We’ve seen hundreds of micro businesses pop up related to pets. Dog walkers, day care centers for pets, pet stores, groomers and even pet sitters have all become niche businesses. The Wall Street Journal recently posted a video stating that Americans spend an average of $45 billion on their pets, a potential boon for local micro businesses focusing on this demographic. Do you own a pet related micro business and are you optimistic about its prospects?
Archive for July, 2010
This guest post was written by Dawn Rivers Baker, aka The Journal Blogger. She is the editor and publisher of The MicroEnterprise Journal, and the self-proclaimed Socrates of the small business blogosphere.
Recently, the vague linguistic disquiet I’ve been feeling has blossomed into full-blown stress. I’m afraid the whole thing will simply have to come out into the open.
I’m getting the distinct feeling that other writers who discuss ‘sustainability’ in a business or economic context do not mean the same thing I do when I use that word.
This puts us on the brink of the same sort of confusion that mars discussions about individuals who work independently and are referred to as freelancers and independent contractors and the self-employed and the operators of non-employer businesses or sole proprietorships or personal businesses or side businesses or one-person businesses or solo businesses or SOHO businesses. Read more…
The math is simple. Hold a contest on your website and you will see an increase in traffic, period. Everyone loves to win something for nothing. Only if you are smart, you will require visitors to give over their email address in exchange for a chance to win something of value. The item doesn’t have to be expensive. Read more…
If you are following the social media buzz, you probably keep hearing terms and phrases like “be helpful”, “engagement” and “online/offline networking.” But what do these expressions really mean, and most importantly, why should they matter to you as a small business owner? Read more…
We’ve talked a lot about tradeshows and how they can help grow your micro business and make connections with potential customers and other businesses. When investing a piece of your budget to attend and showcase at a tradeshow, it can be a daunting task to find the right show that’s going to provide the biggest bang for the investment. Read more…
Remember the printer scene from the comedy film Office Space? Even those who’ve never seen the movie can imagine how three office workers can be driven to violently attack an inanimate piece of office equipment. With baseball bats in hand, the co-workers destroy a faulty, unreliable printer that had botched up documents and tormented them for much too long.
At least 11.8 million Dell customers can relate to this scene and have probably wanted to “go office space” on their own computers. Last month, a New York Times article reported how Dell knowingly sold millions of defective computers from 2003 to 2005. These computers didn’t just run poorly, but had the potential to actually blow up due to bad wiring. To make matters worse, when a major client confronted Dell about the issue, Dell tried to blame them for inappropriately running the computers in a room that was too hot and too small. The article continues to explain how documents from a lawsuit recently surfaced and prove that employees knew about the defective computers but downplayed the issue to customers.
Does this picture look familiar to you?
It should, if your business sells primarily to a local clientele. The illustration displays Google Local Search results.
“Local Search? What’s That?” You might ask. It would be a good question.
Local Search is a service that is common to the three most popular search engines (Google, Yahoo and Bing). In the graphic above, notice how there are two results to the right of the map. (“A” and “B”). These results are critical for local businesses – this is prime real estate in Search Engine World. But you can’t get it through paid search, or even very well optimized Organic keyword optimization. You only get listed here by registering with the local search engines. Read more…
Have you ever wondered why you didn’t land a new client? Obviously, there are a number of factors that could prevent small business owners from landing new business such as price and experience. But what about the intangible reasons?
Recently, I was part of a request for proposal (RFP) process for a billion dollar client looking for a full service firm to redesign its corporate website. Although nine firms were sent the RFP, only three responded. In a down economy, you would think that companies are dying to be considered for this type of project.
A California web design firm responded and seemed qualified for the project, but went under a name associated with organized crime. We were put off by the name initially, but understood that many web-related companies have odd names. They gave this company the benefit of the doubt. Read more…
This guest post was written by Dawn Rivers Baker, Dawn Rivers Baker, aka The Journal Blogger, is the editor and publisher of The MicroEnterprise Journal, and the self-proclaimed Socrates of the small business blogosphere.
The jury may be out on any number of issues when it comes to American life in the 21st century — we’re only a decade in, after all — but one thing I think it’s pretty safe to say is that, in this day and age, speed matters.
I am reminded Captain Steve Hiller, the character played by Will Smith in many people’s favorite guilty pleasure movie, Independence Day (1996). Remember him?
Here’s the reason why Captain Hiller was the sole survivor among his squad of fighter pilots sent out in humanity’s first engagement with those marauding aliens: Hiller happened to be blessed with the precise combination of smarts, skills, and flexibility that enabled him to see and respond to risk — and to opportunity — really fast.
He wouldn’t have lasted anywhere near as long as he did if he’d had to stop and consider his options, lobby for favors, or radio back to HQ for orders while he was racing through the Grand Canyon with a superior-technology-equipped alien hot on his heels, would he? Read more…
It’s summertime and the livin’ is easy with fun activities — like family travel, backyard barbeques, outdoor concerts, stargazing, sailing, parties, beach volleyball, evening dips in the pool —but hey, what about your business?
Can you afford to stop paying attention to your business and to put it on hold?
No, probably not. So what can you do to give yourself some downtime to enjoy the summer season AND, most importantly, to make your business offerings a bit more attractive?
Take a look at how you deliver your services to your clients. Never assume your audience wants your materials only delivered in one way. Everyone’s learning styles are different — some like to read, to listen, to watch, or even to participate. Begin to think about how you can take your products or services and reformat them in different ways. Read more…