Archives: January 2011

Determine if a Cloud Is Usable

Posted by: Today's Tip Contributor on January 31

Throughout 2010 cloud computing garnered a lot of attention from smart business owners for its scalability, availability, rapid deployment, and low cost. However, most cloud solutions require coding and an...

Create Landing Pages That Deliver Sales

Posted by: Today's Tip Contributor on January 28

Landing page optimization is an increasingly important marketing tool for small business websites. Yet most businesses see only single-digit conversion rates from their landing page campaigns. This is in large...

Get the Most out of an ESOP

Posted by: Today's Tip Contributor on January 27

The Great Recession ended the golden years for selling a privately held business. This is devastating to many baby boomers who planned on the sale of their businesses to fund...

Get a Mentor

Posted by: Today's Tip Contributor on January 26

A recent study by the U.S. Small Business Administration reports that 52 percent of entrepreneurs get advice from a mentor. If you're part of this group, you know that a...

Renegotiate with Your Vendors

Posted by: Today's Tip Contributor on January 25

Most businesses use at least one outside vendor to provide them with a valued service. Some use more than one at a time, depending on the type of business. At...

Optimize Your Website for Search Engines

Posted by: Today's Tip Contributor on January 24

Today people are more connected to the Internet than ever before. That may sound obvious, but the numbers are truly staggering. Every day, Google receives around 500 million search requests....

Why Small Business Owners Need a Blog

Posted by: Today's Tip Contributor on January 21

If you're a small business owner, you may have taken the plunge and put up a website. Unless you're selling direct from the site, the chances are good that nothing...

Make the Logic Clear for a Reluctant Shopper

Posted by: Today's Tip Contributor on January 20

Let's say we're dealing with a reluctant shopper. After identifying the product or service that we're convinced will best meet the needs of both the shopper and the business's bottom...

Design Comparative Ads to Fit Shopper Psychology

Posted by: Today's Tip Contributor on January 19

In media advertising and store-based signage, we might choose to market a product by comparing it with alternatives. "Buy our house brand because you get a larger package size for...

Encourage Customers to Buy Innovation

Posted by: Today's Tip Contributor on January 18

Pioneering products and trendy clothing fashions usually carry higher profit margins than older versions. To sell innovative items, appeal to distinctive purchase triggers. Venturesome innovators say, "I want the latest...

Head Off Anger Over Price Increases

Posted by: Today's Tip Contributor on January 17

These days, most customers are especially sensitive to any increase in price for the items they regularly buy. Sometimes customers accept a price hike and move on, but in other...

Drive Web and Foot Traffic

Posted by: Today's Tip Contributor on January 14

While big-box retailers spend millions to grab attention with sales and promotions, many small business owners struggle to keep up. But having a strong online presence and a strategy for...

When a Customer Is Injured Using Your Company's Products

Posted by: Today's Tip Contributor on January 13

Everyone has heard of the crisis involving the Toyota recall, but many small business owners don't realize crisis management skills are important for them as well. Big companies like Toyota...

Understand the Importance of Diversity

Posted by: Today's Tip Contributor on January 12

Smart small businesses today understand diversity is more than just a feel-good notion on a human resources poster. It is, in fact, crucial to doing business in a world whose...

Avoid These Outsourcing Mistakes

Posted by: Today's Tip Contributor on January 11

There are many missteps at the onset of an outsourcing relationship that can be costly to fix and result in added time to market and unwanted spending. Common mistakes include:...

Drive Customer Loyalty in 2011

Posted by: Today's Tip Contributor on January 10

In today's crowded marketplace, creating loyal, engaged customers is more important—and more challenging—than ever. Here are some tips for overcoming the challenges: 1. Don't treat loyalty like a program. Instead,...

Secure Alternative Funding: Think Outside the Bank

Posted by: Today's Tip Contributor on January 07

In recent years, startups have found it harder to get funding from traditional sources such as banks and venture capitalists. But since the need for cash grows with the company,...

A New Way To Manage Printing Costs

Posted by: Today's Tip Contributor on January 06

The typical organization has an annual print budget equal to about 6 percent of revenues, according to the Gartner CIO Research Group. That's about the same percentage as the average...

Manage Conflict with an Employee

Posted by: Today's Tip Contributor on January 05

I once read about a business owner who said he didn't have any unhappy employees because he'd fired them all. I guess that's one way to approach workplace conflict, but...

Create Effective Marketing Materials

Posted by: Today's Tip Contributor on January 04

The days of the simple, hard-copy marketing brochure are being replaced by digital promotions via websites and social media. Many of the marketing principles that were proven in a paper...

Five Ways to Cause Problems with Employees

Posted by: Today's Tip Contributor on January 03

As a professional mediator, I know that certain behaviors can result in on-the-job conflicts that adversely affect your bottom line. You can steer clear of most workplace problems by avoiding:...

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Want to improve the way you run your business? Entrepreneurs, academics, and consultants from diverse industries offer practical advice on a variety of topics each business day.

To submit a tip for consideration, first check our archive of previous tips to make sure you're not repeating a tip someone has already contributed. Then send the tip to Small Business channel contributor Michelle Dammon Loyalka. Because of the volume of material she receives, she may not respond to each individual.

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