BBB Business Tip: Emerging trends local businesses need to consider

Many local businesses struggled through 2020 and are ready to take on 2021 with a fresh start. While some trends feel like they come and go, the ones that stay can help you identify new and effective business strategies to ensure your company thrives. Better Business Bureau Serving the Pacific Southwest (BBB) shares the following tips for emerging trends that will be important for small businesses. Read the complete article at bbb.org.

1. Mobile marketing

Nearly everyone has a smartphone, so you should attempt to reach your customers through their mobile devices. Rather than only communicating through email, send text messages or even create an app. Check out BBB Pacific Southwest’s digital marketing tips and business management system THRIVe, to learn how to make your company stand out online.

2. Online courses

Online courses have been surging in popularity, especially since people have been spending more time at home during the pandemic. Establish yourself as an expert in your field by creating an online course. Check out BBB Pacific Southwest’s online events and webinars, and full playlist of educational content to get you started.

3. Data transparency

Be transparent about your data practices and ensure that you aren’t careless with your customers’ data. For more information on how to keep your data safe, read our BBB Business Tip: The top 5 cybersecurity practices every small business needs to do now.

4. Marketing to Generation Z

Over the next few years, Generation Z will start to make up more and more of your consumer base. Some important marketing considerations that matter to Generation Z are strong loyalty programs, quality products, diversity in advertising and socially responsible products.

5. Social media for customer support

Consumers want answers quickly, and look to using social media to connect with companies. When a young customer has a question or complaint, they can’t be bothered to write an email. BBB Pacific Southwest has a dedicated team monitoring our social media accounts and offers live chat on our website.

6. Gig economy

As your business expands, you may find that your employee base starts to look a little different. As a small business owner, the gig economy offers many opportunities. It’s much easier today to hire highly skilled people at reasonable rates for short-term contracts. If you need graphic design work, marketing assistance, or accounting help, you can simply contract the work out. Hiring contractors allows you to hire experienced people for a shorter time, learn from their expertise, and extend or cut the contract as you need.

Moving forward

Some trends come and go, but others become patterned behavior that stick around for years. It’s essential to keep an eye out for these new behaviors so you can make sure your business adapts to the changing marketplace.

One trend that will never go out of style is the value of consumer trust. Visit BBB.org/get-accredited to learn more about BBB Accreditation and how it can help your business.

BBB of Southern Piedmont and Western N.C. contributed this article.

 

About Better Business Bureau Serving the Pacific Southwest.

BBB Tip: Economic Impact Payments Are Coming Via Mailed Debit Cards

(Phoenix – January 26, 2021) – Many Americans have received their second stimulus check or Economic Impact Payments (EIP), either by direct deposit to their bank account or in the form of a mailed check, which is still ongoing. However, it was recently announced by the Department of the Treasury that debit cards are being sent by the IRS as part of the plan to deliver EIP payments as rapidly as possible.

Better Business Bureau Serving the Pacific Southwest (BBB) is urging consumers to take precautions when they receive these cards in the mail, as scams are still prevalent. BBB has received numerous calls from consumers to verify the validity of the cards they’ve received.

“I went to check my mail and found a VISA card and an explanation letter that claimed it was my stimulus payment,” shares Denise, a BBB team member. “Working for BBB, I am very well educated on what to look for to avoid potential scams which keeps me on guard, and I knew fake prepaid cards were popping up. I really thought it was a scam and was about to throw it away until my husband reminded me to check it out before I made any assumptions. After some research, we found out it was real, and one of the ways the IRS is sending people their stimulus money,” continues Denise.

Consumers who have not received payment should refer to the GetMyPayment site on IRS.gov for more information and remain vigilant to ensure that the card they receive is legitimate.

Tips on how to recognize a legitimate EIP card:
EIP Cards are being sent in a white envelope with the U.S. Department of the Treasury seal.
The Visa® name will appear on the front of the card; the back of the card has the name of the issuing bank, MetaBank®, N.A.
The welcome kit explains more about the EIP card. Please go to EIPcard.com for more information and to see a sample image of the card.

Once the card has been verified:
–  Activate the card by calling the number provided, setting a 4-digit PIN
–  Sign the card.
–  Keep the card in a safe place.
–  Do not share the information on the card with anyone.
–  Use the card anywhere Visa cards are accepted and/or get cash back at a retailer or ATM.

Note that most transactions are free, but certain uses could incur fees. For more questions, visit EIPcard.com/FAQ.

BBB warns that scammers may try to text, call or email you, trying to convince you to give up the card number or your personal information. Report any phishing or scam attempts to the IRS and file a report with BBB Scam Tracker to warn others not to fall for the scam.

Value
BBB encourages businesses to operate with integrity, and helps consumers make wise marketplace decisions. Our innovative approach to business growth provides the tools that companies and entrepreneurs need to build better businesses. By working side by side with industry experts, we unite with a common goal. Become BBB Accredited and join our mission to create a community of trust.

More Information
For media inquiries, contact pr@bbbcommunity. Please allow a 24 hour courtesy for interview requests. For additional news stories, visit bbb.org/us/news.

Reprinted by permission of the Better Business Bureau, © 2021.

 

 

Any Act of Service Can Make a Difference!!

Today marks the 26th anniversary of the federal day of service that celebrates the life and legacy of civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr. The U.S. national observance encourages everyone to volunteer and do their part to improve the communities they live in. As nonprofits continue to suffer financially from the pandemic, the need for support has increased with people out of work and seeking help for basic necessities. Many are struggling to obtain crucial items such as food and hygiene items for the first time.

Better Business Bureau Serving the Pacific Southwest (BBB) believes that creating a thriving community anchored in trust is a group effort. To encourage this by civic action, BBB offers employees one paid day per quarter to volunteer at a nonprofit organization of their choice. Employees have provided service at local food banks, homeless shelters, donated blood, and supported cancer education organizations – to just name a few.

No act of service is too small.

“Giving back to our communities is important for our organization and it is a responsibility. We encourage our employees to volunteer their time at nonprofits to foster goodwill and it gives them a sense of achievement when helping others,” shared Noelle Rooke, BBB Vice President of People and Culture.

Those looking to make a donation or to volunteer for a nonprofit can find trustworthy, charitable organizations and view evaluation reports at BBB Wise Giving Alliance. Reports on charities are based on 20 BBB Standards for Charity Accountability that address governance, results reporting, finances, and truthful and transparent communications.

Value

BBB encourages businesses to operate with integrity, and helps consumers make wise marketplace decisions. Our innovative approach to business growth provides the tools that companies and entrepreneurs need to build better businesses. By working side by side with industry experts, we unite with a common goal. Become BBB Accredited and join our mission to create a community of trust.

For media inquiries, contact pr@bbbcommunity. Please allow a 24 hour courtesy for interview requests. For additional news stories, visit bbb.org/us/news.

Reprinted by permission of the Better Business Bureau, © 2021.

Scholarship Recognizes Ethical Behaviors

Students have navigated immense change during the past year. Many work hard to stay on top of their studies in school and those who unexpectedly shifted to online learning may find it more challenging. These ethical behaviors often go unnoticed, but should be recognized to inspire others to do the right thing. The Ethical Torch Essay Scholarship does just that.

Better Business Bureau Serving the Pacific Southwest (BBB) encourages integrity and ethical behavior in the community, and the BBB Ethical Torch Essay helps students recognize these actions at an early age. This scholarship honors students who have chosen ethics and integrity when faced with a dilemma.

“Ethics is doing the right thing even though no one is looking or if there are consequences for speaking up. By promoting trust and ethical conduct with students, they will be able to model that behavior when they enter the workforce,” shared Faustine Chan, Director of Business and Community Programs. The program aligns with BBB’s Annual Torch Awards for Ethics which celebrates companies for upholding outstanding integrity throughout their business operations.

Students are invited to write a 400 word essay on “The Importance of Ethics and Integrity in our Community”. The essay challenges students to dive into inner-conflict while describing resolution tactics for their unique encounters with ethics and integrity. High school students in Greater AZ are eligible to apply and five winners will each be awarded $500-$1,500 in scholarships to be used for college tuition and expenses.
To submit an application or to learn more, visit torchessay.bbbcommunity.org. Submissions are accepted now through October 10, 2021; winners will be announced at BBB’s Torch Awards for Ethics celebration in the fall and on the website.

Value

BBB encourages businesses to operate with integrity, and helps consumers make wise marketplace decisions. Our innovative approach to business growth provides the tools that companies and entrepreneurs need to build better businesses. Become BBB Accredited and join our mission to create a community of trust.

More Information

For media inquiries, contact pr@bbbcommunity. Please allow a 24 hour courtesy for interview requests. For additional news stories, visit bbb.org/us/news.

Reprinted by permission of the Better Business Bureau, © 2021.