Category Archives: Marketing

Should I advertise in a down economy?

by Ken Sethney, Volunteer Business Mentor, SCORE Kitsap

A recent article on money.com dealt with a couple of difficult questions: “What Is a recession, and are we in one?” Three experts answered the questions. From a technical perspective we’re not there yet, but we could be very soon. 

OK, fine. I’m not a college professor, a manager of economic research, or an investment strategies advisor, but from my perspective, we’re smack dab in the middle of a recession. The question we all face is what do we do about it?

If you own a business, you want to cut costs, but where? For some companies the decision is easy… the first cut they make is advertising. But you’re not so sure. Continue reading

How can I keep my business going during and after this pandemic?

by Ken Sethney, Volunteer Business Mentor, SCORE Kitsap

Every business owner I’ve had a conversation with in the last month or so is struggling to answer that question. It doesn’t matter what they sell, products or services, they are struggling to find answers to very difficult questions. Almost everyone in start-up mode has simply stopped. 

So, what should they do? What should you do? My suggestion is to keep moving forward. 

One of my SCORE clients owns a well established business with several employees. She and her team provide therapeutic services, but they don’t qualify as “essential.” 

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SCORE clients find ways to deal with COVID-19 shutdowns.

For example:


Centering Massage
&    

A Special Offer Just For You !!

Support Centering Massage and our LMT’s during this COVID-19 crises. FarmHouse Fresh will now be “Drop Shipping Products” straight to your door. You will get a FREE Hand Cream with your purchase of $30 or more by using our personal code.

 (FREE SHIPPING if you spend over $50)

By placing your order using our code you will receive a free $15 Hand Cream on behalf of Centering Massage:

  1. Go to https://www.farmhousefreshgoods.com/
  2. Add items of $30 or more to your cart. $50 or more gets Free Shipping within the continental U.S. (excludes HI & AK)
  3. Choose any $15 Hand Cream you want for FREE and add it to your cart. You MUST add a $15 Hand Cream to your cart, or the code will not work.
  4. Enter our custom Coupon Code:Centering at the last stage of checkout. Click “Apply” and you’ll receive a $15 credit. Proceed with checking out. Enjoy your new Spa products at home.

Thank you for your support!!!

 

Best practices for building a winning website.

website developmentYour website is often the first impression a person has of your business. Is your website a good representation of your company – or does it miss the mark?

In this webinar presented by digital marketing expert Sherry Bonelli, you’ll learn what to consider and implement as you build or update your website.

View the Webinar

Viewing this webinar requires some basic information. This data is only used within SCORE and will not be distributed to any third parties. Continue reading

10 Free Social Media Marketing Tools Every Business Owner Should Use

social media on tablet

Just about anyone can get into social media marketing with a smartphone and little to no extra cost. But as you keep doing it, you’ll want to find ways to make it more efficient, especially as a business owner.

Fortunately, there are plenty of tools available online to make social media marketing easier and less tedious. A lot of the best tools have paywalls, which is not ideal for small business owners looking to up their game.

 

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SCORE invites you to participate in our new #SCOREstory social media campaign.

business people huddle for celebrationSCORE celebrates your small business success, and we want to share your story to help inspire others.

By spreading the word about SCORE through your own social networks, you will help other entrepreneurs to learn about our free, expert mentoring and educational programming, all of which are designed to help small business owners achieve their dreams.

There are several potential benefits to you for participating in this campaign:

  1. Your post may be shared on SCORE National’s social media pages (with a combined following of approximately 100,000 people).
  2. You may be contacted to expand your story for use on www.score.org, which has more than 200,000 unique users each month.
  3. Your company may be profiled in SCORE national marketing and press that can reach millions of people.
  4. You may be featured in local chapter marketing, where your name, logo, and website would be shared with thousands of potential new customers.

Continue reading

Improve Your Online Presence for Your Home Business

woman in her home officeIf you want your business to thrive and grow in this digital era, you need to have a strong online presence, especially if you work from home. Home-based businesses do not get foot traffic – unlike companies with stores or offices. But, the internet has leveled the playing field for entrepreneurs, working from home or elsewhere, so you have to take advantage of increasing your reach by improving your online presence. And the sooner you do it, the better. You don’t want to be left in the dust by your competitors, do you?

Here are six strategies to improve your online presence:

1. Create a Professional Website and SEO-Optimize It

Since you don’t have a shop or office accessible to the public, it may be difficult for people to find you. Therefore, investing in a website is crucial to you as a home-based business. Take note that it must look and function professionally. If it is designed poorly or has technical malfunctions, visitors might perceive your business as a scam. If you don’t have the budget to pay for an expert web developer, you can opt to build it yourself using drag-and-drop website builders – like Wix or Weebly — which are easy to use even for those without experience creating websites.

Once your website’s up and running, you need to optimize it for SEO. Basically, that means getting your site to rank higher on search engine results. Having a website that doesn’t show up on the first few pages of search engines – like Google or Bing – is like having a store in a ghost town that nobody sees or knows. To optimize your website’s SEO data, you need to create content that use keywords for the type of services or products you offer. Also, you will also have a higher chance of improving your site ranking if you have other websites linking to yours. There are plenty of tools that you can use to help you optimize your site for search engines.

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In 2012, I had an $87 Aha!! Moment.

Valarie Harris from Varris Marketing

by Valarie Harris, Varris Marketing

This story is all about my $87 Aha!! Moment.  I have been in Marketing since 2011, with an official launch of Varris Marketing in 2012. Things started off slow, but headed in the right direction, so I thought.  Year-end profit numbers came in and I only made $87.  I chalked it up to first year jitters. So, with the brand-new year here, I made some changes, thinking, hoping, and praying that my year end results would be better, I mean, they had to be right? To my surprise and amazement, my year ended making the exact same amount as the previous year, $87. Unbelievable right? I suddenly became frustrated and discouraged.

I decided to take the next year off to figure out what the heck was going on, what was I doing wrong and how to fix it, because not only was my business tanking, so was my personal life. I thought offering rock bottom prices would get me more clients and it did, but way too many.  I also thought that doing everything that operating a business entails would keep cost down and save money, wrong again, that just kept me working 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, neglecting my clients, my home, my kids, my husband and myself. I had more money leaving my bank account than was coming in, and that’s when my AHA moment happened.

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Ask These 5 Questions to Find Out If You Can Attract More Customers to Your Local Business by Updating Your Website

And Take These 5 Steps to Prepare for an Update…

by Lane Sennett, Online Website & Cloud Technology Specialist

The FIVE Questions

Here’s how to know if you need a website update:

  1. Just look at it!  Does it look modern like the websites you click on when you see something interesting?  Is it easy to look at?  And, how does it look on a mobile device?
  1. Is the information it provides up to date?  For your hours, location, offers, or services?
  1. Are the images or video’s recent?  Have you added any content in the last 30 days?
  1. Are you hearing any comments or complaints about how your website works or its content?Ask your staff – what have they heard and what do they think?
  1. Or, is it just crickets?  No comments, and not sending you any customers?  Is it only a brochure that tells people your phone number and services without a call to action?

If you answered NO, to 2 or more of these questions – then your business can benefit from a website update, redesign or total overhaul.  There is so much more your website can do for your business, and for the marketing dollars you are spending on it.

Continue reading