Every Small Business Should Set Up An Advisory Board

When people think about setting up a small business they often think they are going at it alone against the world. Everyone wants to start the next one man business that will end up ruling the world and become the next Apple or Walmart.

The reality is that the companies that are household names now did not start out on their own, they had help. Not just staff and workers but people giving them advice on different parts of their business.

Advice and opinions are not the same thing, everyone has opinions on everything. Whether it is the weather, politics and religion or sports everyone you meet will be able to share their opinion on the subject.

Advice that is valuable and will help move your business forward can be harder to come by but that is exactly why every small business owner should seek it out. The expression “I can’t see the wood for the trees” is much used and it really does apply to most small companies.

We all get so used to our own working environment that we sometimes miss opportunities to improve and expand our business. By inviting other business people to look at our work we can have a fresh set of eyes who may well be able to find a better way of doing things.

Fear is often the main reason that businessmen give for not inviting others into their business, people are scared that someone will steal their ideas and set up in competition. Fear is not a good way to run a business, it is a limiting emotion.

If you surround yourself with smart associates who want to share their experience you will find that you can all grow. This is exactly where an advisory board comes into its own, by making it an official part of your company you are showing how seriously you are taking the matter.

You do not have to pay people to be a member of the advisory board, although it is a good idea to get the best people you can and if you can afford to pay for them then do so. When you are just starting out in business you will probably have to rely on the goodwill of others, choose people with real life experience that is relevant to your business.

Remember an advisory board is designed to give you advice, you do not have to take it but you must be willing to at least listen to them or else you are just wasting their time (and yours).

The Importance of Web Presence For Non-Digital Businesses

It seems that online businesses are the wave of the future. The benefits of owning and operating your own online business are undeniable. For one thing, online businesses are highly profitable. This is largely the result of the fact that online businesses lack the overhead costs of storefront. If Amazon had to open stores in the real world, it’s extremely unlikely the business would be the multi-billion dollar power house it is today. Online businesses also present their owners with opportunities to travel, because business transactions can be conducted virtually anywhere.

But while online businesses are increasing in number, there will always be a need for real world business places. You can’t dine at a virtual restaurant. And a virtual water-park is unlikely to make much of a splash. Still, there is a place for online business in real world business, and that place is in promoting one’s brand.

Traditional advertising is on the decline. Signs, billboards, and listings in yellow-pages were all well and good fifteen years ago. But times have changed. If you’re looking for a bite to eat or a place to have fun, you’re not going to bother flipping through a phone book. More likely than not, you’re going to rock a Google search on your smart-phone. It’s simply easier. There’s less effort and you lose less time researching.

Many tech-savvy business owners and entrepreneurs have acknowledged this trend. Successful businesses need a web presence. And the most obvious way to start a web presence is to construct a website. But simply having a website is not going to cut it anymore. Everyone has a website: Your niece probably has a website for her goldfish. Even if you do build a successful, well constructed and aesthetically appealing site, it’s likely to get lost in the digital sea.

The trick is promoting your web visibility, and there are several means of doing so. One of the easiest ways to promote ones visibility is to construct more than one web presence. With all of the free blog platforms and social networking sites, creating more than one web identity is a fairly simple task. Look to start expanding on sites like WordPress, Facebook, and Twitter. All of these sites allow a business owner to amass a following. The business owner can then interact with that following by promoting deals or asking for customer input on ways to improve business.

Social Media Sites are great for promoting one’s brand because they essentially offer free advertising. For example, let’s pretend you own a bar: A customer comes in one day and orders a beer. You inform the customer that he can get a dollar off that beer by “friending” you on Facebook. He inevitably accepts your offer because it costs him nothing other than the effort it takes to click “friend”. From now on, whenever you’re promoting a beer special or a band, that customer will receive alerts of the event through Facebook.

Another means of promoting one’s brand online is called affiliate marketing. When people use search engines like Google to find an item they’re looking for, the top results either pay for their ranking or are ranked highly because they receive the most traffic. Affiliate marketing is the practice that uses web synergy in order to garner more traffic for your site and promote your web ranking.

A strong web presence is essential for anyone who wishes to conduct business in the twenty first century. Those who have yet to engage in the practices described above should not be discouraged. There are many programs dedicated to helping businesses optimize their web presence and profits. So why little tech-phobia get in the way of your financial prosperity?

Successfully Creating an Online Business Website

Designing a successful website for your business does not require any special computer skills. It does however, require effort, planning and some patience. Before beginning the designing process you should also research similar companies to gather ideas of how you would like your business website to appear.

The first step in creating a successful business website is to determine your websites primary needs. If you are not familiar with the steps required to add graphics to your website you may want to consult a professional but it is not that difficult of a process. Creating a successful business website will also require you to purchase a domain name and web hosting service. During this time you should also create a rough draft of how you would like your website to appear. This may include creating a basic outline and deciding where you would like your content and images to appear on the website. This process will make the designing process go much smoother and help you notice any problems in the design before you put all the work into the creating process.

The next step is to choose a niche or market for your online business website. To help you in this process you should research what types of keywords other successful businesses have used in marketing their website. Choosing some of the most used keywords will help increase your visibility among search engine results. The higher your search engine ranking is the higher your business will be placed in the results provided to an individual. The best keywords to use may often contain slight variations of the product or service you are selling. By doing this you open up a wider keyword area that can help get your business noticed.

Next you will want to create and purchase a domain name that is relevant to your business. Do not choose a name that is not relevant to your business or services. At this time you should also decide on a web hosting service. To help you find a web hosting service you can perform a basic online search and look into the top web hosting services that appeal to you. You can choose between a paid service or choose from some popular free services. Experts suggest that when choosing a web hosting service that you choose a paid service because their web pages seem to look more professional and allow you more control over your website.

To help your online business web page remain successful it is important that you constantly update your content. This will show search engines that your website is constantly updated and maintained. You should also update the keywords used on your website regularly. This also helps increase your search engine rankings. Creating a successful business website does not end once you publish the web page, it needs to be constantly updated and monitored to keep the content it offers relevant.