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Starting a new business tips

April 15 2017, 17:49pm

Posted by Margarita Raber

Starting a new business is never an easy task. While owning your own company can have a great deal of different rewards, such as financial freedom and the ability to set your own schedule, you will need to do a great deal of work in order to obtain these benefits. The fact is that most businesses simply are not able to make themselves into a success, with is evidence to the fact that most businesses will fail within the first year that they are created. Luckily, there are a few different products that can help to push your business through the rough period of infancy, eventually becoming a mature and profitable venture.

Here is a quick look at some five of these products and how they can help.

1. Social Media Sites

Social Media has become a fact of life over the past few years. What began with MySpace and Facebook has now evolved into an industry that has a variety of different services that are all competing for attention. Most people will be connected on several different social media accounts, where they will not only be interacting with friends and family, but also businesses that they like and that are interesting. By putting your business on several different social media sites, you will be able to connect with a wide range of people. This connection will also be something that is continuous, allowing for you to constantly remind your people about the products and services that you have to offer. One essential tip to using social media is to use it often, at least a few times a week, which will help people to know that you are invested in making more personal connections with your customers.

2. Promotional Gifts

One of the easiest ways to help customers remember you, while also reaching out to new clients, is through handing out fun promotional items. Consider handing out items, such as coffee mugs and  calendars, to anyone and everyone. While this might seem like an initial waste of money, especially if you are just giving free things to whoever walks into your business, it can bring enormous amounts of profit over time. You never know where your promotional items will end up, and it is very possible that people will use these things for years, making the item into a cheap and extremely powerful advertising tool.

3. Video Cameras

If you have a product or service you can show off in a fun way, consider taking a video of what you are doing and upload it to your website. You can also upload your work to video sharing sites, such as YouTube and Vimeo, with a link that runs back to your own website. Videos are an amazing resource and advertising tool, since they can allow for your company to easily become viral, even if you only offer a local service. While you can always make videos that show off the services and products that you have to offer, you more than likely will want to get creative. This can mean making an informational video about the tools that you use, or perhaps making a song or skit. Have fun and be creative, since people will be more than likely to share your video with others if they have never seen anything like it before.

4. Blog Sites

Starting a blog for your company is a great way to draw in new business and get customers involved in what you do. Post about popular topics within your industry and provide information on existing promotions in order to bring in new clients. You can also use the site as a place to give out promotions and discounts to regular posters and people who sign up for mailing lists. Having a blog is something that is absolutely essential if you want to rank high on search engine listings. Try to effectively place keywords into each of your posts, and consider using a professional marketing service that can help you with your SEO efforts. A blog that is constantly used and posted on can become an effective marketing tool, but a blog that is only posted on once a week and that has cheap content can actually hurt a business, making it important that you be careful with your blogging.

5. Direct Mail

If you have a business that encourages repeat customers, use a direct mail service to send out postcards or coupons right before people are due to make follow up appointments. Well timed mail is a product that can help people remember to come in when they need to. For instance, a contractor who installs products that need regular maintenance can offer a maintenance discount several times a year. Direct mail is usually much more effective than email campaigns, since homes do not have spam filters, and letters are much more likely to be seen and opened.

These five different products can greatly help your new business to succeed, though, it will take time, effort, and a small investment of money, in some cases, to do these things right.

 

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Hide and Seek – 4 Hidden Costs to Be Aware of for Your Small Business

April 15 2017, 17:47pm

Posted by Margarita Raber

You’ve got an idea that could change the world — or at least your customers’ worlds — and you’ve decided to take the plunge and start a small business. Now it’s time to figure out how to make it happen without break in the bank. Of course, you know you’ll be paying for salaries and inventory, but there are a slew of business costs that sometimes catch new entrepreneurs by surprise. Here are four hidden costs to be aware of.

Legal services

No one wants to have to hire a lawyer, but it’s a good idea to budget for legal expertise and shop around before any crisis hits. Talk to fellow entrepreneurs and see which firm they recommend. When you’re in a legal bind, you don’t want to skimp on time with your attorney because you’re worried about the $150 per hour charge. Set that money aside from the get go and save yourself the headache.

The Office Itself

In order to get your business going, you may not realize how much money goes into the physical location. When you add up rent, computers, chairs, desks, etc, things can start to pile up fast—especially for a new business owner with limited funds. One hidden price to make sure you look out for is utilities. Keep an eye on the office thermostat and be sure to turn out the lights when everyone goes to lunch and leaves for the night. You can bundle your phone and internet to try and save some money, but oftentimes those high prices can’t be avoided because you need both of those things. Basically, if you treat your office like your home and try to conserve energy, you won’t be surprised by your bills at the end of the month.

High Employee Turnover

Don’t just hire anyone. A few hiring mistakes can quickly cut into your profits if you have to fire a recent employee or an employee leaves after a few months. Not only do you have to spend company resources on the hunt for a new applicant, but you’ve got to spend valuable time re-training the replacement hire. Keep turnover to a minimum by thoroughly vetting job applicants. It’s sometimes worth paying a little more upfront to hire a quality, experienced worker.

Fees From Credit Cards

If your business allows customers to pay for your services and products with credit cards, you will end up paying about 3% in fees (of the total charges.) Many businesses don’t realize this until they get slapped with these fees, but if you are prepared for it, you can plan accordingly. Today, most companies use credit cards, so this could be a difficult one to avoid. However, you can try to save money in other areas by using business intelligence strategies.

Starting a business is an incredibly difficult task. Keeping an eye on the costs that can fly under the radar and creating a budget that accommodates them is a great first step to turning a profit. So remember to consider legal fees, office supplies, repairs and employee turnover when you balance your new business’s budget.

What are some other costs associated with running a small business? How do you recommend cutting costs when running a small business?

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5 Tips to Sell Your Business

April 15 2017, 17:45pm

Posted by Margarita Raber

If you just started a business, you might have figured out how difficult it can be to promote your services.

Selling your business is tough. Not only do you have to actually have to perform your task at hand, but you also have to worry about getting the word out in a cost-effective manner. You have to compete with others for someone’s attention, which, even when you have the superior product, can be difficult.

Luckily, if you put the time and effort, and maybe some money, into promoting yourself either locally or nationally, you might be surprised with how well the results turn out.

Here are five ways to gain a leg up on the competition and sell your business:

Traditional advertising

Though traditional advertising is quickly being replaced by more trackable, newer forms of advertising, it can still be an incredibly powerful way to sell your business if done right. Whether it is television, newspaper, radio or a billboard, you can really spread the word of your product or service. Traditional advertising is better if you are trying to reach consumers rather than businesses, but it can work regardless of what you are doing.

Facebook/Google/digital advertising

Digital advertising is quickly taking up a larger percentage of the total advertising revenue at large companies. There are a number of reasons for this. First of all, digital advertising is extremely trackable. If someone finds out about your website, you know exactly where they are coming from. You know how many people click on your advertisement, how much time they spent on the site and if they converted to a sale. It is also intuitive enough that someone with basic knowledge of social media can figure it out.

Search engine optimization

Search engine optimization, or SEO, is a very powerful tool for boosting your website presence online. SEO works very well if you have a product that does not have very stiff competition locally. For instance, if you want to rank for “hose protector in New Orleans,” you could rank number one because not as many people are trying to rank for that term. Something like football, which is much more broad, is harder to get.

Sales/Groupon

Traditional sales are always a good way to get people into the store and spread the word of mouth. Though you might take a hit that day, you will likely make that back through sheer word of mouth.

Public relations campaign

Simple public relations tactics, such as press releases, blogger outreach and media buying can work extremely well with the proper effort and a little bit of knowledge of the field. Especially if you already have some relations with news stations or reporters, getting an interview or even a mention can do wonders for your brand. Even better, if you get picked up by one station, you stand a better chance of getting picked up by several more, and getting coverage in newspapers or radio.

If you can promote your business through word of mouth, you stand a great chance of beating your competition. Even if you don’t have money to spend, if you get creative, you can do a great job.

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