p2w2-SBL: 5 Good (Marketing, HR and Other) Websites for a Small Business

Tools for small businessesSmall businesses have different DNA. If you are a small business, you are small, with limited budgets and they have a lot to do. You constantly have this urge to ‘scale up’ – in revenue and people. You have meager resources and employees. And face high risk. So want stuff to work out-of-box and give you returns.

That’s why we have put together 5 great resources for small businesses that will help you. These resources will give you strategic assets. Like if your employees use Manager Tools, they will be far better employees right away and that improves the quality of employees you have without having a pay a bomb to a soft skills trainer. The other resources below are equally good.

Marketing voices

Marketing Voices is one of THE best Internet marketing podcasts I have ever heard. Jennifer Jones, the host, interviews the who’s who of social media marketing and you get to hear the cutting edge of Internet marketing. Of late, the podcast has become shorter and better. Jennifer Jones hits the nail on it head and gets it over with. There are no long conversations. She does not look to fill the time as much as she wants to give the most within the shortest span of time.


Subscribe to Marketing Voices in iTunes


SpyFu is a very different resource. It’s a website where you can key in a competitor’s website and get great competitive insight on PPC (pay per click) and Organic search results. E.g. You can get how much ad budget your competition spent, on which keywords, who the major competitors for certain keywords are, and on which keywords does the website rank high in organic search results.


Manager Tools

Manager-tools is a podcast that gives ‘tools’ to managers. Michael Auzenne and Mark Horstman strike a conversation every week about soft skills – how to manage your time, how to leave voice mails, how to have one-on-one conversations with people who work for you. What I like about the podcast is that the suggested behavior is sensible and practical. Though they do talk about what managers do wrong, they do that well and only enough to make the point.

If you wanted a mentor who taught you or your employees what to do, you can find one in Manager-tools. If used well, Manager-tools can convert ordinary employees into strategic assets and can influence the culture of your company positively.


Subscribe in iTunes

LinkedIn Answers

LinkedInYou may know LinkedIn but am not sure if you know the power of LinkedIn Answers. Whatever questions you face in your business, you can pose that in LinkedIn and get very good responses to your questions. What’s even more wonderful is that you can search the archives and see if someone else posted the same question and check out what the responses have been. It gives you insights from multiple experts (or not so experts) at the same time and saves you time.



You can find many articles of topics important to you entrepreneur.com. What I like about entrepreneur.com is sensible advice. E.g. Check out this article – How to Sell in 60 Seconds. The author upgrades your selling capability. There’s a large archive of such articles.

I hope you enjoy these resources. If you

know some other resources that are as good as or better than these websites, please let me know. Many small businesses read this blog. You will be able to help them by telling me.

Picture credit: tanakawho

p2w2-SBL: How twitter can help your small business

twitter logoWelcome to this week’s p2w2 Small Business Links (p2w2-SBL) post. In p2w2-SBL we bring you the best resources available on the Internet on this topic. Today, I focus on how twitter can help your business.

Create unbelievably valuable network, meet potential collaborators and find extraordinary business leads

“Just by way of writing, reading and responding to each other’s tweets, unbelievably valuable networking contacts have become familiar workday presences. I’ve met and hired 3 subcontractors for my business, met numerous potential collaborators and even found extraordinary new business leads. I’ve been to numerous networking and social events (lifesavers for a WAHM in a new city!). Interesting, creative, challenging, thoughtful and very deeply caring people have come into my life. New ones seem to appear every week. Twitter has served up answers, opinions and inspiration.” (Laura Fitton: Ode to twitter)
“Do you have a brick and mortar business? Connect with your local clientele by using TwitterMap.com or TwitterLocal.net. These sites will show you all the Twitter updates happening in any given geographic area. Sign into your Twitter account and enter “L: city, state” and then visit TwitterMap or TwitterLocal to find “Twits” near you.”(Carrie Hill: Small Business Owners Need Twitter and LinkedIn)

“How could I hire a stranger to work on an important project? Simple. I knew enough about her from Twitter to be confident she could do the work. Her authentic behavior in the [Internet] told me she was intelligent and articulate. When we briefly stepped into the real world, I quickly confirmed this. And her work was outstanding.
The most valuable social networks, and the most valuable contacts within those networks, are based on trust. Most of my Twitter friends are people I have never met in person and with whom I had no connection prior to twitter. Twitter provides exactly the right environment in which to build trust.”(Joel Postman: twitter is the new anti-metaverse)

twitter is the new discovery channel

“Twitter has become my best way to discover. Discover cool websites….discover blogs, podcasts, even breaking news… It has been an amazing and inspiring

resource.” (twitter is new discovery channel)

“We also combine the power of our collective news/intellectual interests. I get the “best of” ideas that various Twitter friends read or create, any given day. This magnifies the depth and breadth of information I consume.” (Laura Fitton: Ode to twitter)

Twitter is a sounding board. Get advice, directions and support

“Twitter is a sounding board. CEOs of large companies ask questions about products and strategy. Small businesses can do the same.” Joel Postman

“I use Twitter to ask for advice, directions, support, and to ask others for their open-ended interpretations to general questions.” (Chris Brogan: Newbies guide to twitter)

Build traffic; Engage your customers and get insights into your business

Martin Bowling

Twitter helps engage your customers by offering them valuable information and insights. By talking to your customers in a high trust environment, you can get insights into your own business with unmatched depth and volume.

“Building links to a small business Web site? Follow people who can help you out, engage in the community and when they call for help/suggestions, offer yours” (Carrie Hill: Small Business Owners Need Twitter and LinkedIn)

Twitter is Answers (like Yahoo! Answers), a chat room, a water cooler, an advertising tool and more rolled into one.

If you realized twitter’s potential the first time you saw it, you may be a genius. Because, not even Evan Williams, its founder, could have guessed how useful twitter was going to be. Lots of people, including me, can’t figure out the first time why they should use twitter.

“Frankly, twitter went from “what the heck” to “how the heck did I live without this?” very quickly.”

“I began to see how creative/productive Twitterers can inspire. I used it to surround myself with role models. I started getting to know people, and to enjoy the company, humor, conversation and great links.” (Laura Fitton: Ode to twitter)

Twitter is Answers (like Yahoo! Answers), a chat room, a water cooler, an advertising tool and more rolled into one. You can derive value out of it by spending time and connecting with people on it.

Twitter - What are you doing?

Picture credit: Sitting on the toilet http://www.flickr.com/photos/cambodia4kidsorg/

p2w2 SBL: Small Business Secrets to Hiring

A month after a young lad had been hired, he was called into the manager’s office.
“What’s this?” the manager asked. “When you interviewed with us, you told us you had five years experience. Now we found out this is your first job!”

“Well,” the young man explained, “in your ad you said you wanted someone with imagination.”

Small business hiring - make them jump into your company

Get to the right advice. Small business hiring is not that difficult

Hiring in startups and small businesses is not easy either. You have no brand, no money, no perks, nothing.
What’s in it for the new recruit? Why should she join you? Even if she wants to should you hire her? There are many questions that a small business faces. But there are few implementable answers out there.
“Hire great talent,” does not tell you how to do it.
Excuse me. I certainly want to. But how do I ‘hire great talent’? Where will I find them? How do I tell if THAT person is “great talent” or not?
Sadly, there are very few good answers. Very few. That’s why I thought I will do a post on this topic. This is a p2w2 Small Business Links (p2w2 SBL) post that brings the power of great articles to you.

Offer responsibility, access to management and flexibility

Employees of large companies crave for what small businesses can offer. “By offering prospective employees real responsibility, access to management, and work schedule flexibility, your small business can compete in today’s competitive hiring market.”

Tap your network, attend conferences, and post on your website

For a start up or small business, the best way to reach out is through your own personal network. Ask friends and relatives who might know the person or who may have friends in the target network (like if you want a software developer, then a community of software developers) you are looking for.
Second, attend conferences and meetings where your target recruits network. Posting in social networking websites where your target recruits network is also a good idea.
Third, something that most overlook, post the job description of the jobs you are trying to hire for on your website. Those who want to join your company, look at your website. Are you there to pick it up?

Realize that hiring is all about probabilities

“Hiring is all about probabilities. When we evaluate a candidate, we are basically just trying to predict whether that candidate will be a success in the position being filled. We’re trying to know the future, but we have no prophets and no Oracle. So, we use various indicators that we believe will be correlated with future success. But there are no certainties. Sometimes all our indicators are positive, but the employee just doesn’t work out.” Eric Sink

If you own a butcher shop, don’t hire vegetarians. Hire people with passion for your mission

“Hire people with a passion for

your mission,” says Robert Kiyosaki
“One of the reasons Steve Jobs is the entrepreneur of the era is because he has missionaries inside his company as well as outside–Apple Computer’s customers are missionaries, too. Jobs is successful because he is true to his personal mission and demands the same from his staff. Jobs’ mission is at the core of Apple Computer.”

Hire better than yourself. Hire infected people

Guy Kawasaki says:

Hire better than yourself
“I have come to believe that we were wrong–A players hire A+ players, not merely A players. It takes self-confidence and self-awarness, but it’s the only way to build a great team.”
Hire infected people
“Is the candidate infected with a love of your product? Because all the education and work experience in the world doesn’t matter if the candidate doesn’t “get it” and love it.”
Apply the Shopping Center Test
“Suppose you’re at a shopping center, and you see the candidate. He is fifty feet away and has not seen you. You have three choices: (1) beeline it over to him and say hello; (2) say to yourself, “This shopping center isn’t that big; if I bump into him, then I’ll say hello, if not, that’s okay too;” (3) get in your car and go to another shopping center. My contention is that unless the candidate elicits the first response, you shouldn’t hire him.”

Date before you marry

“Try before you buy” says Dharmesh Shah. “You should make it a practice to have people work for the company before you hire them. Though hiring an employee you don’t know is not quite as big a commitment as getting married, it can often be almost as risky from a startup’s perspective. (Apologies for the metaphor, it is almost 2:00 a.m. here in Boston and I can’t think of anything better). In this model, potential employees (especially those in the technical ranks) are considered to be in a “probationary” period (what I would call the “dating” period) for some length of time. During this period (which was usually 60-90 days in my case), either party has the ability to declare that the relationship is just not working out and move on – with no misgivings on either side. This is made clear very early in the process.”
There are implementation issues but the concept makes sense. You can use ‘probationary’ period more effectively. I suggest you read not only the article but also the comments below it because they give you a perspective of differing views on this topic.
There’s enough juice in all these articles to think about. Do think about it and pen your thoughts in the comments.
Picture credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/marcogomes/

Link Building to create massive traffic to your website:


Link Building to create massive traffic to your website:Link Building

  1. Cutting Edge Link Building Tactics
    “Persuading other web sites to link to your own could be one of the cleverest pieces of marketing you do – it’s low cost, highly effective at driving traffic and it can have a dramatic effect on your search engine ranking. Links are one of the most popular ways for people to find new sites and so the more quality sites that link to you the better.”
    I Prefer the PowerPoint that came along with the article.
  2. How to Get Piles of Links, Subscribers and Comments
    Skellie discusses 18 good ways to get links.

Picture credit http://www.flickr.com/photos/dcjohn/