West Plains MO | Promoting a Business in The Ozarks

West Plains MoPromoting Business in West Plains MO

This short article is the first of a series of posts focusing on promoting and stimulating the economy in the West Plains Mo area.   At the same time this post also provides some informational background on the contents of OzSBI’s upcoming March 18, 2014 workshop on content marketing.

Keys to Economic Stimulation

One key to stimulating the economy of any area is to encourage an inflow of cash into that area from economically healthy areas.  That’s true for an entire country, or for the smallest municipalities.

The United States encourage exports, which in turn result in an inflow of cash which originated in the economies of other countries.  This creates a flow of cash which otherwise would not have existed on its own domestically.  Areas as small as West Plains and Howell County are not an exception to that principle of cash flow and economic growth.

Historically recognized as a relatively low income area, the standard of living in The Ozarks has in fact been gradually rising in recent years as more local residents have learned to generate higher income levels, many of them arising from doing more business with outside areas.

Local residents accomplish this by either working at home for themselves, or by working for larger companies.  In either case, when emphasis is placed on selling products or services to outside areas, the result is an increase of resources and cash flow into our area.  That cash then circulates around and ultimately benefits locals by changing hands and  being here to be spent!

Local Content Marketing Promotes and Encourages Cash Flow into West Plains

Content marketing concepts encourage and enable business owners to learn to draw from a broader range of customer base, much of it being outside of their traditional geographical area.  How is that growing external customer base found?

A growing customer base is created by establishing a  more effective present online!

The bottom line result of increased cash flow for any business is an increase in its revenue. More revenue benefits not just that company and its employees.   In the long run and in the big economic picture, everyone and every other business in the community benefit from that increased presence of cash.

How does doing business online stimulate a lower standard local economy?west plains mo

Businesses in previously depressed economic regions are acting as catalysts to the stimulation of  the local economies by focusing their marketing efforts in an online direction. The most effective ways of marketing a business online are represented by the art and science of content marketing.

Effectively implemented content marketing causes more cash to flow in from outside of the area.  It then naturally changes hands inside the area, thereby benefiting not only business owners, but its employees, and ultimately the community at large.

An Increased Standard of Life in West Plains

Like changes in atmospheric pressure pressure adjust naturally. similarly, economic voids are also naturally filled and adjusted.  Our local economy can continue to grow by leaps and bounds when effectively stimulated  by efficient and forward thinking  uses of internet marketing!

Even the most locally oriented businesses reap the benefits of economic growth stimulated from the outside.  As a result of in increase in the presence of cash in the community created by those doing more business with outside areas, their own business  revenue will also also necessarily and naturally increase.  Why?  More money is being spent in the community.  That improvement in the business climate ultimately leads to the creation of  more jobs and higher salaries.It’s an expanding trend!

west plains mo

Improving technology is helping

With the advent of improving high speed internet availability, even more opportunity is continually opening up for online based local businesses, fueling a great positive economic adjustment for our area.

To Learn More about Content Marketing, Attend the OzSBI Workshop

At OzSBI’s Professional Workshop “Content Marketing: Grow Your Business Online”.  you can expect to  learn more about how to reach and target  new and highly motivated customers.

The workshop will be presented on Tuesday March 18, 2014 from 6:00 to 8:00 pm at the Ozarks Small Business Incubator in downtown West Plains.  Please contact OzSBI at 417.256.9724 or email info@ozsbi.com.

Strategy Content marketing West Plains

Isn’t Everybody Growing Business by Content Marketing?

Why Isn’t Everyone Growing Business by Content Marketing?

I have to admit that when I first decided to get into this business, I thought I was going to find that virtually everybody had already adopted the methodology of growing business by content marketing.  It seemed like a natural idea to me, because the several websites that Kristen had helped me to establish for my various ventures had all been built on a foundation of promotion via blogging and video content.  Including the blog was her idea, and I thought that was just the right way to do things.

And that was true!

There are just an amazing number of people with narrow target audiences who are doing the wrong things,  but they get ranked highly in searches purely by accident without any deliberate control. I thought it was just a given that you must have your own blog on your business site.  I mean, having a website without a means to promote it is about as smart as printing up business cards with no contact information on them.  I never really looked closely at what most other people were doing.

An Idea for a Post Stimulated by a Blizzard

We have been snowed in for a couple of days and can’t get to the office.  So, it’s been great for my creativity.  Today, I got the bright idea of writing a totally original post about the wrong way and the right way to promote your business online.

growing business by content marketing

Weather for an Active Mind

I was going to use the business of a friend as an example of a site that could use some help with content marketing.  Then I was going to compare it to a site that was creating good SEO content on their blog.  Finally, I was going to make some clever recommendations to my friend.

But What Good Examples?

But when I started looking for a good  search engine optimized site to compare to my friend’s blogless one , do you know what I found?  Almost nothing! Just many more blogless sites!  I had a really tough time finding even one example of any business that was going by the guidelines that successful content marketers have proven to be effective at stimulating business. To my surprise, I discovered instead that virtually nobody understands the magnitude of the unlimited potential of content marketing to stimulate business  by drawing real potential customers to your website! How do so many websites find their way to the top of search results?

In all honesty, a lot of them are there by virtue of sheer luck! There are countless websites in small niche business categories  that only find themselves ranking highly in searches because they still face no competition for the key words that are putting them there.

That’s not a secure position! If  your business has a narrow target audience, and you aren’t  coming up at the top of a common search term related to your business, then guess what? If your competition got there by accident, it’s going to be easy to take over his place.  All it takes is the application of a little bit of SEO sense.

So, I Whined

First, I whined to Kristen.  “What’s the matter with people?  Why can’t I even find one good example of a business that’s thriving because of good content marketing methods?”  It turns out that there are quite a number of them, but I had to spend some time to identify them.

Then I realized that this is a good thing for me because everybody needs what we have to offer! So we sat down together and did a deliberate search for a business that’s doing it right.  We did found a couple of them.  The first example we chose is great because this blog contains very little deliberate SEO.

Deliberate vs. Natural SEO

Goats have been a hobby of ours, and we recently bought some product from a small company with a website called www.fiascofarm.com.  (We really liked using their herbal wormer.)  This site does not contain an easily distinguishable blog section, per se.  The product information and article information are spread out in one sort of gray area.  The site has a personal and compassionate touch.

Watch the video and see how many naturally occurring search terms bring them right to the top of search results.  Yet it’s clear that none of her pages or articles are particularly structured with a deliberate SEO goal in mind.  The author has been around a long time, just writing from the heart and sharing information about what she loves to do. That has resulted in a unique website that drives a thriving business.   The search results in the video are the proof.  Her products come up against some major corporate players in the farm supply industry.

The second example is more in line with planned and by-the-book SEO design.  http://www.yaleappliance.com/ is the site of a successful appliance store who just a few years back added a blog to their already well structured website.  Their blog is available from that page but I found it hard to spot. I would encourage you to read about their success story in this link at marketingland.com.

Let’s Talk About Adapting a Content Oriented Blog to Boost YOUR Business!

Don’t miss out on Content Marketing!  Please go to the top of the sidebar at the right side of this post to be added to the access list to view our free video training series on content marketing.  Be among the first to get a jump start!  We ask for your feedback, and we DO  look forward to hearing back from you.  Drop us a line!

The Business Incubator and You

business incubatorBusiness Incubators and Small Business

As a full time professional tenant in a business incubator, we at SCM enjoy all of the same services as does any professionally staffed office.  Our working environment even includes built-in networking opportunities!

Business incubators are formal programs designed to support the successful development of entrepreneurial companies through an array of business support resources and services.  Those services are developed and orchestrated by a management team sponsored by the local community, with the objective of stimulating the local economy.

Participating with the  business incubator was the best decision we ever could have made!  It was a real stimulus to the growth of our business and it put us on the path towards success.

Our local business incubator is known as OzSBI.  Let me tell you about how it has helped to make us successful!

Ozarks Small Business Incubator – OzSBI

business incubatorOzSBI is an acronym for the Ozarks Small Business Incubator.  OzSBI’s operation is associated with and partially staffed by Missouri State University.  MSU operates a branch campus just a couple of blocks away from the OzSBI building.

When we first decided that working from home was more distracting than we had anticipated, we stopped by and talked to the folks who run the incubator.  At the beginning, we enjoyed what is called an affiliate business relationship in the incubator environment for a few months.

The “affiliate relationship” provided us with a shared working space with a variety of other similarly minded small entrepreneurial minded associates.  The business contacts made there, and the new and often unexpected working relationships established there, compelled us to take the next step.  Then we  became long term, full time dedicated office tenants within the incubator.  Six other small businesses also lease adjacent private office space at the OzSBI building.

As a full time office tenant there, we enjoy a variety of essential business support services made available to us and to our neighboring office tenants at quite an affordable cost.business incubator

The OZSBI offices and meeting facilities where we work daily are located in a beautifully renovated historic building located at the far north end of the court house square at 408 Washington Ave in old downtown West Plains.  Check out their website.

If you are local, or happen to be in the area, feel free to stop by and visit us personally!

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What Could an Incubator do for Your Business in Your Town?

According to Wikipedia, in 2005 alone, North American incubation programs assisted more than 27,000 companies that provided employment for more than 100,000 workers and generated annual revenues of $17 billion.  Our own local incubator was not even yet conceived when these numbers were counted, and incubators continue to be created all over the country.

Incubators Embrace Independence

business incubatorAmericans universally agree that since 2008 our economy has been wrestling with a depressed economic state. But these United States are all about independence, and we as individuals are the only possible demonstrators of that independence.  After all, it was a Declaration of Independence from the British Monarchy that founded this great country.

How will we ever get back on track? We will be on track in proportion as we each, as individuals, express and live our natural state of independence.  We must actively be the lifeblood of this nation.  Make your vision of an independent business into reality and be independence expressed.

First you stand up on your own, The business incubator is there to support you as you take your first steps, and then to watch over you as your business matures and grows.  The incubator is your community standing up and getting behind you in the spirit of individualism. You get the business ball rolling.  With a little help, that ball rolls straight, doesn’t lose its natural momentum and stays out of the gutter.

A Call to Action

If you are thinking of going it on your own, then find a catalyst and go for it!  Contact your nearest business incubatorWe’ll start by referring you to the folks at OzSBI.

And finally, market your fledgling business the right way. Develop and implement a complete marketing strategy from the outset. My final call to action is to invite you to learn all the basics you need to implement that marketing plan.  We offer a completely free training series on content marketing right here on this site.  Just register at the top of the right sidebar and you will receive by email a link to all the marketing videos.

photo credit: “Caveman Chuck” Coker via photopin cc

 

 

How to promote Your Business Online

How to promote Your Business Online

Learning how to promote your business online may seem intimidating, but it really should not seem so. The fact  that in today’s business world you really CAN’T survive without being internet savvy. But, we are here to show you that you need not be put off about it if being on the computer is not really your thing. It’s really easier than you might imagine. In fact, it’s so easy, even a caveman could do it!

promote your business online

Get Online!

People in business since the beginning of time have been concerned with learning how to effectively promote their own business.  It’s called branding. In every era, the most successful business people only got to the top of their game by becoming thoroughly familiar in whatever the most effective medium for reaching their customer base happened to be.

No medium of effective people reaching has ever been truly hard to understand, but the fact is that human beings  become set in the ways they have learned.  Humans resist change.

How to Find Your Way Up and Over!

Strategy Content Marketing is here to push you past that point of resistance, up and over the crest of that mental hill.  Then we’ll help you pick up speed on your own by giving you all the tools you need in order to learn how to make yourself the most visible online.

These same online techniques and concepts apply to your activity, whether you are trying to promote a service business, a line of physical products, a charitable organization, a club, you name it.  It is always most logical to do as much of your own promotion as you possibly can, because nobody knows what you do, or whatever the activity may be that you are promoting, than YOU do.

Our cost free video training series is designed to give you the information and confidence you need to put you and your organization in front of the right people.  How do we do that?

The Fundamental Techniques of promoting your business online

Online marketing focuses on what marketing people like to call “Building your brand”.  That translates to putting you and your organization front and center.  When people search online using terms and phrases that are most relevant to you, you and your information needs to be at the top of the list.  That action translates to a phrase and acronym  which is becoming increasingly common in the internet marketing world, known as Search Engine Optimization, or SEO.

Watch our training series to learn all the fundamentals of how anyone, yourself included, can “build their own brand” by learning to appear at the top of search engine searches.  Whether you are a total newbie, or just a seasoned computer user wanting to learn more, we guide you through every step you need.  the setup of a website and blog, how to make the most effective use of the growing trend of video  promotion, how to optimize the effectiveness  of both printed and video content by using proven  search engine optimization (SEO)  techniques, and how to use the growing list of social media and a variety of specific types of online content marketing.

Sign up and watch your business grow!

Look to the right of this blog in the sidebar to sign up and take advantage of a wealth of useful and cost free information that can  be gained from our free course.  We look forward to corresponding with you, and hope that in the future we all may be of mutual benefit to one another!  You CAN do this!  Congratulations on taking the reigns and making the decision to promote your own business online.

photo credit: Lord Jim via photopin cc

photo credit: DFID – UK Department for International Development via photopin