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Should I have a rate card?

I'm doing the ground work in setting up a small side business. This business would target a specific demographic with a defined subset of residential design services. I feel compelled to do a 'rate card' but I wonder if anyone here has experience with using a rate card as a service provider. Trying to figure out pros and cons and whether I've missed something. As a consumer, I think I'd love to see some up-front rates but I know that, realistically, it would keep me from hiring someone if I felt like I couldn't afford them (even if I could). [more inside]
posted by amanda on Jul 5, 2014 - 4 answers

Business correspondence via SMS

The management software my company uses recently added the ability to send messages via SMS to our clientele. We've signed up and it's tested well, but we're not clear on the legality of sending business correspondence messages (no marketing, simply "Your rent is due, please call # or pay online @ oursite.com/pay") without the client expressly opting in for SMS messaging. Do we need to have everyone opt-in or are non-marketing messages for the purpose of communicating legitimate business notices exempt? [more inside]
posted by dozo on Jun 27, 2014 - 21 answers

I can't buy a net big enough...

A restaurant in my town is closing down for 2 months. Our facility (1 lunch outlet, 3 dinner outlets) desperately wants to pick up the bulk of their business. But how? More below the fold... [more inside]
posted by kpetrich on May 28, 2014 - 5 answers

What's a Good Marketing Company for a Small Business?

My dad runs a small business in the Bay Area, California, repairing laser printers and copiers and selling toner cartridge. The repairs take place on-site, and usually are for other small businesses; home printers are generally too cheap to be worth repairing, and you can't get parts. The company consists of him, a printer repair technician, the occasional contract technician, and an answering service for backup. My dad is not technologically saavy, but he can use email (Outlook, arrgh), ACT (sort of), and our user-friendly scanner. He recently got interested in DemandForce as a possible marketing company to attract new business, but the reviews I have read have made me deeply skeptical. So, does anyone know of a great marketing company for a small business providing services and supplies? What should my dad look for and look out for? Advice is welcome, but specific recommendations of marketing companies (especially that you still use) are what I'm most looking for.
posted by Alex Haist on Mar 18, 2014 - 10 answers

Where can I learn modern white hat search marketing and SEO?

My small business used to rank really well for hundreds of terms. But I've dropped for some major terms and been obliterated for others. How do I fix this? [more inside]
posted by Chaussette and the Pussy Cats on Jan 9, 2014 - 12 answers

Hacked Instagram account; can my friend get justice?

A fellow aspiring entrepreneur and friend of mine is in desperate need of help. Time is of the essence! Here's the story: Two years ago he created his own business that sells custom hand-made clothes and products. He owns a website and is on all of the normal social media. One of his most effective tools to connect with customers is through instagram. He's worked hard over the years to develop a fan base of over 27K followers. Mysteriously, last night this account was hacked. They changed the password, hacked the business email, and have taken control of the brand. This account is the business' main source of revenue and advertisement. Although he's trademarked the company and taken all the normal preventative measures, the admin. at instagram claims there's nothing they can do to help. Assuming this is true, what are his available options? Essentially, my friend's ship just got hijacked by some evil bastards and he's going to need a seal team to get it back. [more inside]
posted by intelligentfool on Dec 3, 2013 - 15 answers

Determine pricing structure for financial portfolio management software

With a couple of friends we are building a very sophisticated system that we believe is vastly superior to anything currently on the market. Our aim are independent financial management companies of any size in Europe (those non-bank companies that manage people's investments by buying and selling stocks, bonds, funds,...). The current market practice heavily penalises the small companies and only few of them can afford a good system. We want to change that. [more inside]
posted by caudingo on Nov 11, 2013 - 3 answers

Should I just google this?

What do I need to know about promoting my small online business using Google AdWords? [more inside]
posted by BlahLaLa on Aug 26, 2013 - 9 answers

"Noble Salvage" as a name for an antique business: inspired or lame?

Give me your opinion about my stupid smart business name idea. [more inside]
posted by crazylegs on Aug 26, 2013 - 76 answers

Any ideas for marketing on low budget for a mandarin school?

I am running a Chinese school in Beijing now to teach mandarin. Even it can not earn a lot of money right now, I still love this job and want to help more people learn Chinese and experience life in China. I really need help to develop the school, so that will be good if any one can give me some ideas for marketing on low budget to expats in Beijing for a mandarin school. Thanks!
posted by love888 on Aug 23, 2013 - 5 answers

New Hobby Is Producing Stuff - What Next?

So a hobby I've picked up to help wind down in the evenings has started to produce items that might actually be sell-able. This is a new experience for me and I am at a loss as to what to do next. [more inside]
posted by robocop is bleeding on Jul 10, 2013 - 13 answers

How to Find and Keep a Good Salesperson?

How do I find a salesperson? How do I pay them? What kind of freedom do I give them? How can I make it worth their while so it can be a long term relationship? I believe there are people out there interesting in helping me, but I've never been able to figure out how to find them. One man bands do everything but seem to burn out faster, and I don't want to do that. I need help. [more inside]
posted by CollectiveMind on Jan 10, 2013 - 7 answers

Two Shell stations across the street from each other. Why?

In my town, there's a Shell station on one corner of the intersection. On another corner of the same intersection, another Shell. There're also two Woolworths right across the street from each other, and two Pizza Huts. Why? Does anyone out there have any idea? I mean, any ACTUAL idea, not just supposition? Maybe someone who works in marketing, or urban planning? Also, are there any resources I could read that explain these kinds of business decisions? I've looked online and can't find any information. Thanks very much.
posted by staggering termagant on Jan 8, 2013 - 19 answers

Marketing 101

What are some of the best books on marketing? [more inside]
posted by Serene Empress Dork on Sep 4, 2012 - 6 answers

Marketing Plan

Existing Corporate Marketing Plans [more inside]
posted by pakora1 on Apr 19, 2012 - 1 answer

What are some ways to drive traffic to my company's Google+ page?

What are the best ways to promote my Google+ Page as a moderate size CPG business? [more inside]
posted by speedgraphic on Mar 9, 2012 - 1 answer

Tech Startup for dummies

I have an internet marketing concept that might be useful. Unfortunately this is not my field and I'm in over my head. What are some steps I can take to turn my concept into reality. [more inside]
posted by mizrachi on Dec 19, 2011 - 10 answers

OMG, We're Going to Be on Oprah! Crap. What do we do now?

What do we need to do to prepare for and take fullest advantage of an upcoming magazine article that's going to feature our small, family-owned retail business? [more inside]
posted by webhund on May 20, 2011 - 11 answers

Ideas about how to use QR codes in my massage and skin care biz?

I'm trying to come up with some creative ways to use QR codes to generate business or buzz or whatever I can do to promote my business. [more inside]
posted by pinkbungalow on Mar 12, 2011 - 5 answers

email marketing and getting responses

How to deal with rejection when marketing myself via email in the entertainment industry? And how can I have more success? [more inside]
posted by ljs30 on Feb 25, 2011 - 6 answers

Two questions about Facebook Fan Pages: Video Play Counts, Facebook Impressions

Two Questions about Facebook Fan Pages: 1. How can I best track the number of times a posted video is played? 2. What is going on with "Impressions"? [more inside]
posted by jander03 on Jan 25, 2011 - 3 answers

Small Internet Stores Wave of the Future?

Overstock.com has just started something called the "Main Street Initiative" where they create and promote small business microsites. I have a few questions about this. [more inside]
posted by CollectiveMind on Oct 31, 2010 - 1 answer

Your favorite Facebook businesses, please

Please post examples of businesses, anywhere on earth, using Facebook in a very effective way. I'd very much prefer examples of businesses **you** watch and use and the reasons **you** really like how that business uses Facebook. (I'm really not interested in examples of businesses using Facebook in a poor way - I can find those without help!) I'm looking for great examples to show a business owner friend who is not quite using Facebook effectively.
posted by loosemouth on Oct 13, 2010 - 15 answers

Overcoming Bribery in Business

My customers get great bribes! How can I overcome this ethically? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Oct 5, 2010 - 8 answers

Our business needs an agent.

Is there such thing as a business contract "headhunter" or someone who would find us contracts for our business and take a cut of the contract, then go on their merry way -- sort of like an agent the way actors have agents? [more inside]
posted by thorny on Aug 9, 2010 - 9 answers

Make these pixels represent life in the z-axis

YANA Image Consultant: What's the best way for a Jack of all Trades to present himself online? [more inside]
posted by blazingunicorn on Aug 4, 2010 - 2 answers

Looking for B2B Lead Data

Looking for an inexpensive place to buy up-to-date B2B leads. I'm familiar with InfoUSA, Hoover & Zoom Info. Any other suggestions? It would be great to buy a lead list that had email addresses, website info, and the right contact. Again, we are just targeting small town America. Dentists, Carpet Cleaners, Auto Dealerships, Plumbers, etc... Thanks!
posted by pandrew3 on Jul 20, 2010 - 4 answers

How can we let people know we exist without a huge marketing budget?

How in the world can I successfully promote / market my business with little to no advertising budget? (which will, of course, change, when we get more customers). Especially since I am NOT a marketing expert in any way, shape, or form? (description of the business and more details inside) [more inside]
posted by darknemus on Jul 14, 2010 - 19 answers

Starting a startup?

What do you wish you had known before starting your...startup? [more inside]
posted by gacxllr9 on May 30, 2010 - 10 answers

How to make sure a business idea has merit before running with it?

How do you make sure a business idea has merit before running with it? [more inside]
posted by gacxllr9 on May 22, 2010 - 5 answers

Crash course in promoting visual artists

How can I get the inside scoop on the business of selling art? [more inside]
posted by crackingdes on May 18, 2010 - 10 answers

Is selling other people's junk on eBay a good idea?

I want to start an "I will sell your stuff on Ebay" service in my town. What should I know about this before proceeding? [more inside]
posted by Wanderboy on May 8, 2010 - 9 answers

How do you market a new blog?

How do you market a new blog? [more inside]
posted by gacxllr9 on Apr 16, 2010 - 17 answers

Should "della" be capitalized in the middle of an Italian business name?

Italian speakers/readers/writers: my client is naming his new business "Studio Della Statua" or "Studio della Statua". I know that in English, the second capitalization scheme would be fine, but... [more inside]
posted by amtho on Apr 6, 2010 - 9 answers

postcard mailing snafu?

Is it possible the 14,000 postcards we sent were not delivered by the USPS? How would I find out? [more inside]
posted by ecorrocio on Mar 4, 2010 - 17 answers

Client Retention and Relationship Building

Creative marketing types: Looking for creative ways to "stay in front" of my clients! [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Feb 11, 2010 - 5 answers

Random Fashion Questions

London/UK/Fashion mefites - I require help on moving a fashion business and marketing it to the USA [more inside]
posted by gadha on Jan 17, 2010 - 1 answer

How do I successfully market to a target audience?

I have a service that targets a small group of businesses. I need to figure out how to market to them, can someone give me some recommendations? [more inside]
posted by woolite on Jan 7, 2010 - 8 answers

Studies about marketing during a recession?

Tonight someone mentioned to me a study that boiled down to the idea that businesses that keep up with their marketing in a recession tend to bounce back better, or survive better. This makes sense to me, but he doesn't have a cite for study, and I'm curious. Does anyone have an idea of where this might have been, or any other study along those lines?
posted by korej on Dec 9, 2009 - 5 answers

Taking on the juggernaut that is Ebay?

Taking on the juggernaut that is Ebay? [more inside]
posted by pakoothefakoo on Oct 30, 2009 - 13 answers

How to start marketing a dental office.

How do I start marketing a dentist? [more inside]
posted by beingresourceful on Oct 13, 2009 - 14 answers

Do online companies need toll free numbers?

Do online companies need 800 numbers if most of their sales are online from their website?
posted by ckohrman on Oct 2, 2009 - 14 answers

What kinds of advertising options should a new internet startup offer its customers and how should they be priced?

What kinds of advertising options should a new internet startup offer its customers and how should they be priced? [more inside]
posted by tnoetz01 on Jul 29, 2009 - 2 answers

How to Write a Business Plan

I'm looking for some freely available online business plan templates for a quasi-client who wants to start a training business catering to IT project management in government. [more inside]
posted by KokuRyu on Jul 28, 2009 - 2 answers

Is this the new corporate vanity web site?

How would I figure out how big the market is for iPhone apps that are basically collections of videos? [more inside]
posted by ignignokt on Jul 28, 2009 - 2 answers

Now that I have my red nose, how do I get paid to wear it?!

After a year and a half of teaching myself to do balloon art, I bit the bullet and went to clown school! It was a ton of fun, and I am now officially a clown! The problem is that now I have to book some gigs! I have a website, a Twitter account, aFacebook page, and business cards on the way. Still, I don't really know how to market myself effectively. It's a competitive market (NYC) so I'm wondering what I can do to get the word out! [more inside]
posted by iliketolaughalot on Jun 29, 2009 - 10 answers

I want to be the new sexman!

How do I create a YouTube channel to promote my business? [more inside]
posted by mooders on Apr 17, 2009 - 3 answers

What to do with the Facebook Sushi page?

I am the creator of the largest Facebook Sushi page (with 900,000+ fans); If you were me, what would you do with this power and responsibility? :) [more inside]
posted by cdemay on Apr 13, 2009 - 24 answers

$50k for a small business, what do you got?

If you were starting a business in the current economic climate and you had $25k-50k start up capital, what type of business would you start? [more inside]
posted by ibechase on Mar 20, 2009 - 26 answers

Help me promote my baby!

We have a great opportunity to promote our fledgling video production company with a booth at a large concert. But we're not sure exactly what to do with it. [more inside]
posted by mhp on Feb 20, 2009 - 6 answers

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