7 Reasons Why Small Businesses Should Be Advertising Online

Still not convinced you should be advertising online?
How about a refresher course for those of you a little more advanced?
Here’s seven of the most important reasons WHY you should be advertising online.1. Go Where Your Customers Are. Consumers are using the Internet to research products and services more than ever. Google estimates that 97% of consumers are searching online prior to making a purchase.. even if they purchase offline! If you’re not there to be found… how are your customers going to find you?2. Your competitors are already there. Do a Google or Yahoo search for your business and see what pops up. If you’re a hair salon, how many “sponsored links” do you see for hair salons right in your neighborhood? Not only are your direct competitors advertising online; but other companies may be targeting your potential customers. Make sure that these potential customers are finding you as well.3. Online advertising is not expensive. Your message can reach a huge audience immediately, and typically at a lower cost than other media. One of the most cost effective forms of advertising is CPC or Cost Per Click. Your ad or message may be displayed to 1,000’s of people, however you only pay when that ad is clicked!4 No budget is too small. Provided you already have a basic website, you can begin marketing it with a minimal investment. A good starting point is to determine what your average sale amount is? That will give you a starting point of how much you may want to invest for one new customer.5. Results are Immediate. If you’re like most small business owners looking to grow and obtain more revenue; you’d rather not wait for it to happen! Within minutes of launching an online advertising campaign or test, you will begin to get traffic and responses. Remember, the internet is “on” 24/7 365 days a year!6. The internet is local. True, the web is “world wide” and millions of people are using it every second, but you can control who sees your advertising! There is little need to worry about wasting your advertising dollars on the Internet masses.7. The web does all the work. While you do still have to spend the time deciding who you’re going to target, and how you’re going to do it; for the most part, the internet does the rest. You have many tools available to you and your message can be delivered to very specific audiences in even the narrowest niche. Not only can you target geographically, but you can zero in on potential customers based on their demographic profile, online behaviors or special interests.Just as with any marketing strategy, your online marketing will need to be tested and optimized. The tools are readily available to everyone, and for the most part, they are very user friendly.Remember back to the days before you began your business; you had visions of what you would sell, to whom you would sell, and how you would sell. That’s the starting point for any new online marketing campaign; and a good reminder to those more experienced!

Website Now Connecting Small Businesses and Penny Pinchers in a Bad Economy

With the economy sputtering, local small businesses increasingly find themselves in a world where every consumer is looking for a bargain – a great deal, a nice discount. But, for many, reaching those bargain-hunters directly through paid advertising is financially impossible. The difficulty in bringing in new business is leaving many Americans finding themselves in crisis.According to small business lending analyst Robert Coleman, in 2008, small business defaults on Small Business Administration (SBA) loans reached 12 percent, up from just 2.4 percent in 2004.Interestingly, with the explosion of websites catering to all sorts of people, there hasn’t been a “one stop shop” where a small, independent businesses owner can offer these deals for consumers in their area to find them.Where others might see gloom and doom, Jan Stuart saw hope and opportunity. An entrepreneur who saw his own successful business go under due to the stock market crash in 1987, Stuart has launched a new project, JansDeals.com, which specifically caters to the new deal-seekers who increasingly use the internet, and allows small businesses to cheaply target them, by listing deals that they can edit and change as they see fit.”I really sympathized with the small business owners, because I’ve been there,” said Stuart, who is offering small businesses three months free listings on the website to help launch the site. “You’ve got the big stores like Macy’s which can afford to buy a full-page ad, offering 30 percent off all handbags. But what about the handbag shop down the street, or the woman who sells hand-made bags from a small home-based business? How can they say, ‘Hey, I got a good deal here too!’? There was nothing for them – not even on the internet. That’s why I created Jan’s Deals.”Indeed, online marketing has been very much untapped by small businesses. According to Nielsen, by June of 2008, 220 million+ people have internet access. But, more than half of all small business owners aren’t using the internet to market or advertise their business, according to American Express.Those who hadn’t used the internet for advertising, and took part in a limited test phase of Jan’s Deals in Boca Raton, Fla.,. seemed pleased with the results. Stuart’s site includes testimonials from local businesses praising the concept.”I do a lot of advertising in news print and on the Web, but since signing up with Jan’s Deals I have never had such a consistent flow of new patient’s from one source,” writes the owner of Siegel Chiropractic Center.Reaction like that is what Stuart believes will be replicated nationwide, as more businesses find his site and sign up.”Americans are desperate for deals, because they have to stretch every dollar. But, at the same time, they want to help their locally owned small businesses, because everyone knows the horrible effect small businesses failing has on the local economy. Marrying those two things together at a website like this will absolutely take off,” said Stuart. “Someone just had to create it.”

Grow Your Small Business in 3-6 Months Without Wasting Money on Advertising

As a small business owner, growing your business should be one of your top priorities. Most small business owners feel like they have to advertise the same way as large corporations in order to get ahead.There is a much better way to grow your business, a way where you won’t waste a penny on traditional advertising. Here is a five-part strategy that you can use to increase your revenue, without advertising:1. Create strategic alliances- Look at that businesses that also prosper when you prosper. Whom do your work with that makes money when you make money? If you can create an alliance with these people, where they promote your business to their customers you both win through the increased exposure.2. Slow down customer attrition- One of the easiest ways to grow your business is to keep your current customers from leaving. This means going out of your way to give each person the best service possible. If you can keep most of your customers around then you can slow the bleeding and any customers you add will increase the bottom line, instead of keeping it level.3. Increase your prices- Most businesses are short-changing themselves by racing their competition to the bottom, through pricing. Never compete on price. Instead, raise your prices. Dump your bottom-feeders and provide excellent service to your best customers. A simple 20% increase in prices is an overnight 20% increase in revenue.4. Sell more to your customers each time- Package your services in such a way that you provide great value for more income. Instead of selling a single item or service to a customer, dig deeper and solve her problem with an entire packaged system. As a small business owner, it’s your duty to provide your customers with the most services that will improve their current situation and packaging is the solution.5. Develop a referral system- Turn your customers into an army of free salespeople. Provide everyone that does business with you a series of tools where they can promote your business. Reward these loyal customers with merchandise, extra services, bragging rights, and VIP treatment. Create a referral portfolio, where you develop multiple referral systems, so that you don’t count on a single source for lead generations.You can grow your small business without wasting a dime on traditional advertising. By focusing more on keeping your current customers happy, instead of focusing on new customer acquisition, you can grow quite rapidly for much less cost.