Monthly Archives: November 2016

Unique Business Marketing Strategies

To be competitive enough, you need to market your business. Since there are many people marketing their businesses, you need to be unique in order to get the attention of many customers. Some of the unique strategies that you can use include:

Renting space

Here you need to find websites of the major players in your industry and ask the owners to rent you advertising space. While many companies will not allow you to do this, there are some that will.

If you are finding it hard to find advertising space on a website, you should try looking for space on Facebook. You should approach a well known person in your industry such as the CEO of a big company and ask him/her to allow you to advertise on his/her Facebook page.

Being allowed to advertise on a Facebook page is synonymous to being given a recommendation which will give your business a great image.

Sponsor a great cause

Over 90% of people say that they have a more positive image of a product or company when it supports a cause that they care about. You should take advantage of this and sponsor a cause that will have an effect on the people you target as your customers.

For example, if the people in your area are struggling with unclean water, you should consider digging a borehole for them.

This will not only give your company a great image, but it will also increase your sales as more people will want to be associated with you.

Be wacky

You need to stop being like everyone else and be unique. For example, you can use humor and slang in your professional blog. When doing this you need to avoid going overboard to the extent of losing customers. Two of the best companies that expertly make use of this are: Betabrand and AppSumo.

Another unique way of marketing is by advertising in unique places. For example, you can advertise in napkins in areas where your target customers frequent. You can also advertise in public restroom mirrors.

Advertising in unique areas will most likely attract the attention of many people and as a result many people will read your advert and get to know of your business.

Conclusion

These are some of the unique business marketing strategies that you can use in promoting your business. As mentioned, you should avoid overdoing it or else you will lose potential customers.

Implementing Strategic Alliances

The perfect business marketing strategy to increase business profits is probably one of the most pressing questions for business owners, large and small, especially in the current economic climate where an increase in business profits, especially your bottom line, would be more than a welcoming reward.

So, as a business marketing strategy  how could you increase profits without ‘breaking the bank’; without spending any more on advertising or without having to create more products or services?

Quite simple really. By implementing strategic alliances with reputable companies that, although may have similar products or services to yours, are not in direct competition with your company.

Companies who offer excellent products or services to their customer database can literally increase business profits by a minimum of 30%, even as much as 100% in a matter of days just by letting their in-house marketing team get a little creative and start implementing strategic alliances.

Increasing business profits by implementing strategic alliances isn’t a new concept but still very much under-utilized by a large percentage of small to medium-sized companies, even large corporations, who would like to start using some highly-effective marketing strategies, but simply don’t know how to put a successful campaign, from concept to fruition, into action.

Let me give you some quick examples of time-proven marketing strategies that would work extremely well with companies that have a customer database of at least 5000 customers:

1.    Reactivation of past customers that were sold any type of service subscription

2.    Implementation of an opt-in subscriber form to gain new customers

3.    Implementation of an automatic sales funnel using a targeted email campaign

4.    Cross-selling by promoting non-competitive products to your customers or clients using profit-pulling copy via direct mail.

5.    Endorsements of additional non-competitive products to your customer database

I’ve seen large organizations have a lackluster approach in looking after their customers and clients. Focusing on making your customers feel like royalty and maintaining their longevity is key.

While carrying out some typical research to find out if businesses could do any more with their websites to increase business profits, I was quite horrified at my results.

Researching 10 various business sectors, with the top ten results in each sector (100 business website home pages), a mere 5% had implemented an opt-in form for the visitor to request more information about that company, albeit a better job could have been done with the copy, but nonetheless, a device was in place.

That means, the 95 remaining companies had nothing in place to ask the visitor if they wanted to receive further information via a company newsletter, free business report, free trial, free book chapter etc. Sad but true.

Just because a new client or customer comes on board and you’ve take their money, does not mean it ends there. Clients like to be rewarded; made a fuss over and continually looked after with additional follow-ups; products and services that you recommend and endorse, even although these products may be produced by someone else.

Not only do your clients expect this, but it’s also the perfect way to increase business profits by implementing strategic alliances with other reputable businesses, while continually building trust and customer-bonding over the lifetime of their existence within your company, and all other companies associated with the promotional strategic alliance.

More often than not, you only have to look within your own company and you’ll find there are multiple ways to increase business profits without having to do much more than send your existing customers an email or a direct mail letter.

Forming strategic alliances can not only be highly lucrative, but can continually bring in an additional increase in business profits for all parties involved, even though the majority of the work involved to see it through to fruition, can mainly be outsourced.

Companies who are new to setting up these strategic alliances can often try to implement these strategies themselves. Unless experienced using any form of business marketing strategy, and know how to set it up correctly, it can easily backfire, cause tremendous grief and can even damage customer loyalty and longevity.

I hope this article has given you an insight into a business marketing strategy that can be implemented by any online enterprise wishing to increase their business profits while forming profitable strategic alliances.

Effectiveness of Viral Marketing As a Business Marketing Strategy

One of the most effective Internet business marketing strategies available for any home based business is called Viral Marketing.

As the name implies, viral marketing is a technique that spreads a marketing message throughout the Internet, just like a virus does in society.

Referral programs, deep site linking, social gathering places, and other techniques are commonly used to spread the message through the Internet community and to target the intended audience.
Many bright ideas have started and spread throughout the Internet community by using viral marketing.

SOME SUGGESTED VIRAL MARKETING STRATEGIES THAT WILL HELP YOU IN YOUR MARKETING EFFORTS ARE LISTED BELOW:

GIVING AWAY EBOOKS:
We all want something for FREE when we can get it. Giving away a free informative eBook or article will get the interest of your potential customer and when properly used, is a great marketing tool.

Your advertisement or marketing message can be creatively intertwined with the giveaway, or a “squeeze page” can be created to build your email contact list for later use.

GIVING AWAY AWARDS:
Awarding someone an accolade tends to emphasize their self worth and usually gets their ATTENTION. Once you have the interest of the target audience, your marketing message can be more successfully transmitted to them.

GIVING AWAY SOFTWARE:
You can create software programs for almost any application that can be used as a marketing tool if done judiciously. Branding the software, is an unbelievably effective strategy, that will virally spread your message and make a lot of money quickly.

GIVING AWAY EMAIL ACCOUNTS:
When “hotmail” began, a marketing message was carried by everyone that signed up for their FREE email account.

Hotmail became the current craze and it’s owners became millionaires.

It may not be as effective a technique now as when it was a fresh idea, but the marketing strategy is still sound.

GIVING AWAY WEB SPACE:
Although it is somewhat more difficult to accomplish, providing a free web space offer is a great way to virally market a message if you have the ability to do so. Placing your logo or some other marketing message in the web site that the server’s webmaster is creating, is viral marketing at its best.

OFFERING A FREE LINK DIRECTORY:
People who want to get information quickly are always on the lookout for specialized link directories. A FREE directory link site, with your advertisement showcased, works virally when people want information quickly.

OFFERING A FREE REDIRECT SERVICE:
Many people are currently virally marketing by linking with other web sites.

GIVING AWAY ECARDS:
Creating a web site that gives away FREE ecards, is another strategy used by many viral marketers.

Contact information, email addresses, and options to subscribe to a FREE update with your marketing message, are gathered before the FREE ecard can be sent. Again FREE, is what attracts your potential customer.

GIVING AWAY BANNERS, GRAPHICS, OR TEMPLATES:
If your are into graphics, you can capitalize on your artistic ability by including a link with your message included in the graphics you are giving away. When the banner or graphic is clicked, your message or web site is accessed. Pure viral marketing at work!

GIVING AWAY NEWSLETTERS:
A FREE newsletter or subscription site, is another direct viral marketing technique that is very effective, if the information is given in a professional manner. Some newsletters give no incentive to the reader, and are simply not worth reading.

Be prepared to devote a fair amount of time when using the newsletter technique.

CREATING FREE FORUMS:
Chat rooms and “niche” website forums are popular, and provide a means to communicate your marketing message. They are also an excellent way to create targeted traffic for your website.

GIVING AWAY CONSULTING SERVICES:
If you are an expert in your particular niche, your marketing message can be funneled to your potential customers, by giving them your FREE consulting services. This can initially be done for a limited amount of time and then converted to a sale.

GIVING AWAY SCREEN SAVERS:
Giving away FREE screen savers with your imbedded graphics, links, or other message, will get you traffic.

OFFERING FREE COURSES:
Free email courses are used by viral marketers to acquire information about customers and to link to web sites, where other FREE offers are made available.

SET UP A FREE AFFILIATE PROGRAM OF YOUR OWN:
One of the most popular viral marketing techniques in use today, is to set up your own affiliate program. The tools usually include viral marketing banners, HTML link codes, widgets, and examples of auto responder emails that put your product or message on websites before a host of potential customers.
This has got to be the best method of generating sales and cash.

Getting listed in “Top Web Sites”, “Top 1000 Web Sites, or some other “Top” web site listing, is another great viral marketing strategy that really works.

Web surfers, and particularly researchers, find these sites extremely useful in locating what they are after.
There is so much information readily available on the internet, in so many places, that many individuals become overwhelmed trying to access their topics. Top Site listings considerably ease this problem, and provide a platform for successful viral marketing.

Joint ventures, guest books, forums, discussion boards, and article writing are a few additional strategies viral marketers use to spread their message over the Internet.

I’m sure other methods of viral marketing are out there and are being thought up as I write this article. I encourage using your imagination to create new strategies of your own.

Small Business Insurance

Small business insurance is beneficial for not just the employees of small business, it is beneficial for the small business owner as well. Small business owners can use the group rates to insure themselves as well. Individual insurance can be expensive compared to group insurance. Combining individual owners and employee insurance can save the business owner money.

Most small business owners find that their employees need added benefits such as insurance to insure employees have the benefits needed to stay healthy and complete the tasks needed by the business. Employees find these benefits essential. The rising heath care costs are causing stress financially and mentally for those workers making lower pay for longer hours.

A rising number of employees are requesting dental, vision, accident, and life insurance as well. These benefits help the employer and the employees. If a company owner knows that it has employees receiving regular dental check-ups, the small business owner knows the employee is much less likely to miss work due to toothache. This is also true for employees that get regular vision check-ups. If the employee can not see to do their job properly then there is a greater chance of mistakes and or on the job injuries. Having these benefits in place are essential.

Life insurance through smaller business is yet another benefit that most employees need in order to work for a company. Employees need that peace of mind for themselves and their families. Life insurance can be significantly low when combined with other polices such as health, accident, and vision.

There are several ways for small companies to benefit from the benefits that they themselves offer their employees. From an economic stand point it is a cost effective way to retain healthy, happy employees.

Business insurance quotes can be easily obtained online. There are several small business insurance companies able to compare several insurance companies and quote the owner prices and benefits included. Thus saving the small business owner time and money.

With so many options available to the business owner, it is easy for them to incorporate these into great benefit packages for their employees. Great benefits packages help retain qualified workers. Retaining qualified workers cuts turn-over. Cutting down on turn-over saves the business time and money.

The short-term disability option for business owners is a cost effective way for employers to retain employees even when the employee is ill or injured. The employee is entitled to a certain amount of money while recuperating. The employee returns to work without having faced a financial hardship. Thus causes the employee less stress and when they return to employment they are not facing the stresses of an employee that does not have the option of short-term disability. This is also true for long-term disability benefits.

Offering benefits is a benefit to the business owner, it’s employees, and their families. Finding online small business insurance quotes are easy and effective tools to keep a small business running smooth.

Small Business Insurance

Small Business Insurance

Starting your own small business can seem like a very daunting task, especially when you consider how much money and time you have invested before you even make yourself available to customers. Small business owners need to deal with complex issues like payroll, employee recruitment, and risk management. The last thing that you want to worry about is a liability issue that could potentially ruin your business before it even gets off the ground, which is why it is always a good idea to have small business insurance.

Business objectives are a fluid situation, and they change on a daily basis. Significant financial loss is always a concern for small business owners due to their reliance on day-to-day transactions taking place. Small business insurance will help to protect you against the loss of your investment money along with shielding you from the financial ramifications of having an unforeseen incident occur.

The first thing you want to do is find a reliable insurance broker to help you get your insurance needs taken care of. You might want to ask fellow business owners who they recommend, as they probably have a great deal of experience in the search for a reputable insurance agent. You are looking for a broker that specializes in commercial insurance, as this is the type of insurance that will be covering your business. Make sure that the agent does a thorough inspection of everything relating to your business so that he can get a firm indication of exactly how much coverage you are going to need.

If you have employees as part of your small business, you will need to have worker’s compensation insurance in case an accident occurs while they are working. You will also want to check with your local and state governments to see if there are any other types of insurance that you must have before you open for business. Some states require crime insurance or automobile insurance for small business owners, so you want to make sure that everything is ready to go so that you don’t run into any future problems.

Depending on what type of business it is that you are running, there is the possibility that the insurance company that you are working with has the ability to put together a specialized package that is designed specifically for your line of work. This would take into account all of the basic concerns that your particular business would have, and it allows you to be worry-free about any future problems that might ultimately affect the way your business is conducted.

Small business insurance is an important element when a person is starting out on their own. Planning ahead will allow you the opportunity to assess what your insurance needs are and then talk with an agent about setting yourself up with a plan that covers you against situations that could financially damage your business. It is very important that you obtain small business insurance to protect you from any kind of situation where you are found to be liable.

Small Business Insurance

When it comes to the cost of small business insurance, the amount you pay will be informed by the exposure unique to your enterprise. Indeed the types of exposure may be similar in description from business to the next but the cost incurred by one business will be different from that in the other because the premiums are different. It is therefore prudent to thoroughly understand why these premiums differ for the different areas of exposure i.e. property, workers’ compensation, liability, time element, automobile and crime.

For property insurance premiums, the various factors that may be considered in determining the rate include building use and occupancy, structure construction, public protection, internal protection e.g. fire escapes and sprinklers, etc. In terms of liability insurance the premium cost is dependent on the business type. For example, manufacturing and hotel business’ premium costs are informed by gross sales while the premium costs for service and contracting businesses are informed by the payroll. Enterprises based on payroll or sales are auditable and it’s possible for such to end up in supplementary or return small business insurance premiums. In the case of companies there are deposit and minimum premium requirements to consider and these sometimes vary. Thus, when shopping around for small business insurance packages these requirements should be factored in accordingly.

Having identified a number of insurance companies that you can deal with, the first thing to do should be to make a background check on each company. Next, you should contact the relevant insurance authority in your area in order to ascertain the status of these companies and how long each of them has been operational there. Your search for the most suitable company to deal with may also require you to search for various review reports as published by various established and reputable rating services. Such reviews will offer detailed insights into the financial and rating positions for each firm on your list. The firm with the most attractive credentials should definitely be your preferred small business insurance provider of choice.

After contacting the insurance firm you have identified and having an agent take you through an assessment of your exposure, you will be in an informed position to purchase a small business insurance cover. If this is the case you will be required to complete some application forms and then pay an amount of money. Your agent should then present you with a ‘binder’ that bears his/her signature. This document will among other details identify you as the insured, show the date on which coverage becomes effective, identify the insurance firm, describe the location and nature of the property being insured, show the cost of the small business insurance cover, describe the liability limits, and any other necessary information. This binder can remain valid for up to 90 days before you are issued with the policy.

It is possible for an insurance cover thus issued to be cancelled by the issuing company. An insurance firm has a 60-day underwriting period within which it should review submitted applications and information, have an inspection carried out if required, and also make a verification of the premium calculation and rating. Your small business insurance cover may be withdrawn within this period but you must be issued with a cancellation notice of not less than ten (10) days. After the 60 days elapse the insurance company can only cancel your cover by giving you the reason for doing so and a 30-day notice. Insurance cover cancellation on account of fraud or premium payment can only be done after a 10-day notice is given. The non-renewal of your small business insurance cover by the concerned firm can only be done if you are given the reason(s) for the action and a notice period of not less than 60 days but not exceeding 120 days.

Ecommerce Internet Solution For Business

Everyone seems to be hopping on the ecommerce bandwagon and rightly so. The stats show that there is no letting up in ecommerce growth with mobile commerce and Facebook commerce also on the rise. The increase in smartphone and tablet sales will also contribute to the growth in ecommerce.

But when we think of products sold at online stores, what comes to mind are products like books, CD’s, shoes, apparel and downloadable products like MP3s. These are items which we can carry around easily. We never associate ecommerce internet solution for business with stores that sell furniture. And there is a reason for that.

You see, furniture, like living room and dining room sets, are huge and they cost a lot. For items that cost a lot, most buyers would want to have a better look at them before they spend their hard-earned cash on them.

However, many furniture retailers have successfully taken to the internet to expand their businesses. In order to pull this off, they needed the help of a feature rich ecommerce internet solution for business and readily available internet resources.

Save A Bundle With An Ecommerce Solution
Being able to expand a business without having to open more physical outlets means furniture retailers have a chance to sell more without having to fork out more capital outlay. After all, a typical feature-packed ecommerce software subscription costs less than $100 a month. The savings furniture retailers obtain from such ventures can then be passed on to the consumer. It is a win-win situation.

Must-Have Features
For furniture retailers, it is the features contained in ecommerce software that help sell products, combined with very good product images and videos.

One must remember that instead of a huge showroom, one only has computer monitor to display one’s products. But with tools like content slider, product zoom tool, option images and cross sell items available, it makes the task of impressing viewers that much easier.

Being visually impressed is one thing but most potential buyers would have a couple of questions before make a purchase. So aside from the usual phone hotline and email, having a free live chat software feature adds to the convenience of having their queries answered.

Another feature that is bound to excite any retailer is the ecommerce Social Shop app. This app usually comes free with ecommerce software and allows the merchant to promote and sell items on Facebook. This is definitely a big plus point as there are over half a billion Faceboon users.

Other Resources
Once a furniture retailer has got an ecommerce internet solution for business in place, the next thing to do is to leverage on the power video sharing site like YouTube and Dailymotion, image sharing sites like Pinterest and of course social sites like Facebook. All these channels help create brand awareness and drive traffic to both your physical and online store.

Benefits of a Customer Relationship Management Tool

Small businesses today, regardless of field, face such an immense competitive pressure than ever before. To thrive and gain an advantage, many entrepreneurs must differentiate themselves by offering excellent service and customer experience. Having a small business CRM may just be what you need to help you accomplish this and much more. Below are some of the benefits of a customer relationship management tool to further enlighten you.

Improve marketing efforts – A CRM tool can help boost the success of your marketing endeavors by allowing you to execute a more accurate customer profiling and segmentation process. This can then enhance response rates by coming up with more targeted and relevant campaigns, and using your customers’ chosen means of communication. And since most CRM software provide comprehensive results monitoring and analysis, you can easily determine which promos and tactics are working well, and which ones are not.

Boost customer service – Using a small business CRM, your staff can have direct access to customer information, such as backgrounds and interactions and other valuable data. It can also replace manual, tedious and disorganized support-related activities with a much more modern, automated system. Thus, your company can significantly boost customer satisfaction and loyalty by offering quicker, more efficient service.

Multiply revenue – With a customer relationship management system, your sales team/department can better manage their goals and tasks, and seal sales deals faster. Plus, it can aid them find new prospects and further their ability to up-sell and or cross-sell. CRM tools can also provide the sales management team enhanced insight into pipelines and projections, which can then help them evaluate and supervise sales performance more effectively.

Enhance internal productivity – A small business CRM tool can minimize the amount of time spent on many administrative tasks and business processes. For example, some software can instantly perform lead generation, sales tracking and reports with just a click or two. CRM solutions can thus enhance internal productivity and the overall operations of your company.

Save money – A CRM system can help you save money in more ways than one. For instance, using appointment reminders and alerts features, tasks can be readily done in just a few clicks. As CRM also boosts customer satisfaction, it can then save the cost of losing customers. A great CRM tool doesn’t just increase profits, but it also decreases expenses.

With these amazing benefits and perks, there’s really no reason why entrepreneurs wouldn’t want to consider getting a small business CRM for their organization. To some, price may be a deterrent. But you can always go for CRMs that offer free trial so you can see if it’s right for your business–all win and no lose.

eBay Selling Software

The internet world has created many opportunities for the would-be entrepreneur. These opportunities go from the more involved direction of network marketing to the more relaxed avenue of writing articles for people. In the midst of these potentials is the legacy of selling on eBay. eBay is an online auction house dedicated to the potential of people displaying their wares and services for sale to the stay at home buyer. For the person taking the time to sell at eBay, they would be well advised to familiarize themselves with the valuable eBay Selling Software that is at their disposal.

Tool #1 One of the most highly used eBay sales Software is the Turbolister. The eBay Turbolister allows someone that has multiple items to sell, without a lot of time to design each auction, the ability to create auctions quick and easy. This program makes the job of uploading items for sale finger-tip friendly by easing the amount of key-strokes needed to complete an auction. There is also a toolbar that allows for better control of your personal auctions that are displayed.

Tool #2 The next important program that segue ways well with the Turbolister is the Selling manager. This is a free tool to eBay users that helps sellers to handle their auctions. Selling Manager makes sourcing your items for sale to shipping efficient and professional looking.

Tool #3 Finally a great tool for improving your auction ability is the Seller Dashboard. Utilizing this program allows the seller to see where they stand in their ratings to allow for improving how they sell to keeping up with eBay policies that may effect their position. It also shows account balances.

These are but a few of the eBay Selling Software offered by this auction house. Use them to build your eBay business.

Web Hosting Business

Surely you have encountered your favorite social networking sites experiencing down servers at times. You get pissed and sometimes it would even take half a day before it gets fixed. This is when the web hosting service provider’s responsibility kicks in.

It is not an easy task to keep the servers up at all times, especially when your website has a very high traffic. However, some IT experts still consider putting up their own web hosting business. It is a tough job, but once you have worked your way up, it can also be rewarding. For one, it has a low start up cost. You can even make it as your second means of income.

What are some important things that you should know before considering this web hosting business?

• Business Experience – If ever you do not have a business experience, at least get to know about the basics of establishing this business. All the legality, papers, taxes, handling employees, and other important matters that you should not ignore. It would be an edge if you have had an IT-related business in the past or if you have a work experience in an IT company.

• Entrepreneurial Mentality – You must be competitive and innovative. Information Technology advances rapidly from time to time and you have to get yourself updated. You have to study on how you will win the competition. Knowing your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats are essential in succeeding in every business endeavor.

• Technical Know-How Is A Must – Scripts, HTML, internet servers, Linux, Windows, control panel software, etc. You have to know these things or you will not be able to survive in this type of business. You have to be aware that in this field, you will be staying almost most of the time in front of the computer, monitoring your clients’ websites 24/7.

• Stable Internet Connection – You need to have a stable internet connection or you will lose your clients. You need to make sure that their websites are safe from Cyber Squatters, hackers and the like.

• It’s In Your Server – Your money is in your server. You get income from the space in the server that you provide to your clients. You have to decide whether you will choose Co Location hosting (where you entrust your server to a data center, while your responsibility is just the server’s upkeep), Reseller Hosting (wherein you serve as the middle-man and you get the account at a lower price so you can place your mark-up when you sell it to a client), or Dedicated Hosting (where you lease a server that you will not be sharing with anybody).

• Software – For administrative tasks, you will need three kinds of software: control panel, billing and help-desk. It will cost a lot per server to have these, but it will make your life easier. If you are a Reseller, then you do not have a problem with this.

• Technical Support – This is very important in maintaining relationships with your clients. It is impossible not to have any problems to be encountered after they purchase your services – there will definitely be. You have to know troubleshooting and you cannot make a mistake. A poor technical support can jeopardize your web hosting business.

• Expect Credit Card Payments – Especially if you plan to have clients overseas, then you will definitely get paid through credit card. You will need third-party payment gateways like PayPal.com or 2checkout.com. You also have to be aware that there will be credit card fees and much higher when you deal with international transactions.

• Marketing – With your entrepreneurial mentality, surely you will prioritize marketing your services to get clients. You have to expose your company all over the internet so you will attract potential clients.

Establishing your own web hosting company is not a piece-of-cake. You need to be an expert in this field or you will suffer the consequences and worse, get a net-loss. You also need to be responsible with the number of clients you decide to get since you have to keep their websites safe at all times. However, it can be really rewarding if you put your passion and effort in it. No business is stress-free anyway.