Starting Your Home Based Business on a Shoestring Budget

Whether seeking a supplemental income or a full-time income,
many folks have undertaken the task to discover a viable home
based business solution to meet their personal needs.

For most folks who contemplate a home business, a low-cost or
no-cost solution is not only nice, but also very necessary. Many
also seek to find a home business that will permit them to
maintain their regular day job in order to protect their base
income.

Taking the cautious approach to a home based business and
keeping one’s job during the start-up period is often a very
good decision. By maintaining one’s job, one can maintain the
health of their personal finances while permitting their home
business grow healthy and strong.

Fortunately, most home based businesses can be started with
little or no cash, can be maintained on a shoestring budget, and
can be operated successfully with only a part-time investment.

One day, the business will be strong enough to support itself
and its owner. When that time comes, it will make good sense for
the business owner to leave his or her outside job to dedicate
more time to growing and maintaining their new thriving home
based business. You will know when that time has finally arrived.

The nature of a home based business makes it easy and very
realistic for most folks to take the plunge into home business
ownership.

Yet, many folks put off starting their own home based business,
because they have the misconception that they will have to risk
thousands of their own hard-earned dollars at start-up. Then
later, if their business fails, they fear they may be forced to
take out a second mortgage on their house just to stay out of
bankruptcy.

Are you one of these folks? Do you let your fears of failure
keep you from reaching for your dreams?

If so, then allow me to introduce you to a few home business
ideas that you can start for less than $100 and can be started
and operated very profitably as a part-time business.

THE LIFEBLOOD OF ALL SUCCESSFUL BUSINESSES

First of all, let me advise you to search out a business model
that will deliver steady and repeat business. It is the one
thing — above all others — that will assure that your
company can survive the test of time.

HOME-BASED MAIL ORDER:
Home-based mail order is a good example of how one can quickly
grow a home business income. Mail order is a low cost start-up
business that can be launched for around $100 USD.

With proper planning, your home-based mail order business will
not require up-front inventory purchases. In the mail order
business, it is not uncommon to rely upon drop-shippers for
product fulfillment services.

By utilizing drop-shippers, we can sell the products, collect
the money and then purchase the products from the wholesale
outlet. The wholesale outlet will then put a return address for
your company on the product packaging and deliver the product
directly to your customer.

Your primary expense in the mail-order business is advertising.
Classified advertising tends to be a relatively inexpensive form
of advertising with thousands of outlets available to the small
business owner.

WHOLESALE BUSINESS:
Buy low — sell high. You can acquire high quality,
top-of-the-line merchandise for a fraction of the retail cost.
Starting a wholesale business would require a Wholesale Dealers
Directory as your source for merchandise, such as the one above.

AUCTIONS:
Auctions can be an excellent source for buying cheap and selling
high. Both government auctions and Internet auctions can lead to
some excellent profit opportunities. Auctions are an excellent
tool for both acquiring and selling merchandise.

MAKE AND SELL YOUR CRAFTS:
Crafts are a hot seller at country fairs, swap meets or anyplace
where people gather. Make your own crafts and sell them for a
tidy profit!

SELLING INFORMATION:
Selling information by mail is another good example of an
inexpensive home based business start-up. One can gain the
resale rights to information for usually about $50 USD. Other
costs will include printer cartridges, paper and postage. There
are plenty of free classifieds sites on the Internet, in which
to successfully advertise your information.

WRITE INFORMATIONAL BOOKLETS:
Write and publish your own informational booklets; sell them at
a high price! All you need is a little know-how, a printer,
paper and stamps. This is a GREAT home business idea! You can
also sell the resale rights to others, for extra profits. In
this age of the Internet, you may also take advantage of the
fact that selling information is one of the most profitable
endeavors one can pursue online.

OFFICE SERVICES:
Offer office services for hire in your local paper. You’ll be
surprised at the amount of regular office business that can be
gleaned from one little classified ad. Word processing, typing,
accounting, data entry, proofreading, transcription, promotional
letters and newsletters. All these tasks can be accomplished
right from your own home office.

AVON REPRESENTATIVE:
Yes, Avon’s been around for eternity, hasn’t it? Then it’s not
such a bad prospect as a home based business, is it? I once knew
a woman who did so much business as an Avon rep. that she had
people calling her and knocking at her door wanting to order
products at all hours of the day and night! Once you are an
established Avon representative, you, too, will turn a good
profit.

CONCLUSION:
On your search for the ideal home based business, try not to get
caught up in any scams that will run off with your money. There
are thousands of scam artists out there just waiting for the
next sucker to come along. Remember, if it sounds too good to be
true, then it probably is. Just use your good judgement and
invest wisely in proven methods of earning extra income.

 

How to Stay Focused on Your Home Business Goals

When you are the owner of a home business, you will find
hundreds of distractions that vie for your time, energy and
focus.

Common distractions include: children, family, friends,
neighbors, pets, phone calls, mail, household chores, video
games, television, neighborhood children, visitors, and so many
more.

As an owner of a home based business, you must always remember
your purpose in bringing your profession home. What was your
reason for wanting to own a home business? Was your goal to work
from home so that you can share in the lives of your children?
Was your goal to be out from under the rule of a tyrannical
boss? Was your goal to have the freedom to work when it is
convenient for you? Was your goal to make tons of money working
for yourself?

Here’s a few good tips that will help you stay focused on your
home business:

TIP #1:
Whatever your reason for going out on your own, you must keep
your reason in the forefront of your mind. If you forget your
reason for starting your own home business, you will not be
working for yourself for long. It is far too easy to let
circumstance drive your activities — and when circumstance is
in the driver’s seat, you are more likely to crash and burn.

TIP #2:
Remember — your own business is a lot like a real job. Some
people go to work to play, some go to socialize, and others —
most often those who are paid in a commission or tip environment
— go to work to work and to make money. When you work for
yourself, your salary is directly proportional to your
productivity. Therefore, wouldn’t it make sense to stay focused
on getting as much done in as short of a period as possible?

Go to work to work and to make money. Leave playtime and
recreation for when your workday has ended.

TIP #3:
When you are dealing with family in the course of your workday,
it is important to schedule your activities as much as possible.
With small children, you must take time when you must, but you
should also work hard to make sure you dedicate a specific
number of hours to your workday.

With older children, it is much easier to tell them that you
will be working between the hours of x and y. Your children and
your friends must understand that certain hours of your day are
devoted to the activities of your business.

TIP #4:
Don’t permit your friends and extended family to run over you.
Many people get the blind idea that if one works from home then
they are not actually working.

Well-meaning people may try to fill your doorway to bring advice
about getting a real job. Others may simply believe that if you
are at home, then you are fair game for chitchat and
socialization.

You must stand firm. You must make certain your friends and
family understands that when you are working, then you ARE
working! If they wish to socialize with you, then they need to
do it during the hours that are not dedicated to your home
business.

You are the only one who can stand up for you. Your friends and
family will seldom be able to appreciate your dedication to your
home business, unless you make the effort to make sure that they
have the same respect for your business that you do.

TIP #5:
You should allot a certain portion of your day to email and to
regular mail. For example, allot one hour in the morning and one
hour in the afternoon to handling your written communications.

Unless you dedicate certain times to the handling of these
communications, you will soon find yourself on the downward
slope of decreased productivity.

TIP #6:
When you find yourself spending too much time doing
non-productive activities, then you should seriously consider
finding a third-party service provider who will assist you in
those non-profitable business activities.

As an example, you might be in the mail-order business. You
might believe that your time is best spent writing ad copy and
setting up your advertising, but you find yourself spending far
too much time taking care of your books to take care of your
advertising in the manner that you should. In this event, it
might make more sense to hire a bookkeeper to handle your
financial records for you.

CONCLUSION:
In the end, the success of your home business is entirely and
completely reliant upon you and the decisions that you make.

You had your reasons for deciding to start your own home based
business. You must always keep your reasons in the forefront of
your mind. You must always be able to rely upon your own self
and your dedication to the success of your business.

Your friends and family might be annoyed that they cannot come
visit upon their own whim, but when success comes to you and
your business, they will better appreciate you for putting your
foot down when necessary.

Success is within your reach, if only you can stay focused on
your goals. You must decide to reach for your goals, and then,
you must have the discipline necessary to reach them.

Turning Pennies into Dollars

Henry Ford taught us that to simplify the manufacture of
automobiles, that the best way to do so was to install the
assembly line. That one change revolutionized the auto
manufacturing industry permitting the industry to build cars at
a cost whereas the average person could afford to buy one.

The lesson we should take from this is that having the ability
to improve the process of getting the job quicker and cheaper,
without compromising the quality of the job being done, will
help catapult the person who simplified the process to the top
of his/her field.

Pennies saved in your home business can turn into dollars at the
end of the day, and dollars can quickly multiply into hundreds
or thousands of dollars over time.

Doubt me if you will, but let me ask you a question. Do you
think a saving of two fifths of a penny could make any real
difference in the profit margin of a home business? Of course
the right answer is “it depends on how many transactions are
done in a year, utilizing the savings of the two fifths of one
penny.”

You only have to think back a couple of decades to really
appreciate this question. Do you remember the nut that lived and
died in a Las Vegas hotel room? You know the one who was a
billionaire, and was so worried about germs that he died of
starvation? If you guessed Howard Hughes (1905-76), pat yourself
on the back.

Now Howard did not make all of his money on his two fifths of
one penny. He did however make a ton of money from his two
fifths of one penny. It seems Howard owned a can manufacturing
company. And one day, Howard’s team figured out how they could
make one minor change in the design of their food can to reduce
the amount of tin necessary to make a single can.

As the story goes — if my memory serves me correctly — the
reduction in tin usage equaled a saving of two fifths of one
penny per can. Howard — being the really smart businessman
that he was — decided that he would not be so greedy as to
keep all of the savings for himself. What Mr. Hughes did do was
to keep half of the savings for himself, and give the other half
to his customers. The incredible thing about Mr. Hughes decision
is that by saving his customers an extra one fifths of one cent
per can, he managed to take more market share away from his
competition — netting his company an additional and
substantial portion of the total market share in the canning
industry.

Let us return our thoughts to your home business. Have you ever
gotten the feeling of excitement — when you read something or
thought of something — that you could not wait to implement
this new idea? This could be one of those moments…

In every home business, there are certain processes that we do
over and again. Sometimes it may be possible to trim the time or
expense of a process which in turn will add pennies or dollars
to your bottom line. If it is a process that you do hundreds or
thousands of times per month, then your savings will multiply
into hundreds or thousands of dollars in monthly savings.

Imagine what running a home business was like BEFORE the
computer…

Before the personal computer, we had to hand type all letters
and invoices. Now, we can setup a letter or invoice that we send
out quite often, and we can save it in our word processor so
that when we need to use it again, we can print it quickly and
efficiently. There is no longer a need to type the document
again from scratch.

The computer has simplified our business communications and has
provided us the opportunity to reduce our costs of doing
business.

Think about all of the other processes that the computer has
enabled us to do for far less expense than what we could in the
past.

In this case, the computer is a tool that permits us to save
time and money.

So, my challenge to you is to begin examining the processes in
your own home business and look for ways in which you can save
yourself time and money. It is far better for you to contemplate
on this matter than it is for me to do so for you. Simply put,
you know your business better than anyone on the planet does.
Therefore, you are in a better position than anyone to find
those extra dollars that will decrease your costs and increase
your profits.

The extra pennies and dollars you could extract from your
business could spell the difference between success and failure
for your home business enterprise.

Meetings? Ho Hum!

We’ve all been to meetings like this.  Ho Hum!  Get moving!  I’ve got better things to do!  How much longer is this meeting going to go??? Take charge of the meetings you run – and make them run for you. The team here at Online Sales Pro uses techniques to keep meetings brief, to the point, and action-based.  This helps us remain productive and efficient when building out new features for the Online Sales Pro system and mobile app.  Here’s how.

Stick to the Agenda

Create an agenda with enough time for each item – but not too much time.  Add the amount of time to the agenda to be spent for each item and stick to that.  If more time is needed, opt to reconvene at a later date. Too many meetings go on and on and on and get stuck on one item, either extending the meeting way past the plan or never getting to what else needs to be decided.  A quick tally at the start of a meeting should reflect on the status of previous action items, asking for updates. At the end, a review of what needs to be done before the next meeting is essential. The agenda might be the most important part of keeping a meeting energized and successful.

Set the Rules

Sometimes a discussion gets impassioned and people around the table forget to mind their manners.  Others must have their say – and no one should be interrupted. If someone is taking too much time, instead of charging in, throwing the meeting off kilter, the one who called the meeting should politely ask the one talking to wrap things up so others can speak.  Also, participants should be asked not to use the word YOU. Instead, they should claim the word “I” and explain things from their vantage point without finger-pointing and surly sarcasm, character assassination, or vicious venom. Everyone around the table should be reminded that all goes better with smiles and pleasantness.  After all, most discussion topics are not a matter of life or death.

Keep Careful Notes

Someone should be tasked to be the note taker.  What happens at meetings needs to be carefully written down, allowing us in the future to see what happened in the past.  What decisions were made?  What issues were unresolved?  What still needs to be done?  By whom  And how?  It’s a grueling task, but it must be done.  Perhaps this task needs to be done by someone who is not a decision-maker – someone who is not revved up and ready to speak – a faithful scribe.

Follow Up

A chief complaint about meetings is that nothing is done afterwards.  People need to be charged to do what it takes and then report back at the next meeting.  A date should be provided so that these tasks are completed in good time.  Then those who accomplish these tasks ought to be recognized and thanked when all is done well.  Gratitude has a way of influencing attitude.  By following up, those in attendance really feel as though meetings serve their purpose.

Meetings can be a super time suck.  That’s why it is essential that we learn how to run meetings productively and efficiently.  We can actually carve out more time in our work days when we keep to a meeting schedule and move forward to get things done.  Now that we’ve taken the ho-hum out of meetings, want to put some zip and zest into your business endeavors?  Join us at Online Sales Pro today and learn how to add the same spit and polish to your business ventures.

How Do I Keep Customers?

Once you’ve got customers – whether you’ve got 2 or 202 – what steps need to be taken in order to keep those customers onboard?  You want to keep your customers interested in your product or service, and more ideally – tell others about your business. There are strategies out there, so let’s look at some of them now.  Adopt one or more to put to work to make your business stronger and more profitable.

Take a Look at Your Records

Here’s the essence of customer retention: it takes less time and money to encourage your current customers to purchase more than it is to get a new crop of customers.First, view the numbers.  How many of your customers have purchased in the past month?  Three months? Six months? Year? Look at patterns. Look at repeat sales.  How many of them keep coming back? It’s important to make this assessment to see how many of your customers are just one-shot deals or ones who have returned to buy more.

Get Cozy with Your Customers

Encourage conversation – whether it is face-to-face or online.  What do your customers like about your product or service? How do they use what you offer?  Customers become loyal to your brand when they feel connected to you and your business. Keep things fun and casual, letting customers know that YOU care.  When they sense that, they’ll keep coming back. In this electronic world of ours, sometimes people are lonely and miss the personal care and contact of businesses from yesteryear where customers were on a first-name business.  Tap into that and show them that you are there for them.

Provide a Before and After

Customers will often purchase because of hope.  They know their status quo and they hope to do better than that.  They often will base a purchase on results – how the product or service will make a difference to them and make CHANGES to them, for them, and in their lives.  Most people aren’t completely satisfied with who they are, where they are, or what they are doing – and by showing them what a difference your business will make for them, their interest is piqued.  Ask your customers for testimonials – and with pictures, better yet. Seeing is believing – and these will encourage current customers to take full advantage of what you offer.

Use Words that Work

Certain words work their magic when it comes to purchases.  How many people will buy 2 or 3 of something to save some money instead of just buying the 1 they need?  A sale – that word entices- free also stimulates interest.  The words newand instantly also appeal to the emotion and the logic of purchasing.  How can you encourage your current customers to purchase more?  They like promotions and seasonal sales and coupons.  Give them teasers.  Make it fun for them to visit your site or your website to buy things for themselves and others.

Create Excitement

Think of what changes have been made lately to your products or services  Make a big deal about those. Let customers know that you’ve heard their requests and tell them what has been changed and why.  Capture the momentum of newness! Show them how the latest features will make a difference to them. If you’ve got a new product, get your customers involved. Have a contest.  Have a few customers test new products and post reviews online. Get them involved and they won’t want to leave or let go.

A business will struggle with success if it is fueled just by new customers.  If your customers seem to come and go, adopt one of these strategies to revitalize interest in your product and service to keep your customers loyal and current.  Want an easy way to keep in touch with them? Send your customers direct news about your business right to their inbox. Join us atOnline Sales Pro and see how!

Where are my Customers?

As an independent business owner, one of your key interests is finding and keeping customers.  Successful businesses may proclaim that product-based strategies work the best; others tote customer-based strategies.  Let’s take a look at customers and figure out how a focus on them can bring more of them to you.

Identify your Customers

Think about the product or service you are promoting and determine who would make the best use of it.  What does that customer look like? Is it a he or a she–old or young–active or sedentary? Describe your target customer in as many words as possible, because those descriptors will become key when you are creating your marketing campaign.

Build a Profile

Using the description that you have created of your target customer, now you need to focus not only on WHO your customers are but WHAT they want and WHY.  Create a new list of the attributes of your product or service, described in as much detail as you did for your potential customers. What we want to find here is a way to match the two–the target customer with your product or service.  This will help you determine how to reach and engage those customers. You will need to figure out how the features of what you are promoting are tailored to these new potential customers. That match makes your customers like any other asset your business has–providing returns over time all because of the marketing investment you are making to attract them.

Now Let’s Strategize

You now have some fresh data–about your customers and about the features of your product or service.  It’s now time to apply the 4 P’s of marketing:  Product, Price, Place, and Promotion–and create those links between them. Look at your product and determine a fair price for it. You might want to drop the price for a promotion to encourage more sales.  You might want to have a contest to give an extra gift to the first 10 or 20 customers who purchase an item on one certain day or during a weekend. Allow yourself creative ways to connect customer and price. As for the place, how are you going to sell?  In person? Online? Now figure out how to reach out to have them come to you. Will you advertise locally with a flyer or an advertisement on Craigslist or Nextdoor?  Or will you create an online marketing campaign like the one Online Sales Pro offers with its Express Setup?

A business cannot run without a faithful base of customers, but initially that base must be built.  Focus on your customers and figure out the best way to reach out to them, so they identify with you and your product or service and purchase them and then tell others.  Want to learn more about how to reach customers?  Join us at Online Sales Pro and see how!

Landing Page No-Nos

Landing pages should be designed to work – and they will do that if you remember NOT to do these five things.  Be sure to take a look at each one of these no-nos closely as you examine your landing page to improve it. In a search about landing pages, you’ll find various articles about what to include on your landing page, but often it’s what you should NOT include that keeps customers from purchasing your product or service. Let’s learn from the experts!

Be Creative but NOT When It Comes to Testimonials

Look through what your customers say about your product or service.  What is it that they like? What keeps them coming back? If you have a very loyal client, you may want to ask that person for feedback – and explain why.  You want to feature those comments on your landing page. Do not ask Aunt Mildred to crank out some rosy words for you – and don’t you dare rewrite any feedback that may have had more negative than positive comments.  Aim for sincerity and truthfulness!

Be Inventive but Do NOT Forget About Mobile Use

Some of the nifty aspects that a desktop display will allow do not work on a phone. If something takes too long to download, or text or images get cut off, potential customers using their phones to visit your landing page may walk away from a sale. You don’t want that to happen. Make sure you test your landing page on your phone and anything that doesn’t work? Remove or adjust it.

Be Resourceful but Do NOT Lose Focus

You may think that a link to here or a link to there will increase the value to your landing page.  Not so! That distracts people. We want them to focus on one thing: to sign up potential customers to learn more – and buy more!  Your landing page is to capture leads – and that’s all you want it to do. Once they get to your website, they can go on an expedition and explore this and that – but before you get their information, cool your jets!

Be Inquisitive but Do NOT Ask for Too Much

What do you need to contact someone?  A name? A phone number? An email address?  Well, then, that’s all your capture form should include.  You don’t have long for someone to respond, and if you are asking for too much information, people may just cancel out, their interest in your product or service snuffed out.  Ask only for what you need.

Be Pleased but Do NOT Forget to Say Thank You

It’s encouraging to see your list of contacts grow.  People are responding to your landing page and providing their contact information.  They want to know more! Of course you are pleased. But remember what your mother told you long ago:  be sure to say THANK YOU! When someone has provided the essential contact information for you, respond with a thank you.  Send a creative note of thanks to the potential customer’s email address or route them to a web page that creatively says thanks!  We all like to be thanked – and let’s face it, the customer has just made the first step toward a purchase, so that deserves a smile and a nudge from you right away.

It’s important to learn from mistakes that others have made with their landing pages.  That gives you a chance to focus on what DOES work. Want to learn more?  Get started with Online Sales Pro today and look for this marketing guide:  Email Marketing Secrets, and read chapters 3 and 4.  A well-crafted landing page that does not include these five mistakes can certainly boost your sales!

Happy Customers

We all want happy customers.  By keeping them happy, they’ll spread the word, and soon we’ll have more happy customers.  How can we manage to build up a clientele that keeps coming back? Let’s look at some strategies to generate positive customer reviews.

Give Them a REASON to Review

First of all, you must provide a product or service that is the best you can offer.  Customers who need what you have to offer will notice the quality of it and be pleased with any customer support they may need.  Provide a 100% guarantee – no matter what. Talk to them when they have complaints and provide answers – or make changes. Business is an interactive process, so learn as much from your customers as you possibly can.  Also, remember that many customers try out a business based on comments by their friends and colleagues. A word-of-mouth campaign is one of the most convincing ones that can be launched. People seek out the experiences others have had with your business, so make sure that they have something to crow about.

Give Them a PLACE to Review

Customers can use various ways to “pen” their impressions of your business by posting Google or Yelp Reviews and others – but make sure that there is a place for customers to leave questions and comments on your website, too.  You’ll be able to use those reviews. Let others know what happy customers are saying – and why. Also, if you see customers face-to-face, ask them open-ended questions, encouraging frank responses. Create incentives.  Provide discounts on the future purchase of products or services for those who complete a survey about your business.

Give Them a RESPONSE to a Review

If a customer posts a negative review, respond to the post or, if you can, get in touch with them. Thank them for their feedback and let them know what will come of it.  Too often it’s the unhappy customers that yammer and complain, and the happy ones just smile and say thank you. Ask the happy ones for feedback and then respond to that, reinforcing the review of your business.  Your customers will respect you for the interactions and your responses.  The relationships you have with your clients will become stronger. Perhaps you will find out what they like best.  Maybe you hadn’t realized before what the most important element of your product or service is to them.  You may find ways that you can make your business run even more smoothly with their feedback and develop new products or services.

Potential customers often make purchasing decisions after reading reviews on the Internet.  When happy customers post positive comments about your business that can bring in new customers.  Just think – these reviews are effective and you didn’t pay anything at all for that kind of marketing and promotion!  Aim to keep your current customers pleased with your product or service and just watch while more customers join them.

Should you need some help drumming up business by yourself, we can help you by creating a marketing campaign focused on your product or service.  Contact us here at Online Sales Pro. Automated marketing messages will be set up and sent to those interested in your business – and we can do that all for you for less than $100.  When you visit our website, click on OSP Express for that customized service we offer to our happy customers.

1440 Minutes

We all have 1440 minutes in each day.  We tend to waste quite a few of those minutes by running from here to there helter-skelter – racing through the day’s tasks and often having to do them over again – and having unfocused time that we can never recapture.  Worse yet, we have trouble finding the time to make changes to make better use of those many minutes our days gift us. Do you have a few minutes to make some teeny tiny changes that will truly make a difference! Nod your head YES so we can look into this.

Focus on a Change

Is there a change you would like to make in your life that could definitely make a difference?  BJ Fogg, a behavior scientist at Stanford University, indicates that there are only three options that will make a long-term change in our behavior:  have an epiphany – make a change in our surroundings – or take tiny steps. The last option sounds much easier than the first two, so let’s continue with that one.  The Fogg Method focuses on three steps to take to change your behavior.

Step 1:  Get Specific

Instead of focusing on the habit or weakness that you have, focus on what behavior you would like to start.  What would you like to do instead? For instance, let’s say you would like to manage your time better. Think of yourself as someone who not only shows up on time, but maybe one who even gets there a little early.

Step 2:  Make It Easy

What can you do to make a change in your behavior so that it seems easy?  We tend to like easy fixes – something more challenging doesn’t interest us for long.  Think of a change you could make that would be simple but help you reach that outcome. We all do better with an easy change – something that helps us make the change, but not anything that is too oppressive, too stifling, too challenging.  How could we make that awareness of time a simple step?

Step 3:  Trigger the Behavior

Now consider what actions or reactions will encourage this new behavior.  It sounds as though someone who is often late probably has always been so.  Because of that, a trigger must be created to prompt this new behavior. How could we make that awareness of time a simple step?  Perhaps we notice the time and we think we can do just one more thing before the clock strikes twelve. If that is the case – here’s a solution, plain and simple:  change all of the clocks and watches in your house and in your office. Set them 15 minutes ahead! When you see the time, you’ll hustle, but you’ll be on time! If your brain won’t fall for such trickery, another change you could make is to set a timer to beckon you, letting you know that you have only 10 minutes more.  These are simple steps to help you change the behavior.

Perhaps you would also like to spend less time scurrying around trying to make connections and possible sales.  We have a simple step you can take to manage your business time better: Join us here at Online Sales Pro. With a few simple steps, you can set up automated messages with your sales page that will be mailed out every couple of days to potential customers.  Sit back, enjoy your time, and let automation do your work.

7 Reasons Content Marketing is Not Dead

Internet marketers delight in announcing that various methods of marketing are dead. Content marketing is one method of online marketing for small business that is definitely not dead and gone. In fact, it’s alive and well and something every business needs to be engaged in.

With that in mind, let’s look at the main reasons you should be using this method of marketing for your small business.

  1. Original Content Gets Results

The main issue with the blog posts and videos out there is that they are being broadcast on repeat. When one type of article goes viral, everyone writes similar articles…but what people are really looking for is brand new information. If you can provide that, you’ll see results. It’s estimated that roughly 5% of marketing content gets 90% of responses, so make sure yours is in that 5%.

  1. It’s Affordable

When it comes to online marketing for small businesses, affordability is key. It costs very little to write a blog post or article, or even to put together a simple video or infographic. Even if you hire the content creation out, you’ll still pay far less than traditional marketing methods.

  1. It’s Relevant

When you want to know how to do something or which product to buy, what do you do? Chances are, you check online. Reading a review or watching a video can give you valuable and instant information on whatever you need to know. That’s why content will never go away…it is an essential part of life at this point, and everyone uses it.

  1. Content Can Be Outsourced

Not sure you can come up with all that content on your own? It’s not a problem. There are countless experts available to create your blog posts, articles, videos, and even images for you. It can be quite beneficial to outsource this, since you can hire those who are experts in your particular niche, making it simple for them to turn out amazing content that will entice readers.

  1. People Share Content

What do you see being shared constantly on Twitter, Facebook, or Pinterest? Content. Whether it is in the form of a video, article, or infographic, the content is what connects with people enough to get them sharing. If you want to build up your brand and create a stronger following, you need more content.

  1. Content Evolves Over Time

At one point, most content was simply written text. That was useful, but then we expanded into images. Today, even though video is a viral form of content, images and text never actually went away. As people change their method of content consumption, content producers can change the way they present the same material. This ensures that it is always available in an easy-to-digest format that will appeal to anyone searching for information. You may have even noticed that there are a number of sites that offer both text and video versions of their sales pitches now, so that consumers can choose their favorite method of learning.

  1. Knowledge Will Never Die

There will always be a need for great content. Even if it’s been done before, you can offer an updated version of the information or add your own twist. The fact is, people seek out relevant, useful information when they’re in need of knowledge, and if you have it, then you are more likely to make a sale. This means there will never be a time when content is not needed. Content marketing is the way to go, because it will continue to be useful long after it is written or created.

Content marketing is most certainly not dead, and it likely never will be. There’s always an audience for those looking to learn something new or to find a specific product. As long as you are providing that content, you will continue to attract new eyes.  Want to learn more?  Get started with Online Sales Pro today and check out our marketing guide, Free Traffic Foundations, to learn more about getting traffic for your marketing efforts.