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Archive for “Define Your Business Model”

Got Profits? American Roads’ CEO Shares Success Secrets

Today, we find out the scoop on running a successful, small business from Neal Belitsky, the CEO of American Roads, LLC, www.americanroads.com. His company has remained profitable during tough, economic times. Here’s what Neal had to say about this: Tell us about American Roads and how you became involved in this business. American Roads is [...]

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Chris D’Agnese of Inkhead Uses SEO Tactics to Grow Business

Does SEO really work? Well, former software developer Chris D’Agnese saw an opportunity to build a promotional products business solely off of online sales, based on the ideas that consumers like to research and compare before purchasing. Using simple SEO tactics, Inkhead’s sales increased 32% from 2008 to 2009. As a member of the Promotional Products Association [...]

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Pew Study: Small Business Most Trusted “Institution”

Trust Congress? Sorry, that institution got among the lowest ratings in a Pew Research Center study that was recently released. The Pew Center polled Americans to determine who they trusted least and who they trusted most. Small business owners – you should be proud. America trusts YOU most. More than churches, our President, labor unions, the [...]

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Business Models—Choosing a Business Model

When choosing a business model I always recommend that it be something that you are passionate about. It seems that when passion is lacking, it is harder to get up in the morning and to do the things that you need to do in order to work your business. So, that would be the first [...]

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Green Options For Your Home Office

Earth Day may have been last week, but it doesn’t mean you should stop thinking green.  As an entrepreneur you may not have made the leap (or may not want to) to an office building.  Instead you may be working from home, or chose to have a home office.  Whatever the reason, it doesn’t mean you can’t make green options for your home office.

Desks

The desk is a staple in any office—home or otherwise.  There are plenty of manufactures out there that make desks completely from recycled materials.  Look for desks made of bamboo and other eco friendly materials such as un-treated wood.  If bamboo and un-treated wood aren’t for you, think about buying a vintage desk.  Don’t forget, this is a form of recycling.

Paper

Recycling should be a given, but using recycled paper might not be yet. The costs are about the same when buying recycled versus regular paper so just do it.  Since many documents can be sent electronically these days, you may not need to use paper at all or very rarely.  Reusing paper is also a great idea—printing on both sides of the paper will help save paper and cut down on paper costs as well (I know I do it and hardly ever have to buy paper).

If you send a lot of mail, you should check out the green options United States Postal Service provides.  Not only do they make green choices as an organization, but they help you with making greener options as well.

Your Home

If you are in the process of building a home, you may want to consider using steel.  Residential steel buildings are a great eco-friendly choice to make for your home.  Steel is 100% recyclable and lasts longer than other building materials.  If you aren’t in the market of building a home, there are other options you can do easily and are affordable.

Make the switch to compact fluorescent bulbs over incandescent bulbs. “They use 75% less energy and last 8 to 10 years,” says Jennifer Roberts, the author of Good Green Homes.

Remember that little changes we all make can make a difference.  If everyone works together we can make the environment better.  What are some options you have made to make your office (home or otherwise) greener?

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Earth Day may have been last week, but it doesn’t mean you should stop thinking green.  As an entrepreneur you may not have made the leap (or may not want to) to an office building.  Instead you may be working from home, or chose to have a home office.  Whatever the reason, it doesn’t mean [...]

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A Six-Letter Word to Use Often

With the way things are right now in the business world, there are many four-letter words that I’m sure you have no problem saying! But, at the same time, have you thanked your customers, partners, associates, and media contacts lately for helping your business stay afloat?   If not, here are three simple ways to [...]

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Leave Your Business and Make More

When I was an employee, I hated it when my boss was in the office. The boss always managed to muck things up and did more damage than good by running around being self-important and annoying. As soon as we could get him out of the office, systems started moving smoothly again. We got more [...]

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Get the Word Out Now!

I don’t know about you, but I’ve seen an increase in small-business marketing budgets in the last few weeks.   More small businesses are realizing that they need to market and promote their services more than ever to get their piece of the consumer’s shrinking budget.   After all, if you don’t get your name [...]

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How to Increase Sales in 3 Steps

If you want to get some new business, here are three quick tips that may help you boost your customer-list fast… 1. Make A List. Check It Twice. Look through all of your contacts and review the people you’ve met in your industry or at various conferences, local business meetings, presentations, etc. Then, make a list. Research [...]

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What’s Your Story? How to Get Publicity

Want to know how to get some free publicity? Well, in the last couple of weeks, we’ve covered the first two steps in our “7 Steps to Successful Public Relations.” Now, it’s time for Step 3 – Develop Your Story Idea. As a new business owner, it’s easy to rush through publicity efforts in order [...]

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Who Are You Pitching?

  Last week, we looked at the first step to getting some free publicity to help your business boost sales. Now, here’s the second step in our “7 Steps to Successful Public Relations.” “Who Ya Gonna Call?” Once you have a PR Plan in place, it’s time to get smart with a good dose of [...]

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Finding a Franchise Opportunity – ‘Tis the Season

As you may know, StartupNation offers a franchise selector service. You basically use the finder tool to identify franchises that fit your interests and financial realities. At this time of year, interest in finding a franchise is at fever pitch. People seem to come out of the self-reflective New Year and holiday period charged up and on [...]

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Get on the Google Rocketship!

This is the second time this year (so far) that I’ve done a shameless plug for a product offered here at StartupNation. But when I believe in something so strongly — in its value and transformative power to set businesses on a more successful path — I just can’t help it! This one’s called Google [...]

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Surviving Tough Times-Interview with Author, Successful Entrepreneur George Cloutier

Want insider secrets from a highly successful entrepreneur on how to survive tough, economic times? Well, today you’re in luck. I caught up with George Cloutier, owner of the highly successful business, American Management Services, http://www.amserv.com/, to discuss his new book, “Profits Aren’t Everything; They’re the Only Thing.” Here’s what he had to say. Tell [...]

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Why Dell Beats the Hell Out of Threadless

First, they correctly targeted their customer and simply provided them with useful information.  Next, they implemented systems to monitor, measure, and manage customer service interactions.
(Great tips for handling customer service here.) These are great starting points and should serve as the foundation for any small business looking to incorporate social media in their marketing efforts.

While those are great steps for getting started in social media, it’s important that companies don’t stop there.  The real key to your success lies in your ability to actively engage that target demographic.  I urge you to roll up your sleeves a little and try some new strategies this year to finally get some ROI from social media.  To get you started, I’ve brainstormed a couple ideas below.

  • Include a playful and creative flyer in outgoing packages encouraging participation and possibly offering a reward… “Be a sweetie! (attach some candy to the card) Post a pic of you wearing this t-shirt on our Fan Page and we’ll send you a $5 gift card.”
  • Create a survey on Facebook or poll on Twitter (twtpoll) asking “friends” to vote on which new products to sell/create…the winning product will be offered to survey participants first, and at a discount. (See how Modcloth does this here)
  • Track down recent customers on Facebook and “friend” them with your companies Facebook page (who doesn’t want more “friends”?)
  • Spend money to make money…hire a Community Manager that will actually have the time to effectively target and engage new customers and strengthen your online branding. (Not sure what a Community Manager does? Read this by Chris Brogan.)

I truly believe social media is the future for small business marketing and I hope you can find at least one of these ideas helpful in your efforts to engage online.  Always be on the lookout for innovative new ideas to reach your customers and don’t be shy.  A sincere, heartfelt, and playful “hello” to your customers will be appreciated more times than not.  Just make sure you have the infrastructure in place to monitor, measure, and manage all those new customer interactions.

Need help with your social media campaign? Contact me directly here!

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I apologize for the outlandish headline, but I don’t really think it’s any more outlandish than crowning Threadless as the sales guru of Twitter.  I’m sure you’ve read some recent press in the media bragging about Threadless being the company to emulate when it comes to monetizing on Twitter. (Read one article from Inc here) [...]

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Stop Dilly-Dallying. Get This Book. Start a Business.

It’s time. Right Now. Stop dilly-dallying. Starting a business doesn’t have to be scarey. And you don’t have to wait. Start on a path to opening your own business. Get our life-changing book, StartupNation: Open for Business. There are easy steps you can take. And there are over 30 examples of success stories using our process, [...]

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Your Product + QVC = $$ MILLIONS $$

      The fastest ways to bring your product to market is to get it on QVC!  The best, and fastest, way to do that is hire a QVC agent! What is a QVC Agent? A QVC Agent is an independent person, or group, that can get your product or new invention in front of [...]

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