bbblogo

Online reviews are important for your business.  Your online reputation will help steer prospective clients to your business, (or away).  Here are the top 5 sites where your business should receive reviews.

Google  The #1 search engine on the internet!  Google has branched out into many different directions!  One direction is business listings and reviews.  If you do not have a Google+ page thus far, make one.  Its FREE and offers your customers a glimpse of your company.  Once work is completed, your customers will have the option to review your company right on your profile!  Your business can receive anywhere between 1 and 5 stars based on performance!

Angie’s List  This is an excellent website where the average median income is $100,000 or greater.  Angie’s List customers PAY to have access to the database of businesses across the USA.  Your business will be rated from A through F in multiple categories.  You will also receive an overall rating which will stick with your company on this particular site.  If a customer you started doing business with has an Angie’s List page, they can review your business at no additional cost of their initial payment!

Facebook  Social Media is really climbing up the charts in terms of businesses reaching customers.  In fact, more prospective customers are searching for companies via Social Media than ever before!  You can create a business Facebook Page for Free.  Once done, your customers have the option to rate your company between 1 and 5 starts as well as leave a text review about your business.   Another unique aspect is that your customers have the ability to comment on any of your work at anytime!  You can use this to your advantage to showcase your strong customer service skills and expert craftsmanship!

Yahoo Local 
This is another fantastic page to list your business for reviews!  Its similar to Google where you can create your Yahoo Local Page for FREE.  You can also pay some money to have your business listing featured.  Yahoo uses a 1 to 5 star system similar to Google.  Yahoo has a little over 10% of the Search Engine Market Share so it certainly is beneficial for your business to be listed and reviewed here!

Better Business Bureau (BBB)  This particular site has two different settings for your business.  These settings are accredited and non-accredited business listings.  The BBB is a non-profit organization which does not endorse your business or any products.  Instead, the BBB measures your company against best management practices and evaluates how you should treat the public!  You are rated A through F.  The BBB also acts as a 3rd party if there is ever a dispute.  The customer contacts the Better Business Bureau and files a complaint.  The business then has 30 days to respond.  The customer and business can respond through the BBB several times.  All text between the customer and company are made public and a final verdict is given regarding the matter.  The BBB is a strong site for your company to be listed on and will show prospective customers how you handle situations!

Get these 5 websites for your business set up and let the rating come in!  Thanks for reading.

customerservice

When you are in business, you will find customers from all walks of life.  Some will be very easy to get along with while others will be challenging with that type A personality.  Here are a few tips about how to Win over those tough customers and improve your overall customer service.

  1. Be consistent with your schedule.  If you are in a service industry, its specifically important to show up on the same day and around the same time.  If something changes in your schedule, be sure to make a quick call, email, or text letting the customer know.  Strong communication goes a long way.
  2. Write a contract and keep it electronically on file.  Some of these tough customers will often try to get something for nothing.  Sometimes, its only a little extra task that takes a few minutes while others can be longer and more time consuming.  By drawing up a strong contract and keeping it on file, you can politely explain that what is being asked is not part of the agreement; however, you can either amend the agreement to make it part of it or do a one-time service. (both at an additional cost)  Any customer not willing to sign a contract is one to walk away from.
  3. Send a survey by email for your customers to fill out.  Feedback is key for both the business and customer.  You can send a simple survey for your customers to complete with an invoice.  Many times, customers just want to be heard.  When your business gets bigger and you have employees working for you, its important to know how your employees performed and how your customers perceived them.  A survey is a direct form of communication which shows your customers you are willing to address both good and bad responses and move forward accordingly!

 

Thanks for reading

solarkit

While politicians across the U.S. talk about the importance of renewable energy, Huntsville resident Tyler Truitt is doing something about it.

In January, the 27-year-old Marine Corps veteran planted a row of gleaming solar panels in his front yard, hauled in a 550-gallon plastic tank to catch rainwater and installed a composting toilet in the single-wide trailer that he shares with girlfriend Soraya Hamar.

It’s as close to an off-the-grid lifestyle as you can come while still living in the middle of Huntsville (the trailer sits on two wooded acres at the end of Hood Road, not far from Brahan Spring Park Natatorium).

Continue to Read full article by Clicking Here

(Source: Author Steve Doyle of Www.Al.com)

Running a small business has its ups and down. Its important to keep yourself motivated and in a positive state of mind! Here are a few quotes that are sure to put some pep in your step and a smile on your face!

focus

“If you don’t drive your business, you will be driven out of business.”
B.C. Forbes

“Making money is art and working is art and good business is the best art.”

Andy Warhol

“The past does not equal the future.”

Tony Robbins

“The entrepreneur always searches for change, responds to it, & exploits it as an opportunity.”

Peter Drucker

“You miss 100% of the shots that you don’t take.”

Wayne Gretzky

 

hotdogart

So you want to start a business for minimal cost and generate cash with flexible hours?  Why not open a hot dog cart business?

America and hot dogs go hand and hand.  Many people don’t want to prepare and cook breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  So instead, they will buy something already prepared.  Here is a step by step guide on how to open your hot dog cart business.

  1.  Find your cart – You can buy carts brand new or used.  A brand new hot dog cart will start around $2,500 while I have seen quality used carts for as little as $500!  (used cart pictured above)  Depending on your personal preference, you can choose appropriately.  One thing to keep in mind is to make sure that your cart will pass inspection!  Each state has their own regulation as to whats required on your cart.  For example, Florida Requires you to have hot water, a waste compartment for waste water, a fire extinguisher, and a 3 compartment sink.
  2. Purchase your cart and submit plans – Now that you have purchased your hot dog cart, you will need to submit plans to the state.  In Fl, you need to submit some drawings of your hot dog cart to assure everything falls within the specifications of the state. Once you have approval, you are ready for the next step.
  3. Select a commissary – This is where you will do all of your preparation and throw out all of your waste.  This usually will need to be classified as a commercial location where the business has a commercial kitchen.  If you know someone who owns a restaurant, you can work a deal with them.  If not, local churches usually only use the kitchen one time a week.  You can offer a trade for use of the kitchen for FREE hot dogs for the Sunday School once a month.  That is a win win situation.
  4. Next, you will need to find a business location.  Somewhere with a lot of foot traffic is ideal.  If you wish to run your cart off government you will need to get written permission from your local govt office.  If you wish to operate off private property, you need to get permission from the owner.  You can either offer a flat rate fee or a % commission off your sales.
  5. Finally, You will need to purchase your licenses, permit, & supplies.  In most areas, all you will need is a simple peddlers license.   You may also need to purchase an occupational license from your county tax collector.  In some locations, you may need a permit to operate a cart.  You will want to buy in bulk and buy quality hot dogs, drinks, chips, condiments, and toppings.  A place like Costco will work to start

 

And there you have it!  You are ready to rock and roll in the Hot Dog Cart Industry!  If you need any help setting up your hot dog cart business, leave a message in the comments below.  Thanks for reading.