The Benefits of This Small Business Marketing Method

In this digitalized world, technology has made it very easy to reach your targeted audience.

Small business owners are always looking for marketing that is credible, measurable and cost-effective!
Email marketing is imperative for the success of a business. What problem most businesses face? Simply said, most businesses don’t know how to do it right. Picking the best online marketing software for mass email has a direct impact on the success of your marketing campaign.

What is Email Marketing?

Email marketing is a term defining the action of businesses sending a message. This message is sent to a group of people through the electronic mail. It includes advertisements, sales or solicitation. Any email that helps in generating customer loyalty and trust in the product. Therefore, email is an efficient way to stay in touch with your customers and promote your business.

Moreover, with the help of small business email marketing, you can easily reach a wider range of clients. This saves money and time and provides a go-to database you can tap into when you have a special promotion or product announcement. It can be said that there is no guarantee that your message will reach 100% of your targeted audience, but then again no online marketing can guarantee that.

Let’s take a look at 10 reasons why sending email tops any form of online marketing.

Small business email marketing is beneficial for all the business regardless of their size.

Email has a Larger Reach
Most of the people believe that social media is the best way to reach an audience. But they don’t understand the importance of email. In 2013, the total number of email accounts was 3.9 billion. According to Radicati, there was a prediction that number of email accounts by 2017 will be 4.9 billion.
Furthermore, it can be said that email is the currency of the web. The reason is that whoever is online has an active email ID. Thus, there is no way better to than email to reach a wider range of customers. Email is growing at an exponential rate.

So You Have Decided to Sell Your Business – What Options Do You Have?

You have decided to sell your Business for 1 or more reasons – it could be because you have decided to relocate or emigrate; you may want to cash in after many years of hard work and retire; or you may have decided to move into a new venture.

Once you have made your decision to sell, you need to decide on the method you will employ to ensure a successful sale.

You only have 2 options to decide on –

1) Employ the services of a Business Broker or

2) Sell your Business yourself.

Having sold my own Businesses privately in the past, and having owned my own Business Brokerage and sold Businesses on behalf of clients, I am qualified to give an overview of the pros and cons of both methods.

Selling through a Business Broker:

– A qualified Broker can assist you with establishing the correct price for your Business in order to ensure a successful sale.

– Allows you the time to concentrate on running your business and preventing the possible decline of turnover and profits.

– A qualified Broker knows the most effective process to use from marketing your business, screening and qualifying leads, and negotiating the sale with an interested buyer.

– The Broker has the necessary documents to qualify potential buyers, and conclude a sale.

– Brokers usually charge a commission of 10% on the sales price of the Business. This could amount to a huge amount of money coming out of your pocket! You need to decide whether you are prepared to give away 10% of the selling price of your business!

– If a Broker in a Brokerage needs to meet his target, or is short of personal funds, he or she may push you to accept a lower offer for your Business to satisfy his/her needs.

Business Law Attorneys

This professional offers legal advice to persons who are involved in all aspects and stages of any business. Some of the things that business law attorneys do include:

• Make sure that there is compliance with all local business laws. If they do business internationally, they will make sure they comply with those laws too.
• Offer advice and file forms for each step from the formation of a business to the dissolution if necessary,
• Handle lawsuits
• Review and write contracts
• Create staff manuals
• Enforce polices or guidelines
• Cover all communications with the media

One important job of the such law attorneys is the formation of a new business. If there is more than one owner, they will advise them on the type of business they are forming. It could be a partnership, corporation, or limited liability company. When forming a business of any type it entails a concrete understand of the liability and tax implications of each kind of business. Once the business is formed, the attorney may be responsible for filing all of the yearly reports and other forms involved with the business with the different government agencies.

Many times businesses will use such a law attorney when they want to terminate or dissolve their business. This is done to ensure that the pre-established dissolution guidelines are followed correctly. The attorney may also handle new issues like a lien, a big number of assets, or an outstanding debt. Business law attorneys may also give advice on some of the daily happenings in a business. They may be asked to develop guidelines for human resource staff regarding the firing and hiring of employees. If an employee feels that they have been sexually harassed, discriminated against, or wrongfully terminated they may handle the lawsuit if one has been filed. They could work on the behalf of the employee or employer.

Sometimes business owners will call business law attorneys if they have questions about specific ways to save money such as whether they should own or lease a building. They may also want advice on where they can conduct their business to avoid having to pay high taxes, which is particularly true if they are thinking of expanding their business internationally.

Content Marketing for Your Small Business

A large part of engaging social media posts has great content. Just having a profile on multiple Social Media sites isn’t enough to keep followers engaged or attract new customers. To get and hold people’s attention, you need to post new, trending and engaging content consistently.

You’ve probably heard that your social media content should NOT be all promotional for your product or service. Mix it up! Have a variety of different content about a wide range of subjects.

So, what do you talk about across your Social Media Channels, if you aren’t supposed to sell, sell, sell? Try these topics, put your twist on them.

1. Company: Give insight to your business. If people are coming to your pages to learn about who you are and what you do, then some background information is a great place to start. Give your audience a better sense of what’s going on with your business and why they should be your followers.

Behind the Scenes Photos
Staff Showcase
Testimonials
Product Photos and Videos
Business awards and accomplishments
Business News – what’s new?
Product tutorials
Music Playlist – do you play music in your office? Showcase what you are listening to so your followers can appreciate your taste in music.
Company #tbt – Throw Back Thursdays are always fun! Share a photo from when your business was just getting started. Let your followers see how far you’ve come.
2. Audience Engagers: Social Media allows you to interact with a broad audience of customers and potential customers directly. Ask your followers to be engaged, start up a two-way conversation and let your customers know you are listening.

Fill in the blanks: My favorite product is___________ or If I had a Million dollars I would ___________ (Be creative)
Ask Questions
Hold Contests
Either or Debate: Everyone loves to share their opinion. Get people to weigh in using an either-or debate. Ask them a question about your company (think this product over that product) or about something that’s trending.
Audience Photos: Did your followers/customers attend a meeting/event, ask to see these types of pictures.
3. Business | Industry: Many people like to follow the 80-20 posting ratio. You should post about other stuff 80% of the time and only 20% about you. Show what you know and how your followers can learn from you.

Branding Success From the Inside Out

Why does a company need to be concerned about branding inside the organization? After all, isn’t branding supposed to be about how prospects and customers view your business?

Consider this. Won’t your customers have a better experience with your brand (aka your business) if your employees treat the customers exactly how you want, can accurately answer all customer questions and quickly resolve problems, and communicate how important each and every customer is to you? Of course they will!

So, what is internal branding? It is a strategy that establishes and strengthens your competitive positioning from within. Your internal branding objectives are to connect employees, board members (and volunteers if you are a nonprofit) to your brand; cultivate a passionate, highly engaged workforce; create a seamless, differentiated experience for your target audiences; and maintain your edge in the market (at a minimum) or surpass your competition (if you can).

Internal branding can yield dramatic results. When employees respond in ways that your target audiences expect, they reward you with business. Also, consistent, professional behavior is perceived as competence, particularly when there’s an expectation about a level of technical expertise. Haven’t you ever had an interaction with a business (electronics store, a bank, a billing department, health insurance company, navigating and completing an on-line transaction through a web-only business), and found yourself thinking “They obviously don’t know what they’re doing”? If you want repeat business, you better be sure that you can deliver on consistency.

Last, and certainly not least, information remains one of a company’s most valuable assets (after its employees) for achieving a competitive edge. Information comes from many sources and in many forms — formalized market research, comments from customers, and feedback from employees (what’s working, what’s not, how can we do it better). Once you have the information, then you have to evaluate it to decide what it means (identification of trends, problems, and opportunities). The more you inform your employees, the more your employees know how they can help your customers, prospects, and business partners. That’s how you generate repeat business and great referrals. It’s your direct line from the inside out.

Having an Authentic Brand – Using Social Networking to Create Brand Advocates

Remember marketing has changed. Consumers are no longer absorbing the volume of messages that are being pushed at them. It is now about having a dialogue with customers and being transparent about your brand. People are seeking out a brand’s believability before ‘making friends with it’ and becoming loyal consumers. Social networking has enabled customers to open a dialogue with brands and talk amongst themselves about brands. They also tell other people what they heard. In the past this was a conversation down the pub with a few friends but now it is using the internet megaphone and word quickly gets out if people don’t believe a brand is doing what it promises.

Here are my tips for creating brand advocates:

1. Always be prepared to hear both good and bad feedback from your customers/potential customers – don’t shy away from negative comments. If your brand is to be believed it has to be credible and it has to acknowledge feedback.

2. Ask those that come online to comment about your brand to tell you how it could be improved.

3. Imagine your brand is a human being. Brands have to ‘make friends’ with consumers now and not be arrogant and self promoting. Do you want to go for a drink with a pushy idiot.

4. If you make a mistake admit it. Many brands have hidden from bad news.

5. Have a dialogue with your consumers. Get out there and agree/disagree with them, but listen!

6. Ensure you are confident in your own product/brand. You can’t promote something you don’t believe in yourself. If you aren’t confident how can you expect other people to interact with your brand in a confident manner.

Online Brand-Building – Make Your Business # 1

Online Brand-Building is the process to integrate the entire online buying, browsing & conversion process into one continuous communication that is relevant to the consumers. A great online Brand Building process can work wonders if and only if the brand experience that results from the consumer integration is delightful.

Importance of Internet

Last few years have shown tremendous growth in Internet users and the way social networking and business networking can be used to provide infinite business opportunities worldwide. On Dec 31, 2000 the total number of internet users was only 360,985,492 including 4,514,400 in Africa, 114,304,000 in Asia, 105,096,093 in Europe, 3,284,800 in Middle East, 108,096,800 in North America, 18,068,919 in Caribbean & Latin America and 7,628,480 in Australia.

According to the latest data of internet users, the total internet users worldwide are 1,581,571,589 which is almost thrice the number on Dec 31, 2000. The latest trends for internet users is 54,171,500 in Africa, 650,361,843 in Asia, 390,141,073 in Europe, 45,861,346 in Middle East, 246,822,986 in North America, 173,619,140 in Caribbean & Latin America and 20,593751 in Australia.

The total population of world is 6,710,029,070 which means the penetration of internet is about 24% & growth is 338% during 2000-2008.

Online Brand-Building Process

1. Online Visual Appearance
2. Social Media Optimization
3. Press Release, Article Release and Video Release
4. Brand Monitoring

Online Visual Appearance : Online Visual Appearance of any business/product/service is consisted of two main features:

A. Website Development: Developing a website for listing products & services is very important to present amongst the prospective customers. At the same time some importance must be paid to provide details of existing clients, company values and other details of the organization. The Website must be so informative that almost every visitor can be turned to a client.

Should Marketers Promote Branding Or Benefits?

If you’re trying to sell a product or service, there are basically two ways to go. Either you put your marketing dollars into promoting your brand image, or you can try to convince prospects to purchase your product by making a rational case citing facts and benefits. Let me explain this a little further…

When we speak of promoting a” brand,” we’re not really talking about mere products sitting on a shelf. We’re actually referring to a set of beliefs that the prospect has developed about a product or company over time.

A brand, in other words, is a powerful mental franchise that stays deeply embedded in the prospect’s mind. For example, the Volvo brand has come to stand for safety. The Disney brand stands for wholesome, family entertainment. The FedEx brand stands for reliable delivery.

Benefit-oriented marketing, on the other hand, does not try to create or sustain a powerful “image.” Yes. It seeks to persuade by using emotion, just as branding does, but it also uses reason and logic. It does this by identifying problems that the prospect may be experiencing, and demonstrating that the product solves these problems. Virtually all direct marketing is benefits oriented.

Now comes an important question: Which marketing approach should you pursue? Should you try to build a brand, or should you attempt to sell customers with benefits- oriented arguments?

My answer may surprise you, and I’ll put it as bluntly as I can… Forget about branding!

Ah, yes. I know that endless books have been written about the importance of branding. And I know that business schools enthusiastically present case studies in branding strategies. And they are right to do so! The reason I think YOU should stop worrying so much about branding is that (very possibly), you can’t afford it.

That’s right. Penetrating a portion of a person’s belief system, embedding an enduring image in a person’s gray matter, costs BIG bucks.

For example, if I ask you to fill in the line: “You deserve a break today at __________,” you’d have to be in a coma not to know that the answer is “McDonald’s.” You came up with the right answer, of course, because McDonald’s has shelled out zillions of dollars in TV, radio, print, and outdoor media buys to pound the message home.

The Entrepreneur Said to Me – I Want Them to Send Me My PhD, I Am Smarter Than All of Them

The other day, I was at Starbucks talking with a small business person who had expanded their business, and had four offices in four different cities with about 150 employees. He had worked for over 30 years, and knew more about his business than probably 98% of the people in his industry. Indeed, I know a little bit about his industry, and I was blown away at how quickly he could answer my questions. He knew his business down solid.

Anyway, as we got to talking, another gentleman sat down with his newspaper, and he was listening to our conversation. For some reason we all exchanged business cards. You see, I am a retired franchisor who runs a think tank, and the gentleman I was talking to owns a heating, plumbing, and electrical business doing residential, commercial, and government contracts. When we looked at the business card for the other gentleman, it showed him to be a professor with a PhD. After he left our conversation turned from his industry, to the individual we just talked too.

The entrepreneur said to me, half jokingly; “I want them to send me my PhD, I’m smarter than all of them, and I have a 30 year degree in the school of hard knocks, and who is that business professor to tell me how to run a business, when he’s been teaching school for 20 years?”

Indeed, I chuckled, because I totally agree. In fact, I started my company when I was 12 years old, and built it up, and eventually franchised it. I had business plans for every subsector of my business, and thousands of pages of manuals that I wrote myself. I franchised my company in 23 states and 450 cities, and I asked; “Yeah, where’s my PhD?”

You see, what bothers entrepreneurs about business professors with PhD’s who have never done anything, and yes, there are those that have, and they are excluded from this conversation – is that while they are reading textbooks, and giving lectures to their students about theory, we are out in the real world doing it, and modifying our businesses along the way, so who is the true expert?

Worse, many of these PhD business professors get involved in economic development associations, politics, and they go to committees assisting government on how to regulate the very businesses they’ve never been involved with. As far as I’m concerned that’s absolutely inexcusable, unacceptable, and probably why we don’t have a good job recovery, even as our recession appears to be over. Indeed I hope you will please consider all this and think on it.

Biography of Scots Entrepreneur Willie Haughey

The Early Years

After leaving school at 15 with no qualifications, Scot entrepreneur Willie Haughey succeeded in building the biggest privately owned facilities management company in Europe with a turnover of over £400 million.

From a fledgling operation with just four employees in 1985, to a global giant employing 11,000 people, Glasgow-based entrepreneur Willie Haughey grew from a working-class Gorbals boy to the largest private employer in Scotland.

Delivering milk kept him in pocket money before the young Willie finally landing an apprenticeship with local firm Turner Refrigeration. After developing his engineering skills at Springburn College, Willie spent two and half years in Abu Dhabi, working on of lucrative air conditioning contracts for UTS Carrier (USA), in the oil-rich United Arab Emirates.

But Willie didn’t stop there – using his spare time to plan and establish contacts he laid the foundations for his own empire back home in Scotland.

With £70,000 of start-up capital and Willie’s life savings, City Refrigeration was born in 1985. The big idea – start a refrigeration company that specialised in installing and servicing cooling systems for the drinks industry.

Willie’s determination and an self-belief, finally led to a breakthrough contract with major brewers Tennent Caledonian and the beginning of the success story. Before long every major brewer in Scotland were onboard, and propelled City Refrigeration into the fast lane as one of the fastest-growing private companies in Europe.

City Refrigeration Expands

In 1996 William Haughey had a stroke of genius that transformed City from being a moderately successful refrigeration business into a hugely successful facilities management company, with clients worldwide.

Following successful maintenance contracts for supermarket giant Asda in Scotland and the North of England, City Refrigeration’s stellar performance resulted in having their contract rolled out to every Asda store in the whole of the UK.

Hot on their heels, several other major British companies such as House of Fraser, Waterstones and Ladbrokes now also appoint City, and with promising new opportunities opening up in the Middle East and Australia, plus longer-term plans to break into the US market, Willie confidently predicts that turnover will more than double over the next few years.