The success of any business depends in a large part on how well you promote the business. This is also true for online business directories. One should set at least an hour a day actively promoting their online business directory.The following is a list of tips to promoting your online business directory:1. Press Releases: Submitting online press releases is a great way to raise awareness of your online business directory. There are a number of free online press release websites one can use. When submitting a press release, make sure you pick business categories and highlight what your directory can do for a business.2. Online Promotion: Posting messages on online business forums and business bulletin boards is a great way to target and attain businesses. Make sure your signature includes your business directory URL. As well, make sure messages highlight your professionalism and that your directory is a valuable resource for businesses to promote their websites and products and services. Check the forum to see how much traffic they are receiving.3. Tap into Local Businesses: If you live in an area where there are a lot of businesses that have their own websites, visit them in person, or send out brochures highlighting the advantages of posting their business site on your directory, including how people can type in the ZIP Code to find local businesses. As well, include your business card.4. Free Online Classified Ads: Posting to online free classified Ads is a great way to promote your directory. Make sure you post your ad in the business section.5. Write Articles and Post to Articles Directories: Write business articles and post them to online article sites. Your articles should be directly related to business and business directories that includes the benefits of posting to online business directories. These sites are free and are a great advertising tool. Make sure you include a short bio with the link to your online business directory.6. Email Campaigns: Send out emails to businesses advertising your business directory. There are many sites that can help you implement a strong email advertising campaign. Make sure you do not spam a business. One e mail in a month is good.7. Use social networks: Social networks have become a very powerful advertising tool. Facebook, Twitter, and MySpace, are a great way to get the word out about your directory. Be active and acquire friends. You can promote your directory link on your profile side of the page.8. Publish YouTube Videos: YouTube is popular with enormous traffic daily. Make short videos about business and business promotion. Make sure the link to your directory is easy to see. You can promote your business directory on your profile page.9. Create a Business Blog: Start a business Blog about all aspects of business promotion. Make sure you have quality content and provide a link to your online business directory.Creating an online business directory is a great way to boost your main website’s search engine ranking, attract more visitors to your site, and generate income. It is important to remember that when creating an online business directory, you have to utilize promotional tools in order to attract businesses to post their links.
Many firms benefit significantly from either setting up on their own or partnering with a third part to set up a customer financing program for their products. Key benefits are increased sales, cash flow, customer loyalty, etc.But are there also some risks for the company to be aware of also – Of course there are and let’s look at some of those risks.We would also point out that these risks are in fact the same ones taken on by independent leasing firms also.Foremost from a risk perspective is that fact the customer financing program will be viewed by the customers as the one and same as your company. Therefore customer service and financing ability are in fact now part of your firm’s reputation.Companies may also find that the borrowing costs to set up a program are in fact higher than their normal business operating costs. Naturally the method in which the finance division is set up also affects the debt levels of your company. No business wants to fail because it took on higher debt in an effort to in fact help their customers!On a long term basis company lenders might view your firms foray into customer financing as an additional risk factor, which they might try to compensate on by imposing restrictions such as additional covenants, requests for more equity into the firm, etc. The bottom line is simply that setting up a customer financing scenario may in fact affect your own firm’s ability to borrow.If your firm is larger then analysts and firms looking at your firm might in fact be raising issues and perceptions around which business you are actually in, i.e. your products, or the financing of those products. Business owners and financial managers will always want to ensure that ultimately they are sticking to their core business model and philosophies. If your firm becomes too enamored by financing you possibly run the risk of total business failure. There are numerous cases in financial history where firms collapsed because of the shenanigans of the finance division.We have heard the term in business ‘sticking to our knitting’, which of course simply means that management needs unique skills to run a business, and those skills are different in financing. Owners and managers related to the customer financing division must have strong skills in financial sales, structuring, and credit… Naturally we are also inferring that additional skilled personnel ultimately must be hired.No company every wants to look back in hindsight and say that if failed or stumbled because efforts and funds went into financing, as opposed to r&d, marketing, staff, and product growth. Do not let a customer finance program become an obstacle to your ultimate business successBusiness owners should ensure that there is good communications between the main operating company and the customer financing division – clear goals and philosophies should be set out re the function of such a customer finance program.In summary the benefits of offering financing to your customer are very obvious, and proven true by some of the largest and most successful companies in the world – but all you have to do is to do it right! Ensure your firm is aware of the risks and challenges and monitor your customer financing program on an ongoing basis to ensure you are not straying from your core business model.