Over the last month I have talked with several business owners who have expressed a need for something different with their website. They have one of two problems: they are paying too much for their website with not enough return, or they currently don't have a functional website.
The good news is that there are some great do-it-yourself website options available today - options that are affordable, beautiful, and easy to use. Honestly, I have seen these DYI drag-and-drop sites look and perform MUCH better than “professionally developed” sites.
While there are numerous website platform builders available, I have chosen three to discuss. These have been chosen based on popularity, functionality, design, and ease of use. You really can’t go wrong with either of these three options though each has...
In working with numerous entrepreneurs over the last decade, I have often heard one main theme: “I never went to business school.” To these entrepreneurs, they feel that their businesses are somehow at a disadvantage because they are not experts in business.
But why would they need to be experts in business? After all, business owners need to be experts in their specific industry. Well, these entrepreneurs understand that their business does have a “business side,” which can result in HUGE returns - if properly managed.
The good news is that I don’t believe that anyone is at a disadvantage for not having gone to business school. In fact, I feel that not going to business school can actually be an advantage for a business owner.
Every buyer takes a journey with your business. Some of these journeys last years and produce great profits, while journeys end before they really begin. Instead of thinking of sales from the prospective of a business, the buyer's journey focuses on how a customer evolves in their engagement with your business.
In developing a business model, it is important to understand that there is a natural progression every buyer takes in regards to their engagement with your business. It take time to build trust with a buyer and it takes a pretty significant effort for them to walk through their journey of doing business with you. To understand a buyer's journey, we must start by looking at the stages a buyer takes during their journey with a business. There are four stages to a buyers journey...
When we look at a small business, we can usually tell pretty quickly whether or not a business is healthy. We can tell if the business is mature and strong, right? The parking lot is always full, they always have what we need, and the staff make you feel welcome and leave a desire to return. On the other hand, we can also tell if the business is weak and dying. We have all seen it.
I remember going into a local hardware store for the first time after moving to a new town. Within moments of being in the store, I was asking myself
If you are the one on top - the business owner - the buck stops with you. If you want to make money this month, you push harder and make it happen. If you are tired or just not feeling it, you can sit on your butt. It is completely up to you.
The winds of motivation are constantly changing and this is where a business coach can help you stay on course. Here are a few ways to find a business coach without necessarily breaking the bank...
While everyone seems to understand the importance of Search engine optimization (SEO), I am absolutely amazed at how many businesses do not utilize the most basic tactics of SEO.
For example, I have been talking to my son's taekwondo studio for several years about the importance of SEO. For whatever reason, they delayed and delayed implementing basic tactics on their website. When they finally did implement a few SEO tactics, they ended up with so many
I have some big news coming that I am excited to share with all of you, but I can't let the cat out of the bag completely yet. That said, here is a little piece of what I (along with my wife, Jessica) have in the works.
Just a decade ago, most businesses would purchase a space in the Yellow Pages book and just wait for the phone to ring. They didn’t need an alternative advertising option - Yellow Pages just worked.
Oh how the times have changed. Small businesses can no longer just rely on Yellow Pages because 80% of consumers use the internet when they are trying to find a new product or service. Therefore, small businesses must find an alternative to Yellow Pages.
Let’s face it. We live in a digital world; if you don’t have a presence online then you don’t exist. At least in the eyes of those who are actually searching to buy a product or service that you are offering.
According to Forbes, “consumers report using the internet first (80% of the time) when they need a new product or service, and printed Yellow Pages only second or third (about 50% of the time.)”
This means that if you are a small business owner, you can no longer...
As I was browsing Facebook yesterday, I saw that a friend of mine had shared a post about a jazz vocalist (Diana Krall) coming to the Embassy Therater in Fort Wayne, Indiana where I live.
The post was published on Friday afternoon and said that they would be giving away two free tickets on Monday. To get a chance to win the tickets, all I had to do was to like, comment, and share the post about the ticket giveaway - which I did.
When I was in college in the late 1990s, a friend in mine had a challenge - he was a slow-typer. He’d never learned proper typing technique, so his two-finger method would take hours longer than it needed to.
I remember walking into his room one weekend and seeing him at his computer with a headset. He’d just installed brand-new voice recognition software...
Could you make a sale today if you wanted to? I'm not talking about customers coming to you, but rather, could you make a sale by going out and finding one?
Finding a sale on a minutes notice is a very challenging task. I know. I used to have a sales job where I had to do that. When we would arrive to work in the morning, our boss would occasionally tell us we had to go out and find a new sale that day. So we would...
We all know that it is much easier to retain an existing customer than to acquire a new one. Yet so many businesses leave engagement up to the customer. The customer comes in on their own, leaves on their own, and comes back on their own.
But many customers are just looking for an excuse to come back.
This summer, my wife and I decided to sign-up our twin girls for the dive team at our neighborhood pool. This was only our second year as pool members, but our first experience in working with the dive team.
We really did not know what to expect. To our surprise, we found it fairly difficult to actually sign-up the girls as we had to talk t
My family and I have recently started watching a show on Netflix called Man vs Food. While the show follows a goofy host trying to win eating challenges in restaurants throughout the country, it also features some of the best and most unique restaurants you can find.
Of all of the restaurants featured on the show, there was one that absolutely stuck out. It was a doughnut shop.
When I started my photography business more than a decade ago, I was amazed by the support I received from family and friends. Sure, I offered a great product at a great price, and had a great funnel to get new clients, but the support of friends was amazing.
As I have been building this blog over the last few years, I realized that I did not have that many supporters. It really wasn't because they didn't want to support me. It was because I
Has something ever backfired on you because you made it too innovative or too complex?
When I first started my photography business, I wanted to get some excitement going among my friends and various networks. Since this was before I knew anything about internet marketing, I advertised my new services through a traditional marketing channel: a postcard advertisement.
I was having lunch with my friend, Matt McWilliams, and I was sharing with him how I had just finished an "epic" blog post. I was really excited. I had written the post as a brainstorming session on how private community pools could expand or grow their pool membership and felt I had a ton of value to offer.
The post was nearly 3,000 words long.
Matt kindly looked at me and said, "Sorry, but I...
Many cash-strapped small businesses delay investing in much needed repairs, investments, inventory, or even services. The problem with this is that growth is often slowed when these essential investments are not made.
Fortunately for these small businesses, there is an alternative to paying for these investments.
Do you ever get tired of trading your time for money? If you are like many of the small business owners I talk to, then you certainly do. You know that the product you are offering is worth more than what you are getting, but you just can't imagine charging more.
That is okay. You have been basing your prices on the cost of the product to you instead of the value that the customer ultimately receives. If this resonates with you, then you may want to consider shifting your buisness model to a "value-based" model rather than a cost-based model.
The key to effectively using coupons is to understand why they work and then to strategically implement a coupon program. Without being strategic, you could just be arbitrarily cutting into your margins without understanding the effectiveness of the coupon. Basically, if you just hand out coupons on every sale you make without having a reason for doing so and without raising your profits, the result is decreased margins and subsequent profits - just like you reduced your prices.
Therefore, it is important to have a strategy behind your coupon program. Here are six ways you can strategically use coupons to make more money.
In my article How to Increase Sales Through Product Bundling, I explained the benefits of product bundling and gave five ways to increase sales by bundling products. But bundling products is not just a hack that will help you sell more.
Product bundling will help you create a competitive advantage.
Product bundling is simple - it is the process of grouping together multiple products and selling them at a packaged rate.
Whether it is McDonalds, your cable provider, or your insurance agent, product bundling is a common marketing strategy that is used to increase sales for the business while also providing a value to the customer. As customers, we are used to purchasing bundles and bundling is a strategy that has proven to work so much, that many industries would never consider selling without bundles.
Growing up just north of Fort Wayne, Indiana, there were two roller rinks that would compete for our business: the Roller Dome North in Fort Wayne, IN and Bell’s in New Haven, Indiana. We would frequent these two businesses for birthday parties, school functions, and other organizational outings.
As a kid, I really couldn’t see a difference between the two businesses - we went there to skate and have fun. Now as an adult, I can clearly see two different business models.
With so many resources available to help our businesses, it is often difficult to find one that provides a great value at a good price. Thankfully for me, I have found such a resource in Platform University by Michael Hyatt.
Now, I don’t expect that all of you are going to jump into Platform University - that is not my intention at all. Frankly, Platform University isn't really designed for many of my readers as it is a resource for those building online businesses, which is something I am doing with this site and my business.
The reason I am writing this article is that I wanted to take this opportunity to dissect the inner workings of this membership site I have been a part of for nearly two years and break down why it has been so valuable for me. My hope is that you will be able to take away a few business hacks (summarized at the end of the article) that Michael Hyatt has used in Platform University and be able to apply them to your own business.
A convenience item is a product or service that is available at the right place and right time for a customer. These are items that are often sold at a premium price compared to what a customer could purchase the item for if they bought it in advance, at another location, or in a larger quantity. The end result is that customers are willing to pay more for an item when a business offers the item at a time and/or location that is convenient for them – meaning the value proposition is convenience rather than price.
Cross-selling is the art of offering a complementary product or service to a customer who is in the process of purchasing a different product or service. The idea of a cross sell is to provide in additional product that complements the product they have already decided to purchase.many times the product or service that is offered any cross sell is actually very beneficial to be purchasing customer.