Monday, March 27, 2006

It Pays to Have a Plan!

There's an old saying, "How will you known when you get there if you don't know where you're going?" That's why having a well-conceived business or marketing plan is so important to the success of a small business.

Every hour spent in the planning process will save you hundreds of dollars down the line. Because it's time-consuming, sometimes difficult, and entrepreneurs are eager to jump in and get going, upfront research and planning are often neglected. Yet, it always comes back to bite you in the butt! The bottom line - you can discover pitfalls and miscalculations upfront or you can trip across them down the road after spending a lot of money.

That said, I'm off to enjoy a mental health day skiing the slopes of Snow Valley in the San Bernardino Mountains of southern California. We have it all - I can ride my bike 15 miles to the beach, or drive a couple of hours and be in beautiful mountains. No wonder the whole world wants to live in sunny San Diego.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Half of Marketing is Just Doing Something!

Quite often, small business people are so tied up in running their business or servicing customers that they forget to carve out time for marketing. I know this is particularly true for those who sell a service (such as consulting). Then one day, you come up for air and discover that the sales pipeline is empty.

It take discipline to set aside time and funds for marketing. But without doing so, small business people fall into a vicious cycle of "feast or famine." The secret is to launch some ongoing marketing programs (such as pay-per-click advertising) that generate a steady flow of sales leads. You also have to schedule time weekly to devote to marketing activities, for without them your company will have to be pretty darn lucky to grow.

Just doing something - anything! - to create market awareness of your product or service is better than doing nothing. Try committing at least two hours weekly to marketing and you'll see a difference!

Monday, March 20, 2006

Put Your Business Online - Step One: Put Up A Website

Hi Everyone:

Most people just starting a business - and even those who have their business off the ground - realize that online marketing has huge benefits, but don't quite know how to go about it. There appear to be lots of confusing choices... and most look expensive.

But the potential rewards of Internet marketing are so huge that you can't ignore them. Right away, a Website gives you a worldwide 24 x 7 x 365 audience, putting you up there along side the big guys. In the virtual world, small businesses can have as much clout as big corporations.

So step one is to get a website if you don't already have one! The good news is that there are ways to have an effective online marketing platform for just pennies a day....IF you are willing to do a little work yourself. If not, hire someone affordable like me to do it for you. But whatever you do, GET A WEBSITE up and running that sells your products or services. And since it takes a while to get noticed by Google, Yahoo, MSN and other search engines, the sooner you get your Website up, the better.

For those of you who need a primer in setting up an online business, download "Put Your Business Online," which is written for non-techie novices. It explains everything you need to know to get started with creating your website and promoting it. You will be amazed how fast a business can grow through online marketing.

Marketing Consulting for Small Business People and Entrepreneurs

Hello fellow small business persons and entrepreneurs!

Welcome to the Small Business Smart Marketing blog. My name is Al Kernek, and I'm one of the Principal Consultants for Pacifica Endeavors LLC, a marketing and sales consulting firm located in sunny San Diego whose customers are people just like yourself.

You can check out our Website at, but why not hang around a bit and take a look at our blog too? Be sure to bookmark it because we give away lots of valuable free advice to those who are starting a business or who already have a small operation underway.

Feel free to contribute to the discussion by leaving a comment or asking a question. We update this blog nearly everyday. Enjoy!