Small Business Saturday
The 2nd Annual Small Business Saturday is taking place Saturday, November 26th. American Express is bringing thousands of small business supporters together to focus on increasing small business sales. Avoid the crowds of Black Friday and come to Small Business Saturday instead– you’re helping local businesses and economy!
Pledge to “shop small” on the Small Business Saturday Facebook page and register your American Express card to receive a $25 credit when you spend at least $25 at a small business near you.
If you are a small business owner, American Express is providing free tools to help you promote your business and Small Business Saturday.
Small Business Saturday benefits our local merchants and our community, be sure to join us by “shopping small” on the Saturday, November 26!
I have been involved in Small Businesses, one way or another, for over 40 years now; I have never found one that I didn’t love being associated with or owning. Over all those years I kept a list of thoughts and ideas that I believed to be true and very helpful getting through the day. I want to share them with you now. I have never shared this list before but I thought it might help someone who is running a Small business or a Mom and Pop family business. If it does great and if not then I tried. It is a list too long to post here so just CLICK HERE and you will be taken to the PDF.
Here is kind of a silly story with a cool message. It is just amusing and also opens up a moment for thought about being the kind of individual, or Small Business person that people like to be around.
The Farmer and His Mule
One day a farmer’s donkey fell down into a well. The animal cried piteously for hours as the farmer tried to figure out what to do. Finally, he decided the animal was old, and the well needed to be covered up anyway; it just wasn’t worth it to retrieve the donkey.
He invited all his neighbors to come over and help him. They all grabbed a shovel and began to shovel dirt into the well. At first, the donkey realized what was happening and cried horribly. Then, to everyone’s amazement he quieted down.
A few shovel loads later, the farmer finally looked down the well. He was astonished at what he saw. With each shovel of dirt that hit his back, the donkey was doing something amazing. He would shake it off and take a step up.
As the farmer’s neighbors continued to shovel dirt on top of the animal, he would shake it off and take a step up. Pretty soon, everyone was amazed as the donkey stepped up over the edge of the well and happily trotted off!
Life is going to shovel dirt on you, all kinds of dirt. The trick to getting out of the well is to shake it off and take a step up. Each of our troubles is a steppingstone. We can get out of the deepest wells just by not stopping, never giving up! Shake it off and take a step up.
Remember the five simple rules to be happy:
- Free your heart from hatred – Forgive.
- Free your mind from worries – Most never happen.
- Live simply and appreciate what you have.
- Give more.
- Expect less
But for Now…
Enough of that crap… The donkey later came back, and bit the farmer who had tried to bury him. The gash from the bite got infected and the farmer eventually died in agony from septic shock.
Moral from today’s lesson:
When you do something wrong, and try to cover your ass, it always comes back to bite you.
Lessons for Small Business Management
In this, and my next post, is a couple of PDF’s that list some good management ideas for the small business manager as well as the large corporate manager. Of course all of this list won’t apply to you. But I have found over my small & big business life, that many have helped get me through the day, with fewer problems than I would probably have had otherwise.
This PDF was originally posted by a man named Matt in 2007 and was intended more for the corporate manager than small business person; but after reading it over I realized that many of the points he made was also relevant to the SB manager, or owner, as well. Check it out HERE , to see what you think; get as much out of it as you feel that fits for you. Consider it kind of a wake-up call to the maze of management ins and outs that I am sure you know, but may have forgotten. [gplus count="true" href="http://littlebigguy.com/?p=129" size="Medium" ]
Small Business Listen Up!
If the government can finally agree on anything and passes this tax credit for businesses who hire Veterans; this will not only be great for our soldiers but also for Small Businesses across the country. Labor costs are, in my opinion, a huge chunk off of the profits received by any company; but especially for small business owners whom can least afford it. Not only will your small business benefit from the tax credits but you will be hiring some of the hardest working, most dependable and honest people that America has to offer.
Furthermore, I also hope that this will give returning, and other Veterans, the ability and incentive to open their own small businesses. Our Soldiers both past and present have always taken away from their service time, here and abroad, many unique Ideas and new concepts gained from their interactions with the people of foreign countries. They have observed different production methods and have experienced unique national products that could be introduced into the American Market Place successfully.
Also, this employment credit would allow vets to give their businesses a foot hold; and allow them to hire other vets which would undoubtedly be a driving force toward a profitable future and help the American economy at the same time.
If You Missed It, Here Is What The President Had to Say:
Obama said that members of the military returning to civilian life have a particularly hard time finding work in such a difficult environment.
Among the 1 million unemployed veterans, 260,000 are former service members who joined the military after the Sept. 11 attacks.
The long acrimonious battle over raising the government’s debt limit “was divisive, it was delayed,” Obama said if businesses are expected to get cash off the sidelines and to invest and hire “we’ve got to do better than that.”
The government says the unemployment rate for the post-Sept. 11 service members is 13.3 percent.
Obama’s proposal would offer two tax credits for companies that hire unemployed veterans:
– A “Returning Heroes” credit for 2012-2013. Companies that hire unemployed veterans would receive a $2,400 tax credit. It would increase to $4,800 if the veteran has been unemployed for six months or more.
– A two-year extension of the “Wounded Warriors” tax credit, which gives companies that hire veterans with service-related disabilities a $4,800 credit. If the veteran has been unemployed for six months or more, the credit increases to $9,600.
The tax credits would require congressional approval. The administration estimated the cost of the tax credits at $120 million.
During his remarks, Obama also challenged private companies to hire or train 100,000 veterans by the end of 2013. He is expected to name some companies that already have committed to taking part in that effort.
The president also announced a joint initiative between the Defense and Veterans Affairs departments to come up with a “reverse boot camp” program that would help train service members for the transition to the civilian work force as they wind down their time in the military.
Obama welcomed the latest unemployment report, noting that it reflected the 17th month of job growth in the private sector. “The unemployment rate went down, not up,” he added.
Still, he said, “we have to create more jobs than that to make up for the 8 million jobs the recession claimed.”
In a search for inexpensive resources for my Small Business I came across two very good services that I want to tell you about. Most Businesses needs a good logo to differentiate their brand from the guy next door. The company that I have used, and recommend highly, is WWW.LOGONERDS.COM. They do great work with logos and website headers and do it very inexpensively. They are very fast in their turnaround time and you are assigned an artist to work with you every step of the way.
The other service company that I want to tell you about is WWW.VISTAPRINT.COM who does business cards, promotional products and much more. Vistaprint has an excellent product at more than reasonable prices. They too have great customer support. If you need any of these products that I mention here go online and check them out.
I am not an affiliate of either of these companies I just used them and think they are great.
Of course my company Little BIG Guy can get this all done for you but in all honesty It will be real easy for you to do yourself and save even more money. If you find that you are too busy or you just feel that you’d like help getting it done; as always Little Big Guy is here for you.
Here is a good article for Small Business Entrepreneurs to understand about one step in the ladder of Internet Marketing. Here at Little BIG Guy we don’t actually do Websites but, we help you to get websites and may other necessary things done as least inexpensively as possible. In this post and in many to follow I will be letting you in on the latest Web 2.0, Social Media and Mobile happenings and how it should be done. I hope you get allot out of this article and call me at Little BIG Guy if you want more personal help with your Internet Marketing Program.
Remember that there are many ways to achieve a solid and profitable Marketing Strategy. You can do a website or not there are many other alternatives to reach the internet marketing goals for your business. You also might want to check out http://www.howmuchdoesawebsitecost.com/ here also is another site you might like to see. You may or may not be an aspiring author but the points made here are relevant to understanding what is need to be considered by a small business embarking on this exciting and fun journey to new customers and profits.
Just for your knowledge I did not write the article in the next post. But, it is a good example of what I think you should know. Little Big Guy does not do websites or HTML coding but we know people that can help you do whatever you think needs to be done in order to put your small business where it should be on this new internet marketing path to profits.
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I build web sites for a living. Small sites, big sites, simple sites, complex sites, storefronts, applications, Web 1.0, Web 2.0 — you name it, I build it. If I have to name one question that my prospective clients ask me without fail, regardless of the type of site, it is “How much will it cost?” Most people expect me to say something like “Four thousand eight hundred and sixty-three dollars and twenty-nine cents. Plus tax. Not a penny more, not a penny less”. Unfortunately, I can’t say anything like it. My answer usually resembles “Hmmm… let’s see… uh… that depends”.
My answer seldom pleases the prospective client. But I can’t do any better. Let me explain why, with an analogy. Say, you want to build a house. You call a contractor and tell him that you want to build a three thousand square-feet house. You then ask him for a price. What is he likely to say? If he wants to remain solvent, his answer is likely to be “Hmmm… let’s see… uh… that depends”. Yes, he can quote you a generic figure like three hundred dollars a square-foot, but he can’t guarantee it because he doesn’t know yet whether you want quarter-sawn oak plank-flooring or carpet, granite on your countertops or Formica, generic windows or Anderson, and so on. The devil is in the details. The same is true for web sites.
To be honest, it is very easy to quote a price for large, complex sites. All I have to say is so-many-dollars an hour. Big corporations are used to dealing with contractors who charge on an hourly basis. They usually have in-house technical expertise to decide whether I have the necessary technical expertise and whether my charges are reasonable. They also understand that some amount of time will be spent in brainstorming, site design, site reviews, approvals, meetings, and general red tape. If I work at their site, there is no question about the hours spent on the job. If I work off-site, they can determine whether the hours I submit are reasonable for the job. Hardly ever is there a problem.
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Often it takes many visits and many hours to nail down what exactly the owner wants. So I have to estimate the time I will spend in traveling to client’s site to discuss the requirements and making notes, auto expenses, phone charges, and what-not. Then there is the question of graphics. To date, I haven’t come across a client who likes the artwork that is presented to him. How many iterations of artwork are reasonable? I have to make an educated guess and attach a dollar amount to it. Of course, I have to take into account the actual effort likely to be spent in HTML coding and programming – something I don’t know at the beginning because I don’t know what the client wants. The next obstacle is content. In my opinion, writing appropriate content for a web site is the most difficult task. Clients invariably tell me not to worry about it because they know their business like the back of their hands. Yet, when the time comes, very few can give me a Word document from which I can cut and paste text on web pages. I get everything from bullet-points to hundred-page anthologies. So I have to estimate the time I am likely to extract this information and reprocess it to make it web friendly. Lastly, I have to account for the dirty little secret in the software industry — no software project can ever be completed before the deadline and within the budget. That means I have to estimate the overrun and quantify it in terms of dollars. Then I can add all these figures and quote a dollar figure like my clients want me to.
As you can see, this procedure of arriving at the estimated price for a web site is about as precise as the procedure for selecting the winning Powerball ticket. Therefore my answer is “Hmmm… let’s see… uh… that depends”.
Now that I have explained why estimating costs creating web sites is difficult, let me get back to how much should you expect to spend on a professionally-built web site. Naturally, we will have to define what a “professionally-built web site” is. In simple terms, it is web site, possibly with a small back-end management interface, or a storefront. It may be built from scratch or may make use of existing platforms such as Yahoo Store. It includes:
* Analysis of your requirements
* A custom designed graphical interface using licensed graphics (as opposed to clip art or stolen images) that you approve of
* Professionally written copy that you approve of
* Coding and programming
* Roughly ten or fifteen static pages
* Bulk uploading of data, if applicable
* Training on using the back-end management interface and maintaining the site
If you are a run-of-the-mill small business, your site should cost you in the neighborhood of five thousand dollars. Your site, however, may need additional work. For example, if you are a real estate agent that sells multimillion dollar houses, your web site will target a different class of visitors than if you were selling, say, printer cartridges. Without a question, you will need a lot of attention to details and plenty of brainstorming, both of which can quickly run up the meter. In such special cases, expect to spend roughly 1% of your annual revenue on your web site.
I didn’t get these figures out of the hat. I have built sites for less and for more. So can you. But I find that in general, sites that cost in the vicinity of my figures make my clients happy, and more importantly, their clients happy.
If you found this information helpful please click the like and +1 button. Thanks for your time and I sincerely hope that you find this information useful. If you have any questions don’t hesitate to contact me, Lonney Smith, at email@example.com . Remember, that this information refers to Static Web Sites and your small business can achieve the same thing by simply having a blog created for you at far less the cost.
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