archive-org.com » ORG » N » NASE.ORG

Total: 1196

Choose link from "Titles, links and description words view":

Or switch to "Titles and links view".
  • Creating Your Logo – Tips For Startups And Established Small Businesses
    Calculator How long will my retirement savings last Tax 1040 Tax Calculator Payroll Deductions Calculator Self Employment Tax Calculator Helpful Links ASBDC Member Directory Search My NASE About Me Account Benefits Optional Benefits Payment Details Expert Questions Email Subscriptions Membership Directory NASE Marketing Blog Get the advice and tips you need to grow your business Creating Your Logo Tips For Startups And Established Small Businesses Monday August 30 2010 Posted by Maureen Petron Looking to create or recreate your business brand with a logo This article from Mashable gives 4 things to consider when creating your own logo or outsourcing the design If you do look for a logo designer the article suggests finding a recommendation from a colleague or making sure to browse the designer s work before engaging them for your project An NASE Member benefit lets you go a step further than just browsing a designer s portfolio CrowdSPRING lets you work with dozens of designers see hundreds of concepts for your specific project set your own price and select your perfect match At the crowdSPRING website you describe your project and the price you want to pay and then watch as graphic designers across the world offer you their ideas You re guaranteed to like the logo or website design or stationary package or tshirt concept that you commission because you only pay for the one you want to purchase How do I know crowdSPRING really works Because the NASE tested it out ourselves before bringing them into the NASE benefits package When publishing the latest edition of Schedule C from A to Z I bid out the creation of the book s cover design on crowdSPRING Learn more about crowdSPRING and the NASE discount of 25 off any project you post And if you use

    Original URL path: http://selfemployed.nase.org/business-help/get-help/marketing/marketing-blog/self-made/2010/08/30/Creating_Your_Logo_%E2%80%93_Tips_For_Startups_And_Established_Small_Businesses (2016-02-14)
    Open archived version from archive


  • Who Is Angie?
    database of mostly service businesses and medical professionals in 500 categories with consumer reviews written by more than a million dues paying members The company says it gets 40 000 new reviews a month at the site Service Magic pre screens licensed contractors and some services such as photographers Consumers then visit the site input their needs and receive three to four referrals The businesses pay for each referral they get Yelp combines user reviews social networking and local search Businesses can be listed for free And the site doesn t charge users to write a review Yelp makes its money by charging companies for better placement in search results and for extra features in their listings What They Cost The Better Business Bureau doesn t have members Instead businesses are accredited for an annual fee that s determined by company size and location For example the Louisville bureau charges 405 for a business with one to three employees and 3 500 for companies with 1 500 plus employees The Greater Maryland bureau charges 399 a year for one to two employees and 6 635 for 1 251 to 2 500 employees Dispute mediation fees also vary The Better Business Bureau allows a business to promote its accreditation which is seen by many consumers as a Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval for businesses On Angie s List only consumers who pay about 5 a month are allowed to write reviews which the company says improves the quality of the comments Businesses can respond to their reviews for free If a company has at least two A or B ratings the owner can buy ads on the site Service Magic charges its contractors referral fees of 7 to 50 per lead depending on the type and size of a job Yelp listing enhancements can run 300 a month according to micro business owners who have tried them How To Maximize Benefits Recent statistics have proved that consumers are reviewing and conversing about businesses says Manal Richa of MarCom Network a marketing and creative agency in Irvine Calif So for business owners it would be best to be online to connect with consumers and prospects answer their questions and comment on their reviews The Better Business Bureau has influence with millions of Americans and Canadians so a business that receives a notice of a complaint from the bureau should respond immediately and completely One unanswered complaint can draw an F grade Any business that pays for accreditation should use the BBB symbol in an area visible to the public such as on websites in marketing materials and at storefronts To get the most out of Angie s List and Yelp business owners should encourage customers to post reviews about their companies products and services Owner should also participate and respond using the social networking aspects of each site Watch For Pitfalls Many consumers think the Better Business Bureau is a sterling consumer protection advocate After they find out that the bureau charges

    Original URL path: http://selfemployed.nase.org/business-help/get-help/marketing/marketing-news/2011/12/02/Who_Is_Angie (2016-02-14)
    Open archived version from archive

  • Online Marketing
    help get your website listed high in the main section of a search engine s results page PPC advertising is a little different Here you also try to determine which keywords your prospects will use Then you bid with the search engines to essentially buy these keywords so that links to your website will come up in the paid section of the results page either on the right hand side or at the top of the page You pay the search engine each time someone clicks on your link Jason Morrison vice president of sales and marketing for Capitol Media Solutions a media strategy buying and sales agency headquartered in Washington D C says there are two main PPC advertising providers Google AdWords which has about 70 percent of the PPC market and Microsoft adCenter which is newer and has the remaining 30 percent Google AdWords was the original Morrison notes and it s very user friendly I usually recommend it to businesses that are just starting out with PPC advertising To get started simply visit Google AdWords or Microsoft adCenter The final step in Williams three step integrated marketing strategy is to engage prospects on your website by offering some sort of valuable content You want to either entice them to make a purchase or to give you their contact information so you can follow up she explains This is where a lead nurturing campaign perhaps via email marketing can be valuable The consumer s searching and buying process is not always this linear of course Adds Williams The bottom line is that businesses should try to be visible online everywhere their target audience is throughout the entire buying cycle and have a cohesive campaign offering a consistent message E Newsletters Blogs And Social Media E newsletters are an increasingly popular tool used by businesses of all shapes and sizes to enhance their online presence E newsletters are especially useful for nurturing and staying in touch with prospects and leads When done properly e newsletters accomplish three critical things all at once says Michael Katz founder of Blue Penguin Development a consulting firm in Hopkinton Mass that specializes in the development of e newsletters They position you as an expert They leverage your existing relationships And they provide a means for revealing the true voice of your company Media strategist Morrison concurs E newsletters are a great way to stay in front of your customers and prospects week after week month after month when you might otherwise fall off their radar Katz stresses that e newsletters must be more than simply poorly disguised sales pitches You need to provide value if you want people to give you permission to keep coming back to their inbox says Katz Blogging and being active on social media sites like Facebook Twitter and LinkedIn are other ways many businesses are beefing up their online presence Blogs Facebook fan pages Twitter feeds and LinkedIn profiles should all be integrated together and easily accessible from

    Original URL path: http://selfemployed.nase.org/business-help/get-help/marketing/marketing-news/2011/09/30/Online_Marketing (2016-02-14)
    Open archived version from archive

  • Could Changing Your Company’s Name Boost Your Business?
    with her entity I was intentionally trying to create a firm that was not about me because I want to create something that has value to transfer to somebody else in the future she says With my plans to grow the firm the vision very much is that Michelle is not your lawyer Equinox is your law firm Choosing A New Moniker If your name seems worthy of replacement don t limit the pool to a few possibilities Laurel Sutton says the naming firm she co founded Catchword in Oakland Calif typically generates 2 000 or 3 000 name candidates for clients Sutton says that an ideal name should Appeal to your target audience Identify something unique about your business Set you apart from your competitors Establish an engaging connection with customers Work with your overall brand It should also be easy to remember hard to mispronounce and void of a negative meaning in languages used by your customers You may also want to pick a name that you can legally protect Your customers partners vendors investors and even friendly competitors can all offer useful feedback Don t rely too heavily on input from family and friends however The worst thing you can do is to invite the opinions of people who don t know what you re doing don t understand your business and are not your target customers Sutton says Check for possible legal conflicts after you ve got a short list in hand You can research trademarks on the website of the U S Patent and Trademark Office To see if your potential names are already being used as either legal names or trade names do a thorough Internet search that includes online state databases like those of your secretary of state or licensing agency Then search every other resource you can think of that may contain business names Trade journals and phonebooks are a good start Bomberger says you should look not only at whether a name is being used but also whether it s being used in the same or similar industry as your company The issue is whether the names are confusingly similar to a customer But even with thorough due diligence it s a good idea to hire an intellectual property attorney who can help you navigate potential legal troubles related to choosing a name and protecting it There s a lot of gray in this area For instance take the name of Bomberger s Washington firm Equinox Business Law Group There are other companies that use the name Equinox in Washington including a horse boarding facility That didn t present a conflict to Bomberger because customers aren t going to confuse her law office with a farm or ranch But would she have had a problem if there were an Oregon law firm called Equinox that had already done business in her state Potentially she says Making The Change Once you ve settled on a new name you ve got to let

    Original URL path: http://selfemployed.nase.org/business-help/get-help/marketing/marketing-news/2011/06/06/Could_Changing_Your_Company_s_Name_Boost_Your_Business (2016-02-14)
    Open archived version from archive

  • Surprise! Direct Mail Isn’t Dead!
    suppliers get discounts for specialized addressing formats and sending mailings in bulk you may even save money on your postage Three Keys To Success Selling is all about making the right offer to the right person at the right time says Dean Rieck owner of Direct Creative a full service direct marketing firm based in Westerville Ohio These three elements if executed correctly could lead to more inquiries appointments for services or sales at the cash resister The List The list is the most important element says Rieck You can send brilliant advertising with appealing offers but if it s not reaching the right people the mailing will fail Response rates for mailings sent to current or previous customers or those who have demonstrated an interest in a company s products or services are typically higher than messages sent to prospective customers A house list can be compiled simply by asking customers at the point of sale or after providing a service to sign up to receive special offers and discounts Prospect lists can be rented from brokers Available selection criteria such as age income ZIP code and other factors help pinpoint individuals or businesses that are most likely to respond to your mailings and offerings The Creative Think of your postcard as a billboard says Neil Raphel president of Raphel Marketing in St Johnsbury Vt It should have a simple yet attractive design The layout must be easy to read and understand in just a few moments It s also important to use your logo company colors taglines and other elements that people associate with your business The Offer It s not enough to simply announce your business and tack on a phone number Rieck says The key is creating a compelling offer that has a perceived value so that people respond Rieck urges mail users to incorporate strong headlines and power words such as new now guaranteed announcing how to easy and fast It s wise to test a variety of offers to learn what resonates with your recipients To encourage sales Rieck suggests trying introductory pricing and early bird or volume discounts Offering free information samples demonstrations consultations assessments or subscriptions are popular ways to generate inquiries Always include a specific call to action such as phoning the office or bringing the postcard into your store during a designated period And don t forget to include your address phone number or website so people can easily respond Coupons are a safe bet in mailings too In 2009 budget conscious consumers redeemed 27 percent more coupons than in 2008 according to a study released by Inmar a company that processes coupon transactions This is the first time in nearly 20 years that coupon redemptions have increased and experts predict the popularity will continue Real Life Postcard Success Curtis Lewis owner of Curtis J Lewis Fine Jewelry uses an online postcard vendor because his mailings are targeted quick to produce and they help him develop a loyal customer base

    Original URL path: http://selfemployed.nase.org/business-help/get-help/marketing/marketing-news/2011/03/17/Surprise_Direct_Mail_Isn_t_Dead (2016-02-14)
    Open archived version from archive

  • Buddy System
    and are expected to be up an impressive 50 to 60 percent in 2010 Because business is so good Paine and Webster are moving to a larger retail space to accommodate increased inventory more healing rooms and a new organic juice and smoothie bar Artisans whose sales are typically generated solely at craft fairs enjoy having their products on the Candles Creations shelves throughout the year Wellness practitioners benefit from having a professional environment where they can treat their customers They also have the luxury of building their businesses without incurring the large expenses that startups typically incur It s amazing to be part of this collaboration and watch Candles Creations grow says Paine It s also very fulfilling giving others the opportunity to build their businesses Two Heads Are Better Than One Some business owners form alliances because they get tired of working alone They want the synergy camaraderie and creativity that results from two minds coming together says Ranson Others turn to individuals who have resources or strengths they may be lacking while they bring their own value to the table Some are lucky enough to join forces and reap all of these benefits That was the case for Susan McCarty owner of Franklin Printing in Franklin Ind and Erin Smith founder of The Stitch Smith a custom embroidery and screen print apparel company in nearby Greenwood Ind Smith had witnessed a large drop in sales and had grown weary of generating most of her revenue in the fourth quarter when individuals buy gifts and companies use up annual budgets Meanwhile sales at McCarty s print shop had reached a plateau and remained stagnant for a few years I knew I needed additional sales help McCarty says Smith took McCarty to lunch one day discussed business and the women developed a plan to join forces to grow their respective operations We were drawn to each other because we have similar belief systems and work ethics Smith says Having complementary products and a similar target market made the idea a natural fit says McCarty Smith began focusing on sales calls promoting the entire line of Stitch Smith and Franklin Printing products and services McCarthy took care of the follow up and monitored operations The joint venture quickly paid off Sales increased 35 percent for each company making 2009 the best year on record for Smith and McCarty Smith was also able to break into sports related apparel sales and generate a more steady flow of income We saw the uptick in income which is what we were after says McCarthy Having each other as a resource is valuable too We have someone to bounce ideas off of Trust collaboration and understanding each other s strengths are important for such a relationship to succeed says McCarty The partnership has been so lucrative that the duo is now formally merging their businesses under the umbrella name Spotlight Strategies This will enable the women to increase productivity by combining their staffs They

    Original URL path: http://selfemployed.nase.org/business-help/get-help/marketing/marketing-news/2010/11/23/Buddy_System (2016-02-14)
    Open archived version from archive

  • Schmoozing For Sales
    Frank F Chiera executive vice president for social media integration at Kel Partners the Boston based public relations agency It s not about me as a business owner pitching my goods and services to clients but rather about starting a dialog and building relationships How many social networks are there Nearly 200 according to a continually updated list on Wikipedia an online encyclopedia Each social network tends to cultivate a distinct group of people The good news is that most of the networks offer their services at no cost They make their profits through fees for optional premium services and advertising Facebook LinkedIn Facebook is one of the fastest growing networks Because of its personal orientation the service is most often viewed as a strong channel for business to consumer marketing Yet Facebook s environment of personal engagement can foster profitable business dealings That s been the experience at New York City based HJMT Communications Because this public relations firm sells primarily to other businesses you might think its favorite social network would be LinkedIn Not so I really like the intimacy of Facebook because I feel that personal communication is vital to building business relationships says company president and CEO Hilary JM Topper who is also author of Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Social Media but were afraid to ask iUniverse com 2009 The facts bear her out Of Topper s 1 500 Facebook friends about 90 percent are business owners which makes a terrific pool of prospects and referrals And these business people do take time for the personal touch On her last birthday Topper received 50 goodwill messages I responded to each and every one she says Yet Topper doesn t rely on Facebook alone I am on 25 social networking sites and I try to build a community on each of them she says I try to post regularly about any topic I think will help other businesses And yes Topper does use LinkedIn often as a high tech search service for tracking down elusive prospects The trick she says is to find someone in your own friend network with a friend in the network of your prospect then ask for an introduction Topper gives this example We were looking to make a pitch to the American Heart Association My business development person used Google to look up the name of the marketing director at the AHA Then she searched for that person in LinkedIn and discovered mutual acquaintances in the individual s friend network She then had her own friend arrange for the introduction Twitter If LinkedIn and Facebook have captured a good deal of attention over the past few years Twitter is fast becoming the social network of choice for a growing number of assertive micro business owners One such business is FashionPlaytes an Internet based clothing design studio for girls ages 5 to 12 The audience for FashionPlaytes consists largely of moms And thousands of those moms spend lots of time

    Original URL path: http://selfemployed.nase.org/business-help/get-help/marketing/marketing-news/2010/09/13/Schmoozing_For_Sales (2016-02-14)
    Open archived version from archive

  • Cheers!
    network for jobs projects and more all over casual after work drinks Green Drinks has taken root in nearly 600 cities across the world with stewardship minded people of all shades of green mingling in bars and pubs from New York City to Sacramento Brussels to Bangkok and the Florida Keys to the Galapagos Islands At last year s Frederick Green Drinks networkers doled out handshakes and swapped business cards as they exchanged green business ventures and mutual connections Among the group was a property development manager who works with energy efficient heating and cooling systems an architect who designs green buildings and a self employed energy auditor This is an opportunity to network with like minded people in an established group says MJ Minton one of the group s organizers The Frederick Green Drinks group and hundreds more can be found at www greendrinks org Network To Be Known Attending a local networking group such as Green Drinks helps you plug into your community The longer you come the more your face gets recognized says Megan Artz who coordinates the Bellingham Wash Green Drinks Such recognition can deliver a host of benefits from new clients to potential employees At one gathering recalls Artz a young female college graduate met a regular from the town s Department of Ecology She needed an internship he needed an intern and a match was made Likewise Lynne Forsman who started Green Drinks in Annapolis Md four years ago made an important connection She met the owner of a micro business that operates shuttle fleets of six person all electric golf carts Forsman later became the company s marketing and sales coordinator That micro business found an employee Many others find valuable referrals Consumers used to frequently call Elvia Thompson another Annapolis Green Drinks organizer to ask where they could buy solar panels rain barrels and other green products and services Because of the numerous calls she set up a Web site to connect green minded locals to businesses such as a marina that uses sustainable practices a hardware store that sells low toxicity paints an eco friendly cleaning service and a rain barrel maker Being a part of such a local green network puts you on the community radar says George Thomas program director for Upstate Green Business Network s Rochester N Y chapter Members and even people who aren t in the network call in and say I need help do you know someone who can do this says Thomas who s able to help the caller find local businesses Benefits are many when the gathering is at your business Hosting a networking event gets potential customers in the door In Colorado Springs Colo Green Drinks organizers change the monthly venue to introduce attendees to new green businesses Meetings have taken place at a financial planner s office to learn about green investing a local brewery that creates sustainable ale a bicycle shop that has solar panels and others Small business co

    Original URL path: http://selfemployed.nase.org/business-help/get-help/marketing/marketing-news/2010/05/13/Cheers (2016-02-14)
    Open archived version from archive



  •