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The SBC Small Business Newsletter

presented by the Peak Small Business Center

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June 27, 2002

Table of Contents

 

Welcome

Quote of the Week

Administrative Stuff - YOUR INPUT PLEASE!

Quick Takes

Marketing Tip of the Week

Staff Article -  A BETTER WAY TO SELL
Parting Comments

Unsubscribe Information


Welcome

Thank you for subscribing to the Peak Small Business Center Small Business Newsletter!

For those of you who prefer the html version of this newsletter, you can find it at the following location:

http://www.peakconsultinginc.com/newsletters/sbnl_jun2702.htm

If you still prefer to receive the html version in your email inbox, let us know by emailing us at: mailto:cary@peakconsultinginc.com with "html" in the subject line.


Quote of the Week

The tragedy of life is not that it ends so soon, but that we wait so long to begin it.

- W. M. Lewis

 


Administrative Stuff

SUBSCRIBER BENEFITS

See Featured Resource.


WE STILL NEED YOUR FEEDBACK!

We still need to know if those of you who have home businesses are interested in receiving a "home business" version of our newsletter. Please let us know. A simple blank email will do, as follows:

mailto:s2home@peakconsultinginc.com  - to switch to a home business version and unsubscribe from the small business version.

mailto:both@peakconsultinginc.com  - to receive both versions of the newsletter.

PLEASE give us your feedback. It only takes a few seconds. We can only do this if there is enough interest.

 


Quick Takes

by: Cary Christian

I hope you're all having a wonderful week! Welcome to all our new subscribers!

I'm not going to write an article for this space this week. As most of you know, every once in a while I like to "wing it" and just talk about things that bother me, excite me, or maybe just answer some questions we get from subscribers that I think might be of interest to you all. Well, I'm in that mood tonight.

YET ANOTHER HUGE AUDIT FAILURE

First off, if you remember my article last week revisiting the Andersen/Enron debacle, you probably noticed the news about Worldcom. I told you this stuff ran deep! For those of you who don't know what I'm talking about, Worldcom just announced they overstated their profits over the last 18 months by more than $4 BILLION dollars. Oh yeah, and they're most likely headed for bankruptcy and are going to lay off 17,000 workers. Like we don't already have enough people out of work?

Most of you probably understand that there's more of this out there. Haven't we had enough of these shenanigans? Enron, Tyco, ImClone/Martha Stewart, Adelphia, Worldcom . . . who's next? For the sake of our economy something has to be done. If you ignored my pleas to write your Congressman before, please reconsider it now. Help keep the pressure on so that something substantive gets done while we're all in the mood. Let's clean house and get back to business!


TAXES, TAXES EVERYWHERE

I did a study a few years ago in an attempt to determine the total amount of taxes people are subjected to on an annual basis. I never did completely finalize that study, but I came up with at least 50 to 60 cents out of every dollar earned going to taxes of some sort. When you consider federal and state income taxes, employment taxes, franchise taxes, utility taxes, communications taxes, gasoline taxes, sales taxes, real estate taxes and a whole host of other fees, charges and assessments you do come up with that type of ridiculous number.

Let me ask you a question. If you sell products, do you monitor your costs? If you sell services, are you mindful of the costs of performing those services? Of course you are. I knew that. You wouldn't stand a chance of maintaining an appropriate profit margin if you weren't minding the store.

Why is it then that so many people treat taxes like they are just a necessary evil and ignore them until it's time to prepare their tax returns? You can do something about your tax burden. You SHOULD be doing something about your tax burden. That's why we created our "Small Business Tax Planning Chronicles" program that we announced tonight as our Featured Resource (see above). I hope many of you will take advantage of this offer. We're really going to be able to help you if you participate and stick with us on this program. I want to help you beef up your bottom line!


UNSCRUPULOUS PPC ENGINES

I ran across something this last week that just blew my mind. We were evaluating some guaranteed visitor programs for a review and found that some of the smaller pay-per-click engines were purchasing guaranteed visitors. This means these PPC engines are charging you for your listing and then purchasing "garbage" traffic that you end up paying for. That defeats the whole purpose of using PPC engines to get targeted traffic. This little scam means at least some of your traffic is no longer targeted at all.

The problem has the potential of getting bigger since many of the smaller engines pull their listings from the larger ones. If you bid on a larger engine but that larger engine supplies listings to a small one that purchases guaranteed hits, this will affect you even though you do not bid on the smaller engine.

I'll keep you updated on this. We're going to try to find out which engines are doing this so we can warn you. At this time we have no reason to believe Overture and FindWhat are affected at all, so if you're using them you should be safe.


OUR PROPOSED HOME BUSINESS NEWSLETTER

I know there are a lot of you out there who run home-based businesses. That's why I am offering to create a home business version of our newsletter. We can't always provide information and resources that home-based businesses need and want in this newsletter. I want to do the best job for you possible, and I believe we can better serve our home business subscribers with this offering.

You can still get both newsletters if you desire. If you run a home business, please let us know if this appeals to you by sending us a blank email as noted above in the "Admin" section. To make it easy for you I'll give you the email addresses again here:

mailto:s2home@peakconsultinginc.com - to switch to a home business version and unsubscribe from the small business version.

mailto:both@peakconsultinginc.com - to receive both versions of the newsletter.


HACKERS, VIRUSES AND SPYWARE

Sometimes I feel like a sitting duck. I caught a hacker on my home computer the other night (firewall accidentally disabled). I receive tons of virus-laden emails every single day. Every time I turn around some site is attempting to put "adware," "scumware" or "spyware" on my hard drive. It really is very dangerous out there.

Are you all using protection? Oh, come on, you know what I mean! You definitely need virus protection and a firewall on your system. You can get them free so there is no excuse not to. I know we've given you this information before, but it's gotten so bad I thought it might be a good idea to give out these URLs again. Both of these are excellent solutions that will work very well for you.

AVG Antivirus - http://www.grisoft.com/

Tiny Personal Firewall (the 2.0 version is free)-
http://www.tinysoftware.com/

If you want to check your computer and keep it free of spyware, you can get the free version of Ad-Aware (version 5.83) at:

http://www.lavasoft.nu/index.html

It works very well.

-------------

Well, that's it for tonight. Till next time, keep it on the road, in the fairway or wherever else it will keep you out of trouble!


Cary Christian
 


Marketing Tip of the Week

If you bid on keywords and phrases on any of the pay-per-click engines, you should familiarize yourself with the interrelationships among the various players. Many of the smaller engines get their results from the larger engines. As a result, you do not need to put up your cash and bid on the smaller engines. You're already there!

You can access an excellent chart that shows all the major relationships between engines on PPCBidTracker's website at:

http://www.ppcbidtracker.com/index.exe?who

 


Staff Article

A BETTER WAY TO SELL
by: Cary Christian
 

You purchase an ad in an ezine, craft a wonderfully catching headline, and exhibit marketing mastery as the body of your ad teases the reader to visit your website to check out your goods. The ad brings 1 out of 100 readers to your website where they glance over your offering. Some buy. Most don't. They leave. They're gone.

What's wrong with this picture?

This is the way most of us sell on the web. It's been done that way for years and, for the most part, it works. But there is a way you can at least double the effect of your advertising, and it doesn't take long to put this methodology into action.

What is it?

Use an autoresponder to give your reader a free report, course or other materials that will allow you to contact them more than once.

"Oh brother, here we go again," I can hear you say. But hold on and give me a moment to convince you.

Let's say you sell an investment course on your website. Prepare a free seven-day email course that somewhat parallels your investment course, but naturally, the information in the free course is designed to make the reader hungry to get to the good stuff in your main course.

If the free course is well written and provides some valuable information, the reader is going to be far more interested in your investment course when they do visit your site. This is an excellent way to presell your visitors before they ever see your website.

Another advantage to this approach is that you get more opportunities to market to the individual, seven in this case rather than one. You've heard that it takes at least seven contacts with a potential customer before they buy, well, that is why most free reports, courses, and so forth delivered by autoresponder are usually in seven parts. Of course, you can go for more if your subject matter supports it.

You can do this with literally any product you might want to sell, and you should consider doing it for EVERY product you sell.

So instead of using your ad to get the reader to visit your website, get them to sign up for your autoresponder report instead.

Another benefit of this approach is that you should get more people signing up for your free report than you would get visitors to your website. Remember that many people are reading their email online. It is simply easier for them to send an email to subscribe to your report than it is for them to pull up your website.

Yet another benefit is that you get the opportunity to emphasize different benefits of your products in each installment they receive. This gives you more opportunity to find any given reader's "hot button" than you will have in one single ad.

Don't have an autoresponder? You can get one free at GetResponse - http://www.getresponse.com/index/43791

Try this out and see how well it works. It might just change the way you advertise from now on!


Copyright (c) 2002
 


Parting Comments

We hope you have enjoyed this issue of the Peak Small Business Newsletter and found it useful.  Please visit our website at http://www.peakconsultinginc.com to check out all the resources we provide. 

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