APRIL 2011
                                        
Salvaging Millions
The power of proactive PR backed by a professional web presence

I would like to share a story about an acquaintance who asked me for business advice. She runs a terrific family restaurant not far from my office. I’d like to see her business thrive, and it can.

She started doing press releases, but became discouraged because getting them out was time consuming. It was difficult to get the chef time to prepare the featured items and to get pictures to send out each month. I asked her to step back and consider why that was the case.

She and I concluded that she was doing the press releases in a reactive mode. What I mean by that is that she could have created an annual plan, gotten all of the supplies needed, and had her chef cook and take photos of a year’s worth of featured items in a weekend.

It’s seems like a small difference, but doing public relations (PR) in an efficient way is the difference between getting attention and filling seats and just getting by, while telling yourself that you haven’t got the time to get media coverage.

Are you doing PR for your business? Do you do it with an annual media plan? Do you follow a calendar so that you can work efficiently?

Make sure you are proactive, not reactive in your PR efforts. You can still add good opportunities to your PR calendar in response to events. One of the easiest ways for a local business to boost its web presence for its chosen key terms is to blog regularly and provide useful content that includes terms that searchers use to find that kind of business in the titles of the blog posts.

The other advice I gave her is to ensure that her website looked professional. A food critic considering reviewing the restaurant and a person considering dining there probably gets their first impression from the restaurant’s web site. You don’t have to spend a lot to get a site that appeals to visitors.

If your site isn’t meeting your expectations, you may be saving a few pennies, but you’re costing yourself dollars in lost business and lost opportunities – the web is where things are happening today. Take a few minutes and review your website. Does it communicate what you want it to? Does it make the right impression on visitors? Does it make you want to visit and buy? And most important, can people find it with the key terms they are typing in? Too many folks view website development as a monthly expense, so never really get out of the chute. See it as a capital expense and devote some time to “birthing” your web presence correctly. Then work on monthly maintenance.

While you are evaluating the content of your website, consider ways that you can make your website more findable. If you will commit to improving your website, you may find that the Internet becomes the source of your best qualified leads and that cost of acquiring customers becomes a lot less than your less Internet-savvy competitors.

I would be happy to review your business website and give you an analysis of the issues that should be addressed. If you are planning to redesign your website, I offer a brief two-hour consultation for small business owners who want to get the most out of working with web designers. Web designers aren’t likely to understand your business strategy, and you may want help to make sure that you get the most for your money, so I can bridge that gap.

 


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Remember, only you can make BUSINESS GREAT!

Ron Sturgeon is past owner of AAA Small Car World. In 1999, he sold his six Texas locations, with 140 employees, to Greenleaf. In 2001, he founded North Texas Insurance Auction, which he sold to Copart in 2002. In 2002, his book “Salvaging Millions” was published to help small business owners achieve significant success, and was recently reprinted. In June 2003, he joined the new ownership and management team of GreenLeaf. He also manages his real estate holdings and investments. You can learn more about him at WWW.autosalvageconsultant.com He can be reached at 5940 Eden, Haltom City, TX 76117, rons@rdsinvestments.com or 817-834-3625 ext 6#.