Sunday, 27 February 2011

Tips for Running a Home Business When you Have Children

If you are thinking about setting up a home business alongside looking after your children then there a few things that you need to consider. This short article will give you help and advice on how to manage a career and child care.

Setting up a home business when you have children can be a great way to work whilst being able to look after your children at the same time. It also means that you can enjoy seeing your children without being tied to working set hours and for many parents this is a great incentive to having a home business.

Providing that you plan everything thoroughly and do not take on too much work then you should be able to enjoy a successful career. Of course, there will also be times when working might prove difficult, but the same could be said of having children and working a normal office job.

It is advisable to not take on too much work all at once and be realistic as to how much you can comfortably fit in. It might also be a good idea to sign up to a relevant online community and see if anyone can offer you help and advice.

1. Choosing Your Hours

The majority of people who run a home business and look after children tend to try and work in the evenings or at weekends so that there is someone else on hand to help out. However if your children are older then you may be able to fit in work during the school days.

If you do find that you struggle to balance both work and looking after your children sometimes or you simply need to work more during the day, you could consider child care. It is however important to remember that you need to think about the cost of this. If it will virtually cancel out the money you will earn then you need to decide how feasible it really is.

2. When to Start your Home Business

It is probably not a good idea to set up a home business if you have a very young baby unless of course you have people around you who can help out where needed. This is mainly because having a young baby can be quite draining, especially if you are getting up for feeds at all hours of the night and day. You may find that you cannot fully commit to your working life as well as your childcare duties.

Generally the key to running a successful home business when you have children is to be flexible and to make sure that you are incredibly organised. It may not be without its difficulties at times, but if you can find yourself a quiet area and ways to occupy your children then you should find that you can juggle the two quite happily. Chris Jenkinson

Business Plans for Setting up a Home Business

If you are new to starting a home business then creating a business plan could be worthwhile. You will be able to see what it is you need to achieve and how much money you need to earn to make your new venture viable.

A business plan is essentially a document that will illustrate your business and the objectives and strategies that you have as well as how you feel it will work financially. By having a plan it means that you will be able to gauge the success that your new home business will have.

1. Why Should I have a Business Plan?

It is common practice for someone who is thinking of starting a new home venture to need a business plan. Often these will be essential before you can obtain a business loan should you require one.

By having a business plan set out you can see if your goals and expectations are realistic. It will also enable you to work out the amount of money you need to earn and how much work you will need to keep going. You can set a business plan for the period you feel necessary and that you will be able to realistically start achieving. By having a list of objectives to achieve it is easier for you to stick to them and to know how to proceed. If you set yourself a specific goal you are far likelier to stick to the plan and therefore have a successful career. Without a business plan it is easy to lose your way and feel that you do not know which direction to go in.

2. What Should I Include?

A well constructed business plan should include sensible ways of meeting all of the goals that you have set. A home business plan is after all no good with a list of objectives that you have no way of meeting. You need to plan ahead and explore all avenues to see if your home business venture will be viable.

A plan will also contain thoughts on how you are going to gain work and in what ways your competitors may do so. If you do not know how to go about one then it is worth asking for help or looking on the internet for a guide. This will give you an idea of what you should include and areas that you should concentrate on. If you know someone that has made a business plan before, then ask for their help and see if you can gain ideas to assist you with writing your own. Chris Jenkinson

Saturday, 26 February 2011

How to Use Twitter to Advertise Your Business

Twitter is just one of many social networking sites available these days and if you know what you are doing you can use it to help advertise your home business. It allows you to network with likeminded people and help you spread the word about what it is you do. You can provide information about your products or services as well as marketing to people of offers and discounts that you may have. It can also be a great way to receive feedback on how others perceive your business and what you could do to grow.

1. New to Twitter?

If you have never used Twitter before then you may be wondering what it is all about. To put it simply, a ‘tweet’ is the text that you create and post to your account for others to see. This is normally a maximum of 140 characters and allows you to tell all your followers what you are thinking. In this way you can use your ‘tweets’ to inform others of any special promotions or discounts and keep them up to date with what you are doing. This helps to provide a way for you to advertise your home business venture.

2. Target the Right Audience

Once you have set up your Twitter account it is vital that you make sure your ‘followers’ are people that would be interested in what it is you do, or who can offer you help and advice. You can then try to interact with your followers by commenting on their ‘tweets’ or asking questions on yours. In this way you will hopefully build up a good rapport with people and they will see you and your business as worthwhile and you will gain a good reputation.

3. Be Professional

Of course, it is important to remember not to spam your new ‘followers’ as people can view this as being a little desperate and they may choose to delete you. Make sure that you remain professional at all times to avoid alienating your potential customers. Avoid over ‘tweeting’ and try to mix up the posts you make to include some more light-hearted elements so that it does not seem like you are constantly promoting your business. The key to good advertising on Twitter is to find a good balance.

Overall, be sure to keep your ‘tweets’ professional and to the point since the number of characters you can use is limited. It can be a great way to get some free advertising for your business but make sure that your followers feel that you value their friendship and business. Treat Twitter as any other method of marketing and remember that it will take time and effort to begin with.

How Your Blog Can Achieve Celebrity Status . . . Even If You’re Not Famous (yet)!

You can’t simply set up a blog in isolation and expect the search engines to pick you up. That’s like pitching a refreshments stall in the middle of the forest and not providing tourists with a map of where to find you!

Of course, given time, some people will stumble upon you . . . by chance . . .

However, we need our new, dynamic blog, which provides valuable content, to gain instant superstardom status. So here’s how we do it . . .

Blogs are – essentially – online magazines. And magazines make money through advertising products relevant to their readership. Once you’re established online, you can do the same. But no-one wants to visit a website plastered with ads – your potential audience is looking for quality content from somebody they can trust . So the first thing you need to do is create a rapport with your visitors.

Remember, most people are lazy. Therefore, most bloggers are lazy. If you are prepared to go that extra mile to deliver quality, timeless, original content, your readers will keep coming back to you for more of the same.

Here are some proven ways to attract attention to your blog:

Create a PDF which your readers can download for free. This can be a short report or White Paper teaching people how to do or create something (2-10 pages is ideal). There’s nothing more off-putting than coming across a website for the first time and having someone pitch their wares in your face! It’s a huge turn-off. Giving away valuable content is a sure way to instil trust in your readership. Be sure to capture the names and email addresses of your prospects before allowing them to download your material. Use a reliable autoresponder service for all your online marketing activities.

Create a series of informative articles which can be distributed to free article sites.

For a monthly subscription, there are websites which will distribute your articles for you.

Once written, you can combine articles to create an ecourse , or an information product you can sell online, or use to help build your list.

Post comments on other relevant websites/ blogs that link back to your blog. This is a simple, yet effective way of gaining recognition amongst your peers.

Seek out the true experts in your line of business – the renowned “gurus” in your field – and introduce yourself. Why not ask if you can interview them and post the interview on your blog? This is one of the quickest routes to your blog attaining celebrity status. It’s so simple to conduct a short interview via email – and in my experience – most people are thrilled to be asked for their opinions. And what’s the betting your expert will post a copy of the transcript on his/ her site as well? This is a terrific way of gaining free publicity for you and your site and something every serious business blogger should consider.

If you need help or advice a good starting point could be to look for internet marketing consultants


Thursday, 24 February 2011

Things to Watch for When Hiring a Search Engine Marketing Agency

Why spend your valuable time trying to optimise your website when you can hire a search engine marketing agency? Instead of dividing your time on various website tasks, it makes sense to hire a consulting professional so you can do what you do best - run your business. Selecting the right company however can be rather tricky because so many of them sound like a good deal when they are anything but. However, if you know what to watch for during your search, you will find the right company to optimise your website and increase your sales.

Look for Directory Submission Service Options

A good marketing professional will know how to submit your business listing to the leading web directories in addition to those portals that are industry or niche-specific. This facet of a search engine marketing agency can be quite valuable because a superior description of your business in the appropriate category of the leading web directories will increase the probability of being added swiftly and correctly. Directory listings can promote your website popularity and boost traffic. While there are some free listings to be had, a professional will know the fees and correct options to choose from to make directory submissions count effectively.

SEO Services

A marketing company that can offer Google optimisation can be worth their weight in gold if the result is increased sales. They will work with you in regards to researching the correct keywords as well as make changes in your website content, page tags, included web links and other page coding. In other words, not only will they ensure that your website is still user-friendly but also relevant to the top search engines.

Guaranteed Improvement in Web Traffic

An effective consultancy company can guarantee improved performance of your website or your money back. The goal is to improve your SERP rankings and most good companies can do that. The point is to increase your conversions of page visitors to new customers. Because the goal is a higher conversion rate, the number of overall web visitors to your site may drop. However, this can be good when the visitors are more likely to be serious potential customers instead of lookie-lous who are just cruising the internet. Quality over quantity of visitors is the overall goal.

Red Flags to Watch For

Companies that promise not to change your website at all are likely not effective SE marketers. There must be some changes, whether in links, keywords or tags, in order for the major search engines to recognize your website. And you definitely do not want them embedding hidden links, text or even dummy pages as search engines will eventually penalise your company for it.

The final red flag to consider are those absolute guarantees given to you about your website reaching number one in the major search engine rankings. Because these search engines use complicated algorithms, there is no way to guarantee a number one ranking, only guaranteed improvement. Keep these things in mind when hiring a search engine marketing agency.

Marketing Advice on How to Maintain Pricing Strategies in an Economic Downturn

These days, thanks to the economic recession, it can be tough to continually think of marketing tactics to maintain your market share and avoid losing sales. There is the temptation to slash prices or even

contemplate the action in order to compete with others in the same niche as you. While cutting prices may seem to be a simple thing to do, particularly in the short term, it does not always make sense to do so because it could become a habit. What if the recession stretches further than you thought? You cannot keep cutting prices because you could soon be selling at a loss rather than a profit.

Offering the Best Value for the Price

Having a strong, recognisable brand is important if you want to maintain your pricing strategy as high as possible without losing customers to the competition. How you define the value of what you offer is important when communicating with your customers. The stronger the communication you have with them, the more control you can exercise over your pricing strategy. Of course, you should have a few business marketing tactics available to you so that any issues a customer might have will not be about price.

One smart move to try is bundling some of your products together which will accomplish several things. First, bundling effectively creates the illusion that you have broadened your product base. And second, bundling offers you a way to establish a broad spectrum of low to medium to high value offerings, so you can create a pricing strategy accordingly, without a straight price cut, thus maintain your profitability.

Long Range Planning

Lowering your pricing in order to make more sales and stay competitive in the market may work in the immediate short term, but it will not do much for the long term. However, you can alleviate cutting tactics and the effect on your profits by controlling operating costs in your company and look for ways to eliminate any redundancies and inefficiencies.

Streamlining your operations to reduce costs and increase efficiency makes good business sense anyway. Unfortunately, when business is good, you don't always look for ways to streamline. Rather, it takes a recession and reduction in sales to prompt action.

To maintain your competitive edge, even in a recession, look for ways to offer something innovative or unique to your customers. Can you easily change the packaging for some of your products to create a new look to attract attention? Can you offer any sales incentives or coupons for future purchases? Perhaps partnering with a complementary business (one that does not necessarily directly compete with you) can drum up new business.

Marketing new products during the recession can be a good move but don't expect an overnight boost in business. The same principle applies when cutting prices. If you do this too often, just to stay in business, then that is what customers will expect once the economy improves. Instead, try the product bundling or offer sales incentives so that you can present the illusion of offering a deal without negatively impacting your business financial bottom line.

Monday, 14 February 2011

How to Run Your Home Business Accounts

If you decide to set up and run your own home business then it is vital that you understand the importance of managing your accounts. This short article will provide you with some suggestions on how to make sure you are always on top of your books.

Making sure that you keep on top of your accounts is one area that you may have little experience in if you have never run a home business before. Although it is not the most exciting of topics it is one that you need to master if you are to have a successful career.

Obviously the most important area is keeping track of the amount of money that you have coming in and going out. Some will choose to use an accountant to keep their books in order; however this does depend upon the scale of your business. Others prefer to keep their own books so that they are always aware of what is going on with their finances but also because it can be expensive to use a professional.

1.Keeping your Books

Bookkeeping is essentially a way for you to keep track of your outgoings and the amount of money you have coming in so that you can decide if your home business is profitable. The idea is that you record all of this information either in a specially designated book or on a spreadsheet. Make sure that if you decide to keep yours on your computer that you either have it backed up somewhere or have paper records too. The last thing you want is your computer to die and for you to have lost all your accounts.

It is important that you keep an accurate list and that you make sure it is correct as it is one of the main ways you can tell if your business is viable. You will also know how much money you have available to you for things like marketing, networking and any materials required to run your home business.

2.Managing your Accounts

It is common for someone with their own home business to have one or more bank accounts set up primarily for work purposes. This is where managing your accounts comes into its own since it is incredibly important that you know exactly where your finances stand.

Having a filing system in place is the best way to keep track of your accounts. Within this keep all paper copies of your statements, bills and receipts so that you have them to hand. It is important to keep your books as up to date as possible so that everything tallies and you know that your accounts are all in order.

If you do find that you struggle to manage your accounts and books then you will find that there are a number of courses available that can help you.

How to Deal with Late or Non Paying Clients

Nothing is more frustrating then having to deal with a late or non paying client. Unfortunately though it can occur from time to time and is one of the risks with running a business, but how do you deal with this type of client?

1.Retain all Correspondence

When you are first discussing the project and payment it is worthwhile making sure that you keep all correspondence so that you can refer back to it if necessary. Try to keep separate folders on your computer for each client and a hard copy of any agreements in a file. It is always a good idea to get some kind of contract to avoid problems at a later date.

Depending on your line of business you may like to ask for some form of deposit up front so that you can guarantee receiving at least some of the money. Many people also state that there will be interest or late fees payable if the money is not paid in a reasonable amount of time. Often this is enough of a deterrent to prevent late payment from occurring.

2.Invoice on Time

It may sound simple but if you want to make sure that a client pays on time, make sure that you send out your invoice in a prompt manner. You simply cannot expect a client to pay on time if you are late sending the invoice.

Always make sure that your invoices are laid out well and that it is clear what the payment is for. Be sure to include details for your chosen method of payment on the invoice so there is no obvious reason for any delay. If you do find that you have had to wait some time and have still not been paid then you could issue another invoice with a reminder attached. In many cases it may be that the client has simply been too busy to pay the invoice.

3.Consider Professional Help

Unfortunately there may be times in which you are forced to seek professional help such as a business consultant for a non paying client. However make sure that you have first given the client enough time to pay and sent them several clear invoices stating that further action will be taken. Make sure that you remain professional at all times so as not to damage your reputation or business.

Sunday, 13 February 2011

How to Make Your Home Business Advertising Work

Many people who have started their own home business and have been advertising and internet marketing for some months may feel down heartened that they are not receiving as much work as they had hoped. There are a number of reasons why this may be and it is important that you find these out quickly so as not to waste your time and effort.

1.Follow up any Leads

When people contact you directly or you have details passed to you then you will nearly always follow these leads up. However you should try to get into the habit of contacting anyone who shows interest in your business as you never know where this may lead. It is also worth investing your time in contacting people directly yourself and asking if they are interested in what you have to offer instead of waiting for them to come to you.

2.Never Stop Marketing

Even if your initial internet marketing campaign is successful you need to make sure that you do not get complacent and stop. However for those that have not had much success it may be tempting to give up and use your time to concentrate on other areas. This is not a wise move and will never result in a successful business. You need to make sure that you dedicate some of your time to your advertising campaign every day. This can be as little or as much as you can spare but is vital to spread the word about your business. In some cases advertising can be slow to be productive so the sooner you get started the better.

One of the best ways to gain the attention of a potential customer is to offer some kind of free incentive. This is normally done in exchange for peoples contact details and is a great way to build up your contact list. You can offer such free gifts as an e-book or cd on your blog or website. If this does not appeal to you then you could offer a discount or run a small competition. This is a good way to gather contact details as generally people will only sign up if they have an interest in what it is you offer. Make sure you follow up and send information out to anyone who signs up in this way.

By following these tips you should find that your advertising and internet marketing becomes more effective which in turn means more publicity for your business and more work!

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Ways a Marketing Consultant Can Keep Your Promotional Costs Down

Whenever you are considering a marketing consultant for your business, your budget is always one of the things you have to consider. Many marketers use expansive strategies that result in a rather costly marketing budget. But there are marketers who know how to use less costly strategies and still achieve success for their clients so that clients could experience in an influx of business, providing additional revenue to take even more aggressive marketing approaches.

Many marketing specialists utilise a variety of techniques to help their clients improve their profits and gain more customers. While no successful professional campaign is free, you can find marketers who know how to achieve success without breaking your budget. Firms that have a solid grasp of online business promoting are able to help clients save money, promote their business, and get a great ROI.

Website Design and Layout
Look for a consultant who knows how to design websites. Depending on the complexity of your site, you may be able to find a consultancy firm who charges a nominal fee for a simple site design but may have higher fees for more involved designs. However once your site is active, it becomes a low- cost way to keep your business up and running 24/7.
One of the ways to save money is to work with a consultant who will look at your current website design and suggest changes. They may include a small fee into their initial consultation charge rather than charging a larger fee for total website redesign. You can then utilise the suggestions given if you think they're a good fit for your business.

Articles, Press Releases, and Newsletters
One of the most cost effective ways to promote your business is through articles, press releases, and newsletters. Online marketing firms can help you implement all of these into your strategy. Articles can be written for your website that promote your product while providing information about your field of business. These can also be done as short blog posts rather than longer articles.

A marketing firm can help you create press releases to announce new products or business structure to customers. These are often printed online, but they can also go into trade magazines or local publications. To further enhance your reputation, you can create an email newsletter that your customers can subscribe to. This way you can stay in touch with your customers on a weekly, monthly, or bi-monthly basis without having to invest too much money.

Why Use a Consultant?
You may think the above mentioned ideas would be easily implemented by your own employees. However, a specialised small business consultant can look at your business from the outside and notice any current actions that may not be helping your business prosper 100%. By using a marketing consultant, you can get professional advice and maximize your budget.

Are Smartphone Applications Going To Become The Future of Search?

With the ever increasing array of smartphone applications and with Apple really taking the lead with Apple Apps and the App store development demand is on an increase just because the popularity of the iPhone has increased. With the increasing numbers of iPhone users, the number of people trying to access the internet through the iPhone has increased, so the demand for Apps that iPhone users have to be now considered a market segment.

Business Apps
The opportunity for businesses to promote their company and their services through Apple Apps has yet to be fully appreciated by businesses. As this sector develops I am sure Apple will look to improve its search facility. If you are considering an App then these points may help you in deciding.
Make sure the App developer has experience and can verify Apps they have undertaken. You can verify this by visiting the App Store, searching for the particular App and then checking the credentials of the developer.
There are many App developers both in the UK and abroad. As with anything you are purchasing it is wise to gain a selection of prices before making your decision. Also be sure to have a detailed project development so you know what you are going to be receiving.
It is possible that the app may need to be modified in the future and there maybe new developments through the iPhone which older Apps may need to be updated for. With this in mind make sure your developer is going to be around for a while or that you have access to the back end development of the App.

How an Outsourced Marketing Professional Can Help You Identify your Company's Marketing Problems

When you realize that something is wrong with your marketing efforts but are not sure what it is, an outsourced marketing consultant can help. As the owner of a small business, you are likely too close to the problem to accurately identify your marketing problems. Sometimes, it could be a simple fix while other times may require a major overhaul of your marketing ways. An outside perspective may be just what you need.

Problem Identification
Your salespeople may believe that your prices are too high while customers may not realize that you have multiple product or service lines. Maybe you feel that your business is not targeting the right demographics or geographical area. The first step in solving your marketing problems is identifying the cause. An outsourced marketing professional will bring the perspective you need to accurately identify the problem or problems.

A consultant will use consumer research, if there is any, to help identify the cause. However, they will also meet with you and your staff and perhaps even vendors and faithful customers to brainstorm so that the cause can be narrowed down. Typical causes include lack of brand recognition, market shrinkage, not enough employees to carry out marketing duties and loss of current customers. Your small business may not have a consistent marketing plan or even have one at all. Attracting the wrong customers, a lack of marketing presentation such as brochures or product flyers, and inability to communicate effectively with consumers are additional problems that can be resolved.

Problem Solving
Working together with you and your staff, along with input from vendors and faithful clients, the marketing consultant can pinpoint several key areas where improvements can be made. They will study other businesses in the same industry or niche to see what works for them and what does. With their overall marketing knowledge, a game plan can be created.

When a workable plan, with action steps is established, it will be easier for you and your company to follow through. This plan of action also is a good way to track your progress. When you employ a tactic that doesn't work, you can revisit the new marketing plan and tweak that particular actionable step.

The bottom line is that all too often, small business owners are simply too close to the problem to identify it. It takes the perspective of an outsourced marketing professional to bring the problem or problems to light. Without problem identification, you cannot develop an actionable plan to turn things around.

Clueless about Email and Social Marketing Opportunities? Outsourced Marketing Can Help

Outsourced marketing services can truly grow your small business and bring it to the technological age. Did you know that right now, some of your vendors, customers and prospective clients are online talking about business and other topics? Whether they are blogging, posting videos on YouTube or chatting on the latest social networks like Facebook and Twitter, they are reaching out to others, sharing information that could be pertinent or related to your business or industry niche. Are you hooked in too?

If you have no clue what email or social network marketing is, you need to learn quick! Unless you can navigate cyberspace and utilize the internet marketing tools available to you, you can and will lose market share. The internet is a great way to broaden your marketing reach, build new customer relationships and more. A marketing consultant can help you become a part of this new way of sharing information.

Email and Social Media Marketing Differences
Social media marketing works a bit differently than email marketing, although both can be quite effective. Social media is more public and fluid. In other words, it tends to be fast, interactive and in the here and now. If you post on Facebook or Twitter but your customers are not online at that particular time, you do not have their attention. That is not to say these are not effective marketing outlets. People subscribe, people data mine, and there are linking and search engine optimisation facets to this medium as well.

With email marketing, it can be a more personal, but instantaneous way of communicating your product or service to current and potential customers. When they open your email, you have their undivided attention but you must have a good message in order to keep that attention. Emailing newsletters and product discount offers is more permanent than social media marketing, especially when you make the information available on your website as well.

Make the Most of Internet Media Outlets
If you want to make the most of internet media outlets like email and social networking, try an outsourced marketing consultant to bring your business into the 21st century. A consultant savvy in the ways of these internet outlets can bring you to where your customers are as well as introduce you to new markets. They can help you build an email marketing list for future promotions and communications. Boosting your ranking in search engines on the internet is an important facet too.

An outsourced marketing consultant can help you tackle both email and social media marketing because both are important, no matter what your product or service is. The internet is the best way to extend your marketing reach and boost your customer list. By blogging, emailing, tweeting, posting and chatting online, the world becomes your marketplace. If you are looking to develop your business globally then look for the assistance of an international marketing consultant.

Small Business Marketing – The Advantages of Outsourcing

Thousands of small businesses are starting each year in the UK and if you are part of this crowd but want to get noticed, look into outsourcing your small business marketing. While you may have a great product or service and plenty of savvy, it takes a marketing professional to truly understand the nuances of your niche business to help you level the playing field. Outsourcing has its advantages including controlling costs, staying competitive and increasing market share. Keeping overhead down while competing for customers is important and if you try to do it all on your own, you will not be able to keep up.

Marketing Misunderstandings
Many new businesses are founded on a great idea or service but marketing isn't even on the owner's radar at start-up, but it should be. Preparing a business plan first is important because then you will see the importance and advantages of small business marketing. With marketing, it can be quite all-encompassing – design, production, packaging, public relations, promotions, customer service, sales, shipping and more. It is virtually impossible for a new business owner to be able to tackle all facets of this. Marketing should not be viewed as an afterthought but an important part of a profitable business plan.

Why Outsourcing?
Do you, as a new small business owner, have the marketing knowledge of your chosen industry? Do you know what your competition is doing? How about the latest trends or raising brand recognition? If you are scratching your head feeling befuddled, then you definitely need to outsource the marketing for your small business. Outsourced marketing professionals have the experience and expertise to help your small business be seen by the public and grow. They understand the industry marketplace, how to raise awareness of your product or service as well as develop name recognition for it.

Outsourcing allows your small business to address an important need without having to add anyone to your payroll. That means you get the expertise without the extra paperwork and expense of a new employee. Marketing is more than just throwing together a website and printing informational brochures and business cards. The first step to success is admitting that you do not have the know-how to design and implement a marketing plan. The second step to success is hiring an outside marketing consultant.

For your new business, it is important to keep costs low for the first few years while trying to get a foothold into your chosen industry. You can avoid costly mistakes from the get go by hiring a small business marketing consultant. With their help, you can effectively target the right customers.

Three Things a Small Business Marketing Consultant Can Teach You

As a small business owner, you need the right tools to succeed and the best way to get them is to hire a small business marketing consulting company. Sure, you may have some great ideas that got your business off the ground but you need the tools to float and eventually soar. As an owner, you have multiple responsibilities. You can remove one of them by hiring a consultant to keep your company's momentum going.

A Marketing Plan
Do you have a marketing plan actually written down with actionable steps and a timeline for completion? Many small business owners do not. Luckily, a marketing consultant can help with that. You have no hope of truly succeeding if you are flying by the seat of your pants when it comes to marketing your business. Eventually, something is going to fail because you did not have a real plan.

A marketing plan creates the foundation for actionable tasks. With a plan laid out in black and white, you will know the "whys" behind each action. Plus, if you bullet point or number the actions, the plan will not seem so daunting. You can take baby steps – one action at a time – or speed things up and accomplish several things at a time. And when business slows down, you will have a plan to revisit so that you can study which steps may be the problem so you can fix it.

Business Identification
So you hung out your shingle … does anyone know you are in business? Does the public even know what product or service you are offering? A small business marketing consultant can help you create a tagline and logo, part of the branding process, which will serve as your business identification to the public. By using your business's branding elements consistently, you can be easily identified within your industry's marketplace.

Targeting your Customers
Do you know how to get your business website to pop up at the top of the list when consumers go searching for a product like yours on an internet search engine? What about relaying key messages about your product or service? Can you do that effectively? Do you know how to create a sense of urgency or present calls to action in your advertising? How do you track your advertising and promotional efforts to determine whether they are even effective? As you can see, marketing is more than just putting up a website, handing our flyers or printing up business cards.

Marketing consultants can help you design your marketing plan and put it into action. They also will create a timeline and put an implementation plan into place so you can follow it. Hiring an outside small business marketing consultant with the knowledge and experience in your chosen industry is the key to a long and fruitful enterprise.