Sunday, March 18, 2012

Mastering Your Small Business - Anthony Robbins

Many of you will have heard of Anthony Robbins, the top selling author and popular motivational speaker. He was recently in Australia and delivered a seminar on some of the essential keys to small business success.

He highlighted the high incidence of small business failure in Australia and offered some tips and advice for avoiding common pitfalls.
  1. Anticipate the road ahead, so that you prevent having to react to events rather than being able to exercise some control
  2. Your own state of mind and attitude will determine the fate of your business
  3. Have the courage to take some calculated risks. Study your competition and learn as much as you can from them
  4. Commit to continuous improvement - first of yourself, and then your business. Your business environment is regularly changing and you must be able to adapt to this
  5. A sustainable business does not come from sales - it comes from building relationships with your customers and adding value to what they seek to achieve

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Seven habits for small business success

One of the most popular self-help books of the past twenty years is Stephen Covey’s Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. The habits and principles that he describes in his book I believe are very relevant to anyone who wants to achieve small business success.

Let us briefly summarise the seven habits – which are a mixture of principles and paradigms that can become essential foundations for your own personal effectiveness in your business …
  • Habit 1: Be Proactive
Covey describes this as taking responsibility for your choices and the subsequent consequences that follow. Although you have been influenced by events and circumstances in your past, never-the-less you are now able to make your own decisions about the life that you want to lead as you look to the future. Give up making any excuses.
  • Habit 2: Begin with the End in Mind
Determine and clarify those deeply important values and  core principles with which you wish to navigate  your life. Clearly envision the type of characteristics that you want to cultivate in all areas of your life – setting clear goals for yourself in business, health and relationships
  • Habit 3: Put First Things First
Plan, prioritize, and execute all of your week's tasks based on what is important rather than what is urgent. Evaluate whether your daily efforts and activities are aligned with your values. Regularly appraise whether what you are doing will advance you towards achievement of your goals. This self-discipline will help you prevent getting side-tracked or caught up in other people’s agendas or dramas
  • Habit 4: Think Win-Win
When differences with others arise, as they frequently do in both personal and business relationships - strive for mutually beneficial solutions when you are problem solving. Seek to negotiate outcomes that will work for the both of you. Value and respect people by understanding a "win" for the both of you will more likely lead to sustainable relationships.  
  • Habit 5: Seek First to Understand, Then to be Understood
When you genuinely listen to a person, so often this causes a natural reaction in them to  reciprocate by listening to you in return. Listening to other people with an open mind will build a foundation of respect and trust for any relationship you have with them – whether it is your partner, your customer or your supplier.
  • Habit 6: Synergise
Look for ways you can combine the strengths and skills of the different people in your business through positive teamwork. In doing so, you will be able to achieve goals that no single individual would have accomplished alone. Get the best performance out of a group of people by engaging them with meaningful opportunities to contribute and by displaying positive and encouraging leadership.
  • Habit 7: Sharpen the Saw
You must develop ways of renewing your energy and ensuring that your lifestyle rejuvenates your spirit. A proper balance in your life, between work, rest and play is essential if you are going to enjoy the fruits of your labour. Personal growth, the achievement of your goals and long term success will come from the consistent application of your principles and healthy routines.

These habits may well provide you with seven of the keys needed for achieving success in your small business.
For many more great articles on self-improvement, visit Personal Development

Saturday, March 3, 2012

What Is Google PR - why does it matter to your small business website?

  • What is Google PR?
If you run a small business and have a website, then maybe you've heard of the term Google PR, but not exactly sure what it refers to? 

Google PageRank (PR) is a numerical value assigned by Google to an individual webpage which reflects in broad terms, its view of the importance of the page. The PR is a whole number between 0 and 10. The more popular a websites in the view of Google, the higher the PageRank number out of 10. The relatively least popular or unimportant pages have a PageRank of 0.

There are many factors assessed by Google as part of the algorithm it uses to determine PR. Some of the important factors are recognised to include the number and quality of sites that "backlink" to the page, as well as the PR of those linking sites themselves.

  • Why bother about PR?
The PR of the pages of your website will be one of many important criteria that Google use to determine where your website, or it's individual pages, should appear in it's search engine results. It is estimated that more than 80% of people making a search engine enquiry do not bother to look beyond the first page - and the bulk of these "enquirers" do not even bother to scrolldown beneath the fold line of the first page of the screen!

In other words, it's in your interest to learn as much as you can about how Google evaluate websites if you are going to be successful in lifting the visibility of your site in the eys of Google and other search engines. Your potential customers are very unlikely to discover you if you are not appearing on the first page of search engine results.

  • Want to check your website's Google PR?
If you're interested, then visit PR Checker. You will be asked to enter your URL and then the PR of your website will be displayed

  • Internet marketing and your small business website
Marketing involves positioning your business so that it is perceived by your customers as "different" from your competitors playing in the same market.

Internet marketing applies the same principle when competing in the online world. You must be able to evaluate the websites of your leading competition and determine how you can differentiate your website from theirs - but in the eyes of search engines such as Google.

Search engine marketing involves identifying online opportunity gaps. This is where there is a lack of strong competition from other websites for key words that could be used by people when searching for your type of business.

By way of example only, imagine there could be strong online competition from competitor websites who have been built to target the popular search term "roof repairs". And yet no such depth of competition exists for the more specific search term "roof tiles repaired". Although this search term may not be entered as frequently, you may be able to dominate it because of the lack of competition.

You may discover that even though the search term "roof tiles repaired" may be less popular in frequency of use, this is more than compensated for by gaining a higher Google listing for your website with this niche term. Accompanying this could well be the gain of a higher Google PR. And you may find that this results in more calls and enquiries from potential customers who have found your website, because your website appears on the first page of search engine results.

So in a nutshell - before you can be found by your prospective customers in the online world, you must gain a profile with Google.

  • Keep Learning
Endeavour to learn as much as you can about how search engines such as Google evaluate a website.  Through such insights you may gain the edge you need to lift your search engine ranking above that of your competition in organic (unpaid) listings.

If you are interested in some more marketing tips, visit Marketing for Small Business