Finance businesses, just like any other businesses, need to reach out to their segment of the Internet to grab hold of potential customers. Now more than ever, people turn to their trusty search engine to find what they are looking for - and if your business is not there, you risk losing valuable customers. Taking time to develop a high quality content strategy in partnership with Scripted.com can help ensure you are getting your Internet marketing started on the right track, and help your business grow.
This is the copy on your website that tells your clients, both current and prospective, who you are as a business and what you have to offer. Well-written web copy will not only help you rank higher in the search engines so people looking for a business of your nature will be able to find you, but it will also help convert those web visitors into paying customers.
Press releases will alert several different media outlets about anything newsworthy in your business. When the media gets wind of the information, they will report it to their audience, which spreads the word about what you have going on. A press release, however, is written following a strict format, and not just anyone can put a quality release together. Quality releases will get more attention and response from those that matter.
Blog posts are an excellent way to educate your audience about what your business does, and to answer their questions. A financial business could post content about credit scores: what they are, what they mean, how to improve them, and how to watch for identity theft. A financial business could also post information about stocks, investments, loans, and interest rates as applicable to their products and services. This content is written to engage and interact with readers, so the content could also be used to garner information about your audience and what they want or expect from your business.
A Twitter account is a great way to connect with targeted consumers, both existing and potential. Well-crafted tweets, sent out at optimal times to ensure more of your followers read them, are an effective method of letting people know about what’s going on in your business. Engaging with your audience is just as an important as letting them in on your latest news, so it takes tweeting on a regular basis to get valuable conversation started.
Putting Scripted.com in charge of your content strategy will give you access to a team of experts who know what it takes to get a business moving online. You will rest easy knowing they will match your project to a team of highly qualified and skilled writers who know exactly how to handle your project. Regardless of the types of content your strategy entails, we’ve got you covered.
written by Rick L. | Favorite this Writer
In the world of Knowledge Management (KM), most practitioners recognize at least two different types of knowledge that organizations deal with. The first is explicit, or codified knowledge; the second is tacit, in-the-head, knowledge. Unfortunately, most businesses spend an inordinate amount of time, energy, and money working on the former. At the same time, KM has continually asserted the vast majority of useful knowledge is contained in the latter.
Many use an adaptation of the Pareto principle, frequently making the analogy to an iceberg, with tacit knowledge understood as that portion lying below the water’s surface. By attending to the portion above the surface, work is concentrated on activities such as organizing share drives, federating search capability, and scanning and rendering searchable (through OCR) much of the organization’s paper-based, historical information.
We seem to be missing the point about the real value of knowledge. If, in fact, the largest percentage of an enterprise's useful knowledge is locked between the heads of its employees and, if (as is frequently said about tacit knowledge) much of it can't be accessed until it's required, why aren’t more of an organization’s limited funds being spent on facilitating the connection and communication, as well as the collaborative capabilities, of employees?
Clearly, there continues to be value in content management and smarter search. Nevertheless, most organizations are missing the boat by not spending more of their resources on connecting people and creating organizational neural pathways. These capabilities promise to be far more beneficial in terms of product innovation, design, processes improvement, customer relations, and project management, etc. Enterprise social software, whether a wiki, tagging, or a fully-featured social networking system, provides this kind of connectivity. Any enterprise wishing to thrive in today’s hyper-connected world would do well to implement one of the many solutions currently available.
written by Andrea C. | Favorite this Writer
Global Business Mistakes
Article by Andrea Campbell
There are mistakes—faux pas—when dealing with foreign clients. These cultural differences, when not acknowledged, will make a foreigner uncomfortable or unwilling to do business. In order to conduct business globally, insight into the conventions of other nations will put business back on track.
The Traveling Salesman
The late Walburga von Raffler-Engel, a widely published linguistics expert whose specialties included nonverbal communication, had many interesting tidbits to share about social conventions. She was known to have advised businessmen that while sitting with an Arab in conversation to not cross your legs so that the sole of your shoe would be visible to your client, colleague or guest, or you may wind up insulting him.
"Some cultural differences are tolerated with ease while others may cause deeply felt antipathies. Some differences are immediately apparent while others are not overtly noticed and may create severe mistrust," said von Raffler-Engel. "When we judge a foreigner's behavior for a cause for mistrust, we may have simply misunderstood it.
Another example of business faux pas: when Japanese people are deeply absorbed in listening to a speaker, they sometimes close their eyes. A wise Westerner knows that this is not a slight, that the man is listening intently and is not really bored or half-asleep.
In addition, in Mexico, business partners often practice abrazo, an elaborate ritual of embrace that is considered essential for establishing and fostering a good relationship. A sensible businessman must never associate this with impropriety.
Before companies send teams of negotiators to other countries, they may need to provide an extensive course on rituals and behavior indigenous to that country. As an example, if an Arab businessman agrees to meet with a female delegate, she may lose all credibility if she shows up for the meeting in a short skirt. This form of "immodest" attire would only serve to offend their host. And, interestingly, attire rules are applicable to men as well. If an American counterpart is invited into the home of a German or a Mexican businessman, he is expected to arrive wearing a tie and jacket, because anything else is rude. And if that American happens to comment on a special artifact in a Spanish home, expect that the owner will offer it up as a gift—but don't accept it, instead, decline the offer graciously.
written by Barbara C. | Favorite this Writer
A Business Bootcamp by Budnik Group, Inc.℠ will whip your business into shape. We have developed a comprehensive training program that will take your business to the next level. We teach you and your staff how to set goals for your company and employees, motivate employees, manage accounting systems and make sense of financial statements. We show you how these and other fit together to into a single management system which will give your business the tools it needs to succeed in a competitive economy.
We have developed this management system through years of experience and research. It is adapted from the systems used by Sam Walton at Wal-Mart, Warren Buffett at Berkshire Hathaway, and Jack Welch at GE to keep their managers thinking like entrepreneurs, not bureaucrats. All three of these legendary managers made billions of dollars for investors using these methods. Sam Walton and Warren Buffett even topped Forbes’ list of wealthiest Americans. We cannot guarantee that each of our clients will become the wealthiest American, but we do promise a measurable improvement in your profitability or your money back.
Business Bootcamp by Budnik Group, Inc. ℠ is based on a concept we call “Pricing Power”. Pricing power centers around the observation that industries tend to generate predictable sales volume based on their margins, within certain parameters. For example, many retail stores and restaurants look at sales volume based on same store sales. Superior businesses generate higher volume than what would be predicted based on their margins, as long as profit margins exceed fixed costs. Therefore, every dollar of fixed costs must be judged based on its ability to generate superior profits. Competitive businesses implicitly link their management systems to this concept. We make this concept explicit and show you how to build it into your management structure.
Business Bootcamp by Budnik Group, Inc. ℠ is a training program that can be hosted at your business with continued off-site support if needed. We also offer weekend and evening seminars for small groups at convenient locations. In addition, we provide the statistical research needed to make optimal pricing decisions. If you are ready to transform your business using our proven methods, contact us today.
written by Romona P. | Favorite this Writer
Although adjectives describing entrepreneurs usually don't include "skittish," a shaky economy gives pause to even the bravest of business souls. It's been argued by many, however, that a lackluster economic outlook is precisely the right time to hang out a shingle.
The argument is valid. Currently, for instance, low interest rates and a real estate market still recovering from shell shock means great pricing for office or industrial space.
And while corporations are making headlines more for layoffs than for big hiring moves, workloads are as heavy as ever. Especially for those who cater to business needs, then, this translates to a steady flow of clients. A construction company that's had to lay off a staff accountant, for instance, still needs to make payroll and to create monthly profit and loss statements.
Of course, entrepreneurs who cater to business needs often take the leap precisely because of a personal job loss. Although losing a job due to down-sizing stings, industry and professional experience-- as well as business contacts-- often provide a recipe for success.
What's more, developing a business during shaky economic times means having an established business when brighter days appear. Instead of working to get a venture off the ground, entrepreneurs who've taken an early leap are well-positioned for growth.
While opening shop in a down economy can be a strategically-savvy move, the rules of smart entrepreneurship still apply. In other words, it's important to develop a business plan that defines the business and its scope, lays out the industry and competitors as well as a full understanding of the target customers.
written by Marilyn H. | Favorite this Writer
When a successful small business wants to quickly become a big business, the most logical place to turn is to venture capital. Venture capital (VC) companies have a reputation for investing in young or start-up companies, but any company that can position itself for high-growth over the relatively short time of five years is a candidate for venture capital investment.
Venture capital companies come in all sizes, but there are basically two types of VC firms.
The first type is funded by high-net-worth individuals (angels) who have experience in quickly growing companies. Some of these individually backed funds are well-established companies that do deals year after year. Other individual funds are put together to do a few deals, perhaps in specific industry, then stay in business through the life of their investments.
The second type of VC firm raises its money from individual investors, pension funds, insurance companies, and mutual funds. Some are part of large mutual fund families. Usually the people who put these funds together have experience in high-growth companies.
Both types of VC firms tend to invest in companies that are in industry areas that the principals know. A good VC firm knows where its strengths lie, and generally will avoid investing in an unknown area.
The amount of money under management can range from a low of $3 million, which barely allows the fund any overhead costs, to several billion dollars. The huge funds are divided into several smaller funds. They tend to be well-staffed, and able to provide many of the services that a high-growth company needs.
No matter what the size of venture fund that invests in your company, those who have been through the experience agree that it is like being swallowed by a whale, or going from walking around the warm-up ring to thundering down the back stretch on a thoroughbred race horse. Regardless of which analogy you apply, life after a VC is never the same.
written by James P. | Favorite this Writer
How to Hire a Programmer
A programmer is one of a small business’s most expensive investments. Paying a programmer can drain a startup’s available cash. On the other hand, making a programmer a partner in the business could create future problems. The best way to decrease the risk when hiring a programmer is to take a series of steps to make sure the candidate has the necessary technical skill, mindset and curiosity to be effective.
- Test the programmer’s coding abilities. Like any other profession, some programmers are better than others. Have the candidates take an online test to make sure that they have the necessary technical skills to complete the job.
- Request to see the programmers’ portfolios. A potential candidate’s past work demonstrates her experience and how she codes to meet a specific goal. Her portfolio can also show that she has built a site like what the small business needs. Have the candidate describe what she did on each site in her portfolio.
- Talk with the candidates about coding. A good programmer needs to be passionate about what she does to keep up with the evolution of programming. Ask the candidate whether she contributes to open source projects, participates in open forum discussions about coding issues, or holds an opinion about which programming language to use. If the candidate can talk at length about any of these topics, it is likely that she has the necessary drive to keep current on all programming developments.
written by Marquis C. | Favorite this Writer
Business strategy is not just a collection of ideas an entrepreneur or a company cobbles together to woo and retain customers, outmatch rivals and reach competition stardom. A strategic blueprint goes farther, running the whole operational gamut and stirring specific actions in areas as diverse as corporate communication, customer service, stakeholder engagement and talent development.
If you’re a business owner, pay attention to communication; it’s at the heart of your company’s strategy. Watch how you define problems, seek internal feedback and reach operational compromise. To generate better ideas—and boost the odds that your organization will act on them—start by asking better questions.
Customer relationship management, or CRM, helps a company forge a better rapport with its client base, promoting the ideas that work and quarantining those that proved to be ineffective in the past. Define a CRM strategy that is in sync with your organization’s long-term goal – and ensure your customers’ voices are heard in the process, something that is achievable via informal feedback and post-delivery surveys, to name a few methods.
An organization’s stakeholders include everyone who has an interest in its success – or demise. Think of shareholders, the government, customers, suppliers, competitors and lenders. If you own a business, make sure your corporate strategy meshes with stakeholders’ aspirations, lest your whole operation grind to a halt because, say, public officials or lenders are irate about where the company is headed operationally or strategically.
For a business, a melting pot of personalities is ideal – but keeping those personalities motivated and intellectually challenged is even better. As an entrepreneur, you would need to give tactical preeminence to staff training when devising the overall corporate strategy. In other words, educate your personnel properly so they build up the creative and intellectual muscles necessary to think in a new way and implement key strategic initiatives down the road.
written by Lucy B. | Favorite this Writer
Last week, Diet Coke unveiled their newest collaboration with hot US designer Marc Jacobs. Jacobs was the creative director of Louis Vuitton for several years before starting his own collection, and he has now turned his eye to the iconic Coke bottle. The designer follows in the footsteps of Diane von Fürstenberg and Jean Paul Gaultier, who have previously been hired to put a new spin on the classic drink.
Featuring three different designs, the bottles are themed around the 80’s, 90’s and 00’s. Jacobs based the designs around model Ginta Lapina, who appears in outfits that take inspiration from the three eras. The 80’s bottle features Lapina in masculine tailoring, evoking the power suits of the time, and the 00’s bottle shows her wearing clashing prints, in the style of modern stars such as Rihanna and Jessie J.
The launch, which was held at the London Gymnasium, celebrated 30 years of Diet Coke. During this anniversary year, Jacobs will take the helm as creative director of the brand; and to mark the occasion he has posed for a set of press pictures in which he is shown posing with, and drinking, cans of the soft drink. His light-hearted promotional photos and playfully designed bottles show that Jacobs will be injecting some much needed fun and frivolity into the brand.
The bottles are available to buy in Selfridges, and cans featuring the designs will soon be available in supermarkets around the country.
written by Ben P. | Favorite this Writer
Don't Make These Common Mistakes On Your Tax Return That Can Trigger An Audit
As a former federal agent, I can tell you that other than the test program cases, returns are selected for audit in two steps. First, the computer kicks your return out based on a series of secret metrics. Second, the live agent checks that stack to determine the scope of the audit, and you can bet they will target the errors they know best. Here are the biggest areas on their radar:
1. The worst error you can possibly make is choosing a disreputable preparer. Your reputation is tarnished by his, and if he visits the IRS on your behalf, that’s even worse.
2. Failure to report income. Many people know that wages, dividends, and bank account interest are reported to the IRS. But few realize how difficult it is to hide income earned by a business until they get audited and discover that there isn’t a trick the IRS doesn’t know about. Don't do it. This is one of the areas where the penalties include jail time.
3. Failure to file, especially if it turns out that you owe money. An IRS audit is not a court of law. They are perfectly free to assume you have something to hide.
Most of other audit nightmares happen because people have gotten the wrong information from myth makers, wishful thinkers, and con artists. Only take advice from a qualified CPA or Enrolled Agent who wasn’t recommended to you with a wink.
written by Edgar R. | Favorite this Writer
Paypal for e- commerce beginners
As a web entrepreneur, the biggest headache that most startup owners face is the payment gateway. This is especially true for those who don’t have an IT or web development background. As a budding web business owner, security of payments and hack proofing your website are the biggest concerns.
The best way to ensure your money stays safe is to outsource the payment system to Paypal. Paypal.com is the world’s largest online payment gateway. They handle millions of transactions worldwide each day translating to billions of dollars. The reason they are so popular, is that they have taken measures to ensure that their system is easy enough to integrate even on an existing website.
All that the website owner has to do to receive payments online, is to create an account on paypal.com and then get the codes to paste on her website. The codes will transfer the buyer to paypal.com where he can then pay using a paypal account or by a credit card. Since paypal accepts most major credit cards from any country and in any currency, this solves most payment problems using one simple solution.
To sell goods, buyers and sellers can use the escrow service provides by paypal to ensure that payment only clears after the goods have reached their destination. This in turn minimizes the chances of fraud when doing online transactions.
Paypal is not the only web payment gateway out there, but it is indeed the most popular. Because of its ubiquitous nature on the internet, money in an account holder’s paypal account can be used to shop from thousands of legitimate shopping sites across the web. The account holder can also transfer the money to their bank account, or to a prepaid debit card to use in stores.