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Supporting Veteran Owned Small Businesses

This video shares examples of a few veteran owned small businesses. Feel free to comment and share your own examples with website link belo...

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Human Resources Help for Small Business Owners

Employers need to focus on what’s important, the business, but a company also needs to remain focused on its people. It can be difficult for companies, especially smaller companies, to focus on both the business and the people.

According to the Small Business Administration, small business owners spend between seven and 25 percent of their time handling employee-related paperwork. While the business owner would like to relieve themselves of many of those, most cannot afford their own human resources specialist.

There are many affordable options a company can consider when it comes to handling their employee-related tasks and issues. Some companies utilize contract HR (human resources) personnel while others completely outsource this function. Another option that has become very popular for small businesses is a subscription based Self-Serve HR program.

A Self-Serve HR system is an attractive proposition for companies looking to avoid a large capital outlay. Clients benefit from this subscription-based HR support system with access to HR forms, State& Federal employment laws & guidelines, best practice guidelines, on-line personnel records and an employee portal to provide company information, news, announcements and even an option for time keeping.

Affordable for most budgets considering the time and efficiencies gained, this service starts as low as $595 per year for a company with less than 19 employees and $795 per year for companies with less than 100 employees.

For more information and to request a demo, visit Work Force Biz

Work Force Biz is a division of Talent Network Group

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

How To Create A YouTube Video To Market Your Small Business Online

My friend Hani Mourra has a series of 7 free videos that will walk you through the steps of how to create your first YouTube video ..... and how to use it to market your small business online. If you have always wanted to use online video as part of your marketing strategy but didn’t know where to begin ..... these videos are just for you.

Here are some of the topics you'll learn about:

- A simple step by step process to record, upload and get your videos ranked in the Google search engines

- What equipment you need to get started (90% of which most of you already have)

- How to overcome your fear of using online video

- Great content ideas for your videos

- 3 strategies to build trust with your prospects so they’ll buy from you

Hani also has another free video series on the 7 Common Mistakes People Make With Online Video Marketing.

For more information and get your free video series go to....

How To Create A YouTube Video

7 Most Common Mistakes

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Reinvigorate Your Small Business ..... With Pay As You Go Coaching.

When you've stepped out of a role into running your own business there's support, enthusiasm and huge energy all around; the experience is as invigorating as a run from the sauna into the snow and plunge pool.

Alas, between months 18 to 24 the heat of the sauna often becomes the stifling heat of the kitchen, and the refresh of the plunge pool numbs to a chill of isolation, a cold shoulder.

Too much work or too little, resulting effects are almost identical in poor performance, inadequate balance between planning and action, lack of sleep, erosion of family life, a rise in anxiety, or simply loss of confidence in your business' capability to support you or your ability to manage it.

People buy people, especially in small business. Consequently, when you consider what on earth you are going to do to fix things, count yourself as a fixable item on the list. It's easy to assume outside factors rule your domain, but you must consider the fulcrum those levers operate through, and that would be you.

By the way, especially in small business, people don't buy coaching. But they do buy knowledge, insight and support because that 18 to 24 month wake-up is the moment when the gulf between assumed can-do and realization of limitations begins to be understood.

A coach closes that gap, helping leverage your strengths to overcome perceived limitations, providing objectivity and focus, helping you re-calibrate effort, working so you own the achievements and changes that arise.

People buy people. Get the confidence you need to run naked into the snow again, get a coach.

I promise it will be more invigorating than beating yourself with a birch twig.

For a top notch coach .... Small Business Resources Cafe strongly recommends Philip Stanley.

Philip is the lead business coach at Minutecoach Limited, a company that offers Business Coaching on a pure Pay As You Go basis to business owners, career professionals, and entrepreneurs who have the confidence to invest in themselves.

For more information check out MinuteCoach

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

How To Grow Your Small Business

Tony Lockwood is the founder of Business Growth Mastery - a website dedicated to providing a range of support to SMEs looking to grow their businesses. The site is broken into a number of areas covering ......

1. aligning your personal and business visions
2. developing an effective business growth plan
3. identifying and building your management team
4. investing in your team
5. managing the cash to ensure that you can fund your growth
6. driving growth in profits
7. establishing an exit strategy

Tony is in the middle of reworking the website and will be offering a very interactive 8 week program at no cost. The new website should be launched by the end of April

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Facebook Fan Pages For Your Business …. Beyond the Basics

My friend Bobbi Jo Woods is presenting a webinar, "Facebook Fan Pages for your Business: Beyond the Basics" ..... which will take place at 6:00 p.m. CST (completely online) Tuesday, May 18th.

Here are the details & information to register and reserve your spot, if you can make it:

Facebook For Your Business

If you've ever seen some of the bigger brands on Facebook ….. with a page for their business …. and wondered how they create custom tabs and custom pages in their profiles, this is the place to start! Bobbi Jo will teach you how to embed videos, images, rich-text and HTML codes such as your e-mail sign-up form, and more. See link above for complete details, registration, and to know what else will be covered.

Feel free to let Bobbi Jo know if you have any questions. She would love it if you could join her and the rest of the group, to learn some cool stuff for your biz page on Facebook.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

The Real Truth About Illegal Immigration …. Plus Impact On Small Business Owners

You might not think this a worthy topic for Small Business Resources Café … but it actually is. The illegal immigration issue affects every small business person in the US …. both their business AND their personal life.

Why?

Read on …..

This English teacher has phrased it the best I've seen yet.

This should make everyone think, be you Democrat, Republican or Independent.

From a California school teacher - - -

CHEAP TOMATOES

"As you listen to the news about the student protests over illegal immigration, there are some things that you should be aware of:

I am in charge of the English-as-a-second-language department at a large southern California high school which is designated a Title 1 school, meaning that its students average lower socioeconomic and income levels

Most of the schools you are hearing about, South Gate High, Bell Gardens , Huntington Park , etc., where these students are protesting, are also Title 1 schools.

Title 1 schools are on the free breakfast and free lunch program. When I say free breakfast, I'm not talking a glass of milk and roll -- but a full breakfast and cereal bar with fruits and juices that would make a Marriott proud. The waste of this food is monumental, with trays and trays of it being dumped in the trash uneaten.

I estimate that well over 50% of these students are obese or at least moderately overweight. About 75% or more DO have cell phones. The school also provides day care centers for the unwed teenage pregnant girls (some as young as 13) so they can attend class without the inconvenience of having to arrange for babysitters or having family watch their kids.

I was ordered to spend $700,000 on my department or risk losing
funding for the upcoming year even though there was little need for anything; my budget was already substantial. I ended up buying new computers for the computer learning center, half of which, one month later, have been carved with graffiti by the appreciative students who obviously feel humbled and grateful to have a free education in America..

I have had to intervene several times for young and substitute teachers whose classes consist of many illegal immigrant students, here in the country less then 3 months, who raised so much hell with the female teachers, calling them "Putas"(whores) and throwing things, that the teachers were in tears.

Free medical, free education, free food, free day care etc., etc, etc. Is it any wonder they feel entitled to not only be in this country but to demand rights, privileges and entitlements?

To those who want to point out how much these illegal immigrants contribute to our society because they LIKE their gardener and housekeeper and they like to pay less for tomatoes: spend some time in the real world of illegal immigration and see the TRUE costs.

Higher insurance, medical facilities closing, higher medical costs, more crime, lower standards of education in our schools, overcrowding, new diseases. For me, I'll pay more for tomatoes.

Americans, We need to wake up.

It does, however, have everything to do with culture: It involves an American third-world culture that does not value education, that accepts children getting pregnant and dropping out of school by 15 and that refuses to assimilate, and an American culture that has become so weak and worried about “political correctness" that we don't have the will to do anything about it.

If this makes your blood boil, as it did mine, forward this to everyone you know.

CHEAP LABOR? Isn't that what the whole immigration issue is about?

Business doesn't want to pay a decent wage.

Consumers don't want expensive produce.

Government will tell you Americans don't want the jobs.

But the bottom line is cheap labor. The phrase "cheap labor" is a myth, a farce, and a lie. There is no such thing as "cheap labor."

Take, for example, an illegal alien with a wife and five children. He takes a job for $5.00 or 6.00/hour. At that wage, with six dependents, he pays no income tax, yet at the end of the year, if he files an Income Tax Return, he gets an "earned income credit" of up to $3,200 free.

He qualifies for Section 8 housing and subsidized rent.

He qualifies for food stamps.

He qualifies for free (no deductible, no co-pay) health care.

His children get free breakfasts and lunches at school.

He requires bilingual teachers and books.

He qualifies for relief from high energy bills.

If they are, or become, aged, blind or disabled, they qualify for SSI. If qualified for SSI they can qualify for Medicare. All of this is at (OUR) taxpayer's expense.

He doesn't worry about car insurance, life insurance, or homeowners insurance.

Taxpayers provide Spanish language signs, bulletins and printed material.

He and his family receive the equivalent of $20.00 to $30.00/hour in benefits.

Working Americans are lucky to have $5.00 or $6..00/hour left after paying their bills AND his.

Cheap labor? YEAH RIGHT!
THESE ARE THE QUESTIONS WE SHOULD BE ADDRESSING TO THE CONGRESSIONAL MEMBERS OF EITHER PARTY. 'AND WHEN THEY LIE TO US AND DON'T DO AS THEY SAY, WE SHOULD REPLACE THEM .

Please pass this on to others. Immigration legislation is to be considered in 2010. This is important to working Americans, our economy and our American culture and heritage..

============

There are two major points in this issue that should get the attention of us all.

1. "Illegal"...what's not to dislike.

2. Cheap and/or free...these two words/offerings never bring good results, and especially if the government of our country or any other are at the helm.

When one law is broken and allowed to go unpunished or unaddressed it weakens the glue that binds all other laws/guidelines. This is a common thread that runs through every issue that is imperative in holding our society together.

Whatever happened to "Give us your poor, your tired, your huddled masses longing to be free..."?

It died because of people taking advantage of it.

It worked when the incoming emigrants had a strong work and family ethic.

Without the self policing it doesn't.

Excerpt: from Dick Morris:

Published on TheHill.com on May 4, 2010 …….

The real answer is not to round up Latinos in the streets of Phoenix and hope to catch illegals in the net. Nor is it even to pretend that we can stop determined men and women from crossing the border by way of more guards, more troops and better equipment. The answer is to dry up the will to cross the border in the first place by stopping employers from offering jobs to undocumented workers. If there were felony penalties -- jail time -- for hiring illegals, they would not be hired. And if there were no jobs, there would be no illegal immigration.

The Republican position on illegal immigration should be to demand tough employer sanctions, including jail, and coupling that program with a vigorous guest-worker program to bring needed workers in legally, pay them a living wage and then escort them out when they are no longer needed. The United States, in need of a younger population to pay for our current and future retirees, should also raise the allowed levels of immigration.

Both parties are hypocritical on immigration. Democrats, controlled by unions, want Latinos to vote but not work. Republicans, controlled by agribusiness interests, want them to work but not vote. The answer is to stand up to union and to agribusiness pressure and take tough action to stop the hiring of illegal immigrants.

If there were no jobs for illegals outside of guest-worker programs, there would be no need for amnesty. They would all go home of their own accord or wait until they got legal status.

We would need a foolproof, biometric identity card to speed identification of those eligible for employment to accompany the sanctions against hiring illegals, but this is a small price to pay for an answer to so pressing a problem.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

SMS Text Based CRM (Customer Relationship Management)

Business has to continuously work on increasing efficiency and improving return on investment. This is true in good times and even more so in bad. Marketing works to capture new customers, but CRM should help you maximize return on the customers you have! Cell phone text is the frontier of current state-of-the-art CRM.

The average e-mail is read in 48 hours. The average text is read in 4 minutes. Facebook, Twitter and smart phone apps require the user to actively engage. Cellphone text, on the other hand, allows the business to reach out to the user. It is also the only technology accessible to virtually all 300 million Americans. Bars and restaurants can text their most loyal customers with a drink special during a slow happy hour! Retailers can eliminate loyalty punch cards which get lost and are open to employee abuse. Cellphones and Vayulogic's underlying infrastructure can keep track of customer purchases. Coupons can be distributed this way as well.

What are some shortfalls? There is no spam in the texting arena. Users have to opt in. These are a business's most loyal customers. Text CRM has to be used judiciously. Be mindful of when a text is sent. Early morning usually works for no one. Ensure that the message has value. Don't communicate more than a couple times a week in order not to become a nuisance (unless your model is a deal of the day; expectation management is key!).

Text is rapidly growing. The business which uses this technology correctly will be rewarded with deeper customer relationships and that should add to the bottom line.

To help you get onboard with this new marketing avenue I recommend Vayulogic. Vayulogic is the leader in cellphone text CRM. The technology rests on a solid foundation of Amazon cloud computing. More importantly, Vayulogic does not share numbers. Your customers are yours!

For more details and contact information should you have questions please go to: Vayulogic http://www.vayulogic.com TARGET="_blank"

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

How To Do Your Own Small Business Marketing Audit

One of the most useful exercises anyone starting or running a business can do especially if they want more leads, enquiries, prospects, sales or referrals or are having difficulty in implementing their current marketing strategy, is to take a step back and conduct a marketing audit.

Here is an excellent FREE marketing audit that only takes 3 minutes to complete and can really help to identify what it is holding you back and preventing you from achieving the results you want.

Marketing Audit

Many people get bogged down with dealing with the symptoms and effects of poor, bad or selfish marketing ..... instead of identifying exactly what is holding them back and preventing them from achieving the results they want.