No Picture
Opportunity

Steps to Starting a Small Business – Plans and Strategies

If you are starting or nurturing a small business, a thorough business plan is your roadmap to success. Unfortunately many business owners depend on their memory and never commit to put their thoughts on paper. Even if they do consider writing a business plan, they are often excited or confused by the procedure and never understand the value of this conclusive document as an important steps to starting a small business. That is why many businesses fold or fall short of their actual potential.

Having a business plan drawn up will enable you to consistently evaluate your tactics and strategies. It will also assist you in recognizing the opportunities and hazards encountered as a result of your decisions. You will be more conscious of your surrounding where you work, the strengths and the weaknesses of your business, your competitor and the relevance of your hypothesis. Essentially, you will recognize who your clients are and how you can accommodate or go beyond their needs and expectations.

What’s a startup plan?

It is a simple plan which have a summary, your mission statement, business strategies, a detail study on the market, and break-even analysis. You can use this information to choose if you want to execute your business plan, it helps to advice if it’s worth running, but not sufficient on business operation details.

What is a standard business plan?

It is a plan that includes details like description of an organization, the offered product or service, market analysis, financial forecasts, the people and team running the business, business projection.

Strategy is the core of your business plan

You want to put your strategies that evolve and reinforce your business idea. Here you want to look at:

Market, which are the demand for product or service, the advantages you can offer.

Industry, you analyse the strength and weaknesses of your competitors and look for chance to outshine them at the same time.

The other part of the business plan purely deals with executing your chosen strategies. You literally connects the relationship of your products and services, your marketing and you business running procedures to your strategies. It may be easy to choose a robust strategy for your plan, my advice is you put in some effort to come up with strategies which give direction to your business.

One strategy on steps to starting a small business which I find that will help startup to be successful is to focus on highly specific, very narrow target market. The general markets are usually covered by big and established organizations.…

No Picture
Business Checks

Small Business Ideas for First Time Business Entrepreneurs

If you have recently become unemployed during this current financial hiatus, you may be thinking of starting your own small business and are looking around for some viable ideas. Life in the commercial world is considerably different to living life as an employee and just because you are currently unemployed is not a good reason to start your own business.
To be a successful commercial enterprise requires an entrepreneurial outlook combined with vision and a burning desire to succeed. This burning desire to succeed is balanced by reaching self-imposed goals based on profits or losses in a balance sheet. It is these profits or loss figures that will determine success or failure of your endeavours.
If your commercial endeavors are either a success or a failure, it will impact on your life far more than anyone realises. If you succeed in commercial life and make heaps of money, your life will change. If your commercial enterprise loses money, it will impact your life far more than anyone will usually tell you. Commerce is a gamble on which you can control the odds more in your favour if you are resourceful, punctilious and cautious. It is a balancing act and is not for everyone.
Franchise
Starting a commercial enterprise today can be fast-tracked by buying into a franchise. This method for a start-up small business is very popular today because it comes with a mentoring side from any good franchise offer.
The mentoring side means that the franchisor (that is, the person who owns the franchise) is supposed to work with you, often supply the necessary supplies for the enterprise and to teach you the things that you need to know.
The reality of this type of business model is often very different to what actually happens. I have worked with many small businesses over the years and the percentage of happy franchisees (that is, the people who have bought into this commercial model) is very different to what actually happens. Many franchisers don’t live up to their contractual agreements.
If you are considering this type of popular business model as a start-up for an occupation it can be one that is not the one I would personally recommend.
My Recommendation
My recommendation for you if you are looking for a small business as a first time entrepreneur would be to start something very small – like a ‘fish and chip’ shop or a convenience store. Start something that is needed in an area that doesn’t have one but has the population to use your service as a convenience.
I also recommend learning how to do your own accounting books through night-school while you study the location that you want to set-up your small business in. And talk to people about your proposed idea because it is their feedback that will guide you in assessing your idea for a popular and profitable enterprise.…

No Picture
Small Business Ideas

How to Effectively Advertise Your Small Business on Craigslist

It’s very tempting to use Craigslist to advertise your small business. As it is advertising is usually pretty expensive, and in this economy you have to take every opportunity to squeeze as much business out of your advertising avenues as possible. With these tips on you can effectively market to your prospective clients without looking like a spammer, or breaking any rules.

#1 Follow the guidelines of the site:

One post every 48 hours for each service or item you have to post.

Post in the correct category, so people who are looking for you, can find you easily.

#2 Make your ad more effective:

Always use an image, but just as important, make sure it is a clean image that portrays what you are offering.

Do not use all caps, it is harder to read and people WILL skip over your ad completely.

Use numbers in your subject if you can, it will draw more attention to the ad. Ex: Save 10% on Landscaping is more effective than Landscaping services – Mowing, Gardening, Etc.

#3 Offer multiple ways to respond to your ad:

The truth is some people prefer phone numbers, and some prefer email, cover both sets of people by offering both options for communication.

#4 Provide a link to your website:

Every small business should have a website, and, at the very least it should provide the following information:

Photos concerning what you do

A list of services you offer

When you are open for business

Your contact information

An address to your business or more preferably a map

Keep in mind, the more professional your website is, the more likely a visitor is to respond to it

#5 Give them a reason to respond to your ad.

If you offer a percentage off, tell them to mention the ad when they call. You can also offer free services for referrals to your company, or give new customers a special service free of charge.

The main point is your ad needs to stick out compared to everyone else who is advertising on Craigslist. It needs to draw attention to itself without coming across as spammy, scammy or fake. If you can manage to pull this off, you should get some decent leads to your business when all you have invested is a bit of your time. And if you just keep reposting the original post it shouldn’t take much time at all, every 48 hours.…

No Picture
Money

3 Parts To A Successful Small Business Marketing Campaign

Do you own and operate a small business?
Would you like a marketing campaign that adds new customers in droves?
If so, then you must consider these 3 components before you send out your next marketing message. Leaving one of these out is like trying to paint a masterpiece without a brush… a canvas… or paint.
It’s practically certain to flush your marketing money down the drain.
See for yourself:
3 Pieces To A Successful Small Business Marketing Masterpiece:
1. What is your message?
What message are you trying to say?
All too often, small business owners get caught up in telling their audience how long they’ve been in business. How great they are. Where they got their training. What services they offer. What their hours are. Where they are located.
Yadda… yadda… yadda.
This is your standard business card marketing message.
And it’s as boring as a TV dinner.
Want to know what’s going through someone’s head, when they read these things?
“So what? Who cares? What’s any of this stuff got to do with me and my problems?”
Instead of sending a message focused on you… write a message focused on your prospect!
2. What media are you using?
What platform are you using to get your marketing message across?
Twitter?
A sales letter?
An email?
A postcard?
A sign?
Maybe even Facebook?
This becomes a problem when you have the right message… but you use a media your prospect does not use. If this happens, then your marketing will fail.
Here’s an example:
Let’s say your ideal prospect is retired. They own their home. They have grandkids. And they drive a high end automobile like a Lexus.
And you take a stab at using Twitter to attract this audience. And after some time, you can’t seem to figure out why you only have 6 followers. It might be because older folks do not use Twitter… and therefore the media you’re using is bad.
On the flipside, an older prospect probably reads their mail.
So sending them a sales letter may be a better media for this group.
3. Who is your market?
Who are you going after?
You can have the best message… use the right media… but you will fall flat if you target the wrong audience.
For example:
If you are trying to sell high-end furniture to someone who lost their job, then your chances of making this sale are slim to none.
That’s because jobless people may not have $5,000 to drop on a new sofa and loveseat.
You should find out who your ideal prospect is long before you send any marketing messages.
Once you do this, you should go after your prospect like a kid running to open a pile of presents on Christmas morning!
Think about these 3 marketing principles. And then implement them into your next small business marketing campaign. And watch as your ROI gets a boost.…

No Picture
Profitability

Bringing Small Offline Service Business Online – Helping Small Businesses Come Online is Profitable

Helping a small service business to come online is an excellent way to build a business for yourself. There are hundreds of thousands of small businesses that have very little online presence, and you can use the skills you have for online marketing to set them up as well. This will bring them more business while you develop your own system for doing this for others. This can be the start of a whole new business for you.
My recommendation is to do this for a friend or family member first, just to learn how to market in this way. I started by doing some publicity and marketing for my Rotary Club, and then I did it for a family member who works as a handyman. I Googled the handyman and saw that he was not listed on any of the first ten pages for his city and the term handyman. Then I began to blog for him, wrote several articles, and sent a free press release. Within just a few weeks he was on page one of Google for people searching in his city.
Once you have achieved some success, you can offer your services to others for a fee. Find out what they are spending for print advertising, and charge around the same amount. That way they can use your services for a month to see how well online marketing works for them. Typically small service businesses have no idea how many more people will be able to find them once they have an online presence besides a static web site.…

No Picture
Business News Articles

Small Business Advertising – Effective Techniques For More Sales

One of the big mistakes many small business owners make is to misunderstand the reasons for the failure of their advertising. It’s a fact most small business advertising doesn’t work, but the reasons are not always clear to the business owners themselves.
Most business owners rely on newspaper advertising. They put an ad in the local paper (or a specialist magazine if they’re a specialist company) and then scratch their heads when they don’t get any sales. Then they decide that advertising doesn’t work, when the real problem is not the advertising in general, but the particular type of advertising they’re doing. In short, they’re doing it completely wrong, mainly because they use “branding” advertising, which means a slogan and a logo, when they could get much better results by doing things differently.
Effective Small Business Advertising
So how do you do things right? There are many different techniques to use, but by following just the basic ones, you can usually get a decent return on your advertising budget. Here are those basic techniques that almost always make sure your advertising works.
Target your advertising. The first thing to learn is that quality is better than quantity. Many businesses use the local newspaper, and that can be a good medium. But for some businesses, it doesn’t work, because the local newspaper audience just isn’t interested in what they’re selling. This is mainly the case in business-to-business advertising. Most people who read the local newspaper are not business owners, and so a better approach would be to look at using direct mail or online advertising. Getting this right is the most important thing, so make sure you spend time getting it right.
Write your ads in the right way. As mentioned above, many businesses use branding advertising, which is usually useless at generating a response. A much better technique is to use direct response advertising, a type which asks the reader for a response, such as calling a telephone number, or visiting a web page. Direct response advertising always makes a particular offer, and that’s one of the most important things to remember in all your advertising. If you can, make your ad look like a newspaper article, with a proper headline and a story. People read stories, and if you make yours interesting, they’ll read it.
Explain the benefits of the product. In your story, tell people all about the product, what the benefits are, and why they should buy it. Don’t just rely on a slogan. Go into detail, and you’ll see a much better response.
The big lesson is that advertising can give you a great return when you do it properly. Most business owners don’t take the time and effort to create effective advertising, and the ones that do can really come out on top. It takes some time and effort, but the rewards are well worth it.…

No Picture
Google My Business

Small Home Business Ideas and Opportunities – Answers to Common Home Biz Queries

It is ridiculous, surprising and awkward at times, same home-biz queries manifest in different forms repeatedly. These are omnipresent and there for years – even before the great World Wide Web came into action. People have same doubts, difficulties, they go through the same learning curve and have same teething issues on home business ideas namely –

What type of home business can I start without any capital?

What work can I do from home?

How can I earn money doing part-time job?

What are the multiple sources of income?

How to earn money at home without being a computer expert?

These questions are coming from people from different walks of life, some of them highly educated, some post-graduates, others from recession-hit information technology stalwarts and experienced people irrespective of their age and background.

Small Home Business Opportunities

There are mundane jobs like stuffing envelopes, reading emails, data entries and surveys. Not that, you have to stay away from them, but you can utilize your business skills more effectively and make more money from the internet with better options like affiliate, multi-level marketing and exploring niche areas. People do not realize their potential- they are hesitant about the salesmanship, worried that they have never sold anything before; they have doubts on their ability to write, communicate and sponsor. You should realize that online business is different, you don’t need to call, plead for making sales, your email-sales-letter does the job. Follow-up is required but it can be through emails. You can combine online with off-line marketing but it is not a must. Your website does the selling to a prospect or a customer. The power of automated emails through Auto responder has lessened the burden of communication and follow-ups. Writing and communicating regularly is no longer monotonous and over-burdening, it can be automated and a series of mails could be sent to hundreds of prospects in a matter of seconds with Auto responder.

Many articles and success stories on internet give a false image to the newcomers, they get confused with the over-hyped predictions and delusions. People think that once they join an online business opportunity or setup their website, the cash will start flowing in and that will be the end of their woes. In fact, this is not the case and they get frustrated very quickly. One should understand that it is the beginning of the future that internet promises and the rewards of consistent efforts are amazing. Determination and commitment with the correct promotional methods to sustain and expand the online business are the required core skills. Online businesses are different, they are not ‘trial and error techniques’, they have to be learnt like any other businesses. There are no short-cuts for getting rich. You must be ready to learn and master hoards of new terms and terminologies – online promotions, search engine optimization, targeting traffic and the ultimate killer keywords.

Off The Beaten Track

The crux of the choice is whether you are ready to put money for your own business or you want to take another job from home, you need to decide. If you want to start a business, you need initial investment; a capital to build upon and the determination to spend countless hours each day to build it from scratch. A home base franchise may be small risk, but it costs money and the work is equivalent to working in a start-up company. If you already have a network, you can think of using this network for a home business. Freelancing is an option for people who have specific skill-sets, they can start honing the skills and market them. Writing software, designing tools, article marketing, graphic design, journalism, accountancy and several other specialized areas are in demand. Operating a home agency for several different niches is also something to consider. You can provide domestic help, do baby sitting, run cr?�che , offer gift ideas, do event management, conduct trainings, run home library and give travel advice. All this can be done from home with probably an assistant and a home computer with broadband connection. There is no dearth of finding out the “Pain Areas” and offering help, support for these areas through your website. Hosting your own website isn’t that scary and can be done without really going into Html specifics and computer expertise.

The internet keeps changing and the market too, but there is never a niche or an established area that you cannot get into. To get yourself established, you may have to offer something unique and address people’s problems. You can have the most rudimentary website but if the content is something that people are looking for and you have a great idea to support it, you are bound to succeed. Do the heavy lifting, research the market, craft …