The Small Business Internet Marketing Tips You Need to Know

Small businesses are taking over the web and the more you are “in the know” the faster your business will grow. In my years of marketing online, I realized there are many methods that promote a healthy and prosperous business. However, even with the extensive knowledge available on the web, nothing can replace the value of real world experience. I want to give you the best small business internet marketing tips I believe are essential to profit growth online as it pertains to social media.

Get Involved With the Conversation

If you are internet savvy, I am sure you heard or read millions of articles about social media and its importance to marketing online. But I want to take this one step further. By now, hopefully you set up Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn accounts and are successfully marketing your blog. These are the foundations of success in internet communication.

You may be active in these verticals, but are you joining in on the conversation? One of the best small business internet marketing tips I could give you is to find out what your target audience is saying and join the conversation! Search for your followers and also people belonging to your target demographic. What are they talking about? What are their needs? How can you give them an answer to their problems? The answers to these questions should provide the foundation for all of your communication in the social media space.

Talk Back

This is probably one of the simplest, yet most effective small business internet marketing tips out there. Communication is a 2-way street. Most businesses feel they do not need to respond to their audience just because they are a company. Unfortunately, this alienates them from their audience and makes them look less personal. You need to establish that personal, yet professional connection with your prospects to gain their confidence and loyalty to your brand.

When people “re-tweet” your posts or answer your Facebook posts with comments, do not leave them hanging! Thank them for the “re-tweet” and comment back on your posts. Establish relationships with people by responding to them and they will feel valuable. I promise you will shine by applying this method because 90% of small businesses are simply not doing it.

The power of communication is a force that cannot be denied. The best small business internet marketing tips are centered on providing value to your audience and proper communication is always valuable to its recipients. By establishing the right lines of communication, your business will flourish not only in your eyes but also in the eyes of your loyal customers.

Small Business Guide to Saving Money

In today’s tough economic climate it is more important than ever to save money wherever possible. This is doubly true for a small business or start-up business whose cash flows are not yet fully established. Here are 5 great tips on how to save money as a small business.

Money Saving Tip #1 – Pay strict attention to metrics, especially your sales volumes and expenses

It is generally acknowledged that one of the greatest businessmen of the modern era was John D. Rockefeller. Mr. Rockefeller founded Standard Oil in 1870 and went on to become the world’s richest man and first American billionaire, and is often regarded as the richest person in history. However, when Mr. Rockefeller was just 16 years old he landed his first job. What was that job that set the foundation for a business career as illustrious as any man ever had? He became an assistant bookkeeper. John Rockefeller earned just $50 salary for his first three months’ work. But what he truly gained was an appreciation for financial detail and discipline.

So it is with your small business – you need to have a detailed understanding of what your finances are at any given time. Note, I said a detailed understanding of your finances. The most important numbers to focus in on are your top line sales volumes and revenues and your bottom line expenses. By focusing on top line sales volumes and revenues you get an appreciation of what your business is actually able to earn in a given time period. This assists in setting budgets and goals. Focusing on the expenses gives you a realistic idea of how much money you need to earn to keep your business afloat. It is a good practice to review your finances in detail every single month. This is the first step in understanding where you may be able to save the most money in your business.

Money Saving Tip #2 – Cut out the olives

Robert Crandall worked at Eastman Kodak, Hallmark, and TWA before joining American Airlines in 1973. In 1980 Mr. Crandall became president of American. He was a notorious cost cutter and helped the airline survive and even thrive in a period of deregulation. One of the most famous and oft told stories of Mr. Crandall’s business thrift has to do with the salads served on American Airlines flights at the time. You see, Mr. Crandall carefully examined the companies finances and discovered that the addition of olives to the salads was costing the airline company a great deal. Figuring that no one would really miss a few olives in their salad, Mr. Crandall ordered that the olives be removed from the airlines salads. His savings? More than $100,000.

The lesson for your small business is obvious. Look for items that you are spending money on, but that aren’t giving your customers or clients any appreciable extra value. When you find them, cut them.

Money Saving Tip #3 – Renegotiate with vendors

Every business is the customer of other businesses. You get all sorts of supplies from other companies that help you to conduct your day to day business. No matter what the status of your current relationship – whether you have a long term contract, or whether you are just repeat buying the same items out of habit – it pays to examine and renegotiate with vendors on a continuing basis.

Are you getting the best deal on your phone service? Are you sure? Have you considered switching to a VOIP (voice over IP) phone system? What about using Skype for either internal or external communications? Each system or expense that comes up in your business is a potential area of savings. Challenge your vendors to sharpen their pencils and give you their best deal. Here are a few ways you can save:

Ask for volume discounts – even if you aren’t at the exact volume yet. If you grow you will hit higher volumes.

Get quotes from multiple vendors and then compare them – and share them with the vendors to let them see what your costs are with their competitors.

Consider alternative solutions. For example, maybe your salespeople can share a room on a trip instead of booking two separate rooms.

Money Saving Tip #4 – Start a website

We are very fortunate to live today in an era where just about anything can be sold online. From real estate to retail to consulting, it has become natural for many people to turn first to the Internet when investigating or purchasing goods and services. In the early days of the Internet, small businesses were excluded from competing on the Internet due to high complexity and the costs associated with hiring experts and programmers to create a viable website. This is no longer the case.

One can easily find a freelance web designer for a fraction of what it used to cost by using services such as Elance.com. This is a marketplace where designers and programmers compete to earn your business. You can easily get quotes for website work in a short period of time and also see references and prior work samples to aid in your decision.

You will also need to work together with a web hosting company to house the site. Daniel Foster is co-founder of UK web hosting company 34SP.com. Mr. Foster suggests, ”Do a comprehensive search on Google for the company you are considering. Look for reviews from current or former customers. You can also use forums such as web hosting talk to help inform yourself and narrow down your choices.”

Shopping around can help you save money on everything from your site design to your domain name to your web hosting.

Money Saving Tip #5 – There is only one boss

Sam Walton is a legend in business and in saving money. Having grown up during the Great Depression, Mr. Walton understood the value of a dollar. Three days after graduating from college, Mr. Walton was hired by JC Penney as a management trainee in Des Moines, Iowa. Taking his knowledge of retailing and his cost cutting mentality and focusing them on the retailing sector, Mr. Walton founded Wal-mart in 1962. The first Wal-Mart opened July 2, 1962 in Rogers, Arkansas. Wal-Mart eventually became the world’s largest retailer. And Sam Walton was at the head of it all. Leading the company by example. The rest is cost cutting history.

The true lesson that comes from Sam Walton and Wal-mart for your small business comes in the form of a quote. Never forget what Sam Walton himself said, ”There is only one boss. The customer. And he can fire everybody in the company from the chairman on down, simply by spending his money somewhere else.” Don’t ever cut costs at the expense of angering or disappointing your customers. Those savings will be short lived.

Small Business Tips

Every one of us want to be successful in our careers, and if you have a blooming business, your life can become heaven on earth. When you start to set out for yourself a small business, there are some very important things and small business tips that must be kept in mind so that you can start your organization smoothly. This new firm can be your key to financial freedom without any bounds. Having your own business can be the thing for many of us, who don’t want to provide their expertise to any other organization, but would start their own business entrepreneurship.

If you give the necessary time and hard work to it, it is possible that your small firm will become successful and would turn out to be your pot of gold. But it is not so easy to make your commercial baby a real success, and you should have the necessary aptitude, work force, capital along with hard work to make it run. There are some very important things and tips that you must keep in mind and which can help you to take your business in overdrive.

1. Firstly, the most important thing is proper and prior planning. You should have the necessary information about the intricacies. You should know the products and the product line with full details.

2. When you start your new work, it is beneficial to keep the prices of your product cheaper than the major market players. This way people will be willing to try your products. If they like your product or services, you can raise the price later on. But the important thing to keep the quality of the product good, so that consumer think your product as a value for money product.

3. Another very important tip is that you spend a substantial part of your capital on promoting and marketing your brand. If you don’t promote your brand, nobody will be able to know about your business, and consequently your sales will remain stagnant. You can even hire professional Advertising Company to promote your product effectively. Nowadays, the best method to promote you brand is through internet.

4. When you start a new small business, it is very important to hire an experienced and professional work force. A commercial organization is known by the people it employs. So, higher experienced and professional technicians should be hired, even if they charge you more than the market rate.

5. Before starting a small business, always pay enough attention to legal issues and insurance matters. This way you will be able to deal with any complication that may arise in future.

6. Always try to use new technologies and automated machines in your commercial organization. It always pays to remain connected with new technology. You don’t want you to be left behind in today’s modern age.

7. Last but not the least, a new business require hard work, proper organization and determination. You should remember that every big industry was once a small business organization.

Managing might look like a daunting task, but once you get the hang of it, and the right small business tips, you won’t enjoy anything as much as your own business. Having a successful business truly pays off, after all the hard work and determination that is put in it.

Essential Tips for Starting a Small Business

Here are some essential tips for starting a small business which will go a long way to helping you lay a strong and solid foundation for your business, if these steps are followed through diligently.

Especially if you have never owned a business before, it is very important that you have a lot of belief in yourself and your abilities. You have to be extremely confident that you can handle whatever situations arise in your business. At the end of the day, the buck stops with you and the responsibilities are yours to deal with.

· You as a prospective small business owner need to be very clear about your reasons for going into business and wanting to be your own boss. Have you recently been made redundant or have you finally decided to take the plunge to fulfil your life dreams and goals? Whatever your reasons you need to be very clear about them and how you expect the achievement of this dream will affect your life. Play this picture in your mind, with your dreams fulfilled and do this every day. You will be amazed at the changes once you begin taking action towards them.

· At the same time you will need to look into other essential tips for starting a small business. For example, you will need to look into the very important process of your market research. Market research is a very important step to every new and also ones looking to expand after years of operation. When done properly, this process will help you identify the viability of your idea in the market place as well as helping you identify your target.

· You then need to write out your business plan. This document is useful both in raising finance for your business venture as well as in helping you identify and crystallize your business goals and objectives. Your business plan then becomes a document you need to refer to regularly in making sure you are staying on track, and if you have deviated from them it will be a guide on how to course correct.

· As a newbie to the business world it may be a good idea to consider partnership as a business strategy as opposed to going it alone. This option has several advantages – first and foremost, the adage two heads are better than one ring true. You would potentially be able to come up with twice as many solutions to problems or issues that arise. Also in partnerships you will be able to complement each other’s weaknesses and you will have a greater pool of experience to draw upon in solving problems that arise. These points imply that you will potentially have a stronger business as a result. By necessity, there are disadvantages in forming partnerships so the pros and cons will have to be considered very carefully. If you choose to go ahead kindly seek professional advice so that your business is set up properly to form a business of good grounding.

Some essential tips for starting a small business have been discussed above. If actions are carried out with these in mind, a strong business will be the result and will lay the foundation for what is hopefully a fruitful and rewarding business venture.