essentially, Facebook made post boosting (paying for views) almost a requirement in order for brands to see the same results they saw just a month or two before. Read more

Read MoreMar 19, 2015

The Tale of Two Leads — And How They Generated $1M in Closed Business

Tip of the day

One of our clients is a software and services firm that sells to medium-to-large financial service institutions. During the second half of 2014, the client asked us to make contact with approximately 1,600 organizations, to qualify them (from a size, operating environment and needs standpoint), and to identify highly qualified, sales-ready leads for the client’s consultative sales staff to work and to close. Read more

Read MoreMar 18, 2015

Checking Off on Every Global Digital Touch Point

Tip of the day

Marketers now have more than a thousand marketing technologies available for boosting productivity, scaling personalization, and simplifying and accelerating localization. We can now run more campaigns in more markets in more languages in a more personalized manner. The ease with which marketers can orchestrate campaigns – especially for digital brands - across borders has emboldened a new era of international marketing and organizational commitment to launching brands around the world.  It’s truly a brave new digitally connected world. Read More

Read MoreMar 17, 2015

Prospecting: Timing is (Almost) Everything

Tip of the day

Prospecting requires discipline — and time. And since there a million demands on our day, routinely blocking out time each week to make those prospecting calls is a great way to stay organized. Let’s say you make your prospecting calls on Tuesday mornings. Every Tuesday you grab a cup of coffee, fire up your computer and automatically start calling leads. You don’t even have to think about it — your habit keeps you honest. Read more

Read MoreMar 16, 2015

In the Third Age of Email Deliverability, Engagement Matters

Tip of the day

Unlike in the First Age of Email Deliverability when there were no rules or in the Second Age when negative metrics like complaints determined inbox placement, in the Third Age senders’ emails must not only be tolerated by subscribers but occasionally engaged with to avoid being junked or blocked at either the individual or global level. In other words, the need for list quality now keeps list size ambitions in check. Read More

Read MoreMar 13, 2015

Simplicity Matters: Easy Website Fixes

Tip of the day

Crowded places tend to be loud, confusing and chaotic—often causing people to scurry to a more orderly area. Websites are no different. If a site is overflowing with images, colors and giant blocks of unnecessary text, it obstructs customers' views of whatever it is you really want them to pay attention to, and they end up lost in the frenzy. This creates uneasiness and stifles the desire to be there at all. Read more

Read MoreMar 12, 2015

Follow The Crowds: Funding Basics

Tip of the day

Finding funding is a normal part of starting or expanding a business, and back in the day, it was handled primarily through banks. But small business lending from banks came to a screeching halt with the financial crash of 2008. And while there's a bit of a bounce-bank happening, it's nothing compared to the explosive growth of alternative financing opportunities. Read more

Read MoreMar 11, 2015

Move Up With Mobile

Tip of the day

News flash: Mobile is here to stay. Not only is it sticking around, but businesses with optimized mobile sites rank better in Google. If you didn't jump on the bandwagon when it first started heating up, run fast and hop aboard—this is no longer the wave of the future.

Read MoreMar 10, 2015

Workplace Commitment Issues

Tip of the day

People who are excited to come to work and dedicated to their jobs perform better. Makes sense. Employee engagement numbers are actually on the rise—in fact, they are highest since Gallup started tracking in 2000. The bad news? Less than one-third of U.S. workers are "involved in, enthusiastic about and committed to their work and workplace." Read more

Read MoreMar 09, 2015

4 Steps to Help Customers Fall for You

Tip of the day

Long-term customers make a difference. A big difference. There's no way around the fact that investing in your faithful customers pays off. However, getting more traffic in the door (virtual or bricks and mortar) can't take a back seat. Small business owners agree—a recent Manta survey found 50 percent rank 'acquiring new customers' as their top business resolution for 2015. But how can you actually do it? Read more

Read MoreMar 06, 2015

Climb The Social Ladder

Tip of the day

Social media experts often kick around the numbers 80/20 when they talk about the perfect ratio of social media content. It's all about cause and effect, and relates to an economic theory that says 20 percent of the input creates 80 percent of the result. So what does this cause and effect mean for your social campaign? Read more

Read MoreMar 05, 2015

Think Your Business Is Too Small To Hack? Think Again.

Tip of the day

Hackers are targeting the big boys (Target, Sony, Anthem), but small business owners should be cautious, too. You're not too small to be hacked. When it comes to Internet security, customers expect the same protections from you that they expect from the giants. If you have a website, send email to your clients or store customer information online (and you're lax in your security practices), you could be exposing your customers to threats.

Read MoreMar 04, 2015

Breaking Bad Email Habits

Tip of the day

A very long time ago, someone (probably a mother) said life would be boring if everyone were alike. But differences breed misunderstandings, and when it comes to office chatter, that can be problematic. Personal communication habits, or just plain bad habits, can be easily misinterpreted and create animosity. Read more

Read MoreMar 03, 2015

Tidy Your Tech, Too

Tip of the day

When you focus on spring cleaning this year, don't forget the office—particularly the technology you depend on to keep your business up and running. When was the last time you pulled the printer away from the wall or untangled and dusted the power strip under your desk? While you're at it, think about cleaning out INSIDE that valuable technology as well. Read more  

Read MoreMar 02, 2015

Networking is a Four Letter Word

Tip of the day

Many of us hate networking. You may still be reading this only because the headline is a lie. Networking isn't really a four letter word. But 'tool' is—and thinking of networking as a tool can help you be more successful at it. Read more  

Read MoreFeb 27, 2015

Hire From the Deep End of the Pool

Tip of the day

Baby boomers, those born between 1946-1964, make up 32 percent of the U.S. population. If they're working for you, keep them. If they're not, hire them. Read More

Read MoreFeb 26, 2015

Word of Mouth Still Makes Sense

Tip of the day

Some things never change. Case in point: word-of-mouth marketing. There's little question that consumers are more likely to trust a friend's recommendation than something coming directly from a company or any kind of advertising. This kind of influence is difficult—if not impossible—to purchase, but it doesn't have to only come by accident. Read More

Read MoreFeb 25, 2015

Spread Your Social Wings

Tip of the day

Don't put all of your social eggs in one basket. There are endless places to engage with potential customers, so mix it up. Most business owners rely heavily on Facebook—but be on the lookout, algorithms and rules change from time to time. Your audience (and where they spend their time online) should define your focus, but here are some ideas: Read More

Read MoreFeb 24, 2015

The Great Content Caper

Tip of the day

Blogging is a lot of work. You fret about verb tense, stew over syntax and spend time choosing the very best adjectives. A lot goes into your little slice of the Internet, so discovering that the story you caringly created has been scraped, can unhinge the unflappable.

Read MoreFeb 23, 2015

Cash in with Mobile

Tip of the day

Small and medium-sized businesses that adopt advanced mobile technologies to stay connected with customers and streamline operations increase revenues up to two-times faster and add jobs up to eight-times faster than their peers. The Mobile Revolution: How Mobile Technologies Drive A Trillion-Dollar Impact is an extensive study published recently as collaboration between the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) and Qualcomm.  

Read MoreFeb 20, 2015

Mind The Weather

Tip of the day

Depending on which groundhog you follow for weather predictions, winter may or may not be leaving soon. Either way, while we're still in the thick of it, it's good to remember a few basic things to keep your employees, and yourself, safe and sound as Mother Nature works her magic. Consider investing in snow removal, keep your office dry and safe (beware of precarious piles of slush), establish a backup plan for power outages, and, if possible, create a work-from-home plan, so the business can carry on even with critical employees out of the office. Read More

Read MoreFeb 12, 2015

Cleansing a Toxic Work Place

Tip of the day

Don’t let difficult employees or co-workers derail productivity and turn your business into a toxic dump. These tips can help correct problem behaviors. Read More

Read MoreFeb 11, 2015

Tell It Like It Is

Tip of the day

The information game is a two-way street. You need data from customers, such as email addresses and demographic info, and they want your promise to keep everything secure. Know what you need? Start with a privacy policy. This document is essential when you have a website or any form that asks customers to submit sensitive information. Keep it simple and straightforward, and most people will be glad to share.

Read MoreFeb 10, 2015

Communal Learning

Tip of the day

Business owners are constantly looking to evolve, learn and refine skills to make their businesses stronger. And while there are more than a few 'how to' articles out there, they might not hit the mark explaining, clarifying or defining what's needed. Business questions require business answers—and who better to turn to than people who have been there, done that? We've got just the place! Give advice and get advice in the new Manta Community.  

Read MoreFeb 06, 2015

Work Ethic Defined

Tip of the day

Work ethic is important to small business owners. In fact, respondents to a recent Manta survey reported it as the most difficult trait to find in potential hires. But what is this thing everyone seems to be looking for? And, mind you, your version and the next guy's version may be two very different things. Work ethic is a principle, and therefore not black and white. So when you're looking for someone to fit the bill, don't assume they know what you mean when you talk about work ethic. Be specific about your definition and have a discussion to make sure nothing gets lost in translation.

Read MoreFeb 03, 2015

Cash Flow is King

Tip of the day

Your business is off and running, you're starting to make sales and you've got a little cash in the bank—awesome! As everyone knows, that revenue stream is key in keeping your head above water and your business floating along. Keep a close eye on your income by creating a weekly cash flow model that illustrates just where your money is going so you can keep those dollars streaming in and not flowing out.

Read MoreJan 30, 2015

Hire For The Long Haul

Tip of the day

When seasonal business booms, many small companies need to hire temporary workers to handle the welcome influx of new customers. A good point to remember: just because you're hiring interim staff doesn't mean you should skirt the strategy you use when looking for any other employee. Know exactly what you need help with, when you need it, and create a detailed description so the applicant knows just what they're getting into. Do a thorough interview and look for attitude and aptitude, and don't forget background checks. Hiring the right temp might just land you a keeper after the end of your busy season.

Read MoreJan 29, 2015

Defuse Embattled Employees

Tip of the day

Conflict is a reality we often want to overlook, especially in the office. It's wonderful when all is peaceful between your employees, but with different personalities, stress, differences in work style, and so forth, friction sometimes develops. Before it evolves into downright office warfare, take action. Start with a good old-fashioned and even-tempered discussion about the issues to try to gain resolution between the feuding parties. Conflict, if ignored, might swell up into a problem that can't be saved by a simple conversation.

Read MoreJan 28, 2015

Hire Responsibly

Tip of the day

If you're looking to ramp up your team in 2015, keep in mind that not only are you looking at them, but they are looking closely at you, too. Don't lose a great candidate by not building a good rapport and keeping your tone friendly. Also, make efforts to gain a clear picture of the potential candidate by asking detailed questions directly related to their skills and what's needed for the role. And as you drill them for specifics, discuss the company culture and current team dynamics—you wouldn't want to add people who can do the job, but will disrupt your well-oiled machine.  

Read MoreJan 26, 2015

Take Aim at your Marketing

Tip of the day

Marketing copy needs to be several things—targeted, focused and compelling. First, know who you're talking to—do a little research to identify your target audience—don't attempt to market to the masses. Discuss one main point. There's no need to write a never-ending list of everything you offer in one email or flyer. And lastly, use words and phrases that will draw customers in, making sure to have a few sets of eyes look it over for errors.

Read MoreJan 23, 2015

Stop, Look and Listen

Tip of the day

It's the start of a new year and a good time to welcome a little change around the office. Most business owners probably find it hard to breathe some days, let alone actually stop to listen to an employee's ideas, or even take the time to think about their business because they are too busy doing business. So, before the start of a new year turns into mid-summer, take time to explore ideas with employees, partners and yourself. It will not only help earn trust and respect, but you might even come away with a grand idea to improve your current situation.

Read MoreJan 22, 2015

Don't Tweet Out of Turn

Tip of the day

Congratulations! Your company has accumulated a nice little following on Twitter, now you need to keep them around. While the list of ways to offend people is seemingly endless, a good gauge for your Twitter account is to keep it clean—if you wouldn't share it with your grandmother, don't tweet it. Keep politics and religion out of it no matter how hard it is, and never, ever argue publicly with a follower—handle issues or concerns offline.  

Read MoreJan 21, 2015

Fewer words, More Action!

Tip of the day

Time is one of those precious commodities that we all covet. And for many customers, reading lengthy how-to sections or wordy reviews to see if you're what they're looking for can be too cumbersome to bear. So, don't lose them with copy overload, give them video! Try making how-to videos showcasing DIY tips and tricks or ask customers to send in testimonials in return for a small incentive. And don't get caught up in perfection while getting ready for your close-up—focus on concise messages and a consistent format.  

Read MoreJan 20, 2015

Keep Your Assets Seperate

Tip of the day

Getting sued is for the birds, and it can leave a nasty stain on your company. So, just like separating your colors and your whites, it's important to separate your cash. If something were to go wrong, you don't want your personal accounts mixed in with those for your business. Keep things nice and tidy, and consider making your business a limited liability company (LLC). Perfect for one-owner businesses, LLCs help prevent anything from tarnishing your finances.

Read MoreJan 16, 2015

Know The New Lingo

Tip of the day

Gone are the days of simply cash, check or charge. Like everything, the way we pay for things has evolved, and there's a long list of vocabulary words you should be familiar with to prepare for the wave of the future. Learn the lingo of all non-cash payments, so you're not caught off guard when someone asks to pay in Bitcoin or a chip card.  

Read MoreJan 15, 2015

Social Faux Pas

Tip of the day

Resumes are rolling in and you've started to narrow them down based on experience and education. Now here's the question of the millennium: Should you peruse the Internet for a candidate's social media presence? It may be tempting, but be mindful. You have to ensure a fair process—applied consistently—that doesn't discriminate. And, just because someone posts cat memes all over Facebook, it doesn't necessarily make them a bad choice. Get the whole picture, and don't base your decision on what they do—or don't do—on social media.

Read MoreJan 14, 2015

Open Up To Communication

Tip of the day

Is the rumor mill the main method of business information disseminating around your office or do you stop the unruly spread and make sure employees get the scoop straight from you? Communication is integral for developing a healthy culture in any office, and experts agree that honing and maintaining those conversation skills—and putting them into practice with clear and consistent messages—can improve morale and productivity. Although you may not be able to (and probably shouldn't) share every detail, a little bit of open and honest communication, goes a long way.  

Read MoreJan 13, 2015

Cross-Examine Your Options

Tip of the day

Although they're often the punchline of jokes, having the right attorney is a reassuring safety net for any small business owner. As you head out in search of some professional legal advice, heed ours first (pro bono, of course). Ask questions. Do your due diligence, and don't hire the first person in a gray suit. Fully evaluate and understand your business's needs and budget, and their specialty (no jack-of-all-trades lawyers) and billing practices. Once you have a little knowledge in your pocket, you'll be prepared to make a commitment and won't ever have to scramble when legal questions or issues crop up.

Read MoreJan 12, 2015

Small Perks: big Time Hiring

Tip of the day

So your company is growing and things are really taking off, now it's time to hire some staff. But how can you get quality team members if you can't offer the big bucks? As a small business, you have the ability to work some magic and provide benefits that matter more than dollars. Consider offering telecommuting or flexible schedules. This could draw in strong applicants that find these small, but meaningful, perks more valuable than more zeros in their check.

Read MoreJan 09, 2015

Embrace Your Data

Tip of the day

If you have a website, you've got data. Why is this important? You now have an effective source of information to tell you when, where and why people visit—and leave—your website. And don't fret if you're not some hotshot analyst (or even a fan of numbers),there are multiple online tools to help you gather and break it down. Once you've got the info, digging in will shed light on what works and what doesn't, and deliver opportunities to tweak where it matters most.

Read MoreJan 08, 2015

Reconcile Your Accounting

Tip of the day

There are heaps of accounting software options for small business owners—some coming with the promise of being easy to use and offering flashy bells and whistles, with price tags ranging from free to hefty. But, no matter which category your software fits, one thing to keep in mind is the importance of truly comprehending your business financials. According to experts, business owners can’t depend on software alone to track the bottom line, there needs to be a solid understanding of small business accounting before numbers are plugged into a computer.

Read MoreJan 07, 2015

Big Ideas, Small Spaces

Tip of the day

New businesses require plenty to get started, but a swanky office probably shouldn't be at the top of the list. Some of the biggest and brightest started in dorm rooms, basements and garages. Keep the dreams, ideas and marketing big, and let your kitchen table, extra bedroom or a converted closet act as an office. Get your ideas down and some clients rolling in before you go scouting office locations.

Read MoreJan 06, 2015

Social Media for the Small Business

Tip of the day

Small businesses have to be extremely careful with their time and budget. Most understand that social media is an extremely important part of modern business practices, but they either do not have the time, money, or experience to do it right. Social media is not just for big businesses with huge budgets and a dedicated staff. It can be the key to success for smaller businesses, too. It is the perfect way to engage with potential clients, gain more online presence, and set yourself apart from the competition. You actually might even have an advantage as a small business.

Read MoreJan 05, 2015

Is Your Social Media Strategy a Supreme Turn off?

Tip of the day

Do you enjoy being barked at by glinty-eyed sales associates? Neither do your customers. One-way promotional messages have taken a hard fall thanks to the interactive nature of the internet. This is especially prevalent with social media, which has made it possible for consumers to rapidly connect online and speak directly to businesses.

Read MoreJan 02, 2015

SEO for Ecommerce Websites

Tip of the day

Today, it seems impossible to imagine a world without the Internet and the everyday conveniences it provides. Ecommerce, for example, is one of those things that has changed the way we think about purchasing everything from personal electronics and fashions to major additions to a person’s home. Simply put, it has revolutionized the shopping industry ever since it started, but despite its long history, not everyone understands the intricacies of marketing this kind of website.

Read MoreJan 01, 2015

10 Tips For Writing High Quality, Engaging Website Copy

Tip of the day

You’ve purchased your domain and written up product descriptions, an about page, and, of course, the homepage, but it seems that your website is hardly getting any views. You might even notice that you get a few visitors, but they seem to leave your site quickly without looking around. What’s the big deal? Obviously they can’t smell your breath or something like that, and, all-in-all, your website looks pretty awesome, so what could it be?

Read MoreDec 30, 2014

The Evolution of SEO

Tip of the day

Much hubbub has been made about search engine optimization being in its death throes and its practices amounting to nothing more than chicanery. Both assertions are based on outmoded conceptions of SEO, though, and a lot of things have changed – evolved – in the last few years.

Read MoreDec 29, 2014

Google Algorithm Update Promotes Mobile-Friendly Searching

Tip of the day

While you were busy shopping for your Thanksgiving turkey Google quietly implemented another algorithm that affects websites that haven’t converted to a responsive (mobile-friendly) platform. If your website is not optimized for mobile traffic, you need to make it a priority. Google anticipates that 2015 will be the biggest year yet in mobile device searching while desktop searching will continue to decline

Read MoreDec 23, 2014

Let Your Traffic Heat Up

Tip of the day

Having a website will not instantly boost traffic, and increased traffic will not turn your small business into an empire overnight. Websites can be finicky and they need TLC, along with some good old search engine optimization (SEO). Keep in mind that traffic does not equal sales, so don’t game the system and overload your site with repetitive keywords. Concentrate on the right keywords sprinkled sparingly, create engaging and informative content, and know that SEO needs to simmer a little before it’s at its best.

Read MoreDec 19, 2014

Resistance: A Stranglehold on Business

Tip of the day

The ability to adapt and change is essential to business success. But not everyone embraces change so easily. These tips can help you identify and eliminate resistance in the workplace. Anyone familiar with the Star Trek universe knows that resistance is futile. Unfortunately, real-life resistance to change is alive and well and often firmly entrenched in many small businesses. Common signs include ideas that never reach fruition and initiatives that go nowhere.

Read MoreDec 17, 2014

Chart Your Course

Tip of the day

Often overlooked or thought to be unimportant, a mission statement answers that question that even stumped ancient philosophers: Why do we exist? Creating a mission statement is your declaration to the world that explains the fundamental purpose and goals of your business. Keep it short and sweet (no one needs to write a novel, a few sentences will suffice). Done well, this document can effectively guide you through the ups and downs of business.

Read MoreDec 16, 2014

Rationing Technology

Tip of the day

You do not need every cloud-based, super-technologically advanced gadget, system or software that you read about. We repeat—you do not need them all. Some simply won't work for your business, some will be too much, some too little, and some may not work for anyone, anywhere. Before you invest in technology solutions, do your due diligence and check the pros and cons, create a budget (free offers expire—be warned), and once you decide, reevaluate periodically to make sure it's still what your business needs and the benefits justify the cost.

Read MoreDec 15, 2014

Avoid the Technology Trap

Tip of the day

We are surrounded by apps—little packages of compact and tempting technology—most touting promises of efficiency. They can be a huge benefit to small business owners, but before you dive in and start downloading every app you read about, consider the big picture. Think about the needs of your business, how the apps can meet those needs and how they will work in practice. (For example, does it really save time or streamline tasks?) So, do the research and always test before you invest (time or money) in anything long-term.

Read MoreDec 12, 2014

Stamp of Appreciation

Tip of the day

New customers are good, but repeat customers are great. They choose to come back to you for any number of reasons. Maybe it's your amazing product, great service, or your winning smile and stellar wit? Whatever it is, cement the relationship by offering an easy-to-use loyalty program (online or a simple stamp card) to show customers they're business is valued.

Read MoreDec 11, 2014

Top 10 Mistakes Businesses Make on Social Media

Tip of the day

With so many changes & sites coming at you, it’s no wonder many small biz owners feel like they’re in a sinking ship when it comes to figuring it all out. Add to that all the marketers pushing training products, live events & webinars and you’ve got a perfect recipe for confusion. It’s no wonder so many businesses just give up on social media before they even get started. Check out the Top 10 Mistakes here.

Read MoreDec 10, 2014

Set Yourself Apart

Tip of the day

Often businesses offer deals, coupons and free this-and-that—but how many free coffee mugs or pens with a business's name on it can a person use? And if the coupon isn't for a desired product or service, offering a discount doesn't really matter. Customers look to fulfill specific needs, so turn to them to shed some light on where to focus. Once you've determined what they're looking for, offer unique solutions (with continued great service, of course!) that set your business apart from your competition.

Read MoreDec 09, 2014

Fresh is Best

Tip of the day

Most everyone has a website these days, but just what is it that makes one better than the other? Why do some get massive traffic, while others are overlooked? Several factors play a part—with content in a leading role. Often, people create a website, add images and copy, and never return. Like anything else, without care and upkeep, a potentially thriving site can quickly turn into a barren no-man's land. So, if your site is a sad state of static pixels, pump some life into it with simple changes, such as adding informative content that speaks to your particular audience.  

Read MoreDec 08, 2014

More Money, Fewer Problems?

Tip of the day

Long before recent talks about increasing minimum wage, Henry Ford doubled the daily salary of his assembly line workers. This extraordinary move created happy employees, lowered turnover, and saved rehiring and retraining costs. Would we see the same result with a significant increase in the federal minimum wage today? While the debate continues, stay proactive by finding the right balance for your company regarding fair pay and by clearly communicating expectations during the hiring process

Read MoreDec 05, 2014

Good Service Wins The Game

Tip of the day

Ever feel like an underdog in a world of behemoth box stores, corporate shenanigans and Trump-sized bank accounts? Don't. You've got a leg up because shopping local (whether it's for handmade mittens or hiring a plumber) is where it's at. By offering personalized service, flexible payment plans and customer service that goes above and beyond, you can give every competitor—regardless of size—a run for their money.

Read MoreDec 04, 2014

Nix The Cookie Cutter

Tip of the day

Sure, you'd love to be the business to end all businesses. The reality is, however, you can't. Nor should you try. Like your mom said, be your own person and don't follow the crowd. Find or create a niche market by identifying your target audience and work to fill a gap in the marketplace that other brands are missing. If you're unsure where to start, ask around to see what people are looking for and evaluate how you can make an impact!

Read MoreDec 03, 2014

A Path Worth Taking

Tip of the day

People often take pointless journeys across the Web, leaping haphazardly from site to site, never landing on solid Internet ground. Why? Because nothing grabbed their attention. In order to have a successful website, there needs to be a valuable call-to-action to make visitors stick around. Give them something they need or want (like a trial offer, free gift with purchase or the ability to book an appointment), and you just might find that people settle in and stay a while.

Read MoreDec 02, 2014

Lend An Ear To Social

Tip of the day

Social media is all around us, and if you're using it for business (and you should be), there is one simple word to remember: listen. Pay attention to what customers are saying about you and your company. Social channels allow you to gain insight into what people really want and expect from your business. It's the place to curb your sales pitch and exercise your rapport-building skills, so you can eventually take your interactions out of the virtual world and into the real one.

Read MoreDec 01, 2014

Digital Marketing IS Marketing

Tip of the day

There was a time when companies would specifically hire a digital marketing specialist to handle those aspects of a marketing plan – and rarely would that person have much to do with the rest of the marketing team. Things have changed a lot in the last few years, though, because digital marketing is no longer a mysterious, unrelated strategy. Instead, all aspects of modern marketing are interwoven into the same digital world, and there is simply no reason to try and keep them apart

Read MoreNov 26, 2014

Incentives Go The Distance

Tip of the day

Bulk up your email list with the help of an incentive! Work the options that customers want the most, like a coupon or a simple discount they can use on their next purchase. Pass out a promo code or a printable coupon to provide them what they want. Give your customers a reason to sign up for your stellar emails and they'll be reading every note you send out!

Read MoreNov 24, 2014

Follow The Trail

Tip of the day

Advertising dollars don't go too far, so try to spend wisely. There are legions of options out there (many free) to track your campaigns online and offline that can help you learn about how well each of your marketing ideas is working. But, as you're testing and tracking, be sure to give each initiative enough time to perform—ads don't work overnight, so keep your patience virtue handy.

Read MoreNov 20, 2014

Make Them Thankful

Tip of the day

Customer service is really pretty simple, right? Treat people the way you want to be treated. It's the golden rule in life and business. If you go over and beyond to assist a customer with an issue, or give them a little something extra when they aren't expecting it, you're more likely to make an impression that keeps them coming back for more.

Read MoreNov 17, 2014

Give Your Logo a Lift

Tip of the day

You wouldn't go to a chiropractor for cosmetic surgery, so why would you let a non-designer create your company's logo? First impressions go a long way! Make sure your company is represented by a logo that's worthy of you and your business. It's around when you're not, so make it matter. Use local graphic designers who know their stuff--it's an investment in the face of your business and well worth every dime.

Read MoreNov 13, 2014

Don’t Write Off Blogging

Tip of the day

We've noticed that the word blogging often causes people to shudder and scamper off. The fear of business writing and publishing content seems to make many shy away from keyboards, pretending that blogging doesn't matter. But, on the contrary! Blogging provides a litany of opportunities to communicate, engage and build your customer base. So, take a deep breath, and just start.  

Read MoreNov 11, 2014

Grade-A Help

Tip of the day

It's that time of year when a lot of businesses need to hire seasonal help to get the job done. But beware—don't choose quantity over quality. Take the time to find qualified and motivated candidates and be sure to get them fully up-to-speed before handing over the reins. Otherwise, your well-intentioned hiring to help customers could backfire when the service doesn't cut it.

Read MoreNov 06, 2014

Wrap Up Holiday Sales

Tip of the day

It's not too late to jump on the Small Business Saturday bandwagon. In fact, you should take a running leap and make it your goal this holiday season. It's the small business owner's annual shot at making a difference for their bottom line (extend hours for more sales), their reputation (give a percentage of sales to charity) and their community (band together with other small businesses). So, deck the halls, market mercilessly and get ready for the biggest day in small business!

Read MoreNov 04, 2014

Come Down With a Plan

Tip of the day

There's always one person in the office who comes into work no matter what sort of wicked infection is oozing through their system. Cold and flu season has commenced, and it's a good idea to remind employees to keep their personal areas sanitized and offer up free flu shots to those who want them. And most importantly, if someone is sick, have them stay home!  

Read MoreOct 27, 2014

Social Awareness

Tip of the day

You would be hard-pressed to find anyone without some sort of online presence these days, but unfortunately, many people use social media to rant, vent and release whatever ails them. Make sure your employees aren’t fussing about or negatively portraying your brand on their personal accounts. Take care of your company’s reputation by creating a social media policy that sets boundaries for employees.

Read MoreOct 24, 2014

Pick and Choose

Tip of the day

It's important to keep tabs on your niche market and where they spend time online. Learn which social channels they prefer and market to them on those sites. Don't waste time filtering photos and posting to Instagram if research shows your audience is primarily roaming around on Tumblr. Focus your social media efforts on the places your customers prefer, and avoid spreading yourself too thin across the vast social media terrain.

Read MoreOct 23, 2014

It's All In The Name

Tip of the day

Naming your business is much like naming your child. There should be as much thought put into the moniker that you'll eventually register and forever be known as, as you would your precious offspring. This is a commitment--make it count. Start by making a list, and remember that while being unique in business is great, your name shouldn't be complicated, already trademarked, or easily confused with another company.

Read MoreOct 22, 2014

Crow About It

Tip of the day

Your new business or new location is almost ready to open its doors, but how grand should you make your debut? Should it be an all-out bash or a low-key event? Either way, it's important to have a little buzz around what's to come so people know you're there, doing what you do. If you can't bring in an A, B or C-list celebrity for the ribbon-cutting ceremony, consider a giveaway, or offer wine and hors d'oeuvres at an open house. Whatever you decide, make sure invites go out to your target audience, suppliers and the media, so they can spread the word.

Read MoreOct 21, 2014

Tis The Season To Be Giving

Tip of the day

Summer took the quick road out of town and we are mere weeks from the start of the holiday season. That’s the time, according to a recent Manta poll, that small business owners dig deep and give big. More than 70 percent of respondents said that they donated to some sort of charity last year. Charitable businesses can make the grade with employees and customers—it can help build employee morale and it’s the perfect way to show you’re invested in your community. Start by researching charities (so you understand where the money goes and to make sure you can receive a tax deduction), and keep records of donations. You can give away a portion of holiday sales, partner with a favorite charity or start a food drive for your neighborhood—the possibilities are endless

Read MoreOct 20, 2014

Warm Up To Mobile

Tip of the day

Society is often slow to warm to new ideas. (Remember when people didn’t think the Internet would catch on?) Some business owners resist mobile payments despite the fact that customers want the ease of doing everything through their smartphones. So, if you’re on the fence, take some time to research options and learn about the benefits of investing in a roaming point of sale (POS) to capture every bit of sweet revenue.

Read MoreOct 17, 2014

Go Big or Go Home

Tip of the day

Google, SEO, page rank...it seems it's all we ever think about in terms of marketing. Here's a thought--consider moving your ad offline to a billboard! Take your message outside to get a little fresh air. Let the masses gain some new perspective about you from a different vantage point. You never know who you might convert with a giant sign in the sky.  

Read MoreOct 16, 2014

Big League Fraud

Tip of the day

If you accept credit cards, you've agreed to the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) and, sadly, opened yourself up to the world of cyber crime. And while many think it's just the big boys that get hit, think again. Smaller shops are targeted regularly because they can often be hacked into more easily. So, if you're not a pro, hire someone who is to keep you and your business safe from faceless villains, and avoid debilitating fees and fines—not to mention the potential reputation damage—that come with a security breach.

Read MoreOct 15, 2014

Earn Some Interest

Tip of the day

Outbound marketing—print ads, cold calling, flashy TV spots—are often what people think of when considering advertising. But remember that inbound marketing is important to have, too. Inbound marketing helps build trust, creates interest and offers some sought-after value through helpful content on social channels and blogs. It’s your chance to build a relationship without selling a thing.

Read MoreOct 14, 2014

Time For a Change?

Tip of the day

Sometimes we rush in, sometimes our idea just wasn't as amazing as we originally thought and sometimes we think it's too expensive to change. But rebranding doesn't need to break the bank, and it's something that can generate new interest in your business and allow you to compete where you couldn't before. If you go this route, share your new look on social and let your followers help spread the news.

Read MoreOct 13, 2014

A Recipe for Ranking

Tip of the day

The first rule of search engine optimization (SEO) is not to overdo it. Stuffing your site with the same keywords again and again is a surefire way to lose the interest of not only potential customers, but search engines, too. Gone are the days when keyword density ruled the land and content was an afterthought. Fill your site with quality content and sprinkle with relevant keywords (and their synonyms). Remember, the key is balance.

Read MoreOct 11, 2014

Find Out What’s Trending With Your Customers

Tip of the day

Improve sales by knowing what your market wants. Go where customers are already buying and see what’s selling well. Use tools like Google Trends and Trendspottr to discover popular trends and  interests. Use the information you find to create a product, service and experience that you know your target audience wants.

Read MoreOct 09, 2014

Tasty Copy: Every Word Matters

Tip of the day

Would you rather order chicken soup or all-natural chicken soup with a delicately seasoned broth, homemade egg noodles and organic vegetables? Whether you're creating content for a restaurant menu or for an online store, it can mean the difference between making a sale and losing a potential long-term customer. Write copy that inspires, using descriptive words that capture the essence of a dish or the beauty of a floral arrangement.

Read MoreOct 08, 2014

Cut a Little, Save a Lot

Tip of the day

No money, no problem? Not exactly. We know it can be challenging, but when it comes to your business the goal should be to stay ahead of the cash flow situation. Open a savings account to be prepared for business woes. Deposit things like tax returns or reduce a bill and stock away what you save from eliminating the bottled water, or cable in your office. Any extra income can create a nice soft spot to break a financial fall.

Read MoreOct 07, 2014

Get Personal

Tip of the day

What's your business's personality? First impressions matter, so make sure you express your style and individuality clearly and consistently. Don't be a little bit country on your website, then a little bit rock-n-roll on social media. Show customers who you are, what you represent and sprinkle it throughout everything you do.

Read MoreOct 06, 2014

Dare To Be Different

Tip of the day

So there’s this little company called Apple. They didn’t get to be who they are by copying from the next guy and playing it safe. Steve Jobs pushed the limits, dared to be different, and it paid off exponentially. Do the same. Don’t be a lemming and follow in the same footsteps as the guy next to you. Stretch the boundaries, trust your gut, bend the norm, and set yourself apart from the rest.

Read MoreOct 05, 2014

Give a Hoot About Social

Tip of the day

Here we go again, we’re about to tell you that having a strong presence on social channels is important and that it’s key to getting your business out there. And we expect to hear from you that you simply don’t have the time. Unfortunately, social media is no longer a nice-to-have, it’s a must to grow your business. Build in the time, even if it’s just 30 minutes every day, and consider using a tool like Hootsuite to post to multiple social sites in one fell swoop.

Read MoreOct 04, 2014

Degrees of Hiring

Tip of the day

Gilded diplomas look great on an office wall, but are they necessary? According to a Manta poll, higher education may not be all it’s cracked up to be when businesses owners are seeking to add staff. Don’t always look for a gaggle of letters after a person’s name to fill a spot. Experience, personality, potential and drive can often trump a beefy resume when hoping to hire a hardworking and effective employee.

Read MoreOct 03, 2014


Tip of the day

News flash: Google is not the only search engine in town. By advertising your business across multiple search engines, you have the opportunity to reach a much broader audience. Think of all those new eyes on your business! And with the right keywords and search terms, your reach will also extend over sites like Facebook, Amazon and more.

Read MoreOct 02, 2014

Keep Customers on Cloud Nine

Tip of the day

All call centers are not created equal. Whether your team is based on support, sales, or something else, you can cut costs and be more efficient with a cloud-based system. Keeping customers happy should be rule number one for all business owners, because poor customer service or poor support won't bode well for anyone. Cloud-based support systems have all the tools you need to answer and route calls, create queues, and it even runs reports to see how your team is performing. How's that for a silver lining?  

Read MoreOct 01, 2014

Words of Honor

Tip of the day

They say there are no guarantees in life, but what's stopping you from offering one for your customers? People far and wide have one thing in common, they like guarantees. Whether it's for an auto tune-up or fishing pole, everyone wants to feel protected before investing hard-earned dollars. So, go ahead and make your promise—it will keep them coming back and new customers coming in.

Read MoreSep 30, 2014

Honesty is the Best Policy

Tip of the day

People often cringe when they hear you're in marketing. Why? Well, if we're honest (and we are) many companies airbrush their way to making millions of dollars, using smoke and mirrors to sell something they can't back up. Good marketing starts with creating relationships, being as transparent as possible, and telling the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.

Read MoreSep 25, 2014

Social Shout-outs!

Tip of the day

Even if budgets for bonuses are tight, you can curb employee grumbling with a little recognition. Keeping them feeling good about what they bring to the table can be a huge motivator and create loyalty. Make a fuss over standout employees on social media to give them time in the spotlight. Spread the word that you have a great team and (more importantly) that you appreciate them.

Read MoreSep 24, 2014

Know The Forecast Before You Dive In

Tip of the day

Clouds are no longer just pesky collections of water droplets that ruin picnics. They can help you run your business more efficiently, and keep more cash in the bank. But be smart before you start putting everything you have onto a third-party cloud--you don't want it floating off into the atmosphere, so read the fine print and avoid your parade being rained on.  

Read MoreSep 22, 2014

Tune Into Your Advertising

Tip of the day

Turn up the volume on your advertising strategy with the medium that started it all. From voiceover talent to creative scripts and sound bites, radio advertising can take your marketing hopes and dreams to new heights. Even if you're on a budget, there are plenty of options. And if you're a first-timer, negotiate to take advantage of new advertiser discounts.

Read MoreSep 21, 2014

Pin Down Your Marketing

Tip of the day

How well do you know your audience? When it comes to marketing, information is invaluable! For example, if your customers are mostly female, secure a prime marketing position on Pinterest. And, if you've got goods to show off, you're in the right place. Pinterest is the one of the most popular social channels to sell your wares and share your services.

Read MoreSep 18, 2014

Mind Your Social Ps and Qs

Tip of the day

Social media is important for businesses, but we've all seen the business owner who uses a not-so-savory photo to represent their company. Steer clear of images that don't reflect your professional side in the sea of social media. The reach of social channels is immense, so leave the beach shots with your spouse (lovely as they are) for your family and friends.

Read MoreSep 17, 2014

Click Cautiously

Tip of the day

Even if your IT security rivals that of Fort Knox, it's often human error that poses the biggest threat. Say you get an email from your delivery company warning that your package can't be delivered; before you panic and click on the link in the email, check the email address and be sure it matches the sender. Hackers are taking more time creating believable emails that carry wicked viruses, so outsmart them by knowing the tricks of the bad guys' trade.

Read MoreSep 16, 2014

Small and Speedy

Tip of the day

The tortoise may have outsmarted the hare in the race, but don’t be fooled into thinking that all slow movers win the prize. If images on your website load at the speed of a snail you’re likely to lose customers. Online images don’t need to be the size of a football field, so contain your need for gigantic piles of pixels. Reduce images to the smallest possible size that still maintains the quality and keep your customers browsing.  

Read MoreSep 15, 2014

Enterprises to Windows Phone Drop dead

Tip of the day

Microsoft may dominate enterprise software, but that's far from the case with Windows Phone. A new report finds that Windows Phone accounts for a mere 1% of mobile market share among enterprises. How much longer can Microsoft prop up the struggling operating system?

Read MoreAug 15, 2014

Triple check your words

Tip of the day

We've all experienced auto-correct gone bad. Mortifying right? So never ever trust your marketing copy to spell-check. Writing counts in every email blog post and social status update. Make sure to proofread read it aloud and proofread again. Work to catch those embarrassing snafus that would make any customer blush. .p123{color: rgb(85, 85, 85); font-family: arial, helvetica, clean, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 18px;}

Read MoreAug 05, 2014

Sink or swim with social media marketing

Tip of the day

Get your social media marketing plan shipshape to sail your company into activity streams everywhere. Use the Facebook Timeline tool to tell your company's story, and allow testimonials to be posted to your page. This can put you on the map, show followers what's new, and it'll be smooth waters ahead for your business.

Read MoreJul 28, 2014

6 Ways to Rank Higher on YouTube

Tip of the day

It’s no secret that video is becoming more important to any company’s marketing strategy, and for many hosting these videos on YouTube makes the most sense. You can still feature your videos on your website, but it helps to also have a YouTube account and page. By letting your videos live on YouTube, people can subscribe as well as find your videos while browsing around that search engine. 

Read MoreJun 23, 2014

Display Advertising that Actually Works

Tip of the day

Take a moment and think about how much money your company spends on advertising. Do you have a good estimate, or even an exact number, in mind? Now think about how much of that money is going toward online ads. How many people do you think see that advertisement on a random website? The number is pretty high, actually. In 2012, over 5.3 trillion ads were served to Internet users in the United States.

Read MoreJun 18, 2014

How Do I Improve My Page Load Speed?

Tip of the day

Small and Speedy The tortoise may have outsmarted the hare in the race, but don’t be fooled into thinking that all slow movers win the prize. If images on your website load at the speed of a snail you’re likely to lose customers. Online images don’t need to be the size of a football field, so contain your need for gigantic piles of pixels. Reduce images to the smallest possible size that still maintains the quality and keep your customers browsing.

Read MoreJun 11, 2014

MASTERING ONLINE TIME – Fishing for Customers

Tip of the day

Before picking a date for a promotion or event it’s important to understand how the various online resources at your disposal can work for your business.  Since you want to attract and catch the attention of new customers, it’s important to understand how they find information and — more importantly — how to ensure information shows up when and where they are looking.  

Read MoreJun 02, 2014

5 Ways To Use Facebook Timeline To Promote Your Small Business

Tip of the day

Get your social media marketing plan shipshape to sail your company into activity streams everywhere. Use the Facebook Timeline tool to tell your company's story, and allow testimonials to be posted to your page. This can put you on the map, show followers what's new, and it'll be smooth waters ahead for your business.

Read MoreMay 15, 2014

Make your mark with your brand

Tip of the day

Don't be another beige house in the subdivision. Be unique! Create a brand that separates you from the rest! Let customers know who you are and what you offer by creating an image that lives in customers' hearts and minds. Your brand should convey the values, character, and essence of your company. Share who you are on your website, social channels, and face-to-face. Become the neighborhood standout ...

Read MoreApr 11, 2014

Corral more business

Tip of the day

A surefire way to round up new customers is to herd in referrals. Provide your customers with something tangible they can take back to the ranch and share with their network. Give them shareable content, like downloadable e-books or webinars. It's also important to shoot straight, and ask current clients to write recommendations. Don't be shy - cowboy up, and you can bet the ...

Read MoreJan 24, 2014

Getting Your Business Off To The Right Start In 2014

Tip of the day

Managing business finances can be as perplexing as flying reindeer. Whether you take an online course or classes at a community college, make sure you learn the terms, how to do the books, and know what you're getting yourself into. You don't need a MBA or red shiny nose to guide your business to the top!

Read MoreJan 08, 2014

Go postal and stand out

Tip of the day

Don't get deleted, be the one they remember! Try a classic method and mail (yes, with stamps!) postcards for your next big event. Stand apart from your competition and incorporate graphics, top-notch copy, even your own handwriting, to send a personal message. With no need for envelopes, this cheap alternative is a tangible bit of personal branding that gets the message out and doesn't require ...

Read MoreDec 22, 2013

Read your insurance policy

Tip of the day

Most people would rather eat a fruitcake than deep dive into liability insurance. But understanding what you need - and the coverage you have - is key to keeping you in business. So take the time to read through your existing policy, and talk to your agent. You never know when you’ll have to deal with accident-prone elves, or injuries sustained by fat guys who get stuck in your chimney.

Read MoreDec 20, 2013

Small Business Money Saving Tips

Tip of the day

Too much clutter in your home can land you on Hoarders, but clutter in your business can cost you money. Sell, trade-in, or dispose of outdated items, and stop paying for memberships or subscriptions that go unused. Clear your space and watch your wallet fatten like a Christmas goose.

Read MoreDec 18, 2013

Is your website naughty or nice?

Tip of the day

Don’t be a Grinch, get #mobile and let your #customers feast on all you have to offer. Get in the spirit and make sure your website plays #nice with mobile devices. Use a #responsive website design that adapts to any device, create a separate mobile site, or contact Dreams Animation to optimize your current site. Just don’t dismiss the importance of mobile, or lumps of coal are in your #future.

Read MoreDec 13, 2013

Don't sell yourself short

Tip of the day

Don't sell yourself short and go rolling back your prices. You have quality that big box stores don't. And even better, you treat customers really, really well. That smiley face logo will only get certain stores so far. You're the real deal. Stand out by offering better, and different, and charge for it. This will leave real smiles on the faces of your delighted customers.

Read MoreNov 14, 2013

Networking the smart phone way

Tip of the day

Networking events are often like maneuvering a sailboat in a hurricane. Get your sea legs, and don't let your next one end with whirlwind introductions and swirls of business cards from faces you don't recall. Use your smartphone to instantly connect, and catch leads with a quick, creative story about your company before you release them back into the choppy water.

Read MoreNov 05, 2013

Keep It Old School

Tip of the day

What's flat, inexpensive and lets you brand yourself all over? Ding! Ding! Yes, a business card! A lot of marketing techniques have slipped into oblivion since we've become a digital society, but not the trusty business card. These little guys are dependable and resilient and should not be overlooked.

Read MoreOct 25, 2013

Want to land good employees? Be unique.

Tip of the day

The big dogs may be able to offer higher salaries and more benefits, but you can stand out too. Let your employees know that you appreciate them. Offer flexible work schedules, the ability to work remotely, monthly happy hours or, if you're so inclined, pets in the office. 

Read MoreOct 18, 2013

Let Your Impeccable Reputation Precede You

Tip of the day

You're awesome at what you do, right? Make sure there is plenty of online reading material about how well you do what you do. Consumers are like military strategists doing recon work - they research companies before they spend their money. Incentivize current clients to write reviews of your company...

Read MoreOct 15, 2013

Dreams Animation

Tip of the day

Dreams Animation is a Full Service Web Development, E-commerce Website Design and Online Marketing Company in New York City.  Dreams Animation was established with a vision to provide state-of-the-art design, printing, and web and business solutions around the globe. Our Vision is to provide business solutions...

Read MoreOct 10, 2013

Nurture Your Business - Add Print Marketing

Tip of the day

It takes a village to market and develop a strong business.  Online presence is needed to market yourself, but don't forget to use those old standbys: signs, business cards, brochures, stickers, and letters and envelopes.  These messages allow you to reach out and touch your target audience, and help raise a thriving business from infancy and beyond.

Read MoreOct 07, 2013

7 Ideas Of Bringing Traffic To A Website And Keeping It There

Tip of the day

Is you Website's design Clean and Sticky? Do visitors stay on your website, or just stop for a short layover while they make their way to another? Cluttered home pages and a lack of direction often cause visitors to flee.

Read MoreSep 24, 2013

One Easy Tip for a More Effective Email

Tip of the day

Mobile, mobile, mobile - it's all we hear anymore.  And with good reason.  It can make or break your email click-through rate.  According to a survey, 49% of consumers say they are likely to click on links in emails they open on their smartphones*.  They'll even revisit the same emails...

Read MoreSep 18, 2013

Turn Tweets Into Cash

Tip of the day

Stop cold calling and start tweeting.  Yes, tweeting.  If you can type 140 characters, you can gain connections, followers and potential clients.  Start by building a private list of your top prospects on Twitter.  Follow them and find the right opportunity to comment.  Your comments can turn into conversations and a relationship is started.

Read MoreSep 16, 2013

7 Reasons Why Testimonials Are a Powerful Marketing Tool

Tip of the day

Read reviews?  Yep, we all do!  If a movie gets one star, or a thumbs down, you're probably less likely to go see it.  It's no different for businesses.  Consumers do their online research and actively look for reviews of companies.  So, be proactive and give them what they want.  Ask your current clients ...

Read MoreSep 13, 2013

Heat Up Summer Productivity

Tip of the day

Work with the season to keep you and your team engaged and productive. Try adopting summer hours to build in a little down time and incentive to stay on track. Take meetings out of the conference room and go outdoors. Or boost inspiration by holding an off-site brainstorm.

Read MoreAug 12, 2013

Use Trust to Improve SEO

Tip of the day

Building trust has never been easy, neither in the past nor at present. This is especially true in the ever-changing world of information technology where there is such a deluge of information that we have almost no idea as to which one to trust and which to discard.

Read MoreJun 13, 2013

5 Ways to Stay Ahead of the Competition

Tip of the day

For most small business owners, the competition is both intimidating and inspiring. On one level, you want to be ahead of the pack and you can't stand to see others get ahead. But on the other hand, we like to follow our competitors to see what they're up to, and we may even be able to muster a little admiration for them from time to time...

Read MoreJan 31, 2012