The Power of Online Marketing

Web and e-mail marketing have surpassed the powerful traditional media forms like newspaper, magazines, and even radio and TV ads. Marketing online has proven to be effective in reaching millions in cyberspace and is considerably a lot cheaper than traditional media.

For a true entrepreneur whether big or small, it is best to take advantage of the power of the Internet to boost an enterprise’s sales ratio.  Business owners nowadays have more leverage than ever before to be living in the Internet age when anything written and uploaded on the Net has the potential to be read and seen by millions. The Web is used by the majority of people today as a medium to obtain and spread information anywhere and anytime around the world making the World Wide Web a fertile marketing ground.

One strategy of online marketing is Web marketing wherein small and medium enterprises engage in creating websites. This is effective as users are provided a resource for latest updates on products and services, and possible sales leads to the business. You can secure a website for your company for a minimal fee and there are also free platforms like WordPress and Bloggerdotcom that allow anyone to create a personal website or blog.

Another online marketing strategy that is proven to be effective is e-mail marketing which is often used from business executives to homemakers. Advertising and marketing through e-mail should deliver a sound e-mail marketing strategy that will direct your message to your target market.

Do I Need an Insurance for my Business?

For most entrepreneurs, it’s a given when we say that starting up a business entails some risk- and when there is risk, insurance is necessary.  Insurance is needed to protect your business against untoward incidents like accident or lawsuit that could drain your funds and inevitably turn you out of business. The type of insurance you need is dependent on the type of your business, whether you are corporation, partnership or sole proprietorship. To help you get the right insurance plan for your business, here are some types of insurance that could minimize the risks and protect your business:

Property or casualty. This type of insurance covers losses from physical damage to your property or loss of use and should cover the contents of your property (building or any physical structure), just like you would insure your own house from damage.

General liability. This insurance protects you if anyone is injured at your place of business and also covers any injuries that might be caused by a product or service you sell.  With this type of insurance, the insurance company is authorized to pay for your legal defense, settle the claim, and pay any judgment within the police limits.

Umbrella liability. This plan is intended to fill in any gaps left by all your other forms of insurance. If your business is complex or exposes you to many risks, for example, this coverage ensures that you will not be stuck with a big bill.

Business interruption. In cases wherein ‘acts of God’ like earthquake or storm interrupts your business for weeks or months, your property or casualty insurance will cover damage to our building, pay your bills, payroll or even a loss of profits.


Buying a Business?

Before buying a business, it is best to do your research before agreeing to take over to avoid ending up with a lemon. It could be very tempting to conclude a cheap sale on the spot and be able to tell everyone that you are now an entrepreneur.

In choosing what enterprise to buy, make sure that it is right one for you. Select one that you are knowledgeable and passionate about to avoid being duped by opportunistic employees, suppliers, and even customers. It is also recommended to consult other people who own he same kind of business to draw on their experiences to make an accurate assessment and forecast for your own business. You could also avoid making costly errors in your decisions by getting the help of an attorney and accountant to consult with every step of the process.

It is also strongly recommended to obtain and carefully examine the seller’s financial statement and records. Your lawyer and accountant can look into the profit-and-loss records, tax returns, balance sheets, and supplier’s records for the past three years as well as into the current receivables. Have the business appraised including its assets, inventory, and brand. This will provide the basis for the offer that you will make to the seller.

Make your Credit Card Work for your Business

The use of credit cards has brought forth stories of people getting into debt as it may have caused some people to feel a stronger purchasing power and think that they have extra money to spend. In reality, these credits have to be paid for come due date. On the other hand, credit cards can be an effective business tool by learning to manage them well. There are also many entrepreneurs who successfully use credit cards to bankroll their businesses. Here are some tips on how to maximize the benefits of using credit cards as an effective business tool:

Pay the total amount due on or before the due date. The regular credit card allows a cardholder 3 payment options- pay the total amount due, pay the minimum amount due, or pay an amount more than the minimum amount due but less than the total amount due. In any case, you must make the payment on or before the due date stated in the statement of account for you to stay in good standing.

Take advantage of 0% installment promotions. Most personal credit card issuers offer 0% installment promotions, allowing you to buy high-ticket items at select appliance and gadget stores at no interest and payable in 6, 9, or 12 months. Use this installment plan to acquire office or computers, cell phones, or other gadgets, and office furniture.

You can use your credit card for operational expenses. You may use your credit card for operational expenses such as utilities, gasoline, representation, office supplies and vehicle repairs, as long as you are a diligent payer. Your credit card billing statement can then serve as a tool to analyze your expenses and cash flow requirements.

Reinventing your Brand

Brands prove to have an emotional connection with people as they most certainly have proven their value and familiarity. However, the emotional factor alone may not be enough, because now is a different marketing field.

Apart from other emerging brands, customers have become more discriminating and their buying behavior has changed. And as technology advances rapidly, customers get easier, less expensive access to information, which helps them directly compare one brand to another.  To succeed, a brand must continuously revitalize and reinvent itself. To stay on top of the minds of your customers, here are some tips that you can do to reinvent your product:

–          Know your market segment and have a deep understanding of their needs, purchase behavior, and preferences.

–          Introduce product variants or extensions that are meaningful to customers, not just for the sake of launching a new product.

–          Consider changing your product with the lifestyle and purchase preferences of your customers as they change a lot. Be sure that your products tackle these changes to keep it relevant to customers.

–          Create excitement through an improved look or product packaging. Remember that the manner a product is presented or packaged is very important in communicating your value proposition to customers.

Successful Sales Communication

Successful communication is a great opportunity whether making a sales pitch or negotiating with your employees. However, this could also be a daunting and nerve-wracking task. At some point in your entrepreneurial career, you would have to speak before a person or an audience to seal the deal. Here are some helpful tips to turn an otherwise stressful situation to a successful sales opportunity:

Get prepared. Speaking in public or before a client is not inherently stressful. It is when you are unprepared that makes it stressful. Make sure that you prepare thoroughly for the occasion to deliver a successful presentation.

Practice your lines. Listen to your pronunciation and check if you convey sincerity. Choose words where you are comfortable in delivering your speech or presentation.

Keep your presentation simple. Instead of using many words, use less words. Stick to about about two to three main points to avoid information overload. If you or your audience feels that you need to cover more ground, ask for a second appointment. It may take several presentations before you could actually seal the deal.

Be ready to face difficult questions. Questions from people indicate that they are interested in what you are saying. Keep calm if you encounter difficult questions that you cannot answer, take note of the question and promise to get back to the questioner.

Finish with a smart closing. Prepare smart and appropriate closing remarks. Your client or audience will remember you with a statement summarizing the essential points of your presentation.

Additional Funds for your Business?

For entrepreneurs going on for business expansion, the lack of funds is probably one of the biggest issues to finance the construction, production and investment of an enterprise. One effective solution that business owners can opt to is through utilizing a business loan.

By definition, business loans are given out to a registered or incorporated business by a bank, credit union or other financial institutions. Instead of you being personally liable for the loan, your company- with its potential to make profit- becomes responsible for the repayment of the loan. There are many inherent advantages to using business loans for your company. Often, no individual is held liable for paying the loan because the corporation acts as the borrower, and thus is responsible for the repayment of the loan.

Business loans can become additional working capital to finance activities such as the sale of goods and the processing, marketing, storage and distribution of products. It may also be used for administrative supplies and needs such as the purchase of furniture, appliances, and equipment for your business.

The POS (Point-of-Sale) System

If you are putting up a business, a great way to manage and monitor your inventory is through the use of a point-of-sale system. Through utilizing this system, you can make your transactions transparent. It is also especially useful to record credit and debit cards and manage inventory through this system.

Securing a POS is necessary for business owners who cannot be in their place of business 24/7. A POS makes it easier for owners to monitor their operations without necessarily being their establishments the whole time. The POS terminal typically has its core a personal computer which is provided with application-specific programs and devices for the particular environment it will serve. A POS system for a restaurant, for example, is likely to have all menu items stored in a database that can be queried for information in a number of ways.

Increasingly, POS terminals are also web-enabled, which makes remote training and operation possible, as well as inventory tracking across geographically dispersed locations.

On Cash Payment Management

The objective in managing cash payments is to delay them as long as possible. Managing your cash payments can spell the difference between the success and failure of your business. When you understand to measure and manage this, you will have a sense of order and well being that extends to yourself, not only your business. Below are some tips that you can apply:

–  Pay on the due date, not earlier. If a payment is due on 30 days, don’t pay it in 15 days.

–  Make a track record with your suppliers so that you could request delays in payments in the future, if your business needs it, without them losing their trust in you.

–  Use bank checks instead of cash on the due date unless supplier requires otherwise.

–   Negotiate for flexible payment terms. Sometimes, it is better to pay a little extra on price if you could stretch your payment terms as long as possible.