Having a well designed web site will undoubtedly bring your business new opportunities. Striking a balance between simplicity and appeal will attract your visitor’s attention. Good design is clean, simple, and fresh. This not only makes the content easier to understand and navigate, but also reduces loading times for visitors.
A badly designed web site will always reflect negatively against your company or organization. Far too many sites are bloated with large graphics, incorporate awful navigation, download slowly, and assume that all visitor’s have the latest plug-ins on the most modern browsers. Put simply, sloppy looking web sites reflect sloppy businesses.
Having no web site runs an ever-increasing risk of letting your company lose market share and profits, as more and more of your new and existing competitors go online.
Having a professionally designed web site, particularly with a high ranking on search engines, can bring huge benefits to your business. These benefits include the ability to:
• Reduce costs while increasing efficiency
• Give your company a competitive edge over your rivals
• Market your company nationally or even globally at low cost
• Have customers find information about your products 24×7, 365 days a year
• Greatly help you gain and retain customers
• Promote better customer contact and communication
• Improve customer service levels
• Open up new markets
• Provide new sources of income
• Help level the playing field with your bigger rivals
Website design can be very helpful in attracting the visitors you want and obtain more sales. It affects sales in a way that your site’s visitors can be attracted to avail the goods or services you are offering them.
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Step 2: Pick a business name and resister it.
Step 3: Select a business structure Get more information on business structures @ http://www.irs.gov/businesses/small/article/0,,id=98359,00.html
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Step 6: Write a business plan: A good business plan should include a description of what you are selling, who the prospective customers are, how you plan to promote, and how much money is needed for start-up costs.
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To talk health, happiness and prosperity to everyone person you meet.—
To look at the sunny side of everything and make your optimism come true.—
To think only of the best, to work only for the best and expect only the best.—
To be just as enthusiastic about the success of others as you are about your own.—
To forget the mistakes of the past and press on the greater achievements of the future.—
To wear a cheerful countenance at all times and give every living creature you meet a smile.—
To give so much time to the improvement of yourself that you have no time to criticize others.—
To be too large for worry, too noble for anger, too strong for fear, and too happy to permit the presence of trouble.
~ Christian D. Larson.
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• Have a back-up system in place. Repeat. Have a back-up system in place.
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There are three common elements that all Web sites share. These are the basics to the any simple website. Without these, you are not able to create a Web site and put it on the Internet. To create your Web site and have it on the Internet visible for everyone to see you need a Web site builder, a Web host and a domain name.
A Web site builder is the software that you use to build your Web pages. It allows you to add your content, images and everything else you want on to your Web page.
A Web host is a company that stores the Web site you’ve built and makes it visible on the Internet. The hosting company stores your Web site on its servers. A server is just a fancy computer that “serves up” your Web site to the Internet.
A domain name is your Web site address. It’s what comes after the www. For example, the domain of Geeks and Company is Geeksandcompany.com.
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Register domains to support business potential, product ideas, and more.
When you think of a domain name that you may want to use in the future, the best thing to do is register it. Even if you aren’t planning on using the domain name right away, you should register your domain name ideas for potential product, business, or investment opportunities.
You have nothing to lose by registering your domain name early. The banner at the top of our parked page lets visitors know that your website is coming soon.
A top-level domain is the part of the domain name located to the right of the dot (“.”). The most common TLDs are .COM, .NET and .ORG. There are several other popular top-level domains on the menu, including .BIZ, .INFO, .NAME, and .WS. The top-level domains have certain guidelines attached, but for the most part are available to any registrant, anywhere in the world. Exceptions are the restricted TLDs (rTLDs) – which include .BIZ and .NAME – that require the registrant to represent a certain type of entity, or to belong to a certain community. For example, the .NAME TLD is available strictly for individuals. Where appropriate, a top-level domain name can be of geographic significance and hence only available to registrants in the locale defined by the TLD. These are called country-code TLDs (ccTLDs) and include such top-level domains as .US (United States), .TV (Tuvalu), .CC (Cocos Islands), .DE (Germany), .JP (Japan), .BE (Belgium), .UK (United Kingdom), and .NZ (New Zealand).
As you may have found, .COM is the most common TLD in use today, which is closely followed by .NET. If you find that the domain name you want to register is already taken in .COM, you may check to see if it is available with an alternate TLD. Following the same reasoning, if you register a domain name, you may want to consider registering all or some of the more
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Many people will tell you that in a recession, marketing is more important than ever. If you go into hiding when times are tough, you’ll drop off the radar of your prospective clients.
People will continue to buy professional services, but the overall market may have shrunk. Therefore, being visible and offering value is more important than ever.
But even if you are determined to market your services, there’s a good chance you’re making some deadly marketing mistakes that will decrease the overall effectiveness of your marketing.
Here are 10 Marketing Mistakes professionals make in a recession and how you can correct them.
1. Not Having a Game Plan
Getting out there and doing marketing activities doesn’t mean getting out there randomly doing anything that seems like a good idea. This will dissipate your energy and resources and make you feel even more desperate if your efforts aren’t successful.
Spend some serious time crafting a plan. First know who your clients are, and what they need from you. Then develop a step- by-step plan to consistently put your message in front of them with an emphasis on setting up face-to-face meetings.
2. Buying into “Ain’t It Awful”
Times are tough? Or are they? Are you being triggered by external things such as the stock market, housing prices, and troubles with the banks? When you get triggered, do you find yourself thinking stressful thoughts, feeling worried, and then being paralyzed in taking any creative action?
What’s just one limiting thought that seems to be repeating in your head over and over, such as, “Nobody can afford my services now.” Now really question that thought. Is it really true? Don’t stop questioning that thought until you realize that it’s YOU that made it up. Then make up a more empowering thought.
3. Not Refining Your Marketing Message
I’ve talked about improving marketing messages a thousand times. What happens when you don’t have a good, attention- getting message? You waste valuable time and miss opportunities to attract clients. If your message is not clear and full of value, prospects won’t pay attention and will pass you by.
Make sure your marketing message include the following four components: 1. Clear target market, 2. Problem or issue prospect is experiencing, 3. Bottom line outcome you produce for your clients, 4. story that illustrates the above: “Client had this issue, we worked with her and she got this result.”
4. Not Improving Your Marketing Materials
The same goes for all your marketing materials, especially your web site. Web sites have these problems that drive away prospects: 1. Unattractive, unprofessional design, 2. Unclear, unfocused marketing message, 3. Insufficient, rambling content, 4. No clear call-to-action.
Working on improving your web site is relatively inexpensive and gives you high marketing leverage. Take the time to find a good designer, write clear, compelling copy and let your visitors know why they should do business with you. This will serve you in both good times and bad.
5. Not Offering Extra Value
In times of recession we think of scaling back and cutting costs. But the message you convey when you do this tends to backfire. You end up looking cheap. Yes, people are always looking for a great deal, but ultimately they are looking for solid value.
Work at ways you can add value without adding a lot of expense. For instance, every client appreciates more information, resources and access. As a bonus to all your clients, provide a special web page with this kind of value, then send a weekly email letting them know what’s new.
6. Not Offering Programs
It’s easier to buy a “program” than it is to buy a “service.” A service is more open-ended and intangible. For instance, if you do management consulting, you may offer “management consulting services” by the hour or by the day. But do you see how vague this is? Where’s the value?
Instead, offer programs that are more tangible. They have a beginning, middle and end and offer a specific outcome for a set price. This is perceived as a higher value overall, has less risk for the prospect, and is also much easier to sell.
7. Not Improving Your Selling Process
The selling process often ends up as a rambling, unfocused conversation about your services. It tends to be aimless and disorganized, fails to cover important points, and often leaves out the close completely.
The sales process needs to be organized into these five major parts: 1. Current situation and challenges of prospect, 2. Prospect goals and desired future, 3. Things stopping prospect from realizing those goals and future, 4. Presentation of your service/ solution, 5. Call-to-action – asking for the business.
8. Not Getting Out There
It’s easy to get busy and hide in your office. It always seems to be more important to answer another email or send a Twitter or Facebook message. Don’t you sometimes get a sense that you’re not connecting very deeply when it’s only online?
Nothing against social media, but it really can’t replace in-person contacts through networking, individual meetings, and attendance at seminars and conferences. Don’t end up as a “ghost marketer.” Be a “real marketer” who also connects in person.
9. Not Staying Regularly in Touch
Perhaps the biggest overall mistake most businesses make. Whether it’s a prospect you meet at a networking event, an attendee at a presentation, or an existing client, we tend to disappear and wait for them to be in contact with us.
You need a program of “keep-in-touch marketing” where your prospects and clients hear from you regularly, get ideas and information from you, and are informed of new services and programs. The best way to do this is through an email newsletter (eZine) that goes out like clockwork.
10. Being Passive, Not Proactive
Passive marketing is lazy marketing. That is, you think you are doing something, but you’re not really connecting. Another way to think of this is doing marketing activities aimlessly, going through the motions, but doing little to move things forward.
Proactive marketing is based on campaigns that get your message out there and that you follow up on. For instance, a telecast that you hold, and then follow up with the participants to set up appointments to discuss your services. You need to take the initiative and reach out, not wait for prospects to call you.
How many of these marketing mistakes are you making? What’s your plan to correct them?
The Bottom Line: If you work at correcting just one marketing mistake at a time, your marketing will go to a whole new level and you’ll start seeing results, even when there’s a so-called recession going on. In fact, don’t be surprised if your business does even better than ever before.
Sponsored by Geeks and Company Resellers at www.geeksandcompany.net
Reproduced with permission.
By Robert Middleton of Action Plan Marketing. Please visit Robert’s web site at www.actionplan.com for additional marketing articles and resources on marketing for professional service businesses.