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Small Business Barriers

According to "All Business" - A D&B COMPANY, One of the many fatal errors to avoid is "Failure to change with the times." "The only constant in business is change." "The ability to recognize opportunities and be flexible enough to adapt to changing times is a key ingredient to surviving and even prospering in the toughest business climate. Therefore, learn how to wear multiple hats and to generate new interests and areas of expertise."

The current barriers for people creating SMB's are many, with this the bottom line is, nobody can do all of it alone. To succeed in business, you need help, and lots of it. You need customers who will spread the good word. You need vendors to help with all the operational aspects of your business. You need employees to do the actual work of your business. You need competitors to prove to the marketplace that your product or service is valuable.

Advertising / Marketing

"No matter how good your product and your service, the venture cannot succeed without effective marketing." per SCORE "Web 2.0 Marketing For Small Business January 27, 2011 written by Peg Corwin for SCORE

Business Success Tips

"Keeping in touch with customers and contacts is vital to the success of a business under any circumstances." January 29, 2011 Resources for Entrepreneurs written by Steve Adams for Gaebler Ventures

About Direct Mail

American Demographics reported that nearly three out of every four adults regularly read their direct mail, and 59 percent of those surveyed had opened their direct mail within the last week.

Direct mail spending will grow 5.8% to $47.8 billion this year, driven by acquisition mail increases, according to a forecast released in January by the Winterberry Group, a marketing consultancy. Mail also remains the largest channel in terms of direct marketing spending.

A report commissioned by Pitney Bowes, Inc., Mailing Systems Division, "The Role of Mail in E-commerce Study," analyzed the relationship between direct mail and the Internet. It concluded that direct mail was considered the most effective tool for getting customers to go to a Web site and place an order, and it was nearly as powerful as Internet advertising in encouraging Web site visits, or "hits." Mail could help develop awareness, sales, and customer relationships, which, combined with the reach of the Internet, could create a powerful sales medium.

Our industry has not seen that level of increase in mail for five or six years, according to Winterberry managing director Bruce Biegel. He said that growth, driven in part by a return to economic confidence, will be seen in both letter and catalog mail. Other prognosticators paint a similar picture. Mintel Comperemedia said the upsurge in financial services mailings witnessed in late 2010 will continue this year.

I'd also argue the mystique of the so-called "mail moment" has been tough to replicate in any other marketing channel to date. The US Postal Service conducted a study five years ago to define that moment as the daily ritual during which the consumer, typically the head of household, brings the mail in to sort through and read. The study revealed 98% of consumers retrieve mail from the mailbox the day it's delivered, and 77% sort through it immediately. Marketers may not have more than a few seconds to captivate consumers, but they do get their attention. If the USPS were to re-do the study, I can't imagine those statistics would change much.
The simple fact is direct mail works so well that most marketing executives are more interested in doing it, under the radar with little fanfare than talking about it. It is a time-tested tactic that gets the job done. Don't be fooled into this line of thinking. The flexibility and versatility of direct mail as part of the overall marketing strategy is unmatched. From the February 01, 2011 Issue of Direct Marketing News

"Although people favor email, the best message for the DM industry in this year's Marketing-GAP research is that, as in 2008, 86 per cent of consumers opened mail packs - although in both years, 37 per cent of them only opened ones from a company with which they already had a relationship," said David Cole, MD of fast.MAP.

"Marketers underestimated people's willingness to received mailed promotions." (by The 2009 Marketing-GAP Tracking Study conducted by online market research company fast.MAP and the Direct Marketing Association (DMA)

The study also indicates that consumers are more receptive than ever before to the direct marketing of products and services which interest them or come from trusted brands. 95 per cent of consumers "are happy to receive" information from their favored supermarkets and stores through one or more marketing channels and 73 per cent are happy to receive information on local restaurants.

Lloyd James' survey is particularly significant in light of recent findings about the success of traditional direct marketing in driving people to commercial websites.

A recent study by Pitney Bowes found that 60% of consumers were most likely to visit a company website with a first-time purchase in mind if a piece of direct mail, or an insert, or a direct response advertisement pointed them to it.

"A well-targeted insert has the potential to really motivate a consumer and help the advertiser to build a strong relationship from a good starting point. Stevens went on to say it was particularly interesting to see that younger people responded well to inserts. "Contrary to the belief that only older, web-shy consumers are interested in direct mail, we have found that traditional mail shots can drive consumers of all ages to the web" she added.

The research also shows its ability to improve performance of other marketing activities - with digital campaigns seeing a 62 per cent increase in return on investment when combined with direct mail."Mail has shown consistent growth in campaign effectiveness" "reflecting vast improvements in targeting techniques and the ability of technology to increase the ease and level of response rates." (Industry Research from UTalkMarketing.com)

Although the recession and a shift to online marketing channels made direct mail seem expensive and outdated, it hasn't gone away—for one simple reason: "What people are discovering is that traditional media, including direct mail, still work. That includes the big direct mail piece," according to Rieck.

Websites

"Although people favor email, the best message for the DM industry in this year's Marketing-GAP research is that, as in 2008, 86 per cent of consumers opened mail packs." said David Cole, MD of fast.MAP.

A recent study by Pitney Bowes found that 60% of consumers were most likely to visit a company website with a first-time purchase in mind if a piece of direct mail, or an insert, or a direct response advertisement pointed them to it.

The impact of offline communications outweighed that of digital media, as only 24% of consumers stated that an email, sponsored weblink or other type of online ad would get them to go to a company website. "A well-targeted insert has the potential to really motivate a consumer and help the advertiser to build a strong relationship from a good starting point.

Stevens went on to say it was particularly interesting to see that younger people responded well to inserts.
"Contrary to the belief that only older, web-shy consumers are interested in direct mail, we have found that traditional mail shots can drive consumers of all ages to the web" she added.
The research also shows its ability to improve performance of other marketing activities - with digital campaigns seeing a 62 per cent increase in return on investment when combined with direct mail.
"Mail has shown consistent growth in campaign effectiveness" "reflecting vast improvements in targeting techniques and the ability of technology to increase the ease and level of response rates." (Industry Research from UTalkMarketing.com)

Simply put, if you have a business today, you need a website. Period. In the U.S. alone, the number of internet users (about 70 percent of the population) and e-commerce sales (about 70 billion in 2004, according to the Census Bureau) continue to rise and are expected to increase with each passing year. In 2004, the U.S. led the world in internet usage. At the very least, every business should have a professional looking and well-designed website that enables users to easily find out about their business and how to avail themselves of their products and services. Later, additional ways to generate revenue on the website can be added; i.e., selling ad space, drop-shipping products, or recommending affiliate products.

Remember, if you don't have a website, you'll most likely be losing business to those that do. And make sure that website makes your business look good, not bad -- you want to increase revenues, not decrease them. When it comes to the success of any new business, you -- the business owner -- are ultimately the "secret" to your success. For many successful business owners, failure was never an option. Armed with drive, determination, and a positive mindset, these individuals view any setback as only an opportunity to learn and grow. Most self-made millionaires possess average intelligence. What sets them apart is their openness to new knowledge and their willingness to learn whatever it takes to succeed.
(Patricia Schaefer w/ Business Know How)

An overwhelming majority of searchers (92%) say they are happy with the results they get when using search engines, despite the fact that 39% report frequently not being able to locate a particular known business. Webvisible said this means that while searchers don't always find the specific business (no online advertising/no website, etc.), they may choose to contact a similar business with a stronger online presence.

Though 63% of consumers and small business owners turn to the internet first for information about local companies and 82% use search engines to do so, only 44% of small businesses have a website and half spend less than 10% of their marketing budget online, according to research from Webvisible and Nielsen.
The research, which was undertaken to learn how internet users find local businesses from which to purchase products or services, finds an accelerating trend toward online media for local search. At the same time, it uncovers a significant disconnect between the way small business owners act as consumers vs. the way they market their businesses online. Webvisible calls this disparity "the great divide."

Despite the growing use of online media for local searches, small businesses owners - when compared with the general population - are slightly behind the curve in terms of online media usage. Some 41% report turning to online search engines first, and 31% turn to Yellow pages directories first. Moreover, small businesses are also behind the curve in terms of their web presence. Only 44% of small businesses have a website. This disparity, according to Webvisible, clearly illustrates the reasons why consumers have difficulty finding small business information. Many consumers report that they have struggled to recall the name of a business in their area or wish to quickly check the website for store hours, directions or a phone number, Webvisible said. However, when using a search engine to find a business they know exists, only 19% of survey respondents report never or rarely encountering trouble locating that business online and 39% say they routinely have difficulty.

The computer industry is rapidly changing and encompasses a wide range of products and services. Operating a business is not easy, but building an effective web site can make a huge difference in responsiveness and customer satisfaction.

According to Ad-ology's survey, the top places where small businesses will put their marketing dollars in 2011 are e-mail marketing (72.7 percent in 2011 vs. 56.6 percent in 2010) and company website development (70.5 percent in 2011 vs. 57.7 percent in 2010).

E-Mail Marketing

The impact of offline communications outweighed that of digital media, as only 24% of consumers stated that an email, sponsored weblink or other type of online ad would get them to go to a company website.

The impact of offline communications outweighed that of digital media, as only 24% of consumers stated that an email, sponsored weblink or other type of online ad would get them to go to a company website.

According to Ad-ology's survey, the top places where small businesses will put their marketing dollars in 2011 are e-mail marketing (72.7 percent in 2011 vs. 56.6 percent in 2010) and company website development (70.5 percent in 2011 vs. 57.7 percent in 2010).

E-Commerce

An overwhelming majority of searchers (92%) say they are happy with the results they get when using search engines, despite the fact that 39% report frequently not being able to locate a particular known business. Webvisible said this means that while searchers don't always find the specific business (no online advertising/no website, etc.), they may choose to contact a similar business with a stronger online presence.

Though 63% of consumers and small business owners turn to the internet first for information about local companies and 82% use search engines to do so, only 44% of small businesses have a website and half spend less than 10% of their marketing budget online, according to research from Webvisible and Nielsen.
The research, which was undertaken to learn how internet users find local businesses from which to purchase products or services, finds an accelerating trend toward online media for local search. At the same time, it uncovers a significant disconnect between the way small business owners act as consumers vs. the way they market their businesses online. Webvisible calls this disparity "the great divide."

Mobile Marketing

Over 250 million Americans carry mobile phones -- over 80% of the nation's population, and that is just in America.

By 2012, an estimated 10 trillion text messages will be sent and delivered globally.

Four out of five teens carry a wireless device, and the majority (57%) view their cell phone as the key to their social life.

Customer time spent on mobile devices is rising faster than the time spent on any other form of media!

Text messaging alone gets seven to fifteen times the response rate of an email and has an astounding 97% open rate. The speed in which a text message is opened/read is also usually much faster than an email occurring withing the first few minutes as opposed to an email which might take days to be read, if opened at all.

Text messaging also has a proven ROI of over 20% and has the power to double a local business. There is no other form of media that even comes close to this!

At the end of the day, this IS the future and there's no way of getting around it. If local businesses don't start now, they are going to FALL behind their competition in no time.

Contact

Phone Numbers

(713) 240-4651 or (832) 613-2452
info@mygrowthconsultants.com

Pasadena, Texas 77501

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