Small Details… BIG Results

August 30, 2011

Insider Tips to Boost Your Small Business Now

Filed under: Website Domains — by smalldetailsonline @ 10:00 am

office desk(ARA) – ‘Tis the season to be productive. Summer’s over, the kids are back in school, and before you know it, the holiday shopping season will be upon us.

So, there’s no time like now to take a closer look at your small business. Are you maximizing efficiencies, or spending too much time on the small things? Are you doing the right things to grow your business? Are you putting off asking yourself the hard questions that may turn around sluggish sales?

There are more than 27 million small businesses in the country, employing about half of U.S. workers, according to the U.S. Small Business Administration. In fact, between 60 and 80 percent of all new jobs created in our country can be attributed to small businesses. For small businesses to thrive in today’s economy, they have to find ways to boost efficiency with limited funding and resources.

Rags-to-riches entrepreneur Barbara Corcoran has built a thriving business from scratch and become a leading expert and author on strategies for business profitability and growth.

“Small business owners wear many hats – from CEO to office manager – and they can’t afford to get bogged down in the time-draining details,” says Corcoran. “Now is the ideal time for small business owners to streamline their operations and start thinking about how they can best move their business forward.”

Here is some of Corcoran’s best advice for anyone looking to take a small business to the next level:

  • Make a not-to-do list: It can actually be tremendously helpful to sit down and make a long list of all the things you do that amount to nothing. Then, carefully write the not-to-do list on a piece of paper and post it on your refrigerator or desk where you’re bound to see it. It will force you to fill in your time with more productive activities that might yield a better return.
  • Make a system for everything. A system can be developed for anything – you just have to take the time to set it up once, and it will save you enormous time and boring repetition. For example, small businesses need a simple order fulfillment system.
  • Stay away from complainers: Whether you’re at home or at work, complainers rob you of your energy. Your outlook on life will improve and your energy will soar.
  • Get creative: The big guy always has the corner on money but the little guy usually has the corner on creativity. Take some time to sit down and analyze how your rivals are advertising their brand and plan something smarter. One way you can do this is through (free) social media.  If you take the time to creatively post and write with honesty and a touch of humor, you will soon build a large following of fans willing to try out your product and brag to their friends.

August 23, 2011

Hosted vs. Self-Hosted Blogging Platforms

Filed under: Social Media,Website Domains — by smalldetailsonline @ 10:00 am

Deciding on a blogging platform does require some thought. Choosing between a host and a self-hosted platform depends on your preferences and requirements. Consider the advantages and disadvantages of each. Self-hosted platforms such as wordpress.org offer great customizations, but also require a great deal of knowledge. Examples of hosted platforms include Blogger, Typepad a WordPress.com. These are perfect for those just starting out.

Self-Hosted

Advantages:

  • Full Control: build your blog just the way you want it
  • Add-ons and plug-ins: increase the abilities of the blog
  • Truly unique URL: more professional, supports branding efforts, and is easy to remember
  • Guest Blogging Options: create users and admins and give them specific permissions

Disadvantages:

  • Difficult set-up: requires experience and knowledge
  • Does not automatically update: must install updates yourself
  • Additional costs: need to buy a domain name and pay hosting fees.
Hosted
Advantages:
  • Easy set-up: can be up and running in minutes with no HTML coding
  • Features are easy to use: if you come a cross a problem tutorials or support are easy to find
  • Automatic updates: changes happen automatically
Disadvatages:
  • Limited customization and design: limited design themes are offered
  • URL is not unique: contains the name of the domain-host
  • Lack of control: you do not own your URL

August 16, 2011

The Google+ Project

Filed under: Marketing,Social Media,Website Domains — by smalldetailsonline @ 10:00 am

Have you noticed the small +1 box in your Google search results? This is just one feature of a new social networking service called Google+.  Google launched the network on June 28 with the goal to make connecting with people on the web simpler. The New York Times have declared it Google’s biggest attempt to rival Facebook.

Google+ integrates social services such as Google Profiles and Google Buzz, and introduces new services Circles, Hangouts, Sparks, and Huddles. 

  • Circles enables users to organize contacts into groups for sharing, across various Google products and services. For example, your co-workers can be in one circle while your family members on another.
  • Hangouts are places used to facilitate group video chat.
  • Sparks enables users to identify topics they might be interested in sharing with others; “featured interests” sparks are also available, based on topics others globally are finding interesting. Sparks helps to keep users posted on the latest updates on the topics of their interest.
  • Mobile applications are also available such as photo instant uploads, huddle and stream. Huddle brings together different conversations into one group chat. Stream updates members in their circles. The input box allows users to enter a status update or use icons to upload and share photo and videos.
Watch the video below for a quick look at Google+. For additional information visit http://www.google.com/intl/en/+/learnmore/.

 

August 9, 2011

12 Tips for a Successful Web Store

Filed under: Website Domains — by smalldetailsonline @ 10:11 am

 

Hosting services that integrate site-building tools and e-commerce capabilities can simplify building an e-commerce site, but you can still take some steps to make the most of the opportunity. Here are a few suggestions:

Before You Start…

1. Compare the costs. Monthly hosting fees are just the beginning. You’ll also need a merchant account if you intend to process credit cards. That often means another monthly fee, as well as a percentage “discount” on each purchase, and possibly a fixed per-transaction fee. Some hosts, like the Yahoo! Merchant plans, take a cut out of each transaction as well, and some merchant accounts withhold a reserve against charge-backs (disputed or reversed transactions).

2. Get your paperwork in order. Secure your domain name, if you haven’t already. Set up your merchant account. Even if your business has one for a retail location, you may need a different one to accept card-not-present transactions. And consider a visit to your accountant and attorney to find out if expanding your sales to new regions will have tax or legal implications.

When You Design Your Site…

3. Plan your site. Know who your customers are and develop a clear vision of how your site will meet their needs. Devise a plan: Put together some simple mockups—even on paper—and decide what pages and sections your site needs before you jump into designing pages and uploading your product catalog. Remember that different users may prefer to find products in different ways: browsing by manufacturer or brand, browsing by product category, or using a site search, for example.

4. Apply best practices to your design. Common principles of effective Web site and e-commerce design are well established at this point. Consult books and Web sites, like Jakob Neilsen’s Alertbox (www.alertbox.com), for expert advice. Surf your competitors to see what they do well—and not so well.

5. A few basic principles: Keep it simple. Don’t make your customers work hard: Other sites are just a click away. Make sure your pages are slim and fast-loading (lots of users still have dial-up connections), but don’t skimp on detailed product information that will help them make an informed purchase. Use tactics like creating thumbnail images that you can click to enlarge; this helps keep page size down but still lets customers see lots of detail if they’re interested in a particular item.

6. Include critical information. Almost every e-commerce site needs to provide contact information, payment options, shipping and return policies, and a privacy policy. If you also have retail locations, be sure to provide addresses, business hours, maps, and directions, too. Other types of content that are often useful include an About Us page describing the company and providing bios of key personnel. You can also have pages for customer testimonials, news and announcements, and order status.

7. Conduct informal usability testing. Do a quick sanity check on your design and site organization. Show it to a friend or colleague who hasn’t seen it before and is willing to give an honest opinion. Ask them if they can figure out how to find interesting products and place an order. Repeat this with a few different people and you’ll quickly flush out major shortcomings and oversights.

8. Check your site carefully before you launch. Nothing says unprofessional like broken links, spelling errors, missing graphics, and other obvious glitches. Make sure you catch them before the site goes live. And check again after you launch to make sure nothing changed when you went from preview mode to live site.

After You Launch…

9. Gain visibility. You don’t necessarily need to pay for a search-engine submission tool: It’s not hard to submit your site manually to the big players like Google and MSN Search. You can try to get a listing in directories like Yahoo!’s, but you’ll have to pay for the privilege. Driving traffic to your site can be a major challenge, so consider cross-listing your products in high-traffic marketplaces like eBay or Amazon.

10. Keep it fresh. Take advantage of seasonal opportunities, refresh content regularly, and consider running promotions and specials so that visitors get in the habit of returning to see what’s new. Don’t forget to remove dated material when sales or other special offers end.

11. Build customer relationships. It’s often much more efficient to service repeat customers than to acquire new ones. Entice visitors to sign up for e-mail notifications, offer promotions and discounts to your best customers, or find other ways to go beyond just fulfilling individual transactions.

12. Monitor your results. What sections of your site are customers visiting? How many of them buy, and how many just leave? Which products are selling well? Use whatever reporting tools your host provides to learn as much as you can. Update your site often to serve your customers better.

The following tips are from John Clyman. For additional information visit http://bit.ly/aspyvy.

 

August 2, 2011

Elements of a Great Logo

Filed under: Website Domains — by smalldetailsonline @ 10:00 am

Logo design is key in the branding of a company. A good logo can leave a positive and LASTING impression that will come to mind when a potential customer needs your particular services. Whether you are created a logo for the first time or updating your current design keep these key elements from Inc.com in mind.

  1. Unique: Your logo should stand out from the crowd. Avoid icons that are overly used such as globes and arrows. Keep in mind that you do not have to explain what your business does in your logo.
  2. Adaptable: A good logo can be used across many mediums such as a brochure and packaging material. Make sure your logo looks great in both color and black and white.
  3. Appropriate: A logo should depict your company’s values. Research your target market and determine their culture and beliefs.
  4. Timeless: Your logo should be relevant decades from now. Stay away from trends that will come and go.

Small Details provides a variety of Graphic Design services including Logo Design. See some of our examples below. For more information GET IN TOUCH… Chances are we can take care of it at an affordable price!

July 26, 2011

5 Elements of Effective Email Marketing Campaign

Filed under: Website Domains — by smalldetailsonline @ 10:00 am

By: Jean Martin

One of the key elements of an effective direct emailing campaign is a well written email. The key elements of a successful marketing campaign are:

  • A targeted email list

A targeted direct emailing list of recipients that subscribed to receive emails from you is one of the most important elements of a successful email marketing campaign. Identifying your subscribers’ interests and dividing the email marketing list according to these criteria can enhance your email campaign’s results substantially.

  • A great subject line

In an email marketing campaign the subject line is essential as it determines the reader to open the email or to delete it. A direct mailing campaign’s subject line must stimulate the recipient to read the email. Succinctness and truthfulness are the characteristics of the subject line in a successful direct mailing campaign. Testing several variations of the copy to see which one gets better results can improve the impact of the email campaigns.

On the other hand, before getting to convince the recipient to open the email, it has to get past Spam filters. The subject line in a direct mailing campaign must also pass filters. Here are some spam phrases to avoid in your email marketing campaign’s subject line: best price, act now, 100% satisfied, all new, bargain, best price, call free, click to remove, free leads, free offer, never, now, compare rates, free grant money, free installation, free leads, amazing stuff, cash bonus etc. The spam checkers can help you prevent filtering during the emailing campaign.

  • Personalize your emails

Building trust becomes easier when you personalize your emails. The probability that the recipients open emails is bigger if they address them personally. Including the recipient’s name in the subject line can improve the results of your emailing campaign if it is done appropriately. Make sure that it flows with the copy.

  • An easy readable email

Be aware that in an email marketing campaign three paragraphs are enough for your email. Each Paragraph has to be succinct and focus on a single point. Employ a writing style that is conversational and creates curiosity. Check the copy for spelling mistakes.

Keep in mind that readers usually scan a page in order to identify the important information and then decide if it is interesting for them and if they want to actually read the email. Including bullet points can make scanning easier.

Make sure you include a single link to a landing page in your email. Statistically most recipients do not click on more than one URL.

  • Contact information

Use an individual account with a person’s name. The “from” name must be identical for all your direct emailing campaigns. People are less likely to get suspicious about your intentions, if you include contact information in your email.

  • Opt-out possibility

In order not to waste the readers’ and your time and energy, it is extremely important to give the recipients the opportunity to opt-out of your direct email list by including an unsubscribe link at the bottom of the email.

Following the recommendations above will make your efforts more productive and will increase your chances of your emailing campaign’s success.
Jean Martin is the Email Marketing expert of Direct Inbox, the company that offers outstanding services in creating and sending highly targeted email campaigns.
Article Source: U Publish Articles

 

 

July 19, 2011

How to Create a Successful Advertisement

Filed under: Website Domains — by smalldetailsonline @ 9:00 am

Advertising can be expensive.  That’s why you should make sure every ad that you do will generate a return.  The simplest way to do that is to create an ad that is appealing to your target market and calls them to action.

Print Ad by Small Details.

Although you do not have to use all the following characteristics in your ad, the more you do the better chance you have of getting results.  Ultimately, focus on your purpose—general advertising, a specific sale, a new program—and pick the appropriate characteristics to include.

Use the checklist from mymarketingguide.com to review your next ad.

 

 

Good Ad Characteristics 

  1.  ____  Has a good headline that will catch people’s attention
  2. ____ Your positioning statement/brand theme is in the ad
  3. ____ There is an attractive offer (people can bring in the ad to receive your incentive)
  4. ____ Stipulations and requirements are made clear—time limits, offer availability, etc
  5. ____ There is an image or illustration that shows a target audience customer enjoying your product or service.
  6. ____ Your logo is in the ad
  7. ____ Your company contact information is in the ad—name, address, phone, web address
  8. ____ The ad is simple and clean.  There is sufficient white space.
  9. ____ Your ad is consistent with your overall marketing materials and branding.
  10. ____ The ad makes sense
  11. ____ The ad is creative
  12. ____ The ad is entertaining
  13. ____ The ad is thought provoking
  14. ____ The ad stands out from your competition

July 14, 2011

Small Details Welcomes Our New Clients

Filed under: Website Design — by smalldetailsonline @ 11:20 am

Small Details is excited to welcome our new clients. View their websites to see the products and services they offer. 

JRS NotaryAnother one-page landing page for a California Notary Public. Take a peek!

Notary Public Julie Strahl is an experienced signing agent in Riverside, San Bernardino and North San Diego Counties in California. She is knowledgeable and experienced with government (FHA & VA) document signings.

Kron Safi, Inc.Details are coming soon… In the meantime, visit the promo page for this exciting new product line!

Kron Safi’s (meaning purity and high quality) Shea Butter is Grade A 100% pure and unrefined sourced from West Africa. Their shea butter is manufactured by The Pure Company, a wholly Ghanaian-owned company set up to produce top quality, natural shea butter for export and the regional market.

Keep Judge Baynes: A website sponsored by the Friends of Judge Keith A.Baynes. Judge Keith A. Baynes was appointed by the Governor to the position of Judge of the Circuit Court forCecil County in December of 2010. Please visit to find out more!

Tri-State Wedding and Party Directory: A content-managed websiteis coming soon. In the meantime, visit this Wedding and Party Planning resource for Maryland, Delaware and Pennsylvania!

Are you looking for the perfect venue, caterer or supplier for your wedding, party, corporate event or other special event? We can help! They provide all the details necessary to make your search so much easier. If you need an event planner they have all the information from PROFESSIONALS who will take care of the leg-work and assure the success of your party or event. No matter whether you’re planning a wedding, birthday party, graduation, anniversary, corporate function or fundraising event, they’ve got just what you need.

July 6, 2011

Three Steps to PC Maintenance

Filed under: Browsers — by smalldetailsonline @ 10:00 am

What's this?? Oh, I need to protect my pc from spyware(ARA) – Have you tested your IT IQ lately? While technology is a critical part of your daily life, many people think they know more than they actually do when it comes to performing routine maintenance on high-tech devices such as computers, laptops and tablets.

Most people claim to be comfortable with performing their own maintenance on computers, but the reality is that they fail to effectively perform or even have the knowledge to perform routine maintenance, according to the Staples IT IQ Survey conducted by Zogby International. For many, computer maintenance is just too scary, confusing or not a priority, but here are a few guidelines to keep your computer up and running.

1. Back up your data – More than 60 percent of respondents backed up their computers less than once a week and a third did it once a year or never. If you’re not backing up and protecting your important files and applications, you may consider using a USB flash drive or external hard drive to back up your materials.

2. Run spyware scans and virus checks regularly – One common misconception is that people falsely presume their computers are well-protected from the viruses, spyware, and other malware that put personal information at risk and decrease performance. Eighty-three percent of the survey respondents stated they are somewhat or very confident their computer is free of malware, but that is not necessarily the case. To protect your computer, run virus checks regularly to keep your antivirus software up-to-date.

3. Remove unnecessary programs from your start-up routine – When you turn on your computer, does it take awhile before you can actually do anything? That’s because you have a number of programs that are automatically loaded every time you start up. This slows your computer’s response time and takes up a lot of memory. Fewer than 10 percent of respondents knew the best fix for a slow computer is to stop programs from running during the computer’s start-up.

June 28, 2011

QR Codes

Filed under: Branding,Business Tools,Marketing — by smalldetailsonline @ 10:00 am
qrcode

QR Code

A QR Code is a 2-D code that is readable by dedicated QR barcode readers and camera telephones. The code consists of black modules arranged in a square pattern on a white background. The information encoded may be text, URL, or other data.

QR Codes have been used in Japan since 1994, but we are just recently seeing them used in the US today. You may find them in a magazine advertisement, in a store window or in a product label. They are a fast, easy and FREE way to supply your customer with additional information. The uses for a QR Code are endless. Consider the uses below and how they may fit into your business. 

  • The back (or front and back) of your business card.
  • Your brochures and other marketing materials.
  • The sides of trucks and trailers.
  • Product tags and packaging
  • Restaurant menus
  • Event ticket stubs
  • Point-of-sale receipts
Think QR Codes would be a good fit for your business? See this list of 13 Creative Ways to Use QR Codes from Fast Company. Thinking about incorporating QR Codes into your marketing efforts? Scan the QR Code above to contact Small Details today or visit http://www.small-details.com/contact.htm.
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