The Ins and Outs of Customer Acquisition for Small Businesses

July 7, 2020

By Jessica Bennett, Salesforce –

Salesforce logoWhy are small businesses so good at what they do? It’s because they are amazing at customer retention. Small businesses know their customers by name. They greet them and are able to personalize their orders. However, small businesses cannot be dependent simply on returning customers. They need to grow their customer base continuously — yet they might not completely understand how to do that, or they may not have the resources to do it.

That’s why small businesses need to understand how to acquire customers in an efficient, effective manner. And the very first step is to begin measuring acquisition. Unfortunately, only about five in ten companies track their customer acquisition, and fewer than that monitor lifetime value. To achieve growth and transition from a startup to a sustainable small business takes an understanding of customer relationship management, sales, marketing, and customer service.

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KREWE Restaurant Opens in St. Joseph with Minnesota SBDC Assistance

June 30, 2020

Success Story: Minnesota

KREWE Opening
L-R: Brianna Knowles and Devin Larson (Minnwest Bank), Mateo Mackbee and Erin Lucas (KREWE owners and chefs), and Berny Berger (Minnesota SBDC)

Experienced restaurant owners and chefs Mateo Mackbee and Erin Lucas will be opening their much anticipated New Orleans cuisine restaurant, “KREWE,” at 24 North College Avenue in St. Joseph on July 1st. Mateo and Erin will specialize in their Creole and Cajun dishes from Mackbee’s food heritage, which is rooted in his mother’s hometown of New Orleans.

The menu will feature a variety of dishes that hearken back to The Big Easy, like muffuletta, jambalaya, and gumbo from family recipes, and shrimp raised locally in Minnesota. Erin operates their partner business – Flour and Flower, a European style bakery, which opened May 21st, located next to KREWE at 26 College Avenue North. (more…)

Email security tips for small businesses

June 23, 2020

By: Hiscox –

Google has reported that 18 million phishing emails related to COVID-19 were identified daily during just one week in April. Many of these emails look like they come from government agencies, such as the World Health Organization, and play on the fear many people are feeling during the pandemic. Although Google says that they have AI protections in place that block roughly 99.9% of these malicious emails, they have also partnered with WHO to implement a Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting, and Conformance (DMARC) system to make it even harder for these types of messages to get through to Google’s users.

So what does this mean for small business owners? Now is the time to take steps to ensure your internal communications are protected. That starts with email. Use these 5 tips to make sure that your company’s email communications are protected. Click To Tweet (more…)

Integrity Martial Arts: Staying in Business and Fulfilling Service to Customers

June 16, 2020

Success Story: Connecticut

Integrity Martial Arts is a martial arts studio in Enfield, Connecticut that’s having a big impact on its students. Respect, self-control, and discipline — these are the founding principles owner Jonathan Metcalf teaches the young people who are enrolled in his classes.

Jonathan began working with CTSBDC advisor Denise Whitford in 2016, and since then he has been able to successfully grow his business through her advice, support, and guidance. Anticipating the state-mandated closure of non-essential businesses due to COVID-19, Integrity Martial Arts immediately shifted to serving its customers online. Click To Tweet In fact, since the beginning of the pandemic, the business has been able to maintain its customer base and find new opportunities to keep growing. (more…)

How Surveys Can Benefit Small Businesses

June 9, 2020

By Julia Morrissey –

As states start to open back up and businesses begin to re-open their doors, reconnecting with clients and customers is more critical than ever. One of the most effective ways to understand your customers is by conducting surveys.

Surveys are a proven method of connecting with customers to get feedback that will help you understand how the customer thinks and feels about your product. The goal is to receive unbiased and objective information that can help you make important decisions about your product and business.

It’s important to not only send a well constructed survey, but also to know when to ask for feedback and how to analyze the data. The four best times to send out a survey asking for customer feedback are: during a key milestone; when customers fall out of the journey; after a customer receives a customer service contact; and when there is interaction without conversion. Click To Tweet (more…)