Does it feel like summer was just yesterday? Well, it’s time to put away the pool toys, cover the grill and pack up the bathing suits. For small retailers, it’s time to start planning your 2013 holiday marketing strategy. (In fact, in a recent Experian survey, 69 percent of marketers had already started planning—last month!). Here are some tips to get you started. Determine your marketing mix. What types of marketing messages do you want to get out, and in what channels? Will you use traditional methods such as direct mail,...
While there’s no overnight success when it comes to converting social media followers to customers, there are some strategies you can implement immediately to see results. Remember the importance of branding – every social interaction says something about your brand. Here’s how to make sure it says exactly what you want your brand to convey: 1. Upload Consistent Avatars If you’ve got an old logo for your Twitter icon, your new company logo for Facebook and a product image on Google +, you’re sending...
Are you looking to accept credit cards from your customers? Is building your company's creditworthiness essential to you? In this article, I'm going to share with you how to determine which merchant for credit card processing would be best for your small business. Let's face it, there's no lack of merchant suppliers both online and offline providing a whole set of amazing tools for simple credit card processing such as virtual terminals, mobile credit card readers, credit card equipment and so on. The bottom line when it comes...
My feeling is that you should go “all in” if you’re going to become the owner of a franchise business someday. There’s a lot to learn before you open for business. There’s a lot to do, too. · You have to research the franchises that you’re looking at · You have to figure out financing · You have to draw up a business plan · ...
You may have built up considerable money in your 401(k) at a job or in your IRA and now you want to start a business or turn your sideline venture into a full-time activity. Can you use the money in your retirement account as capital for your business without incurring a tax bill? If you follow the rules carefully, the answer is a qualified yes. ROBS Rollovers as Business Startups (ROBS) are a way to optimize the use of money in your retirement account as a funding mechanism to start a business. It works if you have a 401(k) or other qualified...
People often ask me how they can project basic numbers for a new business that hasn’t started yet. I’ve done some things already, in this space, on how to do that for a new product and a sales forecast (links in the last paragraph). In this post I’m offering the same kind of advice for projecting expenses. Why expenses? Because if you estimate sales and cost of sales (also called direct costs or cost of goods sold, alias COGS) and can also estimate expenses, then you have everything you need for projected (also called pro-...
This past week, over 300 of our SCORE volunteers, comprised of chapter chairs, district directors and regional vice presidents from across the country, assembled in Dallas, Texas to kick off the 2013 National Leadership Conference. This fantastic annual three-day conference brings together our incoming and experienced SCORE leaders so that they may share their experiences and best practices for achieving small business success. Volunteers attended nine different workshops that were presented by long-time, fellow volunteers and covered a wide...
If you’re like most busy small business owners, you’re always looking for fast and easy ways to market your business and get new customers. One of the fastest and easiest is right under your nose: Your existing, satisfied customers can be a great source of referrals to new business—provided you handle the referral process right. “Process” is the key word here, because getting referrals haphazardly and contacting them without having a specific plan in mind can be just as bad as not getting them at all. Yes, it will...
Are low credit scores (FICO® Scores) holding you back from getting the credit you need? What would an extra 20, 30, 50 or even 100+ points more do for your credit scores? If you are looking to learn how to increase your credit score, you’ve come to the right place. Whether you are trying to obtain a credit card, buy or lease a new car, purchase a home or simply raise your scores, I’m going to share with you a simple yet powerful way to do just that. Did you know 30% of your credit scores (FICO® scores) is impacted by your...
Some people who are interested in becoming owners of a franchise business enthusiastically bring up the fact that they’d like to open more than one franchise. Let’s find out what’s involved. Choosing and Investigating a Franchise First off, you have to choose, investigate and buy the right franchise. Once you do that, you can start thinking about opening your second one. So, let’s start at the beginning. 1. Do you thoroughly understand the franchise business model,* including how and why...
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