Sunday, October 10, 2010

7 Ways To Advertise Your Business For Free

1. Free directories: directories are perfect for customers that are searching for a particular topic. What’s great about them is that you only have to post once and they are good for long periods of time. It saves a lot of your time when you don’t have to resubmit your information every week or every month. The bad news is most of your traffic won’t come from here. I still feel it is worth it to get your link out there. Just take one day and set it aside for posting to free directories. You won’t need to do it again for at least 6 months.

2. Classified Ads: These are great for work from home businesses. Think about it. Where do people go when they are looking for a job? That’s right-the classifieds. The only downside to classified ads is that you have to resubmit them quite frequently. Once you find which classifieds bring you the most traffic you can concentrate on them and weed the others out. So it is really more time consuming in the beginning, and doesn’t have to be later on when you get the hang of things.

3. Free article submissions/ezines: The best way to inform others about your product or service is to write an article about it. In your authors resource box, you can tell readers about yourself and where they can go to check out your product or service. This is also an excellent way to get free links to your site if you have one. There are a lot of webmasters out there who are looking for good articles they can post on their site. If they post yours, that is another site that is doing the advertising for you. All for free.

4. URL Submissions: Probably the quickest and easiest thing to do to advertise your site. Just type “Free URL submission” in your search engine. When you get a list just enter the URL you are promoting and click submit. That’s it. It only takes a few seconds and your done. Just set a day aside once every 3 months and do this.

5. Forum Posts: Put your product or service website in your signature file when you sign up on some forums. It will be displayed every time you make a post. Try to look for topics that you have some knowledge on, and can give a relevant answer too. Do not spam anyone, you will get kicked off the forum and you will get a bad reputation. Get involved asking and answering questions that pertain to your area of business. Forums are great because once you make a post it stays there forever. It will get moved to the archives eventually, but someone could still find it if they were searching the archives. Yes, there are many people who do.

6. Traffic Exchanges: Probably the most time consuming way to advertise for free, but definately the most effective. Most forums I have visited have said in many posts that they received a lot of their profit from traffic exchanges. If you don’t want to spend the time surfing for credits, you do have the option of buying them. I would look into a program that lets you surf multiple websites at once like crazy browser. There are others and they are free to download. That way you can just spend one hour a day and get all your surfing in at once.

7. News-groups: Become involved in a group that has to do with your kind of business. You can usually mail the group once per day, but I would encourage you to find something fresh to talk about each day. People will tune you out if they see the same message all the time. Remember to never Spam anyone. Only join groups with the same interests as yours. In other words, don’t sign up for a recipe swapping group when you are advertising shaving cream.

How do I Value my Small Business?

The problem with selling any small business ($500,000 and below) is how can a realistic value be put on the business. If a business is valued too high no one will be interested or worse value it too low prospective buyers will think there is something irregular. Also where it is listed for sale is important, EBay is a tremendous medium for certain things however fraud is common place.

Unfortunately there is no fixed system when it comes to valuing any private business, the IRS, Courts of Law and the Inland Revenue all use there own systems. There are also many wonderful mathematical formulas that can be used; however there is no fixed system. To be honest the whole system is complicated with no fixed rule apart from one. What price is a person is happy to sell a business for and what is the buyer happy to pay?

If you are either buying or selling a small business do not be afraid of negotiation, it is a natural process within business. There are many good negotiation techniques; Maitland Kalton of Kaltons Solicitors London is considered an expert in this field.

The following list is a simple aid to assist people who are interested in finding a value of a business, either for the sale or purchase.

1. Does the business have employees either full time or part time? Prospective buyers should be aware that any business in the UK which employs 5 or more people has specific duties in regards to Health & Safety.
2. Is the business purely an internet business? Be warned it is very easy for an online business to appear to be doing very well, when the truth is completely the opposite. This practice unfortunately is leading to the devaluation of genuine online businesses.
3. Does the business have fixed assets or stock? It is much easier to value a garage where real estate and equipment can easily be valued, where as it is less easy to value a business with no fixed assets i.e. Legal specialists, Solicitors, Health workers etc.
4. Does the business have a full audit trail; it is surprising how many small businesses listed for sale do not.
5. What area is the business in; it goes without saying that businesses located closer to major cities are valued higher than businesses in a rural district.
6. What are the future growth prospects for the business?
7. Will the business require insurance/liability policies?

These are just a few factors that have to be considered, as you can see there is much more to take into account than how much revenue is generated by the business. I hope this short article has been of some assistance to any potential buyer or seller of any small business.

About the author - Peter Arkwright recently retired from the military, he is now the Managing Director of www.bizseller4u.com
A new portal that allows people to list their Business for Sale

This article is free for republishing

Becoming A Coach In Everyday Life

Be the change you want to see occur in the world around you. We can't make other people be more considerate, helpful, honest, etc., but if everyone were to work on themselves and develop these attributes, our world would be a better place.

Don't be judgmental. Look for and recognize the good in yourself and in others. We are all capable of so-called "good" and "bad" behaviors and we all have our "good" and "off" days. We are all unique and it is wonderful that we are different and not all the same - in our appearance, our thoughts, our opinions, our likes and dislikes. Being different is not threatening, it is not "bad", it is just "different". Embrace the differences and be happy for the variety. Likewise, forget the concepts of "right" and "wrong". People are not good or bad or right or wrong; they just are. If you were in "their shoes" maybe you would act differently, or maybe not. Being judgmental wastes time and cuts you off from opportunities and meaningful relationships - because you are not perfect either, and your judgment might be worse than the person's you are judging!

Respect. Don't make the mistake of thinking your rights are the only ones that count. Don't ignore the other person's rights. Our fundamental right is to be respected. Being wealthy does not make a person more deserving of respect and neither does a high-flying career with a fancy title. Respect is not about material issues or where one sits on the social ladder. Respect is acknowledging another human being's dignity and treating them how you wish to be treated yourself. We all came on to this earth equal and we're all checking out as equals. What happens in between is just a series of different life experiences. The poor man who lives in a slum, who cares for strangers, volunteers assistance without expecting anything in return and lives a clean, honest life is more deserving of respect than a wealthy businessman who dresses in fine clothes, lives in a huge mansion, and treats everyone like pond amoeba, cheats on his wife, swindles his shareholders and has forgotten how to tell the truth.

Be a Good Listener. How often do you really listen to other people? How often do you plan what you are going to say next while they are talking, or allow your mind to drift off onto something else instead of concentrating on their every word? It takes practice to be a good listener, but in being one, you are showing respect and in a position to better comprehend the real message being given to you. You avoid misunderstandings and missed instructions. Furthermore, the other person will appreciate your attention and return the courtesy.

Be interested - not interesting. This goes hand in hand with being a good listener. People love to talk about themselves and will delight in the opportunity to do so, so ensure you ask questions and take an interest in what they are telling you. Don't worry about them hogging the limelight - you can have your turn during the conversation. Have you ever met someone who only talks about themselves? Count the number of times you use "I" in your conversations. Judging, arguing points, interrupting the conversation, and using "I" a lot are sure signs you need to review your communication skills.

Respond from Your Heart. We tend to respond to others using our head, not our heart. We formulate stories about us, we defend our ego, or we judge other people or what they have said. If we respond from our heart, we can respond with understanding and a sense of connection. Find something good to say about people and to people. Build people "up" - don't knock them down. Go with your gut instincts.

Be truthful. There is a good reason for the saying "honesty is the best policy." Nothing good ever comes from lies, and there is a difference between being diplomatic and telling an outright lie. Nobody trusts a liar. If you've made a mistake, well, welcome to the human race! You don't have to lie to cover it up. You don't have to tell your truth "brutally", there are gentle and tactful ways of delivering truths and you should think carefully before you speak. But don't try to be deceitful because it has a habit of coming back to haunt you, and in those situations you are worse off than if you had just come clean in the first place, as uncomfortable as that may seem at the time.

Be helpful. When you need a helping hand, don't you just love the person who comes up and offers that to you? Wouldn't you love the opportunity to repay them? You can be that person that others look to respectfully with gratitude in their hearts, who will, one day, repay the gesture. What comes around, goes around. If you want people to be helpful to you, you must be helpful to others. It doesn't matter whether this is assisting your boss with a special project you can see he needs help with, or a co-worker who is struggling with a large workload, or an elderly neighbor struggling up the stairs with her arms full. People do remember kindness.

Maintain Your Integrity and Your Dignity. People with their integrity intact are easier to deal with in work or personal situations. They know where they stand and you know where you stand with them. You will feel better about yourself when you set your standards and stand by them and you will attract those who respect your standards and who have standards of their own. Being a doormat is disrespectful to yourself and to the person 'walking all over you'. It does not allow them to grow and learn to do something for themselves. Learn to say no gracefully. You have as much right as everyone else on the planet to have your own opinion and your own way of doing things, and reminding you of point (1) above, nobody has the right to make you feel 'bad' if you think, feel or dress differently. Remember, "to thine own self be true."

Go the Extra Mile. I mean this in a couple of ways. First, whether you are either asked to do something, or you are offering to do something, remember that if something is worth doing in the first place, then it is worth doing well. And while you are at it, what little touches can you offer to improve it? For example, who would you rather go to for your shoeshine… Mr. A does a wonderful buff and polish and is timely and not too expensive. Mr. B also does a wonderful buff and polish, he is also timely and not expensive, but he is also cheerful and interested in you and whistles while he works, so after your polish, you go on your way feeling on top of the world! Mr. B just went the extra mile for you. He didn't just polish your shoes, he lifted your spirits and made you feel good. If you are offering a co-worker assistance with copying some documents, go the extra mile and ask if she needs a hand stapling them or collating them. Going the extra mile need not involve a large expense of time, energy or money, but it's value to the recipient is often priceless, and one day, it will be reciprocated.

Say What You Mean and Mean What You Say. Neither beat around the bush being evasive, nor make promises you can't keep. On the other hand, if you say you are going to do something, do it. Be known as a reliable person. Honor your promises and agreements wherever possible - this stems back to integrity. Prepare to be flexible if need be, but know that you don't have to bend over so far backwards that your back snaps. Being assertive and being aggressive are two entirely different things, and you do not need aggression to be assertive. In fact, you are better off without the aggression! If you are wishy-washy and allow people or circumstances to be unconcerned for your position, you will develop that reputation and find more and more people willing to walk all over you and more situations in which it occurs. Being like this does not prove you are valuable to anybody - it just means you are a 'pushover'.