How To Take Your Local Business Online

The internet is another side of our world that a lot of people are currently getting used to. It has created employment opportunities for a lot of people all over the world and has also been able to alter the medieval structure of local businesses. But still, a lot of local business entrepreneurs are yet to fully understand the benefits of advertising a business on the web.

I think this is because some of these local entrepreneurs don’t actually know how to take their business online, they just don’t know where to start from. They have become so used to their local means of advertising that they easily over look the power of the internet and the possibilities it can bring to their business in terms of marketing.

The web brings the whole world to you no matter where you are. You can start taking advantage of the web to advertise your local business to people in your city, country and even those that are abroad. The internet gives you a much bigger pool of customers to draw from. Thanks to the web, you can now easily advertise your local business to anybody with a Computer or Internet-Enabled mobile phone.

If you are a local business entrepreneur and you are interested in taking your business to the next level with the power of internet advertising, here are some key points that can help you achieve this.

Article Marketing

Article marketing works for both online and offline businesses. Article marketing gives you the ability to build an audience (your readers) that you can later introduce to your business. When you are done with writing a quality article your next step is to make it available on the web so that people can read it, a good way to do this is to submit each article to a free article submission directory like EzineArticles. Once your article is published, it becomes visible and anybody can read it. Always take advantage of the Author Info section (normally at the bottom of your article) to introduce your business to your readers.

Article marketing is a very nice way to take your business online. Always try as much as possible to write informative articles that can inspire your readers and they will love to know more about your business.

Website/Blog

This option is also similar to Article Marketing, the only difference is that you are the owner of the platform where you will be giving out information about your business. Building a website for your business is one of the best and most effective method to expose it on the web. You can write about anything that is related to your business and post it on your website. More visitors to your website will also mean more customers to your business and more sales. Creating a website for your business will surely take it to a whole new level and I urge every entrepreneur to start taking this step.

Online Classifieds

Have you ever placed a promotional advert on local newspapers/magazines? Then you should know how expensive such adverts can be. There are a lot of free platforms on the web where you can place similar adverts for free and Craigslist is one of such. Online classified ads are much the same as your local adverts, just that they are FREE and can also deliver better results.

George Edosa Uyi is a CSO at GoldenLink Web Solutions, a Nigerian Based Company that provides online jobs for Nigerians through proven methods.

Let’s Dig Into Google Chrome

Google has developed its own web browser called as “Google Chrome”. It is one of the most widely used web browsers and preferred by more than 50% of users. It is user-friendly, and it has an attractive interface. Google Chrome has some additional features, which you might not find in other web browsers.

Ground build up!

Chrome has been built from scratch. The Google web developers emphasized upon having modern, updated, rich in media and extraordinary fast web browsing.

Plug-ins and platform

Google chrome has been built on Web Kit, it also supports android’s browser as well as Apple’s Safari. It uses Google Gears, a web applications platform/plug-in.

Multi-Processing

Users demand easy to use web browsers and seek for their compatibility. Google chrome has been successful in this regard because it enables multi-processing, which handles element of a page (Flash video, a JavaScript command) its personal memory and process. Multi-threading makes it faster and Chrome eliminates single-threading which other browsers support.

Multiple Tabs

The idea of multiple tabs is super cool, you can open as many tabs and new windows as you want to. This would handle different processes together, JavaScript will be on one tab while images and videos on another. This reduces the load on the memory, makes it reliable and avoid crashing of a site. This helps in resolving the bugs too!

V8

A new JavaScript virtual machine called as V8 all the way from Denmark is used by Google Chrome which makes the browsing faster for users.

– Task Manager

Google Chrome’s Task Manager will work with Windows Task Manager, and let you find procedures (plug-ins) that are keeping resources or colliding, and kills the process. You can now directly access the problem instead of closing the tabs.

Omnibox

Is it working faster now? Chrome’s Omnibox can support. When you type something in the address bar, Google suggests an auto complete option for a word or sentence not only based on history but the ones which top the search engine list.

Privacy

This one is on the same level with IE8 and Firefox. You can access anything, view whatever you want to with no cache add-ons or history saving. Go the settings and set privacy accordingly.

Personalized Home Page

Handiness is additionally advanced by a modified homepage with screenshots of the sites you visit most.

Security

It is more secure now! The browser includes Google’s forever growing list of spyware and malware sites and each tab is sandboxed, means no tab activity will affect your computer. Nothing will pop up without your permission.

3 Most Common Mistakes When Starting an Online Business

The triumph of gaining your financial freedom and independence is mind-blowing. Having an online business can be spectacular. You determine your own working hours and your own place of business. What’s not to like about it?

Let me tell you what. Online business can also be frightening, scary and painful at the same time. The ticket to success is not free of charge.

Have you ever wondered how some people succeed with their online business?

So have I. When I started my own online business, I made all 3 mistakes that I’m describing below. Let me explain all about them, so you can avoid them from the start.

I started my online endeavors with no big plan in mind. All I knew was that I want to start an online business and that was it.

I listened about all the amazing stories about people making a fortune online and I said to myself: “What the heck, I will try that too!” I don’t consider myself to be a dumb person. Besides, how hard could it be anyway?

So I started with building my own webpage. I was familiar with SEO from my job and I read all the Google SEO recommendations for 2016. I knew that the content is the king. So I started producing content. Nothing out of the ordinary, basically just stuff I learned, while I was still working for others. During my regular employment I gained a lot of experience in the field of digital project, project management, animation, publishing and so on.

I published a piece of good quality content every now and then. Producing quality content went quite well, because I had a lot to share. But soon I realized I’m not getting any readers. I made a Facebook page. I posted links there. I built subscription forms and so on and so on. But not much happened. I wasn’t getting any readers. No one was subscribing to my newsletter.

Then I realized I had no idea what I was doing. I had no plan. So the first mistake I made was:

1. Not having a plan

You don’t need to have a formal business plan or anything fancy like that at all, but you do need a plan. A plan for:

Content creation and publishing – Once a week, twice a week, every day. Anything, as long as you have a plan that you know you’ll be able to follow. Decide what you can deliver and then stick to it. Be consistent. Readers love the routine. If you deliver astonishingly great content every Wednesday, people will expect it. So you better deliver, or they will leave.

Sharing content – Start small and use a social media platform that is familiar to you. Mine was Facebook. I wasn’t there much before, but at least I knew something about it. It would be best though, if you concentrate social media starting efforts on platform where your audience is. Speaking of:

Target audience – Deciding about content will give you an idea about what your ideal audience is or vice versa. Once you determine that, you can research about where they most commonly hang out in the digital world. Is it Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, dedicated forums? Whatever you find out, you need to go there as well. Think about demographics, their interests, their needs and what they can afford.

What products to sell – This is very much related to demographics of your target audience. You cannot sell a $10.000 product to someone who can only afford to buy a $100 product at most. You cannot just put a product on your web page and hope for the best. Again you need a plan.

Further down the line, you will definitely need to adjust your overall plan. But have your initial plan in front of your eyes the whole time. Eyes on the target.

Setting your long term goals is just as important as setting the short term ones. Keep them somewhere in front of you at all times, as your constant reminder of what your direction is.

If you find yourself working on something else, look at the written goal in front of you and ask yourself: “Is this activity getting me closer to my goal?” If your answer is no, stop doing it right away and direct your focus to your goal achieving activities.

Another piece of advice. You might want to keep a list of things to do, a schedule of sorts if you will, to keep you on track for the times when you get distracted. And let me tell you from my experience, it happens so fast and covertly as well. You don’t even realize it when an hour went by, while distractions had been occupying your attention.

2. Focusing on little stuff

When I started, I was spreading myself too thin on all the tasks that needed to be done. I’m a designer and animator by profession. The thing is, I haven’t been working in the field for almost a decade. But I tasked myself with making my own logo, designing and setting up my own custom web page.

Don’t do that. Once you start a business, treat it like a business. You’re an entrepreneur so do entrepreneurial stuff and leave the design stuff to designers. I realized I would have never taken off my business if I would have been doing all the work myself. In the end I decided to use WordPress. I picked a theme I liked and worked with that. It doesn’t really matter how the web page looks like at the beginning anyhow, as long as the content is readable and call to action buttons are visible enough to get users to click on them. Hopefully.

I was very much against using WordPress for numerous reasons, top one being lack of control of the coding and SEO. But concentrating on it at the beginning of the business makes no sense at all. I will not be able to compete with organic traffic for a while anyway. So what’s the point?

Just take a look at Google. Do you still remember their minimalistic homepage? Even now, it hasn’t changed all that much from that. But when you look behind the first visual impression, it offers an awesome service. This is something you should concentrate on as well, service, not how to make things look pretty. Unless, of course, you’re a designer and you’re selling your design services online.

Get someone else to do the following stuff for you once you reach that point in your business, but you mostly don’t need it from the start anyway:

design a logo, business cars, stationary (if you use it), pretty web page,
more social media channels coverage, once you outgrow the basic ones,
accounting,
email services,
and so on and on.

3. Underestimating things

Since I can remember, I had issues with setting the correct timeframe for task completion. My tendency to underestimate was enormous. I thought it would’ve taken an hour to complete a task, but it took 3. I thought I could’ve finished all the tasks I planned for the day, but I had been left with more than half of them unchecked.

I underestimated a whole lot more.

I had a vague idea of how online marketing works. I had a slightly better idea about how social media marketing works. Well, I was wrong. I only thought I did.

Nothing worked as I had thought it would. Since the last time I did any of those social activities, a lot had changed. Facebook logic is completely different now. Of course, they want to make money. Google Ads became quite expensive. Organic traffic from Google is impossible to achieve, well, at least for certain keywords. And let me not go into my expectations about timeframe I had in mind for getting results. It’s embarrassing.

Let me tell you one thing I learned, though: “Rome wasn’t built in a day.” And neither will your success. There are tactics you can use to get to your success faster, but even with those, there’s a lot of work involved.

Here are some tips for you:

Don’t think that making money online is easy – You might find some get rich quick schemes out there, you might even earn some money with them, even overnight. But after that scheme is gone, you’ll be looking for a new one. As for the long term goal of making money online, I’m talking about sustainable income for years, is hard work. And after that, it’s a lot of hard work.

Success will come, just not overnight – If you’re diligent every single day. You produce quality content and get it out there for your perfect audience to see, they are bound to find it. Sooner or later. But don’t expect success overnight. It might have happened to some people, but it’s more likely we just don’t know the whole story of that particular online millionaire. Consistently take action. Every day. Persistence is the key.

Do not multitask, focus instead – Concentrate on one thing at a time. Implement it. Finish it. Whatever you need to do to successfully get it out of your way, and only then move on to the next one. Believing in a myth, that you will achieve more in less time with multitasking, is just plain crap. Maybe multitasking works, but just maybe, if one task is something you do on a complete autopilot and you don’t need any brain power for it, and the other task is something you need your brain for. Like listening to a podcast while riding a bike.

Don’t put too much on your plate – Get what you can eat, finish it and then go get seconds. Or you might even need to digest it first. Don’t take too many things on at the same time. Again, you will spread yourself too thin and you will not accomplish anything with it. Don’t jump between jobs and don’t test multiple income streams at the same time. Pick one or two, get it to work and use it if it works. If it doesn’t work, abandon it and try a new one.

Think big. Grow your ideas. Set your goals. But work on one at the time. You’re in for the long haul. It doesn’t matter all that much that you might need to suffer through first few months or a year. Not if you have your why in front of you.

This is my last tip for today. You decided to start your own online business, or you’re in the process of doing so. Think deeply about your why.

Why do you want to have this business?

What is the reason for it?

Think about it long and hard. And you better come up with a pretty damn good answer, one that is so very important to you, one that will keep you motivated, when things don’t go quite as well as you planned, or hoped for.

What You Can Learn From an Angry Misfit Geek on Unique Positioning and Conversion

Remember that inner geek you tried so hard to leave at home when you were in high school?

Or that angry misfit in you that was dying to come out but got stuffed back into the box every time you tried to blend in?

They may not be good for high school survival, but turns out there may be a thing or two we can learn from them to stand out and get more clients:

1. Channel Your Geek for Client Care & Acquisition

The cool ones pretend they don’t care. They pretend they’ve so many friends that they don’t give a crap about anyone.

The geek remembers everything and brings you exactly what you said you want for your birthday. Even if he had to do the uncool thing like, visiting 5 stores to track it down.

If you’re selling something more than a “commodity,” especially services of a highly personal nature such as coaching, healing or consulting, trust and relationship plays an important role in conversion.

Your clients feel vulnerable in such relationships. They need to TRUST you enough to open up and work with you.

TRUST happens between one human being and another human being.

Trust cannot be automated.

Trust doesn’t happen when you isolate yourself on a pedestal and hoping this autoresponder or that funnel will get you a premium private client without lifting a finger.

Someone who purchases a $17 eBook can very well turn into a $10k client, if you continue the conversation and build the relationship.

Building trust takes time and genuine interaction. Humanity.Vulnerability. Honesty.

Pay attention to people, faces and names across your mailing list, social media and customer list. E.g. Make your peeps feel warm and fuzzy by mentioning something they post on Facebook when you send them a personal note to check in.

Say hello to customers who purchased your digital products. Send them a personal email to see if they have question about your product and whether you can help with anything.

(Yeah, like, you actually copy and paste the email address, type something and hit send. People can tell automated email from personal email. Most appreciate a personal touch in this age of impersonal automation.)

Check in with potential clients you had conversations with in the past and mention specifics about those interactions. See how they’ve progressed since, and what you can do to help.

Keep tab on your correspondences. Take notes and GIVE A CRAP.

Some relationships are “slow cook.” Not all interactions need to end with a sale right away. Some one can become a client a year or two after an interaction if they leave the conversation with a good impression.

It’s people, not easy-bake oven.

Interact like a human being, not a drone clone sales funnel.

There’s no need to pretend you’re making 10,000 sales a month (if you aren’t) and you’re so damn busy that you can’t check in with your peeps like a human being (at least with a strategically selected handful.)

When your peeps reach out and know that they’re getting a response from the person they want an answer from, you lower the “barrier” erected by virtual interaction.

You build trust and relationship essential for them to further engage with you.

Take note on little things about past clients, potential clients, customers and “random” names on your list. Like all geeks worth her salt.

Mention these details in your correspondences. I use a simple spreadsheet to keep track. I search my email folders to make sure I get the facts straight. I give a crap about my peeps as people, not numbers.

Taking the time to give a crap is what sets YOU apart, not a sparkly sales funnel with a dozen of permutations on up-sell, down-sell and cross-sell.

2. Channel Your Angry Misfit for Unique Positioning

We often regurgitate what other people are already saying in our industry to make sure we’re not being offensive or controversial. That’s human instinct to blend in; to make sure we don’t get kicked out by our caveman tribe.

This isn’t good for marketing. You sound like everyone else and why would people want to buy your stuff or work with you?

Blending in doesn’t make economic sense. The more you sound like everyone else, the more you’d be treated as a “commodity” and the less price elasticity you can get.

You can’t define your positioning by just doing research either. Your positioning is uniquely YOU, and how can you define YOU just by looking at data – aka, other people’s world view?

I’ve seen people trying to define their positioning by drawing lines and plotting dots in quadrants, finding a gap and backing/squeezing themselves into it. Sounds very passive and reactive to me – what do you think?

Staying “straight and narrow” so you don’t stick out, or blending in with the cool crowd so you don’t get picked on can be good for high school survival.

But let’s get rid of that fear of being criticized now that we’ve our big boy/girl panties on.

When I help my clients who’ve struggled for years to nail their unique positioning, staying “level headed” often doesn’t work.

Really good stuff comes out of their mouth when I get them super riled up.

When they throw caution into the wind and just tell me what piss them off – without worrying about putting what they say into marketing-kosher materials, we find the gems that define who they are and why they’re different.

Here’s ONE simple exercise to find your unique positioning without ~What riles you up about your industry?

~Why aren’t people who work with your competition aren’t getting results?

~What frustrate your peeps most about your industry and competition?

~What do you do differently that create results and avoid the frustrations?

(Some people are better at getting riled up when they speak. If that’s you, record your rant and then come back to it for the gems.)

Write down 5 – 10 titles for blog posts you’d write based on the stuff that came out of the brain dump… no fear, no doubt, no compromise.

Write them down as statements. Like they’re the truest truth for you.

Somewhere in there are your unique POVs.

Map those POVs back to the problem you solve and your ideal clients’ desired outcome… you get your unique positioning.

Ling is an Intuitive Brainiac. Through her unique blend of Business + Marketing coaching with a Mindset + Psychic Twist, she helps the multi-talented and multi-passionate maverick solo-entrepreneurs distill ALL their big ideas into ONE cohesive Message, nail the WORDS that sell and design a Plan to cut the busywork and do what matters, through her intuitive yet rigorous iterative process born out of her Harvard Design School training and 10 years of experience in the online industry.

Ling helps her clients optimize the space between individuality + originality vs. “tried-and-true” marketing so they can express their WHY unapologetically and profitably without reinventing the wheel.

Steps for Starting a Carpet Cleaning Business

How to start a carpet cleaning business

Why Start A Carpet Cleaning Business?

First of all you have to ask yourself why do you want to start your own business? Many people start businesses because of circumstances such as when they have been made redundant. Other people just get to the stage in their lives where they want a change from what they have been doing for years. Some people like the idea of being their own boss and in control of the business. Now that you have made your decision you have to decide on the type of business you are planning to tackle. In this article we are going to discuss the starting up of a carpet cleaning business so you can become an expert carpet cleaner.

Budget

As with most businesses you will have to acknowledge what your budget will be. You can use your redundancy money if you are lucky to have any or you can go to the bank for a business loan. with your budget determined you can now go shopping.

Choosing the right carpet cleaning equipment

There are many carpet cleaning types of machinery out on the market but the one common piece of equipment you will need is a van to carry everything. A small van will normally suffice. You can purchase a carpet cleaner for a few hundred euros but as we all know, you get what you pay for. Carpet cleaners can range from a small wet and dry vacuum suction cleaner to a specialised water extraction push or pull unit. There is also an option of a truck mounted unit which could set you back €20,000 or €30,000. You also have consider your market when buying a carpet cleaner. If you are only going to be attending household carpets a big industrial cleaner won’t suit but if you are going commercial an industrial cleaner is a must. When you think you have the selected the right carpet cleaner Google is great for finding a review of the cleaner so you know what you are getting. Your choice of cleaner could be the difference between a successful business and a failed one.

Training

Everyone thinks that carpet cleaning is just a matter of obtaining the correct equipment and going at it. Think again. I would recommend attending a carpet cleaning course if there is one in your area. You won’t believe how intricate it is when you get in to it. This training will also show you how to clean upholstery and also rugs and mats.

Cleaning solutions

Carpets are made from various materials which can range from man made plastic materials to pure natural materials such as wool. Some carpets are a mixture of both. In saying that before you attempt to clean a carpet you need this information but after a while you will be able to make an intelligent guess. If you get it wrong the consequences could be huge. Imagine cleaning a pure wool carpet with the wrong solution and a customer informing you that the whole carpet has shrunk!!!! There are many companies out there that will supply you with the information you require.

Finding a Suitable Warehouse For Your Company Products

Questions You Must Ask

Whether you are a distributor or a manufacturer, stock happens to be the most important aspect of the trading business that you are in. To secure a warehouse premises that is just perfect for your needs there are things you must put into perspective first. Just because a warehouse is spacious enough does not usually mean that it is what your company needs. There are so many other factors that should be considered before the final decision is made.

What commodity specific facilities does it have?

Products are not the same. If you are in the food industry, then you must be extra careful with the warehouse you choose because food items are usually perishable and they can go bad without the best facilities in place. If your products require frozen, refrigerated and conditioned storage, then this is what you need to make sure the warehouse has for you. Consider your products and the perfect storage conditions for them and then choose a warehouse that will not disappoint you at the end of the day.

Apart from storage, what other services can I enjoy?

Warehouses are so competent today that they offer much more than just storage to make the process even more convenient for you the client. Apart from co-packing, and trans-loading, you will actually find warehouses that offer distribution and fulfillment services. With such a warehouse, you will have peace of mind with things such as orders because you simply need to instruct and guide distribution even without the need to be present. Some make it even easier by devising supply chain proposal that can be customized to match your needs to get the perfect solution for your goods.

How sizeable is the warehouse and its impact?

The size of the warehouse can determine the storage options that you have. Remember that most warehouses stack up products in metal racks from the floor to the ceiling to save space and this might not always be a good option depending on the products you have. Organizing the inventory on the floor could be a more suitable option, although this means taking up more space and could limit the amount of stock you can have stored in one go. Also important to remember when looking at the size is that you can find warehouses that are sizeable enough for your company needs only, but others are too large that the empty space could end up being shared by other customers. Consider if this is something you would be okay with or you would rather pay even for the empty space when you choose a warehouse that’s bigger than your needs.

When looking at the best warehouse for your needs, always think long term, so that you do not end up choosing one you are likely to outgrow too quickly. Think about potential expansion of the warehouse if you intend to hire, storage for a considerable length of time, so you can be sure you are covered.

A Course Called Six Sigma

Though it existed decades ago, the Six Sigma has been gaining popularity, as corporations use it for employee improvement. Six sigma certification can be earned by attending through an actual training or via an online course. Introduced by Engineer Bill Smith, it is a set of techniques that can be used for improvement.

Six Sigma follows a unique method of approach known as the D-M-A-I-C model. Stands as Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve and Control, this model must be followed from beginning to end in regulating the task or activity to be taken all throughout then continuing with the enhancement using the C or Control.

There are five belts pertaining to project levels. They are Six sigma black belt, Six sigma green belt, Master black belt, Six sigma yellow belt and the Six sigma white belt.

Roles played of lean six sigma belts:

Six sigma black belt are personnel that lead in problem solving of projects.

Six sigma green belt is in charge of data collection as well as analysis for the projects of black belt.

Master black belt is responsible for training and coaching the black belts and green belts. They also act as the group or company’s consultant and technologist.

Six sigma yellow belt are participants and serve as the team members. Their main task is to review the improvements that are supporting the projects.

Six sigma white belt are teams that give back-up and support in the overall task. This group may not be a part of the whole project team, but they fully understand the concept from the context of awareness.

In addition, Champions and Executives serve as the organizational support.

Champions are personnel that decipher the mission, vision and goals of the company to delegate plan and projects. They also identify resources and abolish anything that can cause problems.

Executives are those who provide arrangement in building strategies and focus on the program basing on the company’s vision and culture.

Six Sigma Institute

The Six Sigma Institute is an organization specialized in giving Six Sigma trainings, examinations and registration to professionals that rise into the hierarchy as Six Sigma practitioners.

The role of Six Sigma Institute is to help the company in maximizing output by giving trainings and guidance in the implementation of their work together with the improvements based on changes of culture, methods and mechanism as well. With the help of institutes and coaches, it is expected that there are improvements in the output. With this improvement, quality production and services will increase together with the enhancement of safety, boost employee morale as well as clients satisfaction and lower cost of production and inventory.

Coaches can give employees or training team members through an actual, face-to-face instruction or even online training. Personnel from Six Sigma institute are experts that develop trainings and implementation games basing on real experiences as well as appropriate business operation. At the end of the training, the Six Sigma certification is awarded as recognition of his proficiency in the problem solving task.

3 Questions To Ask Before You Create Your Next Business Presentation

When we are presented with the opportunity to give a speech to a business audience, a lot of different things start to run through our heads. Unfortunately, not all of these thoughts are ones that will help us to create a good speech. I’ve got 3 questions that you need to ask yourself when you start to prepare your next presentation…

3 Questions To Ask Before You Start To Create Your Next Speech

Despite the importance of public speaking, it’s very easy to create and deliver a speech that ends up having no impact on your audience. All too often this happens because we create a speech that we’d like to hear, not one that our audience would like to hear.

If we want to make sure that this doesn’t happen, we need to take action before we start to create our next presentation. Presentation tips won’t solve this problem. Just sitting down and hoping that we’ll get it right won’t do the trick. Instead, we need to ask the right questions before we start.

One question we need to ask ourselves is what the topic or subject is that we’ll be reporting on to our business audience. As simple as this question sounds, it’s actually critical to our ability to create a deliver an effective presentation. If you don’t completely understand what your subject is, then your presentation is going to go off course. You’ll end up talking about things that have no meaning to your audience and that won’t help anyone.

Next, you need to determine why your topic is important to your audience. The people who will be in your audience are busy people who have other things that they could be doing or other places that they could be. You need to make sure that you understand why they are sitting there waiting for you to give your speech or they won’t use their listening skills to get anything out of your speech. What is it that they hope to learn from your presentation? If you know this, then you are that much closer to being able to give your audience what they want.

Finally, there is no way that you can cover everything in your speech. That means that you need to spend some time and think about what your audience’s questions will be. Once you know this, then you’ll be able to work answers to their most pressing questions into your speech and you’ll be providing them with the answers they want without them having to ask the question.

What All Of This Means For You

Presentations to a business audience are a tricky thing to get right. Our audience has high expectations for what we are going to tell them, otherwise they would be somewhere else. Not to put any pressure on you, but you had better get this speech right and show your audience what the benefits of public speaking are.

In order to create and deliver an effective business presentation, you need to answer three questions before you start. The first is what is the subject of your presentation going to be? The next is why is your topic important to your audience. Finally, you need to anticipate what questions your audience will have and make sure that you work those answers into your speech.

It is possible to deliver an effective business presentation. However, you need to take the time to collect information about your audience before you sit down to create your presentation. Do this, and your next business presentation will be the best one that your audience has ever heard.

Dr. Jim Anderson

“America’s #1 Unforgettable Business Communication Skills Coach”

http://www.blueelephantconsulting.com/

Your Source For Real World Public Speaking Skills™

Do you give speeches today, but want to learn how be more effective? Dr. Jim Anderson believes that great business skills are no substitute for poor presentation skills. Dr. Anderson will share with you the knowledge that he has gained while working to improve the speaking ability of both individuals and teams of speakers for over 20 years. Learn the secrets of effective speakers and really connect with your audience during your next speech.

Website Secrets – Why Is Audience So Important in Website Design?

You think your business website is all about you and your business, right? Many people make this mistake when they design their first website. In truth a website is all about the audience, their questions, their needs, their wants and their expectations.

The internet has made information access quicker and easier than ever before. Audiences expect instant results. They want answers and solutions and if you do not provide them they will move on to another site.

Every good web designer knows the better you know your audience the more effective your web design will be. You need to have a GOOD understanding of who your audience is in order to truly appeal to them. How old are they? Are they a particular gender? What is their income bracket? Do they have defined spending or purchasing habits? Are they political? What are their motives for seeking out your website?

It is important to gather statistics on your audience and their internet usage. There are plenty of market research websites and online resources which can help you with statistics and theory. If you already have s site you are looking to upgrade think about using Google Analytics or one of the many traffic analysis programs available. This can provide you with invaluable information on where your audience comes from, when they are accessing the site, how long they stay for, and which keywords or links they used to find the site.

Being able to define your main audience will help guide your other design decisions. You need to consider the type of person your business leans towards. Are the products you provide gender specific? For example a maternity clothing store would define their main audience as women. Does your business lend itself towards a particular age bracket? A dentures clinic probably won’t be targeting the under 20s. There are any number of specific traits your audience may have. Each business will have a unique audience. You should try to come up with at least 10-15 words to describe your audience. For example your business audience could be any number of these: Male/female, political/nonpolitical, high/low income bracket, environmental/ non environmental, parents, single, married, religious, atheist, technical, educated, sporty, dieting, over 50.

You need to be sure to see what the competition is doing. A good way to identify profitable target audiences is to see who your competition is targeting. Try keyword searches for similar businesses in your town, region and state. You need to assess how your site and business compare with these other businesses. Audiences will be judging you against them and looking for the site that can most meet their needs.

Lastly you should ask yourself what can you give your audience over your competition, because they will be asking themselves that before they make a purchase or call for a service. Put yourself in the audience’s shoes and think what benefits might be most important to them.

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Nonverbal Communication in Business

There are five key elements that can make or break your attempt at successful nonverbal communication in business:

Eye contact
Gestures
Movement
Posture, and
Written communication

Let’s examine each nonverbal element in turn to see how we can maximise your potential to communicate effectively…

Eye contact

Good eye contact helps your audience develop trust in you, thereby helping you and your message appear credible. Poor eye contact does exactly the opposite.

So what IS ‘good’ eye contact?

People rely on visual clues to help them decide on whether to attend to a message or not. If they find that someone isn’t ‘looking’ at them when they are being spoken to, they feel uneasy.

So it is a wise business communicator that makes a point of attempting to engage every member of the audience by looking at them.

Now, this is of course easy if the audience is just a handful of people, but in an auditorium it can be a much harder task. So balance your time between these three areas:

slowly scanning the entire audience,
focusing on particular areas of your audience (perhaps looking at the wall between two heads if you are still intimidated by public speaking), and
looking at individual members of the audience for about five seconds per person.

Looking at individual members of a large group can be ‘tricky’ to get right at first.

Equally, it can be a fine balancing act if your audience comprises of just one or two members — spend too much time looking them in the eyes and they will feel intimidated, stared at, ‘hunted down’.

So here’s a useful tip: break your eye-to-eye contact down to four or five second chunks.

That is, look at the other person in blocks that last four to five seconds, then look away. That way they won’t feel intimidated.

Practice this timing yourself, away from others. Just look at a spot on the wall, count to five, then look away. With practice you will be able to develop a ‘feel’ for how long you have been looking into your audience member’s eyes and intuitively know when to look away and focus on another person or object.

When focusing on individual members in a large meeting or auditorium, try and geographically spread your attention throughout the room. That is, don’t just focus your personal gaze (as distinct from when you are scanning the room or looking at sections of the room) on selected individuals from just one part of the room. Unless you are specifically looking to interact with a particular person at that moment of your presentation, select your individual eye-contact audience members from the whole room.

Gestures

Most of us, when talking with our friends, use our hands and face to help us describe an event or object – powerful nonverbal aids.

We wave our arms about, turn our hands this way and that, roll our eyes, raise our eyebrows, and smile or frown.

Yet many of us also, when presenting to others in a more formal setting, ‘clam up’.

Our audience of friends is no different from our business audience — they all rely on our face and hands (and sometimes legs, feet and other parts of us!) to ‘see’ the bigger, fuller picture.

It is totally understandable that our nervousness can cause us to ‘freeze up’, but is is in our and our communication’s best interests if we manage that nervousness, manage our fear of public speaking, and use our body to help emphasise our point.

I found that by joining a local Toastmasters International club I was rapidly able to learn how to ‘free up my body’ when presenting to others.

Movement

Ever watch great presenters in action — men and women who are alone on the stage yet make us laugh, cry and be swept along by their words and enthusiasm?

Watch them carefully and you’ll note that they don’t stand rigidly in one spot. No, they bounce and run and stroll and glide all around the stage.

Why do they do that?

Because they know that we human beings, men in particular, are drawn to movement.

As part of man’s genetic heritage we are programmed to pay attention to movement. We instantly notice it, whether we want to or not, assessing the movement for any hint of a threat to us.

This, of course, helps explain why many men are drawn to the TV and seem transfixed by it. It also helps explain why men in particular are almost ‘glued’ to the TV when there is any sport on. All that movement!

But to get back to the stage and you on it… ensure that any movement you make is meaningful and not just nervous fidgetting, like rocking back and forth on your heels or moving two steps forward and back, or side to side.

This is ‘nervous movement’ and your nervousness will transmit itself to your audience, significantly diluting the potency of your communication and message.

So move about the stage when you can — not just to keep the men in the audience happy, but to help emphasise your message!

Posture

There are two kinds of ‘posture’ and it is the wise communicator that manages and utilizes both.

Posture 1

The first type of ‘posture’ is the one we think of intuitively-the straight back versues the slumped shoulders; the feet-apart confident stance verses the feet together, hand-wringing of the nervous; the head up and smiling versus the head down and frowing.

And every one of the positions we place the various elements of our body in tells a story—a powerful, nonverbal story.

For example, stand upright, shoulders straight, head up and eyes facing the front. Wear a big smile. Notice how you ‘feel’ emotionally.

Now-slump your shoulders, look at the floor and slightly shuffle your feet. Again, take a not of your emotional state.

Notice the difference?

Your audience surely will, and react to you and your message accordingly.

A strong, upright, positive body posture not only helps you breath easier (good for helping to calm nerves!) but also transmits a message of authority, confidence, trust and power.

If you find yourself challenged to maintain such a posture, practice in front of a mirror, or better yet join a speaking club like Toastmasters International [http://www.toastmastersa.org/champion/index.html].

Posture 2

The second type of ‘posture’ comes from your internal mental and emotional states.

You can have great body posture but without internal mental and emotional posture your words will sound hollow to your audience.

For example, the used car salesman at ‘Dodgy Brothers Motors’ might have great body posture and greet you with a firm handshake, a steady gaze and a friendly smile. But if in his heart he is seeing you as just another sucker then sooner or later his internal conflict between what he says and what he really thinks will cause him to ‘trip up’.

His body will start betraying his real, underlying intentions and you’ll start to feel uncomfortable around him, even if you can’t figure out why.

But, if that same used car salesman had a genuine desire to help you find the right car for you, and he puts your needs before his own, then his words and actions will remain congruent (in harmony) with his underlying intentions and you will trust him, even though you might not be able to identify why.

I have seen some supposed ‘self help’ gurus who don’t actually practice what they preach. Consequently their words ring hollow to me and their books, cds, dvds and training materials remain unpurchased.

I have met salesmen and women who don’t actually make the money they claim to make in their ‘fabulous business opportunity’, and while their words are practiced and polished, and their body posture is ‘perfect’, their words ooze like honeyed poison frm their lips and I remain unconvinced.

This second type of ‘posture’ is fundamentally tied to truth and honesty. It is about ‘walking the talk’ and being who you say you are.

It’s about not trying to sell something you don’t believe in or use yourself. It’s about not trying to pass yourself off as an expert when all you’ve ever done is read a book on the subject.

It’s all about making sure that your words and your intentions are underpinned by truth and honesty. Because all of us, no matter how polished a presenter we might be, are at the mercy of our body and its ability to ‘tell the truth’ in spite of what our lips might utter. Nonverbal clues rule!

Written communication

I could spend a lifetime writing about the art of written communication.

There is an art (and also a science) that can be learnt with diligence and practice. To write too formally; to write too informally; to write too briefly; to write too lengthily…

My first suggestion would be to avail yourself of one of the following three books, each of which is absolutely brilliant at giving you the skills and insights into effective business writing:

The Business Style Handbook: An A-to-Z Guide for Writing on the Job with Tips from Communications Experts at the Fortune 500 by Helen Cunningham and Brenda Greene
The Elements of Business Writing: A Guide to Writing Clear, Concise Letters, Memos, Reports, Proposals, and Other Business Documents by Gary Blake and Robert W. Bly
Effective Business Writing: Strategies, Suggestions and Examples by Maryann V. Piotrowski

From persuasive memos to complaint letters, sales letters to executive summaries — these exceedingly useful guides help you to write clearly and in an appropriate format, style and tone. Each book has numerous examples that show how to overcome writer’s block, organize messages for maximum impact, achieve an easy-to-read style, find an efficient writing system and much more.

In conclusion…

There are five key elements that can make or break your attempt at successful nonverbal business communication:

Eye contact

Gestures

Movement

Posture, and

Written communication

Nonverbal communication in a business setting requires not only recognition of these elements, but confidence in meeting their challenges.

Good luck and remember to communicate with passion!