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Archive for small business

Why Your Home Business Needs A Toll Free Number

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Lots of people are reluctant to deal with home based businesses because they see them as something of a 'risk'. Why? Because if a problem or dispute arises, they think the company will disappear and they'll never see their money again. A way to get around this is to have a website and a toll free number, both of which create a virtual storefront. A toll free number means that they can contact you at any time, just like they can walk into a store and talk to a sales or customer service representative whenever they want.

A toll free phone number also gives a home based business the ability to sell goods and services beyond just their local area. Since the business isn't physically pinned down to one area, it is completely portable. This flexibility is particularly important because if the home business owner moves to a new location, they don't have to change their number, and the established connection to customers stays intact.

From a marketing point of view, stating a toll free phone number on promotional material is advantageous. Using a toll free phone number on company literature highlights the business's credibility. The public see businesses that have a toll free phone number as a legitimate establishment. According to research, businesses that have toll free numbers are 30% more likely to receive calls than those businesses that advertise without such a number. That percentage is even higher if the business owner chooses a vanity number, which is a toll free phone number whose last seven digits spell out the name of the business or the name of a product that the business sells.

Not surprisingly, the fact that these numbers are free to call is very much appreciated by potential callers. It really emphasizes that you want them to call you. They might well only be saving themselves a few cents, but it's the difference between paying for something and getting something for free, and everyone loves free stuff, even if it's 'just' a phone call.

Lots of home based business owners assume that their relatively small budgets won't stretch to buying a toll free phone number. However, as the telecommunications industry is so competitive, prices are actually a lot lower than people think. There are a range of providers that offer monthly service packages that specifically target home based businesses. These packages allow for growth so you can start off small and upgrade as your business and sales grow.

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Lead Generation – Information & Advice

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One of the most difficult parts of business and sales is finding new leads, but by modifying your daily habits, you will find that securing leads is much easier than it seems. Most of the time, business owners encounter possible new clients throughout the day; it’s just a matter of reaching them on a professional level. Even business owners in a niche market have opportunities they never use.

Start with the basics. Use your existing customers to get your leads for you. Always ask for referrals and be ready with a business card. Offer your customers a reward for bringing new clients your way, or offer to send them business when you can. Give away items for them to display at their business, like pens or calendars. Join groups your customers belong to; you are likely to find many new leads at these group gatherings.

Use your website to capture new leads by persuading potential clients to sign up to your email list. Give an incentive like an eBook, newsletter, or a tips and information sheet. Learn blogging and keyword techniques, and start a blog, post to forums, or post informative articles with clickable links to your website. Once you establish yourself as a specialist within your industry, people will clamor to learn what you know and will sign up for your emails.

Although advertising can be expensive, it is a necessity to get your name out into the world. Consider alternate ways to get your name out there and bring in those leads, like a press release about your business; a new service you offer, an upgrade to your office, or even new employees are a good excuse to get your name in the paper. As long as it doesn’t look like an advertisement, the paper should print it.

Your local library houses a wealth of information when it comes to gathering leads. You will find public records of new businesses and new homeowners, just to name a couple. The library will also have market specific research materials that will help in your quest for leads, and you can ask the Reference Librarian for assistance.

Use the time you spend in your car to your advantage. Be on the lookout for new businesses around town and take notes. One good way to find new leads is to look for vehicles with company logos. You can find many businesses you might otherwise miss by doing this. If you are driving and can’t write, use the camera on your cell phone to photograph a logo and phone number, or a new business’s sign. When you are watching, you can find leads anywhere.

Now Try – Lead Generation

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