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A S.W.O.T. analysis will help you to get to know yourself better, assist you to find out what you do know and, more importantly, what you don’t know. block your ego when going  through the exercise to get the most out of it. The Strengths and Weaknesses are considered to be internal to the business, whilst the Opportunities and Threats are external to the business.

  • Strengths are discovered throughout your business history. What are the things that your business does well? Does your product or service have a uniqueness or exclusivity that sets it apart in the market place? Do you have a skill that is in demand and hard to find?
  • A Weakness is a restriction, fault, or defect in the business, product, or yourself, that  will prevent it from achieving its overall outcomes.
  • An Opportunity is any favorable situation in the business’s current industry. It’s usually a trend or change of some kind, or an overlooked need, resulting in a higher demand for a product or service. This could be a chance to grow the business by meeting the new demand. Are there new products or existing services you could deliver that are not being marketed to key clients?
  • A Threat is any unfavorable situation that could slow down or interrupt your growth. The threat may be a barrier, a constraint, or anything external that might cause problems, or prevent you from achieving your outcomes.

In general, a good strategy is to take advantage of the opportunities you identified, and focus on your strengths to avoid any threats and weaknesses. A good starting point for your SWOT is to perform a Competitor Analysis and stack up your offering against the competition. Look at their pricing, employee skill set, marketing strategies, image,customer experience,product quality etc. This is a great way to see whether your assessment of yourself is valid.

  • Strengths may be represented as exclusive product or service offerings, supply contracts,supply chain expertise, speed of service, employee skills and experience, or proprietary technology.
  • Examples of weaknesses: bad customer service, late deliveries, unreliable suppliers, limited products/service. Bad website, low financial funds. Etc
  • Examples of opportunities: emerging trend for a particular service or product, closing down of a competitor’s business, change of affiliate commissions.
  • Examples of threats: new competitors setting up on the Internet, a particular product or service becoming outdated, cheaper products becoming available.

The second part of a SWOT analysis is to evaluate the information to determine strategies and activities that can be implemented to maximize opportunities, capitalize on strengths and mitigate weaknesses and threats. If you have a management team then it is more effective to create the SWOT with their input rather than conducting it solo.

Once performed the SWOT will produce valuable information. Remember to take the next most important step and act on that information.

Let’s face the facts… old-fashioned marketing tools aren’t going to keep your business a growing and prosperous entity in today’s marketplace.  Hey, this month’s hottest techniques and information will be obsolete in six months.  Now, I’m not saying that old marketing principals can’t be upgraded and incorporated successfully, but as a rule marketers have to stay on top of the latest marketing trends.

If you’re wanting to stay ahead of your business savvy competitors you’ll need to implement 3 tactics to stay one step ahead.

1.  Watch For New Advertising Methods
You never know what will work for you unless you take the time to experiment!  Who knows?  The next marketing experiment you test may be a million dollar idea.  Keep your eyes peeled for the latest marketing news.

It never pays to put all of your eggs in one basket.  Don’t neglect the tried and true marketing tools that have been successful in the past.  Invest about 20 percent of your advertising budget and time into testing for new marketing strategies that will increase your profits.

2.  Spruce Things Up
Don’t get stuck in a rut.  Yeah, you have products that have been successful for years, but what would happen if you gave them a “face lift?’ Would you attract new customers ?  Would your old customers enjoy the change?  You’ll be surprised at what a new packaging will do for old product sales.

Sprucing up doesn’t have to stop with your products.  A few minor changes in the store appearance can bring new life to your place of business as well.

3.  Diversify
The more products you have to offer, the more insulation you have against the decline in popularity of one particular item.  Don’t go out on a limb, when you’ve got a good thing going.  Look for products and services that compliment your current products and services.

Don’t let the speed-of-light changes in the market take your business under.  Stay afloat with these proven tactics.

Anyone at all can create a business online.

Internet marketing is not just for affiliate marketers or multi level marketing schemes anymore. Almost any kind of business can be conducted online today. So how do you know where to start? What is the first thing you need to do? Do you know what you want your business to be? What do you need to do to get it established? These are some of the questions you may be asking yourself. As a matter of fact, in the very beginning, starting your own online business could seem overwhelming!

Keep the following information in mind to help you establish your online business the right way. I think the best way would be to start with Google Cash Generator Bonus , but there are also other options.

A quality business plan is the cornerstone of your company. Offline businesses aren’t the only ones that need them. You are better able to see and accomplish your goals if you have a written business plan. They help you to properly lay out the means that will enable you to reach your objectives. No matter what you think, it’s not hard at all to assemble a business plan. It can be accomplished by anyone. Resources abound no matter where you look for learning the best ways to form your business plan and make sure that it fits your actual business goals and ethics. Think of your business plan as a sort of roadmap to your success. Don’t forget to use automation tools such as Micro Niche Finder on your path to success.

Figure out what kind of business you want to run ahead of time. Not all sales businesses are the same. Do you want to make your own product to sell, or do you want to resell someone else’s? Do you plan to provide your own services to people or are you going to send your clients to someone else to use their service? Once you decide exactly what it is you are going to offer from your business, you will know the next steps you need to take. When you offer your own products for sale, you are going to have to do something completely different than if you are offering someone else’s products. You will have to operate differently if you are trying to sell your own service than if you are the middleman for someone else. You see where this is going. A back up plan is very important in Internet marketing as you will soon discover.

At some point, you will require your own website. While it shouldn’t be a priority at the very start, once you get going you’ll find a website very handy. Make sure your website is original, lively, and accurately represents you and what your business is about.

You obviously want a website that is laid out logically, allowing your customers to easily access what they want, and allow easy access to your contact information. You should also make sure to keep your website updated. Websites that are periodically or frequently updated have been shown to easily surpass the sales of websites that are left sitting idle. It will take some time and effort to succeed with your business. If you want your business to be successful, you are going to have to take the time and make the effort to keep your business in tip-top shape. Just because some businesses are off and running in no time and making huge projects very quickly doesn’t mean this is the norm. But never let this get you down. If you commit to the necessary amount of work, you should see the type of success that you always dreamed of for your new business.

We are constantly being told by SEO experts and the Search Engines that the importance of a link is determined by its page rank and relevance to our own web sites. Consequently when developing a linking strategy we should only be concerned with relevant links. That is other web sites which have some connection to our own. For example I run a web site devoted to providing a variety of cleaning services to commercial clients throughout the UK, so a relevant site would be a cleaning machine supplier or a cleaning chemicals supplier. Not other cleaning companies for the obvious reason they are our direct competitors.

Now this sounds simple and straightforward and if we did this we would end up linking to about twenty sites. This number is not in any way sufficient for us to compete with our competitors who have many hundreds and in some cases thousands of links recognised by the search engines.

How does Google determine relevance? I would suggest that it is a completely random process. If I look at my own back links which Google are registering then many are relevant in terms of the definition above, but many are not. None of our suppliers who provide us with a back link and incidentally have high page ranks form part of this list and yet they are highly relevant? It may be that these form part of Google’s count but they choose for one reason or another not to divulge these. It remains a mystery.

How does a mathematical formula work out relevance? If I back link to my customers who are a very divers group to me they are relevant but apparently not to Google. We have many back links from construction and building companies because we carry out builders cleans for them. Yet these are seemingly not deemed to be relevant but a mortgage company is? Builders and construction firms are mentioned several times on the web site and so a relevant connection should be able to be made.

If I look at the back links of my major competitors then the situation becomes even more confusing. Very few would appear on the surface to be of any relevance at all but who am I to judge? I do not have inside knowledge of the workings of these companies and their possible connections.

To me the whole process seems completely arbitrary and I will continue developing links to sites that I consider relevant. If Google paid attention to its own advice in only developing links to relevant sites then presumably it would only link to other search engines?

It is an easy statement to make for Google and SEO experts, ‘only develop links to relevant sites’ but the reality is that they have no way of knowing what is truly relevant and what is not. Consequently my advice is to continue developing your links to websites that you consider of some relevance either to you or surfers who come across your site and continue to be astonished at what Google considers to be relevant!

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Additional Resources : Get Backlinks , Increase Link Popularity , Free Backlinks

There are five simple tasks that you need to do daily to keep your site on top. Here they are:

1. You need to start off by managing your links. This involves making sure that none of your current links are dead, and you should also check if there are any sites linking to you that you don’t know about. If your site consists of a large number of links you should make sure that they aren’t getting out of control and get rid of anything that is no longer relevant. Also make sure that your links are sufficiently labelled to reflect the page that they link to.

2. Re-order your links, putting the best ones first. And putting them into categories if you have a high number of links. If you have a links page with 25+ links it is a good idea to turn it into a directory of some sort. This can even help you in getting more links to your site in exchange for back links on the directory that you have created. Also check the sites that you link to and make sure that any back links that are due to you are still there as you don’t have much reason to keep a link if you aren’t getting the backlink that you deserve (if the back link was, indeed, negotiated when you placed the link onto your site).

3. Process link request emails. Whenever you receive requests for a link exchange, respond quickly. Not every mail you receive will be a good one, and you should make sure to check any site that wants you to link to it. If you are declining a link request let the web master know why. Perhaps you have an incite that they do not have. They may be able to fix a few things and then become excellent link partners in the future. It is common curtesy to inform the web master as to whether or not you are willing to exchange links within two or three days of receiving a request. Web masters will be even more impressed if you send them a personalized message regarding your approval or disapproval of the link exchange.

4. Check link exchange forums. This is a similar aspect to the above except that in this case it is more difficult to keep track of all of the people who can potentially request links from your site. There is a lot of spam on these sorts of things as well as many really terrible and useless sites. If you encounter such a site or forum member, inform them of your problem with what they are doing and report them to a moderator/administrator if they do not correct their behavior in a suitable manor. It is important that these kinds of forums be kept clean or a search engine may consider it a link farm more than an exchange service.

5. Finally, you should check each feature of your website, to make sure it’s still working properly. The dynamic content that you will probably include at some point must be delivered properly. Any messages that are generated on the fly must not be generated at misopportune times. The difference between a quality dynamic site and a subpar dynamic site is that in a quality dynamic site all content is delivered at the right time and everything seems static and planned out.

Take your time with your website and make sure that you do everything you can for it each day. Keep adding anything new that you find, because updating regularly will keep search engines coming back to spider more often. Updates are crucial and if you can follow the patterns here of insuring quality and precision, you will probably be able to come up with other ways that you can insure your visitors satisfaction and your increased traffic, link count, and search engine listings .

Never agree to link to someone’s site without asking for a link in exchange, unless they offer to pay you – even then, you should think twice. All your incoming and outgoing links need to be related to your site’s content for you to be ranked high in the search engines.

Basic Link Checks.

Some sites use robots.txt to stop search engines from indexing their links pages, in the mistaken belief that outbound links will count against them. To check, just retype their URL with robots.txt on the end (for example, http://www.website.com/robots.txt). If you see a page that says ‘Disallow’ and has the URL of their links page, then they’re not letting spiders index that page. Don’t exchange links with that site.

You should also check to see if the website is being ‘cloaked’, and report it to the search engines if it is. You don’t want to get involved with these people – better to have them banned and out of the way.

Does the site offering you a link have PageRank? Even if they do, you should look at how it drops between the front page and the links page. Be aware that new pages take a while to get ranked, so PR0 doesn’t necessarily mean a site that will never have any PageRank.

Take a look at how many links are on the page already. There shouldn’t be more than 20 links – if the site breaks this rule, don’t even consider it. Plenty of webmasters collect links, thinking they’re helping their rankings, but it just has the effect of making them look like link farms. Many of them don’t even involve linking to the big spam industries, like casinos and adult content. There’s no point in having a link from a site that takes links from just anyone.

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