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Category — Small Business Advice

Dropshipping helps you make money online!

Your OWN business!If you’re an online reseller who sells on Amazon, eBay, etc., or you have an e-commerce site of your own, DollarDays’ wholesale product feed can help boost your sales with over 300,000 wholesale or closeout products! You can pick and choose which products you’d like to put on your site. Plus, we’ll ship the products for you!

We call this DollarDays’ Dropship Program—t’s such a simple way to earn money! With a DollarDays Dropship account, you’ll receive:

  • Access to over 300,000 wholesale products shipped directly to your customers
  • Easy to use administration site for managing and placing your dropship orders
  • Order history details tracked for your convenience
  • Packing slips that reflect your business
  • $9.95 shipping per dropship order in the continental US
  • 5% discount off every order!
  • Dedicated Dropship Specialist to help you

It’s easy to get started. Once you have selected which products you’ll carry, we take over from there! Your customer places an order with you. You order the products from our site and we ship the order to your customers with your logo and address on the packing slip. Pretty easy, right? If you are interested in learning more, click here.

April 10, 2014   No Comments

Distributorships Make it Easy to Start your own Online Store!

something newMaybe you’ve already thought about having your own online store, but realized you’re not tech savvy, nor do you want to put in the countless hours of managing all the functions from inventory to shipping and returns to customer service. It’s just too much time to devote to a part-time income.

You’re looking for a turnkey solution that requires no technical skills and virtually no management. DollarDays’ distributorship is the answer for an easy, extra revenue stream that only requires you to spread the word about your new website.

Here is how a Dollardays’ Distributorship works:
DollarDays will set up a personalized website with your name, company or logo at the top of every page. DollarDays is responsible for adding new products to your site and removing discontinued items as well as the overall maintenance of the site. Promoting your site to the businesses in your town and your neighbors will be the key to your success. Your volume and income will come with satisfied customers who look to you for reorders to keep their shelves full of hot selling merchandise.

Here is what DollarDays handles for you (the time consuming part of the business that most people hate!):

• Full Service Sales Force
• The same personal attention that has earned us an A+ rating with the BBB
• Complete customer service including handling returns
• All customer order tracking and email notification
• Order processing and shipping
• Payment Processing (Mastercard, Visa, American Express, PayPal)
• Responsibility for collections on unpaid or delinquent orders
• Website hosting and daily maintenance of product database
• Manage and warehouse all inventory.

Yep, we handle it all, so you can spend your time promoting your website! Go ahead and compare programs. We guarantee you won’t find any that offers so much for so little. Learn more and get started with a brand new business and revenue stream!

April 10, 2014   No Comments

Helping Small Businesses—Lots of Talk, But No Action

 

blog aprilThe Small Business Act of 1953 established the Small Business Administration (SBA) which came into existence on the grounds that small businesses are essential to a free enterprise system. It was the intent of establishing the SBA to “deter the formation of monopolies and the market failures monopolies cause by eliminating competition in the marketplace,” according to the Congressional Research Service.  Today there are over 5.6 million employer firms who employ 113 million people with a total payroll of $5.16 trillion. Sixty two percent of these employers have four or fewer employees, 89.8% have fewer than 20 and 98.3% have fewer than one-hundred. The SBA has 1,047 different classifications of businesses. The current definition of small business is companies with not more than $15 million in tangible net worth and not more than $5 million in average net income after federal taxes. Overall, the SBA classifies 97% of all employers as small business. These same small firms represent 30% of our receipts in our economy, which means big business is still 70% of our economy. Back in 1953 when the SBA was established, the split was 34% of all dollar value of all sales was small business and 66% was big business. Not much has really changed over the last 60 years despite all the rules,   regulations and the formation of the SBA.

Our country has always been a country of small businesses. In colonial America, 20% of the crops raised and handicraft products made were exported by these small businesses. At the time of our revolution, because of domestic economic growth and exports, Americans had a standard of living higher than most Europeans. Increasing an individual’s standard of living has been the driving factor to open a small business throughout American history. But Gallup just reported that the total number of new business startups and business closures per year, known as “the birth and death rates of American companies,” just crossed for the first time since this measurement began. Annually, 400,000 new businesses are now being born nationwide, while 470,000 are dying each year across the country. This is a trend we must reverse and we need our government’s help to do this.

Sure we can blame it on the recession we have been battling for the last several years, but it is much deeper than that. In addition to new regulations for small businesses in health care reform, an increase in regulatory activity in several industries, and the uncertainty about taxes, several other causes come into play making it hard to open a business today. One reason is there continues to be a shortage of financing alternatives to open a new business. Before the recession entrepreneurs could use the equity in their homes, but in today’s world, how many of us have significant equity in our homes? Another reason is technology, which we think is helping to streamline work and create Internet related businesses, but is also responsible for displacing independent businesses across several verticals. Look at the travel agents who have lost their businesses or the video store, the record store and the bookstore. A third reason is the well-financed big businesses are killing the little guy. Home Depot is pounding the hardware stores, the same thing Best Buy is doing to the electronic stores. Walmart controls close to 50% of some lines of the grocery and general merchandise business, where a generation ago thousands of families made their living selling these goods.

On April 5, 2012 President Obama signed into law the JOBS (Jumpstart Our Business Startups) Act. He said at the time “for start-ups and small businesses, this is a potential game changer. For the first time, ordinary Americans can invest in entrepreneurs they believe in.”  This law relaxed regulation for businesses that are emerging growth companies, created a “crowd funding” exemption to allow private companies to raise up to $1M and raised the limit of small offerings from $5M to $50M. It is two years later and nothing in this law is implemented. Anyone close to this new law, such as legislators, practitioners and potential small business owners, have voiced their frustrations with continuing delays in adopting final rules, but to no avail. And we ask ourselves how our government has led us to the tipping point where more businesses close than open

If the US government, who has good intentions but poor follow through, cannot help small businesses, then who can? The Kauffman Foundation and the Case Foundation created Startup America Partnership, which helps entrepreneurs get their companies off the ground by delivering free or low cost services and connecting them with larger corporations for mentoring.  Score is a nonprofit association that helps small businesses succeed by using volunteer mentors who share their knowledge in an effort to give back to their community. At DollarDays, on our Facebook page in April, we are giving away $5,000 worth of products to help small businesses launch or expand, so please nominate a small business in your community that deserves our help.

Every big company started small.  Look at Wal-Mart, where even today over 50% of the company is still owned by the Walton family. Or Bill Gates who is still the largest shareholder in Microsoft. We as a country can’t afford more businesses dying than are being born. The government has let us down with sequestration, shutting itself down when we need it the most, battles over healthcare and battles over the debt ceiling and budgets. When they finally pass a law that makes sense like the JOBS Act, they still can’t implement it after two years. All of us need to reach out to our representatives and tell them to get their “act” together. Here is the link to contact Congress. And if they do not react, we need to vote them all out and start again.

 

April 3, 2014   No Comments

March 29th was National Mom & Pop Business Owners Day!

apr14contest_160x300 (1)National Mom and Pop Business Owners Day celebrates small business owners, much like the business owners DollarDays serves every day. These individuals spend countless hours nurturing and growing their young enterprises. The workload demands coupled with the lack of a hired staff, often translate into late hours and long days. There are missed family and personal events, but they love what they do because they are their own bosses.

New businesses have always been a vital, yet not fully appreciated, part of the U.S. economy. On they retail side, they bring different and unique products to the marketplace. They provide stellar and personal service support. When you call, you are more likely to get a real, live person. And unlike big national chains, they know their products. They are outstanding performers in niche markets. In manufacturing, they create many new concepts and ideas, making them creators of new products. According to the US Small Business Association, there are more than 27 million small businesses in the US today.

Celebrate National Mom and Pop Business Owners Day, every day, by showing your support…shop their stores!

Nominate your favorite Mom & Pop store here and we’ll enter them into a drawing for $5,000 in Merchandise from DollarDays!!

April 2, 2014   No Comments

9 Easy Tips for Writing Good Content

Reprinted from FeedFront Magazine
By Jackie Eldridge, Affiliate Manager, DollarDays
 

Google DOES rule the world. If you don’t keep up with Google’s algorithm changes related to content, you may be traveling in reverse. The freshness and quality of your content are more important than ever before.  Post as often as you can and update trending topics related to your business if you want to make Google happy and ultimately obtain better search engine rankings. The most effective search engine content appeals both to readers and search engines.

Nine tips to help create successful content:

1. Create your “Own Voice”

  • Write in a manner that is memorable and credible. Fresh, well written content will make you the authority in your vertical and ultimately successful.

2. Choosing the Right Keywords

  • Search engines identify your website content with the help of keywords. These are usually closely related to the search terms that are entered by the users in search engines. Use keyword research tools like Google AdWords’ Keyword Planner for help.

3. Relevant Content

  • Remember you are writing for your readers, not search engines. It may be difficult to use some of the popular keywords grammatically, but try.  Although search engines look for the keywords in particular, they want quality, relevant content. Make sure the content is interesting and adds value for the readers.

4. Keyword Placement

  • DO NOT to overuse (stuff) keywords! The best way to use them is in the beginning of paragraphs and subheads.

5. Keep it short

  • Readers want short, succinct information blocks that can help them learn something, solve a problem or make a buying decision. Four to five lines in a paragraph is plenty.

6. Subheads, Bullets and Numbering

  • Each complements short paragraphs and provides a visual break for the reader. People don’t have time to read everything they see.  It’s up to you to make it as simple as possible for them to grasp your message by using subheads, bullets and numbering so they can get the gist of your content in a quick scan.  Since most readers are “skimmers,” subheads can be a terrific tool to engage readers and keep them moving through your content.

 7. The final check

  • Read through it again only looking at the subheads, numbers and bulleted lists. Do you get the gist of your content by only reading these? If so, you have done well.

8. Proofreading!

  • If you’re like most, you are bound to make a typo or two. Make sure you proofread your content for typos, clarity and grammatical agreement.

9.  Never!

  • Never underestimate the value of a professional copywriter on your team.

Eldridge is a marketing professional and currently Affiliate Manager for DollarDays.com (Alexa: 3,913).

December 31, 2013   No Comments

Can small businesses survive this Christmas?

huff-postBlack Friday, Cyber Monday, and started in 2010 Small Business Saturday. November and December sales represent as much as 40% of yearly retail stores sales according to the National Retail Federation.  Because Thanksgiving is falling so late in the calendar, there are six fewer shopping days between Thanksgiving and Christmas. This squeeze in shopping days has not happened to retailers since 2002. On top of that, you have Chanukah falling on Thanksgiving which last happened in 1888 and won’t happen again during our lifetime. This leaves only 26 shopping days left to buy stuff and Chanukah in the rear view mirror, so you can’t count on those sales, either. Can small businesses, who many are teetering on survival with the lackluster retail year, that saw bumps along the way like sequestration and a 16 day government shutdown, actually survive into 2014?

Who are these small business owners that may not be around next year? One section is immigrants who since the beginning of America have been the backbone of small business retailers. In Europe for centuries there has been a merchant class that had a long history of selling products into established clientele. Many laws in Europe protect these small retailers against bigger competitors. In America, the desire to throw yourself whole heartedly into your business by putting in long hours and becoming a beacon where relatives follow you and work for you to have room and board, is part of the price of entry into retailing for many of our immigrants. Much like the family farm over the last 150 years on the American frontier, it has become the family store for the immigrant classes to start their life in the New World.

Another section of small business retailers who have emerged are entrepreneurs who are pursuing their dream. Some may have worked for big stores and felt they could do it better. Others may be following an idea they have been honing since they first started shopping. These entrepreneurs are disciplined and are focused on making their business work. These individuals are confident and don’t ask questions about whether they can succeed or are even worthy of success, because they know their business will succeed. They are open minded knowing that every situation is a business opportunity. These entrepreneurs are self-starters, knowing that if something needs to be done, they have the ability to start it themselves. They are competitive, knowing they can do it better than anyone else. They are creative and can make a connection between seemingly unrelated events. But most of all they are passionate and genuinely love the products they sell in their stores

We know we have to support small businesses. The government has an important division known as the US Small Business Administration. Retired successful business people know that our small businesses must survive so they have formed  SCORE (service core of retired executives) whose mission is to mentor and grow small businesses across America, one business at a time. At DollarDays on our  Facebook page, we are giving away $5,000 in products to small businesses across the country, so make sure you nominate your favorite local business.

Americans have tried to not forget about their neighbors running the small businesses in their towns. In 2012 when Small Business Saturday fell on November 24, $5.5 Billion was spent at small businesses. 100 Million People participated in Small Business Saturday last year, but obviously this number is surpassed by the 247 million who shopped on Black Friday. Retailers know that an increase in sales cures most problems and evidently a decrease in sales creates most problems. None of us want to see more and more of these small businesses going out of business. But unless all of us step up and buy locally rather than have these local dollars go to an unknown chain corporate office outside of our city, we will see more and more of our neighbors’ businesses disappear. Local retailers give a city its character. When you think America is the true melting pot of characters, we have to support small businesses.

 

December 2, 2013   No Comments

Employee Holiday Gifts on the Cheap

Your employees love to be recognized during the holiday season (actually any time of the year!). How ever you reward your employees—bonuses, gift cards or gifts—they’ll appreciate your thoughtfulness.

But what mugsdo you do when you have 24 employees and have a small budget? If you bought 24 $25 gift cards, you’d spend $600. That’s too much for a small business! Here is how to save lots of money AND give a qaulity gift that will put a smile on each employee’s face.

Do it on the cheap at DollarDays.com. Order a case (24) of high quality travel mugs at wholesale pricing, pick up 24 $5 Starbucks gift cards and put them in festive gift bags (sold by the case of 24)! No one but you will know you only spent $253 ($10.55 per employee) on 24 high quality coffee travel mugs, each with a $5 gift card to Starbucks inside, all in festive holiday bags. It’s a clever way to save money and it’s a gift that will be appreciated.

See the high quality coffee travel mugs here.

See the festive gift bags here.

Easy, right? You don’t have waste precious time driving all over town for the perfect gift. Order it wholesale and online at DollarDays.com. We’ll ship it to your door! Plus, you’ll save a ton of money! Who knows…once you start browsing at all we have to offer, you might come up with a different gift idea!

Happy holidays!

November 25, 2013   No Comments

Converse, Don’t Complain

by Hiroshi Mikitani, CEO, Rakuten Inc., from LinkedIn

ballSometime today, you may take a break from your work and walk around the office. Perhaps you will talk to a colleague. What will you say? Will you complain about the boss? About the workload? About the weather?

That is common. But it’s not helpful. If you work in a big company, chances are this kind of complaining is what usually goes on in the hallways. But if you look at small companies – at venture start-ups – there is a different buzz in the halls. That’s the sound of conversation.

The best part about being an up-and-coming company was always having someone to play verbal “catch” with. Starting a company is an experiment of trial and error, and when something happens you always end up discussing it with those around you. When Rakuten was in its early stages, there were not many employees, and the office was small. It was as if we were playing verbal “catch” 24 hours a day, all year long. It is no exaggeration to say that Rakuten today was born out of the conversations of that period.

In bigger companies, that natural ongoing conversation may fall off. When that happens, the company loses a critical tool.

In the same way that pro baseball players use a game of catch to warm up and check their form, you can use conversation to verify whether your own way of thinking and judgment are correct or not.

Try raising an issue – “throwing a ball around” – with those nearest to you. People are strange creatures. In most instances, if you throw a ball to someone, they will throw it back. And from there you can start playing catch. This is much more constructive than just approaching other people to complain about your boss or coworkers, or to gossip. And more than just helping you to find a good conversation partner, it is fun.

October 30, 2013   No Comments

Are your employees helping you LOSE money?

by Guest blogger, Chuck Vance, President, MaskMail.com

employee theft - CopyDo you know if your employees are stealing from you or, if a manager is sexually harassing one of his/her subordinates or, if you have an employee who is about to “go postal” at your business or, if you have people using illegal drugs while driving company vehicles?

Most business owners and managers would probably respond: “Of course, I talk to my employees and they talk to me, so I pretty much know what is going on. Besides, we are like family.”

Unfortunately, experts and statistics would tell you that that is your perception and not the reality. Let’s just take one category of what you don’t know, and it is the one that probably everyone thinks of first—- employee theft.

The FBI calls employee theft “the fastest growing crime in America” and adds that this trend is having a devastating effect on small businesses.  The U. S. Chamber of Commerce estimates that 75% of employees steal from the workplace and that most do so repeatedly. The Department of Commerce estimates that employee theft of cash, property, and merchandise may cost American businesses as much as $50 billion per year. That sounds like a lot, but consider if one of your trusted employees is taking just one pack of cigarettes per day (5 days per week), at your store—you lose, (in revenues), between $2,000 and $3,000, per year.

The average annual loss suffered by small businesses (fewer than 100 people) is $200,000, which is significantly higher than the average loss in any other category, including the largest businesses. Would you be surprised to know that it is estimated that about one third of all corporate bankruptcies are “directly” caused by employee theft? What if you had that $200,000, (or even part of it), back in the business? Could it have kept you out of bankruptcy?

You may be thinking, “That can’t be true; why would there be greater losses in a smaller business, where you know the people better, than in a larger company?” Let’s look at the factors that make small businesses especially vulnerable to employee theft and fraud. For one, small businesses generally have more limited resources to devote toward crime detection—they are busy focusing on trying to keep the doors open. When they do spend time and effort on theft deterrence, they think about protecting their company from external theft, not internal theft. In addition, small companies often include employees with multiple responsibilities (people known in baseball as “utility players”), who are not closely supervised. This provides them a greater opportunity to commit and conceal illegal activities. Furthermore, the family-like atmosphere of many small businesses may, believe it or not, lead to higher rates of employee theft—because owners of such businesses place too much faith in the belief that familiarity breeds honesty—which is not true.

And remember, thus far we are only talking about employee theft.

How about sexual harassment? Would it surprise you to know that in a recent survey taken of 782 U.S. workers that 31% of the females revealed that they had been sexually harassed at work—43% of those were harassed by a supervisor? The Business Forum estimates that over $20 billion is spent each year by businesses for litigation—and that does not include settlements or judgments.

There are other issues such as workplace violence, discrimination, alcohol or drugs in the workplace, and many more.

So, if we realize that we probably have problems in our business that we are not aware of, how do we find out about them? Do we meet collectively, or even privately, with our employees and say, “Come on, tell me what you know?” How effective do you think that that would be?  Most people will not step forward with negative information for a number of reasons:

They don’t want to be branded as “snitches” and they don’t want to be ostracized, ridiculed, or perhaps retaliated against by their peers, or even supervisors. They don’t think that their information is important enough to pass along and they don’t believe that management truly wants them to report issues—and make waves.

If these are their concerns, how do we assuage them? How can we get them to provide information to you that could, if unreported, harm the company and its bottom line?

There are anonymous reporting systems which are the proven, most cost effective methods to find out what is going on in your company.  A program is established for your employees to anonymously report information without fear of retaliation.  This is a program that you can establish, endorse and publicize to your employees, vendors, contractors and even customers— because YOU DO CARE, and, YOU DO WANT TO HEAR FROM THEM!

But should that anonymous e-mail and/or phone line go to someone within the company? If you were reporting that your boss was sexually harassing his secretary or that your office manager was taking free trips from vendors, would you e-mail or phone a tip to someone within the company and hope that your voice, or e-mail address, wouldn’t be recognized? Or, would you be concerned that you would be identified and that overtly, or covertly, you would be punished for reporting?

Far more effective, both from a quantity and quality of reported information, is for businesses to use a professional vendor, with a qualified and trained staff, as a 24/7 conduit between the employees, and them. Having a third party between the reporter and management, (with rapid transmission of the report), gives the reporter the confidence to fully and frankly report without being identified.

Also, businesses can tailor the questions that they would like the vendor to ask a reporter and require that the vendor support many different languages so that reporters will feel comfortable communicating in their native language. In fact, because the communication through the vendor is anonymous, the vendor can facilitate an open dialogue between the reporter and the company, increasing the comfort level of the reporter and the likelihood that an incident will be reported.

Business owners and managers can ask follow-up questions through the vendor to gain additional insight and further their investigation.

So, is the anonymous reporting program, with submissions by e-mail or voice mail, monitored and relayed by trained professionals around the clock, 365 days of the year, in almost any language, expensive?

Surprisingly, no. And such a program is easy to incorporate into your business.  At the program’s inception there is a small, one time, start-up fee to get your company set up in the vendor’s software. Then your business and your employees are provided with posters (to be placed in strategic areas around the workplace), wallet size cards (giving URL for the reporting website and the toll free number). You, as the boss, designate who you want to receive the reports. After the start-up charge, you have a very reasonable monthly fee (based usually on the number of employees that you have in the company). That rate remains the same through-out the term of the agreement, no matter how many reports and responses you have each month. The start-up charge and monthly fee could easily be recouped by your company just by detecting and correcting one issue (e.g., someone stealing from you). The deterrent effect alone of such a program will probably save you enough money to more than offset the expenditure.

As an added bonus, an anonymous reporting system also qualifies as one of the reporting methods mandated by the Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX) Act of 2002. In fact, some insurance companies have given premium discounts to businesses that utilize an anonymous reporting system. So, both the government and insurance companies must believe that such a program is an effective deterrent, and an effective self-policing tool.

Sound easy? That’s because it is. You go about doing what you do best for your company. When issues are reported, depending on their nature and seriousness, you resolve them knowing that you probably caught them early, before they became a more expensive and endemic problem.

So, as we’ve shown, you really can’t know everything that is going on in your company, no matter how small or large it might be. Then why not find an excellent vendor and enroll your company in an anonymous reporting program? Companies that have, see positive results. Their employees feel good that they have a way of communicating with management and reporting issues, even making minor suggestions, or voicing complaints—without revealing their identity. Management knows that by having a reliable, effective method to anonymously receive reports, they will probably get an early “heads up” about issues that they would otherwise not see or hear of. Even contractors, vendors, and customers will feel good because they know they are doing business with a company that has an effective tool for dealing with inappropriate behaviors.

So, don’t you think that it is time for you to enroll your business in an anonymous reporting program so that you’ll never have to say, “I wish that someone would have told us about that!”?

October 21, 2013   No Comments

Selling on Auctions Vs Fixed Priced Marketplaces

Online_Auction_Buttonby Marc Joseph

Auctions have been an integral piece of the Internet since the beginning. AuctionWeb (which became eBay) was founded in San Jose, California in 1995 by French born Iranian-American computer programmer Pierre Omidyar. One of the first items sold on AuctionWeb was a broken laser pointer. When Pierre called the buyer to ask why he bought a broken product, the buyer told him he was a collector of broken laser pointers. This answer helped reinforce the idea that the Internet was made up of lots of little niches of interest and a robust auction site could bring them all together.

As eBay grew, so did the fees that were charged the sellers (those listing products). EBay generates revenues from all kinds of fees. There are fees to list a product. There are fees when the products sell and optional marketing fees to sell products. To the long time sellers on eBay, the increase of fees over the years has become quite disheartening. So out of this frustration, several alternative auction sites sprang up.

The auction site DollarDays sees as the fairest site for both buyers and sellers is http://dollardays.com/landing/auction . Sellers pay only $8 a month and they get a free storefront and can list up to 8,000 products. Sellers don’t have to worry about any other hidden charges. This site seems the best way to move overstocks, shelf pulls, leftovers and end of season inventory. Hundreds of thousands of interesting products from coins to collectibles help drive committed buyers to this site.

As a seller, the other way to move your products through Internet sales is to get involved in marketplaces. Online ecommerce marketplaces are sites where the platform of a site containing sellers products, is provided by third parties and transactions are processed by these third party marketplace operators. Some of the most well-known include Amazon, Newegg and Rakuten (previously known as buy.com) If you own your own products, all you need to do is contact these sites directly and add your products. These sites take a percentage of all sales, so make sure you have built enough margins into your pricing to cover these expenses. If you don’t own your own goods and want to sell on these sites, become involved in a drop shipping program which is a technique where you do not keep the inventory in stock, but transfer customer orders and shipment details to a company like a manufacturer or wholesaler who stocks the goods and ships directly to your customer. I obviously recommend our drop shipping program at http://www.dollardays.com/aboutus/dropship.htm

Don’t kid yourself. Both listing and selling products for auctions and marketplaces takes work. The philosophy of “build it and they will come” does not work on the Internet. You need to have the right products, at the right price at the right time and then find the right venue that has the right amount of customers shopping for your goods. The easiest way today to see if you have the right products at the right price is to throw them up on http://dollardays.com/landing/auction . At $8 a month, how can you go wrong and if it does not work, just shut it down…but if it does work, laugh all the way to the bank as you think about how much those poor sellers on eBay are paying just to get their sales!

 

October 7, 2013   No Comments