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Tip of the Day Use Your Frequent Flier Miles Often

Use Your Frequent Flier Miles Often - If you are not collecting frequent flyer miles, you need to ask yourself why not, as they are like receiving a small gift...

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Business Plan FAQ

    Small Business Question

    Q:This is my first posting to this newsgroup. I have learned a lot by reading articles posted on this newsgroup. I own a small business and would like to get some advice from readers. A:It does make sense to provide an online ad placement service. Perhaps you should consider working out a referral deal with someone who is already providing web service. You could simply help your clients by filling out a form which you would then send to the web service provider. Naturally, you should require a fee from the provider for...

    Upholding Business Image

    Q:I’m the VP of a small Internet Marketing & Web site promotion company. Naturally, we use our Web site to help publicize our services, and as such consider any feedback we get concerning our site to be very important. Recently we received an e-mail from a disgruntled visitor who criticized us –rather sarcastically too- by basically saying that we have a poorer image because our company uses AOL (America On Line) to host its Web site rather than pay InterNIC to get a domain name. A:I use the Internet and my website extensively to market my company's products and services. Although...

    Direct Mail To Schools

    Q:We have a small business that sells various teacher and school supplies through a small catalogue, and one page flyers that we send to schools. We would be interested in any advice you may have on improving response rates in this marketplace. We always get responses, but we feel there could be more. A:We currently send our mailings to the Principal - we call each of 400 schools we mail to every 3-4 months to ensure that the name hasn't changed. Each envelope is hand stuffed and uses a special issue of stamp to get attention. We can only send 2-3...

    Direct Marketing For Small Business

    Q:As the owner of a small business (and a second one soon to be launched), I find the discussion in this thread amazing. A:Perhaps I am different from other small businesses, but I recognize the NEED for high quality marketing consulting. I have been having a very difficult time finding a qualified individual to work with me. The consulting companies around here have blown me off - they don't understand that I am happy to pay someone $2k - $3k to design and write DM pieces & graphic arts as long as they are qualified. My only requirement is that they...

    Sample Press Releases For The Internet

    Q:I have a fairly successful business, but I'm looking to get more media attention. Does anyone know if there are sample press releases on the net? and where do you find them? A:Three questions you might ask yourself before launching your promotional campaign: 1. Who (your ideal prospects) do you want to make aware of your services (value adding expertise)? 2. What kind of mutually beneficial (to your prospects and to the publisher of the target media) material (useful information, interesting stories, secrets, industry models, etc.) can you provide the media? Once you...

    Direct-Selling E-Commerce Web Sites

    Q:I need to get this thing off the ground, but I'm fumbling in the dark here. I have enough skills to produce a smooth-functioning web site with an advanced and powerful ASP-based shopping cart. I have created 2 e-com sites for relatives and taught myself the programming needed to do this. In the past I have done ok at selling directly to the consumer, small items. I am not sure if there is a basic list of do's and don'ts for selling webs to small and very small businesses (my market). Any basic suggestions? A:With all due respect, Daniel, that's not...

    Using Splash Pages For Website Marketing

    Q:I own a commercial website called "Virtual Sheet Music": http://www.virtualsheetmusic.com and we are working to revise our website design and structure. Our index page is a sort of "splash page", an "introduction" to our website but that maybe could be a barrier for our users... friends suggested me to delete it and replace it directly with the Home one. Do you think that our entrance page, a kind of "site map", should be really deleted? Really splash pages are to be considered as "barriers"? A:Splash pages are almost always barriers to customer sales. You need one navigational structure not two...especially in...

    Marketing Linux Skills

    Q:Been working long in Linux & Open Source Solution as a techi. , I thought: "Let me try to sell my Linux skills to small companies" (having 5-10 networked pc's). I decided to prepare a marketing leaflet, so that I can start with distributing, while hoping I hear from the companies. What do you think of the below Linux Marketing leaflet?? What text/sentence would you add/delete in order to attract a client? A:In a small company, the owner will be making those sorts of decisions. With a few exceptions (and maybe you can play to these niches): His computers are an...

    Locating The Target Market

    Q:Does anyone have or know of any resources (newsletters, groups, etc.) that target the upper-end of "small business" to mid-size businesses? The products I will offer are focused on increasing productivity, decreasing operational errors (e.g. late shipments), improving processes etc. Any suggestions? A:I am turning to all of you marketing gurus out there to see if you can help me. I have done a lot of research trying to find places where my target market "hang out", such as newsletters with good circulations that are targeted to my market where I could submit...

    Selling Ad Space On a Website

    Q:We are an online grocery retailer offering our in store product available through an interactive web site. Business is growing, but we want to increase the income through selling advertising and promotions on our site. What are companies looking for in terms of hard data to support paying for online advertising? Any idea of what to charge? A:There is a good article detailing the pros and cons of Adsense at http://www.small-business-software.net/affiliate-alternatives-google-... Have you checked to see what your Alexa.com ranking is? Many companies will base there interest on how well your traffic score is. Go ahead and check it out. Simply...

    Marketing Hints For Nurse Consultants

    Q:I have a Legal Nurse Consultant firm. We help attorneys with medical malpractice and personal injury cases. Does anyone have any ideas on how to market our business, other than by direct mail?A:The old fashion way of knocking on doors: Have your most personable employee go around and visit lawyers. A handshake goes a long way. Have him/her practice with you (or if you're going to do it, you should practice with someone that will give you honest feedback [a.k.a. your boss ... or if you're the boss, a consultant]). Try to talk to as many...

    Marketing Ideas For Online Games

    Q:I developed & run an online game at http://www.paradox-online.net, the players are very loyal and the few I have have generated a lot of revenue. For example, the most from single player is 430-440 euros in a 5 month timespan. Current "round" statistic is that around 30-32cents per player in revenues. Not sure if that's high? It might be, sounds high to be for a "set of web pages" oO; well, anyways, it is a game. The total per player revenue is around 1.5euros per player I think, no real statistic about that one. A:I'm counting 4 frownies within 2 paragraphs.....

    Food Delivery Ordering on the Internet

    Q:I asked a question earlier related to marketing an Internet business to a small business non Internet related. To specify more on what I'm doing is setting up a local fast food delivery place with their menu and ordering on the Internet. The business seems very interested and we are still waiting for their response but I would also like to hear some ideas on how to sell this idea more effectively. A:The facts would appear to support this myth. Fewer than one in a hundred business sites produce direct revenues in excess of their hosting costs. Those who do produce...

    Entrepreneurial Training Class

    Q:In preparing for my next class in Project Management (innovation and using chaos), I am looking for innovations that have changed the way we do things over the past ten or fifteen years. Your input will be appreciated! For example, at airports they are setting up small parking lots within 5 minutes of the terminals for people to wait in their cars, without paying a fee, until they get a call from the passenger they will pick up on their cell phones. I'd like to meet the person who had the idea and who pushed it through the bureaucratic molasses...

    Technology Marketing List Company

    Q:Searching for Marketing List Company that can keep our prospect database refreshed. Focus is computer/electronics technology companies. Any assistance would be appreciated. A:Go to the Internet business Yellow Pages, call up your city, refine your search to SIC (Standard Industrial Codes), cut and paste the results into your Excel, Word or other DBF, and work your leads. Or, Go to your nearest library, pull out any number of books which list all the businesses in your area sorted by size, zip, sales revenue, SIC, and other data. ...

    Marketing Highly Trafficked Waterfront Property

    Q:I am president of a Civic League in Portsmouth Virginia known as the West Park View Community League. Our organization represents a community of nearly 1000 people in a downtown neighborhood made up of mostly owner-occupied historic homes. Every street dead-ends into Scotts Creek, a tributary to the Elizabeth River, a stone's throw from the Norfolk and Portsmouth downtowns, and the ZERO-mile marker of the intracoastal waterway. Downtown Portsmouth lies at the geographic and demographic center of the Hampton Roads (Norfolk/ Virginia Beach) area. A:It's great to have the armchair marketing gurus brainstorm as to how it can be used, but...

    Using Newsletters For Web Business Promotion

    Q:I have been considering the idea of sponsoring either a newsletter or web site to help promote my business. Does anyone know of resources where I can find assistance doing this? I would like info on cost issues, the do's & don'ts and what to look for, etc. A:A list of companies which provide networks of web sites for you to sponsor can be found at: http://www.ca-probate.com/comm_net.htm#_brokers As always, the key is going to be targeting your market as specifically as possible. In honesty, I have found that newsletter sponsorships are incredibly effective, because a) you have an pin-point targeted audience,...

    Using Press Releases For Online Marketing

    Q:For those small business owners that want to see how a press release can bring prospects to your business - let's find out together. I own a home based business designing and creating custom rugs for homes and businesses. Last year I sent a press release to the The Chicago Tribune describing the introduction of an exclusive line of rug designs I created. A:Now be prepared to handle the business that this write-up will generate. Are you ready to triple your output? Better start looking for associates or contractors who can perform what...

    Opt-In E-mailing Questions

    Q:We're thinking about finding a very legit company that has 100% opt-in lists and who do email to a targeted market. We're especially looking to target the small/home business market to help get the word out about our JAYA123 service. Does anyone have any opinions about this method (remember I'm not talking spam here... but mail to only opt-in lists.)? And does anyone have any recommendations for legit firms that we might approach? A:Any company that is offering to sell you a list is sending you off to spam. If they promise to send the email on your behalf, also beware....

    Timing For Mailings

    Q:My company is planning to do a postcard deck with a circ. of about 40,000. I've been told July is a horrible time to mail to people because many are either on, or returning from vacation... What are some good times for mailings during the year? A:Well, this might not help; but, I have heard so many different things on this subject that I really don't think there is a straight answer. It's kind of like asking the advice of an economist. No matter what your theory is, you can find an economist to back you up. I think unless you...

    Costs Factors of Major Businesses

    Q:When was cost a determining factor for major businesses? If it will save (more) money in the long run, any up front investment (huge or small) is not a factor for major businesses. Also you made a reference to the model not being too diferent from your own...which one is this exactly? A:They are using a model not too different from our own. I've been following the fortunes of Portera Systems for the last several months. If you're not familiar with this company, they offer various 'features' involving outsourcing business infrastructure -- document/knowledge management is one part of the functionality, but...

    Effective Marketing Strategies

    Q:The basis of all effective marketing strategies is NOT creating a unique selling proposition, but finding that perfect match between what you can offer, and what people want. It is a point of common ground, a resolution of an inherrent conflict or compromise. In essence, it is a very basic and natural process. For a small business or start-up, it is totally situational, and not structured. A:If you are a sole practitioner, it is critical to your success that you remain goal oriented. Stay focused, flexible, and adaptable to your changing situation. One day at a time. Contrivances such as USPs,...

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    Definition of the Day Green Fund

    Definition: Green funds are mutual funds that invest in socially-responsible companies that do not take part in immoral or unethical...

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