Friday, January 3, 2014

How to Put News Headlines to Work in Your Business

The single most important factor in the success of an advertisement is the headline. In fact, studies show that the headline is 50-75 percent responsible for the success or failure of the advertisement! With all that is competing for our time and attention, the headline must stand out, grab our attention, and compel us to read further. The decision to read on or skip the ad completely is made in just seconds, based largely on the effectiveness of the headline. Let's look at the formula behind some of the most successful headlines of all time.
One of the most important functions of advertising is to present new products or services, tell about new improvements, or special purchasing opportunities. Department stores use news headlines because they reliably bring people into the store. Automobile manufacturers use news headlines because they predictably grab your attention. News headlines are great for getting attention and promoting sales. Here are 7 different news headline formulas along with a couple of examples of each formula in use.
1. Begin your headline with the word "Introducing"
Introducing the All-New Lexus 2013 GS
Introducing a Special Gift for a Special Time of Year
2. Begin your headline with the word "Announcing"
Announcing Flash Media Server 4.5 on Amazon Web Services
Announcing a New Help in Solving the Homeowner's Problem
An Important Announcement to Homeowners (the word "Announcing" can also be used in other forms or elsewhere in the headline as in this example)
3. Use words that have an announcement quality
Presenting the New iPad
Thank You for Making us America's Truck Company
4. Begin your headline with the word "New"
New Passenger Side Airbag
New Fuel Efficient Engine
5. Begin your headline with the word "Now"
Now Available for the iPad and Kindle
Now Available in Charlotte!
6. Begin your headline with the words "At last"
At Last! Now You Can Have All of Your Flight Charts on Your iPad
At Last! A Toothbrush Guaranteed for 6 Months
7. Put a date into your headline
Reduce Your Golf Handicap With These New 2012 Golf Clubs
April Air Conditioning Tune-Up Special
Save 20% on Your Utilities this Year
News style headlines are great for standing out and grabbing attention. Above are seven different ways to create a news style headline. There is a reason that you see these formulas for news headlines used so often. They work for other businesses and they'll work for you too. If you split test your headlines, you'll soon find out Which headline prduces the biggest response. How can you use a news style headline for your business?

Friday, August 9, 2013

Places Where You Can Still Get A Business Loan Today

Let's look at some of the recent news headlines regarding small business lending:

"Why Aren't Banks Lending to Small Business? Ask Bernanke." - The American.

"Are the Big Banks Keeping Their Commitment to Small Businesses?" - The Wall Street Journal.

"Banks keep lending standards tight for small firms." - CNNMoney.

So, the obvious conclusion for those starting new businesses or looking for ways to access capital to grow their existing business is that you or your small business can't get any financing - right.

Not so fast.

Banks may not be lending (or are only lending to large businesses who don't really need the capital) but banks are not and have not always been the best options for small businesses or startups.

Most banks won't touch a startup business - regardless of the economy and very few banks will fund growing businesses as most growing businesses have short-term cash flow issues (something that banks say is too risky and shy away from).

Therefore, banks really don't matter to your small business when it comes to lending.

So, what can smaller firms do to gain the money they need to get off the ground or expand?

The simple answer is to do what every other business has done since the start of history - find another way. So, put on your entrepreneurial hat and look into these 4 alternative sources of capital.

4 Places To Find Business Capital Today

1) Private Business Loans:

Did you know that there are other businesses out there (big and small) that all they do is lend to small businesses? It is their business (how they make money) and they are pretty good at it.

In fact, in order for these private lenders to stay in business and make profits (just like you want to do) they have to make business loans to companies just like yours - banks do not have to as they have clearly shown.

You are their targeted customers and they are there for you. Private lenders have more leeway as they don't have regulators watching their every move and as such have created more products (more business loan programs) to fit your individual needs. Plus, most decisions of these lenders are made right there on the spot - no waiting weeks or longer.

How do they do this? Well they don't look at your entire business or your overall cash flow or your overall profitability. They look to the next event in your operating cycle - where your business earns revenue.

It's all based on the conversion of assets. Your business lands a new customer, completes that job and waits to get paid. The lender knows that you will get paid and will provide your business needed working capital until that point. Then, you start the process all over again. Thus, these private lenders will lend against your outstanding accounts receivables - not based on your overall profits or the long-term cash flow prospects of your company.

Or, let's say that your business has orders coming in but doesn't have the capital to even get those jobs started. Well, these private lenders will fund 100% of what you need to start and complete those orders or jobs allowing you to satisfy your customers and earn that all coveted profit.

Now, clearly these seem like a great option for existing businesses. But, if you are a startup, you just have to work a little harder to either get yourself in that position (i.e. getting orders in hand) or use some of these other options (see below) to position your business to generate the needed accounts receivables or purchase orders required by these lenders.

2) Personal Loans:

Most business owners hate to use personal resources to get business capital. But, when all is said and done - money is just money after all. However, personal loans have been the catalyst for growing new businesses since the beginning of time.

For a business loan, banks want business cash flow, profitability and commercial collateral. Items that most new or small businesses don't have.

However, personal loans don't have such stringent requirements.

Home loan rates are at record lows opening up the possibility to tap into home equity for money to start or grow your business. Build your business and use the business to pay off the home equity loan. No different than taking a business loan, building your business and paying the loan off. But, with a home equity loan, you get a lower interest rate and longer term for a lower payment and more flexibility. Plus, these loans are so much easier to get approved.

Or, utilize your retirement funds. Roll over your 401(k) or IRA into your business. Not much difference than in investing in your business or investing your retirement funds into someone else's business. Plus, since this is not a loan - NO interest, no terms and the ability to pay it back when it is best for you and your business and not in the best interest of the bank or lender.

Lastly, use your personal income to make a business loan to your business. This means keeping your day job (or getting one) and running your business part-time until it is strong enough to support you and itself - all being funded from the money you make from your job.

3) Alternative Loans:

Since banks have not been lending to small businesses over the last four plus years, other lenders have been stepping up to fill some of the gap left behind.

Some alternative lenders are finding new ways or better ways to provide those old tried and true methods of business financing - like Business or Merchant Cash Advances. If your business is earning revenue from customers who pay via credit or debit cards, your merchant processor can advance cash against those future customer payments. As this is now becoming one of the leading ways to finance small businesses today, many of these lenders have innovated new ways to provide these loans - programs that can meet nearly any business in any stage of development.

Or, following those merchant cash advance lenders, other, new alternative loan programs have cropped up that, instead of just focusing on credit card and debit card payments from customers, they just simply look at the volume of cash that flows through your bank account. These so called bank statement loans are great for businesses that take all forms of customer payments from cash and checks to credit and debit cards.

The only real requirement with these types of alternative loans is that the business has to actually be conducting business and generating some revenue. But, the business does not have to be profitable or met many of the other rigorous requirements that banks and similar lenders require.

Additional alternative business loans resources to look into are micro credit loans that have programs for both startup business - up to $35,000 in loan amounts - and existing businesses - up to $50,000 in loan amounts. And, never forget about other resources that by-pass bank and traditional lenders all together like peer-to-peer social lending where other people, just like you, become your small business lender.

4) Friends and Family Loans:

Lastly, tap those that know you best. Most lenders or investors in small businesses don't necessary focus on the business itself but on the people who run it. If you can demonstrate a track record - that you can run a business and make money - then you stand a better chance of getting your loan approved.

But, if you don't have the track record and cannot convince a lender about your abilities, you may still be able to convince those that know you best - like friends and family. If you believe in your business and your friends and family believe in you - then you have the perfect match - everyone wins.