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QuickBooks India

QuickBooks India

marketing-a-business-marketing-a-business

3 Low Cost Marketing Ideas For Your New Business

Social Media

Social media is free and attracts a wide audience — the perfect combination for a business on a budget. It's not enough to simply create a Facebook profile and post once in a blue moon. To turn social media into a valuable marketing tool, you must:

  • Post frequently
  • Engage with your audience
  • Mix informative or entertaining content in with your promotional posts
  • Use built-in analytics to see which post types get the most attention and share more of them

You might consider setting aside 15 to 20 minutes a day to write new posts and respond to comments. To get the highest ROI, you can stick to popular platforms like Facebook, Whatsapp, and Instagram, and avoid sinking time into low-traffic social media sites.

Get Media Coverage

News stories are like free advertising for your company. The challenge? Figuring out how to get media outlets to cover your business. To start, you might try sending press releases to local TV stations, newspapers, and radio stations every time you do something newsworthy. Perhaps you're launching a new product line or, maybe you're offering technology training to local teachers.

If you're an online business or you sell to an international audience, you might try signing up for a service like Help a Reporter Out (HARO). When a journalist needs a quote or a source for a story, they send it to HARO, which emails it to you. You can respond to the journalist if you have the right experience. When your quote is chosen, the press can drive traffic to your website or store.

Internet media is another great way to get coverage. You could try writing a guest post on a popular blog, or offer to do an interview on a local podcast. Even if the outlet is small, each appearance adds to your company's web presence.

No matter which marketing option you choose, it's important to figure out which strategies have the highest ROI. By integrating a time-tracking app with QuickBooks, you can compare costs, time, and results to determine the most effective marketing activities for your company.

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growing-a-business-product-selling

How To Start Selling on Amazon?

registering your business to sell on Amazon, you must provide the company's GST number and presence across nation (PAN) information. You'll also need to enter your bank account information so Amazon can send you the money from each sale.

Setting Up Your Amazon Store

The first step in setting up your Amazon store is to add the products you want to sell. The easiest method is to download the Amazon Seller app to your phone and use it to scan the barcodes on your products. If the product is already in Amazon's database, it will automatically match your products. You can also enter your products manually in your Seller Central account.

Use the brand registry to add your products if you're selling your own brand on Amazon. This tool also helps you protect your brand and make sure that any future listings stick to your guidelines. Once your products are in the system, you can create individual listings, set a price, and tell Amazon how many items you have in stock.

Choosing Shipping Methods

Amazon offers four different shipping options for sellers in India:

  • Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA): If you choose this service, you'll send your merchandise to an Amazon warehouse or fulfillment center. When an order comes in, Amazon takes care of packing and shipping the products to the buyer.
  • Easy Ship: With this option, you store and pack your own merchandise. When you need to ship an order, an easy ship executive takes care of delivery. Prices for this service vary by location, product weight, and product size.
  • Seller Flex: If you have a large warehouse and many products, you can use Seller Flex. For this service, Amazon executives come to your warehouse to pack and ship products.
  • Self-Ship: Self-ship allows you to pack and ship items yourself, using any courier you choose. This is ideal for beginners and sellers with small inventories.

Selling With Amazon Local Finds

If you live in Bangalore, Hyderabad, Mumbai, or Chennai, you can opt to sell on Amazon Local Finds. With this service, you list your products as usual. When someone buys a product, Amazon picks it up from your home or office, packs it, and ships it to the customer. No more than seven business days later, Amazon deposits the money in your bank account. If you take part in this service, you'll pay ₹40 for shipping and a selling fee of 3% or more, depending on the item.

When you're just getting started with online selling, Amazon can be a convenient option. With its trusted brand name and well-established procedures, the platform makes it easy to expand your business.

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marketing-a-business-social-media

Top 5 Tips On How To Market On Facebook?

product launch strategy should include use of social media, where costs are also minimal. Many small businesses make the Facebook platform the heart of their new product launch marketing plan, and by following some key tips they get a lot of bang for their buck.

Keep Things Easy

The point of marketing is to engage your visitors and convert them to purchasers. As a rule, you shouldn't demand much else from them at first. Facebook isn't the place to collect customers' email addresses or to ask users to take long, complicated surveys. If you do run a survey or contest to engage potential customers, try to keep them short — one to three steps at the most. Offer users the chance to click over to your website by linking to it, but you probably shouldn't require they do so to engage with your brand.

Launch Within a Tight Timeline

Product launches have traditionally included a long timeline that involved teasing the release of the product for weeks or months. Don't expect to find that kind of patience or enduring curiosity among your Facebook visitors. Focus instead on a short, tight time frame of about a week, and pack constant reminders of your launch in during that time. This creates a sense of urgency, with each mention of your launch reinforcing the next mention. If you're running a survey or contest, make the deadlines clear to get visitors to act.

Ask for Likes, Comments and Shares

Go ahead and ask your visitors to like and follow your Facebook page. You can offer bonuses for page likes. Perhaps your page followers can receive a pre-sale option so they can purchase your product before anyone else, or maybe you can offer them a small discount. If you're running a contest, only allow visitors who've liked your page to participate.

Offer Incentives

If you're staging a contest as part of your product launch, offer a prize that's worth winning. And keep those incentives going on your Facebook page so that your new followers have reason to pay attention to your posts. Free samples or time-dependent discounts ("20% off for the next 24 hours!") on a regular basis train your visitors to keep their eyes open for your posts. Attach a dedicated link to take them to a special page on your website, or provide a discount code that they can use when completing their purchase.

Target Your Audience

Facebook offers a lot of tools to make sure your messages reach your desired audience. Buying post boosts and ads is relatively inexpensive, and Facebook works with most businesses' budgets. You can customise the target audience for your boosts and ads, so think carefully about who you want to reach. If you've already developed customer personas as part of your new product launch marketing plan, now is the time to use them.

As you design the Facebook marketing plan for your product launch, keep track of the data you're gathering on your customers. Facebook provides a wealth of free analytic tools to its business users, and you can use what you learn to tweak your marketing campaign and plan for your next product launch.

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Top 4 Tips On How To Cold Call?

effective cold calling is to be polite, friendly, and pleasant -- no matter what. You're calling someone on their phone and taking their time. It's up to you to not just sell them on your product or service, but also to sell yourself as a representative of your business. There's an old sales saying that you can hear a smile through the phone, so go ahead and crack a grin while you're chatting. Keep your pitch quick, direct, and to the point. Be cordial and upbeat while still maintaining an air of warmth and authenticity. How you speak to your potential customers is just as important as what you have to say (if not more), so work on your overall tone and cadence before you start dialing.

2) Be Confident

You can be confident without being overbearing -- politeness and boldness are in no way mutually exclusive. An ideal sales pitch exudes confidence in a positive, endearing way. After all, how can you expect the person you're calling to believe in your brand unless you do too? While your overall tone and way of speaking play a role in sounding confident, the real key is to be prepared with information. You should be able to answer questions with solid information. It should sound like you genuinely care about the company and you're selling because you're passionate, rather than just reading off a script to earn a paycheck. Enthusiasm goes a long way.

3) Take a Break

If you're calling one person after another in rapid-fire succession, it's easy to get burnt out. That fatigue can show, even if you don't realize it. In order to stay sharp and upbeat, take a break every few calls. A good rule of thumb is to take a five-minute break every 15 calls or so. Yes, cold calling is a numbers game, so keeping your calls fast and consistent is important, but if your quality suffers, quantity isn't going to save you. It's better to represent your brand positively to 100% of the people you call and make less calls, than to tarnish your reputation because you were rushing a call. To improve time management, try using the QuickBooks Online time-tracking app to generate reports that show you the impact of your calls.

4) Practice Your Pitch

Even if you've made the same call a thousand times, rehearsing your pitch on your own time can help it to evolve. When you're in the middle of a real call, you may not want to take risks or try new strategies. If you practice cold calling with your co-workers, you can think outside the box and come up with new additions to your pitch that can be incorporated next time you're dialing for real. Recording your dry runs is a great way hear what you sound like so you can make little adjustments.

When it comes to making cold calls, rejection comes with the territory. Try not to get discouraged, and instead, learn from rejections. At the same time, some rejections have no rhyme or reason -- some people just don't like getting phone calls. Maintain a positive attitude, and do your best to connect with people on a personal level. As long as you know your stuff and you keep smiling, cold calling can be a very rewarding approach to sales.

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growing-a-business-product-selling

Up-selling and Cross-Selling: Use Both to Maximize Profits

ways to increase sales. In particular, you may want to try up-selling and cross-selling.

Up-Selling Vs. Cross-Selling

Although these words are sometimes used interchangeably, they aren't exactly the same. Both involve convincing an existing customer to buy more but in a slightly different way. Up-selling is convincing a customer to buy a larger or more expensive package. For instance, if you convince a customer to upgrade to a larger hotel room, that is an up-sell. Cross-selling, in contrast, involves recommending complementary products or services to a customer. When you convince a customer to add meals or a spa package to a hotel room purchase, that is cross-selling.

How to Up-Sell

If you want to up-sell, the first thing you need to do is develop upgraded versions of your products or services. Find ways to package multiple goods together or consider offering bulk orders of existing goods. With services, create more extensive premium packages. If you offer music lessons, accounting services, video streaming, or thousands of other services, brainstorm ways to create a premium version of your package, and then, try to up-sell clients from your basic package to the premium offering.

How to Cross-Sell

To cross-sell, you need to think about which products go together. Traditionally, to use this sales tactic successfully, you needed to really understand your products and know your clients well. Then, you can confidently suggest a bottle of wine to pair with a meal at your restaurant, and you can let shoppers in your brick-and-mortar store know which additional products they would like. While that knowledge is still helpful, it's not as necessary in contemporary sales. Now, you can simply let big data guide these recommendations.

For instance, if you own a website, you can program the site to recommend complementary products to your shoppers. When a customer puts something in their online cart, your software lets them know what other shoppers bought with that item. In person, rewards programmes are great for harnessing and leveraging data for cross-selling. Essentially, your customers sign up for a rewards programme. Then, as they buy products, the software tracks their purchases. Depending on your setup, the software can generate coupons or special offers specifically for that customer, or it can prompt you to make recommendations based on their shopping history.

Training

Technology can help with these sales techniques, but if you want to get the most benefits possible, you need to train your sales staff. If you do your own sales, get into the habit of always thinking about how to get existing customers to buy more. Remember that convincing an existing customer to buy more is almost always more cost-effective than trying to find a new client. Work with your sales staff on these techniques by role-playing, providing them with scripts, or enrolling them in sales-training seminars.

To see if your efforts are working, you may want to use cloud-based accounting software such as QuickBooks. You can track sales, segment sales by market, and find the most profitable areas to focus on. Finally, keep in mind that up-selling and cross-selling don't have to be used separately. For optimal results, you may want to simultaneously cross and up-sell to your clients.

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hr-and-management-business-advice

5 Characteristics of Successful Entrepreneurs

trait of successful small business owners. Having a positive outlook is vitally important due to the realities that many entrepreneurs face throughout their careers. Think about it -- new small businesses face stiff competition from established competitors. Or, they have to wait many months or years for their disruptive business idea to catch on. A positive outlook is what keeps small business owners enthusiastic about the future in the face of obstacles. Even better, a positive outlook can be infectious, so business owners with this personality trait are better able to motivate their employees and keep them focused on helping their companies achieve their goals.

Drive to Succeed

Successful small business owners usually don't retreat into their homes and relax just because their company starts turning a profit. Instead, what drives successful business owners is the next big challenge. When business owners with this personality trait achieve one goal, they set a new goal that's more difficult to achieve. New goals often involve battling competitors for a bigger share of the market.

Motivated Self-Starter

Some people need an extra push to start a project, but a self-starter takes charge, begins a project and sees it through to completion on their own. Being a self-starter is an important trait for a small business owner. If you're a self-starter, you most likely try different ideas without input from other people. For example, when approached by a large corporation offering more work that they're used to handling, a freelancer graphic designer who's a self-starter would jump at the opportunity without asking friends and family for their opinions on the matter.

Passionate about their Ideas

Here's a fact about business success -- you can't be neutral about your ideas. Successful business owners are passionate about their ideas and spend long hours perfecting them. Passion keeps you focused on achieving your dream of business success. Just as with a positive outlook, your team looks to you to find out how passionate they should be about your company or brand. And, customers know when you're passionate about your business by the quality of your products or services you offer, as well as your interactions with them.

Strong Work Ethic

A strong work ethic is what inspires business owners to show up at work rain or shine. Successful business owners usually are the first ones to arrive at the office and the last ones to leave. Though work-life balance is important, it's common for business owners with a strong work ethic to make time for customers and employees even on their days off.

If you feel like you're missing some of the personality traits required for business success, don't worry. Finding a business opportunity that inspires you takes time. But once you find it, everything falls into place.

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What’s the Difference Between Cash Flow And Profit?

cash flow, and if you want to be successful, you need to understand these distinctions.

Profit Versus Cash Flow

Profit consists of your revenue minus your expenses. Imagine that your customers buy ₹120,000 worth of goods from your store in a year, and during the same time period, you spend ₹36,000 on inventory, monthly bills, and payroll. When you subtract your expenses from your revenue, you have ₹84,000 in profits.

In contrast, cash flow refers to the amount of cash you have on hand. If your customers spend ₹10,000 per month and you spend ₹3,000 on bills every month, you'd have ₹7,000 cash in your bank account at the end of the first month. That is your cash flow. At the end of the second month, you have ₹14,000 in cash, but your air conditioner breaks down and you spend all that money on a repair. Now, you have no cash until more revenue flows in.

Profit Doesn't Guarantee Cash

The above example is pretty simplified, but actual business accounting can be more complicated, especially when you use the accrual basis. Often used by large corporations and some medium size enterprises, accrual basis accounting accounts for transactions when the deal is made. In contrast, cash basis accounting (usually used by small companies) doesn't count the funds until the money is in hand.

To explain how this highlights the difference between profits and cash flow, imagine that you own a manufacturing company and sign a deal to sell ₹100,000 worth of goods to a client. You don't get the money until the project is complete, but because you use the accrual basis, you note the sale in your accounting records. You haven't spent any money yet, so you have ₹100,000 in profits. You also have ₹20,000 in cash in your account from a separate deal, and that is your cash on hand. You quickly spend the ₹20,000, which brings your cash flow down to zero, but your profits are still at ₹80,000 (your income minus expenses).

At this point,you have a lot of profits on paper, but you have no cash flow so you can't buy any more supplies. Unfortunately, you won't be able to finish your project unless you get money from somewhere else, but you could have easily avoided this situation if you had planned around your cash flow.

Cash Flow and Profit Reports

Imagine that you ran a cash flow report before you accepted the above deal. The report detailed your expenses and cash coming in, and you were able to easily see that you might run out of cash halfway through. To prevent that from happening, you arranged to have your client pay you the ₹100,000 in installments throughout the project.

While working on that deal, you also decided that you want to attract a new investor to your company. So, in addition to creating a cash flow report, you also created a profit-and-loss statement. That shows the investor all of your profits as well as your expenses on paper, and it gives them a clear sense of the profitability of your company.

Profit and cash flow are both extremely important. Your business needs profits to thrive, but it also needs enough cash on hand to survive. Cloud-based accounting software such as QuickBooks can help you generate cash flow and profit-and-loss reports so you have the exact information you need about your company when you need it.

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growing-a-business-sales

5 Types of Referral Incentives To Boost Sales

social media with your referral efforts. To give you a sense of the possibilities, imagine that you invite all your clients to write a positive post about your company. Then, you offer a gift certificate or a free product to the person who gets the most likes on their post. With this scenario, your customers are enticed to promote your company because of the possibility of a prize, but because you structured it as a contest, you didn't have to give a reward to every customer who helped.

Tiered Rewards

In that same vein, you may want to offer tiered incentives to your customers. For instance, if a customer makes a single referral, you may want to offer them a 5% off coupon. If they refer two or more people, you may want to offer them a 10% off coupon. But if they bring in 10 new clients who book a year's worth of services from you, you may want to offer a really attractive reward such as a free month of service or even a cash gift.

Employee Incentives

In addition to giving incentives to your clients, you may want to spread the joy to your employees as well. To that end, consider creating a program that encourages and rewards your employees for bringing extra business through the door. Again, you can offer your employees cash, paid time off, coupons, or a variety of other incentives.

Regardless of the incentives you decide to offer, make sure you track your efforts

with the right software. Cloud-based accounting software such as QuickBooks can help you track the cost of your rewards and their impact on your bottom line.

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