Online Marketing for Small Business Websites in 2012

Well, 2011 is over and 2012 is here. And unless you believe in the Mayan prediction that the world will end later this year, as a small business owner you are probably going over your sales and marketing strategy for the coming year, making sure you have covered all of the bases and beginning to implement it in full force. All signs point to virtual double-digit growth in online sales volume in 2012, so hopefully your small business has online marketing as a significant part of your overall strategy. Below are a couple of areas that all small businesses should be focusing in on to maximize their online revenue stream.

Mobile Sales

Mobile sales are any sales where the actual purchase derives directly from a cellphone, smart phone or tablet device. Sales from mobile devices are a boon to small businesses because they break down the traditional geographic barriers and increase their potential customer base. They are also important because in today’s world, where decisions are made on the go and consumers are constantly being bombarded by additional input, small business owners need to capture sales at the time when the customer is ready to buy. If they don’t, life will intervene and delay that purchasing action or worse, drive it toward your competitors.

Estimates predict that mobile sales will account for a whopping $11.6 billion dollars in revenue in 2012. Are you positioned to get your piece of that pie? Taking advantage of mobile sales means using all of the tools at your disposal to convince customers to buy and then giving them the power to act on that decision immediately. It means designing your website from A to Z for useability and readability on smart phones and tablets. It means choosing typography that is attractive and readable on smaller screens as well as large home computer monitors. It means having an overall website design that is fluid… one that looks and works great on any screen no matter what the size. It means having navigation that works just as easily with thumbs and forefingers as it does with a mouse. It also means taking advantage of the power of Social Media to present your company, brand and products in a timely and effective way.

Social Media

It should be no surprise that the rise of Social Media Marketing and Mobile sales are closely related. Last year, Facebook estimated that 350 million of its 800 million users (40%) accessed the site via mobile devices. More and more consumers are using Social Media outlets such as Facebook and Twitter to research different products and make buying decisions. More importantly, Social Media provides THE SINGLE BEST opportunity to engage with your customers and potential customers on a regular basis. Social Media networks are available 24 hours a day, meaning that you can present marketing to your potential customers 24 hours a day. Just as important is the opportunity to increase your brand awareness, and build and reinforce your relationships with your customers. Offering discounts, coupons and other promotions to people that visit your Facebook business page on a regular basis is a great way to get people coming back over and over again. Is your business on Google+ yet? Don’t discount the potential power of this relatively new social network. Many are speculating that companies who utilize the new platform will automatically do better in Google’s search engine rankings, regardless of how many people actually visit the page!

Replicate the Retail Experience

I believe this is one of the greatest opportunities for small businesses to capitalize on the mobile and social marketing trends of 2012. While many customers will continue to shop online for the sake of convenience (among other reasons), they still want the responsiveness and service available from taking to a live person. The traditional customer service vehicle of a small business online presence has always been email or the website form. However, there are a variety of live chat options available that can greatly improve a small business’s response time for customers, which will lead to greater sales now and better customer retention in the future. Given the relatively small cost of some of these options (some are even FREE), the Return on Investment is phenomenal. Any time you can give the customer what they want, when they want it, you are putting yourself in a great position to succeed! Finding ways, like implementing a Live Chat system for both and pre- and post-sales situations is just one way to provide the best possible customer experience.

2012 – Great Promise for Small Businesses

Those small businesses that learn how to effectively extend their traditional brick and mortar presence into the online marketplace will enjoy the greatest success in 2012. A seamless integration of these strategies will produce more customers, greater customer retention, and open up even more opportunities through word of mouth, links back to your website and more followers on your social marketing accounts.

5 Reasons for Writing Business Correspondence

What is an effective business organization? The answer to this is quite broad and diverse. But there is one aspect of business operations that is often neglected. This is business writing.

Effective business communication is important in the daily operation of a company. Moreover, it can dictate whether the company earns or loses money. In addition, it affects the business organization at different levels from the individual up to the corporate leaders.

1. To convey information

The essential role of business writing in an organization is to share information. Whether it is the latest sales statistics or sale projection, a business plan, a marketing proposal, proper communication of data is essential. The success of a business organization depends on the quality of information that passes through its people.

2. To justify an action

Another reason why people communicate is to justify or explain an action. One example to this is writing an incident report. The person explains what happened so that the company can understand an event better. Justifications and explanations require that the author put as much detail as possible to communicate his thought clearly.

3. To influence action

Business writing is often a way to influence other people. A good example of this is presenting a business proposal, a marketing plan or a project proposal. By detailing pertinent information, the author seeks to affect the decision. Influencing others is a hallmark of effective business communication.

4. To deliver good or bad news

The workplace is a dynamic place. It offers employees both good and bad news on a daily basis. Through proper business communication, the bad news is properly written to soften the blow. Likewise, good news is highlighted just to give emphasis. This can range from getting a pay raise to sharing the company’s achievements. On the other hand, this can offer grim realities like suspensions, or even layoffs.

5. To direct action

Lastly, effective business writing aims to direct the reader to the right actions. Many company documents like SOP manuals, employee handbooks, technical instruction manuals and the like offer explicit information. In order for a corporate correspondence to direct the action of the employee, it must be clear and concise. Unfortunately, many failures in communication result due to unclear and conflicting statements.

Having these 5 reasons of corporate correspondence in mind, an author can effectively write business communication. Furthermore, the proper writing style stems from a clear and effective business writing purpose.

Understanding The Accounting Terms To Create Better Business

Every field of study uses specific terms that are not easily understood by others in different fields. If you are an accounting student or a professional accountant, you should know the different terms used in accounting. One of the most popular terms is profit and loss.

In general, it is easy to define what profit is and what loss is. However, in accountancy, these have deeper meanings. For starters, you have to define what profit is in a business entity. Profit is sometime called as net earnings or net income. Companies or sole proprietors can sell either services, physical products or none physical products. Profits are the earnings from the sales of these services and products. There are two main types of profits: gross profit and net profit. Gross profits are direct earning from the sales while net profit minus the cost of running the business or any amount related to the product.

Profits in accountancy are also known as ROI or return on investment. However, this specific term is usually limited to securities like bonds or stocks. However, you will find that some companies or businesses that uses ROI to mean short or long-term business outcome. Apart from that, in a financial statement you might find the term taxable income. This is also profit. Taxable income, as the words implies, is the profit that will be taxed the government tax agency. Many companies needed professional accountants to present a good financial statement to show profits that will be less taxable. This does not mean that the business entities intended to cheat on their tax but there times that are entitle to tax reductions. However, due to bad financial reports, they ended up being taxed anyway. That is why companies need professional accountants to look into their accounts.

These finance employees are the one that builds up the account s. The data they collected over the course of time find the profits as well as the losses. Professional accountants form some sort of business equation to explain the profits & losses of a business. With the data collected and further analysis, they can create a report that tells a company’s net worth.

Profit and loss is the most common term. Most decision maker, which comprises of the company directors or managers, tends to be interested on this term only. However, if they have any accounting background, they would know that there are more than one accounting term. Now, net worth refers to the end amount after subtracting the liabilities of a business from the assets. Private businesses also called net worth as owner’s equity.

Owner’s equity is another term to explain. Well, after considering the cost of all the liabilities, what is left are whatever rightly belongs to the owner. In the case of public companies, the profit of the business is stated as dividends to shareholders. Therefore, before owner or shareholders of a company can take hold of the profits, all liabilities must be taken into account first.

Any business entity aims to get an excellent and positive amount at the end of the financial result because that would mean profit to them. A negative result shows that the business is at a loss. Every society and world economy are built on profit. However, it is possible business incurs losses. This is normal if the business have just started. However, if there is a prolonged loss, then the business needs to check their strategies. Moreover, consumer behaviors and economic trends tend to change over time. In other words, it is not likely to foresee the company’s future performance. Although having a good financial report should help the business to make better decisions.

Now, how can you tell if a business experiencing losses? It is actually quite simple that those without accounting background should know about this. All liabilities are taken out from the assets and if results lead to a negative amount, then the business experiencing a loss. The accounting staff of the business, using the reports, can make suggestion on the effective measures to revive the business. This is why every company should have efficient and effective professional accountants. Without them, the business can go downhill without realizing why. A financial report must be analysed thoroughly before any decision is made.

There is other accounting terms stated in a financial report. It would be good if business owners do some readings on them. There are many free materials on the net. They can also choose to go for some part-time online accountancy courses that deal specifically on certain subjects.

Understanding accounting terms is vital in running a business. Certain business owner only focuses on marketing and operation. There is nothing wrong in this but they tend to put their financial report as something to analyze only at the end of the month. If you are a business owner and you are having this perception, then it is a big mistake. Learn more about accounting or get reliable accounting staffs to keep your business. This will make a lot of difference in your business.