Category Archives: Tips

6 Ways to Grow Your Small Business

Common sense, but overlooked pieces of advice on how to grow a business. Check these out to decide whether any of them could become growth-growing points in your business.

* Find an edge over competition. Look at your industry’s biggest cost and time constraints and focus on those areas of your business.

* Describe your business in 1-2 words. Own a phrase that illustrates your product or service. Then Google it to see if you have chosen the right one.

* Focus on one measurable priority for your company, not a dozen. For 90 days, focus on one problem area of your business.

* Control your cash flow. Construct a business model that fuels your growth without the need for outside financing.

* Use blogs, white papers, YouTube, LinkedIn and Twitter to align your marketing materials with the phrase you own.

* Make changes faster. The fastest-moving companies huddle daily to drive their priorities.

Small Business Advice, Found at Barnes and Noble

differentiate.JPGOur family likes to hang out at Barnes and Noble.  I am happy my kids still prefer books to video games. Today we stopped at our favorite hangout again.  While my husband and kids enjoyed delicious hot chocolate and cookies, I checked out some business books I had not seen before, including Small Business Bible: Second Edition by Steven D. Strauss.

Marketing to small business owners differs from marketing to non-profit organizations, but here it was, black on white, the list of suggestions to keep in mind when dealing with small business owners:

Small business owners buy when the pains get too great to bear.

You have to put your product or services in front of the owner again and again – when the time of pain comes – you will be the one he/she remembers.

Small business owners don’t want to be bothered – so get down to business and benefits.

Small busineess owners don’t want to be sold, therefore your job is to educate them, without a heavy hand.  Lead them to the water – when they are ready, they will drink form your well.

Time and money are huge considerations – explain how your product and service saves time and money as well as makes your prospect’s life easier.

Small business owners dream of reducing the risk. Show them that your product or service carries little risk.

Rules for Good Small Business News Releases

access-to-information.jpg One of my small business clients wanted to know how to write good news releases.  Here are some suggestions:

1. Feature timely news related to your industry, staff, company or products and services.  Avoid self-promoting made-up stories.

2. Tailor messages to the audience of a specific news vehicle. Don’t create another blanket mail piece.

3. Use clear and accurate terminology.  Do not use insider lingo.

4. Focus on benefits for your audience. 

5. Make it clear how your readers can take action and why your news release is important. Otherwise – who cares?

6. Use quotes from customers and staff. 

7. Be intriguing, yet believable. Do not boast.  Add some spice.

 8. Avoid long news releases – your reader’s time is valuable too.

Holiday Eating Tips for Small Business Owners

christmas-food.jpg

I received an email filled with holiday eating tips. I don’t know who the author is, so I can’t give proper credit, but I would like to share these tips with you. If you don’t like gravy and pies or if you are on a strict diet – these tips are not for you.

1. Avoid carrot sticks. Anyone who puts carrots on a  holiday buffet table knows nothing of the Christmas spirit. In fact,  if you see carrots, leave immediately. Go next door, where they’re  serving rum balls.

2. Drink as much eggnog as you can. And quickly. It’s rare..  You cannot find it any other time of year but now. So drink up! Who cares that it has 10,000 calories in every sip? It’s not as if you’re going  to turn into an eggnog-alcoholic or something. It’s a treat. Enjoy it. Have one for me. Have two. It’s later than you think. It’s Christmas!

 3. If something comes with gravy, use it. That’s the whole point of gravy. Gravy does not stand alone. Pour it on. Make a volcano out of your mashed potatoes. Fill it with gravy. Eat the volcano.  Repeat.

 4. As for mashed potatoes, always ask if they’re made with  skim milk or whole milk. If it’s skim, pass. Why bother? It’s like buying a sports car with an automatic transmission.

 5. Do not have a snack before going to a party in an effort to control your eating. The whole point of going to a Christmas party is to eat other people’s food for free. Lots of it. Hello?

 6. Under no circumstances should you exercise between now and New Year’s. You can do that in January when you have nothing else to do. This is the time for long naps, which you’ll need after  circling the buffet table while carrying a 10-pound plate of food and that  vat of eggnog.

  7. If you come across something really good at a buffet table, like frosted Christmas cookies in the shape and size of Santa,  position yourself near them and don’t budge. Have as many as you can  before becoming the center of attention. They’re like a beautiful pair of shoes. If you leave them behind, you’re never going to see them again.

 8. Same for pies. Apple, Pumpkin, Mincemeat. Have a slice of each. Or if you don’t like mincemeat, have two apples and one pumpkin.  Always have three. When else do you get to have more than one dessert?  Labor Day?

9. Did someone mention fruitcake? Granted, it’s loaded with the mandatory celebratory calories, but avoid it at all cost. I mean, have some standards.

 10. One final tip: If you don’t feel terrible when you leave the party or get up from the table, you haven’t been paying attention.  Re-read tips, start over, but hurry, January is just around the corner.  Remember this motto to live by:

  “Life should NOT be a journey to the  grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved  body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, body thoroughly  used up, totally worn out and screaming “WOO HOO what a ride!”