Category Archives: Business Development

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

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

If you are a business owner, this is for you.

by Ken Sethney, Kitsap SCORE Branch Manager

I was a business owner myself for many years. Now, I’m a volunteer business mentor with the Kitsap branch of SCORE.

SCORE is a non-profit organization that’s been around for many years. We have more than 10,000 volunteers nationwide, and we’re committed to helping people start, grow, and successfully exit their businesses.

In Kitsap County, we have 7 volunteers who meet with people from Kingston to Port Orchard, Bainbridge Island to Silverdale.

In the last 4 years, we’ve focused on face-to-face mentoring. Most of the people we’ve met with have been thinking about starting a new business.

Since meeting with us, many of them have. And their businesses range from food trucks to restaurants. Healthcare providers to general contractors. Retail shops online or right here in your town.

In 2018, our start-up mentoring services will continue, but we are starting a new program designed to help people who own businesses that are up-and-running.  Continue reading

Ask SCORE: How can I improve my selling skills?

As the owner of a small business, you may be struggling with a frustrating reality. You are confident that you have excellent products and services, but people aren’t just lining up to buy them.

You know that you can solve problems for your customers and deliver significant value for a reasonable price. All you have to do is convince them to place an order.

Unfortunately, sales skills don’t come naturally to everyone, but they are essential if you want to build relationships with potential customers and generate orders for your products and services.  Continue reading

In search of the minimum viable audience.

by Seth Godin

Of course everyone wants to reach the maximum audience. To be seen by millions, to maximize return on investment, to have a huge impact.

And so we fall all over ourselves to dumb it down, average it out, pleasing everyone and anyone.

You can see the problem.

When you seek to engage with everyone, you rarely delight anyone. And if you’re not the irreplaceable, essential, one-of-a-kind changemaker, you never get a chance to engage with the market.

The solution is simple but counterintuitive: Stake out the smallest market you can imagine. The smallest market that can sustain you, the smallest market you can adequately serve. This goes against everything you learned in capitalism school, but in fact, it’s the simplest way to matter.

Continue reading on Seth’s Blog

How to make Facebook work for your business.

According to Facebook, there are more than 50 million active business Pages, and most likely you have one as well.

Here are six ways to maximize the bene ts of a Facebook business page and help to engage with, and possibly increase, your customer base:

1. Link your Facebook page to your website, or make Facebook your main online presence

No website yet? No problem. Many businesses use Facebook as their primary online presence. But remember, you want to build your brand, not the social media site’s brand. The solution: register a domain name (or web address) and redirect it to your Facebook page. Also known as web forwarding, you create a rule that all visitors to your domain name be directed to a web location of your choice (in this case your Facebook page). Redirecting gives you a memorable and permanent company web address to use for marketing and is becoming increasingly popular. From the fourth quarter of 2014 to the fourth quarter of 2015, redirects to a Facebook page have increased by 21 percent.

If you already have a website, make sure to include social sharing buttons on prominent pages and content. That way people who nd something of interest on your site can easily like and share that content on their social media channels.  Continue reading