For the last six weeks, I’ve been working on a course for American Express OPEN Forum’s new Crash Course series. While I don’t claim to be an online video marketing guru, I learned a lot in helping them build this course on YouTube Marketing. Here is a bit of what I shared there: Always title your video properly That is, edit the actual filename with keywords and the name of your company or brand. Don’t leave it as those random numbers and letters that your video camera assigns to each video, such as,...
The world of business is changing at the speed of light these days. That means that your business’s brand can become outdated faster than ever – whether your company is new or time-tested. Your brand is your business’s image—the first thing that customers or potential customers think of when they see your company name, logo or products. A strong brand identity is crucial to successful marketing, because without it, your business won’t stand out from the pack. How can you tell if your brand needs a refresh?...
If Starbucks is your headquarters and you spend much or most of your time out and about, you may be part of a growing group of business owners who work on a mobile basis. A laptop, tablet, and Smartphone enable you to set up an office just about anywhere. Certainly, not having to pay office rent cuts your overhead substantially. Being mobile also gives you more flexibility in scheduling and running your business. But you still have costs for working on a mobile basis. Here are the tax rules you need to know. Home office deduction Even if you...
Last month, I flew out to San Diego to attend the Small Business Development Centers’ national conference. While I was planning what to pack… swimsuit, sunscreen, beach shoes; my thoughts turned to how to gain the most benefit and make the best connections from the trade show, presenters and other attendees I would meet from around the country. This is something I have to put some effort into because although it may come as a surprise, networking hasn’t always been my “thing”. I wouldn’t go as far as...
Any time a well-known social site changes, we’ve come to expect an immediate backlash against the changes. Facebook, the mega social networking site, is no exception*, as USA Today reports. In September 2011, Facebook unveiled upcoming changes to its site. Those changes include an image-intensive new layout for personal profile pages, a scrolling status ticker of your friends on the right column of the page, and a feature called “Timeline” that will let you display images from your entire life....
You were so excited. You received the franchise business brochure from the franchisor’s corporate office last week, and ended up almost ripping it up in your haste to open the oversized envelope that it was mailed to you in. You’re attracted to the franchise model for lots of reasons. You were attracted to this particular franchise for several reasons, also. These included things like the awesome product that you felt they offered, and the general “feel’ of the place. (You had dined in one of this franchise’s...
Call me old fashioned, but I rarely leave home without making sure I look nice. Yes, there are those days when I'm not all gussied up, but I never leave home dressed in such a way I'd feel uncomfortable if I ran into customers or clients. People make fun of me sometimes because of my focus on appearance. A lot of friends say, "It doesn't matter. No one cares." But people make assumptions about you and your abilities based on your appearance. Since the 1990's there's been a shift in what's considered...
Last year, the federal government spent more than $40 billion through the GSA Schedules program. This year it may well spend even more. A GSA Schedule contract is, quite simply, the easiest point-of-entry into government contracting – the most effective way to get your products or services in front of the world's largest buyer of products and services. A GSA Schedules contract gives you access to more than 260 federal, state and local government buyers who have an easier time buying from you than they do your...
I’m sorry to see how many people miss the potential benefit of business planning because they respond not to planning as management but rather the business plan as a lengthy document that’s only useful to businesses seeking loans or investment. In the real world, most businesses, even the one-person business that will never borrow money or go for investment, can benefit from good planning as a way to steer the business. It’s the management that counts, not the document, the writing, phrasing, or the formatting. Good...
Sales tax is not an exciting topic. The science of abandoned shopping carts is not the stuff of hip social media buzz. But making life easier for your customers and increasing your sales success is the purpose of this post. My goal is to share a diverse range of ecommerce resources to help you figure out and streamline your customer's shopping experience. If you spend time in your website analytics, you'll see where and how your customer ends a visit. You can customize Google Analytics, but it isn't easy. You often need a...
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