Spotlight: Zoho.com Project Management Software

No matter what industry your business may be in, managing your internal company projects are always a real issue that must be dealt with.  With the explosion of outsourcing and overseas company offices, it is harder than ever to collaborate on a project along with completing the project on time.  Many companies try to collaborate […]

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Business Spotlight: WordWatch.com

Creating and managing an effective Google Adwords account can be a daunting task.  There are so many items to think about when trying to maximize your spend, while increasing your conversions.  Once of the hardest task for most websites that run adwords campaigns is how to effectively manage bids.  Google Adwords allows advertisers to change […]

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5 Time Keeping Apps To Increase Efficiency: A Must have For Small Business Owner

This is a guest post by Michael Evans. If you want to guest post on this blog, check out the guidelines here. Do you remember the old saying – Time is Money. This rings true when you are at the helm of a small business. Being a small business owner means you will have to be exceptional at […]

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Letting Go of Old Marketing Habits

Old habits die hard, especially when the repercussions for such actions is not immediately visible. When it comes to business marketing, the results of falling behind the strategy curve are not sudden or huge; they take place slowly over a long period of time and may go unnoticed.

However, the strategies for good marketing are changing faster than ever. If you implement any of the strategies below, you are paying a price that you may not even know yet.

Nightlife entrepreneur Andrew Sasson is one of the leading experts in the new marketing that is taking over all industries. Below are a few tips to help you increase your marketing presence by letting go of old habits that are keeping you behind the new class of entrepreneur that is taking over the world.

One – Using the Internet as a mass marketing tool

Long gone are the days in which you could spam your way into the hearts and minds of new customers on the Internet. There is so much competition and choice online today that any hint of impropriety from a business will result in less business. In fact, business owners do not even know the customers that they are turning away with hard sell ads, email blasts and unrelated content. The Internet is dividing itself up into niche oriented audiences: Find yours and focus on them wholeheartedly.

Two – Telemarketing

Although the numbers do not lie when they say telemarketing is still effective in some demographics (older people in rural areas), overall the practice is generally reviled among the well heeled and connected within society. This means that you may be able to maintain a certain audience through telemarketing if you already have a foothold, but you will never gain a new one. Better to divert those sales funds and human resources into more up to date marketing techniques.

Three – Email or direct mail blasts

Along with telemarketing, mass market blasts are fast falling out of favor with the new demographic that will soon rule the economy. No one ever liked receiving junk mail; however, in today’s society, it is just as likely to get your company a call from your local representative as it is to bring you sales. The trade-off is not worth it; redirect these resources elsewhere.

Four – Considering TV and radio the Grail of advertising

There are many alternatives to the traditional advertising mediums of TV and radio with lower costs and higher ROI. No longer is your audience consolidated in one place waiting to receive information from their favorite companies. Today people have TiVOs and satellite radios with thousands of channels. Advertisements are much less likely to be heard here. The Internet provides ways to direct advertising to people who are already interested at a fraction of the cost.

Five – Keeping old marketing information up

Nothing is worse in a fast moving society than a dead link or a wrong phone number. People will write your business off immediately without even thinking if your information is not updated.

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Keeping Your Business Reputation Clean

The marriage of small business visibility and positive reputation is now a must-have asset for new and existing companies on the web. Companies can no longer rely on positive views alone. They must insure that these positive notes about their business remains at the top of search engines.

Most CEO’s and company presidents know that they can do everything right with their business, and still have a few disgruntle customers that can spread negative content over the internet. Because positive visibility always trumps negative reviews, business owners must take care that positive feedback stays ahead of any negative content.

Because negative reviews are potentially seen by thousands or even millions of online consumers, obtaining a business protection asset such as Reputation.com makes perfect sense for the small business owner. Reputation.com is quickly becoming the must-have business weapon for enhanced online review protection for most online businesses.

Today’s small businesses must face the fact that leaving their online reputation in the hands of customers alone may be detrimental for new customer acquisition and existing customer retention. For this reason, businesses are turning to companies such as Reputation.com to help their business maintain a positive presence at many significant places over the Internet.

Yet, many business owners are still wondering if the services of business reputation companies are really necessary. However, it is strongly advisable by today’s business consultants that website managers, business owners, and key webmasters take advantage of Reputation.com small business reviews before negative content diminishes their ability to remain profitable.

Positive business maintenance services are so important, because companies that provide these services can help establish content that remains at the forefront of Search Engine Optimization or SEO pages. Without positive content on these pages, most business will struggle to find new customers.

Additionally, a reputation company can also use their expertise to have negative content removed from certain websites. Although this is not always possible, they are more likely to understand just what it takes to eliminate detrimental content from websites that are significant to small business well-being. With this type of power, acquiring services from a reputation company is one of the smartest moves a small online business can make.

Even if a reputation service cannot totally remove all negative content about a small business, their services are still well worth acquiring, especially because hiding content may keep a company afloat. Hiding negative content may mean one of two things.

The first way a reputation company can ‘hide’ content is by overwhelming the web with positive. Essentially, they would flood the Internet with positive content at several SEO friendly review sites, so that negative content would be extremely hard to find.

The next way that hiding negative content is performed by reputation companies is by having the small business create additional onsite links to positive reviews across the web. This is important because some consumers are likely to visit a small business website, even if they have come across negative content.

Further still, having positive reviews that are easy to find on a company site often helps a consumer’s decision to patronize that business. As a result, consumers are more likely to trust reviews about a business that are linked to or posted on the companies website. Companies such as Reputation.com also makes sense because they can help create a stream of balanced reviews and accurate content that will help consumers make informed decisions about small business services and online products.

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Start an E-Commerce Business

The world wide web has made starting a business a much more accessible proposition. Ordinarily starting a business would require having a location and targeting it appropriately in a community. By starting a business online, it’s possible to point the business at any audience you like based on interest without the need to attach yourself to a location.

Businesses remain challenging, even online, but the web makes it more possible. However, starting a small business online still requires the assistance of the appropriate firms. If you aren’t a web expert on your own, you’ll need to hire out the appropriate talent. This is possible through organizations like Web.com, which specialize in assisting with starting online businesses.

Ecommerce solutions can provide an online business with a number of resources, so this is where anyone looking to start a business online should start doing their research. It will be a good indication of what they will need to have intact to be functional and, subsequently, successful. Ecommerce solutions are diverse in nature, and what any given business requires will vary based on individual need. The most common ecommerce product that most businesses will find themselves requiring is a secure shopping cart.

A secure shopping cart software solution will allow users to place things they would like to purchase in a virtual shopping cart, and then “check-out”, much as they would in a store. However, checking out will require the use of a credit or debit card, making security of foremost importance. This makes a pre-made solution more viable than a home-brewed solution made by people more competent with business than code. Other examples of ecommerce solutions include marketplace software and marketing tools designed to streamline common business sense into the environments of the world wide web.

Starting a business online is a very possible proposition even to someone who doesn’t have a lot of experience with web engineering. It’s all a matter of being honest about your needs and pursuing the appropriate solutions. Odds are that the ecommerce solutions that you require are already made, and it will simply be a matter of finding them and appropriating them for your own needs. With the variety of solutions available to utilize, nearly every form of online business is entirely possible. Everything from online retailers to online service providers lean on these ecommerce solutions, and by doing the same, you can join the ranks of established online businesses with ease.

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What Good Supply Chain Management Means

When you look at the work of founder David Kiger, who started a supply chain company for small businesses, you will see that his company has grown massively since 1995. Who knows how much he thought it would grow when he first got into business, but it is safe to say that he has been pleased with the results. He really saw that there was a need in the market for a competitive supply chain system – allowing small businesses to get products at rates that were not inflated, that were similar to what huge corporations were already getting – and he went out and met that need. The most successful businesses are often the ones that follow this model and take on market needs.

If you are a business owner, one thing that you may be interested in is knowing how much of a difference a good supply chain can really make. How helpful can it be to you as you try to get your company to grow? What sort of advantage can it give you that you are not going to have without it, that will set you ahead of the competition? You really need to take some time to look into this if you want to see why the need was there in the first place and why Kiger had such success.

First off, getting the low rates means that even a small company can compete with a large one. This has often been the hurdle that is so hard to jump for small businesses. If you are selling books, for example, and you have to pay seven dollars for each book that you get, how are you supposed to compete with a chain bookstore that gets them all for three dollars apiece? You could slash your prices, but that would just make it so that you would not make any money on each sale. You cannot survive without an income, so you have to sell at higher prices than the big stores if you want to stay afloat. Of course, this drives away shoppers who only care about the price.

A supply chain that fixes this problem for you changes the whole game. You may have a smaller selection, but your prices will make more sense. If you asked them, most people would tell you that they prefer small shops to huge ones. They like the personal service, they like the atmosphere, and they like to know that they are supporting the local economy. They just do not like the prices. If your prices are competitive, you give yourself a very real chance for success.

Another thing that the supply chain can do for you is to make it easier for you to expand your inventory as demand goes up. If something is suddenly wanted by a lot of people and you have the same capital as usual to buy products, you can get more of them if they cost less per item. You are not going to save any money, but you can buy enough items to meet demand and therefore make more income during the next month. This could be the key that helps you grow your company from a one-person operation to a very successful local business that can provide dozens of jobs.

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A Market List Gets You Market Ready

Before your business is ready for a market list a database of your potential customers must first be created. Demographic information that includes age, socio-economic groups, presence of children, home ownership and education level of the some of the factors that have to be considered to build an accurate profile. As in all real estate, location is key to desirability. Geographic information can be classified in importance the same as demographic information. You have to know where your customers are coming from to help in identifying the core groups of people who will travel to your business and products in which they might be interested.

The target market has been determined for your business and your customer base has been identified. The next step is to make up your market list. A market list service company will have sales lists ready for implementation instead of you having to start from scratch to develop one. Lists should be readily receivable in whatever fashion you are comfortable using. Old fashioned snail mail, downloaded on your own computer equipment or by API connection, you should be the one to determine how you want the information. A large catalog over multiple industries and a company with years of experience will more than pay for its services in increased browsing and purchasing history. The market list servicing company must ascertain its collaborative position to produce results.

Companies that stand behind their declarations set the standards in acquiring the information needed. Their customer service is a direct correlation to the quality you can expect in all facets of the company’s claims.

Trying to come up with these necessary information strategies on your own may prove quite difficult. Companies that make it their business to develop customer profiles and marketing lists can produce the information you need in a fraction of the time it would take you to compile the data. Analyzed customer statistics and market ready sales lists from ListGiant.com is an example of one such company that can produce the information more efficiently and quickly than you. These services can prove invaluable to your company in terms of accuracy and profitability.

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