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How to Rock your Business Bank Credit Score in a Recession

Rock Your Business Bank Credit Score in a Recession

What’s your business bank credit score in a recession?

Before going any further, do you know the difference between bank credit and business credit? Business credit is the full and complete amount of money that your small business can get from all manner of creditors. That means the credit unions,  credit card companies, and leasing companies. And it means any credit your small business can get from suppliers, under what is called trade credit or vendor credit or trade lines. Your bank credit score, though, is a touch different.

Bank credit, on the other hand, is the full amount of borrowing capacity which a small business can get from the banking system only. Hence your bank credit score, of course, is the measurement of this capacity to borrow.

Your Business Bank Credit Score in a Recession, Explained

A small business can get more business credit rapidly, so long as it has at least one bank reference and an average daily account balance of at least $10,000 for the most recent three month time period. This set up will yield a bank rating of a Low-5. So this means it is an Adjusted Debt Balance of from $5,000 to $30,000.

A lower rating, like a High-4, or balance of $7,000 to $9,999 will not automatically reject the small business’s loan application. However, it will slow down the approval process.

Your Business Bank Credit Score in a Recession, Defined

A bank credit rating is the average minimum balance as maintained in a business bank account over a three month long period. Hence a $10,000 balance will rate as a Low-5, a $5,000 balance will rate as a Mid-4, and a $999 balance will rate as a High-3, etc.

Goals for Your Business Bank Credit Score in a Recession

A small business’s chief goal should always be to maintain a minimum Low-5 bank rating for at least three months. Hence that means  an average $10,000 balance.

This is because, without at least a Low-5 rating, the majority of banks will operate under the assumption that the business has little to no ability to repay a loan or a business line of credit.

One thing to keep in mind – you will never actually see this number. The bank will just keep this number in its back pocket.

Check out our professional research on bank ratings, the little-known reason why you will – or won’t – get a bank loan for your business during a recession.

The Bank Credit Score Rating Ranges

The numbers work out to the following ranges:

  • High-5 – account balance of $70,000-99,999
  • Mid-5 – account balance of $40,000-69,999
  • Low-5 – balance of $10,000-39,000
  • High-4 – 7,000-9,999
  • Mid-4 – $4,000-6,999
  • Low-4 – $1,000-3,999

Do not forget, your small business needs to be at the Low-5 level bank score or better.

Rocking Your Business Bank Credit Score in a Recession

It should be clear that the thrust behind bank credit scores is to show proof that your small business can pay back its financial obligations in an expeditious manner. Therefore, yes, you will need to maintain a minimum balance for at least three months. Every cycle is based on the balance rating during the previous three month period.

Business Bank Loans in a Recession Credit SuiteCongruency

It is also vital that the business owner ensures that their business bank accounts are reported exactly the same way all of their business records are, and with the exact same physical address and phone number. And it cannot be a post office box!

It is imperative that each and every credit agency and trade credit vendor, every record keeper also lists the business name and address the exact same way. No lender is going to stop to consider all of the ways that a business might be listed, when they look into the business’s creditworthiness. Therefore, if they are unable to find what they need easily, they will just deny the application.

Note: these are record keepers of financial records, income tax, web addresses and e-mail addresses, directory assistance, etc.

Congruency also matters in the event you use a fictitious name or DBA, AKA a ‘doing business as’ status.

Responsible Account Management

Plus the business must manage its bank account responsibly. This means that the small business should avoid writing non-sufficient funds (NSF) checks at all costs, because that decimates bank ratings. Non-sufficient-funds checks are something which no business can afford to let happen. It is even a good idea for the business to add overdraft protection to their bank account as soon as possible, in order to avoid NSFs.

Positive Cash Flow

Your business must show a positive cash flow. The cash coming in and leaving a company’s bank account should reflect a positive free cash flow. A positive free cash flow is the amount of revenue left over after a company has paid all of its expenses. When an account shows a positive cash flow it indicates that the business is generating more revenue than is used to run the company. That means the bank will feel that the business can pay its bills.

Consistent Deposits

Finally, understand that banks are highly motivated to lend to a business with consistent deposits. A business owner must also make regular deposits in order to maintain a positive bank rating. The business owner must make a lot of consistent deposits. And they need to be more than the withdrawals they are making, in order to have and maintain a good bank rating. If they can do that, then they will have a good bank credit score.

Check out our professional research on bank ratings, the little-known reason why you will – or won’t – get a bank loan for your business during a recession.

An Alternative to Jacking Up Your Business Bank Credit Score in a Recession

Of course we are talking about business credit building here. Business credit is an asset which can help your company in years to come.

Small business credit is credit in a small business’s name. It doesn’t tie to a business owner’s consumer credit, not even if the owner is a sole proprietor and the solitary employee of the company.

As a result, a business owner’s business and consumer credit scores can be very different.

The Benefits

Due to the fact that small business credit is distinct from consumer, it helps to protect an entrepreneur’s personal assets, in the event of a lawsuit or business insolvency.

Also, with two distinct credit scores, a business owner can get two separate cards from the same vendor. This effectively doubles buying power.

Another benefit is that even startups can do this. Heading to a bank for a business loan can be a formula for frustration. But building small business credit, when done the right way, is a plan for success.

Consumer credit scores depend on payments but also various other elements like credit use percentages.

But for small business credit, the scores truly just hinge on whether a business pays its invoices punctually.

The Process

Building business credit is a process, and it does not occur without effort. A business has to actively work to build company credit.

That being said, it can be done easily and quickly, and it is much faster than establishing consumer credit scores.

Merchants are a big component of this process.

Doing the steps out of sequence will result in repetitive denials. Nobody can start at the top with small business credit. For instance, you can’t start with retail or cash credit from your bank. If you do, you’ll get a denial 100% of the time.

Company Fundability

A small business has to be fundable to lenders and merchants.

For this reason, a small business will need a professional-looking web site and e-mail address. And it needs to have website hosting bought from a merchant such as GoDaddy.

In addition, business telephone and fax numbers must have a listing on ListYourself.net.

Additionally, the company phone number should be toll-free (800 exchange or the like).

A business will also need a bank account dedicated solely to it, and it needs to have every one of the licenses necessary for operation.

Licenses

These licenses all have to be in the perfect, correct name of the business. And they need to have the same company address and phone numbers.

So note, that this means not just state licenses, but possibly also city licenses.

Check out our professional research on bank ratings, the little-known reason why you will – or won’t – get a bank loan for your business during a recession.

Dealing with the IRS

Visit the IRS website and acquire an EIN for the business. They’re totally free. Select a business entity like corporation, LLC, etc.

A small business can get started as a sole proprietor. But they will most likely want to change to a variety of corporation or an LLC.

This is in order to minimize risk. And it will optimize tax benefits.

A business entity will matter when it pertains to taxes and liability in case of a lawsuit. A sole proprietorship means the entrepreneur is it when it comes to liability and tax obligations. No one else is responsible.

Sole Proprietors Take Note

If you run a company as a sole proprietor, then at least be sure to file for a DBA. This is ‘doing business as’ status.

If you do not, then your personal name is the same as the company name. Consequently, you can end up being directly liable for all company debts.

Additionally, per the IRS, with this arrangement there is a 1 in 7 possibility of an IRS audit. There is a 1 in 50 chance for corporations! Prevent confusion and substantially decrease the odds of an IRS audit simultaneously.

But treat any DBA filing as a steppingstone to incorporating.

Monitor Your Business Credit

Know what is happening with your credit. Make sure it is being reported and deal with any errors ASAP. Get in the habit of checking credit reports. Dig into the particulars, not just the scores.

We can help you monitor business credit at Experian and D&B for 90% less than it would cost you at the CRAs.

Update Your Data

Update the information if there are inaccuracies or the info is incomplete.

Fix Your Business Credit

So, what’s all this monitoring for? It’s to contest any inaccuracies in your records. Errors in your credit report(s) can be corrected. But the CRAs often want you to dispute in a particular way.

Disputes

Disputing credit report mistakes commonly means you mail a paper letter with copies of any proofs of payment with it. These are documents like receipts and cancelled checks. Never send the original copies. Always mail copies and keep the original copies.

Fixing credit report errors also means you precisely spell out any charges you contest. Make your dispute letter as crystal clear as possible. Be specific about the concerns with your report. Use certified mail so that you will have proof that you sent in your dispute.

A Word about Building Business Credit

Always use credit responsibly! Never borrow more than what you can pay off. Keep track of balances and deadlines for payments. Paying off promptly and in full will do more to raise business credit scores than just about anything else.

Building company credit pays. Excellent business credit scores help a company get loans. Your lending institution knows the small business can pay its debts. They understand the company is authentic.

The company’s EIN links to high scores and your business bank credit score in a recession will not matter quite so much.

Takeaways for How to Rock Your Business Bank Credit Score in a Recession

Start with consistent deposits, even if you cannot make terribly high ones. Just, start to become dependable in how you add money to your business’s bank account. Whether you deposit every week or every other week, etc. is your own choice. Opt for whatever you are most likely to be able to do.

This can also help you with both positive cash flow and responsible account management. Hence you get a lot of bang for your buck here – quite literally.

The other fairly simple task you can undertake is to make sure your business address and other particulars are perfectly congruent across the board. This means, for example, that if you wrote Ltd. on your D&B D-U-N-S number application, but Limited when you applied for a business bank account, you will need to take measures to get these two areas in sync.

Generally, the easiest way to do this is by going through everything and simply copying and pasting your information.

The post How to Rock your Business Bank Credit Score in a Recession appeared first on Credit Suite.

How to Find Your Target Audience

When I first started out in marketing, I thought traffic was everything.

I wanted to be as big as companies like HubSpot. Just look at the image above and you’ll see how many visitors they are getting.

They generate 29.61 million visitors a month from 11.74 million people. And those visitors produce roughly 10 billion dollars of market cap.

Now, let’s look at NeilPatel.com. Can you guess how many visitors I’m getting each month?

I’m generating roughly 8.717 million visitors a month from 3.616 million people.

When you look at it from a unique visitor perspective, HubSpot is getting 3.24 times more unique visitors than me.

So, in theory, I should be worth roughly 3 times less than them, right? Well, technically I’m not even worth 1/10th of them. Not even close.

Why is that? It’s because I didn’t go after the right target audience, while HubSpot did.

And today, I want you to avoid making this massive mistake that I made. Because marketing is tough, so why would you start off by going after the wrong people?

It will just cause you to waste years and tons of money like it did with me.

Defining your target audience is the first and most essential step towards success for any company or business, especially if you are just getting started.

So before we dive into things, let me first break down what you are about to learn in this article:

  • What is a Target Audience?
  • The Difference Between Target Audience and Persona
  • The Importance of Selecting Your Target Audience Correctly
  • How to Define your Target Audience: 6 Questions to Help You
  • Creating Customized Content for Your Audience

Let’s get started!

What is a target audience?

A target audience is a share of consumers that companies or businesses direct their marketing actions to drive awareness of their products or services.

I know that is a tongue twister, so let me simplify it a bit more…

The intention here is to target a market with whom you will communicate with. A group of people with the same level of education, goals, interests, problems, etc. that will need the product or service you are selling.

Basically, you want to target people who will buy your stuff.

If you target people who don’t want to buy your stuff, you might get more traffic to your site… but it won’t do much for you. And you’ll be pulling out your hair trying to figure out why none of your visitors are buying from you.

Now before we dive into the details on finding your target audience, let’s first go over “personas” because many people confuse them with a target audience and if you do, you’ll just end up wasting time.

The difference between a target audience and a persona

You already know the definition, so I won’t bore you with that again.

The most commonly used data to define the target audience of a company are:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Education background
  • Purchasing power
  • Social class
  • Location
  • Consumption habits

Examples of a target audience: Women, 20-30 years old, living in Los Angeles, with a bachelor’s degree, monthly income of $4,000 – $6,000, and passionate about fashion and decor.

If you start a company without knowing your exact target audience, you could end up like me instead of HubSpot… we wouldn’t want that now. 😉

And here is another example. Let’s say you have a business that sells educational toys. So your target audience might be children, mothers, education specialists, or teachers.

Or you have a motorcycle business. Your audience will definitely not be people younger than 18, right?

There is no point in trying to reach everyone in order to increase your chances of sales and profit. It will actually cost you more and decrease your profit margins in the long run.

Now let’s go over “personas”…

Persona

In marketing, personas are profiles of buyers that would be your ideal customers.

Personas are fictional characters with characteristics of your real customers. They’re developed based on target audience research and may help you direct your marketing actions better.

A persona is a person that may be interested in what you have to offer since they’re very connected to your brand and you must make an effort to make them a client and retain them.

A persona involves much deeper and more detailed research than the target audience since it includes:

  • Personal characteristics
  • Purchasing power
  • Lifestyle
  • Interests
  • Engagement in social networks
  • Professional information

Persona example: Mariana, 22, blogger. Lives in Miami, Florida. Has a journalism degree. Has a blog and posts makeup tutorials and tips about fashion and decor. She always follows fashion events in the area and participates in meetings with other people in the fashion niche. As a digital influencer, she cares a lot about what people see on her social network profiles. Likes to practice indoor activities and go to the gym in her free time.

If I had to define the main difference between persona and target audience, I’d say that the target audience considers the whole, in a more general way, while the persona has a more specific form.

And if you want help creating personas for business, check out this article about creating the perfect persona. But for now, let’s focus on finding your right target audience.

The importance of choosing your target audience correctly

The big mistake I made was that I didn’t figure out my target audience when I first started. I just created content and started marketing to anyone who wanted traffic.

But that is a bit too vague because not everyone who wants more traffic is a good fit for my ad agency.

They could just want to be famous on Instagram or YouTube, which is a lot of people, but that doesn’t help me generate more income.

Funny enough, there are more people who are interested in getting Instagram followers than people who want to learn about SEO.

But once you know your target audience, it’s easier to find and perform keyword research. For example, I know that I shouldn’t waste too much time writing articles about Instagram or Twitch even though the search volume is high.

It will just cause me to get irrelevant traffic and waste my time/money.

And that’s the key… especially when it comes to things like SEO or paid ads. The moment you know your target audience, you can perform keyword research correctly and find opportunities that don’t just drive traffic, but more importantly, drive revenue.

Now let’s figure out your target audience.

How to define your target audience: 6 questions to help you

Figuring out your target audience isn’t rocket science. It just comes down to a few simple questions.

6 actually, to be exact.

Go through each of the questions below and you’ll know the exact audience you are targeting.

1. Who are they?

When thinking about who might be your target audience, you must consider who are the people who identify with your brand.

One way to find out is to monitor who follows, likes, shares, and comments on your posts on social sites like Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, and Instagram.

If someone is willing to engage with you, then chances are they are your target.

But in many cases, your ideal audience may not always be on the social web. They might be inactive on social media but buy from your company frequently or sign up for your services.

Even those who bought from you only once must be considered a part of your target audience, as someone who bought once might buy again.

There is no point in making a great effort to sell if you don’t make a similar effort to keep the customers you have already gained.

Customers like to feel special, and that is why the post-sales process is so important. Your relationship with the customer must remain even after the purchase is completed.

2. What are their greatest difficulties, problems, or desires?

What is cool, interesting, and good for you might not be for the customer.

You can’t think only of yourself when it’s time to define the difficulties, problems, and desires of your target audience. You must put yourself in their shoes.

Don’t make offers based on what you think. Make them according to research grounded in data, previous experiences, and analysis of your potential customers’ behavior.

Understand the greatest difficulties your audience faces to try to help solve them.

3. Where do they find the information they need daily?

Everyone needs information.

Every day you are surrounded by tons of information on the channels that you follow, but when you need it the most, where do you go to find that information?

Identify the communication channels most appropriate to your target audience and try to talk to them using a specific language from their universe.

For example, I know my target audience will either read marketing blogs or spend a lot of time on social sites like YouTube and LinkedIn consuming information.

4. What is the benefit of your product?

Everyone wants solutions for their problems and to make their lives easier. This is a collective desire and it’s no different for your target audience.

Think a little about your product and the problem of your target audience. What benefits does your product or service offer? What can it do to solve those problems? What is the main value offer?

With so much competition, you must try to find your competitive advantage in your niche and always try to improve your product, offering something extra that others do not.

5. What draws their attention negatively?

Being optimistic helps a lot, but thinking about the negatives can also help, especially when we talk about target audiences.

Better than considering what your audience wants, you can consider what it definitely doesn’t want, what it considers negative, and what it avoids.

With this powerful information in hand, you may have more chances to captivate your potential customers.

Avoiding what they consider negative is the first step to gain their approval. After that, you only need to apply other strategies to do efficient marketing.

6. Who do they trust?

Trust is everything to your target audience. No one purchases a product or service from a company they don’t know or trust.

This is why reviews on Amazon are read and so important for sellers. They know it builds trust… it’s also helped Amazon become a trillion-dollar company.

Even though this is the last question to define target audiences, it is one of the most important ones.

This is why the reputation of your company is so important. Taking care of the relationship with your customers is essential as they will spread information about your brand on the internet and to their friends and family.

If you get good reviews, have positive comments, and garner a great reputation, this will be the base for potential customers to feel motivated to buy from you.

Creating customized content for your audience

Now that you know your audience, let’s get to the fun stuff. Let’s create content for them.

Everyone creates content, right? Just look at Google if you don’t believe me.

You just have to put a keyword on Google and you will see thousands if not millions of results for each keyword.

When you research “best earbuds” on Google, this is what you see:

Content Customized for your Audience 1

First, there are options of products from Google Shopping, with ads and prices for different earphones for various audiences, needs, and tastes.

Next, there is a list of sites and blogs with information about different types of earphones and comparisons:

Content Customized for your Audience 2

There is no shortage of content about this subject or any other that you can search for. Anyone can create and publish text with no barriers.

The question is how you can make this content more personalized and attractive for your consumer.

Everyone produces content. Millions of publications are posted every day.

The secret though is to create content that targets your ideal customer and no one else. Generic content may produce more traffic, but it will also produce fewer sales.

To find what your target audience is searching for, you can use Ubersuggest. Just type in a keyword related to your audience.

target audience ubersuggest 1

From there, on the left-hand navigation, click on “keyword ideas.” You’ll then be taken to a report that looks like the one below.

Content Customized for your Audience 2

You now have topics to choose from. Not all of them will be a good fit but some will.

I recommend that you go after the long-tail terms, such as “best earbuds for running” (assuming your target audience is active). The more generic terms like “best earbuds” will drive traffic and a few sales, but it won’t convert as well as more specific terms.

The same goes if you are doing keyword research for the service industry or even the B2B space.

Types of content to create

Once you have a list of keywords you want to target, you might be confused as to what type of content you should be creating.

You’ll want to create content based on your funnel. In essence, you want to cover each step of the funnel.

target audience sales funnel

The top of the funnel involves content created for visitors and leads, that is, people that might access your site, blog, or social networks by chance.

When thinking about the top of the funnel, the idea is to create materials with more general subjects, with clear and easily accessible language.

It could be educational content, including clarifications or curiosities about your product or service or something somehow related to your industry.

The middle of the funnel is when the conversions happen. In other words, in this stage, the person who has a problem and the intention to solve it considers the purchase of your product or service.

It’s the middle of the road, but it is not the sale itself, because it’s still only about ideas. It’s in the middle of the funnel that you get closer to your target audience and generate more identification.

Next: bottom of the funnel content. This content focuses more on your product or service.

Here you can introduce details about functions, benefits, and other direct information about your product or service.

It is far more likely to convert here as this particular audience has practically decided to buy already and you are only going to give them a final push.

Conclusion

I’m hoping this article saves you from making the big mistake I made.

But knowing your target audience isn’t enough, though. It doesn’t guarantee success. You still need to create and market your content. That’s why I covered keyword research in this article as well.

Once you create content, you may also want to check out these guides as they will help you attract the right people to your site:

So have you figured out your target audience yet?

The post How to Find Your Target Audience appeared first on Neil Patel.

Op risk data: IBK snagged in money-laundering ops to Iran

Also: foul play called on Hapoalim’s football bribery scheme. Data by ORX News

The post Op risk data: IBK snagged in money-laundering ops to Iran appeared first on Buy It At A Bargain – Deals And Reviews.

Stop Being Lonely Leaders and More –10 Brilliant Business Tips of the Week

A lot of entrepreneurs are lonely leaders. Are you one of them? Then read on, for tips on how to assuage your loneliness and improve your business.

The Hottest and Most Brilliant Business Tips for YOU – Advice for Lonely Leaders and More

Our research ninjas at Credit Suite smuggled out ten amazing business tips for you! Be fierce and score in business with the best tips around the web. You can use them today and see fast results. You can take that to the bank – these are foolproof! Help and advice for lonely leaders, and more!

Stop making stupid decisions and start powering up your business. Demolish your business nightmares and start celebrating as your business fulfills its promise.

And these brilliant business tips are all here for free! So, settle in and scoop up these tantalizing goodies before your competition does!

#10. Bring Generation Z into the Fold

Our first jaw-dropping tip is all about attracting Gen Z to the workplace. You know, millennials. Effortless HR says work is changing and hiring managers need to change with it. This means, among other things, adapting to the millennial way of life. It means political correctness (you know, courtesy) and even safe spaces.

It also means multitasking and digital nativism. What sort of technology did you use in high school and college? Millennials used PCs, laptops, and smartphones. Tech is in their DNA.

Your intrepid blog writer, heh, used pen and paper. Computers were found in a lab and printed on green and white paper with sprocket holes. 

Here’s one tip we really liked.

Guided Career Choices

The truth is millennials aren’t necessarily the only people who are having issues with their career choices. Heck, I had no idea what I wanted to do for years. It’s not so easy to figure out what will make you happy for decades. It’s rather like a marriage.

For me, my ideal career hadn’t been invented when I graduated from college or even law school (1986). So, don’t be 100% shocked if Generation Z doesn’t know what will gladden their hearts forever and ever (or at least until retirement). This is also, in part, a function of our gig/specialized/personalized economy. We all want our own choices in this area. And why not? We’re getting our choices in every other aspect of our lives.

So, don’t be surprised if your interviewees aren’t certain of what they want to do with themselves. They might not know what they want to be when they ‘grow up’. And that’s okay.

How do you work with these people? Acknowledge the difficulty in knowing the future. And embrace the unknown. At the same time, don’t treat them just like a bunch of interchangeable parts. They’re people, not widgets. Giving your Gen Z (and all other) employees a measure of autonomy will empower them and give them an emotional investment in your business’s success.

It’ll also take some of the decision-making burden off you. You might even stop being lonely leaders (more on that later).

#9. Lights, Camera, Marketing!

The next awesome tip is about borrowing from the world of media for promotional ideas. Wistia notes we’re already preparing and releasing long form content. It’s a lot like a short form film. You know, the kind that gets Oscar nominations and wins while you’re getting more popcorn?

Er, sorry documentary and short subject film makers. But you know it’s true.

Getting back to the point (and I do have one), the idea is to promote your media like the big media companies do.

So, this may or may not work for your small business. You might not see this as being a viable strategy for a long haul trucking company or a nail salon.

But there was one strategy which should work for any business.

Share Your Positive Feedback, Awards, and Nominations – Everywhere 

Chances are incredibly high that you’ve seen film reviews at some point in your life. Of course you have!

Did you mind the filmmakers tooting their own horn this way? Probably not.

So why do you have trouble tooting your business’s horn? Or, if you don’t, then why are you having trouble finding this positive feedback? And why aren’t you sharing it?

Positive feedback can come in all sorts of formats. There are reviews on Google or Yelp. Maybe you’ve got Sotellus or Better Business Bureau feedback. 

There is no reason why you can’t share this positive feedback on social media. And if it’s not perfectly tailored to social (maybe it’s way over Twitter’s limits, for example), why not talk to your top customers? Ask them if you’re okay with paraphrasing. Or maybe you can ask them for something short specially for the platform.

Be nice, always. Say please and thank you like you learned as a child. And ask! 

Lonely Leaders Credit Suite

If you are as passionate about succeeding in business as we are, please help us spread the word about how to take the plunge and save time and money – and your sanity! Help for lonely leaders, and more!

#8. Speed Out of the Starting Gate

Our following life-changing tip concerns growing your business during its first year. Entrepreneurship Life lays it all out for us. 

Starting a business is an exhilarating, fun, scary, difficult, risky, fascinating wild ride. Fast growth isn’t guaranteed from the get-go. This article has some great ideas for kickstarting growth from the very beginning.

Our favorite tip was strategic planning. It can be tempting to just take any work you can get at the start. And maybe you should, at least at times. At the same time, planning strategy means having an idea of the kind of customers you want, and how much you want to make. Maybe your first clients are, shall we say, problematic at times. Planning means working directly toward easier to work with clients. It may even, eventually, being in a position to fire the clients who are more trouble than they’re worth. 

But you still need to plan. Business is a place where you need to be intentional pretty much all the time. And that means here, too.

#7. Digital Marketing to the Max

So for our next sensational tip, we looked at squeezing the most out of your digital marketing budget. The Self-Employed says that your first moves may be a touch counterintuitive. You need to have updated content and a good website which loads quickly. Pay attention to SEO and SEM (search engine marketing – this tends to mean paid search). And connect to a well filled-out Google My Business Profile.

Consider this. A lot of these are free or close to free activities (of course, labor isn’t free). And a faster website or better SEO aren’t just good for digital marketing. They’re also good for sales, potentially pulling prospects down the sales funnel more quickly. 

And that never hurts!

Here’s the tip which really stood out for us.

Up the Customer Experience to Infinity

Okay, well, maybe not exactly infinity. But generating and promoting and continuing an excellent customer experience is a valuable form of advertising. One reason is because you can stimulate word of mouth, a very valuable form of marketing. And another is that a fantastic customer experience can give you a reason to suggest customers review your business online.

By the way, even bad reviews link back to your site and can help with SEO.

Just sayin’.

#6. A Business Proposal (Engagement Ring not Included)

This tip is so helpful, and it works! HubSpot tells us all about writing a business proposal. There is a rather specific sequence of operations for this task.  While it’s not identical to a business plan, there are some places where the two documents overlap.

The article goes into significant detail, and it adds a template for free which anyone can use. That alone is worth the price of admission.

Business proposals are terrific professional documents. They set expectations and they get deliverables in writing. Are they contracts? Not necessarily – they’re just you proposing what you’re going to do for someone else. But if there’s no contract in writing, they might be reviewed and referred to. 

Clear communications are always a good idea. And covering your company in case things go south is an even better idea.

#5. Lonely Leaders – You Are Not Alone

Grab this mind-blowing tip while it’s hot! 

You know what they say about the top. There are a lot of lonely leaders out there. Are you one of them?

Young Upstarts says leaders can shut themselves off from others when they become leaders. This is especially the case when they are promoted from within. And that makes sense – after all, now the dynamic with coworkers has changed. If you’ve become your colleagues’ boss, then you probably can’t go out for a beer with them anymore and complain about your boss.

Ewps.

We really liked their idea to bat back questions from the people who report to you with more questions. As in, ask them what they think. And do so rather than spending your nights just looking for solutions. Talk about lonely leaders! And, let’s face it, you’re not being paid for that time. Not to be solely mercenary about it but burning the midnight oil isn’t making you a better leader much of the time. It’s not even helping your bottom line.

An Extra Tip and a True Story

So, there’s one tip which this article didn’t cover. Gather ‘round the electronic hearth, ‘cause it’s time for a true story.

Lonely Leaders Credit SuiteI love channeling my best managers. I’ve had great managers and I’ve had horrible ones. Very rarely, they fell into the middle. But usually, they were in one camp or another. 

I also love channeling the opposite of my worst managers.

Back in the day, I had managers who sat in their little ivory tower. They rarely emerged to do anything beyond commuting or getting lunch – which they always got alone or with the other top level managers. This was a law firm and these were the partners. I was fresh out of law school, waiting to hear if I had passed the bar (I did; my coworker who was also waiting didn’t. Sorry, Joe).

The ivory tower guys didn’t know how anything was going unless it was making them money, or not. Did I feel seen? My God, no. Did I feel appreciated? Not even close. Spoiler alert – I was gone in six months.

Connection

Lonely leaders, at least in the case of that law firm, brought it all upon themselves. It would have been easy to open the office door and say hi. This is what small talk is for. Yeah, you might not care about the local sports team or the weather. But it’s a way to connect with others. We spend far too much time at work in our lives to shut ourselves off from all human contact.

And one more thing, although no one wants to think about it. Lonely leaders, you may be working yourselves into an early grave. You may love your business. And you may need the money. But please don’t do this.

It’s not worth it.

Lonely Leaders Credit Suite

If you are as passionate about succeeding in business as we are, please help us spread the word about how to take the plunge and save time and money – and your sanity! Help for lonely leaders, and more!

#4. Top Off Your Productivity Tank

So check out this spectacular tip, all about maintaining optimal productivity. Noobpreneur notes that people work in all sorts of ways. We have differing energy levels at different times of day. Your early bird colleague might conk out at five. Your night owl coworker could be awesome at 4 PM. As a result, and it’s a good bit of advice for pretty much anything in life – know your strengths and play to them.

The best tip in this article was perhaps and obvious one – to plan. How often do you stare at your wardrobe in the morning and are uninspired? Or it’s time for supper and you have no idea what you’re making? Wouldn’t it be easier to plan those sorts of activities in one block?

The same is true for work. Got a bunch of tasks to do? Then figure out priority (or ask). Determine who can help you or who might wait for something from you. Or vice versa. While you’re waiting for something on Task #1, there’s no reason you can’t start Task #2. You get the idea. Mapping this all out in advance makes it considerably easier.

#3. Convert Complainers to Brand Champions

So it’s not your imagination: this winning tip can help you convert detractors into promoters. SCORE tells us a score of 6 or less (out of 10) is seen as being the rating of a detractor.

Say what?

Seriously, how often do you fill out a survey and hit 5 or 6 out of 10? How often do you feel such a rating is neutral, rather than negative? Raise your hand if that’s 100% of the time.

(raises hand)

But I digress – back to the action.

The article is great, and it goes into depth about how to find detractors online, even when they don’t tag you or your products. We highly recommend reading it in its entirety so let’s concentrate on one tip in particular.

Fix the Problem or Offer Incentives

We’ve probably all seen this in action at one point or another. You complain about, say, your stay at a hotel. And the hotel responds. They offer you a coupon for a free meal for your next stay. If you don’t want it and say you’ll never darken their door again, they may offer a minor discount instead. Or they might offer to have you join a task force or fill out a survey so as to try to improve future service.

These are great ways to pull a detractor into the promoter camp (or, at least, into neutral territory). Often the value of these incentives isn’t too high. Even if your free meal runs $1000, your detractor spreading all sorts of negatives about you online is often worth a lot more.

It’s a simple cost-benefit analysis. 

And the task force or survey idea is pure genius. Give people a say in your future operations. Will you take every suggestion to heart? Of course not. But providing a soapbox can be very empowering to people. Because even your detractors want to feel listened to.

And they might just have something valuable to say.

#2. Cool Down Your Burnout

Our second to last unbeatable tip can give you a new perspective on getting over burnout. Entrepreneur reveals all about getting your mojo back. The slideshow is worth looking at in its entirety.

Our biggest takeaway from it was that people – surprise – find different ways to get their motivation back. One thread which ran through all of the methods was to do things for yourself and to focus inwardly. Whatever form that takes, then do that. 

So, what do I mean? 

It may take the form of getting away or getting exercise. Or it can be getting more education. Another fascinating tip was to talk to people who are different from you. The contrariness can be stimulating.

And through it all, the same message is on repeat. You do so much for others when you run a business. And that can understandably be draining.

So, do something for yourself to get your spark back.

#1. Be Intentional with SEO, Always

We saved the best for last. For our favorite remarkable tip, we focused on easy SEO. Copy Blogger says there are a few areas where you might forget – at times – to improve the SEO on a post or page.

Don’t.

We love the Yoast plugin, and we strongly suspect the Yoast plugin is the star of this highly informative article. We urge you to check out the article as there are subtle details and nuances which you should not miss.

So, let’s concentrate on one tip.

301 Redirects

Don’t know what they are? They’re detours for when a post or page is no longer working. But it doesn’t have to be the entire page that isn’t working. And that’s why this tip is so brilliant. 

Welcome to the land of the limited-time offer. What happens when your Valentine’s Day (for example) promotion is over? Do you take the page the offer was on down?

Nope! You redirect people.

So, where should you redirect people? The best place is probably somewhere on the site where you have a more evergreen offer. Technically, you could just point people to your next limited-time offer. But you’d be creating far more future work for yourself when the second limited-time offer expires and now you’re left with two pages to redirect, versus just one.

Redirects are also great because your older limited-time offer page might still have SEO traction and even backlinks directing to it. Unpublishing it will lose all of that. Redirecting preserves all that lovely link authority.

Keep. Your. Posts and Pages.

So, which one of our brilliant business tips was your favorite? And which one will you be implementing now? 

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If you are as passionate about succeeding in business as we are, please help us spread the word about how to take the plunge and save time and money – and your sanity! Help for lonely leaders, and more!

The post Stop Being Lonely Leaders and More –10 Brilliant Business Tips of the Week appeared first on Credit Suite.

How to Track and Improve Your Rankings Without Spending Money

Can you guess how most people improve their rankings?

Well, they either hire an SEO firm, which is expensive, or they do it themselves, which is time-consuming.

There must be a better solution, right?

One that still gets results, doesn’t take as much time and doesn’t cost any money.

Well, I’m about to make a major upgrade to Ubersuggest in the next 30 days that will help you do just this.

And before I release it, I need your feedback… so let me know what you think.

Here’s what I am thinking of doing to help you get better rankings in less time and without spending money.

SEO starts with good data

The first thing I want to do is help you track your results so you can see what’s working and what isn’t.

Currently, with Ubersuggest, there is no way to track your progress, but I am about to change that.

First, I plan to create a dashboard that looks something like this:

dashboard

You’ll be able to see your site, how much organic search traffic you get on a monthly basis, the keywords you rank for, how many backlinks you have, and any website errors you need to fix.

And on a weekly basis, we will automatically run your site through our site audit report to show you what’s wrong and if you are improving.

seo analyzer

This way, you don’t continually have to check your site or look for opportunities. Instead, you’ll be notified when you need to fix something.

In addition to that, you’ll be able to start tracking your rankings for any keyword you want.

Rank tracking

From your dashboard, you can click on a profile and see where you rank for any given term on both mobile and desktop devices and in any country or city.

rank tracking

If you have specific keywords that you want to track, you’ll be able to manually add them to do so. And if you aren’t sure which keywords to track, you’ll see a list of suggestions as well.

keywords

And if you want to track those rankings in a specific city or country, you can also do that…

city

My favorite part about the report is that you can easily see your rankings over time. Not just from an overall site perspective but also from a keyword level.

rankings over time

Conclusion

Now, this is where I need your help.

My goal is twofold… the first is to help you track how your SEO is doing and the second is to tell you what to fix.

Here’s why I am trying to accomplish both of those things:

  • Track your progress for you – it’s too much work to track on a daily basis if your efforts are going in the right or wrong direction. The new Ubersuggest will track your rankings for you on a daily basis. That way you don’t have to do it. And if Google updates their algorithm, you will see what’s happening in real-time.
  • Tell you what to fix – instead of you having to hunt down what you should fix, I will simply send you alerts and reports with step-by-step instructions on how to fix what needs improvements. And if you or someone on your team updates your site, no worries, because every week I will automatically recrawl your site and tell you if there are more errors you need to fix.

Eventually, I want to even automate most of link building, but that isn’t ready yet.

Is there anything else I can add to the reports to make your life easier? Is there anything I can change to make it easier for you to get higher rankings?

PS: If you haven’t checked out Ubersuggest recently you should. We’ve made a lot of improvements to it over the last few months.

PPS: These features will be free of course. 😉

The post How to Track and Improve Your Rankings Without Spending Money appeared first on Neil Patel.

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