Common Sense Small Business Marketing Tips That Work

Just because your business is small, doesn’t mean that it can’t compete with bigger businesses. In fact, small businesses are extremely successful because their size allows them to be more agile and adjust to changing customer demands faster. However, in the marketing arena big brands still seem to dominate. Fortunately, there are some common sense small business marketing tips that have been proven effective time and time again. Here is a quick look at some of the most important small business marketing tips to keep in mind.

1. Be a Small Business

One of the biggest problems that many business marketing campaigns face is that they forget that they are a small business. Big businesses and companies have the luxury of being able to brand themselves quickly. Additionally, they can leverage more expensive marketing methods that could be out of reach for their smaller counterparts. The biggest mistake that a small business can make is to try and take on big businesses at their own game. You need to focus on generating sale now, not creating brand recognition for sales tomorrow

2. Work Together

One of the biggest benefits of being a small company is that you have the freedom to do what you want in terms of marketing. One of the best things to do is to create a joint partnership with a complimentary small business. Keep in mind that it should be will other small companies who are not directly in competition with you. This will not only lead to improved sales and recognition, but also allows you to build long term marketing partnerships that you can leverage over and over again.

3. Let Your Customer Market For You

It doesn’t matter what size your business is, there is no form of marketing more effective that word of mouth marketing. One of the biggest benefits of being a smaller business is that you have the opportunity to build individual relationships with customers. By making sure that you give them an experience worth talking about, they will definitely do your marketing for you. Along with creating a personal connection, you can also advertise directly to them. One successful ploy is to use a list of previous customers and send them all a special deal that is contingent on them bringing in a friend. That way you will double the amount of people who will see your products.

Small business marketing doesn’t have to be any difficult than marketing for large companies, in fact, sometimes it can actually be a lot easier. The key is knowing how to best leverage the assets and resources that a business has. There are a number of different options that you can utilize to market your small business, however some are likely to be more effective than others. The first thing that you need to do is keep in mind that you are a small business and stop trying to market the same way that big businesses do. Second, you need to team up with complimentary small companies so that you can pool resources. Finally, you need to do everything that you can to get your customers to market for you. It is not only more effective, it is more inexpensive as well.

Small Business Survival Tips

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No matter what kind of small business you have, you need read these “small business survival tips” which will help you to succeed.

You may be in Internet business, traditional business, or you may be a local merchant with 150 employees; whichever, however or whatever–you’ve got to know how to keep your business alive during economic recessions. Anytime the cash flow in a business, large or small, starts to tighten up, the money management of that business has to be run as a “tight ship.”

Some of the things you can and should do include protecting yourself from expenditures made on sudden impulse. We’ve all bought merchandise or services we really didn’t need simply because we were in the mood, or perhaps in response to the flamboyancy of the advertising or the persuasiveness of the salesperson. Then we sort of “wake up” a couple of days later and find that we’ve committed hundreds of dollars of business funds for an item or service that’s not essential to the success of our own business, when really pressing items had been waiting for those dollars.

If you are incorporated, you can eliminate these “impulse purchases” by including in your by-laws a clause that states: “All purchasing decisions over (a certain amount) are contingent upon approval by the board of directors.” This will force you to consider any “impulse purchases” of considerable cost, and may even be a reminder in the case of smaller purchases.

If your business is a partnership, you can state, when faced with a buying decision, that all purchases are contingent upon the approval of a third party. In reality, the third party can be your partner, one of your department heads, or even one of your suppliers.

If your business is a sole proprietorship, you don’t have much to worry about really, because as an individual you have three days to think about your purchase, and then to nullify that purchase if you think you don’t really need it or can’t afford it.

While you may think you cannot afford it, be sure that you don’t “short-change” yourself on professional services. This would apply especially during a time of emergency. Anytime you commit yourself and move ahead without completely investigating all the angles, and preparing yourself for all the contingencies that may arise, you’re skating on thin ice. Regardless of the costs involved, it always pays off in the long run to seek out the advice of experienced professionals before embarking on a plan that could ruin you.

Particularly when sales are down, you must be “hard-nosed” with people trying to sell you luxuries for your business. When business is booming, you undoubtedly will allow sales people to show you new models of equipment or a new line of supplies; but when your business is down, skip the entertaining frills and concentrate on the basics. Great care must be taken however, to maintain courtesy and allow these sellers to consider you a friend and call back at another time.

Your company’s books should reflect your way of thinking, and whoever maintains them should generate information according to your policies. Thus, you should hire an outside accountant or accounting firm to figure your return on your investment, as well as the turnover on your accounts receivable and inventory. Such an audit or survey should focus in depth on any or every item within the financial statement that merits special attention. in this way, you’ll probably uncover any potential financial problems before they become readily apparent, and certainly before they could get out of hand.

Many small companies set up advisory boards of outside professional people. These are sometimes known as power Circles, and once in place, the business always benefits, especially in times of short operating capital. Such an advisory board or power circle should include an attorney, a certified public accountant, civic club leaders, owners or managers of businesses similar to yours, and retired executives. Setting up such an advisory board of directors is really quite easy, because most people you ask will be honored to serve.

Once your board is set up, you should meet once a month and present material for review. Each meeting should be a discussion of your business problems and an input from your advisors relative to possible solutions. These members of your board od advisors should offer you advice as well as alternatives, and provide you with objectivity. No formal decisions need to be made either at your board meeting, or as a result of them, but you should be able to gain a great deal from the suggestions you hear.

You will find that most of your customers have the money to pay at least some of what they owe you immediately. To keep them current, and the number of accounts receivable in your files to a minimum, you should call them on the phone and ask for some kind of explanation why they’re falling behind. if you develop such a habit as part of your operating procedure, you’ll find your invoices will magically be drawn to the front of their piles of bills to pay. While maintaining a courteous attitude, don’t hesitant, or too much of a “nice guy” when it comes to collecting money.

Something else that’s a very good business practice, but which few business owners do is to methodically build a credit rating with their local banks. Particularly when you have a good cash flow, you should borrow $100 to $1,000 from your banks every 90 days or so. Simply borrow the money, and place it in an interest bearing account, and then pay it all back at least a month or so before it’s due. By doing this, you will increase the borrowing power of your signature, and strengthen your ability to obtain needed financing on short notice. This is a kind of business leverage that will be of great value to you if or whenever your cash position becomes less favorable.

By all means, join your industry’s local and national trade associations. Most of these organizations have a wealth of information available on everything from details on your competitors to average industry sales figures, new products, services, and trends.

If you are given a membership certificate or wall plaque, you should display these conspicuously on your office wall. Customers like to see such “seals of approval” and feel additional confidence in your business when they see them.

Still another thing often overlooked: If at all possible, you should have your spouse work in the business with you for at least three or four weeks per year. The important thing is that if for any reason you are not available to run the business, your spouse will be familiar with certain people and situations about your business. These people should include your attorney, accountant, any consultants or advisors, creditors and your major suppliers. The long-term advantages of having your spouse work four weeks per year in your business with you will greatly outweigh the short-term inconvenience. Many couples share responsibility and time entirely, which is in most cases even more desirable.

Whenever you can, and as often as you need it, take advantage of whatever free business counseling is available. The Small Business Administration published many excellent booklets, checklist and brochures on quite a large variety of businesses. these publications are available through the U.S.Government printing office. Most local universities, and many private organizations hold seminars at minimal cost, and often without charge. You should also take advantage of the services offered by your bank and local library.

The important thing about running a small business is to know the direction in which you’re heading; to know on a day-to-day basis your progress in that very direction; to be aware of what your competitors are doing and to practice good money management at all times. All this will prepare you to recognize potential problems before they arise.

5 Key Business Etiquette Tips

If you plan on building your business or are looking to make a good impression with those you work with, you need to focus on these business etiquette tips. Some people make mistakes with formal etiquette as they have never had instruction, some mistakes may be honest mistakes that end up offending another coworker or business contact. Here are 5 business etiquette tips that will help you stay on top in the business world.

1. Be on Time – If you say that you are going to meet, whether it’s online or in person, you need to make sure that you are on time or even better early. If you are late it can be seen as a signal of disrespect to the other person. If you are late in business it also gives the impression that you are not capable or responsible, this is one of the most important business etiquette tips to remember.

2. Remember Names– This may sound simple however if you are introduced to someone and you forget their name this can make you look not only unintelligent but disorganized. Of all the business etiquette tips this one you should focus on. Many people will take offense to someone forgetting their name.

3. No Technology– If you know that you are going to be in a meting then you need to think ahead of time. Make sure to switch off your cell phone. It may seem hard to live without your text messages and phone calls however the negative consequences to your business & career make the momentary inconvenience worthwhile.

4. Be Prepared– Before you meet with a client or those in your own company you should have ideas and possible solutions ready to benefit your time together. If you arrive with some thoughts and solutions to boost your current project or business goals you will appear organized and highly qualified.

5. Look the Part – Of all the varied business etiquette tips we must not forget appearance. If you want to be a successful business person then you should display this ambition in the way you present yourself. If you are not sure of how to dress it’s always a good idea to appear more conservative.

If you follow these businesses etiquette tips you will solidly boost your potential for success and help to build your personal networking abilities. These points will help you in business but they will also transfer over to your personal living as well. Good luck!

Business Success Tips How Customer Satisfaction Leads to Increase in Profits

One of the prime objectives of running a business is to make good level of money. It is also important to remember that success cannot be achieved without providing proper level of satisfaction for consumers. Hence customer satisfaction is the important success driving factor.

One needs to concentrate greatly on providing a good level of customer satisfaction. Customer satisfaction can only be obtained by providing a great delight to people. The tendency to exceed the expectations of people will be of good use in achieving success. The various kinds of business success tips that are mentioned below will be of great use.

The products that are being produced by a company should be of great use for many people. The quality of the product should be exceptional. Safety features that are implemented in the product should also provide wonderful safety for people. In order to maximize the success that is being achieved, it is necessary to concentrate on service that is being offered to consumers.

Many people who are able to avail good service will be extremely happy about the company. They will also come back again to the same company to purchase various kinds of other products. If there are any kinds of complaints that are coming from the customer side, there should be rapid action to rectify various faults.

You should also get involved in various types of surveys to make sure that all the setbacks and good features of the product are obtained. All the discomforts that are provided by people should be rejected and more numbers of interesting features should be introduced into the product.

Fix profit level

Before you start to sell the product, you should make calculation to fix the selling price of the product. The profit level should be fixed in an optimum level such that both producers and consumers should be benefited in an equal manner. Achieving success is possible due to great precision in the price fixing process.

Business Travel Tips For The Avid Business Traveler

Companies everywhere are finding they need to travel more if they want to meet new customers and to capture new sources of business; the Internet has ensured that even tiny companies can have a customer base that is truly global! However, anyone who has spent a great deal of their time traveling for their business will tell you just how tiring it can be. There are some things you can do to reduce the amount of stress and fatigue that occurs and some interesting business travel tips and information that is supplied in this article.

Sometimes for instance, baggage goes missing; that is an unfortunate fact of travel and whilst it is distressing enough on a family holiday, on a business trip it can be disastrous. An easy remedy to this is to pack as much as possible that you absolutely must have for you meeting, in your hand luggage.

This means that even if your main luggage is lost your trip does not have to be wasted; your meeting can still take place despite any inconvenience that has been caused. As far as your main luggage is concerned, make sure you only pack just enough for the trip and this is probably the most useful business travel tip to bear in mind.

If you only take enough business clothes for the trip and then all that is left is some casual wear for the evenings, just two pairs of shoes, one casual, and one pair should be enough. All that is left once this is done is to include your toiletries and other business documentation that may be of use.

A way to save space and possibly take a smaller bag plus reduce any creases is to roll clothing up which takes up less room and a business travel tip well worth noting. To go one step further, if you want to ensure that even if food or drink are spilled on your clothes you won’t need them laundered; use dark colors which are also handy because creases don’t show as much.

If you are delayed for any reason then knowing you can freshen up prior to the meeting without the need for a shower can be a lifesaver, this is where those travel wipes come in very useful. If you only intend to be away for a couple of days, a normal charge for a cell phone and other electronic equipment may be enough but if the trip is longer you may need to take chargers with you.

Many business travelers now use the traveling time to do as much work as possible which then allows them some personal time to themselves after work which in turn reduces stress. Just plan ahead for your business travel using this guide and you will be in a position where whatever happens it will not affect your trip and once you have done this often enough it will all become second nature to you.

Business travel does not have to be all work and by using the business travel tips shown here, there should be time for rest and relaxation too.