29 Perfect Business Card Tips That Will Make You Loads of Money

I love networking and meeting new people. I enjoy the pleasant etiquette of exchanging business cards. Unfortunately, I have seen some poorly designed business cards in my travels. I have been handed a boring dull business card from someone claiming to be a professional graphic designer. I have been handed a torn and frayed off-size card by someone claiming to be a marketing consultant. I’ve seen cards with outdated contact information and scribbled corrections.

This article is intended to help business owners create and design a business card they can be proud to present – a card that will pass the trash test. The goal is to be memorable. What I want for you is for prospects to remember who you are days, weeks, and months after the networking event and for you to make loads of money because of your business card!

Please use the tips listed here to design a card that works for you:

1. Don’t use plain white card stock for your business card. There’s nothing more boring than a white card.

2. Don’t use raised printing also called thermograph printing. This is considered passé.

3. UV coating is the shiny coating you see applied to many cards. Make sure you coat only one side of your card as people like to write on cards to remember who you are and where they met you.

4. Make sure there are 3 methods of communication on your card. Prospects have a preferred method and if you don’t include it, you may not hear from them. List your phone number, email address, and mailing address.

5. Use your business card to drive traffic to your website. Advertise on your card “download my free report” at yourwebsite.com

6. Use a nice quality card stock for your card. There’s nothing that screams unprofessional as a thin card.

7. Don’t list your fax number unless your business regularly receives faxes as a normal part of your business workflow. This is extra information that doesn’t need to crowd your card if not appropriate. And you won’t be bothered by fax advertising.

8. Include a Tagline on your card. Tell your target clients what it is you do for them. This will serve to polish your image and create a brand for your company. Put your tagline on the front of the card.

9. Maintain a consistent brand by utilizing your unique design on both your business card and your website.

10. Keep your business card simple. Don’t try to cram too much information on it. You need some white space to even out the design.

11. Use no more than two fonts in your card design. Fewer fonts make it easier on the eyes.

12. Don’t use all caps on your card. All caps are difficult to read.

13. Don’t use odd sized cards. Prospects keep regular sized business cards after networking events. Odd sized cards eventually end up in the trash.

14. Use the back of the card for something useful, like a listing of the benefits your clients receive from utilizing your services.

15. If you really want to be cutting edge, use the new video business cards available today. This technology is said to be the wave of the future and especially useful if you exhibit at tradeshows.

16. Do utilize a photograph of yourself on the front of your card if you are in a relationship building profession. This helps to make you more memorable.

17. Do utilize a four color photo of your creations on the back of your card if you are in the creative professions.

18. Make sure your business card fits who you are. If you’re an artist, include a photo of your work and make sure the card has an artistic feel. If you are in a conservative field, keep the design simple.

19. Make a digital version of your business card and include it in your email signature.

20. Use a professional email address on your cards.

21. Add certifications and titles to your card to add credibility.

22. When handed a card, make sure to study the card and ask questions about the prospect. This makes you a more interesting person.

23. When giving out business cards take them from a case and hand them to your prospect so that the card is facing up. I don’t know how many times I’ve been handed an upside down business card.

24. Include an offer on the back of your business card such as a free consultation or free quote offered in the form of a call to action.

25. Include a card with all correspondence.

26. Use a logo that is visually appealing and tells prospects what it is you do for a living.

27. Use a 4-color business card. They are not expensive and are more memorable.

28. Make sure you list your title near your name.

29. Hand out your business card as much as possible. Keep a supply in your car so that you never run out!

Professionalism Counts

The best advice I can give you is to use a professional to design your card. This is a one-time investment in your company identity. Just think about the additional fees you can command when you are perceived as an expert. How much is your professional presence worth to you? A well-designed business card shows that you are a successful entrepreneur and not a fly-by-night. It also positions your business for success by presenting a clear image of a company that can be trusted.

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How To Choose An Online Business Card Printer

It’s gotten way too confusing to order business cards online. How do you choose a business card printer when there seem to be millions of them competing for your business?

Shopping for business card printing online is like shopping for any other product – your goal is to find what you what, for a reasonable price, from a reputable dealer. The problem when buying business cards online is making sure you’re comparing apples to apples, as the saying goes.

Finding the Business Cards You Want

Your first task is to find an online business card printer who carries the type of business card you want. Most online business card printers offer full-color business cards in a standard size (3″ by 2.5″), so a simple search for “business cards” or “business card printing” will find those.

You will need to decide whether to use custom artwork for your business card or one of the pre-designed backgrounds or templates offered by many business card printers. Again, many online business card printers allow you to order business cards either way.

Don’t be put off by the idea of using backgrounds that are available to everyone else; odds are slim that any of your direct competitors will find and use the same background. And these are professionally done designs that flat-out make you look good to prospects. (Much better than a homemade business card!)

If you need different cards, such as die-cut business cards or embossed (raised print) business cards, those are also easy to find using your favorite search engine. Many business card printers offer more than one type of card – raised print, one-color or full-color, for example. Some even offer magnetic cards, sticker cards and more.

For the purposes of this article, we’ll assume you’re looking for full color business cards.

Paying a Reasonable Price for Business Cards

Business cards are the bargain buy of the marketing world, but comparison-shopping for business cards can be a nightmare. It’s not enough to compare style and price of business cards between printers (say, 1000 full-color cards, printed on one side – 4/0).

Besides the style and price, you also should compare:

the thickness of the card stock (a 14pt card is sturdier than a 10pt card);
whether or not a protective coating is included in the price (and which type – a card can be “glossy” without having the protection of UV coating, and UV coating is generally considered more desirable than aqueous coating);
whether or not there are extra charges, such as a fee to upload your own images;
how many (or how few) business cards you can order at a time;
shipping costs; and, last but not least;
the reputation of the business card printing company.

Finding a Reputable Business Card Printer

Online business card printers who’ve made it to the top of the search engines, and stayed there, are generally okay – but not necessarily.

In fact, one popular, high-ranking business card printer online has such a pattern of complaints that they’ve received an “Unsatisfactory” rating from the Better Business Bureau. (This company’s cards are also of substandard size, although it’s hard to tell unless you directly compare them with another business card.)

So one guideline is to look for a designation such as Better Business Bureau approval or Bizrate certification. If a company has won such a designation, they’ll probably mention it somewhere on their website. Testimonials are another clue – but it isn’t hard to find a dozen happy people out of thousands of customers, so read them with a grain of salt.

Another way to assess a business card printer is to request samples of their business cards – not only will you get to examine actual cards, but you’ll get a feel for their customer service as well.

One Last Complication

Did you know that many, if not most, of the business card printers on the web are dealers for two or three huge wholesale business card printing companies? That’s right – you spend all that time shopping for the right business card printer and you probably don’t realize you’re comparing identical cards.

(You usually can’t tell until you reach the section of the website where you actually choose and edit a business card template or background – the URL will change.)

Now there’s nothing wrong with these online business card dealers, many of whom add value by educating people about business cards, just as I do, and nothing wrong with the business cards. But knowing that many business card printers online offer the exact same cards should save you some comparison time!

Given the affordability, portability and versatility of business cards, it is certainly worth taking time to shop around for the right business card printer for your business. And now that you understand some of the differences, you’ll make a more informed decision when you next go looking for a business card printer on the Internet.

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16 Ways to Make Your Business Cards Unforgettable

Every time you hear someone say “May I have one of your business cards?” you should get excited. I know I do. That’s because I LOVE my cards. I spent thousands of dollars on printing, several hours on designing and went through 10 different layouts until I got them right.

And it was all worth it.

A business card is an entrepreneur’s best friend, his most valuable marketing tool and an essential element to becoming UNFORGETTABLE. Unfortunately, too many people have business cards that simply blend into the multitude of cookie cutter crap. And that’s a shame, because a business card is more powerful than you think.

Of course, it’s impossible to know this unless you actually have a card that’s really, really good. Therefore, this article will examine The Four Corners of Unforgettable Business Cards:

1. Stacking Up

2. Standing Out

3. Creative Enhancement

4. Implementation

CORNER #1: How Does Your Card Stack Up?

Think back to the last trade show, networking event, seminar, convention, social hour or association meeting you attended. How did people react to your business card? Did they compliment its design? Quickly shove it into their pocket? Show it to someone else? Rip it up?

Whatever the response was, your card made some type of impression. But only the most creative, unique and memorable business cards make UNFORGETTABLE impressions. And those types of cards elicit reactions like…
“I showed your card to everybody in my office!” says a hot prospect.

“Can I have another one? A friend of mine will LOVE this!” exclaims your tablemate.

“Oooh! I want one too!” begs the person in looking over your shoulder.

“Hey…can you show my friend Paul your business card!” asks a colleague of yours.

“You know, I’ve never thrown your card away!” says one of your customers.

If you’ve ever heard a compliment along those lines before, congrats! You’re on the right track.

That reminds me of Gus. He and I sat next to each other at a sales seminar a few years ago. During the program, the facilitator asked the audience members to exchange cards and get to know each other. Gus’s card was amazing: thick, colorful, double sided, bold, shiny and best of all, simple. (That was no surprise – he was in advertising!) But it was one of the best I’d ever seen. So we introduced ourselves, exchanged cards and talked for a few minutes. And that was about it. Nice guy, I thought.

Now, here’s the cool part: although Gus and I didn’t really keep in touch, I’ve never thrown his card away. I show it to everyone! In fact, I even use it as a prop in some of my networking workshops! His card was just that good.

Is yours that good? Keep that question in the back of your mind as you read on. Now let’s move into the next section and find out why certain cards stand out more than others.

CORNER # 2: Standing Out

Recently I took 66 business cards I’ve collected over the years and spread them out on a table. I closed my eyes for 30 seconds, opened them and took note of which cards stood out the most. And here’s what I noticed:

Red: every card that had red on it stood out.

Picture: only a few cards had pictures of the cardholder. This not only made them stand out, but helped me connect faces with names and companies.

Vertical: several cards were formatted vertically, which caught my eye.

Black Background: most cards have a white background, so the black ones REALLY stood out.

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Business Cards – Essential Marketing Tools For Your Business

Your business card is one of the most important, cost-effective and versatile marketing tools you have. How come? Because they’re inexpensive, easy to carry with you and easy to get in front of people. Especially for businesses just starting out.

However, your card needs to make a great impression. A well-designed business card can effectively promote your business, but there’s a good chance that if your card looks unprofessional, it may be thrown in the dustbin or just lie in a drawer, collecting dust. Your business card needs to tell people what you and your business is about, instead of only telling people who you are and where to contact you.

Planning, designing and having your cards printed.

For your business card to be the marketing tool it should be, there are a few things you must take into consideration when planning and designing your cards.

Get professional quality business cards printed for you. Sure, you could print them on your laser jet and cut them with scissors. You’ll get what you pay for and worse than that, people will question whether they can trust you with their business if it seems you can’t afford to print full colour business cards.
Pay attention to the finer details on your card. A logo is important, so invest some time and effort in the design of your logo to make it stand out in the crowd.
A thin, flimsy card, pre-made, off the shelf design and small or unreadable text makes a bad impression. Use colour and images for impact and good design principles to make your business card pleasing and easy to read.
Be proactive and keep your information up to date. If any of your contact or other information has changed, you will appear to be disorganized when you have to scratch out and write new information on your card, so throw away those cards and have new, up to date ones printed.
If possible hire a graphic designer to help you. They are professional and know what works and what does’nt.
Maximize the usability of your card. You’re not limited to only the front of your business cards. Use the back of your card for more information. Keep in mind that people often write on business cards, so leaving some white space on the back is generally a good idea.
Your company name or your title tells someone what you have to offer. If it does’nt, add some words to explain what you do. Showing what you do makes you stand out. Let everyone who sees your card know what services you provide.
Avoid making the following mistakes when you have your cards made. It can cost you dearly.

Having a card that doesn’t stand out in the crowd.

Your card must look great, feel sturdy and clearly define what your business does – and you and your card will be remembered.

Technology makes it easier and more affordable than ever to have cards designed and printed that will get someone’s attention and at the same time look businesslike and appealing.

Don’t have a card that’s a mystery to everybody.

You are not going to get many calls if someone looks at your business card and can’t tell immediately what your business does.

A card with information overload.

Too much information printed on your card will make it look too busy and totally unprofessional. Keeping it simple is best. It’s necessary to have your name, your company, what you do, and why you should be used – but supply all your contact details; you want to be easy to reach.

Using too small text.

Using a small font, you may be able to supply more information, but what good is it if people can’t read it? A good guideline is to use a type size no smaller than 7-8 point. Make your company name the largest and your name and maybe your cell number a bit larger than the rest.

Not using colour properly.

Use colour in your cards to brighten them up and make them appealing. Avoid printing a dark colour on a darkish background or a light colour on a light background, for instance printing grey on white to make it look like silver. It just does’nt work.

Strategically distributing your cards to help your marketing campaign.What does it help you to have a box full of business cards if they’re not being used to market and promote your business?

Always keep some of your cards on you wherever you go. Hand a card to someone when appropriate, and while you’re at it, don’t hesitate to give out more than one. Invite people to pass the extras along to others who might need your service. You might be surprised at how often this can result in a referral.

Don’t be afraid to post them on public bulletin boards, stick them in doors or leave them in bowls for free drawings where your target audience might see them.

Ask affiliated businesses to allow you to display your cards, such as a hardware store if you’re a building contractor or a plumber.

Capitalize on natural opportunities to hand them out when you’re talking about your business or someone asks how to contact you.

Keeping in mind all of the above ideas and information, your business card will definitely work for you and attract business – and still at a very affordable price.

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Small Business Marketing Hacks Every Business Owner Should Use

There’s a lot that’s changed recently with online marketing. Most people now go straight to Google to search for something they want. The phone book is out and Google, or search traffic is in. If you are a small business owner you can benefit from the internet as a source of business. What’s even better is that you can tap into this resource for free if you have a physical business.

Google Places

Google Places lets you advertise your local business for free in the search results. When someone searches for a local business in your area, your results will come up first for many searches. This is a simple cost effective strategy you should definitely be employing in your business. With Google Places, you list your local business and Google will send you a confirmation postcard with a Google verification code on it. Once you have verified your listing with this code, Google knows you actually reside at this address, or run a business from it.

Google Places works wonders for small business owners who work from a certain location. If you’re not on it you are definitely missing out on business. Plus, your competitors could be using it which means they could be taking your potential customers. To use Google Places just do a quick search for it on Google and it will take you through the setting up process.

Bing Places

Bing also offer this same listing on their own search engine. It’s just like Google Places so not much to add here really. Simply fill out your details on the online platform and verify your listing when you receive a code in the post. When you create your listing you will have to list your business within a certain category, or two. Look through the existing categories and find the one or ones which are the best fit for your business. This is the same as Google Places. By listing in more than one category, if the platform allows, you can benefit from a number of searches within your local area.

Other Listings For Free

Yell and Yahoo also offer free listings for businesses too. Also do a ‘Google search’ for local directories and free listings and you will find a range of sites which offer free business listings in your area. In some cases even the extra links back to your website can make a difference to your ranking, even if the link itself doesn’t bring you more business.

Blogging

You may well not have the time or inclination to start a blog. However, in some business areas blogging is a good way to increase your business reach online in a fairly cost effective way. Depending on your business, and whether it opens itself to a blog, you can get some good results by targeting some keywords in your business niche, or simply writing compelling content and sharing on social media.

Keyword Research

You can use Google’s free keyword planner to search for terms which are already getting hits on the search engine. By finding long tail keywords in your business niche and writing good content for them, you stand more chance of being listed on the search engine. If you can find untapped keywords which bring in customers to your business, you can write articles which will bring in customers for free for years to come for free.

Paid Advertising

After you have exhausted the free methods of advertising, you can start looking at paid advertising methods. Many business owners try and fail with paid advertising. This is why it is worth learning properly the do’s and don’ts of paid advertising.
Pay per click advertising can make a massive impact on your business. But you should also be very careful. Make sure you start out with a small budget and get properly educated on how to create adverts and which keywords to choose. In particular look at the different types of keyword matches. Get this wrong and you can easily burn through your budget and list your advert for entirely the wrong audience.
However, paid advertising is remarkably scalable. Once you have a campaign which works you can easily increase your budget and you are in a position to pay for new customers.

Return On Investment

When I started with pay per click I didn’t understand return on investment. I ‘dipped my toe in’ and dabbled very tentatively. If I didn’t see an immediate profit, I stopped altogether. This is a mistake. Initially there is a lot of testing and measuring to do with paid advertising. After a while you get an advert which successfully brings you customers. However, knowing the return on investment from successful doing this is a game changer. If your customer goes on to purchase again and again, how much are they worth to your business over a year, or 10 years? Knowing this is a huge key to having the confidence to put money into an advertising campaign. Even if you lose money in the short term, your new customers will bring you new business over the long term. Learn the average spend from each customer over a year and then 10 years. Then decide what each customer is worth in terms of advertising. Does this change your view on what you can afford?

Paid Advertising Methods

There are various paid advertising methods available to use for small businesses online. Start with one method and become good at that before moving on to the next. Facebook advertising lets you target potential customers down to their interests, location and other variables. Pay per click advertising lets you target intent driven adverts. With pay per click you start with the keyword your visitor is looking for online. Once you have tested and measured an advertising method and you have a profitable model, you can leave it running and scale it easily. Then move on to the next one.

Even if you only use a couple of the methods suggested in this article, you can dramatically improve your business with only a small amount of effort. Once you have learned all these methods, you will know how to scale up your business and increase your profits. You can then invest in other forms of advertising, testing and measuring as you go. Whether these are on the internet or offline, using the same strategy (which lets you measure the response of a customer) means you can gradually improve all your advertising methods over the long term, increase profits and grow your business.

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10 Reasons Why You Should Start An Online Business

Whether you are attracted to an internet business because you hate your current job, want to improve your circumstances, or would like a more flexible lifestyle, the internet offers all these opportunities.

Why An Internet Business?

1- Flexibility

Many people come to find themselves with an internet business through necessity rather than deliberate creation. For me, I needed a flexible job which I could work around contract work. It didn’t come in often but when the phone rang, I needed to take the work. This presented all kinds of problems. Normal work didn’t pay as well and employers didn’t want me taking large chunks of time off when the other work came in!

I tried juggling several jobs over a number of years but nothing seemed to fit. At around the same time I was attempting to use e-bay to buy and sell for a bit of extra money. It wasn’t until later that I discovered affiliate marketing. Affiliate marketing, for those who don’t know is a kind of referral selling. You point links from your website to other people’s goods and services. The link is tracked so that when you make a sale you are rewarded for it with a commission.

Once you know how to do this you can set up links from your online content to other people’s products and services. You can also use paid advertising to find people all over the world to sell to. This was perfect for my work because I could take my laptop anywhere with me and as long as I had an internet connection I could work. It didn’t interfere with the work when it came up, I had no boss to answer to so it was the perfect solution.

2 – Automation

There’s also a number of other reasons why I chose an internet business – and why you should too! The flexibility of the business was my primary concern. I wanted to be able to choose my own hours so I could take work when it came without any complications. But the other reason I chose this particular model was the ability to use technology to ‘leverage’ my time and income.

Once I had a website and content up and running, it kept going and I was able to make sales and deliver products without being physically present. This is the ‘magic’ of an online business. The automation involved with an online business means that you can do the work once and let that work keep running in the background. You can make sales and deliver products over and over through the same piece of content or advert, which can run an virtual autopilot 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and 365 days a year.

Each piece of content you create can send people to a landing page and sell a product. By creating many pieces of content and sharing them online you can build multiple sources of income which can all run continually, working as your own ‘automated sales team’.

3 – Ability To Scale

Along with this amazing automation is the ability to scale your business. Because there is no human intervention in the ‘sales loop’, multiple sales can happen instantaneously through the same platforms. Your content and advertising can be grown over time and scaled instantly (in the case of paid advertising). As your content gets more shares and more people flow through your website and content, your sales grow as a result. If you use paid advertising you can also scale a profitable campaign up easily by increasing your daily budget.

The automation of an online business makes it very easy to scale. In the case of a physical business this often means more staff, sales tools, larger office space and a whole lot more expense and hassle. With an online business everything is already in place. You simply need to send more customers through the automated sales systems with content and/or paid advertising methods.

4 – Low Startup Costs

When I started an online business I did it from my own pocket. I didn’t need a massive loan and I worked at a level which suited my budget. An internet business is very cost effective and you can start from scratch from pretty much any budget. If you have more to invest you can grow it faster with paid advertising. But, if you are on a budget like I was when I got started, you can get started easily and cheaply.

With a regular ‘bricks and mortar’ business there are many overheads to consider. Your costs include a business premises, staff, hardware and stock. Then there’s advertising and delivery costs. With an online business you just need a laptop and an internet connection – two things many people already have. Your main cost is getting the right education and learning the best strategy to build on.

5 – Simplicity

Technology has made it much easier than was previously possible to set up your own website and learn how to use simple online platforms to connect people to products and services. Advertising and content creation is now available for anyone to use. Websites can be set up with a few clicks and anyone with an email can learn to use the tools and strategies of online marketers.

Whereas previously website building was the domain of the tech savvy programmer, now anyone can use simple user friendly platforms and programs. An online business sounds like something for a technical person, but anyone can now learn the skills needed to build their own online business.

6 – Control

An internet business gives you control over your life. Of course it takes time to build up to a stage where it can replace your current income. But the flexibility of an internet business means you can work it around your existing employment until you can make this happen.
Once your income is beyond that of your employment, you are in a very good position to take charge of your life. You don’t have to do the daily commute, or put up with an uncomfortable working situation. If you don’t like your job you can quit. Don’t like your boss? Fire him/her!
One of the very best things about an internet based business is the control it gives you over your life. You can also build your work around your lifestyle, rather than the other way round. Most people are forced to put work first in everything they do. Family time, holidays and hobbies all tend to depend and evolve around work. An internet business allows you to prioritize the things in your life which mean the most. It can put you back in the driving seat of your life, both in terms of what you earn and how you spend your time.

7 – Work From Anywhere

Not only does an internet business offer great flexibility in terms of working hours but it also offers you the choice to work from anywhere globally. This appeals to many people who would otherwise be more trapped by conventional work in a localized workplace.
For me, it was the flexibility of being able to choose my own hours and not have a boss. But for many the ability to travel anywhere globally is the most important factor to owning their own online business.
Take your laptop anywhere with an internet connection and work while abroad and travelling.

8 – Learn Life Skills

The skills I have learned from building my own internet business also make me much more employable. I also worked for an internet based company with the skills I learned from my laptop while sitting at home!

Being able to reach people globally and target specific types of people is a great skill and very desirable in business too. I was also able to use the knowledge I learned online to build one of my other physical businesses much more quickly by using both my website building skills and paid advertising.

The internet is a fantastic opportunity for anyone to be able to improve themselves, learn new skills and build another source of income. Skills learned are yours for life, whether or not you continue down the path of building an online business.

9 – Independence

We might believe ourselves to be independent but many of us are very dependent on our work for income. As such, our employers tell us how much we can earn, how much holiday we can take and what we will be doing while at work. Financial independence is the ultimate freedom.

When we are financially independent we can take a holiday whenever we please and work in our own time and on our own agenda. An online business gives you the automation and independence to live life on your terms, without the agenda of an employer running your life.

10 – Sovereignty

Being an owner gives you sovereignty. The ability to call the shots in your business is what many entrepreneurs aspire to. As a business owner your actions determine whether you make a success of your business or not.

Having a successful online business gives you the kind of freedom which most people will never see in their lifetime. The ability to create your own life on your terms is the reward of having worked hard on your business and on yourself.

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How to Evaluate the Performance of Your Company Based on Your Business Plan

A business plan is one of the most important documents that is needed for the betterment of the business. It includes all the need to know strategies, marketing techniques, sales techniques and financial forecasting methods that will be used to increase profits and revenue of the business. However, writing a business plan is no walk in the park. It takes a lot of time and concentration and is one of the biggest responsibilities that will be undertaken. For this crucial task there are dedicated people called business plan consultants. They will be the people who take the ideas that the entrepreneur has and converts it into a document that will be viewable by the whole world. Since this is a very big responsibility business plan consultant fee is a bit high. There are many factors that affect a good business plan and a great business plan will help the business clarify the business idea, identify potential problems in the business, find out objectives of the business and monitor the progress of the business. Since this is a very important document it is vital to keep a keen eye on the following factors when writing the business plan.

Executive Summary

The executive summary is the highlight and the brief description of the entire business. This has to be highly detailed but short enough so that a potential investor is able to read and understand the status of the business. It does not mean that it has to be limited to one or two pages.

The executive summary will include the highlight of the business concept which will describe about the product or service and the market that they are being offered. Then there are the financial features which talks about all the sales, profits, return on investment and cash flow. Then the summary has to mention about the financial requirement that is need to invest in the business and talk about the capital and how to expand the business. The current position of the business will be stating about the business’s present state and how it got here. Finally, the major achievements of the business is needed to be mentioned so that the potential investors could be impressed by the achievement that the business has done.

Business Description

The business description is about the details of the business. This should not be a highlight about the entire business like the executive summary but the in depth analysis of the business. The description has to start with a short introduction which states about the past, present and future of the industry. Here you should mention about the markets that the business will be interacting with and the future market places that business will be willing to interact with. The products or services that the business is still developing should be thoroughly discussed here so that the potential investors who have got an idea and are willing to invest in the business can get a thorough knowledge about it.

The structure of the business has to be described in the business description. The hierarchy of the business and the business places should be described in detail. The legal considerations of the business should be thoroughly stated so that there is clarity for everyone.

Market Strategies

When developing the market strategies there has to be a lot of market research done on the market place. This will give the business entrepreneur a very good idea about the potential market and how he can use the market to increase the profits of the business. After observing the market the company will be in a position to identify the strengths and weaknesses of the business and will be able to develop a system in order to identify the potential opportunities and threats. These studies will also be able to develop strategies to forecast the market place’s prices and when to supply more goods and services. These has to be clearly mentioned in the business plan so that these strategies can be used when necessary.

Pricing and Distribution

The process of pricing and distribution has to be clearly detailed in the business plan. The descriptions about all the prices must be mentioned in detail in this section. How the business can lower the prices when necessary and how t react to the fluctuating prices has to be mentioned in detail. The process of distribution of the products until it reaches the hands of the customer has to be clearly stated.

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Small Business Benefits of Training Employees

Small businesses aspiring for growth need to keep an eye on performance improvement through online business training courses. To measure up to the ever evolving business world, small businesses need new skills to facilitate workforce gains and to generally meet the competent needs of operations in tandem with its competitors.

Small business training for employees provides an additional skill and exposure to the individuals and to the business. It is more flexible and less strenuous to do an online business training course. This consequently improves your company to continue effectively. Most small businesses fail to recognise the beneficial aspects of training its employees. Among many other advantages that come with training are the following benefits:

To Effectively Improve Your Company’s Competence

Training your employees will result in a better customer service, improved business skills, and growth in productivity. This ultimately makes your business more competent and competitive in the market. It is important to always advance the skills of the employees as the business world is dynamic and overly competitive. The direct tragedy of non-trained employees is the incompetence to match up the necessities of a contemporary society. It is important to consider an online business training course if the difficulty is time or cost of doing a recommended training.

Improving Loyalty and Staff Retention

As a business, staff retention is a saving to the business and its future prospects. Employees have their own aspirations for growth and they may want to venture out to look for that satisfaction. However, if the training opportunity is available to them, they find their professional growth in the business and are likely to stay longer. It is a fact that such training will definitely add them new skills and promote their contribution to the business as well as building their self-esteem. Giving them a chance to improve their skills makes them realise that you value them enough to invest in them.

Improved Business Prospects and Profits

The ultimate objective of running a business is to maximise an opportunity to make profits. Training employees makes them more competent and qualified to promote your business in the marketplace. This will have an effect and an increased business means more profits.

Makes Your Business Competitive

Stagnating is the worst effect that can kill your business, so by ensuring that your staff are constantly advancing, you continue to grow in business and remain competitive within the industry. It is expensive and very disorienting to employ new staff. An online business course for your employees can make them more eligible for internal promotions. Unlike new employees, you will have the benefit of a complete and knowledgeable staff for your business, who are people you know and you can trust.

Exposes Business Weaknesses and Skill Gaps

Training makes the business realise what they have been doing wrong and henceforth, the business can more easily identify any skill gaps in the market and even within the existing employees. This will propel your business to work on filling the gaps which will assist the staff to fulfil their role effectively.

Conclusion

Training is therefore a valuable and profound investment for the business. For the many businesses that may not have adequate time, an online business training course would be more appropriate. The staff will have a much higher sense of job satisfaction, which will improve their motivation towards their work and the business generally.

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Advantages and Disadvantages of Buying a Business and Initial Steps

Buying a business is considered as a safe haven by many entrepreneurs as it involves a lesser risk than starting a new business from scratch. Even though buying an existing business seems to have lesser hassles in many aspects, one should practice due diligence to ensure a successful landing.

It is true that business brokers can help you in completing business acquisition deals, but to make it in your best favor, you should make yourself fully knowledgeable about the process and also should gain a solid grip on the purchase to make it profitable.

Advantages of buying an existing Business

The major advantage of buying an existing business is avoiding the huge startup costs. It is not just all about the cost involved, but the time and effort to be invested in terms of start-up establishment is way too high when compared to acquisition of an existing business.

As the business concept, fundamental works, brand establishment, and customer base are already set, you can jumpstart with cash flow instantaneously on the basis of the receivables. You can also enjoy the benefits of having a solid and loyal client base.

Disadvantages of buying an existing business

Even though buying a business seems to be beneficial in many aspects, there are also some downsides to it. The cost of purchase of a profitable business can surely be much higher than the establishment cost of a business.

There may also be underlying problems associated with the business you purchase such as their debts, deterioration of assets, problems with receivables etc.

Starters’ right approach

Anytime when you are getting on to buying a business, there will be thousands of opportunities popping up. It is you who know it at best about which type of business you need to pursue and what your priorities are. Here is a right approach to narrow down your choices and land up on a perfect deal.

It is important to rightly identify your interests and area of expertise while getting on to buying a business. If you are totally blank about what type of business to invest, the best move is to eliminate those which don’t seem to be interesting to you to shorten the list.

Consider your expertise while you are planning to buy a business. You may not be able to run something which you are fully ignorant about. Such a filtering also will help you narrow down your considerations to the best acceptable businesses.

Do proper groundwork to come up with a set of conditions as location, timings, size of the business etc.. Only consider the business satisfactory meeting your demands. While considering a business, just drop those which don’t at least meet 80% of your conditions to end up with the best in hand.

You also need to quantify your investment before searching for opportunities for buying a business. Check out for reasons why the business is put on sale and take a decision accordingly.

Keeping all these in mind, you need to perform due diligence while planning to buy a business and if not confident on doing it on your own, consider the option of reliable business brokers to take it up on your behalf.

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How To Start A Business With Absolutely No Experience

One popular belief is that you need tons of experience, expertise, and knowledge to start a business. The opposite is true. While it helps to go to school and learn the tricks of the trade, it does not necessarily mean that you cannot start a business because you do not have a degree. The important things to remember are, you need to research, ask the right questions, and get the best advice you can.

What are the right questions to ask? Below are ten questions to ask to get you started. Of course there will be many more as you go, but at least you have something to start with. First, you should ask yourself, how do you start a business without experience? Next is, what are some things you need to do to get started? The third question is, what are the legal matters you must know in order to get started? Fourth, what do you need to know about your target audience?

Moving forward, five is, how do you commit yourself to a market solution, not just a small idea? Number six is, how do you choose your industry wisely? Seven asks how do you build street credibility (also what is it)? Eight is what free resources can you rely on? Nine is when will you know you need to see outside help? Last but not least, number ten is how do you put your strengths to work? Below I go more into detail with these questions.

How To Start A Business Without Experience?

Think about what you already know about business. Use your work experience as a guide. Maybe there are things you have witnessed or realized that was not part of your daily tasks which you can use for your business. For instance, have you ever listened to what others are saying while you are at the office? Whether you listen to coworkers or supervisors talking at work, there is most likely some bits about doing business that you have picked up on.

You may not even be aware of some things you learned about doing business. Maybe you have heard complaints about what went wrong in the workplace – something you may have a solution for. Or maybe you heard someone say, “I wish ‘it’ can be done this way”; even though “it” can be done their way, they may have been told they weren’t allowed to.

What are some things you need to do to get started?

Research is the most important thing to do. First, ask the right questions. This is all part of the research process. You may research questions you need to have answers for if you do not know what questions to ask. It is okay to search on Google or Bing and quickly search for important questions to ask when starting a business.

There are many resources on the Internet or your local library that you can use to get started. Make certain your sources are reliable however. If you are reading an article and you can sense the information is totally outrageous, then you can come to a quick conclusion that it is probably not the right source to use.

When reading any article, however, make a note of the different points it makes. Whatever is clear and understandable is fine, but whatever you do not understand, take that point and do more research on it. See if what was written was also said by somewhere else. Sometimes having a few people say the same or similar things can give you an indication the information may be something worth keeping in mind.

Another thing you will need to get started is legal advice. Never assume that what you learned where you work or what you think is okay is legal. Start off on the right foot and do business according to the law. You want to avoid being that person who did something illegal and now has a reputation as such plastered all over the World Wide Web.

What are the legal matters you must know in order to get started?

It is impossible to know everything about the law. Speak to a lawyer if they give free consultations and ask them what you should know. Ethics play a role here too. There are many gray areas which are prevalent in ethics. For instance, what do you tell a customer if you promised them a shipment by a certain date even though you already knew there is a possibility it cannot be fulfilled? You already promised it, but you know it may not happen.

If you say you are going to do something, you need to do it. That is the bottom line. Give your customers quality products in a timely manner. Do not always rush to get the job done. Sometimes there are moments when you have to rush, but don’t let it happen if it is not necessary. For the most part, the only time you will need to rush is when the customer requests it.

What do you need to know about your target audience?

What are their interests? Do some research and see if there are any typical or general interests the target audience has. If you already know them or know their interests, then you are ahead of the game. Of course, since you are the expert in your niche, or should be, you will know a lot about their interests already.

You can do some research on social media to find out what their interests are as well. Facebook has groups and so does Twitter. Find a group related to your niche and observe it to see what people are talking about. Use this as advice on what types of products or services to market as well.

The best advice for using social media groups to learn more about your target audience is not to join any group and post on there asking all kinds of questions. For instance, you don’t want to join a group and then ask everyone to give their opinion about their favorite game, or gadget. Just observe first, and then engage in the conversation as you would with a friend. Get to know people first, and then ask them questions here and there. It is all about patience.

How do you commit yourself to a market solution, not just a small idea?

You need to ask yourself certain questions before trying an idea to see if it works. What problems does your target market have? Once you can pinpoint the problem, then you can look for solutions. Most likely, you will not find any market without faults. There are plenty of problems that need to be resolved. Even the competition cannot resolve every issue out there.

Many entrepreneurs begin with a lot of “strong domain” experience but little to no business experience. Being in business is about finding solutions. That is what sets the strong businesses apart from the others. You do not want to sell just anything because you observe that it makes someone else nice profits.

You have to have a passion about it for one thing, and you want to give them something that will resolve an issue they may have. This issue can be from something they bought somewhere else, or it can be an issue they have had for a period of time and need a solution for it. There may not even be a problem, so it may just come down to differentiating your product from the rest.

How do you choose your industry wisely?

Choose something that does not just interest your target market. You should have an interest in it too. More than just a little interest, you need to like the products or services that are out there in the market. If you do not like the products or services the market has to offer, how will you feel when you are doing business with the people who are interested in them?

I would say you would not seem too enthusiastic to your customers and potential customers. People will pick up on that and it can break the business relationships you worked so hard to make. So please do yourself a favor and do not get wrapped up in an industry that you do not have an utmost passion about.

How do you build street credibility (cred for short)?

You need to let people know who you are. This pertains to building relationships with your customers, and since you are new with the business, you will build relationships with potential customers. Spend some time before launching your big business idea learning more about your industry and the people who spend money there.

You can always try selling other people’s products first – as an affiliate marketer and learn something new about the products you sell them. When you have enough knowledge and you are talking about the product online (such as on your blog), this will help build street credibility as the people who read it will feel you know what you are talking about.

What free resources can you rely on?

Networking is a great free resource. Talking to others in the industry and learning new things about it will be to your advantage. You should also ask for advice. Before you jump right in and start asking for advice however, break the ice with some small talk first. Get to know some people before asking a lot of business questions.

In fact, you can treat this more like a social outing because you do not want to only try to get information from people. This may actually turn them off and they will not want to give you any information.

Other than networking, you can also consider resources that are low cost instead of free. Sometimes Universities offer free or low cost coursework, books, or seminars. I would definitely look into this if you were not sure how to network. Here is where you can ask a bunch of questions because that is what is encouraged at school.

When will you know you need to seek outside help?

As you should realize, you will need a business plan. When creating your business plan, it is always best to ask for help with it. For example, a gentleman named Evan Solida founded a company called Cerevellum back in early 2009. His invention was a digital rear-view mirror for bicycles.

Naturally, Mr. Solida wanted to save money any way he could, so he used Internet resources to create his plan and also draft his legal documents. With much frustration and use of a lot of his time, he then decided it would be better to pay for a professional to help with both tasks.

The business plan needs to meet certain criteria; especially if this is a business you need a grant for or a small loan. Banks and agencies that approve grants want to see a solid plan before they take the risk to lend or give you money. It is the same thing when you or anyone else will invest in a company. You want to see their annual report, which gives you this information and more.

You know that investing in any company is a risk, but you should not want to take too much of a risk. You also do not want to risk that your business plan is of poor quality. Not just for your customers’ sake, but for the future of your business. All the financials and marketing need to be taken care of from the start. Otherwise, you will need to back track and it will waste a lot of valuable time which you could be spending making money.

How do you put your strengths to work?

Think about what your strengths really are. Is it planning the business, giving creative ideas, or being the solutions finder? Maybe your strength is marketing, but whatever your strengths are, put them to work for you. Work on the strengths first and when you have mastered one, then you can move on to another. Otherwise, it will take you much longer to get things running smoothly.

Putting a business together takes time and patience. Do not try to put it together too quickly. You want to be focused and organized, as this will help you to be “well planned.” A business with a strong plan is more likely to succeed than something you just threw together in an hour.

For your Information

Now you know at least ten questions to ask. These questions were given to you for basic information and a foundation to get started. Now I want to give you some ideas as to what goes into a business plan. This is so you know what to expect and you can at least try and draft one on your own. Remember, it is best to get a professional to do this for you, but you still need to know what goes into it so you know if the one written for you has everything it should.

Below I am going to list different sections of the business plan and explain a little but about each section. The more you know about the business plan, the better prepared you will be. Remember, if you want to start a business without experience, this is where you can learn much of the information you will need to get started. So let us move forward.

Not all business plans are created equal, but you will at least have basic information to include. Once you begin your plan, it will change over time and also remember; you will not know everything that needs to be included as to why I suggest getting a professional to help with it. Below are some sections you will want to include.

Executive Summary

The executive summary will tell the person reading the plan what you want for your business. A big mistake often made is burying this information somewhere else in the plan. The summary needs to explain certain things from the start so you need to be clear and concise in the very beginning.

Keep the summary short and businesslike and no more than half of a page. Depending on how complicated or detailed you need to be about how you will use your funds may make the summary a bit longer. As a general rule of thumb however, and since you are just starting out, you only need your summary to be half of a page.

There are some other key elements that need to be included in the plan. They are as follows: business concept, financial features, financial requirements, current business position, and major achievements. These are not the ones I will focus on too much, but just something to keep in mind.

Business Description

Not to be confused with the executive summary, you usually begin this section with a short description of the industry. So this is not really beginning with just your business, but rather how the industry plays a role in your business.

You will want to describe the industry and discuss the outlook and future possibilities of what will go on. This is all gathered from what happened in the past, so it is a prediction of what could happen or is most likely to happen because of business trends. Also, provide information about all the various markets within the industry.

So what you want to talk about is new products and developments that will benefit or affect your business in a positive way. Make sure to get the most reliable data for this part and always list your sources. I’ll talk more about sources later in this article, as they are important, but I want the focus to be on the different sections of the plan first.

How you will Profit

The main reason for having a business is to make a profit. All businesspersons need to ask themselves, “How do I make money?” When you ask this question, it should open your mind and help you realize the different ways to bring in income. You do not need a huge section just on this topic, but you want to explain factors, which you think will make you successful in making money.

Before presenting the business plan, you want to explain any equity and debt the business will incur and also explain how this will help make your business more profitable. Also include ways you want to expand your business or make it grow using the equity or debt. As an Internet marketer, you probably will not incur much debt or any at all. It depends solely on what you need to get started.

Defining your Market Strategies

Marketing strategies are based on a thorough study of the market. This will help you become very familiar with all parts of the market, including the target market. Defining whom your target market is will be very important so you can earn your share of the sales.

When you are defining your market strategies, you will need to, at some point, determine the pricing of your products and or services. A market analysis will help you to determine the pricing. It is also important to know how you compare to your competition and if you can beat them in pricing or not.

Market Share Projection

As mentioned earlier, when you are describing your industry of choice, you want to discuss the outlook and future possibilities. This information will be gathered on past happenings. So your projections are based on what happened previously in the industry.

Believe it or not, your market share projection is also based on your competition as well as promotional strategies. You can look at how much advertising is done, how it is done, and also research how much it will cost you to advertise the same way. You can always come up with different ways to advertise, but you need a benchmark to start out from.

Position of the Business

When talking about your marketing strategy, you will find it is impossible not to talk about the position of your business. What motivates your target and what they require will affect your company’s position in the market. Again, there are more questions that need to be asked and answered to understand this better.

A few questions to ask are: how are your competitors positioning themselves? What specific attributes do your products and services have that the competition does not have? What needs does your product fulfill for the customer? After you answer these basic questions, you can then begin to develop your business’ position in the market and write about it on the plan.

Pricing

I’ve touched a little about pricing earlier, but now I want to give you more detail about it. The price tag you place on your items, whether it is a product or service, will directly affect the success of your business. Strategies for pricing can be very complex, however, the rules are very basic and straightforward.

You must be able to cover costs, lowering costs will lower sales prices, and prices must reflect changes in the market and respond to the demand of your market. Prices must also be established to help assure sales. The longevity of your products, utility, and maintenance must be reviewed on a regular basis and adjust the prices according to the market.

Prices are used to keep the market in order, so this is the last, but not least important strategy to keep in mind when determining your prices. You do not want to just slap a price tag on something because you think people will buy it for the value of it. You have to be in competition with other businesses and play the game strategically.

Distribution

This part is for you, mainly if you are selling physical goods. Since there are many of you out there that may sell goods on eBay or your own website or blog, this is why I need to talk about this section. So what is distribution exactly? It is the entire process of when a product is manufactured to when it is in the hands of the end user – the customer. There are different channels that make up distribution.

Having a strong distribution of products definitely helps you get an edge in your share of the market. The fast the products can go from production to the customer the better. Make sure the products are of quality though because you do not want the customer constantly returning the goods.

Promotional Planning

Advertisements of any kind are all included in the promotional planning. How you distribute the communication about your business is also part of it. The way in which this is designed will result in attracting the right people to do business with.

Some other things that you may not be aware of that are part of promoting your business is how you package your products. Public relations are also included here. Most of the things you are familiar with are advertising, sales promotions, and personal sales. Each strategy is different in its own respect, but very important in the final outcome of the promotion.

Potential Sales

After thoroughly analyzing the market, you need to make a determination using a quantitative outlook, which concerns your own business’, potential. An initial projection in your plan must be formed based on the position of the product, price, distribution (for physical goods), sales strategies, and how the market is defined.

Competition Analysis

You first need to identify who your competition is. Gather a list of companies that sell the same products or ones that are very similar. For this section, you will make a statement of your business strategy and how it relates to your competition. The main purpose of this part is to pinpoint the strengths and weaknesses of your competition. Knowing this will only help you improve the weaknesses for your own sake.

S.W.O.T. Analysis

A S.W.O.T. analysis is very important for developing your business and keeps it running to its full potential. For those of you who are not familiar with what this is, “S” stands for strengths, “W” is for weaknesses, “O” is for opportunities, and “T” is for Threats. You not only need to learn about the strengths and weaknesses of your competition as you do with competitive analysis, but you also have to realize your own.

The opportunities and threats are more directly related to your competition. You can look at it as the opportunity you have in the midst of all the competition and what it is about your competition that can be a threat to your own place in the market.

Design Plan

Investors need a description of your company’s product design and also its development. Within the section, there needs to be a chart showing the development of the product or service. You will also need to include a budget showing how the company will reach goals.

Product and or Service Development Goals

If you are selling physical products, you will need to list the goals here. You can also list the strategies involved for reaching certain goals for a service business. Your goals should be centered on technical and marketing aspects of your products and or services. You need this as an outline for your business partners, or for yourself if you are a sole proprietor, so you know how to work on things to reach your goals.

Budget

Budgets are very important, as you want to make sure you have the funds available to do business in the first place. You also want to have a plan as you make money as to where the money will go in order to help your business grow and to continuously develop and improve it.

If you are designing a product, you need to account for all the costs that will be involved in creating the product, take it to production, and get it to the customer. As for service, you will need to make sure you have the money to get a business plan written, what equipment you may need to help you with your services, and if you need a brick and mortar building to cater to the needs of your clients.

Knowing how each dollar is being spent is very crucial. Proper planning can only help your business while poor planning is very destructive. I have learned that about half of all businesses started will fail within their first year. You can help avoid this with proper budgeting.

Risk Assessment

What risks are involved in either producing products or offering services? During the stages of development of your product or service there will be some risks you need to be aware of. Risks involved with the creation of products usually happen with the technical development of the product. For services, it is usually in the strategies for planning the types of services you offer.

Income Statement

This is a very simple and straightforward report, which shows your business’ cash generating abilities. It shows how well your company does in the financial spectrum and is a financial picture of when sales are made and when expenses occur. It helps you better plan for the future of your business as well.

The income statement is a multi-purpose report giving you a bigger picture of how your business is doing overall. Always use this as a guide from year to year and you will get an idea of what changes need to be made.

Other Sections

There are other sections that need to be written in the business plan. There is just no way to talk about all of them in detail here. I simply talked about some sections that I feel are very important to get started with. All the sections of the business plan play an important role in the overall planning of your business from start to finish.

Some other sections that were not mentioned above are as follows:

Procedures
Scheduling and Costs
Personnel
Operations and Management
And more

To find out everything you need in your plan, you have to talk to a professional and do a thorough research about it. You may not be able to include everything you want, and different business types require different information to be included in the plan.

Sources

You will need reliable sources to get the information for your business plan. Reliable sources do not include blogs or articles you found in article directories. You can use them to get some information, but you will need to research more on what they tell you. You should never list them as a source for your plan though.

Another source you can use to get basic information for this section is Wikipedia, but is should only be used as a base for the information. On sites like that, anyone can add and edit information so you are never sure how accurate it is, thus the reason not to list it as one of your sources.

Reliable sources are peer reviewed articles, information gathered from networking with other business professionals, and consulting a professional who has been in the business for a long time that can write your plan.

Checklist For Starting A Business With No Experience

Here is a checklist of the different things you will need to get started on your business in a box. The most important is the business plan because you need to know what goes into production and what you need to get your services up and running.

First, answer the following ten key questions:

How do you start a business without experience?
What are some things to do to get started?
What are the legal matters you must know in order to get started?
What do you need to know about your target audience?
How do you commit yourself to a market solution not just a small idea?
How do you choose your industry wisely?
How do you build street credibility?
What free resources can you rely on?
When will you know you need to seek outside help?
How do you put your strengths to work?

Also remember, the most important aspect to any business is to be well planned and prepared. The most important thing you can do for your business is to create a business plan. Ask yourself and answer these questions:

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