Saturday, May 18, 2013
Short answer ... NO! Especially in today's world. New customers aren't going to drive around looking for you. Most print media is drying up. Direct mail just ends up in the trash. The yellow pages are so yesterday. This is the digital age. Customers are going online to find what they want ... and where they can get it. Plus, encouraging potential new and repeat customers is easier when you have a website to refer them to where they can visit to keep up to date on your latest specials and promotions, new products and services, sign up for a emailing list, and maybe even place new orders with "repeater" incentives.
Bottom line is you HAVE to have an online presence even if you are a brick and mortar storefront business. Watch this video to learn more about why ... and more importantly how.
Friday, May 17, 2013
1) Internet: Just about everyone has a computer these days, both consumers and business owners, so the Internet is a wonderful tool to take advantage of for marketing. A strategic plan of how to market your business should be determined as there are many ways to market your business on the Internet such as
a. Build a business web page
b. Create a Twitter account
c. Use Facebook
d. Build a business blog
e. Create a LinkedIn page
2) Local Community: The local community is another way to let everyone know you are available and able to help those in need of your business. A great way to let the community be aware of your service is by appearing at local events with business cards and introducing yourself. Another helpful way to get the word out about your business is the local library bulletin board as there may be a section for placing your business card for free.
Wednesday, May 15, 2013
Why not start a small business online focused on a burning passion you've always had. Something you can have fun doing AND make some money at too. How you say? Easy...just watch this video to get some ideas.
Saturday, May 11, 2013
Not so fast. Are you sure you've covered ALL the bases?
Watch this video to see if your business has the "magic touch". Without it, you're just spinning your wheels and on the expressway to nowhere.
Thursday, May 9, 2013
View slideshow: SWOT analysis and matrix
The variables within a SWOT matrix manage both internal and external analysis. For example, the internal analysis can be performed by using the strengths and opportunities variables whereas the external analysis can be achieved by using weaknesses and threats variables. It may seem complex yet these two matrices are quite simple to manage for short-term and long-term matters. Tracking the strengths and opportunities of a business can be done every so many months as it will allow updates and enhancements to be reviewed.
The second matrix is the external analysis because of what two variables are used, Weakness and Threats. The first variable is used to seek out the weaknesses of business that can effect growth. The second variable determines threats from competitors that can cause difficulty in moving forward, obtaining customers, and building stronger market growth. Both internal and external analysis matrices work together in the end to build a full dialog of business goals for future growth potential.
Wednesday, May 8, 2013
Watch these 3 videos and you'll learn all you need to know about how YOU can take advantage of the Pinterest phenomenon to boost YOUR small business success.
Tuesday, May 7, 2013
Well guess what, now it is passed and now the problem child has become a serious threat to not only the American economy, it has become a threat to the American worker as well as the American small business owner because of the financial numbers being reported by the CBO. It would seem ever since this nightmare has been uncovered, new numbers are growing higher and larger like an uncontrollable virus.
In order to deal with this “train wreck” before it happens all small business owners must take one of two options, lower the amount of workers within the business or lower the amount of hours being worked from 40-hours to 29-hours. By performing both actions, small business owners can 1) eliminate the having to pay a fee for the mandate and 2) eliminate having to offer universal health care to employees.
More small business owners will need to take advantage of the above, as they cannot afford paying new small business taxes including this outrageous fee being wanted by the federal government. What makes the matters worse is this mandate and universal health care has become more expensive the further information discovered. The federal government is attempting to cover up information and force a train to pass by all small business owners but it is not ethical for that action to take place. That train will certainly wreck before it arrives and cause severe damage regardless of what is in the way.
Saturday, May 4, 2013
With that in mind here's a must watch video to get you started on the right path to a successful online business.
Friday, May 3, 2013
Avoid short answers; instead provide descriptive thought and replies
During a job interview, there is a good chance the type of questions asked could be varied. A job candidate may find it helpful to consider previous work experience and/or any business skill that has been used. Hiring managers like to hear how job candidates will use their business experience and skills; it is quite okay to provide long answers when responding to interview questions.
Be prepared with questions during the interview
When reviewing the job information it would be best to write down a few brief questions to find out more details. For example if there is a question regarding the skill requirements that can be answered during the interview. Another question to ask could be about the company itself that was seen on the website. One question never to bring up during an interview is the salary as it will turn off a hiring manager and any chances of being a possible job hire.
After the interview follow up
During this economy, companies are taking longer with hiring the right person. The reasons for these actions are not just the slow economy as many would be quick to blame it is actually the high competitive numbers in job seekers that are on today’s market. Many persons have been laid off so in turn there are many who are currently job seeking. Because of the high number in job seekers, it has caused a longer period for interviewing and reviewing of resumes to take place as business owners want to find the best person for the job.
The best job seekers can do in this situation is to follow through after the job interview has taken place with a thank you note and showing they do have interest in the job position. Job seekers can log the date of interview, check off note being sent, and then wait for a week. Should a week pass and there be no word from that particular company, it would be a reasonable period to contact them for an update on the interview status.
Research the corporation or the company using Google search engine to discover more about basic information. It is best to do this type of thing the night before and take notes while researching so you are aware. Learn a little bit about the company history, the product and/or service being provided to consumers.
2. Practice Interviewing
Ask a friend to help you on this and respond to the questions that are asked during a job interview. These types of questions can be located by seeking About.com for the exact keywords "job interview questions" without using the quotation marks. After you have practiced responding to the questions a few times, the answers will come more naturally. Do keep in mind, hiring managers ask different questions so it will be different from job to job upon what is asked; it is best to try all of them just to be ready for anything.
3. Dress for success
The night before plan out exactly what will be worn to the interview so all is sitting out and prepared and waiting to wear after stepping out of the shower. Whatever has been chosen, it is important to be sure the clothes will make a good impression and not be too over the top. So choose wisely whether it be a suit for men or a black straight skirt with blouse.
4. First impressions count
Even though nerves may be present, the first meeting with a hiring manager is an important moment. An employee can show positive attitude by greeting his or her hiring manager first with a smile then with firm handshake and lastly by introduction. That combination will show confidence and the readiness for discussion about the job opportunity.
Thursday, May 2, 2013
On May 16, 2013 at the Omaha Public Library from 10 am to 2 pm there will be the “John Bernardi Job Fair” held. The Omaha public library is located at 2868 Ames Ave in downtown Omaha, Nebraska for all to attend.
The Urban League of Nebraska is also helping persons who are job seeking by holding meetings every Tuesday at 10 am and 1 pm. Including those meetings persons who are interested there are workshops that can be attended during the month of May.
Another job fair planned for the month of May will be unique. Not only is it for nine days, this particular career fair is focused on job seekers who are seeking employment with colleges or universities. The job fair has uniqueness, as it is accessible for job seekers. The nine-day period will also allow visitors to schedule a time more convenient during their schedule. The job fair is sponsored by ScholarlyHires.com and this job fair can be visited from May 7 to May 16. Scholarly Hires does request that all persons who wish to attend the job fair please freely register for the up and coming fair. By doing this registration he or she will be notified with news upon the upcoming events. Scholarly Hires also has a group which can be accessed for free on LinkedIn if desired.
Wednesday, May 1, 2013
Saturday, April 27, 2013
Wednesday, April 24, 2013
So at AWeber, they’ve made a point of helping you combine email and social media by helping you automatically share your email newsletters on Twitter and Facebook.
As some of you noted when they rolled out their integration with Facebook, it only worked with personal profiles (not fan pages) due to limitations with Facebook’s API. They knew you wanted to post to your fan pages, but it wasn’t technically feasible at the time.
Well, as the saying goes, the only constant is change. And this is a good one. Facebook has changed their API, and AWeber has changed their integration and you can now post your email newsletters to your fan pages.
To learn how easy this works, AND to take advantage of this tool for your small business, simply read more here ....
Saturday, April 20, 2013
That’s the sound of a subscriber opening your last marketing email – and opening a mental door to more information on that particular subject.
Then there’s that other sound: the silence. That’s a subscriber who didn’t open their door this time.
In one scenario, you got to share some information. In the other, you didn’t. But in both, you’re still standing on the doorstep. So what to do next?
Find out all you need to know here ...
Wednesday, April 17, 2013
Saturday, April 13, 2013
Wednesday, April 10, 2013
Saturday, April 6, 2013
Topics include ....
* How To Get Started - Live Demo
* Follow-Ups - Connecting With Subscribers
* Create Effective Email Newsletters
* Email Analytics - Tracking and Segmenting for Better Results
* Better Web Forms - Get More Subscribers
* Email & Social Marketing - 3 Ways To Grow Your List
* Creating And Hosting Your Own Webinar
* Confirmed Opt-in Webinar
You can get all the details, including the schedule and sign-up (free rememeber) right here ....
Wednesday, April 3, 2013
But many small business owners out there are succeeding. They’re able to do it all by working hard (of course), but also by using the tools they have in smart ways.
Take Stan and John, for example. Two business owners who merged their blog with their email marketing to grow their audience and keep customers interested.
Read more about it here ....
Saturday, March 30, 2013
I can hear you saying, “Huh? But they’re a search engine!” But stick with me. Ever heard of Google Doodles? They’re fun changes that Google makes to its logo in honor of holidays and other notable events. They’re also an example of content marketing at its best. And you can do it, too, on your own blog, on your own web site, with your own email marketing campaign.
The great thing about Google Doodles is that they’re entertaining, interactive, and highly shareable. They’re also effective – web sites related to the day’s doodle topic have seen significant spikes in traffic thanks to Google’s fun marketing practices.
Here are four ways to take the core spirit of Google Doodles and apply it to your own content marketing plan.
Read more here....
Saturday, March 23, 2013
So it’s no surprise that most of Earthfort’s subscribers come from offline sources. But what might be a surprise is that Earthfort has a lot of people confirming their subscription and reading their emails, and have 0 complaints on all emails sent thus far.
Earthfort’s goal with email marketing is to increase sales – and that’s exactly what they’re doing.
How do they do it? By doing things right.
Read more here ...
Saturday, March 16, 2013
Read more here...
Saturday, March 9, 2013
Read More Here....
Thursday, February 28, 2013
Marketing: The “selling things” part of your business – getting customers for your products and services.
Operations: The “making things” part of your business – what you do for your customer.
Human Resources: The “people” part of your business – recruiting, developing, supporting and compensating your staff.
Finance: The “enabler” of your business – more than financial statements and tax returns, it is what makes your business possible.
Each division is important to the success of the business and they all must work together, but at any given time one usually needs more attention than the others. This is especially true in a growing business since different parts of a business often grow at different rates.
There are four steps involved in researching, creating and evaluating a growth plan....
Step One: Diagnosing the Health of Your Business
This formal analysis ensures you take a realistic look at where your business is now so you can be confident you are working with facts, not assumptions.
Step Two: Focusing on the Key Division and Setting Goals
This will help you examine every part of your business – marketing, operations, human resources and finance, so you can identify where attention is needed most and set realistic goals.
Step Three: Developing Your Business Strategies
This is where you will identify the best strategies to break through the toughest roadblocks and plan for the growth of your business.
Step Four: Implementing Your Growth Plan
Now you need to put the strategies into place, measure the results and watch for unintended consequences.
Monday, February 25, 2013
Once you have the prototype, find a factory that can make it for you as competitively as possible. By now, you will have gone through several iterations of the part and you can write up and submit the provisional patent. You can use the www.uspto.gov site and the Google patent search at https://www.google.com/?tbm=pts . You now know what your final product is, how much it will cost to make in volume and now the real work begins.
Now that you have a working prototype, with a patent pending number on it and hopefully some marketing literature and video, get yourself a independent rep that works in that industry to find distributors and wholesalers and try to get a mutually exclusive contract with them for one to two years, where they can’t buy a competing product and you offer them an exclusive territory as an authorized exclusive distributor. For this right, they must buy a minimum quantity , usually the same minimum that your factory requires. I would sell the part to your distributor at double your landed cost. With the p.o. and contract from your distributor, your provisional patent and a quote from your factory in hand, you can make a trip to your local bank for a line of credit. With the loan, you can buy your product and have the money for the full patent.
I want to emphasize a few points. If it is a unique product, the most important thing you can do is get the right partners and get it to market first. Start doing the research on as much in the beginning as possible. Including on how to write the patent and selecting the best Rep. You will only have a certain amount of time from the time your provisional patent gets approved before you have to get real patent or it will expire. In my opinion unless the product is revolutionary, the process of getting a provisional patent is the most important part so that even if you don’t get a full patent, at least you can prove prior art and no one can file a patent to keep you from making it. Most importantly, remember I am not an attorney, so verify everything I mention and that everyone else tells you as well.
Saturday, February 23, 2013
So what can we do to improve those statistics? February 25 through March 2 has been designated as "America Saves Week." It’s an annual opportunity for organizations to promote good savings behavior and a chance for individuals to assess their own saving status as well as an excellent excuse for business owners to promote good savings behavior among employees.
Consider this: Finances are employees' #1 cause of stress, which leads to higher health care costs for your company and negatively impacts employee productivity and morale (http://ezinearticles.com/?id=473303). Employees who learn how to effectively manage their benefits are more empowered, more engaged, and more satisfied with their compensation, benefits, and overall jobs (financialfinesse.com).
Thursday, February 21, 2013
There is no definitive "best way" though. Your market will judge the best way by the response you get.
Whatever you decide to do I would recommend....
(i) BE CLEAR ON YOUR MESSAGE & MARKET
Before you commit any money, be sure of the message you want to convey. You're servicing both business and consumer - will your message be different for each? What problem do you solve; what is the result they will achieve by buying your service?
(ii) ADVERTISE FOR A LEAD, NOT A SALE
If you go for the sale straight off - you either get it or you don't. If you can evoke a response to enquire, or to request more information, or a free report or "a something" and capture the contact details of your prospects - then you can market to them over a period of time, building a relationship and building value.
(iii) LOOK TO OTHER INDUSTRIES
Often, business owners have an unconscious compulsion to market their services in EXACTLY THE SAME WAY as their competitors. Look outside of your own industry and see what others are doing. How can you adapt and adopt some of their strategies to make you stand out in your own industry?
(iv) TEST! TEST! TEST!
Start small, track and measure your response. Based on the response you can decide to scale it, tweak it, or drop it.
What follows is a more specific strategy and plan for marketing that allows you to "do more with less"....
TASTE, TRENDS AND TECHNOLOGY
What does your research indicate is the trend in your field? Will it stay the way you are currently offering supplies and services or will it change? This item covers the developments you expect for the next few years. Evan a 'perfect' business can become obsolete overnight due to future developments. Specify a 5 year forecast of your field in your area.
SALES REVENUE FORECAST
Have you developed these targets? This section shows your estimates of future sales revenue for your business. Your strategic plan, needs to spell out the specific actions you will take to achieve your forecast sales revenues.
DIFFERENTIATE YOUR BUSINESS FROM THE COMPETITION
How does your business differ from the competition's strong and weak points. Again, remember to carefully look at your business from the customer's perspective. If you're not sure how your pricing policies compare to the competition, here are some guidelines. Most people associate high prices with high quality and extra service, while they associate low prices with low or average quality and minimum service. Make sure you provide extra quality and service if your prices are higher than your competition or make sure that your prices are lower if your quality is average and your service is minimum.
DECIDE HOW TO REACH CUSTOMERS
Once you describe your target customer, it's easier to create a list of possible ways to reach that person. One of your jobs as a businessperson is to decide which of all the possible methods of communication will give you the most exposure for the least cost in money or time.
EVALUATE THE RISKS FACING YOUR BUSINESS
COMPETITION: Most businesses have competition. How will your business differ in significant and positive ways from your competition? If your competition is strong, don't minimize that fact, but figure out ways you will adjust to or use that strength. For example, if you plan to open a restaurant next to an extremely popular one, part of your strategy might be to cater to the overflow. Another might be to open on days or evenings when the other restaurant is closed.
PIONEERING: If you anticipate no direct competition, your business probably involves selling a new product or service, or one that is new to your area. How will you avoid going broke trying to develop a market?
CYCLES AND TRENDS: Many businesses have cycles of growth and decline often based on outside factors such as taste, trends or technology. What is your forecast of the cycles and trends in your business? For example, if your forecast tells you that the new electronic product you plan to manufacture may decline in three years when the market is saturated, can you earn enough money in the meantime to make the venture worthwhile?
SLOW TIMES: Every business experiences ups and downs. Is your business small and simple enough, or capitalized adequately enough, to ride out slow times? Or do you have some other strategy, such as staying open long hours in the busy season and closing during times of the year when business is ?
OWNERS EXPERTISE: Nobody knows everything. How do you plan to compensate for the knowledge you're short on?
Write your risk analysis by first thinking of the main dangers your business faces. This shouldn't be hard, as you have probably been concerned about them for some time. Some of these may be on the list set out above; others will be unique to your business. Once you have identified the principal risks facing your business, write out a plan to counter each. But don't bog yourself down worrying about all sorts of unlikely disasters