Archive for December, 2014

If you bought, re-branded, and are selling a private label rights product, such as an e-book, article pack, software program, or audio book, you should have a sales page. Whether that sales page is one you created yourself or one hosted on a third-party website, marketing is important. Unfortunately, too many newbies make the mistake of relying on search engines. This has the potential to be a very costly mistake.

For search engines to pick a sales page, it must be optimized with relevant keywords. Use a free keyword tracker tool and see exactly what internet users are searching for. . Say you have a chiropractic care e-book for sale. You will see that people are looking to “find a chiropractor,” wondering “can a chiropractor fix TMJ,” wondering the “difference between osteopath and a chiropractor,” and curious as to how they can find a “Los Angeles chiropractor.” Incorporate these phrases into your sales page and the search engines lead internet users to your website.

Optimizing your sales page for the search engines sounds nice, but it isn’t full proof. Why should you do more?

1 – The Competition

If you are selling a PLR product, like an e-book or software, that same product was sold to 100 or more people. Many of those people are also trying to sell the same thing. For starters, that is why you should make a few edits, as you get a new, unique product. The overall theme is still the same though. For that reason, you will still have competition. If 100 people bought the above mentioned chiropractic care e-book, you could expect to find at least 50 similar sales pages with similar keywords. Your sales page will still appear in Google and Yahoo search results, but possibly not until the tenth page. Rarely do internet users go that far into search results.

2 – Search Engine Optimization Isn’t Always Easy

For most individuals, search engine optimization, also known as SEO, is easy. For those just getting started, it requires trial and error. As recommended above, find a keyword tracker tool. Know what internet users are searching for, but don’t make a common mistake. That is only using popular phrases. Thousands of people search each day wondering how to “work from home.” Work from home is one of the top searches performed and a keyword tracker will tell you this. Way down the list, you will find “work from home ideas.” Although only 20 people may use this phrase a day, people still use it and there is less competition for it.

It will require trial and error, but experiment with keywords and keyword placement. Rarely do internet marketers get SEO 100% perfect on the first try.

3 – Translates Into Less Money

Having Google lead people to your sales page is nice and easy, but it rarely translates into sales. People use the internet to do research, rarely are they looking to buy a product. You may get a few sales, but they will be limited. Market and advertise; target those who want to do more than just gather information, but make a purchase too.

4 – The Money You Can Lose

As for why buying, re-branding, and selling PLR products is so popular it is because it has the potential to be a goldmine. It is common for buyers to make hundreds or thousands of dollars on one product alone! These individuals do more than just optimize a sales page and let it sit. They invest time and money into marketing. Think of the money you may lose if you don’t. Would you rather sell your re-branded software program 100 times or 5,000 times?

5 – Your Other Options

Marketing a product and a sales page does require time and money, but is very easy. You can make use of Google AdWords, create an affiliate program and let others help you market and sell your product, use article directories, advertise on message boards, and so forth. Your options are endless and all are relatively easy.

How to Analyze the Supply and Demand of a Niche

Posted December 31, 2014 By Callie

As a small business owner it is imperative that you study the supply and demand of any particular niche for which you feel you want to be involved. In addition, choosing a smaller niche market can allow your business to avoid competing with huge businesses that can afford to put out less expensive items.

As a smaller business owner you can charge higher prices for specialized and differentiated products or services that you promote to smaller audiences, giving higher profitability. In contrast, a larger business isn’t going to touch the smaller niches because they want to make much larger profits than the smaller niches will allow.

The trick is to learn how to analyze the supply and demand of any particular niche to ensure that you want to enter that market.

* Define Your Customers – How many customers are there to whom you can market any particular product or service? Knowing how many there are can give you a good idea about what the price point of the product needs to be in order to make it worth your while. Remember, you’re never going to reach every last potential customer so adjust your expectations accordingly.

* Determine Their Needs – As you look at the customers you want to work with, it’s important that you develop an understanding of their needs so that you can create products or services that are special, differentiated, and that they’re going to be willing to pay a higher premium for than mass-produced products and services that are lower quality.

* Provide the Right Products or Services – Knowing the customers and their needs will help you get down to work identifying several potential product ideas that you can do more research on by using keyword research, polling of the audience, and other methods to determine the supply and demand of products like yours.

* Outline a Marketing Plan – Once you’ve figured out the product or service you want to market, you’ll be able to determine marketing strategies and tactics that will help you earn the most from your small niche. Part of profitability is to know how you can market efficiently to your customer.

* Make a Profit – Finally, doing the research will help you determine if you can make profit. Take the number of people in the market, the average market penetration and your price point, and you can come up with the most likely number of products you’d have to sell each month, week and day to reach your goals.

In order to make all this work together it’s important to:

1. Choose Keywords – Keyword research is somewhat subjective and starts with an understanding of your audience and a few words that you think they’ll use. You can also use tools to help you do keyword research.

2. Research Other Products – Find products that claim to be answers to your audience’s issues and check them out to find out how you can differentiate yours enough to charge the price point you need.

3. Identify the Price Point – Using the information gathered, come up with a price point that works for you.

4. Determine Your Break Even Number – Using all that information, come up with how many products you’d need to sell to make the profit you need to make, and whether it’s even possible considering all the other factors.

Bringing all these points together will ensure that you understand how supply and demand relates to the profitability of your niche. If there aren’t enough customers, or enough demand, and you can’t sell at a price point that fits with your income needs, you can then know it’s time to move on to another idea.

5 Short Tips for a Better Alexa Rank

Posted December 31, 2014 By Callie

Modern businesses today compete aggressively for more traffic and higher sales through good rankings that are ‘conferred’ by top search engines such as Google. Such rankings help web consumers who surf the web to find the best of information or content quickly without wasting time in sifting through thousands of potential sites.

The Alexa traffic rank has become renowned among online business entities to be a highly significant metric measurement for identifying a website performance. This type of ranking is very useful in comparing the performance of one website with similar websites in a particular niche. It is often combined with Google’s page ranking system to become an impactful metric measurement in identifying the market position of a website against its competitors.

Comparisons Between Google and Alexa

Most businesses are familiar with Google Page ranking to actively desire a higher rank through the relevant implementation of features and tools that include dynamic marketing strategies such as search engine optimization and link building. Google’s page ranking system measures the quality of content posted on a website in terms of the content’s usefulness, originality and relevancy to web readers.

Only high quality content on the website would be ranked high to impress and attract web consumers. This means more traffic would be drawn to the targeted website that would be considered a reputable site for quality content. Google’s search algorithm is very complex and thorough in evaluating and ranking any content to be ranked. Quality content which attracts organic traffic can boost the Page rank to be between 1 and 10 on Google’s First Page ranking.

The Alexa rank system works on slightly different strands. It inclines on the popularity of the website based on the content posted. The two ranking systems can be readily connected to confirm the quality of the site and contents. There are existing Advertiser networks, which pay more for websites that boast of a higher Alexa value. A lower Alexa ranking draws more traffic to generate higher incomes for the web business owner or marketer easily.

An Alexa ranking below 100 000 is good enough to draw more traffic to the website while a ranking under 10 000 offers higher lucrative income to venture into this web business on a full time basis.

Improving Alexa Ranking Tips

It is possible to raise the Alexa ranking for any website. The first tip is to claim the website to be ranked. One of the Alexa ranking system features, is to calculate site interaction for high rankings, which is based on the ownership of the website. It is crucial for an online business owner to own its web business site in order to make all the visits count towards a lower Alexa rank which puts the website at the top of the pack.

Secondly, smart web businesses would move on to the Alexa website to install its toolbar immediately for a more accurate recording of visits to be accorded a better rank. It is easy to install the Alexa system toolbar with the proper instructions in detail for a quick and straightforward installation. When this site is visited by other site owners with a similar toolbar, their visits would be immediately recorded and computed to generate a better Alexa rank.

This action must be executed after claiming the website to put into effect a good Alexa rank.

Thirdly, the Alexa ranking system also approves of good hyperlinks and SEO features in a website. Hence, building proper hyperlinks using primary keywords is effective with the inclusion of generic link texts. This execution boosts the website on SEO standing to influence the Alexa ranking. Most traffic is expected to be drawn to the website which boasts of a higher profile in top search engines’ SERPs. A high percentage of traffic would also have the Alexa toolbar that confirms the website’s standing in the market.

Webmasters can enhance the Alexa rank on their targeted websites by executing searches on “Comment Luv” blogs that enjoy high page rankings by top search engines such as Google as well as low Alexa ranking. Higher web traffic can be generated through an active participation in posting quality content or provide insightful comments that would stir the readers’ interests to follow the link.

The fourth tip for a better Alexa rank is the simple sharing of snippets of quality content posted on popular social media networks and other relevant satellite sites which are also known as linkwheels. These sites have been proven to improve the Alexa rank significantly with better searches on content and websites. Further research is required to understand the whole works on the Alexa ranking system to impact social media and satellite sites’ influence on any targeted website.

Last but not least is the use of forums for backlinks. Such online platforms are extremely useful in boosting the Alexa rank if there are plenty of participants in these forums. The more members participating in the forums, the better their influence on securing a lower Alexa rank for the targeted website. Webmasters are also permitted to leave their signature on these online forums which would attract traffic to the web business site. This online signature provides an avenue for an appropriate link to the web business site not only for web traffic generation but better Alexa ranking.

Conclusion

Modern businesses today are equipped with more than one tool and resources to benefit their modus operandi and image with Google SERP and Alexa ranking. A good ranking of the web business site boosts the market presence and credibility of the brand and business entity that would draw in more traffic and sales.

Succeeding in an online business today is easy with the myriad of cost effective tools and resources available; however, a good ranking of the web business page is crucial to differentiate the excellent from the mediocre in the industry. This would require an attractive blog or web page with great content and SEO features that would secure good rankings on the Alexa ranking system as well as top search engines SERPs such as Google’s.

10 Great Affiliate Networks

Posted December 31, 2014 By Callie

Affiliate marketing is a hot topic on the business scene today with a growing number of options for a cost effective business opportunity to be set up. The market offers a host of well-established affiliate networks to lure more consumers into this online marketing business program for easy side income generation.

Choosing Affiliate Networks

A key element in a successful affiliate marketing program is to join a good affiliate network that can provide the best of products or services to be marketed besides a strong support for the marketer to succeed.
Below is a list of 10 great affiliate networks, which any interested consumers can consider joining as long as they perform sufficient research on their preferred affiliate network. It is not necessary to join multiple networks, although ambitious and capable marketers can succeed in their endeavor.

It is possible to acquire 7-8 figure incomes with multiple affiliate networks as long as they are able to manage all avenues professionally. Multiple affiliate networks raise the success level and income quantum higher on a shorter timeframe with the long list of items or tasks to be promoted. However, the marketers need to have good business acumen and strong relevant affiliate marketing experience to succeed quickly.
10 Great Choices

1) Clickbank.com

This is a very popular affiliate networking platform with a long list of saleable products and promotional services for new and experienced affiliate marketers. Clickbank accepts all members easily with a good management structure. It is well established in the marketplace with a high reputation in its industry.

2) Plimus.com

This affiliate networking portal is very similar to Clickbank with its quick and easy acceptance of members and wide variety of offers. A successful account setup leads to an appointment of a live and experienced account representative who guides the affiliate marketer through on using the portal.

There is no coercion to make purchases on marketing helps and tools with an upfront disposition that raises their service standard.

3) Markethealth.com

This is an ideal platform for those who are interested in promoting physical health products. A lot of wellbeing niches with attractive payouts can be secured from this affiliate marketing platform. A quick acceptance would get the new affiliate marketer going on the market to generate the desire extra income.

The main attraction of Markethealth.com is the high payout on single products that generate high income. The use of PayPal decreases waiting time for payment.

4) Linkshare.com

Linkshare offers super easy acceptance with great tracking measure on hops and conversions. However, lower market commission rates are offered as merchants are required to pay for the services.

Payments tend to be slow, although many top level companies join as merchants. This is the primary selling point of this platform where the marketer can tap on the market reputation of these big corporations to boost their affiliate marketing endeavors.

Many useful tutorials are available with effective development tools for the affiliate marketer to improve marketing and sales. A friendly development team is available on hand to answer marketing issues.

5) As Seen on PC

A website would be required to be accepted by this affiliate network. It offers physical products as well as services with fair rate commissions. This is an excellent platform choice for those wanting a wide array of products to sell or up-sell via newsletter sequence.

6) Commission Junction

Commissions offered are very varied depending on products and seasons as well as participating merchants. The huge variety of products works well for seasoned marketers, although newbies may need some wisdom to avoid bad offers. As an older network, the site is not very user friendly for a quick navigation.

7) Share a Sale

This may be a smaller network, but it is fast gaining market acceptance with attractive commissions. It offers a simple join up process with a small time investment to get started.
Its tracking process is excellent with a strict monitoring over inconspicuous rebilling structures or potentially unethical practices that may bring on trouble to its marketers or system. There are no software offers or skimpy products as most products available are high quality items to be promoted.

8) Never Blue Ads

This affiliate network is a little more selective in signing up marketers. Experienced affiliate marketers are preferred to build further on a successful affiliate marketing business with Never Blue Ads network. Hence, marketers should have a Clickbank account prior to signing up for Never Blue Ads to ensure a quick and fast startup.

9) Azoogle

This affiliate network prefers higher level marketers on its team, although it has experienced and friendly managers to serve the marketers. Azoogle offers fun little programs in its affiliate offerings with a mix of contests for extra earnings.

This well established affiliate network is skilled in treating their affiliates, customers and vendors happy and satisfied between sales. It has a wide range of products to offer that entices many marketers to its platform.

10) Affiliate.com

This affiliate network expects skilled marketers who can jump on board and steer the ship out of the harbor, although the variety of products and offerings may be lesser than other networks. More Cost-Per-Action offers are available, but a successful stint here can generate a handsome income as this affiliate pays well.

Strong support is offered to affiliates in succeeding in this business program, although high standards are set and adhered to. Great rewards abound for those who meet the platform’s performance criteria. Strict vetting of applicants is exercised with a personal notification upon a successful scanning.

Conclusion

There are hundreds of affiliate networks in the market today with more cropping on every day as advanced technologies open the floodgate in this arena. The rising demand of affiliate marketers also increases the rapid expansion of affiliate marketing programs on the Internet. There are plenty of review sites to check and compare the affiliate networks and participating merchants to ensure a wise choice before indulging in one or more of these online business ventures. It is up to the affiliate marketer to make the final decision of affiliate network to venture into.

Growing Trends of Content Consumption

Posted December 31, 2014 By Callie

Understanding where your own audience is in terms of these trends is important. You can use Google Analytics to find out what devices your audience is using to consume your content. If you’ve had a drop in visitors the last year, consider whether or not it could be because your content is not useful, relevant, or available in all formats.

1. Mobile Consumption Is on the Rise – It’s been said many times in many places. If your website isn’t mobile friendly now, you’re going to lose out big time. More people are consuming content via mobile devices today than they are via PCs. Many work places have blocked certain types of websites from their workers, so they’ve moved to their mobile devices during the day, and may use their home PCs in the evening – when they have time.

2. Content Must Be Original – Gone are the days of the spreading the same content throughout the web in the form of reused guest posts, article marketing sites and so forth. You can still participate in guest blogging, article marketing and so forth, but all the content that you contribute needs to be unique and not used again elsewhere – not even on your own website. If you want to attract people to consume your content, make it new, make it original, and make it frequent.

3. Content Needs to Be Targeted – You probably knew this before and it’s not really a “trend” as such. However, it needs to be repeated. Making original content that has nothing to do with your target audience is an exercise in futility. Make unique content that puts your target audience first and you’ll be more successful.

4. Content Needs to Be Useful – If you are spitting out content without any thought at all, then you’re not making useful content that will get your audience excited. Instead you’ve become nothing more than a content bot putting words together into word salad that makes no sense. Your content must put the audience first; remember it’s all about them, not you.

5. Content Needs to Be Multimedia – Video, infographics, images, audio, eBooks, articles, blog posts and more should all be used together to create a storm of new content that works together to promote the products and/or services that you want to promote. Content can still be repurposed into new forms, but you need to put a unique spin on it.

6. Responsive Content Is a Must – The comment earlier that content should be mobile doesn’t really do justice to what is happening. Creating a separate mobile website, and then a regular site, and then separate content and sites for each type of device is a waste of time and money. Instead, ensure that your content is consumable on all types of media.

7. Content Curation Requires Attention to Detail – Mobile devices offer apps to help deliver the type of content that your audience wants to see on their screen, often removing graphics and ads. How you deal with these apps and deliver your content to your audience your way will be up to you.

8. Capturing Attention Is Paramount – How you go about capturing the attention of those who may consume your content is changing. Your use of content, images, promoted posts, advertisements, video, audio, events and more all matter if you want your content to be seen.

It’s your job as an industry insider to understand what is happening in terms of content consumption. Read industry news so that you can get a better understanding of what your audience is consuming and expecting from you. If you’re not sure, poll your audience and ask them directly what they want. You might be surprised at the answers.

Five Tips for Creating a Positive First Impression

Posted December 30, 2014 By Callie

Whether you work from home or work in an office, sometimes you have to conquer the dreaded business meeting. The best way to do well at any business meeting or event is to focus on creating a positive first impression.

1. Research the Audience

Every meeting usually has a specific audience that will go to that meeting. If it’s a more universal type meeting, research the people that you want to connect with. Know some facts about them and how they got their start. They’ll be impressed that you took the time to get to know them before meeting them.

2. Dress Appropriately

Find out what type of clothing people will be wearing to the meeting or event. The more you can fit in due to your mode of dress, the more people will remember you in a positive way. Dress for the position you want is a good refrain, but be careful about the “power” suit or appearing too high above your audience because you want them to remember you, not fear you.

3. Be First

When it comes time to introduce yourself, the person who puts their hand out first and states their name and gives their 30-second introduction is the person who holds the power in the meeting. You should also be first to introduce the person you just met to others as they approach. This makes you seem very important and people will remember you more due to your kindness.

4. Ask Open-Ended Questions

Most people are a little nervous at events or meetings but if you ask each person you meet open-ended questions about themselves and their business, they will be put at ease. And oddly, the more people get to talk about themselves, the more they will remember you. An open-ended question is one that must be answered with a sentence instead of a yes or no answer.

5. Listen Actively

As you meet people and ask those questions, truly listen for their answers. Repeat back to them their name and the things they say in your own words, then ask them good follow-up questions. This will make you seem like the most interesting person at the meeting or event because you are actually listening. And as you repeat things back to the person you’re conversing with, it will also help you remember more about each person that you connect with.

One final way to create a positive first impression is by what happens after the meeting. Always follow up with those whom you met. Use the information on the business cards you collected, or find them online, and connect with them in a new way. Send them a thank you card, or cut out an article and send it to them, or find a creative way to connect with them outside of the meeting. This will make you a truly memorable connection for them.

Google has become a well respected search engine on the Internet to be a leading search engine tool that brings on a host of exciting promises to enhance its search results. It is expected to improve its search speed and accuracy with a longer and wider search range to the delight of users.

Such improvements from Google would trigger off the best of SEO strategies for generating enhanced websites to attract more traffic and widen market presence. A list of 10 potential tips on improving SEO rankings is offered through Google Caffeine for any modern business to succeed in the marketplace today.

1) Site Expansion

It is important for any web business to have a strong market presence to be considered an authority in their industry or domain to influence others. This establishment in the marketplace is crucial to Google Caffeine in evaluating the website for a better SEO ranking. Every business on the Internet today needs to consider effective and efficient marketing strategies and dynamic modus operandi that would expand its market presence. Google Caffeine would then be able to secure a bigger index capability on the website. This means that a bigger website secures a greater control on the preferred Page Rank accorded by Google.

2) Site Enhancement

Besides increasing the size of the web business site, it is also important to spice up the website in several ways and aspects to have it stand out in the crowd. The distinct uniqueness of the website is always a crowd-puller with curious seekers looking for something new and unique.

A blog with interesting content is an excellent way to enhance the website quickly. Top search engines like Google are also drawn to these websites which are noted as innovative and creative. Google Caffeine has been specially designed to identify the best of the best of content in terms of relevancy and originality.

Exciting blog posts with fresh content that benefits readers are effective in getting Google to take notice of the website to boost its market presence with a better SERP.

3) Site Attraction

The market competition is extremely intense and high with more and more web businesses being set up every day in all industries. Companies need to work doubly hard and smart in keeping current customers while attracting new ones to grow their database. This is where the web business site must continually be updated with new and delightful articles to keep attracting traffic.

A regular posting of high quality articles on the blog page or website is imperative to a consistent high traffic volume that works to boost sales conversion and bottom line. Google is compelled to visit the web page more frequently due to the constantly different offerings posted. As Google indexes the webpage frequently, updated information would be received by the fans more quickly with a more efficient access to searches on desired content through Google’s enhanced search capabilities.

4) Site Manipulation

Online businesses today have a myriad of options to boost their SEO ranking. The emergence of Twitter is a strong influence to boost the SEO ranking of the website if the proper Twitter features are manipulated.

Sharing of quality articles through Twitter is easy and quick to reach the targeted audience for a greater marketing impact. Twitter results can be readily integrated with Google on search queries. A lot of webmasters are manipulating Twitter to boost their market presence and credibility on their Twitter posts for a better SEO ranking via Google Caffeine.

This is an extremely effective manipulation tool that would benefit the web business site dynamically.

5) Site Indulgence

Smart, modern businesses today would seek the latest tools and resources that would boost their online presence and page ranking. One of these effective resources is social media sites such as Facebook and LinkedIn.
Google seeks out fresh and quality content by exploring social media networking sites to rank the website pages. Innovative webmasters who release more content on social networking sites are attracting Google to improve their web page ranking while traffic is improved in flow volume.

6) Site Efficiency

A business website can be improved to become more efficient through enhanced article titles with efficient keyword phrases. Google Caffeine is designed to seek and match these titles with relevant keyword strings to improve the website ranking. A higher ranking is accorded when the title contains exact wordings for a particular topic. This would require longer titles to achieve the desired effects.

7) Site Updates

A higher SEO ranking through Google Caffeine can be secured through more frequent updates on the targeted website. This means title tags, Meta description tags and click-through-rates are now updated at faster speeds to be more visible on Google. Instead of weeks, updates can be executed within a day to enable a more efficient testing on titles and Meta tags for better SEO rankings.

8) Site Blogging

Building up the domain authority or market reputation is easy when webmasters provide quality blogs with good links from a solid collaboration with high ranking or market reputed sites. Quality articles that are posted on personal blogs, other blogs and business blog sites are effective in spreading the word about the expertise of the webmaster.
With every blog posted in other relevant and high ranking site, backlinks can be generated to attract more traffic to the web business site while appearing high in Google’s indexing scope for a higher SERP.

9) Site Performance

A website performance must be continuously enhanced whether through a reliable hosting company or personally. An excellent website uptime for high accessibility is crucial to secure high SEO rankings as Google checks this as part of its evaluation.

A website can be improved in speed performance with higher quality coding, smaller images, enhanced videos and graphics to enjoy faster download time.

10) Site Involvement

More of everything that benefits the website in higher SEO rankings through Google Caffeine is the call of the day with progressive technologies that bring in a host of tools and resources. Google Caffeine can find, index and present original content quickly to audiences on the web which spurs business decisions and actions not to be left behind in the intense competition.

Do You Need a License to Operate Your Business?

Posted December 30, 2014 By Callie

The truth is, pretty much every business – whether it is home based or not – needs some form of business license to be legitimate. In most cases you cannot get a business bank account if you don’t have a license. However, localities have different rules and may actually waive the requirement for certain types of businesses. That’s why it’s really important for you to be clear on the type of business you have today, and that you hope to build in the future.

There are different types of licenses and permits for different types of businesses.

General Licenses – To find out if you need this type of license, the best place to look is at your city or county government website for information. If you cannot find the information, try calling the various tax offices that handle business licenses in your area. You can explain to them what type of business you run and they can point you into the right direction.

Professional or Trade Licenses – If you have a license such as a CPA, Law, Cosmetology, and Architect, or you are performing commonly regulated tasks such as child care, and then you will likely need a permit to practice in your area. It won’t matter if you conduct your business from your home office or a rented office; you’ll need an additional business license to conduct business.

Home Occupation Permits – In some cities a permit isn’t required if you run a home-based business in which you hold no inventory and see no clients. Be sure to explain carefully to the business tax office what you do so that they can understand and choose the right, if any is needed, license for you. Your neighborhood zoning regulations as well as your home owner’s association rules will be paramount in this case. So be sure to check with any authority that can make rules in this area for you.

Sales Tax Permits – If you sell items that require that you collect tax (and this differs in each state, city and county) then you’ll need a sales tax permit. Sometimes you will be required to collect sales tax even for online digital products and services purchased from those who live in your own state. Your state revenue agency can assist you with these rules and how to be compliant.

Health and Safety Permits – If you have a child care business, a bakery, or deal with potentially dangerous materials, you may need to obtain a health and safety permit of some sort. Some areas are very cognizant of air and water position and will require you to get a permit and have periodic inspections depending on the type of business you are running.

Running your business legally, and obtaining the proper licensing and permits are very important to ensure that you don’t work hard building up a business and then lose it due to taxes and penalties due to unpaid licensure and permits. Seek out information from your local SCORE office or taxing authority to get more information for your particular business idea. In addition, any small business incubator or local college business center can be very helpful.

Link to SCORE – https://www.score.org/

Can Hiring a Business Coach Really Make a Difference?

Posted December 29, 2014 By Callie

Whether you’re just starting a business or you’re well into your venture, the idea of hiring a business coach may have come to mind. But you may be wondering if a business coach can really make a difference for you. To answer this question, you need to understand what a business coach does, and how to choose the right one for you.

Business coaching provides a way to interact with a professional who has your best interests at heart and can help you be more effective building your business and balancing your life and your business. Business coaches are a good mixture of accountability partner, sounding board, cheerleader and even emotional support. The business coach specializes in ensuring that all aspects of your life work together with the ultimate focus on ensuring that your business works.

Even the process of hiring a coach can be beneficial to your business. The coach will want to assess where you are right now with your business and find out where you want to go. An effective business coach will help you determine not just the direction you want your business to go, but will also identity actionable steps to take to achieve the goals you and your coach set.

* Accountability – Checking in with someone else on a regular basis to tell them and show them what you’ve accomplished since the last meeting will give you someone besides yourself to be accountable to. For many people this helps them act in their own best interests and not put off anything, since most people don’t want to disappoint others.

* Sounding Board – Talking plans and proposals out with a third party who is also well versed in your type of business will help solidify each plan you make so that you’re not going down the wrong roads to start with.

* Cheerleader – Running a business is hard and some business coaches make excellent support systems and cheerleaders. In this way, you not only have a good plan of action to make your dreams come true but also someone to share your success with who has your best interests at heart.

* Emotional Support – Many business coaches understand how home life can affect your business life. They can often help you deal with your family and friends when it comes to pushing your business forward.

If you need help identifying holes in your business plan, ways to fill the gaps, and how to create an actionable plan to push your business forward, then a business coach can definitely make a difference. The trick is finding the right business coach for your particular business.

In order to find the right coach for you that fits your business type and personality, ask the right questions of any potential coach. Plus, ask others for referrals before hiring any business coach. Finally, buy some of the coach’s products and services and try working on a short-term project with them first. This can help you ensure that they are the right coach to push your business to the next level.

Different Types of Business Insurance to Consider

Posted December 29, 2014 By Callie

It’s never fun to think about insurance. But it’s a huge necessity today. You want to do everything you can to protect yourself and your family from loss if something should go wrong. It might be hard to imagine anything going wrong in your business but it happens to the best people, so be sure to protect yourself.

1. General Liability Insurance – The point of liability insurance is that if employees, contractors, or your products cause any damage to a customer or third party, you will be covered up to a certain threshold.

2. Property Insurance – Whether your business is on personal property, or you rent or buy a separate location, it’s important to purchase specific business property insurance outside of your typical personal property insurance. Likely, if you never do business on your property, you don’t need this insurance. However, if you have a large amount of materials at home you may want to consider it as really expensive equipment such as an excess number of computers, servers or inventory will not be covered.

3. Professional Liability Insurance – Sometimes this is called “errors and omissions insurance” and it does what it says. If you provide a professional service that requires licensure in your state, it is important to obtain this particular type of insurance as general liability insurance does not cover these types of issues.

4. Workers’ Comp Insurance – Not all business types are forced to buy workers’ comp insurance, and a good insurance agent can let you know if it’s something you should consider. Generally, if you do not hire employees and they don’t work on your property, you do not need to buy any. Be sure you know whether you must buy it or not because if you don’t buy it and it’s required, you could be penalized.

5. Directors’ and Officers’ Insurance – If you have an LLC or an INC, sometimes the offers of the business can be sued personally for issues that come up. At the time of writing, a big case is underway at the US Space & Rocket Center in Huntsville Alabama where the CEO, CFO, other officers and heads of the business are being sued on behalf of employees. Hopefully they have such insurance to protect the interest of these people.

6. Data Breach Insurance – If you keep client information on file, it is imperative that you purchase data breach insurance in case your security measures fail. Whether the information is about customers, clients, employees, contractors or someone else… if it is not generally available to the public and is sensitive in nature, you should consider data breach insurance.

7. Business Owner’s Policy – A general business owner’s policy sold by an insurance agent who understands what a business like yours needs will usually include all the different types of coverage that you require. This includes many listed in this article. When services are bundled you can save money.

8. Personal Insurance – Life Insurance, renters’ insurance, home owners’ insurance, auto insurance, life insurance, disability insurance and umbrella insurance all fall into the category of personal insurance and should be considered for anyone who has a business. This is in addition to the other types of insurance that are strictly for the business. You want to think in terms of how you can protect your family when choosing the amounts of coverage for these types of insurances.

As to how much of each type of insurance you need, it is important to speak directly to a professional insurance sales person to be sure that you are fully covered for things you may not even think about. Choose an insurance provider who works with many different types of insurance and has a good understanding to explain the benefits and pitfalls of the types of insurance that they promote.