America’s SBDC Blog

A “Forbes 100 Best Websites for Entrepreneurs”

How to Make an Unhappy Fan a Happier Customer

March 28, 2012

Here at Constant Contact, we’re lucky to have many people who call themselves fans — both the Facebook kind and the offline kind.

But like any business or organization, we sometimes have, ahem, “opportunities for improvement.” At those times, we’re happy to hear feedback, even if it’s not the positive kind.

That’s because when your customers, clients, members, or supporters are unhappy, for whatever reason, it’s one of the best opportunities to show just how committed you are to keeping them happy. And, dealing with an unhappy customer successfully can often turn that detractor into an advocate.

What are the best ways to deal with negative feedback on your Facebook Page? Here are five tips: (more…)

Three Keys to Consider Before Exporting

March 26, 2012

Exporting may sound like territory only reserved for large companies with equally large budgets (or, for you Seinfeld fans, one of Art Vandelay’s occupations). The truth is that armed the right knowledge and business strategy, your business can export successfully—and with less competition than you might imagine.

Roughly one percent of American small businesses export, and nearly 60 percent of them ship goods to only one country. With such a large market relatively untapped by small businesses, the world is your oyster.

If you’ve always been wondering where you can find practical information on exporting, we’ve identified three areas to consider before making a splash in international waters.

1. You’re not afraid of paperwork. Many entrepreneurs dismiss exporting because they’ve heard countless horror stories about the paperwork involved with international shipping, customs offices and payments. (more…)

Mobile Technology Helps Small Businesses Break Down Boundaries

March 23, 2012

By 2015, it is expected that there will be a mobile device for every person on the planet and most people will use mobile devices to access the internet. However, just having a mobile device does not mean you or your business are truly mobile or that you are getting the most out of your device(s).

Have you ever needed a file that was back at the office on your desktop? Couldn’t find a client’s phone number to return their call? Have a big project come up at the same time you have a family vacation planned? With a business strategy that includes mobile technologies, situations like these can be handled seamlessly regardless of location or timing.

Before developing a mobile strategy, assess your company’s current mobility needs. Here are a few questions to consider:

· Do you have the capability to access email, files, etc. while away from the office?

· What are your internal and remote technology capabilities?

· How easily can employees communicate and collaborate with one another both inside and outside of the office environment?

· How secure are your internal and remote systems? (more…)

Grow Your Email List, No Computer Required

March 21, 2012

Has this ever happened to you?

Someone comes in to your place of business, or attends an event you’re hosting, or makes a donation, or engages with you offline in some way, and then he or she leaves and you have no way of staying in touch. Same goes for all the people who may hear an advertisement for your business or organization on the radio, or see a print ad in the local newspaper.

Wouldn’t it be great if you could add people like this to your email list quickly and easily, and could put the power of joining the list literally right in the hands of your customers, clients, members, or supporters?

Well, it’s possible, and they don’t even need a computer. All these people need are their mobile phones.

That’s right: These days, with mobile technologies making things easier and more portable, people can sign up to join your email list in seconds, and all you have to do is some quick setup. (more…)

How to Choose a Domain Name

March 20, 2012

A domain name represents an easy-to-remember mnemonic address designed to help a person easily reach one of millions of servers on the Internet.  Typically, a company has one of two goals when choosing a domain name: branding or memorability.

If a company has been around for some time, their name becomes branded to what they do and where they are.  People associate their service with the brand.  By choosing a domain including that brand, a company strengthens their brand exponentially.   Good examples include,, and

Sometimes, a company’s name is not the best choice for a domain name, primarily because of potential spelling confusion.  In those cases, I recommend a domain name based on memorability and spelling ease to those clients.

For example, one of my clients is “Faulkner’s Pest Service.”  While is available for registration, I recommended my client choose another domain.  My suggestion was based on my own usability belief that most people on the Internet operate with a seventh grade educational spelling ability.  The word, “Faulkner” is easily misspelled and would, no doubt, cause numerous problems for my client’s customers and potential customers in reaching his site.

Instead, I recommended he go with something more memorable.  After research and brainstorming we decided was the best choice – easy to spell, easy to remember. (more…)