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Newsletter for January,
Notes, tips, etc
Finance your business
Operating a successful web-based business
NEW POSTAL RATES: As most are probably aware, the postage rates for domestic
and international will go up effective January 7, 2001:
Postcard- stays at 20 cents
1 oz domestic letter- 34 cents additional ounces- 21 cents each
1 lb priority mail- $3.50
2 lbs priority mail- $3.95
THE VERY BEST. Here is a short listing of some products that were listed
as the best of the best by smartbusinessmag.com. Take your
pick. Handy to use when evaluating a purchase:
High-end desktop computer: Gateway Select 1100 (we like Micron Millennia)
Low-cost portable computer: Compaq Presario 1400
Handheld computer: Palm Vx
Wireless phone service: Verizon Wireless
Monitor: Samsung 955DF
Flat panel display: Samsung 170Mb (we like the Eizo Flexscan)
Personal Laser Printer: Brother HL-1240
Personal Color Printer: Epson 980
Digital Camera: Kodak DC290
Accounting Software: Peachtree 8.0
E-mail client: Eudora 5.0
Web design tool: Dreamweaver 3 by Macromedia
DIRECTORY ASSISTANCE. Dont spend money finding a telephone number
using conventional telephone company directory assistance. Visit http://www.directoryassistance.com
- its great.
The Internet Marketing Center, http://www.marketingtips.com/t.cgi/7115
Marketing tips, strategies, and secrets for internet marketing, online
advertising and website promotion that will skyrocket your small, medium
or home based business profits through the roof.
Finance Your Business
by Robert Sullivan
The Small Business
Administration has a number of small business loan programs. Two of the
most popular are the MicroLoan program and the 7a guarantee
The MICROLOAN Program
provides very small loans to start-up, newly established, or growing small
business concerns. Under this program, SBA makes funds available to nonprofit
community based lenders (intermediaries) which, in turn, make loans to
eligible borrowers in amounts up to a maximum of $25,000. The average
loan size is about $10,500. Applications are submitted to the local intermediary
and all credit decisions are made on the local level.
The maximum term
allowed for a microloan is six years. However, loan terms vary according
to the size of the loan, the planned use of funds, the requirements of
the intermediary lender, and the needs of the small business borrower.
Interest rates vary, depending upon the intermediary lender and costs
to the intermediary from the U.S. Treasury.
lender has its own lending and credit requirements. However, business
owners contemplating application for a microloan should be aware that
intermediaries will generally require some type of collateral, and the
personal guarantee of the business owner.
THE 7(A) LOAN GUARANTY PROGRAM is one of SBA's primary lending programs.
It provides loans to small businesses unable to secure financing on reasonable
terms through normal lending channels. The program operates through private-sector
lenders that provide loans which are, in turn, guaranteed by the SBA --
the Agency has no funds for direct lending or grants. Most lenders are
familiar with SBA loan programs so interested applicants should contact
their local lender for further information and assistance in the SBA loan
For most SBA loans
there is no limit to the total amount of the loan that may be requested
from the lender. However, the maximum amount the SBA can guaranty is generally
$750,000. Thus, with a lender requesting the maximum SBA guaranty of 75
percent, the total loan amount available under this program generally
would be limited to $1 million. However, there are some exceptions as
presented below in the discussion of specialized loan programs.
from the cash flow of the business is a primary consideration in the SBA
loan decision process but good character, management capability, collateral,
and owner's equity contribution are also important considerations. All
owners of twenty percent (20%) or more are required to personally guarantee
For more details
on these loan programs and others, visit The Small Business Administration
(We get many, many articles about web-based business success. Here is
one of the best and most straightforward lots of valuable information
Your Own Profitable Web Business
by Jim Daniels
Yes, contrary to
what some "experts" will tell you, there is still plenty of
room for new businesses in cyberspace. Sure, 1999 brought many giant dotcoms
tumbling to the scrap heap, but running your own small business on the
web is still a great way to make a living.
A small businesses
on the web can be cheap to operate, nearly fully automated and nimble
-- a great combination for success. I've been operating a successful business,
exclusively on the web, and right from the comfort of my home, for almost
five full years now. Like I said, it's a great way to make a living, but
only if you do it right.
In this article I'll
share a step-by-step "must do" list for those of you who are
either considering starting, or have already started a business on the
Web. Every key component you'll need to integrate for long-term success
is revealed. (If you already have a web business, at least scan this piece
for items you may have missed. You really do need every single one of
these components if you want your business to grow into a source of financial
10 Key Components
to Lasting Success on the Web:
1. A unique and professional
web site with your own domain name
Your web site will
be the cornerstone of your success online. It should look different than
the "rest of the pack" and it should have a unique domain name.
I could go on and on with this one but I won't. Just surf the web a while
and decide what sites YOU would buy from. That will tell you volumes.
2. A product line
you can control
Ideally you should
sell at least one product or service that you own completely. If that's
just not possible right away, then make sure you align yourself only with
the strongest companies that you can rely on going forward.
3. A way to accept
secure payments via credit card at your web site
The best solution
is to have a merchant account of your own. But if that's too costly for
you in the beginning, a solution like ccnow.com or ibill.com will do.
Offering a FAST and SECURE way for your customers to purchase from your
web site with their Visa or MasterCard is simply a must on the web.
4. A support strategy
that keeps your prospects and clients happy
There are lots of
ways to offer support. The best is simply by offering contact forms at
your site and answering email every day. Other solutions include "live
support" interfaces such as those offered at http://www.livehelper.com
5. An opt-in email
You must always be
growing a tightly targeted list of prospects. It's the only way you can
"capture" a percentage of the folks who visit your site and
do not buy the first time. (Which is nearly all of them!) An opt-in strategy
works best when you give something of value away in exchange for a visitor's
name and email address. Then you must stay in touch with these people
on a regular basis, while providing value for them.
I use a combination
of tools to perform these tasks. I offer a free book at my site and stay
in touch with people through my email newsletter, the BizWeb eGazette.
In a nutshell, I help new marketers and many of them purchase a product
or service of mine when the need arises.
6. Sales copy that
is proven to sell
If there is one aspect
that kills web site sales it is poor sales copy. You may think your site
is fine, but tiny details in your sales copy can be costing you thousands
of dollars a month. I've sold tens of thousands of manuals, books and
software products over the past few years online, and I know for a fact
that if you follow proven, successful "cyber sales formulas"
you'll be able to sell just about anything online! Find an expert with
a proven track record and don't be shy about asking them for help.
7. An affiliate program
for your customers
OK, some may say
this is not an absolute necessity, but look around. Nearly ALL successful
e-commerce sites offer some form of affiliate program. You can pay for
visitors, leads or commission sales, but you need to offer SOME way of
rewarding folks who bring you business.
products and services"
While we're on the
subject of offering an affiliate program at your site, on the flip side
of the coin you need to join a few affiliate programs yourself! Find affiliate
programs that tie in well with what you offer, use the product or service,
and if you like it recommend it to your visitors. You'll increase your
web site income literally overnight. Over the years I've found that the
best programs are the ones that offer residual, or recurring income on
9. New products or
services on a regular basis
If you can create
a new product of your own once or twice a year, you'll stand a better
chance of growing your income continually. Also be sure to update your
existing products on a regular basis to keep content and sales fresh.
If you're not able to create your own products that often, then find a
product you could get behind and do a joint venture with the owner. Even
if the owner does not offer an affiliate program you can offer to promote
their product or service for a percentage of sales. Let them know you
have a targeted list of prospects that would love their product, especially
if they could get it at a reduced price through you!
10. A marketing strategy
that includes free promotion and paid advertising
Lets face it, in
order to make money online, you gotta get visitors to your web site. There
are tons of ways to do that on the Internet and I've tried nearly all
of them. But what works for me may not work for the next site. It all
depends upon your target market and your products and services. The thing
to understand is that you will never know what works best for you, until
you try and try different strategies.
Visit Jim Daniels
at http://www.bizweb2000.com. Jim's site is packed with free help for
anyone trying to start or grow a business online.
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