Saturday, July 31, 2010

Small Business Marketing Strategies - 3 Key Strategies For Maximum Visibility of Your Site

Let's get into the detail. What are the marketing strategies for a small business' site to have a maximum visibility? I found an article and what the author said is very true and very effective.

There are several small business marketing strategies that can provide optimal success when choosing the web as your marketing venue. Small businesses today are at a great advantage with the internet providing several tools and resources for internet marketing and traffic generation. Knowing what these small business marketing strategies are and how to use them in order to locally market your business properly is very important before you get started.

1- Business Marketing Strategies: Start with the Site

When you want to employ top small business marketing strategies online, you want to start with the site because you just cannot get anywhere without your base. This site will be where you are directing your target audience in order to find out more about your business or purchase goods and services from you online. This site should consist of several elements to ensure that there will be a high search engine ranking such as:
  • Appropriate Locality Related Keywords
  • Keyword Rich Content
  • Use of Meta Tags and Descriptors
  • High Quality Graphics
You want the page to which you refer your target audience to consist of a landing page with the necessary information and elements to ensure they are able to catch the scope of your offering and get right to where you need them to be.

2- Business Marketing Strategies: Build an Email List

Once the site is in motion, you want to build an email list of subscribers to which you can email information to direct them to your site, to your business and what you offer. Building the list can be quite simple with some key business marketing strategies. There are several ways you can capture an audience to build your email list such as:
  • Adding sign-ups to home page of site
  • Blogging sites
  • Opt-ins upon site entry
Building the email list allows you to share pertinent information with your audience, thereby getting them to be part of your business dealings and, as a result, more likely to convert to customers and ongoing loyalty.

3- Business Marketing Strategies: Blogging and Article Writing

There is a strong force behind blogging and article writing that many business owners have found to be extremely beneficial to employ in their small business marketing strategies. The key picture here is getting extreme exposure so you are found by the search engines, target consumers, and everyone else who inquires within your niche. Starting up a couple blogging sites can greatly increase your visibility, as well as traffic generation to your site.

As you provide relevant information that is sought out, you are building a special relationship with your readers, allowing them to trust your services and products. When it comes to small business marketing strategies, writing articles and posting on your site or on third party sites can also greatly enhance your visibility online and are therefor proven traffic builders.

There are various strategies that can be combined with others to offer high volume traffic generation, allowing your community and all that you wish to become your consumers to see and be well aware of your business and all you offer. Using the right small business marketing strategies means understanding what it takes to get the exposure that is needed exceed expectations.

(c) Copyright - Darren Brunson. All Rights Reserved Worldwide.

Small Business Marketing Ideas - How to Make the Most Out of Your Marketing Efforts

Hey small business owners, check this out! I'm practicing this one and then I found this article! Very effective :)

The internet is a crucial tool in the arsenal of small business marketing ideas. Even though the internet can reach people across the globe, a new trend is focusing locally with advertisements and promotions. One of many small business marketing ideas is using banner ads with a local emphasis. Some ways of bringing traffic to a small business website is to offer free promotional items or considerable discounts. An important way of following up with your ideas is to make sure your site has web presence beyond its own URL. The best way to ensure this is to register with search engines and make sure the content is optimized for higher rankings.

A website must stand out. One way to make sure of this is to use one of the small business marketing ideas. A prominent idea that will bring customers is to offer free or heavily discounted services or products. Some things to consider when building a website with small business marketing ideas in mind are creating an E-zine and including SEO (Search Engine Optimization) content.
An Ezine, like EzineArticles for example, is a place to write articles on the products or services being offered. It can be very helpful in taking advantage of many of the other small business marketing ideas. A business would benefit by expanding its coverage to trends in the target market. As a business owner you should be commenting on blog posts. When writing articles or blog posts choose keywords that will bring up a site in search engines. A common rule of thumb is to have keywords placed at two to three percent density. That means if a post has 250 words, a keyword and possibly a variant should show up between five times and seven times.

Another very important aspect of small business marketing ideas is to comment on blog posts and in chat rooms related to its offerings. This can also work well for setting up affiliates, which could be a very valuable method in small business marketing ideas. Affiliate marketing follows the old adage of "You rub my back and I will rub yours". Businesses that have similar offerings or focus on the same market might advertise the other one and each gets a residual payment each time someone clicks on the ad or buys something from the other business.

A new trend in small business marketing ideas involves online advertising. The advertising should be based on a users local area and demographic information. Business owners may balk expenses associated with such a campaign. However, the way online advertising works is currently in a state of change. Rather than the old method of Pay-Per-Click advertising (PPC), the latest fad is using Cost-Per-Action (CPA) advertising. The difference is that a publisher does not need to be paid unless a purchase is made. With pay-per-click, a publisher had to be paid even if someone did not sign up for a site or service or purchase a product. But please be aware that even the best small business marketing ideas are useless until someone puts them into action!

(c) Copyright - Darren Brunson. All Rights Reserved Worldwide.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Starting a Business Without Leaving Your Full Time Job

Yes, you see it right! You can do it! I am doing it! My friends are doing it! You can really do it! Why would you leave a job just to put up a business if you can do both? Actually, it has even an advantage! You have a constant customers!!! Who? Your colleagues! So do not give me a reason that you cannot set up a business because you are the breadwinner and you cannot leave your job, because again you can do both things!!! Amazing isn't it? Read on the article below to check how.

Starting a business in a bad economy, accounts for a very smart move. It provides as a backup option and can prove to be a strong money generator. For example, a small home business or internet business is easy to set up and requires minimal capital.

There are many benefits of working full-time and running a business. A regular job provides family benefits and the side business allows you to follow your dreams, thereby maximizing tax deductions and earning extra income.

There is a wealth of information available on the internet, book stores and libraries that provide guidelines for starting a business. However, before you jump into it, it is always good to chalk out a plan on the time and effort you are ready to invest in starting and running a business.

Analyze your Available Time

In a given week there are 168 hours. Of that sleeping, eating, personal care, family time, and social life could roughly demand 94 hours. If you have a 40-50 hour regular job 5 days a week, you would have a surplus of 30+ hours and weekends to work on your business. But planning is crucial as you do not want to go on a work overdrive, the work done should be enjoyable.

Choose the Right Business

The next important step is to choose the right business based on your passions, skills and time availability. A good side business is one that does not compromise your regular work, family and social responsibilities, but lets you realize your dreams of becoming financially strong.

Plan the Structure

After you have identified the kind of business that interests you, make a work flow or work chart of the business process. Find all the help and resources you need to start and run the business. List your goals, "spread the word" on the internet through family and friends about the products and services your business offers.

Use the Internet

There are two ways to run your business: "online" and "offline". Traditional offline businesses have been there for centuries where the focus is to expand the business by word of mouth alone. The power of the World Wide Web is now known to one and all. It has the ability to cross all known physical and geographical boundaries to connect people all over the globe.

It is the online business that gives many advantages in terms of marketing your products online and the convenience of working from home after your full time job. Harness the power of starting your business online to reach out to prospective customers and clients and expand your business on a global scale.

It is vital to set your expectations on a realistic level when starting a business. Staying grounded and following the rules of business, you can make inevitable progress. The journey of preparing yourself and your mind to undertake a business venture on the whole is the best investment one can make. It makes one strong enough to survive any kind of economy and not fear the fluctuations of the job market.
Get a great head start and start your business!

Owning Your Own Business Now

Well, I'm a person who is not financially stable. I just graduated college because of scholarship. I was expected to just work as a normal employee then earn then help my family. That is the normal thing that they want to see me doing. BUT I took a step. I decided I do not want to be an employee forever. I do not want to be stuck in the rat race. I need to do something. Then that is what I did! I took the risks, use my little amount of savings, then enter the world of business! 

What I'm saying is you do not need to be rich to own a business. You do not need to be supported by everyone because there will be times that they will not agree with your idea. Trust your guts, research more, and be determined of what you want to do, and that is OWNING A BUSINESS! This is the right time to take a single step and own a small business.

This article will help you realize you should act now. NOW IS THE TIME. GO ON AND READ.

You can own your own business now. Just find something you do well and like to do and act on this passion. Although the possibilities are endless, you can make choices through a trial and error process. If you have been working for others your entire life and have had it up to your eye brows, a move into something of your own may be your best move. I know--but what? This was my story many moons ago, so you may have to go through a similar process to mine to narrow your choices.

If you do not know exactly what to do, start by going to the local library and walking the aisles noticing categories. Go to the mall and peruse the stores and make note of things you like. Talk to owners of businesses you may enjoy and get their reactions. Look at the nonfiction books in a bookstore to see what trips your trigger. Make sure you have a pocket recorder or pad and pen or pencil so no ideas or thoughts get away.

If the above leaves you doubtful, the next step should be the personal approach. Attend chambers of commerce meetings and talk to various business people and discuss the ins and outs of what they do. Call on your local small business administration and pick up their business literature and possibly speak with a counselor about what you may be qualified for. You may come up with a business idea you never heard of or did not know existed.

If you would consider buying a business, pick up a local newspaper and check the classifieds for active business brokers. Visit one or two or three and discuss different businesses that they have for sale. They can explain each one to see if one appeals to you. This worked for me and it may work for you. But you have to find an agent who will take the time to understand and analyze your desires and capabilities. I wound up buying one and eventually had 3 very successful locations.

If you decide to be an independent contractor like a handyman, carpet cleaner, landscaper or start a website business, you can work from home.

If you want to be in business where everything is set up for you including all products and procedures, you may want to investigate franchises. Just make sure you do your homework and due diligence before signing up. You should definitely visit several franchise owners to make sure the whole thing is viable. A good franchise can be expensive. Also, make sure you get a lawyer who specializes in franchise law before you sign anything.

After you examine and analyze yourself and do your networking, many more ideas will come to the surface. You may have to go with your gut and just pick one. Then you can pump your fists and pat yourself on the back for making a great life-changing decision.

Start Small When Starting a Business

OK, let's say you inherited millions and millions of money? What if you suddenly became a multimillionaire man because you won the lottery? Then suddenly you are wise enough to decide that you will use your tons of money to start a business and not spend it into gadgets, cars, and houses! Wow! That's very lucky of you!

But let's say you have no experience in handling a business? Will you put up a very big business because you have tons of money to invest on it? Well, sounds like a bad idea! If you are a beginner, no matter how rich you are, you need to start small.

Why? Well, I found an article that best explains this.

When starting a business it is best to start small. This advice is popularly given to people who had no experience on handling any type of business. But why start small when you have enough capital to start with? There are so many reason, first is to know the playing field.

Like when learning how to ride a bike, a learner has two small wheels on the side on the back wheel of the bike. These small wheels serve as a guide and protection so that the learner won't fall off when riding a bike. In due time, the learner will get use to balancing the bike and can now remove the two small wheels. The two small wheels have served its purpose but now it is not needed anymore. The learner knows how to ride a bike.

That also applies in business; the business owner or incoming entrepreneur must first learn how to manage the business with proper care. Just like the two small wheels of the bike, the entrepreneur needs it to make their business prosper. But in business it is not wheels, it is experience.

The business owner must know what is like to lose money, to earn money, to deal with customers, to properly manage employees, to handle taxes, and to keep inventory. All of this is critical to make the entrepreneur a well rounded and experience business owner.

If you started your business with a huge capital and somehow did not make its returns, it will not only lose your money but also demoralize your morale and confidence in starting a new business again. But keeping your business with a small capital and somehow did not reach its financial target; the business owner can count their losses and move on the next one - another new business venture.

It doesn't matter if the business owner loses 10 businesses as long as they learn something from their mistakes. This is what you call credit to experience. One day this particular business owner will gain knowledge from their past mistakes by not doing it again and making it perfect the next time around.

So when starting a business, start small. Remember the two small wheels and don't be afraid of losing and committing mistakes. One of these days your small business will be a big business enterprise.

Small Business Online Advertising Solutions

Everyday there are millions of people using search engines online. The days of the big phone book are over and the keyboard has taken its place. If you are a small business owner, advertising online can be a great way to boost customer sales and get your business out there right in front of the people that want to see it.

With online advertising, you get to see instant results. There is no waiting for your advertisement to be printed, or even in most cases, any advertising costs. The internet is the best free advertising that you can possibly get plus anything you put online will be there 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Many small business owners have one thing in common, they all want more customers, which in turn makes them more money. Now the best way to do this is to make it as easy as possible for potential customers to find your business, look at what you are offering or selling, and make a purchase. What easier way for a customer to do this than from the comfort of their own home? With online advertising, this is what you are doing, you are putting your business right in front of their eyes.

Now there are many different ways to advertise your small business online depending on what type of business you own. If you are a local business and want customers to come to your store, you would want to first let the people know what type of business you are, and second where you are located. The easiest way to do this is by using online directories. These are the yellow books of the new age. Here you can make a whole profile for your business, and most online directories have places for customer reviews and feedback. Being listed in many different directories gives you more opportunities for potential customers to find you.

If you are a small business that sells different products or services, you might want to use a different online advertising approach. You would want to have a website that your customers could easily find. The website should have enough information on your products that people would have no further questions and be ready to purchase your product right away. Your web page should be easy to find which usually requires some sort of optimization of your website which allows for a higher rank in search results.

No matter what type of small business you own, online advertising is a great way to boost sales and really get your business seen. Whether you decide to have someone do your online advertising for you or do it yourself, online small business advertising is guaranteed to give you the boost your business needs.

8 Ways to Generate New Ideas For Your Business

You've got your own business but how will you market it? You need some new ideas to put into your business so that customers will keep on coming. Customers will always look forward to check on what's new to your business and they keep on enjoying the new things they found on your business. BEING CREATIVE! That's the right term. All successful businesses, even though they are stable, keep on being creative to stay on top. As a small business owner, you also need to work on your mind and think, think, think of something new. 

I have an article here that I found that I will share to you about 8 ways how to generate new ideas for your business. This is so important in a small business enthusiasts like you. So enjoy reading!!
The only purpose of a business is to bring in a customer; and there are really only two ways to do it - through marketing or innovation.

New ideas are the lifeblood of any business so it is important to encourage creativity among employees and to be truly innovative.

But creativity and innovation are not the same. Creativity is all about coming up with new ideas, whereas innovation involves putting new ideas into action.
New ideas can be very difficult to find. When you do find them and put them into action, they can provide a powerful marketing edge and become a license to print money.

Here are 8 ways to help generate new ideas for your business success:

1. Ask for Opinions
You could hire consultants or you could simply seek opinions from someone who knows absolutely nothing about your business. We often get so close to what we are doing, that we cannot see another way of doing things. There are times when we need to step outside our own environment because sometimes ideas used in one trade can be adapted to another.

For example, which came first the ball-point pen or the roll-on deodorant? They both use the same ingenious principle.

2. Encourage Staff Creativity

If you employ staff, encourage them to think up new ideas and get them to suggest changes. You will need to be open-minded and encourage their input. You will need to be tolerant when their ideas do not work. And you will need to reward them in some way for good ideas, although you will probably find that the satisfaction of "seeing their ideas in action" may be reward enough.

3. Brain Storm

One of the best ways to tap into new ideas is through brainstorming. This could involve family, friends, staff, customers and even other business owners. The key with any brainstorming session is to disallow any negative comments and to only analyse or develop ideas once the session is over.

The purpose of a brainstorming session is to produce a quantity of ideas. It is quantity not quality. Refining the ideas comes later.

4. Re-educate the Mind

There is an old saying, "you never stop learning" and it is true. If you are willing to make a personal commitment to perpetual re-education you will reap the rewards. Allocate an annual budget (maybe 1% of your turnover) for personal and staff re-education. Consider training courses, seminars, workshops, audiotape programs etc.

5. Become a Case Study

Consider approaching a local high school, college, or polytechnic that runs business courses. Offer your business as a case study in return for feedback from the students.

6. Become a Surfer

There is a wealth of information on the Internet and most of it is free. Search other areas of business rather than just your own as you might be able to adapt a totally unrelated idea.

7. Read and Subscribe

You can often find ideas in the most unlikely places. Business, fashion and trade magazines are all worth a browse. These days it is easy to subscribe to any number of overseas publications.

8. Travel Opens Your Eyes

Visit similar (or even unrelated) businesses overseas. You will be surprised at how freely many of them share their knowledge; after all you are not a threat to them. In my travels I have made it a point to visit factories that make the strangest things, huge shopping malls, numerous small businesses and international marketing companies. It must work, because each time I seem to come home buzzing with ideas.

I would like to finish by repeating what I said earlier. The only purpose of a business is to bring in a customer; and there are really only two ways to do it - through marketing or innovation. So, there you have an important key to success in business. What you do with this information will depend on you. I wish you every success!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Small Business Success Tips - Dependability

When we are setting up our first small business, we need suppliers so that we can make our products. We are really looking for trustworthy suppliers. This time, we are the customers. There are two suppliers. The first supplier promotes very well. It seems that his business was very well planned especially his marketing method, it was very impressive. That is why I chose the first supplier. I came to his shop and he gave me a very good product presentation. I left his shop with a lot of supplies that was bought from him and a decision that I will do business with him as long as I am still in the business.

What happened?

After a couple of weeks from the purchase of the products from the first supplier, I began asking questions and found some glitches in the products I bought. Unfortunately, this very well promoted supplier does not know one important term in the business industry: after sales service. His shop is not accessible enough for me to visit everytime I will find glitches on the supplies that I bought from him. 

Even if he delivers very good quality products, even if the products are well promoted, and even if he is very good in presenting the products, I ended up not being my lifetime supplier. Yes, I bought a few supplies. But will I go to him again? Of course not! 

What's my point?

If your business is not a necessity and you are not the only one catering that business, you should be really dependable to your customers. You should create this magic between you and your customer that your customers will always depend on you and you alone! 


Who's my supplier?

I found a supplier that assists me everytime I am having trouble with my business. He is always there to answer all of my questions. He gives me discount in everything I buy. I can reach him if I have problems with the products I bought from him and he is very much willing to replace them. He will apologize sincerely and will give you a smile that you will really forgive him easily. He keeps a record of our business so that we can reserve items we wanted to buy so he makes a way to save our time. Our supplier is doing business with us for more than a year now and will continue doing business in years to come.


The article below I found in Ezine is a broad description of why dependability is very important.

Small business owners looking for a way to distinguish their business from their competition have many ways to do so. They can charge less, or advertise more, or fly a huge red weather balloon over their store. None of these choices lead to small business success.

Yes, short-term campaigns can lead to short-term success. The secret to long-term success, however, has two parts and two parts only: retaining customers, and generating customer referrals (also known as word-of-mouth). And the way to do both of those parts is to give the customer what he wants and needs.

If a customer only sometimes gets what he wants and needs, he will look elsewhere. If he gets it late, or it's not quite right, he will look elsewhere. If you miss an appointment, or a deadline, he will look elsewhere. Customers need dependability.

This is a fast-moving world, and people work hard to keep up and get ahead. They come to you because you say you can help them: you can provide a product or service they need. You can fix their car, or paint their wall, or balance their books, or train them to succeed in business. They don't have time to waste waiting for you, or even worse, waiting for your errors to be fixed.

Lack of dependability will destroy your small business success faster than high prices, or mediocre quality, or slow work. Customers will spend more for dependability. They will put up with mediocre (but sufficient) quality if they can count on you. They will allow for the extra day or week if they are confident you will deliver at that time.

Dependability is a rare quality. It is valuable because it is rare. Think of all the times you have been disappointed by lack of dependability, and you will find they are very frequent. Every time you have had to wait in a waiting room; every checkout clerk who has needed to call for a price check; every check that wasn't in the mail; all these and more have made you wish you had a choice. Or when you have had a choice, you have taken it.

Your customers feel the same way about your business when the transaction is not smooth and easy and what they were expecting (or better). You can almost build your whole business on dependability! McDonald's did.

A survey the author did in 1990 of his clients, with over 600 respondents, asked them to place speed, quality, price, and dependability in order of importance. Over fifty percent named dependability as most important. Quality came in second, then speed, then price. There is no reason to think that the responses would be any different today.

Do whatever it takes, is the lesson here. Be on time, meet your deadlines, keep your word, even if it means working all night, paying overtime, losing money on the job, or missing your golf tournament. Be dependable.

If your customers can count on you, they will.

Small business success depends on dependability.

Small Business Success Tips - Planning

What's the most important thing in putting up a small business? Planning! We even have the saying that: "If you want to be a failure, just fail to plan!" That easy! But of course we don't want to be a failure right? We don't wanna waste our effort, time, and money for nothing right? So what do we wanna do? PLAN!

BUSINESS PLAN is very important before setting up a small business. All of businesses, small or big, need BUSINESS PLAN.

Don't know how to make a business plan? Well, lucky you, I found guidelines on how to make a powerful business plan. Just click on the links.

Click Here!
Click Here!
Click Here!
Click Here!
Click Here!

Below is an article I found which is very helpful to small business enthusiasts. Read on.

Some small business owners plan to the smallest detail, sometimes planning themselves into a nervous breakdown from long hours and stress. Others are completely impulsive, shouting orders madly and cursing the dolts who didn't order enough whatchamacallits. Neither extreme results in smooth production in all areas of the business.

The first trick to planning is to plan for the positive. Trying to anticipate and prepare for every possible obstacle is a negative approach, and self-limiting. The only necessary plans are those that will lead to success. If you want 200 attendees at your next event, plan how to bring in 400, even if your hall will only hold 250. Don't let your production capacity keep you from bidding on jobs that will strain that capacity.

The second trick to planning is to identify the essential elements of success. For your event, you need a sound system, refreshments, and your printed materials. Sure, other items will come up, but set up the essentials, and you will have a framework for any other needs to fit into.

The third trick to planning is allowing lead time. "Too little, too late" should never apply to your business. Being "too busy" is never a valid excuse. "Too busy" comes from an earlier lack of planning. If you are in this vicious cycle, the only way out is to discover what is essential and do only that until you are caught up.

The fourth trick to planning is thoroughness, which is different from obsessing over details. Whether you are planning for a major client project or a minor office rearrangement, make a list of the essential actions. Always, always make a master written list of essential actions when planning. The list can change over time, but the list is absolutely necessary, or guaranteed, something will slip through the cracks and lead to a crisis.

The fifth trick to planning is to plan with a purpose. Plans can encompass any time period from minutes to years. Merely planning how to use your time, however, will not move you forward at any great pace. You can get a lot done and still not accomplish much of what you need and want to accomplish.

Example: you plan to meet with the mayor from 3:00 to 4:00 to talk about parking ordinances. If that is the whole of your plan, you may not accomplish much. A real plan would be meet with the mayor in order to show him how changes in the parking ordinances would benefit the city. With that plan, you can gather your data, practice your arguments, build your Powerpoint presentation, all with a single end in mind.

Similarly, planning to double your landscaping equipment sales in the next year does not give you much of a framework to hang actual actions on. Instead, plan to quadruple your client base by expanding your sales area and establishing the superiority of your equipment through dramatic demonstrations throughout the year. That plan will get you where you want to go.

Finally, be sure to include others in your business plans, especially your staff. They have to plan their own actions and decisions to fit in smoothly with your plans. Key staff should have a complete picture, and lower-totem-pole staff need to know about anything that will affect their decisions and actions in that department. After all, your staff will be the ones who will help you bring your plans to life, even if your staff is only one part-time bookkeeper.

In summary: no planning means constant fires to be put out and bridges collapsing; too intensive and painstaking planning means projects take too long and cost too much. Just enough planning means the company grows through a series of successful actions that always contain some element of surprise. Some level of occasional challenge keeps life interesting. Plan on it.

Small Business Success Tips - Promotion

Promotion is one of the challenging steps in building up a small business. One secret to promote your product? TRUST YOUR OWN PRODUCTS! With you having high confidence in your own products will be very confident in promoting it. For me, what I do is that I acquire more knowledge first. I am actually an ebook fan. Oh well, thanks to this software that gives an unlimited download of ebooks. Small business owners and enthusiasts will appreciate this.

Click Here!

I found an article in Ezine which will definitely help small business owners out there on determining why promotion is very important in succeeding in a small business.

Promotion is not the same as marketing. Promotion of a small business encompasses all methods of getting the word about your small business out into the community. Marketing, public relations, networking, advertising, press releases, and many more actions all are forms of promotion.

The purpose of promotion is name recognition, without negative association. Famous criminals are not sought out for business relationships. Positive association is best, but even neutral or no opinion association is valuable. The objective is to get the most people possible saying "I've heard of them" when your business name comes up.

The reason name recognition is important to your success is because people are more likely to approach something they are familiar with. When they need the product or service you offer, and are looking at their alternatives, they are most likely to call the business whose name they recognize (unless they have heard bad things about it).

Part of promotion has to do with presentation. Negative association is more likely to come from poor presentation than from enemies whispering unflattering things about you. Therefore, a great deal of your promotional energy should be devoted to the quality of your promotion. Amateurish, error-ridden promotional work will turn people off, and once they are turned off, it is very hard to again make them receptive.

Presentation reaches beyond the quality of your printing or advertising. Every single contact your business name makes with anyone reflects on their impression of your business. Every email, every conversation, how you dress, how quickly your website loads, and any other interaction between you or your business and people are all promotional actions, and are affected by the quality of their presentation. So be professional at all times, and project competence and other positive qualities to the best of your ability.

Books have been written full of promotional ideas, and many can be found for free on the internet, by searching for "inexpensive promotion" or "promotional ideas" or the like. Many of them are impractical or inappropriate to your business, but some of them will make sense to you.

A fifteen-dollar table at a church flea market might result in 500 new people hearing of you or seeing your name. High school event programs are seen by hundreds of parents and are cheap to put a small ad in. Always having a business card to hand to anyone who will take it is a basic of promotion. There are hundreds of ways to promote a local business, including on the internet.

If your business is not local, but internet-based, promotion follows the same rules: keep the quality of presentation high, and seek out ideas with a search for "internet promotional ideas" and similar words. Beware anything that says "free" except downloadable ebooks. There are ways to effectively promote for free on the internet, but most of them are not advertised.

Look for bloggers with many followers, and make intelligent comments about their blogs. Get your website included in specialized directories (not the huge directories that no one uses or even sees). Offer a free ebook on free ebook sites. Probably the best inexpensive way to promote on the internet is with an ezine that you email out regularly, but that route is time-intensive and requires a firm commitment. You will find many more ways if you look for them.

You can measure the success of your promotional efforts in a local setting fairly easily: each month, ask 30 or more strangers if they have heard of your business, and keep track on a graph of the percentage who have. If the graph line isn't going up, you need to promote more or with better presentation or both.

On the internet, promotional success is clearcut: keep track of the number of unique visitors to your site.
One final warning: promotion is not marketing. Do not neglect actual marketing actions, as they are what will produce actual leads and actual sales. Promotion plows the field; marketing sows the seeds; salesmanship tends the crop and reaps the harvest.

Monday, July 26, 2010

The Top 7 Mistakes Why Second Generation Small Business Owners Fail at Business Success

Why do small businesses fail? Well most of the time because a lot of small business owners especially the beginners pattern their way of handling their business which makes them imitate what the first batch of entrepreneurs did. They copy EVERYTHING, "everything" means including the mistakes. New batch of small business owners need to analyze things. It is good idea to have someone to look up to but you also need to know if you are copying the right thing. It is good to know the mistakes but for them to be avoided not to be copied.


I found an article written by a business coach in United States which gives a list of WHY DO THE SECOND GENERATION SMALL BUSINESS OWNERS FAIL. And there are seven of them!! Yes, that means 7 things to avoid! Read on and learn.

Many small businesses successes today are the result of the actions of the previous generation. Yet, many second generation businesses owners fail to capitalize on the efforts of their ancestors. According to the US Small Business Administration, small business failure for family owned businesses is two out of three.

From my experiences as a business coach and an employee of a first generation business owner, this failure is probably much more about people failure than knowledge failure. These 7 mistakes may help you avoid the failure that many second business owners experience and achieve the business success that you desire.
  1. Ivory Tower Mentality - Knowledge Failure
  2. External Customers Relationships transfer - People Failure
  3. Source of Employee Loyalty - People Failure
  4. No Plan - Knowledge and People Failure
  5. Performance Savvy - People Failure
  6.  Since businesses are comprised of people, managing people takes an understanding of what motivates people to do their very best. For example, when the current management team cries poverty and can't afford raises for the employees, but then purchases brand new expensive cars, their actions have a negative impact on the employees. Employees don't mind new cars, but do mind luxury cars. 
  7. Assumptions - Knowledge and People Failure
  • Market place
  • What motivates employees
  • How much time the business demands
  • Owner entitlements

  • Values - People Failure

  • Many first generation business owners operated by core values where a man was as good as his or her word. Handshakes instead of formal contracts had much greater value. Today's business owners appear not to have the same deep seated values of their ancestors. The result of the lack of values can be summed up in one word - greed.

    So if you truly want the efforts of the previous generation to be sustainable, then look to see if you as a second generation business owner are making any of these mistakes. Your small business success depends on the actions you take right now so that you are not 2 of those 3 family owned businesses that experience complete business failure.

    Small Business Owners - Want to Achieve Greatness in Your Business? Be Enthusiastic!

    I grew up in a family that share the common belief that a stable job is a solution to avoid poverty. It is hard for me to prove my point to them that I wanted to start as a small business owner while I am having my daily job but I will not be an employee forever. For them, climbing the corporate ladder is the best goal in life. For me, creating my own ladder so that other people will climb my own ladder. I do not want to work for other but I want people work for me, for all of us. But why did I continue pursuing my dream of becoming an entrepreneur despite of criticisms I am receiving? Because I am ENTHUSIASTIC! Yes, I am enthusiastic in everything I do especially when I started to set up my small business together with a couple of friends.

    I learned that before you put up a small business, you need to be enthusiastic about it. You need to be so full of energy and be positive to everything. That is the key to be a successful business owner. When we are thinking of what business to put up, there are a lot of ideas that came, but when we think of our current business which is "personalized items," we suddenly became so positive! And right now, even all of us are full time employees, we can still manage our small business. You can even take a peek of our small business here: 


    I found an article here about this topic. I totally agree with the author of this article. Read on!!

    Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm. -Ralph Waldo Emerson

    Before you start groaning at the thought of another "article," just hear me out. Small business owners, you have to be enthusiastic about your business. You have to literally eat, breathe, drink and sleep your business. If you don't enjoy what you are doing it will show. It will show in your articles, your blog posts, everything you do. You have to love what it is you are doing to be successful in your own business. If you have started a business just because someone told you that you could make a lot of money doing it, stop right now and go get a job. You won't be successful because you are in business for the wrong reason. In order to start a business you can be enthusiastic about, think about something you do just for fun. Do you like to write? Do give unsolicited advice to strangers? Are you always making something? Do you sew, crochet or knit? Are you a techie that can create a website in 45 minutes flat? Just because something comes easy to you doesn't mean it comes easy to someone else.

    You must do your research to determine if you can make money at what you have skills in. Nothing kills enthusiasm worse than not making any money in your business. Before you start a small business, join some forums related to what you think you might want to do. Look at what the members are posting. These people are looking for a solution to a problem. If you have skills related to a problem that you see over and over again on the forums, you may have a viable idea for a business. Don't just stop there with your research.

    Next you want to see how much it will cost you market this business. The best gauge for this is to see what other people are paying in your niche. This will tell you how much you need to budget for advertising. You also need to see how many incoming links you will need on your website. The best way to do this is to go to Google, type in some keywords you may want to use for your business and observe the websites that are on the first page. Take the top ten and put them in Alexa. This will tell you how many incoming links they have. This is important to you because in order to get on the first page of Google you need to beat the people that are on the first page already. If the people that are already on the first page have thousands of links you may want to think about another niche.

    Running a small business can be a rewarding experience. It does take hard work and enthusiasm to sustain a small business. There will be some challenges for you to face. With the right support system in place, you can run the successful small business you have been dreaming about.

    Sunday, July 25, 2010

    Businesses you can start from P51,000 to P100,000

    Wanted to put up a small business and you've got at least P50,000 to P100,000 in savings. Then it's time to withdraw them from the bank that earns just 1% interest a year and start to grow it more and enjoy the life of a small business owner.

    My favorite magazine Entrepreneur helps a lot of small business enthusiasts including me and this article will give you list of small business ideas with your P50,000:  Part 2 of businesses you can start from P1k to P100k ENJOY READING!!! 

    P51,000 TO P100,000

    Organic Produce


    Travel Agency
    When entrepreneurs put in P51,000 to P100,000 of their own money to start a business, they had better be sure that they are passionate enough about it to learn as much as possible about the business from the very start and to run it hands-on afterwards if need be. 

    This is the common thread in the experience of Mara Pardo de Tavera of Mara's Organic Market in Makati City, of Carlos Granados of Farmacia Divina Gracia in San Fernando City, La Union, and of Pamela Alfaro of Ashta Holidays Travel & Tours in Mandaluyong City.

    In 1995, at a time when the organic food movement was still at its infancy, Mara Pardo de Tavera established one of Asia's first organic markets with around P50,000 in initial capital. All that she wanted at first was an organic market where she could source food for her family's needs, but once she got her organic market started, it soon evolved into a personal advocacy for getting the public to know the benefits of going organic.

    To achieve her objective, Pardo de Tavera had gone around the country looking for suppliers. During her trips, however, she realized that although there was potential for organic producers, there was hardly any market for organic products. "Suppliers were even asking us why I was the only one asking them about organic production," she recalls. 

    After a couple of years, however, she finally got enough reliable suppliers of organic products and started to look for space for her organic market. She asked the Zobel de Ayala family if they could spare one for her in what is now at Makati City's Greenbelt Mall, which was then a park. After some time, the Ayalas gave her and her husband Raymond a space at the park for free. They then put up a shop that was to become Mara's Organic Market today.

    For Carlos Granados, the love between him and his pharmacist wife provided the inspiration for putting up their own pharmacy, Farmacia Divina Gracia, in San Fernando City in 1990. "Since my wife was a pharmacist and I used to work as a manager for a pharmaceutical company, we thought we would have good chemistry on a pharmaceutical business," he recalls.

    He then borrowed P80,000 from his parents for capital and bought the small drug store of his mother-in-law, renaming it after his wife Divina Gracia (now deceased). He kept his regular job while his wife tended the store. "It was my wife who knew which items were fast-moving, so I took responsibility of buying them from bigger drugstores so we can stock and sell them in our own store," he recalls.

    In the case of Pamela Alfaro, putting up her own travel agency was a dream borne out of her passion for traveling. "I started traveling in 2001 when I was studying tourism," she recalls. "When I saw Hong Kong during one of those travels, I knew that running my own travel agency was what I wanted." But she decided to work in related fields first to gain valuable experience.  

    She initially worked with the Department of Tourism to become familiar with the tourism business, and later took a job in the United Kingdom as a liaison officer of the Birmingham City Council's change management group. In 2006, she returned to the Philippines and trained herself in how to use travel-booking software and in the legal requirements of the business.

    Confident that she had now forearmed herself, Alfaro then took a leap of faith and put up Ashta Holidays Travel & Tours, using P100,000 of her own savings as initial capital. To keep costs down, she put up her business office in her own condominium and used free booking software.

    Keys to success

    Often, one single decision becomes the key to the success of a business. This decision may seem minor at the time it's made, but it could have wide-reaching effects on the future of the business.

    Pardo de Tavera's naming her organic market after herself and making herself its spokeswoman was one such decision. A very private person in the beginning, she recalls that she didn't like the idea of using her name for the business or of giving interviews to the media about it.

    What prompted her to name the store after herself was the fact that several organic markets were calling themselves as such although they were not actually selling any organic produce. To her, therefore, those organic markets had no credibility at all and she didn't want her own organic store to be identified with them.

    Pardo de Tavera then thought of getting a celebrity to epitomize her organic market but couldn't find anyone suitable. Ultimately, with the encouragement of her husband and a friend who was a public relations professional, she realized and decided that she herself was perfect for the role. "After all, I was both the owner and biggest customer of the market that I had in mind," she says. 

    For Granados, that pivotal decision was to manage his business hands-on: "I want to believe that I can be successful in any endeavor. I don't want to entertain failures in life. This is why I decided to practice hands-on management in my business from the very start."

    And for Alfaro, that most important decision was not to be daunted by problems along the way and to pursue her passion relentlessly. "If you don't have passion, the business will fail," she says, "but if you have passion, you will pursue the business no matter what."

    Roadblocks notwithstanding

    Along the way, it is inevitable for every entrepreneur to encounter challenges, whether simple or complex. The first few years of the business usually prove most difficult, as reality sometimes dashes even the most carefully laid out plans. Indeed, among the most common problems encountered by startups are supply roadblocks and operational hitches arising from organizational weakness.

    For Pardo de Tavera, a major problem lay in convincing the public of the benefits of organic food at a time when it still wasn't a popular lifestyle choice among Filipinos. Another major drawback was the difficulty she was to encounter in finding suppliers for her organic market.

    In Alfaro's case, she had to deal with government gridlock and reluctance in giving business to her startup travel agency.

    And as to the fledgling pharmacy of Granados, it had to endure low sales during its first few months like any other business.

    In the face of these challenges to their businesses, the three entrepreneurs took decisive action in ways that other startup entrepreneurs can learn from.
    Pardo de Tavera engaged the mass media to promote her business and arranged for celebrities to visit her market, creating public awareness and curiosity about her market in particular and about organic products in general.
    For both Alfaro and Granados, the key to success was continuously improving their customer service. In the case of Alfaro's travel agency, in particular, its efforts to customize travel packages helped differentiate it from other travel agencies and made its services more attractive to clients.

    She explains: "Your travel agency has become very personalized in its service if your clients can tell you, 'Pam, I want this and I want that.' This is precisely what my agency has become. I try to give them what they want and I tell them all their options. And I try to be available anytime to my clients, even if they have to call me at night or on Saturdays and Sundays."

    For Granados, it is obvious that customer service is top priority at Farmacia Divina Gracia by merely watching how the store attendants serve its customers, and that his hands-on management style is at play. "You have to be there to know what's going on in your business, and also to know what to do next. Focus and be there," he says.

    Businesses you can start from P26,000 to P50,000

    Got more money than P25,000 and wanted to put up a small business using that money? Well, Entrepreneur magazine official website is very generous enough to share this article: Part 2 of businesses you can start from P1k to P100k I enjoyed reading it and I hope you will enjoy it as well.  

    Read this article too, you may find it helpful:

    P26,000 TO P50,000

    Beauty Salon
    Creative Designs
     Joby Linsangan-Moreno was supposed to study to become a doctor after graduating as a medical technologist. Oliver Rempillo was working in a government agency as an exhibitions designer and organizer but thought of setting his sights elsewhere. And Corazon "Baby" Coligado, a registered nurse, couldn't land the job she wanted abroad.

    The three then decided to take different paths to career success. With a little capital and a lot of effort, they have become successful entrepreneurs--proof that you don't need more than P50,000 to get started in business.

    But each had a different reason for going into it.

    "At that time, I wanted to do something different, something exciting and liberating," says Linsangan-Moreno, who, instead of pursuing a medical degree on top of her medical technology education, put up Orange Blush Salon in June 2003 in her native Cabanatuan City.

    The licensed medical technologist, who went into the salon business with just P30,000, recalls: "I come from a family of professionals, and my friends were either employed or were planning to go work abroad. None of them, except my boyfriend [Lawrence Moreno] who's now my husband, considered going into business."
    Linsangan-Moreno has since grown her salon to seven branches: six in Cabanatuan and its surrounding towns in Nueva Ecija, and another in Sta. Rosa in Laguna.

    In the case of Rempillo, he decided to start a business along the same lines as his job of designing and organizing booths for exhibitions with CITEM (Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions), an agency under the Department of Trade and Industry.

    "Basically, I set up En Theos Creative because it's what I'd been doing all along," he says of the business he and his wife Mira founded in September 2007, also with just P30,000. "It's been ingrained in me since 1999, so I stayed in the design field."

    Rempillo says he saw an emerging market for the services of exhibitions companies after learning of the construction of SMX, a major exhibition hall beside the SM Mall of Asia in Pasay City.
    For a long time, he says, companies only had the Philippine Trade Training Center (PTTC), the World Trade Center (WTC), and the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) as major venues for exhibits. "In the mid-'90s, SM built the Megatrade Hall [at the SM Megamall in Mandaluyong City] but it used to only host small shows," he says.

    For Coligado, the route to entrepreneurship took her away from her nursing career. She was working as a nurse at the Laguna Provincial Hospital when something happened in 2006 that prompted her to find a better-paying job in the United States--her husband Ferdinand, a seaman, stopped working after undergoing a gall-bladder operation. She was then only earning P13,000 a month as a government nurse, which was not enough to support a family of four. "But I wasn't lucky enough to get work abroad," she says.

    At this point, a friend of Coligado suggested that she might as well go into the business that their town of Liliw, Laguna, had long been noted for: handmade slippers and shoes. She heeded the advice and, with an initial capital of P50,000 from her husband's previous earnings overseas, put up Ai-She Footwear in March 2006 (the company's name is a composite of the first syllables of the names of their daughters Aira and Shelly).

    Since then, the company has been making abaca-lined shoes and slippers, distributing them to department stores in Manila and to retail outlets in Southern Luzon.

    Savings to earnings

    One thing in common among Linsangan-Moreno, Rempillo, and Coligado is that they started a business using only their personal or family savings.

    Linsangan-Moreno says she built her P30,000 capital by setting aside part of her salary as both medical technologist and instructor at the Good Samaritan Hospital and Colleges in Cabanatuan.

    "Before I went into business, I figured out that I was quite OK with managing finances and budgeting," she says. "I first considered franchising a known salon but didn't have the money for it, so I decided to put up my own."

    Rempillo likewise started En Theos Creative with only about P30,000 in initial capital, using the funds to buy a personal computer for doing his design work. "The money I needed wasn't big enough for me to get a loan from a bank," he explains.

    For Coligado, her husband Ferdinand's monthly income of P60,000 as a seaman had enabled her to save enough money to get her footwear business started. Although she had set the funds aside not for business but simply as reserve, it came handy when Ferdinand had to quit his job due to illness. "Although he was earning that much at the time, we realized that he couldn't go on working on ships for life," she says.

    Another thing in common among the three entrepreneurs is that they all believed in plowing back--and did consistently plow back--their profits back into the business to make it grow. None of them needed to put in additional investments from other sources afterwards.
    Recalls Linsangan-Moreno: "After establishing the name and clientele of our first Orange Blush salon, I put up our second branch eight months later using the revenues that the salon had made. Then I funded the putting up of all our other branches in the same way." 

    On top of this, she pursued a no-borrowing philosophy for growing the salons, putting more of her own money into them as needed. "The more the salons, the bigger the investment. There's definitely a need to increase your investment in your business as it grows. To keep up with the other salons and provide excellent service, you'll always need to provide funds for marketing, research and development, and for renovation and continuous innovation."

    In Rempillo's case, being in a service industry requires him to put in more funds into the business only when he needs to hire freelancers for support when handling big projects. He explains: "In the past year and a half, we haven't acquired more equipment or materials to the business. We're cheap in the sense that we're not producing a product."

    As to Coligado, just to be on the safe side, she decided to hang on to her nursing job at the provincial hospital until January 2008. That was when the business finally began receiving orders for export. "I realized then that I had to fully commit myself, my time, and my effort into our business," she explains.

    Rough, smooth starts

    Unlike Rempillo and Coligado, Linsangan-Moreno had a rough start with her business. "The first six months of the business was a most trying time for me," she says. "This was because I was only starting to learn how to run the business, how to handle people, how to keep customers, and how to keep the cash flowing into the business."

    She had bought her first salon from a friend who couldn't sustain its operational costs, so she admits that she did not know much about the business at the start. She compensated for this by taking a crash course in cosmetology and by attending seminars to learn all she could about how to run a salon.

    Six months after opening Orange Blush, however, all of her hairstylists were pirated by another salon, leaving Linsangan-Moreno no choice but to find younger stylists willing to be trained. She then had them undergo all the necessary training to do professional hairstyling work. At the same time, she got busy promoting her salon, establishing joint-activity tie-ups with schools in Cabanatuan and sponsoring concerts to draw in her targeted clientele--the youth.

    All of these moves paid off for Linsangan-Moreno. Two months after her original staff left Orange Blush, she was able to save enough money to open a second salon in Cabanatuan. From then on, the business became stable and profitable enough, allowing her to quit her job as a medical technologist and to run Orange Blush as a full-time entrepreneur.

    In contrast to the rough start of Linsangan-Moreno's salon, the first six months of En Theos in its design business were, according to Rempillo, "very, very good. Clients were coming in left and right, to the point that I had to turn down some of them because I couldn't handle their projects anymore."

    He recalls that during that time, his wife Mira, herself a graphic artist, also went into business. She joined the public relations firm BrandSpeak Asia as its co-owner, vice president, and creative director; BrandSpeak Asia, run by two of her friends, used to be a client of En Theos.

    Rempillo says that Mira's move slowed En Theos somewhat because she had taken her creative jobs and clients in En Theos to BrandSpeak Asia, but that it was also a plus because they gained a stake in the PR firm. "It also allowed En Theos to focus on exhibits, showroom design, and store design," he explains.

    In the case of the Coligados, they were able to recover their initial investment in Ai-She Footwear as early as by its sixth month in business. Ai-She had quickly developed a sizable clientele, resulting in brisk sales. Today, the company sells over P100,000 worth of shoes and slippers weekly and employs 18 workers in a factory just a few steps away from the Coligado residence in Liliw.

    Expansion, future plans

    Growth is very much in the horizon for all the three entrepreneurs. Linsangan-Moreno says that Orange Blush Salon began franchising this year, and proudly reports that it opened its first franchised branch just last April at Daan Sarile in Cabanatuan. Her husband Lawrence, a certified public accountant and owner of several rice retail stores in Nueva Ecija, had helped her draft Orange Blush's franchise agreement; she married him in February 2008 or five years after she put up Orange Blush.

    En Theos Creative, less than two years after going into business, is even more ambitious: it now intends to incorporate the sole proprietorship. Rempillo says he is now on the lookout for an architect, an interior designer, and experts in business development and finance to round out the minimum five incorporators needed to set up a company.

    He says: "It's going to be a pay cut of sorts for me, but if my business group brings in more clients, and if I have two more people who can do the technical aspects of exhibit-booth or store designing, then I'd see a sudden expansion of our business."

    On the other hand, Coligado continues to expand the distribution network of Ai-She Footwear. These days, she has also been making more and more frequent trips to Metro Manila, specifically Marikina, to get supplies for her footwear factory.

    "My hands are full running our business, but with my husband's help, of course," she says. "We have to do this because it's still our only source of livelihood, and our workers also depend on it."

    Most important moves

    >Joby Linsangan-Moreno considers her having taken control of her first Orange Blush Salon and staying on top of it as the most important decision she has made in her business. While learning all she could about how a salon should be run, she had allowed a friend--the salon's previous owner--to continue running the salon.
    She explains: "For me, setting your goals, realizing them, and staying focused is what will keep you in the business. No one should know more about your business than you do. When people see that you know what you want and where you are going, they will believe and trust you and your company."

    >For En Theos Creative, on the other hand, what made the big difference was Oliver Rempillo's decision to operate it home-based. "You don't have to pay rent for an expensive office space in, say, Makati, and it helps keep your costs low," he says, adding that he makes it a point to meet clients at coffee shops and restaurants that he can conveniently commute to.

    He says he gets a continuing flow of job orders from his network of regular clients, among them Dealo Koffee Klatsch, the popular bakery and coffee shop based in Lucban, Quezon; clients referred to him by his former colleagues at CITEM; and friends like Tony Gonzales, with whom he does subcontracting work for the European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines (ECCP).

    >As to Corazon Coligado, she attributes the expansion of her footwear business to her decision to give samples of Ai-She Footwear's newest and trendy creations to stores outside of Liliw in Laguna, and even to convenience stores in gas service stations along South Superhighway. This approach to the business rather than just doing it in a fixed location was of great help in attracting more clients and more retail outlets for her products, she says.

    Read this article too, you may find it helpful: