Archive for the ‘Small Business’ Category

Turnaround King – Outstanding Case Studies on Business

Friday, July 1st, 2011

Turnaround King – Outstanding Case Studies on Business

At Blackball Online Marketing we always try to share information we think valuable for your business. While channel surfing on the good old local cable network this past weekend, I came across a show which I feel is a homerun. The Turnaround King is about a business specialist who analyzes businesses that have either gone astray or lack direction or focus and have fallen on hard times.

Nat Geo's Turnaround King

Nat Geo's Turnaround King - Grant Cardone

I have always been a fan of preventive maintenance. It takes a lot less energy to maintain and sharpen business practices and worker’s skills than it does to retrain or hire new ones. The tips offered by Grant Cardone are solid fundamental advice for any business including ours, which is what drew my attention in the first place.

The tagline on the National Geographic Channel reads “Sales expert Grant Cardone helps struggling businesses turn things around and get back on their feet by giving the business owners the tools for success.”  The two pilot episodes are amazing to watch as I can see many small businesses falling into the same mindset as the owners featured. These problems are universal for small business which is some of the appeal.

The theme for the auto dealer episode is about small business owners who have been operating for years and have lost the ability or drive to aggressively target new opportunities and adopt new technologies. They, as small business owners, are not alone. We live in a fast paced business climate and seasoned businesses can become complacent. Here’s the video excerpt from this program.

Another episode deals with a family owned franchise of a gym. Grant offers some sage advice when the owners get caught up in competing based on price rather than selling their unique proposition; the amenities and strength of a solid training and support staff. High energy goes a long way provided it’s aimed in the right direction and Grant gives a shot in the arm to this business by offering proven methodologies and a great game plan for revitalization of the business. You can view the preview video here.

I’m already looking forward to the next episode and hopefully after reading this you are too. We are constantly seeking sound advice as we realize there are so many things that we can be better at. Are you doing the same? Need help promoting your Pittsburgh Web Design and Marketing campaigns? Contact Us.

Build Your Local Business Reputation with the BBB and Your Local Chamber of Commerce

Tuesday, April 20th, 2010

Build Your Local Business Reputation with the BBB and Your Local Chamber of Commerce

Pittsburgh, PA – We say it over and over again in our Pittsburgh Online Marketing Newsblog - sound marketing and advertising fundamentals for small businesses have not changed. The Internet has just increased the speed of information delivery and breadth of exposure. Add to this mix joining your local Chamber of Commerce and Better Business Bureau and your brand reputation can be greatly enhanced while reaching a wider audience.

Joining these organizations lets your customers know you are reputable and dedicated to providing services worthy of their business; that you are willing to go that extra mile. Whether you are a brick and mortar business or an Online Marketing Business like Blackball Online Marketing, joining these two organizations is, we believe, good advice.

In addition to building your brand and personal reputation in the community these resources build your online reputation by providing quality links to your site by highly valued authorities. Businesses in Pittsburgh are very fortunate to have so many assets to choose from yet many small businesses fail to utilize them. The Better Business Bureau or BBB has a host of resources and some very knowledgeable folks just waiting to assist you.

Build Trust…..Build Your Business

Given the current economic climate consumers are being more cautious on where and how they spend their money. It has created a specific feeling in today’s marketplace playing a role in producing what has been labeled a “fear economy”.

“As a result of the uncertainty and the fear, people are actively seeking to do business with companies that can offer them solutions without stress and uncertainty. Today’s consumer values authenticity, honesty, integrity, reality and trust, and they expect these same values in the companies with which they choose to do business,” states Warren King, president of the Better Business Bureau of Western Pennsylvania.

People want to do business with companies they know they can trust. To be successful – to create a marketplace where buyers and sellers can trust each other - we need businesses to adhere to and adopt standards for trust in the marketplace. As you think about your own businesses, there are three key things every business should do:

  • Communicate and live by a set of standards or values. Your consumers should know what you stand for, and they should want to do business with you because of it.
  • Honor your promises. It’s easy – do what you say you are going to do, when you say you are going to do it.
  • Lastly, act with integrity. People will remember you for it, and they’ll want to do business with you because of it.

To learn more about consumer trust trends, go to the BBB/Gallup Trust in Business Index for more information.

Click the picture to learn more about our services and to view our BBB listing.Visit the Blackball Online Marketing Services page and check on our BBB rating

Below are some of the benefits of becoming a member of your local Chamber of Commerce and the Better Business Bureau:

Local Business to Business relationships can be cultivated and experience and services can be traded. Many other professionals may have areas of expertise that will benefit your business. This also offers you a chance to show your skills and services to a number of local businesspeople.

Any local Chamber of Commerce also affords networking opportunities, advertising at affordable rates, and many other highly coveted affiliations. Education and information are key to building a solid local presence in your community.

The Better Business Bureau has an outstanding website and very good service from personal experience. Blackball Online Marketing encourages all small businesses to join each of these outstanding institutions. Costs may vary in your area for each of these products but in our opinion it’s well worth it.

Pittsburgh Online Marketing Technologists – How To Choose One

Tuesday, February 2nd, 2010

Pittsburgh Online Marketing Technologists - How To Choose One

Pittsburgh businesses are fortunate in the fact that there are many talented Internet Marketing companies locally. As the Internet marketplace becomes more diverse it is important to choose an SEO consultant or SEO Search company that best fits your needs and budget.

We have been writing for some time about the need for businesses operating in the Pittsburgh Internet Marketing field to handle many aspects of Online Website Promotion. Many factors weigh into your choice for an Internet Marketing Engineer. Here are a few questions to ask of your Pittsburgh Online Marketing candidate.

Factors To Consider When Choosing an Online Marketing Pro:

First things first. Ask if the Internet Marketing Company or consultant you interview has any experience with your industry. This can eliminate a lot of research and you should be able to communicate freely with industry specific terms. Do they ask about the scope of your project and budget? These are good questions to begin with as they allow for the conversation to define your needs and expectations.

You should be able to tell whether the internet promotions specialist is resourceful by the questions they ask you as well. Are they merely reading a script? Or are they asking questions which relate to the current topic in your conversation?

Do they understand the fundamentals of On Page SEO?

Is there a clearly defined procedure they follow or do they evaluate your site or blog to determine the best course of action for your business? Both methods can be correct for certain situations. The key is to know which method to use and when.

Do they ask about the importance of keywords and how they relate to your business and overall online marketing strategy? Keywords drive what you want to rank for; they are the lifeblood of your site; and your business’ success or failure in the digital world.

Do they understand the fundamentals of Off Page SEO?

We define Off Page SEO as encompassing all forms of listing your business throughout the Internet not directly related to your website.  Off Page Search Engine Optimization includes preparing relevant Press releases to promote your new venture or publicize your current online marketing efforts. If you are in an established industry this question and strategy can easily be answered by some online recon on your competition. Sites linking back to yours with relevant keyphrases are called Backlinks and they are very important as well.

Traditional Media could also be termed as Off Page SEO or Branding. A comprehensive marketing plan will allow you to reach potential customers in other areas. Why limit yourself to just one form of advertising?

Do they understand the fundamentals of Social Media and its value?

The secret of Social Media is that it is "social. Wow, shocker right? The real value of social media when it comes to your business really depends on if your target audience uses it. Secondary to this is the brand reputation management piece. Direct selling on social media sites like Twitter, Facebook, Etc. is not near as effective as passive selling and information dissemination. Helping people is good business! It helps define your business as an authority on your marketing niche and allows for another great source of lead generation.

Does the SEO or Online Marketing Company have a Social Media component to their business? How many Twitter followers do they have? Do they know how to use them to further your Internet Marketing goals or are they Ttweeting for the sake of Tweeting? Can they communicate this to you and your customer? In short; are they making the most of their Social Media influence?

Are they short sighted when it comes to alternative methods other than Google?

Many businesses are unaware of the existence of Bing and Yahoo when it comes to comprehensive coverage in an overall online marketing strategy. Google still dominates the Search Engine Market but why exclude the other percentage of potential customers. We believe that failure to explore all avenues of revenue generation is like leaving dollars on the doorstep.

Do they have the ability and resources to combine all theses skills into a cohesive Online Marketing Plan?

Knowing how to perform all these tasks is meaningless unless your chosen Online Marketing Technologist can deliver. All these techniques require resources and time. A combined commitment from the business and the Online Marketing Technology Company are necessary.

Whether you ultimately choose Blackball Online Marketing or another Search firm or consultant, we would like the opportunity to speak with you regarding your business and its Online Marketing needs. Contact Blackball Online Marketing for your small business website promotion and speak directly with a Pittsburgh Online Marketing Technologist to assess your needs and give you a solid evaluation. Our initial consultation is always free.