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Important Items to Consider In Your Business Cards

You probably know by now there are many companies, online and offline, offering business cards for sale. In business, it is important to consider using every tool at your disposal to become competitive. One of the most effective, yet cheap method is the business card. The cards offer important messages about your business in few seconds and for a little outlay. Therefore, it is important to consider the basic information you want included in the cards. The most important items that need to be included in the cards include:

· Company logo & brand

It is important to select the right name for your business. The name you choose should be cleared for use. In addition, you should consider the company’s brand name using a graphic text, a logo or both. Many business owners choose to design their logo or use stock images derived from the local printer. This is likely to prove inexpensive. However, the result is an unprofessionally designed logo. Considering the card represents the company it is advisable to opt for a logo that has been professionally designed. Therefore, you should consider hiring the services of a branding consultant or a graphic designer to design your logo. They will ensure professional layout and designs as opposed to the standard templates often used by businesses that are unwilling to invest their time and money on the best products.

· Company website & email

It is important to include the website and email of the company in your business card. This is regardless whether you are an online business or not. Therefore, it is important to invest in a website. Nevertheless, you do not have to wait until the website is running before handing out your business cards. The most important thing is to ensure you have secured the domain name(s). Instead, set up a “soon coming” page that contains the company’s contact information. With a domain name, you will be in a position to have an email account for sending and receiving company email.

· Phone & fax numbers

It is equally important to consider the telephone and fax numbers you need printed on the business card. This is because it is important to secure appropriate communication services for the business. Many entrepreneurs who are just starting out choose to use their cell phones. This offers an effective way of cutting costs, particularly during the start-up. Nevertheless, it is important to ensure professionalism of your business card by considering an operational virtual phone system.

5 Steps to Help Grow Your Business

1. Attend a coaching event or seminar

For your business to grow you need to equip yourself and your team with the current in’s and out’s in your industry as well as the general business atmosphere. Attendance at, or purchasing DVD’s from, relevant seminars can provide your business with the edge it desires. Alternatively, considering personal business coaching with professionals can ensure focus completely onto your business as you work with experts to develop an appropriate structure to suit your needs.

2. Develop a Business Plan

There are far too many businesses who charge into the workforce without professionally discussed business plans. It is easy to point what you want to get from your business but having the help of an expert will ensure that you are creating a business plan that you can accomplish. Your business plan is essential in understanding where you are, where you want to be, and what you need to do to accomplish these goals.

3. Know your budget

When thinking about growing your business you need to understand your realistic sales and expenditures, this is more than checking your bank balance. You need an understanding into lowering expenses and debts while improving your pricing in ways other than increasing the sale price. To be able to highlight future improvement of your business you need to develop and regularly return to a budget that you can rely on.

4. Conduct a what if analysis

To gain a complete understanding of your profit and loss statements you should have a what if analysis carried out on your business. This will calculate your number of projects against your average sale price to really break down your businesses current position.Completion of a what if analysis will assist your business to gain the growth and development insight it may be missing.

5. Benchmarking your business

Finally, understanding where your business currently sits within your chosen industry will provide you with knowledge of where you need to aim. Benchmarking measures your businesses current performance against competitors to show you where you stand. Professional benchmarking will assess your business in regards to your levels of staff, stock, margins and cash flow. Understanding where you are is vital in distinguishing your future endeavours.

Trying to develop your business is always on the forefront of the owners mind. We like to believe that we can do it on our own but accessing the coaching and assistance you need to really succeed is essential.

The Tale Of A Small Business Owners Website Blunder

Things Aren’t Always What They Seem

Recently, I was at a trade show and I was talking to a small business owner about how they currently attract new business. Like many other small businesses, they have a store front in a busy shopping center, and they get a lot of foot traffic. Their particular location is a key to getting new customers, but I was particular interested to learn how they are obtaining and managing leads from their website.

The owner quickly turned on his iPad to bring up his website, which he is very proud of. Just at a glance, I could tell he paid a pretty penny for this website. It was very clean and modern, it didn’t look like something created from a template or in 1980. He started showing me their call-to-actions and contact forms. On the first call-to-action, which offers something for free in a very attractive position on the page, he clicked on it, and it took him to a dead page. My first thought was, “Uh-oh! That’s not good.” To make things even worse, on the home page there was a contact form for visitors to request someone to call them to schedule an appointment. He filled out the form, submitted it, and we waited, and waited, but he never got any notification that someone submitted a form. At this point, the owner was not happy with what was happening on his website that he paid a lot of money to have it custom made.

Mistakes Are Inevitable Without The Right People or Tools
Come to find out, the owner paid someone to create his website a year ago to get him started. Since then the owner has made changes to the website without testing his work before publishing it. What had happened is the owner deleted a page that he thought wasn’t needed anymore, but didn’t pay attention that the home page was still directed to this other page he deleted.

On the contact form the reason he wasn’t getting emails anymore was because the person that was in charge of getting the contact emails, no longer worked for him and had been gone for 3 months. He never thought to change this or check that employees email box. Sure enough, there were dozens of emails from contact submissions sitting in the inbox, untouched.

While these mistakes happen, they cost this small business owner hundreds of dollars in lost potential customers.

Every Small Business Owners Dilemma
As a small business owner, if you are trying to handle a website yourself, these are mistakes that can be made. Small business owners are caught between trying to work with current customers, finding new customers and managing their business. There are many moving parts to make a successful business run,that is impossible to try to do it alone. You need to find the right people and tools that can help you manage the parts of your business that need attention, but can be offloaded.

Of course, I would recommend to pick one person to dedicate to manage the website, but most small business owners only have a small staff and they aren’t able to manage a website. Besides hiring people, you can always outsource the management to a firm that specializes in website management, but this can be expensive. Another option is to find a tool or tools that provide recommendations or automated reports on your website to find errors. You have to analyze what options are available to you, and what makes the most sense. Learn from this business owner that the mistakes you make, can cost you more then it would to find a solution to the problem.