Small Business Internet Marketing Promotion

One of the most frequent questions emailed to me throughout last year was related to how to go about internet marketing promotions for small businesses.

It’s quite amusing how small businesses consider themselves to be a whole different kettle of fish when it comes to doing business online. The truth is that the online space is the only place where small business can actually compete head to head with big business.

In the offline world big business dominates because they have the financial clout, however the online world things are slightly different.

If you can create enough buzz online, you can outwit big business and beat them at their own game. Small business internet marketing promotions are fundamentally no different to internet marketing promotion for big business; there are a few basic principals that apply:

  • Get loads of qualified traffic
  • Convert the traffic to leads
  • Convert your leads to sales

More traffic means more leads, and more leads means more sales… it really is that simple.

And the great part is that doing business online gives you and equal chance to compete with any other business out there.

To get you started here are some great ideas on how to get your loins share of website visitors with some simple, but often overlooked internet marketing promotion strategies.

  1. Build an email list to encourage repeat visits
  2. Create Viral Marketing Videos
  3. Participate in pay per click (PPC) advertising
  4. Participate in banner exchange programs
  5. Target value keywords in your Search Engine Optimisation strategy
  6. Create Joint Ventures with your competition
  7. Use podcasts to attract new visitors
  8. Exchange links with highly relevant websites
  9. Participate in Co-registration lead building
  10. Do plenty of press releases
  11. Participate in product review exchanges
  12. Post in forums relevant to your industry
  13. Participate in newsgroups relevant to your industry
  14. Participate in traffic exchange programs

If you started at ZERO and got just 10 leads a day from each of the above strategies, that would account for a whopping 4200 new leads per month.

The only thing left to do is TAKE action!

Good Luck and Happy Marketing

Hire A Consultant To Find the Right JV Marketing Partners For A Small Business

Small businesses can attain incredible rates of growth with the addition of the perfect joint venture partner however this can take a considerable amount of time and internal resources to pursue new partner opportunities. Small business owners may want to leverage hiring an expert business development consultant to do the research and the “meet and greets” required in developing a new potential business relationships. Make sure the consultant working with your business is in tune with the dynamics of your company and all your core business processes so they may serve your interests to the best of their ability. It may not be easy to hand over these responsibilities during the early stages of developing a joint venture business partner, but for many small business owners using outside support allows them to focus on continuing to service their existing customers, focus on proven lead generating channels and existing marketing activities. This way when the time is right you can meet with vetted businesses that are also seeking new partners and joint venture opportunities.

Finding the Right Partners

If an outside consultant is going to be successful in finding the right joint venture marketing partner for your small business it is critical that they really understand your business. This goes much further than just reading the website, reviewing product spec documents, and having a meeting or two with the executive team. It is best that they spend a day or two in your facility and meet with all of the team members that impact a successful business transaction as well as the individuals that are responsible for providing customer service. For a small business this can be handled in a day or two with several meetings. Not only will your outside consultant be fully prepared to represent your company to potential partners they should have a good understanding of the company culture and include that in their assessment of who might be the right partner for the business.

The biggest reason most businesses even larger firms reach out to professional business development consultants is there existing list of contacts. It is wise to hire a consultant that has recent work experience in your industry or desired geographical region. Having someone that can meet with your team and quickly start making calls to set up preliminary meetings to discuss a business opportunity that they think will fit well for both companies will lead to quickly closing a partnership and moving forward with the implementation phase of a new joint venture marketing partnership.

Compensating Business Development Consultants

Compensation for business development consultants will vary from person to person and what skills they bring to the table. Financial compensation for a consultant with high level business contacts at a specific company will differ greatly than a deal that is put together for a consultant to do research and additional legwork to identify and approach the right partners. The former may want to see a much higher revenue share for the deals that they close whereas the latter may be more inclined to be paid an hourly or on a fixed monthly rate with a smaller bonus for each closed deal. Each business is different and so it is highly recommended that before moving forward with a consultant for business development that the person in charge of the company’s finances, run some basic projections and financial numbers to determine what can be offered to a consultant that can quickly close new deals.

Business consultants can assist a small business grow quickly through establishing joint venture marketing partnerships with the right partners that fit the company culture and can deliver to their existing customer base. Most small business owners need to focus their time and energy on servicing existing business and marketing campaigns thus hiring an outside consultant for joint venture support is a great way to not add additional stress on a sales and executive team. Consider using outside business development support the next time your small business is looking to grow into a new market or geographical region and hire individuals that already know the area and can quickly put together a list of hot leads for potential partners.

Sales Skills for Small Business Owners

Selling is a very important aspect of any business and although many small business owners don’t like to consider themselves as ‘sales people’ per se in reality small business owners are actually key sales people who know their business and product or service offering better than anyone else in most instances. Let’s identify what some key sales skills are and discuss how they can be further developed.

In a nutshell the key ‘must have’ sales skills include:

  • Confidence
  • Relationship building skills
  • Listening
  • Persuasion
  • Product / service knowledge

Most of the skills listed above will be familiar to you, but I bet you are wondering, how can I apply this and learn to become a better sales person? The key is to identify any gaps you have in the skills outlined above and then develop your skills in these areas. It’s also important to understand what makes for a more natural sell which is centred around confidence. The truth is we all dislike the hard sell and pushy sales people so it’s about striking a balance, you want to be described as ‘confident’ and avoid being perceived as arrogant. So how does one achieve this?

Know your product or service

This is fundamental to your success. If you don’t know your product or service you won’t feel comfortable talking about it. If you need to develop your product knowledge, look for resources to help you do this, be it sales training, product or sales manuals, brochures and other materials, senior staff or technical staff with deep product or service knowledge.

Speak naturally

Speak naturally about what you do and the services you offer, a prospect that is interested in your offering is more likely to ask you questions and engage in a conversation with you about your offering. Sharing knowledge will help you build a relationship with a potential prospect.

Relationships develop leads better than any other form of lead generation. Word of mouth and relationships drive sales better than any other lead generation technique, even in today’s digital world! Think about your network and whether or not you are leveraging the opportunities that are being presented to you.

Believe in what you are selling

Passion and a genuine belief in your product or service will get more sales flowing.

Be clear, concise and articulate the benefits of your product or services to prospective customers or clients. Remember the golden rule. People are focused on what’s in it for them. Make sure you keep the customer and their needs at the centre of your conversation and explain how your product or service can benefit them.

Actively listen to your prospects / customers

Each one is different with unique requirements. Listen to any concerns or objections they have so that you can respond to these effectively. Be mindful not to interrupt when they are trying to express a concern.

Be patient

Be patient with your customers and be aware of body language and social cues. This applies to your own body language and tone of voice and that of your customers. It will help you to gauge interest/disinterest and read the situation, allowing you to know when it’s time to speak, seek clarification and when it’s necessary to listen or repeat what has been said to reinforce that you have been listening!

Sales is a complex subject area. I’d love to hear about any first hand sales experiences or tips you may have from your own sales history. What were some of the things that helped you close a sale? Is your network the main source of sales leads for your business? What are some of the areas within the sales process that you find difficult?

Small Business Loans For Women

Small business loans for women involve a number of procedures. Firstly, they have to submit the loan application that seeks comprehensive information about the project. Specifically, the application form covers aspects like promoter’s background, particulars of the industrial concern, and particulars of the project (capacity, process, technical arrangements, management location, land and buildings, plant and machinery, raw materials, labor and schedule of implementation).

In addition, the loan application form seeks the cost of the project, means of financing, marketing and selling arrangements, profitability and cash flow and economic considerations. When the application is received, an officer of the recipient institution reviews it to ascertain whether it is complete for processing. If it is incomplete the borrower is asked to provide the required additional information. When the application is considered complete, the recipient institution prepares a ‘flash report’ which is essentially a summarization of the loan application, to be evaluated at the Senior Executive Meeting (SEM).

Once the SEM, on the basis of its evaluation of the flash report, decides that the project justifies a detailed appraisal, it nominates the lead financial institution. The factors taken into account for designating the lead institution are location of the project, prior experience of institutions in handling similar projects, and existing workload of the institutions.

The detailed appraisal of the project is done by the lead institution. The appraisal covers the marketing, technical, financial, managerial and economic aspects. The appraisal memorandum is normally prepared within two months after site inspection and placed before the SEM for a decision about approval of the project and determining the sharing arrangement among the institutions. Once a favorable decision is taken at the SEM forum and the sharing arrangement worked out, the case is referred to the Board of Directors of the lead financial institution. After the Board of Directors of the lead financial institution approves the proposal, a financial letter of sanction is issued to the borrower.