Ten Tips to Help You Launch a Party Plan Business

Bringing a party plan business to a new country can be daunting. There’s lots of competition out there and starting from scratch to market your business and bring it to the attention of potential new consultants takes some work. Laying some ground work can really help to ensure that your business launches successfully.

Here are some top tips to launch a party plan business:

1, Have a great product. Make your products something that you yourself really like and can get enthusiastic about. They can be useful, ornamental or treats. Make sure that the products you are promoting are items that people will want to buy.

2, Get your website set up with a domain name that relates directly to the product that you are selling. You really want an url that reflects what your potential clients will be searching for.

3, Use all the free directories that you can in order to promote your company.

4. Link up to homeworking resource websites that can offer listings.

5. Decide on your target market and use Facebook ads to reach them. Set up a Facebook page and use social media too.

6. If your target market is Mums then try Mumsnet which has a thread on working from home

7. Don’t forget your local press can also be an invaluable source of advertising which needn’t be expensive

8. Use business forums to ask advice and find web designers and graphic designers if you have no recommendations

9. Use a copywriter to ensure that your web content is crystal clear and sparkling with your sales message

10. Include reviews by satisfied customers on your website to encourage others to get involved.

Party plan businesses can be very successful for both the people running them and the consultants that get involved. Keeping the structure simple can also be beneficial. There are plenty of different models available and it is worth doing your research and reading some reviews before deciding to get involved in this kind of business.

 

  • But where will I get my customers? … TheSuccessFactory.com (azhomeshowwomengroup.wordpress.com)
  • Tips on Starting a Party Planning Business (thinkup.waldenu.edu)
  • Mistakes Every New Online Business Owner Needs To Know When Launching Your Online Business (preciseinternetmarketing.com)
Share

The Simple Guide to SEO Terms

Here are some of the terms regularly used in SEO jargon and the simple explanations for them.

Affiliate Marketing – running ads on your website for a company which will pay you per impression or click or lead. There are umbrella companies set up that will enable you to apply to suitable affiliates for your website.

Algorithm – computer programme that is a series of steps designed to solve a problem.

Backlinks – links from external websites leading back to a website. Backlinks should relate to the websites that are being linked and should be one way for the best effect on the search engine results.

Black Hat SEO – Using practices that are not honest to achieve SEO. If you are caught by Google, then your website will be ignored or ‘sandboxed’.

Conversion – The art of turning ads into sales.

CPC – Cost Per Click. This is a measurement unit used when assessing adverts for a website. Often paid by companies to their affiliates. This can also be measured in cost per impression depending on the terms of the agreement.

CTR – Click Through Rate. Way of measuring the effectiveness of ads

Highlighted search results – these are usually paid for, often by a bid process. There are more paid for ads in the right hand column.

Keywords – Words that relate to the subject matter of your website or business. Choosing the right keywords to aim for is important to help your website rise in the rankings.

Keyword Density – This measures how often a keyword appears on a page.

Keyword Research – there are programmes to help you decide which keywords to aim for. They can rank them in the volumes of people who search for them, how difficult it is to rank for them and even how much companies are prepared to pay for them. If you want to use your website to make money then using these programmes is essential.

Landing Page – a special web page or home page designed to help users navigate the website. Can also be a special sales page that an advert points to.

Page Rank – an algorithm that enables Google to list all the websites on the web from the most to the least important based on search results. It measures one way links from websites and if those websites are ranked well themselves, then their links are worth more. Often stated as a number: PR1 will be PageRank 1. The higher the ranking, the more Google values the website.

Rankings – the order of websites returned when a search is conducted.

Search engine – a facility for searching for information from websites. Google is the most popular search engine but Bing is catching up. The websites are listed on pages and it is desirable to have your website show up on the first two or three pages.

SEO – Search Engine Optimisation – Making sure that your website shows up during a Google search for certain keywords

SERP – Search Engine Results Page

Web Content – Articles written about a subject to give a website more informational value. Can include any information put on a website.

White Hat SEO – Practices that are acceptable in the world of SEO.

 

Share

How to Have a Good Holiday as a Small Business Owner

Internet cafe, Istanbul 2000
Image via Wikipedia

There’s something about being a small business owner that makes it difficult to stop being a small business owner. Even when you’re at dinner, taking the kids to school or even on holiday, then you still have a million small jobs to do: marketing, improving your website or even actually working. How do you manage to switch off and relax when it is time to take a holiday?

Taking a holiday is a must every year for every working person. Time to relax and spend time with your family will help to cement your family relationships and bring you all closer together. Whether you shut down your business completely or whether you have staff on which you can rely to keep your business running, when you work for yourself, taking time out with no holiday pay can be difficult.

Here are some tips for trying to relax even when you can’t:

– Plan ahead. Make sure that all orders and accounts are taken care of before you go away. Schedule jobs for after your holiday and if there are clients who just cannot wait then offer them to other small business owners you can trust. Tell all your clients that you will be away and give them the dates that you will be back.

– Ask a good friend in the same line of business to be a contact for your customers in a time of emergency then do the same for him. Make sure that you trust each other, though.

– Leave the mobile at home. If you have a separate work mobile and personal mobile then that is so much the better. You can leave the mobile at home and deal with any issues when you get back. Don’t forget to set an ‘I’m out of the office until xxx date’ message and your clients will be waiting for you when you get back.

– If you really can’t go a full two weeks without checking email, then why not log into an internet cafe just once halfway through the week? Then you can be reassured that everything is fine and that you can continue enjoying your holiday.

– Sometimes when your brain is enjoying some downtime, then fresh ideas and problem solutions can occur to you. Don’t get stressed that you are nowhere near a computer, but take a pad and paper to jot them down to explore when you get back.

Planning and determination are the key elements of switching off when you go away for a holiday. Everyone needs to relax and your business will be the better for you having had a good time when you are away. You will come back refreshed and ready to face the small business challenges again.

 

  • Small Business News: Latest Business Plan Tips (businessinsider.com)
Share

Google Panda Comes to the UK

Google Logo officially released on May 2010
Image via Wikipedia

Google has rolled out its latest algorithm worldwide. The first introduction of this code change to the search engine had some far reaching effects on websites that had previously flourished under the Google regime. Websites such as Hubpages and Suite101 were affected but they are websites with many contributors and with volume, quality can go down.

The aim of the algorithm change was to increase the amount of quality information returned when a search is conducted. However computers are not foolproof and although some websites can be spotted easily when they are simply there to spam or make money, some are less obvious and therefore are more difficult for computer robots to pick out.

The Google team monitored opinions on the original release of the change and were pleased with the initial results. They seemed to feel that it was doing the job correctly. Website owners and web marketers will be monitoring their website statistics closely to check that it does not have an adverse affect on their results. If you are checking your own website statistics, then do take into account the seasonal changes and the weather. Good weather means that people are less likely to stay indoors and be working on their computers.

The algorithm was rolled out in the USA in March. Now it is here in the rest of the world. What will be the after affects? Only time will tell.

Have you noticed any unusual changes to your website stats recently? Let us know in the comments below.

 

Share

Crazy Business Ideas

A golf ball directly before the hole
Image via Wikipedia

The thread at UKBusiness Forums started me thinking – how many crazy business ideas have been started and were they successful? The answers on the forum varied from:
‘Give me a million and I’ll tell you’

to

‘Sell an E-book on ‘How to Make a Million’ for £5 to 200,000 people’

but it sent me searching for the most crazy ideas I could find. Here they are:

Twitter…

Honestly! Imagine limiting yourself to 140 characters! Who would have thought…

Dry cleaning ATM – post it in and get it out clean

They patented it but it never took off. I wonder why? Could be a winner at airports and hotels…!

Beer flavoured ice cream

Self-explanatory. Launched last year by a Yorkshire company. I think it was probably a hit!

Glow in the dark golf balls

The inventor of these is now a millionaire!

Dog Wash (as opposed to car wash)

I thought I had seen everything, but apparently not! Poor dog!

Jelly fish art

This sounds oddly calming and soothing – it could work, but is it cruel to jellyfish?

Apparently there are many crazy business ideas out there and who is to say that they won’t work? The fact is that when you have a business idea, write it down, think about it for while and plan it out. The craziest ideas just might make you the most money.

 

Share

Helpful Blogs 3

Here are five blog posts that I have found helpful this month:

1. Ask the Expert How to Start up an Online Store

This blog post answers all the questions that you might ask when setting up an e-commerce website. This is a really useful post and Karen answers the questions very succinctly. You might want to check out her website for information on setting up a Facebook page too, because she is very good at what she does.

2. Five Ways to Avoid Being a Notworker

This is a great post on how not to network and therefore, some of the best ways to network. There is some great advice here.

3. What Budget 2011 Means for Freelancers and Small Businesses

Staying with Bitsy, here is a great post on the UK budget announcements and how they will affect small businesses. Very useful.

4. Facebook vs Twitter

A new website I have recently come across had this interesting post on Facebook vs Twitter.  The website is very useful with lots of interesting information on running a small business.

5. A Marketer’s Take on Google +1

Finally, Laura Lake at About.com talks about the latest Google feature: +1. It will be interesting to see how the search engine makes use of it in the future when evaluating search results and page rankings.

 

Share

Top Five Blog Posts Last Month

Writing
Image by Ed Yourdon via Flickr

Every so often, it’s helpful to run a ‘best of’ blog post particularly once you have picked up your blogging rate. Here are the top five blog posts on The Creative Writer in March in my humble opinion. Feel free to share any posts that have helped you this month.

OK, going to break my own rules here – this wasn’t strictly published in March but on 28th February, but Google Algorithm Change Rocks Content Websites was a blog post about a big change on Google. The effects of this change, known as Panda is still being assessed, but it affected some pretty big sites such as Suite101 and Hubpages, making those organisations take steps to improve the quality of their publishing. Some people are still concerned about the effects of this change, but I think it will all even out eventually and that great content is still king.

How to design a successful leaflet began life as a sample for a company, but turned into an interesting blog post. I have had a hand in designing leaflets, but as part of a committee and that can be a difficult thing to do, with everyone having their own opinion on how it should look. Some useful tips here.

Regular blogging can make a difference. I have noticed it on my own website: my stats are still steadily rising since I started making a commitment to blog three times a week. Try it and it could work for you.

Writing compelling copy offers an insight into the copywriter’s mind which is a dark and murky place… just kidding! Actually this suggests an idea that might help your company write copy that can help convert visitors into customers. Try it and let me know how you get on.

Form alliances with your fellow freelances is a great suggestion which can lead to more work for both of you. Find people that you can work with and get alongside them to the benefit of you both.

So these are some of my better blog posts this month that I think contained real value to the people reading them. Let me know what you think and please ask any questions that you would like to know the answer to.

 

Share