How Small Businesses Should Approach Online Reputation Management

In the past, small businesses didn’t have to worry about terms such as “online PR”, “SEO”, or “reputation management” But with the constant shift towards the Internet, it has become increasingly important to stay aware of your online presence. Whether you realize it or not, a poor reputation can have lasting effects on your small business. However, you don’t need extensive technical know-how or years of experience in public relations; simply take advantage of the online reputation management resources around you. The following tips can help you manage your presence and what others and saying about your business:

Monitor Your Presence

Use Search Engines:
To get an idea of your current online reputation, you’ll want to first perform an assessment on your name and brand. Use search engines such as Google or Bing to search your business’s name and relevant keywords, and look at what appears in the first few search results. If there are any negative results or links that reflect poorly on your business, then this may be a sign of the damage control ahead of you.

Check Social Media:
Search engine results are not the only place where your business can appear. More and more customers are using social media to fuel their dialogue about niches, industries, and relevant businesses. Therefore, you’ll also want to check on social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter in order to gauge what others are saying about your name. Depending on your business, you’ll also want to expand your search towards more niche-specific sites, such as Yelp and Foursquare.

Set Up Alerts:
Even if your search engine results are free from any bad reviews or sentiments, there’s no reason why it cannot appear in the future. Google Alerts are a great way to keep tabs on your business’s name and niche, as it sends recurring emails straight to your inbox. In addition, there are a variety of other tools, such as Social Mention that can help you manage the dialogue through social media channels.

Manage your Reputation

Deal with Negative Content:
If you encounter any bad press or links in search results, then you may want to try to remove the content, if possible. Try reaching out to the owner of the site or blog, and ask politely if they can remove any harmful information related to your site. This practice also applies to social media – if someone has tagged you in an embarrassing status update or picture, then you may want to disassociate yourself with the content as quickly as possible. But this process can be tricky – if the owner is unresponsive or refuses, then you may want to avoid pressing the issue, as this can result in more harm than good.

Own Your Name:
One great way to build up your online reputation is to make sure that you “own” your name as much as possible. For example, your business should have a website, along with a blog, that prominently displays its name in the URL. Doing so will provide your business with a credible platform through which it can produce good content and counter any negative press. In addition, you’ll want to make sure that you own all social media accounts associated with your business, to ensure that no one else can speak for your name. In general, make sure that you follow good SEO practices, so you can maintain an authoritative position in searches for your name and business.

Grow your Online Name

If you’re looking to progress your online presence, then you’ll want to take proactive measures to grow your reputation. Make sure that you respond to feedback, reviews, or comments received on any social media channel. Doing so will demonstrate that you are involved with your community, along with your audience. In addition, if you possess a blog or social media account, you’ll want to produce consistent content on these channels, as this will boost your authority. In general, conduct your online practices as you would online, and your business will gain the benefits of such positive practices.

About the Author: Sara Fletcher is a professional blogger who writes on a variety of topics, ranging from SEO, social media and business. She loves to learn all she can about online marketing, and is always looking for the next writing opportunity.

Writers vs. Industry Experts: How to Make Sure You Hiring Both in Your Writer

It is no secret that guest posting is becoming more and more popular for businesses. While marketing the content on your own website is important, it’s also important that you have content spread out across the web by contributing guest article. Doing so offers several very large benefits:

  • Your content is put in front of the eyes of a new audience interested in your industry.
  • You get to show off your expertise through great articles.
  • You will form connections with other companies across the web.
  • Your article will likely get extra promotion if it is posted on a site with a greater following.
  • You will get a backlink for your article; thus improving your SEO.
  • If you create a partnership, you could likely get content from other websites. This will help cut down on the workload for you while bringing a new audience (the audience of the author or the company where the author came from) to your site.

hiring a writer

Because contributing guest articles does offer so many features, more and more companies are starting to hire full-time writers. In the majority of cases these writers work from home and are given a certain number of articles to write per month or per quarter. It’s also important that if your company is going to hire writers you’re hiring writers that can write about topics related to your industry. This then begs that inevitable question: Am I hiring someone who is a good writer, someone who is an expert in my field, or someone who can do both?

The Writer’s Your Company Needs and Why It’s Tough to Find Them

Most company owners will tell you that hiring is one of the most stressful aspects of running a business, especially if you’re still in the startup stages. It can be tough to interview for a position that you yourself don’t know much about, and this is the boat that many companies are in when it comes time to hire writers to contribute guest posts because the professions is still fairly new.

Unfortunately, there are a lot of bad writers our there. Everyone wants in on the guest-posting phenomenon because it usually allows you to work from home—and writing is easy. Anybody can write a page or two about a topic because all they have to do is Google it and find some information, right? Wrong. It is this mentality that has made hiring great writers difficult for businesses.

Even if you can manage to find someone who really is creative and can really write, you need to make sue that they can write about your industry. You don’t want your writer simply spinning articles—you want your writer out there showing new audiences that your company has original ideas and can analyze top industry news.

How to Make Sure Your Writers Know What to Write and Not Just How

Below are a few steps to ensure that you have this type of writer representing your company:

1. Experience Matters When It Comes to Writers

It can be very difficult for someone right out of college to understand how to write blog content and to understand fully a subject matter, making experience important. For example, college graduates usually graduate with an English degree, making him/her a great writer, or a business (or any industry) degree, making him/her and expert in the field. However, you can absolutely take a college graduate and give them a chance to get that experience. It is highly recommended that you hire them on as an intern or freelance writer first to see if a). He/she actually likes the work or b). He/she can handle both the writing style and the content.

2. If You See a Great Article, Do Some Research on the Author

Many guest contributors don’t actually work for a company, but are simply freelancing or trying to gain visibility for his/her own personal website. Therefore, if you see an article that you think is great, spend some time doing research on the author. Read the byline to see if the writer already works for a company, and then find him/her on social media. If you see that he/she has written several articles like the one that caught your eye, reach out and make a connection!

3. Give Topics/Websites That Require a Writer to Read the News In Your Industry

As a full-time writer myself, I know that one of the most difficult aspects of the job is coming up with great topics. If you’re hiring someone new to the business and they aren’t overly familiar with your industry yet, tell him/her what you want them to write. This will force your writer to read the news and begin to find websites that offer great information. Let them know where they can find the authoritative voices online.

4. Talk With Experts In the Field about Great Writers

Any business that has gone through hiring guest contributors before will understand how difficult it can be to find good writers. Talk with them and see if they know any freelancer writers who might be interested in doing work for you. This will be a bit more difficult because companies typically don’t want their writers writing for the competition, but it’s usually worth a try!

5. Make Sure the Writer Has Experience With Internet Writing.

Internet writing is very different than other types of writing because you need to focus on SEO, promotion through social media, blog style, and target audience. Although this is not going to guarantee that a writer is an expert in your niche, it will guarantee that the writer understands how online content works.

Have you hired writers to guest post in return for backlinks to your site? How did you make sure that you had someone who could write as well as someone who understood the buzz in your industry?

About the Author: Amanda DiSilvestro is a graduate of Illinois State University. Although she graduated with an English Education degree, she found herself working as a full-time blogger at Highervisibility.com, nationally recognized as one of the top seo firms in the country. Connect with HigherVisibility on Twitter to learn more!

For Small Business Owners: The Benefits of Outsourcing Payroll Services

Owning a small business is like walking a tight rope holding a cash register in one hand and a profits and losses ledger in the next. You’re constantly attempting to manage your multiple roles while remaining steady on a thin, tightly-stretched chunk of nylon. As a small business guru, you might be looking for any way to lighten the load, without putting a tremendous strain on your limited resources. This is where outsourcing your payroll services comes into play, and before you assume this expense isn’t necessary for your handful of employees, there are several benefits to this service. Here are a handful of reasons why turning to a professional payroll services provider is a wise investment.

Save Some Precious Time

Many companies hire an in-house payroll specialist or book keeper, while other intrepid owners take on this Herculean task themselves. If you’re a hands-on owner that has been keeping the books in order for years, imagine all of the family picnics, trips to the beach or snow fights you’ve missed in the name of tracking your costs and doing payroll. When you hire an outside company to handle your payroll, it frees up time to actually enjoy your life and interact with customers.

The Tax Man Cometh

Tax laws are constantly evolving, and without outside help or a degree in finance, it can be impossible for a small business owner to keep up. It’s estimated that the average business owner pays the IRS $845 in penalties simply because they aren’t aware of the latest tax laws concerning payroll. A reputable payroll services company provides a tax guarantee, which gives a peace of mind that greatly outweighs any added expense.

Reduce Your Long-Term Costs

The initial cost of hiring an outside payroll services company, including consultations and software improvements, is going to cost you a fair amount. Overtime, however, the money you’ll save on potential tax penalties, hiring an in-house bookkeeper or throwing your hands in the air to have your books balanced by a tax professional is well worth the start-up.

Keeping up with Technology

Last year, you installed the latest, user friendly payroll software available at your local big box department store. It set you back a pretty penny, but when you were able to keep accurate payroll records, including tax liabilities, it was well worth the added expense. Fast forward one year, and after recent tax changes, your expensive, out of date payroll software can potentially cost you hundreds or thousands of dollars in IRS penalties. The majority of payroll service companies implement the most up to date software, meaning you won’t be in trouble once tax time inevitably rolls around.

Employees Come and Go…

You’ve employed the same bookkeeper for years who knows your payroll system in and out. Unfortunately, he just handed you his two weeks’ notice. As you scramble to find his replacement, you realize his “system” is complicated and, realistically, it would take weeks for a new bookkeeper to get up to speed. A payroll service company isn’t your employee, and won’t walk into the office, throw down his ledger and move to Barbados on a whim.

Track Your Payroll Costs

With everything going on in your small business, it can difficult to keep track of every facet of the operation. Eliminate one major headache by outsourcing your payroll needs. You’ll know exactly—to the dollar—how much is spent keeping payroll straight each month, instead of discovering how much you overpaid at the end of the year.

A Brighter Future

You’ve spent 80 hours a week, plus weekends, growing your small business since day 1. The fruits of your labor are finally beginning to ripen, meaning you can expand and take on more employees. This is an exciting prospect, but also means your payroll just became a lot more complicated. Instead of hiring an additional bookkeeper and hoping for the best, put your worries to rest by outsourcing your payroll needs. As your business expands, you’ll require a team of professionals with the tools and knowledge to handle this exorbitant workload.

Outsourcing your payroll eliminates the burden many small business owners find too cumbersome to handle. If you’re still unsure about the return on your investment, ask a fellow business owner who has benefited from hiring an outside payroll services company; chances are he or she will tell you to make the change.

About the Author: Janice Harrison is a guest blogger and small business owner. For the first two years of owning her company, Janice completed payroll herself; however, as the business grew in size, she found it logical to outsource the task to professionals and advises all business owners to consider doing so.

Latest Trends in Recruitment

Resume experts foresee radical changes in recruitment strategies used today. As the current market presents a wealth of possibilities to candidates, it is necessary that the organization adopts a strategy to score over its competitors.

Recruitment pitch
Image by Hey Paul Studios

Some of the recruitment strategies adopted by the organizations are listed below:

Outsourcing processes

For over a decade, HR processes have been outsourced from different firms. The personnel drawn from other companies may assist the organization in screening eligible candidates. The organization may then pick a suitable candidate from the short listed candidates. The firms that provide outsourcing services are always equipped with talented resume experts who may be commissioned to different organizations. Of course, they charge an intermediate fee for their services.

The benefits of this process are:

  1. The organization is saved the hassle of planning human resources in advance.
  2. Operational flexibility, competitive advantage and Value creation is ensured for the organization.
  3. The organization can channelize their energy towards the levels of HR processes.
  4. The organization is freed from the cares of crafting salary packages and filtering the needless candidates in entrusting their cares to resume experts.
  5. A lot of the organization’s time and money is saved.

Branding

The recruitment process is substantially eased if the prospective candidates view the organization as an established firm that supports the interests of the employees.

Marketing the organization by means of advertisements goes a long way in creating a favorable image of the company, but it is also necessary that the organization lives up to the image.

Referrals

In spite of the internet and the rising marketing strategies, referrals continue to remain as the best source of hiring talent. Certain organizations grant the liberty of recruiting, screening and pre-conditioning candidates to reliable employees.

Raiding

Organizations have sensed the advantage of buying rather than developing talent. Raiding is the process of snatching competent talent from another organization in the industry. The candidate might be the employee of a rival firm but the organization entices the employee with a better salary package and other fringe benefits.

Staffing resources temporarily

Engaging the services of a temporary employee is on the rise. The hires can handle the variations in workload and can be considered eventually for permanent retention.

Recruiting online:

Large firms use the wealth of information available over the internet to short list suitable candidates. Backed by technology, the process of recruiting is eased. The career options and vacancies are showcased all over the internet. Some people seeking a job consult resume experts to draft their curriculum vitae so that employers go over their resume. Experts in the job industry have stressed the benefits of e-recruitment:

  • Cost reduction.
  • No third-party involvement.
  • Time for recruitment process is drastically lessened.
  • Selection of the most suitable candidates.
  • Enhanced efficiency of recruitment process.

The organization must gauge the candidate’s ability and emphasize on relevant subjects like: culture, training investment, environment, social responsibility of the company and development. Bonuses are also an efficient way to lure eligible talent.

About the Author:

Penny is an expert with www.resumeedge.com/. For more information from resume experts, visit their website.

4 Social Media Sites that Will Generate Business

If you’re a business owner who’s done any amount of marketing research, chances are you know the value of an effective social network marketing strategy. These social media networks are literally vast watering holes full of consumers, and if you’re not taking advantage of their accessibility, you’re missing out. Utilizing social media to gain business is probably one of the easiest marketing strategies out there. By making smart choices and sending the right message, you can effectively reach millions of customers on your own, without having to hire professional help. While you’ve most likely heard of these top 4 social media sites, you may not be using them to their fullest extent. So we’ve broken them down to help you boost your business ASAP!

LinkedIn logo
Image by Mario Sundar

Facebook

This social media giant is the number one choice for business owners who want access to millions of consumers and their wallets. With 845 million active monthly users, Facebook offers plenty of opportunities for businesses to connect to the public. Try adding Facebook connect buttons to your website, use Facebook to connect and interact with your customers and add incentives like coupon postings or special deals on your Facebook page. That’s just a few ways to get started using Facebook for your benefit, and it’s all free.

LinkedIn

Unlike Facebook, LinkedIn is a professional social media site by design. Rather than building a friend or fan base, you are able to build a network of people who are interested in the exact services or product you are offering. Companies not only use LinkedIn to generate business, but it can be used in the hiring and networking processes as well. By creating a clear, concise description of your company, adding a call to action that will get people excited about your product and promoting your group, you can attract thousands of people to your network that you would otherwise never have reached. Just make sure everything is grammatically correct and extremely professional—LinkedIn isn’t a Facebook replica!

Twitter

While Twitter is most commonly known for its connectivity to the personal lives of the stars, more businesses are turning to Twitter for marketing purposes. There are so many Twitter business tools available that it can sometimes be overwhelming. However, it isn’t necessary to dive in head-first. By simply creating a Twitter account for your company and connecting with people, you will get your brand out there. Keep your information up-to-date, follow leading individuals in your industry, retweet (retweeting is quoting someone else’s tweet!) useful information and make an effort to be retweetable. Not only will you gain followers, but you will reach new consumers every time someone else retweets your correspondence. With over 500 million users, Twitter can be your business’ best friend.

YouTube

YouTube is often overlooked as a valuable social media marketing website. However, not only do YouTube users watch over 4 billion videos a day, but you can integrate your YouTube videos into your Facebook and Twitter pages. Try posting a few do-it-yourself videos for a simple service your company offers. Not only will viewers appreciate the free advice, but they’re likely to remember your name when it comes time to opening their wallet as well. Let’s say a car part retailer offers free installation videos on YouTube. Not only do they reach a huge viewership, but when it comes time to purchase the car parts, their name is fresh on the minds of their consumers.

Old-school marketing strategies are not exactly a thing of the past. While these old techniques are successful reaching one group of people, online social media sites can span the globe with information on your business. Your brand has the potential to make it into the living rooms of people all across the world. All you have to do it get your name out there!

About the Author: David Skimmer is a business consultant who enjoys web design and is a contributing author for backgroundcheck.org

Security Risks Social Networking Sites Pose To Businesses

Facebook, Google+ et al could further increase the risk factor associated with businesses, owing to their imprudence on the security front

Social networking sites are sort of like the hanging out hubs of hackers. For what seems like ages now, at least as far as the timeframe of the tech realm is concerned, hackers have penetrated social networks and while they have a nice chitchat with their chums who also belong to the hacking creed, they also stealthily wreaked havoc with the privacy and security of the users on these social networks. Computer and Internet monitoring have spread like fire over the past decade or so, with a regular barrage of spam messages ensuring that not only individuals, but also businesses succumb to the hackers; maneuvers.

Socializing With Spam

All of us have, at some point in time, come across spam messages on our news feed and even on our wall posts. And while you might not have been hacked by these spam messages, and it might seem like only a slight inconvenience, but as far as hackers are concerned it is something a lot bigger and a lot more brutal. For, you see, hackers have made a business out of these spam messages and extracting confidential business data through them. And it;s not as if they remotely install keylogger to extract invaluable business info, it;s something a lot more simplistic, and as far as social networking sites are concerned, something that illuminated their imprudence on the security front.

Okay, But How…?

The menace might be highlighted time and again, but one goes beg the question, how does a fake Facebook message lead to the capitulation of businesses? It all starts with a staff member liking a controversial page or video, which directs them to another phony login page, and when they enter their user names and passwords, the hackers steal them. After one staff member has been hacked, it is child;s play for hackers to hack into the whole network of the firm, especially with the prevailing BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) exercise. So yes, no keylogger involved but the effect can be conjured up, and with multiple times the menace.

Extinguishing Trust

A successful spam maneuver can lead to around 200,000 people being trapped and when victims of different such hacking acts are added up it could add up to a massive database of infected users. This database can be used by the hacking groups to sell confidential business information or trade secrets to rival companies and get a hefty payday. This is precisely how hackers have been able to make a successful market out of their ;skills;; by exploiting user naivety, security lapses and the diminishing user-social network trust. Trust is one of the foremost factors that helps any social networking site muster users, and when that goes out of the window – thanks largely to the variably dangerous arrays of computer and Internet monitoring – the credibility and indeed the user-friendliness of the social networks comes into question.

Spamming Businesses

Granted individual privacy is also extremely significant, but when social networking follies lead to the destruction of businesses, the shortcomings of the securities of social networking sites become all the more fatal. Operations like ;stranded spam message; have resulted in many a business biting the dust. And even though tech savvy users are smart enough to ward off such operations, every office has its fair share of buffoons who are idiotic enough to let their accounts being hacked and in turn open up an inlet for the hackers to make their firms the practice playground of their hacking activities.

About the Author: This article is written by Natalia David. You can follow her on twitter @NataliaDavid4

Four Items to Keep Your Small Business Legal and Safe

Always be prepared for the worst

small business safety

With taxes, payroll, inventory and so many other things for a small business owner to juggle, worker safety may not always be at the forefront of your mind. But even if you have just one employee, both the federal government and your state have requirements that it’s important to adhere to.

Whether you manage a staff of several dozen people or strictly utilize contract workers, it’s wise to emphasize safety at your workplace. Not only will promoting safe conditions and practices give you an added layer of protection in the event of an accident (and remember, anything can happen), it also demonstrates to your employees, coworkers and clients that you’re a conscientious business that cares about the people it works with.

Perhaps you’ve never thought about business safety at all, apart from meeting the legal requirements your lawyer alerted you too when you opened your business. Even if you’re in a low-risk office environment, consider adding or updating the following items that are wise for any small business to keep on hand:

Disaster Plan and Supplies

What’s up with the weather lately? Areas of the country that once seemed relatively immune to natural disasters have been caught off guard in recent years, from tornadoes sweeping across the Southeast to a hurricane slamming into New England.

At your next meeting with employees, discuss a plan in the event of a tornado, earthquake or even a power outage. Make sure that your building has at least two ways out — windows that are stuck shut could prevent escape if a primary exit is blocked.

Keep gallons of water, some energy bars, batteries, flashlights, and a radio on hand (cell reception can go out during a major disaster), and make sure that everyone who spends time in your building knows where this is located.

First Aid Kit

If your office is large or has multiple levels, consider this one to be plural. Keep your kits stocked with antibiotic ointment, hot and cold packs, burn cream, bandages, tweezers, alcohol and over-the-counter pain relievers. Even if 99 out of 100 times, your first aid kit is utilized for headaches and paper cuts, you’ll be glad you have it in the event of a real emergency. The ability to stabilize a burn or cut victim until professional help arrives can mean the difference between life and death.

Put it on your calendar to check and restock your first aid kits every three months.

Proper Signage

If there’s ever a fire or a major emergency at your office, it’s possible that first-time customers or visitors could be present. Even if your employees are all well-versed in emergency exits and a disaster plan, those less familiar with your business will instinctively panic.

Are your exit signs well-placed and lit? Check those bulbs.

If your business utilizes machinery, you’re likely well-versed in safety signage that warns people of possible dangers. Office workers, however, get few reminders about the hazards of their job. Consider placing friendly signs in bathrooms and communal areas, reminding employees to stretch and take breaks to prevent repetitive motion injuries to their wrists and back.

Safety Manuals and Training

Most businesses have a safety manual that’s distributed to employees when they begin their jobs. Few ever open and read this. Although the manuals are often designed to meet legal requirements, it’s worth following up with employees during meetings and workshops. An annual safety training refresher course can double as a team-building exercise, and it’s a chance for a business owner to say ‘thank you’ to employees by providing a tasty lunch while they discuss safety protocol at the business.

Even though the chances are (hopefully) slim of an emergency occurring, it’s always best to prepare for the worst. Employees who feel like their safety and health is genuinely considered and cared about by their superiors will be happier and more productive in their jobs.

About the Author: Jay Acker leads a group of producers who create OSHA safety manuals and other training materials for business customers. They make training kits, courseware and safety posters at www.safetyservicescompany.com.

Sometimes You Gotta Make it Alone? The Benefits of Mentoring

It’s a thrill being an entrepreneur – it is a fantastic achievement to be striking out and working for yourself. You want to prove your strength and capability, but often this can mean taking on more than you are equipped to deal with. Maybe you might struggle having so much to do, get bogged down not knowing which ideas to choose, or you simply might not be able to focus on the most important things you need to grow your business.

Newsflash! You don’t have to go it alone – in fact it is better if you don’t!

mentoring
Image by U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service – Northeast Region

Help is at hand for small businesses in the form of Mentoring, and it can be HUGELY beneficial. Mentoring is a low cost, high quality solution – YOU are the most valuable asset to your business, so strategically enhancing your talents will translate into real results.

Let’s take a look at some of the benefits:

  • A proven method to share ideas, try new skills and take risks
  • Transfer of knowledge and know-how
  • Learning from the experience and mistakes of experts
  • Coaching on achieving the objectives of your business, both short and long term.
  • Enhanced capacity to translate values and strategies into productive actions
  • Expanding your personal network to help open new doors for your business
  • Increased self-awareness, self-discipline and areas for improvement
  • Increased technical and professional expertise

Mentoring can take many forms. One on one is great for building a very in depth relationship with a mentor. Masterminds and group mentoring have the added benefits of not only making the most of the experience of your mentor, but also promoting diversity of thinking, practice and understanding by sharing ideas and expertise with your peers – the diversity of perspectives that emerges from group mentoring interaction is a powerful motivator!

So let someone else take some of the strain. Find a mentorship program or Mastermind that is right for you and take advantage of the wealth of knowledge and experience of a seasoned professional to achieve big results!

About James T Noble

James makes small businesses bigger. He’s worked with some of the world’s largest brands and companies to market their products and services online – including Disney, Microsoft, 20th Century Fox, Virgin, Coca Cola, MTV and many others. Find out more and read business growth tips at http://www.JamesTNoble.com

Tips to Survive When Your Small Business Is In Financial Crisis

The current economic situation has in one way or another impacted every business in the world. Business owners are struggling to survive the economic downtime. Small business will easily fall prey to the economic down time. To avoid the crippling effects of the financial crisis you need to find some tips and tricks that will help your business to survive.

helping hands

Image by GrowWear

Here are some well-researched tips will help your company to withstand these hardships:

Cut the costs

Cost cutting is the best way to save some money. However, be careful when doing this as an improper decision can be just as damaging as the recession itself. Some small business owners start cutting their labour cost when they encounter crisis. However you have to be practical this may not be advisable as when the sales pick up you don’t have staff to cover it. So cut down on factors that are not essential or have little impact on other functions.

Pay your bills on time

This is the best way to save some money as the late payment charges and other penalties can prove to be crippling. Your credit rating will also be improved thus enabling you to receive financial support from the institutions in the future without difficulty. If you don’t have money on your due date to pay off your bills you can opt for payday loans. These loans provide you with instant cash and are easily repayable on your next payday.

Spend some money on marketing

You may be under the misconception that spending money during an economic down turn is a bad idea but in reality it is a good idea. You need to be more aggressive with your marketing during down turns. Marketing may cost you but it gives you a good return on your investment. If you lack funds to invest on marketing you can get the help from the payday loans.

Review all the costs

You need to review all the costs. This will help you to find where your money is going. Check the costs of fuel, water and energy overheads. You can set some fixed-price contracts on these areas to reduce the costs.

Motivate yourself

It is advisable to motivate yourself in such a way that you can face any kind of problems in bad times. Also motivate your employees to face the challenges. Reading motivational books and magazines will develop a positive attitude which will help you to overcome any type of problem.

If you follow the above tips with a strong desire and a little financial discipline then you can easily survive the financial crisis.

Author Bio: My name is Michelle. I am a tech writer from UK. I am into Finance. Catch me @financeport

Five More Apps Every Small Business Owner Should Have

Small business owners are some of the most hard-working people in the world. Not only do they have to market their products and keep customers happy, but they are often in charge of managing all the little details behind the scenes. The good news for my fellow entrepreneurs is that there are numerous tools available on the internet that can help get things done and keep a business running smoothly.

We put up a blog post back in March that listed five of the best apps for small business owners. Today, I’d like to add to that post with a list of five more apps every small business owner should have. These apps are all cheap and effective.

Box.com

Box.com is an online storage, file syncing and collaboration tool that I consider a must-have for every small business. The most useful feature of Box is its ability to sync your most important files across multiple computers and mobile devices. This eliminates the need to e-mail documents to yourself whenever you want to take them with you on your laptop or smartphone.

Additionally, Box.com can be used to back up important files. Every document that you save in your local Box folder is automatically backed up to the cloud for safekeeping. You can also invite collaborators to your shared folders for easy online collaboration.

Box.com offers a free plan with 2 GB of storage space. You do not need to give them your payment information; just sign up and download the software. Many people are able to get by with the free plan for a long time. If you decide to upgrade, paid plans are all reasonably priced.

Aweber

Aweber is an online newsletter management system. In short, Aweber.com helps you create a database of customer e-mails and send regular newsletters to your subscribers. This tool is useful for both web-based and brick-and-mortar businesses. Newsletters help you keep in touch with customers, build trust and upsell new services.

A subscription to Aweber costs $19 a month for up to 500 subscribers. After that, you can upgrade for an extra $10 a month for larger e-mail lists. Although small business owners may be reluctant to take on additional payments, I am fully convinced that Aweber pays for itself if used to its full potential.

A Virtual Office

A virtual office allows you to take advantage of a legitimate office space without spending money on expensive real estate. Virtual offices provide working space, conference rooms, internet access, a business mailing address, phone assistants and the opportunity to work alongside other small business owners.

The prices for virtual offices vary greatly depending on your needs. You can get a virtual phone line for a few dollars a month or spend a couple hundred a month for your own office space. Just run a Google search for virtual offices in your city to learn more.

The greatest benefit of a virtual office is that it lends additional credibility to your business. You can set up a professional mailing address, meet with clients in an office setting and host conferences in large meeting rooms. This is a must-have for the small business on a budget.

LibreOffice

LibreOffice is similar to Microsoft Office except it is completely free. LibreOffice is 100% free to download and use. It supports Microsoft Office file extensions and comes with a word processor, spreadsheet tool, presentation tool, Photoshop-style image editor, database tool and an equation editor.

If you’re in dire need of an office suite similar to Microsoft Office but don’t have the funds to make the purchase, LibreOffice is the answer. You can learn more and download it at LibreOffice.org.

Monitter

Monitter is an awesome tool if your small business has a presence on Twitter. This free tool allows you to monitor specific keywords on Twitter related to your business. You can look for generic terms related to your business or for your business name specifically.

Best of all, Monitter.com can narrow down searches to a geographic location. This comes in handy if your business has a common name and you don’t want to see Twitter results from other companies located around the world. You can try it out at Monitter.com.

About the Author: Wes Burns is an internet marketer and online entrepreneur. He is currently working on an online file storage site that provides reviews, tech news and tips for the online storage industry.