Has Your ‘Small Business Development Center’ Actually Helped You?

And especially, have they helped you learn effective, affordable and creative ways to market your business?

I’m curious because I often hear mixed reviews. These organizations are often branches of a govt agency and the leadership within the group (the directors, etc.) many times has no personal ‘hands on’ experience running a business. On the other hand, it seems that occasionally someone runs across an organization that has lucked out and has a great leader with tons of background.

I point this out because often ‘traditional’ books and consultants will tell you to reach out to your local Small Business Development Center and/or your local Chamber of Commerce. I confess, I love my local Chamber of Commerce (especially our lovely, vivacious and charming Executive Director) so I’m certainly not suggesting you overlook this resource. But I AM suggesting that you recognize that they are only a piece of the puzzle. It’s critical that you drill down into exactly they type of support and information you need and get that help from people who know exactly what you’re dealing with every day.

As much as it may kill you to step away from the business of running your business for a few hours, you must force yourself to make the time. I am NOT going to encourage you to get a mani/pedi or watch a movie during this break.

Instead, gather the training and education material you’ve been planning to read but haven’t made the time. Turn off the phone, put our your mental ‘do not disturb’ sign and dig in. Have a notebook with you and capture ideas that come to mind. It doesn’t mean you have to do them all today, it just means they are things to think about and you can execute on them when the time is right.

Or, use the time to connect with a fellow business owner…and DON’T waste the time with small talk. Prepare a list of 4-6 topics you want them to weigh in on. Maybe you need someone to brainstorm a new product or marketing idea. Maybe you are feeling frustrated or discouraged about another aspect of your business and need a new perspective. Make sure you stay on track and talk about the business issues you’re dealing with and get some objective input about the situation.

Owning a small business can be isolating and often you may feel like you’re out there all alone. Sometimes we all have to force ourselves to make planning and collaborating a part of our business, even when we feel like we don’t have the time.

Why You Should Try Small Business Development Centers

Development of a small business enterprise may sometimes prove difficult, especially if you have big ideas but no money to set up the venture. Sometimes, money is not even the problem, but organization of those ideas into profitable gains. This is where Small Business development Centers come in.

These are centers from which one can gain all the necessary information on the procedures, rules and regulations that govern the development of an enterprise. The centers are located in every state of the United states and it is very easy to trace them depending on where you live. Consultants at the centers offer counseling services to people who are just starting out or those who are already established but wish to expand their enterprises. These services are offered free of charge.

The Small Business Development Centers also facilitate practical seminars that help you see how you can convert mere ideas into income generating activities. It is through the seminars and web seminars that you can get all your frequently asked questions answered. You also get an update of all the current happenings in the enterprise sector.

The centers, in addition, offer training services on the basics of running an enterprise, including book-keeping and customer relations secrets. They will also show you how to make use of technology to make the most out of your enterprise. Furthermore, you can get a directory on which you can find contacts of other enterprises with which you can partner with for better results. Try out the centers and you will not regret your decision.

7 Steps To Success In Your Home Based Information Marketing Business

Before we talk about the 7 steps to home business success, you may have wondered if there really is such a thing as a perfect home based business. Many years of experience and a lot of research by me and others has proven that Information Marketing is the only opportunity I know of that meets all of the requirements for a P.E.R.F.E.C.T. home business.

There are Seven Keys the P.E.R.F.E.C.T. home based business must satisfy, one key for each letter in the word PERFECT.

The “P” in PERFECT stands for “Profitable”

The first “E” in PERFECT means “Easy”

The “R” stands for “Real”

The “F” means “Fits With Your Desired Lifestyle”

The second “E” stands for “E-friendly” (can use the internet and e-mail for marketing)

The “C” means”Competitive”

And the “T” stands for “Testable At Low Risk”

The PERFECT Home Based Business will fill all of the requirements outlined in these seven keys and Information Marketing matches every requirement.

Once you’re convinced too that Information Marketing is the PERFECT home based business opportunity for you, and I hope you are, the next step is to take action and get started on your own home based Information Marketing business.

There are Seven PERFECT(TM) Action Steps to Success in your Information Marketing Business, one for each letter in the word PERFECT. Here is an overview of the seven PERFECT action steps:

1. P: Passion

2. E: Economics

3. R: Research

4. F: Find Your Business Model

5. E: Establish Your Product Line

6. C: Complete Your Marketing Machine

7. T: Traffic and Conversion

P: Passion means determining your core desires and identifying your passion(s) and strength(s). This is a required first step that will help motivate you and greatly increase your chances of being successful. You are much more likely to succeed in the long term if your business is centered around something you are passionate about.

E: Economics means finding profitable markets that resonate with your core desires, passions, and strengths that you identified in the first success step called Passion. If you can’t find a market that fits completely, at least find one that you are strongly interested in, or think you could become strongly interested in. But, if a market is not profitable, it doesn’t matter whether or not it matches your passions. Find a profitable market before creating any products.

R: Research means doing additional research on the market(s) you identified in the Economics success step, on the product(s) you think you may want to offer, on your potential competitors, and on your prospects.

The purpose is, in part, to make sure you know exactly what kind of products are being offered to your market, where they are being offered, where your prospects may be searching for solutions, what kind of sales copy and offers are being used, who your competitors are and what they aren’t offering that your prospects need (that you could offer in your product).

F: Find Your Business Model means deciding what business model is the best fit for your personality, skills and interests, the one that most closely matches what you would like to do in the future, and even the one that sounds like it would be the most fun for you to do.

The business model you decide on will include your choice of Marketing Channel (online, e-mail, offline, or a combination), Product Category (determined by the degree of content created by you), and Sales Process (direct linking, opt-in, sales page, or content site, for example).

C: Complete Your Marketing Machine means creating everything needed to attract prospects and convert them to paying customers, including for example, web pages to get prospects to opt in to your e-mail list or to sell or pre-sell a product, a series of autoresponder e-mail messages, order pages, download pages and so on.

Another way of looking at it is, once you have at least your first product created, or your first affiliate product selected, how do you get it marketed? How do you get orders and get paid for them? Your marketing machine accomplishes all of that, and what your marketing machine looks like will depend on which sales process you have selected for your business.

T: Traffic And Conversion means getting traffic and converting that traffic into orders.

If your build your web site, they will come. Right?

WRONG!

In order to get the traffic you need you must give people a reason to visit your opt-in page, sales page, or content web site. There are many free and paid methods to get traffic to your web site. Getting traffic is one thing. Converting that traffic to orders for your product is another. If you have ten million people visit your site, but nobody orders, what good is it?

You need to be able to convert the traffic into orders.