Daily Archives: April 20, 2009

How to Finance a Business Start-Up

Q: My son has a sure-fire business idea that’s gonna make us rich. Who do we see to get $100,000?

A: I was asked this question by a very serious forty-something father with his teen-something son in tow at a business opportunity fair not all that long ago.

I was tempted say that if I knew someone with that kind of money burning holes in his or her pockets, would I be standing there talking to them? However, my answer was the one any prospective entrepreneur will hear when asking for money: “Let’s see your business plan.”

Even if your business is to be an in-home affair and you’re the only employee, you need to be able to answer two questions before any lender or investor will write you a check:

  1. What will it cost?
  2. Who’s going to buy it?

These are the questions that a business plan answers. Step one is …read more at How to finance a business start-up – Examiner.com, published 19 April 2009.

Flickr photo credit: YTK23

By | April 20, 2009|Administration & Finance, Blog|0 Comments

Small Business SEO: How to Launch That Web Site

It’s hard when you’re small. Everything seems bigger and more intimidating. Puppies get toppled by bigger dogs, middle schoolers are stuffed in lockers and small business owners back away in fear of this whole “Internet” thing. But like the chess player who grew up to be accepted by the Homecoming Queen, you, too, can overcome! The trick is to never let your fear stop you from your plans of World domination.

Though you may be smaller, there’s no shortage of opportunities for small and medium-sized businesses to compete in search. And that statement is made even more true when you consider that nearly 40 percent of searches include local intent and that the search engines are now using local results even when a user doesn’t implicitly ask for them. If you’re a small business, that’s an opportunity.

Okay, so say you’re a small business looking for search on a dime. You have your domain, your hosting is squared away, you have a few pages of content up and you’re finally ready to attract the world (or at least your city) to your Web site. Being small means you need to be smarter. It’s about doing all the little things that will pack the big rewards. Where do you start? …read more at Small Business SEO: How to Launch That Web Site – outspoken media, published 15 April 2009.

Flickr photo credit: Artelier Teee

By | April 20, 2009|Blog, Search Engine Optimization|0 Comments

Show Me Your Price List

Pricing… you can’t be a professional photographer for very long without becoming embroiled in the subject of how to price your work (well, you could, I suppose, but you would never make any money). Then there is the question of, not only what prices to charge, but also how to make your clients aware of your price list without them either running away or thinking you are trying to pressure-sell them.

Price Lists! Get ’em Here!

In the time that I’ve been working as a professional photographer, I’ve personally tried different methods of communicating my prices to clients and potential clients, with varying degrees of success. These include the usual suspects:

  • Printed pamphlet
  • Combined price list and brochure
  • Web site page
  • By email

However, the problem I found with these methods was that sales just didn’t seem to be where I wanted them to be. I would hand out price lists to prospects who requested them, count the number of web hits to my price list page, or email my list to anyone who asked for it – yet the prospects disappeared as quickly as they came, like ghosts. Unless these people were simply professional price list collectors, it was a complete mystery to me, and it doesn’t take too much of that to think to yourself, “my prices must be too high.“

The (Second) Guessing Game

Looking at my price list, and thinking about the lack of returning prospects, I really did start to imagine that my prices were too high – so I made the terrible mistake of lowering them and trying again. Yes, you guessed it – I got just the same result. So, we get caught up in a terrible cycle of continually fiddling with the prices. Up and down like yo-yo’s they go!

Does any of this sound familiar to you? Are you stuck in that no-man’s land of trying to second-guess your prospects to discover what you think they would pay, rather than what you think they should pay?

Well, you’re not alone – just about every photographer I know has been through this painful process. But, there is an answer… read more at Show Me Your Price List – Zenologue, published 22 January 2009.

Flickr photo credit: Burnt Pixel

By | April 20, 2009|Administration & Finance, Blog|0 Comments