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3 Ways to Boost Your Small Business Revenue

Increasing business revenues consistently is a crucial strategy in any successful business plan. As markets evolve and economies change small business owners and managers must review their current growth strategies and consider implementing new techniques. Fortunately in today’s informational age revenue boosting techniques can be easy on the bank account and simple to implement. The three business growth strategies listed in this article have been proven to increase revenue when applied consistently in a well-developed business plan.

1. Internet Marketing

By now most business owner’s have been introduced to internet marketing, and many have attempted to implement some sort of online marketing campaign. Unfortunately many of the campaigns weren’t well put together, seemed overly complicated, or if implemented by a marketing firm may have proved too costly to continue.

Fortunately for all savvy business owners there is a simple and cost-effective way to implement an internet marketing campaign. The three key ingredients to an effective internet marketing campaign include search engine optimization, blogging, and social networking. Speaking from personal experience you don’t need to understand any of the technical aspects of the internet or how the programming actually works – you simply need to be open to learning a few new things and applying some simple practices consistently.

(To see how simple it can be, check out my blog page at http://kevinaubreytoday.com. This website requires only a few hours a month to maintain at a very low cost and yet delivers valuable information to all who visit.)

2. Joint Venture

Seek out businesses who serve similar client niches to your own and partner with them in marketing each others products and services. Though simple to implement and widely known, the joint venture is often overlooked by most small business owners. Seek out a partner in your market with similar business models, services, or products, and look for ways to package and bundle services in a manner that provides more value to your prospective clients as well as benefits both partners in the joint venture. The resulting win-win-win often produces immediate revenue boosts for both companies and can be a great way to build better market awareness quickly with reduced costs.

3. Bundle products and services.

“Would you like fries and a Coke with that?” has revolutionized the restaurant industry, and yet most small business owners have failed to capitalize on this truly genius and simple approach to bundling products and services. Look for ways to bundle your products and services in a manner which increases the perceived and experienced value of your clients while raising the average price of each transaction you make with them. Yes – you will most likely experience a reduction in the total revenue received if each of the products were selected individually, but the increase in value you are delivering to the market will in turn bring more clients and transactions to your business. The resulting increases will offset the lost revenues as long as you still maintain a reasonable profit margin for the entire transaction.

Implementing these three effective revenue growth strategies into your business marketing plan will yield results in the next 180 days if applied consistently. Fortunately the effectiveness of the strategies doesn’t rely on a big budget or a complex process. Most of the required information can be located easily on the internet at low or no cost and a few focused hours per week applied consistently to the process will yield positive results.

Home Based Business Ideas

Working from  home  is the dream of many people but looking for  ideas  for  home   business  can be a daunting task. There are many choices we can pick from. Do we become a freelancer and offer our services for a fee, become a web publisher, sell products for others through affiliate programs, make money by selling ads on our websites such as through Google’s AdSense program, filling out surveys for cash and bonuses, or make money through one of the other many programs and systems out there.

The real satisfaction from working at home is in the flexibility that it offers especially for those with a family. You no longer have a clock to punch but can work around your home schedule. The right pick can also make you a great living, say 6 figures plus.

The biggest challenge is picking something that we will like doing since most of us are trying to escape from a job we don’t like. It’s no point jumping into something that is just as unpleasant. From my experience there are no get rich quick schemes and working from home is a real job and like any job you will have to work at it. After-all they call it work for a reason. The other issue is avoiding all the scams that promise to make us all millionaires but never seem to deliver on that promise. There is no shortage of scams out there that are all too eager to take our money and never care whether we make money or not.

So where do we start trying to find a program that will help weed out the duds. Start searching for “work at  home ” positions on the web and you will find thousands possibilities but as always it is best to seek the help of someone who has been there and has  ideas  for  home   business .

There is No Magic Pill For Growing a Small Business

We are constantly bombarded with advertising rich with promises of quick-fixes to all that ails us. Consider the sheer volume of television ads and infomercials that promise us the body of an anorexic supermodel if we just buy their magic diet drink or super-amazing turbo thigh-cruncher. No need to exercise or diet- just take a magic pill or use this miraculous fat melting machine “just 5 minutes a day!” and we’ll be thin and our lives will be perfect!

I think we all know, deep down, there is no magic pill or piece of equipment that is going to whip us into shape – at least not for the long term. We didn’t gain that extra 5, 10 or 50 pounds overnight and it certainly isn’t going to come off overnight, despite what the crafty weight-loss industry tries to tell us.

There is No Magic for Growing a Small Business

I’m sorry to tell you – the same goes for growing your small business. There is no magic growth pill that will bring you hordes of new customers. No “undiscovered secret” newspaper, magazine, or website advertising package that that is going to make your phones ring off the hook. No creative and clever ad design or layout that will bring you millions of dollars worth of business. No amount of money thrown at the symptom is going to make you an overnight success. The fact is, as with weight loss, we are not going to achieve success until we stop throwing money at the symptom and start addressing the underlying problem. The lack of customers and leads is a symptom of a bigger problem, just like those extra 50 pounds is a symptom of eating too much and not exercising enough.

Address the Problem

What’s the bigger problem? If you know me or have been reading my blogs you probably already know the answer to this. The problem is the absence of a strategic, systematic approach to your marketing. Like weight loss, growing a successful business is a long-term undertaking that requires a commitment to practicing healthier behaviors and habits.

Small business owners come to me every day – like bulging brides who, two days before their wedding discover they don’t fit into their wedding dress – out of money and with expenses that far exceed revenue. Like the bride desperate to shed those 10 pounds in 2 days these small business owners are desperate for revenue (and lots of it) NOW – or they will go out of business. “Can you help me???” Translation – do you have a magic pill to make hordes of people call me or come into my store NOW? Sorry, I don’t.

Stop the Madness!

Don’t wait until it’s too late. Don’t keep throwing money at the symptoms hoping that this new tagline, flyer layout, magazine ad, or offer will be the one to break the bank. It’s not going to happen until you lay the foundation of your marketing strategy. Don’t wait until you only have a couple of month’s worth of expenses in the bank to get help. Do it now while you still have the resources to invest in effective marketing that is going to deliver long-term success. Make a commitment to yourself and your small business for 2010. Commit to throwing away those diet pills that don’t work, killing those yellow page ads that don’t deliver the return you need, and commit to addressing the underlying problems that are blocking your small business growth.

For your small business – do a little work; learn about your business, your industry and your competitors. What are they doing that is working or not working. Find out who your target market is (remember, if it starts with “Anyone Who” you have work to do!). Ask your customers what makes you different from your competitors. Define a core marketing message. Commit to a strategy and a plan! I will leave you with one of my favorite and most inspiring quotes: “Just Do It!”

What are you going to change in 2010 to make your small business a success?

Top 5 Home Business Ideas

Starting a new  business  is difficult but here are some of the great  home   business   ideas  that you can consider starting.

Are you thinking of starting a new  home   business  but not sure about which business to invest in? Looking for some  home   business   ideas ? Here are the top 5  home   business   ideas  that you can consider investing in if you want to start a new venture from  home . Starting in a new  business  is not easy but can only be successful if you have a unique  idea  and the right kind of skills to pursue it.

 Home  renovations services are a new  business   idea  that you think about starting. As the population is increasing drastically more and more people are thinking about renovating their houses to maintain a standard of living. You can also select one area for renovating such as the living area, kitchen or bathroom and then expand when your customers are satisfied with your services.

•Catering services are hot  business   ideas  that are in great demand. People often arrange large dinners and are unable to cater for their guests themselves. Catering services can arrange the whole event for them and earn good money. This business can easily be started by home.

•Cleaning is always a challenging job for working women and most of them avoid cleaning their homes themselves and hire professionals for it. You will only need to hire some staff members and manage them properly.

•Most of the people hire wedding consultants to make their weddings perfect. Becoming a wedding consultant can be a great  home   business  opportunity for you. More and more people are choosing to get married which means wedding services will be in great demand.

•Everybody wants to look younger and beautiful and don’t have enough time to visit beauty salons. Providing in home beauty services can be perfect home venture.

Home Business Ideas For Writers

Who wouldn’t love to make money in a profitable  home   business ? The advantages are right in front of you – set your own hours, work as much as you want, make money without having to fight traffic or leave your home. The question is – what’s a good  home   business ? If you’re looking for good  ideas  for a  home   business , you don’t have to look any further than your own interests and abilities. A good writer, for instance, has a number of different ways to create a business based on their avocation and turn it into a paying vocation.

 Home   Business   Idea  #1 for Writers: Freelance Web Content

The newest buzzword in the internet market is ‘content’. Webmasters and business have discovered what surfers have known all along – content is king. The web sites that get the big audiences – and attract money-making ads from affiliate programs – are the ones that have informative news, articles and tutorials. This is great news for writers. It’s created a booming market for freelance writers who work from home.

Turn your interests into how-to articles, personal reflections or informative articles on just about any subject you can imagine, and you’ll find people who are looking to buy it.

 Home   Business   Idea  #2 for Writers: Teach Writing Workshops

If you have top-notch critiquing skills, a  home   business  helping others improve their writing may be just the right business for you. You don’t have to invite writers into your home if that makes you uncomfortable. Local bookstores and coffee shops are usually thrilled to have a regular group come in – it’s great for their business too.

 Home   Business   Idea  #3 for Writers: Ghostwriting

Surprisingly enough, ghostwriting is one of the better paying segments of the freelancing business. It’s not just celebrities who need someone to put their stories into words, either. There are many ‘ordinary’ people who need to write for business, or who have a story they want to tell, and just can’t get the words put together. You won’t get a byline, but you will get paid – and paid quite well, and isn’t that what you’re in business for?

 Home   Business   Idea  #4 for Writers: Editing and Proofreading

Got a college in your town? If so, you’ll find plenty of freelance work as a proofreader and editor. Students and professors alike do huge amounts of writing – and a lot of it is vital to their tenure and their careers. They’ll welcome the services of a good editor or proofreader who understands the form and formalities of theses, theme papers, dissertations and abstracts. Depending on the level of difficulty, you can charge anywhere from $1 to $5 a page for making grammatical corrections and fixing formatting.

These are just a small sampling of  home   business   ideas  for writers. Just a little creativity and you could easily come up with another dozen. Just remember that writing talent isn’t enough. The real talent to turning your writing into a  home   business  is work. Get that concept under your belt, and you’ll be on your way to making a living as a freelance writer – from home.

Home-Based Business Ideas

There are many advantages to starting your own home business. Not only will owning your own business allow you to be your own boss, but you also won’t have any restrictions placed on you as far as how much money you can make. Instead of being tied to a specific salary, you will have the freedom to be as profitable as you possibly can.

There are many classic work-from-home businesses that could be successful for you. These include freelance writing, web and graphic design, accounting and tax preparation, childcare, and pet sitting. The Internet is also opening up many opportunities for at-home businesses, due to the fact that as long as you have access to the Internet and a phone, you can do many types of jobs regardless of your actual physical location. Virtual assistants are increasingly becoming the norm, and are in high demand.

Medical billing or transcription, public relations, and marketing consultation are other business ideas that can be very profitable, allowing you to work from home while running your own business. If you know a second language, you could also run a translation service.

Coaching services are also becoming very popular. Many people work with business or personal coaches to find ways to improve their business or personal lives. If you like working with and helping people, this could be the perfect work-at-home business for you, especially since coaching can often be done over the phone or even through email or Skype.

Tutoring or home-based teaching is yet another popular option for many people who have specific educational skills and want to work from home. Students can come over to your house for an hour or two and learn a wide range of subjects based on what you are knowledgeable about. In addition, with the emergence of webcams, you can even tutor a student online without either of you leaving your respective homes. The process of tutoring someone has never been easier and more convenient. In addition, it can be very lucrative with hourly rates ranging from twenty dollars to hundreds of dollars.

When choosing an online business, you will improve your chances for success if you select a business that you love. Of course, there also needs to be a demand for whatever services or products you decide to offer, but as long as you have interest and passion for your business, you will stand a good chance of finding a way to make it successful.

How to Make the Best Use of Social Media for Business Growth?

Every commercial venture or business is started with the motive of profit and maximum beneficial ROIs. But, this is easier said than done, given the highly volatile and dynamic environment that is witnessed in the marketplace. If you aspire to not only compete effectively with your peers but also come out in flying colors in the rat-race, then it goes without saying that you have to think out-of-the-box.

Never mind if you have just started a new business, or you run your organization on a low budget. There are a few techniques that can help you achieve wonderful results within the stipulated time. They are classified into various categories like search engine optimization (SEO), search engine marketing (SEM) and social media optimization (SMO).

The essence of using these methods is that you complement the traditional methods of advertising by using popular and fruitful digital marketing techniques. The advantages of using these state-of-the-art Internet marketing techniques can be listed as follows:

i. High visibility to prospective customers

Through word-of-mouth advertising, the existing customers provide referral service to spread a word or two about your business to their contacts. These contacts are your future prospects.

ii. Suitable especially for small businesses

In contrast to large business groups, the smaller players enjoy the maximum benefits of social media marketing. This method is suitable for self-employed professionals and new-to-the-market entrepreneurs. They can plan and set up an initial-level Internet marketing campaign to make a start.

iii. Effective optimization and cost cutting

Instead of relying on experts for optimization, you can use social media marketing strategies to advertise your business all by yourself to reduce costs. Platforms such as Facebook and Twitter are simple to use.

iv. Seamless expansion of network

In a matter of a few days, you can place your business in a better position by watching out for new customers by the hour.

v. Hassle-free updating of data

You can update information about your achievements like the launch of a new product or expansion of your business line very easily through social media.

vi. Direct contact with customers

You can establish a direct rapport with your clients and make them feel special by adding a personal touch to your business deals. There is an increased scope for interaction and receiving feedback from them. Social media is quite popular among customers.

vii. Creation of a distinct corporate profile

You can create a unique marketing niche for your products/services. Uniqueness in turn leads to high visibility.

viii. Useful tool for diverting traffic to your website

With a visible increase in your reputation and market share, you can expect more visitors to your website to inquire about your products/services in detail.

In a nutshell, social media marketing is the buzzword of the day as far as gaining a winning edge over your nearest competitor is concerned.

How to Design a Perfect Business Plan Layout to Kickstart Business Growth

You may be a start up organization in need of a business plan layout to drive you towards success. Or perhaps you are a Solo home based entrepreneur or a well established long term company. You may be a large organization employing more than 100 people or what if you are a not for profit charity or organization wanting to grow. One thing holds true; you need a business plan to move forward.

All types of  businesses  are obviously in existence in hundreds of different industries and separate niche areas – but one thing holds true – you must have a  business  plan to drive your  growth . But why have a plan after all, only half of all businesses appear to have created one. Here are 5 compelling reasons why a business plan is a must have tool.

Business Plan Layout Essential #1: You have a summary of your vision and goals

Without a vision and goals summarized in the Executive Summary how do you ascertain where your business is going? I mean you would not build a house without a plan so why do so many people go into business without a written down plan of attack? Studies show only around 56% of all  small   businesses  has a current plan.

Business Plan Layout Essential #2: Analyse and plan your product and services benefits and how you will take these to market.

The best approach to marketing anything is to analyse each service or product offering, work out how it will benefit the end consumer and build a strategy around telling prospects or customers about it effectively. So your business plan layout must include a section on Market Analysis and the key strategies you will use over a 12 month period.

Business Plan Layout Essential #3: The crucial financial analysis

The very best plans have a projection on profit and loss for at least 12 months ahead. There is a budget, balance sheet and cash flow tables showing the past, present and future possibilities – where practical.

 Business  Plan Layout Essential #4: Who and what will your management team be doing to drive  growth ?

Management Analysis for your plan will describe the organization and the key team members and their exact tasks, key performance indicators and accountabilities. Here is a summary below of a perfect business plan layout:

1. Executive Summary: Write this last. It’s just a page or two of highlights.

2. Company Description: Legal establishment, history, start-up plans, etc.

3. Product or Service: Describe what you’re selling. Focus on customer benefits.

4. Market Analysis: You need to know your market, customer needs, where they are, how to reach them, etc.

5. Strategy and Implementation: Be specific. Include management responsibilities with dates and budgets. Make sure you can track results.

6. Web Plan Summary: For e-commerce, include discussion of website, development costs, operations, sales and marketing strategies.

7. Management Team: Describe the organization and the key management team members.

8. Financial Analysis: Make sure to include at the very least your projected Profit and Loss and Cash Flow tables.

Lastly, ensure you will implement your plan so results happen. Too many companies spend months creating their plan only to see it gathering dust in the bottom of their desk drawer. No one intentionally does this. It is just that the every day process of completing your normal work duties can often mean implementation is put on the back burner. Take this business plan layout above and make it work for you.

Outsourcing – Key to Business Growth

There comes a point in the  growth  of our  businesses  where we realize we can’t do everything ourselves. We’re responsible for the entirety of our businesses, and both business and family obligations are important and take up valuable time during the day. Sometimes, we all reach that point where we are having to make critical choices between important tasks because we just don’t have enough time to get them all done.

So doesn’t outsourcing portions of our businesses to expert contractors make perfect sense?

As a  small   business  owner, you have likely already outsourced to a bookkeeper or accountant to keep your finances in order. Chances are, you consulted with a lawyer during the establishment of your company and had assistance in obtaining your business license. A brick and mortar business usually hires people to answer the phones, write website content, and perform social marketing tasks and sales. If you do not have customers literally crossing the threshold, you do not need to have onsite staff. In fact, nearly every aspect of your business can be outsourced to outside contractors.

Of course, your business needs you. You are the one who makes your company unique with your one-on-one personal interactions. You set the tone for your business. However, you do not need to be the one who packages your goods, sends the emails, or designs the website from scratch. Your attention needs to be focused away from the simple, everyday tasks and on the overall objectives, performance, and  growth  of your  business .

The best contractor relationships start with an internal list.

Take a look at the entirety of your business, and write the tasks which are done during the day, week, month, and year. Look at the obligations which take the most time during the day. Highlight those activities which only you can perform, focusing on the value that each task provides. The rest of the tasks can be outsourced.

Making a list will help in the creation of a standard operating procedures (SOP) manual.

A SOP manual includes every task that needs to be done throughout the year. The manual also outlines the expected results, directions for performing the tasks, and account information. Writing this list is on you, but the implementation and maintenance can be performed through a trusted outside contractor. The SOP manual acts as a critical resource for your company, and its development is highly recommended.

Once you have decided on the contractors that you need, you’ll need to start staffing.

The best source of vendors is from other business owners. Their recommendations will usually be sound, as they wish to remain on great terms with you. If your business resources do not use the type of talent that you need, Shelancers.com, Odesk.com, Guru.com, eLance.com, Fiverr.com, and many other sites will have what you require.

Unlike traditional employees, outsourced vendors are hired on a per-job basis.

This caveat allows you to find the best fit to suit your needs. Like hired employees, every contractor has a set of strengths and weaknesses that you’ll discover during the completion of their tasks. If you are unsatisfied, or there is a conflict, there are many more people available who can do the job, without you having to face the human resources gamut.

To move your business forward, outsourcing your work is fundamental. These vendors perform business essential tasks so that you can attend to the core functions of your business and push it to the next level.

The Ultimate Small Business Breakthrough Strategy

Have you ever wondered why it’s so hard to breakthrough from one level of success to the next? Your business grows to a point and then stops dead in its tracks. Every move forward is met by a setback. It’s beyond frustrating.

Your first thought is to beef-up your company’s marketing efforts. You hire outside consultants. You build a new website. You invest in expensive brochures. You spend a fortune of money and still you can’t breakthrough.

Your expensive consultants shrug their shoulders and move on to their next victim. Meanwhile, you pay their bills and wonder what went wrong.

It’s as if an invisible force-field is holding your company back.

What can that force-field be?

The answer is simple, and effects every business regardless of industry, size or stage of development:

Business growth is self limiting – and, the limiting factor is your time.

You can’t breakthrough because you have run out of time.

Think about your company’s last significant growth spurt. To take advantage of that growth, you needed to coordinate all the moving parts of your business. You needed to sell your prospective customers, take orders, answer their questions and correct problems.

As you work with new customers, what happens to your older relationships? Well, you’re only human, and you only have so much time. Odds are, you banked on the loyalty of established relationships, and freed up time – at your older customer’s expense — to nurture your new relationships.

For the most part, your strategy works because your customers love you. However, you upset just enough older relationships to offset your new business growth. On top of that, you may experience normal attrition – a customer might move, go out of business or merge with a different organization. In the end, you may experience a net sales loss.

Your circumstances may be a little different but the results are the same. You’re stuck in neutral. No matter how hard you gun your marketing engine – no matter how hard you work – you are going nowhere.

Now, at least you can understand why – because business growth is self limiting. You’re working so hard “in your business” that you don’t have the time you need to work “on your business.”

What’s the solution? How can you free up your time so you can breakthrough to unlimited success?

The answer is simple: You need to build a solid business foundation that allows you to responsibly delegate your work to an empowered team.

The key phrase is “responsibly delegate.” Sure you can hire employees and fob your work off on them, but this will only provide a temporary fix. In the long run, this strategy makes you too dependent on employees who can quit with a moments notice.

Think about the key employees you rely on, right now, in your business. What kind of stress would you experience if just one key member of your company suddenly quit or had an unexpected leave of absence? Now multiply your aggravation and imagine if two key employees quit at the same time.

Can you see how dangerous it is to become too dependent on employees?

A permanent solution is to build a solid business foundation that standardizes your company’s day-to-day operations including an effective leadership routine. Your objective is to make yourself irrelevant to day-to-day operations and to make your employees “plug-and-play.”

Imagine the benefits of transforming your company into a business that runs itself:

* Your stress levels will melt away.

* Your business can grow quickly withoutlosing older customers.

* The value of your business skyrockets because prospective buyers are attracted to growing company’s that are easy to manage.

* You can take a long vacation without worry.

* You improve customer service, innovation, productivity, employee morale, etc.

Creating a solid business foundation is a prerequisite to achieving your company’s breakthrough to unlimited growth and success.

To learn more about how to build your business foundation please download your exclusive, free copy of the “My Win Big Secret.” It’s a twenty-six page eBook that explains exactly what you need to do to breakthrough to unlimited success. www.winbig.org/secret