Growing Trees for Profit - These Are the Best to Grow - Small Business Trends
- Growing Trees for Profit - These Are the Best to Grow - Small Business Trends
- The Internet of Things and the security challenges it creates for small business - Security Today
- What is Experiential Marketing and How Can it Benefit my Small Business? - Small Business Trends
Posted: 13 Jun 2019 06:00 AM PDT
When you think about growing trees for profit, you probably picture huge forests full of trees being harvested for lumber. But in fact, the USDA's economic research has found that growing smaller, nursery trees is the fastest growing segment of the U.S. agriculture market.
Growing Trees for Profit is a Great Small Business
This is great news for small businesses. Nursery trees, like those used in landscaping or as decorative features for homeowners, require much less space and expensive equipment to grow. This makes it more possible to get started and easier to turn a profit in a short period of time.
Best Species when Growing Trees for Profit
If you're interested in breaking into the tree growing business, here are some of the most popular types, including nursery trees and others, that you might consider.
Dogwood is a type of flowering tree that is popular for homeowners. In the early stages, you can grow it in a pot, then it can grow larger when transplanted in the ground. It's able to grow in climates throughout North America, and is fairly hearty.
Japanese Maple is another tree that is popular in home landscaping projects. You can sell these directly to homeowners in pots or work with local landscaping companies. They don't get especially large, so you can theoretically grow a lot of them in a small space.
Bonsai trees are small, potted trees that are popular in Japanese culture, but have made their way to a global audience as well. They're popular decorative features for home and office interiors. And you can sell them at a decent price without the need for a ton of growing space. This makes it an especially attractive option for city dwellers or those with limited area.
Elm trees grow to be fairly large, but they're popular because they provide a ton of shade to neighborhood. You can grow them in large pots to get started, then sell them to homeowners once they're ready to transplant. These require a bit more outdoor area. But you can also sell them at a higher price than many smaller landscaping trees.
If you want to grow trees and actually keep tending to them for years, you might consider growing trees that produce a crop. Almonds are very popular right now. You can sell them to customers at farmers' markets or to food producers who make products like almond milk or almond flour.
Avocados are also very in demand right now. You need to be in a southern state like Florida, California or Texas to really make these trees thrive. But if you can offer locally grown avocados to consumers at local markets, you can charge a premium for fresh produce.
Willow trees produce shoots that are fairly flexible. This makes them perfect for basket weaving and other types of handcrafted goods. Even a single willow tree can continuously produce enough shoots to help you turn a profit. So whether you have a ton of room or just a small space for one tree, you can turn your willow growing into a business.
For those who don't have a ton of room to work with, shrub trees like arborvitae could be a perfect option. These trees are popular in landscaping projects, and homeowners often purchase many of them for privacy and/or aesthetics around their property. You can even grow a steady stream of them to supply local landscapers.
Flowering cherry trees are popular in neighborhoods throughout the country. They produce colorful flowers and small fruit that are popular with birds. You can sell them to homeowners or landscapers early in the growing process while they're still in pots so they can be transplanted into the ground.
This one requires a bit more space. But if you have a fair amount of land, you can start growing evergreen trees in rows to eventually sell as Christmas trees. You'll need to continuously plant new ones to keep your supply going year after year. But these trees require very little maintenance and only require you to staff a business for a couple months out of the year.
Posted: 14 Jun 2019 12:40 AM PDT
The Internet of Things and the security challenges it creates for small business
Managing the traditional limitations of time and resources means that running a small business on a budget is a challenge, but these difficulties become more pronounced when resources are stretched even further by the increased security demands of new technology.
In recent years, high-profile data breaches have regularly hit the headlines and cybersecurity has become an increased concern for companies of all sizes. While they rarely make the news, small businesses are thought to be targeted in 43% of cyberattacks, making the need for improved security best practices a priority.
Managing the traditional limitations of time and resources means that running a small business on a budget is a challenge, but these difficulties become more pronounced when resources are stretched even further by the increased security demands of new technology. An increasing area of threat is the use of Internet of Things (IoT) devices on company networks. IoT devices certainly offer many benefits and can help to improve efficiency, but having to manage a rapid increase in endpoints on your network also poses a significant security risk.
Why is IoT such a security risk?
When trying to access a company network, hackers will look to identify weak points in the security. The front door might be metaphorically bolted with antivirus software, but if someone has left a window open so to speak, breaking in can be deceptively simple. With IoT, even the most innocuous devices can now pose a threat. It could be printers, lightbulbs, toasters or speakers - every improperly configured device that connects to your network is a potential entry point.
By 2022 Juniper estimates there will be 50 billion active IoT devices and that means plenty of additional points of entry that need to be monitored. Between managing this influx of devices and the increasing number of personal devices used for remote working, SMBs are facing the challenge of keeping pace with technological advances to ensure that they do not become an Achilles heel.
Posted: 13 Jun 2019 12:00 PM PDT
Experiential marketing, also called engagement marketing, is a strategy using experiences to make an emotional connection to your prospects. Think ticketed events like concerts sponsored by your brand. Think online contests that showcase your message.
Here's why this experiential marketing is important and how it can help your small business.
Adopting the Right Mindset for Experiential Marketing
"The main idea is customers are more likely to buy based on emotion, not logic," he writes.
He makes a few suggestions like street team marketing. This is where ambassadors for your brand giveaway samples to create a unique experience. It's a common method and cost-effective at the same time.
"Another concept to understand is experiential marketing focuses on the brand message and company culture instead of the actual product/service."
There are two main principles according to Kurniawan.
"In general, there are two main principles–engaging emotions with an experience and focusing on a relatable brand message."
There are some tried and true methods for making any experiential marketing strategy work.
A great way to make a splash is by getting involved in the community," writes Steve Martin, the CMO of DaySmart Software.
"For example, a small pet groomer that donates their time to occasionally groom shelter pets could engage their customers. They could ask them what shelters they want them to provide their services to and get them to volunteer onsite."
Having an open house is a great way for a brick-and-mortar business to do the same.
If you're a small business, you can start off small. Simply answering questions on websites like Quora can start building up your engagement.
Using a variety of online off-line contests works too. Find the influencers are in your niche and see if you can work with them. Another good idea is to have an interactive website where the audience can play games showcasing your brand and message.
Experiential Marketing Strategies
Once you've got the details worked out, it's time to put together a campaign. Here are a few of the strategies that are proven to work.
Tell the Story Behind Your Business
This is one of the best ways to get people to relate and engage with your brand. Remember to use good narrative technique. In other words, start your story in the middle at an interesting point. Giving away a lot of detail and moving in chronological order gets boring quickly.
Use Social Media
Social media is a great way to reach a wide audience with an experiential marketing event. Hosting an event on Facebook is a good option. Consider boosting attendance through paid ads before the occasion to create a buzz. These are generally not expensive and pay off in spades.
Look for Partnerships
If you're putting on an event, you can partner with other area businesses. Make sure these are competing in the same space. For example, say you're selling digital marketing services and hosting a webinar. Partnering with a local computer store or repair shop can bring in more customers.
Experiential Marketing Trends for 2019
Here's a few trends you should be watching for in 2019.
Virtual reality is topping the list for a good reason. This is becoming a great way to give your audience an immersive experience remotely. Contractors can take renovation clients on a 3-D trip through a finished bathroom. Even a short YouTube video showing how your product works gets people engaged.
Look for more investment in this type of marketing in 2019. Big brands like Google and Netflix have led the way and opened a path to take advantage of. Small businesses can start by mimicking some of their ideas on a smaller scale.
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