Small Business Information You Should Know

What are small businesses?

Small businesses are businesses with less staff. The staff limit is different for different areas. These businesses are generally owned by individuals or are started in partnerships. Other criterion to decide small businesses are the turnover and profit. The less is the turnover or the profit, the smaller is the business. The smallest businesses are called as ‘micro businesses’ and those managed by families are called as ‘mom’s and pop’s business’. These smaller businesses generally have employees in number from 0 to 10. Many a times, the owners are the workers in these businesses.

Advantages in small business:

The basic advantage of starting a small business is that you need less capital and money to start the business. Also, one can start a small business on part time basis. The basics of a successful business are the regular modifications that one does to it. In small businesses these modifications can be easily done as one does not need to follow any trend or face any compulsions in small business unlike in big businesses. Also, a small business can give much more to its customers than a big one as they have the power to provide each and every customer the required personal attention and take into account all the suggestions and even implement some of them. Small businesses provide daily bread to many a people and thus are very important.

Marketing small businesses:

The most common methods of marketing small businesses are customer referrals, mouth publicity, radios, newspapers, internet, directories, boards, etc. Television ads can be a bit expensive for advertising small businesses. Internet marketing is considered the most cost effective and result oriented method of marketing small businesses. The ads can be placed on websites or even search engine web pages. The costs are decided on the size of the ad and thus can be easily moderated.

Small business ideas:

– Franchisee business: this is one of the extremely profitable ideas of a small business. The only things that you need to start this business are a place and some capital. The best part of this business is that the things that you sell are already quite famous in the market and thus you need to do very little expenses on the marketing.

– Event planner: if you know the knack of organizing things perfectly, then you can become an event planner. You need to plan out meetings, parties, weddings and other such get-together for your customers in the given budget. The best part of this job is that it is extremely interesting and your work does the marketing for you.

– Computer repair: if you have done any hardware or software course or have learned any computer language then you can start the work of computer repairing. You just need to sort out simple problems in computers. The best part of this job is that you get to learn a lot more than you have about computers. But, you should do only the work that you can manage and avoid doing any guess work.

Small Business Information You Need to Know

Are you thinking about starting up a small business sometime in the near future? There are a few things that you will want to know before you open your doors for the customers to come in. If you try to start a business large or small without first having all of the facts about that business you may not be as successful as you hoped you would be. You will want to take the time to make sure that everything is in order before you put your small business plan into effect.

One of the first things that you will want to make sure that you have is a small business license. Every business large or small has to have a license to operate in the county that they are located in. You will have to go to the court house in your county and inquire about purchasing a business license before you can actually call yourself a business. You will have to give them your business name and pay the required fee.

Next, you will want to make sure that you have a small business bank account so that you can keep all of your business finances in order. You do not want to get your business revenue mixed up with the grocery money from your personal account and it can be a big mess to straighten everything out if you go too long without establishing a separate account for your small business. It will also be helpful for you to start building a business relationship with the people at your bank so that you will have an easier time getting approved for loans when you need them.

Another thing that you will want to know about before you start your business is online marketing. By taking the time to sit down and learn some basic information about internet marketing you will be able to reach out to customers from across the world that want to do business with you. These are customers that you would not otherwise have the opportunity to do business with and are ones that will be very valuable to you once you start.

There is several other information that you will want to know about a small business before you start one up. It is not as easy and glamorous as most people try to make it out to be. You will need to do a lot of planning and make sure that you have everything that you need in order to be successful. You can make it if you have everything organized before you open your doors.

Building Your Coaching Business – Information Marketing in Networking

Here’s another step in information marketing (see the other articles on Information Marketing), this time applied to networking.

This is a way to take a prospect through a step by step warming up that results in 20% to 70% of them moving forward….this time through networking.

As a coach, you should be an unlimited resource for helping your clients. A part of that can be continually sending them emails, articles, and just plan face-to-face opportunities to expand their business (business coach, executive coach), or answers to their life or career problems (for life coaches and career coaches). This should apply to any kind of coaching. Just provide as many of the answers to the problems that your client is facing.

The more you give, the more value you have established that you provide. If you are really good, you can establish such value in a very short time that they will be begging for more.

Some coaches respond with, “People will drain me, take it all for free.”

Let me state what I said earlier, IF you are good, you can give a little, prove so much value in that short time, that they will clamor to want more. So, you encourage them to want that next meeting…and the next…and the next. Each step is a bigger commitment in time, and eventually cost. This is all about giving value until they want more, then asking them if they’d like more at the next meeting.

So, how do you do that in networking?

When you are talking to someone at a networking event, start asking them what they are struggling with. Then say something like, “I wrote an article about how a client of mine did ____________, and __________ (state measurable results). Would you like to have a copy?” Send them a copy, and make sure that you sign them up for your weekly emails, Hints and Tips on _________________. The email is a way of continually nurturing that relationship. If you are using an autoresponder, then it can be nearly on autopilot.

In most cases, I offer to send the first article to them by email, IF they’d be willing to discuss how it might work for them, and then we set a time for a call to discuss if that will work for them.

Sometimes I email them a copy, sometimes I mail them a printed copy, sometimes I send them a link to the articles that are published in online articles. In any of those cases, I make sure that they see that I am a published online author, an expert in the field. And, I am there to help them through this issue.

At no time am I trying to sell them anything. I want them to want me after exploring how those articles helped someone else with exactly their problem.

Of course, I will always be asking, “was that helpful?” “How helpful?” “Do you think something like that would solve your problem.”

And if all of those are “Yes, it was great.” Then I will be asking “would it be helpful if we set down together to work through issues like those that helped the client in that article?”

The “Yes,” in that instance is the first step toward closing the sale.

You do have to ask for it, but it isn’t a high pressure sale at all. Most of the time the prospect will be asking you for the next step.

Keep Your Business Information Quiet: Loose Lips Sink Companies

We have this idea that computer hackers are ingeniously bright people. We hear stories, true or otherwise, as to how they seem to finagle valuable information from us, using the most sophisticated social engineering techniques. In reality, they often use such tricky questions as, “I’m calling from the IT Department. We’re doing some system checks on your T-3 line. I’ll need to reprogram your current password with a new one. You’re using the one that’s all letters, right?”

And so we dutifully comply with what seems to be a reasonable and logical request from some resident authority figure who surely has our best interests in mind. Often within minutes, we will reveal confidential company or personal information, over the phone, or through an email reply to a complete stranger who talks or writes a good line.

Reading all this and reflecting on your own sense of eternal security vigilance, you’ll swear that you’d never give out a byte of confidential or important data, over the phone, across cyberspace, or even face-to-face. Your motto is: “Hang me up by my thumbs for a week and I still wouldn’t even tell you my first name.”

And all this may be true when you believe the information requester may be a wolf in sheep’s leggings, but how about when the asker-to-be is from your local or national news media? Are you still tight-lipped and careful, or do you get caught up in the glow of the First Amendment’s pad and pen, the video camera, or the microphone? It’s hard for even savvy security professionals not to spill some beans when faced with the often flattering request for information and a chance to demonstrate subject matter expertise.

But just as loose lips sink ships, the desire to provide information to the media must be measured by the impact, or more accurately, the harms a few words or figures can betray.

Several years ago, the Business section of the Orange County (Calif.) Register, featured a two-page photo spread on the history of the Southland Corporation’s reason for being: the 7-11 store. Along with a history of the Big Gulp business, the piece featured an interview with Anaheim 7-11 franchisee Herb Domeño, owner of nine stores, including the site at Katella and Harbor. For those not familiar with southern California real estate, this prime property is directly adjacent to an Enchanted Kingdom knows as Disneyland.

Back then, Mr. Domeño’s stone’s throw-to-Disneyland convenience store boasted the highest sales volume in the country – an average of $3 million per year, clearly above the national sales-per-store average of about $1.3 million per year.

Taking out our trusty calculators, we could have determined that, give or take some up or down days in the boom-boom 1990’s, Mr. Domeño’s enterprise took in about $8,000 per day.

And how did we discern this figure? It’s easy to uncover, especially when the $3 million sales amount is featured boldly in the photo caption of Mr. Domeño in his cash-cow store. (By the way, the new national sales record for one 7-11 convenience store belongs to the folks running the show in Southampton, NY.

So what has the Orange County Register just told every enterprising convenience store robber who can read? This place is full of cash and even if they aren’t cleaning up like they did before Disneyland closed a nearby parking lot to make room for its California Adventure addition, Mr. Stickup Artist has to believe it’s worth a shot.

Even if the daily revenue figure is adjusted for slow days and customers who pay with debit or credit cards, it’s still a substantial amount of cash that is either on the premises or being moved, via some safe means we hope, to the bank.

In times of organizational crisis, it’s wise to have a designated member of the executive team speak to the print or TV media. This person will have the training, experience, and savvy to say the right things, at the right times. News gatherers, on the other hand, won’t always seek out your Director of Corporate Communications (or similarly-titled representative). If they want the juicy details, any gossip, or the “inside story,” they might go to any executive or manager they can find, or worse, to an employee, who gives an opinion as if it was a fact.

In a perfect world, the security professional would also be part of the discussion and review of any press release, placed article, or editorial coming from the organization that has any security-related content. “Facts and figures” statements tossed out like: “Our security system is so sophisticated it only takes one guard per eight-hour shift to operate it,” or “Our jewelry store revenues have never been higher” might be great PR, but they can turn your business into a new target, by people or groups who never considered it as one before.

If you’re tasked with speaking to a media member about any aspect of your business operations or performance, choose your words carefully. Use the technique every politician is trained in from birth: bridging. Bridging simply requires you to “bridge over” to the question you want to answer versus the question you’re asked.

This approach works best when you’re asked the question you don’t really want to answer, i.e. Reporter: “Isn’t it true that your firm’s movement to stricter access control has created a `prison camp environment’ for your employees and customers?” Security Professional: “As you know, our approach has always been to put the safety and security needs of our people and our customers first. As such, we believe in creating the best working environment possible…”

Get the idea? You don’t answer a direct, confrontive question with a direct, assertive answer on point. You vary the response to make sure you cover your points, not theirs.
When in doubt, choose to be bland, especially with any information that hints of having a financial, proprietary, or trade-secret connection. “We’ve got a good handle on our inventory” sounds so much better than, “We’ve got a ton of expensive stuff laying around our warehouse.”

The old adage all publicity is good publicity has its exceptions. Better for people to read about your firm and have to make assumptions about your security, than to know too much detail.