13 Business Superstitions

Big client meeting coming, do you… cross your fingers? Knock on wood? Rub your lucky rabbit’s foot? You may or may not be surprised by the number of superstitions you’ll find in the average small business.

In honor of Friday the 13th — possibly the most popular superstition, in America anyway — we’d like to offer a list of 13 common business superstitions. Some are simply pre-game rituals, but some are a little more… interesting.

Do you have any of these 13 professional phobias…?

  1. Have to wear your lucky suit? Lucky shirt or jacket?
  2. Specific conference room?
  3. Specific seat in the room?
  4. New flowers in the office or shop?
  5. Only start meetings on the hour, or on the half-hour?
  6. Don’t shave? Or shave just before the meeting?
  7. Lucky heels?
  8. Lucky penny (or some other charm) on the desk?
  9. Do you have a particular lucky breakfast?
  10. Only even (or odd) number of people at the meeting?
  11. Take the stairs?
  12. Enter the room on your right foot?
  13. Don’t whistle indoors? (Russian folklore says you’re whistling away your money)

Any of these sound familiar?

All of these have been reported as superstitions people are practicing right now… more than likely today more than any other day of the year.

Before we completely laugh off these particular peccadillos, let’s remember that “superstitions” or rituals can actually be beneficial in the workplace. They help focus. They can help put you at ease before a big event. They help you believe that luck is on your side.

So, here’s wishing your business a lucky Friday the 13th.    <knock on wood>

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5 things to do this summer to maximize winter holiday revenue

It’s the middle of the summer. Half the country is getting hit with a heat wave, and the summer season is in full swing… so, it’s the perfect time to start thinking about the Holidays! Yes, those holidays – the ones at the end of the year.

The time to start business-holiday planning is now!

If you think about it, there are less than 100 days until Black Friday (give or take), and by then the marketing opportunities the holidays bring will be lost for another year – if you don’t act now. Make this the year you truly take advantage of the holiday spending spree.

Here are 5 things you can be doing now to make sure your business is ready to turn up the heat this holiday season…

  1. Start building your social media – When the holidays get here, you’re going to want to be able to use social to spread the word about all the marketing efforts you have going on over the holidays. Start building followers now – put a message on your receipts or invoices, put a sign by the register, and simply ask people to follow you.
  2. Review and repair your online reviews – When people start shopping this holiday season, they’re going to be comparing reviews – yours to your competitors’. Now is the time to take steps to start flooding the Web with positive reviews – and taking steps to turn negative reviews into positive customer interactions – those can become your most powerful positive reviews. (Not to turn this post into a pitch, but Hibu can help you ramp up and clean up your reviews.)
  3. Make plans to celebrate every “holiday” – Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday – Your business should celebrate all three. Pretend you’re in retail (if you’re not) – too many businesses in the service industry fail to do simple things like offering Black Friday Specials or Cyber Monday Deals. (If you have a Hibu Website, talk to us about adding a holiday-themed call-to-action on your site to drive people to your form or to the phone.)
  4. Ask for emails in exchange for special deals – You should have an email address for every customer you come in contact with — and if you don’t already, now is the time to start building your list. Then as the holidays approach, email your customers about your marketing specials. (Professional tip: remember to let your customers know that their friends can get the special deal, too… simply by filling out the form on your website…which is the perfect place to capture more email addresses!)
  5. Give something away as a “gift” – Everyone loves getting gifts on the holidays, it’s the easiest thing in the world to rewrap a small product or service into a small gift. Take something you routinely offer – a free estimate, a free upgrade, a “valued-customer” discount – and turn it into your FREE Holiday Gift to your customers. Of course, to really do this right, you need to promote your gift on your website, your social media, and in ads across the Web, as well as in emails, in-store and/or on-site estimates.

These are small things you can do this summer that can help you have hot winter sales. Start working today for a happier holiday season this year!

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Small Business Success Story — Wickford Dental

Like so many small businesses, Wickford Dental wasn’t seeing the results they needed from “traditional” advertising — newspaper ads, direct mail and occassional email blasts.

But by working with Hibu, Dr. Paul Boscia and his staff were able to develop a synchronized digital marketing plan to drive the kind of results that would make any business smile:

“We see more of a steady flow of quality patients coming in.”

That kind of ROI impacts more than just their bottom line too:

“The marketing that we’re doing has made it much easier on the staff, and they’re much happier because of that.”

Watch the short video with Dr. Boscia himself — and then talk to a local digital marketing expert from Hibu about sinking your teeth into some new business.

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Five terms you should know about SEO

Starting with what’s simple about search engine optimization

As a small business owner, you’ve got a lot on your plate. Juggling your finances, day-to-day tasks and making time for life outside of work can all be exhausting. Fitting in the time to learn what might seem like another language (after all, what does “SEO” even stand for)? That can be an even greater challenge.

Here’s the rundown on five key terms to help get you started on SEO — and help your business climb up that search engine results page (or SERP) in just a few minutes.

    1. SEO (Search Engine Optimization) – The process of changing content and code to help your website climb higher up on a search engines’ (like Google’s) results page, aka optimizing your site to get found!
    2. On-Page vs. Off-Page – On-Page SEO is everything you do on your site’s pages to improve its rank on a SERP. This can be done through coding like HTML and CSS and using keywords and tags. Off-Page SEO is anything you do to improve your rank outside of your site pages themselves, like link building or publishing content that links back to your site.
    3. Meta Keywords and Tags – If you’re familiar with social media, these are like hashtags for search engines. They help them figure out what your site pages are about, and help them determine where it belongs in a user’s search results. While keywords are no longer the only (or even the primary) way that search engines assess a page’s content and value, “using the words your customers are using” is still a best practice (and a great way to show your visitors that they’ve come to the right place!).
    4. Analytics (like Google Analytics)In short, this is all the use of software to gather data about what your website and online advertising is doing via It shows you how your customers have been responding to your content. Want to know how many people are visiting your site or clicking on your ads? What about how often, even how they got there, when they left off and more? Analytics can show you all that — and help you plan your marketing accordingly.
    5. Internal and External Links – Internal link are hyperlinks on your site’s pages that link visitors to another page on your site, (which helps keep them on your site longer — yay!). External links are hyperlinks that take your visitors from one of your pages to a page on another site (or your social profiles, blog, video gallery, etc.). Now I know what you’re thinking… “Why would I want to send someone away from my site? Doesn’t that defeat the point of SEO in the first place? I want people to find ME, not them!” But, if you add links that lead to relevant and useful content, it will improve your site’s credibility in Google’s eyes. Plus, when you link to these other sites, their owners may return the favor and reward you with a valuable backlink (something to talk about next time). It’s a win-win.

There you have it! You’ve become an SEO master in a matter of minutes! For more on how you can improve your digital marketing lingo, check out our terms you should know about websites and our terms you should know about social media.

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Client Success Story: Drycrete Waterproofing

It’s never easy taking over a small business… especially in a crowded industry where you’re smaller than most of your competition… and you’re younger than most (if not all) of your competitors — but that’s exactly what Jason Kaye, owner of Drycrete Waterproofing, did. He’s risen to the top where most people would have ended up dead in the water… and Hibu helped him do it.

Listen as Jason explains why he decided to partner with Hibu for all his digital marketing — and how Hibu makes it easy for him to dominate his much larger competition online.

Watch the quick video above — then let’s talk about how we can help you succeed online, just like Drycrete Waterproofing.

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Take our Digital Marketing Assessment

In just a few minutes, tell how advanced your current digital marketing strategy is.

Self-evaluation is hard. We all know that we should take some time to take a critical eye to our digital marketing. But too often, life gets in the way and we can’t find the time we need to do what’s necessary. This has consequences for your stress levels, your employees, and your business. And it can also cost you. Being stuck with an incomplete digital marketing plan is bad, but not even knowing you’re stuck with an incomplete plan is even worse.

Are you doing enough to succeed now? Do you know what you need to do to improve?

Take this quick assessment to determine where your digital marketing efforts stack up and get access to the tools you need to reach the next level.

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Sweat the small stuff this summer (get your hours correct online)

Here’s how you can relax this summer knowing your online business listings are up to date.

Ahhh, summertime. The weather is getting warmer, the sun is shining longer – it almost feels like there are more hours in a day… which is probably why so many businesses have “Summer Hours.”

Of course, if you don’t let your customers know you’re changing your hours, you could end up losing business — customers show up at the right place, but at the wrong time, and are left feeling burned.

A wise reminder from Google

Our friends at Google recently sent out an email, reminding small business owners to check their online listings this summer, to make sure the hours listed are the actual hours they’ll be open.

So, before you start working summer hours make sure those hours are reflected online. Make sure your customers can find your business’s CORRECT, up-to-date hours everywhere that they will be looking – especially in these three places:

  1. Update your hours on Google
  2. Update your hours on Facebook
  3. Update your hours on your website
  4. These are the top three places customers look to find your business information. And the good news is — Google and Facebook make fixing your listings easy by allowing you to:

Even if you’ve recently edited your listings, this is the perfect time to see if any of your contact information has changed over the last few weeks. (The average business listing is changed every six weeks and often it’s by someone who is not the business owner).

Here at Hibu, we can make sure your hours are correct – this summer and all year round – or we can change them for you if they’re not, all with just one call. After all, isn’t it better to beat the heat by fixing your hours now… rather than getting in hot water with your customers by having to fix things when it’s be too late.

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4 reasons why you may not see your small business website when you search online

Google shows MORE than just your site (if you know what to look for)

When you work with as many small businesses as Hibu, you hear a lot of the same reasons for needing a new website:

  • Your site looks old
  • Your site doesn’t have the functionality you need today
  • You can’t find your site online

Or maybe your friends and family say they can’t find it…and then you start thinking that your customers can’t find it either.

But if you’re not #1 on Google, don’t panic just yet! Here are four ways to see if your business is exactly where it should be online – even if you don’t recognize it right away.

1. Search smarter

Chances are, you’re just searching for your business name. Try searching for your business name + your city or zip code.

Even though search engines often return local results based on your location these days, it doesn’t hurt to get more specific — and there’s a good chance that’s what your customers will do too.

And if you’re just searching for what you do — like “landscaping” or “family dentist” — you probably have a lot more online competition than you think (more on that below).

2. Look deeper

You’re probably expecting to find your website, mylocalbusiness.com, when you search for your business name. But pay attention to everything else that shows up for your business:

  • Map / Local listings
  • Online directory listings
  • Online reviews sites
  • Social profiles (and sometimes even individual posts)
  • Paid ads (which can actually drive more traffic to your website by building brand awareness and consumer confidence)

Of course you want to find your website…but your customers might not be so picky. If they’re looking for basic info like your phone number or hours, or checking to see what other local customers are saying about you, these other results may deserve more of your attention (and get more of theirs!)

And if these other listings for your business aren’t ones you created, make sure you have a plan to take control of them and correct any wrong information. The wrong phone number on Google or the wrong address on Apple Maps can mean the wrong results for your business.

3. Check out your competition

Search results are a mix of organic vs. paid results and local vs. regional (or national) results. You may know that there are only five other landscapers in town, but search for “landscaper + your area” and see for yourself how many results Google serves up:

That’s a lot more than five!

With this much competition, you need to make sure ALL the search results for your business (like the map and directory listings above) are up to date — and you need a plan to reach your customers elsewhere too (like on social media).

4. Upgrade your website

Search engines look at thousands of factors when it comes to indexing (or recognizing) your website, determining its relevance, and deciding when to serve it up…but if your site isn’t built to be “search engine friendly,” you and your customers are going to have a hard time finding it. Period.

So do a quick check to make sure your site is playing by “Google’s rules” today:

  • Is your site mobile friendly?
  • Is your site secure (using HTTPS)?
    • This is especially important in Chrome (the most popular browser — and the default browser on most Android phones & tablets)
  • Have you optimized your On-Page and Off-Page SEO?
    • Is your metadata complete (especially your page titles)?
    • Do you have pages about each service, product or topic you’d like to be found for?
    • Are your pages filled with recent, useful, unique content?

Make sure you have a business website that gets seen drives visits builds your business

At the end of the day, you need a site that makes your phone ring…fills your inbox with interested inquiries…or brings customers through the door.

Finding your site when you Google yourself FEELS great — but what WORKS great for your business is a site that turns your visitors into customers — no matter how they find you.


Watch this quick video about making all your digital marketing work together to get you found online, on mobile, on social and more.

This post was originally published on Local Search Association’s Marketing Bitz blog as “4 Reasons You May Not See Your Small Business Website When You Search Online.”

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Digital Marketing 101

Hey there! Welcome to Digital Marketing 101 – well, at least it’s DM 101 for me. My name is Gabrielle and I’m currently one of Hibu’s summer interns. While I’m still getting the hang of it myself, I’d like to share with you some digital marketing tips and tricks that I’ve learned in my first few days.

As a 21-year-old from a small town full of small businesses (including one owned and operated by my own family ) I’ve had the opportunity, through growing up and watching marketing grow with me, of seeing some of the benefits of going digital firsthand from the ground up.

What is digital marketing?

In purely technical terms, digital marketing is using digital media to advertise your product or service – things like websites, search and social media. It seems like, in a lot of ways, it’s taking familiar aspects of traditional marketing (print ads, telemarketing, snail-mail, commercials etc.) and putting them on a new canvas. Sounds simple, right? It is if you’re working with the right people.

Up until I started working for Hibu, I thought of digital marketing as, you know, having a Facebook page or maybe a website. These are under the umbrella, yeah, but I’ve come to find there’s a lot more to doing digital marketing the right way than you might think.

Here are 4 quick things to get your digital marketing plan started:

  1. You’ve got to have a website. And not just any will do. You need a site that brings your business’s identity front and center. Good design is essential. If people log on and no one can find out who you are, what you do or how to reach you, you could end up missing out on tons on potential leads.
  2. Get on social media. Let’s face it, almost everyone has an online presence somewhere in 2018. Whether it be through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and more, millions of people are logging on daily to find what’s happening. You need to be on the spaces that will best showcase your business and what it stands for, so you can start engaging with the right target audience.
  3. Don’t miss the boat on Search Marketing. Through paid advertisements and tweaking some things in your site your SEO can go through the roof, causing your content to move up the ranks on any search engine. This way it will be the first thing customers see when they hit “Search”. Pretty cool if you ask me.
  4. Reviews are your new word-of-mouth. Think back to a time you wanted to try… let’s say… a new coffee shop downtown. How did you know if it would be worth trying out? You probably asked someone who’s been there for their opinion. Thanks to online reviews people can now find out not only their sister or neighbor think about your product or business but rather, well, what anyone thinks about it. With reviews, you can respond to the feedback and, in the end, improve your reputation.

So, why is all of this important?

Here’s a case where I’m sure I don’t have to tell you – getting this stuff right isn’t just important – it’s crucial. Because marketing and advertising today is all about location, location, location. Your location is anywhere and everywhere – and it has a huge impact on whether or not your marketing gets to the customers you want to talk to.

You want to target LOCAL customers, customers who are where you do business – and, you want your content to be where your customers will be looking – which means online, because really, today, your customers are all searching online. People search on websites, on Facebook, and they look at reviews – I know I do.

Is this a little overwhelming, figuring out how to get your business in all those places? Trust me, I totally get it. But, if you start with some of these basic digital marketing steps, I’m fully confident that your business is going to see some major upgrades, and they won’t go unnoticed by your customers.

Of course, the #1 thing I learned this week is that if you need help, Hibu can help.

So, what’s next for Digital Marketing 101 – for me and for your small business? Maybe Social!

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Hibu Employee Spotlight: Welcome our summer interns!

We’re proud to announce that we have a dynamic duo of accomplished and engaging students joining us this summer as interns! Both bring a world of skills and talent along with them and we’re thrilled to have them on board and contributing to Hibu’s success!

Of course, it wouldn’t be an internship if we didn’t ask them a few icebreaker questions. Read on to get to know a little about our newest teammates.

Meet Matt DeFusco

Matt is a rising junior at Syracuse University, majoring in Sports Management with a minor in Marketing.

If you didn’t have to sleep, what would you do with the extra time?

I would spend this time doing the things I enjoy but rarely have enough time to do. This includes playing ice hockey, watching sports, surfing, and snowboarding.

What fictional character do you most relate to?

Charlie Kelly from “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia”

What job would you be terrible at?

I would definitely be terrible at anything that would involve a steady hand, like a surgeon. I have rather shaky hands, especially in high-pressure situations.

When people come to you for help, what do they usually want help with?

People will often come to me for help regarding schoolwork (particularly math), personal advice, or my opinion on recent sports games. I have coached hockey in the past, so I can also offer athletic help when needed.

What is something you think everyone should do at least once in their lives?

I think everyone should try surfing once in their life. For me, surfing is a relaxing escape and a lot of fun.

What are you absolutely determined to do?

To put it simply, I am very determined to achieve as much success as possible while enjoying every day of my life.

Meet Gabrielle Fatula

Gabrielle is a rising senior at Moravian College, majoring in Marketing Management with a minor in Graphic Design.

What hobby would you get into if time and money weren’t an issue?

Writing & producing an album or trying my hand at cinematography, anything that can be a creative outlet.

What fictional place would you most like to go?

Neverland

What songs have you completely memorized?

Last Night – The Strokes

Tears Dry On Their Own – Amy Winehouse

Let’s Dance – David Bowie

What are some small things that make your day better?

A fresh cup of coffee/tea, sunshine, getting to pet a dog or seeing a happy baby.

What fad or trend do you hope comes back?

I can’t think of any that I want to come back, but one that came back that I hope doesn’t go away is denim everything (jackets, skirts, shirts etc.)

What websites do you visit most often?

YouTube, Instagram, or Twitter.

Welcome to the Hibu team!

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