Small Business Marketing on a Shoestring Budget

Businesses need to work to get noticed by potential and existing customers, even if their business is a really small business. Waiting and hoping someone will notice you and buy from you just isn’t enough. Even if you have a prime location, you can’t just leave things to ‘chance’. Think it’s too expensive to make room for marketing initiatives in your already tight budget? Small business marketing can be done, even on a shoestring budget, especially when you use the internet to your advantage. Read on for a few of the things you can do with a small budget in terms of internet-based marketing.

Search Engine Optimisation

SEO, or search engine optimisation, doesn’t cost much. A bit of effort and investment will help you get free traffic. Instead of paying for every click to your website through paid advert programmes, get listed for targeted keywords and phrases that people use to look for your product. Do this to send them to an optimised website and you can look forward to traffic streams that can result in sales both online and offline.

Search Engine Marketing

Pay per click advertising sounds expensive but if you research, prepare, and do it right, a small amount of money budgeted for PPC ads could net sales. Take half the profits from those sales and re-invest and you’ve turned a small investment into an income stream. Don’t just jump into PPC advertising without taking the time to learn how it works. A marketing consultant could be great help in this area.

Lead Generation / Email Marketing

Are you treating every visitor to your site as a lead? Don’t let that visitor leave without trying to capture their info. Consider adding an opt-in form and doing something to entice people to opt-in to receiving future contact from you. If you’ve optimised your site well, you should be getting the right sort of traffic and by getting info you can market to that person in the future through e-mail marketing.

The above methods are just a few of the ways you can inexpensively create a small business marketing strategy. As you see results you can increase your budget, knowing that you are likely to get great return on your investment. If you are having trouble, or doubts about, navigating the world of online advertising you can find small business consultants who can advise you and do a small campaign for you to help you gauge potential and then expand on it, should it be successful.

Overcoming Your Fears and Completing the Real Estate Investment – Step by Step Cash Flow and Income

Recognizing that many investors become intimidated or afraid of items in the investment process, this article describes the major areas of the investment process. The under each area, the steps required or activities needed are laid out. Conceptually, if the would be investor will move ahead accomplishing each, a successful investment will inevitably be the result.

The steps for the investment are:

  1. General partner and investor preparation
  2. Project identification and analysis
  3. Business Plan Development
  4. Purchase contract
  5. Closing and Initial Operations
  6. Investor Communications and Securities Compliance
  7. Oprations
  8. Marketing and Sales (leasing, developing buyers, developing investors)
  9. Debt and equity financing
  10. Exit

While there are other topics you will have an interest in understanding or learning more about relative to real estate investing, completing the areas above will lead to a successful investment.

Clearly, these steps are more complex than simple one liners. In the lists below, you will find some of the key activities that you need to be mindful of or complete when executing and investment or series of investments. This list can be made more granular and depending on the investment items could be added or deleted to the process. So, as you approach investments exercise flexibility to meet the needs of your project modifying or adjusting this as needed. The general steps under each area are:

General partner and investor preparation

  1. Prepare escrow accounts and agreements
  2. Complete personal financial statements for major (>10% owners)
  3. Prepare biographies for principals

Project identification and analysis

This step is perhaps the most complex and can be viewed as three major components: 1) market selection, 2) submarket analysis, and 3) property analysis. All of these constitute the due diligence phase of an investment.

During market selection, determine:

  1. Population growth characteristics,
  2. Economic factors,
  3. Transportation factors,
  4. Regulation factors (review tenant rights laws, housing authority activity, etc.)

In submarket analysis review:

  1. Competition,
  2. Immediate transportation,
  3. Immediate access to education, government support, recreation facilities, shopping and entertainment,
  4. Housing costs,
  5. Crime factors,
  6. Local area demographic considerations,
  7. Local employment

For the property itself, consider:

  1. Unit by unit inspection details,
  2. Detailed review of the grounds including parking, lighting, landscaping, drainage, fences, signage,
  3. Amenity inspections,
  4. Building exterior inspection,
  5. Review of the properties abutting to the target property,
  6. Drive by and walk by traffic,
  7. Walking access to shopping, entertain, and public transportation,
  8. Walking / bus access to schools,
  9. Availability of good contractors and other services or employees

Business Plan Development

The business plan has to answer several question including:

  1. The amount of capital needed including reserves, improvements, and purchase needs
  2. The returns the investor can expect
  3. How risk will be managed
  4. How the accounting and finances will be managed
  5. How the project will be managed and your qualifications to accomplish this
  6. How the investor will eventual exit
  7. How the investment will be organized

Purchase contract

  1. Describes the terms of closing,
  2. The warranties and representations the seller must stand behind
  3. The sellers preclosing operations requirements and consequences if they are not met
  4. Protection against fraud or mismanagement in the in the information provided by the seller to you, the purchaser

Closing and Initial Operations

This phase includes a number of steps that will have a great deal of influence over the eventual success or failure of the project. Essentially, during this period, the purchaser and seller are checking off items that lead to the successful close and taking steps to kick off operations. Consider the following a s a basic set of steps:

  1. Collect in escrow equity for closing,
  2. Complete operating agreements,
  3. Complete investor subscription agreements,
  4. Finalize the business plan,
  5. Complete loan commitments,
  6. Provide all information the bank will need for set up,
  7. Put the rent roll in your management system or spread sheets,
  8. Collect investor communication information in email and call set up systems,
  9. Set up banking accounts,
  10. Set up entities with the local government,
  11. Establish contracts, hire employees, determine sources of operating supplies,
  12. Complete improvement plans and contracts,
  13. Set up initial operating improvement schedules,
  14. Create initial operating books,
  15. Ensure accounting information for all transactions prior to closing are recorded with date, purpose, who to, whether capital, expense, income, or investment,
  16. Enter accounting information from per closing transactions and the closing sheet / HUD1 and ensure books are balanced and prepared for initial operations

Investor Communications and Securities Compliance

  1. Pre closing provide risk statements,
  2. foreword looking statements disclosures,
  3. Reporting plans and intent,
  4. Subscription agreements and investor information complete,
  5. Operating agreements executed

Operations

This includes all the day to day requirements such as:

  1. customer service,
  2. Maintenance,
  3. Service and supply contracts,
  4. Lease management,
  5. Collections and evictions,
  6. Day to day banking,
  7. Human resources and day to day compliance,
  8. Capital improvement management,
  9. Taxes,
  10. Operating statements, year end statements, taxes, and licenses

Marketing and Sales (leasing, developing buyers, developing investors)

  1. Online, print, and signage,
  2. Promotions and concessions,
  3. Sales training and preparation,
  4. Associations, social media, etc.

Debt and equity financing

  1. This is the culmination of the financing picture.
  2. Preparing bank packages,
  3. Negotiating loan agreements,
  4. Provide financials and business plans,
  5. Managing loans and refinancing post purchase,
  6. Closing with your equity investors, releasing the funds for purchase, and raising additional capital in the future if needed to protect the investment

Financing is a major opportunity and can turn out to be a major risk for your investment.

Exit

This is preparing and evolving a plan to exit the investors’ cash investment and to eventually sell and completely cash out their investment. The options for this are limited by imagination alone, but most view this as the eventual sale to another investor. The requirements can be daunting, but if the investor will breakdown the process into successively smaller steps as outlined here even a relatively small investor can manage relatively significant opportunities.

How to Diversify Investment in Gold

One of the investments considered to be of significant value is gold. Mainly, the reason is it is an extremely secure investment alternative. This is obvious from the fact that the fluctuations in its prices have been very small. Also gold value is always on the rise. Therefore, investing in gold mint and coins are considered to be a good alternative because of their worth. Bullion would be an even better choice when an individual considers gold investment.

Gold price is rising very quickly, so purchasing Gold now is a good investment. A thorough analysis of the market will assist you in deciding on the appropriate choices. One can learn and understand the basics of how you can invest in gold and in what you can invest.

Diversifying investment portfolio is the key to staying in the trading business for a long time. Purchasing gold coins, gold bars are good alternatives. Being aware of how you should diversify into gold is a good thing because investment in gold demands meticulous analysis.

The following are the steps to be followed while considering diversification:

Decide on the budget: You need to determine the amount of gold you desire to invest. Purchasing too much or too little gold is of no use.

Things you can invest in: There are a lot of options for investing in gold. The alternatives include purchasing gold bullion, gold bars and gold coins. Investing in Gold bullion is a good choice. Always choose to purchase gold bars of high value of investment.

Gold trends in the market: Confirm with the existing market rates. The value of gold is on the rise. There will also be instances when the prices suddenly fall and this is the ideal time to purchase and invest in more quantities of gold. Consequently, when the price is rising it is ideal to sell.

There are a lot of options to choose when investing in gold. Certificates, shares and stocks are the ways of investing in gold. This will result in a diversified portfolio which will protect you against losses in case one of the kinds of investment’s price plummets.

Checking the dealer’s reputation is a good way of making sure that you are performing legitimate transactions. Dealer’s reputation is also important since it will ensure that you get reliable bullion for the money that you spent. Checking for certificates is a way of proving that you are transacting with a reliable dealer.

Another good way of investing is to purchase gold jewelry. An added benefit is that you can display gold by wearing it and passing it down from one generation to the next generation. And, when the prices are rising you can sell them.