Writing The Right Kinds Of Articles For Your Small Business

Article writing is an excellent tool as it gives you recognition both professionally and personally. It is also a great way to help get more views for your business website. SEO programmers make it a major principle to write articles that will help increase viewership of your website. But article writing for your business requires a solid understanding of the right kinds of articles that will help yield the best result. This article will hopefully get you started on the right path towards writing effective articles.

#1: Look For The Keywords You Are Aiming For And Focus On Them

Every business is different and has different expectations for what keywords they are looking for. But the question is, how do you know what keywords to search for? The answer is based on what your business is and what your principles are. For example, if you are a franchise consulting company, your articles might focus on issues concerning franchising as well separate articles about consulting services. You may also choose to write articles about small business since many franchises usually involve small businesses for sale. You will have to do some research in order to uncover what keywords might work best for your respective business. The important thing is to focus your article writing efforts on those keywords.

#2: When You Write, It Is Preferable To Write From Your Own View As Opposed To Someone Else’s View

One of the beautiful things about writing articles is that it is not like writing an essay. There is no need to cite if you are writing about your own point of view. Article writing is a chance to express your own view or experience on a particular subject. This is often very useful as it gives the reader a chance to hear a fresh perspective on a particular topic that they may not have already heard. Going back to the franchise consulting example, you might offer some fresh perspectives on criteria you use to help others determine what franchise is a right fit for them. People may read that and get inspired by it. The important thing here is to do your best to write an original idea as opposed to simply copy one from another site as it increases your credibility as an author and also adds credibility to your business.

Innovative Ideas For Mobile Apps For Your Small Business

Mobile apps, if designed with innovation, can help your business grow and may encourage customers to engage in repeat purchases. But with so many mobile apps out there, it is important to have yours stand out from the crowd. This article will examine two sets of ideas that might help make your app stand out so that your small business can benefit.

#1: Establish Some Kind Of Game Where Your Customer Can Get Discounts Or Specials If They Achieve A Certain Goal

People love to play games. Whether it is ping-pong, Tetris, or some kind of shooting game, people become addicted to those things. Just look at the example of Candy Crush and the addictions that it caused. Thus, it would be unique to have some kind of game linked to your mobile app, preferably one related to your business. For example, if your small business was a tool business, you could have a Candy Crush type game using tools or other products that your business sells as opposed to pieces of candy.

But having a game for your app is not enough. People are more motivated to play if there are rewards involved. It might be that a certain number of points are needed or that one has to reach a certain level to achieve a special discount or coupon. When people are addicted to something and enjoy it, they will tell their friends or family to try it and thus, your business could see a major increase in sales and profit if you get the right people to download your business app.

#2: Offer A Special Sweepstakes Only Accessible Through The App

Think back to the McDonald’s Monopoly sweepstakes, or anytime a restaurant or business had a sweepstakes where you would have to make a set of purchases in order to get a game piece. You could have an app where you have a similar concept and whoever can get the necessary pieces may win a special prize. This would encourage more sales as people would buy more in order to win the special prize or prizes. An app is also an easier method to keep track of game pieces since they are all digital. There is not the burden of a piece of paper and losing your pieces.

Why Should Your Small Business Start a Blog?

Since blogging is not that simple, and search engines are policing all of your efforts, should a business maintain a section of blogs on their website? The answer is yes. Your site is more than likely to appear higher within the SERPs (search engine result pages) if you’re maintaining a blog than if you do not. And these results are vital now that more individuals are turning to the Web to make purchases and obtain information.

Why is “appearing higher” within the search engine results critical? Consider how you consume information. Do you scroll through all search engine results you get as you conduct a search, or, do you select from the results on page one, with close attention to the results discovered at the top of that page?

If you remain at the top of page one of results, you are like 95% of Internet users out there. As a matter of fact, individuals typically joke that the ideal place to discover a dead body is on the second page of Google. Therefore, where is your blog located on the list of search results? Do you usually come in first place within the search results? Or 400th? It’s referred to as page rank. The more traffic the blog generates, the more engaging the blog’s content it is, the more shares and likes it’ll receive, the higher you’ll rank. And this means more individuals will locate your site; services, products, blog – everything!

How Often You Should Write Blogs

Do not stress yourself over it, just begin somewhere. One time per month is better than nothing at all. Once per week is better than once per month, and once per day is better than once per week. Do what you can. The more you create content, the easier it’ll become – not to forget the increased quantity of leads you’ll produce from doing so.

What to Write About

As you begin the blog, create content about your business. Create content about your customers. Create content about your products. Create content about your failures, successes, and lessons learned. Plus, if you dare, create content about some intriguing stories pertaining to how you decided to be an entrepreneur.

Personal stories of your business success, as well as how you did it, assist your brand in becoming relatable. That is crucial. In today’s world of business, a small business is merely a couple of poor Yelps from oblivion. On the other hand, your business is a couple of fantastic reviews from success.

Outsourcing the Writing

You may have expert bloggers do the writing for you. You may pay them to write content which might appeal to your readers. This process will fall under content marketing.

How Many Blogs Should You Have?

The quality of the blogs greatly matters. However, size also matters. Within a perfect world, you should blog more frequently than the competition, and you should have more posts in your blog than the competition has. That way, the search engines see that your site is more robust and active than the competitions’ websites. Also, more blogs mean there are that many more opportunities for your site to be found when individuals perform Internet searches.

Importance of Mobile Apps for Small Businesses

The role of mobile applications is becoming more and more vital for small businesses with every passing day. This is happening primarily because these tools allow businesses to target a much large consumer base. Another prominent advantage of using apps is that it helps in staying connected with the workforce without any hindrance. Read through the pointers below to know more about the advantages mobile applications can offer to your business.

• The advent of mobile internet has ensured that people can access the online world anywhere when signals of their cellular phones are available. As a result, having an app for representing your business would allow you to widen the space and time limits for customer engagement and business operations.

• The cost of using cell phones has dropped significantly in the past few years. Today people belonging to every stratum of the society use these devices irrespective of their financial status and academic background. On the contrary, laptops and desktops are yet to reach people from all levels of the society in equal proportion. This makes having mobile applications as important as having websites.

• A large number of people get themselves registered for DND or Do Not Disturb to avoid unwanted calls and text messages. Having mobile applications help businesses to keep those people up to date about their products and/or services.

• Mobile apps are not only meant for improving communication between your company and your targeted customers. These tools can also play the role of highly profitable investments. They can be lucrative sources of income for you. If you succeed in making your customers fall in love with your business’s app and the services offered by it, you can make them pay a certain amount for upgrading the services. In addition, you can also use in-app ads for earning a handsome amount of money. Through in-app ads, you can offer other businesses the opportunity to advertise their product or service by paying you a particular sum of money.

• To see your business reaching great heights, you must have clear idea about your customers’ needs and behavior. A mobile application will allow you to gather knowledge about your customers more seamlessly than ever before. These tools work by collecting data about user behavior, which would help you to know what kind of changes your targeted consumer group is looking for in your offerings. In addition, these applications can also help you to gather demographic data and location data.

What Should You Do When You Are Relocating Your Small Business?

If you are relocating your small business, then this task might seem extremely daunting to you. However, here are a few tips that will help you in making this transition in a smooth and effective manner.

Steps to take care of when relocating your business

• Evaluation of the business – Make sure that you conduct a deep analysis of your business office. This will help to decide what needs to be carried to the new office and what needs to be left behind. Also, this will enable you to plan where to place what in the new office. Thus, you must conduct a thorough search of your office.

• Make a list – Making a list when you are on the move is absolutely essential. This is because the process of moving is a huge responsibility and there might be a few important tasks to do that might slip your mind. Thus, if you make a to-do list, it will help you to remember the tasks that you might have forgotten otherwise.

• Hire professionals – It is highly recommended that you contact a good business moving company and hire them to do the task. Hiring professionals for moving is a great idea as it makes the process of moving a lot easier. And since they are professionals, they are better equipped to do the task.

• Be more efficient – Though it is the company that will be handing the task of moving your business, you can help speed up the process by being more efficient. For example, you can put your things into plastic boxes and label them accordingly. This will help you keep a track of what is where and also, help you decide what should be moved first.

• Clean before you move – Before the process of packing and moving starts, you must take a few days off and get rid of all the waste and useless things that you do not require anymore. This is important to do because if you do not get rid of all the waste, at the time of moving, you may have to carry all these useless items which would not be of any use at all.

• Inform the vendors – You must inform all your vendors and dealers about your new location so that any bills, letters or other documents get posted to your new office address and not the old one.

• Let your customers know – Let your customers know about your new location. Drop them an email or tell the ones that visit your office. It is necessary to do so, as you do not want your customers to go to your old address and return angrily.

Following these few tips will ensure that your moving experience is free of any hassle and tension.

Tips for Growing Your Small Business

Consumers have so many choices when it comes to choosing the right business for their needs. The first decision they must make is whether to go with a small or big business. Small businesses are able to focus on their mission and keep their fingers on the pulse of their customers. They are also able to offer more personal attention to their clients. But we have seen a dramatic decline in the number of small privately owned businesses these past few years.

For smaller businesses today, an important point to consider is whether they should develop an online store or website. Many experts agree that an online presence is essential for most businesses, and that there are several reasons why consumers should select a small business over a big one.

While many small companies see big companies as the enemy, their real competition is other small companies like themselves. Most big businesses already have a recognizable brand name. They also have a pretty loyal fan base. They are not worried about small operations knocking them down in sales. But other small shops must continue to fight their business counterparts to get an edge in today’s market.

Why would people choose to go with a smaller business over a larger one? Many customers enjoy the more personal and face-to-face attention they get from a small business; they’re not just talking to a voice on the end of a phone. Some people like to think that the money they’re spending is going back into the local community. You need to remember these principles when developing your website or online store.

It is increasingly straightforward for a small to medium business to establish an online presence nowadays. Successful online stores can really help small businesses increase their sales and steer their profits into the black. Before launching an online store, however, a small business first needs to learn how to make the most of its strengths.

Some small sized businesses make the mistake of using their online image as a way to appear bigger. But that image may turn away the customers they would normally attract with their usual image. Building an online image that reflects the hallmarks of a small business is important. Having an email address and phone number on your website for customers to contact you is a good way help them feel more personally connected to your business. Also consider an instant chat option with customer service representatives for your customers to receive real-time responses.

Also highlight how your small business benefits the local economy. Use your website to remind customers that you are a member of the community and that you care about it. Maybe highlight the employees to give them the “face” your customers want to see. That added personal touch is what brings in the types of people who are tired of big businesses and want better customer service.

Too many small businesses try to go bigger and better when they establish their online store or website. They lose sight of their original mission and forget about the things that people value about small business. Make sure you make good use of your business’s characteristics when establishing your online presence and don’t discard your small business image. This will help your venture online be a success.

Small Business Project Management: Six Pros and Cons

Growth hungry small businesses today in the UK and indeed throughout the world face the challenge of balancing two competing objectives. Firstly, businesses must maintain and standardise current business processes in order to give your business the chance to get really good at what it does through experience curve effects. Greater business efficiency normally translates into a better customer experience and higher profits. Secondly, businesses must transform business operations in order to survive and compete in the future. How well we are able to achieve the right balance for our business will ultimately determine if we survive and go on to thrive or go the way of so many small businesses into market irrelevancy and insolvency.

You may well be thinking right now what has this got to do with project management? To understand that we first need to understand the fundamental differences between projects and day to day business operations. Whilst many of the skills required to manage your “business as usual” activities are the same as those needed to manage projects, there are some crucial differences. Amongst the most significant differences are that project work tends to be at least cross functional and often cross organisational and every project will be unique in some way rather than following the predictable pattern of business as usual. These characteristics of projects introduce opportunities and risks over and above those encountered in business as usual. In short, projects are riskier than day to day business, and therefore need a different management approach.

Projects are the means by which we introduce change in organisations. All businesses that are making any attempt to adapt to face future challenges have projects. Common examples of projects in small businesses may include setting up a company website, establishing the office in a new location, or implementing a new product but it can be any temporary activity or set of activities that have a specific output associated with it. Businesses increase their productive capacity one project at a time. Indeed, for ambitious small companies looking to grow and expand, the need to initiate the right projects and achieve the desired results is even more vital l than it is for huge national and multi-national businesses

Despite the obvious need for a project management (PM) approach, most small businesses don’t bother. This constitutes a huge missed opportunity as effective project management impacts the bottom line. For example, research by the CBP shows that project management improvement initiatives improve project performance by up to 50% for the first project and can continue for each new project if the business offers ongoing project management tools and support. We could emphasise this point further by citing the Standish Group, who in their CHAOS Report conservatively estimates that 20% of money spent on projects is wasted because companies don’t have a consistent approach to project management.

Let’s take a look at six reasons I often hear from small business owners that choose not to bother with project management and then critically address the misconceptions behind these reasons.

1. Project management practices take more time

Having a process to follow may add time to the duration of an activity. Doing something properly will almost always take a little bit more time than adopting a slapdash approach. However, if you where building a house, would you rather have a quality end result that took a little longer, or would you prefer to have it done quickly but with lots of problems? Given that poorly executed projects can be completely de-rail a small business if they go badly, doing it well is essential, and PM processes help ensure things are done well.

2. Project management eats into the cash that I need to grow my business

A common misconception is that it is hugely expensive to implement PM process. The reality is that there are many free or low-cost sources of advice, techniques, tools, templates and project management services readily available and accessible through the Internet. If done correctly, any small business can implement PM processes, techniques and tools with very little cost. The likelihood is that small business owners are already using software and other tools that can be used for project management. For example, certain email software, spreadsheets, and other common software applications offer good templates for project management, especially if used in collaboration with some of the low cost project management services available for small businesses

3. Project management requires skills that I don’t have and cannot afford to hire

Although it does require specialised skills and experience to be an accomplished project manager, these are skills that can be learned over time. To move further up the learning curve faster, it is possible to take a PM course in as little as four or five days. Most small business owners tend to possess the knowledge needed for project management, and courses such as the Prince 2 Practitioner course would build on these skills while introducing the specific theories, tools, and processes essential for project management. Whilst business owners might not emerge from a course as a project expert, they would certainly learn valuable skills to apply to their small business.

4. I don’t need the hassle or paperwork of project management.

Every entrepreneur that starts their own business will, at some point, need to do a risk assessment, a marketing campaign or apply for finance. Being knowledgeable in project management and applying associated tools such as stakeholder analysis, communication planning and risk management will not only assist in many of these tasks, but will provide your small business with a competitive edge over competitors who do not approach.

5. Project management will slow me down and I need to stay agile.

Modern PM methodologies all acknowledge the importance of a tailored approach to project management. If your project requires speed, the right methodology can enable you to move quickly. Just as important, however, it will provide you with techniques to understand whether some proposed projects are worth pursuing at all. Rushing into situations without thoroughly understanding your environment is hazardous to the health of any project and potentially to the health of the business as a whole

6. I am an expert in my industry, I don’t need project management.

Most small businesses are started by a person who already has some expertise in their industry. This is unquestionably an advantage; however, project management should still be used to convert plans into reality. The main reasons for project failure tends to be poor planning, lack of capital, and lack of management. Project management, while not a cast-iron guarantee of success, will assist the small business in mitigating some of the common risks that so often cause project failure amongst small businesses.

Even a brief look at the reasons often posited by small business owners for failing to approach projects in a systematic and different way that recognises their inherent riskiness and addresses some of the more challenging aspects of project work shows them to be of dubious merit. Without question, the quality of project outputs would be greatly enhanced and the cost of and time taken in delivering project benefits using a project methodology appropriate to the scale of the project.

Small Business Management

Running a small, start-up business has it share of ups and downs. When I launched my company nearly nine years ago, running my own small business has been both rewarding and challenging. It has enabled me to establish greater balance in my life as I have reduced the administrative burden that corporate America places on each of its employees and replaced it with more time spent on developing content for my clients.

Given the choice, running my own small business is the best option for me at this stage of my life. I can work out of my house, see my kid on a regular basis, focus my work effort on content, rather than administration, and yes golf a tad. That being said, I am asked continually by others “what is it like to be in business for yourself?” as they contemplate the leap from corporate to sole proprietorship.

While it is not for everyone, here are some of the points of consideration that one should mull over before making the jump to starting your own small business:

One Stop Shop: One of the benefits of being a small business owner is the autonomy of “calling the shots”. You are the boss and clearly can steer your company as you see fit. Many think they relish this set-up but in reality, when it comes to being the self-motivator that is required to be successful – the “guy” to go to – lots fall short. Before you read any further, ask yourself if you are cut out to be the “go to guy”. If not, you can save yourself a lot of time and frustration. Simply stay in the corporate world.

Develop A Business Plan: So, why is business planning so crucial? In a word, it provides “clarity”. Investing time to develop a plan provides precise clarification of the company vision. In addition, it provides a mechanism to gauge the results of the business and provides the foundation for future growth plans. In the long haul, it enhances the company valuation through fiscal responsibility, which provides the story of opportunity to any future investor or employee. Business planning is one-part strategy and one-part tactics – but where the sausage actually gets made is in the execution. Execution comes in the hard work necessary to carry out a plan and the accountability for your activities by tracking them.

Understand Tax Burdens: Regardless of the political rhetoric surrounding the tax code and its impact on small business, the fact of the matter is that these entities are levied with a myriad of taxes. I am shocked by how many budding entrepreneurs fail to understand the taxes that small businesses pay. My company has essentially one of the easiest business operating models that a small business can have. I invoice a few clients per month; receive a few checks a month; pay a few bills a month; and have very little inventory and/or depreciation of capital assets. Despite that, my tax return was 84 pages last year. Filing as an S-Corp, my outlay on taxes is between 25% and 39% of federal taxes; North Carolina state income taxes ranging from 6.0% to 7.5%, social security and medicare (twice as a matter of fact for employer and employee) of 15.3%, so nearly 50% of all income goes to taxes and fees.

Replicate Yourself: Given the fact that you are a one stop shop, a small business owner needs to replicate themselves wherever possible. Tools such as social media and the acceptance of telecommuting through online collaboration have enabled small business owners to be in many places at one time. In order to be successful, small business owners need to tap these tools to maximize their exposure to potential clients as well as reaching customers outside of their immediate trade area. Prior to these tools being readily available, my business was limited to the state of Illinois (where my company was originally based). Since I have utilized these tools to replicate myself, I have had clients in thirteen different states.

Navigate Third-Party Challenges: A small business owner wears many hats and relies on third-party entities for key alliances. When Go Daddy had their website and email server outage in September, roughly 5.3 million small business websites and emails were knocked out. Small business owners rely on these support companies and at times, are held captive when issues arise. While my company does not conduct a lot of commerce via my website, many small operators lost online revenue due to the outage.

Be Wary Of Scams: Lastly, where there is a small business owner, there is a criminal waiting to prey on the unsuspecting operator. In fact, this past week, I received a letter from a group claiming to represent the State of Illinois. Having been in business nearly nine years, I am keenly aware of all of the annual expenditures that my company pays. As an Illinois corporation (operating in North Carolina), I received a letter stating that I needed to send in a $125 fee for my “Annual Minutes Records Form”. I didn’t recall ever doing this, and when I contacted my CPA, he shared the following press release with me:

In short, starting and running a small business may be the best decision you may ever make. Having the facts in advance of that decision are critical to ensure that you are positioned for success. Once you fully vet your decision-making for starting your small business, the rewards can be amazing…

Use Your Small Business Website To Gain Leverage Over The Competition – Unlock What’s Inside

There are many arsenal tools of a Small Business, but by far the greatest is the Business Website. Without a business website for The Small Businessman it can be very difficult to reach your fullest growth potential. There are many benefits locked inside your business website. The key is to find them and unlock your websites potential to be a money making machine for your business. See if these 5 power tools can unlock the potential that’s inside your website.

Tool 1. The Small Business Website Can Be Designed & Structured To Build Business

The structure of a Small Business Website can be designed to bring a focus to what’s important to you company and to bring you more business. Using proper placement of things like opt-in forms, videos, picture images, pop-up pages, landing pages, color palettes, Facebook & Twitter shares & survey forms can not only make you website fun & exciting to see visually, but it can also move and flow traffic to different pages of your website. Website design & structure can lead customers to buying shopping carts, that can boost sales. Large images on a photographer or artist website can help to showcase work better. The right placement of color on your web pages can turn the attention of your customers and highlight sales, a special discount coupon, or a survey form you desire your customer to fill out. What ever strategies you decide to use, make sure as you are designing your website with a little more thought about website design & structure to bring business.

Tool 2. The Small Business Website Is Your Voice

The Small Business Website is the primary tool to share the voice of your company. Your business website should be from your point of view. How or What your company… Thinks? Feels? Wishes? Desires? So how do you accomplish all of this in one website? Through CONTENT! Content Management is your voice. Sometimes on a website it is design with a blogging system that allows you to post content regularly which helps generate a following or leads. For businesses like MLM’s, Direct Sales, or Service Businesses, blogging has a very inexpensive starting cost with a high return value. Share the voice of your business with the world and watch the financial benefits follow.

Tool 3. The Small Business Website Can Be A Leverage Tool

When you have a small business, using your website to leverage or give your business the upper hand over competition is a high priority. There are statistics by Google that show 66% of Small Business do not have a business website. OK… Breathe & Meditate on this for a moment… Ready? What this statistic is saying, is only 44% of people in your industry have a website that is in front of buying customers each day. So if you have a product like Organic Skin Care, or a specialized service for example Immigration Law, then you can see how a business website can almost immediately increase your leveraging power. And remember to use your VOICE… ie CONTENT for more leveraging power.

Tool 4. The Small Business Website Can Establish You As The Expert & Authority

Now that you know only a small percentage of people have a small business website in your industry, it’s easier to recognized how powerful a website can be, and how this can set you as the expert or authority in your industry. Posting articles on your website puts your company’s name in front of your customers or clients. In your article, give your potential customers information that is helpful to them. Provide information that helps them to make a better buying decision on products. All of these things establishes your small business as an authority and you as the expert. Each week by sharing vital nuggets and segments of key reviews, potential customer & prospects look to your business for critical answers.

Tool 5. The Small Business Website Can Be The Ultimate Advertising Billboard

Most small business have little to no advertising dollars. So one of the best and least expensive ways to advertise is through your website. It is the Ultimate Advertising Billboard. Creating Banner Ads, for example, can showcase what your business does, or what you have to offer can be place on your website to increase your sales. Often time websites are built only as an Affiliate Marketing site for just that reason. Also the cost to advertise in the newspaper, or in a magazine can be expensive, and your ad will only run a few time before you have to pay again. With a website, your ads can stay up for as long as you like. When someone is using a search engines, an optimized website can drive traffic right to the Banner Ads with just what your customers wants.

The Three Biggest Lead Generation Mistakes Small Businesses Make And How To Overcome Them

If you’ve been looking for simple, proven and tested, step-by-step methods for generating more leads for your small business, then this article may just have the answer. Firstly, I want you to stop for a moment and think about all the advertising you’ve seen over the past week.

How many of those actual ads can you name? Researchers estimate that over the past seven days, you have been exposed to as many as 117,000 ads based on national averages. So out of 117,000 ads, how many can you name?

If you’re fairly attentive, you may be able to come up with 3 or 4 specific ads… but I’ll bet that’s because you probably see those ads over and over… week in and week out. Let’s face the facts… repetition works. When you see any advertisement multiple times every day you’re bound to eventually begin to recall the ad. But now answer this question.

What few ads you do remember, how many of their products or services have you bought? Because I have a passion for marketing I tend to go online and research for well accepted ads. Take for example a series of ads from online trading company E*Trade which uses babies to promote their products. These have a massive audience on both TV and YouTube. They even had one during the Superbowl. I think they’re a scream. But… I don’t have an E*Trade account. Never have, never will. Why should I?

What benefits do they offer me as a potential buyer of online trading services that any of the hundreds of other stock trading services offer? See my point? Does a smart-aleck, wise-cracking baby have any relevance to online stock trading whatsoever? Of course not. So why does E*Trade continue to make these commercials? Believe it or not, there is a reason… and by the end of this short presentation, you’ll fully understand what that reason is.

Businesses today are led to believe that all they have to do to build a successful business is create some type of attention-grabbing form of marketing and they will generate leads at will. Nothing could be further from the truth. And that’s just in the area of marketing. What about generating fast cash flow? EVERY small business needs to generate fast cash flow. So how do you do that as a small business owner? What about generating profits? Generating more cash flow is great… but not if you don’t get to put any of it in your pocket at the end of the day. How would you like the answers to all of these problems?

In this article I am going to reveal to you the three biggest lead generation mistakes small business owners make… and outline how you can overcome them.

Here are the three mistakes. Mistake #1… they fail to get professional help. Mistake #2… they don’t know the fundamentals required to successfully market their business and attract as many new clients as their business can handle. And mistake #3… they have no idea how to use their marketing to generate immediate cash flow. Let’s explore these three in depth, and show you how you can easily and systematically overcome each one of them.

Mistake #1… small business owners fail to get professional help. Can you name me just one professional athlete who does NOT have a coach? There aren’t any. Tiger Woods actually has a total of 9 coaches guiding him in everything from his golf game to his financial investments. But do small business owners really need professional help? Remember the TV ads we previously discussed? Those ads are created by “professionals.” Unfortunately, those professionals have no clue what they’re doing. Everything they’re doing in marketing and advertising today is wrong! But let me prove that to you right now.

If you currently use any form of marketing such as a print ad, brochure, postcard, flyer… or for that matter… your company website, take it out and look at it carefully. And if you don’t have any form of marketing right now, take out a sheet of paper and sketch out what you think would make for an effective ad for your business. It doesn’t have to be anything formal or fancy… just create a basic outline of the ad and where you would locate the various elements on the page.

Now that you have your ad… or a mock up of your ad sitting in front of you, let me provide you with the little known secrets that produce more leads than your business can handle. 99% of all marketing professionals DON’T know the lead generation secrets I’m about to reveal to you. This information is so powerful and compelling, it will position you in the top 1% of all lead generation professionals today. This example will show you why every small business owner should acquire our step-by-step roadmap as they start to generate leads for their business.

Here’s what a true marketing professional will know… and help you implement into your marketing. It’s known as the “marketing equation.” This marketing equation will let you quit competing on price… and let you start selling your product or service for what it’s really worth. You will drive in more leads and increase your advertising response by 10 to more than 100 times. You will convert a higher percentage of those leads and dramatically increase your number of sales. You will get a bigger bang for your marketing buck. The bottom line is this you will literally create a profit faucet that you will have TOTAL control over.

First, you MUST understand what marketing is supposed to do. Its purpose is actually three fold. Its first job is to capture the attention of your target market. Second, it must give them the hope that reading or listening to your marketing will give them enough information to help them make the best decision possible when buying whatever you sell. In other words, train and teach them how to recognize the true value of your product or service… and conclude that you… and you alone… offer the best value versus your competition. Marketing’s third job is to lower the risk of taking the next step in the buying process… and if necessary… continue to educate the prospect regarding the value you offer.

Marketing that accomplishes these three objectives will result in your prospects and customers coming to one single conclusion, that they would have to be an absolute fool to do business with anyone else but you, regardless of price. It’s estimated that as many as 96% of all small businesses fail within their first 5 years. The main reason for this tremendously high failure rate has to do with the lack of expertise when it comes to generating leads and making the phone ring.

Most small businesses don’t know anything about those three things that marketing is supposed to do. But there’s also an additional problem to consider. Most small business owners use a tactical marketing approach instead of a strategic approach. Let me explain.

Running an ad in the local newspaper… sending out an email or direct mail letter… airing a radio or TV ad on a local media station are all examples of tactical marketing. Now don’t get me wrong… the newspaper, radio or direct mail can be successful marketing channels… If your marketing message is powerful and compelling. But that’s the problem… the message is the strategic side of marketing… and yet, it’s the most neglected.

This distinction between strategic and tactical marketing is huge and one you need to be acutely aware of anytime you start talking about generating more leads. Many companies mistakenly assume that when you talk about lead generation, you’re automatically talking about tactical lead generation… placing ads, sending out mailers, joining a networking group, attending tradeshows, implementing a prospect follow up system and so on.

They fail to realize that the strategic side of the coin, what you say in your marketing and how you say it is almost always more important than the marketing medium where you say it. If you fail to make this distinction, then you risk becoming jaded towards certain forms of marketing and advertising that should be a part of your tactical plan, but you eliminate them from consideration because they haven’t worked for you in the past.

When lead generation results are less than optimal, small business owners tend to almost always blame the marketing medium… like the newspaper the ad ran in or the postcards they sent out. They blame the tactical part of the plan… without any regard for how good or how bad the strategic messaging in that marketing piece was. People often say things like, “we tried radio and it doesn’t work for our kind of business,” or “we sent out 50,000 pieces of direct mail and only generated 3 orders. It just doesn’t work.”

Just because it didn’t work, don’t assume that it won’t work. Most people don’t have the evaluation skills or the know-how to judge whether poor marketing results from poor strategy or poor tactical execution. This is where our step-by-step roadmap can generate more leads than your business can handle.

For example, most small business owners rely heavily on platitudes in their marketing. They say things like – we have the lowest prices… the best service… we’re family owned and operated… we offer convenient hours… the best value… not to mention that we’ve been in business since 1431 B.C. Look at your own marketing that I asked you to acquire or create earlier. How many platitudes did you use in your own marketing?

By the way, this is NOT your fault. Small business owners have been conditioned to think this is the proper way to market their businesses… since most advertising follows this same pathetic marketing formula… including the Fortune 500 types.

As human beings, we’re all after just one thing when we buy something… the best deal! Unfortunately, when you use platitudes in your marketing, there’s absolutely no way to tell who is actually offering the best deal. Everyone says they have the lowest prices, the highest quality and the best rates. So who do you believe? There’s only one way to know… and that’s to research every single business that offers what you want to buy. How many of us have the time or patience to do that?

So most of us just automatically assume that everyone is pretty much the same, and therefore we default to calling on the business that offers us the lowest price. When you can’t communicate the true value your business offers, you’re doomed to forever compete on price. Our marketing equation will change all of that for you forever. It’s going to be the backbone of your strategic marketing plan. It’s the foundation on which everything else we build for you is based. Let me give you a quick overview and then spend some time going through it with you in detail.

A proper marketing equation has four main components. First, it must interrupt your prospects. It must get your qualified prospect to pay attention to your lead generation marketing. Simple enough to say, but a lot more difficult to pull off in real life unless you understand what you’re about to learn here. The interrupt is done through your headline if your marketing is in print… or it’s the first thing you say if your marketing through radio or TV. The second component is engage. Once your prospect is interrupted, it’s critical you give your reader the promise that information is forthcoming that will help the prospect make the best buying decision possible. In other words, it must help facilitate their decision to pick you over anyone else. This is the job of our subheadline.

The interrupt is our headline that highlights a specific problem that your prospects are looking for a solution to… and the engage is our subheadline that promises them that you offer a solution to the problem we mentioned in our headline.

The third component you need to include is ‘educate’. Once you have interrupted and engaged your prospect, you have to give information that allows them to logically understand how and why you solve the problem they’re facing. This is accomplished by giving detailed, quantifiable, specific and revealing information. This is typically done in the body copy of your ad. When you educate, you need to reveal to your prospects the important and relevant information they need to know when making a good decision, and that your business… and yours alone… provides it to them. The interrupt and engage hit the prospects emotional hot buttons. Educate is the logic they need to justify picking up the phone and calling you.

The fourth and final component of the marketing equation is your offer. Now that you have interrupted your prospect based on problems that are important to them… engaged by a promise of the solution… and they’ve examined the educational information that makes your solution real and believable… the last step you need to take is to give them a low risk way to take the next step in your sales process. You do this by offering a free marketing tool, such as a report, brochure, seminar, audio, video or something that will continue to educate them. Your offer will allow your prospect to feel in control of their final decision to call and buy from you.

So your marketing equation is interrupt, engage, educate and offer and together they equal market domination. Now here’s the problem. Most marketing today only contains two of these components. They interrupt by throwing something at you that’s either familiar like Tiger Woods… or unusual like a monkey or talking pets. Sometimes they like to use both, as in the case of the E*Trade baby. Then once they grab your attention, they make you some type of offer such as “call now for whatever.” They have left out the engage and the educate, and marketing seldom succeeds when that happens.

In fact, the only time this type of marketing does succeed is when you can afford to run the ad over and over nonstop for an extended period of time. Plop, plop, fizz, fizz… melts in your mouth, not in your hand… and the burgers are better at… have literally been rammed down our throats by Fortune 500 types. After hearing these slogans thousands of times, of course we’re going to remember them. But how can a small business owner like you that doesn’t have a billion dollar marketing budget successfully market your business. The answer… you can’t… UNLESS you follow the entire marketing equation.

And finally the third biggest mistake small business owners make is that they have no idea how to use their marketing to generate immediate cash flow. When you follow this marketing equation in every form of marketing you do… from your business cards to your company website, the financial results are instantaneous and immediate.

So in conclusion, the three biggest lead generation mistakes small businesses make are #1… they fail to get professional help. #2… they don’t know the fundamentals required to successfully market their business and attract as many new clients as their business can handle. And #3… they have no idea how to use their marketing to generate immediate cash flow.

The above marketing equation contains the fundamental components for instantly making your phone ring and positioning your business as the dominant force in your market. It provides the marketing foundation that will enable you to generate immediate cash flow. And small businesses can use this information as a minimum standard when seeking out professional help for their business.

When you can overcome these three biggest lead generation mistakes, you will generate all the leads your business can handle.