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5 Great Ways To Gain More Business

Your home business will survive only if it grows. But, how can you grow your business? Do you want to expand and take on employees, or just keep it for yourself? While the direction and scope of your business is your choice, there are some sure-fire ways to gain more business.

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What is your image? Your image is more than just your logo. It is the essence of your business. It tells people why you do what you do. It helps you to establish your objectives and to keep your focus.

Know Your Customer

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Most business owners would not go into business if they did not already have a core set of customers to get them on their feet. But, that core set cannot be the only customers you have. Research the market in your area and in areas to which you wish to expand. Study the demographics of these areas.

Will there be any barriers that would keep you from entering that market? Will the market area support your product? It pays to work this out ahead of time, and knowing your customers will mean that you can successfully market your product in that area.

Networking

Social media has been a game changer when it comes to networking. LinkedIn, Reddit, Twitter, and YouTube are powerful tools in getting your name out there and building brand recognition. This also helps you to discover who the decision makers are in various industries. When you are selling a product or service, you need to speak to the people who decide to hire you.

If networking online is not fast enough for you, get on the telephone. Cold calling is hard, but it still pays off in spades. Your goal is to get the appointment to make your pitch, and whether that means you ask the receptionist who you should speak to, or get an introduction via LinkedIn, you do what it takes.

Be Passionate

When you finally get to speak to your potential client in person, be passionate. Remember your image, your vision, your goal. And, remember why you got into business in the first place. It can be one of the most difficult things you ever do at first, to put everything on the line, but you will find that every time you do it, you come to visualize your success even more. If you have to practices your pitch, do so! You are onstage, and need to close the sale.

Make it Matter

If you do the research you should, you will know how your product or service can solve a problem for your potential client. You are not trying to sell something, you are trying to solve a problem. When you approach it this way, you will care more about helping your client, and he will care more about your product.

By remembering these 5 points, you will build your customer base and expand your business. Whether you are a small business owner, operate a home business, or have a startup, the customer needs that personal attention.

Six Tips For Creating Successful Banner Ads

With a small home business, it’s difficult to make your name known to the masses, especially with the broad and overwhelming activity on the internet. However, it’s crucial to advertise your business and especially your website to potential customers; or else all of your hard work is wasted.

A tried and true method of achieving this recognition is through banner ads. Banner ads are one of the most profitable ways of letting web surfers know what your business is all about, and why they should go to you. Here are six helpful tips for creating a successful banner ad which will draw in clients.

1. Keep it brief and keep it interesting.

Internet surfers have a short attention span, so explain what you’re offering quickly and concisely. Allow them to get an impression in a single glance. Once you have their attention, however, don’t tell them too much; leave an open question to be answered once they click through, so they’re compelled to go to your site.

2. Have a good headline.

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Get your point across immediately with a persuasive headline. This is the first thing your visitor sees, so don’t waste the opportunity. If you’re offering a sale, place the product and the savings amount in the forefront of the image, in big or otherwise eye-catching text. This is a “hook” for the visitor.

3. Don’t look like spam.

On the internet, visitors are constantly bombarded by virus risks and threats; most people will look right past banners for those reasons. Additionally, web surfers see banners day in and day out, and become immune to them. This is called “Banner Blindness”. To avoid this, keep yours looking tight, clean, and objective – which will result in an impression of professionalism, and respect, and originality. It’ll instill a sense of trust, and make visitors more inclined to click through on your banner.

Also, evaluate the kind of site your banner will be featured on. Try to stand out from the competition, so your banner doesn’t blend in with the block of advertisement and become victim to Banner Blindness.

4. Place your website address somewhere on the banner design.

This will help people see it’s not spam. If they can have a preview of the title of your website, they’ll be able to see where you’re taking them and feel less at risk by clicking through.

5. Use images.

Words are important, but images catch the attention and elicit an emotional response. By using an image in your banner ad, you can give visitors a quick impression on your website or the products you’re offering. Reading what you have to offer takes devotion and attention, and most visitors won’t accept this. Use text to compliment the pictures, to reinforce the emotional response, but don’t rely on it entirely.

Banner Ads can be potentially damaging, or at least ineffective, without proper techniques to tailor them. However, when done well, they can greatly increase your website traffic, making a significant difference in your business.

Company Logos: Why They Are Important

Almost every successful business has a logo that identifies their particular company, pointing consumers to their product. Logos are an essential identifying mark for companies and an effective advertising tool for any business. Logos, if designed correctly, can be the most important foot forward in your marketing plan, conveying a positive message to your consumers with a simple glance. A good logo distinguishes your products from other companies.

1. Know the message that you want to send to consumers before you choose a logo image.

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A logo is the visual identity of your company to the public, and it helps consumers understand what your company provides. When choosing a logo, make sure that image informs consumers who and what your business is all about.

2. In a digital- and visual-based world, a powerful image can bring something to mind faster than written words and brand names.

Most people immediately know that polar bears are the image for Coca-Cola, and that the “Swoosh” is the signature sign of Nike. Nobody thinks of Pepsi when they see the image of sledding polar bears drinking bottles of soda. Causing a quick recall in the consumer’s mind makes a company’s logo almost more important than the company name. Choosing the wrong company logo could seriously damage your business.

3. A recognizable and successful company logo blends the business name with the image inside the minds of potential consumers.

Example: When someone finds mice in their house, they may not remember the name of the pest company that parked across the street from their house; even if the company stayed there for three days and did a great job at their neighbor’s home. But they’ll never forget that huge gray mouse that sat on top that small yellow car. So all they need to do is search pest control businesses with the same logo image, and that company now has their business. A smart and thoughtful company logo is all about having a clever image that, with one look, tells who they are and what they are selling.

4. A good logo can often give you the psychological advantage inside the buyer’s mind.

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Consumers often buy the product that has — what they consider to be — the best company logo and the most attractive packaging. Think about your favorite products and ask yourself how their logo affects your buying decisions? Many grocery stores have their own store-brand items sitting on the shelves directly next to the most popular brand-named items. So think about this. Do the store-brand’s plain white & black labeled cans look nearly as appealing as the brand-named can with bright colors and bright smiling faces, making you feel like you’re buying the healthiest product for your family? A good company logo can inspire your target audience to purchase from you, even if other named brands are cheaper.

A quality logo can greatly improve your businesses’ success.

5 Things To Remember When Designing Your Business Card

Business cards have been a reliable source of advertising since long before the internet was created. Many businesses still employ the tactic, and as a small business, it’s important for you to take advantage of this as well. However, creating a good business card is a difficult task. Here are a few quick tips for designing a successful card.

1. Make your card sturdy.

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While this may seem simple, it’s important that your business card has a long lifespan for whoever you hand it out to. If a few weeks of wear and tear in an old wallet rub off the phone number or website of your business, then it’s effectively useless altogether and you’ve wasted your time. Make sure the paper of the card is thick and able to withstand the test of time — plastic is even better. While the cost may be a bit extra, it’ll look more professional and be a good representative of your business.

2. Make it eye-drawing.

Simple clip art might be minimalist and easy to come by, but a unique-looking card is going to catch the attention of your customer and make them inspect it further. People are naturally attracted to eye-pleasing displays, so it’s important that your card looks sharp and appealing. It’s also important to make an impression with your design; use art or text that reflects something in your business and the products you’re selling, so customers can associate it with you. If your business is selling computers that are stronger and more durable than the competitors, for example, then use a design to imply this.

3. Don’t make your card look cluttered.

Too much activity, on the other hand, can have the opposite effect and make consumers look away. If it takes too much time to study your card, people will save themselves the trouble and not bother at all. Keep your art simple and to-the-point; a single design in the corner of the card is more effective than one that encapsulates the entire card and makes it look too busy.

4. Make your contact information the main attraction.

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Business cards are simply a reference for contacting you, and this should be their main objective. By making your businesses’ phone number or email larger than your title, you’ll allow the customer to quickly reference it without fuss or muss; that will leave a good impression, if even on a small scale.

5. Chose a quality printing company.

Business card printing is very important, because the quality of your card will reflect the quality of your business, even if in a minor way. Having the text be a deep black and sharp, for example, will look tight and professional over a faded gray, and a sleek card will look better than a flimsy paper one. Choosing a good printing company to provide you with this is paramount. These cards are a way of marketing yourself to new or familiar buyers; it leaves with them. Let it represent you well.

Can You Have A Career In Blogging?

The answer is yes. However, there is one condition: You must have a successful blog. You can only make money if you have an audience, and money follows large groups of people. It takes a lot to create a quality blog, and not everyone is capable of it. Here are some tips to ensure you are.

Have solid content, and stick to a topic.

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You need to produce quality blog posts and other kinds of content, so your readers are engaged and feel the need to return. The way to do this is with focus. Find an interesting topic that will attract attention. Originality is always important, but choosing a popular topic is also advantageous.

Once you have this great subject, stick with it. With all the overwhelming information and entertainment on the internet, visitors want something they can understand quickly. If you blog is a dancing mesh of topics without any core, the reader won’t waste their time. Keep it focused. This will keep your blogging career’s nose above water.

Have a good theme.

This is your introduction to the internet. If a visitor arrives at your page with blaring colors, flashing graphics, and hard-to-find navigation tabs, the trouble will quickly become more than it’s worth and you’ll lose a follower. Followers are the heart of a blog; it can’t function without them. So make sure to have a welcoming theme that doesn’t deter visitors, while still being unique to you and your site.

Have time for the blog.

You can create a wonderful blog, but if you don’t devote enough time to it, it’ll never achieve success. Then all your time is wasted. Maybe blogging isn’t for you, and that’s fine; but if you want to start a blog, be sure of your decision before you commit. Once you start, you have to be consistent in your posts and interaction; you have to be present; and you have to be fresh with new content and new things to engage your readers.

Have a memorable URL.

You need a title web surfers will remember, and one that fits your blog’s topic.

Chose a type of hosting.

Having your own space on the internet can be spendy, such as in the case of paid domains. These costly domains give you a firm platform to build off of and offer you more security for your site. However, there are cheaper alternatives. There are several sites, such as WordPress and Tumblr, which offer free blogs for your use. The downsides are the small “.wordpress.com” lines attached to the end of your blog, as well as limits to how much you can advertise and what you can upload. Additionally, should this host site decide they don’t like your blog, they can delete it. So you’re saving money, but at a risk.

Conclusion: You can have a career in blogging, but it will take time and careful choices. Above are a few tips to help you achieve this goal.

Why Selecting Your Printing Company Is Important To Your Small Business

When managing a small home business, you may find yourself in desperate need of printing services. Whether this is due to a need for business cards, advertising pamphlets, contracts, posters, or anything in between, choosing the right kind of printing service is important. When considering the advantages, choosing large printing company over a smaller one will ensure profitability and relatability for your business, which is crucial for making sure your consumers’ demands are met.

Here are three reasons why you should choose a big printing company to service you, over a small one.

1. Larger printing service companies are often less expensive.

 

Larger companies buy printing products, such as specialized paper and inks, in massive quantities. As a result, they’re able to lower their prices, because they’ve both saved money and made a profit from the mass sales. A smaller print shop is often not able to afford ten thousand ink cartridges, at one time, and, therefore, they are unable to lower their prices in order to meet the larger competitive printing service prices. Additionally, a larger company is able to sell to a greater number of customers, take on larger printing jobs, and are then in the position to sell their services at a lower price without damaging their overhead budget.

2. Larger printing service companies are often more reliable.

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Since larger companies traditionally have a larger budget available to them, they can pay a higher wage and employ a larger staff than a smaller company. The better wages often attract employees with a higher skill level, and the company then has the benefit of a larger collaborative process, which allows them to create a system to best suit the needs of their customers.

Some printing jobs, as with a large wedding or 50th anniversary party, cannot be handled by a smaller company, simply because of the lack of staff or finances available to them.

Often larger printing companies have a customer-friendly refund policy as their larger budget allows– even if the customer is clearly in the wrong. A smaller printing service company may not be able to do so without seriously damaging their bottom line.

3. They have worldwide locations.

Location is key in any area, but having the benefit of many locations – as with a larger printing company that has several franchises — rules the game. A printing service that is part of a major franchise will have a parent corporation backing them. This allows them to open more stores spanning the entire world. So should you need some printing done outside of your own region, you can find, say, a reliable printing service in Singapore. You don’t have to work with business you’re unsure of, with policies you’re unfamiliar with; you can pick the most comfortable and trustworthy brand you know.

When managing your small home business, having solid providers keeping your needs met is crucial when meeting the demands of others. To ensure your own success, you must choose the most dependable and profitable source.

Three Reasons Why Hiring a Designer Can Bring Your Small Business Success

Logos are the customer’s first impression of your company. Being such, it’s crucial for any business, large or small, to have a good logo. While the process of building one may seem simple, it’s a complex procedure of gauging a faceless audience’s psyche to best attract them to your products. Creating your own is a manageable task, but when considering the success of your business, quality is paramount. If you’re looking for results you can be confident in, place the first impression of your business into the hands of a good designer.

1. Quality will matter in the final product.

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Consumers see logos day in and day out, and whether they are experts in the field or not, they become familiar with the quality expected in important and serious businesses. If your logo is lacking in quality, the buyer will take instant (and even subconscious) notice, and perceive your company as lacking in quality. This can drive them to go to the next business that presents itself better. Having a good logo designer can ensure your logo is up to par in every aspect of the design — be it the colors, typography, the sharpness of the image, or the originality of the scheme — so it looks good and draws in customers.

2. Designers know how to cater to the market.

Since logos are their stock and trade, they will be able to give you advice on which elements work and which do not. Perhaps the Amazon logo would have been less popular had it been an image of a monkey. It’s the sharpness of the text and the arrow pointing from “A to Z” (emphasizing the purpose of the business) that makes it iconic. This gives customers a face to attach a good reputation to. An experienced designer can do this for you, and create a logo that catches eyes while perfectly selling the intent of your business and all of your products. They know how the mind of the market works and can give you the best foot forward to cater to that psyche.

3. Designers know what is original and the importance of originality.

Logo designers work with logos constantly, so they’re very experienced in what has been done and what is yet untapped. They’ll be familiar with all kinds of logos, and in hiring one, they can create a unique one for you alone, unlike a lesser designer who may scrap things from other successful or little known logos – either on purpose or by accident. While it may look nice, if it doesn’t strike the consumer as original for you, it’ll show potential customers that you are not devoted, not worth remembering; and it may instead divert their attention to the logo you copied from.

Hiring a good logo designer is very important if you wish to make a positive impression on customers and optimize the success of your business.

How To Best Manage Your Time While Working From Home

When you ask freelancers or small business owners what the greatest benefit of working at home is, they’ll likely answer with, “The freedom to control your own schedule.” While this is absolutely true, there are a lot of troubles facing those who wish to manage their own schedules. The freedom to choose also brings the freedom to neglect, leading many home-workers into an ineffective routine for managing their professional careers.

  1. Keep a to-do list.

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This is vital for keeping a balanced productivity-to-private-time ratio. You can choose the old fashioned method of pen and paper, or one of the many useful apps available to you through the internet. Apple’s Reminder app works excellently for this, because it allows you to categorize certain entries by importance and date, so you can keep consistent and organized. When something needs done, don’t forget to jot it down quickly in your notes in a “Professional” tab, and perhaps assign it a date so you know which work day needs to be address it. This will help you organize your days and accomplish much-needed tasks.

  1. Prioritize.

When completing workloads, it’s important to ration the responsibilities until you’re not overwhelmed. Working from home allows you to work at your leisure, but it’s also easy to overwork yourself – no one’s telling you, “Only forty hours a week!” anymore. To manage your time well and complete your deadlines, address your workload in the order of importance. Which deadline is soonest? Which will take the longest? Which will take the least time? Evaluate what must be done and address it in order, so you’re being the most productive with your time.

  1. Don’t procrastinate.

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Working from home means managing your own schedule, but it also means being harsher with yourself than your nine-to-five boss may have been. Yes, you have the option to chat on the phone a little longer, but it doesn’t mean you should take this opportunity. Set a time for working and make sure to have your butt in your work-chair at that time.

  1. Set hours.

Okay, your dog vomited all over your carpet and you couldn’t get to your desk at the designated time. No problem; that’s the fun of working at home. As an alternative and an addition, designate a certain amount of hours you’re to work. This can be five hours, two hours, or ten hours – you’re working from home, enjoy it! Simply make sure you’re accomplishing whatever needs done in this time. Maybe you don’t start until nine o’clock at night, but make sure you’ve put in your, say, six hours of work.

After applying all these techniques, make sure to take time and evaluate how your productivity has increased with this tactics. You may need to address the faster moving projects above the larger ones, or you may need to up your set hours. The work process is an evolving creature, so feel free to revise your tactics as you go, to optimize yourself as a small business owner.

How To Stay Positive About Your Small Business

As a small business owner, you are blazing an untouched trail. Perhaps there are other businesses of your nature in the market, but that does matter; you are charting something of your own from scratch. You’ll face daunting trials and a great deal of discouragement from your peers and others in the market because of that. It’s easy to fall into despair considering all of those negative things; and when that lets the wind out of your sails, it’s easy to lose motivation in your business — and then it fails. You don’t want to prove that negativity right. So here are three quick tips for staying positive about your business.

  1. Take stock of the good things.

You’ll have many people telling you that your business isn’t worthwhile; especially in the early stages. Or if you don’t have people saying this, you’ll certainly have the market informing you of the fact, or your bank account. So it’s important to remind yourself of the highlights of your business, and take stock of your successes as they happen. The more you remind yourself of your victories, the smaller your failures will seem and you’ll feel the strength to push on. Write a small journal entry every night, detailing only what went right in your business. Start a private blog, where you catalog the highpoints to yourself and a few readers, who may end up encouraging you as well.

  1. Speak positivity.

When you have a family member ask about the profits of your business, you’re not obligated to detail what figures you made in the week or month. A simple, “It’s been good,” is acceptable. This is a positive comment that reassures you as well as reassures them. Speak good things about your business. Don’t just remind yourself of the highpoints, talk about them and only focus on them. Yes, maybe a client threw you under the bus that day; but instead say, “I landed another deal.” Or, “My website is still doing well.” Speak positive things until you believe them.

  1. Talk to other business owners.

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The best way to feel confident about your business is to discuss someone else’s. It allows you to see outside your own sphere and realize that, yeah, clients throw other businesses under the bus too. Yes, other home-workers make pathetic wages for the month once in a while also. Of course other freelancers are criticized horribly over something that wasn’t their fault. You’re not alone, and this doesn’t mean the end of your business. Talk with others and vent your frustrations; they can give you sympathy or personal advice, which may end up benefiting your business.

Creating a home business can be one of the best decisions you ever make; but you must stick with it. In a world and a market full of negativity, that can be quite the daunting task to take on. However, it’s direly important to push on with a positive mindset to prove those doubters wrong. Push on to success!

How To Be Professional In Your New Small Business

In the age of internet and online companies, there’s an explosion of small businesses, looking for success. Many consumers are thirsty for their services. However, thanks to the internet, there’s also a swarm of people who wish to meet the demand. Here are some easy tips for standing out from the rest and making customers and clients alike appreciate your time and effort.

1. Build and have a portfolio.

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Showcase your work; this gives your client the opportunity to see what style of work you can accomplish, or the products you offer. It can be the good first impression that lands you the deal. Build a quality portfolio as soon as you can and improve it constantly, no matter what stage in the game you’re at. Displaying it on your website can attract clients and save them time in deciding who they want for the job.

2. Communicate regularly with the clients.

As a business owner, you’re constantly catering to the tastes of your client. The more in-contact you are with the client, the more secure they’ll feel in your abilities to complete provide the needed service. So give them progress reports and let them see the stages of completion; this way they can also request alterations or corrections early on, before you’ve gone too far.

3. Be creative with your clients.

When you’re providing a custom service, such as with graphic design, you must be adaptable. Suggest different approaches to their graphics or different styles altogether. Respect their opinion and remember its importance, but don’t be afraid to suggest additions or modifications. This will make the client feel more comfortable and could lead the development of something greater than the original plan. This also presents a creativity only you can offer, which encourages clients to return to you over the next designer.

4. Be honest.

If your deadline presses in and you have to sacrifice quality for the sake of time, make sure to tell your client and ask them if meeting the deadline is more important. Apologize for your mistakes and, if you can, offer compensation. Clients are understanding, but everyone is easily frustrated by half truths. If you can build solid reputation for your worth ethic, people will respect that and chose you over someone who lacks that quality.

5. Be willing to go the extra mile.

If a client comes to you with a deadline that must be met, try to arrange your schedule and help them fix the crisis. It may come at an extra cost to you now – by having to work without much compensation (or many breaks) – but you’ll make an impression on the client, and they’ll be more likely to return for your services.

To achieve success with your business, you not only have to offer quality products or services; you must present yourself with the same attention to quality as you show in your work. These are tips will help satisfy your clients.