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Running An Internet Business

Blogging and Internet Marketing Tools

Jose Ward - Wednesday, October 14, 2009
October is already here and I'm still in Madrid, Spain.  That means Halloween, the World Series and Ad-Tech are right around the corner! Can you guess which one I'm most excited about?
 


This fall brings with it fun opportunities, and I've agreed to write/contribute regularly on Internet Marketing for the NEW Technorati The first article is titled (4 Key Steps to Maximize your Internet Marketing Investment in Google PPC Campaigns) should be live this week.
As part of my ongoing quest to provide the best resources and to highlight the Internet Marketing Tools, I am also rolling out a new Tools section that will be featured more prominently in the US and in Spain. The Tools Section will feature marketing ideas & best practices for business owners and Internet Marketing professionals

In addition, I'm deciding on how best to share in Spanish all my favorite SEO Tools, Google Tools, Yahoo tools, Social Networking tools, Web development tools, Keyword tools, and Link Building tools.

Tomorrow is Blog Action Day 09

October 15. Blog Action Day is an annual event that unites the world's bloggers in posting about the same issue on the same day on their own blogs with the aim of sparking discussion around an issue of global importance.  Guess what this years issue is....Global Climate Change.  You can find more information on http://blogactionday.org.

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Critical Steps to Consider in Planning an Internet Marketing Effort

Jose Ward - Thursday, January 15, 2009
The simple truth of Web communication and internet marketing is that any information can be communicated to anybody  at any time over any device. This is good news for marketers but requires a thoughtful planning effort before any actual internet marketing development work is begun. Of course, this is not the case in most situations. Many Web sites are thrown together with little or no previous planning, and then Web designers and developers are held responsible for the enormous expense and minimal results.

1)  Look at your current communication efforts. Who is the current audience served by your organization's traditional media activities?

2)  Looking at a particular communication activity, how is the information presentation targeted to a specific audience and how does it meet the needs of this audience?

3)  Look for opportunities to develop Web communication models that replace or transform existing models to Internet-based communication.

4) Understand the cost of the communication

5) Assign value to communication
 
6) Understand fixed versus variable delivery costs of communication in traditional versus internet communications
 
7) Justify internet communication based on delivery costs and value

8)  Assign costs to traditional media

9) Justify internet communication based on replacing current communication efforts

With a strategy now in place, consider current internal economics and add that to the plan. Will the current financial situation affect the strategy?  Lastly assess the financial justification for Internet communication based on the replacement of traditional variable-cost media with fixed-cost Internet communications. Compare this assessment to the economic strategy mentioned in item. Can the justification affect the strategy?



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QuickBooks integration is now live and running.

Jose Ward - Friday, December 12, 2008
This new feature allows you to push all your online sales and related customer information directly into QuickBooks as required. You can synchronize customers and orders from your online shop into QuickBooks.

To begin, you will need to satisfy a few prerequisites:
  • Install QuickBooks version 5 or higher and create a company file for your business.
  • Install the QuickBooks Web Connector - available for download from the Intuit web site
Once you have QuickBooks and the Web Connector properly installed, you'll need to complete the a one-time setup procedure.

1. Log into your admin site (use the username you plan to use to synchronize with QuickBooks).

2. Navigate to eCommerce -> QuickBook

3. Download the QuickBooks Web Connector (QWC) configuration file using the link in the action box. Save the file somewhere easily accessible such as your Desktop.

4. Close all browser windows.

5. Double-click the downloaded QWC file. This should open the Web Connector and prompt you to verify that you want to allow access to your company file (you'll need to do so for the synchronization to work).

6. Enter the password for the account you used to download the file, and save it if desired.

7. Tick the box next to the newly-added item and click "Update Selected". This will load the list of your QuickBooks accounts into your website.

8. Return to the Admin site and eCommerce->QuickBooks page. Your accounts should be loaded into the dropdown. Pick the account that you want your sales to post to and click save. 

9. Return to the Web Connector, and click the "Update Selected" button again.

10. Your customers will now be synchronized into QuickBooks. This may take quite some time if you have a lot of customers - up to 10 minutes per thousand customers depending on the speed of your computer and Internet connection. Subsequent synchronizations will be much faster, since only updated customers and orders are synchronized.

11. After your customers are synchronized, the orders will be synchronized next. Unless you have thousands of orders, this process should be quick. The orders will be created as Sales Receipts in QuickBooks. In the future, to synchronize, simply open the Web Connector and click "Update Selected", Customers and orders that have been added or updated since the last time you synchronized will be sent to QuickBooks.


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5 Critical Tips for Starting an Online Business

Jose Ward - Sunday, August 17, 2008


1. Clearly define your business idea and be able to succinctly articulate it. Know your mission
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2. Examine your motives. Make sure that you have a passion for owning a business and for this particular business.

3. Be willing to commit to the hours, discipline, continuous learning and the frustrations of owning your own business.

4. Conduct a competitive analysis in your market, including products, prices, promotions, advertising, distribution, quality, service, and be aware of the outside influences that affect your business.

5, Seek help from other small businesses, vendors, professionals, government agencies, employees, trade associations and trade shows.  Don't be afraid to ask questions!
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NOT Just a Website

Jose Ward - Thursday, July 31, 2008
 Hello and welcome,

The purpose of this blog is to help small business owners, entrepreneurs and business leaders build a successful online business. Why would any company doing business want to build an online business? They want an online business to sell & market products and services. To reach new customers, partners and to create new, more effective and lower cost ways of transacting business with suppliers, partners, investors and other stakeholders. To make money!
 
Now there is a difference between building a web site and building online business. The Internet is providing more and more ways for companies to open up new distribution channels, forge communities of buyers and sellers, increase revenues, and boost the bottom line. Either way, you need to take control and responsibility for all your online business activities.

Taking control of an online business is especially challenging and frustrating for most entrepreneurs and small business owners. They are not technical people they are business people. We all know of someone that has invested thousands of dollars in a domain name, a website, shopping cart, payment gateways, email marketing, customer relationship management (CRM), web reporting, blogging, affiliate marketing programs and web designer to build it all. The problem is that we don’t know all that many people that are making money and getting a return on their investment. Why?

Most say they don’t have the time or resources to do it right. Like Seth Godin, said in Purple Cow, “If you don’t have the time to do it right, what makes you think you’ll have the time or money to do it over”. The reason most are not getting a return on their investment is that they are not marketing their products and service effectively. They lack an internet marketing strategy that lays out specific goals and the strategy and tactics they will use to grow their business. It’s about reaching your target audience. Well that is what Search Engine Marketing (SEM) is all about.

In the days, months and years that follow, we will be sharing internet marketing best practices, resources, and tips.  I hope that together find and share new and helpful and insights into Copy Writing, Graphic & Website Design, Internet Marketing, Search Engine Marketing, Pay Per Click advertising, Web 2.0, e-Mail Marketing, and Running and Online Business that get results.  Strategies that have been tested and shown to deliver results.
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