Posts Tagged ‘pricing’

Weekly Small Business Roundup for January 6, 2012

Friday, January 6th, 2012

Weekly Small Business Roundup

This week’s Small Business Roundup includes cleaning up after a hack, rate increases, SOPA, and the power of failing.

Finding the Cleanup Crew After a Messy Hack Attack – This article provides a real-world example of a small business responding to being hacked. It gives you some good tips on what to do and how to respond, namely: act quickly, secure your entire network, and inform affected users. These are all extremely important and, of course, how you tell your users is also vital. Something to keep in the “just in case” file in the back of your mind.

More Small Businesses Plan to Push Up Prices in 2012 – With 35% of small businesses increasing their prices in 2012, what are your rate plans? A lot of folks have trouble raising their rates for various reasons and I will say it can be difficult. But if you make it a regular part of doing business it takes some of the pressure off. Also, as suggested in the article, you can try increasing rates for new customers only and grandfathering in your current clients. That’s something I’ve done and had success with. And, it makes it less scary!

Rethink your professional profile photos – Some good tips here. It boils down to: don’t misrepresent yourself or your company. One thing I’ve noticed people have trouble with is professionalism. Because professionalism varies by industry, a good rule of thumb is to be professional for your profession.

Will Google, Facebook, others ‘nuke’ Internet over SOPA? – Several weeks ago I was going to do a whole series on SOPA but I wasn’t sure the level of interest and I got caught up in other things. Now that I’ve come across this, I think it’s time to give it a mention. There’s a lot of information out there on SOPA and the controversy, but this is a good start: Setting the Record Straight on SOPA: Some Evidence-Based Analysis. If you’d like more, post a comment below or contact me and I’ll send you more info.

The power of failing – This is a really great article on the positives of failing. If you don’t fail at something, it’s probably holding you back. A must read.

Tech news is up next. Have a great weekend!

Weekly Small Business Roundup for December 2, 2011

Friday, December 2nd, 2011

Weekly Small Business Roundup

This week’s Small Business Roundup includes pricing, taxes, some handy Firefox and Chrome extensions, and interesting blogging stats.

Hide morning and night hours in Calendar – This could come in handy if you are a Google Calendar user.

The Black Friday and Cyber Monday Purchases You Can Write Off – You may be able to help your taxes with the goodies you picked up last Friday and Monday. Check out this article to see if your loot qualifies. While we’re on the subject of taxes, check out this article for three things you need to do before the end of the year: Small Business Strategies: Three things to do in December.

OneReceipt – This seems like a great idea but I have yet to try it. It’s a free online app that will store and organize your receipts and analyze your spending. If you’ve tried it, please post your feedback in the comments.

Chrome and Firefox Extensions That Protect You from Yourself – Some great ideas for productivity, in-browser spell check, and embarrassment prevention. Check these out if you use Firefox or Chrome.

Why We Are Afraid to Talk Pricing – Do you list your prices on your website? I know a lot of companies (particularly in my line of business) do not. I know, as a consumer, that is one of the first things to turn me off. I don’t want to have to contact someone to get a general idea of how much something will cost. I understand exact pricing can be hard (it is sometimes for my projects!) and that’s why I use “starts at…” for pricing most of my packages.

The Emergence and Explosion of Blogs, Blogging and Bloggers! – If you’re still wondering about this whole blogging thing, take a look at the stats in this article. They’re interesting. Don’t miss the three suggestions at the end.

Tech news is up next. Have a great weekend!

International Freelancers Day 2011 Recap

Friday, September 23rd, 2011

I spent the first 20 minutes of (most of) each hour today watching presentations from International Freelancers Day. If you missed it, you can catch the replays for $29. That doesn’t just get you a one time viewing; that’s a lifetime availability price. Offer’s good through next Friday, Sept. 30.

I took lots of notes, but there were two presentations in particular that caught my attention: The 30-Day Freelance Money Challenge: 5 Money Management Steps Every Freelancer Should Know & Do in the Next 30 Days from Joe D’Agnese and Denise Kiernan and A 6-Step Plan for Confidently Pricing Freelance Projects from Rebecca Matter.

I’m not sure they said anything I didn’t already know, but they reinforced some very important ideas that I’ve forgotten or ignored since I’ve run my business full-time. I’ll be re-examining my business with a focus on those two areas. The first is exclusively internal money management but the other will result in client-facing changes.

Don’t expect any big, scary changes, though! I think the only change you will see is more accurate project estimates, which I’m always striving to improve and I’m sure everyone appreciates. And, if you request a project estimate, it will probably take me a little longer to get back to you – no more quick guesses and then coming back with an estimate later. It’ll just be the estimate later. When I have time to think about and research a project the estimate is the most accurate.

We’ll see what else sinks in from my other notes over the next few days but that’s mostly what caught my attention.

If anyone would like a copy of my notes from these two presentations or any of the others I attended, please feel free to post a comment or contact me.

Weekly Small Business Roundup – July 22, 2011

Friday, July 22nd, 2011

Weekly Small Business Roundup

I read a lot of blogs. I subscribe to a lot more blogs than I have time to read. Sound familiar? If you're like me, you don't have time to read everything you want (if you do, please tell me your secret). In an effort to reduce the chaos of life, I do two weekly article roundups: one for small business things and one for technical things.

Here's a roundup of the most interesting small business articles I found this week. Enjoy!

Business owners band together, offer advice – This is a great story about a group of business owners in New Jersey with a free networking group. These business groups are excellent for those of us that don’t like traditional networking because it doesn’t feel like we’re networking, it feels like sharing stories and helping each other out (but, of course, that is networking). There are a lot of these kinds of groups around (and even more of the “Eww, networking” variety). The great thing is if there isn’t a group in your area that meets your needs you can start your own!

Work Your Profit Margin – Ten Ways To Increase Profit By Working Smarter Not Harder – This article has “10 ways to streamline, automate, and stop wheel-spinning.” Who wouldn’t love to stop the wheel-spinning? The suggestions are tech-heavy but that doesn’t mean you need to be a geek to use them. Think about how you could apply these tips and tools to your business. For example, if you have an appointment-based business, a variation of #2 “Get your calendar online” is to start using an online scheduling system.

5 Ways To Raise Your Rates And Keep Your Clients – These are nonthreatening, non-scary ways to raise your rates. Many of them make so much sense I wonder how I hadn’t thought of them on my own. I love the idea of building rate increases into your business process so it is just how it is. It’s definitely a mind hack but it’s a great one! How do you approach price increases in your business?

Facebook Sponsored Stories Performing 2 Times Better Than Standard Ads – Facebook’s Sponsored Stories are essentially a word-of-mouth kind of advertising because it’s based on a friend’s Likes and check-ins. It acts as a sort of endorsement of a product, service, or company. I haven’t seen any of these ads in my Facebook experience yet but it seems like it would be more appealing to see what my friends like than the traditional ad style. It would also be interesting to see what kinds of businesses are seeing success with it.

How Do I Make the Most of Google+? – This article covers layout adjustments, keyboard shortcuts, sharing plugins, and more. I’m sure it’s not comprehensive but it’s covers a lot. Also on G+, Gphangouts Lists Public Google+ Hangouts for You to Join – If you’re on G+ you’ve probably seen the green “Start a Hangout” button and wondered what that was really all about. Hangouts are kind of like video chat rooms where you can discuss a specific topic. This site will show you a list of current Hangouts and you can publish your own.

If you enjoy these Roundups please share with your friends!

Tech news is up later this afternoon. Have a great weekend!

Weekly Small Business Roundup – July 1, 2011

Friday, July 1st, 2011

Weekly Small Business Roundup

I read a lot of blogs. I subscribe to a lot more blogs than I have time to read. Sound familiar? If you're like me, you don't have time to read everything you want (if you do, please tell me your secret). In an effort to reduce the chaos of life, I do two weekly article roundups: one for small business things and one for technical things.

Here's a roundup of the most interesting small business articles I found this week. Enjoy!

This week is mostly short & sweet on the comments because I have so many articles to share.

Google+ – Google has launched another social network, similar to Facebook, called Google+ (Google Plus). It’s invite-only right now. If you want an invite, comment on this post or send me an email. I played with it a little this morning and it’s definitely still in its early stages. Here are some articles if you want to learn more: Inside Google+ — How the Search Giant Plans to Go Social and Google’s Facebook Competitor, The Google+ Social Network, Finally Arrives. Will you join Google+?

Free Website ROI Calculator – This Google Spreadsheet from Smashing Magazine looks like a really helpful tool for web folks, small business owners, or for corporate teams looking to determine development & operating costs, marketing costs, break even points, and even how to increase ROI.

Understanding Copyright And Licenses – Very important stuff to know and understand. A fairly quick read, considering it’s such a huge topic.

IRS increases gas mileage deduction by 4.5 cents – Starting today, the IRS mileage rate is 55.5 cents per mile. Make sure to update your expense forms and mileage records!

How to Keep Your Marketing Rolling While You’re on Vacation – 7 tips to keeping your marketing efforts going while on vacation this summer. Some of these suggestions are great for anytime, but especially for when you’re away.

5 Reasons To Keep A Work Diary – I think this is a great idea and I’m going to give it a shot. Particularly for the small business owner, where pretty much everything is up to you, it would be nice to have a written record of projects, transactions, and conversations to look back on so you don’t have to rely on memory (yours or others).

The Importance Of Run Books – I’d never heard of “run books” before today. It’s really a great idea, though. I mostly keep my processes in Word documents on my computer but having a printed copy in a three-ring binder might give them a little extra something. Similar to my need to write something down so I’ll remember it. I might not ever look at that piece of paper again, but because I wrote it down it’s committed to memory.

Why You Should Charge More – This is an excellent article about why you should charge more for your services. It’s really hard for a service business in particular because we typically charge by the hour or project. But we must remember our clients are paying for our expertise, not our time. These articles are usually only around for a week, so try to take a look ASAP.

Love What You Do (Coloring Book) – This is such a great coloring book! Perfect for those of you with kids but, honestly, I want to print it out and go find my crayons! Getting back to “business,” at that same link you’ll see all the other (email marketing) ebooks available from Mailchimp. What a great resource!

If you are looking for a more grown-up coloring ebook, my friend Amy Goetz is soon launching Marketing Preschool, a coloring book focused on making marketing less scary. I’m bundling an ebook of my own with it. More to come on that very soon. Stay tuned!

If you enjoy these Roundups please share with your friends!

Tech news is up later. Happy 4th!

Weekly Small Business Roundup – June 24, 2011

Friday, June 24th, 2011

Weekly Small Business Roundup

I read a lot of blogs. I subscribe to a lot more blogs than I have time to read. Sound familiar? If you're like me, you don't have time to read everything you want (if you do, please tell me your secret). In an effort to reduce the chaos of life, I do two weekly article roundups: one for small business things and one for technical things.

Here's a roundup of the most interesting small business articles I found this week. Enjoy!

5 More Handy Web Apps To Save You Time At Work – There are some slick apps here. I have used Dummy Image before and I’m super excited to try out Show Me What’s Wrong. Do you have any nifty apps you can add to the list?

5 Ways to Win on Price – Awesome pricing tips. Pricing can be really hard, especially pricing a service. These suggestions should give you the confidence you need to price accurately and back it up if a customer questions your rate.

How do you know when it’s done? – The shortest and best article all week. I know I needed to hear it this week, particularly this part:

Good enough, for those that seek perfection, is what we call it when it’s sufficient to surpass the standards we’ve set. Anything beyond good enough is called stalling and a waste of time.

Email Etiquette Rules and Twitter Etiquette Rules: Are You Breaking Them? – If you’ve been emailing for 10 or 15 years you may think you’ve got it down. But do you break any of these etiquette rules? They may seem obvious but you’d be surprised! The Twitter etiquette rules are a little less obvious but just as important. A must read if you’re just getting started with Twitter.

77 Percent of Small Business Owners Love What They Do: Do You? – I think this is very true! I know I work harder, longer hours with less monetary reward (for now) but I don’t regret it one bit! Great little article.

The Perfect 7-Step Plan To Boost Daily Productivity – You know I love productivity tips! These are excellent suggestions. Nothing new, but good reminders.

Shift Your Mindset, Save Your Business – Or, 5 steps to turn your business around when revenue slows down. Great tips if you are struggling with your business. They’ll help keep you motivated.

If you enjoy these Roundups please share with your friends!

Tech news is up next. Have a great weekend!