The Drama Of Starting A Business
Or Saving A Floundering Business
By Bill Platt












There are three times in the life of
a business where monetary
decisions are difficult to make.
Those three times are: during
the early days of an enterprise;
when a business cycle is beginning to slow; and when costs are rising more quickly
than sales. All three financial cycles reflect the same business need: a need to increase
sales, reduce costs, or both.

As a new business with limited resources, the only real choice is to increase sales. So,
the average business owner will dig deep to invest more time and/or resources into
the activity of increasing sales.

For the new business, there is no other choice... The business owner must make an
investment for the purpose of increasing sales. It is a sink or swim proposition,
and most business owners will take whatever steps are necessary to help their
business succeed.

The small business owner, who is in the startup phase of a business, knows
instinctively that the only way they will be able to increase their sales is to do some
real marketing and advertising for their business.

Every small business owner will tackle the development of his or her new business in
a different way. Some will make significant investments into their business from their
own personal savings. Many small business owners will take every single penny
earned by their business and pump it back into the business. Others will
take fifty cents on every dollar and pump it back into the business. And then there are
those who scrimp and save at every opportunity, even to the detriment of their ability
to grow their business.

Scrimpers and savers can succeed in business, although it typically takes them much
longer to put their business on solid footing, than it takes for the person who invests
real resources into marketing and advertising for their business.

When The Business Cycle Turns Down...

I am always surprised when I look out into the real world and see business owners
who had invested lots of time and money into the development of their business, and
then when they need to manage rough financial times, they go against the grain of
what had made them successful in the beginning.

There is a business owner I know here locally who has experienced some very
profitable times in the life of his business. He manufactures and sells a very unique
and useful piece of automotive equipment that his customer base loves. His business
also has just one major competitor in the marketplace who manufactures a similar
product. For all intent purposes, his business resides in a very comfortable position.

However, his business has been suffering from dropping sales. His challenge has
been to figure out how to keep the doors to his business open. In recent months, he
began going to the bank to borrow money to pay his employees, and yet, when it
comes to marketing his business, he is absolutely unwilling to venture any
advertising dollars!

I fear for his future.

In his world, he has been successful selling his product by going to car shows. But, on
his last couple car shows, he has not sold enough products at the car shows to cover
his expenses getting to the show.

The Internet Is A Low-Cost Way To Supplement The Sales Of An Offline Company

I tried to suggest to him the idea of making better use of his website. His response
was that when he had gone to the Internet in the past, he wasted his $1,000.
I inquired further.

He told me that he had spent $500 to build his website, and then he spent another
$500 to optimize his website for the search engines. He told me that he gets a number
one ranking in Google, but that has not helped him to earn any sales. Therefore, in his
mind, Internet advertising was an foolish waste of his limited
operating capital.

It Was Time For A Bit Of Research...

I took an hour to look at his website to see if I could see any obvious reasons for the
failure of his Internet marketing expenditures. Actually, it did not take very long to
see the reasons for his failure.

I was actually quite surprised to see how the company, who he had hired for SEO
(search engine optimization), had helped lighten his wallet of $500.

Yes, he did have a number one placement in Google... For the name of his business!
Man, that was a tough one to pull off...

Unfortunately, the only word that his Web site had been optimized for was the name
of his business!

If your potential customers do not know the name of your business, how can you
honestly expect people to find you?

Your Website Is Not The Be-All-End-All Of Marketing & Advertising

A lot of business owners put up a Web site and figure that the people will just come
rolling into their new website.

Then, reality bites.

A well built Web site will take a new visitor and turn them into paying customers. A
well-designed SEO campaign will leave the sales process unharmed, and it will create
the foundation for getting better placement in the SERPS (search engine result pages).

These days, an integral part of a good SEO campaign is a measure of Inbound Links
(IBL's) to your website. The three top search engines --- Google, Yahoo and MSN ---
have all declared that the number of links pointing to a website could dramatically
affect how well a website performs in their search results.

Well-placed and well-constructed IBL's to a website actually serve two purposes: they
increase the likelihood of your website gaining better placement in the search results,
and they appeal to the person who is looking at the website where your link is
located.

The Best Links Pointing To Your Web site

The best links that point to your website from another website are those that actually
peak the interest of your potential customer. A link that says, "MyWebsiteName," is
not nearly as effective as a link that reads, "the solution to such-and-such problem."

The point is to appeal to what interests the reader of your link. If you can do that, then
the people who visit your website will be focused on the problem that you have said
that you can solve.

Article marketing or content marketing builds on this principle. Through article
marketing, a business will seek to address an issue within the article that their target
prospects might be researching.

Then at the end of the article, after the potential visitor has been educated about the
topic they are researching, the reader will see a short, one- or two-sentence sales pitch,
and a solution-oriented link to the writer's website.

If the article is done well, the reader will feel a desire to click the link that will take
them to the writer's website. The reader's motivation might be to see if the writer
provides additional information, or the reader may be motivated to read up on the
writer's products or services to see if the writer can help them solve their problem.
Either way, the reader will be a strongly-targeted visitor to the article writer's website.

Developing Content For Linking Campaigns

It is not necessary for the person who owns the website to be the person who writes
the article that will promote the website. I am sure you have seen articles that say they
were written by one person, and then the "about the author" text kicks right into a
pitch for a website. When the specified author of the article is not shown as the "owner
of" or "an employee of" the web site shown in the "about the author" information, then
the author is often a freelance writer promoting the website in exchange for a service
fee.

The truth is that you can literally find thousands of talented freelance writers on the
Internet who would be willing to write an article to help you to promote your
website. And very literally, you can find several service providers to distribute
your article on the world wide web for the purpose of developing Inbound Links to
your website.

At The End Of The Day...

All businesses have one basic requirement: paying customers. Given that every
business will experience some shrinkage in their customer list, it is important for a
business to continue to develop new customers.

Marketing is a process, not an event. Many business owners get bogged down in the
idea that they have more important things to spend their money on than marketing or
promotion. But, without a steady flow of new customers, a business simply cannot
survive.

As a small business owner, your goal should be to attract as many new sales to your
business as you can for the least amount of cost. Don't be afraid to try new things to
boost customer interest. And, if something you tried previously did not work for you,
don't assume that future attempts will deliver the same outcome. Just ask yourself, do
you want to be someone who has to take a loan in order to make payroll?







Meet the writer: Bill Platt has been involved in article marketing since 1999. He  has operated
ThePhantomWriters.com Article Distribution  Service since 2001. The ability of article
marketing to produce  sales, relies upon the writer's ability to reach prospects in  your target
market. If you like the idea of article marketing, but would prefer guaranteed link building
results, then Bill's
LinksAndTraffic service may serve you better.  To talk to Bill about his
services, he can be reached at  (405) 780-7745 between 9am and 6pm CST, Mon-Fri.
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