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Valpak: Should Your Business Do It?

. Posted in small Business tips

Full service direct mail marketing service company Valpak provides 45 million U. S. homeowners discounts and deals from local and national brands on everything from dental services to pizzas tucked in those signature blue envelopes. As a small business owner, you may be thinking about advertising with Valpak, but aren-t sure how it works, how much it costs, and most importantly - if it-s worth it. We dug in to find the answers to these pressing questions.

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Tech Review: Third Rail Battery Case Delivers Snap-on Juice for iPhone 4

. Posted in small Business tips

The iPhone 4′s built-in battery should last you an entire day of moderate use, with room to spare. If, on the other hand, you-ve been holding epic conference calls on the iPhone 4′s spearkerphone — or worse yet, streaming YouTube all day in a spotty 3G coverage area — your precious handset will run out of juice in a jiffy.

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The Small Business Swindle: How Fraud Affects Independent Businesses

. Posted in small Business tips

It-s a topic that doesn-t usually come up in casual conversation, but take note: One out of four businesses have been victims of fraud, with an average loss of $50,000. Small businesses are disproportionately impacted because they typically have fewer checks and balances to prevent or detect fraud, making them ripe targets in the eyes of crooks.

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7 Tips for Keeping Your Kids Entertained While You Work

. Posted in small Business tips

What do you do when your child’s daycare is closed, or he has one of those-all-too-common conditions like pink eye or lice that keep him home from school? If you’re lucky, you can take the day off work to look after him. But as a busy entrepreneur, you may not have that luxury. So how can you keep your child occupied while you’re busy at work? If he’s too young to help out with the family business, here are some ideas.

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Pharmacy Affiliate Programs

. Posted in small Business tips

By Home Business Journal

Monday, November 1, 2004; 5:00pm EST

A new kind of online pharmacy affiliate program is now available. IntegraRx offers you an Affiliate Program which is really different. Why? Because we have a commitment to Quality and Integrity unmatched by any other company in this niche.

We offer you all you need to be able to succeed with us: High revenue, great support, excellent linking options, datafeed for deep product linking, and 3rd party tracking to protect you. And most of all - You will be treated fairly and with respect!

Some of the major IntegraRx online pharmacy affiliate program features that separate it from other affiliate programs available in the past are:

    Top payouts in the online pharmacy industry

    3rd party tracking for integrity

    Longest cookie tracking in the industry

    Even phone orders are tracked by affiliate ID

    Statistics tracked in real time

    No spamming policy enforced

    No unethical marketers allowed to join

    Every site reviewed for appropriateness

    We do not sell any narcotics

    Caring, helpful customer service

The IntegraRx Affiliate Program makes its affiliates an important part of the sales team! Some of the many affiliate program benefits include:

    Personal admin interface

    Wide variety of links and advertisements

    High conversion rate and EPC

    All products offered in datafeed for deep linking

    Sales contests, bonus incentives

    Volume Commission Increases

    Accurate, ON TIME Monthly Payments

    Low Minimum Threshold

Some of the many revenue channels available to affiliates of the IntegraRx online pharmacy affiliate program include: $20 + 10% commission for affiliates on first orders, 10% commission on all subsequent orders made by referred customers. 5% on affiliate's 2nd tier sales.

For more information about the IntegraRx Affiliate Program or to get started making incredible revenue today, visit the IntegraRx web site.

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Eliminate Competition

. Posted in small Business tips

By Richard Bailey, Certified Guerilla Marketing Coach

Tuesday, August 10, 2003; 5:30pm EST

Some business owners have a difficult time identifying who their competitors really are, believing that every other business is their competition even if they have little to absolutely nothing in common. This stifling belief affects just about anyone (probably even you) who does not employ this simple concept of, fusion marketing.

In today's day and age, rising advertising and marketing expenses can become overwhelming for new and even established business. According to Jupiter Media, The cost of erroneously blocked permission based e-mail (i. e., sent but not delivered) will increase from $230 million in 2003 to $419 million in 2008, making a once zero cost advertising option, (email) a potentially expensive means of communication thanks to junk mails senders. There is an obvious need for strategic and cost effective Marketing and advertising alternatives.

What is Fusion marketing?

The military strategist, Sun Tzu wrote, to fight and conquer in all your battles is not supreme excellence; supreme excellence is breaking the enemy's resistance without fighting.

This Guerilla Marketing concept of turning your competition into a friend is a blend of relationship building and a twist on traditional marketing in which your competition becomes your marketing partner, thereby alleviating some, if not most, of your advertising/marketing burden.

Fusion marketing can be used to win any marketing battle, rather than fighting against your competition, you turn your competition into friends.

Search Engines are some of the best examples of fusion marketing in action, where would-be-enemies become friends. According to the Chairman and CEO of the popular search engine Google, Eric Schmidt, their partnership with competitor Ask Jeeves, was brought on by a shared vision to grow the overall search market. And according to their press release this union is projected by industry experts to generate over $100,000,000 over a three year period.

In this fusion relationship, Google's ads will appear on Ask Jeeves search pages. Ask Jeeves shares the revenue generated from showing the ads, while Google additionally gets a whole new audience of potential customers who perform over 14 million searches per month. You can see that this is a win-win for both companies and their advertisers.

In another example, Brigitte Nadeau, President and founder of Audio Strategies Inc., a Troy Vermont based company, focused on leveraging audio products to generate profits (http://www. audiostrategies. com/), found that a Fusion marketing opportunity with a potential rival eventually lead the way to an unexpected, but welcome long-term contract with a major customer.

Audio Strategies is a teleconference recording service that assists in attracting clients with audio products. So it was normal for us to use audio in our Fusion marketing strategies, says Brigitte.

I created a real audio 'tip of the week' on improving your teleleader skills for a Teleclass training company in 2002. At the beginning of each 2 minute clip there was an introduction saying, 'AudioStrategies. com has created this audio clip, for more information you can contact us.' The tip was freely distributed on the teleclass website every week as a service to their customers. This provided the training company with free content and served as no cost advertising for us. As a bonus, this helped to land a big recording contract with Boeing Aerospace that I still have to this day. After one of their trainers heard the clip, they contacted me to work with them.

Fusion marketing opportunities are everywhere:

Question: What does a Chinese restaurant and a car wash have in common? Answer: People who wash their cars also need to eat.

In the above example, that's exactly the question that I had to ask myself recently, after being asked by a media company to save a customer relationship that was in jeopardy. In this case, an optimistic Chinese Restaurant owner, had purchased an advertising package that didn't get the results he was looking for. Oddly enough, another client, a car-wash/oil change center, directly across the street, was getting great results from a similar ad campaign and had nothing but great things to say about the steady flow of customers who were coming in to his place of business.

As I pondered how this could be possible, I decided to quit pondering and went over to the car wash with its beautiful showroom, popcorn maker, vending machines, and lounge area to take a look around. The waiting room was intentionally designed to create a feeling of comfort and warmth in an otherwise cold, industrial looking place.

After asking some questions, I found out that a good deal of this car wash's business came from busy drivers on their way home from work. A flash-bulb went off in my head as I imagined car wash patrons enjoying (or taking home) an order of vegetable Lo Mein and fried rice while they waited for their cars to be serviced. I immediately explained the idea to the owner and asked if he would mind my placing a few hundred restaurant menus in his lounge area, so that his patrons could get something to eat or take home while waiting for their cars to be serviced. He agreed, since this would also allow his patrons to feel even

more at home.

To make a long story short, I helped two business owners who admittedly never talked before take the next step to becoming profitable friends by referring business to each other and made the media company happy in the process by making their client happy.

How to create a fusion marketing partnership:

First: Stop thinking of every other business as your competition

Second: Identify businesses with the same target audience, who sell non-competitive products.

If you're a software author selling word-processors this might be another software company that sells spreadsheets.

If you're a fitness club owner, try talking to local licensed Massage Therapists or Chiropractors in the area. Place their flyers or business cards in your fitness center and ask them to do the same in their reception rooms.

Third: Look for possible ways to either share marketing expenses or to help advertise each other's products or services.

For brick and mortar business, this might mean putting your fusion partner's signs up in your place of business while they do the same for you in theirs. For an Internet business, you might add your fusion partner's ad to your email newsletter while they place your ad on their downloadable brochure or promote your complementary products on their order thank you pages (the pages that are usually shown after an order is placed).

Doc Pratt, President of Pratt Computing Technologies, fused with others of like mind to boost each other's sales, "We are working with other people who sell to our type of accounts, and have formed a (Fusion marketing) group. We have actually put together a marketing plan for the group and our niche market is businesses that are relocating or moving. We are in no way officially connected, but since we complement each other, so well, we have created a web site, www. transitionresources. biz that promotes the entire group," says Doc.

Where can opportunities for fusion partnerships be found?

1. Look out the window.

2. Contact your key suppliers.

3. Ask your local chamber of commerce.

4. Contact your existing customers.

5. Where possible, consider creating an affiliate, reward or reseller program to get others to sell your products for you and then help them promote your business.

6. Do you know someone with a large mailing list? There might be a great opportunity there.

7. Use search engines to locate companies similar to your own.

8. Download and install the Alexa. com toolbar, it will display related sites as you surf the web. Just visit your own site with the toolbar installed and see what related sites it recommends, then contact the web masters of these sites regarding a potential partnership.

9. Try searching for "joint venture" on the web. This might turn up several organizations that can help you setup a joint venture (another type of Fusion Marketing relationship).

Fourth: Ask potential partners you have identified to partner with you. Let them know it can be a win-win for everyone, since Fusion marketing only requires cooperation and will not force you to make major changes to the way you do business or to modify your business structure.

As you can see, working with your competition via fusion marketing requires a change in the way we think, however it is a paradigm-shift that can actually push your sales and profits to the next level.

Source of Article Certified Guerilla Marketing Coach, Richard Bailey is an Internet entrepreneur with 8+ years of technology based marketing experience. Learn Internet Marketing by joining Internet Marketing Alerts or send email to seminars@clientbydesign. com to participate in Richard's TeleClass seminars. Visit: http://www. clientbydesign. com/.

 

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How to Respond If Your Customer Data Is Stolen

. Posted in small Business tips

Fact: Sony was forced to shut down its popular PlayStation Network for weeks in April and May after a massive hacker attack targeting credit card information and other personal data compromised more than 100 million user accounts. The company was criticized for waiting a week to inform consumers of the hacker data breach, which was the second largest in U. S. history.

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Intuit Loves Local Businesses: $1 Million in Hiring Grants to Come

. Posted in small Business tips

Do you make a point of shopping local? Do you love a local business? At Intuit, we care deeply about supporting small businesses in local communities. Over the past 18 months, Intuit has awarded more than $500,000 in hiring and growth grants to small businesses across America. Now, we have decided to continue our support of local businesses by awarding $1 million in hiring grants over the next year.

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New Economy Depression Syndrome

. Posted in small Business tips

By Dana Greenlee, co-Host WebTalkGuys Radio

Thursday, September 26, 2003; 12:20pm EST

Many of us living in today?s fast-paced new economy find ourselves scanning hundreds of pages of information daily while enduring a constant flow of interruptions from cell phones, palms, pocket pc?s, instant messaging and pagers.

Some of us even e-mail the person in the cubicle next to us instead of walking five feet to ask a question. We?re part of the always-on economy.

Tim Sanders knows this all too well as Yahoo?s chief solutions officer, author of ?Love is the Killer Ap? and coiner of such terms as ?Lovecat? and ?NEDS? (new economy depression syndrome). New study findings link heavy Internet usage, information overload and social isolation to NEDS ? a sort of carpel tunnel of the mind. Sanders took a moment between interviews on ABC?s ?PrimeTime Live? and CNN?s ?Lou Dobbs Moneyline? to talk about NEDS symptoms and cure.

Q: What?s up with this NEDS?

Sanders: NEDS is an acronym for new economy depression syndrome. It?s a mental state that a result of a combination of information overload and frequent interruption resulting in and erosion of personal close relationships. The symptoms are anxiety, fatigue, stress and lower productivity and irritability in a team environment.

Q: The online piece of our business and personal life is only getting more substantial. What you telling people who are involved in the online world of the massive way how to adapt?

Sanders: What we?ve noticed is that the survey respondents have strong personal relationships at work in homes suffer less symptoms despite being attacked by the same amount of information. The number one solution is resiliency through warm living. That means a certain amount of face-to-face contact, phone contact on long-term e-mail relationships and living in the warm channels, contributing warm thoughts and ideas. Those create shock absorbers that can help you deal with this information.

Personally, if I turned everything off, I would be a very effective chief solutions officer at Yahoo. If I didn?t check my e-mail, carry a Blackberry or pager, it would be very difficult for me to maintain execution focus. Unfortunately, I?m still pummeled every day by information. But I?m buffering with strong business relationships, strong warm-hearted thinking patterns. I?m creating tech-free zones throughout my day.

Q: You?re suggesting more of a balance in how you use technology and live your everyday life.

Sanders: I actually like to think of it is a high-tech diet. Think about it this way: When the health craze was going on, everybody was going to be physically fit. They said, ?Don?t take the elevator. Take the stairs.? So I say, ?Don?t send an instant message 15 feet. Get up! Walk 15 feet. See someone?s face.? They?ll transfer physiological energy to you face-to-face. It?s just a different way of behaving. If you and I went back and forth twice with e-mail ? that it! I?m right to call you rather than e-mail reply. That?s a habit.

I think you have to be conscious about it. That?s why there?s a motto across my cubicle that says ?In a world of inforuption, love is a killer app.?

Q: Is dealing with technology a generational thing?

Sanders: The older you are, the harder it is to withstand stress. The reason why is a concept I call ?digital natives? versus ?digital immigrants.? My teenager has been online since he was 6. Over 80 percent of his life has been online. He?s a native. That?s his natural environment. In my 40s, I don?t think I?ve been online 20 percent of my life. As a result, that?s all new to me. That?s what stress is. Stress is literally something I cannot control, withstand - it?s new. Novelty creates stress. As a result, these businesspeople that are in their 40s and 50s ? this is so new to us. We are drinking out of a fire hose. It?s amazing. You take a 50-year-old CEO and in one year, not only does he now check e-mail, he is armed with a belt CrackBerry pager and is available 24/7. His grandfather only worked 25 hours a week. Now the CEO is always on. It?s very difficult to adjust to that and it leads to a lot of additional stress for the older working population.

Q: I?ve known some IT guys that work really hard but really cut themselves off from human interaction, turning from geeks and nerds to something worse.

Sanders: It?s a downward spiral. People began to create walls. You start leaving voicemail messages that say ?Don?t leave a message. E-mail me.?

They build a wall around them. They start displacing strong, yet vulnerable relationships with friends with weak and risk-free relationships with online buddies. It?s easy to delete something. It?s difficult to have a real confrontation over instant message. This is especially true with men. Our survey research found you were much more likely to be a man than a woman and have NEDS.

Q: Can you give me an example?

Sanders: One of the pieces of advice I always give managers is you haven?t seen the face of your employee in a quarter, that?s alarming. If you haven?t heard their voice for you allow them to work in a secluded environment where all they do is type and read all day, it?s a problem. I would tell managers they need to break the cycle. Itemize one thing that you admire about them, either personally or professionally, and physically approach them, sit next to them and tell them why you are glad they came into your life. You?ll help create the energy transfer and you may very well reverse the trend in an individual.

About two weeks ago I received an e-mail from a manager of the software company. He had six engineers. He said he had seen their faces an almost a year. That?s just how they work. They?re all the same floor, on the same wing business faster to them to work completely on instant messaging. He told me he was going to follow my advice.

When he followed up with me, he said, ?You?re not going to believe this. One of my software engineers ? Lenny ? just bought me and an X-box system as a gift. When I asked him where he got the money to buy that system, he said he sold his chrome 9 mm.?

When you?re a boss and you hear something like that, you tend to pay a lot of attention. He said, ?What do you mean??

Lenny said, ?When I moved here to Seattle a few years ago my mom just died. She was my only friend in the world. So I went to work here. I work about 60 hours a week in a cubicle. I got really depressed. I got so depressed one day I went down to a pawn shop and bought a beautiful 9 mm and some bullets. It took me about three months to actually get the first bullet in the gun. It took me another six months to actually lift the gun up and put it to my head. I was getting closer and closer.

?Then last week you really freaked me out. You came into my cubicle. You put your arm around me. You told me that you value me because I finish everything early and you sleep better at night. You said you are glad I came into your life.

?When I went home that night, I went through all the same things I?ve been doing for months, but when I opened the box and saw the gun ? for the first time it scared me to death. So the next morning I sold it, got $200 for it, didn?t know what to do with the money. I knew you always wanted an X-box. This is my gift to you. Dude ? thanks.?

There?s a lot of those people out there ? more than you know.

For More Information

For information on NEDS and more conversation with Tim Sanders, the full audio interview is available starting Saturday at WebTalkGuys. com. The NEDS website is at http://www. GotNeds. com/. You can purchase his book ?Love is the Killer Ap? at http://www. TimSanders. com/.

About Source of Article Dana Greenlee is producer and co-host of the WebTalkGuys Radio Show.  WebTalkGuys, a Seattle-based talk show featuring technology news and interviews. It is broadcast on WebTalkGuys Radio, Sonic Box, via Pocket PC at Mazingo Networks and the telephone via the Mobile Broadcast Network.  It's on the radio in Seattle at KLAY 1180 AM.  Past show and interviews are also webcast via the Internet at http://www. webtalkguys. com/. Greenlee is also a member of the The International Academy of Digital Arts & Sciences.

 

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Writing A Hypnotic Sales Letter

. Posted in small Business tips

By Larry Dotson

Tuesday, July 6, 2004; 3:30pm EST

Writing a sales letter is comparable to creating a hypnotic script. The hypnotist recites the script to a person in order to persuade them to focus on something that will change their mind or behavior.

One of the simplest ways to get your prospects to focus on your ad is to get them to relax and trigger their imagination.

You can get them to relax by just suggesting they do something relaxing. It could be by telling them to turn on some relaxing music, get comfortable, close their eyes for a few seconds, etc. The more relaxed

your prospects are the more receptive they will be to your suggestions or message.

You can trigger your prospect's imagination by using imaginative suggestions. An example: Imagine being totally free from debt. That single suggestion can create emotions and mental scenes in your prospects mind. Those emotions and mental scenes then can persuade your prospect to buy.

There are many ways to trigger their imagination. You could have them imagine past memories, past feelings, future experiences, future emotions, present events, etc. It could be a pleasurable or painful experience that influences them to buy your product.

In conclusion, the goal of your sales letter is to change your prospect's mind or behavior so they buy your product. Relaxation and imagination are two powerful tools of persuasion. People relax and imagine all day long on their own without realizing it. You're just simply suggesting it to them in your sales letter.

About Source of Article

? 2002 by Larry Dotson *FREE* eBook! "Hypnotic Sales Letters: 92 Hypnotic Sales Letter Templates!" Just add your product info and...BAM! You've just written a hypnotic sales letter in a few minutes! Visit my site to download it: http://www. ldpublishing. com/.

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How to Add Emotional Value to your Offer

. Posted in small Business tips

By Larry Dotson

Tuesday, July 6, 2004; 3:30pm EST

Your ad copy can trigger your prospects to become emotionally attached to your product. Emotion is a feeling or human reaction to an inner or outer event. People go from one emotion to the next all day long. Your ad needs to create an emotion that persuades them to buy.

Before you write your product ad you need to figure out which emotions will influence your audience to buy. You could imagine being in their shoes, survey them, interview some of them and communicate with them regularly.

There are many channels nowadays which you can use to communicate with them like e-mail, chat rooms, message boards, phone, instant messaging, video conferencing, etc. Once you know the emotions to

trigger you now have know how to deliver them to your prospects.

One of the best ways to trigger a particular emotion is by arousing your prospects imagination. For example, imagine meeting the person of your dreams. That simple statement can create mental movies that then create your targeted emotions. You can have them imagine the past, present or future.

Another way is to mention the targeted emotion in your ad copy. For example, remember a time you felt totally excited. Their subconscious mind will search for a time when they felt that way and then will eventually start reliving that emotion.

In conclusion, you want your ad copy to trigger emotions that persuade your prospect to buy your product. First, you must know the targeted emotions, then trigger your prospects imagination or memory to search for the emotion and finally they feel or relive the emotion and buy.

About Source of Article

? 2002 by Larry Dotson *FREE* eBook! "Hypnotic Sales Letters: 92 Hypnotic Sales Letter Templates!" Just add your product info and...BAM! You've just written a hypnotic sales letter in a few minutes! Visit my site to download it: http://www. ldpublishing. com/.

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Millennials Look To Be Their Own Boss

. Posted in small Business tips

More than 80 percent of those born after 1981 - known as Millennials - say that freelancing and being their own boss is a cornerstone of their career strategy, according to a recent survey by Elance.

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Cloud-Based Services Can Save Money, But at What Cost?

. Posted in small Business tips

Is cloud computing green? It’s a question everyone seems to be asking with renewed vigor lately, ever since Greenpeace released a report about the energy efficiency — or lack thereof — of ten leading data centers, including those run by Apple, Google, Facebook, Microsoft, and Twitter.

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Business Success - Plan for It!

. Posted in small Business tips

By Dr. Robert Sullivan

Wednesday, December 3, 2003; 12:00pm EST

Planning is mandatory for business success. Fail to plan and you plan to fail.

Planning is difficult because there is no immediate feedback as to its value. But if you think of starting and operating your business in the same way you might think about climbing a mountain, the purpose and advantages of planning become clearer.

When you start up the mountain you never know what to expect: sudden change in weather, lost or broken equipment, mistakes in maps, an injury. Planning for these eventualities will allow you to deal with them and still reach your objective in spite of temporary setbacks. On the other hand, lack of planning can spell disaster. The more careful the planning, the more likely problems will be anticipated and not allowed to interfere with your ultimate business objective.

THE BUSINESS PLAN

Countless books have been written on how to write an "effective" business plan. The traditional business plan is a very well defined and structured document. It is written as a presentation to lenders, potential investors, and bankers in order to raise capital. As such, it is sort of an advertising document and, well, maybe tends to exaggerate a little.

Although many will argue the business plan is a planning document, it frequently is not because of these exaggerations. After a while YOU will start to believe the business plan... even if you know that what is contained within the document is absurd in places. (Yes sir, there is no doubt about it, sales will easily double each year... as long as we can obtain adequate financing.)

If your business is going to require investor capital at the onset, you will need that traditional business plan. But BEFORE you even get to this point, or if you are like so many of us and are starting a small business venture where little or no formal investment is needed, you need another plan... A plan for YOURSELF... A HONEST plan for you. You need a strategic plan.

THE STRATEGIC PLAN

A strategic plan is your plan for success. It will define your business mission, your present situation, and where you want to be in three to five years. A strategic plan, like the traditional business plan, should be well-structured, and include a number of short succinct statements covering the following areas:

Vision Statement

Mission/Purpose Statement

Scope of Business

Assumptions

Goals and Objectives

Risks

Strategies

Progress Reporting Methods

Every statement in your strategic plan will be important since it defines what your business will be, what your objectives are, and how you intend to achieve these objectives. If you find you cannot write about the areas that are about to be discussed, you need to stop and think carefully about your situation until you can. A strategic plan will allow you to anticipate problems and to make decisions that will help you meet your business goals and objectives. Without a clear goal in mind, the best decision

VISION

This is a short statement that defines your overall long term goal. This statement should define WHAT your business will be. It should be brief (20-30 words) and clearly define your customer base and you're providing. Too specific and it's not much of a vision; too general and it's unattainable. Your vision should be something to strive for... usually a multi-year effort.

Example: Build an automobile repair business, specializing in Porsche, that will gain a reputation for outstanding service within the community and will, first and foremost, always be responsive to customers' needs.

MISSION/PURPOSE

This is a definitive comment that tells WHY you are pursuing your vision. Why do you want to start a business? What do you have to give? Keep in mind that a lot of people have a vision but very few have a mission... At least one they are willing to pursue (many people shared Martin Luther King's dream but he was the one who also had a mission to do something about it).

Example: Make use of my background and experience with Porsche automobiles to provide high quality repair and restoration services; to provide jobs for locally qualified individuals; to provide for my family's needs

SCOPE

You must define the boundaries of your business. You cannot be everything to every-body. If the scope of your business is too narrow, the probability for success may be diminished due to the smaller number of potential customers. If the scope is too broad, you will never be able to focus on your objectives.

Example: We will provide our services for all Porsche automobiles with the exception of the 914 series. Our services will include general repairs and maintenance (less major body work), detailing, storage, rebuilding and restoring.

ASSUMPTIONS

It is important to understand what specific assumptions you are operating under concerning your new business, since they determine and dictate how your business will grow and prosper. The more specific these assumptions are, the better. It may require a little research on your part to lay out these assumptions but the planning stage is the time to do it. It is difficult to give general examples, but in keeping with our Porsche repair facility, here are a few:

I will keep my present job for the next 12-months.

There is a significant number of Porsche facilities in the area and they are not perceived as doing a good job.

I will limit my involvement to 20 hours per week for the first 12-months.

I have fifteen customers that I can start with right now whose cars require major repairs.

GOALS & OBJECTIVES

This is a specific list that should include items that can be measured in terms of accomplishment and attainment. Goals should be realistic and attainable within one to three years.

Be able to quit my present job within 12 months.

Grow the business to generate $150K gross sales in the first year of operation.

Add 100 new customers by the end of the first year of business.

Sponsor a racing team by the third year of business.

RISKS

Identify as many risks as you can. This might be difficult since it requires some negative thinking, but it is important for you to consider the downside in your planning. You must identify as many specific risks to your proposed business as possible. By doing this, you can more easily plan to deal with the risks.

Possible damage or loss of tools, inventory, facility.

Loss of customers due to the competition.

Loss of employee(s).

Loss of an important supplier.

Loss of lease, requiring a new location and facility be found

STRATEGIES

Your strategies are the methods you will use to achieve your goals and objectives in spite of the risks.

Sponsor a monthly "clinic" in which we will provide the use of my facility to members of the local Porsche club. (generates loyal customers)

Publish a monthly newsletter for all my customers. (excellent marketing), and use direct mail to identify potential customers.

Develop two reliable parts suppliers. (guard against loss of one)

Constantly reassess pricing with respect to the competition and your costs.

Be an employer worth working for... treat my employees like the important asset they represent.

PROGRESS REPORTING

A plan written and forgotten does not serve the purpose for which it is intended. Your business is dynamic - numerous variables that affect your business are changing constantly and your plan must reflect these changes and be updated or modified accordingly. Furthermore, you continually must assess your performance against the plan.

Revisit your strategic plan monthly and revise and update it as required. Your planning efforts, if carefully done in terms of assessing risk and the unexpected, should help you maximize your chances for success. You must constantly update your plan to ensure it is tracking changes that were not anticipated previously. If you find, by referring to your planning documents, you are not making satisfactory progress toward your goals, you must be ready to admit failure. Pull up stakes and cut your potential loss. Perform a post-mortem and assess the failure. What went wrong? Were the circumstances beyond or within your control? Could the event(s) contributing to the failure have been anticipated and possibly mitigated?

In the true entrepreneurial spirit, you will probably be involved in a new business venture sooner or later and you want to be able to take advantage of your previous experiences. By spending time performing a careful assessment of your failure, the lessons learned will be documented for future reference.

Lastly, be aware of this very important "planning for failure" truism: Pay yourself first or you may end up with nothing for your efforts.

Do not make the mistake of putting every dollar of profit back into your business. Your business may very well prosper for a number of years and then be plunged into sudden bankruptcy through no fault of your own. If this happens, and, if you have not planned ahead, you may very well have nothing to show for your time or efforts. Plan for this disaster by remembering that YOU are the business and deserve to be appropriately paid for your efforts. Never forget to pay yourself first. In bad times, the credi Protect yourself by placing a certain percentage of your income into a retirement account such as a SEP or 401K plan. Money in these types of accounts is protected from creditors. Plan ahead, you won't be sorry!

SUMMARY

Fail to plan and you plan to fail. Be the exception to the rule - plan, assess, and plan some more. You MUST have a clear goal and a well-defined metho-dology for getting there. Take all the time necessary to produce a well thought out strategic plan. Plan for your success but also plan for failure.

Source of Article Robert Sullivan is the author of The Small Business Start-Up Guide, and United States Government - New Customer!. He frequently lectures on starting small businesses and appears on CNBC's "Minding Your Business" as a small business expert. His books may be ordered toll-free by calling 1 800 375 8439.

Robert also developed and maintains an extensive award-winning Internet website, "The Small Business Advisor," at http://www. isquare. com/.

 

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Tips For Frustrated Affiliate Marketers

. Posted in small Business tips

By Isaiah Hull

Wednesday, November 10, 2004; 6:20pm EST

Do you go through affiliate programs like most people go through pairs of socks? Many Internet marketers do. In fact, 97% of all Internet marketers never make a single cent advertising opportunities on the Internet. They jump from one opportunity to the next and never see results. If you want to break free from this cycle of failure--if you want to earn a living off of your Internet ventures--continue reading. I will tell you exactly how you can earn money from any legitimate affiliate program.

In order to get the most information from what I am about to explain to you, you must accept that these methods are not intended to be "secrets." These are scientifically-proven, best-practice methods that all top marketers use. If you want results, you will have to do and continue to do the following five things:

1. Know your product. Do not advertise for a product or affiliate program that you are not currently using. I cannot even count the amount of affiliate programs and product offers I have rejected immediately from people who know very little about what they are actually promoting. If you want to make money selling a product or service, you have to use it, understand it, and be able to convince your prospects that they should own it. If you yourself do not believe in it--because you have not even tried it--then you will have a hard time convincing anyone else it is worthwhile.

2. Know your field. You must continually become more knowledgeable about the market in which you are selling your product or service. For instance, I try to read at least 50 pages on Internet marketing each day to complement the marketing I do. This keeps me learning about my field. The best part about this is that you can do it without spending any money at all. The Internet is loaded with free content sites where you can find free ebooks and special reports on any subject. The Internet is also loaded with affiliate program promoters who are out-selling you. Use google to find these sites and then reverse engineer them--pick apart the source code, page setup, and content layout to find out how you can become more like your competition who is outselling you.

3. Focus your efforts and limit your innovation. As much as "limiting your innovation" may go against your business instincts, it is an absolute must with a limited marketing budget. Figure out what works for you scientifically by measuring your advertising results. When you find something that works, stick with it. If you are getting traffic from reciprocal links, continue to build them. If you are getting constant sign-ups from your newsletter, improve your newsletter and order more leads. Do not stray far from your original plan. Preset the amount of innovative ideas you want to try out each night, but center your marketing efforts around getting better results from methods that have already worked for you.

4. Spend money wisely. The Internet is loaded with scams and bad information. It is really easy to be tricked into blowing money on "get rich quick" schemes and information that you can find in free resources. I personally have spent thousands of dollars needlessly. But do not get me wrong; I am not saying there are no legitimate affiliate promotion services or information products out there: I am saying that the vast majority of them do not work as well as they say they do. So hold onto your cash. When you find a product that multiple people have personally recommended to you, then consider buying it. Otherwise, conserve your cash for purchasing services or products that will produce hard, definite results, such as email leads for your newsletter or phone leads you can contact personally to promote your program.

5. Remember that your success is dependent on your choices and your work alone. If you get upset about not becoming successful with a specific affiliate program, do not blame the program--blame yourself. Do a thorough analysis of what you could be doing better and how you could be making quantitative progress

every single day. There are people who do not pay any money at all for promotional services and yet are still able to make a living just from using free tools on the Internet. If they can do it, there is no reason at all why you cannot. Joining a marketing group or forum in your field will help you realize this reality. Seeing and talking to people who are succeeding in your field will remind you that it is entirely possible to make money online without having a million dollars to begin with.

While there are some "secrets" to getting more sign-ups and site visitors, the bigger part of affiliate program marketing is following a sound business plan. If you keep the five concepts I have listed above central to your marketing campaign, you will not fail. But, if you continue to market sporadically--switching from product to product and method to method--you will never break out of that 97% who never make money.

About the Author

Isaiah Hull publishes Home Business Tips Newsletter, a fresh and informative ezine that focuses on building successful internet businesses and promoting affiliate programs. Stop by http://www. workathomerightnow. net.

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Become a Two-Wheeled Commuter for Bike-to-Work Week

. Posted in small Business tips

It-s time to put away the car keys and put on the bike shorts. Today marks the beginning of -Bike-to-Work Week,- which runs through May 20. Friday is earmarked as -Bike-to-Work Day- and the entire month of May is dubbed -Bike Month.- In an effort to lower greenhouse gas emissions, improve health, and save money on gasoline (and who doesn-t want to save money on fuel with today-s prices?), workers are being encouraged to become two-wheeled commuters.

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The -Buy Local- Boost

. Posted in small Business tips

In an effort to rejuvenate struggling local economies and empower small business to compete with big business, political figures and organizations have begun to popularize -buy local- movements. The goal of -buy local- campaigns is to build a healthy feedback loop wherein the community buys from local merchants who then reinvest in the community via job creation, supply procurement, etc.

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Formulas for Headlines That Sell

. Posted in small Business tips

By Shelley Lowery

Wednesday, February 04, 2004; 2:30pm EST

We all know the importance of a powerful headline. However, writing a great headline isn't as easy as it sounds.

An effective headline will literally force your potential customers to learn more. It will instantly ignite a certain emotion and intrigue them to read on.

In order to write an effective headline, you must learn how to use specific words to achieve a specific reaction.

Before writing your headline, you must first learn a little bit about the basic human motivators. According to psychologist Abraham Maslow, human behavior is always the result of one or more of five basic needs. He listed these needs in a sequence that he refers to as "the hierarchy of human needs."

He believes that until a less important need is met there won't be any desire to pursue a more important need. Below are the five human motivators, beginning with the basic needs and continuing to the most important needs.

Physiological - Basic human needs include hunger, thirst, shelter, clothing and sex.

Safety (Security) - Human need for physical, emotional and financial security.

Social (Affiliation) - Human need for love, affection, companionship and acceptance.

Esteem (Self Esteem) - Human need for achievement, recognition, attention and respect.

Self-actualization - Human need to reach their full potential.

When you are aware of the basic human needs, you can incorporate these needs into your writing. A great headline will appeal to your potential customers' emotions. You must feel their needs, wants and desires and write your headlines with passion and emotion.

When writing your headlines, keep in mind, you only have a few seconds to grab your potential customers' attention. If your headline doesn't immediately catch their attention, they'll simply move on and never return. Below are several different formulas used by professional copywriters to write compelling headlines.

How to

"How to Increase Your Sales Up to 500% by Using This One Simple Strategy"

Headlines beginning with 'how to' are very successful, as the Internet is all about information. Internet users have a strong desire to learn. A headline beginning with 'how to' immediately grabs your potential customers' attention and forces them to read on.

Question

"Are You Sick and Tired of Working For Someone Else?"

Headlines written in the form of a question are very effective, as they appeal to your potential customers' emotions. When they read a headline written as a question, they'll answer the question in their mind. If the question identifies a specific need, want or desire, they'll read on.

Command

"Double Your Income Within the Next 12 months -- Guaranteed!"

A command headline focuses on the most important benefit your product or service has to offer. It instantly demands your potential customers' attention and intrigues them to read on.

News

"Announcing a Brand New Breakthrough in E-Publishing"

News headlines are very effective and used to announce new products and services. They are written in the form of an announcement or introduction and create curiosity.

Testimonials

"Internet Marketing Exclusive is Pure Genius -- Our Sales Have Increased by 40%!"

Headlines written in the form of a testimonial are very effective, as they instantly begin building trust.

When writing your headlines, certain words, when combined together, will literally draw your readers' attention to your ad. Below are of few of these "Power Words" that consistently work.

Breakthrough

Discover

Discovery

Easy

Free

Guaranteed

Hidden

Incredible

Love

Master

Money

New

Powerful

Profits

Proven

Results

Revealed

Scientific

Secret

Shocked

Shocking

Ultimate

Uncovered

You

Your

According to a Yale University study, the following words are the most powerful words in the English language.

Money

Discovery

Save

Easy

New

Love

Health

Proven

You

Results

Guaranteed

Safety

Just as certain words ignite different emotions, certain subjects have a broader interest than others do. Some of the most popular subjects include wealth, love, health and safety.

Take your time and try the different formulas according to your needs. Use a combination of the power words and write a headline that sells. By learning the art of writing headlines that focus on the basic human needs and emotions, you can increase your sales considerably.

Source of Article Shelley Lowery is the author of Ebook Starter - A complete ebook design kit. Subscribe to Etips, for a wealth of quality information to assist you in Web Design, Internet Marketing & Ecommerce. All new subscribers receive a free copy of the highly acclaimed ebook, "Killer Internet Marketing Strategies." http://www. web-source. net/cgi-bin/t. cgi? l=bl1. Copyright ? 2001, all rights reserved.

 

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10 Businesses Your Teens Could Start This Summer

. Posted in small Business tips

According to a May 6, 2011 press release, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the teen unemployment rate in the U. S. is 24 percent. Summer jobs that many teens have become accustomed to taking are dwindling or becoming nonexistent. So, what can we do to get our teens working this summer? Instead of helping your teen find a summer job, help them create one.

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10 Musicians That Rock At Doing Business

. Posted in small Business tips

Rock and roll musicians widely have reputations for being loud, rowdy, carefree party animals that love to destroy hotel furniture and spend the occasional night or two in jail. But many of the biggest rockers have also been able to party hard and run a successful business at the same time. Here-s our top 10 list of rock and rollers that own more than a guitar.

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Affiliate Marketing: Another Way to Win

. Posted in small Business tips

By Jude Wright

Monday, November 15, 2004; 1:10pm EST

You have a nice looking website, full of content. You have links to all your favorite affiliate programs. But - no one is clicking. What else can you do to get someone interested enough to click on the product's sales page?

Did you know that you can have your own affiliate program even if you don't have your own product? Well, you can! Simply join programs that have a 2-tier affiliate program.

Here's what to do:

When you add the link from your website to the affiliate program's sales page, also add another link saying "Join this Affiliate Program." The affiliate programs that are 2-tier will provide you with a second link for signing up

your own affiliates. Now, when your "affiliate" sells a product, YOU get a portion of the commission.

Of course, the commission won't be as high, but it's still a commission. And if you have enough affiliates signed up under you, they can be significant.

Sometimes the people who sign up using your send tier affiliate program link will end up purchasing the product themselves. Now you will get a commission from this sale plus you'll commission from any sale your affiliate should make in the future.

Want another idea?

Create a mini-site for just ONE of your affiliate products. Make sure it is one that has an excellent commission structure and a 2-tier program. You won't need to create a lot of different pages with a lot of content because this is a "sales" site - your sales site.

All you need is two pages. On the first page, create your sales copy. Do not use exactly the same sales letter that is used on the sales page for that product. Make it unique. Make it yours. Give it your own twist, your own personality. On this page you will have a link to your affiliate program

to page 2.

Create page two. This page will describe the affiliate program for this product and will have a link to the affiliate program sign-up page for the affiliate program product.

Now, promote this page - your product's affiliate program. An affiliate marketer will sign up for this affiliate program under your affiliate ID. And he or she will make sales. If you can get many "good" affiliates, ones who work hard to promote the product, you will make more on commissions that by actually selling the product yourself.

Another thing to think about is that you could receive residual income from your affiliates. Even if an affiliate stops promoting your affiliate product, it is likely he or she has written articles using their affiliate ID in the resource box for that article. When the article has been submitted to numerous article directory sites, and used by other websites in ezines or as website content, that affiliate ID will still be active. So, you win again!

Also, it will be easier to sign up new affiliates to your affiliate program than it will be to sell the product. Why? Because the affiliate marketer is motivated to make money. And the more money he makes for himself, the more money he makes for you! This is a good thing!

So, don't only think of affiliate marketing websites as content sites. Keep an open mind. Find new ways to promote your affiliate programs - and your affiliate program's affiliate program - to get even more choices for your multiple streams of income.

About the Author

Jude Wright has been an Internet Marketer for three years. She has just created a product that will help other Internet Marketers keep all their marketing information in one database. Check it out at:

http://i-marketingorganizer. com/organizer. htm

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