Peak SBC, LLC  



The SBC Small Business Newsletter

presented by the Peak Small Business Center



January 25, 2003

Table of Contents



Quote of the Week




Guest Article -  KILLER ADS
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Quote of the Week

Faith and doubt both are needed, not as antagonists, but working side by side to take us around the unknown curve.

- Lillian Smith



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Featured Resource


- Building Your Foundation for Success!

For those of you who are new to Internet business or have been online for awhile but are struggling, this may be the book for you. This is a comprehensive guide that is free to download.    

Staff Article

by: Cary Christian

Small businesses represent 99 percent of all employers and employ 51 percent of the private sector work force. Small businesses provide from two-thirds to three quarters of all new jobs created. Individually, you may be tiny. Together, you ARE the economy of this nation. That should give you tremendous power. Why doesn't it?

Rarely a day goes by that small business is not under attack on one front or another. Sometimes the attacks are deliberate. Sometimes it's just a function of being misunderstood. Let's look at an example of each.


It's easy to be apathetic. Too easy in our society. We are too often able to see evil in action yet just cannot seem to get motivated to take steps against it. There is an extortion plot underway to steal a nice chunk of your profits! I know your time is valuable and I assure you I have no desire to waste it, but please take a moment to read these two articles:

The absolute gall of these people! I don't know about you, but all of their efforts to end sp*m have failed miserably, and always will because spa*mers do not play by the same rules you and I do. Shut one down and he'll be back online tomorrow using another email address or, worse, he might even be relaying through YOUR domain and using YOUR email address! I know that sp*m in my own mailbox has increased exponentially and continues to do so every day.

What these organizations have accomplished, however, is to filter out lots of absolutely legitimate business email. After you read the above articles (please do!) you know the WHOLE story. It should be crystal clear. Their cause has not been to combat sp*m, but to get filters in place that will require YOU, the legitimate small business owner, to pay them to make sure your REAL business email gets through their filters.

In concept, this thing is so shady, so underhanded, and yes, so EVIL, that it makes me tremendously angry. Yes, something needs to be done about sp*m. It's getting to the point where something MUST be done. But this is not it. This is simply greedy people putting the finishing touches on their attempt to create a new market that will pad their pockets with profit. This is a job for governments, not self-serving private organizations.

There is also some indication that large businesses might see this as an opportunity to take back some of the advantages that small business have gained by virtue of the easy access the Internet offers. For years, the Internet has helped level the playing field. It would be a shame to see that advantage watered down.

Our elected leaders need to get off their butts and do something about sp*m once and for all. Then we won't have to worry about this type of underhanded garbage. Sp*m hurts all legitimate online businesses. If it's not curbed, WE will pay the price, not the sp*mmers.


Our second example comes from the fact that your government doesn't understand you or doesn't hear you (or maybe doesn't understand you BECAUSE they can't hear you!).

Have you been reading about the President's proposed tax changes to assist small business? Let's look at a couple of facts uncovered by an ABC news investigation.

1. The proposed changes are touted as providing an average of $1,083 in tax savings to 92 million Americans.

While this is true, 80 percent of all tax filers would realize less than $1,083 in savings, and 50 percent of all tax filers would realize less than $100 in savings.

2. 23 million small business owners will receive average tax savings of $2,042 under the plan.

True again, but 79 percent of small businesses would realize less than $2,042 in savings and 52 percent would realize less than $500 in savings.

What do these findings tell us?

First of all, averages rarely represent good data. You can make numbers support any position you want to take. In this case, averages sound good so averages it is!

In each of the above scenarios, tax savings realized by high income individuals skew the results. The small business numbers in item 2 include high net worth individuals who only have limited investments in small businesses. So if you assume the tax breaks primarily favor the wealthy, what else is new? They do. They almost always will because wealthy individuals pay more in tax so they save more as well.

Second, if you are among the 50 percent in item 1 that will realize less than $100 in savings and in the 52 percent of small business owners who will realize less than $500 in savings, the changes in tax law will not do very much for you.

Bottom line, these changes are designed to benefit larger small business, not small business in general.

This does not make it bad law. If it allows the top 20 percent of small businesses to expand and create jobs, then it's good for the economy and, therefore, good for you, too. More people employed means more people have money to buy your products. Increases in consumer confidence created by job growth can spur your existing customers to spend more. But shouldn't there be more in terms of a direct benefit for you?


Why would a group like the one in the first example even consider attempting to take advantage of a group as large and powerful as you are?

The answer is simple: they believe you are not paying attention! They'll sneak it by right under your nose. One day you'll wake up and find out that it's going to cost you up to a third of your profits just to operate online and you're going to wonder when and how this happened.

Why isn't Congress more in tune with your needs?

Similar reasoning. Congress doesn't know very much about your needs because it's only the larger small businesses that ever get involved enough to be heard.

Small business as a group rarely speaks with one voice. I believe it's time that changed.

If you're interested in getting involved and being heard, let me know. There's a groundswell of support building to take action to protect small businesses just like yours. We'd love to have you join us. Separately, we can do nothing. Together, we can change the world we live in! Given our numbers and impact on the economy, we make the world work for everyone else. In return, we deserve more consideration than we are given.

Think about these issues over the next week or so. Email me if you have thoughts on these issues and if you'd like to get more involved in creating a voice for small business. It's coming!

Copyright (c) 2003

Guest Article


by Bob Osgoodby

You went to all the trouble to develop a "Killer Ad Program", tested response rates and heavily advertised your product, service or opportunity, and then - nothing - no business. How come, you might ask.

The object of the ads is really not to make an immediate sale, but to get someone to do something - usually request more particulars by email, or go to a web site for further information. This is where many ad programs fall apart.

If you are trying to make sales from your web site, there must be some continuity between the ad, and the web page they see.  Once in a while an ad will get my attention, I go to their web site, and can't find the information I was looking for. Trying to fight my way through a dozen or so banner ads, that have nothing to do with their offer, I quickly give up. If you are going to have a web site to sell your opportunity, forget the banner ads - they are simply a distraction.

A smart entrepreneur will make their ad and the web page complementary to each other. If someone visits your site, they should immediately find what brought them there in the first place. They shouldn't have to search all over the place as they will quickly lose interest. Remember that people came there to get information, and not view graphics that bear no relation to what they want.

While an image of an ocean view might be attractive, unless you are selling a vacation package, forget about it. The page must load quickly, and while large images will simply slow it down, there should be some balance to make the page attractive. Many of the web pages are simply "boring". People are looking for a professional image.

Most people who buy on the web are not idiots. Just because your ad is on the web doesn't give it any magic. If your product is overpriced, you will not do a whole lot of business.

Someone recently told me that trying to run a web business was a waste of time. Investigation into what he was trying to do, quickly revealed he was selling a product for $49.95, that was available in local stores for $19.95. In this case, he was right. You should really not try to compete with a large company or a "brick and mortar" business. The pockets that contain their advertising dollars are a lot deeper than yours.

But the Internet is a fantastic opportunity for the small entrepreneur. You just don't want to try and compete with "Walmart" in the process. Some people are making money every single day however, so what is their secret? They have found a "niche" not normally available in the chains, and are capitalizing on that.

There are thousands of "niche markets" around. Take a look and see what others are doing. One good example I have found is someone who has extended his "brick and mortar" business to the Internet. Andrae, at basically runs a specialty carpet store, and decided to go online as well. His web site is complementary to his ads, and the user can quickly find what they are looking for.

Do you have to have a "brick and mortar" business like Andrae?

No, in point of fact, the majority of people in business on the web do not. In his case, it is an extension of his regular business, that happens to work well. Many people however, do not have a "brick and mortar" business, and operate solely on the web.

Do you have a hobby that could be turned into a business. I know a person who collects stamps. His hobby has turned into an active business. Another person who is an avid gardener, has started marketing her own herbal remedies. Yet another is an author who writes copy for other web based businesses.

Time and space prohibit trying to list every opportunity that one can pursue. What might be of interest to one person, may not be to another. Everyone is different with different interests and backgrounds. If you can find your proper "niche market", develop some "killer ads" and have a complementary web site, you will succeed.


Did you know that subscribers to Bob Osgoodby's Free Ezine the "Tip of the Day" get a Free Ad for their Business at his Web Site? Great Business and Computer Tips - Monday thru Friday.  Instructions on how to place your ad are in the Newsletter.
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