Twenty Five Business Tips From Experts in the United States

Experts Sharing Business Tips

Top 25 Small Business Tips from Leading Industry Experts in the U.S.A.

Could you use a handful of helpful small business tips to grow your company?

I’m sure you can, and what better way to help small business owners like you then to share some of my favorite tips from our country’s top industry experts in their respective fields.

Below you will find a personal collection of some of my favorite golden nuggets from the country’s brightest minds in the areas of start-ups, small business, corporate finance, credit, internet marketing, social media marketing, blogging, working online, selling online, branding, and much more.

Now, without further ado, here they are:

1. Lisa Barone of outspokenmedia.com. “If you want people to talk about you, you got to listen to something nine-time Grammy-winner Bonnie Raitt told us way back in 1991. People want to talk and you gotta give ’em something to talk about.”

2. Chris Brogan of chrisbrogan.com. “I continue to believe that affiliate marketing is the best possible method of extending your salesforce on the web. I think that finding passionate people with applicable communities and audiences and then enabling their ability to profit from selling a product they support into their community is the gold standard of marketing on the web.”

3. Tim Berry of timberry.bplans.com. “Remember that your business plan should be only as big as what you need to run your business. While everybody should have planning to help run a business, not everyone needs to develop a complete formal business plan suitable for submitting to a potential investor, or bank, or venture contest.”

4. Jim Blasingame of smallbusinessadvocate.com. “We sometimes get so wrapped up in our business that we risk losing our grip on the things that really matter: health, happiness and those who love us. Life is short! Enjoy every sandwich!”

5. Anita Campbell of smallbiztrends.com. “When competition is tough as it is today, you have to have more arrows in your quiver. What’s the answer? Today it’s 2 things. Search is one. I would add social media as the other. If you don’t at least know the basics of SEO and social media, you’ll have a harder time growing your website and your business.”

6. Marco Carbajo of businesscreditblogger.com. “Avoid putting your personal credit and personal assets at risk and start establishing business credit under your corporate entity. By doing so you will have the ability to obtain 10 to 100 times greater credit capacity.”

7. Brian Clark of copyblogger.com. “People want compelling content, so compelling content is your advertising. And using the right words in the right persuasive way determines not only how well your site converts visitors into sales, but also how much traffic you get and how well you rank in search engines.”

8. Gerri Detweiler of ultimatecredit.com. “If you actually do own a business, keeping your business and personal purchases separate can be crucial for tax purposes.”

9. Melinda Emerson of succeedasyourownboss.com. “You must do something every day to tell the world you are open for business. Even if you just make one sales call a day, send out one helpful tweet a day, write one article to promote your expertise, or send one follow-up email a day.”

10. Tim Ferris of fourhourworkweek.com. “One of the most valuable exercises an entrepreneur can perform is to take a step back, not looking at what’s popular, not consider what everyone is doing or what people are expected to do, and really ask what rules you need to set for your own business, from a process standpoint and a cash flow standpoint, so that it can be successful.”

11. Seth Godin of sethgodin.com. “You have to go where the other guys can’t. Take advantage of what you have so you can beat the competition with what they don’t.”

12. Brian Halligan of hubspot.com. “Change the mode of your web site from a one-way sales message to a collaborative, living, breathing hub for your marketplace.”

13. John Jantsch of johnjantsch.com. “Craft a strategy that compels customers and partners to voluntarily participate in your marketing, to create positive buzz about your products and services to friends, neighbors, and colleagues.”

14. Guy Kawasaki of guykawasaki.com. “Don’t wait to develop the perfect product or service. Good enough is good enough. There will be plenty of time for refinement later. It’s not how great you start; it’s how great you end up.”

15. Diane Kennedy of usataxaid.com. “Each product and product line must stand on its own merit. There is no room for dogs in a company that is bootstrapping.”

16. Rieva Lesonsky of smallbizlady.com. “Whether your business is just starting out, or whether you’re a seasoned veteran, marketing is a must. And during an economic downturn, marketing matters more than ever. Smart marketing can give you the edge you need to succeed in any economy.”

17. Joel Libava of thefranchiseking.com. “The entire business world is learning that transparency is really the way to do business. Not many industries will be able to escape this fact in the near future.”

18. Mike Michalowicz of thetoiletpaperentrepreneur.com. “Success is not determined by your background or your cash on hand. It is exclusively dictated by your beliefs. If you truly, emphatically believe you will succeed, you will. If you don’t, you won’t.”

19. Barry Moltz of barrymoltz.com. “Investors put their money in people not a business. The better team you have, the more money you will be able to attract. Get people on your team that have industry expertise and that have been there before. Investors want track records.”

20. Darren Rowse of problogger.net. “Aim to be unique, remarkable, compelling, and most of all, useful, and your blog will have success long after many other bloggers have all given up.”

21. David Meerman Scott of davidmeermanscott.com. “On the web you are what you publish.”

22. Brian Solis of briansolis.com. “Create a space in the online ecosystem that truly represents your business and cultivates your customers’ loyalty and trust.”

23. Steve Strauss of mrallbiz.com. “Often untapped sources of funding are your own suppliers, wholesalers, and distributors. These are large businesses that want your business and may be willing to lend you some money or inventory, provided they believe in your vision and plan.”

24. John Warrillow of builttosell.com. “So how do you know if you have a scalable business? Here are the three criteria: Teachable, valuable and repeatable – that’s your valuation trifecta.”

25. Ken Yancey of score.org. “Test your marketing message on a mentor, adviser, coach or someone who you believe represents your customer base. Ask them specific questions about whether or not the message gets across.”

One last tip worth mentioning even though it’s so simple yet so powerful is from none other than Pete Cashmore of mashable.com which is “Do what you love.”

So there you have it: 25 of my favorite small business tips from our country’s leading industry experts, all sharing their invaluable insights on how you can succeed in business today.

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Top 10 Firefox Browser Plugins

Firefox-logoAbout a year ago I fired Internet Explorer as my primary browser. Why? Because it crashed on me constantly and took forever at times to transition from one site to another. I’ve found the Firefox browser much more user friendly, especially given the number of plugins that have been developed for the browser.

The ability to customize Firefox with these plug-in extensions is what makes this open-source browser so special. However, there are so many available options for plugins, it’s tough to know what’s worth installing and what will be a complete waste of your time.

There are lists of Firefox plugins that have been created citing the best extensions for web developers or for a better YouTube experience. However, I wanted to create an everyday list of my best choices just for the ordinary online business owner.

Out of these, here are my top 10 Firefox extensions:

1. Adblock Plus. If you have ever been annoyed by all those ads and banners on a site that often take longer to download than everything else on the page, install Adblock Plus and get rid of them. Right-click on a banner and choose “Adblock” from the context menu, and the banner won’t be downloaded again.

2. Colorful Tabs. This simple add-on makes a strong colorful appeal. It sets each tab to a different color and makes them easy to distinguish while beautifying the overall appearance of the interface. After a long day of research when you have lots of browser windows open, this makes online page viewing easier on the eyes.

3. ColorZilla. ColorZilla puts an eyedropper icon in your status bar. Click it and you’ll get a crosshair cursor. As you run this over a Web page, the RGB values of the pixel under the crosshair will display in the status bar, both as three separate values and as a hex value (e.g., R:255, G:255, B:255 | #FFFFFF). I use this all the time if I’m trying to match colors; i.e. a font color to an the primary background on an image, for example.

4. GMail Manager. This Gmail notifier is great if you have multiple Gmail accounts. It allows you to receive new mail notifications along with viewing account details including unread messages, saved drafts, spam messages, labels with new mail, space used, and new mail snippets.

5. MeasureIt. After installing this extension, you’ll have a small ruler icon on the left side of your status bar. When you click on it, your browser window will fade out a little, and you’ll have a crosshair cursor. Drag the cursor over a section of the screen that you want to measure. Next to the box is its height and width, measured in pixels. I use this all the time when trying to measure the size of images. When you’re finished, just hit the Escape key to turn it off and return to normal viewing of the page.

6. Quirk Search Status. Search Status allows you to see how any web site you visit is performing. When you land on a page, SearchStatus lets you view its Google PageRank, Google Category, Alexa popularity ranking, Compete.com ranking, SEOmoz Linkscape mozRank, Alexa incoming links, Alexa related links and backward links from Google, Yahoo! and MSN. This combined search-related information means you can view not only the link importance of a site (according to Google and Linkscape), but also its traffic importance (according to Alexa and Compete), so providing a balanced view of site efficacy. I use this all the time to determine whether a site has enough traffic to warrant accepting a joint venture proposal.

7. Scrapbook. ScrapBook helps you to save Web pages and easily manage your saved collections. Major features are: saving web pages or snippets of a page, saving a web site, organizing the collection in the same way you do bookmarks, full text search and quick filtering search of the collection, and editing of your collected pages.

8. Session Manager. Session Manager helps you manage your Firefox tabs. If you visit the same sites every day, all you need do is open all the sites in separate tabs and/or windows, and then use Session Manager to save the session with a distinct name. Then, you simply go to Tools > Session Manager, pick your session, and all the windows and tabs open up just as you saved them. And, Session Manager tracks your sessions as you surf, and if Firefox (or your system) crashes, you can recover the selection of tabs you had open when it crashed.

9. Tabs Open Relative. Tabs Open Relative makes all new tabs open to the right of the current tab, rather than at the far right of the tab bar. This reduced a huge annoyance I had with how the Firefox browser worked.

10. XMarks. XMarks (formerly Foxmarks) provides seamless bookmark synchronization between your computers and browsers via their synchronization server. Your bookmark (and optionally password) data is securely stored and backed up on their servers and is available online, as well. After you install the add-on, click on the notification to set up Xmarks and start backing up and synchronizing your bookmarks. Install Xmarks on each computer you use, and it seamlessly integrates with your web browser and keeps your bookmarks safely backed up and in sync across all of your computers. Secure Password Sync is an optional Xmarks feature.

Note: To locate these, search for the plug-in extensions here: addons.mozilla.org

If you don’t currently use Firefox as your browser, perhaps this list will convince you to give it a try. I have liked my experience so much with Firefox that I won’t ever use any other browser.

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