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Rob Gordon
owner

Questions & Crowdsourcing  - 
 
Small Business Service Providers.   Greetings entrepreneurs,  I have been doing a bit of high level business planning recently and I feel as if I am regaining a sense of direction.   As part of this effort, I have been describing the specific business services I can provide, and then packaging it at an affordable cost - maybe you have seen some of the "Special Offers" I have posted here.   I have a fairly broad range of skills, but of course I can't do everything myself, and it sometimes occurs to me how much more I could offer by working with other skilled professionals.

I have been thinking of forming a kind of "Small Business Advisory" that would offer a variety of small business services provided remotely.   As part of this effort, I would like to get a better sense of what is out there so am requesting small business service providers describe in the comments here what they do in a sentence or two.    

Please make sure you communicate what you do best, or what differentiates you from businesses offering similar services.   Also, give us a sense of your rates, or how you charge - by hour, fixed bid, etc. and any other information that might be helpful.  

Even if you are not a perfect match for what I am trying to put together, there really can't be any harm in letting others in this community know what you are doing - it also never hurts to blow your horn a little, and maybe this will help more of us to find ways to work together. 
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Clare Allebone's profile photoSimon Margetts's profile photoSimon Margetts's profile photo
4 comments
 
Hi. Great idea. I provide with small businesses with really good contact management systems (that start from free!) backed up with free webinar training. Utimately - I help small businesses be awesome to customers - beating the big boys in the customer service stakes.
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Oliver Gwynne

Fundraising & Crowdfunding  - 
 
Can Charity and Business really be friends?

There are millions of people doing extraordinary things all in the name of a good cause. Whether they are marathon runners or bucket rattlers, they all do their bit to help raise money for their respective cause. I’ve encountered thousands of people helping a good cause, but have also met my fair share of businesses who in all honesty, I feel are more interested in the grants/ funding than in the cause.

This raises a question however of where exactly the line? At what stage does something become more a shop than a charity and when does a good cause become a gimmick? Charities have realised they can’t rely on goodwill indefinitely and more and more are beginning to expand their commercial arm. The British Heart Foundation is a prime example of this, their aggressive expansion into the furniture market has the likes of DFS blushing.

The problem is:

If you have someone who wants to help a cause. Great.

If you have someone who wants to help a great cause but also needs to make a living…suddenly you have an entirely different thing.

Research shows that paying people to collect has a higher yield of results, and certainly we all have to eat. The scientists trying to cure cancer can’t survive on thin air after all. Yet, in having to look after yourself as well as your respected cause automatically you lessen the charitable act. Someone volunteering in a charity shop is doing more or less the same job as someone in a regular shop.

It’s a bit of a moral maze. I think it comes down to two things:

1. Without You- The ultimate cause of any charitable company/social enterprise is and has to be the end cause. There needs to be clear and distinct benefit to that end user. It doesn’t necessarily matter what you do to get there, but I think there needs to be a strong justification of your existent. If there isn’t…then you should just be running a business and helping people on the side.

2. Without Them- Could your business exist without the charitable side? Without the grants, funding or donations it gets? Where does the bulk of that money actually go? I’m not saying people don’t have to eat…but if more money is going towards you then the cause then you’re not doing anyone any good.

What we want are businesses and charities that are able to stand on their own two feet and use that money to sustainably fund their causes. It’s not the easiest of balancing acts…but charities and social enterprises have to be accountable.
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Logan Merrick

Startup Business Topics  - 
 
Great post written by +Graham McCorkill on the future of the financial sector, or 'Fintech'.
Find out what fintech means for businesses in 2015, why you should care, and how fintech startups are overhauling the antiquated financial services industry.
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Tunji Ogunjimi

Not Categorized by Member  - 
 
5 Reasons to Write a Book to Grow your Business

Have you been struggling to secure clients into your business and don’t know the best way to get your business moving forward? Well you can solve that problem with an easy method which is writing a book. You can use the power of a book to build your email list, bring in new clients and grow your business to the next level.

Reasons Why:

1: Establishes you as an Expert – A book will place you as an expert and authority in your field. You become known for that market and looked at by others as the go to person in that area. By you writing a book on your niche, your customers will come running to you as you will now be seen as knowledgeable about your business area.

2: Higher Credibility: Once you write a book it makes you trust worthy in the eyes of your customers. People buy from people they trust and you will be seen as a person someone will spend their money on once you have a book. Because of your book and information people would love to do business with you one on one or online. A book sets you apart from the non-author colleagues in your field.

3: Builds you a Platform: Your status and your business changes once you have a book out, you increase your platform and get more eye bulls to your business. Your profile sky rockets once you are called a published author and even more if you’re a Best Selling Author. Your name becomes known in the niche you are in and you create a space just for you.

4: Increase Clients: Your client list grows once you have a book in your name about your business. People begin to opt in for your sign up offers, your free give ways, email marketing, blogs and newsletters. It gives you an opportunity to remain visible; this all helps to increase your list, like they say the money is in the list.

5: Creates new Products: A book can lead to creation of different products such as e-courses, online courses, and live events, seminars, booked speaking engagements. Writing a book helps you and your business gain additional income from different streams that keep you relevant. Having a book allows you to speak to a wider and larger audience of people.

These 5 reasons makes you stand out from the crowd and you become the number one people in your field for your customers to spend their money on and buy your products and services. Your Book will be the Hook you need to build that relationship with your clients far and near. A book is a powerful tool used to open doors.

Write your Book today, Build your Platform and Grow your Business!

Tunji Ogunjimi - The Book/Author Coach
T.O Consultancy - Inspiring you to succeed as an author.
http://www.toconsultancy.com
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business design school's profile photoTunji Ogunjimi's profile phototiffanie turner's profile photo
6 comments
 
Oh yes i get your point, but as you said this is for entrepreneurs mainly and small businesses who want to grow your client list. 
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Mark Zarr

Small Business Topics  - 
 
I think that we often miss the mark when it comes to who we call "Leaders". Our society idolizes lairs, cheats, and attention hogs, while the real leaders are overlooked in all the chaos.
The characteristics of a leader can be hard to define, but I have observed that all leaders at least share these six common characteristics...
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Paul Wooding's profile photoBrendan Whitson's profile photo
2 comments
 
I agree the title of leader is too often used but at the same time even at entry level it is important. Leadership is in my opinion not only a tool set that people enter with. Many times leadership may be earned. I think leadership is a great job title for individuals to grow into if an organization nurtures and mentors the most valuable of resources- people. Being part of an organization is about growth. It comes down to the ethics of the organization and what leadership means/requires within the individual organization. 
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Joe Webb

Internet / Web / Social  - 
 
  
The ugly truth about why your SEO isn't working, including: 
  
- Why SEO works for some business, but not others 
- What you can expect in terms of real numbers from your SEO campaign 
- The single biggest damaging factor in website rankings 
- How to gauge if you're getting proper ROI from your SEO efforts 
  
  
Why Does SEO Work Well For Some Businesses And Not at All For Others? 
  
SEO can work wonders for companies that are using it correctly and have appropriate expectations. It can also be a huge failure and a major loss for those that use it improperly, or expect a magic cure-all. A good, solid SEO program is ongoing, and requires effort. It isn’t a stick-it-in-place-once-and-leave-it-alone-while-it-performs-miracles.   
  
What Are Appropriate Expectations For SEO? 
  
First, you should understand that SEO is not a magic bullet that will suddenly make you a millionaire. It will however, if done right, increase traffic to your website and convert those visitors to leads, phone calls, new business, etc. 
  
The number of new contacts you receive really depends on what you do for a living, and how well your site is optimized versus the competition in your area. If you are a commercial roofer and your average job is $50,000 you might not get as many leads as a plumber who has an average ticket of $250; so manage your expectations in a realistic fashion. There aren’t as many people in need of a commercial roofer as there are a plumber on a daily basis. 
  
Sometimes unrealistic expectations are a combination of the client and the SEO not being totally realistic. To establish realistic expectations for your SEO success or failure, first figure out how many jobs you need monthly to get a decent return on your investment. 
  
If you are investing $500 per month in SEO and your profit margin is 20% you need $10,000 per month in new business to justify the expense, because you should return (at the minimum) a profit of 4 times your investment. 
  
With this example, if you are making a 20% net profit, then the return on investment is $2000 profit on a $500 investment, or 4 times.  If you are running a 25% net profit, you need less in sales to make SEO profitable. 
  
Another metric also works to establish your return, and that is the old business school, “always return 10 to 20X on any advertising investment” so that you keep your marketing expense between 5 and 10%. I am not saying that you will not make more money than this with a very good SEO firm, but this is the baseline to work from. 
  
I’ve been performing SEO for many years and I often hear potential clients expecting to pay $500 or $600 per month and see $200,000 in new business monthly; this is usually an unrealistic expectation, and I tell them so. 
  
I do have clients that pay $500 per month and see $30, 000 or $40,000 in new business. Upon occasion we see a six figure increase in monthly business, but this takes time. Even if your SEO team gets you 100 new page-one rankings soon after taking their work live, you may not see a 200X return on your monthly fee…yet. Good SEO gets better with time, and is constantly being tweaked and adjusted.  
  
Also – keep in mind that you are not getting 4x on your money in too many investments on a monthly basis. How many times do your investments in the market quadruple on a monthly basis, and, if they have, how many months in a row has that happened? 
  
SEO Is Really Good At Helping You Lower The Cost Of Acquisition Of A New Client 
  
If you’ve ever watched that popular TV show where venture capitalists listen to entrepreneurs and decide to invest in them or not, then you know how important cost of customer acquisition is. On that show, the investors ask nearly every hopeful entrepreneur what his/her cost of customer acquisition is. Why do you think that is? This single question can tell an investor if the entrepreneur is a real business person or just a “wantrapreneur.” The cost of acquisition is the base of all marketing. What does it cost you to acquire a new customer, and is it in line with what it should be in order to be profitable? 
  
So how does this relate to SEO?  The best indicator of any marketing success, including SEO, is how many new customers the program generates, and at what cost. Earlier we talked about commercial roofers and plumbers. The roofer had an average ticket of $50,000 and the plumber $250. The cost of acquisition will likely be vastly different for each. 
  
The plumber may have to keep his acquisition cost to about $25 and the roofer has a ton of leeway – he may be able to go to $500 or more and still be very happy.  The plumber may factor in that he will do work for an average customer 6 times over 3 years, whereas the roofer may be a one-time thing.  
  
Proper SEO generates the highest number of new clients at the most reasonable cost. One HVAC contractor that I handle pays $700 monthly and sees an average of 6 new installations monthly and 38 service calls from the SEO work.  His cost to acquire a new customer is $15.90. The service call customers are likely to do business with him multiple times and the installations average over $7000 each. The average service call is $291.  His monthly revenue from the SEO is around $53,048 and his cost is $700. That’s SEO working well for a business owner. 
  
So, if SEO works well for one company, why doesn’t it work for another? 
  
SEO only works when it is a well-oiled machine. The technical structure of the site is correct; the content provides both what the search engine needs and a great user experience; the links are correct; the schema is done right; the Meta title is right; and the description is a good marketing message. The calls the action on the site are correct, the client and the SEO are on the same page, and so on. 
  
The biggest problem that we, as a professional SEO team that has optimized about 1,000 websites successfully, see is damaged URLs. What is a damaged URL? In a nutshell it’s a URL that has been penalized by Google – likely as a result of bad SEO. 
  
This is just about always unintentional and done with the best of intentions. Perhaps someone has bought or somehow secured bad links and gotten penalized for their actions. They may have server errors – like pages that no longer exist and are still in the index. 
  
We recently took on a nationwide site that sells a high ticket item and they had over 300 server errors that we fixed. Once we got them fixed, they got 4 leads within several days. In this case, the staff of the company had been blogging regularly, and, on occasion, taking down older posts without doing a 301 redirect or stripping them out of the index. This caused a ton of trouble. This was an innocent mistake by well-intentioned people – it still killed their rankings and traffic. There are many items that can hurt a URL, and they need to be fixed. 
  
I mentioned the client and SEO have to be on the same page. Most businesses hire an SEO firm because they are not being found online, or are suffering from a bad conversion rate or high bounce rate, etc. This makes sense. 
  
What may put them on a different page from the firm they hired is that the client wants to change what the SEO does. You hire us for a reason – you weren’t being found online, or weren’t converting your traffic to new clients. So obviously what you’re doing isn’t working well enough. Let the SEO do what is necessary to get what you want. 
  
If you are a defense lawyer, do you allow your client to handle the cross examination because he thinks he knows best? Maybe he read something online about how to get acquitted on murder charges and wants to try it… I’m sure you get what I’m saying. 
  
If you’ve selected an SEO firm with significant success, they probably showed you results of other clients, and even gave you clients to speak with so that you could hear from other business owners that the SEO is truly good. Trust the SEO. You do your business well, and the SEO does his/her business well, and that should be the basis of the partnership. 
 
  
  

My SEO Guys
(813) 333-9666
www.myseoguys.com
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DME Consulting

Not Categorized by Member  - 
 
Wake up and start the work week with a #Roar  !
#mondaymotivation   #monday   #dmeconsulting  
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Chantal Bechervaise

Planning & Strategy  - 
 
Grow Your Business With Employee Loyalty
What does it mean for employees to be loyal in today's business world? More importantly, what does it mean for a company to have loyal and committed employees?
Pin It: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/16255248632137195/
#employeeengagement   #employeebenefits   #culture   #workplace   #success   #business   #businesstips   #growth  
What does it mean for employees to be loyal in today's business world? More importantly, what does it mean for a company to have loyal and committed employees? For businesses today, it means just a...
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Chantal Bechervaise's profile photoTom James's profile photo
2 comments
 
Thanks for your comment +Tom James 
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tessa benge

Startup Business Topics  - 
 
I have some really great ideas for inventions/business opportunities and just really great ideas that I would love to see something happen with however Im not sure what the first step is to take when trying to find someone genuine and legit to invest in me and my ideas without taking my ideas or expecting anything in return right away? can anyone help me with this and how I can protect my ideas before sharing.
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LoVe hOUse oF prAIse (Kejie's LHOP)'s profile photobusiness design school's profile photo
5 comments
 
When you say invention/ business opportunity I struggle to follow your.Having said that these are the guidelines I would consider for an idea to be viable. First it must solve an existing problem because human problems do not change only the value of solution change. Secondly it must solve the problem in a unique way. Last the idea must leapfrog the competition in a way that makes it become a monopoly. Find an intellectual property lawyer/ attorney that will help you protect your idea. Once this is done it would be easy to send a teaser to Angel investors or venture capital. Be prepared to a lose a lot of equity especially if you currently do not have selling skills.
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Drumup Contact

Resources, Advice & Tools  - 
 
Hi All! Buffer recently announced that it will be retiring its content suggestions feature. A great alternative would be DrumUp - Content Discovery, Curation & Social Media Management Tool for Facebook, Twitter & LinkedIn. It's a free tool that lets you manage any number of social accounts through a central dashboard.

Please do try out the app and share your feedback with us!
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Clare Allebone's profile photo
 
This is useful, I loved the suggestions feature in Buffer, so looking for a good alternative.
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About this community

A global community of "entrepreneurs helping entrepreneurs" for small business owners, startup founders, solopreneurs and the self employed. PLEASE READ BEFORE POSTING 1. Exercise judgement in posting links. Provide a summary and include your unique opinion. PEER REVIEWED - NO LINK DUMPING 2. Fully disclose if you are the author of a post or have vested interests in its recommendations. POST YOUR OWN MATERIAL RARELY. 3. Introduce your business and website but don't advertise - TALK TO US AS EQUALS. COMMUNITY MODERATORS Rob Gordon, Mike Bayes, Devan Perine, Rebecca Quinn, Nishadha Silva

ekmPowershop

Small Business Topics  - 
 
“The probability of selling to an existing customer is 60 – 70%. The probability of selling to a new prospect is 5-20%” – Marketing Metrics. Make the most of email communication with your customers with help from this article:
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Alexandre Boulmé

Startup Business Topics  - 
 
5 things you need to know before starting your mobile business 

I'm working in Mobile development in Vietnam and wrote this article to help if you plan to start a mobile business.

Don't hesitate to share and/or comment it if you find it usefull ! :)  
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Mike Brown

Marketing & Sales  - 
 
Great tip for any video screen capture work 
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Allie Schefdore

Not Categorized by Member  - 
 
Google is changing Google+. No longer will you need a Google+ account to comment on YouTube. Plus, more changes to come.

http://techcrunch.com/2015/07/27/google-weans-itself-off-of-google/
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Adeyemi Adisa

Resources, Advice & Tools  - 
 
Yes, Skype can be really easy to setup and use, but can it really be trusted for your business communication needs? #smallbusiness  
Best Skype alternatives for small business webinars and video conference. Skype alternatives like WebEx, GoToMeeting, Zoho Meeting, AnyMeeting
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Terence Chang's profile photo
 
Thanks for sharing. Re-shared!
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Womens Avenue

Offers from & for Members  - 
 
New company just launched July 1st!! This is going to be a big one guys! No Hype, This is a ground floor opportunity. If you are looking for a business with modern technology, an amazing product that's easy to sell, and want to earn 100.00 per sale and yes I said 100.00 per sale this isnt a hype or scam this is a ground floor opportunity ..YOU NEED to check this out! Message me, friend me, get a hold of me!! I have room to add 5 NEW TEAMMATES this week!! Cant wait to chat with you!   Contact me on Facebook  http://www.facebook.com/renee.d.brown.77
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Womens Avenue's profile photoGeorge Vodin's profile photoDawne Abdul Al-Bari's profile photoNatasha Dennis's profile photo
7 comments
 
Learn what it takes to succeed in business at FranchisingWoman.com, gain the knowledge and confidence needed to be decisive and make smart business choices. Start by viewing this short video bit.ly/Preneur
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Visnja Zeljeznjak (luckyisgood)

Questions & Crowdsourcing  - 
 
Hiring consultants: what is your biggest motivation for doing so?
I am writing landing page content and I was wondering what are the general triggers that motivate people to hire consultants.

Example: lack of expertise, lack of time to do the work yourself, making confident decisions...

Thank you for your responses. 
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Christy Wilson Delk's profile photoVisnja Zeljeznjak (luckyisgood)'s profile photo
3 comments
 
+Ryan Wiensch thank you. It's about marketing consulting.
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Campbell Joef

Startup Business Topics  - 
 
How to Generate More Leads in Adwords Campaign? Check Out https://goo.gl/Y7mSP8
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Natasha Dennis's profile photo
 
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Nick Ashton

Blog Posts & eBooks  - 
 
Social Accountability & Cyber Security, We Are All Circling the Drain... 

The lack of personal cyber protection does not only affect you, it affects us all. There is no "six degrees of separation", we are all connected via the Internet. What you lack to do or do not do, without understanding the ramifications has become more than a major issue and concern, it is an epidemic.  http://tip2tap.blogspot.com/2015/07/social-accountability-cyber-security-we.html
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Gigi Rizescu

Startup Business Topics  - 
 
It sells 50% of a business that connects the capital market, market and market transportation fuels. A business without market competition; turnover in 2014 = 12 million euro; Cashing 100%; - An estimated 60 million euro in 2015 = minimum; Gross profitability rate of 5.3%; control of the company can be done remotely; monopoly on the market can generate business; The asking price on 50% of business = 560,000 euros

Group" Romanian Chinese Business Club ". Follow us on facebook: https://lnkd.in/bumVsKg or Linkedin :https://lnkd.in/dUyrdHC
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