Has your small business outgrown the garden, the front room or the garage? Do you find that the cramped space you are working in is closing in on you and that it cannot accommodate your growing needs?
As small businesses grow at amazing speeds, many small business owners are grappling with the dilemma of finding affordable business centers to operate from. A virtual office and a one-room space can provide a start-up, but they cannot help the business establish a professional business address. Only a commercial office in an up market location can do that.
This is where the current trend of leasing executive offices can help.
What is a leased commercial office?
Normally, business owners would rent a building or an office. They would then have to deal with a number of endless details like utilities, telephony, furniture, facilities and so on. On top of that, there would be a time gap between looking for the perfect office premises and finding a place that can be a good business address for your company. Then, there is the designing work and the décor to be taken
Owning a small business used to mean that you couldn’t afford an 800 number. Not so anymore. These days it is just as easy to get an 800 number for your small business as it is to have the electric turned on for your small business.
Having an 800 number is great way to attract new customers and entice more people to call you which will hopefully lead to an increase in sales and your bottom line. The best part is the 800 number you choose will not cost you an arm and a leg anymore.
With the invention of what is known as a virtual 800 number it is no longer necessary to have a main phone line that routes all the calls to various extensions throughout the office. In fact, you don’t even have to have all the extensions in the same office, city, state, or country for that matter. Here is how a virtual 800 number works and how you go about getting one for your small business:
o Choose a service provider: Start by conducting an online search for ‘virtual 800 number service provider’
Check whether your website has been indexed by Google. Use the following command – “site:yourwebsite.com.au” – on Google. If it shows results, it means your site has been indexed by Google. The results it lists are the pages of your website included in Google’s index. Getting your site indexed is the first step to top rankings.
If your site has not been indexed by Google, you can submit your site to Google as well as reputed free directories like hotfrog.com.au.
Check the permission to the search engine spiders to different folders on your site by typing “yourwebsite.com.au/robots.txt.” If you are among the 76% of the small business websites that don’t have robot definitions then visit Google Webmaster Forum and insert the code into your website
When your site has been indexed by Google, start to review the on page elements on your website. These include title tags meta-descriptions. Make sure that the words which people most frequently use to find your products or services are used in these tags in a meaningful way
If you are not sure, which keywords work best for you, check what keywords your competition are using. Also ask your
This is Part 1 of a three part guide to help small business understand the value and power of using postcards to market their business. We’ve divided it up into three parts in order to give you some interesting background information on the history postcards (that’s this part), then Part 2 which will cover some of the important reasons why you’d want to get into postcard marketing, and lastly Part 3 which will give you an overview of the ‘how-to’ of postcard marketing.
So….here we go!
Part 1. A Brief History of Postcards
First of all, let’s define what a post card is. A postcard, or post card, is a piece of paper, slightly thicker that regular writing paper, either rectangular or square in shape and intended for writing and mailing without an envelope. The study and collecting of postcards is termed deltiology.
Looking at the history of postcards, you’ll find that cards inscribed with messages have been sporadically created and posted by individuals almost since the creation of the first postal services.
As the postcard evolved, the earliest known picture postcard was a hand-painted design on a card and posted in London
For the small business, the internet is one of the greatest advantages you have. It creates a more level playing field with the larger companies who have a big fat advertising and marketing budget. For a much smaller cost in time and money, an entrepreneur can practically get the same results online as a much larger business.
In this article, we’ll discuss a simple four-step process that anyone can use to create a money-making system on the web. This will work for big business, small business, or even a single entrepreneur looking to sell his or her skills or products.
This is not one of those get rich quick schemes. When we say system, we’re not talking about something you have to buy. This is a system or a tactic with four associated strategies to create a website that makes you money. This will give you the foundation to succeed online. After reading this, you will either want to do more research to get more detailed information and / or you will want to consult with an internet marketing professional to plan your specific campaign.
Step 1 – Prepare your Website
Before you can
As a small business owner, knowing what to look for when choosing an online foreign exchange provider can be tricky, not to mention time consuming and likely scoring pretty low on your to-do list. However, taking an interest in your business’ foreign exchange (FX) requirements is important.
FX may be a by-product of your actual business, but if managed poorly it can put a dent in your bottom line. So what should you consider when choosing your online provider?
1. What rate are you getting?
Never be afraid to question your provider about the FX rates they quote you. Booking exchange rates online is a low cost business and this should be reflected in the exchange rates you receive.
All providers keep a “margin”. This is the difference between what they buy the currency, and where they sell it onto you. Ask what margin you’re receiving.
Most FX providers will charge a fee to transfer your money. Take the time to shop around though – as new players enter the provider marketplace, free transfers are becoming more commonplace.
It’s important to remember though, that a free transfer does not offset a
Regardless whether you’re selling software, shoes or a business, marketing your products to your target market is crucial to your business. And though TVC and billboards are still very much common, advertising is significantly shifting toward digital.
According to experts, small business owners should ride the trend if they want to survive much longer. But given their limited budget, SME owners should be wary in picking which digital medium to use in order to maximize their ad budget. Here are some of the digital channels that we recommend to small businesses.
Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn are some of the most popular Social Media platforms. Creating a business page account on these is fast and easy. Posting and interacting with your audience is simple, too. However, it takes time to grow your audience, but once you get a knack of it, it will be very rewarding. You can also use their paid ads services to acquire fans in less time. In Facebook, for example, you can choose between Sponsored Stories, Page Post Ads, Like Ads, Promoted Posts and Facebook Offers to gain engagement and likes on your Facebook Page.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau there are now more than 1.6 million Hispanic-owned businesses in the United States generating approximately $222 billion in revenue for the economy. Despite the numbers, and the fact that this segment is growing exponentially, few resources and information are readily available today to help Latino entrepreneurs start, run and grow their businesses.
Because more and more Hispanic SMBs are now online with some type of Internet presence, there is a need to provide best practices and sound advice on how to monetize and build successful online businesses. This document address that need in five easy steps. It provides insights into:
o Monetizing your online presence
o Leveraging Blogs and Wikipedia for marketing purposes
o Free content sources for your site and
o Cost-effective, proven web site traffic-building tactics
Rather than a “deep dive” into each of these topics (each of which could be the subject of its own White Paper), this document is intended to provide a uniquely Hispanic angle to the opportunities that the Internet offers today to the Latino entrepreneur.
I. Turning your content into Dinero with Search & Affiliate Marketing
The business world has recently been inundated with the buzz about Twitter, a web-based social networking application assisting those who wish to keep in touch with customers, clients and friends. Remarkably, it’s already allowed some entrepreneurs to double their clientele while efficiently enhancing their word of mouth marketing. The following will provide a thumb-nail sketch of the most important steps and tips for effectively using Twitter.
I highly suggest making your username, your business name. This will add a branding element in addition to Google ranking your Twitter account for your company searches, thus increases your prospects’ chances of finding you online. For your profile image, use a picture of yourself so that followers can associate your image with the company name. This is especially true if you as the owner are doing the tweeting. When designing your profile background, use one of the templates provided by sites like Twitterbacks or FreeTwitterDesign. Customize your account as much as possible by creating relevant a username, image and background to convey your brand.
After creating your account and customizing your profile, it’s vital to supplement your account with a management tool or application. Tweetdeck is probably the most used
eBay is the world’s largest online marketplace, with around 181 million customers. 43% of all internet users in the UK visit the site every month, with an average user spending almost two hours on eBay every single month.
It’s no wonder that a lot of small businesses look at eBay as a way of getting into online sales. It’s not all plain sailing though, and many businesses have found that it can be time consuming and unprofitable.
There are some pointers that can make trading on eBay profitable, interesting and fun. Have you noticed how some sellers can get significantly more bids and higher prices, whilst other sellers offer the same items at lower prices and get little or no interest?
It isn’t down to luck. But put in a effort and planning, and you too can become a successful and profitable eBay trader.
I’ve written this article with an English audience in mind. The legal implications of selling on eBay are from an English perspective. However, most of the concepts will be the same around the world.
Know the Law
If you sell products to consumers, you need to be aware
eCollaboration is not a common term, it’s part of a family of terms under ebusiness which is using information and communication technology to utilise the internet to save money and grow your business. eCollaboration is the part that deals with the communications and working together in business. This can be either through working with customers/suppliers or working with team members.
It’s enormously important for several reasons, the first is cost, and using these technologies effectively can help you save money. Secondly, it can improve your image; these technologies allow you to do many of the things which larger companies do and take for granted every day. It also helps you grow your business because it can help you work effectively with other companies and other groups of people to win business and deliver that business once you’ve won it.
There is a wide range of technology which falls into this category, there’s communication technology i.e. voice over IP, instant messaging and conferencing. There are sharing tools like email which we all use every day. There are also other forms of sharing tools, things that help you synchronise one PC to another which enables us to all
Cashflow is defined as “The total amount of money being transferred into and out of a business”, it is much more about the amount of cash your business has at that moment in time than metrics like profit. Cashflow can cause big problems for small businesses, particularly for seasonal businesses. That painful time between invoicing and payment is felt by most small businesses but if you pay attention to your business’ cashflow this pain can be minimized.
The first step in good cashflow management is to set cashflow targets. By preparing and maintaining a cashflow forecast that you update regularly (cashflow is an ever-changing situation) you are able to get an idea of the financial outlook of your business for the next six months or so. This cashflow forecast will demonstrate to your credit controllers that you are giving this area attention and create the opportunity to assign cashflow responsibilities out to appropriate people within your team.
Once you have your cashflow forecast in the bag, the next thing to think about is establishing agreed payment terms. Once you know payment terms it will be so much easier to know when payments are going to be
In today’s tough economic climate it is more important than ever to save money wherever possible. This is doubly true for a small business or start-up business whose cash flows are not yet fully established. Here are 5 great tips on how to save money as a small business.
Money Saving Tip #1 – Pay strict attention to metrics, especially your sales volumes and expenses
It is generally acknowledged that one of the greatest businessmen of the modern era was John D. Rockefeller. Mr. Rockefeller founded Standard Oil in 1870 and went on to become the world’s richest man and first American billionaire, and is often regarded as the richest person in history. However, when Mr. Rockefeller was just 16 years old he landed his first job. What was that job that set the foundation for a business career as illustrious as any man ever had? He became an assistant bookkeeper. John Rockefeller earned just $50 salary for his first three months’ work. But what he truly gained was an appreciation for financial detail and discipline.
So it is with your small business – you need to have a detailed understanding of what your finances
As most small business owners know there is a difference between the average employee and true talent. The problem for small business owners is how to attract talent to their business, when so often large businesses are able to outbid and out-perk them, which gives them a decided advantage when it comes to attracting talent. However, there are ways that small business owners can overcome such obstacles and find truly talented applicants anxious to put their skills to work to make that small business successful.
Often, talented people are motivated by more than money. Money matters, of course, but for many of the best and brightest, they are seeking something more. As the Wall Street Journal pointed out in “How to Attract Talent to a Small Company,” the more personal atmosphere of a newer business may very well be more attractive to certain types of talented people. The anti- corporate sentiment that is on the rise throughout the nation can serve as a real advantage to a company.
A small business may not have the financial ability to offer more money or costly benefits to potential employees. However, flexibility in scheduling, such as the ability to
According to the New York Times small business blog, You’re the Boss, the main reasons small businesses fail range from poor accounting to lack of a good business plan and a declining market. Other reasons include over-expansion and business owners who are unable to get out of their own way because of pride, greed, or perfectionism. Sometimes it’s hard to see the cause of the failure because of our proximity to the situation. For this reason many entrepreneurs continue making the same mistakes again and again.
Entrepreneurship is high-risk. It takes heart. It takes guts. But, for true entrepreneurial spirits the reward far outweighs the risk. So, the question becomes not if they will try again, but how they can learn from past mistakes and move from failure into growth?
Start by asking yourself these four questions:
1) What can I learn from this experience?
Assess everything that went wrong. Was it unavoidable? Was it a careless mistake? Was I the problem? Answer with brutal honesty. This is not an easy process and there may be a long list of shortfalls, but it will help ensure success in the future.
2) What can
The ability for small manufacturers and other modest sized service organization to break through the veil which shielded them from participation with the U.S. Department of Defense and other national security agencies has been penetrated. The Defense Venture Catalyst Initiative (DeVenCI) has developed a program that helps managers within these agencies bypass the usual larger defense contractor and deal directly with small scale enterprises to seek new rapidly deployable technologies. Under the direction of Bob Pohanka, DeVenCI matches defense manager who have problems they need solving with small companies that can offer solutions.
DeVenCI sponsors events several times a year in the Washington, DC area where the small companies get the opportunity to pitch their technologies and wares to an audience of defense agency manager in the hope that a match will occur. To stay on top of which companies and what specialized technologies are available, Pohanka enlist the aid of volunteer venture capitalist across the country. The venture capitalists are provided extensive briefing on the Department of Defense and national security agencies needs. Armed with this information, they network to locate the relevant companies and invite them to a DeVenCI sponsored event.
If a match
A small business has the potential for growth and for this to happen, there is need for it to have a guide on the proposed strategies that it needs to put in place to sail through. An enterprise has very many issues affecting it, as well as others that if well considered, could eventually become part of the bigger picture. What do I mean by saying so?
Issues like going for government contracts are never in the minds of many small entrepreneurs, but if given a thought, it could become just another line of operation for the enterprise. When you search online for information, you will get thousands of pages giving you a guide to a lot of issues that an enterprise owner can engage in. A good business guide should provide you with sufficient information about how to start and plan a business.
The guide in many cases does not give details on a step by step procedure on how to go about it, but the information therein should be enough to help you formulate your idea and plan for it in writing. The guide also gives information on how to market your enterprise, both
When you are ready to start a small business, you need to be sure that you are ready. This is because it is no easy task. You have to put in long hours and work extra hard. That is why you need a small business guide. This will give you some sense of direction when starting or even when in business. It is also important to ask for assistance on how to go down this path and survive while you at it. It is essential to have a business plan. This is the first step towards getting your business going.
This plan acts as a guide on how you intend to start your business, your marketing strategies, how to overcome obstacles, your projections etc. When you have a plan, you will be organizing various aspects of your business that may occur in the future. An important part of your small business guide is of course your start up capital. This has to be enough for you to do business for at least six months.
Another item you will need for your small business guide is to recruit a qualified team of people. When you have people