Best Internet Business Ideas – Small Business Writing

I know a lot of people who are looking for the best internet business ideas. A lot of those same people are creative folks who’d love nothing more than a career in the writing field. Luckily, there is a way to combine these two needs.

There are many small businesses out there who need things occasionally written. As a writer, you might not appreciate how difficult it can be for someone who is not creatively minded to come up with an interesting newsletter or write the company mission statement in a way that is powerful and effective. These companies are typically happy to pay a professional to spin their information in a way that makes it compelling to the average person.

If you choose to start this type of business, the first thing you’ll want to do is write several examples of the type of work you’re capable of. You should write examples of each of the services you offer. Some of the types of writing you might offer would be things like press releases, company and employee biographies, mission statements and web content. You can use a fictional company for your examples, or focus on a large company that everyone would recognize.

Once you have these examples in your online portfolio, it’s time to move on to advertising your services. There are many ways to do this from print to internet media. One of the best options when you are getting started out is to take advantage of personal relationships you have. Surely you know business owners – make sure they’re aware of the services you offer.

This is one of the best internet business ideas because it will allow you to be creative and make a ton of money at the same time – the best of both worlds!

5 Marketing Ideas Small Businesses Can Implement Now!

Small businesses often complain that a lack of budget restricts the opportunities to successfully market their businesses. Too often they confuse advertising with marketing and believe that placing an ad in the local newspaper will keep the customers coming in.

Below are five simple strategies that small businesses can implement TODAY. The cost to implement them is minimal if not free and they will do more to drive customers to your business than the majority of your current marketing activities. The list is by no means exhaustive, there are thousands of ideas out there but here are five to get you on your way.

1. Offer a guarantee

Guarantees often come in the form of money back guarantee. But by thinking laterally small businesses can provide guarantees that communicate their brand promise clearly and effectively. Guarantees also help to build trust, differentiate you from competitors and create a perception of a reduction in financial risk from the customer. Some examples include:

– Guarantee of product quality. “If your not completely satisfied with your haircut we will give you a full refund”
– Guarantee of service. “We will deliver your new bed tomorrow, guaranteed!”
– Guarantee of price. “We will beat any competitors advertised price by 10%”
– Guarantee of product range. “The largest range of lawnmowers in Sydney, guaranteed”
These are just some examples, the sky is really the limit but make sure your guarantee is strong and is consistent with your brand promise.

2. Create a simple special offer.

The best special offers are often the simplest. They can be as simple a offering a free item with every purchase or even a small gift for entering a store during a specific time. You can also cross promote with other retailers to drive customer traffic. Some ideas are:

If your targeting mothers aged 25-40 with your clothing store you could offer a free balloon (with your logo on it) to every child that comes into your store. It provides a positive experience for the mother and a useful point of distraction for the children so the mother can spend more time looking at (and buying) clothes. Offer a free coffee at a nearby coffee shop for every purchase over a certain value and provide products to the coffee shop for a reciprocal offer. Special offers don’t have to be expensive to, just try to make them valuable to your target audience and time sensitive to try and create a sense of urgency.

3. Start a loyalty program

When we think of loyalty programs we think of the Qantas Frequent Flyer Program or Woolworths Everyday Rewards amongst many others. The concept is the same in terms of generating customer loyalty but for small business they can be really simple. As an example, any coffee shop that does not have a “Buy 10 coffee’s and get one free” loyalty card available are losing revenue as we speak.

I’ve seen a coffee shop take this one step further and have a card file on the front counter where frequent coffee drinkers can leave their card. What a great idea! The card file ensures that their customers don’t forget to bring the card and that the card owner always returns to purchase the coffees. This idea can be applied across most small businesses including hairdressers, corner stores amongst many others. The key is to give your customers a reason to keep coming back to you and not your competitor.

4. Capture an email list of your best customers

Many local small businesses such as clothing stores, restaurants and hairdressers have a list of loyal customers that keep coming back time and time again. In many cases, the only contact small businesses have with these customers is when they return to the shop or salon. All small businesses should aim to capture a list of their best customers on the basis that they will be offered exclusive discounts and offers as part of being on the list. Wineries are particularly good at this where they offer exclusive vintages to their best customers. The winery is often able to sell through the vintage directly to the mailing list and the customer gets an exclusive wine that isn’t available at the local bottle shop. A win-win for both.

5. Host an exclusive event for loyal customers & friends

Loyal customers like your business already and by being loyal they are often the customers that generate positive conversations about your business. You need to make them feel special and give them an opportunity to introduce their friends to your business. Now that you’ve captured their email address, you can invite them and a friend to an exclusive event. Some thoughts are:

– An exclusive preview after trading hours of your stores new summer range of clothing with champagne, hors d’oeuvres and a 20% discount on all clothing. Exclusive only to those on your email list.
– You’ve just introduced a new type of manicure to the services you offer at your beauty salon. Invite your customers to an evening of free manicures and champagne to showcase the new service and say thanks for their continued loyalty.

Exclusive events are a great way to show your customers how much you value them and provide a great way to promote new offers within your business.

6. Under promise and over deliver

Yes it’s an oldy but still a goody. And to illustrate my point I only offered you five marketing ideas in the beginning but given you six. Over delivering does not have to cost you anything. It can really be anything that exceeds the expectations of your customers and creates a positive impression about your business. Some examples are:

– Tradesman that provide additional service over and above what was quoted.
– A discount given to loyal customers outside of sale periods.

The opportunities are endless. The benefits of over delivering are that it gives your loyal customers a reason to talk about your business. It also gives them a reason to recommend you to others and can stimulate referrals that lead to new customer relationships.

These six simple strategies are easy to implement and hopefully they have stimulated your creative juices to come up with ideas for your business. Let me know what you’ve come up with by leaving a comment.

Good luck!

Developing a Business Idea – Business Planning

Greatness is not a function of circumstance. Greatness, it turns out, is largely a matter of conscious choice, and discipline. Jim Collins

Life is full of choices and the right decision taken at the right time and executed also at the perfect hour can definitely bring success. Any business plan has to undergo three stages before it is actually executed.

    o birth of a business idea
    o developing the goals and strategy for that idea
    o creating the right ambiance and the perfect atmosphere to execute the idea

First let us consider discussing the birth of the business idea. Picking the right idea is again a most imperative choice. Many people just go by the crowd and decide to do any business which is considered as the hottest at that particular point of time. But certain things have to be speculated and analyzed before taking the first step.

    o do you think you can start and run your own business successfully
    o what are all your positive and negative aspects when it comes to real life skills and talents
    o how much investment can you possibly set aside or lend for this business opportunity
    o have you analyzed the market value or demand for the kind of business you have in mind
    o who is your target audience and will people actually accept my product or service
    o are there any competitors in this business and if so how much can I be different and capable to meet with this competition

Some ground work about the business idea is necessary and there is nothing wrong in discussing it with the forerunners in this field. Try to meet up with similar companies to find out the pros and cons of the business.

Once you come up with a business idea say to do some online marketing business then carefully draft the business strategy. Setting goals, and drafting the business plan as to the number of employees, office space, lawyers, accountants, office furniture etc is what will follow next. Getting license for the business, legal proceedings, tax factors etc is also very imperative step to go with. A business plan is like a road map to your business and it sets the right discipline in which your business will progress.

Every business should work towards achieving its long term and short term goals. Starting an online business might be less stressful financially but keep in mind that all online businesses are not very successful. It depends on what kind of business you want to do online. The least you should is the tricks of the trade. So equip yourself with the updated and hands on knowledge about the business you wish to start. Note down the marketing strategy for your product or service. Marketing has become a deciding factor of a business these days. Media promotion, web site promotion and other marketing techniques should be optimized for better visibility of the business prospects. The more people see your company’s name flashing before them the more hits you might get and this is where you should strive to make every viewer a possible customer.

A professional business plan however should contain the following,

    o Purpose of the business
    o Funds needed
    o Specifications about the product or services that your business will be dealing
    o Management members with advisors both legal and professional
    o Organization structure
    o Division of power
    o Responsibilities
    o Vision, goals, key strategies and objectives
    o Marketing strategy
    o Promotional methods like resumes, brochures, articles and logos
    o Location and office layout

Thus a complete blue print of the business idea should first be created theoretically before actually moving forward with major decisions. This blue print will give you a picture of what to expect and thus enable you to focus on the lines of the business plan that you have made. Vision is already created and hence the steps towards making this great vision come true are not very far away.