2 04 10

There is a world of free software available immediately for download. Or if you would rather have it on disk you can pay a small fee and it will be shipped to you. Software you pay for can be very expensive and it is also available as a download or a disk copy may be purchased. Purchasing software means replacing the software or paying for upgrades every time it is outdated, that happens about every 6 months to a year for most programs. This translates to thousands of dollars in some cases.

Purchased software has licensing restrictions, which means you cannot install it on more than one computer without purchasing another license. In some cases you cannot reinstall it without purchasing another license. Technical service is not always free and in some cases difficult to get. Guarantees are limited, technical assistance is limited, and if you download the software from the site in some cases you lose if your computer crashes. You will have to buy the software again.

Free software has its style of licensing agreements, sometimes limited technical assistance as well, but the programmer is your tech support unless a forum is developed where others can lend a hand. Free software is down-loadable and shareable with all of your computers, your friends computers, and anyone else interested in using the software. The only restrictions is that you do not modify the code and you give credit to the creator, plus a donation is always accepted. Free software is as efficient and more so than most paid versions.

Here is a short list of some of my favorites. To download the software click the name. The links open in a new window or tab depending on your browser set up.

Paint.net

Paint.net is like having three programs, maybe more in one. If you have ever used Adobe Illustrator or Photoshop, or any photo editing software, you are going to love this program. It is easy to find your way around the tools and you can add layers, create photos for print, the web, or??? There is no real limit to what you can do. Want to make a flier for print, then use Paint.net. Works well with Windows XP, Vista, and 7 as well as other operating systems.

WebCEO

This piece of software lets you be your own SEO professional. You can set up monitoring reports, diagnose problems with your site, find broken links, slow loading issues, fine tune, insert meta tags, complete keyword analysis, even see what your competitors are doing. The free version is complete. The latest version has included a way to test your partner’s links to ensure they can be trusted. In a few minutes you can have your professional SEO software working for you. I love this piece of software, rather than using several programs I have what I need in one place. To read more and see for your self click the title and download your copy today.

CDBurner XP

The latest version is ready for download. Rather than pay for a CD burner I found this one, the capabilities include burning HD and Blu-Ray discs, DVDs, and CDs. It is compatible Windows XP, Vista, 2008, and 7. You can burn and create ISO’s, rather than a boot disc on a floppy, use the CD. There is also a multilanguage capability. Go check it out and download your free copy today.

The list is not done. I am seeking more free software to help you build your business. You can save the footwork, keep this page bookmarked to return or subscribe through the RSS.

Back with more. Have a great weekend and a terrific Easter Sunday.


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23 02 10

Are you still a brick and mortar business owner who doesn’t have any kind of online presence? Then this post is for you. In case you are an experienced internet marketer then please don’t read further as this post is mainly for the business owners who are still new to the online world.

What follows next are the few basic tips which will help you in building online presence for your small business.

Get a website and blog –Okay. This is the basic one so I won’t spend more time on this point. The only tip which I will like to share is to hire a professional web designer who can design an elegant and beautiful website for your business. Since the visual appearance of your website may influence the decision of your potential customers, it is very important to have a decent and easy-to-use website.

Join social media websites – Social media websites enjoyed a tremendous growth in 2009 and will continue to grow in 2010. According to a study about the impact of social media websites on consumer behavior, more than 50 percent of online consumer takes their decision on the basis of information they get from these social media websites. Create a profile on all social media websites and communities where your target audience spends their time and try to develop your relations with them. More is the number of social media websites you join; the easier it will be for your consumers to find you.

Get listed in popular business directories – Get yourself listed in local business directories like Google local business results, Yahoo local business listings. Also search for the other local business organizations websites or directories which are related to your niche and get your self listed in them.

Distribute few Press releases – Once you’ve launched the website and get yourself listed in free business directories. Write some press releases about the launch of your new website and submit them to free press releases sites. If you have any contacts in local newspapers agency then use them and see if they can help you in getting some exposure.

Add some useful content on your website – Write six-seven unique and useful articles about your industry and publish them on your own website. Send those article links to the bloggers who write about your niche, your friends, current clients, family and request them to promote them. Also you can submit those articles to few of the popular social bookmarking sites like Digg, Delicious, Mixx where it can attract some traffic.

Set Google Alerts – Go to google.com/alerts and set alerts for your company name and keywords related to your niche. Google will send you an email notification every time someone mentions your company name or the keywords you have set in your Google alerts account. Monitor all the conversations related to you and participate wherever required.

These are the six easy tips which according to me every business owner should follow for building a basic online presence for their small business. Do you have some additional tips then feel free to share them in the comments.

Rajkumar Jonalla is working for Fortepromo promotional products which create high quality promotional flash drives for IT companies that help them to promote their brand in the market.


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30 06 09

Are you planning to start your own business from scratch then you should think about buying an existing business instead of starting your own business But one would ask that why he/she should prefer buying somebody else business than starting their own. In this article I am going to decide few advantages which you can get from buying a business.

The biggest advantage you would get is you don’t need to start from scratch. The most difficult part in a business is to take it off the ground and that work would be already done for you. All the basic work like creating initial plans, models and other legal work would be already done for you and you can easily skip this first step and focus on other important phases of business.

The other advantage of buying an existing well maintained business is that you would get an existing customer base which would generate immediate cash flow which won’t be possible if you buy a business from scratch. You could easily earn profits from the first month itself. It would also avoid an undetermined period which every new business face to find new customers.

You can save lot of money which you had to spend for advertising in new business and establishing it as a brand. On the other hand people would already know about the existing business and it would highly reduce your advertising budgets.

Normally when you buy a business you inherit all the assets of business with it which was established by previous owner and saves your lot of time. In addition you would get fully trained and talented workforce with the business who knows completely about the industry. So you don’t have to spend any money in hiring employees and giving them proper training.

The last but the most important advantage of buying a well founded business is that it has a lot of scope of expansion. You can directly focus on its expansion and use your innovation to add new customers to it and take it to new heights.

Andrew R. Cagnetta, CEO of Transworld Business brokers provides services worldwide and specializes in buying and selling of businesses.


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17 06 09

From the Google Webmaster Central blog:

Inbound links are links from pages on external sites linking back to your site. Inbound links can bring new users to your site, and when the links are merit-based and freely-volunteered as an editorial choice, they’re also one of the positive signals to Google about your site’s importance.

Inbound links are very important for building your site’s credibility, but how do you get them?  Before you go joining some spam-centric link exchange scheme, let me share with you a great way to get high quality inbound links. 

Write for them.

Bloggers are always (always) on the lookout for high quality content.  For a busy solopreneur or small business owner, finding new and fresh content to maintain a blog can be a real challenge.  If you can provide relevant and timely content for their blogs, they’ll gladly provide a link back to your website or blog.

Where do you find the opportunities to write for other bloggers?  There are several content exchange sites.  I personally like Blogger Linkup.  It’s straightforward, user-friendly, and easy to remember (an email is sent to you each morning with the latest opportunities).

When you write for other blogs, keep a few things in mind.

  • Only write for blogs that are relevant to your target audience. For example, if you target men in their 50s, then it’s probably not a good idea to post on a work-at-home mom site.
  • Try to write about something that is relevant to your target audience. Again, if you’re not aiming to reach your ideal client or customer, then your time would be better spent doing something else.
  • Find a way to provide helpful and meaningful content. If you can provide something that really helps the blogger (by really helping his/her readers), then you may get an invitation to post to that person’s site again.
  • Don’t save your best stuff for your own site. Use that content to capture the attention of new readers.  If you don’t make an impression (and how better to do that than with high quality content?), then they won’t make the effort to visit your site.
  • Remember that it’s not just about the traffic; it’s also about the links. Although it might be tempting to try to only write for established sites with large amounts of readers and traffic, don’t ignore the little guys (who might be big guys very soon – WebWorkerDaily, for instance, started just three years ago and is a very prominent blog today).  You’ll benefit from “growing up with them,” and you’ll get the inbound links.

Write for outside blogs on a regular basis.  With each new post, you get a new inbound link that’s both relevant and focused.  Keep at it and watch your page-rank steadily increase.  Good luck with your writing!

RESOURCE BOX:  Amber Riviere is a web designer with BrownBugProject.com.  You can follow her work through her blog and through her newsletter, Inside Brown’s Brain.


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12 06 09

Marketing a business at all is a difficult feat, let alone in times like these.  In my own business, I’ve had to get creative, work much harder, and learn to rely on my strengths rather than my marketing budget.

In times past, I might have focused more on actually having a marketing budget.  Today, that’s a secondary concern.  What I mean is, in the past, I would have focused more on whether or not I was allocating enough of my revenue toward a marketing budget and then if I was effectively using that budget to market my business.

What’s more important now, though, is using what I do have in my possession to keep my name in front of people – and as many people as possible.  In times like these, I’m cutting every financial corner I can, including where my marketing budget is concerned, so I’m using other assets to support my lead generation efforts.

For me, writing has always been my “bread and butter” lead source, and fortunately, it’s free!

My clients have always found me through articles and posts I’ve made online, so my focus is writing and posting as much as possible on a daily basis.  Here’s my plan in a nutshell.

Monday:

Write two guest articles.  (Monday is light on lead generation for me, since that’s my day to catch up from weekend emails from clients, as well as to have my twice-monthly call with my accountability partner.)

Tuesday:

Write articles for newsletter, post to Twitter, and post entries to three of my blogs.

Note: I publish two email newsletters per month.

Wednesday:

Write guest articles, post incoming guest articles to my blog, post entries to at least two out of my three blogs, post to Twitter, request incoming/outgoing guest posts at BloggerLinkup, and mail to my “local business farm.”

Note: My local business farm is a group of 240 local businesses.  I send a card, once per week, to 20 of the businesses.  By the end of the year, each business will have received 4 cards from me.  I include coupons and discounts in each card that expire at the end of the month sent.

Thursday:

Post entries to three of my blogs, post to Twitter, and handle any to-dos related to my monthly “Solopreneur Camp & Connect.”

Note: My “Solopreneur Camp & Connect” is a monthly tele-seminar and networking event that focuses on issues related to solopreneurs and small business owners.

Friday:

Handle any to-dos related to my quarterly “Give Back Project.”  (Friday is another day that’s light on lead generation for me, since I usually wrap up client projects for the weekend and then usually try to take off somewhere between 12-3PM.  What’s the point of being a small business owner, if you’re not going to enjoy the extra flexibility and freedom?)

Note: The “Give Back Project” is my “websites for success” program where I build websites for aspiring business owners with little or no income.

My plan is heavy (very heavy) on writing.  It’s not easy, for sure, but it’s free, and it works.  The key is to be consistent. If you post often enough and make sure to stay in front of your ideal clients or customers, they will find you.

Author Bio:  Amber Riviere is a web designer with BrownBugProject.com.  You can follow her work through her blog and through her newsletter, Inside Brown’s Brain.


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