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Tip of the Day Open an Online Savings Account

Open an Online Savings Account - One of the best ways to save money and receive a fair return on your money, about 5%, is to open an online savings...

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Business School FAQ

    How To Market My Business

    Q:I am scared that when I roll out my project, that someone else with a lot more money, and smarts than me will copy it and end my chances of growing. I realize that it will be difficult to answer this question without knowing what my project is all about, but I dont know how to ask any other way without giving too much info. I also dont know who to trust as I am feeling a little overwhelmed right now and would like to talk with someone/s about my project. A:I am not talking about signing on with a major...

    Advice Marketing A Small Business

    Q:Another example is: there are lots of local busineses, some with over 600 employees. To me this seems like an absolute gold mine for potential business when I think of the numbers of people in these companies who smoke, would like to lose weight, are overstressed, etc. etc. but again, how do I go about doing this? A:Work on a business plan. Regardless if you're going to get a business expansion loan or not. No matter if your business has been in business since the dawn of time. A business plan forces you to think of all aspects of your business....

    Advice On Hiring

    Q:What is the trusted, time-honored advice on hiring office help? I'm spending too much time on office tasks unrelated to my bottom line. Should I outsource it to a neighborhood kid? What's the right age group for prospective employees? I'm a one person marketing, and writing company (for computer co's). A:Perhaps you could find someone, like myself, who has their own business providing administrative services on an "as-needed basis" to small business owners & professionals. I have the business structure already in place, along with my own office, so businesses do not have to deal with payroll, related taxes and reporting....

    Business Domain Names

    Q:I apologize for not being as active in this newsgroup as I had been in the past. I have been devoting the majority of my time putting together my new web page, and putting a postcard mailing together to get the word out on my new page. A:I would agree that in the grand scheme of things, the domain name is not a vital component. I will say this, in cases where you are taking orders online, *quite a few* people would think twice before submitting to an AOL subdomain or www.thisplace.com/~joesmall/tinystore. Now, many...

    Event Sponsorship

    Q:I have been assigned the responsibility of planning an upcoming boat ride/dinner that my company is sponsoring. We will have cocktail napkins with our logo, as well as signage displayed. I am looking for ideas on further promotions that we could do and ways of contacting the attendees prior to the event. Direct mail or phone call? Should we do a prize raffle? What kind of giveaway? Any help you can provide would be greatly appreciated. A:As far as the raffle or give-away, make it something that would appeal to the types of people at your affair..something your clients or customers...

    Free Business Training Seminars

    Q:I was wondering if it's a good idea to offer free seminars to help gain customers? I am working on a business for PC/Network repair and thought that a good marketing idea would be to offer a free seminar for say, the first 20 people that sign up. A:Free seminars are often a good way to find interested prospects. Just be sure to have a means to collect names and contact information for the people that attend your seminar. Will you be targeting consumers or small businesses with your seminar? Consumers can be rather fickle, so I'd recommend targeting small business...

    Marketing Information For Websites

    Q:I am doing research on web sites that give out good marketing information and that are current and updated. Does anybody know of any good web-sites that are good sources for any kind of marketing information--any kind!?? Perhap "on-line newsletters"?? A:TalkBiz News - Used to be VirtualBusiness.News Not specifically marketing, and I don't write much of it but the editorials. Some good info from people that are in the trenches. Definitely NOT advanced stuff, but very useful for small/new businesses. Emailed weekly. Subscribe info: mailto:majord...@talkbiz.com with the words SUBSCRIBE NEWS in the message body, or see http://www.talkbiz.com/news for info and associated...

    Is Newspaper Advertising Worthwhile?

    Q:I am trying to launch a new on-line company, in order to market the product I offer I need to make myself known to small business owners throughout the USA. Unfortunately, I don't have much money for advertising. Here in Rhode Island we have a monthly newspaper called the Providence Business News. It is widely read by most business owners throughout the state. I thought it would be good if I could find a newspaper, with a small business type feel to it, that is distributed in all 50 states. I thought I could do 1 ad for each states...

    New Business Marketing

    Q:Information required: I have a transporation logistics company that was recently created from 25 years experience. How do I combat questions such as: "How do we know if your going to be around after the first year?" How do I get across to people that my experience is more important than how long the business has been operational? I have a lot to offer but how do I get the message across? A:A new business can offer many benefits to a client. "Because we are relatively new, we can give you more personalized attention." "Because we are new we will work...

    Small Businesses Marketing In Atlanta

    Q:I am launching a small business eMarketing firm in Atlanta http://www.ActiveImprovement.com and will appreciate any ideas reaching small businesses in the local area. A:I bought a machine shop in Denver back in 1967 and had to find work right away to pay the interest, capital, payroll, taxes and all expenses. I worked up a postcard and had it printed. Then sent it out to all manufacturers in Denver. It promised them emergency overnight service on any critical time-based machine operation for free as long as they gave me the card. I suggested they hold...

    Ideas For Setting-Up A Consultancy

    Q:I'm considering setting up a marketing consulting company specializing in guerilla-type marketing for small businesses and non-profits. I'd like to "test" this idea part-time before leaving my full-time position. I live in a mid-sized (2.5 million) metropolitan area. Does anyone have ideas on how to best go about this? How do I secure clients? How much can I charge to develop a marketing plan? Do small businesses care enough about marketing and have the resources to support a consultant? A:During your initial start-up phase, I'd recommend you write up a good speech about something that small business owners will want to...

    Advantages of Internship

    Q:I was curious if anyone here has had any experience in inviting college students to work as interns for me. My obstacle isn't money, in fact interns or not they will get full pay plus commission. I, on the other hand, fear the 'experience' that sales people may bring into the company. I've seen other companies like us and have tried my best to avoid fitting into the stereotypes. I'd like to know if anyone here has any suggestions, experiences, or just comments that may help me decide. A:By and large, you really should NOT use interns for anything of real...

    Marketing For a Coach

    Q:I have a problem. Maybe someone here can help. I am a self-esteem coach. I have recently gone from coaching folks on a volunteer basis with my mailing list, self-esteem-self-help, to owning a coaching by phone service. I coached a businessman to make the leap from a volunteer position to one paying $12,000/MONTH. I coached a collegiate who, in the space of 2 hours, went from depressed confusion to a plan to reduce her coursework and deal appropriately with her longstanding depression. My problem is that I don't know how to locate the people who would be interested in my...

    Online Grocery Retailing Advertising

    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:Logs. You need lots of traffic. You might try signing up for Google adsense pay per click. They pay you for clicks on ads on your site. There is a good article detailing the pros and cons of Adsense at http://www.small-business-software.net/affiliate-alternatives-google-... Have...

    Marketing Advice For Small Business Start-Up

    Q:My business partner and I are in the midst of writing a business plan for a venture we are very excited about. We are planning to open a Music Instruction (guitar lesson, etc.)business that also has a full blown recording studio in it. This type of business is unlike any that is out there... usually recording studios are in the boondocks and lesson businesses are retail stores. A:This topic comes up quite often and has been addressed by many a guru in this and other newsgroups. Please start here and come back to this group with specific questions and comments: http://home.att.net/~impresario/salesmarketing.PDF...

    Marketing For A Small Business

    Q:Any suggestions on how to market the services of a small business? At past businesses that I have worked at, radio and print ads did not work. Search engine placement worked a bit. The main way customers came in was through referrals (word-of-mouth). A:Get yourself in front of more people, so there are more people talking about you! This means networking. Lots of it. Look up your local Chamber of Commerce, business networking groups, and professional development groups. Offer to speak, to help out, to generally make yourself useful. Yes, it does work, I think, because customers are happy with the...

    Sample Business Proposal For A Small Bar

    Q:I am looking to see how to generate a new business proposal would love to have a sample to look at. A:Depends who you are proposing to. Banks, venture capitalists, investers, partners, government offshoots all look for different things. I once gave a bank manager a costed, timed marketing plan for a project and got back a "not in the format we require" letter. Sent back the figures on a cashflow form, he was like a child in a sand pit, though the cashflow was a lot less informative...

    Online Product Research

    Q:I am trying to develop an understanding on how one does a product purchase on the net. One of the ways to do so is to use a comparitive service like Jango (off Excite), Compare.net, shopping.com, or pricewatch (specific to computers). I would like to know how many people use comparitive services (and if you don't use one of the ones listed, please tell me what one you use) and how you feel that have been at meeting your needs. A:Finally, I would love to know what "service" you feel could be offered to you that would make it easier for...

    Advice on Closing Sales

    Q:I've started a new job as the "Marketing Coordinator" for a small business. One of the problems the business is having, that the manager has asked me to resolve, is that the salespeople pursue a lead, provide a quote, and talk to the customer. Everything seems to be going well, then suddenly, the prospective customer stops communicating with the salesperson, does not return phone calls, and does not reply to emails. The sale seems to be lost, but the customer never actually says "no". A:My feeling is that a few things could be happening: 1. Prospect was not serious and was...

    Spam Problem Solutions

    Q:I'm reposting since I want to "work" on a possible solution to the UCE/spam problem. Please give me your input so that I can improve this proposed solution. Once the proposal has been sharpened, I will be sending it to various publications, companies, and other relevant organizations. What we could do, if interested, is everyone that supports the final proposal to be listed, signing it, if you will. A:Getting all business - domain - non-ISPs (rouge site) to "honor" a UCE/spam voluntary solution is not going to work. If a business...

    Business Web Site Graphics Critiuques

    Q:I'd appreciate any critiques of my website, including ease of use, graphics, and closing of the deal. The only thing I can't/won't change is the price of my product. It's working but I'm not even getting 1% of my traffic to buy. I need help. But I just can't see what's wrong. A:1. Lose the huge picture http://members.aol.com/devinesbrownies/tessframe.jpg 2. Get a real domain name: members.aol.com screams amateur 3. Don't use frames 4. View your site at 800x600 5. Stop using PayPal, get a real secure web site and merchant account or some offline processing like ProPay.com 6. You need separate images...

    Ideas For Improving Website

    Q:Can you guys please view my site and give me ideas for future improvements or how to make it better. They have yet to get my contacts page to email to me, so that is the only problem I am aware of! A:Since you're a local business you need to be sure your "meta tags" include you city, state, zip and regional information. Meta tags are the hidden code to help search engines know what keywords and descriptions you prefer to use. Also be sure to have your zip code in your address. Search engines that offer local searches use zip...

    What Do Graphic Designers Do When They Evolve

    Q:I've been wondering. What does a graphic designer do when he or she no longer wants to be a graphic designer? Now don't get me wrong, I love my job and it is very exciting, but there should be more to life than fretting over the kerning space between an "L" and an "A". I also have a problem. The fact that I don't know of too many designers over the age of 35, and I know quite a few designers. Then there's the salary thing, designers are paid a little over minimum wage at entry level, and it does...

    How Do I bring ECommerce to my Website?

    Q:Having worked hard, and put up my first web commerce site, I'm now wondering how to bring business to it. I've done a lot of submitting, a lot of joining web rings, and a lot of free banner exchanges. The number of hits doesn't seem to increase, though. I continue to be the most popular user because I check it when I update it. A:I took a look at it. Many of the pages loaded rather slowly, especially the graphics-heavy http://www.trigramhealth.com/catalog.htm and it took me a lot of clicking around to...

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    Definition: Quality of earnings is usually mentioned when referring to earnings announcements. Advice: Companies whose earnings are largely the...

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