Are You the Sherlock Holmes of Your Small Business?

Horses. Murder. Mystery.Those are the usual components of a Dick Francis novel. Dick Francis, once the Queen of England’s steeplechase jockey, is one of my favorite novelists. Why? Because he writes about two things I love: horses and solving mysteries.If you’re a small business owner you’ll probably like books by Dick Francis, too, even if you’re not a horse freak like me. Actually, let me rephrase that. If you are or want to be a successful small business owner, you should love Dick Francis novels … or other kinds of mysteries.Successful small business people share one thing in common with the main characters in Dick Francis novels: a love of solving mysteries. Look around at some of the people who founded tiny companies that are now huge: Sam Walton of Sam’s Club, Gordon Moore of Intel, and Michael Dell of Dell Computers. They all love the process of tackling and solving problems.Throwing Down the Gauntlet – Are You a Problem Solver?
Last night I was so inspired reading Robert Kiyosaki’s “Increase Your Financial I.Q.” book that today I am going throw down the gauntlet to all you small business owners out there: I challenge you to become more successful than you ever dreamed in your small business by focusing on one thing-solving problems.This may sound silly, since business owners always seem to be solving problem, or at least fighting fires. But firefighting and problem solving are two different things. Firefighting is simply running around and dealing with whatever is most urgent in your business. Solving problems means developing final and permanent solutions to problems that plague your small business. Firefighting gives you a small period of peace. Problem solving brings your business a solid revenue stream, real profit, and a solid financial base. In other words, a permanent sense of success even in rocky seas.Small Business Problem Solving in Today’s Economy
What kinds of problems do small business owners deal with in today’s economy? To start with, see if this list resonates with you:- cash flow crunch
- lack of credit
- increased global competition
- failure to find or keep good employees
- clients with shrinking budgetsSound familiar? Sound bad? It’s not. Here’s the good news. While everything may be topsy turvy in the financial world, one thing is for certain: all of these problems are amazing opportunities for you to learn how to solve problems.I know, it sounds kinda like your mother telling you that eating vegetables is “good for you.” On the face of things, it doesn’t very exciting, does it?But being a seasoned problem-solver is the on asset you can count on, no matter what the financial markets do. In fact, it’s the one reason Robert Kiyosaki gives for being certain that he will survive any financial disaster of any magnitude. He’s survived numerous personal financial disasters, so he knows that no matter what happens to the world economy or his business finances, he’ll survive just fine. He’s got his Sherlock Holmes skills to fall back on.So … having said all that, I’ve had to ask myself, “Am I willing to see problems as opportunities to learn? Do I love a good mystery, even if it’s not in a book?” For me, it’s a resounding “Yes!” I love cracking the code on a good mystery. I’m as stubborn as a mule in that way. Problems that crop up in my life have a way of sticking in my craw, and I just can’t let them go until I get them solved.Here’s a good example: I wanted to learn how to sell retail products over the internet. When I first got started, I knew next to nothing about selling on the internet. I just dove in and hoped for the best. I got lots of nothing, for months, even years. Today, seven years later, that business produces a steady passive income stream and is mostly “hands off.” That income pays all my monthly bills, so I can work on cracking the next code.Are You a Sherlock Holmes for Your Small Business?
What about you? Have you got that Sherlock Holmes propensity for solving a good mystery? Maybe you don’t go looking for mysteries to solve, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t become an excellent problem solver for your own business.So what about it? Are you ready to stop being a firefighter and start being a problem solver for your small business?

Internet Marketing for Small Business – 6 Powerful Tips To Gain A Formidable Online Presence

My name is Hans Storrie, I’m an Internet marketing consultant for small business, and I’d like to share with you 6 excellent tips and reasons why, if you haven’t done so already, you should be taking full advantage of the available tools and professional help get your business seen by more potential customers, hence gaining more sales and most-importantly, increase your bottom line profits while slashing your current advertising costs.1: If you’re business provides a ‘business-to-business’ or ‘business-to-consumer’ local service, you must have a well-optimized Google Places listing that shows up on the first page of Google for you main keyword phrase. Why? If you don’t, your competitors will and it will take you much longer to outrank them.2: A top Google Places listing is enhanced by a business website. Businesses that do not have a website and are currently showing on the first page of Google, you’re lucky but be warned! It’s only a matter of time before your listing will drop away to allow a competitor’s fully-optimized listing to follow in your footsteps. With more business websites being built using WordPress, there’s no reason for any small business not to start building their own piece of online real-estate, especially when WordPress is FREE, easy to use, and very much Google-friendly!3: One of the biggest reasons that so many small businesses fail to get the traffic and online exposure they deserve, is the fact that they’re targeting the wrong keyword phrases. Search Google for their Free Keyword Tool then enter the main keyword phrase you think potential customers are using to find your business. You’ll get some astonishing facts along with instant data that shows you the competitiveness of any keyword phrase, the amount of times that your keyword phrase is searched for in any given month, plus a whole host of other relevant data. If you’re just starting to build your online campaign, this is definitely the place to start!4: Once you have a list of targeted keyword phrases, you can then start optimizing your web pages accordingly with the proper meta tags, title and description tags, navigation structure, inner-page linking, a solid on-going back-linking campaign sprinkled with a splash of social media interaction, and you have the perfect recipe to give your business the best chance of success over any competitor.5: Your own business website may be pretty to you, with nice images and lots of stuff about YOU, YOU, YOU! But if your website hasn’t a clear PURPOSE with a clear ‘Call-to-Action’, your visitors will simply leave without ever buy anything from you!If you want people to call you, TELL THEM! If you want people to give you their name and email address… ASK THEM! Offer them a friendly bribe like a free report, a weekly, bi-monthly or monthly newsletter, Free Tips, a Free chapter of your latest book, a discount voucher or coupon or whatever the case may be.Doing so will put you in a better position to follow up with your visitors on a regular basis, start building trust, business relationships and eventually making much-needed sales. You didn’t marry your spouse on the first date did you? The same principles apply to your business!6: Follow-up regularly with quality content. You’re subscribers can soon forget the reason they initially requested your freebie unless you maintain an ongoing relationship with them. Sometimes it can be difficult to write a newsletter, articles or good content on a regular basis, but this doesn’t mean you have to stop following up.There are several things you can do to continue sending your list stuff they’ll appreciate, and one of them is breaking down your product or service into small benefit-ridden tips and loading them into an autoresponder, how?Let’s say your business is an accountancy practice and the main purpose of your website is to attract new clients, do you think you could easily put together 26 quick tips about ‘accountancy for small businesses’? Of course you could. Sending 1 good tip to your subscribers every week means you’re providing valuable and appreciative content for 6 full months.The best thing too, once it’s set up, your business could be attracting valuable new clients on a regular basis, without you lifting another finger or paying elsewhere for expensive leads.A good autoresponder service will cost you around 13.00GBP per month, and well worth every penny of this small ‘lead-generation’ investment.Why Internet Marketing for Small Business Can Provide Longevity to Your Online EffortsHaving your own Internet marketing consultant on board when taking your business online may very well cost you initial monthly fees for 3, 6, or 12 months, or depending on the competitiveness of your market, but the return on investment can be much greater and can save you many months, if not years of learning.