Why Facebook is a Must as a Small Business Marketing Tool

As part of your small business marketing plan you need to be aware of
the way your customers are locating your products and services and how
their buying decisions are changing.

Online social interaction has become one of the main
pastimes for many people utilising social media sites such as Twitter,
Facebook, Linkedin etc. The king of these sites is Facebook with over
500 million people registered on the site, 700 billion minutes spent on
Facebook and on average each user having 130 friends ( and these numbers
are escalating), as a small business owner, you can see the potential
of Facebook to generate leads and sales.

A Word of Caution

However,
one word of caution is that social media is about social interaction,
and if you use the social media sites with an attitude of sell, sell,
sell or me, me, me then you will be wasting your time and energies. You
have to engage with your contacts and critics, listen to what people are
saying, good and bad. Keep content fresh. Use status updates and
newsfeeds to tell people about specials, events, contests or anything of
interest.

Small Business Marketing Facebook Essentials

Gain clarity about your Facebook Marketing goals before you start

Decide
upfront what you want to acheive from your Facebook Marketing. Is is
getting more customers, providing a better service or maybe creating a
brand awareness. Once this is clear, then you can work out your action
plan

Build Your Profile and Facebook Business Page

You
start by building your profile. It is advisable to have a separate
profile for your relatives and non-business contacts and one for your
business contacts. You then build your facebook page using your business
profile. Consider what keywords you want to be found for on the search
engines and build your profile and facebook page around this keyword As
well as having a Facebook Page, you can also create a Facebook group
which can have your keyword as the title.

Make Friends and Get People to “Like” your Facebook Page

Start
building your list of friends by inviting your current business
contacts and then ask them to “like” your Facebook Page. Then look for
groups or pages that relate to your product or service. Example if you
are a plumber, then you can join a builders group or a local community
group. Through these groups you can then make business contacts by
inviting them to be your friend. However the success of them becoming
your friends is determined by how you invite them and the uniqueness of
your message. Once your Facebook page is ready, make sure you create its
awareness through your website and other marketing materials so that
people can come and join your Facebook page

Make Your Profile and Pages Informative and Interactive

You
want to take advantage of the power of viral marketing and therefore
your aim is to get your friends to invite their friends to “like” your
Facebook Page.

Facebook Ads

Just like Google Adwords and
other Pay-Per- Click marketing, you can set up a Facebook Ad and pay
only when someone clicks on that advertisement. Because of the in depth
profiling available in Facebook, your ads can be highly targeted with a
low cost per click giving you a potentially high return on your
investment.

Final Points

Bing has now linked up with
Facebook and Google and other search engines are now starting to use
social media as part of their algorithm. Therefore a Small Business in
this day and age must incorporate Facebook as part of their Small
Business Marketing Strategy

Managing Time And Staff Effectively Critical to Small Business

The control of your time is key to being productive especially as a
small business owner or new entrepreneur. With the sheer volume of
things to do each day it is critical that you are organized and not
falling prey to distractions. Since you only have so many hours in a
week, I strongly recommend that you create a proper “To Do List” either
on your computer or on paper that reminds you on a daily basis, what you
are trying to accomplish each week. 56 83 Equally important is to
“schedule” tasks for a specific day to keep things in priority. When you
need to really focus on things such as marketing or accounting work,
close your door. The natural culture of a small business is for the
“door to always be open”.

While being available for customers is often
necessary as an owner/manager especially in a start-up situation, having
staff come and go constantly will interrupt your train of thought and
could cause you to miss something significant. Employees should come to
understand that when the door is closed, you are focused on growing the
business that pays their wages. Phone calls, opening mail and emails can
all be scheduled into certain times of the day to give you better
control over your environment and time. Large businesses schedule
closed-door boardroom meetings with management and department heads
regularly specifically for this purpose and while you may not yet have a
boardroom, closing your door to quietly contemplate is equally if not
more important for your small business. Setting a weekly plan therefore,
on a Monday morning or even on a Sunday night preceding your week, is
most important. Sit down and ask what you’re going to accomplish, each
of the five or six work days and don’t deal with Thursdays matters on
Monday. If your plan determined that it was good enough to get it done
on Thursday and you’ve got some priority items Monday, Tuesday etcetera,
stick to the plan.

As a businessperson you have to be mature
enough to know what you have to get done and then do only what you
should do. Don’t grab the garbage bag on the way out the door and take
it to the back lane and dump it in the dumpster. If you are a one-person
business that’s one thing but in many cases you see owners of a small
business doing things that might seem to be setting a good example but
it’s frankly not a good use of their valuable time. As the driving force
behind the success of your start-up, put a value to your time and ask
yourself, would you pay somebody that much money to do this task? So if
you are worth $50 an hour, why are you doing a job that you would pay $7
an hour to have done? It’s not about ego or position. It should be
completely about what is in the best interest of the business and where
your time is best spent. So, delegate, delegate, delegate. When the end
of the week comes and you’re checking off all of those items as “done”
because you were disciplined and controlled the interferences, the
satisfaction will be inspiring.

My goal is to help you succeed, Bryan M. Fenske, Founder – www.startingabusinesscoach.com

Proper Awareness In Applying For Government Grants for Small Business

The US government is giving out billions of dollars each year for the
section of the plan providing government grants for small business.
This is usually a perfect offer for those who are setting up to commence
their own business. Even a number of the famous brands and
organizations nowadays received government assistance when they were
still beginning.

Government grants for small business are normally
given to individuals who are arranging to get started up a small and
medium sized business, starting a nonprofit business, planning to expand
and renovate a business, planning new equipment, and arranging a
research or acquiring land. This program was developed by the government
to give likelihood to the small business sectors which are essential
towards the economy.

The secret in acquiring government grants for small business
is awareness on the way to turn, when recover work, what to do and who
must you recognize to apply. An applicant need to become aware of the
steps and needs which can be required for the software. This would
consist of knowing the documentations and paper works that are important
to get ready. Timing is also essential. As everyone knows, the
resources allotted for these grants are limited and aren’t enough to
accommodate all those who will apply. One has to notice that it s not
readily available anytime within a year and so, you have to know when it
is the finest time of applying for a grant. The other ones are the
familiarity in the government departments and places wherever you ought
to go. You wouldn’t wish to waste your cash going back and forth
determining the suitable place to submit the essential specifications.
And finally if feasible, attempt to inquire and talk to people whom you
think can give an improved chance for your software to get approved.
This way, you may be guided accordingly to avoid mistakes that would
lead to delay and failure with the software.

It
usually takes careful preparation to win a government grant for small
business. Try to become proactive adequate to find out the things you
have to do to improve the possible which needs to be eligible to receive
the grants.