5 Internet Marketing Tips Small Business Owners Need to Know

Online corporate giants almost always intimidate small business owners who are starting a business online. After all, these corporate giants have the money, time, and professionals in order to make their website businesses profitable. Online marketing for business may cost thousands of dollars, and because of this discourages some small business owners to not follow through with the e-business strategies they have in mind.

However, most people don’t know that business internet marketing is not always costly- it just always has to be effective. For small business owners who want to figure out business marketing online by themselves, here are five internet marketing tips that can help you work on internet business marketing effectively and for FREE:

Why Spend When There are FREE Tools?
Inexperienced small business owners can easily be persuaded to purchase expensive internet marketing tools because of advertisements with “flowery” and promising words. Our advice to SMO’s is this: use Free Internet Marketing Tools to market your site, generate traffic, and learn the Internet Marketing process through experience. You may purchase professional Internet Marketing software only when you understand how it works, lest you want to waste money on a product whose potential you cannot maximize.

Work on Your Email Campaign
The email campaign is the most intimate and effective approach for internet marketing for business. Connect with people who are already interested in your products or services. In this way, your marketing efforts will pay off through direct sales that are most likely made from customers who have subscribed to updates from you (which means that they want your products and services).

Embrace Social Media Marketing
Connect with as many people as you can for FREE by using Facebook, Twitter, and any other social networking site. Signing up is free and it’s easy to find contacts (and prospective clients) by simply adding friends and regularly posting updates. The beauty of social media marketing is this: the network of contacts is virtually endless and it’s up to you to make your own network grow.

“Give in order to receive”
A clean method of internet marketing for small business is offering free eBooks and software downloads that can lure interested site visitors. Join forums and share your knowledge and expertise. Prove that you are a company with a genuine interest in your clients rather than merely being a money-making effort by a work-at-home individual.

Let YouTube Help Your Business
People have the tendency to watch videos over reading boring text, so make it a point to be active in YouTube and post related videos. This approach for internet marketing for local business is especially effective in reaching out to young audiences.

5 Ways Top Home Business Entrepreneurs Fight Procrastination

You ever go to bed at night exhausted from trying to figure out what the deal is with Lost? You were so bent on understanding this island of confusion that you started watching DVD’s of the first season to hopefully shed some light on this nonsensical cluster of darkness. Now, all this would be OK except that you were supposed to be working on your home business. It was, however, no fault of your own that the phone rang and the subject of Lost emerged innocently in the conversation. It was then completely logical to assume that you deserved a break and one episode wouldn’t hurt. Five hours later, it really made sense to get some rest and commit deeply to “making it all happen” tomorrow. Sound familiar? How much actually “happens” tomorrow? Usually not very much.

To be successful in home business today requires action. Though some people were just born with massive action, like the kids that started their own businesses at 9 and were millionaires before they graduated high school, most of us need to develop the skills for high productivity. Here are 5 things you can do right now to make yourself more productive and help guarantee success in your chosen home business today.

1. Be crystal clear about what you want- This may sound obvious but one of the primary reasons for procrastination is lack of clarity. If we aren’t sure about what we are doing or what we need to do next, we tend to do nothing. Write down your goals!

2. Start each day with a plan – now that you’ve got some goals, you should be able to sketch out a plan of how to achieve them. Back into it like this; Start with your primary goal and then figure out which tasks you’ll need to complete over the year (or the expected duration) to reach it. Then break down tasks over the next few months… you can change this as you go but its important to have a starting point. Now list the tasks for the next week. Now from what you have planned for the week, select the tasks for tomorrow. Simple… now follow your map.

3. Use the 80/20 rule – We all know that 20% of our actions typically counts for 80% of our results. Look at your activities and decide what the top 20% of them are and then commit to doing them before all else. NEVER do lower priority tasks before the more important ones.

4. What will happen if? – Think about every task you do before you do it and ask your self that question. “What will happen if I do this today? What will happen if I don’t?” Now compare it to the goal in your head. For instance, if the answer is that you will be less confused about Lost but tomorrow you’ll have twice as much work to do, you may want to go another route. Again, the key here is to be clear what you have to do and WHY you are doing it.

5. Do what Brian Tracy calls the ABC method – Simply put, this method allows you to prioritize your tasks to ensure that you take care of the most important tasks first. Look at your list of tasks and mark an “A” next to the tasks that, if not done, will have serious consequences. If you have a few, mark them “A-1, A-2, A-3” etc. “B” tasks are important but there is significantly less of a consequence if it’s not completed; returning some email and phone calls might be “B” tasks. As a general rule, don’t do a “B” task if an “A” task is left undone. “C” tasks are things that you’d like to do, but there really is no consequence at all if don’t; like if you missed lunch with a co-worker or another exciting discussion of Lost with your friend. “D” task are tasks you can delegate and should delegate if the option is open to you. “E” tasks don’t need to be done at all. Usually they are either no longer necessary or just something you’re in the habit of doing. Let them go.

Running a home business successfully requires a lot of self discipline and action… hopefully one or more of these tips will help you with your journey to success. I wish you prompt and timely success!

Leadership Tips – Small Business Requires Faster Decisions

Introduction

This leadership tip has something in it for managers everywhere, but it’s particularly targeted at those of you with large company backgrounds who have made career moves to smaller businesses that you own and/or manage.

My background is primarily in large scale management of IT organizations. The companies where I’ve worked were places where changing a process or behavior took some time. I always thought I was quicker than most, and action oriented. As a small business owner, I found I had to be much quicker.

I’ll offer this leadership tip in the form of a story. It’s a story of how taking your eye of the ball can cost you money, and worse than that can cost you customers.

My First Small Business

I opened a small personal services business. It was located about an hour from my home office, and with all my other commitments I knew how important hiring the right manager would be for this shop. It took a few tries, but I found one with a good background and references, and she seemed to quickly develop loyalty to the business and to me.

For the first six months we grew slowly but steadily. We were behind plan in terms of customers and revenue, but the trend was up. There were a few staff issues, but overall turnover was okay. I decided to invest a little more in marketing to try and get more new faces in the door.

Over the next three months, customer counts were mostly flat, and average sale was actually down a little. Concerned, I visited the shop a few times more than usual. The people were not as upbeat as they had been. When asked about that, they attributed their moods to less business and less enjoyment of the job. I wondered about seasonality, the economy, and whether I needed even more marketing investment.

Want to know what was really going on? My trusted manager had some personal problems that I had not been aware of before, and was exhibiting some totally unacceptable behaviors:

  • Criticizing staff in front of customers
  • Intimidating staff, letting them know they were at risk of being fired, and telling them I was out to get them.
  • Stealing money by voiding transactions and other means

The Damages

I’m still figuring out how much money all this cost me, but the money is only today’s problem. The customers I’ve lost are a more serious longer term issue, because many of them won’t be coming back.

When I figured out what was going on, I moved quickly to fire the manager. There were only two problems:

  1. I was too late, and there had been several months of damage done;
  2. There was collateral damage. I had to fire two other employees who had adopted the attitude and behaviors of the manager.

Today, I’m working on putting together data to see if I can assemble a case for prosecuting the employees and the manager. An even higher priority, though, is the work I’m doing to recruit and orient new staff and develop a recovery plan for our customer service reputation.
This leadership tip was a painful lesson that I hope never to repeat.

Four Tips Small Businesses Should Consider Before They Outsource Accounting Services

There are several important guidelines that you should take notice of when you intend to outsource accounting services. It is no waste of time to plan carefully before engaging in anything you need to do. Proper planning in this particular case is very worthwhile since it can reduce errors by a great margin. Small businesses especially should definitely implement the following guidelines since failure to do so may lead your business into financial trouble; something that you do not want to happen to you.

1. Does the company really exist on paper or it is conning you?

First and foremost, when it comes to identifying the best outsourcing services, it is very important for you to find out whether the outsourcing company is legally registered. Now that the world is turning digital a lot of people are taking advantage of the change to dupe others and extract money from them.

It is the role of the authorities to look into this, but, at the same time, as a businessperson, it is wise to ensure that your business is safe. In order to accomplish this you should carry out comprehensive research on the legality of the outsource accounting services provider that you may want to work with. This way you will avoid losing your money to conmen. This is not just talk; these cases are on the rise, believe it or not.

In your efforts to establish the right outsource accounting services always check if there are any laws or rules that have been put in place to guide you. If laws and rules exist,then abide by them in order that you get the best result possible.

2. Will outsourcing your accounting services actually benefit you?

The next thing you need to consider is the value that the outsource accounting services actually brings to your business. Does it benefit your business, and if it does then to what extent? If your business stands to gain at the end of the day then the deal is worthwhile and it is right to go ahead. If what your business stands to gain is fairly minimal then it is just common sense to simply walk away.

3. Are they trustworthy?

You business should target building long term partnerships with those providers who administer your business with outsource accounting services. This is because long-term partnerships lead to the development of greater trust and confidence between you and the outsourcing services provider.

4. How easy is it to outsource? Is it productive or not?

The moment you realize that the outsource accounting services are productive then you are safe. At the same time,if you perceive that the service is not flexible enough and is less productive for you then you need to abandon any idea of using it.

In conclusion, if you want your business to be successful outsource accounting services can be of great use to you. However, to find the best one for you, always research prospective services thoroughly to ensure success.