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Small Business Effective Web Design

Good web design is key to a small business’s success, especially if that small business conducts its business solely online. But there are a lot of factors that go into good web design. Some businesses choose to use do-it-yourself web developers such as WordPress and Wix, while others choose to hire a web design programmer to help build their site. No matter which way you go, there are some important factors to consider in designing an effective website.

#1: Focus On Content As Opposed To Fancy Bells and Whistles

If you’ve looked at websites from big businesses such as Apple, Microsoft, or McDonalds, you might notice the use of high definition pictures as well as the unique design and layout of buttons throughout the site. Yes, these sites are intended to be fancy as these big businesses intend to spend thousands of dollars to make sure their website appeals to the average customer.

However, as a small business owner, you might not have the money to afford a web designer who can design these fancy bells and whistles for you. Also, it would be impractical for a small business to focus on those things as the quality product or service needs to take center stage. Good web design for a small business involves publishing quality content and knowing which content will give the most effective result. You should talk with your web designer about which content will present the most powerful message. After all, a viewer of the site will probably not take the time to read a long paragraph, so it is important to use short and simple messages that get the point across. Talk with your web designer about what information will work best based on your needs and goals for your site.

#2: Make Sure The Website Is Designed In A Way That Makes The Content Look Organized

It is always important to have good quality content for your site. It is just as important that the site be designed in a way that makes it easy to access that information that one may need. You may choose to accomplish this by using fewer pages to publish content so that viewers don’t have to spend so much time navigating the site to find what they are looking for. You might choose to use links on the main page to direct viewers to where they need to go to find the desired information. Whatever you decide, it’s important to make sure the most important information either stands out or is within easy access to the viewer.

The Various Types of Small Business Startup Loans

If you want to obtain money for startup companies it is vital that you should have gathered adequate knowledge about small business startup loans that are available in the current times in order to make a financial investment. If you wish to obtain a lot of money as your capital, it is vital that you should first try to find out the exact place from where you are able to obtain these funds by all possible means. Although they can use their savings as capital it is necessary to find out financial help through these funds as well. This article will highlight on a few different kinds of small business start up loans that are available for the start up companies.

Small Business Administration Loans

The Small Business Administration or SBA does not provide money to the small business owners and it only acts as the guarantor who develops important guidelines for these funds that are actually provided by banks, microlending agencies, lenders and community development organizations. 7 (A) is a popular kind of fund that is offered by SBA and it is mainly used for capital investment, debt refinancing purpose and other procedures. It is vital to remember that they are able to apply for almost two million dollars and its term varies between seven to twenty five years. In fact, 504 is often used to purchase as well as improve fixed assets whose capital varies between one to four million dollars. Under it, the Small Business Administration backs up only forty percent of the total amount while the small business owners need to pay the remaining ten percent of the total amount. Microloans are offered by the SBA in order to offer thirty five thousand dollars as capital for maximum number of six years in order to cover up a huge amount of money for the purchase of equipment, inventory, supplies, devices, fixtures and so on. The SBA also offers disaster loans to them at low rates of interest. They are often used in order to repair or even replace different items such as real estate, devices, equipment, inventory and other properties that have been destroyed in a massive disaster by all possible means.

Equipment loans as well as leases

The small businesses can be qualified for different types of equipment loans as well as the leases from diverse private lenders. They are designed with the objective to contribute to their own growth and development and they are widely used by them who wish to purchase costly equipment in order to acquire certain benefits such as tax benefits, asset ownership and so on. In maximum cases, they are provided to those who are widely associated with food, mining, healthcare, retail, construction and other relevant industries. If you obtain them, there is possibility that you have to make payment on a monthly basis and that you do not have to pay the entire amount at one time.

Money from friends as well as family members

If you are able to find out friends or relatives who have a certain amount of money in their hands, it is advisable that you should take up this opportunity as quickly as possible. If you are in urgent need of money and if you cannot avail any other option, it is advisable that you should avail them without any kind of delay. If you do so there is possibility that you do not have to pay any interest and that you also do not have to undergo the problems of the bank agreement at any point of time.

What a Small Business Owner Must Be

To be a solo or small business owner and entrepreneur in today’s marketplace we need to have certain characteristics to be successful. Owning a business is not easy! If you find that you do not have the following you need to find how to get these things fast, or risk failing at what you have set out to do.

Usually there is a lack of funds and skills necessary for total success initially. Business takes time to happen. To get the return of investment also takes time and a lot of energy. If you put the right people around yourself you will achieve much faster than those that do not. In fact, without these things, you more than likely will not achieve the outcome you are looking to have.

Here is my list of attributes that I believe are necessary for a small business owner to succeed. They are in no particular order as they are all needed from my perspective.

You MUST be:
COURAGEOUS… as a solo entrepreneur myself I realized that this was one of the most important factors in owning a business. Your quality of mind and spirit will enable you to face difficulty, danger and pain without fear. Use your heart as the source for your emotion and beliefs as this is what will support you to overcome others negativity and criticism as there will be some along the way.

You MUST be:
RESILIENT… without resilience you will not make the grade. You need to have ‘stick ability’ and keep going when the going gets tough, as it will! Your ability to return from adversity and to bounce back with show who you are and what you are made of!

You MUST have:
INTEGRITY… adhering to your moral and ethical principles, your soundness of moral character and your honesty makes you who you are. Your word is your bond. Business was once done on a hand-shake and unfortunately, this is no longer a viable way to do and create a business.

You MUST be:
ACCOUNTABLE… being accountable to yourself, your clients and your friends is a must. If you say that you will do something or be somewhere, you must! Be answerable for your actions and your business.

You MUST be:
RESPONSIBLE… you must be responsible for your part in the business. It belongs to you and you give the final okay to anything that happens. You make the decisions and are the rational thought behind everything that happens. As a business owner you must be reliable and dependable in all areas of your business dealings.

You MUST be:
RELIABLE… what you say you will do, you do! Your reliability in all areas of life makes you who you are. If you are not seen to walk our talk, your clients will not stay around for long. You MUST under promise and over deliver. A business owner must be relied on and trusted and be seen as dependable in all achievements, accuracy and honesty.

You MUST be:
TRUSTWORTHY… being deserving of others trust and confidence is a gift. You must be seen as dependable and reliable in everything you do.

You MUST be:
ADAPTABLE… being able to adapt and adjust to different scenarios and conditions is a must for your business to be successful. It is important to be like the willow tree. Have your roots (foundations) soundly grounded with your trunk and branches flexible so as to be able to weather any storm.

You MUST be:
OPTIMISTIC… without optimism it is impossible to be successful. To succeed you need to be able to see the positive side of your business, understanding that there will be and are continual challenges which are the opportunity for you to learn and grow. Become the positive force that drives your business forward.

So, I now ask you, are you these things above?

If so, congratulations.
If not, it is time to work on the things that need changing. Self-reflection is important here too. If you have not done any personal development it is time to start. Understand you and what you stand for and who you are seen as in the marketplace. Would you buy you and your service and or product?

Business is time consuming. Initially it is not a 9 to 5 activity. It requires you to do what has to be done, with or without pay! If you do not love what you do then it is time to let it go. If you have a business that is your passion and you are prepared to do what it takes to make it happen, you can only be successful.

What success means to one person is different to what it means to another!

WHY have you created the business you have? Is your ‘why’ strong enough for you to make it happen? Are you prepared to do whatever to create the success you want as a person?

These are all important questions to ask yourself. If you are clear about your WHY for your business you will find that it will FLOW and you will gain what you set out to gain!

I wish you and your business every success, whatever that means to you personally.

Social Media Marketing for Small Business Owners

I believe that social marketing allows you to take your business to the next level. If you are not currently using social media marketing then you are missing out on a big opportunity to tell your potential customers about your brand.

If you use social media correctly you could open your brand or your business up to new opportunities.

Ask friends and family

By asking friends and family to follow your account you will be able to gain initial followers to your barren accounts. No matter how good your content, people will be reluctant to follow a desolate account. Get your friends and family to follow your account and then ask them to invite a few of their friends.

Be consistent

It can be frustrating when you’re putting in a lot of effort and you are not getting any reward, but the thing with internet marketing is that the more consistent you are the more chance of social media working for you and your brand. The most important takeaway is to not give up.

Schedule posts

Being consistent is important, being smart is even more important. By scheduling a months worth of social media content you are then able to get back to doing other things your business needs. By scheduling posts it may take you a whole day to get up a months worth of content but it will be worth it. Your social profile will be full and it will make your business look well run.

Make content worth sharing

For some business social media can seem boring, for example a builder constantly posting about his latest deals on bricks will become boring fast. Think of ways to get your content shared, think of ways to make your content more interesting, think of ways that your competitors are not using social media and then do it. A great example is the will it blend YouTube guy, the product is a boring blender, but by making videos on destroying items in the blender the videos have been seen and shared millions of time around the world.

Advertising

Typical PPC ads can be expensive. Social adverts are much more affordable. If you’re looking for a cheaper way to advertise then you may want to try out social media. Facebook allows you to boost a post or your page. Twitter allows you to promote a tweet. Try both out, they can gain your brand followers and traffic to your own site.

Small Business Is Hard Enough: The Challenges of a Small Business After a Disaster

Disasters, I know we all hate that word. As humans we gird ourselves and simply say, “It won’t happen to me”. But the data shows that it’s not if it’s going to happen, it’s when is it going to happen.

According to the Small Business Administration (SBA), 40% to 60% of small businesses fail following a major disaster. The number of presidentially declared disasters has more than doubled in recent years. However, many disasters don’t affect a large number of people like these declared events do. In fact, fire is the leading business disaster.

If that is not bad enough, researchers estimate that approximately: half of business do not survive their first 5 years and 8 out of 10 fail within the first 3 years after a disaster.*

Small Businesses have unique challenges that are quite different from their larger counterpart. Since 52 % of businesses are operated from the owner’s home or property their ability to recover is harder simply because they have to focus to two recovery efforts. There is never enough time to get them both done quickly and easily. If their business is in their home, there is no place for the work to continue. The property damage for a small business owner impacts BOTH the family and their business.

While owning a small business may seem like the American Dream, owning a small business has many challenges. But after a disaster the challenges become more profound. There seems to be recurring views of these owners both before and after the disaster.

Here are 7 challenges Small Business Owners face after a disaster:

1. Illusion of Security

2. Nothing could be done to protect against this

3. Complete 360-degree disaster for the individual

4. Self-imposed limits

5. Imprudent use of financial resources

6. Not understanding what is happening to their customer base

7. Assumption everything will get back to normal

Starting a business is a big achievement for many entrepreneurs, but maintaining one is the larger challenge. There are many standard challenges that face every business whether they are large or small. The largest challenge for small business owner is planning.

Small business owners invest a tremendous amount of time, money and resources to make their ventures successful, yet, many owners fail to properly plan and prepare for disaster situations. You can protect your business by identifying the risks associated with natural and man-made disasters, and by creating a plan for action should a disaster strike. By keeping those plans updated, you can help ensure the survival of your business.

When disaster strikes, having a plan and being able to put it into immediate action can mean the difference between staying open to service the needs of your customers and community or shutting down for a few days.

I know, not another plan! Who has time for that?

Resilience is different from preparedness. Where preparedness is something that you do; resilience is something that you become. In becoming more resilient, you as the owner should take intentional action. Do one thing today. (Just one thing). Do you back up your data? No, then get that done. Do you have an emergency contact list for your employees, suppliers, major clients? No, then get that done. Do you review you insurance policy every year with your agent? No, then get that done. Little by little, doing one thing moves you closer.

You’ve finally achieved your dream. Don’t lose it to a power outage, hacker disruption, fire, earthquake or other disaster. If you’re not prepared, a disaster could put you and your employees at risk, possibly shutting down your business forever.

Best Small Business To Start At

What do you love doing during your leisure time? Which are your hobbies? Did you know that you can turn those hobbies into a business idea? There is nothing nicer than venturing into a business which is related to something that you love and you have passion for. It does not matter what your hobbies are. All you need is a good financial plan, hard work and patience.

According to Rachna D. Jain, the founder of business coaching firm “Excel with Ease Coaching” in Columbia, most successful entrepreneurs are the ones who have a passion for the work they do. Off course starting a business of your own has its own benefits. For instance, you are the ultimate authority in the business meaning you drive all business processes including marketing, pricing and production. You are also in a position to take financial risks hence turning every day’s challenges into new opportunities.

Listed below is a list of business ideas which can be related to your hobby and which you can start a business with.

1. Consultant. Consulting services have a wide range depending on what your passion is. If you have a passion for beauty and cosmetics, hair styling you can make a good beauty consultant. If you love travelling you know of the best places to travel for holidays, honeymoons and many other events making you a travel consultant.

2. Electronics repair. Some people have a passion for learning how machines and alliances work. This makes them conversant with most machines like televisions, computers and many others. You can turn such a passion into a business by repairing machines.

3. Pet breeder. Many people are fond of being around domestic animals like dogs, cats or horses. They know how to feed and train them making that a good business start up.

4. Planning events. If you love having fun, you know what it takes to make an engaging event like a wedding or a birthday party.

5. Coaching. Football or golf fanatics can make good coaches of such games.

6. Home inspection. Most women love furnishing their homes with the latest items in the market hence they know of every new house item in the market. Real estate owners can grant you contracts of inspecting their homes.

7. Interior design. If painting and drawing are your hobbies you already have a good start. Make good drawings and market yourself on the social media outlets like You tube.

8. Jewellery making. You only need your hands to make nice and attractive jewels and you earn yourself a living.

9. Marketing. Some people are good at their word of mouth making them good influencers and brand advocates.

10. Music lessons. Playing guitar, keyboard and singing are some people’s hobbies. You can train people on such music related lessons and make a good business.

Remember, turning your hobby into a business requires some research. Beware of the principles of business before venturing into one. Once you turn your hobby into business be cautious! You are no longer doing the hobby for enjoyment but to earn a living. Make it a habit of learning new things about your hobby-turned-business to avoid burn outs.

eCommerce Fulfillment Takes The Pressure Off Small Businesses

Owning a small business is difficult, and when you have not yet grown to the size of larger competitors you not only have to figure out how to increase sales, but in many cases you are also acting as every department of the business. This means that you are the owner, the customer service manager, the shipping manager, the cashier and all of the other employees. If you own a business that sells products to consumers on the internet, you have managed to reduce at least a few of the responsibilities that go with ownership in that you do not need to pay for retail spaces and employees who will work at the locations. Your website is the entire sales staff and the merchandising people, but unfortunately you still have to shoulder the responsibility of being the shipping department.

Most people who run online businesses are quite familiar with entire rooms on their homes being filled with merchandise and shipping materials. They are also used to long nights spent addressing boxes and shipping out orders that were placed through their websites. While this may seem arduous and difficult, the growth of the business just adds to the problems because after a point you cannot do the packing and shipping yourself. You now must begin the process of hiring people to work for you processing these orders, and must secure a warehouse space for them to work in. Your inventory must be stored in a secure location and your employees must be compensated and treated to a work environment which is within regulations. This means you are going to have to figure out how this entire process works, keep the necessary paperwork and licensing in place, pay insurance and secure all of the things that are necessary for employees to work for you. While you may not be shouldering the responsibilities of packing the boxes any more, you have just graduated to a level of responsibility that may be even more uncomfortable for you.

Shipping fulfillment companies work with eCommerce businesses to provide these services for you, and take the responsibilities of customer order fulfillment off of your plate. They utilize software that will communicate directly with your website software to send the necessary order information to their facilities where it can be processed using their employees. Your inventory is stored in their warehouses and shipped using shipping companies like UPS, FEDEX or the US mail. For a small fee per order and a monthly charge for holding your inventory, you can literally grow your business to any level you want without shouldering any additional responsibilities. Business has become completely virtual, and business can now be free to become as big as it wants.

3 Ways to Market Your Small Business for $0.00 or Your Money Back

Every business is limited in terms of time and resources and it’s all relative to the results you’re expecting to get, the time you put in and the marketing platform you choose. Are you a small business? In many situations, being small can be an advantage in order to make faster decisions and take your product into new directions. Good marketing should generate revenue that can be used to scale and expand the marketing. Many times the real problem with small businesses is not having a product people want that’s differentiated enough from their competition.

1.) Creating a website to promote your business. Cost $0.00 and up.

These days you can easily create a website using an editor and many are free. WordPress sites are free and allow you to post content like a blog or create stunning websites.

2.) Embrace Email marketing. Cost $0.00 and up.

Email can be free and you can follow up with your past customers, anytime. If you use Gmail or social media currently you can download and export your contacts. This can be an excellent method to gain quick sales by following up with your warm market. Most first-time email marketers do achieve success with larger paid email marketing campaigns and ongoing email marketing campaigns only build bigger and more relevant with each campaign sent.

3.) Social media profiles are important. Cost $0.00 and up.

Yes you know you need social media so now is the time. When creating your profile page be sure to include as much information as you can, providing keywords and content relevant to your business. Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, and Twitter are important to me in that order, however you can decide what platforms are right for you business. When your profile is completed, and only then, you can try some light promotion to your ads using paid social media campaigns. This can work excellent but can get costly.

I believe your best dollars spent are towards email marketing. Nothing gets the immediate response like email and if you choose the right platform you can grow and build your email lists all in one place making them stronger and more powerful with each new campaign sent. Over 70 percent of marketers today agree that email marketing is core to their business operation and most marketers claim that an email is a critical tool for ongoing sales and new client acquisition. Another 20 percent of online marketers also say that their business’ primary revenue source is directly linked to email operations and growing.

Most Successful Small Businesses Do This Each Year

A reality check is what most successful small businesses do year in and year out.

Whenever you become a business owner, you will have a strong passion to be successful. Should the desire to be successful was everything that you need to open a winning business. The world would be filled with lots of success stories.

Nevertheless, desire by itself will not keep you from failing and you might have experienced numerous setbacks on your current entrepreneurial journey.

What you should do is always take a step back and take a look at what precisely you have been doing which has not worked well for you.

Once you can easily determine what’s not working and exactly what you’re struggling with, you may then discover successes through changes. You truly need to comprehend what has gone wrong in spite of your very best efforts.

Is Fear of Failing Your Issue?

Are you aware that it isn’t really failure that keeps people from trying? Society is rife with good examples of folks that failed many times but yet eventually discovered success. There exists something even worse than failing! It’s called fear of failure mainly because often, fear of failure will keep you from even attempting anything.

There are a few solid reasons for having a fear of failure. Nobody disputes that. You may be not wanting to put yourself out there because you happen to be worried that folks are likely to laugh at your business idea.

Just keep in mind that people laughed at Henry Ford. Yet he became a well-known success story designing and building the first assembly line for vehicles. You have to get over the concern that you might end up failing and could possibly be humiliated. If there was no risk everybody would be building a small business. Some businesses you risk a lot of money and some you risk your time, effort and reputation.

Another top reason for not being successful is frustration with repetitive and technical tasks.

Sometimes opening a business can get your head spinning because there is so much to do. You have to make sure the orders are placed, you have to find leads, you have to maintain website, you have to update your CRM and the tasks go on and on. Opening a business can get very overwhelming. Taking a step back to make a business plan on how to move forward is the smart way to go. You will get faster as you do tasks over and over again freeing up more time to do other things. If you keep building on the free upped time your business will start to grow.

The top reason for people to have the most successful small businesses is they are doing what they love. Maybe you picked a home based business you’re not passionate about. To be successful you have to believe in your product and its worthiness. If you’re not passionate about your current home business opportunity, then start looking for one that makes you excited.You should easily find one that you can be passionate about.

These are three of the top reasons people fail. So to start your New Year off right take a moment and think about why you weren’t successful in the prior year and use it as a spring-board to develop an action plan starting in the new year.