Category Archives: Grow Your Business

Get your products ready for e-commerce success.

ecommerceBefore the Internet age, small business startups had little opportunity to showcase their products right alongside major national brands. Online marketplaces have leveled the playing field for small businesses, effectively helping them leap geographic boundaries and sell their products in markets that would never have been possible.

Whether you are selling your products on Amazon, eBay or directly from your website, it is critical for you to efficiently manage your product setup and ensure you can be easily discovered by consumers. Many of the same best practices that lead to in-store success can be applied to e-commerce, with a special focus on providing consumers with a well-rounded view of your product prior to purchase.   Continue reading

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10 reasons to keep your business blog active.

Publishing a business blog is an important part of any marketing strategy, but many businesses launch one, not realizing that maintaining it is just as critical. Quality content is key, and if you’re a business professional you have lots to offer based on expertise in your field.

Here are 10 reasons why you might want to use that expertise to keep your business blog active.

1. Drive Traffic to Your Business Website

Customers who read your blog are 97% more likely to click on your website. That improves your website’s search engine optimization (SEO) making your website more likely to rise to the top of organic searches. In addition, the more you blog, the more traffic you get. Here are five steps to build a website if you haven’t got one yet.

In addition, blog sites that post daily get almost double the traffic than sites that post monthly or less.  Continue reading

Every business deserves planning.

Don’t make the all-too-common mistake of dismissing the value of planning for your business. Every well-run business needs to manage strategy, tactics, milestones, metrics and essential business numbers.

Do it right, and planning is easy to do, great for managing and developing accountability.

Remember these two key points:

  1. Good planning doesn’t require a big, formal, traditional business plan document. A lean business plan is much easier than a traditional plan. It just consists of bullet-point lists and tables. You can do it yourself.
  2. What really makes the difference is keeping the plan live. It doesn’t take more than an hour or two per month. The planning process means you track results, review, and revise often enough to keep your plan fresh.

Continue reading

How big do you really want to grow your business?

by Kelly Deis of SoundPoint Consulting

Should you grow your business? It is a simple question with an assumed answer. The answer, of course, is YES! But, I am not sure it is quite so simple.

Before you invest your hard-earned money and time, think about what you want to accomplish and why. Then, carefully consider your options.

Decide to Grow

We have all heard horror stories of businesses that over-extended, only to lose it all. If your expansion strategy is not well conceived or executed, it could be a costly misadventure, both in terms of money and focus on the existing business.

If your business is well-established, has a loyal customer base, is reasonably protected from the competition, profitable and affords you the lifestyle you have sought (both in terms of discretionary income and time) then think hard before you take on an expansion strategy. Understand your goals – both financial and personal, before moving forward.  Continue reading

When you’re in business, it’s always Day 1.

leadershipI read with interest how Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon, described his philosophy around “Day 1.”When asked what Day 2 looked like he described it as “Day 2 is stasis. Followed by irrelevance. Followed by excruciating, painful decline. Followed by death. And that’s why it is always Day 1.”

Personally, I love this approach. I mentioned it recently to a group of entrepreneurs in the Emerging Leaders class here in Seattle and it seemed to fit in perfectly with what they are working on. They have all been in business for 3 or more years and are now creating new strategic growth plans for their businesses of the future. In order to do this without all the “constraints” that experience and beliefs dictate are “true,” we have to look at it as Day 1, and then consider – what will you do differently?

Think of it like Groundhog Day. You get to keep doing it over and over again but with a different template, different knowledge, and a different environment. If you were recreating your business, what would Day 1 look like now? Who’s to say you can’t give it a try?  Continue reading

Are you a military Veteran and thinking about owning your own business?

Here are some tools that will make things a little easier.

The Veteran Entrepreneur Portal (VEP) is designed to save you time! BusinessUSA makes it easier for small businesses to access Federal services, regardless of its source. VA OSDBU quickly connects Veteran entrepreneurs to relevant ‘best-practices’ and information. Collectively, VEP offers direct access to the resources necessary to guide every step of entrepreneurship.

Start a Business

Start a Business
This interactive tool connects you to the right resources specific to your small business objective. Navigate through relevant topics to access information on starting a business.
Learn how to start a business »

Access Financing

Access Financing
Use this customized wizard to identify financing resources to support the start-up, development, or growth of your small business.
Learn about financial resources »

Grow Your Business

Grow Your Business
Find out how to successfully expand your small business. Explore dedicated subjects with valuable information and resources to help you grow your company.
Learn how to grow your business »

Find Opportunities

Find Opportunities
Become familiar with Federal government contracting programs. Answer a few quick questions in this wizard to find Federal opportunities that align with your small business.
Find Federal government contracting programs » Continue reading