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Small Business Weekly Tech Talk – Week 5

Thanks to all who joined. We discussed various topics around marketing in today’s Tech Talk. Here are the tools that we learned about.

Small Business Referral Network: alignable.com
Helps businesses connect with customers and partners who can refer business to each other.

Showcase skillset: eloquens.com
Experts share their best practices guides/documents.

Freelance Marketplace: fiverr.com
Graphics designers, web designers, developers, even CPAs and many other freelancers to promote their services.

Freelance Marketplace: upwork.com
Graphics designers, web designers, developers, even CPAs and many other freelancers to promote their services.

Thanks Anil for these tools!

Replay of the Tech Talk (Click Play Button)

Discussion: Moving Small Businesses Forward During Covid-19

For this week’s tech talk, we had an open forum on how small businesses are moving forward during Covid-19. Today’s guests are Anil Karakkattu & Joana Zarur.


Anil Karakkattu is the founder and owner of BHA Consulting, a business management consulting firm (bha-consulting.com). He refines strategy and processes, in business sustainability and growth. He focuses on IT, manufacturing, non-profit sectors, among various others.

Joana Zarur is a Graphics Designer & PostNet Austin Owner. She serves Austin’s small business owners with design, printing and shipping solutions in one place.

Host: Mo Hossain

Mo Hossain is the founder of Data Up, Inc and an expert in Business Data Analytics and Website Optimization. Mo previously worked in NYC and London with international companies for several years, where he helped major retailers, media and technology companies make sure their customers were having a great user experience. Today, Mo talks with businesses owners in our group about how they’re moving forward during this tough time.

Anil Karakkattu

Ani’s thoughts are that lot of businesses are definitely struggling during this difficult time [Covid-19]. Successful businesses are working on growing their customer base and also building a good business foundation. Often times business are good at selling and getting deals, but there’s a lack of execution. This causes customer experience to suffer and brand can demising. Businesses that are in good cash reserve / flow can really work on improving their processes around everything. Using this potential down time to build customer relationships and a great brand can pay off significantly.

This is something that Anil is focused on right now with his company, BHA Consulting, and will continue to do so for a long time. Anil is heavily focusing on marketing efforts right now. He’s looking at several marketing strategies that will elevate BHA Consulting. Right now Anil is focused on LinkedIn and Twitter to connect with his ideal clients. He’s focusing on posting relevant articles and engaging with folks to increase his followers and help other with his expertise. He’s also focused on improving his website to get more prospects to convert to becoming a client after learning about his services.

Joana Zarur

Like Anil, Joana is also focused heavily on bringing new clients to her Austin PostNet Store for printing and shipping services. Because she also does graphics design, she uses various social media outlets to promote her services. Because of her PostNet branding, there are some limitations around how she can promote and provide services to her clients. While these challenges exist for all franchises, she’s being creative in the ways she shares her content and still stands out of the crowd.

The right social media outlet

Because Facebook has a more established aged demographic, it is still a good place to showcase and attract potential clients for PostNet and Joana’s graphic design business. These are entrepreneurs, small business owners and many employees of these businesses— Instagram also has a younger set of people in these demographics. As a comparison, Anil’s clientele are bigger businesses that have been in existence for some years, so his focus on LinkedIn and Twitter is definitely on point. At Data Up, our ideal clients are small business leaders with annual revenue above $500k+. This leads us to focus our marketing efforts towards businesses that have been established for several years with multiple employees. For us, LinkedIn and occasionally Facebook are good social media outlets. We also provide free education in several different outlets to help the community and get our expertise established. Outside of this we are heavily involved in various networking groups.

Other ways to promote your brand

Anil had a suggestion to try alignable.com, which is a Small Business Referral Network. They help businesses connect with customers and partners who can refer business to each other. He’s seen various professionals like graphic designers to coaches on there and it could be a good platform for many to try out. Another suggestion by Anil was eloquens.com, which is a website where experts share their best practices guides/documents. You can get some for free and some with a small fee. If you have an expertise on something, you can share your documents so it helps others improve their business and get your brand out there.

Fiverr.com may be a good platform to showcase creative projects and get new clients. Similar to Upwork.com, Fiverr allows graphics designers, web designers, developers, even CPAs and many other freelancers to promote their services. There are many folks working from around the world with various degrees of talent. A general complaint we’ve heard about these services is that it’s not easy to communicate with these freelancers and generally speaking, it’s over email/chat — not phone/video calls. Outside of that, there are a lot of good skilled people and prices are budget friendly. There’s a “Pro” section of these sites where you can hire someone with much experience but you’d be paying normal prices at that point, like you would hiring someone local or with a lot of expertise.

Please watch video for more / full details.

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