Amazon is Lending to Small Businesses

Amazon is becoming more than just an e-commerce platform. It already has a hand in just about any business you can think of – automobiles, fitness, apparel, electronics… But, if Amazon’s marketplace isn’t enough evidence, check out its recent purchase of Whole Foods for $13.7 billion.

That isn’t even all Amazon is up to.

Recently, Amazon has delved into small business lending. Their platform, Amazon Marketplace, was already a space to let small and medium sized companies sell their products throughout the globe. Now, they’re lending to those businesses.

What is Amazon Lending?

This year Amazon has issued more than $1 billion in small business loans. These loans range from $1,000 to $750,000. Amazon said many sellers have used this money to expand their inventory and discount items on Amazon Marketplace. More than 20,000 small businesses have received loans from Amazon.

How can you get an Amazon Loan?

Unfortunately, Amazon’s program is invitation only. But, they have issued loans to thousands of companies in the United States, U.K. and Japan. This innovative program may benefit many small businesses and, of course, Amazon, but it may also hinder banks and large retailers that are already struggling to keep up with Amazon Marketplace.

The millennial generation is completely different than past generations. They want quick results and quick transactions. Amazon provides this ease with their online loan program.

Many banks have yet to set up online loan applications. If they fail to update the way they do business, they can run into similar trouble that large retailers are experiencing because of e-commerce sites like Amazon.


Recruiting on Snapchat, are you missing out?

Businesses are recruiting talent through all social media platforms, even Snapchat. Why? A lot of businesses are looking for millennial employees, and Snapchat has one of the biggest millennial audiences. In fact, about 86 percent of working people in their first decade of employment use social media to search for job openings and potential employers.

McDonald’s is capitalizing on this movement.

The fast food industry that is known for their 35,000 store locations has started recruiting talent through Snapchat to fill 250,000 open positions. This large-scale recruitment strategy may be more beneficial than it sounds.

  • How:
    • Snapchat sends invitations to potential McDonald’s employees. Most of McDonald’s applicants are between 16 and 24, and half of Snapchat users fall in that range.
    • Users can send in a “Snaplication” which includes a ten second Snapchat video with a McDonald’s filter. Then, McDonald’s sends a link to the application page, on Snapchat, where users can formally apply to the job.
  • Why it works:
    • One of the biggest struggles for recruiting talent is actually reaching your potential employee pool. If you are trying to recruit millennial talent, go where they are: on social media. That’s where their attention is and where you’ll get it. Obviously, you’ll still want them to submit applications and sit down for an interview with you, but they can’t do that if they don’t know about the job opportunity in the first place.


Other companies are doing it too.

Space150, a digital shop, ran an intern application through Snapchat for two weeks. The company used geofilters to reach college students on 29 different campuses. The filters asked interested students to follow Space150’s account and apply to 10 internships in the agency’s multiple offices. The application required that interested users create a Snapchat story for one of the agency’s brands as if it were the year 2020.

  • For small businesses:
    • So, you’ve read this far because you’re running a small business that needs help recruiting talent. You can reach your talent on social media, as we discussed, but as a small business with a smaller budget than McDonald’s, how do you launch a project like this?
  • The benefits:
    • Geofilters allow you to ultra-localize your search through specific geo-locations, and they’re relatively inexpensive. You can either use the location for specific geographic areas or even specific companies. One company, agency 180LA, used geofilters to find talent that was already employed. They created creative geofilters to target employees at companies like Buzzfeed, Google and Facebook. 

How to do it. 

  1. Download the app
  2. Reach out to inMark Media for branding and marketing tips
  3. Launch your recruiting campaign!


Why having a website is important for your small business

No website means lost business. Over 2 billion people across the world use the internet, and 70 percent of them use it everyday. Still, some small businesses are failing to raise their sales with one simple fix: a website.


More people are using the internet than ever before. An average of over 3 billion searches are processed on google everyday.  Of those searches, over 50 percent are shoppers. That means your market is searching for products and services online, and if you’re business doesn’t have a website, they won’t know about your business. A professionally designed website is as important as having one in the first place. It helps brand your company and create an improved reputation.


Companies will waste thousands of dollars marketing their business in out-of-date brochures and newspaper advertisements instead of investing their time in a professional website. Not a website guru? No problem. There are extremely affordable companies that will create one for you.

One of your first impressions:

Even if your first connection with a client is in person, that person will most likely look up your website as soon as you leave—whether you know it or not. If you don’t have a website, you have a high chance of losing that customer.


Websites are open 24 hours a day. There’s no closing the store or locking doors. When you have a website, your costumers have access to your business from any location at any time. You’re giving your current and potential customers the ability to review your products, services and business at their own convenience.

You can boast:

When you’re relying on word of mouth to sell your company, you’re trusting that those words are positive. That isn’t always the truth. When you have a website, you’re your own advocate. That means boasting is a given, and it’s even recommended. Show yourself off and take pride in your work.

Keep customers up to date:

Websites are the perfect platform to keep your customers in the loop. You can use it as a blog, or to update your future and current customers about new products, offers, events or other content.

On average, 139,344 new websites go live each day. Don’t miss out on one of the easiest ways to market and brand your company.


InMark Media visits Food Bank for Westchester

Social responsibility is important for inMark Media Group.  Let’s face it, many of us seek a higher purpose in life and giving our time to help others is a way we can all make a difference.  When our CEO, Franco Cabral and COO, Marco Vitolo suggested an office volunteer event I jumped at the chance to coordinate.  After some searching we decided on the Food Bank for Westchester in Elmsford, NY.

As I was preparing this post I was surprised to learn that 1 in 6 people in America faces hunger according to  World of Hunger reports in 2015 an estimated 12.7 percent of US households suffer from food insecurity.  The USDA defines “food security” as the lack of access, at times, to provide enough food for all household members.  According to 48.8 million American (including children) live in households that lack the means to get enough nutritious food on a regular basis!  According to Food Bank of Westchester in Westchester County, approximately 200,000 people are at risk of facing food insecurity with 33% of those children and 22% seniors!!! These stats were shocking to me!

Food Bank for Westchester is a member of the Feeding America network whose mission is to feed America’s hungry through their network of food banks.  For over 28 years, the Food Bank for Westchester has been leading the fight against hunger in Westchester County by supplying food to soup kitchens, pantries, group homes, daycares, shelters and other local programs.  They acquire, warehouse and distribute to member agencies throughout Westchester County.  Food Bank for Westchester has developed partnerships with local businesses through programs such as:

Children’s Program

  • BackPack Program which provides children with backpacks that include meals to take home on weekends & vacations.
  • Kids Cafe, which provides hot nutritious meals/snack for children at risk at locations throughout Westchester County.

Mobile Programs

  • Senior Grocery Program which distributes groceries to senior centers and senior programs.
  • Mobile Food Pantry which brings meals to underserved communities.

Fresh Produce Initiatives

  • Green Thumb, where they purchase fresh food from local New York State farmers.
  • Food Growing Program, working in partnership with local organizations (The Farm, The Farm Co-Ops) to grow fresh organic produce while training the community on how to grow food.

On Tuesday, May 16th team inMark arrived at the Food Bank for Westchester’s distribution center at 9am.  Warmly greeted by Volunteer Coordinator Jandery De La Cruz we were escorted to a room with 4 huge containers filled with donated shopping bags filled with non perishables, 2 large tables in the center of the room and about 4 smaller tables labeled by food type.  Our task was to sort donated shopping bags (checking for expiration dates & quality – open or used food was immediately discarded), classify food by type and repack by category.  We jumped right in picking stations and started to work.  Wherever team inMark goes there are always two things: work and fun and this was no different. We joked & laughed and kept with our motto of Having FUN While Getting it DONE!  After about 2 hours we successfully cleared out all of the containers and were led on a tour of the distribution center by Volunteer Services Manager Nancy Lyons.  Nancy explained the history of the Food Bank for Westchester, its need to continue feeding the hungry and the impact and importance of volunteering.  The distribution warehouses food collected from the many partners across the county.  We saw huge piles of food. A freezer with perishables and trucks ready to head off to making deliveries.  At the close of our visit we took a group shot and left with a sense of feeling good because we did good!

Thank you to Food Bank for Westchester for allowing us to participate in your Volunteer Program.  This experience was humbling for us.  The opportunity to demonstrate our commitment to our community and to those less fortunate was one we will not forget.  Thank you to inMark Media for allowing us to participate as a group and creating a culture of compassion at inMark Media.

If you or your organization are looking to start volunteering, we at inMark recommend your local Food Bank.  Visit Feed America for a location near you.


Free Small Business Mentor Program—NY

Want success? You’ll need to work. Luckily, there’s some pretty successful people who already learned the ins-and-outs of the economy—and they did it the hard way.

There’s no need to reinvent the wheel. Creating a mentor/mentee relationship with successful business persons can help guide your business to achieve its goals. A mentor’s daily or weekly guidance will greatly improve your ability to manage your business.

When reaching goals, mentors are key. They understand your company’s weaknesses and recognize when your company is strong enough to proceed with risky investments.  Working with an advisor is the perfect route to gaining that same level of understanding and reaching your goals in a paced and innovative way.

New York States’ Empire State Development, an umbrella organization for New York State Urban Development Corporation and the Department of Economic Development, runs New York Business Mentor program, a free resource for entrepreneurs. The program is the first large-scale, hands-on mentoring program for New York State. It’s designed to help small businesses and dedicated entrepreneurs increase their successes.

Here’s how you can lead yourself and your business to a new level of success through the mentor program:


Create a profile on New York’s Empire State Development’s website. Fill out your profile like you would on a social media site. Include a description of yourself, your business, and all short and long term goals you have. If you don’t have any, then it’s time to make some!

Find business professionals who are in positons you think will be beneficial to your business. Reach out to the professionals you find and detail your interest in beginning a mentor experience.

Begin the mentoring process. This step is up to you and your mentor. Talk on the phone, exchange messages, or meet in person. Get to know your mentor and make sure they get to know you. Set goals with your mentor and discuss how you wish to improve your business.


The New York mentor program is conducted in partnership with Micro Mentor, an online mentoring platform that connects volunteer mentors with entrepreneurs. The program has linked hundreds of entrepreneurs with successful business persons. The relationships have led to successful navigation through businesses challenges for hundreds of businesses.


Why Supermarket Advertising is more Effective than Ever

Supermarket shopping behavior has changed for the better and has created direct opportunities for effective, local advertising.

Society is changing, and it’s changing quickly. Not just technologically, but socially too. As gender roles change in society, so do gender roles in the household—including grocery shopping. What used to be a primarily one-person job has turned into an entire family task. What does that mean for small businesses? More exposure to more of your target market more frequently.

Food Marketing Institute (FMI) conducted a study in 2016 that tracked the behaviors of supermarket shoppers. The institute has conducted studies for over four decades to understand and predict trends of supermarket shoppers. The results of the 2016 study showed a shift in consumer behavior from 2015.

Households are sharing shopping responsibilities 

3 in 5 households are engaging in some amount of co-shopping, according to FMI.This untraditional consumer trend presents an opportunity for local businesses. With no primary shopper in most households, supermarket advertisements are gaining more exposure. How? Two or more shoppers per household are seeing supermarket advertisements. That’s 200 to 300 percent more exposure than traditional single-shopper households.

Benefits for your business? More local exposure for your supermarket advertisement.

Shoppers want to eat at home

 89 percent of supermarket shoppers believe that eating at home is healthier than eating at a restaurant. AKA, 9 out 10 shoppers are consistently visiting their local supermarkets for meal preparations.

Benefits for your business? Consistent repetitive exposure to your supermarket advertisement.

Co-shopping is a growing trend among Millennia’s

 Millennials are the future. They are the new market, the new trend setters, the consumer behavior setters. According to FMI, co-shopping trends in households with more than one adult are growing. In fact, 91 percent of multi-adult households with young Millennials (18 to 27) are sharing shopping. For families with no Millennials? They’re still co-shopping, but 11 percent less than millennial households.

Benefits for your business? Millennia’s, who were basically born into technology, prefer supermarkets over shopping online, so why not advertise there?

In fact, most shoppers still prefer brick-and-mortar shopping experiences

Although technology continues to integrate itself into our everyday lives, it remains an unfavorable alternative to physically food shopping. Only about 5 percent of all supermarket shoppers use online-only retail services. The other 95 percent of supermarket shoppers consistently visit their local supermarkets for their food necessities.

Benefits for your business? Targeting your local market, because the supermarket is where they are!

Food shopping is nothing new and it’s not going to be anything old soon either. Trends in consumer behavior prove that food shopping is here to stay, and it’s the perfect place for small businesses to advertise their services.


Pro Tips to Hash-Tagging

Pro Tips to Hash-tagging

Hash-tagging gets your business’s name in “the know.” In a basic sense, it gives you a further reach, and a further reach means more followers.

The Hashtag


For a small company to make a big impact in a community, it needs to keep online content, especially hashtags, local. That doesn’t mean every hashtag needs to include the town or state you’re operating in, but it should definitely be included in at least a few. It’s all about your audience and target market, how they think and where they are.


If your service is lawn care, there’s no point posting “#couch #lion #lamp,” right? What would that do for your business? Absolutely nothing. Again, think about what is relevant to your current audience and the audience you are want to target and attract.

Out of the captions

Hashtags will help you get views, but you also don’t want to annoy the audience you already have. There’s not much worse than a tweet or Instagram post that’s mostly, if not all, hashtags. Use the hashtags strategically. Reply to one of your tweets or comment on your Instagram posts with them, it’s just as effective if not more.


Twitonomy: View the top 10 hashtags of any twitter user. Simply search their twitter handle and discover their frequently used hashtags. Want to know what a successful company in your industry is tweeting? This is an easy way! Another top 10 hashtag tool but based on a key word. Have a post about #art but not sure what related hashtags to tweet with it? Use to find out hashtags related to #art.

Twitter’s tailored trends: One of the most basic and free tools to figuring out what to tweet. The hashtags in the trending section on twitter are based on your location and who you follow. Your audience is key to your business, so knowing what they’re tweeting and care about will help you develop your tweets.

Supported platforms

It’s rare for a social media platform to not support hashtags. However, here are four social media sites where hashtags aren’t just supported–they’re used.

Facebook: Facebook is one of the newest social media sites that has added hashtag support. Hashtags link posts to a list of posts, by friends and non-friends, with the same hashtag.

Instagram: You can both link to and search hashtags on Instagram. Both will lead to two groups of Instagram posts with that hashtag in it: Top posts and most recent. It will also show related hashtags on the top of the page, a useful tool if you are stuck on other hashtags to add to your post.

Twitter: The first social media site to implement hashtags into their site. Twitter tracks trending hashtags, are used by journalists, for government updates, and to cover political and entertainment events. Twitter’s use of hashtags is more of a #livefeed. When searching a hashtag, there are three ways to filter the results: all, top, or people you follow.

Pinterest: Pinterest hashtags mark and search for content. Clicking on hashtags in a pin description directs results that contain the same hashtag.


How Emotional Intelligence Will Lead to Success

InMark isn’t just a company; it’s a team that works thoroughly and efficiently to reach company and individual goals. One of those goals is team bonding and building. It’s a key aspect to the success of inMark and, really, any company, organization, or group that is shooting for the stars. One way inMark Media maintains team relationships is through emotional intelligence.

Emotional Intelligence is the ability to react to situations with control, empathy, self awareness and social awareness in a way that maintains relationships, is motivating, and self-regulating. In other words, it’s people skills. Yes, technical skills, IQ, experience using software and job-specific skills are all necessary for employment. But, what truly makes an outstanding leader outshine a good leader? Emotional intelligence.

It’s like working out

Emotional intelligence requires you to rewire your brain’s innate impulses and habits. Let’s look at an analogy:

Say you work out 5 days a week, every week, for 2 years. After two years, you’ve established discipline. You’ve trained your body to act a certain way, to change, and to develop. It probably wasn’t easy in the beginning to leave work and go straight to the gym or wake up at the crack of dawn to get on the treadmill. But, after 2 years these actions feel like the other aspects of your everyday life. You’ve created a habit!

That’s the whole concept behind emotional intelligence. The only difference? You’re ‘working out’ your mind instead of your body. Some people are naturally more self-aware or in-tune with people’s emotions, so developing emotional intelligence won’t be a struggle. Others are born into unfortunate situations and have deep-seeded family issues. These people may require more practice and mind training.

But, Regardless of our emotional brain makeup, we can consistently learn and develop emotional intelligence through plasticity, a “term that neurologists use to describe the brain’s ability to change” [1]. Over time, these practices will become intrinsic habits.

It creates trust

Understanding and maintaining control of your emotions will help you subdue the urge to act on an emotional impulse. Every human has emotions. They are our first reactions to any situation we are in. Gaining control of our emotions is not pretending they don’t exist; gaining control helps us accept our emotions and work them into our favor. Will you get mad that you weren’t offered the job you had been dreaming about? Probably. Should you slam your fist against the wall 15 times to let that anger out? Probably not.

Obviously, that’s an extreme example, but it gets the point across. With emotional intelligence, you understand your emotions, and you’re able to react to situations in a mannerly way. This is especially important for leadership positions. Leaders who are attempting to establish an environment that fosters success and improvement need to acquire employee trust. It’s human nature to be drawn to situations and cultures where we are treated fairly and equally.

For all aspects of life

Emotional intelligence, as a tool and as a way of life, is important to all aspects of

ultimate succession. Whether you’re acting as a leader to your employees, a father or mother to your children, or a teacher to your students, an advanced emotional intelligence creates habits that allow you to act properly. ‘Book smarts’ are important. But, understanding the emotions of others creates an environment that fosters productivity and success.