REAL Internet Marketing Advice from REAL People


Sunday, June 28, 2009

Free Internet Marketing Tip 130

How Twitter is Teaching
Business the Lost Art of Conversation

By Kalena Jordan (c) 2009

So it's happened. Twitter has gone mainstream. As Twitter users, we knew instantly when Mumbai came under terrorist attack. We laughed at the photo of Stephen Fry stuck in an elevator when he tweeted his predicament, we were there when Ashton Kutcher beat CNN to 1 million followers, we caught the first glimpse of passengers being evacuated from the ditched plane on the Hudson River and we all suffered the lag time when Oprah Winfrey sent her first ever tweet on live TV.

Industry pundits and bitter journalists regularly diss Twitter as a time-wasting, "look at me" fad, destined for Forgottensville in 2 years. In fact New York Times reporter Maureen Dowd is quoted as saying to Twitter founders Evan Williams and Biz Stone:

"I would rather be tied up to stakes in the Kalahari Desert, have honey poured over me and red ants eat out my eyes than open a Twitter account."

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So is Twitter really just an emergency beacon and "a toy for bored celebrities and high-school girls" as Dowd gleefully claims?

Thankfully, no. The latest wave of Twitter users are business executives. They range from home busíness owners, SME's, middle and upper management, marketing executives, brand evangelists and CEOs. Take a look at ExecuTweets and you'll see some well-known names with very active Twitter accounts: Richard Branson of Virgin, Lisa Stone Co-founder of BlogHer, Tony Hsieh CEO of Zappos and Steve Case Co-founder of AOL, to name a few.

It's not just individuals either. Some of the world's most recognized brands are Twittering. I found a number of super brands on Twitter and asked my followers which of these they were following:

• Amazon 19%
• BestBuy 2%
• Dell 7%
• DunkinDonuts 2%
• Etsy 4%
• Motorola 0%
• Overstock 5%
• Starbucks 12%
• Threadless 16%
• UrbanOutfitters 2%
• WholeFoods 14%
• Zappos 18%

Other major brands with Twitter accounts include:

• JetBlue
• ComCast
• Vodafone
• TheHomeDepot
• H&R Block
• Qantas
• Virgin
• Forrester Research
• Ford
• Samsung
• Kodak

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Twitter as a Business Tool

So why would companies be interested in Twitter? Because they know that conversation is a powerful, persuasive business tool and right now, Twitter is where the conversation is happening.

Here are some recent stats about the micro-blogging site from Nielsen:

- Twitter is the fastest growing community site on web
- Twitter experienced 1,382% growth in the 12 months to Feb 09
- The largest user group on Twitter is 35-49 year olds

As the Internet morphs from Web 2.0 to Web 3.0, conversation has quietly ousted content and taken the throne as King. The Web has always enabled businesses to reach new markets. But Twitter allows them to engage directly with customers and potential customers in real time in front of an impressionable public. The opportuníty this provides is unparalleled. As an effective advertising tool, the dusty old Yellow Pages seems positively prehistoric in comparison.

So just how are companies using Twitter as a business tool? To find out, I set up a poll and tweeted the question: "If you represent a business using Twitter, what is your/their *main* reason for doing so?"

The results were quite interesting:

• Branding 7%
• Driving traffic 23%
• Reputation management 7%
• SEO 0%
• Internal communications 0%
• News / product announcements 11%
• Service status updates 2%
• Customer interaction 37%
• Fun 5%
• Other 9%

A couple of things stood out for me here. Firstly, the majority of companies who took this poll are using Twitter primarily to interact with their customers and drive traffic. That's understandable. But very few are using it for reputation management and none of them are yet using it for Search Engine Optimization (SEO) reasons. It was also interesting to see that a few businesses are using Twitter purely for fun.

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Asked why he thinks Twitter is a good fit for business, Overstock's Social Media Manager Josh Austin says:

"Twitter allows for a personal, real-life brand presence, while fostering better communication, engagement and attention to our customers."

Customer Interaction on Twitter

So just how do customers interact with businesses on Twitter? I wanted to find out, so I launched another poll:

POLL QUESTION: Have you ever communicated directly with a company using Twitter? What was your main reason for doing so?

• Yes to resolve an issue 25%
• Yes to give positive feedback 18%
• Yes to give negative feedback 6%
• Yes for another reason 16%
• No 35%

It was encouraging to see that 65% of poll respondents have conversed with a company using Twitter. When you consider that nearly half of those people had an issue to resolve with the company they communicated with, the potential for customer loss and retention is lit up like the proverbial Christmas tree. Then there's the number of respondents giving companies direct feedback via tweets. That's enough to get any PR Department salivating!

Meg Geddes, a Search Marketing expert and power Twitter user related her recent positive experience with a business on the micro-blogging site:

"At the end of December, there was a special one-day only promotion through Intuit and Staples (an office supply) for buying Quickbooks Pro where you'd get a full rebate. I ordered it and filled in my rebate paperwork but it was illegible and had to be refaxed. The date on the revised paperwork sent by Intuit didn't match my order date (and I didn't notice) so my rebate was denied. I was bitching about it on Twitter and within half an hour, someone from Intuit sent me a tweet asking if she could help. I laid it all out for her, and she got it approved; I got my rebate very shortly after that. I was very happy, as I had been expecting to have to sit on the phone for hours with Intuit and/or Staples."

Read the rest of Kalena's article "How Twitter is Teaching Business
the Lost Art of Conversation
" at

About The Author
Article by Kalena Jordan who writes a daily Search Engine Advice Column, and is Co-Founder of Search Engine College - an online training institution offering online instructor-led and self-study courses in Search Engine Optimization and other Search Engine Marketing subjects. Follow Kalena on Twitter.

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Free Internet Marketing Tip 129

6 People Who Sold Their Sites and Their Stories

by Quiet Light Brokerage

In the past we have shared stories of individuals who successfully sold their profitable websites – and we have had plenty of stories to choose from. Over the past couple of years, we have assisted over 60 individuals who have successfully sold their sites for far more money than they will make in a single year.

Many people that we talk to are skeptical that there are buyers for their websites given the current marketplace. But the fact is that buyers are still actively looking for websites – sites like yours – that they can acquire. Below are the stories of 6 people who we have recently helped.

1. A Dropshipping Site Sells Wigs – Asking Price $420,000 - SOLD

This was a wonderfully run website that we were happy to list. We assisted the owner in putting together all of the preparatory materials, finding a buyer, and negotiating a price that was very competitive in the current marketplace.

Want to know how much your website is worth? Find Out Free Now.

2. Cell Phone Informational Site – Asking Price $65,000 - SOLD

Many of us have websites that we have largely ignored or forgotten about. That was the case with this website. It had earned the owner a nice side income for years, but the time came that he needed some extra cash. We listed his site and were able to negotiate a quick and painless offer for a price that was far more than he would make in the next 24 months.

3. Elderly Accessibility Products – Asking Price: $1,500,000 - SOLD

The owner of this business is looking at retiring in a few years. We were able to provide him with a nice boost to his retirement savings after finding a buyer who wrote him a check for seven figures.

What Would Your Website Sell for? Get a Consultation Today

4. Cloth Diaper Sites – Multiple Sites - SOLD

We have seen multiple cloth diaper websites come through our service, and we have been happy to help them. If your site is profitable and has a year’s worth of history, chances are very good that we can sell it, regardless of the size.

5. Informational Organization Site – Asking $225,000 - SOLD

No two sites are the same – some sites are e-commerce with inventory, others are dropship, others are affiliate sites, and some are just informational that receive money through advertising. This site was full of great organizational information. We found a buyer that was a perfect fit and was able to move quickly for a sale.

6. Online Fabric Shop – Asking $45,000 - SOLD

This business resembled a traditional business in that they carried inventory, manually fulfilled orders, and actually spoke with their customers. Whether your website is heavily tech-centered or a more traditional business, there are buyers who are looking for your site.

Find Out What Your Site is Worth Now

7. Dozens of Others - Sold for as little as $10,000 and as high as $2mm!

We could go on and on about all the different types of websites that buyers are looking for, but the fact remains thatyour website is valuable - possibly more valuable than you ever imagined!

Ask yourself this: would you sell your website if you knew that you would earn in 1 month more than you could make over the next 2 or 3 years? Do you have any websites that you own that you simply do not pay attention to anymore? What would you do if you sold your site like the people above?? Would you pay off debt? Start a new project? Take a vacation?

Whatever you do with what you make from your website is completely up to you.

So, How Much is Your Website Worth?

Quiet Light Brokerage, a business brokerage firm that focuses solely on selling websites, is offering valuations to Web Pro News newsletter subscribers. You do not have to sell your website - what you do with the information is your decision, and the process is completely pain free. All you need to do is fill out a quick form and one of our professional business brokers will contact you with a valuation of your website. Its that easy!

Whether you are making $100,000/month with your website or $500/month with your website, there is a very good chance that your website is extremely valuable.

Get Your FREE and Painless Valuation Today

Quiet Light Brokerage was created to address and fullfill a niche of Internet Business Owners looking to sell their website from $10k-$5mm, but had nowhere to turn to. By recognizing this growing trend, QLB provides a multitude of services both for buyers and sellers.

© 2009 WebProNews. An email newsletter.

Free Internet Marketing Tip 128

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Free Internet Marketing Tip 127

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Free Internet Marketing Tip 126

When conducting research on rival sites or your own sites, efficiency is the key. With eXpress PageRank Revealer, you can cut time drastically when researching one of the most important pieces of information regarding a website, Page Rank.

With Page Rank Revealer, all you need to do is input the URL and it instantly returns page rank. No need to download a browser add-on, or search around for a tool online.

Keep on Promoting

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Free Internet Marketing Tip 125

Domain name lapsed and now in a state of redemption
By: Milo

One of my domain names renewal lapsed. I contacted my host to renew the domain and this was their responce

"The domain name expired more than 30 days ago, so has been deleted from the .com registry and is now in a state of redemption.

We can recover the domain name from the .com registry for you, however we are charged a fee (that will be passed on) in order to recover the name. The cost is $220AUD (inclusive of GST) to recover/renew the domain for 1 year."

Has anyone ever heard of this or had this happen? I find it a little hard to swallow, when the actual price for a new domain name registration is only $19.95.

I have no qualms about my host and don't really care if I lose the domain name as its just a very small side project, but just wanted clarification.

» Reply to post...

Free Internet Marketing Tip 124

The More Things Change...

Google is traditionally the main area of focus when it comes to search engine optimization. With the search engine giant so far ahead of the game in terms of search market share, it's not hard to understand why.

Search is changing though, and there are always new elements coming into play. Since social media has come into its own, more opportunities and questions have come along with it. Now Microsoft is going for Google's throat with a new search engine and an aggressive marketing campaign. What this means for the future of search market share is yet to be determined, but there's no denying Bing is capturing some attention, and that means there are people searching with it. Altered your SEO strategy for Bing? Tell us why.

SEO for Bing

Microsoft's stance on search engine optimization really doesn't appear to be all that different from Google's. You're not going to get the same results on both Google and Bing in many cases, but that is after all why the two can co-exist. The real difference is in how the results are presented, and not as much in how the two determine quality and relevancy.

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Bing and Google have separate algorithms, but both like quality, relevant links and good content, as opposed to deception and spam. Bing in fact, hasn't really changed much (from Live Search) in terms of crawling.

"There have been no major changes to the MSNBot crawler during the upgrade to Bing," Microsoft says in a Bing white paper for webmasters (pdf). "However, the Bing team is continuously refining and improving our crawling and indexing abilities. Note that the bot name hasn't changed. It will still show up in the web server access logs as MSNBog."

Sidenote: Webmasters will want to acknowledge that Microsoft has increased the size limit of sitemaps from 10,000 URLs to 50,000. Google is also now supporting up to 50,000 "child sitemaps" of sitemaps index files.

Like I was saying, the biggest difference between the two search engines is in the presentation. Bing of course separates (some) results into categories. This has worried some search marketers, but Microsoft says good SEO will work just as well with this set up. Bing also has the explore pane (navigational menu on the left-hand side of search results), which corresponds with the categories in the SERPs. In some ways, this is similar to Google's recent addition of "search options."

Google Search Options

I discussed what Google's search options would mean for SEO here. Basically, I just broke it down section by section, and you could do the same thing with Bing I think. Look at the keyword phrases you want to rank for, and see how Bing breaks it up. Let's say "cell phones" for example. Bing gives you categories like shopping, brands, buying guide, providers, accessories, images, videos, and local.

Cell Phone results on Bing

This tells me that you want to play up the appropriate categories on your site, so that it shows up in the relevant categories on Bing. If you sell accessories, place emphasize that, and you'll probably have a better shot ending up in that category. With Bing, it's not about getting to the top of the SERP. It's about getting to the top of the right part of the SERP. I'll let you in on a little secret. Having quality and relevant (to that part of the SERP) content is the best thing you can do. Incidentally, this will probably help your cause in Google (and other search engines) at the same time.

"Ultimately, SEO is still SEO. Bing doesn't change that. Bing's new user interface design simply adds new opportunities to searchers to find what the information they want more quickly and easily, and that benefits webmasters who have taken the time to work on the quality of their content and website design," says Microsoft.

Curious About What Bing Looks for in Links?

Rick DeJarnette of Bing Webmaster Center recently posted a pair of blog posts looking at what makes some links good and some bad. You may find some of these things familiar:

- "If you don't feel you can endorse the quality of the content at another site, you shouldn't be linking to them."

- Don't seek links from sites whose content isn't worthy of your endorsement.

- Links to and from your site should be relevant to your site (or at least the page you're linking from/to)

- Focus on quality, not quantity. Few highly relevant links are better than a bunch of crap links

- Avoid "bad neighborhoods" like dedicated domains or IP ranges that do nothing but set up meaningless link exchanges.

- Avoid hidden text

What changes have you made to your SEO practices as a result of Bing's release? Twitter? Facebook? Tell us what tweaks you've made.

About the Author:
Chris Crum has been a part of the WebProNews team and the iEntry Network of B2B Publications since 2003.

Free Internet Marketing Tip 123

Former senior VP of Microsoft has figured out a way to combine Facebook with the Direct Sales industry.

Take a quick look:

1. Go to (watch 13 minute video)

2. Go to (facebook story)

3. If YOU are excited and want to be part of this opportunity email Bill at:

with your name, email address and phone number.

To Your Success,

Bill Sullivan

Free Internet Marketing Tip 122

Want expert tips and advice about video marketing?

I recently interviewed Lon Naylor, a video marketing expert, and he shared a ton of great secrets to maximizing results using videos. You can listen to the interview right now, for no cost.

Even better, you can ask Lon YOUR questions after listening and get his personal answers! How often have you been able to do THAT?

No strings, no catches, no offers.

Click here to listen now:

(you'll see the link to the audio right in the middle of the page--just click it and you can register for Marketing Mastermind, listen to the audio, and ask Lon your questions in the forum...and yes, it's all free).

It's a great interview--you should listen to it now.

Free Internet Marketing Tip 121

What Makes a
Website Design a Good One?

By Laura MacPherson (c) 2009

A lot of people can recognize good design when they see it on the web. But most people don't really know what makes that design good.

How do you define "good design?" Is it subjective, like your favorite flavor of ice cream? Although there is some subjectivity within good design, there are artistic principles that good design is built from. Here are a few that form the foundation of good design.

1. Proximity

Because items that are in close proximity to one another become one visual unit, items that are related to one another should be grouped together. Laying out related items on a website page this way helps the eye associate the information and enables the viewer to mentally categorize the information easily. The flip side of this principle is that items that are not related should not be placed in close proximity to one another.

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The purpose of the principle of proximity is to organize information in a way that enables viewers to quickly and easily comprehend. When information is organized, people are more likely to read it and respond. People are also more likely to remember information that is organized.

How can you determine if items form a visual unit? Squint your eyes and look at the page on a website. Now count the number of times your eye stops as it views the page. On a page that is using the principle of proximity well, your eye will stop three to five times. In other words, there will be three to five groups of information for the eye to comprehend separately.

2. Alignment

You've seen website page layouts where the text and graphics are placed wherever there happens to be space. The effect is messy, with no impact. Nothing should be placed on a page arbitrarily. There should be a visual connection between each item on the page. When items are aligned, it creates a cohesiveness that the eye appreciates.

The purpose of alignment is to unify the website page. Imagine a well-organized kitchen. All the pots and pans are stored in the organizer, the fruit is nicely displayed in a basket on the counter, the spices are all on the rack - everything is in its place. A page layout needs the same thing.

Look at a website page that you feel is good design. Now focus on the main visual element. Where does your eye go from there? Do you see how other elements are aligned with that one main element both vertically and horizontally?

3. Repetition

Good design repeats some aspect of the website design throughout the site. It's this repetition that makes all the pages in a site look like they belong together. Color scheme, graphic elements, typefaces - all of these elements should be repeated - used consistently - throughout.

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The purpose of repetition is to create consistency and to add visual interest. Repetition creates a professional, polished look that the eye is drawn to. When a website design uses repetition and is consistent, it is more likely to be viewed and read.

Here are some ways you can create repetition beyond simple consistency in typefaces and colors: Use some element in your logo as a major graphic element in the design. If you are using a ruled line, make the line more interesting visually by perhaps making it with tiny dots or dashes, then repeating the line element throughout the design. Create patterns that are repeated throughout the design. Take a small element and place it somewhere on each page for a whimsical look. Just be careful not to overdo the repetition, or viewers will be annoyed rather than pleased.

4. Contrast

The principle of contrast states that if two items are not the same, then they should be different - very different. Contrast creates an organizational hierarchy of the information and graphics on a webpage. When using contrast, you can't be a wimp! The contrast must be strong to be effective.

The purpose of contrast is two-fold: to create interest on the page, and to organize information. A page that is interesting to look at is more likely to be read. And contrasting elements will help a reader understand the way the information is organized.

Contrast can be created in many ways. You can contrast large type with small type, a serif font with a sans-serif font, bold with light, smooth texture with rough texture, a small graphic with a large one, a dark color with a light one.

A design that integrates these principles will automatically gain a professionalism and polish that it would otherwise lack. Next time you stumble across a website design that makes you say "wow", check for these principles - you'll find them quietly working to make that design a good one!

About The Author
Laura MacPherson - Creative director at Northstar Creative, a website design studio located in Greenville, SC. Her company, Northstar Creative Web Design, approaches website development differently than many web companies. Northstar Creative combines the use of marketing psychology with top-notch web development to create truly exceptional custom sites for its clients.

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Free Internet Marketing Tip 120

Stronger, Faster, Better in June 2009!
by Patrick Oborn, VP of Marketing

As we get ready for summer heat, the team here at Commission River has been very busy building tools and adding products that give you the edge in internet marketing. Below I have put together a list of highlights from June combined with a sneak preview of July. Thanks in advance for taking the time to read our newsletter and for being such an important part of our affiliate community.

Say Hello to QT Talk!
We're thrilled to offer one of the most competitive VoIP programs anywhere, with QT Talk's residential and business service. QT Talk owns and controls its own network which lets them offer international rates that are truly amazing. And QT Talk's high quality solutions come with innovative features unmatched by any other provider. Three products in particular stand out at QT Talk:
  • QT Talk's residential program is extremely competitive, with unlimited phone plans to meet the local, long distance and international calling needs of customers.
  • QT Talk offers powerful business solutions that can address the needs of small businesses to large enterprises, including Hosted PBX, a flexible, scalable call management solution with spectacular quality and more diverse features than any other PBX in the market.
  • QT Talk's Dial Around "Go Talk" program lets callers dial anywhere in the world with a simple local access number. With its convenience and competitive pricing, QT Talk has single-handedly made calling cards obsolete.
The combination of quality, price and reliability you get with QT Talk is second to none. You'll also like QT Talk's commissions which are among the most lucrative in the industry

QT Talk URL:

BayHill to acquire Oil and Gas Properties
BayHill Capital (OTC:BB BHYL), parent corporation of Commission River, today announced the execution of letters of intent (LOIs) to acquire oil and gas interests from five separate parties as part of its adoption of a strategic plan to enter into the business of oil and gas production, development, exploration, and the accumulation of oil and gas reserves.

We are very excited that our parent company will be able to leverage their public entity to grow their new business, raise new funds, and bring in new shareholders. This announcement will not affect the day-to-day operations of Commission River, nor will any managerial changes be made. In fact, this new development will allow Commission River to grow without having to be the sole source of funding for the public entity. For more information about the announcement, check out BayHill's new corporate web site:

Follow Commission River on Twitter
Want to know what we're up to? Follow our daily progress on projects that affect your business on twitter. Our "ID" is:

"What is the difference between Twitter and River Alert" you ask? The Alert system tells you about new pricing and promos, projects, and news AFTER the fact. Twitter will give you a "fly on the wall" glimpse of what is going on, in real-time, inside the virtual walls of the Commission River corporate office. Tweet! Tweet!

June Affiliate Spotlight: Thad Tucker
(By Robert Probst) As a sales manager, my job is to identify and reward agents that excel in their marketing endeavors. This month, I take great pleasure in congratulating Thad Tucker of Scarborough, Maine for booking the most cellular sales of any single agent. Thad is no stranger to being a top Commission River performer, he maintains a very steady stream of orders month in and month out. However, in the past two months Thad has really turned it on, netting him some sizeable paychecks and the Commission River Affiliate Spotlight for June 2009!

Keep up the great work, Thad!!

Search Engine Optimization and Strategy Conference
Mark your calendar for our first In-Person Training Meeting in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida on Saturday, September 26, 2009, from 10 AM to 2 PM. Adam Edwards and I will host the event personally, where we'll cover these items and much more:
  • The new Premium Plus Remote Sites
  • Search engine optimization strategies
  • Using the PPR Sites to help your other site rise to the top of Google
  • New vendor releases
Look for more info regarding the first of our "live training events" in the coming months.

Premium Site Update - Preview
The much anticipated "plug-in site in a box", what we like to call the Premium Sites, are 95% done and we are on track for a July 30, 2009 launch. The "site builder" is now under heavy construction. What we're calling the "Premium Site Wizard" will allow you to point and click your way to a unique, self-contained complete web site full of content and SEO tools that you will need to rise to the top of the search engines. As it stands right now, here are the tentative launch dates for each site: (note - the launch of each site will happen live on our conference call bridge and through the River Alert system. As you can see we've got one per month for almost the remainder of this year. Put on your seat belts!)
  • July 30, 2009 - GeoQuote Premium Site Launch
  • August 30, 2009 - Cellular Premium Site Launch
  • September 30, 2009 - VoIP Premium Site Launch
  • October 30, 2009 - International LD Premium Site Launch
  • November 30, 2009 - BottomLine (LD) Premium Site Launch
  • December 30, 2009 - Voice/Internet/Video Bundles Premium Site Launch
  • January 30, 2010 - Local Phone Service (POTS) Premium Site Launch
  • February 28, 2010 - Credit Card Premium Site Launch

Each one will cost $149, but we will be awarding "river dollars" as sales bonuses for certain products as part of an ongoing parade of promotions headed your way. River dollars can be used to buy PLUS sites or be applied to subsidize the purchase of a PLUS site.

View a sneak preview of the premium site builder in action:

Our premium site administration software will enable you, immediately after site purchase, to configure your site and FTP the entire package to the PHP 5+/Linux web hosting provider of your choice. To make changes to the "protected" portions of your site (the parts that aren't configurable through the back office control panel), you'll be able to hire Ned Hamzic of and Aaron Jay Lieberman of for a nominal hourly rate. As Ned and Aaron Jay were instrumental in the premium sites' design, they have earned our full recommendation to help you modify your site(s) to your exact specification. Installation support, of course, is free of charge.

With sales on the rise, new Premium sites coming out soon, and with almost all of our inherited debt paid off, we are literally on the cusp of greatness. Expect to see a ton of new products, new sites you can buy and have working in seconds, new training calls announced, and even real-world meetings ramping back up. The dawn of a very bright future with Commission River is upon us - what you choose to do with this opportunity of a lifetime depends on you. The future is yours - we'll help you get there.

As always, please feel free to tell us what you think, tell us what products you would like to see, and tell us how we can improve. We're here to serve you and to help you achieve the financial independence you deserve.

Happy Selling!

Patrick Oborn, VP of Marketing
Commission River Corporation (a BayHill Capital Company)

Need Help? - Want to get active but don't know how? Give Robert Probst, your sales manager a try, at He's a seasoned veteran and knows what it takes to be successful in this business. Reach out to him today!

URL Reminders:
Back Office:

Free Internet Marketing Tip 119

We have noticed that you haven't created a newsletter in the past 30 days.

MerchantCircle gives you the ability to create and publish newsletters for free. Plus, you can pick from a variety of templates and styles to customize your business newsletter for different occasions and holidays. You can even attach your already created coupons to the newsletter for free.

Create your newsletter now

If you don't have time, learn how we can do it for you.


The MerchantCircle Team

Free Internet Marketing Tip 118

Build your competitive advantage. Share your ideas online.

Download the eKit now.

Discover how other businesses, including your competition, are
passing the ball-sharing and improving their ideas-using Cisco
WebEx online meetings to compete more effectively. Download this
eKit to see how you can connect employees, vendors, partners, and
customers to make better, faster decisions. Do more, travel less,
and save money now!

Improve your competitive advantage with the whitepapers in this eKit:

- Accelerate business using on-demand web meetings
Explore IDG Research Services' analysis of competitive
marketing trends with commentary from CIO Magazine subscribers.

- Understanding the Sales 2.0-enabled businesses.
Learn how businesses embracing Sales 2.0 are closing more deals,
boosting customer satisfaction, and building competitive strength
with this Frost & Sullivan paper.

- Small businesses yield big results
See how you can leverage investments to pump up smaller sales
forces, improve training, reach busy executives, and grow your

- Real results: Online meetings accelerate business
Discover how four businesses stretch their resources, eliminate
logistical barriers, and transform their online initiatives into
strategic lines of business.


Prefer to join a live demo?

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(c) 2009 WebEx Communications, Inc.
3979 Freedom Circle, Santa Clara, CA 95054 All rights reserved.
WebEx and the WebEx logo are registered trademarks of WebEx
Communications, Inc. All other trademarks are the property of their
respective owners.

Free Internet Marketing Tip 117

MerchantCircle Journal
Products Forums Merchant Showcase Education Center

June 2009

MerchantCircle Neighbors

Completing the 'Circle'
- Neighbors Launch

As one of the only merchant social networks on the web, MerchantCircle has been dedicated to helping local business owners find new customers and maintain current ones since launching in 2006. Through some of the first free web services for business owners, including blogs, newsletters, and coupon tools, MerchantCircle began as...
Click here to read more.

Merchant Showcase: How On Cell Auto Made a Name for Itself

In Oklahoma City, OK , Alan Geiger had been running a profitable business for the last 18 years, but decided to start a new business anyway. Alan noticed a void in being able to find reliable auto service in local areas on cell phones. As the owner of Glass Aid, he had more than a working knowledge of the auto services industry and as a member of MerchantCircle – he knew where to go to start promoting On Cell Auto.
Click here to read more.

Forum Buzz: Paid Leads

MerchantCircle member, Monica Ross-Williams, owner of ServiceMaster Building Services in Wayne County, posted a forum thread titled: What is the Lead Package? Get real business leads, or you don't pay! Join in on the forum discussion here about your concerns and experiences.
Click here to read more.

Things You Can Win Through MerchantCircle!

We'll announce the winners in our July Newsletter. Please email to claim your free t-shirt and/or hat if you meet the benchmarks. Good luck!
Click here to check it out!

© 2009 MerchantCircle
201 Main Street 100 Los Altos, CA 94022

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Free Internet Marketing Tip 116

Dear Fellow Internet Marketer / Website Owner,

Do you really know what it takes to quickly generate high-quality traffic
to your Web Site?

Listen up… I must let you in on a few insider *secrets*:

Instead of waiting months to generate sales on your site, you can start
gaining the hits you want right now.

So how does this new software work?

Link Directory Submitter is the perfect solution for sending your sites to
a multitude of pre-configured online directories.

Link Directory Submitter comes with 2700+ link directories to submit to,
more than half ranging from PR4 to PR7.

There are only 3 easy steps required:

· Create a profile (That is, the common data you usually have to repeatedly
type by hand: your site address, link title, description, keywords, etc).
This is a one-time process.

· Select up to 10 directories at a time that you want to submit to from
the list of over 2700+ directories along with a category/subcategory for
your site.
Link Directory Submitter will fill in all the other details.

NEW FEATURE: Link Directory Submitter will now auto select the category for
your website you are trying to submit if you have included them in your
website profile.

· Now Press Submit.· You're all done.

Free Internet Marketing Tip 115

It's a bold claim I know, but gives you the connectedness of social networking sites, the content of top

Internet marketing courses, and the support and help of marketing Experts in every major skill area...all in ONE.

It's a free social networking Web 2.0 community dedicated to ONLY Internet Marketing.

As a Marketing Mastermind member, you can:

- Design and start your own blog in just a few mouse clicks with zero technical knowledge

- Ask and get answers from experts to your toughest marketing questions

- Meet 1,000s of other marketers, make new friends, and create powerhouse Joint Venture relationships

- Announce your upcoming launches to the entire community of Internet marketers

- Form or join your very own mastermind group and share ideas

- Download top quality internet marketing content and products

- Instant message and real time chat with other members

- Upload, share, and rate photos, audios, and videos

- Earn points for being active and spend them on cool stuff in the virtual store

- Customize your own homepage with the features, programs, and cool stuff you want

- and so much more!

With Marketing Mastermind you never need to feel alone, stuck in neutral, or frustrated about your online business again, because

it's your go-to source for everything Internet marketing...

Come join the 1,000s of marketers who have already discovered the best Internet marketing resource on the Internet. And get ready

to be Successful and Have Fun!

Click here now:

Free Internet Marketing Tip 114

If you're someone who must always back up their work or files in general, then take a look at Firefox Extension Backup.

This program allows you to backup your Firefox extensions, as well as bookmarks, preferences, cookies, and passwords. You can create multiple folders for saving certain backups in different locations.

Keep on Promoting

Jayde Admin

Free Internet Marketing Tip 113

Sure, you’ve had access to Office Live Workspace beta for a while now, but have you taken full advantage of all the features it has to offer? You may know how to create separate workspaces for your projects, but you’re just scratching the surface until you add documents to your workspaces and share them with others. Sign in to your workspace to start adding and sharing now!

  • Adding files to your workspace means you can access them anytime, from any computer connected to the Internet. No matter if you’re at a café, a friend’s house, or your home computer, your important documents are always just a few clicks away.

  • When you install the new Office Live Update, you can open, edit, and save your workspace documents directly from Office Word, Excel, and PowerPoint without even launching your browser! Download the update

  • Working on a group project? When you post the files on a shared workspace, everyone can make changes or additions when it’s convenient for them.

  • Did someone make a change to a document that you don’t agree with? No problem. As the owner of the workspace, you can always reject the change or go back to an earlier version of the file.

Don’t wait any longer! Sign in to your workspace to start adding and sharing. If you have any questions about any features, check out our community site.

Until next time,
The Microsoft Office Live Workspace team

Free Internet Marketing Tip 112

"The Edge of Success" reveals all the secrets. And right now you can download a copy... absolutely free!

Inside this valuable book, you will learn:

  • How to "Master" every selling moment
  • Easy ways to generate more leads
  • Techniques for becoming a better sales person
  • What customers really want from you
  • How to capitalize on your existing customers (and still have them love you)
  • And so much more!
This book is a powerhouse of information! Information that will grow your company quickly and profitably. The same techniques and tactics in this book have been used by hundreds of companies to easily double, and even triple their current sales. The book is free, but could be worth thousands, or even millions to your bottom line!

Yes, I want to download this powerful book for FREE!

Take the time to download this free book today, and see what it can do for you and your business!

Clate Mask
President, Infusionsoft

P.S. This book will only be free for a limited time. Don't delay, download now and start filling your bank account with all that extra income!

Free Internet Marketing Tip 111


Hey Folks,

When was the last time you joined a hot program at the very start? Has it been awhile?

Well, your luck just changed because I am here to introduce you to the HOTTEST new program that is destined to be one of the biggest success stories of 2009.

Viral-List is the ultimate list-building, money-making site on the 'Net... and it's going to put your list-building on OVERDRIVE!

Viral-List allows you to:

* Add THOUSANDS to your mailing list in WEEKS... not years.

* Email your entire list every week directly from the Viral-List site.

* Cloak all of your links and EXPLODE your list.

* Add a text ad that goes out in emails sent by OTHER members.

* Get paid $3 for everyone in your personal downline 7-LEVELS DEEP!

But it gets even better...

It's a STRAIGHTLINE list-builder which means that everyone that joins Viral-List after you goes on YOUR list!

Plus, we’ve developed a Turbo-Charged system that brings in at least 30 e-mails a day, that’s $90 a day, $2,700 a month…$32,400 a year!

Imagine that for a second...

Everyone that joins after you and promotes the site is building your list FOR YOU. So, building a list of thousands takes WEEKS... not years.

And you can email that entire list DIRECTLY FROM THE SITE every week. No lists to download. No software to buy. Just login and send your mail.

This is one HOT program!

Don't miss out. This is your chance to get in on the next big thing. Join Viral-List today and explode your list... AND your income!

Just go here:

Happy Marketing!

The Product Scanners Team
* Member BONUS-Grab Your
F.R.E.E 7-Day Text Ad Here:

Free Internet Marketing Tip 109

I saw this on the news the other night and I thought of you. Fortune 500 companies are hiring home workers.

Online Recruiters - Copy & past this link into a browser

Here are just a few of the employers: HP, Kmart, Continental Airlines, ALEA, Pixar, and FedEx.

Online Recruiters

Lauren Mitchell

Free Internet Marketing Tip 108

Users don't want Word rendering their HTML in Outlook anymore!

Even though Microsoft's Outlook is viewed as the standard email client, it has some problems. Specifically, Outlook doesn't render HTML correctly, which drives designers insane.

So what is Microsoft doing about the problem for the upcoming release of Outlook 2010? One word, nothing. Sigh, you're killing us Bill.

Do you wish Microsoft would use IE to render HTML in Outlook 2010? Tell us.

Microsoft has confirmed that they plan to continue using the Word rendering engine to display HTML in Outlook 2010. (Please keep in mind that EVERY OTHER email client currently used anywhere uses a web browser to render HTML.)

For those of you asking, "What's the big deal?" Remember Outlook 2000? It used Internet Explorer to render HTML. To help jog your memory, check out the image below from the Email Standards Project.

Outlook 2000 & 2010 comparison

Based on the image above, it looks like Outlook is NOT evolving with the web - they're de-evolving.

The ESP have put together a very well designed website entitled Outlook's broken - Let's fix it. The site is really quite nice, it consists of a rolling wall of tweets, which shows the design community's real-time response to Microsoft's continuing stance on HTML rendering in Outlook 2010.

How To Get More From Your
E-Marketing Campaigns

At the time of this writing 21,107 have joined the cause, and it's growing very rapidly.

Outlook is broken - Let's fix it.

Below is the site's description of their cause...

Microsoft have confirmed they plan on using the Word rendering engine to display HTML emails in Outlook 2010.

This means for the next 5 years your email designs will need tables for layout, have no support for CSS like float and position, no background images and lots more.

Outlook 2010 is still in beta and Microsoft wants your feedback. It's time to rally together and encourage Microsoft to embrace web standards before it's too late.

Let's use Twitter to send a clear message to Microsoft.

Join 21,107 others asking Microsoft to improve standards support and make sure you include in your tweet. We'll pull together every tweet that includes the link here to give Microsoft a unified message from the community.

Microsoft has become aware of the Twitter campaign, and "appreciates the feedback". William Kennedy, Corporate Vice President, Office Communications and Forms Team, addresses the issue in a post on the Outlook Team Blog...

"Microsoft welcomes the development of broadly-adopted e-mail standards. We understand that e-mail is about interoperability among various e-mail programs, and we believe that Outlook provides a good mix of a rich user experience and solid interoperability with a wide variety of other e-mail programs. There is no widely-recognized consensus in the industry about what subset of HTML is appropriate for use in e-mail for interoperability. The "Email Standards Project" does not represent a sanctioned standard or an industry consensus in this area. Should such a consensus arise, we will of course work with other e-mail vendors to provide rich support in our products. We are constantly working to improve our products and the experience that they give to our customers."

Microsoft sees and hears complaints... but still has no plans of fixing the HTML rendering problem at this time.

To add your input on the Outlook situation, simply click the button below, or have the in your tweet.

Le'ts fix Outlook button

Microsoft has no foreseeable plans to fix the HTML rendering issues with Outlook. Will this cause you to switch to an alternate email client, if you haven't already? Leave a comment.
Was this article interesting? [Digg This!] [Facebook] [Twitter] [StumbleUpon]

Comment Now...

About the Author:
Jeremy Muncy has been a part of the WebProNews team and the iEntry Network since 2003. Follow him on Twitter @jmuncy.

Free Internet Marketing Tip 107

How About A Bailout For...
America's SMALL Businesses!
The R-word, RECESSION, and what
does it mean for small businesses?
Unsurprisingly, economists are divided in their opinions on this topic. This disparity could be likened to the chicken and the egg conundrum. Does small business suffering contribute to a recession or does a recession cause suffering to small businesses?
There is a clear relationship between small business and the economy in general, especially in the in United States because much of economic growth is fueled by startup business. In spite of the hype about the internet startups, new companies come from every sector of the economy and every part of the world. All told, these small firms make a significant contribution to the economy simply by hiring one or two employees. "The belief that small businesses fare poorly in economic slowdowns is a common misconception. Most solidly run small businesses actually hold their own during downturns. One reason for this misconception is that entrepreneurial ventures experience a different growth curve than more established businesses."
A number of entrepreneurs, in fact, see a downturn as a time of opportunity. Not only do they have excellent employee choices, but as other areas of the economy tighten, many larger businesses are outsourcing services that small business can step in to supply. Entrepreneurs, after all, are noted for finding opportunity in the most unlikely places - why not a recession?
What can a small business operator do to survive or even flourish in such an economy as we suddenly find our selves in? Is there truly opportunity?
Small business owners have an amazing capacity for finding creative solutions in even the most challenging of economic times, like those we are currently facing. We can happily report that a distinct minority of small businesses are bucking the trend and actually holding their own and even growing. And what do these small businesses primarily have in common? Three things.
The SBIU ‘Triple Play’ Strategy
It’s not just YOUR business in the economic doldrums - its most every small business. Knowledge is power and knowing key steps to immediately take can give your small business an immediate advantage over other similarly situated competitors. For most small businesses it boils down to a basic 'triple-play' involving solid bookkeeping, well-managed barter, and localized small business search marketing.
In this issue, Catalyst SBIU looks at:
-- President Obama’s Small Business Rescue Plan;
-- The latest thoughts and strategies to utilize small business barter to augment cash business;
-- And the latest on MerchantCircle's rising ascendancy as THE small business directory of choice for small businesses, and how they have recently crossed over to the "consumer" side; the newest developments in local search and social networking media for small companies, including noted author-marketeer and MerchantCircle Advisor Randy Kirk's sage observations on 21st century marketing; and the latest rage… Twitter!;
Take a few minutes to review our latest SBIU, then drop us a line to tell us what you think. Better yet, contact us to talk more about making SBIU business solutions work for you. Enjoy!
With Warm Regards,
- SBIU's Editorial Staff
P.S. - Use the Forwarding feature at the bottom of the page (otherwise images and format will be lost) to send the SBIU to other small business owners whom you know... just not to your competitors!
The Obama 'Small Business Rescue' Plan
Lynnea M. Bylund | SBIU's Publisher
[ Editor's note: The following is a summary
Barack Obama supported last year's financial market rescue legislation to prevent a financial and economic catastrophe. However, Obama understands that passing this rescue plan was not the end of our work to strengthen our economy - it was only the beginning.

Obama recognizes that small businesses need direct and immediate access to capital now. He has called for a Small Business Rescue Plan to help small firms get the loans the need to conduct day-to-day operating expenses, undertake short-term investments, and meet payrolls. The plan will use the tools we have available through the Small Business Administration to aggressively extend credit to struggling firms, while providing tax cuts for small businesses to encourage job creation.
With small businesses responsible for more than two-thirds of new job creation, this plan is vital to stemming job losses and turning our economy around. Obama's small business plan includes:

-- A Nationwide Emergency Lending Facility for Small Businesses
-- Expanding Small Business Administration Guarantees to Encourage Private Lending to Small Businesses
-- Temporary tax incentives to encourage small businesses to invest in jobs
-- Zero capital gains rate for investment in small businesses
-- Cut Taxes for the Vast Majority of Small Businesses
-- Lower Health Care Costs and Ease the Health Care Burden for Small Businesses
-- Create New Small Business Health Tax Credit
-- Reduce Volatility and Lower Costs by Reimbursing Catastrophic Costs
-- Investment in Cost Reduction and Quality Improvement Strategies
-- Strengthen Small Business Programs Targeting Women, Service-Disabled Veterans, and Minorities
-- Increase Access to Capital
-- Reinvigorate the Small Business Administration
-- Create a National Network of Public-Private Business Incubators
-- Promote Small Business Ownership in the Communications Industries
All Aboard for ...

"Twitter has reached critical mass. If you’re a small business owner, more and more of your peers, competitors and (most importantly) customers will create Twitter accounts in the coming weeks and months." In the major cities on the West Coast, there’s a good chance they already have.
Mihm says you’ll absolutely want to claim your username, if only to prevent someone else from squatting or even maliciously taking it from you. But just joining doesn’t mean you’ll automatically have success with Twitter.
There are thousands of small businesses already doing amazing, creative things with this new platform. “Follow them, listen to them, perhaps even engage them in a little conversation. And then, when you’re comfortable, start promoting your Twitter account in your place of business and dive into a deeper relationship with your customers,” recommends Mihm.
And it’s so easy to network on Twitter. Just use the Twitter search function to find topics you’re interested in, or people in your general geographic area, and start following them. If you’re actively engaged, you’ll read re-tweets that you find interesting, and you can spread your network even further by following the original tweeter.
Recession-Proof Your Small Business
Lynnea M. Bylund | SMB Accounting Blog
What would your accountant do if he/she were a savvy entreprepreneur and owned your company?
Whether or not you believe we're in a recession or just headed towards one (or just leaving one), there's no getting around the fact that we're experiencing an economic upheaval and/or downturn of considerable magnitude.
Declines in consumer confidence and decreased sales threaten all businesses, but small businesses are particularly vulnerable as they often don't have the reserves to help them weather difficult times.
So what's a small business owner to do if the current economic climate extends through 2009? Business consultants are busy weighing in on this question. The slowing economy and the reality that we're headed potentially for a deep prolonged recession are worrisome subjects for small-business owners, with a big concern of keeping sales up when customers cut back on spending.
Carl R. George is the current chairman of the National CPA Financial Literacy Commission, a project of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. George is CEO of Clifton Gunderson LLP, a national CPA firm of over 2,000 people, with offices in 17 states and Washington, D.C. Recently in Kiplingers he suggested seven steps for recession-proofing a small business:
Step 1: Focus on your balance sheet. Make sure you're managing your cash flow well. It's something you should be doing all the time, but it's even more critical in a recessionary environment, because there's just that much less cash floating around. While the going is still good, try to put cash aside to build a war chest.
Step 2: Diversify and launch. Economic downturns have a benefit for business. A recession gives you the opportunity to step back, rethink and review all sectors of your operation. Consider launching a new product or service not currently offered in your market. Use the time to diversify your products, services or industries so you don't have too many eggs in one basket.
Step 3: Start looking at your credit and debt. You should begin looking at increasing your line of credit -- in the event you need to use it. Negotiating with a bank from a position of power and good financial resources now is a lot easier to do than trying to negotiate in a recessionary environment.
Step 4: Review your accounts receivable. When things are starting to turn down, you want to keep a sharp eye out for someone who is into you for quite a bit because if they go under and cash is tight, that could have a huge impact on your small business. Similarly, review your agreements with suppliers. Maybe you don't have to pay in 30 days; maybe you can pay in 45. Again, it's easier to negotiate in a good economy than in a downturn.
Step 5: Review your company's discretion-ary spending items. Although small businesses are typically very lean, recession survivors often still manage to trim some fat. Think of all the discretionary items. Take whatever steps you can to reduce your debt. The less you have to pay out on a regular basis during an economic slowdown, the less painful it will be. Employ labor and time-saving technology to reduce business costs. More effective use of the Internet can save on travel, training, administration and operations costs.
Step 6: Review your customers. Start reviewing how a recession will impact your customers. If your customer base is involved, for example, in the home-building industry, and home building is down, then you know their customers are not going to be demanding as much product, so you'd better get ready for that. One way to do that is to search out alternatives. Somebody's always making money, even in a recession, so if you can find out where those pockets are and if you have services you can provide to them, maybe you want to expand those services.
Now is also the time to take customer service to a new level. Get in touch and stay in touch with your active customers. Take nothing for granted. Make sure your pricing is competitive, your service is exceptional and your attitude reflects how much you value their business. Revisit dormant customers and see what you can do to bring them back into the fold. Sometimes it takes as little as just asking to restart a relationship. Other times it can take some imagination and insight, but resurrecting a past customer can still be easier and less expensive than finding and breaking in a new one. Ask your customers for referrals. While this is a good practice at any time, it is particularly important in a down economy.
Step 7: Keep up marketing. Many companies cannot afford to stop marketing, regardless of economic conditions. New products are always certain revenue generators if marketed properly. Determine what sets your business apart from the competition and market it like crazy. Attend networking functions, spruce up your Web site, send out post cards, put out a new sign in front of your office.
New business, however, doesn't have to come from new customers. Many small-business owners can find that their best prospects for new revenue are their existing customers and clients -- established relationships mean an owner doesn't have to spend time, energy and money trying to make a good impression, and knowledge of customers' needs makes it easier to come up with new products or services they'll want to buy. Whether it involves prospecting for new business or working with a long-standing customer, success can turn on making a valid case that your product or service will benefit the buyer, even if the economic times are uncertain.
Catalyst House president and founder Lynnea Bylund is recognized as one of the foremost small business experts in North America. She co-chaired the President’s Small Business Advisory Council and is a two-time recipient of a National Congressional Committee’s Businesswoman of the Year Award.
A former wireless industry lobbyist in Washington, she has been featured in major media as a leading advocate for small business issues and has received the Congressional Medal of Distinction for her accomplishments.
Lynnea is a Certified QuickBooks Enterprise ProAdvisor and her company’s new division, Catalyst Enterprise Solutions, is one of the fastest growing small business bookkeeping and accounting firms in the state of California. Catalyst Enterprise specializes in providing small and mid-market companies with financial management and reporting systems, services, and solutions.
Recession Roundup for May-June '09
Federal government loans to small businesses
The U.S. Small Business Administration’s America Recovery Capitol (ARC) loan program will begin offering up to $35,000 in zero-interest loans on Monday for small, viable businesses suffering “immediate financial hardship.”

Recession Makes Entrepreneurs Sharper
More than three quarters of entrepreneurs believe managing through the recession has made them better business owners.
Promote Access to Capital for Small Businesses
Mike Michaud, a member of the House Small Business Committee, issued the following statement following a hearing on the Small Business Administrations' (SBA) access to capital programs.
Four Mistakes Entrepreneurs Make in Recessions
Now that the evidence is pretty strong that we’re headed into an economic downturn (or are already in one), I thought I’d identify some mistakes that many entrepreneurs make in bad economic times.
One entrepreneur's survival playbook
I've been in business for 30 years, so I've lived through several downturns. You need the right outlook.
Surviving in an Economic Downturn
The belief that small businesses fare poorly in economic slowdowns is a common misconception that is not generally true. Solidly run small businesses actually hold their own during downturns.
Small business survival - humility and discipline
Surveying the economic landscape in front of us and trying to imagine what the near-term future will hold, I recognize that, while hard work and stick-to-it-iveness will be critical to small business success this year.
Small Business facing unique challenges
To some extent, these are unique challenges that are facing small business today. There have been recessions before, but this recession has felt different.
Home-Based Business Increases In Recession
SPRINGDALE — Every 11 seconds someone starts a home-based business, according to industry advocates. Some use the revenue to fill gaps left by unemployment, while others turn hobbies into small cottage industries.
A frontline view of the Great Recession
Behind every statistic about whopping job losses and the shrinking economy are thousands of small businesses battling the everyday realities of trying to survive with less staff and fewer customers.
Six Great Business survival Strategies
Business owners question things in bad times - how they do things, the way they run their business - which they don't necessarily do in good times. When bad times hit then panic starts to settle in. I've seen it many times in the businesses I consult too and there really isn't any need to 'slash & burn' too quickly when you don't have all the facts at hand.
Small Business Recession Survival
I felt I should write this article to perhaps provide some insight to other small business people to help them avoid some of the mistakes I have made and to provide some hope and encouragement at a time when the whole world may seem to be against you.