Your Business Mission – What the Heck Do You Do, Anyway?

Do you really need a business mission statement? Is it just some fancy words to put in that business plan that collections dust on your shelf, or is there really more to it?

One of the key attributes of successful businesses is that they clearly know what they do. Defining the goal or the "mission" of your business can be the key to your success.

A good mission statement does three things:

"States what business you are in." Defines your target market. "Provides inspiration for your business.

One of the best examples of a mission statement comes from Levi Strauss & Co. [http://www.levistrauss.com/Company/ValuesAndVision.aspx]

"We will market and distribute the most appealing and widely worn apparel brands. Our products define quality, style and function. We will clothe the world."

Clothing the world is a pretty lofty goal, but Levi Strauss has the ability to do this for one reason — Their founder, Levi Strauss, started the business with a mission and focus.

Levi started his wholesale dry goods business in San Francisco February, 1853. Rather than hoping to make his fortune in the Gold Rush, he created a fortune by wholesaling clothing and fabric to the small stores supplying the thousands of miners and later, families of the West.

In 1872, he was contacted by Jacob Davis, a tailor who had developed a method to rivet the stress points of the pants he made from fabric he bought from-you guessed it — Levi Strauss. Jacob did not have the funds to patent the process, so he teamed up with Levi Strauss to patent the original blue jean in 1873. The rest is history.

Now, if Levi Strauss was your typical small business, he would probably have spun off in ten different directions in their early years, but the company remained focused on supplying quality clothing and fabrics to the working men and women of the West, and later the world. Rather than focusing on their core market, they would have fallen into the AFAB method … Anything for a Buck.

Most small businesses suffer from this lack of focus.

When we work with struggling business owners, the first thing we ask them is "What is your bread and butter?" What one product or service provides you with the majority of your business profit?

Unfortunately, most business owners can not answer that question. They did not define their core product or service and target market when they started, and end up doing a little bit of everything, and nothing well.

Or, they focus most of their time on a product or service line that they like, without knowing whether it actually is their most profitable.

Fortunately, there is an easy fix for this problem.

You have to determine your gross profit margin from each of your product lines or services. Get together with your accountant, and figure out what you need to do to separate your revenue and expenses by the major product lines of your business. Then, you can find out your gross profit margin, or the percentage of gross profit you receive from each activity.

The product or service with the highest gross profit margin is your core business activity. It is the bread and butter of your business, and the key to your company profits.

Now, you must focus as much of your company resources as possible on this core activity. Market it, systemize it, and turn your business into a machine for duplicating this product or service over and over again.

What happens?

Well, rather than running around like a chicken with your head cut off, putting out fires all over your business, you suddenly have the focus to know where to spend your time and energy. You know your core, and you can work to make a good thing even better.

This focus will transform your business and your life.

Remember the term "Jack of All Trades, but Master of None"? You can not really really good at something without focus, and focusing on your most profitable core product or service will make your business even more efficient.

Does this mean that you should never expand beyond your core? Of course not, but you must make sure you are really good at your core product or service before you venture into different directions. Creating a strong bread and butter business will give you the base necessary to expand.

Your core product or service is the foundation for your business. Build it well.

Free Advertising Ideas For Online Business

In today's economy it is important for every small business to utilize as many free advertising services as they can get their hands on. These ideas should make the advertising process a little easier.

Host a Contest or Event

This will open up new avenues for free advertising. There are many websites out there dedicated to informing people about contests and events that its members might be interested in. Charge a small entry fee to cover the cost of the prizes and you will get traffic from a group of people who might not otherwise find you.

Local Free Advertising

Call up a local newspaper to do a human interest story or business story for your company. Also, submit your own articles to local papers and magazines for consideration. This method of free advertising works best for non-metropolitan areas but it never hurts to try. The worst thing a person can tell you is no!

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Learning SEO techniques is one of the best free advertising techniques. A few tips include using only a couple keyword terms per page, maintaining a .5% -5% keyword density rate, utilizing your meta tags and image tags, creating and submitting XML sitemaps, as well as using keywords in your URL.

Personal Touches

Adding personal touches to your business is a great way to get repeat clientele or a good way to close a sale. Send personalized emails, newsletters about not only your services but also your family or friends, insert gifts with every purchase or even jot a quick thank you note and mail it to tell your customer that they really matter to you.

Free Article Submission

Submitting SEO rich articles to article submission sites can be a great way to advertise your website or services. Do not, however, submit the same articles that are on your website. Search engines penalize duplicate content. Instead you should rewrite a few of your articles first.

Link Building

The more inbound, one-way links your website has the higher it will rank in search engines. These inbound links work best if the websites linking to you are relevant to your main focus. These links are the only ones that search giant Google recognizes. To build links you can post blogs or guest blog for someone, submit articles and press releases for syndication, email webmasters, post in forums and comment on blogs. Remember that these links are not only for the search engines, they can also drive legitimate traffic.

Free Classified Advertising

Submitting a well worded link into a free classified can return decent traffic. Describe your website in an intriguing way and curious people will click your link.

Social Networking

Websites like MySpace and Facebook can be great sites to advertise through. You can build a website just for your business and advertise directly to your "friends". My personal technique for acquiring friends involves seeking out groups with an interest in my topic and requesting friend adds from those members. If you only request 20 -40 friends a day you will not likely be marked as spam. The key to getting friends is to type up a seemingly personal message without any links;

"Hi, I noticed you are a chef. My website is running a recipe contest. You should check it out!"

I've found that notes like this in a friend request results in about 1 of every 3 people I approach adding me as a friend. Once your friend list is established you can blog, email or post announcements about your business.

Social Bookmarking

A new trend in online advertising involves social bookmarking sites like Digg and StumbleUpon. See www.AddThis.com for your own social bookmarking button. It is now (practically) mandatory for all websites to allow for social bookmarking. If you have viral content on your website it can really pay off.

Viral Videos

Diet coke and mentos, exploding bathtubs, and bikes playing Guitar hero videos made for close to nothing. If you have a video camera it is worth a shot to try to post a viral video on YouTube. Of course this is no easy task. It is impossible to tell what will become viral. Other video options involve posting information relevant to your site. You can make a simple slideshow with music and text with Microsoft MovieMaker. Place a link to your site on your videos and in your profile. Over time you should reap results.

Free Alternate Directory Submissions

There are many online directories aimed at specific interests. These directories look to help consumers find the best websites and information available. To find these directories simply search a relevant term and "directory".

6 Things Influencing Web Development

Web development holds the prime service part in the Digital Marketing spectrum involving hosting, database and website designing as the crucial aspects of this domain. Once the basic requirements meet the expectations and local hosting checks are complete, the website availability is public on the World Wide Web (www) after completion. Despite of the basic pointers mentioned for website completion, a few segments still hold a major influence in the process of web development to make it a flexible, responsive and attractive to customers or fail to appeal due to lack of proper security features discussed in a quick 6-thing list below:

1) Static website over dynamic

Static websites are gaining importance on an everyday basis providing a stronger focused online content and shelter for bloggers or ventures. Affordable and low costs, enhanced speed and performance with additional ease of understanding and security are amongst a few benefits of a static website. Although, leaving aside the development part, dynamic websites can be complex to understand and load for consumers due to its various database structures created for dynamic website functionality annoying the users trying to use various services, whereas plain text and simple development makes a static website easy to understand and stream through.

2) AI’s incorporation in Web development

Artificial Intelligence (AI) depicts a life created through machines, mostly a computer system intending to give consumer – an easier and smoother reasoning’s and explanations. Although AI is still in the process of reaching the public and making an impact in their life with its existence, the coming future definitely holds a crucial part across the world! The developers are extending these services in the educational department for the benefits of students and easing out the entire learning system. Intense AI development can strengthen the alternates for future generations commencing a new dimension for understanding and living life.

3) Bots functioning or malfunctioning

Automatic programs running continuously over the web are termed as Bots. Python, PHP, Java, AngularJS, and NodeJS are the main languages Bots run on, creating easy to understand graphical user interface over a web page. Bots fill forms automatically, manage and operate through every single step and can be a big security threat for customers or enterprises. However, a developer needs a set of latest skills to make it function or protect it from running over a website script.

Bots reside within chat apps programmed as per human context to assist customers while shopping online, asking help, etc.

4) JavaScript at its Peak

Various methodologies, libraries and frameworks already based on JavaScript offer transactional and deterministic designing for websites and applications with known JavaScript elementary such as DOM, DHTML, Functions, Promises, Classes, Callbacks, RAIL, Node and Express, etc. JavaScript has the ability to enhance website appeal and structures attracting the focus of modern web developers as the main scripting platform for their projects.

5) Single page application

Undoubtedly, JavaScript is slowly replacing HTML creating wide options for developers to use and design web portals and applications for easy consumer interaction and increasing the website engagement. A user prefers to stay on a single page rather redirect or wait for a new page. ES6 invention benefits customers with best user experience and a fresh front-end development view. Thus, users will stay on a single page without navigating or page reloads. Thereby, a single application will lead the user from start to the end.

6) No place for MySQL?

HBase, Cassandra, and Mongo have already started replacing MySQL with the use of JAVA APIs, easy connectivity to Big Data & Hadoop provide operational interface ease over a long run on websites. MySQL does not support a very large database size, whereas Hadoop has such capabilities.

In case there are missing points in the list, please comment, share your ideas and give users the required updated information in this vertical.

How to Know If a Woman’s Attracted: The 5 Signals

Maybe she’s that waitress at the local cafĂ©. Or maybe she’s a coworker or classmate or even the friend you’ve always secretly had a crush on. Regardless who she is, if you like her, then you want to know if the feeling’s mutual.

Lucky for you, all women give off signals when they’re attracted. Most guys never pick up on these signals. If you don’t know what you’re looking for, you could easily overlook these secret signals, as well. And you probably already have. You have probably let countless women slip through your fingers in the past because you failed to see the signals.

But you’re never going to make that mistake again. By learning the 5 most common-but least understood-signals of female attraction, you are prepared to get the girl. Just look for 1 of these 5 signals, and then make your move. It’s as simple as that!

1.) She says your name a lot in conversation

If you find a woman saying your name in conversation, there’s a good possibility she has feelings for you. When someone has feelings for another person, the sound of that person’s name gives them a little emotional rush. (Just think of children in the schoolyard writing their crush’s name in their notebooks!) While adults don’t skip around the playground and chant their crush’s name, they do unconsciously say it whenever they can. So if she says your name a lot, there’s a good chance she’s attracted to you.

2.) She fidgets with her hair

When a woman plays with her hair, it often means she’s turned on. It’s a grooming reflex: primate females groom themselves for males before mating. (If you want proof, just go to your local zoo!) Thus, if you catch a woman stroking her hair as she talks to you, it means you’re probably arousing her interests.

3.) She breaks eye contact first

Poets say the eyes are the windows to the soul. Well, her eyes are also a window into her feelings. It’s a well known fact that eye contact signifies confidence. And confidence is nothing more than comfort in one’s status. So, for example, if you were training some new entry level employees at your job, then you’d probably feel very confident in holding strong eye with all of them. If, however, you were having a business with your boss’ boss, then you probably wouldn’t feel as comfortable maintaining strong eye contact (since your boss’ boss has higher status). Likewise, if you notice a woman continually breaking eye contact first, she’s probably nervous with attraction for you.

4.) She gets carried away with emotion sometimes around you

A major misconception most guys have of women is that they need to “like” you to feel attraction. Just think of all the bad boys who do amazing with women! Now, you don’t need to become a “bad boy” just to attract women; however, you shouldn’t be discouraged is a woman isn’t always in a peachy mood around you. In fact, it’s better if she’s not! A woman would never waste her emotions on a guy she didn’t like. So if she sometimes gets frustrated with you or even angry at you, it’s a good thing.

5.) She speaks in the future tense about you

Here’s a very subtle-but very powerful-attraction signal that women give off. If a woman’s interested in you, she’ll make comments about seeing you in the future. It’s important to note that none of these signals will be overt; instead, they’ll be little offhanded comments like, “Are you going to x, y, z event next week?” If a woman is asking such questions, it’s a telltale sign that you’re on her mind.