Don’t Put All Your Business Eggs In One Basket

putting_all_eggs_in_one_basketI’m sure you’ve heard the saying Don’t put all your eggs into one basket.

It’s been around for years and can apply to many areas of life.

So why is it then that so many people keep doing this? With their finances, with their business and with so many other things.

From a business point of view, I’ve heard too many stories of businesses that relied on:

    • one client for the majority of their income
    • one internet-based source for the majority of their online traffic
    • one marketing source for the majority of their clients
    • one popular product that brings in most of the profit.

Then when something changes and they lose that client, traffic or marketing source, their business struggles to survive, often either closing completely or coming to me for urgent assistance in how to turn things around … and quickly.

I know of several successful business owners who made 6 digits each year for several years relying on only AdWords Pay-Per-Click ads to send traffic to their sites. Then one day – about 3-4 years ago now – AdWords changed their policies and with no advance notice, the ads these customers were uses were no longer compliant with AdWords’ new policy.

Those ads were all banned and the business owners involved lost almost all of their sites’ traffic overnight.

One friend lost more than $10,000 in monthly revenue as a result of that change but thankfully he was able to quickly implement other effective marketing strategies that kept his business thriving. Others weren’t so lucky.

Another business-owner I know has relied on SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) for the majority of his business for the last 7 years. However over the last 18 months he’s lost most of that business as a result of changes and updates to the search engines.

I know it’s easy to think we have it made when things are going well. We’re getting all the business we need from one source and may take our business’ marketing a little for granted.

But when it comes to long-term business success it’s so important to ensure that you have multiple sources of income, multiple sources of traffic, multiple effective marketing strategies … always have at least one backup plan. Just in case.

As a business-owner I’m sure you’re very busy however, for the sake of your on-going business success, I encourage you to allocate 1 hour sometime over the next week to looking at this part of your business.

Think carefully … is there any area (or areas) where you are putting all your business eggs in the one basket?

If so, how can you change that?

What other back-up plans can you implement?egg_face_sad-sml

Once you’ve completed this exercise you may need to allocate some more time to implementing the strategies you’ve come up with.

However sometime down the track you may well be extremely grateful for the effort you’re going to now, to help ensure your business continues smoothly if one of these sources is no longer available.

 

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How Giving Can Help You Market Your Business

Today I’d like to encourage you to think about different ways that you can promote your business by giving.

Watch the video below for more details or continue reading below.

(Or CLICK HERE to watch this video direct in YouTube.)

Now I understand some people are not too keen on the sounds of this, but let me explain.

What I mean is to give away some of your services, goods, time or knowledge and this can be a way of marketing your business.

If you’re busy and you don’t have a lot of time or a lot of money then this may sound a little bit daunting. But, trust me … if you do it right, the benefits and the increased profits will be well worth the time and money commitment that you make.

Some different ways you can do this are:

marketing your small busines You can give a donation – whether a financial donation, some of your products or your services – to a local community group or to a charity of some sort.

Quite often when you do this you’ll be able to get some sort of a thank you or public appreciation. It might be a link and message on their website or in their newsletter. Just the word of mouth messages from that can bring you more clients … if you do it correctly.

marketing your small busines Something else that you can do is to offer your services. When I first started my business I offered to create the newsletter for a local community group.

I did this free of charge, it was a monthly newsletter. As a thank you for me creating their newsletter for them they were happy to include an ad for my business and they also allowed me to include my business’ contact details on the footer of each page of that newsletter.

That was a printed newsletter that was sent out to about 500 people every month. For me, this was well worthwhile and it brought in a lot of local business for me.

marketing your small busines Another suggestion is to give your knowledge.

A good way to do this is to offer to give a talk for local groups, if you know of any local groups that might be relevant for your area of expertise.

Libraries will often encourage community members to come in and give a talk about a specific topic that might be of interest to locals.

This is another strategy that I used well. I regularly gave presentations at my local libraries and community centres. Libraries worked extremely well for me but sometimes I’d organise them on my own, out of a local community centre.

I would give a presentation for 1.5 to 2 hours and would often get 30-50 people attending my free information session. During this time I would share everything that I could. I was quite happy to share my knowledge, for no cost.

What would usually happen was that a select number of those who attended would ask for my business card and contact me later or they’d ask if I could help them and would buy my book or pay for my services.

I would also invite those who attended to subscribe to my newsletter. Some of those people who attended the information sessions are still on my newsletter list more than a decade later and are still customers of mine today.

These sorts of things can be done for a very low cost.

Keep in mind also that when offering something for your local community – and especially for no cost – you can often get publicity from the local newspapers and community radio stations. So always send a press release to announce your events.

There are multiple benefits to this:

1. You’re meeting new people and have the opportunity to share your skills, products and services;

2. You have a greater chance of getting free publicity for your business; and

3. You’re providing a great service to your community.

So no matter how small your business marketing budget may be or how much time you don’t have, remember that there’s always way that you can give.

In doing so the results will pay off, often several times over. This can be a great help for your business … and it also feels pretty good to know you’re helping others.

 

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What You Must Know About The Images You Use Online

If you create web pages (or have these created for you) or if you have a blog or post to social media sites, chances are you often use images within this content. If you don’t, you certainly should start doing this.

But where do you get those images from?

small business resourcesSo many people will go to a search engine such as Google and find images there or will find images on other websites.

As easy as this is to do, you may be breaking the law in doing so as these images will be protected by copyright. Although the copyright owner is sharing their photos on the internet, that doesn’t mean they are happy for others to use them.

So… how can you source images that you are allowed to use?

One way is to use your own images as long as you’re happy for your images to be shared on the internet.

Another way is to source your images from online image directories.

There’s a number of different types of image directories and it’s worth knowing the difference.

1. Some image libraries charge a membership fee and then allow members to use any of the images for no cost.

2. Others offer free membership, but then charge a small fee to purchase a license to use images. This fee may vary depending on the size of the image and how you’re going to be using it.

3. Some other sites are completely free – there’s no membership fee nor no fee to use the images.

4. Others may ask that you include a link to their site or to the photographer’s site in exchange for using their images.

One other thing it’s important to check is this…

Check the site’s license terms to ensure that you’re allowed to do whatever it is you want to do with this/these photo(s).

Some will offer images for a low or no cost for personal use only or for website use. But if you want to have the image printed on t-shirts that you’ll then sell or for posters or calendars and such, then they may charge a royalty fee.

I’ve listed below some sites where you can source images for use within your business:

There are dozens more, I’ve only listed a small selection here.

Remember … make sure you read their terms of use and/or license terms to make sure they allow what you want to use these images for.

When you find a site you like, save it in your internet browser’s bookmarks so you can refer back to it regularly.

 

 

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