Key Small Business Tips for Success

Small business tips for starting your own business can put you on the path to financial success.

The SBA says that the term small business includes concerns that are organized to make a profit and have fewer than 500 employees. In this post, small business includes work at home, affiliate marketing, network marketing and online home based businesses, and I will explore small business tips to help you achieve your business goals. These tips will help you get customers and generate more sales quickly.

Here are key small business tips and questions to consider:

1. Why do you want to start a small business? Starting your own business requires commitment. So, don't proceed to do so unless you are prepared for long hours and frustration while you are establishing your business. For many, enduring this is well worth the potential of financial security.

2. Will you market a product or service? A service business is one where you offer your expertise to clients. For a product business, you will need to offer a tangible product. Typically, a product business is more expensive to launch than a service business.

3. Do you have a simplified business plan? The thought of writing a business plan is intimidating to most aspiring entrepreneurs. However, it is possible to write a one-page plan that tells the what, who, how and where of your business. You should keep it simple. You can add details as you go. Just get it started.

4. Who is your customer? Describe your target customer in as much detail as possible. Know their needs and wants. Know how you can provide a solution to their problem. This profile will help you create a targeted marketing message and save you time and money in reaching prospects.

5. What is your pricing? Pricing is an art and a science. You need to cover your costs and generate a reasonable profit. Doing research to see what your competitors are charging can help.

6. Are you watching your costs? Many entrepreneurs tend to underestimate how long it will take for their small business to turn a profit. Don't burden your business with too many costs too quickly. To keep costs to a minimum, hire interns and outsource or barter for services.

7. What's your plan for getting customers? One of my coaches says the secret to business success is spending 85% of your time doing things that will lead to sales and 15% of your time doing everything else. You'll need a marketing plan. How do you plan on attracting prospects and converting them to paying customers? Design your advertising to generate sales. Your advertising should always include an offer and an easy way for prospects to respond.

8. Are you using social media? More and more businesses are moving to social media because their prospects are on social media. Only about 25% of small businesses are using social media to build their business. So, creating a presence on social media will give you an edge. This typically means building a fan page on Facebook. There are many resources you can use to build a fan page.

Here are some small business tips to attract more customers online:

1. Be sure to add local content targeted for your specific area.
2. Make sure prospects can find you online and offline.
3. Be very clear about what your business offers.
4. Participate on social media consistently.
5. Watch what your competitors are doing. See what is working and what is not working.

These small business tips require you to be consistent. It takes persistence to establish a social media presence.

If you act on the small business tips above, you will increase your chances of success, you will effectively leverage your time, and promote your business profitably.

Learn more small business tips for starting a home business. Stop by JC Dawkins' blog where you can find her other strategies for your online home based business.

Small Data For Small Business

Talk about "Big Data" is all over any techie field right now, and that includes small- and medium-sized business marketing. It's easy to forget, though, that good data is more a quality game than a quantity game.

Most small- and medium-sized businesses will not (soon) come close to the petabytes of data implied by the term "Big Data," but that doesn't stop savvy owners and managers from trying to use data to boost their marketing efforts. In attempting to emulate Fortune 500 firms and VC-backed tech startups, some take it a step to far.

I once worked with a small firm that wanted to use Sage's ACT! CRM system to keep just two outside sales reps coordinated. The system required thousands of dollars in licenses, weeks to set up, and the installation of corporate server. ACT! is a fantastic system, but it's unlikely that this firm got their money's worth - especially since their accounting was a wreck and their reps didn't know what profitable product lines to push.

As marketers pursue data, it's important to remember that information isn't free. Many data rookies (including my younger self) forget about costs in these places:

Data Acquisition

Raw data is sometimes seems as cheap as anything can be, but that is far from the truth. Whether you're buying RFID sensors, sending researchers out to collect surveys, or just paying one of your existing employees to fill out a few more CRM fields for every new prospect, you'll quickly find out that data has a price and those prices can stack up quickly.

Data Organization

Once you have your data, the costs won't stop there. You'll need database software and server space. You may have to pay for space twice if you use offsite backups. Databases and software routinely need maintenance to stay compatible with changing hardware, operating systems, security protocols, and the vendor's own changing feature set.

Data Analysis

So, you have your data and somewhere to keep it. Now what? Now you need someone to turn that into actionable information. Depending on the scale and type of data you collected, you may need specialized analytical software like SPSS or Matlab. Doing really cool, cutting edge stuff like complex event processing or predictive analysis may require hiring people with expensive statistical skills. Even if you can do the analysis yourself and just want to use Excel or Google Docs spreadsheet, don't forget the costs of your own time.

I think data can transform even the smallest organizations, but the data has to be correct, complete, and cogent. The firm mentioned in the beginning of this article would have been better off using their data resources to improve their accounting and find out what product lines had the highest profit margins. They probably didn't need a full-blown CRM system to share contacts and appointments between two reps. A bit more boring? Maybe. A bit more effective? Probably.

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Small Business Lead Generation: Know It to Grow It

The importance of small business lead generation just can't be emphasized enough. An exponentially high number of startups are surfacing every day, and need the necessary impetus to make their mark in the industry. Needless to say, with the increasing numbers, the competition is also increasing. This basically means that companies need innovative means to market their products and services.
To satiate their need for fulfilling business objectives, businesses hire the services of small business lead generation agencies that specialize in the field. This is basically intended at getting more market exposure and grabbing eyeballs to get more business. However, the reason why so many enterprises still fail after paying exorbitant amounts is because they lack the understanding of which tactics work best in the market. Make no mistake about it - it's important to have a basic understanding of lead generation techniques, so that one can judge the performance of a campaign. Of late, the best way to promote any business especially in its initial stages is via the internet. However, the details are very important.
Small business lead generation via the internet has relied heavily on online directories, and the trend continues even to this present day. Social media, a relatively new entrant in this domain, has slowly made its way towards being one of the top preferences for promoting a brand. Also, making an official website has been known to get a significantly high number of leads. So, the basic point is that the agency hired to execute the lead generation campaign should know the nitty-gritties of the online world to truly succeed in lead generation. Such campaigns need to have a holistic approach and can't operate in water-tight compartments with regards to the business model. Only when this happens can the business be on the right track and achieve the kind of success it desires.
Knowing the business environment for small business lead generation entails getting an understanding of the audience, the competition that already exists and the recent deployments, among others. Getting a better understanding of these factors ensures that the business can devise aggressive as well as precautionary tactics to be employed in accordance with the demands of the prevailing situation. It also allows one to make better decisions and react appropriately in different scenarios. However, one also needs to ensure that leads automatically pour in, after a point in time, so that the business gets in auto mode.
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Start Your Own Small Business - What Are the First Steps to Starting a Small Business?

Unemployment is tough. It is hard to beat the stress of it emotionally and financially. And making day to day phone calls to job openings may be the only thing keeping your hope alive, (Besides waiting by the phone for opportunity to show its beautiful head). Hang in there just like any application process it will take time and a little bit of patience. In the meantime don't let all your creative energy go to waste you can start a home business part time. How do you start a home business? Start brainstorming something simple and creative you like to do. It could be a hobby or an extreme passion. Use your ideas as a sounding board to test the online audience. Is your idea eccentric and unique enough to draw a concentrated small niche audience to your website? Or is the idea too broad? If it is too broad your audience will have a lot of websites to already choose from since the niche is saturated. Your idea or your niche area should be an area that is not too saturated or else your website will drown among many others. You want to be original. For example if you like herbs & spices you can base your home business website on your personal experience or research, you can further emphasize your niche by writing about herbs & spices unique to the area where you live. Make sure your idea is as narrow as possible to take advantage of the subject areas that are not usually talked about online, and by doing so you will gain an online audience that is unique to your website.

How do you get website traffic for your website? You create and write content. Don't tell me I'm not a writer. Many first timers try to get around having to create content because it can be time consuming. But building a home business online will take time. Slow and steady wins the race. You don't have to be able to crank out ten articles a day you can just start with one a day. As you become more comfortable talking about your niche area or passion you will find it gets easier to go from there.

How do you make money online with your website? The number one source of income is through Google AdSense, affiliate networks like commission junction and the amazon associates program. The amount of money you make on your website will always depend on the amount of niche specific traffic you generate to your website.

So what's the best way to be successful in building a home business online? Hard work, dedication and persistence, like I said slow and steady wins the race or I should say marathon. It is a marathon. The only way you can fail is if you don't plan adequately enough and don't have the necessary web tools to build a business. gives online business professionals like you practical advice on tools, resources and information that will get you started online the right way.