Maximizing the Benefits
Every so often the business landscape goes through some major changes. Those businesses who can adapt and go with the change become successful but those who stubbornly operate according to yesterday rules fall behind and do not grow as much.
In the past, media changes came relatively rarely. Now however, with the age of social media, businesses must be on their feet and constantly update their knowledge with technology to promote themselves and keep connected with customers or risk being left behind and loose out.
The number of platforms for online marketing for small business owners to promote their business is continuously growing and expanding. Understanding how to use these platforms effectively Is more important now than ever. We looked at three of these platforms.
LinkedIn was launched in 2003 and today it’s become internet’s premier professional networking tool hosting over 175 million members nearly all professional in one field or another.
LinkedIn has become number one resort for those professionals searching to collaborate, find information, employment and for employees. Just about anything a small business owner could need. LinkedIn is useful for all businesses and because it’s free, it makes it a worth while resource for small businesses.
LinkedIn is like a online resume. You need to use it proactively. Great engagement tool. But you need to use it and get involved with the people already in the industries or positions you’re looking for.
In recent years, Facebook and Twitter have become twin standard bearers of the social media scene. Twitter is a small blog site where users can interact with each other in short and easy scannable burst of text.
Facebook was originally geared for college students but now almost everyone, young and old has a Facebook account with over one billion users, it’s at a point where at least everyone has at least heard of it. That’s a sign of market saturation and a major reason why every business should have a presence on one or both of these tools.
It’s important how you present yourself. You can’t just set up a Facebook account and expect success. You need to figure out why you’re there. Make your existing website to contain professional content and than place a teaser on Facebook or Twitter. That draws eyeballs to your site and starts to build reputation in the industry.
Blog, short for weblog, came about only 15 years ago and blogging already established a status in the world of online business promotion. Blogging has placed a secondary importance compared to Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
In the late nineties and early 2000′s the Internet based writing was lot smaller and bloggers were able to build audience slowly without lots of promotion.But now, the blog market is overstuffed. Social media is required to promote a blog. You need to post links on Twitter and Facebook to drive people to your blog content.
We live in a day and age of content marketing. Drawing people to your site. A blog is a great way to educate people on the information they need to make a better buying decision. And if your content offers that, it’s mush more likely you’ll get the sale.
You’re Audience and Your Needs
Experts caution businesses to do a self-examination before getting involved with the online world. Even though social media tools are free to use, they can take a lot of your valuable time. Time that can be spend elsewhere and can still be effective.
Know where your target audience is and who your customers are. Sometims a business will think they need a LinkedIn or Twitter account, but it might not be beneficial to your business or target market.
Know your audience and you’re need.
Entrepreneurs , by nature, are do it yourself people. To be successful at marketing business blemishes must be seen and effective marketing starts with an unbiased perspective.
Here are five marketing tips for your business.
1- Advertise small – not like a big business.
Big businesses advertise to gain name recognition and sales. A small business approach should be to have an insentive program and draw customers to it. Example: 15% off your next hair cut or website classes original price $1200. Now for a limited offer $599. The customer will generally come for the sale and than remember your store name.
2- Offer cheap or premium.
Some customers are not willing to pay full price for your product. However, they will pay a lower price rather than get best quality. You can offer a smaller or stripped down version of your product to meet there needs.
But not all customers are looking for cheap price. Some are willing to pay a little more and get high quality product. To these kinds of customer, a more comprehensive product or combine several products in a special premium package.
3- Reduce your ad.
Reduce the size of your ad so you can run more ads for the same price. Repetitious and consistency is the key. If your ad is in color run the ad using the same color every time. Use the same consistancy of ad size, color and layout every time. This way your ad will stay in people’s mind and it’s a way to start branding your business.
4- Joint promotion.
Partner up with some non-competing businesses serving customers in your market and by combining efforts your ability to cross-promote will help sell products for a very low cost.
Example: A health clinic, a children’s store and a pizza store, they got together and the health nurse immunized kids in a fun party atmosphere and gave happy parents coupons for the pizza store. The foot traffic to these stores were overwhelming.
5- Your current customers.
Your current customers are great advertising tool, they already know you and trust you, so when you have a new product or enhancing an existing product introduce it to your existing customer first. It’s easier to get more sales from them, than to get any business from somebody who has never bought from you. Create some special deals for your existing customers and announce the deal to them first before announcing it to the general market.
I hope marketing for dummies helped you a little bit. You can always ask us a question.
Your business is your baby. This very idea can leave you inspired and liberated. But there is also an edge, how do you get some cash to either advance your idea to the point of attracting investors or make your business profitable.
1- Asset sale.
If you have assets, such as car, RV, jewelry, rugs, motor boat, motor bike or second property. They can be turned into cash. Most people’s biggest asset is a home and a car. If you own a late model car, you can sell it and replace with a lower model car with no down payment. This will free up cash and leave you with a low monthly payment.
2- Borowing against your home.
This is an old trick. It’s also the best because you are in control of the money borrowed. The interest rate will be the same as your mortgage and the payment will be added to your moetgage payments. Keep in mind at tax time the interest portion of the business loan is an expense for the company. In that case ask your banker to keep a separate statement to show how much interest and principle you paid for your home as well as your business loan
Once your business gets off the ground and you are able to take a salary, start making monthly payments toward the loan. This way it will be paid off faster instead if having the same amortization as your mortgage.
3- Insurance policy.
Most of us pay into health insurance, life insurance, auto and home insurance. You can borrow against life policy insurance. Most life policies have some cash value after three years. Call or write your insurance agent and get details on how you can access these funds.
4- Try friends and family.
Your typical friend and family investor is someone who is in business and will help because he wished someone had helped him those early days. If you go this route make sure there is a written agreement in place. There is nothing worse than hearing “you never said that.”
I hope Money for Dummies was beneficial. You can always ask a question.
Four tips to run and grow for entrepenures
1- Measure and analyse your status.
The first thing to do before setting a course for growth is to measure how well your business is performing.
For example: knowing who your customers are and how often and what items They order can be key to finding out other items you can offer to compliment the ones they are already buying.
Cash flow is very crucial for a business owner. Review it every weeK and maintain monthly profitability. If you have to, cut costs and reduce expenses to achieve this.
Try to move inventory and turn it into cash. Find out how quickly inventory items turns and which items are popular and move fast. This helps you to understand how long you can expect inventory to sit on the shelf.
Technology and efficiency.
Technology can help you work smarter and you can get more done.
Computer – first consider how you do business before investing in a computer. For example if you are a mortgage consultant and on the road a lot, you might consider a laptop. Or you are at your shop or at your desk consider a desktop. Do a careful selection for your monitor. Since you are spending a lot of time in front of it make sure you don’t skimp on quality and size.
3- Customer service
Understanding your customer needs is step one. Keep in contact with them, call them when you have a sale and refer them to your website for a complete selection of products or services you offer.
You are not always the one dealing with customers. As your business grows, you might have a team of sales people. Treat them well and offer incentive programs. This will keep them happy and happy sales reps equal happy customers.
4- Expand on what you offer.
This step is to build on what you currently offer while looking into bigger opportunities. True, going after new clients can be exciting and the satisfaction of closing a deal. But in reality, you can get more mileage out of optimizing your relationship with existing customers. Get to know them personally and you can convince them that you can improve there results with your new product.
Not every existing customer is a good customer. Get to know them so you can tell the difference and really focus on the best ones. Core customers typically comprise 20% of a company’s base but provide 80% of profit.
If you have satisfied a customer, there is a good chance you will satisfy them again.