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Small Business Taxes Gone Wild In California

I estimate that 99% of Californians do not understand the implications of the new small business tax that Governor Jerry Brown signed into law yesterday. This law would mandates online sellers like Amazon.com and Overstock.com to start collecting sales taxes on items shipped to California if they have some sort of relationship with an affiliate. [...]

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You Got the Opt-in, Now What? Here Are Some Top Email Strategies

The first part of email marketing is to get your visitor to opt-in your email list. Once they opt-in, the visitor becomes a prospect. The second part of email marketing is to move the prospect along your marketing funnel towards them becoming a customer. An important element of that is relationship marketing done via trust. [...]

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Linkedin Company Page Follows the Leaders Facebook and Yelp

There was a time when Linkedin was cool. Well, maybe “cool” is too strong of a word for this early social networking site. Let’s just say that Linkedin was *the* place to network as a business professional. You sign up for Linkedin, you make connections with people you work with, you ask for a recommendation, [...]

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A Way to Promote Your Business with Facebook Events

Let’s assume you’ve already set up your own Facebook profile and a separate Facebook Page for your business. Maybe you’ve also created a Facebook Group that relates to a type of product or service that your business provides. What are some ways that you can promote the special events your business sponsors? One way is [...]

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How to Remove Antispyware Soft

Marketing online is fraught with risks. One category is business risk. The other category is technical risk. Business risk is when you try to execute a digital marketing strategy and it fails. Technical risk includes the risk of not implementing your websites and/or scripts correctly. But technical risk also includes the risk from cyber-attacks. One of the most common form is viruses pretending to be a friendly program ... like a trojan horse. This blog is about how to remove Antispyware Soft. … Read More...

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5 Easy Steps to Successfully Market a Product on the Internet

We’ll begin by assuming that your product or service is of high quality and has intrinsic value to your customer. Your product is ready, but are you? Many a website has suffered an ignominious demise, only because the owner didn’t do the proper preparation in marketing. Here we look at five basic, but essential components of how to market a product on the web.

1. Define your market. This may seem obvious, but many people neglect this step. You cannot assume that everyone on the planet will find your product useful. If you use the shotgun approach as a marketing strategy, you’re effectively shooting yourself in the foot. We’ll look at a service as our example. A service is also a product, in that you are providing a product which saves your customer time and money. A service can be a bit more tricky to manage, but you can apply the methodology to a product as well.

Let’s say you want to know how to market a product which takes care of small business accounting needs. Your market is finite, but still huge. Your audience is small to medium-sized businesses, which perhaps have a website, but lack the means to record and store sales data adequate to their needs. There are some costly, big-name packages that do the job. You want to target businesses which can’t afford a big-ticket service and are therefore open to yours. Explore every niche business and compile your specific audience.

2. Develop your advertising campaign. You’ll learn much about how to market a product on the net when you devise an array of advertising strategies. Visit sites which provide advice on various marketing strategies. In the case of our sample product, you might do well to provide feature articles to an e-newsletter focusing on small business issues. Contact the Chamber of Commerce in major metropolitan areas. Always remember to expend your advertising efforts by ‘writing to your audience.’ Use free advertising venues as much as possible and spend advertising dollars judiciously, to reach the greatest number of your potential customers.

3. Make sure you deliver your product or service promptly and securely. Many would-be marketers get shot down here. No matter how much research you’ve done in developing your advertising strategies with your eye firmly focused on the best methods on how to market a product, if you can’t or don’t deliver, all your effort is for naught.

4. Keep your communications open. Respond to customer communications as quickly as possible. This builds credibility.

5. Get some links and content going. Have plenty of free content on your website which gives your visitors information they can use. The more links you have pointing to your site, the better.

Follow these basic guidelines on how to market a product on the net and you’ll achieve success!

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Business Consulting Blog, Part 2 – Seven Easy Steps

The 7 Easy Steps to Start Your Own Consulting Business

Offering consulting services is hot. The best part is that you can start today. To start with your own consulting business, you must be widely knowledgeable about the ins and outs of it. Here are the seven easy steps on how to run your profitable consulting business.

1) The typical way to start any business is to be knowledgeable about it. Start your first day by buying books, cds, videos and other learning material about your target business. You can also seek advice from other consultants who are successful in their fields. Do not be ashamed or fearful of asking for help. Realize that all business startups have gone through this process.

2) Develop harmonious working relationship with your clients. Building good relationships with your clients is the mantra of all businesses since relationships can go beyond the initial sale and can also forge repeat buys. Clarify client’s expectations versus what you can do. Specify your expertise and the benefits they can get from having you as their consultant. More often than not, clients especially those big organizations have high expectations of the consultants. By being realistic of your capabilities, the good relationship can be developed from day one.

3) Make a good proposal with a clear statement of your strategies and objectives. Since you are the consultant, you are expected to solve a portion of the organization’s problems. Clearly state on your proposal the services you will provide and the price you will be asking. Strongly emphasize the advantages that your client will enjoy once they deal with you. You can only do this by presenting the benefits they can reap after getting your services.

4) Create a marketing plan to grab your client’s attention. Your marketing plan should be brief. Here is a way you can devise a seven sentence marketing plan. The first sentence explains the purpose of your project. The second sentence explains the ways on how to achieve the purpose and the benefits that the clients can get. The third sentence describes the target market. The fourth sentence describes the niche. The fifth sentence is about the “secret sauce” you will utilize to get it done. The sixth sentence is about your business identity; and the seventh is all about the budget.

5) Present a refined, professional image. Being in the image business, your clients will perceive you as an ultimate maker of sales. One sure way to draw new clients is to be categorized as an expert in the consulting industry. Project yourself as an expert having marketable skills produced from a combination of education and knowledge you gained from years of experience. Since your skills are rare, many companies will be willing to pay your premium. But they also need to see you as in demand, successful and one of the top quality consultants of all time. Make sure that you have all the necessary materials such as sample videos and business cards. Convey an image of an expert who have all the knowledge clients can benefit from.

6) Offer a free introductory session when needed. Often times, consultants are conscious of the bills and are hesitant to give their services. Being a consultant does not always mean charging per hour for your precious service. If you are just starting with your business, you must first build client’s awareness about your services, so a free short consultation will not hurt you. Ensure that your client will be interested in your services by conducting free information seminars once in a while. This can give you exposure and referrals.

7) Be keen with results. The clearest path to gaining new clients is a referral from those who saw your first successful project. Keep a network of employers and other persons that you know. Always keep in mind that in the consulting business, results are the viable tool to acquire clients. To be successful, you must deliver and offer undisputed value to your clients and all other members of your network.

These seven steps are just some of the many ways that you can follow when starting a new consulting business.

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What Small Business Can Learn From Big Business

Apart from size, the number one difference between a big business and a small business are systems. I’m talking about how-to guides that are documented and followed by most employees. More than that, these systems are so ingrained into the big company that it has essentially become intertwined with something known as company culture.

Don’t get me wrong. Small businesses follow systems too. However, many small businesses remain small because they have to reinvent their systems over and over again. In essence, they don’t have a system; at least not one that they can package and sell.

A number of years ago, I was worked for a very small business. My boss at the time asked me to complete a mini-assignment. I went to work on it and turned in my finished project in a flash. I was proud of myself for being speedy. In exchange, the trade-off that I made was that my finished project was not exactly reusable.

Wouldn’t you know it? My boss snapped at me and said, “We are a small business. The last thing we can afford is to rewrite code every time! Make your code reusable and document it in a binder so that you can step away.”

I was in my early twenties at the time, yet his words stuck with me to this day.

If a small business wants to become a big business one day, the small business owner would be wise to start writing down systems. The goal of every small business owner should be the ability to step away from his business and have it still hum along fine.

One more thing, if your business is even smaller than a small business, creating and following systems becomes even more important. This is because you need your systems documented in order to outsource. A really small business can only survive for so long with it’s owner doing everything. Eventually, as in, soon, the owner will crash and burn.

Don’t risk crashing and burning. Create systems, outsource, then grow to the next level.

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