Facebook? Yes. Or Maybe No.


Should your business have a Facebook fan page?
By Lori Bratz

There’s a fun little web thing that people are doing now called Facebook. Facebook. It’s really neat because everyone on earth is “on it” and statusing (status-ing) about things they like, places they go, how they feel about their lunches, recalcitrant children, how annoyed they are to have woken up before the alarm clock went off and other important information about themselves and their daily lives. Everyone is a huge celebrity now and they are obligated to share their opinions with the world. Hooray for Mark Zuckerberg! Totally LOVE that guy. ANYWay.

They’re also “liking” things like Chapstick, sweet kisses, lion-head bunnies and businesses they know. I think I’m being clear. Facebook is where people are gathering. Sometimes people are spending their entire days with Facebook.

So, that being said, why would ANY business NOT have a Facebook fan page?? Here’s a reason: You cannot have a Facebook fan page if you won’t actually PARTICIPATE on Facebook. You can’t build a fan page and walk away. You have to manage it, build a fanbase, communicate, always be updating with good, relevant information. It can be a challenge, but heck, even King’s Hawaiian Sweet Rolls has an active Facebook fan page. How much is there to say about bread? Plenty, fellah. If you’re thinking it through.


Professional Website Help or DIY? Tips and Trips.

Do you need professional web help or can you go it alone?
By Lori Bratz

Yes, you CAN build your own website. It’s not really that hard. You can build it using Google Pages, WordPress, blog site, etc. and it may look as pretty as your business card. A pro writes and organizes your content in a logical, SEO-rich, intuitive way and does all the valuable behind-the-scenes stuff that makes your site a functioning, search-engine-indexed, income-generating entity on the web.

Building your own website can be a lot like stuffing your business card in the mail slot at the public library and expecting it to magically be a part of the card catalog. Let me give you some tips and their associated trips.

DIY Tip: If you decide to go it alone, do yourself a favor and keep it simple. Bells and whistles are like jewelry. Less is more. Remember, the goal of your website is to be your company’s first impression. It’s your business’s eHome and people are dropping in at all hours. And they’re judging. Keep it simple, well-organized, clean and for goodness sakes water the plants. (Don’t have dead links, broken images, outdated info.)

DIY Trip: Simple is good – but it’s ok to add some razzle-dazzle. If your site is TOO sparse, then it can look weak and unprofessional.

DIY Tip: Buy a domain name and buy your own hosting. My recommendation, GoDaddy, and Dreamhost. Choose a plan, pay your bills on time, remain on top of those things.

DIY Trip: Don’t just buy your domain name and hosting and walk away. Make sure you renew your domain name AND make sure you pay your host. Otherwise, you will lose your domain name and/or your host will take your site down for non-payment. Seems pretty basic but I’ve seen this happen over and over and over again to smart, well-meaning business owners.

DIY Tip: Start a blog. You can use your domain name as your blog name. It’s nice because blogs already have databases and other handy infrastructure. And the big bonus is that they can be updated by YOU any time you want!

DIY Trip: You can’t really customize your blog without technical or programming knowledge (because you need to get at the CSS to make changes and customize layouts, etc.). So, you choose any available template and just try to be happy. Also, you might not know how to manage the comments that people and spammers leave. Be diligent about monitoring for inappropriate comments and keep the moderation cue tidy. Deleting 3000 spam messages gets to a person. (A pro can run a script thru the SQL and clean those nasty things out lickity split.)

DIY Tip: Content Content Content. Remember, your target audience is a search engine spider looking to find out what your website is all about.

DIY Trip: Unnecessary content. Repeating and repackaging your elevator pitch over and over on your website is a huge waste of 1’s and 0’s. Unless you are talking about Marie Antoinette, do not overuse words like “revolutionary”. If you have a store that sells boulders, please clearly state that you sell boulders, which are a lot like rocks and stones and gravel…. You get the idea.

Good luck! Let your creativity flow!

Online shoppers are making spirits bright this holiday season

The 2016 holiday outlook is festive.

This year, holiday shoppers will be online in full force!   And, a record number of buyers will be relying on the internet to make their seasons bright.  Shoppers surveyed plan to spend 23% more money in 2015 than they did in 2014, and 46% of their shopping will be conducted online, with mobile devices topping the list of how people find the perfect gifts for those on the nice list. 1

And, to add more fun to the festivities, 55% of those online shoppers plan to take advantage of sale prices to buy gifts and home items for themselves .1 Online retailers can expect more profit than ever in this burgeoning marketplace.

Online sellers would be wise to get their targeted advertising in order early to attract those savvy seasonal Santas to their online stores.

Contact your Web Pro Help account manager now to find out more about how you can find the customers that are looking for you.

  1. National Retail Federation customer survey 2016


Why Switch to WebProHelp?

imageWhy switch?

by: Lori Bratz

Are you HAPPY with the CUSTOMER SERVICE you are getting with your current website management company?

What are you PAYING for?

We polled business owners and asked them their biggest complaints about their web administrator and every single one of them said that they could NOT get help when they needed it!  They call and call and leave message after message and don’t hear back for DAYS, if ever!

#1. Can’t get a hold of their web person.  OUCH!

What if there’s an emergency? Can you get a hold of the correct person to assist you?   At Web Pro Help, you have an account manager who KNOWS YOUR NAME and ANSWERS YOUR CALLS!

Here’s the Web Pro Help Customer Service Difference:

Web Pro Help:     We answer the phone!
The Other Guys:   Do NOT answer the phone!

Web Pro Help:      We aim to please!
The other guys:     Have a Push Back and Say NO culture.

We Pro Help:       We KNOW and CARE about your business.
The Other Guys:   Who are you, again?

At WebProHelp, we KNOW who you are and what your goals are and we CARE that you succeed!

Small Business Success in Tough Economic Times

picture of a woman giving a giftTips for asucceeding in small business: Give more than your competition
By Lori Bratz

If you have a small business, you know that consumers are guarding their spending now more than ever. In order to compete, and sometimes even to stay in business, small businesses need to offer more than their competition. Consumers are forgoing personal services such as haircare, massage, even extracurricular activities for their children because they simply have less dollars to spend on non-essentials. Consider making a space in your business to accomodate and entertain smaller children, enabling families to skip the cost of childcare when they visit your place of business. Clear out a corner, put down some washable carpet squares and a safety gate. Add some safe toys, a dvd player, some video games and you have instantly added value to your business.











The Promotions Mix: Advertising

Today’s topic: Let’s talk about the promotions mix: Advertising.

Every entrepreneur has to find effective ways to promote their business. What exactly is promotion? A promotion is an activity that communicates the merits of the product and persuades target consumers to buy it.  Defining a promotion is simple enough, but spending your hard earned budget to promote your business isn’t so easy.  You have to feel confident that you’re making the best decisions.

There are several types of promotions that you can focus your advertising efforts and budget on. Let’s take a look at advertising.


The most obvious member of the promotions mix is standard advertising.  You can advertise your business itself; selling or promoting your corporate image. This is sometimes called advocacy advertising.  This type of advertising is good for getting your name out there and getting consumers used to thinking of your company in a certain way.  Maybe you have a business that sells products to moms, and you want people to perceive your business as one that cares about education, or healthy lifestyles. This is called branding.  The advantage of branding is that potential customers gain product awareness and knowledge about your company, advertising is usually repetitious, and you usually achieve a wide geographic reach. If you have a tighter budget, you may choose to advertise a certain product, or category of products.  This type of advertising is sometimes called product positioning.  A common theme of this kind of advertising is direct competitor comparison.  In your ad, you tell why you are better than one or more of your competitors. Some distribution channels for advertising are: radio, newspaper and Internet.  Advertising on the Internet is a completely different genre of advertising that we will take a closer look at in the coming weeks.

The disadvantage of advertising is that there’s a high absolute (immediate and out of pocket) cost, it can seem impersonal and standardized, and it can be ignored by consumers who feel they are being inundated with advertising clutter. This is especially true in Internet advertising where the saturation level of advertising has definitely reached its peak.  Note: banner advertising has dropped to nearly 10 percent of the Internet, where it used to be a major revenue generating channel.


The Promotions Mix: Personal Selling

Today’s topic: Let’s talk about the promotions mix: Personal Selling

Personal selling, or face-to-face selling is particularly important in business-to-business marketing.  You, as the salesperson give an oral presentation to a client, customizing your presentation to their business needs.

The advantage of personal selling is that you have a chance to directly address customer objections and close the sale more quickly. The disadvantage is that it is very costly to do a face to face presentation. This is where your opportunity costs are accumulated: the time you spend preparing and delivering your personal sales call is time you could have spent doing other things.   Time is money, after all.





The Promotions Mix: Sales Promotions

Today’s topic: Let’s talk about the promotions mix: Sales Promotions.

Sales promotions: give something away or have a very good, low sales price on your product.

The advantage of this kind of advertising is that you attract attention and can achieve a quick response, but the disadvantage is that you can destroy your brand equity and disturb positioning (too many companies in any industry doing sales promotions encourages brand Disloyalty and brand switching. Think cell phones. ) So, sales promotions are really only a short term solutions to help drive quick revenues. Remember, you can’t claim your product is superior when incentives are always offered or the perception by consumers will be that your product must not be very good if it’s always being given away for free.

Incentive to encourage sale or trial

Contests, 2 for 1 deals, price specials, premiums, etc.

This is a short term strategy that encourages consumers to Buy Now!