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How to Put Your Business Online

We live in an online world. More businesses are offering e-commerce solutions with every passing day, and even for businesses that operate entirely offline, a website demonstrates legitimacy to customers. Faced with these realities, small business owners are sometimes intimidated at the thought of setting up a website. While the cost of web development is a one-time investment, monthly hosting plans often seem more threatening.

Fortunately, the majority of small businesses can avoid these fees entirely through the use of cheap web hosting. While hosing plans can be astronomically expensive, most baisc, cheap hosting solutions are perfectly adequate to meet the needs of small (and larger) businesses.

To establish a website online, one needs a domain and a hosting account. The domain is simply the website’s address. Anything ending with “.com,” “.org,” and any similar suffix is a domain. These can be purchased at domain clearing houses like GoDaddy. After you buy a domain, you’ll need a place to put it – you ned a place to have your site hosted. Basically, when hosting is purchased, it is nothing mroe than buying space on a computer.

Hosing is available from multiple companies. If you buy your domains on GoDaddy, you can buy cheap hosting there as well. Additionally, you could buy hosting at places like WestHost, FatCow, or HostGator. All of these hosting solutions are cheap (as low as $4 a month), and their service offerings are comparable.

A website’s legitimacy comes in part from its design and in part from simply having a recognizable domain suffix. Users browsing a company’s website have no idea what kind of plan the website is hosted under. As long as the website ends in a familiar domain suffix, the user gains the sense that the website is trustworthy and professional.

This approach is guaranteed to save a small business more money without sacrificing any quality in their online presence.

July 26, 2010   No Comments

Week In Review – July 23, 2010

URL Shorteners and Facebook – Why Marketers Need Their Own – July 19th, 2010

http://vitrue.com/blog/2010/07/19/url-shorteners-and-facebook-%E2%80%93-why-marketers-need-their-own/

The use of free URL shortener services such as tinyURL and bit.ly are being frowned upon by Facebook effective June 2010. Some of the links have been broken. According to a post one the Facebook blog in June, the use of the free URL shortener links are often used by spammers to bombard Fecebook members with unwanted messages. Adding new links may require entering characters though a CAPTCHA authenticator to ensure that the links are not being entered by means of automated software. The use of branded URL links is the best way to get around the problem and maintain credibility with Facebook followers.

Survey Says: Back to School Sales in 2010 Will Reach Record High – Jul 20, 2010

http://blog.dropshipaccess.com/bid/34617/Survey-Says-Back-to-School-Sales-in-2010-Will-Reach-Record-High

Back to school sales are historically a time for retailers to boost revenues after the slow summer months. Projections for this year’s back to school spending published by the International Council of Shopping Centers indicate that 2010 may boast the highest back to school season in three years. The strengthening of the economy higher consumer spending back up this data. This time of year is a good time to sell electronics, clothing, sports equipment, as well as school supplies, calculators, and backpacks.

Starting Up Your Online Dropship or Wholesale Business Website – July 21st, 2010

http://www.wholesalematch.com/blog/starting-up-your-online-dropship-or-wholesale-business-website/4148/

Anyone whose business is at the point of needing a website should follow these eight insightful tips to get the ball rolling without taking on too much too soon. Knowing what you want is the first step and often the most difficult question to answer. After that, new website developers should realize that the project will most likely take more time and money than anticipated. Websites are put together in pieces and take time and planning to put together. After the website is built, anticipate that routine updating and improvements will be necessary.

ASD Las Vegas 2010: Huge Buyers and Sellers, Huge Show – July 23, 2010

http://blog.toptenwholesale.com/asd-las-vegas-2010-buyers-sellers-show.htm

Wholesalers and suppliers will come together from August 8-11 for a huge trade show in Las Vegas, NV. Taking some time to attend the show offers opportunities for networking as well as valuable information about sales trends, pricing strategies, and current retail and wholesale environments. Seminars will be held at the Las Vegas Convention Center on August 9 and 10. The show promises to house the largest assortment of retailers and wholesale products under one roof in the country.

July 23, 2010   No Comments

How to save money shopping for college school supplies

College is an exciting time for everyone. For most young people, it is the first time they will be living away from home. It’s also the first time many will have to pay their own way in life, and have the responsibility of college-related bills. There’s a lot more to college than just tuition! Today we’ll look at how to save money shopping for back to school supplies college style.

Buy in bulk. There are a lot of things that can be purchased in bulk as students get ready to go to college. Pens, Notebooks and erasers are all good staples – get it? Staples…

Textbooks. Aside from tuition, textbooks are the most expensive supplies for college you will encounter. Before you pay full price for a textbook, do a little online research. Find out if the textbook you need is available as an e-book. If so, you can save up to 50% for the price of the book. Also, see if renting your textbook is an option. Another way to save money is to see if your college textbook is available for a free download online; some of them are, so it’s worth looking into.

Computer. Every college student will need a computer. To save money, find out if your college offers a student discount by purchasing the computer through them. Some college campuses offer refurbished computers at a deep discount. Another option is to check into student programs offered by computer manufacturers, such as Dell, HP, and Apple. Oftentimes, you can even delay payments until after graduation.

Buy a discount card. A discount card for students can be used to save money on virtually everything you will need for college. You’ll pay a one time fee for the card, but then it can be used to save money on food, school supplies, clothing, computers, and much more. Check out websites like Student Advantage to find out more about this great money-saving discount card.

Barter. Never underestimate what you bring to the table. What skill do you have that can be used to barter for school supplies you need? Place an ad in the classifieds stating your desire to barter goods. Perhaps you are a skilled typist who could offer to type research papers for a used textbook. If you don’t have a particular skill, barter something material that you no longer use.

Buy away from college. Don’t purchase supplies at the school bookstore, as prices are typically higher there. Instead, stock up on supplies while you’re still at home. Buy in bulk and then store your supplies in a lockable container, to prevent them from being stolen or ‘borrowed’ without your permission.

July 22, 2010   1 Comment

Own a Business? Get Networking!

Small business may be the heart of our economy, but anyone who owns one can tell you it’s hard work. Many small business owners do everything themselves, from janitorial duties to operations to marketing and accounting. If you want your business to grow, but your budget doesn’t compare to the big boys, what is a little company to do?

Have you tried networking? If you have never heard of this skill, there is no better time to learn than now.

Networking means getting to know lots of people, treating everyone with dignity and respect, and working together so you both benefit. It really is that simple. If you master this talent, you can build business exponentially.

How does it work?

First, be social. Attend business events, seminars, SBA training workshops–anything that offers you the chance to meet new people. It can even be a bowling night for you and your family so long as you also encounter new people.

Some are intimidated by the idea of having to actively seek out new acquaintances, but there is a simple solution in these numbers. Remember the code: 3-2-3. Meet three new people, learn two things about them, follow up three days later. There is no need to hunt for a new best friend; simply shake hands, exchange a few facts about yourselves, and then send an email or note later to say you enjoyed meeting that person.

Why meet all these people? Because you now have a network of contacts who do all kinds of things, know all types of information, and who can help you when you need it. Further, you are advertising your own business free of charge!

Now that you are expanding your network, you are getting to the heart of commerce. Most businesses keep tight budgets, and they can’t always write a check for what they need. This is the time to pull out your address book and see who can trade services or the occasional favor. You both get something you need, and you both keep your cash flow under control.

Last, seek first to give, and second to receive. People know the difference between working together and being used. Always offer help first before asking for it back.

Once you start, you will learn that networking is simple, fun and profitable. You might even end up with a few great friends.

July 19, 2010   No Comments

Week in Review, July 16

Wholesale Closeouts that Make the Cut – July 10, 2010

http://blog.toptenwholesale.com/greyeagletrader-wholesale-closeouts.htm

Grey Eagle Trader company specializes in closeout merchandise. Eagle Trader’s merchandise is fun, diversified, and well priced. The company does offer online sales with the option to pick up merchandise at their showroom. The showroom is open Monday through Friday for buyers to view the selection and quality of the merchandise. Special bulk discounts are available when purchases are made over the phone, so be certain to call before ordering.

Survey Says: Amazon is Eating eBay’s Lunch – Jul 13, 2010

http://blog.dropshipaccess.com/bid/34475/Survey-Says-Amazon-is-Eating-eBay-s-Lunch

According to information released by Citi Investment Research and Analysis, Amazon’s US traffic growth significantly outperformed that of eBay. In fact, if the trends in eBay’s US traffic continue, it will soon be in third place behind Craigslist.com. Factors impacting eBay’s falling traffic include transitions to the new pricing policies and to new search algorithms. Continued migration of buyers and sellers from eBay is expected to continue based on unreliable search results in eBay listings as well as new policies which include a significantly higher number of store items in the regular search results.

Sandra Bullock, and the Wholesale Fashion Jewelry Marketplace? – July 14, 2010

http://blog.toptenwholesale.com/judson-fashion-jewelry-marketplace.htm

Silicone watches are hot items. Just take note of the hot debate sparked by Sandra Bullock’s appearance in the movie, The Blind Side, wearing just such as watch. These items are moving fast. With inventory items easily be obtained from a number of sources, sellers are stocking up. One seller that provides a large selection is Judson and Company Wholesale Fashion Jewelry. Judson offers a selection of quality items at a variety of price points. Sellers are sure to find just what they need. Judson also offers fashion sunglasses, hair accessories, and a complete assortment of college jewelry.

Wholesale Prices Drop 0.5 Percent In June – Jul. 15, 2010

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2010/07/15/ap/business/main6680545.shtml

For the third month in a row, wholesale prices fell. Coupled with falling fuel prices and the largest drop in food prices in eight years, inflation in the US is staying flat allowing the Federal Reserve to keep interest rates low. However, concerns that lower prices may have a negative long term impact on the economy. Sellers may have a more difficult time passing through price increases to boost revenues as the economic growth within the US remains sluggish.

July 16, 2010   No Comments

Back to School Shopping Tips

Back to school. Back to shopping. Back to spending. Back to headaches. Why not avoid the headaches this year and save a little money doing it as well?

One Man’s Trash Is Another Man’s Treasure
Garage sales, thrift stores, consignment shops and flea markets comprise the 21st-century rendition of the Island of Misfit Toys. They are renowned for containing treasures at bargain-basement prices. Designer clothing, gymnasium equipment, musical instruments, office supplies and the like are simply waiting to be hawked away. Laura T. Coffey of MSNBC, writes: “On certain days of the week, some thrift stores allow you to fill an entire bag with clothing and buy it for $3 or $4.” What a back to school bargain.

Dial It Up
Online shopping has long been known as back to school bargain alternatives to traditional shopping, forever altering the schematics of shopping. Buying clothes and textbooks online are – well, textbook back to school shopping tips. If you’re looking for a place to find great bargains…I think DollarDays knows just the place ;)

Think Tax-Free
In some localities, governments host tax-free holidays. In an era of 6-10% sales taxes, this can lead to hundreds of dollars in savings, especially as the average mom spends $1,200 per child for back-to-school needs. Find out more about tax-free holidays

Fight the Man
Forgive the 60’s mantra, but the flower children may very well have been onto something. Brand names – Hollister™, Abercrombie™, Nike™, etc. – are designed to do one thing: make the wearer feel more important. Teach children something about personal security and don’t bedeck them in expensive apparel just to “fit in.” You can find great cheap clothes to fit your kids at great prices if you know the right places to shop.

July 15, 2010   No Comments

Put a Pack on your Back – Back to school BackPacks

Back to school shopping season is here. Have you stocked your shelves with all the wondrous things that parents will need to buy for their children? Well, if you’re looking for backpacks there’s no better time than now to make sure that your shelves are chock full of merchandise!

Today and tomorrow only, DollarDays is offering $3 wholesale backpacks. So rush on over and make sure to stock up before the school year begins.



July 13, 2010   No Comments

Getting Your Website to Rank in Search

Online businesses and websites are getting free traffic from search engines every day. Search engine traffic is where you can find visitors who are looking to buy a product or service. For example, if someone was looking for the best prices on lawn mowers, they would likely type “cheap lawn mowers” or “lawn mowers on sale” into a search engine. That is the type of visitor that will likely buy a product. When websites rank for keywords that that indicate an users intent to purchase, they will see more purchases than when they rank for keywords that might indicate a shoppers intent to compare prices or features.

So how do you get your website to the top of search engines for phrases like “cheap lawn mowers”? Well you have to know how search engines work. Search engines will rank websites based on their authority. Authority will come from links pointing to a website. If a website links to your website, then you will have more authority with the search engines, thus, they will start to rank you higher in the results. The key is to get links with the correct anchored text. In the example, you would want the link to say “cheap lawn mowers”. This tells the search engines what your website or page on your website is about. They will then start to rank you higher for that phrase and other phrases that are similar to that.

What it boils down to is keyword anchored links pointing to your website. The more the better, and the better quality of the links the better. A quality link is one that comes from an authority site to your site. A link from a friends blog that has nothing to do with lawnmowers will not help as much as a link from the John Deere website would. John Deere has good authority with the search engines and is relevant to your website. The more quality links you can get, the faster you will rise in the search engines rankings.

If you are in a niche industry that has pretty low competition in the search engines, then you can get only a few links and probably rank well in the search engines. One way you can get links to your website is through article directories like:

Those websites allow anyone to post an article. In exchange for the free content you are giving them, they will give you links to your website. This comes in very handy because you can choose your anchor text of that link. The more links you have to your site, the higher the search engines will rank you.

July 12, 2010   No Comments

Wholesale Week In Review – July 9

AllPetMemorials.com Launches Personalized Pet Memorials With PETCO.com – July 09, 2010

http://www.istockanalyst.com/article/viewiStockNews/articleid/4294246

PETCO realized a growing market for pet memorial products. In an agreement with Milano Monuments in Cleveland, OH, PETCO will offer pet memorial products through its website, AllPetMemorials.com. The new product line will include dog and cat headstones, pet urns, and pet memorials. Additional distribution channels will be veterinary offices, pet retailers, pet cemeteries, and pet crematoriums. Personalization will be available to AllPetMemorials.com customers by allowing them to upload photos of their pets which can be engraved on the memorial.

The Big Toy Book(R) Private Sales Are the New Black Friday – July 08, 2010

http://www.istockanalyst.com/article/viewiStockNews/articleid/4289729

www.TheBigToyBook.com is making waves with its online private sales membership shopping site for toys. Private sale sites have been rising in popularity in the designer fashion market. The Big Toy Book took the model and applied it to the toys market. Free memberships to the site offer consumers exclusive deals on mass marketed and specialty toys. Savings of up to 70% off MSRP are available while supplies last. Email alerts sales events are sent as the sales go live. The company’s vision is to make deals which were only possible on Black Friday available year-round.

New iPhone Apps and Wholesale: is it for You? – July 7, 2010

http://www.toptenwholesale.com/news/flea-market-retailing-trends/iphone-apps-wholesale-retail/

Advances in e-commerce make online shopping easier than ever. The sales game in physical stores and online are changing again with the development of shopping apps for smart phone users. Apps are being developed which allow users to scan product barcodes in retail stores to instantly compare prices at popular online sites such as Amazon.com and eBay.com. Beyond the obvious advantage of increased sales, developing mobile apps offers sellers a unique opportunity to conduct valuable market research. The first step to tapping into this market is to optimize the company website for mobile phone browsers.

News: The New #2 E-Commerce Search Hot Shot – July 9th, 2010

http://www.wholesalematch.com/blog/new-e-commerce-search-hot-shot/4128/

In May, 2010, TheFind.com overtook Yahoo’s Shopping search engine as the number two product search engine. Though Google is still the number one search engine for shopping, The Find offers a clean interface and some features which are not found on Google. One feature that makes The Find unique is its coupon section. Consumers no longer have to go to a different coupon sites such as www.retailmenot.com to locate coupon codes. The Find also offers an advanced search capability which makes it simple to narrow searches by price or color. Merchants can list their products on The Find free of charge on a revenue sharing model. If a sale is made through The Find, merchants must split the revenue.

July 9, 2010   No Comments

The Frugal Teacher

Working as a teacher can get very expensive. The school is not always able to get you the supplies you need for your classroom. Being frugal is a must to have your classroom set up and having supplies for teaching your students. You can find a lot of websites to simply print out worksheets and other items for your class. These classroom supplies are free and a great addition to your teaching.

One way to get teacher school supplies is by checking out discount stores. Dollar Tree carries flash cards, wall charts, stickers, and more. You can check out DollarDays.com for online ordering. These are great supplies at a price that anyone can afford to purchase. If you don’t need the volume that DollarDays provides, many stores give discounts to teachers so do not be afraid to ask for this option.

Do not be afraid to use home items and recycle for your art projects. When you need classroom supplies many of these can be found in your own home. There are a lot of art projects that can be made with empty toiled paper rolls. You can also use egg cartons, milk jugs, and many other items from your home. Use your imagination and look up ideas online. Parents love to help out the classroom and will bring these items from home if you just ask them to help out. These will not cost the parents or you anything at all.

Many schools ask parents for gifts for the classroom. You can specify to parents that you would prefer these rather than gifts for yourself. Many parents buy the teacher a gift at holidays. By asking for other items, you can get videos, books, or other items you normally could not afford for your room. Parents do not mind as long as you make it optional. Do not force them to help you and most will be willing to do it.

Use your imagination when teaching your students. Nature is a great way to learn just by stepping outside into the world. Do not feel like you have to spend money on everything. Children can learn just as much from experiences that you can show them or tell them about in a story. This will also help to show the kids that you don’t need money for everything.

July 8, 2010   1 Comment