Five Tips for Writing Website Content for Your Small Business

Regarding your online presence, your website is, in essence, an ambassador for your business. Through it, you present your small business to your customers so they can understand all you offer.

Are you conveying a clear and compelling message through your website content? Here are 5 tips for writing website content that engages your niche market:

1. Make your copy current

Don’t assume you can toss any old article or other form of content on your website to fill up space and engage your site visitors. People check out… and stay on… websites that offer timely and useful information. Update your site regularly on what products and/or services your business offers.

2. Have a focus for each page on your site

Don’t have your “About Us” page offering product warranty information. Don’t have a Product page crowded with customer service information. Have a specific purpose for each page. Don’t confuse visitors with a mish-mash of information loaded on one page touching on varied subjects.

3. Incorporate some white space

Make it gentle on your visitors’ eyes through integrating white space on your web pages. It’s an eyesore to have copy that extends from margin to margin. It’s also an eyesore, as well as annoying, to have to scroll endlessly to read with no break in the text. Create white space pauses to let your site visitors easily read your content.

Create white space, and appealing organized content, through the use of headlines, sub headlines, and bullet points. Add photos, graphs, graphics, and such to further enhance your page copy and give readers a break from big blocks of text.

Use shorter paragraphs. Use shorter sentences than you would in a hard copy piece of writing. Reading on a screen for an extended length of time is still a chore for some people, especially when the material is not organized properly for web reading.

4. Make your content SEO suitable

Is the content you put on your site Search Engine Optimized? Integrate search terms appropriate for your business into the articles, blog posts, and other content you place on your different web pages.

If your business is selling gloves, you would have the word “gloves” in your copy of course. However, you can refine this further with phrases such as “men’s gloves”, ‘women’s gloves”, and more. Long-tail keywords are effective as well, and very specific. You can really do niche targeting with long-tail phrases. An example would be “suede women’s gloves for casual occasions”. The permutations are endless but you get the drift here.

Don’t overdo keywords, though. Make sure your content reads naturally and conveys useful information in an easy-to-read way to your readers.

5. Have your pages focus on your customers

Your web pages must center on your customers and their wants and needs. Yes, you do have to give information about your small business, what you offer, and even your history in the business. Nevertheless, gear all copy to the customer, and how your business overall exists to serve them and give them the solutions and benefits they need.

Take the time to create compelling website copy that gets your message across clearly to your customers (and potential customers). Consider the above 5 tips for writing website content that connects with your visitors and spurs them to stay on your site and see all you have to offer them.

Small Business Owners: Utilizing Technology to Improve Profits

If you really want to become more profitable and improve operations in your company, you have to shift your focus from the following limiting thoughts about technology.

1  If I buy the latest production software we will be in good shape
2  We don’t do that here
3  We are unique, we don’t have competition that use technology to help them generate profits
4  The plan is in my head, people will steal it off the computer
5  All I need is more sales to make more profits

You’ve got to get the right mindset by eliminating restricting thoughts, and then you’ll be ready to improve people, processes and profitability.

Do you ever wonder how a company can start out with just one idea, a passion and a vision, then 10 to 20 years later have thousands of employees and millions in sales?

1    What did these companies do to become so successful
2    Are the owners smarter than you?
3    Do they work harder than you?
4    Did they have better equipment or people than you?

No. But they do use better technology tools to drive operation (the people and the process). Operations represent about 60% or 80% of all your overhead costs but they’re the least understood by US businesses.

For decades, the Japanese have focused on operations that have driven innovation and a culture of continuous improvement. In the right small business owner hands, operations and technology can be a competitive weapon.

Now, ask yourself how can your small company— with just a handful of employees and limited resources — turn operations and technology applications into a powerful weapon to beat competition and learn to grow and thrive!

Why invest in technology / What are the benefits

The bottom line is, if you’re suffering from tight cash flow, exhausted lines of credit and top-line growth, then you have weak operations and have underutilized the technology applications onsite or off-the-shelf that can help you.

First step to rapid profit improvement is to start by questioning your employees. They usually know where costly blocks and bottlenecks are hidden.

Technology can store employee survey results that help you to plan profitability.

Employee Questionnaire(sample)

a    Are your interests and ambitions being challenged
b    Does each department in this company have measurable standard designed to increase profitability? Does each area have documentation of process flows and procedures of how it should work?
c    Does everyone in this company share the goal of improving the company profits? Does the CEO hold town hall meetings about ‘planned profits’?
d    Are you regularly told when you do good work?
e    Do you get the help you need to do a good job?
f   As an employee, do you feel you can trust your direct supervisor/manager?
g   Are owner/managers open and honest with employees?
h    Does the company provide you with continual training in areas that will make you a better employee? Has it trained you on how to cut operating expenses or increase revenue to improve profits in your area?
i    Are your responsibilities generally explained, well planned and organized?
j    Is poor performance tolerated by management? i.e., worker performance, operations bottlenecks and customer relations.

The following are other ways business productivity software drives business processes more efficiently to gain optimal results:

Create an open and communicative environment.

By storing appraisal information within a formal database, managers can more easily communicate business strategy and create measurable goals for their employees that will support overall company objectives. In allowing employees to see the whole picture and understand better how individual goals fit into the company’s business objectives. This can create a energized and engaged employees, thereby raising the business productivity of the company.

Motivate your employees using technology.

Based upon the information gathered in an online performance evaluation, managers can compare current skills with those required for advancement or other recognition or reward opportunities that present themselves as the manager tracks progress on employee goals throughout the year. You may also find you need to redirect employees to different departments if you feel their business productivity could increase elsewhere. If there are impediments to better performance, the company should review why it is happening and try to eliminate these through better allocation of resources or additional training.

Monitor business productivity and employee progress on goals.

Business productivity software solutions enable managers to more easily track progress during every phase of goal completion and offer immediate reinforcement or coaching to keep performance and deadlines on track in daily operations, and utilize performance measurements for strategic planning.

Electronic Commerce

There are many business applications related to e-commerce, from setting up your online storefront to managing your supply chain to marketing your products and services. These technologies fall into three main categories:

Business to Business(B2B)

Purchasing indirect supplies
Look for catalogue-based websites offered by suppliers for corporate purchases, similar to business-to-customer websites, for purchasing indirect supplies such as office furniture, pens, paper, and general office equipment.
Leveraging your existing Web presence
Improve your existing business-to-customer e-commerce website. Greater sophistication can be added into your online store to target your business clientele.

Business to Customer(B2C)

The global reach of the Internet has allowed many businesses to sell their products and services online, both at home and abroad. An electronic storefront is a website with many pre-built e-commerce components like electronic shopping carts and secure payment gateways that you can use to set up an online store.

Internet Marketing

Everything you do to promote your business online is Internet marketing. For example, Internet marketing strategies include (but are not limited to) website design and content, search engine optimization, directory submissions, reciprocal linking strategies, online advertising, and email marketing.

How to Implement Technology to increase profits

IT implementation can be a valuable tool for increasing workplace productivity, but without a careful selection of the right technologies for your specific industry and comprehensive employee training, it can also serve to reduce productivity, profitability and employee satisfaction. The return on investment will depend on whether the technologies implemented are right for a given business’ needs and how prepared employees are to use them.

Step 1

Brainstorm a list of business process improvements you may be able to realize from a technological implementation. Your list should include three categories: improvements that you know to be possible, and which are core requirements for your expense; a wish list of things you would like to have, but which may be future development efforts; and a list of things which would transform the way you do business, but which may not be possible. These three targets provide you with a present-day implementation goal, as well as a future development target–and it may be that your transformational goals could be far easier to reach than you expect.

Step 2

Determine whether you intend to develop these technologies using in-house resources, or through outside consultancies. Nearly every major workflow technology requires extensive customization, implementation procedures and training. Small businesses can sometimes get by cheaply using staff members technologically proficient–but mistakes made at the beginning of the process can ramp up costs later on when you turn to professional outside support.

Step 3

Avoid specifying particular technologies if you do not have the technical expertise to evaluate them properly. The purpose of the managerial process at this stage is to define goals and budgetary constraints; non-technical managers who wed themselves to specific technologies too early can miss out on substantial cost savings, and choose a technology not the best suited for the work.

Step 4

Circulate your request for proposals among outside consultants and implementors, or establish an internal process for doing the same among your staff if you are keeping the work in-house. Major technological implementations will not succeed if they are added to the existing workload of an employee. Proper technological implementations can be more than a full-time job in and of themselves. Staff members shifted to technology implementation should have their existing duties moved to other staff resources.

Step 5

Negotiate a time frame, budget and implementation benchmarks with your external or internal staff resources. If you are working with an outside consultant, your contract should include protections against running over budget and over schedule. Likewise, the consultant will protect his own firm by setting specific terms of the work to be completed, and charging you extra if you change them over the course of the contract.

Step 6

Develop an implementation timetable, including the following steps: test deployment to review the work; training, if necessary; a transition phase from the current workflow to the new technology; and production deployment of the completed technology. This last phase is typically followed by an iterative process, in which improvements to the technology are collected from the staff who have direct experience working with it. When budget and time allow for it, apply a new cycle of upgrades to your technology to ensure that you are getting the most out of it.

Seven Amazing Secrets to Attract Investors for Your Small Business

A good team of investors can play a great role in the success of your small business, but a bad choice of investors can obliterate even the strongest ideas to execute. Believe it or not, investors provide more opportunities to your business, while becoming resources for creating effective marketing ideas. Knowing what to consider while selecting investors and being able to attract the right type of investors are vital skills for established and emerging entrepreneurs.

If you are a small business owner and finding trouble getting convincing investors, here are 7 secrets that will help you attract the eye of an angel investor or venture capital, while making your business a more appealing investment.

1. Get the Most Out of Networking

Networking is the best way for entrepreneurs to pitch their startup in a less formal and organic way. If you are building a great business, networking within the local startup and investing community can be the best way to meet and find the right type of investors.

If you find investors interested in your business, keep the meetings going and let things happen organically for optimum results. Let them consider your business, after all, you are not only conveying your idea, you are actually relying on the social capital built through the networking process that impact the investment decision.

2. Be Practical, Get Real Paying Customers

You need investment to attract customers, but you need customers to acquire money. It is always worth making an effort to get customers prior to approach an investor, instead of seeking funds first and customers second. It is advised to create a plan to acquire customers first that doesn’t need a very huge investment.

This is very important, particularly for emerging entrepreneurs, it will become easier to get investments on good terms. Investors always want proof that your idea is effective enough and will work, and nothing will satisfy them than having real paying users.

3. Find the Right Co-Founder

When you find investors, you are not only selling them your business in terms of products and services, you are selling them on your team. Opting for the right leadership team for your small business is an important process and having the wrong co-founders can be more dangerous for your business than having no co-founder at all.

However, finding the right co-founder can make the process easier, even beyond attracting investors. As having partners will allow you to rely on them, which can be a huge boost for your startup.

4. Get a Better ROI

Though investors may start believing in your business, the purpose for their investment is to make money. Therefore, it is important to highlight what they will actually gain from investing in your startup.

No matter if you are approaching an angel, VC or a rich person, it is important to show how you are going to get their investment return. It is alluring to focus on yourself and your business vision, but at the end of the day, investors want to know what is in it for them. Therefore, the best way to standout and get interest is to clearly explain how and when you will get them a return.

5. Take Benefit of the Online Fundraising Market

Networking is important, but your location should not be you’re the restricting factor when it comes to securing investment. There are different fundraising platforms available and you are no longer restricted to only being able to raise money. If your company has best-in-class metrics for your industry, you will be definitely able to double your money. Post your business’s best metrics and find investors on the platform related to your industry.

6. Pick the Right Investor

In order to attract attention of the right investor, make sure your product solves real problems. As a lot of entrepreneurs only attempt to reinvent the wheel, therefore, it is advised to highlight the qualities of your product to attract the real investor. Doing so will get users and revenue. Think outside the box and do something wonderful.

7. Graduating from a Top Accelerator

Emerging and first-time entrepreneurs are advised to apply to reputable startup accelerators that will lead their credibility to your company. Joining an accelerator can be greatly helpful for rising startups, though it doesn’t guarantee that you will get investment, it does make your startup a more appealing investment candidate. As graduating from a reputable accelerator guarantee funding and can greatly improve the chances that you would raise a favorable valuation.

Basic online Lead Generation for Small Business Owners …

web offers an excellent opportunity for marketing and promotion, but the competition is fierce. How can you generate leads in a competitive environment with little or no previous experience? Let’s start with the basics first. Discover the 3 steps you need to take and how to do business correctly.

1. Content Is Key

The big question is how to attract visitors to your website and make them willing to seek more interaction with your business. You might suspect to answer: high-quality content that is optimized for search engines.

What kind of content? Content for lead generation should be designed to target potential customers who are in the first two phases of the buying cycle and probably in the third. This means that your content should be focused on creating a need for your product (phase 1), in educating consumers about it (stage 2) and help them compare different options (phase 3).

What type of content is best? Articles and blog posts are still fundamental for online lead generation. However, you will also benefit from the use of high-quality video. Tests have shown that it can lead to an increase of more than 30% in enrollment. Photos are important, especially if you are presenting a physical product.

Do not forget to use social media to promote your content. Includes most, Facebook and Twitter, and those that are popular with your target audience.

2. Irresistible Offer

The goal is simple – to make them an offer they can not refuse. There are various options, depending on the type of products or services you offer. These include free gifts, access to valuable content, free trials and discounts.

Study your target market well to get a proper idea of what makes them fit in with your business. You can also check what your competitors are doing and try to beat their offer. It pays to use psychological triggers such as a limited time offer that helps you create a sense of urgency.

Devote sufficient time to create a call to action. Use keywords that attract and make them great. Make sure that the CTA stands among the rest of the content on your website.

3. Registration with No Hassle

Ask for less and you will get more. It is a rule of thumb to follow when creating registration forms for online lead generation. In most cases, the name and email should be quite perfect for small business purposes. If you want more information, you can get it after you build a personal relationship with the prospect. If the registration form is used to create an account on your website, it is best to make the sign-in with your email and password. By eliminating steps required to create a username, you will reduce abandonment rates even further.

Another important thing is to avoid giving the user several options when they will sign up. This can cause confusion and will increase the risk of them leaving. Make things simple.

Tips for Food Companies to Seek Support Outsource

organizations are outsourcing food production must make sure that the deals and contracts with manufacturing partners they contain all the right ingredients and take into account issues such as quality control, protection of intellectual property, labor issues or processes that one can bring a huge impact in the future.

Outsourcing can reduce overhead costs. Failure to meet quality standards, for example, can evoke visceral reactions from consumers and tarnish the brand, regardless of what caused the problem or that organization ended up being on the hook financially. The most common thread running through the advice of a specialist food and beverage law on outsourcing food production is the vital importance of planning for the future. A large number of companies manufacturing contracts available in the market but here are basic tips that can help you to find the right for your food industry.

Choosing the right business partner is the most important part of any business, and when it comes to the issue of outsourcing food production, it was certainly a great chapter for each of the food industry. There have a lot of key factors you should consider before choosing outsourcing support. You must make sure that you are manufacturing consultants who have been in business, and should also have experience with a particular industry or a particular product, the overall reliability and whether it can handle the scope of food production that requires organization.

In addition to their brand and overall reputation, food taking outsourcing organizations will have the support of important intellectual assets, including your trade secrets, you need to keep it. So, if you give some confidential information such as recipes or methods for your outsourcing partner, you need to take steps to pair the necessary supplies to protect your intellectual assets. A food company must complete a written agreement and a written agreement between the food companies and manufacturers outsourcing must lay out who has the intellectual assets associated with a particular product and bar manufacturer of applying knowledge to any similar product.

When the food organization has found the perfect outsourcing partner and signed the contract right and prudent, they should not just sit back and forget about it. Relationships need to outsource vigilant supervision, and companies must evolve into this relationship that makes operational the contractual rights to supply partners, including transparent to the outsourcing company and the identity of the supplier. The written agreement must provide food organizations the ability to show up to inspect production plants at any time or on a few days notice.

In addition, food organizations should consider whether they can protect their intellectual assets in whatever country they are considering outsourcing to. Many times if the contract has a strong confidentiality and secrecy of production, they may be difficult to enforce in some jurisdictions.

Right Brain Consulting is a contract manufacturing company known and trusted in the United States to offer any kind of support for any kind of business outsource food from the last 30 years. They have a variety of services such as finding a co-packers or out of a bad contract. They have every kind of solution for the food industry.