Category Archives: News

Internet Content Marketing – A Revolution in Small Business Advertising

Marketing is cited as one of the biggest challenges for most small businesses. Yet, despite this, they still need to market to market to grow. And without marketing, it is likely any business will stagnate and decline. For the small business, the marketing challenge results from a lack of time and lack of cash to invest.

Fortunately, content marketing effectively eliminates both challenges. Not only is it cost effective, it is also not time intensive. In addition, it is highly scalable once the content is created. And the end result for all small businesses is increased traffic to your on and offline locations as well as growth in sales.

What is content marketing?

Content marketing is the process of identifying opportunities to deliver relevant, usable and valuable information to customers. It is then about using those opportunities to promote your organization.

And as it turns out, in a world over saturated with advertising, the quickest way to close the sale is to help your customers first, to prove trustworthy. Then, if they are in the market for what you sell and you have helped them by providing objective, valuable information, it is proven that they are highly likely to purchase from you. You simply need to include a non invasive resource box at the end of the content.

Note: A resource box is a small blurb at the end of the content that highlights your organization, product or service and asks the consumer to take a specific action. It is not a hard sell, which isn’t needed if you have properly built trust and proven a credible expert.

How is content marketing delivered?

How do you get content in the hands of potential customers? Content marketing delivers its message in three primary ways:

* Through the vast number of sites across the internet
* Through online discussions and communities
* Through search engines

Through these means you can gain visibility almost free using content.

At the end of the day, content marketing uses highly trafficked websites communities, news services and search engines to share information.

Why does it work?

The internet was invented for sharing information. From this you can draw the conclusion that the best way to market on the internet is using information. Need more evidence? Just look at the most profitable business models of the internet, search and content portals. Their focus is using information and content to sell advertising.

The bottom line is that the idea of information sharing aligns with the reason that people use the internet, to find information. In fact, anywhere from 50 to 65% of searches on the internet are focused only on information, having nothing to do with commerce. People seek information

first and use it to inform their purchases.

Search engines also put higher weight on content rich information. In turn ranking content rich sites higher in their results. A simple search for “digital camera” will reveal this fact. Most of the top results in Google, outside the paid advertisements, are for reviews. And unless you already know what camera you want, you are more than likely going to click on one to learn more.

Then, after reading one of the reviews, you might move on to purchase the camera fully informed.

Well what if you had provided one of those reviews to a potential customer with a link back to your online site selling cameras, and a coupon for first time purchasers? I bet you would have earned the sale. On the internet, content rules… even as a sales and marketing tool.

What does this mean for the small business?

Content marketing gives small business a way to compete. On the internet, money doesn’t matter. The value of the content is what matters. Therefore, by creating quality content and distributing it online, small businesses can generate enormous traffic and capture new customers.

Content marketing also provides the opportunity for small business to to build trust and credibility with millions of potential customers online at little or not cost.

Content marketing is therefore truly a revolution in small business advertising.

And content marketing has proven itself to work time and time again, for small organizations to giants like Southwest Airlines [http://www.sbimonline.com/content/how-southwest-generated-25-million-sales-using-free-online-pr-what-can-online-pr-do-your-sma].

Yet, to date, the potential of content marketing has been largely ignored. Those who sell traditional advertising have no incentive to promote it. And as it is also a relatively new concept, you are unlikely to find much published about it. Yet this same lack of attention provides the opportunity for small businesses to sneak in under the radar and seize customers, with little resource investment.

A few examples of content marketing in action

* An article placed on a site such as EzineArticles
* Participation in a community discussion on startupnation
* An online press release directed toward customers and optimized for certain keywords
* A podcast published through one of numerous online services

The options are endless… Give it a try.

 

Small Business Phone System – A Perfect Solution

Communication is a need of every business; business cannot be run successfully without effective communication process. There are many departments in every organization; marketing, human resources, finance, sales, and research development department are common of them. If we want to achieve big progressive success in business then coordination between departments must be good and effective. Working scenario of organizations is quite like, finance department needs some important information from hr-department, an employee of finance department goes to hr-department and collects information, it requires time as well as traveling expenses. We know time is money and keeping in view this importance of time some business experts invented a system for the purpose to modify communication process.

Small business phone system is a unique type of a system in itself; it has all the features and options which are required to make communication process effective. Now any of the employees has no need to go personally in other department to collect important information from that department. By implementing small business phone system in your business environment you will get an exchange network by which you can connect all departments of your organization. Now just by pushing one button you can get any information from any employee of your business.

You need professional assistance to implement this system in your business. A professional will charge you some amount of money but this small investment will provide you a trace by which you can save a big cost against traveling expenses and it will also safe time. There are some things which you should consider before to install small business phone system in your business. Small business phone system is available in two types. Number one, you can buy a small business phone system with the wires. Number two, you can also buy a small business phone system with the wireless technology.

It is up to you to decide what type of technology is best for your business setup and which one is easy to apply. Some businesses have such a congested setup where you can not apply this system with wires implementations whereas some businesses have a net work scattered on very big area, in that case if you install this system with wires technology then you may have to spend a big amount for the purchase of wires so it is better to install this system with wireless aspects. It will save your cost of installation and time which you will require to install this system with wires technology.

 

 

Applying For a Small Business Loan

When you have ideas, plans, and desires in place, the anticipation of moving forward in operation a small business is extremely exciting. Only one thing can hold you back – money. Working with a lender and applying for a small business loan can be easy or difficult, depending on how much preparation you’ve put into the process.

The lender will ask for a variety of items when applying for a small business loan

1. Business Plan.

If you don’t already have one, write one. Virtually no lender will consider you for a small business loan without the organization, detail, and direction you have for your business, and all of this is stated in a business plan. For information on how to write a business plan, visit sample-business-plan.org/sample-business-plan-directory.html – Don’t be afraid to hire a professional writer to write or proofread the plan for you if you’re not confident in doing it yourself.

2. Loan Proposal.

Nearly all lenders require a loan proposal if you are applying for a small business loan. After you’ve written a detailed business plan, your loan proposal can be written. The information in a loan proposal includes details on who you are, including your experience and business desires; how much money you need and what it will be used to purchase or fund; how you intend to pay back the loan; and what your plans are if you cannot pay the loan back in full.

3. Completed Lender’s Application.

Most lenders will also require that you complete a business loan application when applying for a small business loan. Your application should be very organized and presented in a professional manner. Don’t omit any details, and be completely honest about your credit history, even if you don’t have an excellent credit rating, when applying for a small business loan. Some lenders base their loans on the character of the person applying for a small business loan, and if you’re “borderline” for qualifying for the loan, your honest application can prove to the lender that you are indeed trustworthy for receiving a small business loan.

4. Financial Statements.

If your business is already in existence, visit the lender for your interview with two years of tax records, as well as two years of business and personal bank statements when applying for a small business loan. Not all of that information may be required immediately when applying for a small business loan, but it’s better to be prepared with the information on hand, rather than have to tell them that you’ll have to bring that in at a later date. Your tax records will show the profitability of the business, as well as detail its expenditures. Your bank statements will prove that money is coming in, and that the business is already established. If your business is yet to be launched, you still need to go to the meeting prepared with both two years of tax forms and two years of personal bank statements when applying for a small business loan. This will show the lender that you are a responsible, reliable individual, that you pay your bills, and that you file your taxes in an honest, timely, and fair manner.

5. Resume

While not required for a meeting with a lender, it’s probably a good idea for you to have a current resume with you for the interview with the lender when applying for a small business loan. As mentioned, there will be some judgment of your character made at your loan interview. If this should come into play during the interview, you can easily present your resume to show your work experience when applying for a small business loan. This is especially important if you’ve worked in the field in which your business will be based. It’s also important in the instance that you have experience in a business-related area, such as management, marketing, or accounting, to show that you are capable of succeeding in business due to your experience in working with other businesses.

The bottom line is to be prepared when applying for a small business loan:

– Visit the lender with all files neatly presented and very organized.

– Present information as requested during the application process and interview when applying for a small business loan.

– Dress for success. Don’t show up at your meeting in jeans and a sweatshirt when applying for a small business loan.

– Don’t worry if you’ve forgotten anything, and don’t get flustered. Offer to drop off or fax the requested information as soon as you leave the meeting. Offer to provide any additional information that could possibly play a role in your loan’s approval.

If your business loan is not approved, don’t become frustrated. Many small businesses are declined on small business loans. Look into alternative loan sources, and don’t give up.