Does Your Business Need a Marketing Consultant?

Have a booming business with more clients than you could ever possibly service, then stop reading right now – this article isn’t for you.

I’m assuming that since you’re still with me, you’re not currently swimming in more money that you could spend in a lifetime. So let’s talk about how to get more customers in the door.

When it comes to being a business owner, most business owners are pretty proficient at whatever it is the business does. If you own a landscaping business, you’re probably a pretty descent landscaper. If have a roofing service, you probably are pretty good at roofing a house.

But being a business owner does not make you a defacto expert in marketing a business. In fact, many business owners are downright lowsy at it.

That’s Why I generally recommend hiring a marketing consultant. Just like that plumber being good at doing plumbing, a marketing consultant is usually a pretty damn good marketer and can quickly see ways for your business to make more money.

The key here is to hire an *independent* marketing consultant. The guy who calls you up to sell you space in the yellow pages – not a marketing consultant (those people are called salesmen, a noble profession, but not the same thing). Same goes for the cable company rep that wants you to buy a 30 second commercial – salesman, not consultant.

Find a consultant who isn’t tied to any one strategy and they’ll be able to see where the opportunities are for your business. For example, instead of telling you to purchase more advertising on the radio, they can help you rework the campaign to be more effective.

Another example would be the Internet and local business owners are some of the worst offenders here at make *terrible* websites. Oh, and just because you have a good looking and aesthetically pleasing website doesn’t mean yours is good. Instead, the real litmus test is if the website actually brings in paying customers.

Again, a good marketing consultant can look at your site and how it ranks in the search engines and develop a strategy to make it far more effective.

Mary Kay Cosmetics Consultants – Helping Or Hurting Women? – Scam Or Legit?

Mary Kay Cosmetics and most Multi Level Marketing (MLM) companies say they offer the world’s greatest business opportunity which is based on selling products. Mary Kay Cosmetics $2 billion a year enterprise where hundreds of products are sold through word-of-mouth advertising. Mary Kay is another recruiting scheme in which they try to get their consultants to purchase a boat load of cosmetics and then resell them. Their hook is how can you sell cosmetics if you don’t have an inventory to sell?

I have heard from friends of mine that were former Mary Kay Consultants that the problem is that a consultant never has exactly what their customers need when the customer wants it. It is nearly impossible to predict at the level how many of each product you are going to need after the first few months. Hence, after the first few months, you end up making smaller orders at a much lower discount level on a more frequent basis. Furthermore, that lower discount level equates to a smaller profit margin for you.

What ends up happening quit often is that by the time the new consultants purchase their cosmetics, factor in the costs for promoting their business, delivering them or working with customers, it outweighs the small pofit earned. Also, the requirements for purchases are greater than most people can meet, hence most of the consultants wind up with a lot of unsold goods. Hence, the vast majority of the products sold to the consultants are never resold to an actual customer. Is it because the consultants really don’t try to sell? Perhaps, but a majority factor is that It’s because the products are of mediocre quality and are overpriced.

With the internet and large department stores in the mix, cheap substitutes for these cosmetics are everywhere and have similar if not better quality. Here’s something else to consider. Where are you going to find your new customers? Mary Kay encourages their consultants to begin with their friends and family and then branch out from there to strangers. Even the most supportive family and friends only need so many cosmetics. Hence, after an initial order when everyone generously buys some items to help you get started, it will be many months until they need to replenish.

Then the next step is moving on to strangers. You’ll try to rope in some of the people you meet through giving skin care classes into having a party and your friends and family will probably may also do that for you but their friends and family probably won’t. Ask yourself how many women you know are just desperate to get their friends together for a Mary Kay party, probably not too many.

Is Mary Kay Cosmetics a scam? I would say no. This critique about Mary Kay Cosmetics concludes that they are a lawful organization that allows individuals to generate an income by selling to their friends, family and anyone they can get in front of to try to grow their “business”. If you enjoy recruiting friends and relatives and hosting home event parties than this may be right up your alley.

Personally, I’ve completely avoided these types of programs altogether and have advised my friends and family as well as I have been able to make a comfortable living from the internet at home much more easily.

Professional Wedding Consulting Course

Weddings are big businesses today. Most, if not all couples who are planning to wed spend so much money just so that they can have the perfect wedding. They hire not only caterers, wedding planners but also consultants. However, these are not just randomly picked individuals; rather they are fully qualified professional in their respective fields. It would be safe to conclude that couples would rather settle for who has taken the professional wedding consultant course as opposed to one who has not. The reason is simple; couples want quality and professional service.

Taking the professional consulting course is a step in the right direction to all who are interested in the glitzy world of weddings and wedding planning. One gets to do what they absolutely love everyday. The biggest advantage being that the course can be taken conveniently at home and the business can also be run from home. By taking the course, the consultant is able to learn different aspects of the wedding business that they could potentially use to make tonnes of money. Because the wedding business is growing in leaps and bounds it would be a good investment to have the wedding consultant qualifications. This is because wedding consultants will be in high demand in the future.

The professional course may be described as an all inclusive course. Students learn all things that pertain to wedding, from the preparation of the guest lists, planning wedding on different budgets to how to give a really good bridal shower. This information does not in any way go to waste as it may be used by the student herself should she want to have a wedding of her own. All the wedding do’s and don’ts are part of the syllabus.

Quick search on the internet and one comes across many different sites that offer the professional wedding consulting courses. With the advent of the internet it is possible to study on line. However, interested students may also choose the option of studying at home. All one has to do is pay for the study material which is then shipped to the students. This is a big advantage to those women who already have family commitments and find it hard to leave their children behind just so that they may go to school. The courses may be regarded as affordable. More over, discounts are offered to the students who pay the course fees all at once as opposed to in installments. Thus, convenience is not only with regards to payment and the mode of study. Students are also allowed to choose their study schedules. Consequently, it is up to the students to choose whether they would like to study on weekly basis taking breaks or if they prefer taking and finishing the course once and for all.

Starting a business is a daunting task; the good thing about taking the professional consulting course is that it provides crucial insight into what is required. The course helps to answers such questions as whether starting a business is an expensive and difficult affair like most people say it is.

Amazing High Priced Consulting – Uncover 6 Secrets to Grow Your Consulting

You are a high quality coach. When you think using that mindset, you send out that kind of energy to people. When you have confidence about what you’re doing, you are naturally going to attract people who are looking for a confident acting coach. When you do consulting work, it’s necessary for you to be sure about your process and what you’re doing. When you write your high quality article marketing articles, your confidence and experience come shining through. Uncover six secrets to grow your high-priced consulting. By asserting yourself with your high-priced consulting, you are naturally going to attract educated people. If you enjoy working with educated, career-minded, people continue reading to see how to work with them.

1. When somebody experiences a problem, and you know the answer to completely solving that problem, you’re talking about the core of your high-priced consulting. If you’re the type of person who likes to solve problems for a specific niche market, high-priced consulting may be for you. If you’re a confident thinking person, you understand that in order for people to achieve goals they need a proven, tested process to achieve those goals. That’s what consulting and coaching is. You take a process and you show people how to apply that process to their particular problem so that they can completely solve it. You are tutoring them. You are teaching them. That is the service that you are providing.

2. Where would the world be without teachers? We are very lucky that there are people in the world who feel confident teaching. You are one of those people who feels confident enough in your niche market to teach. And of course teachers must be paid. You are providing a valuable service.

3. One of the keys of being able to work with a lot of high ticket clients is by building your list. You build a highly responsive list by using a squeeze page. This squeeze page forces only genuinely interested prospects to get information from you and then you get their name and e-mail address. It’s very important to build your list and to write your free e-book.

4. As a high-priced consultant, you can only work with people who can afford you. But in order to find those people, you’ve got to look for them. Believe it or not they are already looking for you. So as they read your articles they will find you. Remember to do your article marketing articles often and routinely publish them.

5. After you get information on your squeeze page, people are going to be downloading a free e-book. Make sure your e-book has quality information.

6. A quality e-book contains information helpful to your target market that provides knowledge to partially solve his or her problem. The rest of the problem is solved by you in your coaching sessions. Remember, in order for you to get clients you have to give them a lot of useful, relevant information that helps your clients.

HR and Payroll Consultants – Ease Your Burden

HR and payroll consultants can ease your burden if you’re an employer or a business owner. They can make your work more focused on the core tasks when they help you with your HR tasks or even take over your human resource responsibilities.

PEOs or professional employer organizations consisting of HR and payroll consultants generally assume responsibility over your employees through a co-employment relationship. Employers control them at the workplace, but the PEO has the responsibility of recruiting and selecting them, administering their benefits, motivating them for better performance, ensuring their safety and that of the workplace, maintaining employee relations, processing payroll, processing workers’ compensation claims, managing employer risks and employer liabilities, assisting in employee termination, unemployment claims administration, and more.

In other words, employers don’t need to think about managing employee-related issues, but only focus on their business and increase productivity and earnings. There’s no better way to streamline your business processes than by entering into a partnership with a PEO for one or few of the HR tasks such as payroll or employee benefits, or for outsourcing all the HR responsibilities.

PEOs also offer consultancy services through their HR and payroll consultants. They offer innovative solutions and provide assistance in making HR administration easier. HR and payroll consultants can suggest the right policies to minimize employer risks, and even offer training in liability management among other services. Managing and minimizing risks, accurate calculation of tax, ensuring federal and state regulation compliance are some of the other responsibilities PEOs and HR and payroll consultants can help you with to ease your burden as an employer.

How to Hire a Good SEO Consultant

The importance of choosing the right SEO is greater than many of us can imagine. Search engine optimizing is what keeps your site indexed and ranked by search engines and ensures you a good amount of traffic. Without it, your website is either dead, or struggling for survival, hoping to be noticed.

The area of SEO is very complex and it’s permanently extending. New companies and consultants seem to appear out of the blue. SEOs use a wide variety of search engine optimizing tactics, with different efficiency levels. Consequently, before hiring an SEO consultant, it is very important to make sure you’ll be getting what you need. Apart from what you’ll be able to find out from the SEO itself, you can also perform a previous research on your own.

Things to find out on your own

o Find out for how long has the company been in business. This should be listed on their website.
o Search their website for previous projects to find out whether they have a marketing related experience.
o A reliable company also has client testimonials and case studies to prove they are able to keep their customers satisfied.
o Be skeptical with companies that email you out of the blue to advertise their SEO services.
o Beware of SEO companies that claim they can provide a #1 ranking guarantee. Ranking is determined by many factors that are beyond the SEO’s control.
o Beware of SEOs that claim they have a priority submit or special relationships with Google or other search engines. There’s no such thing.

Things to ask the SEO consultant

Do they include link building in their SEO services?

A professional SEO consultant doesn’t limit to building keyword rich content, but also incoming links from relevant website to increase your PageRank.

What are they doing for website conversion enhancement?

A high traffic is meaningless unless your website provides what the users are looking for. A good SEO consultant uses several conversion enhancement techniques, such as copywriting strategies, site usability, call to action tactics and advanced conversion reporting.

Do they help you with calculating your ROI (Return of Investment)?

SEO services can be quite expensive and you need to calculate your potential returns. ROI depends on various factors, such as target population, size of your market place, the sales value of your services and the number of people searching for them on the Internet etc. An experienced SEO should be able to help you predict your ROI.

Do they use SEO best practice and anti-spam methods?

There are many SEOs that use various strategies to trick search engines in thinking your page is more relevant than it actually is. No SEO consultant will admit to using spamming and other unethical strategies, so you can’t ask him the question directly. However, ask as many questions as possible about the methods they will be using and make sure you receive straight answers.

Do they put a limit on the number of search phrases?

Many SEOs have a limited number of phrases they will optimize for. However, if you’re paying a monthly retainer to the SEO Company, they shouldn’t do this. Even though there are a few phrases more important than others, the rest shouldn’t be neglected either.

The first thing a good SEO consultant will do is perform an analysis on the current state of your website and provide a Website Analyzing report. Further analysis should be performed on a regular basis and your website traffic should be permanently monitored. A professional consultant understands the difference between bulk traffic, getting to your website for irrelevant keywords, and qualified traffic. Making the right choice will provide you with qualified traffic, as well as well-structured pages and a high usability level.

Copyright © 2006 Andreas Obermueller

Why Should You Hire A Construction Consultant?

As you are probably aware of, construction is a long and complex process with the difficulty level and risk of failure increasing as the job gets bigger. As the construction manager, it is your responsibility to oversee every aspect of the project from planning to eventual turnover, and to ensure that the project goes smoothly. Your job is a particularly crucial one, and even small mistakes can be costly.

A construction consultant can be crucial to your operations, providing essential services that will make the project go smoothly and reduce costly mistakes. Among some of the services that construction consultants are routinely expected to provide are:

• Project planning
• Quality management
• Construction safety

A commercial construction project of any size will require thorough planning. By having a solid plan in place, you will greatly increase the likelihood of getting the results you want while reducing the risk of costly errors or safety issues. It would be helpful to hire a construction consultant at the very start of the planning process. Most such professionals are trained engineers, and they will be able to help you come up with a construction plan that meets your specifications and fits into your budget. This is an especially important concern, since most construction projects have very strict budget constraints.

Aside from budget concerns, quality is another important factor. As the construction manager, you will have to ensure the integrity and durability of the structure. It is especially important to pinpoint problem areas as early in the construction project as possible, as they can be costly and even life-threatening when left undetected. A construction consultant can be helpful throughout every stage of the construction process, identifying potential problem areas and suggesting possible solutions.

Safety assurance is another area where construction consultants can be invaluable. In any construction project, there is always a high degree of risk which again increases with the size and complexity of the project. By working with a construction consultant experienced in the various aspects of risk management, you will help ensure the safety of the construction personnel and everyone involved in the project.

A construction consultant is a highly specialized professional who is well-versed with various aspects of the construction business. Although the costs of hiring such a professional may seem superfluous and unnecessary if you already have a considerable number of projects under your belt, don’t neglect the benefits that such a professional can provide.

Recruitment Consultant Training – The Important First Step

Recruitment consultant training does work. As a first step you need to know if the consultants on your team actually possess the skills needed to become high billers.

The first step for any recruitment manager is to conduct a skills audit. If you have a job profile you will have a list of key skills and attributes that you want your recruitment consultants to have. Some skills are more trainable than others. Specific areas may need additional coaching and follow up time. In fact the latest research says that when training is followed up the results can increase by as much as 40%. If you don’t have a specific role profile then make the time to create one. Think about the high billers you have known in the past. What were they amazing at? What did they say and do that created the results they got? Then make a list. As a hint top performing billers are; good communicators, great at building relationships, prospecting, understand their market and customer, are energetic and hardworking, they ask questions, they thrive on challenge and meeting customer needs, they listen and respond to feedback and they are tenacious.

Break these areas down into the actual behaviours that people use that demonstrate this skill. Then review if your consultants exhibit them on a regular basis. For instance someone that is good at prospecting might use LinkedIn to best effect, send out emails to new clients and candidates and then follow up with a phone call. Knowing the key behaviours that link to skills makes it easier to measure results and improvements and bring everything back to a process that can be taught. This will give you a great foundation about where to focus your attention, time and resources. If you are new to your own role as a recruitment manager then ask questions. It is easy to make an assumption that your recruitment consultants know how to perform a given skill. If you are not sure ask them to talk you through the process. This will reveal a lot of information for you. For instance if you notice John or Joan are not picking up the phone it could be a skill issue. You might be surprised to find out that they are unsure how to open the call and what to say to move the phone conversation onto the next stage.

If you commit to do this with your consultants then you will soon identify the main skills gaps. Once you have carried out this process group the key areas together. You will see a pattern emerging and some priorities will jump out at you. As a business owner you will know the key performance indicators for your business. If there are skills gaps around any of these this is an area to address as a main priority.

Once you have this information you can develop a recruitment consultant training plan that will develop skills in your team that will add to the business.

The reality is that many recruitment managers are unaware of how powerful this process is. It bases your actions on facts rather than judgement. In summary, decide the ideal skills and behaviours you need. Carry out a skills audit to identify if they are there and being used. Then plan a training programme that will either deliver the skills that are missing, or refocus on those already there.

Business Consulting – How to Use a Consultant to Facilitate Organizational Goal Setting

Business consulting has found that the Goal-setting Theory is especially useful in predicting associate behavior. In many business situations, associates were sales representatives. The company that you may work for, may as an example, manufacture high-end Italian furniture. The sales reps that reported to you may be all independent contractors who carried multiple non-competing lines.

The theory of goal setting and motivation, it is used by business consultants, asserts that effort is directed toward the attainment of specifically set goals. Goals have two main functions: to provide a source of motivation and to direct behavior. A goal also helps a person determine how much effort to put into his work. The primary goals that our sales force sought to attain were yearly sales goals. However, other more subjective goals were also assigned: such as those based on types of new dealers opened in a year or the level of assistance provided with accounts receivable problems.

According to this theory, the ambition and intention to reach a goal must be tied to the individual’s acceptance of the goal. In fact, you may have worked closely with the sales reps to set their individual targets. You may have wanted them to participate in order to create buy-in and acceptance. If this is so, as a business consultant when instruct you, you may entirely agree with the statement about the necessity of creating and instituting achievable goals for your sales reps. If you do not Institute achievable goals, you’ll more than likely see the goals rejected because they our viewed as too difficult, or because you are not clear enough in explaining what behaviors are expected.

In business consulting, assisting with instituting proper goal setting is one of the top areas consultants are hired for. Consultants can come in to an organization and assist with facilitating change, but if the employees in the organization are hesitant to change, proper goal setting and achievement will be tough.

If you are out to increase the effectiveness of your online exposure and attract prospective online customers, you owe it to yourself and the financial future of your business to learn everything you can about effectively using a business consultant to facilitate company growth.

Do you want to increase the effectiveness of your online marketing techniques to dramatically grow your bottom line?

If so, read about and download my new free eBook How A Business Consultant Can Increase Your Marketing Effectiveness

SEO Consultant Fact or Fiction?

Have you ever wondered about the role of an SEO consultant and what value they truly offer to your business? If so, here is a glimpse of some of the various functions an SEO consultant would perform to optimize your website. The process involves a thorough analysis of the components that comprise your website including a comprehensive checklist ranging from the server and hosting environment to the words used on your pages to describe an offer. All of which can affect how you rank in search engines.

Increases or decreases in rankings are typically not impacted from any one aspect of development, web design or hosting, but rather how they interact holistically is what determines placement aside from competition and other off page factors. As search engine algorithms change constantly, changes are required for fine tuning to ensure that your pages adhere to the guidelines established by each respective search engine.

During a diagnoses, these and other elements would be observed under the scrutiny of an SEO consultant.

(1) where the website is hosted.

(2) if the IP Address clean or has been used in the past for hosting spam related websites or sites known for using deviant practices.

(3) does the server display crawl errors while attempting to access the data in the headers.

(4) what links the site has internally, is there a site map, or privacy policy. Is it accessible?

(5) Which keywords are used in the heading, title, meta tags and on page content affect search engine placement.

(6) Are their forward or back links coming to or leaving the website, if so are all of the links optimized?

Each industry has it’s own unique requirements for optimization. There is no one size fits all in SEO, ranking and relevance revolves around updates to search engine algorithms and the engineers who program them. What works wonders on one website may have little if any affect on the other. It’s about finding the right solution for specific problems to mend or improve a potential snag, or prevent one to begin with. The role of the SEO consultant to dissect the components, look for flaws in structure, function or usability, prime and reassemble the website in pristine condition through making logical adjustments to optimize it’s performance.

Although certain familiar fundamentals remain stable since they are structured on logic, one constant that resounds throughout the web is that the algorithm that the embraces the vast library of content displayed in search engine queries is in a constant state of flux. An SEO Consultant must think like both an engineer and the end user to gain valuable insight for each project. By doing so, they can develop a ranking strategy and make adjustments to a website until the desired result is achieved. SEO consulting involves more than educated guesses, it’s a process of trial and error, research and constant modification.

Here are a few more considerations an SEO consult may assess.

Keyword Research – determining relevance the keywords is of the utmost importance. The choice to use the word meal instead of food for example can mean the difference between zero traffic and striking keyword gold. One word used in the wrong place or one variable out of sync with the holistic message your website can impact rankings. Keyword research involves finding the most descriptive communication format to heighten usability for your clients, while simultaneously serving a dual purpose of creating relevance and authority for your website. Sure, anyone can perform keyword research, but the result of a campaign could make it or break it based on this fundamental step.

Web Design and On-Page Optimization - Validation and compliance of W3C standards is ideal, having text links instead of java script, making sure the java script is not inline and is saved in an external file much like a style sheet can assist spiders in getting to the content on your pages. Sites should not employ frames if they want to rank well in addition to adhering to certain principles when using dynamically loading pages such as ASP, PHP and the like all come into consideration.

Analysis of Internal Link Structure and Backlinks – Links are the essence of the web, without them we could not navigate, find other sites or move from page to page. Optimization of links both internal and external links that point to your site, away from your site and the links that allow your site to function internally can all be utilized to maximize your rankings in search engines.

SEO Copywriting - Effectiveness of content in relationship to desired keywords. On page content can make the difference between just showing up for your company name in search engines, or landing a top 10 position. Content is the basis of authority and authority dictates relevance. Is your content speaking to visitors in a way that it compels them to take action, are unnecessary words taking away from the core message? This by far is the number one reason websites rank or tank online. Although it stands to reason that a few paragraphs could summarize a point. Sometimes it’s better to have a little more information on each page so that the search engine spiders can have something valuable to report back to the search engine. For this reason, having 750-1000 words on a topic and using clearly defined header tags (H1, H2, H3) can work wonders for website rankings.

Server Side IP address, DNS & Hosting - Checking your websites hosting environment and making sure that your content is accessible is a large component to SEO consulting. Various tools exist that allow diagnoses to determine compliance. It’s not always the things that are easy to spot that can affect search engine placement. But rather it is observing and optimizing the components as a whole that can put your website in the spotlight.

Anyone can learn the basics of search engine optimization, topics regarding the subject are scattered all over the web. However applying all of the element with efficiency should be left to certified Seo consultants. This way if something gets broken, they can easily diagnose the problem and get your rankings back on track.