A Couple Resume Tips From a Small Business Owner

As a small business owner, I thought it might be valuable to offer some tips about what kinds of things I notice on people’s resumes who apply for work with my company. You would think that people would be way better at these kinds of things by now. I guess maybe the ones who are better at it aren’t seeking employment. Maybe that is why I get so many bad ones.

One of the things that I often notice that I hate when prospective employees do, is that I hate when they send a cookie cutter resume. I can tell the resume is cookie cutter when it hasn’t been tailored for the specific open position that my company has. People will apply for a customer service position when I advertised that I am looking for an office assistant to perform some customer service as well as assist a shift manager in performing certain tasks. The person should have said that their objective is to obtain the open position at my company for the customer service representative and shift manager assistant. When I read the objective is to obtain a customer service position, it makes me think that they don’t want to do the other part of the job.

Further down the resume I will check out their previous employment history. Often times I see resumes where people have had numerous jobs for short periods of time. This is a major red flag for an employer. As a small business owner, I would rather see a person who has had one job for several years in a totally unrelated field than someone who has had three closely related jobs that they couldn’t hold for over a year. If your resume might give that impression, I suggest you explain with good reason, why your employment was so short. Maybe they were seasonal jobs. Maybe they were internships that had a specific predetermined duration. If this is the case, you had better bring it to the reader’s attention.

People think that employers put more weight behind the person’s experience relevant to the job. Often times this is completely wrong. Business owners learn very quickly that it is more important to hire someone with the right attitude who is smart and dependable. Then you can train that person to do whatever it is you need them to do. This is better than hiring someone with direct experience who is not dependable.

I can’t say for sure if my suggestions would apply for large corporations as I do not run one. My experience is that of a small business owner. If you are applying for a position with a small business, I think you will find these few tips to be extremely useful.

5 Successful Marketing Tips For Small Businesses in Any Economy

Marketing your business and building your brand is extremely important in any economic environment for a small business to ultimately succeed. The recent poor economic conditions around the world have dramatically impacted everyone’s business, while at the same time creating great opportunities for those who have continued to market their business. Studies have shown again and again that continuing to market your business in all types of economic environments is crucial for long term success.

History has shown the importance of marketing in both down and up economies. Take Sears a well known retailer that has prospered in the past by aggressively marketing in poor economies. Montgomery Ward was once the leading retailer that dramatically pulled their marketing back during WWII. Sears on the other hand increased their marketing and overtook Ward as the leading retailer. Almost 40 years later Sears ended up acquiring the bankrupt Ward.

History has shown us that most businesses dramatically reduce marketing during economic downturns. Businesses become fearful cutting back advertising and crucial employees. Cutting back during a poor economy or an economy that is recovering is absolutely the worst thing to do for a business that looks to be the leader. Studies have shown that businesses that maintained or increased their marketing spend during poor economies experienced over 200% or more in sales revenue than the companies that decreased spend.

The following are 5 suggestions to succeed in any economic environment:

  1. Add Value & build relationships! Unlike big box retailers or larger service companies you as a small business owner have the upper hand. Larger companies are slow to react. As a small business owner you have the ability to connect with your customers and prospects by connecting with your community. Add local news & stories to any advertising to build the connection.
  2. Stay in front of customers! Email, call or visit existing customers as much as possible. Remember to look at what your cost is to attract a new customer and remember that it’s much easier to keep your existing customers than attract new ones.
  3. Reward your loyal Customers! Acknowledge customers in all types of economic conditions. Discount or gift to say thank you really creates stronger loyalty and builds long term relationships. Referrals also really increase because of this.
  4. Categorize your Customer Base! Look at your current typical customers and learn what commonality they have. Try to focus current advertising on that demographic or typical customer to increase your opportunity for success.
  5. Create & Maintain an Acquisition Strategy Model! Develop a process that prospects go through from the confirmation for an appointment, follow up phone call after appointment, follow up letter or postcard and whatever else you find helpful for you business. Regardless of the model keep it consistent and make sure to follow in both up and down markets.

These 5 suggested marketing tips are relatively simple to implement in any business model and will have great results on long term revenue. Remember that again companies that aggressively continued to maintain their marketing strategy in slower economies experienced much larger sales growth in better times. These 5 tips did not all require money to be spent and are powerful in all economic situations.

5 No Cost Marketing Tips For Your Small Business

Don’t have the money to get online with a website? Looking for free ways to market your small business on the internet?

With budgets tight for many small businesses, it’s time to get creative with your marketing strategy,

Here’s five tips for starting to get online visibility for your business:-

  1. Get listed in Google places – this is probably the quickest and most effective way that you can start getting enquiries to your business. Google places (or Google local as it used to be known) allows you to list your business on Google, even without a website. Approval is very swift, from 24-48 hours, so you can start getting new customers quickly and at no cost to you.
  2. Blog – people like to engage with people, so getting online with a blog helps you start “talking” about your business, your products, your market, in a way that’s engaging to potential customers. As an expert in your market, you’d be surprised what you already know that others would be interested in. Blog about everyday things related to your market, a problem solved, a trade fair attended, a customer satisfied, add plenty of good quality pictures to really bring it alive. Easy blogs to use include Blogger and WordPress, where you can get set up and online for free.
  3. Start an email list – many people miss the obvious marketing ploy of getting repeat customers. If your business is something that lends itself to this, then creating an email list to keep people updated with interesting news and special offers could prove profitable.
  4. Create a Facebook page – many experts believe that Facebook is only going to get more popular. Creating a Facebook page allows people to simply engage with your business and get any updates or special offers that you create in their daily Newfeed.
  5. Write an article – the biggest article site, EzineArticles, gets crazy amounts of traffic from potential customers. Write an article about your product name, for example, or using the kinds of words that you believe visitors looking for your business will type into the search engines. For example, “seo Salisbury” or “hotel Paris”, write an article of at least 400 words and submit it to EzineArticles, ensuring that in the “about the author” section you link back to your site, with some interesting and compelling text. For example, “Angela Emerson runs an exclusive luxury hotel in Paris. For current special offers for guests, visit “http://www.yourwebsite.com””.

Just doing these five simple things on the internet is a great start to marketing your small business online. Why not get started now?

Cost Reduction Tips For Small Business Owners

A business owner won’t be one when he or she doesn’t constantly look for and employ various strategies to lower and avoid unnecessary costs. After all, who wants to have a business wherein all the returns on investment or ROI and profits simply go towards paying electricity and water bills, maintenance, etc.? This definitely defeats the purpose of setting up and running a venture so that you can have a steady flow of income and eventually, gain higher profits.

There are many simple and easy to employ cost reduction ideas for small businesses. These cost reduction tips include the following:

Avoid unnecessary expenses. Don’t waste company money on buying certain items or supplies that your business does not really need. Start with doing away with purchasing name or national brands for your supplies. You can purchase paper, pens, staple wires and other office supplies from lesser-known stores or supply chains and they are of the same quality as the ones being sold by bigger brands. You can get pre-owned or second-hand office equipment and furniture if you require some for your business premises. You will have no trouble finding whatever you are looking for on eBay and other online shops. These furniture and equipment are still fully functional and suitable for your office or business premises but they come at much lower costs.

Lower your company’s monthly energy consumption. Effectively reduce your monthly energy bills by turning off lights and computers when they are not in use. During the warm season, use oscillating fans instead of air conditioners whenever the heat is bearable inside your office or business area. Consider painting the walls with a lighter color so that you can dramatically reduce the overall lighting requirements in your office or business premises as well.

Utilize the powers of the Internet. Lower your traditional marketing costs by listing your business on free online advertisement sites. Leading business consultants also say that the different social media sites are always highly effective in letting the public know more about your business and they are free so use them to your company’s great advantage.

Finally, get rid of any “dead wood”. “Dead wood” refers to any merchandise that you can’t sell and which eventually costs you money in terms of storage space, taxes and handling. Your business can lose additional income from any dead wood since they are taking up space where you can place items that are more in-demand by buyers. As such, if you have any slow-selling items, reduce their prices and place them in a bargain or discounted sales area of your business premises.