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Monday, June 26, 2006

Web Site Promotion for Small Businesses

You’ve already figured out that your small business needs a web site to compete with the big boys and maintain an ongoing, good relationship with your customers. But once you have your web site up and running, you’ll need web site promotion ideas so that people know about your web site. After all, no one will visit your web site if they don’t know it exists.

The first of your web site promotion ideas is submitting your web site to all the major search engines. Search engine traffic is a major traffic supply to web sites and most webmasters will tell you that the vast majority of their traffic is coming from search engine clicks. Most of the major search engines have a specific page you can use to submit your site. Once it’s submitted, it will usually take a few days to a week before it starts showing up in keyword searches.

Other web site promotion ideas include advertising your web site on internet message boards and discussion forums centered on subjects related in some way to your business. For example, if you run a small business selling pet supplies, you could go to message boards and discussion forums frequented by pet lovers.

Other tried and true web site promotion ideas include affiliate and banner exchanges. You can contact other web sites involved with the same target market and ask to exchange banners on each others’ web sites, or you can sign up at a banner exchange portal that will automatically generate banners for other sites on your site and banners for your site on other participating sites.

For even more web site promotion ideas, there are many online resources dedicated solely to teaching people how best to create awareness of their web site through the internet at large and strategies for attracting more visitors to their web site. Start with these basic ideas and when you’re ready, explore for more!

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Sunday, June 25, 2006

Home Business Network Marketing

Network marketing is not always easy for everyone. There are individuals who are very natural at talking with others and find it quite easy to be in a room full of strangers and talk about what they have to offer. Then there are those who are terrified of the very idea of network marketing and needing to talk to anyone about anything. If you are interested in the possibilities of this kind of networking, then realize that network marketing does not have to be a horrible experience for you and you do not have to have a panic attack at the thought of attending a meeting. When you prepare for network marketing and do not go in with your eyes closed, you will find that it will make an enormous difference in the productivity of your business. Network marketing can be beneficial in building a plethora of resources and contacts that you can have at your fingertips to propel your business forward.

If you do not have a briefcase, it would be wise to purchase one. In your briefcase, you can keep your business cards, brochures, and informative documents about your business and other items that you can use to talk to others about what you have to offer. Keep your briefcase with you at all times, especially when you go to events to network.

Decide in advance how many people you want to talk to and do just that. If it is your first time, you may only want to talk to three people. Although once you are there, you will probably find yourself relaxing and notice that you came home with more than three contacts. Do not forget the business cards of the people you meet. In the excitement, you may forget their names. It is a good idea to jot down some relevant information on the back of the card to help you remember why or why not you like that particular contact.

One way to get to know those who come to the event is to volunteer to greet people as they come in. You are the first person they meet and then you can go up to them during the meeting with some ground under your feet and not feel so terrified.

Being a good listener is a key to being a good at networking. If you spend all your time talking about yourself, and how good you are, but very little time listening to them, you will be wasting your time. Remember, people like to talk about themselves and if you let them, they will and they will leave the event thinking how much they enjoyed talking to you and will remember you. This is also an excellent way to glean information about them and the business they have to offer.

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Thursday, June 22, 2006

Internet Help for Small Business

There are three important things to consider when using the Internet for a small business. All three will help to increase the fair market value of your company. A web site is a great source of advertising and distribution for a small business. The name of the game is cash flow and one needs to know how to generate this in the virtual world. How will the World Wide Web help out your small or home business and gain you some cash flow?

Expand markets and increasing sales. The Internet gives the business owner a chance at a much broader market area. There are no more geographic restrictions to hold you back. Simply building a web site, however, will not automatically grant you more business. You will need to market to your targeted audience to gain more business. Once properly marketed, a web site is a very effective way to reach new and current customers, boostiing sales. The web provides the company with a 24 hour per day, 7 days per week brochure to be viewed at the client’s leisure. A professional looking web page is of the utmost importance. It is the client or potential client’s first view of who you are and what you do. You will want to utilize Search Engine Optimization (SEO) to increase the traffic onto your site and get better and higher ratings. This will make sure your web site is in the first few pages of search results. You can also hire a consultant to help you with marketing if you don’t know what you are doing.

Maximize your profitability. Using the Internet will also allow you to increase your profitability, not to mention streamline automation in your small business. It will be easy for your customers to order replacements parts, refer friends and family, and order new products in your stock faster. You will only be a click away from a sale. You will be able to use e-mail to show off new products and give your customers coupons. Be sure to have a spot on your web site that allows the customer or potential customer to fill in their name and e-mail address. This will allow you to send them promotions and newsletters regularly. The more they see and hear from you the better off you will be and the more you will make.

Increase customer retention. The Internet also provides a great amount of customer contact and support. Being readily available for immediate response to your clients makes them trust and respect you. They will want to do business with you again. Also the content that you provide your customers with will keep them coming back to hear the latest news and learn more. This is a great way to keep customers visiting until a new product is introduced. They will be more likely to buy from you again if they were able to read about the benefits and have faith you will be there for them.

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Monday, June 19, 2006

Derek Gehl's Insider Secrets Course

I don't usually put up blog posts dealing with "special offers," but I came across one such time-sensitive special offer today that might save my readers some real money, and here it is. If you've ever considered purchasing Derek Gehl's highly regarded (and recently updated) 2006 "Insider Secrets" course, NOW is the time to do it.

Derek has just put together a special combo package (for the first 500 customers) for the discounted price of $197.00 that throws in at no extra cost his "Blogging for Dollars" course that normally sells for $139.95, as well as other bonuses. Of course, Derek is a great salesman who would probably love to move his great products, but I've never seen him throw in the "Blogging for Dollars" package for free, and I don't think there will ever be a better value combo offer for these courses. Now his courses are probably not going to go away, so there is no great pressure here, but I just wanted to alert you to this opportunity so you can get the most out of your hard-earned dollars!

For some of you, the "Insider Secrets" package is one of those big courses that you've probably told yourself you "really have to get someday." With this combo, "someday" may have just arrived. If you think you might finally be ready to make a fairly small investment to get your own copy of one of the most serious Internet marketing courses out there, with all the other bonuses, read about all the details here:

Insider Secrets to Marketing Your Business on the Internet, Version 2006

P.S. Yes, he does include a guarantee, which you can find through the link above.

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Sunday, June 18, 2006

Some Practical Home Based Businesses

As intriguing as the virtual world of the Internet can be, the real world is never going to be replaced by it. When starting to plan for any home based business, please do not forget the real world options and opportunities open to you. Even if ultimately you would really love to have only an Internet based business, you may be surprised at what other options are available or you may gain new ideas from the other businesses that are in operation today. Nevertheless, do not forget to utilize the Internet in your advertising efforts, even if your home business is not primarily Internet based. Let's look at some practical examples.

Antiques are a great way to make money from old treasures and you will have a great time as well. You can find antiques at garage and estate sales, as well as auctions and browsing through flea markets. You can sell everything from furniture to clothes and toys and everything in between. The financial investment of renting a space or setting up booths at fairs and such is minimal.

Being a Computer Tutor is another excellent way to utilize your skills and bring in money. It does not matter what part of computer experience you excel at, as you can use your knowledge to help someone learn more.

Custom Jewelry and Accessories is fun for those who have a creative flair. There is always a market for jewelry and there are individuals who are always looking for unique and custom pieces.

Espresso Cart is a great way to bring in a profit everyday that you set up. Having a variety of hot and cold coffees to provide to your patrons will have them coming back day after day. You can set up just about anywhere. Of course look into local regulations before you do so, and enjoy a daily profit and a cup of coffee.

Cleaning and Hauling Services is a handy way to make money if you are someone who loves to clean and clear out things. Many people would willingly pay someone else to clean out their garage or attics and haul their junk away. Especially during the warmer seasons, this is a great way to make extra income. Obviously you cannot do this type of business with a car. You will need a pick-up or some type of vehicle that is capable of carrying away a variety of items.

Handyman makes good money going to individuals who need someone to fix up minor things around their house. If you are good at fixing things, this is a great source of income and you will be doing something you love as well.

Medical Transcription can often be done at home with some brush up on medical terminology or even through taking a course at your community college or other institute. The demand for these skills is not likely to slow down anytime soon. Doctor’s offices, dentists, and even veterinarians all need someone to transcribe their records. If you are good at typing and are familiar with Word documents and formatting, this might be a good choice for you.

Be open-minded, creative, and practical when envisioning your options and opportunities, and perhaps your business efforts will become more profitable than you initially imagine.

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Saturday, June 17, 2006

E-Commerce for Home-Based or Small Business

When you have a small home-based business, or are basically just starting, there are several ways to jump start the business action. One of these great methods is to sell online merchandise. An online store can be set up relatively easily and e-commerce options exist that have been proven to be quite successful. There are many sites online these days that make e-commerce an excellent decision for your business.

Microsoft now offers a great service known as Bcentral, and is offering great deals on server and hosting packages that run on a monthly scale, or basis. This is a great tool for the individual that is looking to delve into the e-commerce field. If you have an idea for a catalog, and need tools to get it up and running such as templates and logo creators, this could be the solution you have been waiting for. Not only will you receive the templates and the graphic creators, but also you will receive the quaint shopping cart in the top right hand side of the page. Having the opportunity to track and control orders and sales is made very easy as you will receive automated confirmation through e-mail. Being able to become a member in the PayPal system is also a good idea, as you can never have enough payment options attached to your site. This just increases your chances of sales. You will also be given the opportunity to keep track of customer traffic to your site as well. This makes for a very handy service indeed.

Another great service is provided by Ebay. The stores offer a very popular alternative and have a sliding fee scale to fit most businesses' needs and budget. The basis service is for the smaller of the businesses that have a smaller volume of traffic. This does not mean that you will not have access to some great tools for your site. You will not be able to keep track of the flow of traffic or sales with this service and there is a very limited directory, yet it is still a good service for someone who is just starting out. The next level of eBay service will provide more options for the business that may be needed as time goes on. It places your priorities in relation to the product you are trying to sell; knowing exactly what the consumer is looking for makes it easy for them to adjust the targeted areas. You will get some traffic reports and sales figures, but not many. The third and final level of the eBay store program is exactly where you want your business to be placed. This is the premier spot or the center stage. This is the place where the bulk of the strongest traffic will be located. This will give you a much stronger shot at making those sales.

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Thursday, June 15, 2006

Online Home Business Opportunity

The first step for you, the budding online biz entrepreneur, is to identify your strong suits and fields of interest. Many of the more inexpensive businesses can be done online where it is just a matter of a small investment in hosting and domain. Other businesses that are offering services and/or products can cost you more to start with. You will have to find the right balance between what you can provide and what people need. What works is good content. This will make the viewer linger and become more interested in your offerings. There are many ways to accomplish this and you will decide what works for you. Pick a few tools of the trade, use them and apply them to your site and monitor the response and traffic. If you notice that some are not producing remove them and try something else. You will have to be diligent but remember that simple is better. You do not want to implement every tool at once as it can make your viewers feel uncomfortable so use a few and hold the rest. Here are just a few possibilities.

1. E-mail lists are great to allow customers to talk about your products and services. Yahoo groups offer this service free. Members can post comments and questions to you or each other and an e-mail is generated to all users. The group can be private, subject to approval, or public. You will want to see daily traffic and post frequently in the beginning to get things going. Eventually your customers will start talking to each other. These lists are a great tool and keep people active and coming back.
2. Polls for viewers to vote on a specific issue related to the site’s content. You want to keep people interactive so they do not bored. Writing a poll from scratch can be tricky but they make great templates today that can be of great help. You would fill in the blanks and then copy and paste the code to your site.
3. Weblogs or blogs are like an online journal that is frequently updated. You will add some good links into it to help your business of course. It is also a form of communication that allows people to stay updated on what is going on with your business and what they can expect in the future. Today blogs have taken on a life of their own and are sweeping through cyber land.
4. Automation is the key to running your business and growing it at the same time. Automating necessary tasks can get these thing accomplished with you having to lift a finger. This gives you more time to focus on growth and increasing traffic and sales. It is the key to success for online business owners.

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Monday, June 12, 2006

Evaluate the Work from Home Business Opportunity

Everywhere you look today there is some kind of work at home business opportunity. It can be hard to sort out the good from the bad. In any type of business opportunity you must always do your homework about the company. You want to see their disclosure documents and any other relevant data such as growth rate, size, and the years in business, etc. You always want to be cautious and do some good investigation. The rules for what type of disclosure they have to provide depend on the type of the business. A franchise is required to offer more than just a regular business. It all can get confusing. First you will need to decide what type of business opportunity is for you. Do you want to start a business from scratch or do you prefer to buy into a franchise or take over an existing business?

If you are looking at a franchise or business then you will be investing in a proven and successful endeavor. The cost will be higher initially than if you started from scratch but you will have immediate income. Your job at this point will be to distinguish between a real opportunity and a scam. Stay away from those endeavors that promise to make you rich now or promise you large money making capacity without having to work. Any real business is going to require work on your part to establish and to see a good profit. You will want to basically investigate the company you are considering. You will want to be sure this is a legitimate deal and they have others who have succeeded. You can get information on what to look for by typing “investigating a business opportunity” into your search engine and see what comes up.

You will also want to call the company directly. Do not rely on their ads that promise that you will make money. Find out from the source exactly what you will need in materials and services that you will receive to keep your business running. Get a list of all the buyers in your state and neighboring states and contact them by phone. You want to ask them if they were satisfied with what they got, have they made any money, and did the seller live up to their promises. Call many people and not just a couple. Many companies have paid people to endorse their products even though they are not good. So you want to hear from as many individual as you can to see if this is a good deal. You will also want to look to the Federal Trade Commission and the Better Business Bureau. They will let you know if there are any formal or impending complaints about the company. There is nothing wrong with this sort of investigation. It is your hard-earned money and you do not want to throw it away. Besides, an excellent company with a high satisfaction rate would not mind if you discovered their fine reputation. © 2006 HomeNetMonies.com

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Saturday, June 10, 2006

Free and Useful - Articles & Website Promotion

Clearly one of the best methods of promoting your web site or small Internet business is to use articles. This is a very simple way to disseminate information and best of all it is free to use. You do not need to be a pro or a professional writer to be able to place articles on your web site. Having articles that are directly related to the theme of the site will in turn give you an edge on the competition. By writing an article yourself and submitting it to an article directory or multiple directories, you then are feeding the community with great content for everyone to share.

There are literally hundreds of these directories of articles on the Internet, and being a member of multiple web societies will yield more and more reference materials from which you can benefit. When composing an article that you intend to place on one of these directories, it is very important to keep the required formatting in mind. There are some directories that wish for you to use no formatting; this is not a bad thing as in the end it will save you time not having to set up the formatting. Just make sure it is all done in a text document, and all will be fine.

Sometimes the directory will require a keyword to go along with the article, and may or may not ask for a brief description of the article in a separate box. Along with all this information, it is a great idea for you to have a resource box at the bottom of the article. This is an excellent way for you to give information about yourself and the web site or sites you manage. This is an excellent method of self-promotion. The key here is to generate as much traffic to your web site as you can by efficiently using web content and articles that appeal to people. This is very effective when you find great articles that pertain to your site as a whole.

If someone reads an entire article that you have written, it is very likely that they will be willing to read more of your work. This can easily draw them to your site out of curiosity, and could generate a new sale. This new sale could then be referred to someone else looking for the same product or service, and again draw a new customer. Word of mouth on the Internet is a very powerful tool indeed. So in closing, it is clear that these services known as article directories do have a purpose in generating more traffic to your intended target. That target is your web site. © 2006 HomeNetMonies.com

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Sunday, June 04, 2006

Work at Home Schemes and Scams

Sophisticated hype abounds on the Web these days, so be careful when you start out on the work from home path. Preservation of capital is still a basic rule of wealth building, but the scammers want you to give up a portion of your capital to them. Here are six tips for recognizing a scam. One needs to run through this checklist every time a new internet "opportunity" is being considered. These are things you will want to avoid.

1. Any deal you do not completely understand. The big print might make absolute sense or get your attention. It is the fine print that will be the determining factor, though. If you actually read the fine print you might be losing more than gaining. The more important your deal the more important it is for you to read and understand the terms. Ask multiple questions and get legal help if need be.
2. Any deal requiring multitudes of money up front. Do not spend all at once. Make sure you will get what you pay for. You want to be sure that the golden egg in that basket is real before the scammer has your cash.
3. Any deal you are asked to do in a hurry or under the pressure of time. Time should not be important when making a business deal. Both parties will want to be sure they know exactly what they are getting into. If someone is trying to rush you in making up your mind it is because they do not want to give you time to consider the negatives, or perhaps to realize it is a scam.
4. Any deals with people or companies you have never heard of or do not know. Let people know that you will be checking out their business and background. This will hinder them from wanting to lie to you. Make sure you follow through and find out all you can.
5. Any deal into which you are being manipulated or schmoozed. If some one is trying to bully you, charm you to death, or anything else. Just let them you know what they are doing and walk away, or simply walk away or hang up (you owe them nothing--not an excuse, not an explanation, not even a goodbye).
6. Any deal that looks like a pyramid scheme. These scams are made to look like legitimate MLM and network marketing business but are illegal. The earlier people in the plan get paid with money taken from the new people. These companies have you spend thousands of dollars up front and claim you will be raking in the money in weeks.

The most important thing to remember is that if it is too good to be true then it is untrue. There is probably not a person on the planet who would not want to get rich quickly. Some people have gotten rich quickly, but not many. People who have more money than they know what to do with usually earned it over time with hard work and perhaps a sprinkle of good fortune, such as being at the right place at the right time (or else someone who worked for it willed it to them). I wish you a wisely navigated business journey!

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Thursday, June 01, 2006

E Commerce Options

Entrepreneurs are often looking at starting up through selling online merchandise. E-commerce has proven to be relatively inexpensive to set up and many businesses have found that an online store is quite effective. If this is something that you are considering, take a look at some of the following e-commerce businesses and see if you are ready to venture into the new realm of e-commerce.

bCentral is set up through Microsoft Corporation and they offer several types of hosting packages on a monthly basis at different price ranges for the individual interested in e-commerce. The packages allow you to start with an assortment of templates and tools that give you the ability to add logos and create catalogs for the products you wish to sell. This is a great tool because you can customize your website according to your preferences. This package also provides you with that cute little shopping cart you see on other web pages, which does much more than hold the customers' items they are searching for and the ability to track your sales and orders that come in as well as automatic e-mail order confirmations. Other important features you will appreciate are the ability to monitor customer traffic to your site and access to the Pay Pal Merchant Services.

eBay Stores are very popular today and have three different price levels for your business goals. The first level offers basic service and limited directory listings. This entry level option may be appropriate if you are just starting out and your products are limited. With this service, you will not have access to sales or traffic reports. The next level gives you priority placement in relation to the products you are selling and what the consumer wants. You will also have access to a few sales or trafficreports. The final level is where you want to be if possible. This level will place your store in the showcase directory pages and will be in the premium section for those who are searching for your products.

Homestead Storefront offers hosting for your e-commerce store and wizards that will help you set everything in order. This product comes with SiteBuilder software, an assortment of templates, and a store manager. You can organize different products and assign them points according to your preferences.

ISP Web Site in a Box you can find through many reputable Internet service providers (ISP) at affordable prices. You will find that you will receive more options than other solutions but they are not as easy to establish as the smaller versions are.

Yahoo Stores offer a low-cost e-commerce solution. You receive a domain name registration with your purchase price. Receive daily sales and tracking statistics. You can apply for a merchant account with Yahoo along with accessing their database or products.

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