If you’re all about your business, learning a new skill, or spend an ounce of time on social media, I’d be willing to be bet that you’ve taken part in 1 (or 21) webinars over the last 6-9 months!
The fact is, webinars are one of today’s hottest marketing tool. They are inexpensive to host, allow you to reach a large audience and establish your credibility. Everyday, you’ll find small business owners hosting webinars about all sorts of topics — book publishing, blogging, and the ever popular “how-to” topics. No matter what your niche or industry, webinars are a great option for growing your market.
Perhaps the number one reason to host a webinar—especially if you partner with another business owner in a complementary niche—is to grow your list. Here’s why it works so well.
As a business owner with resources and information to share, you’re in demand, and there are plenty of others out there looking to partner with you. Find a colleague in a related niche to host your event. Ask him or her to mail their list with an offer to join you both on the call. Collect emails in your mailing list system. Any sales you make from the event will pay your partner an affiliate commission. That way you both win: You build your mailing list, and your partner earns cash for their time.
Show Off Your Expertise
You’ve no doubt heard plenty of people talking about the “know, like and trust factor.” It’s a simple reminder that very few people will buy from you the first time they encounter your website or get an email from you. They need more info.
A webinar is a wonderful way to foster trust. Because they can hear your voice, and maybe even see your face, there’s an instant connection. Not only that, but you get to impress them with your knowledge of the topic. Your audience will walk away not only knowing you better, but also with the impression that you are the go-to person in your niche.
Sell to a Captive Audience
Here’s a fact you may not have considered: Webinar attendees are primed to buy. Make them an irresistible offer, and you’ll be amazed at how effective “selling from the stage” can be.
What’s irresistible? Try these proven tactics:
- Fast acting bonuses just for those who buy while on the call or shortly after it ends.
- Deep discounts available only for a limited time—typically if they buy before midnight of the day of the event.
Both plans have worked for thousands of webinar presenters, and will work for you, too!
Whether you’re a newbie to webinar hosting, or you’re already an old hand, there’s little doubt that webinars won’t have a positive impact on your business. The amount of time you spend preparing and promoting is minor compared to the potential returns, so get out there and start planning your next webinar event!
Let’s face it… office rentals are expensive, and just like milk and eggs, they get more expensive every year. Both new and mature businesses often find that their highest expense may be the cost of running their full-time office. If this is you, and you spend every day in your office meeting with employees and clients, then your office expense might be a necessary evil. But for the majority of today’s business owners, office rent is an optional expense. If you:
- Spend a large portion of your time in the field
- Work with clients virtually, outside of a few client meetings
- Have a home office that suits your needs except for when you’re looking to impress new clients
- Skipped putting an address on your business cards or letterhead so that clients won’t randomly show up to your home
- Have a PO Box as a business address (seriously, who can fit a desk into a PO box?!)
- Miss business deliveries because you’re not home when FedEx or UPS arrive…
Ditch the office rent and consider a virtual office solution.
Virtual Office solutions are ideal for entrepreneurs and small businesses looking to maintain a professional image while making a real impact on the bottom line. You can reduce your office rent and maintenance expense by as much as 95% by moving out of swanky (or basic) office space and into an appropriate virtual office solution.
For entrepreneurs with no need for true office use, consider a package that offers professional address services and mail collection only. This gives you use of a professional business address and guaranteed office coverage for your deliveries (super helpful considering FedEx, UPS and USPS deliver to business addresses usually before 3pm). Pick up mail and packages at your convenience, or have it forwarded to your address of choice. Pass out business cards out with confidence that you’ll be taken as seriously as larger companies when your potential clients see your professional commercial address. Sound like something that your business could benefit from? Learn more about ASE Group’s BASIC Virtual Office solution here.
Need a broader offering? Consider a more Advanced Virtual Office solution. This is where the benefits get really good. Get access to services like private office use, a dedicated local phone number, a full-time receptionist for your business’ incoming calls, access to business services like copies and fax usage, and more! You’ll save thousands each month, just with a dedicated phone number and a full-time live receptionist answering your business’ calls. For less than 1 week’s pay to a receptionist, you’ll have a full month of services, your own business phone number and voicemail, an office, and so much more. Learn about ASE Group’s ADVANCED Virtual Office solution here.
New business owners will find a virtual office solution to be a huge money saver as they establish their business, but mature business owners are also realizing that using their office part-time while paying full-time expense is a huge waste of capital.
If you’d like to learn more about how a virtual office solution could work for you, please do not hesitate to reach out to alnesha@ASEGroupOffices.com or call us at 973-731-6000. If you know an entrepreneur or small business that could save thousands of dollars each year by using a virtual office solution, definitely refer them! It’s a win-win situation… we love paying referral bonuses, and your friend or associate will thank you for helping them save money!
A successful marketing strategy for your business can feel like trial-and-error until you’ve really defined your ideal client, and figure out how to best reach them. It can be tough, and I won’t minimize the challenge in doing this. But having tried many marketing strategies, I’ve identified my favorite low-cost marketing strategies that can be successful when implemented at nearly any company.
Marketing has become affordable for small businesses due to the widespread use of the Internet, social media and technology. Gone are the days where small business have to shell out thousands for tv commercials, radio ad slots, or huge billboards. The trade-off, however, often requires an investment of your time (and a little bit of money).
Here are five Inexpensive marketing techniques that a small business can use to reach potential customers and clients:
- Social Media Campaign: Almost everybody is on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, and most are on all 3. Business can be extremely successful in reaching new audiences without spending a ton. If your ideal client is on social media, start a Facebook and/or Instagram advertisement campaign. Make an engaging post about your products and services to peak the interest of your ideal client audience. Get specific in your advertisement if you operate a local business, so that you are maximizing your budget. You’d be surprised with the number of organic leads you can generate while you sleep (or work the 100 other things that entrepreneurship demands of you!)
- Free content: Another compelling approach to promote your business within a small budget is by creating free content. Submit articles and blogs on sites who share ideal clientele with you to promote and enhance your business, and get captured when Google crawls site. Also and rapidly catch by the web spiders, which helps in increasing your website ranking.Also consider guest-blogging to expand your readers’ zone, and draw new customers and clients to your business. Reach out to local, popular blogs, or your local newspaper, and inquire about submitting a guest article, or contributing to a piece.
- Video production: Another powerful and affordable approach to market your business is video production. For this, you simply need to make a quality video about your product and services, to grab the attention of your visitors. This is an ideal approach to promote your business because people love alternatives to reading long posts. Get bonus points if you personally appear in the video; of course that means getting a good night of rest to reduce the ‘entrepreneur bags’ under your eyes, but it gives your potential clients an opportunity to meet the owner, and begin to connect with you on a deeper level.
- Email marketing: Everyone has an email address, and we’re all tied to our phones. Use email marketing to connect with a wider audience in an efficient and affordable way. Consider an email service like MailChimp or MadMImi to start out with. MadMimi offers a free plan that lets you store 100 contacts and send out unlimited emails before needing to upgrade. MailChimp’s forever free plan allows for up to 2,000 subscribers and 12,000 emails per month. Add a ‘Stay Connected’ button to your website, offer a freebie download, and start growing that list. Not only does it help in the promotion of your business, but it also keeps your clients up-to-date with your current offers, discounts or added products and services. Want to join our list and stay in the know with ASE? Click here, and let’s stay connected!
- Offer referral bonuses: This is definitely my personal favorite. Yes, it will likely be the most expensive, but you’ll only spend money when you have a client that will spend money with you. You’ll have to evaluate what a client is worth to you to determine the referral amount, but I much rather pay a referral as a thank you for someone walking cash to me in the form of a client, than blow my advertising budget on the hopes of finding a client. Referral bonuses provide a guaranteed return on your investment, and gives your friends and colleagues a reason to be on the lookout for potential clients for you. It also encourages your current clients to share their experience with you, with others, and word of mouth is the gift that keeps on giving in an entrepreneur’s world.
All of the above techniques will help you to create high-impact marketing with a low budget. You can start generating more leads by implementing these low-cost marketing strategies for small business. CONSISTENCY IS KEY! These techniques must be done frequently and regularly to see genuine results. By implementing these marketing techniques, your small business will start seeing bigger returns on your investment in no time!
Happy New Year! Now that the ball has dropped and the party is over, it’s back to business for most of us. The first thing on the list for myself and our clients, is the preparation and filing of 1099s. Every year, we start to get calls the last week of January to inquire about the 1099 process, and lucky for our accounting clients, we complete this process for them. Although the process may be confusing, we strongly urge you not to ignore it because the penalties can add up quickly.
Do you have a 1099 filing requirement?
If you made a payment of $600 or more to any one person/business during the calendar year as a small business or self-employed (individual), you are most likely required to file an information return to the IRS. For more detailed information, please see 1099 General Instructions.
If, as part of your trade or business, you made any of the following types of payments, and the sum of all payments made to the person or unincorporated business was $600 or more in one tax year, you are required to file a 1099:
- Payments, in the course of your trade or business: (1099-MISC) (Note: It is important that you place the payment in the proper box on the form)
- Interest on a business debt to someone (excluding interest on an obligation issued by an individual) (1099-INT)
- Dividends or other distributions to a company shareholder (1099-DIV)
- Distribution from a retirement or profit plan or from an IRA or insurance contract (1099-R)
- Payments to merchants or other entities in settlement of reportable payment transactions, that is, any payment card or third party network transaction (1099-K)
If you do need to file 1099s, when are they due: Jan 31 – you can file paper or electronically (ASE Group files 1099s electronically to confirm receipt to both the recipient and the IRS, and also because it’s kinder on the environment).
When would you not be required to file a 1099?
You are not required to file a 1099 if any of the following situations apply:
- You are not engaged in a trade or business.
- You are engaged in a trade or business and the payment was made to another business that is incorporated, but was not for medical or legal services.
- You are engaged in a trade or business and the sum of all payments made to the person or unincorporated business is less than $600 in one tax year
Any weird things you should be aware of: If you file them yourself, and download versions from the IRS’s website, do not file Copy A of information returns. The official printed version of the IRS form is scannable, but the online version of it, printed from the website, is not. A penalty may be imposed for filing forms that cannot be scanned.
Need more information, or think you may be required to file 1099s with the IRS? Please contact us as soon as possible. We’re happy to help, and 1099 filings with ASE Group are extremely affordable! Contact us today for a quote.
Cheers to 2018!