All Articles Tagged "growing your business"
Census data shows that the number of black-owned businesses has more than tripled the national rate, and with the growth of these businesses in the community, business owners must ensure they’re taking the right steps to hiring the right people that will help them see their business grow.
For you first time entrepreneur, the road to achieving your dreams may seem a bit overwhelming at first. You’ve got your grand idea, perhaps a location and a website, and with new business coming in everyday, it’s now time to start hiring some additional people. But how can you make sure you choose responsible, hardworking people to help ensure your business continues to grow? Inc.com offers a few tips.
First things first, as with every other part of your business, you must make a plan. If you need to hire more than one person, prioritize and strategize which positions should be filled first. Then write a detailed profile of your idea candidates. Finding the right employee usually doesn’t happen overnight, so you must also outline a project plan with specific tasks.
The next step is to take advantage of the network you’ve already built up. Most people get hired through networking, and now you’re conducting that hiring. Boris Revsin, the co-founder and CEO of Campus LIVE tells Inc.com, “A-plus players know other A-plus players. You want the people you trust to recommend other top performers.” With this in mind, don’t be afraid to ask your advisors and investors to help you with your recruiting efforts. As Inc.com points out, they too are hoping you succeed. Most likely they have very extensive networks with a hardworking pool of people that you could lead you to your next hire.
Make your network stronger by stepping into professional networking circles. People need to hear about your company and the good work that you do, and you are the best ambassador for this task. There are networking events in every major city that you can look up and attend. Once people begin to talk about your business, you will benefit with emails and calls of interest creating by the buzz.
Lastly, remember to take your time. You are not hiring people for the sake of having extra people. Successful businesses have dedicated and innovative people. You need the top performers and although you do want to hire quickly, make sure you take the time to interview and find the right people.
By Rhonda Campbell
If there’s one thing consumers need to feel before they buy your products or services, it’s trust. To earn consumer trust you must regularly communicate with your target audience. A professional blog that highlights the specific ways your business improves people’s lives can help you to achieve this. The good news is that you can build an eye-catching business blog in less than an hour.
But you might be on the fence, not confident that blogs pay off. Consider this. Since New York magazine broadened its vertical platforms, including focusing more on internal blogs, it has seen its advertising dollars increase by about 25 percent. The number of unique visitors the magazine receives also jumped by about 22 percent according to Paid Content’s October 17, 2011 “NY Magazine’s Focus on Daily Blogs Leads to Traffic Boost” article. As Michael Silberman, New York magazine’s general manager said, “As readers sample the site’s blogs, we have a chance to convert them to being a newsletter subscriber or an app downloader and in many cases, print subscribers.” This success isn’t just a New York thing. Regardless of where you live, your business can use blogs to generate increased revenues.
The formula for making money in business is actually quite simple, you must make sure your customers find you and buy from you. This formula is dramatically simplified when you can simply attract customers to your business instead of having to go find them.
Fortunately, today’s entrepreneur has Google Inc, which offers a menu of- mostly free- services that gives the average person capabilities that major corporations use to pay billions of dollars for.
No. 10: Google Adsense
For most people who want to use their website to publish advertising, Google Adsense is the perfect solution. There are plenty of advertising publishing networks out there but Google Adsense allows you to publish advertising on your website, search results, mobile websites and even your unused domain names.
Benefits: Publish ads on your website, mobile website, RSS feeds and site search results
No. 9: Google Checkout
In order to make money online, you must have the capability to process transactions online. While there are several payment processing applications available online, Google Checkout’s biggest advantage is that it’s a Google product. That is, since most searches begin on Google, having the Google Checkout badge on your advertisement or product listing has been shown to increase leads and convert more sales.
Benefits: Attract new leads, convert more sales and protect you from fraud
No. 8: Google Webmaster Central
Google Webmaster Central is one of those incredibly powerful free tools that simply wasn’t available to the average user prior to Google offering it. With Google Webmaster Central you find out how Google sees your website, analyze your search data, receive alerts about your website, check which websites link to your website and deepen your relationship with Google Search.
Benefits: Get data about crawling, indexing and search traffic. Plus, receive notifications about problems on your website
No. 7: Google Analytics
The truth of the matters is that there are no real secrets to success in business, there are only truths that you haven’t discovered yet. In order to discover these truths about your customer and your customer’s behavior online there is Google Analytics. Google Analytics is a powerful, flexible and easy to use way to analyze your website traffic that allows you to make adjustments accordingly.
Benefits: Track sales and conversions, track web-enabled phones, and analyze traffic sources
No. 6: Google Website Optimizer
People who land on your website prefer certain layouts. Certain text, image and headlines bring more sales than others. Unfortunately, there are no formulas that work every time for every type of website. The only way to figure this out is to test the different combinations. Google Website Optimizer is a free testing and optimization tool that allows you to easily test different combinations of content on your website in order to determine the most effect structure.
Benefits: Increase sales and conversions, get more leads, and eliminate guesswork from web site design
No. 5: Google Admob
Recently acquired by Google, AdMob is one of the world’s largest mobile advertising networks. As far as the web goes, mobile devices dominate Macs and PCs. AdMob not only allows to you to target specific geographic locations, but also target specific cell phone manufactures, operating systems and device models with your advertising.
Benefit: Click to call, Click to map and iPhone Search ad types
No. 4: Google Product Search
Often, prospective customers know exactly what they want and are interested in comparison shopping against different retailers. As a seller, you can submit individual products to Google Product Search, allowing shoppers to quickly and easily find you site.
Benefits: Reach shoppers that are actively looking to buy the product you’re selling
No. 3: Google Places
If your business has a physical location, the most effective free way to generate new business is through Google Places. Google Places is a search optimized business listing service that works even if you don’t have a website. So think YellowPages, but the listings appear at the topic of search engine results.
Benefit: Ranking and search results, coupons and mapping tool availability
No. 2: YouTube
Unless you live under a rock, you know that YouTube is by far the largest online video community. What you may not know is that YouTube is owned by Google and YouTube represents nearly a third of all search queries on the Google network (according to comScore). That essentially means that Youtube is the second largest search engine. By posting interesting videos and leading users back to your website you can have a dramatic impact on your sales for free.
Benefit: Increase traffic
No. 1: Google Adwords
If you want instant results, use Google Adwords. Your ads appear beside related search results, people click your ads and connect to your business online. Google Adwords integrates with Analytics, Checkout, Places, Adsense and Website Optimizer. Adwords also offers the ability to purchase TV ads.
Benefits: Reach more customers, cost effective
Mitchell Harris is the head of the business development firm MJ Harris Co and product manager of the company’s Tested Marketing Methods web property. Sign up for the newsletter to receive more business strategy information.
For entrepreneurs—new and seasoned—this is an excruciatingly tough time to be in business and that’s simply because money is tight almost everywhere. Those who have it to loan as well as those who have it to spend are extremely cautious with their funds. That, I believe, is the biggest challenge of the current economy. As such, even entrepreneurs with exceptional products and services are struggling to stay in business.
Conversely, the opportunity that the current economy presents is that businesses now have the “out” to be what they want to be rather than what they think they have to be based on their industry. More businesses are discovering that it’s okay if they choose to be a local business versus a global enterprise, a niche firm versus a multi-faceted company, an entity that serves one main consumer group rather than multiple. Though it’s scary for an entrepreneur to change, there’s an unspoken freedom in the “mess” that is our current economy and entrepreneurs should embrace it. With that said, here are some tips for taking your business to the next level…whatever you deem that to be.
• Hone Your Vision
You must be able to visualize what you want to achieve. This vision must be concrete. Having this specific vision will allow you to better determine what it’s going to take for you to realize you vision.
• Acknowledge Your Reality
You must acknowledge what your present capabilities are. That means you must assess your financial abilities, your skill set and your ability to secure outside help to execute your vision. If your current reality does not allow for you to create your vision, you must then do one of two things: (1) revise your vision to something more feasible for your current reality or (2) step back from your original vision, instead focusing on enhancing your capabilities so that you can eventually execute your original vision.
• Create Your Plan
I’ll be the first to say that success does not always require a plan. Sometimes, it does “just happen” but we all know that’s more often the exception rather than the rule. So, planning is the next step you need to take if you want to reach “the next level.” This is simply because it’s a lot easier to see how much further you has to go to achieve your vision when you have a checklist of what must be accomplished to get THERE as Kelly A. Morgan calls it in her book, Journey To A Place Called THERE: A Navigation Guide for Creating a Balanced Life.
• Look Beyond Your Desired Bottom Line
Money talks in business. We all know that. However, most people forget that money walks if you don’t do business right. Therefore, I would also encourage you to not only invest in activities that will result in increased sales but to also invest money and/or time in activities that may not directly contribute to your bottom line. Showing consumers what you’re able to do or what kind of businessperson you are, even when there’s no obvious benefit for you, will make you that much more memorable to a potential client. That’s critical, especially for entrepreneurs in highly competitive industries.
Good luck as you venture into this next fiscal quarter. Make it a good one! As always, if you have a marketing question that you would like me to answer, send me an email at AskTanisha@TheLoftyEntrepreneur.com or email@example.com.
Tanisha Coffey is a professional writer and marketing consultant based in metropolitan Atlanta, Georgia. She provides her services through the strategic marketing consulting, professional copywriting and independent author services firm Scribe, Etc.