If you’re like most business owners, you are always looking for places to promote your business online. After all, you don’t have the advantage of huge brands that are household names. You have to work at getting visibility. Here is a handy checklist of 12 places to get visibility – make sure you have these covered if they apply to your business: OFFLINE PLACES Customer Receipts: Put your website URL on your receipts to build awareness and loyalty. Provide the URL to a survey (make sure the URL is short) on your website....
A significant number of the people that I’ve provided franchise advice to over the years have insisted on looking at franchises that have a recognizable brand name. I understand why they start their franchise business searches with “the brand” in mind, but do you? You will if you read this post. Definition of a brand Legendary marketer Seth Godin* has a great definition: A brand is the set of expectations, memories, stories and relationships that, taken together, account for a consumer’s decision to choose one product...
Confession: I wish I’d come up with the term lean startup. I love the term and, for that matter, the idea behind it. Credit for that goes to Eric Ries, author of the book The Lean Startup, and Steve Blank, blogger, entrepreneur, and sometimes professor (at Stanford and Berkeley both, no less, which I guess is also a feat) who’s adapted it and popularized it along with Eric. If you’re curious, here is the Wikipedia definition: “The Lean Startup … relies on validated learning, scientific experimentation, and...
On November 11, we took the time out of our day to thank those who serve and protect our nation. However, our nation owes it to them to show them our gratitude every day, and provide them with the support they need after what they have given for us. The men and women of our military sacrifice so much for our freedom, and when they return after years of serving, it is a difficult transition for them and their families starting the next chapter in their lives. The number of veterans early in their careers is on the rise: 74 percent of...
The holiday shopping season is here, and customers are poised to spend more than $586 billion on gifts this year—a 4.1 percent increase over last year. But not all of that action is taking place on Black Friday or Cyber Monday, or at the local mall. For smart small businesses whose products have wide appeal, holiday arts and crafts fairs and local flea markets or other outdoor shopping events are great ways to garner additional sales this time of year. To get started, follow these steps. Check out what events your community and...
One of the benefits to building a creditworthy company is that lenders, creditors and suppliers will determine the level of credit risk based on the company’s creditworthiness rather than that of the owners. However, there are instances where a lender will require a personal credit check as part of the overall risk assessment. In these cases, it is in the best interest of you, the business owner, to have a positive credit rating with the consumer credit agencies. If credit scores currently fall below 680, then focus on taking positive...
Social media, as with anything new, is sometimes misunderstood. People either overinflate or underestimate the value and importance of it. And that’s not the only things they get wrong. Often they misunderstand what it takes to incorporate social media into your marketing. Here are 5 of the biggest social media myths about using social media in marketing: Myth #1 - Social Media is Not Real Marketing If you’re still thinking that social media is a fad and will eventually fade away, I have news for you: I hope you...
If you’re searching for the right franchise to buy, it’s important to set some goals. One reason that you’re going to want to have some specific goals set up is this: There are over 3,000 franchise opportunities to choose from! With that many choices, it’s way too easy to get lost and flounder around aimlessly, trying to find that perfect opportunity. My aim is to make the franchise discovery process as seamless as possible. (Actually, it’s my goal.) Goal #1- Budget You need to decide how much you’re willing...
Warning: this post is all about the questions. It doesn’t include the answers. Asking the right questions is a good first step to getting the answers. Theoretically we should be able to measure the ROI (return on investment) of anything we do in our business. We talk about ROI, and return, and payback when we look at an ad campaign, direct mail, product development, purchasing some big-ticket item. We make assumptions about ROI all the time. But it’s not always easy, and our assumptions are not always correct. What about social...
According to Wikipedia an asset can be defined as a resource controlled by an entity as a result of past events and from which future economic benefits are expected to flow to the entity. Many startups rely on the use of personal assets to secure funding for the business. Although money is often tight during the early stages, the goal of a small business owner should be to not only increase sales revenues but to build the company’s creditworthiness. In particular, business credit is an asset and considered an economic resource that make...
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