Thursday, December 31, 2009
Fair enough, but what if you have a competitor within the town or even without in the form of E-commerce ensuring doorstep delivery and definitely much larger choice. You getting the point?
Competition or not, you always need to remind your customers that you are there and what value you bring to them. This way you not only ensure that loyal customers remain so, but you net new customers. Remember marketing and advertising is an investment, not an expense. Without enough money put aside for advertising your sales can go down and you suddenly have less and less for promotion. You advertise most when you need business. You advertise more when you don't.
A small-budget advertiser doesn't have the ''deep pockets" to develop big advertising campaigns or go for top shot advertising design agency. In this case you need to break the rules to be noticed. Avis did it by admitting they were "Number 2" in the car rental business and that campaign took them from 6th place to second place.
Now you must be wondering is there any sure shot way of advertising which not only is cost effective but has maximum impact. To be sure, there isn’t any readymade formula for bull’s eye hitting creative design solutions but this article proffers some tips to get this sort of marketing in place. Before we get to the tips let's look at the basic strategies of successful advertising.
* In order to be successful, your advertising must provide a consumer benefit or solve a problem.
* That benefit or solution must be wanted by the consumer.
* The product or service you are offering must be tied directly to that benefit or solution.
* The benefit or solution must be distinctly communicated through medial advertising. In other words, be clear, forget the advertising glitz and make sure the message isn't lost in the ad.
Average cost of advertising is usually 1 to 5% of gross sales, which can vary according to location, local advertising rates, and industry. Budget conscious advertisers must achieve top results for their advertising dollar. Expand your dollars by adopting some creative techniques.
* Place your ads in off hours or in unusual locations on discounted rates. This will help you in containing the cost. Many times you can still reach your target market with these spots.
* Instead of a one-time big splash ad, be consistent with frequent small ads that work to keep reminding your customers of your presence.
* Consider advertising in regional issues of national magazines. The costs are lower and you can reach your target market. TV Guide is also a good choice. It stays around for at least a week.
* Sponsor a community event if you can like a fun-run, golf tournament, or other event that will be well publicized in the community. Your name may not be prominently displayed but sometimes the positive exposure in the community will bring in new customers.
* Exploit the media you choose to the fullest. If your message is verbal, you don't need TV. Use radio, billboards and newspapers to the fullest.
* Consider direct mail. A letter and brochure before customer contact can increase business.
*Hire an advertising design agency which might not be top of the heap, but can get creative and specializes in interactive campaigns to provide you with creative design solutions.
I hope these tips will help your business grow. Not all may be relevant to your particular situation. Hopefully, they will illustrate the importance to plan and control your advertising budget.
An entrepreneur tries to juggle many balls each day, but sooner or later one of them is going to be dropped. A smart business owner will realize that he/she can’t do everything because there are only 24 hours in a day. Unless you are extremely organized and enjoy working with numbers, then maybe you need to outsource this job. Too many business owners spend their time doing what they are not very good at simply because they don’t know how to go about finding someone to do that job for them.
Where do you start? Ask your accountant for referrals. Obviously you don’t need a full-time person to do your books, so your best bet is to look for someone who wants to moonlight at a part-time job. There are also bookkeepers with their own small business who are looking for clients. If you don’t have any other employees, this situation will work best for you because you can pay them as a subcontractor instead of an employee on payroll. However, you will need to give them a Form 1099 at year end for tax purposes. But, since they are accounting experts, they can help you with that task too.
You should interview your prospective bookkeeper just as you would if you were hiring him/her as an employee. Ask for a resume and references, and check them out. Since this person will be handling your confidential records, you want someone who is trustworthy.
Depending on your location, you should expect to pay between $15 and $50 an hour for a bookkeeper. Don’t necessarily hire the one who offers the lowest rate- remember you get what you pay for. The more experienced person will cost you more, but will provide valuable input and suggestions to streamline your business that will wind up saving you money in the long run.
Since this person will be working closely with you in your business, you should feel comfortable with him or her. If you have any reservations about this person, go on to the next candidate.
While the selection process may take a while, it will be worth it later. Take your time to find the perfect bookkeeper, and in a few months you’ll wonder how you ever managed to run your business before you hired one.
Most small business firms all over the world heavily rely on the services of such web development firms as they usually cater to small business website design by providing web based marketing methods that small companies can afford due to small budgets. Depending on the effectiveness of such web-based marketing, clients often see incredible successful results from clicks to conversion. There are some case studies which show that utilizing their marketing equation; some sites have gone from 10 leads a month to 300 leads. However, to achieve this is easier said than done. Web marketing firms that create a full plan for their clients using both the strategic and tactical methods crafted by specialists/consultants in turn are able to give small or large businesses increased sales. After all, that is the reason one can zero down on in order to be in a business, right? To have more sales and offer value. Therefore, the objective behind any web development or website promotion project is to create a unique selling proposition through your website that can set you apart from your competition so your customers should only think of doing business with you, regardless of price.
Small business firms today look forward to the professional creative website design and strategic web development and web promotion companies for the simple reason that they want their site to have the look and usability of a Fortune 500 company site without having to spend huge bucks for it. Yes, it is definitely considered a plus if the website is designed as a tactical marketing tool that aims to engage and educate their clients in turn. And most of these businesses have a concern in their minds: can their web site provide a means to gather analytical data for them to offer better service for all?
Yes, definitely they can. However, for this, optimal, effective website design strategies need to be incorporated. In a word, small business clients should be enriched with at least some of these features in order to fetch more conversions:
* Cutting-edge small business website design, tailor-made to provide broad market exposure of the products and services to potential clients.
* Highly scalable digital website designs, aimed at boosting up the growth and realization of the full perspective of the small business houses.
* Small business website design strategies including full-featured e-commerce solutions, to help these businesses deploy cost-effective, powerful e-commerce stores.
* Customized search engine optimization services, based upon individual needs and goals.
However, there are umpteen so-called 'cheap, quick' solution-providers, and any small business firm must think twice before taking the plunge with them. Ideally, one should always trust a professional web development firm that gathers relevant information about their clients' business through hours of discussion, clear up ideas about the requirement, nature and goal of the clients' business. Based on these details, experienced, skilled web designers and developers carry out extensive research to find out the best small business website solution. On the other hand, creative, innovative content writers create specific and unique content for small business website requirements, thereby enhancing business prospects. Finally, website maintenance and search engine optimization techniques that comprise scientifically proven techniques available at a competitive price are sure to give your business a boost. Flash Presentation, Multimedia Presentation, Multi-lingual website development and E-Commerce integration solutions complement these customized website solutions for brightening the online and even the offline image of small business firms.
The Five Steps to Success:
To ensure success of your small business through a unique website presentation, it is important that you develop a five-step process for creating websites that meet your customer's goals. Whether it is a small business firm eager to generate leads, sell online, provide information about their services, connect their vendors to their company electronically, or start an entirely new kind of service, this five-step process not only takes them from concept to completion, but also is the trademark of any Internet development company.
Consulting: Every website starts with an idea. Perhaps you've been thinking about developing a website, or redesigning your existing site. At the consulting stage, a professional website development firm would strive to clear all doubts about the clients' requirements. Consultation for this usually comes free in case of small to medium-sized businesses.
Website Design: After the initial consultation, the website development firm solidifies the clients' ideas by creating a blueprint for their site by employing something they call "Strategic Design".
Website Development: The website development project is then handled by a creator' hive, composed of specialists who handle their own respective pieces of the site development. Remember, for successful website development, it is necessary to be handled by a versatile team of expert graphic artists, content writers, programmers, database specialists and technical personnel. This ensures that a qualified professional handles each task of the given project.
Web Hosting: Since websites are an intricate interplay of graphics, text, programming and computer resources, building your site on a rock-solid web hosting foundation is critical to its marketing success.
Website Maintenance: Once the site is available to the public, it must be maintained with the help of ongoing updates and continued development to the site so that they don't give clients/visitors of the site a chance to complain about its quality and content.
Wednesday, December 30, 2009
First, you must have something new or different to say. As the name News implies, the media want information that's new or at least updated. At the same time, reporters and editors want information that's relevant to their readers; choose your media targets carefully, and tailor the content of the release to their audience).
Second, your headline should be as interesting as a newspaper headline. It should promise something new, dramatic, or timely. Make the editor or reporter want to know more. Remember, though, the claim should be credible and relevant.
Third, in the first paragraph of the body, get in what journalists call the Five Ws: Who, What, Where, When, and Why. In fact, try to get them into the first sentence, and if you can't, at least start with a clear concise statement that summarizes the story.
Traditionally, reporters have tried to get the essence of every story into the first paragraph because they didn't know where, or whether, their stories would be cut. So, they start with the most important information and end with the least important. That way, no matter where the story was cut, the best material stayed.
Fourth, write and rewrite your news release many times before 'releasing' it. Use active verbs and transitions (from sentence to sentence, and paragraph to paragraph). Boil down the content as much as you can; two pages is acceptable, but one is better.
Fifth, follow this standard format:
At the top of the page, write this, in all caps:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
(Usually this will be left-justified)
Or, if you want the release to be held until specific date/time, write something like this:
FOR RELEASE AT 10 A.M., AUGUST 23
(But don't necessarily expect the embargo to be honored)
Skip a line and then put in contact information, as in:
Contact: Robert Abbott
Telephone: 403 555-1234
Skip another line and add your headline (centered, and use title case or all-caps):
Perpetual Motion Machine Unveiled
Now, the body of your news release, which should not exceed two pages.
At the end of the body, add three number marks with single spaces between them, as in:
# # #
Repeat your contact information at the end , as in:
Robert Abbott welcomes your inquiries at 403 555-1234 or by email at: email@example.com
Sixth, prepare yourself for reporters' questions
It goes without saying, of course, that you would prepare yourself for questions from reporters if you send out a release. I would recommend you write out a list of questions that seem likely and prepare bullet-point answers for each of them. That way you'll be ready for most of the questions. However, don't read the answers back to reporters; just use them as a guide. At the same time, assume you'll get questions you simply can't predict. Answer them as well as you can; and if you can't answer, your best bet is to tell the interviewer you'll need to get more information, and will call back after you do.
Considering the small bit of history mentioned in the preceding paragraph, it should come as no surprise that the founder of Facebook was a student at Harvard University. A man by the name of Mark Zuckerberg founded Facebook and ran it for a very long time as a hobby project during his time at University.
There are many different ways that a person can get security but the one that has specifically been created to meet the demand for security is what is known as a Facebook proxy.
Now that facebook has become so popular, two of the three initial creators have dropped out of university and dedicated themselves full time to improving and maintaining Face book layouts and all of its facilities. Today the Facebook website is used by people from thousands of University campuses across the English speaking world and is also enjoyed by a number of different companies and religious groups as well.
In terms of total users,
Facebook has approximately 18,000,000. This number places it amongst the top social networking websites in the world; not bad for a website that was started as a hobby project by a Harvard student. This 18,000,000 number is reputed to contain multiple accounts; in other words there is an assertion out there that there are not actually 18,000,000 people using the Facebook service but that many people have more than one account on it.
To end on a high note in this game of statistics, here is something that you might find very shocking. According to web traffic numbers and taking into account the 30 billion page views Facebook gets on a monthly basis, it is now the 7th most visited site within the United States.
One of the factors that can assist in the difficulties of establishing a new, small business is the belief that important money to sustain the business cannot be spent on advertising. The allocation of money to advertising usually has a very low priority in a small businesses budget. This is a mistake, advertising is necessary, but there are a number of ways that it can be done in a cost effective manner.
First on a businesses list should be the largest yellow pages ad they are able to afford. Although the phone book is an old form of advertising with the importance that the internet is taking on, this is still one of the first things potential clients do when looking for a business or product.
Other print advertising ideas can be done with newspaper advertising. Local papers can get your geographic region narrowed in on. This is especially important given that the majority of small business clients come from a 3 to 5 mile radius. Also, papers can be good because they frequently have specialized advertising sections, which will be read by just the people you want. Local business groups also create special advertising sections that can be a great advertising idea and cost effective too.
Other ideas might look into specialized magazine advertising, using vehicle graphics and using the billing and other mailing necessities you have to further promote upcoming events and specials. There are a lot of ways out there that offer advertising idea possibilities, but the one thing that must be adhered to is that you must do something.
Because if you do, I'm going to tell you how.
You MAY not want to read what I'm about to write because it WILL remove excuses you have. In fact, after this very simple tip, you will no longer have the ready-made excuse that perhaps you've used in the past. I will strip it away like Dad rips off the warm covers on a winter morning.
The most common excuses that I hear folks offer for not getting off their duffs and starting their investment careers are (1) time and (2) knowledge. (The number one unspoken excuse is fear.) For this article, I am REMOVING the time and knowledge excuses. I'll get to the fear part…briefly.
Okay, if you're still reading, here goes…but I warn you. You may not like it.
Turn off the stinkin' TV!
I mean, avoid it like the plague! It's robbing you blind. To be precise, it's costing you tens of thousands of dollars per year if you are like most Americans and tune into TV or watch movies for 1-3 hours a day.
What a country we are. The average American buys a TV and then that TV costs many times more than the cost of the set per year in opportunity loss. We buy, bring it into our homes, and give it a place of prominence, and let it steal from us!
As many of you already know, I boldly say you and I can make an extra $10,000-$50,000 per year on a mere 10 hours a week by rehabbing real estate. I know this because I do it.
A little math…let's say you watch TV a mere 1.5 hours a day on weekdays, and sports on the weekend at 2.5 hours a day. If you give up all TV, that's 12 and a half hours a week.
In other words, you can watch a game on the weekends and STILL have 10 hours a week to devote to a real estate investing career.
Let's say you are someone who is on the LOW end of American TV watching habits and you watch an average of 1 hour of TV a day. (Which means you probably don't watch sports.) In that case, turning it off means you need to invest a mere 3 hours a week. Do you have 3 hours a week if it pays $10,000-$50,000 per week?
Reality check. If you watch football, you probably watch a college game on Saturday, a pro game on Sunday, and Monday Night football. In that case, that's a minimum of 7 hours per week of the 5-month season…gone! Many football fans watch more!
So what could you do with that time? Get the knowledge you need to start with. How many books or courses can you work through if you honestly devote 10 hours a week? Since the process of rehabbing real estate isn't rocket science, it's a process that must be learned, it isn't going to take many weeks to be flush with knowledge and ready to put a business plan into action.
There will be a few reading this that don't watch much TV at all. (You are rare indeed!) Examine your habits and see where you time is going. There is often time sinks that you can capitalize on by changing your habits. Do you surf the net for hours on end? Do you spend 2 hours a day pumping iron.
Or…oh, this one might hit close to home…do you sleep 10-12 hours a day?
Chances are there is a way to eek out some hours by a relatively minor change in habits.
I can hear it already…GIVE UP TV?! That's not a minor adjustment!
Let's see how important TV really is to you. There are two ways to think about this.
Approach number 1:
Let's say I knock on your door and wave ten thousand dollars in front of your face. All you have to do to get it is give me your TV for a year. Would you go for it? What if I offered you twenty grand?
Approach number 2:
Let's look at what giving up TV would mean to you.
- You wouldn't be able to talk about what happened on TV last night at the water cooler at work. I mean you could, but you would not have watched it.
- You would miss seeing first hand who beat who to a pulp on the field, or on the court.
- Shows will come and go, and you will have never have seem them.
Perish the thought! You'd miss stuff on TV, but the sun will continue to come up, the Earth spins, and your financial picture gets a lot rosier!
Is the time you spend in front of the TV really worth what it's costing you? $10,000 or $20,000, or even $30,000 or more…every year?
I'll go a step further. You could stop watching all your favorite programs and guess what, your life would be unchanged. If you did something positive with that time you spent watching them, your life will be changed for the better.
For you sports fans…Let's say "your" team wins the championship this year. Does that change your life in any way? Do you get a raise? Do you move into a better house? Does it really change anything that matters? Sure, you get to tell folks that they are "your" team even when they aren't and nobody on the team knows you from Adam. In fact, if "your" team wins you will probably be even more into them, spend more time watching TV, so the cost to you goes up!
I don't mean to sound like I'm on my soap box, but there are many folks who need a wake up call. Capturing TV time and using it to your financial benefit is a relatively minor habit adjustment that can result is some serious financial gain. Spend a month learning, then put a plan into action. That's how things get changed.
My close friends and family know that I rarely turn on my TV. Years ago, I made the commitment to use my time better and since I have improved my life immensely by doing so. So, I want you to know that I am living my own advice. While it's true that I've never seen a minute of "reality" TV, and I prefer to see my sports live, my life is quite different now! I'll never look at TV the same again!
You can do the same. This minor habit adjustment can mean you take the reigns of your financial future and drive it where you want to go.
I knew some of you would not like it, but there it is…the formula to free up a LOT of time and how to gain the knowledge you need to make this coming year the most profitable yet. Will you do it?
Now, what about the fear part? This article is getting kind a bit long, but I have written a six part set of articles to help in that combat fear. I encourage you to click through to my website and click on the "Nothing Held Back" newsletter. There you will find out how to get the articles, or mini-course I call it, at no cost.
Focus On The Customer - Show Him The Money:
The customer is not bothered about how badly you need to make the sale to meet your monthly target. He is more bothered about fulfillment of his needs and getting value for his money.
Talk about the customer's benefit. Don't tell your customer about the latest technology in the car's engine - tell him how this new engine saves him fuel and time.
Know Your Competition:
Knowing your product is not enough. You must know what your competition is offering. You don't want to end up staring at the customer, when he says your competitors are 20% cheaper. Have your answers ready. Give him valid reasons for your higher price.
Don't Waste Your Time With People Who Don't Matter:
When dealing with an organization, learn to prioritize. Don't waste your time explaining the secretary why your power tools are good. Save your time and energy for the decision maker. Try to get an appointment with "the boss". If you can't get one immediately, try for a later one, else move on. The secretary is not going to buy your tools.
Exploit The Copycat Mentality:
Humans have a mentality to copy what others are doing successfully. If a person's competitor or acquaintance is using a product, he may be tempted to use the product too. Keep your references ready and tell him how others have greatly benefited from your product or service.
Get Them To Agree:
When a person agrees to something you are saying, he subconsciously creates a positive frame of mind towards your offer.
Getting the other person to say "Yes" on various occasions brings both of you on the same side - with the same goal.
Your Negotiating Strength Lies In Your Uniqueness:
If it is easy to find someone providing the same service or product that you provide, your negotiating potential is reduced. The more unique your offer, the greater negotiating powers you have. Always make a list of points which differentiate you from your rivals. Sometimes people buy things just because they are different from what most other people are using.
Use Time To Your Advantage:
Every one of us has been to a stock clearance sale. When the merchant runs out of time to sell his stock, his loses his pricing power.
Customers use this tactic on sellers and give a deadline to make a decision on price and terms. The person who is short of time is always at a disadvantage. Never allow yourself to be trapped in a "time limit" trap. Even when you are short of time, don't let it be known to the other person.
On the other hand, a person's urgency to get something done can work in your favor. If the other person is in a hurry to get things done, you can be assured that he will be more willing to bend than he would in a normal situation.
A word of caution - never exploit the other person's urgency to such an extent that it makes the deal grossly one sided. You may get what you want one time, but such deals have a negative impact on your reputation and future business. A win-win situation is always desired.
Price Is Not Everything - Terms Matter Too:
Terms of service are as important as the price itself. An example could be the loans and mortgage industry. Companies are able to charge higher interests rates than competitors by allowing flexible repayment options. Companies offering freebies with their products are compensating a higher price with friendlier terms. Create a balance between the price and the terms - when price is your weak point, offset it with better terms.
"The Policy" Tactic:
Since childhood, people are taught that rules are not to be broken. At subconscious level most of the people carry a perception that it is their duty to follow all rules. You will be surprised how easily people give in when they are told that the terms which they expecting are against the company policy. Salespersons always keep a printed price list with themselves. Those few black words printed on a white paper add authority to the salesperson's arguments and send the message that it is not within their power to alter the terms.
Keep Your Last Price For The Last:
Most buyers have a tendency to ask for a lower price than offered. If asked for "the last price", quote something more than the actual "last price" which you are willing to give. It doesn't matter if initially you offer a price 2% lower or 20% lower - buyers will ask for a further lower price in both cases.
The Final Gambit - Say "No":
Risk taking is an essential ingredient of success.
Agreeing to customers' terms all the time weakens your image in the market. Walk out of the deal if it doesn't seem profitable. If the customer gives in to your terms, you win a profitable deal. If you lose the customer, why repent? He wasn't a profitable customer anyway.
From this point of view, salespeople view their success based on the kind of sales training that they have. Of course, no one could instantly exert expertise without the proper training that he needs in his career.
Hence, many salespeople are more than willing to submit their selves to sales training. They know that it would be one of the best ways to earn and achieve success.
So for those who cannot understand why sales training is important in a salesperson's career, here are some of the advantages of engaging into such sales booster activity.
1. It is a great help
Based on its basic concept, sales trainings are especially created to help the salespeople hone their skills and improve their craft. Their ability to create more sales is improved through the acquisition of advanced marketing strategies.
2. Molds better attitude
Another best thing about sales trainings is that they do not mainly focus on improving the skills and abilities of the salesperson as far as selling are concerned. Through these trainings, the attitude and behavior of the salesperson towards sales are improved.
Sales trainings teach them how to deal with the clients properly, how to handle objections, and how to persuade people. These things are not commonly taught on ordinary training programs.
3. Teaches good interaction
Through sales training, the seller will be able to identify the right strategy in dealing with his clients. It provides the right combination of language, perception, attitude, and the art of selling in order to interact with the client in the most favorable method.
The focus of this activity is to make the seller realize that selling should never be hard, or what most salespeople believe as hard selling. The point here is that with proper interaction, selling becomes an art, where the words and emotions are interlaced so as to lure the client to buy the product.
If sales training had been effective and was properly explained, chances are, sales will grow. But if it was done otherwise, more than a few unconstructive results may happen.
One of which is the lack of communication or miscommunication. Without proper orientation on the job and proper comprehension of the nature of the job, both the management and the employees might have difficulty in communicating the correct ideas and concepts.
Also, without sales trainings, salespeople will be less confident in distributing their products. This is because they are not fully aware on how to face their clients and how to persuade them into buying.
And last, without proper sales trainings, the people will not be enticed to do their job and advanced on a higher level of enthusiasm. This is because they are not aware of the possible compensation they will get ever they have performed better.
Indeed, sales trainings are not just any ordinary program and not just like any other training program designed just for the sake of having it. It has its purpose, and its results will definitely reap more income.
Tuesday, December 29, 2009
Our goal in business networking should be to establish new relationships and through the process of follow-up develop them over time. As with any relationship, being honest plays a very important role in that development.
When we meet someone for the first time, we want to make a good impression. Often we put on our "party face" so that we do. This can often cause us problems that we do not expect. One problem is that when we try to appear to be something that we really do not feel inside of us, we often have a fear that we are going to be "discovered". This fear causes us to feel uncomfortable about the situation and though we may be smiling, we are really cringing inside.
Most people worry that if they just be who they are, that no one can accept them. I argue that if we do not just be ourselves, sooner or later who we really are will slip out and then we will have to deal with the consequences of being discovered. This then leads to a feeling of distrust between people.
Have you ever been in a relationship with a person of the opposite sex where you did not tell them something important early on and later had to reveal it or even worse it was revealed by accident? It leads for difficult times after that and a lot of shuffling and apologizing.
In my opinion, it is better to risk being who I am up front. To let people know exactly how I feel. People, for the most part, have a forgiving nature. They actually want to forgive. If you make a mistake and say something that can be potentially embarrassing, you can always apologize for it and be forgiven. But if you say something that is not necessarily true and are discovered later, your credibility may be permanently damaged.
If you go into a networking environment prepared to be relaxed and genuine, you will find that it is a lot more fun to be there. If you have a plan of action to really get to know people, you will be much more productive in a shorter amount of time. People will feel comfortable talking to you and you to them. In an environment of truth, more people will want to do business with you and to be around you.
Authentic enthusiasm is contagious. You will always appear to be more attractive when you are excited about what you are doing. When you are not worried about making mistakes, you will appear to be happier. Being happy about the situation will help you to smile more, and the smiling face is a natural human attractor.
So next time you attend a networking function, just be yourself. Your results will improve and you will feel better when you leave to go home. Over time, the difference will be measurable in more ways than just your income. You will find that you have more friends than you had ever imagined possible. When it comes time for the referral, your friend will remember you because friends really do refer friends.
Mistake #1: Believe in Magic
Show up hoping that a coherent, eloquent, useful presentation will magically appear once you start speaking. Avoid any type of preparation. Just wing it.
> What Happens
Everyone is amazed by the presentation because they expected more. They are also bored and disappointed. They may even become upset because an unprepared presentation insults the audience by wasting their time. Unprepared presentations sound like, well, unprepared presentations.
Prepare. Identify the goal for your talk. Design a presentation that achieves that goal. Talk with key members of the audience about their expectations. Rehearse.
Mistake #2: Memorize your speech
Spend untold hours committing every precious word to memory so that you can recite it even if awakened in the middle of the night.
> What Happens
You sound like a machine. And if you stumble on a word, you can become stuck--speechless. I've seen this happen, and it's painful.
Learn your presentation. Yes, write a script. Memorize the first and last sentences and then practice giving the presentation without looking at the script. Practice many times. Eventually, you will learn how to convey the key ideas in a natural, normal way.
Mistake #3: Talk About Yourself
Focus entirely on yourself. Tell about your background, your credentials, and your history. Tell your story. Just talk about yourself. Make the presentation all about you, yourself, and your life.
> What Happens
They listen politely. If you manage to be entertaining enough, they may actually pay attention. Otherwise, the audience reacts by thinking, "So what?"
Talk about the audience. That is, talk about what they need and how they can achieve it.
The way I'm talking about that details can kill your business is if you focus too much on them.
How on earth can focusing too much on details hurt your business?
Ever tried to walk on a railroad track?
When I was a kid, my aunt and uncle had a house right next to a railroad track. My uncle once challenged me to walk on the track without falling off.
Hey, it's not like walking a tightrope. That track was as wide as my feet. Should be no problem. So I started walking it, carefully watching my feet with each step to make sure I stayed on the track. But I couldn't get more than a couple of steps before I'd lose my balance and fall off.
My uncle taught me that the only way to walk that track successfully was to look at a point a ways down the track - not down at my feet. By setting a goal and focusing on it, I could walk on that track as easily as if I was walking right on the ground. It was only when I focused on my feet that I tripped up.
It works that way with business, too. Our natural reaction is to put all our attention into "watching our feet" as we deal with this short-term detail and that. But when we do that, we "fall off the track" of where we wanted to go.
Now, I'm not saying that we should ignore the details of our business as we gaze wistfully toward our vision of the knock-out business we dream of building. You never get anywhere without taking step after step after step to reach your goal. But you never get anywhere, either, if all you look at is the present step.
The point in the distance that you need to focus on is the need your audience has and the solution you have that will fill it. It requires you to understand your audience - who they are and what they need and what concerns stand in the way of them choosing your solution.
It's way too easy for us to focus on details, namely, on the latest traffic building tips or tools, the latest bells and whistles we can add to our site. Details are usually driven by facts, and facts are something we feel we can learn and control. Understanding the people who make up our pool of potential customers is a lot more scary. It requires us to step outside ourselves into the hearts and minds of other people.
Given the choice between dealing with predictable facts and details or dealing with unpredictable human nature, most of us will jump at dealing with facts any time.
But that just gets us stuck staring at our own feet as our feet inexplicably slip off the track. The only way to stay on track is by looking toward your ultimate goal: you helping people solve some problem in return for them repaying you fairly for the time and effort you put into it.
That's really the most simple definition of what business is. The details are not your business. The facts and the tips and the tools are not your business either. They're merely the steps you take to get to that point in the distance. And the more you take that to heart, the more easily you'll stay on the track toward your goal.
Unfortunately, many people who want to work from home don't take the steps necessary to find the right opportunities and ensure their success. Here are five tips to get started and stay on the right track.
1. Write down your motivations. To find the right opportunity, it helps to get clear on why you want to earn money from home. Do you want to supplement your income, to have part-time work while the kids are in school, or do you want to save for a vacation? Whether you are looking for some extra spending money or you need the money for necessities, putting pen to paper and outlining why you want to earn money will help you focus and stay motivated.
2. Make money online. If you have a high-speed Internet connection (as most people do), it literally pays to look for ways to make money online. After all, you already have a computer, so why not work at home and make your own hours? Hundreds of thousands (if not millions) of people are already making part- or full-time incomes online. Shouldn't you be one of them?
3. Find the right opportunities. It's sometimes difficult to figure out which work at home opportunities are legitimate and which will work well with your skills and interest. The best place to start looking is a website that provides visitors with a comprehensive listing of the top-rated opportunities to earn money from home. That way, you can be assured that the opportunities have been researched and investigated, and that the company or companies you choose to work with pay on time, give excellent support, and will help you earn from home.
4. Do the math. Once you've written down your motivations and have reviewed opportunities to work at home and make money online, you need to determine your financial needs. When you know how much you want to make, you can do the math and figure out the amount of time you'll need to commit to reach your goals.
5. Treat it like a job. While it's true that working from home means that you can set your own hours and work as little or as much as you'd like, the only way you'll truly succeed and earn money at home is if you treat it like a job. That means setting regular "office hours" where you're free from distractions and can concentrate on your efforts to make money online. Perhaps you want to work while the kids are in school, or maybe you're a night owl and want to work from midnight until three in the morning. To increase your likelihood of success, though, set a regular schedule and stick with it.
According to an annual report of internet trends by a top market Research Company, almost two third of Internet users in the United States have by now purchased a product or service online. That’s a dramatic increase from 2000.
While the hype over the new economy is maybe over, one thing is certain the internet has changed the way we do business. Many companies are now starting to grasp that their very survival may be in jeopardy if they are slow in implementing their internet business model.
However the question still remains - is there an efficient way to do business online?
Below I have outlined some components crucial to any online venture. While these might not be the only vital components of web based business, understanding them properly will significantly increase your chance of being successful with your online venture.
The main component you need is a business plan, one that makes sense and has been fully researched.
A recent AT&T report of successful entrepreneurs shows that businesses are more likely to be successful if they have a business plan. With a business plan you get a better picture of your planned venture. So, before starting you online venture, take time and write down what are you are intending to do. Product or Service If you are a brick and mortar company merely attempting to increase your sales of your products or services on the Internet. You at least don’t have to think about what to sell.
You can sell nearly any product or service on the internet; there are even incidents of people buying corporate jets online!
If you are serious about opening an online business, finding a product or service that suits you should not be very difficult.
Knowledge base goods like e-books, how-to-reports and hard to find information do well on the Internet drop-ship items are also plentiful on the net. Thanks to the worldwide customer base of the internet finding a manufacturer for any product that you plan to import to your country or export from your country has become a lot easier. If you have expertise, online services related to web design, travel arrangement etc. are also good areas. Internet gambling is also a very good area to investigate.
The look and feel of your website is important as potential customers will decide whether to do business with you or not based on the first impressions of your website, it is vital to have a professional-looking website with enriched content.
You can decide what type of website you want according to your situation; there are a vast range of choices. Starting from a completely free website you can spend thousands for a more advanced site.
Understand SEO (Search Engine Optimization) this is very important, setting up your site so it is fully optimized for search engines is vital. Many companies will offer their services to optimize your site; however it can be done yourself by researching the subject prior to developing the site.
There are many quality portals that permit you to have products and services displayed on a single page web site for free. Many business to business portals offer this kind of services. However, for real time transactions you will still need e-commerce websites.
For a small monthly fee you can have the facilities necessary to run a full fledged electronic storefront and build it yourselves from easy to use templates.
If you go for this type of services, compare and see who has most of the features for the best price.
Shopping carts form an essential part of e-commerce sites, they allow you to accept purchase orders for many products or services.
The term "Shopping Cart” is taken from real life shopping terminology to help users understand the actions available to them. Like in a supermarket a person can add items to shopping trolley, or remove items from the trolley or adjust the amount of the items as per requirement before checking out and making a payment.
Access to the shopping cart should be clearly evident. There should be numerous entry points to the cart. Add, remove and adjust quantity of the product features should be prominent on the cart page. The article name should have a link to the description of the product. There should be a way of saving items for future purchases. Shipping and other costs should be clearly stated before the payment process starts. Order forms should be simple and clear. All payment options should be explained clearly. Ordering process should be done through a secure server. You know you are on a secure server when the URL of your browser indicates "https:". The s at the end of http stands for "secure". Merchant Account 90 percents of all online retail sales take place through credit card transactions.
Even if you already accept credit cards for your offline transactions, that may not be enough. Although, you can take many precautions to reduce online credit card frauds, credit card companies still consider Internet transactions to be riskier than offline transactions.
There are numerous merchant account providers on the internet. Carry out some investigating before you sign up with any of them as their terms and conditions vary significantly.
It is definitely good to have a merchant account however that does not mean you cannot sell products or services without one! There are numerous other payment options available on the internet. Most popular of them are paypal, e-gold, e-bullion, etc.
If you would like to have an efficient online business, remember that old values still count. Proper planning, uncompromising customer service, integrity, hard work and persistence eventually will make your business successful.
Monday, December 28, 2009
One of the many ways that you can seek help to write your plan is by hiring a professional, who in this case is a professional business plan writer.
What Is a Professional Business Plan Writer?
Before deciding whether or not you should hire the services of a professional business plan writer, you should first clearly understand what they are. In most cases, you will find these individuals to be experienced, professional writers who are well versed in business terminology and who can effectively understand the needs of businesses. It is important to understand when writing anything, even a business plan, that it is the wording which makes all the difference; the words used can be the difference between success and failure. That is why a large number of small business owners turn to professional writers for assistance.
What a Professional Business Plan Writer Can Do For You
When it comes to searching for a professional business plan writer, you will find that different writers perform different duties. For example, a large number of writers will merely take your ideas, which you have already thought out and developed, and present them in a professional matter; they will just present your plans in a more professional way than you could.
Then there are the professional business plan writers who will work with you to develop your plan from the inception of the basic ideas for your business to the finish document. Naturally since more work and time goes into to assisting you with developing a business plan from the bottom up you will probably find that the services of these writers cost more than traditional ones.
It is important therefore that before you start your search you be very clear in your own mind as to what level of support and input you require.
Why Hire a Professional Business Plan Writer?
There are a number of different reasons why small business owners turn to professional business plan writers. One of the key reasons is of lack of experience when it comes to putting ideas on paper and not knowing what format a plan should take. If you have never created a business plan before you can easily find yourself staring at a blank piece of paper for hours on end!
Although it is relatively easy to learn how to create your own plan, it can be a time consuming process to undertake the research and get into the appropriate mindset. With the right experience, a professional business plan writer will be able to create a detailed, professional business plan in half the time that it would take you to create the same plan.
How Do You Find Someone?
If you are interested in acquiring the services of a professional business plan writer, you have a number of different options. One of those options is to search for someone locally. Dealing with a local business plan writer is great, especially if you want to deal with someone face-to-face. Your search can focus on your local government business advice centers or even asking fellow business colleagues. If there is a writing group or circle in your locality then you can approach them for potential names.
The only problem that you may find is that not all areas of your country will have professional business plan writers. This means you may have to turn to the Internet for assistance. By conducting an online search you will find a large number of professional writers who specialize in creating or writing business plans.
What Should You Look For Before Hiring?
When choosing a professional business plan writer it is important that you don’t choose either the first person that you come across, or the cheapest. If a well written business plan is crucial to the success of your plans then you must be careful in your selection. Your business plan may not only be used for your personal guidance, but it may also be used to attract financing for your business and that is why your plan must look professional, be detailed and readable.
Before hiring a writer, you should request samples of previous work and also ask to see testimonials from business owners who have used their services. This will help to ensure you are getting your moneys worth and that you end up with a business plan you can proud distribute.
As with any contract you enter into be very certain what you are getting for your money. Does the contract include the provision for free updates or unlimited revisions before the final version is agreed? Will you be charged per word, per page, or by the hour? Make sure you fully understand the deal.
By following these points you should be able to decide whether or not a professional business plan writer can assist you. Whilst they can be an additional cost you may not be able to afford, in the long run it could be the best investment you ever made.
You will find a complete guide on how to write a business plan in my e-book ‘The Secrets of Writing a Killer Business Plan’.