Top 6 Business Success Strategies

Comments (20)


"The principal purpose of business is to create a customer." - Peter Drucker

Creating a loyal and respectful relationship with a potential customer builds the basis for all other areas of business success.

Simply stated, without customers, our businesses would all fail.

A satisfied customer is a customer who provides a continual income stream and refers others.

Business success starts with the customer. The following six strategies outline the best and most effective business success practices.

1.) Customer Service. Typically 68% of a business' customers leave or go elsewhere for products and services because they feel they are under appreciated or unimportant.

The perception a customer has of his/her value to a business plays a very large role in whether or not the customer returns.

What can you do to improve on that statistic? Smile, ask questions, be friendly and say "Thank You".

Customer service is a seriously neglected facet of most businesses. As an owner you must set the example for your employees.

No one can do this for you. You can't pay an outside consultant to smile for you. If you aren't sure where to start, then pick up a copy of "How to Win Friends and Influence People" by Dale Carnegie.

2.) Existing customers. Another neglected area in most businesses is the act of communicating with existing customers. I can't remember the last time a business I frequented sent me a coupon or note or anything for that matter.

Keeping in contact with customers does not have to be an extensive and time-consuming endeavor. A monthly newsletter, a quarterly coupon mailing or a special occasion or holiday is sufficient. The idea here is not to sell them something but to simply remind them that you exist and value their business.

3.) Referrals. If you are not offering an incentive to your existing customers to refer new customers to you, you are missing out on a huge profit center.

Referral coupons are one way of enticing customers to refer. If a coupon makes it back to you with a new customer, then the referring customer gets a "spiff". A "spiff" can be a discount coupon, movie tickets, or a free item, anything that shows value.

It is important, however, for the "spiff" to be something of perceived value to the referrer. Cheesy doesn't work. The referrer needs to be excited or grateful for the "spiff".

4.) Thank you. Simply but overlooked. The act of thanking people for their business. Sending thank you notes to customers who refer is an important practice.

Most importantly, however is the practice of saying "thank you" when customer leaves even if he doesn't purchase. How you say "thank you" is also important.

Many times I say something to the effect of "thank you for using our services we really appreciate your business". This says so much more than a simple "thank you" does.

Thank customers for information they provide to you, thank them for referrals, thank them for keeping you in business, whatever it is just remember to say "thanks".

5.) Testimonials. Overlooked but critical to building credibility with potential customers.

If you are a brick-and-mortar business you should have customer testimonials posted where new customers can easily see them.

If you are an online business they need to be front and center on your web page. Do not hide them behind links, put them right on the home page.

Testimonials will do more for you than any other type of advertising. Sprinkle them throughout your mailers, on postcard mailings, in your office or store, on your web page, in your emails. Everywhere, you can't wear them out.

6.) Rewards. Rewarding customers for their loyalty is a great way to drive repeat business and boost your bottom line.

I recently sent out a letter thanking customers for their loyalty, telling them that they had been added to my VIP customer list, and presented them with a thank you coupon.

In the letter I also covered new services and products. I had a 90% response rate. Some customers called just to say "thank you" and chat.

This form of relationship building is a critical success factor.

The reward program can be points like airlines currently use, a cash back program, tiered discounts, anything that motivates the customer to buy more to gain the incentive.

These six strategies are mandatory to building a customer retention program and for motivating new customers to buy.

Implement one a month for the next 6 months and watch your sales go up.

Customers need and want to be appreciated and respected; this should be standard operating procedure for every business owner.

About the Author

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Comments

Gena Smith 23.02.2013. 12:11

Some of my family members think I am dumb for trying to start my own business? I am dead serious that this is my passion and I am research and starting an ecommerce (import and export) business. I am 23 and don't want to give up on this dream to work at a dead end job. I am hoping to get a part time job and then put all my energy into this business. I am 23. Is that too late, too crazy, or too young. People tell me all sort of opinion they have of me. :(
I already started an LLC with a friend and right now, trying to get supplies and marketing. Can someone advice on those stages. What was the hardest part you have of getting people to buy your products? What steps did you take to resolve the problems?

Gena Smith

Admin 23.02.2013. 12:11

Hello Gena

Great to know that you have started an e-commerce business. As they say, "Well begun is half done". So you have indeed made a great start by starting up an LLC. With regard to your e-commerce business, the first thing that you need to have is a business plan.

To answer your question. NO you are not dumb to start your own businesses. However, there are several things that you need to understand before diving into the business world.

For first time entrepreneurs, starting a business is both a dream and a fear. Most entrepreneurs start a business without careful research and planning. Starting a business is like a running a marathon and the need for a good plan is inevitable.

History has always taught us that civilizations that have learnt from their past have sustained more than those which haven?t. Instead of re-inventing the wheel, new entrepreneurs should learn from the mistake of others, without having to go through all the pain and suffering.

We have attempted to put down a list of 6 top reasons why businesses fail and how to avoid them:

1. No Business plans. Benjamin Franklin once said that ?By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail?. Many people think that writing down business plans isn?t really worth the effort. I wish I could explain to them how WRONG they were! Penning down a detailed plan is the best way to make sure you transform your idea into a successful business.

2. Lack of a clear business model. One of the most critical elements of the success of any business is it?s business model. A business model describes the rationale of how an organization creates, delivers, and captures value. A good business plan will have a business model. In order to survive every organization has to follow on adding value to its customers and clients ? What is it that your business is doing different from its peers that will bring and retain more customers? Think about it!

3. Action. All business coaches, mentors, trainers, motivational speakers tell you one thing in common ? ACTION. The success or failure of business is often attributed to actions or a lack thereof! Even a million dollar idea is worth nothing if it is not acted upon. This is where the business plan comes in handy. The business plan ideally should have a separate section on implementation ? what is to be done, who is going to do it and by when?

4. Lack of proper research. Many entrepreneurs who approach us have great business ideas. However, one common issue that we have seen is the lack of proper research. Running a successful business is all about having the right thing at the right place at the right time. A good research is essential for completing a comprehensive business plan. Research is all about where is your market, who are your customers, what is their need? If you have got this right, you have made a great beginning. Remember ?Well begun is half done?.

5. Not enough marketing. Peter F Drucker once said that, ?Business is all about innovation and marketing?. You might have a great product to sell, but without reaching the product to your customers you will be sitting like a beggar on a golden bench. A clear marketing strategy and a marketing plan is the most essential aspect of the success of any business.

6. Calling it a day too early. Business is all about strategy and patience. Many businesses fail because entrepreneurs give up too early and are not willing to wait for the tree to bear its fruits! Successful people have always learnt from their failures ? Abraham Lincoln, Thomas Edison, Steve Jobs ? All of them kept trying with patience until they found success!

Admin

Shasty 27.06.2006. 23:02

Does anyone know the quickest way to start a small business? I am trying to start my own floral business and wholesale products business but so far I have had little success and I don't know what else to do. I gave up my 6 year job to try this and it's taking more than I thought . Any ideas?

Shasty

Admin 27.06.2006. 23:02

You've got two different issues here - floral sales & wholesale services. Let's tackle one at a time...

RE: Floral sales/Florist Shop

The best routes to take are to research the process of starting a business as well as the industry you're interested in.

I recommend checking out the SBA, Entrepreneur, The Start Up Journal & Nolo. All 4 are great informational resources for the new/small business owner. I posted links for you in the source box.

Associations may be a good avenue to explore as well. These organizations will address many of the thoughts, questions and concerns you'll inevitably have as well as many you haven't anticipated yet. See the source box for some relevant links.

Research, research, research ? this cannot be stressed enough. Read as much as you can about the industry. Here are some book titles that are relevant:

* Starting A Flower And Gift Shop by Millicent Gray Lownes-Jackson
* Start and Run a Profitable Retail Business by Jim Dion, Ted Topping
* Retail Business Kit for Dummies by Rick Segel
* Specialty Shop Retailing: How to Run Your Own Store Revised by Carol L. Schroeder
* So You Want To Own The Store: Secrets to Running a Successful Retail Operation by Mort Brown

RE: Wholesale Services

See the source box for some relevant association links.

Here are some book titles that are relevant:

* Start Your Own Wholesale Distribution Business (Entrepreneur Magazine's Start Up) by Entrepreneur Press
* Marketing Matters-Winning Strategies for Wholesaling by Dick Barnes

There are plenty of free informational resources out there. Check the source box for links to articles.

Hope that helps! I wish you much success & happiness in all your ventures!

Admin

sunrise_n_tn 17.04.2007. 17:48

How do I know which real estate company is best? There are a lot of real estate businesses in the phone book. How do I know which is best? I dont have time to contact them all & research them? Are there any "big" companies (that would be in a lot of states) that people have had good business with, that can recommend that certain real estate company as being the most reliable & best overall? Thank you!

sunrise_n_tn

Admin 17.04.2007. 17:48

Long answer I know, but I hope this helps you:

Truthfully when buying or selling your house the agent's company is one of the least important things. Real Estate agents are independent contractors for the most part, meaning really they are their own company. While some brokerages are better than others from an agent's point of view, (more training, systems, ownership opportunities) as a buyer or seller what really matters is the agent. Look for who the top producers are in your area, who has the most signs up, that sort of thing. Interview at least 3 of them, and then go with the one you are most confident in and comfortable with.

Here are some questions to ask those agents that should help you get the information you need to make an informed decision.

Question #1: How Long Have You Been Practicing Real Estate?
This question will reveal more than just years practicing. You want to delve down into the number of transactions, average price range, specialized areas and types of
homes they?ve purchased or sold. You also want to know how productive they?ve been in each year in practice.
Some agents in business less than 5 years may have more experience than other agents in business 10 years or more! You want to know how many brokers they?ve worked for, and what kind of experience they have that will apply directly to your real estate situation.

Question #2: What Qualifications Do You Have To Sell Real Estate?
This question looks for their overall commitment and dedication to building their personal skills. If they?re not willing to commit to improving themselves, they may not
commit to your needs and satisfaction either. First, look for their overall education. Did they go to college? Do they have any Realtor or professional designations? How often to they invest in improving their skills and keeping up with technology and other industry trends? Experience should also carry over to negotiating and financial skills. And don?t
forget the ancillary experience required for real estate.

Question #3: Tell Me About Your Personal Real Estate Operation?
This is an open-ended question designed to get your Realtor talking about their business. You want to know how much they?ve invested into their business as relates to
giving you competent and quality service. For example, do they have an assistant to take home inquiries when they?re not in the office? Do they have a pager, cellular phone,
email, and other methods of reaching them? Do they have a private office either with the broker or on their own (a tell-tale sign of a top producing agent)?
Here?s what you?re looking for: The more an agent invests into their own success, office, and systems, the more they?ll be able to commit to you.

Question #4: Can You Give Me A List Of Client References To Call?
An agent who doesn?t accumulate a list of satisfied references either doesn?t do much business, or isn?t providing the kind of service or follow-through you need.
References don?t always need to be past clients. Get professional references as well:
Bankers, mortgage lenders, appraisers, attorneys, etc.

Question #5: Do You Have A Formal And Written Marketing Plan For Selling Homes?
This question applies more to sellers than buyers, but both should ask. Your agent?s marketing plan needs to be deep ? not just holding open houses, entering your home on MLS, or running classified ads. The key to selling a home is CONSISTENCY. Your home must be consistently
marketed to those people capable of buying. This cannot be accomplished if an agent doesn?t have a diversified arsenal of marketing strategies. Look for special ideas,
consistency, and persistence in their marketing plan.

Question #6: What Systems Do You Have For Tracking The Home Market (buyers)/ or Tracking My Home Listing (sellers) On A Regular Basis?
This is a very important question. If you?re a buyer, you want to know their competence in understanding values of certain areas. They also need systems to keep you continually up to date with opportunities in the market. You want them to have more than ?access to Multiple Listing Service.? How much do they actually preview homes in your price range or desired area. How much do they talk to neighbors, or participate with
other activities in those areas. If you?re a seller, you want to price your home correctly, and be regularly updated with important buyer activity. How many calls did you get on your home this week? What marketing strategies did you use? How many home visits from other agents did you have (and what were their comments)? How many people visited your open house?
If an agent does not have specific systems for measuring and reporting these items, perhaps you should consider someone else.

Question #7: Do You Guarantee Your Performance?
Some agents will give you a blank stare at this question. If they do, you might want to consider taking your business elsewhere. Why? Because you need to know if your interests are aligned. Is your agent willing to stake their successful outcome with yours?
Why shouldn?t your agent also guarantee their performance?
Smart Realtors guarantee their services for 2 reasons:
1) They?re confident they can perform for you because of their experience, commitment, and work ethic, and
2) It?s smart marketing for a Realtor to guarantee their services. If you buy a television, it?s guaranteed. If you buy a car, it?s guaranteed. These days, nearly everyone must offer a
guarantee to help stimulate a sale. Agents on the cutting edge of marketing guarantee their services.

Question #8: Can You Refer Me To A Reputable Mortgage Lender, Banker, Appraiser, or real estate Lawyer?
This question reveals how active the agent is, and how well connected they are professionally. At some point in the buying or selling process, you will need the services of a reputable, competent lender, appraiser, title company, etc. If your agent is active, committed, and diligent with their practice, they?ll be able to give you a few names of each right on the spot.

Question #9: What Percentage Of Your Business Comes By Referral?
Here?s the ?$64 thousand dollar question.? Competent, well-known agents get a large part of their business from satisfied past clients and members of their sphere of influence. If your agent gets less than 25% of new business through referrals, it may be because 1) The quality of service they offer is not up to standard (hence, people don?t feel compelled to refer to them after a transaction), 2) They lack the marketing experience or skills required to market for referrals (which means they may not bring strong skills to your transaction), or 3) They don?t cultivate contacts in their business (which means they won?t have many people to speak with about your home). Clearly, the best way past clients show their gratitude for outstanding service is by referring their family, friends and associates.

Question #10: How Many People Do You Speak With Each Day About Real Estate?
This question will tell you how connected an agent is, and how active they?ll ?talk-up? your home to buyers, or finding a home for you by talking to other agents. Hopefully your agent talks to at least 40 people a day about real estate. If not, they may not be very active.

Question #11: Do You Personally Spend Money Advertising Your Services Or Homes For Sale?
This question pertains more to listings, but it?s also a question a buyer should ask to determine an agent?s commitment to invest in the successful outcome of their client.
There are 2 situations to identify here: 1) Agents who are very busy, and who produce a lot of income for their broker will frequently receive advertising allowances from their
broker. If your agent receives allowances, that?s generally a good sign.
2) However, if an agent is not as busy, OR if their broker does not have an ad allowance for top producers, you want to learn their commitment to ?put their money where their mouth is? when it comes to marketing your home. You should also ask to see samples of ads they write for homes they list, and for their own services. Do the ads appeal to you? Would they make you act? If not, don?t expect their marketing of your home to be any better.

Question 12: Will You Personally Handle Contract Negotiations For Us?
Surprisingly, many agents simply submit or receive offers, and act as a conduit between you and the buyer (or seller). That?s not good enough. You want an agent who has reasonable negotiation skills. You want an agent who?s committed to your interests. They?ll need to represent you to other agents and buyers/sellers. It?s a good idea to follow-up the above question by investigating specifically HOW their negotiation skills saved other clients money, hassles, or help a deal come together.

Good luck to you!

Admin

Miss P 14.05.2008. 00:46

How to make a good profit from 100 grand? I am living in Canada and own 100 grand. I put the money in the bank for investment and earn only a few hundreds per month. Is there anyway I can do to make more from it? Any better investment? What is the best business?

Miss P

Admin 14.05.2008. 00:46

First invest in yourself. Then you could buy stocks or learn how to trade the futures markets.

Top 10 investment books (Stocks)

1. Reminiscence of a Stock Operator
2. The Disciplined Trader
3. Mindtraps-Unlocking Key Investment Success
4. Market Wizards, and the New Market Wizards
5. Secrets of the Millionaire Mind
6. Sedona method course http://www.Sedona.com
7. Invest Like a Shark
8. Breakthrough strategies for predicting any market http://www.LucasWaveInternational
9. Listen to Financial Sense Newshour every weekend http://www.FinancialSense.com
Keep a detailed record of EVERY trade you do win or lose.

Admin

Kay W 29.01.2008. 20:53

Small businesses - the best return advertising for least money? What have been some of your most successful advertising campaigns for small businesses - I'm a painter and decorator and am just setting out so I have VERY little money to outlay. I am going to do the local paper and am in Yellow Pages, but what about websites or similar that people have used? All advice welcomed.

Kay W

Admin 29.01.2008. 20:53

Use advertising effectively by planning it well.
For most service trades, leaflet distribution is great.
There is a company called goodtime printing, I think they are in Kent, but they do an excellent price on leaflets.
You should print around 20,000 leaflets one colour on white.
You should distribute 1000 leaflets a day, for best results 1 per door, folded once with the writing on the outside.
The top should have your name in large letters, the bottom should have in bold a special offer, say 10% discount with this leaflet.
Put as many as possible out before 10am. (it can take 6 hours to put 1000, early morning, around 4 hours)
People like to see eagerness.

Also, stick a map on your wall. Select areas to target.
Spend a week covering area 1, then move on to area 2.
Keep a track of your responses. Some areas will prefer a different style leaflet to others, and keeping a record will help with further campaigns. Repeat areas every 4 weeks. people become familiar with a name.
You will find, eventually that you will get a standard success rate. Say 2 or even 4 jobs per 1000. I think with decorating it can be as high as six. But these are actual jobs. And you know when you need more work, this strategy is going to work.
Your first few drops, even for two or three weeks may give a very poor response, as you are a new name, but once it starts, it starts.
Leaflet distribution is cheap and effective.
Other points to remember. Always put your address on the leaflet, and always mention free estimates.
Need any more help with that, email me.

Admin

acer9475 18.08.2006. 01:22

How do I get people to view my online store? I have my own online business in which I sell camping products, supplies, equipment, etc. Unfortunately I have yet to have a sale. I really don't know how to market my site. I have the site entered in major search engines. Anyone have any ideas or suggestions to help me out? I'm pretty desperate here to get my store moving, please help me out if you can. By the way, the link to my website is www.bestcampingdeals.com if anyone is interested.

acer9475

Admin 18.08.2006. 01:22

The key to success is obviously driving traffic -- but not just any traffic, traffic from people who are looking to buy what you are selling. There are several aspects to online marketing that you can explore:

-- Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
-- Search Engine Marketing (SEM)
-- Banner advertising
-- Email marketing
-- Viral marketing
-- Affiliate marketing
-- Cause-based marketing
-- Ebay

Here are some examples of how each of these might work for you.

** Search Engine Optimization:
This is the cheapest (i.e. free) way to drive traffic. It's all about making sure that your web site gets crawled and catalogued by the big search engines, namely Yahoo! and Google. Then, when someone searches for "camping supplies" or "tents" your site will appear at or near the top of the list in the "natural" search results (the results that appear in the left-hand column). A big part of your success with SEO is not only the information people can see, but also the information that they cannot see ? information that is embedded in the ?meta-tags? (i.e. information about your site) which is part of the html used to build and display your pages.

** Search Engine Marketing
This is where Yahoo! and Google make their money. It?s all about bidding for ?key words? (i.e. search terms like ?camping supplies? and ?tents?) so that when someone searches on those phrases, your site will appear at or near the top of the list of ?sponsored? search results (the results that appear in the right-hand column). The way this works for both Yahoo! and Google is that you pay each time your ad is clicked. What you pay is determined by your bidding and the bidding behavior of competitors. If you?re just getting started, here?s where to go and a couple smart strategies.

http://searchmarketing.yahoo.com/
http://www.google.com/intl/en/ads/

1) You might not want to buy the word ?tent? ? that?s very broad, lots of people might be bidding on it, and you?ll get a lot of unqualified clicks (i.e. people not looking to buy anything, but instead researching this, that, or the other thing about tents). Instead, consider buying ?Coleman 6-man tent? or whatever product is appropriate. The point is that if someone knows enough to search on ?Coleman 6-man tent,? then they are more likely to be intent on purchasing?chances are they are looking for the best deal or want to compare with other similar products. These are good leads and because the term is more specific, it?s probably searched less and cheaper to buy when bidding.

2) Make sure you?ve created an Excel model that shows you if you get x number of clicks per day, that will cost X dollars. Of those clicks, y people will buy and you?ll earn Y dollars. After subtracting your cost of goods sold, you?ll be left with X profit. If the return on investment (i.e. ROI) isn?t positive, adjust your keyword bidding. Likewise, make sure you have the budget to invest. This is a high stakes, high returns channel.

** Banner Advertising
These are the graphical ads you see all over the Internet. Probably not a good place for you to spend money unless you?re trying to build your brand. These display ads are more expensive and may not drive the type of traffic to your site that you?re looking for now unless you?re able to narrowly target the sites on which you advertise and have the resources to create attractive looking ads.

** Email Marketing
Content on your site or a regular newsletter is a good way of building a subscriber base that you can contact later regarding special offers or sales. You can also purchase email lists and there are many vendors who can help you manage this type of program. Again, forecast your ROI to determine if purchasing a list is a good investment?. X people receive the email, Y people open it, Z people click to your site, and P people purchase.

** Viral Marketing
Looks like you have some experience with that here ? you promoted your site and got people talking and thinking about it. Good job. Consider doing the same sort of thing on camping blogs, message boards, or with other influencers who might be able to help you spread the word. Your suppliers might be able to help you here ? obviously they have an interest in seeing you sell more goods.

** Affiliate Marketing
You may investigate whether there are affiliate marketers who can help you. These are typically a network of sites that drive traffic to your site and get paid a bounty either for clicks to your site, or sales generated from traffic they drove for you.

** Cause-based Marketing
Is there a cause that you might align yourself with such as a local wetland restoration project or environmental conservation group? Chances are that you have some mutually aligned interests in the great outdoors. You might be able to tap into their membership base, and they might appreciate the benefit you can offer their members for discounts. It?s a match made in heaven. (And, they could also help supply interesting and timely content for your newsletter. They have a special project, you have a sale on related goods to help them. Nice, huh?)

** Ebay
Books have been written about selling on eBay. This may be the only sales / advertising channel you need. You can get started for free, test and learn, and then explore becoming a ?power seller.?


The great thing about the Internet is that it?s constantly evolving, so there are probably many more avenues to explore and variations on the things outlined here. This probably raises more questions for you, too, but hopefully it will help you get started thinking creatively about the exciting options you have to build your business. Good luck!

Admin

Kuchi 01.04.2013. 09:03

can someone help me with these simple bussiness questions? 1.As a new person joining a company, what are the 3 key areas one has to concentrate first in order to quickly establish one?s position?
2.What strategy should a young leader take when dealing with top management?
3.What strategy should a young leader take when dealing with co-workers?
4.What strategy should a young leader take when dealing with subordinates?
5.What are the biggest challenges one faces as a manager?
6.Name 3 factors that have led you to success.
7.Anything you would like to suggest for a college graduate who is starting his/her career.

Kuchi

Admin 01.04.2013. 09:03

These aren't simple business questions, these are business questions derived from a specific book. The strategies they are asking for are in this book.

Admin

XxXxPinkPrincessxXxX 02.08.2006. 14:42

I want to help people and start my own website? I am wanting to set up my own help line site, but my promblem is there is so many out there, its hard to make myne stand out, what do you think would help you?
and what would make a good site to you?
also has anyone got any tips on how to start one up?

XxXxPinkPrincessxXxX

Admin 02.08.2006. 14:42

Hello,

Here are the absolute essential steps that must be followed to create your own website. Don't just create a Web site. You want a Web site that stands out. One that works.

If you follow these steps you will create a Web site that works. A Web site that will produce income, build equity, and create a financial fortress for you that can be sold for real money, if you disire.

Step 1 - Master the Basics by understanding the difference between "preselling" and "selling". People do not like to be sold. There is no ?magic? or ?secret? methods like the "Gurus" would have you believe.

People use the Web as a searching tool. Success on the Net begins with a critical mindset shift. This means replacing that well-known offline strategy of ?location, location, location? with ?

?Information, information, information?.

You attract free traffic with credible information related to the theme of your site. You need a niche so step 2 is?

Step 2 ? Develop the best site concept. Find a niche, a theme that interests you, a passion, a hobby, special knowledge you may have.

Step 3 ? Explore keywords to find the best site concept. Get demand for your keywords, Get supply for your keywords. Pick the keywords that have greater demand than supply. These are the keywords that will allow you to monetize your Web site. Your best site concept must be in demand, not be too broad, and should excite you. (Something you know and love).

Step 4 ? Create a list of potential site concepts and pick the top three for further research. Guidelines for picking the best candidate are: Number of keywords, overall profitability, knowledge, passion, and monetization potential.

Step 5 ? Weave a wide-web of keyword-focused content pages, topical pages of interest that will attract and catch the surfers most interested in those subjects related to your site concept.

Step 6 ? Each keyword should ?fit? into an evolving 3-tiered site blueprint of your content. Tier 1 is your homepage, next are your tier-2 hub pages. Next, your tier-2 pages link to tier-3 pages (the mass of content), so if you have 15 tier-2 and 15 tier-3 pages for each tier-2, that 225 tier-3 pages. Take your time ? you don?t have to do them all this week.

Step 7 ? Investigate and plan your Monetization mix. Learn how to apply Google AdSense to your site. Remember: monetization comes last. Make every visitor to your Web site contribute to your bottom line. If they don't want to buy something, they'll submit a lead via a form. Or they'll click on a Google ad. Or they'll click on a contextual affiliate text link that recommends the product of a related merchant (weave affiliate links naturally into your content -- do NOT "pitch"!).

Step 7 ? Refine Site Concepts and Register Domain Name. What is your VPP, ?Valuable Selling Proposition? What specific and high-value information does your site deliver? What is your unique positioning for this delivery? Don?t mix themes. Remember both types of visitors: humans and Search Engine spiders. What does your Web site provide? Outline the key benefits to your surfers. Identify your unique benefit that makes you stand out: Summarize all of the above into one tight, powerful motivating phrase that will persuade you clients to do business with you, to trade their money for the benefits you deliver.

Step 8 - Ready? Name that domain. A good domain name is: short and sharp, meaningful, easy to spell, easy to remember, unique, solid, contains your VPP for human visitors, contains your Site Concept keyword, attractive to humans, ends in the class ?.com?, ?.net?, or ?.org? (by far the best regarded by surfers). Make sure it?s legal.

Step 9 ? Congratulations! Your good to start building your Web site. Eliminate any ?Get Rich Quick? (GRQ) that the Internet may have put into your head. GRQ does not exist, never works, and lures your away from reality. Get real.

Step 10 - Continue to build high-value, credible content.

High-value content, content that gets found, is the critical lynchpin for building a viable, profitable, vibrant Web Business.

Anything else is a waste of time and money.

Hope this helps,
Walter A Brown, Webmaster
wab@theworld.com

P.S. Cost is under $300 for a quality Web site based on the above principles and steps.

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P.P.P.S. Do not hesitate to ask me any other questions about creating your own Web site.

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jgm 24.11.2006. 18:21

If you were part of an elite group formed from the top consultants around the world to fix Mexico and? modernize it what would your plan of action be and how many years would it take you.

What sectors would you first focus on give your reasons, and timescale.

What would you do in the following sectors.

1. Economy
2. Political
3. Business
4. Judicial
5. Taxation
6. Infrastructure
7. Education

Give as many sectors as you may and a timescale of when Mexico would be a superpower, with little or no reliance on outside countries, and open borders.
Please give an honest informed opinion, if you dont have the knowledge then please dont answer.

jgm

Admin 24.11.2006. 18:21

Since some areas in the seven listed will work hand in hand, it wouldn't be necessary to itemize each item.

Since we (US) currently infringe and utilize Mexico's labor force and natural resources it would be an easy task to encourage N. American business to invest in our neighbors with more business and trade training money and advice. In addition to promoting more free trade and business investment the US should assist with more geological survey and improvement of the existing wells and refineries currently working in Mexico.

Investing in Mexican trade and business will have the bilateral effect of producing additional employment across both borders. At this time it appears that the majority of N. American owned business located in Mexico, prefer to stay on the border with easy access to the US. Changing this strategy alone would move industry deeper into the country supporting remote areas which probably represent a majority of the poor and those with a desire to go someplace where they can earn money to support their families.

Any economic changes submitted by the US must include education. If the US and MX choose to become world partners, the only way to success is to lift the level of education and vocational training. Mexico having to lean on the US for business skills will only be a stop gap fix. The next generation of Mexican professionals must come from Mexico! The Mexican workforce must be allowed or convinced to run their own countries business as it will eventually profit citizens of both countries with cross border trade.

This policy should also include a leveling of trade imbalance and a financial arrangement to support Mexico in efforts of balancing the dollar and the pecsos.
I am positive a severe depression will want to emerge but, with top financial elites foraging this new life for Mexico, it will be considered before it happens.

Taxes on the newly formed business will help Mexico with social programs and political agenda however, it's a safe bet that the US will have to wait for the next generation or next election of politicians in the country. I am also sure that graft and coruption will be rampant but, Mexico is not a corrupt nation as a whole and does have the basic legal or moral objectives in place. I would also mention here that, illegal drug trade should not be a part of this program. The drug culture could harm this progress and should be dealt with independently.

In a free society economics should be the base, if investment is allowed and encouraged the political, business, tax, education and infrastructure will surley be close behind developement. Should a partnership be agreed on I would hope the US keep it's nose out of the politics as long as it is progressive and let judicial do their own house keeping.

A timescale for when Mexico would become a superpower is anyones guess. If you think about it, they wouldn't need to be a superpower if they had the US on their side but, I wouldn't stop them from flexing their muscle once in awhile... They do need independence and free will. Being associated with the US these days does not always represent being on the right side. I would add that, A Chavez attitude won't work either!

Admin

Smith & Jones 07.04.2007. 16:20

Whats the fastest way/best way to sell my house quick.? Ilive in the albany,ny area------I need to sell asap.

Smith & Jones

Admin 07.04.2007. 16:20

PRICE it below market value, at least 10%, more if condition warrants it. Contact several top producing agents in your area, someone with A LOT of listings (listings equals buyer calls), tell them your goals, and then hire the one you are most confident in and most comfortable with. Also ask friends co-workers and family members who have recently sold homes who they used and were they happy with the results

Questions to ask an agent before hiring them are:

Question #1: How Long Have You Been Practicing Real Estate?
This question will reveal more than just years practicing. You want to delve down into the number of transactions, average price range, specialized areas and types of homes they?ve purchased or sold.
You want to know how many brokers they?ve worked for, and what kind of experience they have that will apply directly to your real estate situation.

Question #2: What Qualifications Do You Have To Sell Real Estate?
This question looks for their overall commitment and dedication to building their personal skills. If they?re not willing to commit to improving themselves, they may not commit to your needs and satisfaction either. Are they an agent or Broker? Brokers have far more real estate educational requirements than agents.
First, look for their overall education. Did they go to college? Do they have any Realtor or professional designations? How often to they invest in improving their skills and keeping up with technology and other industry trends? Do they have a GRI (Graduate of Realtors Institute) or any other recognized designations.

Experience should also carry over to negotiating and financial skills. And don?t forget the ancillary experience required for real estate.

Question #3: Tell Me About Your Personal Real Estate Operation?
This is an open-ended question designed to get your Realtor talking about their business. You want to know how much they?ve invested into their business as relates to giving you competent and quality service. For example, do they have an assistant to take home inquiries when they?re not in the office? Do they have a pager, cellular phone, email, and other methods of reaching them? Do they have a private office either with the broker or on their own (a tell-tale sign of a top producing agent)?
Here?s what you?re looking for: The more an agent invests into their own success, office, and systems, the more they?ll be able to commit to you.

Question #4: Can You Give Me A List Of Client References To Call?
An agent who doesn?t accumulate a list of satisfied references either doesn?t do much business, or isn?t providing the kind of service or follow-through you need.

Question #5: Do You Have A Formal And Written Marketing Plan For Selling Homes?
This question applies more to sellers than buyers, but both should ask. Your agent?s marketing plan needs to be deep ? not just holding open houses, entering your home on MLS, or running classified ads.
The key to selling a home is CONSISTENCY. Your home must be consistently marketed to those people capable of buying. This cannot be accomplished if an agent doesn?t have a diversified arsenal of marketing strategies. Look for special ideas, consistency, and persistence in their marketing plan. Look for technology in their marketing plan!

Question #6: What Systems Do You Have For Tracking The Home Market (buyers)/ or Tracking My Home Listing (sellers) On A Regular Basis?
This is a very important question. If you?re a buyer, you want to know their competence in understanding values of certain areas. They also need systems to keep you continually up to date with opportunities in the market. You want them to have more than ?access to Multiple Listing Service.? How much do they actually preview homes in your price range or desired area. How much do they talk to neighbors, or participate with other activities in those areas.
If you?re a seller, you want to price your home correctly, and be regularly updated with important buyer activity. How many calls did you get on your home this week? What marketing strategies did you use? How many home visits from other agents did you have (and what were their comments)? How many people visited your open house?
If an agent does not have specific systems for measuring and reporting these items, perhaps you should consider someone else.

Question #7: Do You Guarantee Your Performance?
Some agents will give you a blank stare at this question. If they do, you might want to consider taking your business elsewhere. Why? Because you need to know if your interests are aligned. Is your agent willing to stake their successful outcome with yours?
Why shouldn?t your agent also guarantee their performance?
Smart Realtors guarantee their services for 2 reasons: 1) They?re confident they can perform for you because of their experience, commitment, and work ethic, and 2) It?s smart marketing for a Realtor to guarantee their services. If you buy a television, it?s guaranteed. If you buy a car, it?s guaranteed. These days, nearly everyone must offer a guarantee to help stimulate a sale. Agents on the cutting edge of marketing guarantee their services.

Question #8: Can You Refer Me To A Reputable Mortgage Lender, Banker, Appraiser, or Real Estate Lawyer?
This question reveals how active the agent is, and how well connected they are professionally. At some point in the buying or selling process, you will need the services of a reputable, competent lender, appraiser, title company, etc. If your agent is active, committed, and diligent with their practice, they?ll be able to give you a few names of each right on the spot.

Question #9: What Percentage Of Your Business Comes By Referral?
Here?s the ?$64 thousand dollar question.? Competent, well-known agents get a large part of their business from satisfied past clients and members of their sphere of influence.
If your agent gets less than 25% of new business through referrals, it may be because 1) The quality of service they offer is not up to standard (hence, people don?t feel compelled to refer to them after a transaction), 2) They lack the marketing experience or skills required to market for referrals (which means they may not bring strong skills to your transaction), or 3) They don?t cultivate contacts in their business (which means they won?t have many people to speak with about your home).
Clearly, the best way past clients show their gratitude for outstanding service is by referring their family, friends and associates.

Question #10: How Many People Do You Speak With Each Day About Real Estate?
This question will tell you how connected an agent is, and how active they?ll ?talk-up? your home to buyers, or finding a home for you by talking to other agents. Hopefully your agent talks to at least 25 people a day about real estate. If not, they may not be very active.

Question #11: Do You Personally Spend Money Advertising Your Services Or Homes For Sale?

This question pertains more to listings, but it?s also a question a buyer should ask to determine an agent?s commitment to invest in the successful outcome of their client. There are 2 situations to identify here: 1) Agents who are very busy, and who produce a lot of income for their broker will frequently receive advertising allowances from their broker. If your agent receives allowances, that?s generally a good sign.
2) However, if an agent is not as busy, OR if their broker does not have an ad allowance for top producers, you want to learn their commitment to ?put their money where their mouth is? when it comes to marketing your home.
You should also ask to see samples of ads they write for homes they list, and for their own services. Do the ads appeal to you? Would they make you act? If not, don?t expect their marketing of your home to be any better. Ask if they use any special ad writing software that targets personality profiles of buyers most likely to buy your property!

Question 12: Will You Personally Handle Contract Negotiations For Use?
Surprisingly, many agents simply submit or receive offers, and act as a conduit between you and the buyer (or seller). That?s not good enough. You want an agent who has reasonable negotiation skills. You want an agent who?s committed to your interests.

Watch out for the lazy agents that just fax offers back and forth and do not conduct formal presentations to buyers and sellers. If a buyer?s agent wants to present an offer directly to you with your listing agent present, then by all means do so! This is the way true Real Estate Professionals conduct business in today?s real estate world! What if your agent isn?t as smart as you think? Isn?t it better to know more about the buyer and their ability to close escrow? Who else knows more about the buyer than the buyers? agent? Require your agent to conduct formal presentations. If you listing agent doesn?t understand this or tells you otherwise, then get another agent fast! Do you want a Pro or a Slacker? In real estate it?s all in the presentation!

They?ll need to represent you to other agents and buyers/sellers. It?s a good idea to follow-up the above question by investigating specifically HOW their negotiation skills saved other clients money, hassles, or help a deal come together.

Admin

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