Monday, June 27, 2011

It's All About the Words! Ad Words that is!

The most fascinating aspect of the internet aside from social networking, celebrity scoop or emailing is the ability to reach millions and millions of people. On average there are 184,000,000 clicks per minute on the Internet, pretty impressive! However what's not impressive is if not one of those clicks makes it to your website!

One of the first "must" when starting a business is establishing an online presence, it's basically rule number #1 along with a phone number. The sad thing is as we drain ourselves designing our site or hiring a contractor to do it for us, we ultimately may end up leaving this beautiful well crafted site in Internet Hell, a place where nobody goes! While we may be savvy with our business in terms of product and specialty it is unfortunate to say but many of us aren't sales people and with that being said how do you emerge your site to become one of the 184,000,000 clicks per minute?

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a term that has been frequently used in conjunction with internet advertising. Depending on your market, hiring a SEO strategist can be rewarding as well as costly. An aspect of SEO is the use of Ad Words. Both Google and Bing offer the ability to create ad words for your company, if done properly your site can appear on the first page of a search result.

Here's a quick course on using Ad Words, however it is strongly recommended to view Google and Bing's Ad Words site to develop an acute understanding of how this affordable yet powerful advertising mechanism operates.

1) Create an Ad Campaign - An Ad Campaign is a brief no more than 3 lines, 5 words minimum each line describing your business, promotion, sale, etc. For example:
Customized Flavored Cupcakes
Dozen Cupcakes for $5.99
Buy now at

2) Landing Page - When advertising using ad words also known as keywords, make sure whatever you're talking about you send the consumer to the right page. For example the above scenario indicating cupcakes for $5.99, in this case when the customer clicks on they should "land" on the page that has the cupcakes that are $5.99 a dozen. In this scenario a customer should not land on the home page; nothing frustrates a customer than an irrelevant page popping up.

3) Negative Words - And no this doesn't mean cursing :). Using the cupcake scenario, let's say you want to ensure that your site isn't misinterpreted for a cooking class, then you may want to add "cooking class" as negative words. This will help reduce unnecessary clicks to your site which can result in accruing higher costs leading to lost fees.

4) Tracking - Both Google and Bing offer excellent reporting on how your ads are performing. Both providers recommend running several Ad campaigns and through reporting determine which combination is a proven success.

Creating internet Ad campaigns is quite the trial process. There's lots of potential to be part of the "click" and easy enough to be left out. The important thing is to keep on it. The goal here is to use the internet to leverage your business sales; this can be done by positioning your company using ad words to the Internet forefront and have your site become part of the 184 million click happy world.

Wishin you Prosperity
QC Hustle

Note: Bing and Google are mentioned for informational purposes and example of search providers. QC Hustle does not endorse any product or manufacturer.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Priority Status

For many of us starting and running a business requires an immense amount of sweat equity and sacrifice. I wish I could say to everyone who's starting a business that it's a piece of cake. Many of us know running a business is no piece of cake as a matter of fact if you get some frosting in your first year consider yourself lucky. One of the most important elements of being a successful entrepreneur is selfishness. Ultimately to run your business at least in the first year you will have to be selfish with your time, priorities and commitments. When you look at these elements it seems similar to being a parent and in actuality it is, your business will become your baby. This is not to say that us parents will stop raising our kids; it means that if you're in it, try all that you can and know there's no turning back!

Setting goals is essential, however, prioritizing the tasks that will enable you to accomplish those goals is equally important. There will be times that you'll be required to cancel on social gatherings, miss important family events, even apologize to those who think you're being non-supportive, ultimately they will be lots of "I don't see you as much" and honestly that's going to have to be OK. Many of us have to realize that if we have true friends/family members who are supportive of our aspirations they won't get offended. On the other hand we too have a responsibility to ensure the actions of others do not deter us or overwhelm us with worry. I know this sounds harsh but this is the one time in our lives where we can't apologize for making our business a priority. This is not to mean to sacrifice your family but it means to improve your family! It is also means holding yourself accountable. Recently I purchased a mug that stated Do or Do Not, try is not option ~ Yoda. Yep, I’m quoting the fictional Star Wars character Yoda and some may think I’m going off the deep end ☺. When looking at this quote it makes it all seem simple, either you do what you got to do or you don't. If you're just trying then that's all it is a try out and like any other try out, you could be cut!

Just remember when starting a business do not be afraid to make it a PRIORITY to COMMIT!! Without these two attributes you'll be in tryout stage for the duration of your so-called business.

Wishing You Prosperity,
QC Hustle

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Holla - Building up the 1-800 Calling Experience

Sometime ago QC Hustle published an article titled Look at You and Your Fancy Business which outlined the importance of having a physical business presence. Having a physical presence serves a dual purpose in 1) your clients may take you a little more seriously and 2) you're not giving out your personal home information. As vital as this prescence may seem, the actual presence of contacting a business on a national level is as equally important.

Many of us who are starting a business may use our home phone or cellular number, unfortunately being contacted in this fashion is quite a drawback. For one you could rack up on some pretty expensive cellular minutes and 2) your personal time at home could be compromised as well as you can really damage your business credibility especially when your cute 3 year old picks up the phone and gaga googos thru a hello. The answer to these business perils is securing a business phone number.

Business phone numbers can be achieved through your local phone or cable company. While these are accessible options they at times can be somewhat inflexible and expensive. More recently a couple of virtual providers have emerged that can aid in giving your business that national contact clout through the use of 1-800 numbers. When looking for a virtual phone number provider the following should be considered.

1) If you're starting out small meaning you don't have lots of customers then look for the cheapest plan. The most important aspect when starting small is getting some visible presence. A 1-800 number regardless of the means will give you that.

2) Look for 24x7 support. Make sure before you sign up via their web form that you call the company and see how quick support is given. Remember your phone number is your NCC (National Contact Clout) and should be treated as vital as your business product/service.

3) Try to find a phone service that connects to your mobile phone or existing service. Google Voice is actually a great alternative in which you can secure a local number to your cell phone which then can be forwarded from a 1-800 service.

Most providers will provide a leased phone number and a trial period. The following are standards that are included with most services: multiple extensions, voice mail, call forwarding and transcribing messages to text. Rates usually beginning around $9.99 a month plus additional fees per minute per incoming calls. The crew here at QC Hustle did a little research and have come up with a couple of providers that have caught our attention.*

1) eVoice - Plans start at $12.95 and include, Auto Attendant features, Conference Calling, Music on Hold, and Dial by Name Directory options.

2) - This service is a bit different from the others in which you can own your number. This serves a host of advantages in which you can 1) always keep your number and 2) change to another service but keep your existing phone number. Other services provide you with a leased phone number. If you cancel that service you will lose that number. With the number is yours forever. However, there are some exceptions 1) there's a one time $49.99 activation fee and minutes are charged by .05 cents a minute per incoming call and 2) there's a $9.99 monthly Maintenance and Recovery Fee. This particular plan is limited in terms of voice mail and some other standard features. You can also look at the unlimited minute plan which is $49.99 a month and includes a host of features.

3) Callture - Offers forwarding to Skype at 2.8 cents a minute, Memo on call - allows you to record notes after a call, After hours mode, Click to call - allows calling from your website, Voice Studio - enables a professional voice talent for greeting, music on hold and dial name by directory plus a host of other features.

4) - Includes all of the features listed from the above providers plus, Do Not Disturb - your phone will not ring for that specified time, Schedules - set employee schedules meaning designate when the phone will ring to them, Call Tagging - say Sales and your customer will be directed to the person(s) in your company who handles sales, Block Surcharged calls - these are calls made from a pay phone in Canada and 911 service.

The decision in choosing a provider is not easy and should be determined based on your needs and later on down the road your wants. The most important thing is start researching which vehicle would be a best fit for your business. Regardless of what you do you can't go wrong!

Wishing You Prosperity,
QC Hustle

*QC Hustle does not endorse any of the products mentioned. Products are mentioned solely for informational purposes.