How to Sell on Netspray

Netspray is a totally new internet phenomenon. It is based on the idea of social-ad marketing. It is being observed as following in the footsteps of Ebay, only updated for this Facebook, Twitter, Myspace, blogspot world we live in. You will want to get in on the ground floor because that is always where the winners have their business! Learn how to sell on Netspray.

Netspray has as homepage, just like Ebay, where you can browse for items to buy, and you pay through Paypal, just like on Ebay. But that is about where the similarities end. Netspray charges you nothing to list your item, and they charge you no final value fee at the end based on the selling price. Ebay’s fees have gone up lately, much to the chagrin of many of their sellers. After you list your item, you then can download a little code to place on your blog, in forums, on your Facebook or Myspace, or Twitter. People can click on this and check out your item. This little advertisement with a picture is referred to as a Widget. You can “spray the net” with your widget, and when the item is sold, they will all be removed. Depending on the exposure your item gets, there is a potential for lots of money. You determine a commission you would be willing to pay another Netspray user or Netspray itself to market this item with widgets on other sites. Of course, the higher the commission, the greater chance you have of selling your item.

Another very unique thing about Netspray is that you don’t even have to have anything to sell! You can go to Netspray, click on an item you are interested in and then click” sell” underneath the item. You can actually market someone else’s item on your internet social networking sites, and you will make the commission! You could find an item that is offered in quantity, place a widget on your Facebook, and sell quite a few of these. If you have a blogspot about dogs, you could place a widget for special dog collars someone was selling. It is like opening your own little store and you never have to deal with any inventory at all!

If you want to learn how to sell on Netspray, you can go to the website, which is included at the end of the article in resources, and register for an account. It is very fast, and they do not ask for any financial information. If you are an Ebay seller, you can upgrade your membership for a very small introductory amount and upload your expired Ebay listings to Netspray in bulk, almost effortlessly.

This may be the future of our economy; if you want to get in on the ground floor, register for Netspray. If you want to learn how to sell on Netspray in more detail, you can also sign up for the Netspray University which is offered online and in real seminars.

Why a Marketing Plan is Importan

Successfully marketing a product or service is one of the most complex problems all entrepreneurs face. Every type of entrepreneurial enterprise requires marketing to compete and survive. How does an entrepreneur begin? Before you can decide on which marketing techniques to implement, you must develop a marketing plan.

A marketing plan consists of two primary elements: goals and strategies. Goals will determine the scope of your ambition in a particular time frame and allow you to allocate your resources appropriately. Quantify your goals whenever possible-for example, increasing market share by 10%. Strategies should be specific, measurable, and time specific.

There are many items to take into consideration before developing your marketing plan. Study the growth trends of your industry, evaluate your competition, analyze your key customers, and appraise the realities of the current-marketplace. Begin market planning by clearly identifying all the market segments to which you intend to sell. The next step is to arrange the identified markets in order of priority. Target marketing is the fundamental strategy used by successful businesses.

Next, examine the market segments that seem most attractive and target them for penetration. Develop special marketing tactics for each target market-a strategy known as market segmentation. Target your markets and then develop a marketing program for penetrating each one. Your business plan should explicitly identify all markets and then provide the basis for your selection of target markets.

If you have not yet written a business plan, go back to square one and develop it. Each of your identified target markets should be considered almost as a separate marketing program. Unfortunately, many entrepreneurs start their ventures without proper research and without writing a business or marketing plan. Then, when sales stagnate or decrease, they begin to look for solutions. A marketing and business plan can help you devise a strategy to increase sales.

The foundation of your marketing plan will be the marketing mix, which includes such elements as promotion, advertising, publicity, direct mail, sales training, pricing, positioning, and customer service. Many entrepreneurs feel that placing a few ads or using coupon mailers constitutes a marketing plan; then they wonder why they do not achieve better results. When someone mentions marketing, people automatically think of advertising. Instead, new start-up ventures with limited marketing dollars should concentrate on publicity and promotion. There are many inexpensive ways to market products and services.

Deciding how to penetrate each target market is truly an art and takes much planning and experimentation. The difficulties involved in attempting to reach just one market can be overwhelming, especially when there is limited money to spend on marketing products and services. When putting together your marketing plan, consider potential pitfalls and how you will deal with them. If you know ahead of time what to expect, you’ll be better able to surmount obstacles as they arise.

It is essential that you be able to track the effectiveness of your marketing plan and measure how well it is working. Then you can allocate your resources to the activities that have the best payoff for your venture.

How you measure the effectiveness of your marketing dollar varies. If you want to find out if an ad brings in new customers, count your current customers and then count the number of new customers after the ad appears. If you want to determine whether a trade show increases customers, track new leads and/or total sales from these leads.

A good technique is to include a response mechanism in your marketing efforts-for example, an invitation to bring an ad in for an extra discount or a free gift. The key is to track the efficiency and return on your marketing investment. Determining which media and what message is working is critical, since this information indicates where to direct your marketing dollars and what to say.

Cheap Cars for Small Businesses: Finding Inexpensive Vehicles for Business Use

Cheap Cars for Small Businesses

While a major corporation can easily afford an entire fleet of shiny new vehicles, many small companies struggle to buy one cheap car. Finding cars, trucks and vans that are affordable and look presentable can be a challenge. However, there are several ways for a small business to buy cheap cars.

Look for Tax Credits or Deductions

Small business owners that have a specific budget for buying a new car but don’t like the appearance and features in the economy models they can afford may want to consider buying the vehicle as a consumer so they can take advantage of tax credits and deductions. While the popular US Cash for Clunkers program has been phased out, there are several other incentives still available.

  • State and local sales and excise tax deduction- According to the IRS, people who buy new cars, some new trucks and new motorcycles may qualify for a deduction on their 2016 tax return. (This is the return that is due in April of 2015.)
  • Tax credit for hybrid cars- While warns that this tax credit is only honored until each car manufacturer sells 60,000 models, there is still money available for tax credits on some hybrid cars.

Avoid Extras When Shopping for New Cheap Cars

Of course, even the cheapest new car can be too pricey after every upgrade available is added on. When buying a company car or truck, smart business owners refuse all upgrade offers. They know that as long as the car looks presentable on the outside, the fact that it has heated seats and a top of the line stereo system inside does nothing to increase their profits.

Search for Used Company Vehicle Sales and Auctions

A major home improvement company in the Baltimore metro area recently sold a fleet of used cargo vans to employees, local small businesses and other interested parties. A group of power related companies auctioned off many different vehicles at a public auction. While these vehicles were certainly not new, they were in fairly good condition and looked very presentable. Usually, by making a quick call to local companies, a new business owner can find out if and when sales are planned. There are also several government sites that offer used car and truck auctions.

Of course, there are some additional costs involved when someone is buying a used cheap car from another company instead of buying a new vehicle. Often, the car’s interior will need to be detailed to remove stains and objectionable smells, such as that of secondhand smoke. In many cases, the new buyer will also need to have a car repainted to cover the previous company’s logo.

Although it is harder to find cheap cars for small businesses than it is to buy a shiny new car right off the lot, smart entrepreneurs know that it is worth the extra work. After all, any money they save by buying an inexpensive company vehicle is money that can go toward growing their new businesses. These entrepreneurs are happy to search for government incentives or head to used company vehicle sales to find what they need at a low price.

Support for Small Business From Federation of Small Businesses UK

Support for Small Business From Federation of Small Businesses UK

The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) is the largest organisation that actively campaigns on behalf of the millions of small owner-managed organisations across Britain.

Membership of this non-profit organisation is only open to business owners who are actively involved in running their own commercial operations, whether as a sole trader, partnership or limited company. Set up in the mid-1970s the FSB had grown to over 213,000 members by mid-2010.

Every member of the FSB is entitled to a number of direct benefits, such as free services or discounts. They are also supporting a body who lobby central and local government on their behalf.

Benefits Available to FSB Members

The FSB operates through over 200 branches spread across the UK. Those joining the FSB are automatically assigned to a branch based on their geography, although they are free to get involved other other branches if they choose to.

The FSB offers its members networking opportunities through a schedule of events, such as breakfast meetings, presentations on specific subjects, and annual celebrations. They also get involved in local event, providing a focal point for business owners.

In addition to networking, the FSB operates a members’ directory on its website. The directory can be searched by anyone looking for a specific business, even if they are not a member themselves.

Anyone taking out or renewing annual membership of the FSB also enjoys a number of other advantages. Owners of small businesses in the UK have to comply with a wide regal of legal and bureaucratic requirements and the FSB helps by offering legal support for free. They provide a wide range of documents online, in the members only section of their website, and they also operate a telephone advice service that is available 24 hours a day all year round.

Another significant benefits to members is support for those with serious health conditions. Membership of the FSB includes entitlement to access to a personal nurse advisor. These provide practical advice, emotional support and can help organise appropriate therapy.

How the FSB Promotes Small Business Success

As the UK’s leading business organisation the FSB are active in promoting the interests of small enterprises. They sponsor Celebrate Success, annual awards made by The Prince’s Trust in recognition of the efforts of young people in their local community.

The FSB also lobbies government on issues that affect the small business community. One significant achievement was the establishment of a partnership with the UK government to enable students to gain work experience through subsidised internships.

Local government is encouraged to use small businesses and to sign the FSB’s Small Business Engagement Accord, demonstrating their support for local firms.

The Federation of Small Businesses is a not-for-profit organisation that exists solely for the benefit of its members. It helps the millions of tiny businesses in the UK to have a voice at national level and to access many of the benefits more easily available to major organisations.

Barriers to Starting a Small Business: Obstacles Holding Back the Entrepreneur

Barriers to Starting a Small Business

Inherently, business is risky. Often, fear is the sole factor that holds back small business owners from pursuing dreams and mighty plans. If they’ve been reluctant to go on their own, it’s time to consider some of these obstacles that block their path, along with practical solutions to get past them.

Feeling Overwhelmed

Some people are overwhelmed by their new business idea thinking they’ll have to go for it all at once and there are too many things to do. The big picture should be broken into manageable tasks. For those currently employed, they need to hold on to their jobs, slowly scale down to a part-time job or as a contract worker, get the feel of more flexibility in schedule. Some small business owners enlist their skills to create multiple sources in income as they build their business.

Focus on the Negative

As long as the potentials of the new business ideas have been studied and researched, plans should not be blocked. People who dampen enthusiasm unnecessarily should be avoided. Instead, those who encourage and offer support should be seek out, for example, some business owners may want to share their success story.

Insecurity in Product and Service

The nagging feeling that the product and service in mind may not work can be daunting. When this happens, waters can be tested by conducting a pilot test to solicit feedback. Since this is a test, it is done freely. Honest feedback is solicited from the participants of the test.

Lack of Money and Time

A solid business plan is necessary. Focus is how to get more time and space for the new business. Unnecessary things, pending obligations, toxic relationships and unhealthy habits should be taken out of the way. As regards any money matter, a plan is worked out to reduce unnecessary personal spending to give way to business needs.

Lack of Business Management and Technical Competence

Established small business owners are good sources of information. Online research and local libraries are handy resources that should be used. Topics include how to start a small business, writing business plans, small business marketing, new business ideas and easy to follow software programs. It is important to create a business plan. It doesn’t have to be too complicated at the start. As knowledge builds up, so does confidence.

Loss of Benefits

Leaving the corporate world to start a small business is daunting as one loses a safety net. It is easier for a younger and healthy worker to give-up health benefits. For older start-up entrepreneurs, health benefits remain a major concern. Certain options like health savings is a good one.

Lack of Support from Family and Friends

Without the support of family and friends, going solo is a challenge. Business plans must be properly explained. Usually, family and friends are supportive once the new business ideas are properly explained.

Fear of Isolation

Going solo isolates. It is a concern to some people, most especially those who plan to work from home. The solution is to build a network. Time should be set aside to connect with other business owners, as well as friends, former colleagues and any potential person. The network is a source of support, advice and information.

Once these barriers are addressed accordingly, a good feeling develops and renewed confidence sets in. With commitment, dedication and guts, it’s just a matter of time when the small business owner or entrepreneur takes the plunge.

Bookkeeping Basics – Accounting Methods for Small Business

Bookkeeping Basics - Accounting Methods for Small Business

Accounting or bookkeeping is one of the most fundamental parts of a successful business. Choosing an accounting method should be one of the first decisions when beginning a business and should be appropriate to the type of business as well as goals of the business in the future. Four important terms to learn whether beginning a business or just learning about bookkeeping are, Cash Method, Accrual Method, Single Entry and Double Entry.

Cash Method

Under the cash method of accounting money is accounted for on the books only when it is actually received or paid out. A payment is recorded when the actual payment is received by the company, not when the transaction is made or shipment occurs.

(Most appropriate for sole proprietors, businesses with no inventory, small service companies.)

Accrual Method

Under the accrual method, the records of expenses and receipts are recorded on the transaction date, not the date that actual cash or compensation changes hands. Sales would be entered on the books when the invoice is generated, regardless of whether payment has been received. Expense payments would be recorded on the date that product or services are ordered.

(Most appropriate for large businesses, corporations, businesses with inventory and businesses that sell on credit.)

Single Entry

Single entry is a simple record of transactions where the bookkeeper enters only one entry for each transaction. Transactions are entered either as revenue or expense.

Examples of single entry accounting:

  • A personal checkbook register
  • A single column or double column spreadsheet for a business listing only revenue or expenses

Single entry accounting is mostly used for individuals, sole proprietors, or small businesses accounting models where only tax records and profit analysis is required.

Double Entry

The double entry system provides a more complete financial picture to a business. In addition to revenue and expenses, debits and credits are also recorded. The additional records allow for reconciliation and balancing transactions. When recorded together, debits and credits must equal out in order to reconcile.

Benefits of Double Entry

  • Double entry is the standard in business accounting
  • Can be used with both the cash method and the accrual method
  • Double Entry is the method utilized by most accounting software
  • Provides a more accurate picture of sales and expenses for reporting purposes

Upsell for Small Business Success: Offer Related Products or Services for Additional Income

Upsell for Small Business Success

A hair stylist recommends several products to customers who want to know how to care for their hair. Since she doesn’t carry those or any other products, she has to send the customers to another shop to buy the items. This means she has missed out on all of that potential revenue and has given it to someone else instead. A smart small business owner will be sure he or she takes advantage of the chance to sell related items and services to clients instead of sending those customers to someone else.

Why Upselling Products Works

People are busy and stressed. The last thing someone who finally managed to squeeze in a visit to the hair stylist needs is yet another errand. When the hair stylist offers the recommended hair care products right there in the same building, he or she is providing a convenience that customers appreciate. Because of the convenience factor, hair stylists don’t need to compete with budget hair care businesses or beauty supply wholesalers. They can sell products at a substantial mark up and still make a decent number of sales.

Pet sitters who offer grooming services and coffee shops that offer attractive coffee related gift ideas are two other examples of businesses providing the same convenience to their customers.

Don’t Be Afraid to Promote Upsells

Some small business owners feel that asking customers to buy products is too pushy. They are afraid that they will seem like they are just after money. The key to making an upsell without seeming pushy is to genuinely believe that the product or service will be helpful to your customer and to simply state that you have a product or service that would help solve the customer’s problem.

For example, a hair salon owner knows that the shampoo and styling products he or she uses in the salon will help a customer keep that new haircut and dye job looking awesome until the customer comes in for a touch up. In this case, the stylist shouldn’t hesitate to tell the customer that the products that were used to create today’s look are available right by the register. Even better, he or she should go to the shelf, get the products and tell the customer that they will help keep that hair looking fantastic. On future visits, the stylist should remember to ask if the customer needs more of any of these products.

Remember, when upselling is done properly, it isn’t just upselling. It is also great customer service.

A Simple System for Small Business Marketing: Duct Tape Marketing’s System Ideal for Solopreneurs, Startups

A Simple System for Small Business Marketing

John Jantsch named his book Duct Tape Marketing: The World’s Most Practical Small Business Marketing Guide because his ideas promise to be as effective (sticky), simple, and affordable as duct tape. The fact that so much of the book is devoted to explaining the name suggests that, like Neil “No Compromise Leadership” Ducoff, that it wasn’t the best moniker for the concept. However, the ideas Jantsch has to offer are clear and simple, have methods built in to test their effectiveness, and can be used by businesses of any size.

Elements of the Duct Tape Marketing System

The book recognizes that most businesses do not have the resources for expensive branding campaigns, and posits that these are not terribly effective. Instead, Jantsch encourages readers to identify the ideal client based upon various factors, and develop marketing strategies that target those prospects with laser-focus. This long tail marketing requires that a business owner clearly articulate his company’s purpose, and otherwise includes:

  • Educational marketing through blogging, article writing, and developing an expert reputation;
  • Advertising that invites ideal prospects to respond for more information;
  • A “Systematic Referral Machine” to capitalize on referral marketing; and
  • Tips for implementing this marketing plan

Jantsch covers questions about cultivating relationships with journalists to become an information source, strategies for using a blog to educate and entice ideal prospects, and writing advertising copy that gets responses.

Testing Marketing Ideas and Tracking Results

One point the book hammers home is the value of testing and tracking in all marketing efforts. Any advertisement, blog post, news release, podcast, or article should include a call to action (“click here for a special report on weasel breeding”) and a trackable way to receive responses. If the offer is on the web, a unique response link should be included. Similarly, an ad with a phone number should use a number or extension that can be used to track responses to a specific offer. The same can be said of mail responses (no need for a separate address; add a “Attn: Offer XYZ” to the mailing information). The emphasis on tracking results so that different wording and media can be tested against one another is the most important lesson that this book has to offer. Its mastery will set any business apart from its competitors, and the techniques are laid out plainly enough that a solopreneur can learn what’s necessary to succeed at them.

What’s In a Name: Parsing Duct Tape Marketing

The name “Duct Tape Marketing” is intended to convey the key points of Jantsch’s system of identifying ideal customers and getting them into the sales cycle early in their own decision-making process by evoking admirable qualities of duct tape. Although not all of these qualities are specifically named in the book, they all are suitable parallels:

  • Simplicity of use
  • Reusability
  • Stickiness
  • Affordability
  • Versatility
  • Universal recognition

In practice, this writer has observed various misunderstandings, including associations with cheapness, carelessness, and even one instance in which the listener assumed that it was a method for more effectively selling duct tape. Granted, the name is confusing, but its architect has used his own techniques to overcome the fogginess of the name and emerge in the forefront of book on marketing that target small business. Business leaders Michael Gerber and Guy Kawasaki provide the foreword and afterword, respectively, and these respected luminaries are neither sparing with their praise nor shallow in their understanding of Jantsch’s work.

Like any marketing system, this one will take no small amount of time to utilize fully. Duct Tape Marketing, however, is simple and complete enough that any serious small business owner should be able to implement it and see the results themselves by tracking and testing them.

Small Businesses Management: Cost Reduction Through Outsourcing

Small Businesses Management: Cost Reduction Through Outsourcing

Every company endeavors to save money. It’s merely a function of remaining viable in an ever increasing competitive marketplace. For small businesses looking to improve their overall cost structure, there’s always a question of how reducing costs might negatively impact service. However, by outsourcing some company functions to professionals, companies can not only reduce costs, but drastically improve their service capabilities, all the while improving their potential for growth. So, what are some of the services a company might consider outsourcing?

Can a Company Outsource Accounting?

For those companies that are simply too small to afford an accounting department, but big enough that they should, there are plenty of outsourced accounting firms that can manage the company’s cash flow, in addition to the receivables and payables. In fact, it’s often the best way small businesses can keep track of both their incoming and outgoing payments. Nobody likes to get involved with something unless they have the time to do it properly. Outsourced accounting firms are best able to help, while allowing businesses to use resources elsewhere.

What Are The Benefits of Outsourced Marketing?

It’s a guarantee that small businesses don’t have the marketing budget of their larger competition. In fact, for some businesses, marketing itself is often seen as black magic. Being front and center in the eyes of customers, is what makes or breaks companies, and every business must use whatever marketing resources they can to improve their market presence. Outsourced marketing firms have the ability, expertise and know-how to provide timely sales leads, improve customer retention and grow business, all at a fraction of the cost of a full time department.

Should Companies Use Third Party Warehousing to Reduce Costs?

For companies that want to lower their warehousing costs, this can be accomplished through the use of third party warehouses. These warehouses allow companies to both receive and ship product at a fraction of the cost, while ensuring those shipments are properly managed. Typically, there are cut off times where shipments no longer take place. Regardless, using a third party warehouse is a huge savings over renting or buying warehouse space, and paying employees to receive and ship out product.

Can a Company Outsource its Sales?

While many are aware of the benefits of outsourcing marketing, few are aware of the benefits of outsourcing their sales efforts. True, marketing and sales are one and the same, but in the case of marketing, companies are looking for sales leads. In the case of outsourced sales firms, they close on those leads. Some firms do both, but some don’t. This is different from a distribution model where a company sells direct to a distributor who then marks up the produce and resells it. In the case of outsourcing sales, a company would pay the sales firm a commission on each sale.

Aside from the ones mentioned, there are other business costs that can be reduced. For instance, many companies use temporary labor, and turn a fixed cost, into a variable one. Outside firms not only reduce costs, but also free up valuable time, allowing the company to concentrate on more useful endeavors. Provided companies keep a pulse on how their business is being managed, they shouldn’t have any issues using outside help.

Building New Business Success on the Web

Building New Business Success on the Web

That landscape is so different that some common and dominant paradigms are being challenged by new and factual evidence to such a degree that new ways of thinking must replace them.

Despite the success of some innovative and web based companies, there is still a danger for those entering this landscape of duplicating some of the old paradigms that simply will not work any longer.

Building New Business Success on the Web

Why is this? People generally will follow the most trustworthy routes to success by observing what has worked for others in the past and applying it their present situation. This has led to a copy and paste way of thinking in designing these new organizations.

 The fact is that many business leaders are quite uncomfortable about challenging the conventional wisdom. Since some of this wisdom has the air of holiness about it this reticence has created a breeding ground of yes-men. These are precisely the wrong types of people for this task or organizational design.

Here are three of these paradigms that need to be seriously challenged during this process.


The first is that teamwork is the best method to get results. The conventional wisdom here is that within a goal is people’s inherent ability to work together to achieve it. Many businesses have job titles that include the word team and as a result, people in those businesses often make decisions based on consensus.

The reality is that in cases of emergencies and high-risk situations such as having a crisis with a key client where a quick decision is needed, waiting for a consensus is not an option.

Teams are often successful with day-to-day tasks and operations, when time and accountability are not so pressing. But when such issues are, teams run the risk of breaking up into the confusion of squabbling and inefficiency. This means that for many tasks using a single decision maker may be the most effective method.


The second is an overreliance on delegation. While delegation is needed in today’s challenging environment, there are hidden dangers in delegating the wrong tasks or too many tasks. The bottom line here is that delegation comes down to the judgment of a business leader to determine which task is delegated, to whom and when.

Cross-functional Communication

The last of these paradigms is that cross-functional communication is an absolute necessity in organizations. The conventional wisdom here is that communication usually becomes more pressing as a business grows. This drives the need for more effective communication of comprehensive information. This allows all functions to stay in alignment with the organization’s direction.

This works just fine until there is too much information flowing. What is created though is background noise at such a level that key people are losing sight of what is relevant. While there is a need to increase information flow, this information needs to be managed. It is up to those running the business to find the balance between necessity and efficiency.

Successful businesses on the web will not be those that allow themselves to be defined by the dominant paradigm or the practices of those around them. They will forge their own new way and define their unique path to success.