Technical Advice Available For Minority Small Businesses

There are numerous components to starting and growing a small business, it can become overwhelming. Fortunately, there is free expert advice available for minority business owners (or aspiring owners). Plus, there is specialized advice for minority business owners also.

SCORE
The formerly named Service Corps of Retired Executives is now formally known simply as SCORE. This is an organization of retired business executives who provide free advice to small business owners. This could be working through problem issues in business to developing a business plan. There are offices nationwide to approach for help.

SBA SBDC
The US Small Business Administration (SBA) has Small Business Development Centers (SBDC) throughout the United States. They help businesses with technical help and with securing financing. The SBDC’s are very good help for developing documentation for SBA loans. They also have good primer information for government contracting.

MBDA MBEC
The Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) has a number of minority business development centers throughout the US. Renamed Minority Business Enterprise Centers (MBEC) the centers are very good on working with minority preference programs for government contracts. The centers are a strong contact for networking opportunities among minority businesses. There are also Native American specific centers.

P-TAC
The United States Department Of Defense (DoD) funds a number of Procurement Technical Assistance Centers (PTAC) to assist small businesses with DoD contracts. A PTAC will be very good in assessing a business’s potential as a DoD vendor. However, they can also assist a business with standard government procurement (civil purchases) too.

With all this technical assistance freely available, there should be no need to hire consultants for a beginning business. Also, the centers are very good in helping a small business get a grasp on minority preferences for government contracts.

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.

How to Put Your Business in Google Maps

Marketing is an important part of business. The broader audience you can reach the better. There is basically a number of ways to do so, but not all of them are as effective as you thought they would be. For both online and offline businesses, marketing is fairly a challenge and it all comes down to what is being delivered, to who it is being delivered and how it is delivered.

People have become more dependent on the internet to find what they need.This applies on almost anything : from products, services, information, people, everything and anything. This would pretty much include finding companies and what they offer. And through the internet, marketing has reached levels and market niche that seemed to be impossible years back.

Different search engines and websites have developed and are now applying different methods to better serve both entrepreneurs and customers. Different online applications have made these methods of marketing and searching a very effective way of attracting new clients and returning customers.

One of the best and free options available is Google Maps. There are more people searching for businesses online than anywhere else and through Google Maps your business will be able to reach millions of Google Maps users, quickly and for free, specifically with Local Business Center. So it’s important to make sure your business listing can be easily found on Google and Google Maps. With the use of Local Business Center, it is easy to create a great listing; all it takes is just a few minutes and it doesn’t cost a thing.

With Local Business Center, you can control your listing and speak for yourself. If you already have a website, your business probably already appears on Google, but even if it does, you should still claim your listing and check to make sure its details are accurate and thorough. Your improvements will start appearing as soon as you verify them through the Local Business Center.

By doing so you can be sure that your business is properly represented and at the same time extends to markets which used to be beyond your reach. This article will help you in broadening your marketing with the use of Google Maps.

First, go to google.com. Then key in the type of business you are under or would want to be classified in. Sample would be typing in carpet cleaning St. Marys Georgia. The Google Maps Listing for this search will come up. And you can see that there are several businesses under this type listed ranked from one to 10 for the first page. This is where your business information will appear after getting it listed in Google Maps.  Note that the Google Maps listing comes up on the first page, often as the #1 LOCAL listing in Google.  This is like getting on the first page of your local yellow pages, for free!

Getting started, you can either go to the search area of Google and key in local business center. Click on the link that appears for this. Or you could go directly to the URL space and type in http://www.google.com/localbusinesscenter.

You can sign in with your Google Account if you already have one. If you don’t have a Google Account yet, start by creating your personal Google Account. Once you have provided your email and password and logged in click on Add new listing or business. From here a form should be filled up with your basic business details as you would like them to appear in the listing.

Upon doing so the map on the left will zoom into your location as you type in your address. You can move the marker if you like if Google’s best guess isn’t quite spot-on or not exactly where you think it should be.

After filling in the location details make sure to fill in your main phone number. Google will contact you through this number for verification. If you have a website address, key it in with http:// at the beginning. Then you should write a business description that emphasizes what your business is all about making your business unique or better than your competitors. This is a means by which you could be distinguished from the others and easily be found through specific keywords. Details of what your company provides, where the service area is and where it is close to or any landmarks that they could take note of would be very could inputs for the description. Then click next. On the following step select the listing or category that you want to claim (make sure it’s the most similar to your business). When done, click on the category of your choice. You can also add another category if you think that it could be part of another.

If your business is not on the listing or doesn’t match any listings, click the Add Category button at the bottom to create a new listing. Note: In the list of close matches, if the business name on a given listing is wrong but the address is right, click the Claim Listing or Category button and Google Maps will use your preferred name. However, if the address is wrong and you can’t receive mail sent to that address, you will not be able to verify your claim. In that case, you should click Add Category at the bottom of the list to create a new listing for your business.

Next step, include your hours of operation and payment options. This information is useful for both repeat and potential customers. Then you should add more details to make your business stand out. You can also add relevant information that doesn’t fit anywhere else. Information such as delivery zone, house specialties, return policy, or anything else that you would like to share. In marketing, you would want to catch the attention of as many potential customers as you can.

You can also add an image to help your listings stand out in Google Maps search results. You can use snapshots, logos and images. If you have videos on YouTube, you can place them directly in your listing as well.

Finally, verify your listing, if possible do it by phone. If you have easy access to the phone number on your listing, choose phone verification. You can either choose to be called now or in 5 minutes. Google will call you, and once you enter a Personal Identification Number (PIN), your listing will be immediately verified. A Thank You notice will appear in the window

If you are not near the phone or have a voicemail system, you should choose postcard verification. Google will send you a card with a PIN for you to enter before mailing it back. But it will take a coupe of weeks to complete.

You’ve successfully completed your Google Maps listing.