Best Resources for Small Businesses

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Marketing Ideas For Local Small Business

An essential tool that should be part of the small business marketing concept arsenal is the Internet. Although it can connect and send messages to people from all over the world, the newest trend is concentrating locally using ads and promotions. Some of the numerous local small business marketing ideas being utilized are banner ads with emphasis on the local market. Other methods used to general website traffic is by offering huge discounts or free promo items. A vital factor to follow up on your local small business marketing ideas is to ensure your website has online presence outside of its own domain or URL. In order to guarantee this, you need to get listed in search engines such as Google, Yahoo, MSN, etc. and be sure your contents are optimized to obtain higher page rankings.

A number of factors to take into account when creating a website that has local small business marketing ideas integrated are building SEO (Search Engine Optimization) enriched contents in online article directories like EzineArticles.com, ArticleBase.com, GoArticles.com, ArticleDashboard.com, etc. These websites are where you write articles about a certain product or service you are offering and promoting. It can be of huge advantage and would benefit your business if you expand your coverage in terms of target market trends.

Another thing that you should do is comment on blog posts as well as in forums, chat rooms and discussion boards related to what you are offering. Keep in mind that when creating articles or posting blog comments, make sure to select keywords that would bring up your website in search engines. Furthermore, this can be good for establishing marketing affiliates, which can be an extremely effective technique in local small business marketing ideas.

Those companies which concentrate on the same target market or have the same offerings can promote the other business and receive residual compensation every time a user purchases an item or clicks on the banner ad of the other company.

Internet marketing is a new trend involved in local small business marketing ideas. The promotional campaign must be based on the demographic and local area information of a user. Business owners can avoid costs associated with such advertising, but you need to understand that even if you have the best small business idea, it would be worthless if you do not implement or put it into practice.

Setting Up Shop – Starting a Small Business

Making the decision to set up shop as a new small business can be one of the most exhilarating, and yet also one of the most challenging for most people to make. Here are three suggestions to reduce some of the challenge associated with starting a new business venture:

  1. Choose businesses with lasting demand, whenever possible
  2. A new business based on a short-term fad can work for a little while. However, a lasting business should be based on trends which are more likely to be continuous, since fads will come and go. Even if the demand should change, a business based on an ongoing trends will be able to adapt more easily than one which is based upon only temporary events. Carefully consider customer characteristics (demographics, psychographics, etc.) to improve the selection of a business which has customers with lasting demand(s) for the products and services that you offer.

  3. Choose businesses in superior locations
  4. Some geographic areas will naturally be better locations for target customer markets. All else being equal, customers tend to prefer closer locations to those which are far away, unless your product or service is capable of being provided remotely, at little or no cost. Locating near customers who have established patterns of buying from your type of business is ideal, and most likely to result in better business results overall. Look for indicators (new housing developments, apartment complexes, etc.) which will closely match the target customer characteristics, and market segments you seek to win over.

  5. Choose businesses which are in high-growth industries
  6. All things considered, it is best to pick a business in an industry which is experiencing high growth, as it is much better to get some of an available market, as opposed to having complete dominance of a market where there are nearly no customers left to serve profitably. Entering high-growth markets can also lead to profitably specializing in sub-segments of that market, as your firm develops more expertise. However, also realize that every industry eventually experiences a slowdown as well, so be certain your business plan includes preparation for surviving the inevitable slowdown, once it does occur. Your business should be somewhat diversified by then, to reduce your risks of depending entirely on one market.

In summary, it is best to choose a business based on lasting trends, which is in a superior location, and which is in a high-growth industry. By doing so, you maximize the odds that your business will succeed, and last well into the future.

Copyright 2010, by Marc Mays

Monitoring Your Kids’ Social Media – Facebook and WhatsApp Tracking

Parents worry all the time about their kids on social media such as Facebook. If they become too intrusive, it will make them look awkward in front of their kids. If you too are struggling with the same situation, we understand your problem. There is a way to keep a check on your kids’ activities on Facebook and WhatsApp without hampering their social life online. Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp Tracking via any tracking app is what you need.

You can manage your kids’ Facebook account without enforcing any rules on them. Your kids will never know if you are aware of their Facebook conversations or fried circle. But you can keep a tab on your kids’ activities silently and let your kids enjoy a healthy and normal online social life. The same applies on the WhatsApp as well.

How Facebook tracking works

You can check every detail about your kid’s social life on Facebook and other websites without ever letting him know. You can have access to the Messages, conversations, media exchanged between your kid and his friends as well as other activities. All this can be checked remotely. You don’t need to ask for their smartphone or get into their personal computer to do all that.

All the activities on Facebook can be remotely checked then and there in the control panel. Now the good thing is that if your kid is outside, you can still check what they are up to on Facebook inside your home. The other noteworthy feature of tracking app is that you can track all the activities in the same date stamp and time. It means that you can do real time monitoring or tracking of Facebook account. This helps keep your kid secure and you can take timely action in case of any emergency as well.

How does WhatsApp tracking work?

The WhatsApp tracking lets you access all the chats or messages that your kid is exchanging with his/her friends. Not only this, the additional information can also be accessed so that you can know the name and contact of the sender and every other detail. This also lets you know the media exchange such as pictures or selfies shared by your kid at the exact time. So in other words, you can do real time monitoring of your kids’ activities on WhatsApp without letting them know and also check every detail of the sender.