Best Resources for Small Businesses

Being a successful small business is not easy. The five core challenges most small business face are time management, pricing, cash flow, managing growth and marketing / client acquisition. In order to succeed, you must arm yourself against these challenges. The good news is that there are a number of fabulous resources to help you with these issues.

Actively seek out the right small business information.
Many small business owners are so over-extended that they neglect staying informed about business trends. This is a fatal error. In today’s modern marketplace, you simply cannot succeed if you run your business on intuition alone. You may stay afloat in the short run, but you will eventually lose out to better informed competitors.

There are a number of incredible online resources that are both free and invaluable. Sites like Inc.com and Entrepreneur.com provide tips on just about everything from starting your business to navigating advanced legal issues. They feature in depth information on running your business, leadership / management techniques, sales & marketing tips, small business technology and finances.

Helpful Tip: Set aside at least 1 hour each week to review these sites. If you find that you prefer to read in bed, consider subscribing to a few of these magazines. This information will make you and your business stronger.

Know your industry and target market in real time.
In our modern age, trends shift at break-neck speed. It is important to stay abreast of developments in both your industry and your target market’s microcosm. After all, more often than not, what concerned your target market 3 months ago is now ancient history.

Subscribe to industry related publications and consume the same media as your target market. If you sell jewelry for eco-friendly women in their thirties and forties, spend an hour each week reading news and publications that are relevant to that market. Likewise, be sure to check industry news every week. For example, using the same eco-friendly jewelry analogy, you might read up on green product developments, new fashion trends or even ecological political issues.

Helpful Tip: Set two separate Google Alerts – one on your industry and one for your target market – to send you period updates on relevant news. Google will send these news stories to you automatically, making it easy to skim over the headlines and read through the meaningful stories.

Find the right on-line partnerships.
The proliferation of online office supply stores makes economically and efficiently stocking your office a lot easier than it was 10 years ago. Buying office supplies online takes less time and makes price comparison easy. Because of online competition, online suppliers are eager to earn your business. The good ones will provide a wealth of free information on their site and happily take your calls to field questions and offer advice. For example, if you are looking for discounted printer ink cartridges but are a little confused about toner versus regular stores like compandsave not only provide free yet invaluable printer cartridge information resource center but they also eagerly accept calls and offer advice on how to save on office supplies.

Helpful Tip: When you find a supplier with great prices and customer service, hold onto them for the long-haul. A good supplier relationship can save you thousands, streamline your operations and free up your time so you can focus on growing your business.

What You Need to Know About Small Business Advertising

Since the dawn of time advertising has been making the world go around. For those in business, they understand the power this concept brings to their company. Small business advertising is big business for both owner and customer, for without it, commerce and trade is at a stand-still.

The key thing that advertising does is bring traffic to your place of business, whether it be online or offline. Traffic in the form of visitors who have a need for what you are selling or providing. One of the most important things you should keep in mind is that not all traffic is good traffic. When visitors come to your establishment, they are either just looking around, need more information about what you provide or they are ready to buy with money in hand.

As a business owner, you probably want more of the latter than the others. And if you have an online presence along with a brick-and-mortar company, you are able to have the best of both worlds. The following small business advertising tips will help you see the type of traffic you desire on a consistent basis.

Make Sure Your Website Has Quality Content

Regardless of what your site is related to, its content needs to be logical and provide added benefits to your viewers. Once you understand current online advertising trends, you will know that no longer is the time that you could create a web site, place a couple of banner ads and one-way links and see the cash come in. Only by keeping your entire web site on the same subject as it regards your particular niche, as well as with adding ideal top quality information, are you going to generate followers of people which may want to check out the things your subject is centered on.

Be an Authority in Your Area of Interest

To make sure that you come up with quality information, it’s essential to know at what you are actually talking about. You can do this by means of one of two ways: past experiences or researching the topic. As soon as a large number of people land onto your site, they’ve come as a referral or from the search engines and most of them are in need of advice to the answers to problems they are facing. If your internet site is first on the web, you are deemed the primary authority for that field. So your subject matter ought to be articulated so.

Be a Contributor to Internet Forums and Related Weblogs

These two methods easily add to others finding out about your expertise and moreover, it displays to the world that you sincerely like offering assistance. This approach appears great from the perspective of your followers not to mention the search engines, while increasing your website’s position status. You will find blogging sites and meeting places that are on your specified expertise very easily by simply using Google’s search engine. There will be additional targeted visitors through these sites that will generate a much greater following of people with circumstances who would like resolving as soon as possible.

Create Your Very Own Blog

Blogging sites that can correspond to a website are becoming quite popular at this time because new content is continually on hand. A number of individuals make full use of their blogs to tell personal experiences, similar to a journal. Other people use them for mentoring and instruction. Exactly how you choose to make use of your blog, ensure that it stays on-topic. What’s remarkable about developing a blog is the fact that you can actually drive traffic to your website from this and that increases its popularity.

Get the Advantage of Social Media

It seems everyone is making use of sites such as Facebook and Twitter to stay connected with one another. For this particular reason, you can accomplish the exact same thing with your own website and blog. However, you will find procedures that must be put into practice in order to not end up getting banned for spamming. However pertaining to the most part, feel free to use the information you have, expertise and experience to be able to help people when it comes to managing their particular difficulties in addition to drive free targeted traffic to your site or blog.

These fundamental methods of building an internet authority presence is exactly what online advertising trends are centered on. There are additional small business advertising strategies you can use to enhance your presence online. And by means understanding these strategies, your website, blog, products or services are going to be increasing in popularity before you know it.

Taking Advantage of the Trends of 2012 in Your Small Business

Well, as a former businessperson in retirement I am often contacted by a small business startups and asked questions about how best to do business in such a dismal economy. In fact generally the questions are accompanied by excuses and complaints. Indeed, just as the economy presents challenges, hardships, and crisis for small businesses, I would submit to you on a reciprocal side it also unveils excellent opportunities at every turn. Indeed I’d like to talk to you about this for a moment if I might.

Is it possible to take advantage of the economic downturn and slow growth economic trends? Is it possible to take advantage of other cost-saving strategies to improve efficient marketing in 2012? Yes it is, and let’s go ahead and talk about this for a moment

Slow Growth Economy

A slow growth economy means your competition is not expanding as fast as it normally would. It also means if you’re starting a new business you’re going against businesses that are well-established, but ones which are also experiencing challenges with cash flow and have been beaten down. If you come into the market hot and heavy, they may not be able to compete, they don’t have anything left in them.

Consumers – Low Cost High Volume Strategies

Gaining market share very rapidly in a downturn economy is pretty easy if you use a low-cost high-volume strategy to gain market share. This also creates an abundance of referrals, and a very large customer base extension to perhaps market segments you would normally not have.

Inexpensive and Over Qualified Labor

Downturns in the economy also mean that fewer people are employed, and that means some top-notch people who are over qualified will be willing to work for you at half the salary. This means you can put together a significant team of experienced employees. When the economy is cooking along very nicely, you will be able to do this.

Deals on Supplies, Inventory, Vendor Assistance

When times are tough and other small businesses are hurting, that means your vendors, suppliers, and those who sell your inventory to you are willing to make deals, give you better terms, and offer you assistance. That’s free for the taking, and it will lower your costs, allowing you to pass those lower costs onto consumers to grow your business.

Low Cost Loans

Right now interest rates are at an all-time low, and if you can qualified to get a business loan, the amount in which you’ll have to pay back later in interest is quite reduced. If you can get the loan, this becomes an advantage to your business. Your competition may not be able to get the loans because they cannot prove their cash flow is adequate enough considering the hardship they’ve had going through during the last recession.

Deals on Business Location Leases

Lastly, right now some retail centers have extra unoccupied space, and they are willing to do deals to fill out the spaces, improve their own revenue, and allow them to keep those business buildings from being foreclosed on. This gives you the advantage in negotiating a good deal on a lease with excellent more favorable terms well below what your entrenched competitors are already paying.

Therefore I ask that you stop complaining, and start using your mind and thinking about how to take advantage of the current economic crisis. Please consider all this and think on it.