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Your Local Small Business Online Marketing Funnel

Posted on July 1, 2019 in Uncategorized

Marketing your business online is all about showing that you have something to offer your visitors that your competitors do not have. Marketing your small business online means reaching out to your current customers as well as prospective customers and setting yourself apart.

Successful small business Internet marketing is all about establishing relationships. Just as customers in your brick and mortar store have a chance to come in and get to know you, online customers need to be given the chance to learn more about what you do and to decide that they want to do business with you.

This is where the concept of your small biz online marketing funnel comes in. Your small biz online marketing funnel is a means by which you can – over time – find new customers and increase your small business sales.

Your small biz online marketing funnel is not unlike the local small business marketing that you undertook when you first opened your business in its physical location. First you needed to choose a location and to get that location ready. You ordered the supplies you needed. Then you started advertising. On opening day, it’s likely that you had a product giveaway – a keychain, a coffee mug or maybe even a t-shirt – as well as a coupon giveaway, something that would entice your customer to come back.

Your small biz online marketing funnel works in much the same way: you choose a domain name and build your website, or have your website built for you. You’ll get everything that you need in order – including a free or low-cost giveaway. And then you will begin marketing your small business online.

It is important to remember that your website is your virtual business. All of the Internet ads that you place will bring traffic to your page, so be sure to use the page wisely.

Use your homepage to tell prospective customers about your business – share your mission statement, share customer compliments. Use a page of your website to let your current and prospective customers know more about who you are and what you believe in. Focus both on your business and on establishing a relationship with your customer.

Drawing prospective customers in to your website brings them into the widest part of your small biz online marketing funnel; allowing them the opportunity to get to know you begins to draw them down into the funnel.

However, you do not want them to make it to the second level of the funnel and stay there, just as you do not want customers at your physical location to walk in and walk back out again. This is why you should plan – as part of your small business Internet marketing campaign – to draw them into the next smallest area of your small biz online marketing funnel.

You do not need to offer a physical giveaway. Instead, continue to build relationships with your site visitors by offering them something of value. Offer them free articles about products and services that your small business offers. Set up a newsletter that will allow you to communicate valuable information (as well as special offers) to them at specified intervals.

Doing so allows you to take an important step towards increasing sales: it allows you to establish a relationship. By consistently providing your subscribers with information or coupons that are valuable to them, they will begin to recognize you and your company as a company that they want to do business with, and they will look forward to hearing from you.

You will be able to encourage them to do business with you by promoting low-cost front-end products. Now, rather than a free article that gives your prospective customers a little bit of information, turn them into your new customers by offering low-cost products. Low-cost front-end products such as e-books that provide useful information about important topics within your industry – and further establish your credibility and the customers’ trust – will help to draw those customers down to the smallest level of your small biz online marketing funnel.

For instance, let’s say you own and operate a local floral shop. A perfect low-cost front-end information product that you could offer to your customers to draw them further into your sales funnel would be an e-book with planting tips for growing flowers in your local area. Customers who purchase your low-cost e-book will find value in the information, increasing the likelihood that they will purchase additional, higher priced products from you as well.

The last level of your small biz online marketing funnel is the place that you want your new customers to be: it’s the stage where your free and low-cost front-end items, along with your newsletters and other marketing, will increase sales of your high-cost, back-end products and services.

This is the goal of your small business Internet marketing: to find prospective customers, establish a relationship and increase sales. To recap, your small biz online marketing funnel works like this:

o Build and Market Your Website to Draw in Prospective Customers

o Engage the Prospective Customer

o Establish Trust with a Giveaway

o Establish a relationship using a newsletter and special offers

o Encourage small, low-cost front-end sales

o Make the big-ticket sales of your products and services

Through this process, and by continuing to market your site to new prospective customers, you will find that the small biz online marketing funnel is a technique that allows you to consistently and reliably get new customers and increase sales for your small business.

All Grown Up – Why Your Small Business Needs A Web Solution, Not A Website

Posted on July 1, 2019 in Uncategorized

Raise your hand if you have a website for your small business. Now keep it raised if it is generating a significant volume of prospects or sales. Not holding your hand up anymore? You are not alone.

Just a few years ago, small companies flocked to the web in droves, rushing to post their first website, anxious at the prospect of low-cost instant exposure. The web was going to be the great equalizer, putting small business on par with the big brand names, dangling the promise of visitors flocking to a company’s site to purchase its wares or partake in its services. Sound familiar? Unfortunately, for most small businesses and organizations, the promise fell short and company sales did not skyrocket from an unending march of site visitors.

So, what happened? For one, the web quickly became ultra competitive. Millions of sites sprang up in every business category making it virtually impossible to be found in the search engines. What little bit of traffic the businesses may have enjoyed when the site was first launched began to dry up. Also, as the web evolved to become a more interactive user experience, it became more technologically complex and many small business websites did not keep up. The other part of the problem was in the approach; not understanding that just putting together a website, even a pretty one, and finding some faceless company offering cheap web hosting services is not likely to make you the next great success story. A large hurdle that many small business owners and managers face is the tendency to compartmentalize the web into a few oversimplified tasks: grab a cheap domain name, find a budget small business website design and development person, look for some impossibly low-priced website hosting, and then expect their website to magically appear on page one of Google. Unfortunately, this ends up being a waste of time and money.

A Solutions-Based Approach with Professional Guidance

To create an effective web presence requires a solutions-based approach with clear ideas about what you want to accomplish and who the audience is you are targeting. The right elements have to be present; a well orchestrated website design with cohesive branding, solid technical acumen, clearly defined objectives for the organization, reliable small business web hosting services and some method of marketing your site and tracking the results. The web is constantly evolving and search engine competition is fierce. Being successful on the web requires consistently evaluating the site’s effectiveness based on your objectives, understanding the latest technologies and trends, having a dynamic website marketing plan and constantly fine tuning.

While you don’t have to spend a fortune to create real value on the web, you should also be realistic. Understand that being successful will require an investment that you should plan for and a clear vision of how your website fits into the goals and objectives of the organization. If you don’t have the experience and technical resources in-house, working with a professional web solutions provider, preferably one specializing in small business web design and development can provide great benefits. A good starting point in the process is to have an understanding of the core elements that are part of a successful website strategy and how they fit together.

The Elements of a Web Solution

1) Domain names – Choosing the right domain name is an important branding decision which impacts how your organization is perceived and also how it is found in the search engines. Purchasing from a cheap bulk registrar or choosing can spell trouble.

2) Website Design & Development Services – Find a provider that specializes in small business web design and development. An organization that offers a solutions-based approach can assist your company in doing thorough needs analysis and in designing all of the elements to work well together. First impressions count!

3) E-mail Management – E-mail is a key communication tool for your business. The right system will help you maximize communications within the company, on the road and with your customers.

4) Social Media – Social media such as blogging, Podcasting and other web 2.0 tools can greatly enhance customer communications. Your web services company should be able to help you evaluate how social media tools can best benefit your web presence and business objects.

5) Small Business Website Hosting Services – All web hosting is NOT created equal. There are many nuances and technical consideration involved with hosting solutions. It is best to stay away from budget hosting companies. Look for a managed hosting provider who can help you select the right plan for your web solution goals, get your website up and running and support you as it grows and evolves.

6) Website Maintenance – How will your site be maintained and updated? Having both small business web development and managed web site hosting as a package is immensely helpful for maximizing web server resources, identifying problems and keeping the site maintained and updated.

7) E-Commerce – Will you be actually selling on your site or using it for lead generation or information dissemination? If you are selling products, who will create and maintain your product database. How will transactions be handled? What about web server requirements? Working with a professional can help ensure you make the right choices for your e-commerce site.

8) Business Process Interaction (database development, customer relationship management, integration with your business management systems) – A website needs to be more than just an ad on the Internet to be effective as a business tool. There are many ways the web can be used to improve your business processes and integrate with your existing systems such as accounting or contact management.

9) Website Marketing – How will people find you on the web? Will you optimize your site for organic search or employ paid marketing techniques or a combination? What directories should you list your site in? Search engine marketing has evolved to be a complex specialty. It’s critical that you understand the tools available for driving traffic to your site and if needed, know how to evaluate and engage a web marketing specialist.

10) Website Analytics and Conversion – Having a great site isn’t enough if your visitors aren’t doing what you intended; buying something, contacting your company or using your site for an information source. Does your site have usability issues? What kind of reporting will you use to track site visitors? What do you need to know and do to convert your visitors into action-takers?

It’s a Process and a Work in Progress

While there is certainly a lot to think about, creating the best possible website solution for your business doesn’t have to be overwhelming. Your website can and should be a work in progress, evolving as your business grows. Because most small businesses do not have an internal IT staff to handle the technical elements of web development and planning, working with a web solutions provider that specializes in small business website hosting services and small business web design and development is a good start. Such an organization can help you identify your goals, manage the technical aspects of your site and guide you in your marketing efforts. They can also help you work within your budget to develop a plan that combines all the elements into a cohesive whole for creating and maintaining a successful web presence.

Conclusion

The web has grown up to be a terrific marketing medium for small businesses and organizations. Done right, it can be the most cost effective and powerful marketing and communication tool in your arsenal. The promise is still there. However, to truly leverage the power of the web, it is important to take a good, hard look at the website you currently have or the one you are thinking about creating. The elements of a successful web presence: small business web hosting, website design and development and web marketing are only the framework for a well thought-out web solution designed to reach your customers and truly benefit your business.

A Closer Look At Small Business Accounting Software

Posted on May 29, 2019 in Uncategorized

Whether it is a multi billion dollar corporation or a newly set-up small business accounting software is more than a mere convenience. It is absolutely crucial for any business, irrespective of its size. For with no proper accounting software, companies can find themselves unable to meet the mandatory compliance issues. Furthermore some others could even experience multi billion dollar financial fraud of the kind Enron and their like that have made very popular. More than the big corporations, it is smaller businesses that need professional accounting software. Since most of them are carry out small-scale operations and often too small to be able to pay for the services of a full time accounting professional, in fact they depend more on small business accounting software than their big counterparts. And through years, as an increasingly number of people have taken the entrepreneur way, small business accounting software has become a large industry in its own right.

Firstly what do you know about small business accounting software? Basically small business accounting software, as the name suggests, is accounting software specifically prepared to cater to the needs of the small business. Small businesses have their own specific requirements, specific needs, specific tax calculation structures and even specific sops. Small business accounting software hence combines these specifics into consideration to build or work out a special small business accounting package that such businesses could use. Small business accounting software also guarantees that firms with restricted manpower resources don’t have to spend in the hiring costs of expensive accountants to manage their records.

A number of small business accounting software available today are relatively easy to use, simple and cover a host of complex options. Previously small business accounting software was not so popular because the small businesses were not as well-structured as they are at present; simply because there weren’t too many small businesses to make the production of a specific small business accounting software profitable.

But the times have changed. And small business at present comprises well over 25% of all businesses in the United States of America. With this new critical mass, both the manufacture and distribution of small business accounting software has become not just practical, but also very profitable to the manufacturers of small business accounting software.

This includes even big players like Microsoft who have identified this business need and have special small business accounting software packages. Moreover every time you buy a premium laptop or computer, you will in all possibility get a bundled software package that includes some sort of small business accounting software. Sites like download.com offer a number of small business accounting software, some of which at no additional cost. So, if you haven’t yet already started using it, surely it is about time you did!

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