Sales today often hinges on a website. You need some sort of presence online to participate in the many marketing channels available. While you can build a site or page within Facebook or other walled gardens, as they are often called, your best strategy will entail having your own presence directly on the Internet. Various studies from sources like eMarketer, Selling to Small Business, and other authorities show that approximately 50 percent small business owners either do not have a website or dislike their website. I started to ask clients...
Marketing is crucial for small business owners. But all too often, we approach marketing in a haphazard fashion, adding a new element to our marketing mix “on the fly” without stopping to think about whether it makes sense for our overall business goals. It’s great to keep your marketing fresh and up-to-date by marketing your business in new avenues. But if you don’t take the time to assess each part of your marketing mix and how it fits into the larger scheme of things, you could be wasting time and money—and not...
Small businesses that move from one state to another probably won’t face the kind of *problems that Boeing, headquartered in Washington, is currently experiencing in trying to open a new plant in South Carolina. However, small businesses still have an array of legal and practical concerns that need to be addressed when they relocate. Why relocate? There are some compelling reasons to move from one state to another. Maybe you want milder weather. Maybe your significant other takes a job across the country. Or maybe you have...
At the Ohio Small Business Development Center we conduct numerous training sessions throughout the year to educate small business owners on various business topics including strategic planning, marketing, successful selling and product commercialization to just name a few. Yet of all these, and the ones I haven’t mentioned, undoubtedly the most important element of business development is the market research we cover in our basic business 101 overview. Here Michael Bowers, Regional Director of the Ohio Small Business Development Center...
Women-owned businesses have always had a place in the world of government contracting. Earlier this year, however, the Small Business Administration (SBA) implemented a new program that is designed to provide more contracting opportunities for women-owned businesses. As of April 1, 2011, agencies may now set aside contracts specifically for women-owned small businesses (WOSB) and economically disadvantaged women-owned small businesses. According to the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) amendment,...
In 2011, the savviest business people know that visitors like to recommend and share content with their own networks. So I have two questions for you: Does your website or company blog have buttons on it to give readers a way to share your content on social media sites like Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn? Give yourself a big pat on the back if it does. When was the last time you changed those social sharing buttons? If you haven't changed them in over 6 months, then it's time for a tune-up. You see, the whole world of social...
It takes intelligence, talent, and perseverance to make it to the top in the corporate world; it’s not for the meek. Corporate executives are a special breed; they thrive on pressure, have no problem working extremely long hours, and are usually willing to do whatever it takes to ensure that the companies they run are highly successful. Kind of like what it takes to be the owner of a thriving franchise business. Over the years, I’ve worked with lots of corporate executives who’ve wanted to “explore their options,...
Ugh! It’s summer and the kids are out of school. For many women business owners with school-aged children the summer months can be a challenging time. The demands of your business continue to be 24/7, while simultaneously you want to spend quality time with your children. How do you balance these conflicting demands? Why not hire them to work for you? Now before you outright reject the idea, consider the benefits. Putting your kids to work over the summer can keep them from...
But how can I forecast a new product? I have no history? How would I know? I think I’ve received this question in email more than a hundred times. So I’d like to answer it here, where it might be useful for startups, entrepreneurs, and you. I’m going to start with two basic principals and then suggest three sample methodologies. The first principle is that it’s not about guessing the future correctly. Nobody can. Instead, it is about laying out some assumptions so you can track results and make useful business decisions...
Are you using credit to help finance your new business venture? You’re not alone as statistics show that over 65% off all business owners use credit for business purchases. But what’s alarming, is that only 50% of those cards are actually in the business’ name. As a business owner using personal credit cards for business is a risky approach since you assume total liability and if your company is sued or fails you risk losing personal assets and good credit ratings as well. So how do you go about building credit in...
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