Marketing Tip – Small Business Owners Need to Keep in Touch to Get More Referrals

The phone rings.  You answer it.  The person on the other line says, “Bob Smith suggested I call you.  He said you can help me.”  Ahhhh!  It’s a beautiful day!!!

How often does that happen to you?  Probably not often enough.  But with a little marketing planning, you can dramatically increase your referral business.  The result is bigger sales for your small business. The most important thing is to keep in touch with people on a regular, consistent basis.

Sounds simple, doesn’t it?  Most small business owners know they need to do these things.  But few have any type of marketing system for keeping in touch with the right people.  Even fewer small business owners know the right way to ask for referrals.

Who should be on your contact list?  

EVERYONE!  Past clients, prospects, business associates, friends, neighbors, even people who at one point thought they might use your services, then changed their mind.

The biggest mistake we make is to think, “Oh, those people know what my small business is. I don’t need to market to them.” 

Yes, your neighbor, your banker, and the people in your Rotary group probably do know about your business.  But when they think of you, they think of you walking the dog, making a deposit, or organizing a meeting. 
 
Because they don’t see you in your professional capacity, they don’t think of you that way–unless you use a smart marketing strategy to remind them.  And, as much as we’d like to think we are unforgettable to our past clients, they start to forget about us in as little as six weeks!

Obviously, when making a marketing plan to keep in touch with your contacts, time and budget need to be considered.  You will want to see some people once a week.  Others will simply get a monthly e-mail newsletter.  No matter what, talking about your business, mailing personal notes and cards, and sending regular e-mail newsletters to all of your contacts is vital to building business. 

 
By marketing to your contacts on a regular, consistent basis, you will ensure these people think of you whenever they hear of someone else who might need your product or service. The result? More referrals, more business and more sales!

Options for Filing and Reporting Small Business Taxes

Large and small businesses all around the United States are required to file and pay taxes. Small business taxes are applied and determined differently than those of larger corporations. To accurately report and pay taxes business owners are encouraged to follow these helpful preparation tips.

Small business owners have the option of filing their own tax returns or they can hire the help of a professional. Professional tax help can come from a certified public accountant (CPA) or professional tax preparer. Each individual is likely to accurately prepare a small business tax return; however, many business owners prefer working with a certified public accountant (CPA). In addition to a filing a federal or state small business tax return, a certified public accountant is experienced in keeping all financial records in order. Having all financial records in order may allow business owners to claim additional tax deductions or tax credits.

It is possible for a small business owner to prepare their own returns; however, the process is often long and sometimes difficult. To make the process easy many people take a tax course or they purchase a tax software program. The majority of tax courses offer valuable information and helpful tips to those who may have to pay taxes. These courses are usually available at a local college or an establish tax preparation business for a small fee.

Since owning and operating a business is a large project there are many business people who are unable to find the time to take a tax preparation course. These people are likely to purchase a tax software program. Tax software programs can be purchased from a traditional retail store or they can be paid for and downloaded off of the internet. The majority of individuals using a tax software program to determine if they owe any money are required to use the premium software versions because they are usually the only tax software versions that supply the forms needed.

When preparing their own taxes entrepreneurs are urged to keep in mind all of the tax deductions that they qualify for. There are many business owners who do not realize that they could qualify for multiple tax deductions. The majority of office supplies and other equipment that is required to operate a business is tax deductible. It is also possible for the owner of the business to donate some of their old office equipment or supplies to a charity. These donations are considered charitable deductions. Many small business owners make the mistake of just tossing out their old equipment because they do not realize that they can receive deductions for donating old equipment as well as purchasing new equipment. Taking a tax preparation course, using a software program, or hiring the services of a professional are great ways for them to learn about the deductions that they may qualify for.

Many business owners decided to start preparing their own taxes only to later learn that figuring out small business taxes is more difficult than they anticipated. Those who are unable to complete their small business tax returns or feel that they made a mistake on the tax forms can take their partially completed tax forms to a professional tax preparer for assistance and further completion.

Logo Design Tips – Small Businesses

When you intend to do something, if you don’t know the ins and outs of it, then the chances are that you won’t be able to get quality stuff. Also, the chances of getting defrauded increase significantly. But, the problem is that you can’t become an expert in each and every field in this world. Hence, what you need to do is to acquire the expertise of a reliable and experienced person or company. Now, the same thing can be applied to the design industry. When you are willing to create a logo design for your business, then you need to know who to hire and what to look for to ensure that you get more for your money and that you don’t end up losing your money.

So, let’s discuss some important things that you should do and look for to ensure that you create your brand identity / logo design in an influential way.

Hire a Professional Designer: This is something extremely important. Will you ever hire an unprofessional to fix your roof or ceiling? No, you will never take the risk, because you don’t want your ceiling to collapse. So, if you take the risk of hiring an unprofessional designer, then the chances will increase that sooner or later your business will collapse due to its cheap image and identity. Don’t just go and hire a graphic designer. Make sure that you actually hire a professional logo designer with vast experience in creating logos for small businesses.

Get Many Logo Design Concepts: Once you feel interested in hiring a designer or company, you need to first check their packages. It is advisable to get a package with several concepts. This will assist you in making a decision easily and conveniently. As it is important to create your business image effectively, having several concepts will enable you to mix different ideas that you will get through different concepts. So, never go for 1 concept. Always ask more several concepts.

Get Unlimited Revisions: It is not really possible to get the logo done in the first attempt. So, it is advisable to tell your designer to give you unlimited revisions. A lot of companies and designers will give you a limited number of revisions. Don’t be fooled by that, because after they provide you with the set number of revisions and if you are not satisfied, then you will lose your money. So, go for a logo design company that offers unlimited revisions with their packages.

Free Stuff: Sooner or later you will be needing stationery for your business. A lot of logo design companies offer free stationery designs with some of their logo design packages. It is advisable to get them now, because later you will end up paying more for them. So, look for an affordable logo design package that also offers free stationery designs. This will include: Business Card Design, Letterhead Design and Envelope Design. All these things are important for businesses and if you can get them for free then there is nothing better than that.

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