How tiny Fairfield, Iowa, became a micro-business capital

When the COVID-19 crisis hit, Jim Masterson had to figure out how to massage a horse online.

For more than a decade, Masterson and his wife, Conley, have been the go-to experts for equine performance bodywork.

If your show horse got sore after a jumping competition, you could attend a workshop with a Masterson instructor to learn how to release the horse’s muscle tension through the unique Masterson Method.

The pandemic put a stop to the instructor visits and forced the Mastersons to think creatively about their business model and the horses they’ve dedicated their lives to helping.

Fortunately, they had access to an entire community of creative and like-minded entrepreneurs.

Based in the Corn Belt city of Fairfield, Iowa, the Mastersons are part of an entrepreneurial Shangri-La. The 10,425-person city, about 115 miles southeast of Des Moines, is home to a large number of small, internet-based micro-businesses that are … Read the rest

Four policy pillars that will encourage online micro-businesses

As the U.S. rides out the COVID-19 pandemic’s economic storm, one often overlooked group has emerged as critical ballast for local communities: online micro-businesses.

As stay-at-home orders crippled economies, 44% of these micro-businesses moved more of their business to the internet, ramping up their e-commerce efforts and other digital offerings. By the end of July, less than 2% of them had closed permanently. It’s little surprise then that communities with more micro-businesses lost fewer low-income jobs at the peak of the crisis

These results come from the Venture Forward initiative, a multiyear research project that looks at the economic impact of the 20 million websites with domain names registered with GoDaddy. Three-quarters of these ventures are commerce-driven micro-businesses. The rest are community, civic or hobby-based sites.

Working with academic partners, Venture Forward has found:

  • Micro-businesses create jobs. Economists at UCLA Anderson Forecast determined that there’s a causal impact between
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How and why to host virtual parties for ecommerce businesses

Like any business, the key to success in selling your products in an ecommerce business is building relationships. If you have been looking for a way to connect with more customers, it might be a good idea to host virtual parties to generate interest and excitement in your business.

In this post, we’ll explore how and why you should implement virtual parties for ecommerce businesses into your strategy so you can make more money and build your fanbase.

Getting started with a successful virtual party

Virtual parties have become a popular sales method thanks to social media platforms, like Facebook and Instagram. Anyone can do a Facebook Live and invite people from around the world to get together and sell products. It’s the modern version of the classic Tupperware party.

But hosting a virtual party for your ecommerce business requires more than a sales pitch. Including games and prizes, … Read the rest

Advanced ecommerce features to consider for your online store

Starting an online store is just the beginning. Once you get into the groove of marketing your store and handling orders, it’s time to consider adding advanced ecommerce features, so you can sell more products and increase your profits.

In this post, we’re going to cover advanced e-commerce features you should consider adding to your store.

Advanced e-commerce features to consider

Going beyond the basics and adding advanced features to your store will help you improve your customers’ experience and sell more products. Here are seven advanced e-commerce features to consider adding to your online store.

  1. Reporting tools
  2. Integrated blog
  3. Abandoned cart recovery
  4. Advanced search and filtering options
  5. Mobile-optimized checkout
  6. Integrated social media and SEO
  7. Video or 3D product demos

Not sure which of these advanced e-commerce features will give you the biggest bang for your buck? Get the details on all of them to help you decide which upgrades … Read the rest

5 delegation tactics for small business owners

Business owners are accustomed to wearing several hats and having control over every aspect of their company, dispensing with any delegation tactics. Recent research from Salesforce found that small business owners are personally responsible for an average of 4.2 roles in their business. While that much work can be exhausting, for those who enjoy entrepreneurship, it’s also gratifying. There aren’t any outside factors, you’re in the driver seat, and success or failure solely depends on your efforts. However, if you’d like to scale your business (or finally take some time off), you need to learn delegation tactics and use them.

Why do you need delegation tactics?

Many leaders struggle with delegation. A psychological study offered two reasons why business owners are reluctant to delegate:

  1. A faith in supervision effect, which reflects the tendency of observers to see work performed under the control of a supervisor as better than identical work
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