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Why You Should Include Social Media As Part of Your Marketing and Publicity Plans

Why You Should Include Social Media As Part of Your Marketing and Publicity Plans Most business people feel that social media is well for socializing and that it really has no place in their marketing or publicity plans. However, this narrow thinking may actually be limiting their ability to promote their products and services and to gain a wider customer base. If you are not sure about including social media into your marketing or publicity plans then consider the following. In order for any marketing or publicity campaign to be truly beneficial you have to go where the people are and whether you like it or not social websites are the most popular places on the Internet. Consider these statistics. FaceBook has more than 500 million active users. 50% of these users log into their FaceBook account each and every day. MySpace has 66 million users Twitter rates 190 million visitors per month With so many people choosing to visit these sites each and every day shouldn't you make it easy for them to find out about your business? Also stop to consider that social websites use interactive formats. This means that they offer the perfect place for potential customers to ask questions to find out more about your business and you to answer those questions. In addition, social websites gives you an opportunity to do some soft sell instead of always having to rely on those hard sell techniques. In addition social media gives you more ways to promote your website and blogs about your business. Not only can you include relevant business information in your profile, but you can tweet about a new blog post, Post information about your industry on your FaceBook page, And post How to videos on You Tube that shows not only are you an expert in your field but, that you keep up with the latest technology. With so many people spending time on these Social media sites why not let them spend a little bit of that time with you and your business. You can use these sites to announce sales and contests, Give useful and helpful information and inform them what you are doing to help your community. In other words your business can become a real visible presence. Best of all it is Free! So go ahead make a few friends, send a few tweets and allow those social media sites work to promote your business and your products. To a social media phrase. With 500 million viewers you can't go wrong.

Great Publicity Ideas That Help Your Community And Promote Your Business

Great Publicity Ideas That Help Your Community And Promote Your Business Becoming more active in your community not only helps your community but, promotes your business as well. When you and your company helps the community not only does this benefit the community as a whole but, the press releases, newspaper, radio and television coverage some of these activities get will promote your business in an extremely positive light. So, make sure you have a good press writer available and then get out there and become part of the community in some of the following ways. Take part in career day and visit schools or even colleges and explain about your business and what it does. You can follow up with a program where you either offer students an internship program or allow them to shadow some of the members of your staff for a week to really learn what the job is about. Not only are you helping young members of your community learn more about a field that you love but you are increasing your businesses visibility in an extremely positive way. Close the office for the day and have your entire staff donate their time to a soup kitchen or food pantry. Or design your own activity to raise money for the needy or an individual family who has high medical bills due to an accident or illness. Hold a contest where the public can name a new product or offer suggestions for improvement. Have a special ceremony for the winner or winners. Hold a fund raiser for charity. Hold a fun run, a children's fun day, a garage sale, or a mini auction and have all the proceeds go to a local well deserved charity. Take part in a community recycling program or go green in your office and publish an article on how you achieved your goals. Hire a new employee or better yet get together with several other businesses and hold hiring day. With the poor economy, if you can get together enough other businesses to hire even ten people who desperately need jobs in your community you will not only get a lot of positive attention, but, will make your entire community stronger and more stable. Write an article about surviving in a shaky economy and then present your article to a local business organization. Make sure that your article is not bragging but, actually offers helpful tips to other businesses. Throw a party or host a summer picnic to say "thank you" to your current clients, employees and their families. This will not only build customer and employee loyalty but will promote your business as more than someone who is out to get their money. Create a community oriented competition with another local business such as seeing which business can collect the most goods for a food pantry. Get your customers involved in helping you to win by offering them small discounts on items if they bring in a can or box of goods. Donate needed items to a local school, children's hospital or after school program. Publish a book of stories written by local children complete with their drawings. Print your business name and company information in the front and back and then give away the books to parents and customers. Give speeches about your business to local clubs or organisations or donate your time helping the unemployed to write resumes and practice for interviews. Start a small scholarship fund for a deserving student or donate time each week to help shut-ins in your community. Once you start working to help the community and have the press releases to inform everyone about these events include stories about these activities on twitter, Facebook, and other social websites. Blog about the activities in your blog and run pictures and videos of the activities as they are happening. Offer to write a column in your local paper telling other people ways to get involved in community efforts. When the public sees that not only are you concerned with your businesses bottom line but with the welfare of your community as a whole they are going to be more than willing to support you and your business whole heartedly. Just remember, that it is not your taking part in one event one time that will help put your business on everyone's radar but, your activity over the long haul that is going to make the difference. In the end, it won't just be your business that benefits from your involvement but, your community as a whole and that is a great feeling.

How To Make Your Office More Environmentally Friendly

How To Make Your Office More Environmentally Friendly The entire world has become more environmentally conscious over the last few years which is a good thing for the earth but, did you know that becoming more environmentally friendly can also save your business money? Making a few simple changes in the way your office runs and thinks can amount to saving your business several pounds a month. Money that your business can certainly put to more productive use. Recycle, Recycle, Recycle With a little practice recycling can easily become a habit that will save you money over the course of several months or a year. Here are a few ways you can recycle much of that office waste. Use both sides of that paper. Instead of throwing that paper out that is written on just one side staple it together and put it in a bin for your employees to use for making notes. Then once both sides are written on take that paper to a local recycling bin. Use emails instead of written memos. Sending emails to your workers instead of written memos will eliminate the need for paper for this simple task all together. In addition, you will be saving the printing ink used to print off those memos as well. You can also recycle your toner either by sending the toner cartridges back to the company or taking them to one of the office supply places that offers rewards for recycling. Read newspapers and journals online instead of purchasing the paper copies. Find Ways To Use Less Energy There are several ways you can cut energy in the office. While most will only save you a few pence a week together they can add up to big savings over time. Turn the thermostat down just one or two degrees. If you have a programmable thermostat then set it so that the heat or air comes on just a short while before the work day begins and automatically shuts off or at least lowers shortly after the work day ends. Make sure that routine maintenance is done on your heating and cooling system and that filters are checked, cleaned, and replaced as needed. Check to see if your older building could benefit from added installation. Turn off your computer equipment, copiers, faxes and other electrical appliances in your office. Keep shredders, coffee pots and other appliances shut off and unplugged when not in use. Turn out the lights in the office kitchen and bathroom areas when not in use. Switch to energy saving light bulbs. If possible allow workers to work from home one or two days a week, this will drastically cut down on the power being used in the office each month. Order products from companies that deliver. This will save you petrol money as well as time. Encourage employees to car pool to help reduce their own cost for petrol. Save On Travel Expenses and Fuel When ever possible instead of travelling to meetings across town or around the country set up teleconferences. This will save travel fuel and expenses and also will make more use of everyone's working hours as they won't be spending a portion of their productive time tied up in travelling to various meeting. Other Things You Can Do To Help The Environment There are several other things you can do to help the environment and your business. You can start a recycling bin for cans and bottles at work. You can also encourage your employees to take part in local recycling efforts in their communities and you can take part as well. You can post a blog on ways to recycle on your website to help other businesses and customers as well come up with environmentally sound products and ideas. Being environmentally in tune will not only help the environment and your community but, it will also help your business save money as well.

The Death Knell Has Sounded For The Yellow Pages: What's Next For Advertising?

The Death Knell Has Sounded For The Yellow Pages: What's Next For Advertising? The yellow pages have been becoming more and more obsolete with each passing year. The cost of advertising in the telephone book has been increasing while the number of people getting their business information from these types of published pages has been rapidly decreasing. This means if your main advertising has been done through the yellow pages you may be left high and dry unless you consider putting your advertising revenue to better use. This means that you have to put that old fashioned advertising mind set aside and go with the flow. Let's face it the Internet is the place to be and if you haven't yet accepted that fact you had better consider doing so fairly quickly unless you want your business left in the dust. Studies have shown that people looking for local businesses and products use the Internet to find those products and businesses most of the time. So, if you want your business to get the attention it deserves then you have to go where the searches are being done. How Do I Advertise My Business On The Internet? The best way to advertise your business via the Internet is to have a well designed business website. Sure having a professionally designed website will cost you a few pounds but it is better than pouring those hard earned advertising dollars into phone book yellow pages advertisements that won't be seen by the vast majority of potential customers. Just make sure that the company who creates your website design are experts in SEO. SEO stands for search engine optimization and is the number one tool for rating your business website high up in the rankings where it will receive the maximum amount of views. The more people who find your website the more visitors it will get and the greater your chances of making a sale. There is no better time than the present to make the changes necessary to keep your business alive and thriving and having a SEO business website is the number one way to start increasing those sales and putting your advertising money to good use.

Using Twitter To Market Your Business: How Tweet It Is

Using Twitter To Market Your Business: How Tweet It Is Small businesses with limited marketing pounds need to find innovative ways to market their business and products at little or no upfront costs.  Social networking sites are one great way to market your business for free and Twitter as one of the most popular sites is a great place to start. What Is Twitter For those of you who don't already know, Twitter is a social website where people interact with their friends called followers in small 140 character status messages known as Tweets.  This is called micro blogging and if used correctly can be an effective way for small businesses to connect with current and potential customers and clients.  However, in order for Twitter marketing to be effective there are a few tips and tricks you should know, here are a few helpful suggestions. Take the time to create an online presence Don't just sign up for a twitter account and then start selling your business and products. Start out with just some friendly conversation and developing some people to follow and followers of your own. You can casually mention your business in these conversations but, don't go for the hard sell at this point. However, don't hesitate to make full use of your profile page by posting your business and pictures of it on your profile.  That way when new followers check your profile they will learn of your business. Get Your Followers Involved Once you have established yourself as a Twitter regular (don't overdo this a few tweets a day is sufficient) then get your followers involved by asking questions or taking a few polls.  They will be touched that you are asking their opinion and will be much more open to finding out more about your business. Start Announcing Sales And Promotions In a Friendly Manner. Keep the announcements simple and make them sound more like conversation than a sales pitch. For example you can tweet something like “Busy day today getting ready for our store wide 40% off sale.” Never underestimate the soft sale approach for peaking peoples interest. Answer All Questions Related To Your Business People are going to start asking questions about your business, some to simply make conversation others because they are truly interested in the goods or services you are providing.  Showing that you are willing and able to answer all their questions openly and honestly will help you acquire customers. This is really your chance to promote your business through Twitter. All Things In Moderation Promote your products, inform your followers of sales, contests, and special promotions, show you are an expert when it comes to your business but, do all these things in moderation.  If you post too many tweets too frequently you will be considered a spammer and will lose followers and potential customers as well.  There is a fine line between selling your business and products and becoming a bore to other Twitter users.  Make sure that you don't cross the line or all your efforts will be wasted. The key to using Twitter to promote your small business is to be balanced, being interesting and friendly with being professional.  You also want to balance informing your followers of deals and promotions that may be helpful to them in some way more than trying to hard sell your business or products. Remember even though there are several other businesses being promoted on Twitter it is first and foremost a social networking site so the more social you can keep your business marketing plan on Twitter the more business you are likely to get.  Just take your time and proceed slowly until you get a feel for how everything works and then once you understand how everything works you can go full steam ahead.

Get Your Business On The Map: The Google Map That Is

Get Your Business On The Map: The Google Map That Is Google has become the most powerful search engine on the Internet and it continues to grow daily. Almost 60% of all people doing Internet search use Google to conduct their searches and a full 1/3 of those using the Google search engines use it to find businesses in the area around them. What's more people who are visiting locations also use Google to find local businesses they want to visit. What this means is that getting your business on Google's local map and using that map effectively can bring a ton of new customers to your doorstep.  Getting started is simple and easy.  Just follow these steps. Submit and claim your business on Google's local listing.  It is easy to submit your business to the Google local listings and in some cases your business may already appear in the listing and all you need to do is claim it.  Then once you confirm that the business is indeed yours you have the ability to update your listing. Be sure to include the actual address of your business and your local phone number. Make sure that you have the correct category tags and that these tags are tags people are likely to type in during searches. For example, if your business is a bed and breakfast then your search tags should include terms like BB, Lodging, accommodations. Also include one of your categories in the title of your business claim.  Instead of just entering Jennifer's By The Bay you might want to enter something Like Jennifer's lodging by the bay or Jennifer's by the bay lodging. Make sure you fill out the description page.  This will give customers the information they feel they need  to know about you and your business.  Make sure you include information that makes your business seem like the ideal choice such as family accommodations, pet allowed, playgrounds and other items of interest. Show off your business to it's best advantage by posting photographs or even a video showing the inside and outside of your business and people enjoying themselves or your products. Ask for customer reviews.  Good reviews helps to build trust between you and your potential customers and give them a familiar feeling about your business which will make them more comfortable. Make sure that your business website has the same information as your Google map listing. Your businesses physical address, phone number and pictures of your business should appear on your homepage. Having a Google map listing is like having 24/7 advertising working for you.  A Google listing makes your business easy to find and appealing for those looking for the products or services that you are offering.  It helps you stand out from the crowd and when combined with other marketing strategies can help to increase your business by leaps and bounds. By making your business as easy as possible for potential customers and clients to find, you increase your business base and make your business seem even more attractive to potential customers.

Does Your Website Need A Make Over?

  Does Your Website Need A Make Over? They say nothing good lasts forever and that is certainly true of websites.  With the fast paced changes in technology and the internet in order for your website to continue to be an effective marketing tool it needs to stay both modern looking and functional.  Does your website need a makeover? Here are some dead giveaways that it does. Your Web Design Looks Old Fashioned. New technology and innovative ideas have taken web design to a whole new level in the last few years.  This means that your business website that you set up five years ago using the latest available designs at the time is now old news.  It no longer looks fresh and cutting edge but, rather like some old dinosaur.  If this is the case with your website it is time to consider having it redesigned in keeping with the modern Internet world. Your Business Has Outgrown Your Website. You got your website to help your business grow and your website has done the job that it was designed to do almost too well.  Your business has become a household name and has outgrown your current website. Rather than lose all that great business it is time to have your website designed to keep up with your current business and help you expand even more. Your Business Website Is Not As User Friendly As It Once Was-New technology has brought faster Internet speeds and new and more user friendly software increasing the speed and the convenience of Internet browsing. Which means that your website just may be out of date and less user friendly than it once was.  If your website: Loads slowly Has outdated back links Is difficult to navigate Has an older processing and payment system that is slow and difficult to follow Then customers aren't going to waste their time waiting around.  The newer technology has made it possible for people to browse the Internet faster than ever before and they simply aren't going to have the patience to deal with a slow running website regardless of how great your products or services are. Your Business Website is Getting Less And Less Traffic? From time to time search engines change the way they do searches which can result in websites that were once front page on a search falling further and further from the top of the pile.  If your website is showing less and less traffic then it is time to get it redesigned to meet the changes in the SEO trends. Your Website No Longer Seems To Connect With Your Visitors. It used to be that all you had to do was offer great products and services to connect with those people visiting your web page.  However,  with more and more social websites becoming the norm and people making virtual friends all over the world they want to feel that every website they visit is run by someone they feel they know and trust.  If your website doesn't post pictures of you and your staff, does not have a blog where you keep potential customers updated about your business and community involvement it simply doesn't connect with your visitors. If you have become a faceless entity in the Online world you are going to need to make some changes. You also want to make sure that your website has not become too boring.  It needs to relate to your target audience in a personal way and you want your site to show the enthusiasm you feel towards your products and services.  Your visitors need to feel that you love what you do. Your Site Is Still Getting Visitors But, Not Netting You Any More Business.  If your site is still getting plenty of views but, no one is purchasing what you have to offer then you certainly are going to need to redesign your website.  You want to make sure that your website clearly shows potential customers how they will benefit from your goods or services.  Today's Internet customers don't want to spend time figuring out whether or not they need a product or how it will benefit them and their families.  They want you to tell them straight out.  Then they want you to explain to them exactly what they need to do such as order the product or call your business to get the desired benefit. The only way to keep your business website working for you and helping you to make the profits you deserve is by keeping your website updated and modern.  In some cases this may only take a few minor changes, in others a complete overall.  In either case it is important that you take the time and make the effort to identify any problems that your website is having and get them corrected as soon as possible. Let your website help your business move into the future.

How Much Does It Really Cost To Have A Website Professionally Designed?

How Much Does It Really Cost To Have A Website Professionally Designed? If you talk to 20 different businesses you will probably get 20 different answers on how much having a website designed costs. The fact is while most website designers can give you a basic fee for your website design there are several factors that can raise that fee.  Let's take a look at some of the factors that influence the cost of having that website professionally designed and built. The Purpose You Need A Website For Personal websites need fewer pages and options than do business websites so you can expect to pay more for your business website than what your neighbor did for that personal website.  However, even among business websites prices are going to vary a lot depending on what you need a website for.  If your business website is just to help people doing a search find where you are located and give a little information about your business and little else then of course you can expect to pay less than you would for a website that gives you the ability to process orders and accept payments online or has hundreds of products for customers to browse through. How Much Do You Want Your Website To Stand Out? You also have to understand the price you pay for your web design is going to be partially based on all those extra features that you want added to help your website stand out.  While most professional website designers are dedicated to giving you an attractive website at a reasonable price, if you are going to want to add complicated flash ads and over the top graphics you can expect to pay more for those things. This means that you need to weigh the benefits between the extra cost and how much extra business you feel that you will gain by standing out from the rest of your competition. How Fast Do You Want Your Website Up And Running? Web designers are skilled professionals who are dedicated to getting your website up and running in a reasonable length of time.  However, there is also an art to designing web pages and your web designer is dedicated to making sure that your website is both artistic and functional.  Giving your web designer ample time to accomplish this goal is always best.  However, if you want your website up and running yesterday, then be prepared to pay a significant amount more in order for them to keep up with a rushed order. Before actually hiring a web designer it is best to actually take the time to talk to the company tell them exactly what you are looking for and how quickly you want to have your website up and running.  Give them as much information as possible and find out what their basic web design package includes and what it will cost.  Then find out what additional charges might arise and why.  Knowing exactly what to expect for your hard earned money will help you to make the important decisions regarding your website. However, keep in mind that your website is an investment into the future of your business and paying a little more now may actually help your make larger profits in the future. Contact us for more information!

Understanding Modern Marketing Techniques And How They Work

Understanding Modern Marketing Techniques And How They Work It wasn't all that long ago when the small business was at the mercy of those big businesses that had big advertising budgets to spend on television and print media.  It was often difficult for most small businesses to grow simply because they lacked the advertising budgets to compete with those large businesses who had literally thousands of pounds to spend a week on advertising while your advertising budget was lucky to reach a thousand pounds or so in a year. However, online marketing has redefined marketing trends and has evened the playing field giving the smart small business owner a way to increase his business without spending thousands upon thousands of pounds in advertising dollars.  Instead of turning the pages of print magazines or turning to television to provide them with the latest in products and services today's consumers are turning more and more to the Internet. Those businesses that have attractive and functional web pages with all the right information on them are going to get the jump on potential customers business. In order to use a business website effectively you need to know what customers look for when they visit your website.  Here are some of the more important things that customers want to find quickly when they visit your web page.  Information  about your business.  An about us page that explains a little bit about who you are as a business and shows the people (pictures) behind the business mask. The services or products your company offers and how those services or products can personally benefit the customer and their lives. Not only do people want to know what the price of the product or service is but, they also want to know how that price compares with products and services from other companies. Potential customers want to see a helpful question and answer page that answers most of the questions they might have about a given subject or product. They also want to see what other customers think about your products, your services and your company. So make sure your web page has testimonials that potential customers can read. Customers also want to know what guarantees you offer on your products or           services. Where to get more information.  Be clear and concise about where they can find out more about the products, services, ingredients of products or anything else they might want to know in order to make their visit to your website simple and easy. Contact information. Even with today's online services there are times when      potential clients want to talk to a real person so having the location of your business, your phone number and email address will make it easy for a potential customer to reach you. Meeting Customer Needs Through Your Website When you understand how to meet the needs of your customer through your website you can actually save on advertising by meeting their needs online.  Why spend thousands of pounds printing flyers and posters when you can use your website to get the message out to all your potential clients in a matter of minutes. By choosing to target a certain niche your website can be refined to reach those customers who are most likely to do business with your company without you having to hope that these customers are the ones seeing your flyers or other print media. Best yet, by knowing what a customer expects you can sell digital information even when your business is closed as well as take orders for other products and services.  This means that not only does your website serve as a modern marketing tool but, can actually process orders for you while you sleep or attend to other business. While your website can serve as a marketing tool by itself you can also use it for other marketing campaigns as well such as blogs posts or email campaigns.  Online marketing not only allows you to compete with those large businesses but, also allows your business to become known to people all over the world if that is your goal.  Using modern marketing techniques will help you to grow your business and your business profits as much as you want as rapidly as you would like.  Contact us for more information!

Business Blogs, A Surprising Marketing Tool

Business Blogs, A Surprising Marketing Tool You probably think of blogging as something young people do to share their interests with friends all around the world.  Blogs can be used for that purpose, but they also make a surprising marketing tool.  If your website is deigned to allow you to run your own blog then why not use that blog to inform the public, give your business a more personal face and increase your profits all without costing you anything but, a little time and effort. Here's how to use a good blog as an effective marketing tool. Use Your blog to teach and update your customers about your industry. By teaching and updating your customers about what is going on in your industry you are showing them that you have a passion for the business you are in and that you want to stay current with the   technology and new products and services in your business. If you attend seminars or classes in your business field, why not write about the experience. Current and potential customers will be impressed with your dedication to your business. Use Your Blog to Mention your community activities. Blogs are a great place to talk about your ongoing roll in the community. Post pictures of yourself and even some of your customers supporting your local theater or charity event. Show a video of the kids in            your neighborhood enjoying that Christmas party or Easter Egg hunt that you helped to sponsor. Use Your blog to create excitement over a new product you will be manufacturing, offering or   a sale you are preparing for. Don't under estimate just how much interest you can generate in your business when you show enthusiasm for something that is new that          will somehow benefit your customers. Use your blog to build a personal relationship between you and customers. Not                only should you post pictures of yourself occasionally but, you should include videos as well.  Also make sure that your blog is written in a personal voice as though you are telling your friends about your company. Don't gear your blog to everyone but, rather                 think about the target audience you are trying to reach. Encourage your readers to ask   questions and then answer them promptly. The more interactive your blog is the more your customers will feel like your friend and the more invested they will become in your success.  Most people prefer doing business with someone they know and trust or at least feel like they know and trust so the more friendly your blog is perceived, the more likely it is that your business will increase. Remember that search engines love blogs. Learn a little about SEO and keep your blog fresh and interesting.  Search engines love blogs because they often relate the newest trends and ideas on  the web. Using a blog to market your business will take some devotion from you but, in the long run it can become one of your best marketing tools. If your website doesn't already have blog capabilities talk to a web designer and find out about adding one.  The one time cost of having a blog added to your website will pay for itself a thousand times over. Contact us for more information!

Are You Paying Too Much For Your Website Design?

Are You Paying Too Much For Your Website Design? You know that having your business website designed by a professional company isn't going to be cheap but, what about the other side of the coin.  How do you know if you are paying too much for your website design?  The answer is really quite simple, a professionally built website will meet your business needs.  If it doesn't then you are paying too much for that web design.  Here is what your website should do in order to be worth all those pounds you have paid for it. Your Website Should Be Easy To Find Your web design company should know and understand search engine optimization. If your website isn't easy for potential customers to find with a simple search then it isn't going to do you any good. If your web design team doesn't have SEO expertise then you are paying too much for a website that will do you little or no good. Your Website Should Be Attractive and Uncluttered. Graphics are nice but, if your web page is filled with too many flashy graphics and advertisements then potential customers are not going to be able to get a clear idea of the message or products you are trying to deliver.  While you don't want your website to look spartan you do want it to look neat and the message about your business to stand out. Your Website Needs To Be User Friendly You want your website to be easy to navigate.  Most potential customers like to browse a site and if they find something they like then they will often buy on the spur of the moment.  If finding your products is frustrating and ordering what they want is too time consuming your potential customer will move on to another business website that is more user friendly.  So, if a potential customer is turned off because they have difficulty navigating your website then you are definitely paying too much for your web design. Fast Loading Of Pages Customers want immediacy.  If your website has so many graphics and gadgets on it that it moves from page to page slowly then your potential customers simply aren't going to want to hang around waiting for those pages to load.  They will lose interest and move on to something else rather than spending time waiting for a slow moving website. Your Website Should Be Easy For You To Add Additional Content To. Part of the reason for having a business website is so that you can keep your loyal customers updated on changes to your business.  You want to inform them regarding special offers, sales, discounts, contests and even what you are doing to help the community.  You want to be able to add content quickly and without having to go back to the designer each time you need to make changes in your content. Your Website Should Be Geared For Your Target Audience Your website should be designed for the people you are trying to reach.  If you are selling health care products you don't want a web design that is more suited to a clothing company or to a site selling video games to teenagers. If your web design company really doesn't understand what your business is all about and who your business is geared towards then you are going to end up paying way too much for a website that is useless to you and to your business. Your Website Should Be Designed To Allow For Email Marketing In order to make your money out of your web design, your website should be designed to allow you to collect names and emails addresses of current and potential customers.  If they don't buy from you on a first visit to your website you want to be able to apprise them of special deals, sales or new products that may encourage them to do business with you in the future. Your Website Should Work For You Even When Your Business Is Closed To get the full benefit of a business website your website should be working for you even when you are not working.  If your goal is to have a website that processes orders around the clock 7 days a week then make sure that your web design is set up to make ordering and paying for items as simple as possible. A Good Design Web Company Guarantees Satisfaction If your website does not perform the tasks you need it to perform then you are paying too much for your website design.  That is why a good design company will guarantee their work and will keep creating new designs until you are 100% satisfied with how your website functions.  In order to do this your web design company should meet with you and make sure they have a clear understanding of your business and your business goals.  They should take the time to explain how each function in your website works and test out each function as it is included in your web design. Keep in mind that if you are paying for professional web design services then the company you choose must have the experience and the skill to provide the type of website that meets all of your business needs. Contact us for more information!

Effective Business Marketing: The Dos And Don't Of An Email Campaign

Effective Business Marketing: The Dos And Don't Of An Email Campaign Today people are relying more and more on their computers and the Internet to be entertained or simply to get the news. This gives businesses an attractive and low cost way to market themselves. Email campaigns can be an effective marketing tool but, there are some dos and don'ts you need to know about email marketing. Do start building your own email marketing list from those customers you have currently. It is never good to purchase customer lists from outside your business. Do take the time to survey your clients and make sure that they will be interested in being a part of an email campaign and find out what products and services, sales and promotions they will be most interested in hearing about. Don't include customers in your email campaign that clearly state they do not want to receive emails. This will only annoy those customers and may end up actually losing you business. If your business has several types of services or products you may want to refine your email advertising and send different emails to suit the different interests of your clients. Don't assume that one size fits all. Do Use The Subject Line Of The Email Effectively If you want your customers to open that email then you need to use the subject line to gain their attention. Otherwise they will simply delete it and your efforts will all be for naught. Tell them exactly who you are and what the email is about. For example, your subject line might read: Barclay's Spring Fling Sale or Betty's beauty boutique free wash and set with a premium manicure. Having a good idea what the email is about will make your customer more interested in seeing what you are offering. Do Keep The Body Of The Email Short and Sweet and Tell the Customer What You Are Offering Right Upfront. Using the Barclay's spring fling sale as as example the body of your email should tell them that you are offering a spring sale then include bullet points on what the sale savings will be. Such as: 40% on selected home items 20% off all cleaning supplies 10% off garden tools Don't Be long winded or include information not likely to appeal to the customer. A long email may well lose their interest before they even start reading. Your email should only contain information that your client will find helpful or useful to them or their family. Do make your email personal and friendly. Use their name if possible. Also put your most important information first so even if they only glance at your email they will get the gist of what you are marketing. Do Have a clear call of action. Tell your customer what they should do next. Use terms like "order now and save" or "Don't miss these savings." Do provide links that your customer can just click on if you are selling from your website or want them to have a chance to view the items that will be on sale. The easier you make things for your customer the more likely they are to purchase from you. Do Include your business phone number and physical address. Local customers often like to shop in person and will appreciate the fact that you are supplying them with the information to do so. Don't send emails on Monday's. Most customers email boxes will be fullest after a weekend off and they aren't going to want to deal with any more emails than necessary. Sending those emails on Wednesday or Thursday will garnish a much better response. Do Make use of the P.S. To make a last minute offer or to restate your call of action. Many times when people just scan an email the P.S. Will catch their eye and grab their attention. Do follow up on your email campaign. You need to know how well the campaign is working and what you need to do to make it more effective. This may be something as simple as having your sales clerks ask how people heard about the sale, the new product or the special offers when they ring up the customers orders. Do Consider hiring a professional for your email campaign if you find you lack the time or the talent to run one yourself. The investment you make will more than pay for itself in terms of the profits you may see rolling in with a good campaign under way.

Thinking Outside The Box: Low Cost Marketing Ideas To Help Create Big Business Returns!

Thinking Outside The Box: Low Cost Marketing Ideas To Help Create Big Business Returns!   With more and more businesses operating on shoe string budgets these days, you simply may not have the advertising capital to compete with those big companies who seem to have unlimited capital for selling their business to the public.  However, that doesn't mean that you can't use a few Guerrilla marketing tactics to get your business headed towards bigger profits. What is Guerrilla Marketing Although the name Guerrilla Marketing sounds somewhat menacing this type of marketing isn't menacing at all.  Rather it is finding innovative ways to get your product noticed by the public without spending hundred of thousands of  pounds in advertising. Guerrilla marketing is simply using non mainstream techniques and locations to help market your business or profits.  Here are a few tried and true guerrilla marketing techniques you may want to try. Free Samples-Even  big name food companies use this advertising trick when introducing  products.  You've probably seen those people giving away samples in  your local grocery store. Most people love trying things for free  and if they like the samples they usually to pay their hard earned  money to buy more.  Of course you don't have to limit your give away  to stores try a booth at local festivals or fairs where people are  always hungry. For small food type products you can also offer buy  one get one free especially at festivals and fairs where there are a  lot of people in a small area all who want and need to be fed. Create A Limited Time  Competition.  You can do this  either with another co operative company or with your own sales  staff.  Provide a lot of cheap publicity for the even by using  posters or flyers and create a stir about the products that you want  the public to notice. You can even set up a community golf  tournament, basketball game, or other sporting event with other  companies to keep your name in the papers and in front of the  public. Make An Offer To A Well Known,  Publicized, and Attended Charity. Either  give money to the charity, help host the charity or offer one of  your products for a charity auction.  The free publicity you get  from doing any one of these three things will be worth far more than  spending thousands of pounds in advertising. Paper A Large Area. This  works great if you are having a grand opening or having a large sale  on a product.  Simply print flyers that tell about your business,  products, services, and the items on sale and then place them in  every business establishment in a large area.  People love getting a  deal and they will flock to your business to see what all the  commotion is about. Become An Expert In Community.   This works especially well for service type businesses. Vet's  publish articles on pet care and choosing a pet.  Beauty shops offer  tips on caring for hair and nails. If you offer a service and become  known as an expert in your field to the local population your name  and business will be the first they think of when wanting the  service you provide. Offer To Give A Presentation. Visit schools, libraries, and  clubs and offer to give a presentation about something interesting.   It doesn't have to relate to your business it can be about a  favorite hobby or something else the community may find interesting.   Then have your name, business and contact information printed on  the programs, flyers, and worksheets. Be A Noticeable and Active  Member of Your Community. Host  a blood or toy drive. Donate children's books to a local library and  then spend a Saturday afternoon being a reader. Host a walk-a-thon  and donate the money to a needed charity.  Become known as someone  who does not just do business in the community but, someone who  cares about the community they live in. Open Your Business To The  Public In Fun Ways. Encourage  children and their parents to visit your business for Halloween or  Easter and hand out non sweet treats such as pencils or balloons  with your advertising on it. Have a drawing for a money or product  prize.  Make the event fun for all by having your staff dress up in  fun Halloween costumes or as Easter bunnies. Use Social Media For All Your  Advertising. However, don't do  the hard sell. Post pictures from charity and other community  events.  Post pictures of your employee of the month, or other  interesting news items related to your community or business and  then when when you advertise those sales or new items people will be  more likely to shop simply because they feel as though they are part  of your social community not just some mark you are using to make a  sale. Don't Forget You Tube! You  really don't need to pay out all those pounds for local television  advertising when you can post your own advertising on You Tube for  free.  Of course, you want to be sure that your advertising is  witty, silly, or has some great angle that catches the eye and helps  your video go viral. The truth is that marketing a businesses doesn't have to be incredibly costly.  There is nothing that people like more than to see businesses who use the homespun and fun approach to marketing their goods and services and the best form of advertising is having a community spirit and let word of mouth and innovative ideas do the rest.

How Does A Business Website Increase Your Profits

How Does A Business Website Increase Your Profits   You've probably been told by other business people that having a business website can increase your profits.  However, in most cases they fail to tell you just how that website works to increase those profits mostly because most people know that a website works but, they simply aren't sure how.  However, knowing how websites work to increase profits will help you decide if a business website is right for you.  So here are a few ways that a business website can help increase your profit margin. A well designed website drastically increases the likelihood of your business attracting attention. If you have a  professionally designed website done by people who really know their  stuff then your website can reach potential customers all over the  world. Literally. Professional web designers know and understand SEO  and use all the tricks of the trade to ensure that your website is  picked up by search engines and is placed prominently in searches.   This means that your website can easily be found by millions of  people. Just think of the potential for sales with that many people  being able to see the products your company has to offer. Your website not only allows  people to see what products you have available but, also gives them  information about each product. No  one likes to purchase a product they know nothing about and let's  face it,flyers and other print media simply don't have the room to  offer potential customers a good product description and even  product reviews to help them make an informed decision.  However, a  website can give potential customers all the information they need  at just a click of the mouse. A well designed website works  even when you don't. That's  right your website can be designed to take orders and accept  payments on those orders even when your business itself is closed  for the day or over the holidays.  In fact, one of the best ways of  making a profit from your website is it's ability to make sales 24/7  meaning those late night shoppers can make their purchases at their  convenience not just during store hours. A well designed website makes  it easy for your customers to find what they want when they want it.  If your website is well  designed your customers can find exactly what they want easily and  simply from the comfort of their own home.  They don't have to  wander around store aisles searching for goods or products they  simply click their mouse a few times and find what they are looking  for. Best of all the items are shipped right to their door. Potential customers are lead  through what they need to do and how they need to do it. A well designed website leads potential customers step by step through  your website ending with a call to action that tells them exactly  what to do to buy your product, get put on a email list, or receive  a quote.  They don't have to guess what needs to be done next because everything is spelled out for them making it easy for them  to accomplish their goal and be on their way. Just remember in order for your website to increase your business profits it should be a well designed and easy to navigate website designed by people who are professionals and know how to help you get the most profit from your website design.  Choosing a website design company that puts your individual needs first is the best way to get those profits rolling in.

How Your Website Can Effectively Market Your Business

How Your Website Can Effectively Market Your Business   When potential customers or clients visit your website they do so looking for one simple answer.  How can this business help me or my family?  It's that simple.  People want to know what you can offer that will make their lives simpler or easier, give them the advice they need to save their child's education or how having your product can make life more fun or entertaining. If your website is going to effectively market your business it has to show them that you can help your customer or client because: You not only  understand their problem but, that you can offer them solutions to  that problem that have proven to work for others. You are not  just some faceless business out there.  This is a business of real  people with real dreams just like those your client or customer may  have.  Show this by pictures of you on your website and giving a bit  of interesting detail about you on the about us page.  Form a  connection with your potential clients by becoming a real person to  them, someone they can like and trust. You have  expertise they can use and you are willing to share it with them.   Include articles or videos on your web pages that tell your  potential customers or clients how to do something useful or offer  advice that may help them deal with a problem related to the  business you are in. For example, if your business is a beauty shop  then offer advice on some easy dos for long hair, or other advice  that your potential customer can really use.  If you offer products  why not offer real unbiased product reviews.  A customer is more  likely to buy from a company that offers them the real scoop on the  good products that are available and allows them to make an informed  decision. They can find  answers to the questions they have. Have a clear question and answer  page where the potential customer can easily find answers and if the  answers they are looking for are not there then allow them to email  you and reply back promptly so their problem can be solved or the  question answered without undue wait. Your web page  explains each and every product you carry in detail so your client  can find out exactly what they want to know about any given product  without having to guess. You've done  the research so they don't have to.  Many customers have emotional  reasons for wanting something but, want facts to back up their  reasons.  However, doing the research to find the facts they need is  often frustrating when a customer wants something and wants it NOW.   So do the research and give them all the good reasons why your  product is an excellent buy.  The more facts you have to back up  their impulses the more likely they are to purchase the product.  If  they have to take the time to research for themselves they are much  more likely to change their mind. You have  glowing testimonials from past or ongoing clients that rave about  both your products and your services.  You want to include those  testimonials that speak highly of how you have personally helped  them and when things have gone wrong how you have gone out of your  way to make things right. You give  clear directions for what they do next next.  Directions such as  enter your email if you want notifications for sales, newsletters or  free ebooks giving advice. Other directions may include urging them  to call for price quotes or to order by clicking on pay here. Most people want to do business with companies that have a human face, that are trust worthy and that make things as easy as possible for them.  If your website is doing all that then it is an effective marketing tool for your business.  If it is falling short, then it is not too late to get your website re-designed to make it as effective as it can be.

Effective Marketing Strategies That Really Work!

Effective Marketing Strategies That Really Work! You can understand your business inside and out however, without some good marketing strategies it will be difficult for your business to grow and to be as successful as you would like it to be. Keep in mind that there are many effective marketing techniques that can earn you money without taking too many pounds out of your pocket.  Here are some marketing strategies that have been proven to work. Begin by creating a marketing plan for the entire year. Like anything else you need to plan your marketing strategies for an extended period of time and then follow through on them.  To create a marketing plan first decide how much you can afford to spend on your marketing campaign then find ways to put those hard earned pounds to work getting the most for your money. Create or update your web page. The very best way to reach millions of customers without spending millions of pounds is by having or updating your web page to attract customers from all over the world. Make sure that your website is search engined optimized to make it easy to find and that it has a variety of information that keeps people coming back time after time. Give your business a human face. People like doing business with people not faceless businesses.  So take the time to give your business a face.  One great way of doing that is by creating a blog with your picture and then posting information that your customers and potential customers will find interesting. Meet your customers needs.  If your website has a place where customers can make comments or pose questions, focus on what customers say they would need or like, to enjoy doing business with you even more and then implement changes based on those needs.  Customers will feel all the more special that you went out of your way to create a product or service that they find really useful. Reward customer loyalty. One great way to ensure that you keep your old clients or customers while adding new ones is to reward customer loyalty.  You can do this by offering a bonus or discount to clients who bring in new business or who do a lot of business with you.  Customers who are rewarded for their loyalty become more loyal and often recommend your business to others.  Don't under estimate the amount of free advertising word of mouth from loyal customers gives your business. Join a Social Network. Joining a social network can be a great way to increase your business and you can do it simply by making friends online. You wouldn't believe the opportunities you will have to mention your business without the need for hard sell tactics that so often turn potential customers away.  Keep in mind that the "status" area is a good place to mention sales or special products or services you may be offering. Offer a Contest. Everyone loves a chance to win something even if it is only recognition. Holding a contest can cost you a small amount in prizes but increase sales for products by leaps and bounds. A contest can be anything from a food establishment holding a cook off, to a craft store rewarding a contestant for the most innovative craft using certain crafting materials to a business offering customers discounts for referrals or for spending the most money in their shop for the month. You can also hold contests for naming a new product or product line or even for the salesperson who makes the most sales.  One great contest that keep those pounds rolling in is to make a video or have a customer tell why they like doing business with you then give everyone a small prize with larger prizes going to the best 5. You can then post these glowing testimonials on your website which will attract even more customers to your business. Say a Periodic Thank you to your customers. Everyone wants to feel appreciated and saying thank-you to your customers every so often will have them feeling appreciative and doing even more business.  Thank yous can be as simple as taking the time to personally greet customers by name and ask about their families, to sending them holiday greeting cards, to offering them discounts or certain items. If you treat your customers like they matter to you, then you and the success of your business will matter to them. Make Higher Priced Items More Affordable. In order to sell those more expensive items that garner a high profit why not make those items more affordable by offering a payment plan so that your customers can pay for an item they want or need over a period of time.  You might also throw in something free.  For example if a client buys a more expensive charcoal grill why not throw in a set of grilling utensils or a bag of charcoal so they feel as though they are getting more than they paid for. Become active in your community. Join the neighborhood watch program, a book club, or sponsor a local charity event or sports team.  Hold a holiday celebration for the community or join in and donate to celebrations already established.  You'll be surprised how much becoming an active member of your community will increase people's awareness and support of your business. Don't Wait For People To Come To You.  Instead of waiting for business to come to you find ways to bring your business to various communities. Hire a booth at a festival or the local fair.  Offer free sample merchandise.  Show the community that you are willing to do what it takes to earn their trust and their business. Provide people with useful information. Write an online article or ebook that people can download for free that will tell them how to do something useful.  For example, if you run a car garage writing a short ebook telling people how to inspect a used car before buying it will provide them with information they can actually use and then when their car needs repairs they are more likely to view you as someone who can help them than just someone they pick out of a phone book.   You might even hold a class at your garage showing people what to look for when inspecting a used car.  This will make an even greater impression because you took the time to help them learn something useful. If possible accept competitors coupons or meet their prices.  It worked for other businesses and it can work for your business too.  By accepting coupons from other businesses or by meeting lower prices from another store you are giving potential customers two additional great reasons for doing business with you rather than with your competitor. It sends the customer the message that they are important to you and to your business and that you want to treat them right.  This is a pretty powerful message and is bound to help bring business to your door step. If you can afford it hire a professional writer to help meet your needs. A professional writer can make your web pages more persuasive as well as more informative.  Just as you know your business inside and out a professional copywriter can make your written work stronger and more appealing to potential customers.  Which in turn will bring you more business. The more effective and wide reaching your marketing strategies the more business you will bring to your company.  It really is that simple.