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30 Do’s And 20 Don’ts In Starting A Small Business

Small scale businesses are easier to set up compared to the middle or large scale businesses that require more time, feasibility reports, ad...

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Integrated Marketing

In today’s economy, you cannot afford to rely only on offline or online marketing. The more you connect your marketing strategies and the more you repurpose your message for both online and offline, the better. The key is to ensure that your message is consistent and reinforces your brand. Doing so will help bring your community together.

Consider these four tips on how you can establish those foundations for leveraging all of your marketing efforts. You can integrate online into your offline advertising, events, workshops, trade shows and public speaking.

First things first, fill the room with your target market. Ensuring you have the basics in place like a great marketing action plan to fill your events and stay on task consistently is a necessity. A solution can be utilizing a software product for managing your marketing activities such as, Simple Marketing Pro.

With a successful action plan, will deliver a packed event. Now you have a room filled with your ideal clients; how will you engage them and drive them to your online community? Here are four simple tips to expand your imagination.

1. Text messaging is the next marketing frontier. At your next speaking engagement, tell the audience to send a text message with their email address to receive a fabulous resource you have to offer. Using a service that allows you to capture those cell phone numbers for future marketing is a big plus. A service like Monster Follow-up allows you to collect the email address as well and makes this process easy. Keep in mind that 97% of text messages are opened compared to the average email open rate that continues to fall and today hovers somewhere between 20-40%.

2. Use social media at your events to increase your visibility. Create a conference site where you can utilize crowd sourcing allowing participants to share their views with their followers. Live social media feeds with your conference #hashtag is one option. Another is videotaping the participant’s views during the conference and uploading to your conference page throughout the event.

3. At your next trade show, stand out from the competition. One way is to use a 2D barcode, which is a black and white checkerboard tag to drive booth visitors to a specific webpage? Like this one that drives traffic to a mobile page that encourages opt-in for a free report. Or you could drive them to a quick demo video of your product.

4. Your strategies have to go both directions. Make it easy for your local community to find you online. Develop a strong presence in local social media activities, by utilizing services like Yelp, Foursquare and Google Places and then send a request to your cheerleaders and ask them to post a review. Be sure to check out the just launched Facebook Places to help give your business a local presence as well. These strategies can help regardless of whether you have a storefront or not so, businesses operating out of their home should not dismiss these opportunities.

As a bonus learn from Amazon’s recent report of breaking the 1 billion in mobile sales and make it easy for your prospects to purchase using their mobile devices. Another great use of the barcode, with one quick click they could land on your mobile page for quick purchase.

Open your mind and look for opportunities to use your offline marketing strategies to direct prospects to interact with you online. A Forrester Research study predicts that interactive marketing budgets, as a share of overall budgets, will increase from 13 to 21% by 2014. As a small business owner, you can be ahead of the curve by implementing these type of strategies today.

Donna Amos is the founder and president of Solopreneur Solutions, LLC. Donna helps solopreneurs convert and close more sales without breaking out in a sweat at the thought of asking.

Web Based Advertising Management

BluHorn Solutions software gives any small business in-house marketing department access to highly effective and streamlined online media buying tools. BluHorn Solutions delivers an easy training platform, simplifies advertising buying campaigns, makes reports more practical and manageable, eliminates overwhelming worksheets, and has rapid response to technical service issues. All station orders and insertion orders can be emailed and printed with one click.

Media planning tools for businesses include broadcast and cable TV advertising, radio advertising as well as print advertising and outdoor placement. The software also includes extensive analysis tools which help the business determine cost efficiencies and see where their audience is and what it’s costing to reach them. Providing these excellent negotiating tools is an extreme benefit.

BluHorn Solutions was designed to be entirely web-based advertising management software. With a computer and an internet connection it is possible to work, store and retrieve data from anywhere through a secure network. There is no software to download and no hosting fees. The price point for BluHorn Solutions is highly affordable and does not require extensive contracts. Business owners will be using the software within minutes - it’s just that simple.

For more information go to: BluHorn Solutions

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Money Isn’t the Problem

How many times have you heard the reason why most businesses fail is that they are under-funded? Yes, money is a necessary fuel to keep a business moving forward, but it isn’t the root cause of a business’ success or failure. It unfortunately has become an easy scapegoat.

It’s similar to saying money is evil. Money is a concept. It is paper, metal and a series of 1’s and 0’s in the digital banking world. Money is a neutral tool. It’s how you use it and why you use it that can create positive or negative results.

So quit blaming money and focus on these top 5 reasons why most small businesses fail.

1. It was a bad idea from the beginning.
All the money in Bill Gate’s bank account can’t save a bad idea. If it doesn’t work, if the people don’t want it, it will never succeed. Don’t fall in love with a bad idea. Sounds simple, and it is, but far too many people start a business based upon what they believe is a great idea. But, does the market want it? Do they need it? What need is it satisfying that they can’t resolve with other solutions already available to them?

2. Your timing was off.
Some ideas are great, but the timing stinks. This is one exception where money can be a contributing factor to failure. Yes, the current economy can and is killing certain industries, but others are thriving. Maybe your idea was strong when discretionary income and investment was pumping up your target industry, but you got in late and the money dried up … or moved elsewhere. Great ideas can’t thrive on their own. They have specific nutritional needs to enable to them to grow. Timing plays a big part.

3. You should have known better.
When you got excited about a new idea for your small business, what was your next step? If it wasn’t research, you made a big mistake. You, your family and your friends are not enough of a think tank to decide if the idea that you came up with is good enough to succeed (see item 1 above). The best way to tell if you’re on to something or if you are simply enjoying what your ego is telling you is to do objective market research.

4. “I’ll figure it out as I go along” isn’t a plan.
This can be a somewhat acceptable action plan if you are starting a business that requires less than 1% of your time and your money. And if this is the case, then you are likely investing your time in a hobby and not a business. Now, there are a number of businesses that you can start with very little capital, however, starting and operating a business does take a substantial investment of time. What is your time worth? Can you afford to through your time away? Instead, take time in the early stages to create a plan … after you’ve performed your research to validate the quality and capability of your idea.

5. You weren’t ready to run a business.
This can be a big bruise to your ego, but you may have had inappropriate expectations on the entrepreneurial DNA required to start and run a small business. Don’t beat yourself up over this, just be honest.

If you often blame money for the ailing health of your startup, take a step back and review the above common causes for struggling businesses. Be willing to be honest. Be willing to get help. It’s the only way you are going to be able to fix the true root cause of your suffering small business.

Doug Dolan
Small Biz Break
give your biz a break

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Stop the hand-wringing, seize the opportunity

I believe the traditional employer-employee paradigm has fundamentally changed. Employers no longer want employees and lots of folks no longer want traditional jobs. And I believe that that may not be the “bad thing” most people see it as. Because I believe that whether as a result of necessity or preference, in the next year or two we are going to be reading and hearing about a tremendous explosion of small businesses --- from traditional brick’n’mortar stores to all kinds to online shops, from “solopreneurs” to all sorts of partnerships. And all of these new small businesses will create tremendous opportunity for new business activity. I explore what kind of opportunities in my upcoming Marketing Over Easy Newsletter to be released early in October. To get your free copy just go to www.marketingovereasy.com/signup.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Virtual Private Server For Small Businesses

Atum is a leading dedicated virtual private server (VPS) hosting provider with small businesses in mind. VPS Hosting is a cost-effective solution for businesses that want dedicated server performance for a fraction of the cost. Atum eliminates the need to invest in hardware to have a top tier performing environment. They take away all your IT headaches as you focus on where you are needed most, your core business.

Virtualization proves itself as the premium hosting solution. Not only is it the center of every organization's money-saving initiative but industry reports say that between 60% and 80% of IT departments are switching to a virtual environment. By reducing the numbers and types of servers that support business applications, companies are engaging in numerous significant benefits.

If you want to switch to a virtual environment but don't know what to do with your physical servers, Atum will purchase your physical hardware from you either recycling it or reusing it.

With packages starting from $39/month guaranteeing enterprise level hardware, dedicated CPU, 2 TB bandwidth, highest tier data center, 24/7 support and lightning fast servers - Atum is your premium SMB hosting solution.

To learn more go to: Atum

Thursday, September 23, 2010

5 Key Questions for Mastering Marketing

Feeling frustrated with Facebook?

Have you picked up a nervous tick trying to figure out Twitter?

Does LinkedIn leave you feeling like you’re not part of the in-crowd?

What if we told you that you may be wasting your time treating symptoms when you should be focused on fixing the likely root failure … not having a well-defined answer to the following 5 basic questions?

1. Whom do you want to attract?

2. What is it that they need?

3. What do you have that satisfies their need better than the competing solutions?

4. Where do they go to find the solutions to satisfy their needs?

5. What will get their attention, grab their interest and get them to take action?

While you may have been led to believe that these social media stomping grounds are magic places where customers are just waiting for you to post a profile, in reality, they take work … dedicated, consistent work of time, quality and message.

So before you sign up for any social media mentoring, realize that most marketing problems are rooted in blowing past the basics in favor of trying to catch a buzz by dabbling in the latest trend.

Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are more than a trend; they are virtual places where your prospects congregate. Their population size and spending prowess are truly impressive.

But, again, if you don’t know the answers to the above 5 questions about the basics, it really doesn’t matter if you were given a coveted :30 second spot during Super Bowl halftime. If you have the wrong message going out to an audience that doesn’t fit with your offering, great visibility alone won’t bring you the business.

Stop for a moment and really take a look at your marketing communications. Is it confusing, conflicting or simply limp? Before you try to pretty up your image, know whom you are trying to reach and why they should care.

If you feel stuck coming up with strong answers to the 5 key questions, give your biz a break and contact us for help.

Doug Dolan
Small Biz Break
"give your biz a break"

Rural America Onshore Outsourcing

Small business owners can't always handle every aspect of what they need done in-house. Or, if they need to travel, they may are sometimes forced to defer their trips. "Somethings come up at work," they say, or "This just isn't a good time to get away. Someone's got to keep an eye on the shop."

Christopher Hytry Derrington's company Rural America OnShore Outsourcing has a solution. His company not only allows businesses to outsource the work they don't want to do, but enables them to do it in a way that saves them money and headaches. Whether a business needs a single programmer or a team of IT, BPO, or marketing specialists, RAOO's American workers can help. They speak the same language, work in the same timezones. No time lost.

The trick? RAOO's associates are based in rural areas, where salaries -- and the cost of living -- are significantly lower than urban areas...and it can pass those savings along to companies who purchase its services.

With business centers in 3 states and employees in 12, RAOO is growing quickly. RAOO is the only rural-based outsourcing company whose scope is national. They are recruiting talent in 12 states now and will add another 13 to that by year's end; a presence in all 50 is the goal for the end of 2011.

So...What does this mean for the small business owner? It means if he or she needs to get work done, doesn't want to be the one constantly supervising, and doesn't want to outsource abroad, he or she can arrange for RAOO associates to do the work. Highly qualified inexpensive trained professionals allow the small business owner to sleep well at night.

Get more information at: Rural America Onshore

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Stop working for free

Timesheets, invoices, pay slips. What a drudgery!

Keeping up to date with invoices was always a chore for me. In my technical writing and illustrating business, I often had to prepare invoices for small blocks of work as well as fixed-price jobs. I hated the book-keeping side of it. It’s like that for many small service businesses: you do what you're good at, but the accounting side is a necessary headache.

I use timesheets to keep track of my own work, as well as employees and subcontractors. Then at the end of the month, there's the boring work of extracting every entry on every timesheet to make invoices. A few hours here and there, from different employees, at different hourly rates. Sometimes there are day rates, mileage, expenses, and other units like "per illustration".

Like most small business, I can’t justify an accountant to do my billing, so I have to do it myself as un-paid work. Almost certainly I’ve missed a few entries, which means we did work for free.

So there are two problems to solve for a small service business: (1) make sure every billable minute gets included in an invoice (2) reduce the overhead of book keeping. Ten years ago when I had this epiphany, there wasn’t any software to do the job for small businesses, so I made it myself. The result was Etime Biz, a web-based timesheet system.

Because employees log their work against a particular job, Etime Biz can instantly tally the unbilled work for any job, then print an invoice. No more shuffling through paper timesheets and adding up hours. No lost billing and a lot more free time for me.

5 Methods to Alleviate Market Research Madness

When was the last time you ran across someone who was passionate about performing market research? It isn’t exactly the sexiest topic of conversation at a cocktail party.

Don’t get us wrong, we aren’t anti-research, quite the opposite. We believe it is a necessity for launching a new small business idea. However, we do realize that most people avoid it for a wide variety of reasons (read, “excuses”):

“It’s boring.”

“Isn’t it just better to get started with my business and figure it out as I go along?”

“I’ve talked to a few family and friends about my idea and they love it.”

While we may not be able inspire you to take an Indiana Jones approach to identifying hidden gems of historical relevance in order to understand your target market’s culture, we can give you the top 5 methods to getting to know your market.

1. Investigate

Thanks to the advent of the Internet and omnipotent search engines like Google, finding data is easier than ever. And, even with the multitude of online options for market research (free and paid), there are still numerous offline options, too. Don’t forget the old-fashion library, a stop by your local Chamber of Commerce or a visit to City Hall.

2. Observe

You may be in the process of making the transition from employee to entrepreneur within the same market taking with you a history of observing your target market. An excellent advantage! However, if your pursuits of freedom, fulfillment and financial rewards take you in a new direction, you need to allocate some time to observing your new industry.

Watching how your market interacts is an excellent way to gain insight. You can shop at potential competitors’ stores and visit online forums for customer ratings and rants.

3. Interview

Pick up the phone. Set up a face-to-face. Jump on Skype. It’s time to start asking questions and getting answers. Talk to companies. Speak with customers. Have a conversation with industry experts. Realize though, that while some people are generous with their time, they are busy. Be prepared with intelligent questions before you contact them. And, in some cases, you may need to consider paid focus groups.

4. Sample

Who doesn’t like free? If you have some products and services ready to sample, get them out in the market to gauge interest. Studying the spontaneous reactions of potential prospects is an excellent strategy to collecting valuable market data.

5. Survey

When sampling, follow up with a survey. Most prospects are willing to give feedback for freebies. Even if you don’t have giveaways, you can still use various online sites and offline methods (calling, mailers, etc…) to take your market’s temperature on different issues they face and how well they feel the current solutions satisfy their needs. Be prepared that you may need to incentivize your survey takers with a raffle for a cool reward or possibly even a cash kickback.

If you're still finding that you're struggling with market research, ask for help. That’s what we’re here for.

Doug Dolan
Small Biz Break
“give your biz a break”

Monday, September 20, 2010

Sales Management For Small Businesses

Sales Manager Now is just that. They provide sales management for small businesses needing a sales manager now. Most business owners use this service because they are tired of "trying" to manage the sales team with less than desirable results.

Rene Zamora, owner and one of the Sales Managers says, "Our clients are business owners who have successful businesses but have plateaued. They know they are not the ones that can manage the sales team to the next level. What they really like is our fee structure which gives them all they need from a sales manager at a 1/3 of the cost of having a full time local manager."

Unlike other sales management services, they provide a real live person, a real manager, not just a software package or system that will "solve all your problems." The sales managers work weekly and sometimes daily with the sales people and provide a healthy sales perspective to the owners when decision need to be made.

They have been in business providing service for four years with an average length of service being 16.5 months with the shortest being 1 month and the longest 48 months. Fees range between $2500 and $4000 per month.

You can find out more about them at ..... Sales Manager Now

The Three Marketing Absolutes

My first job in college was to sell ads for the campus newspaper. I can’t tell you how many times I watched town merchants agonize over whether they should be in the college paper at all, over what to put in the ad, and finally about how the ad should look. It wasn’t until years later I understood if these merchants had just laid a solid foundation for their marketing efforts, the agonizing wouldn’t be necessary. What is that solid foundation?

First, know your customer. Everything you know about customers guides your marketing efforts, from which media you choose to be in to what your ad will look like.

Second, know your competition. What is your competition doing, or better yet, not doing?

Third, be unique in the marketplace. This is the ultimate goal of all of your marketing efforts, to stand out from your competitors and to be memorable to your customers or potential customers.

For my fretting merchants, knowing if they had college students as customers or wanted them as customers answers the question of whether or not to be in the college paper. Knowing if their competition was promoting to college students and what their approach was would then guide what they might advertise and how in order to be unique, different from the competitor.

These same three absolutes of marketing apply whether you’re Proctor & Gamble or a small town ladies-ready-to-wear. Only the execution is different.

# # #

To receive a free copy of our information-packed special report “58 Free & Low Cost Tricks to Effectively Promote Your New Small Business” click here.

You can e-mail Dave at dave@MarketingOverEasy.com. © 2010 by David F. Ramacitti. Excerpted from The Three Marketing Absolutes: Know Your Customer, Know Your Competition, Be Unique (c) 2008 David F. Ramacitti.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Small Businesses Can Outsource Too

Outsourcing is not strictly limited to large corporations.

Infinit Outsourcing Inc (Infinit-O), caters to small and medium sized companies in need of outsourcing services. They are a boutique BPO that offers bespoke solutions in the areas of Social Media & Research, Finance, Finance & Accounting, Healthcare, and Customer Relationship Management Services. Infinit-O offers these services to small and medium sized businesses to allow them to be able to realize the benefits of being able to improve and grow their business, without being too costly.

If you'd like to learn more visit their website: Infinit Outsourcing Inc

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Do You Backup Your Files?

I just posted this on my own blog and thought the readers here would like it too!

Dropbox is a great and FRE-E way to store or backup files. It gives you up to 10 GB space starting with 250 MB Free.

You can also earn more storage space for telling friends - 250 MB for each that is referred.

It gives you the opportunity to share access to files with clients an colleagues as long as they have an account. The files can be accessed and updated anywhere you can get online!

Backup Files
Store Files For Access at other locations
Share Files with Clients, Colleagues or Team Members
Store Files for Others to Access and Edit or Download


Sherry Lynn

Monday, September 13, 2010

Small Business Outsourcing Guide

Outsourcing is not just for big businesses. Small and medium-sized companies can also reap the benefits of outsourcing. For a company that is just starting to grow, or for businesses that would like to enhance their services without going over budget, then outsourcing is one option that can be looked into. So, what would the benefits of outsourcing be?

More time to focus on key tasks/aspects of your company. Tasks such as data entry, research, customer relationship management, as well as areas in finance and recruitment, can all be outsourced now. By outsourcing some tasks, you get to focus on making your business work.

Higher return on investment. As we all know, outsourcing some tasks to another country, equates to a lesser cost, sometimes even less than half of what it would cost if you opted to hire in-house. You could potentially get twice the work done, allowing you to grow your business.

Faster turnaround time for services. While you are at home sleeping, your outsourced team could already be going through your day’s work, so that when you wake up, all the work has been done.

Increased customer satisfaction. With faster turnaround time, and better services, you’d be able to ensure that you keep your customers happy. And everyone knows happy customers make loyal customers.

Better leverage against competitors. Competition is still tough and by outsourcing, you can leave some time off to brainstorm for new ideas for your business, you can focus on gaining new clients, and you can keep that lead against your competitors.

Of course, there are also disadvantages to outsourcing, which is why outsourcing may not be just for anybody. For outsourcing to work, there must be constant and effective communication between you and your team, as well as cooperation. Some hurdles to outsourcing would be:

Security concerns. Number one for most companies, they must be able to trust their outsourcing provider, or else opt to do the work in-house.

Language barriers. Outsourcing to other countries can bring up communication concerns, whether it’s for customer services (call centers) or just correspondence with you. This is especially worrisome in outsourcing to countries where English is only a second or even third language.

Issues with control. As it is your business, of course, you would still require to have at least a modicum of control with your business, which is why some find it tough not to be involved in each and every company project.

Bad reputation. The very term outsourcing has certainly gotten a bad reputation and may rub off on your reputation as well.

As an outsourcing company with sites in the US, UK and the Philippines ..... Infinit Outsourcing would like small and medium companies to reap the benefits above, without the disadvantages, or at least minimize them. Being one of only a few ISO certified outsourcing companies for Information Security Management System and Quality Management System in the region, they take pride in ensuring that your data will not be compromised. Also as their outsourcing site is in the Philippines, language barriers are minimized as English is recognized as one of the official languages with almost all of the Filipino population speaking it.

As an outsourcing partner, Infinit-O makes sure that there are always clear lines of communications between them and you. As your virtual team, they help by listening to your needs and delivering the results while keeping as much of the control with you. They also value your image, and keep all contracts confidential according to your wishes.

For more information go to: Infinit Outsourcing

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Small Business Tip - Referrals and Ambassadors

Here's more wisdom from my friend Harold Larson of Visiam ...........

“Referrals” - We hear the word all the time! It is true that in the age of communication, we must compete with the background noise of the internet, social networking and blogs, so any path that can usher your message to a potential customer is a cool breeze on a hot day. So today, I would like to introduce the concept of creating ambassadors as referral engines.

“Ambassadors” will look for opportunities to sell your services because they have a deep understanding of your value proposition and who you are. This is more than a satisfied customer that will passively endorse your product, give you a lead or act as a reference if it is convenient.

Granted many of your professional relationships do not have the profile or comfort zone to “sell” your services, however a positive comment or a recommendation from an introvert to one of your relationships could be understood as screaming your “value” from a mountain top!

So what creates Ambassadors and what fuels their participation in your success?

First, you should mirror the activity you would like to create or see in your ambassadors, by:

• Providing robust introductions - in a way that jump starts a personal and professional relationship so that they might afford you the same.

• Understanding their business – by respecting their opinion and professional journey to invite that same amount of interest in yours.

• Acknowledging their Achievements - and celebrate their successes so that they could take credit for yours.

Second, develop an offering that is of value specific to their relationships and not necessarily for them. If they receive a “thank you” from the relationship they referred to you based on their satisfaction with your product or services, it will fuel their desire to remain your ambassador.

Conclusion –Networking events, LinkedIn, blogs, chambers, industry associations are all part of the playing field. But it gets crowded!

My question: What could be so personal/priceless/valuable that would cause you to introduce me to your inner circle? Now you can start down the path to offer the same.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Free Press Release Distribution Service

Earlier in July Phil Davies of BigNews.Biz launched about 18 new, FREE press release distribution services that cover some very specific subjects. By offering these new services, his intent is to reach a very targeted audience with your press releases.

When you post a press release to one of these new sites, it will also AUTOMATICALLY be posted to their flagship press release distribution site, BigNews.biz . They are also setting up Twitter accounts for each site. As an example, the Twitter page for the new PR distribution site BigTravelNews.info can be viewed there. They’ll also be setting up Facebook Fan pages for each Web site as well as offering the press releases you submit to Google News.

They will also feed your release via RSS to sites like Weblogs.com, Blo.gs, Technorati, Feed Burner, Syndic8, NewsGator, My Yahoo!, PubSub.com, Blogdigger, BlogRolling, BlogStreet, Moreover, Weblogalot, Icerocket, News Is Free, Topic Exchange, Google Blog Search, Spinn3r, Bloglines, AideRSS, SkyGrid, Bitacoras. As well as all of the major search engines.

Here is a list of all the sites in their new network. Pick one that fits your business and give it a try today!

* News-Antique.com - A free press release distribution service for the Art, Antiques & Collectibles trade

* News-Sports.net - A free press release distribution service covering all things sports related

* BigTravelNews.info - A free press release distribution service covering all things travel related

* BooksMovies.info - A free press release distribution service covering books and movies

* EatsNews.com - A free press release distribution service covering food and restaurants

* PetNews.biz - A free press release distribution service about pets

* PoliticalNews.me - A free press release distribution service covering domestic and international politics

* Real-Estate-News.net - A free press release distribution service covering the Real Estate business

* SEO-News.biz - A free press release distribution service covering Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

* TechyNews.net - A free press release distribution service covering Technology, Computers, Cell Phones, Smart Phones, Tech Gadgets, Software, Games, etc.

* CraftingNews.biz - A free press release distribution service covering arts & crafts hobbies.

* Eco-News.info - A free press release distribution service covering the ecology of the planet and “Green” issues.

* GardenNews.biz - A free press release distribution service about gardening and plants.

* LINews.biz - A free press release distribution service covering Long Island, New York businesses

* Auto-News.me - A free press release distribution service covering the automobile industry

* Fashionews.info - A free press release distribution service covering the fashion, jewelry, accessories and clothing trade.

* Health-News.me - A free press release distribution service covering health, medical, fitness, diet and well being.

If you have suggestions for other targeted topics, drop Phil an email at phil@Bignews.biz and he’ll consider them.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

What Information Should Be On the Homepage Of Your Small Business Website?

You most definitely have to incorporate a Call-To-Action in a position of prominence …. easy to see and that catches attention. Your website is not just another brochure you hand out. A website, if built and designed correctly, can act as a powerful sales tool.

Creating a Call-To-Action is definitely important. Some of the most popular Call-To-Actions are ….

• Phone Number

• Live Chat

• Sign up for Emails

• Request a Quote

• Create an Account

• Purchase your Product via Shopping Cart

Adding value or an incentive to your Call-To-Action will help to increase the conversions. For example, instead of just "Sign up for our eNews", you could say, "Sign up to receive tips that could save you money".

The ideal positioning of your Call-To-Action should be at the top of the page and definitely above the fold.

Another thing to consider in your homepage design is answering the question, "What do you do?" If your site visitor doesn't know the answer to that question, they will leave - regardless of how interesting your viral marketing campaign was. You've captured their interest in the campaign, now capture their information (Call-To-Action), and keep them interested by simply stating what it is your company offers and how you can help them.

For an excellent resource which will build a high performance website for your Small Business go to:

How To Build A Quality Small Business Website