Category Archives: My Blog

Small Business Plan Guide & Marketing

Are you considering starting your own small business? If so, you are embarking on a big step, hopefully towards success. You will either be very successful or you will fail. With this small business plan guide, you can learn how to build a business plan that will further your success.

First, you need to have a concrete idea of what your business is and how you will succeed. What is your product or service? Who are you trying to sell to? How much will you sell your product or service for? These are all good questions you must take into consideration. Advertising planning is an important part of every business plans. Don’t forget about it. A business plan is absolutely necessary before you begin any business. Make sure it includes everything you need. You will need a product, you must know your demographic very well, you will need to find a location for your business, you will probably have to set up the legalities of your business, and you will need a solid marketing plan. These will all help you get what you want and need.

Your marketing plan is very important. If you don’t successfully market your product or service, you won’t make any money. Make sure you keep the four P’s in mind: product, placement, promotion, and price. These all come together to successfully market your product if you put enough time and thought into setting them up. It doesn’t matter how big or small your business is, marketing is still very important.

When you have a good business plan, you can then use it to begin your business. If you need capital for your business, you will need to show the business plan to your possible investors or banks in order to get them to lend you the money you need to start up your business. Start-up costs can be very steep, and unless you have enough in savings, you will need to get help. Throughout the life of your business, you should continuously fine-tune and improve your business plan to make sure it keeps your business strong and successful.

Social Media Marketing – Is It Right For Your Business

Social media has had an immense impact on the way that people connect to other countries. There are literally millions of people utilizing their favorite social networks at every minute of the day. All demographics are represented in social media outlets, and many of them have made a substantial amount of capital in developing and advertising on some of the more popular networks. It is a very feasible means to inform people of the prospective business. And it can be promoted in such a broad or narrow sense; a person can essentially expect some pretty good conversions.

Unfortunately, social media marketing may not be for the benefit of each business. While social networks have a wide demographic, they are mostly populated by ages 18-24, and some of the products may not be applicable to that particular age group. While there is a market for essentially everything on these social networks, it is not very likely that people surfing Facebook would be interested in AARP information. This isn’t to say that it wouldn’t particularly work; it just wouldn’t garner the traffic that a person would expect after shelling out big bucks.

For the person who wants to make the most out of their social media marketing efforts, they will need to identify if there is a realistic chance that their business will benefit. There’s another thing to consider. Social media marketing isn’t free, and people are spending significant amounts of money assuring that they will have success.

All in all, social media marketing is an amazing way to get some impressive ROI and has been for quite a while.

Sadly, there are many people who make the mistake of foraying into this world without enough intelligence, and most of these efforts end in a headache. In short, understand the mass composition of social networks before making any decisions.

Working From Home Tips

If you work from home you will no doubt sometimes wonder if working at home is holding your potential back. Could you be more productive? Would you be happier? Here are some of the top tips I have found around the net and a few of my own.

Separate Work and Living Space

One of the best things you can do if you work from home is to keep your work and living environments entirely separate. Ideally a separate room or building if you are lucky enough. If you have somewhere you can close off at the end of the day it will help you psychologically switch off from work too. Equally it will help you switch to work mode when you leave your ‘living areas’ and enter your work space.

If you cannot completely physically separate your areas, at the very least try to move your work stuff out of site. Put paper work away in a draw and switch off your computer.

Dress for work

This one might sound a bit wild, but you really should dress for work. Working successfully from home is all about being about to switch between your home life and your work life as quickly and effectively as possible. I have found now, and so have others I have read on the net, that actually dressing for work when its time to work can be a great way to get into the right mind set.

At the very least I strong suggest the ’shoe trick’. When you work put your shoes on, when you are relaxing at home take them off. Probably sounds a bit pointless but if you do anything I recommend this. You soon train yourself to know that when your in your shoes your at work and it gets much easier to switch to work mode.

Keep Strict Hours

Not always possible but if you can work set hours do it. Don’t sleep in because you can, force yourself to get up in line with normal business hours and equally don’t work past your normal end of day time. I’m a bit of a hypocrite on this one because I often do both these things, do find that stopping at a set time when you may still have work to do acts as a great motivator to start working the next day.

Take Breaks

Just because you work from home doesn’t mean you don’t get breaks. Make the time to have a good lunch hour and take breaks through out the day, especially if you are stuck in front of a computer as I am. Ideally if you can go out of your home, take a walk, walk the dog etc. I have found one of the worst things with working at home is that you seem to never leave the house.

Virtual Offices

I recently looked into virtual offices. They are a great way for a small business to give a more professional appearance. You get a professional looking address…something like 10 Buckingham Palace or something, a telephone number which you will normally get someone answering your calls when you cannot answer your calls yourself. This is great if sometimes you cannot be at your desk and you don’t want calls to ring off. These aren’t too expensive.

Organisation

Keep to-do lists to stay on top of your workload and plan your next day at the end of the last. This way you spend less productive time thinking what next to do. Another great thing with to-do lists is that you can cross out things once they are done which I find is a great way to keep motivated and see the progress I’m making.