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Affordable Business Solutions Blog http://www.ab4you.com Online Small Business Marketing What is all the Social Media Buzz about?

Just came across this video on Google Buzz 

 

 

What do you think about the Buzz?

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How to Eliminate Travel Receipts in Your Small Business
Several of our clients have recently had problems being able to produce all
the required receipts to substantiate their employee business deductions.
Our research indicates that keeping up with paper receipts can be
eliminated, or significantly reduced if you go electronic.
To initiate an electronic reimbursement arrangement, you as the employer
should get in touch with a credit card company to provide business credit
cards to anyone within your company that will be travelling for business
reasons. Instead of having to write everything down, all the information that
you require about the employee’s expenses will be automatically sent by the
credit card company to you.
Important information about transactions such as the date of the charge, the
amount of the charge, and the name and location of the merchant all appear
on the electronic receipts that the credit card company will provide you.
Once you have all the electronic receipts, you’ll want to enter them into a
database. Instead of paper expense reports, your employees will log in to
this database and create an electronic expense report. Your employees will
fill out the necessary information such as descriptions of each expense, the
purpose they served, other parties involved (for entertainment expenses),
and so on.
Once you approve an expense report, you’ll need to pay the credit card
company for the expenses as laid out in the report. Any charges that are
made to the credit card that aren’t mentioned and approved on the expense
report should not be reimbursed to the employee. Since non-deductible
business expenses should be considered as wages paid to the employee,
personal expenses should not be reimbursed either.
If an employee incurs a business-related charge but for some reason does
not pay with the business credit card, they are responsible for submitting
paper receipts and a paper expense report. Also, if a merchant provides a
receipt that does not itemize all the items within the charge, your employee
is also responsible for providing a paper report describing each item within
the charge. To eliminate as much paperwork as possible, make sure your
employees are aware of this.
 

Troy Braithwaite

Utah's Authorized Duct Tape Marketing 

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1st Time Home Buyer Credit Extended & EXPANDED

In case you haven't heard already, the IRS has extended the First Time Home Owner Credit to April 30, 2010.  They have also EXPANDED the eligibility requirements for purchasers. So, some Americans that did not qualify before, may qualify now.

Here's the details:

-The deadline for qualifying home purchases has been extended from November 30, 2009 to April 30, 2010.  Also, if a buyer enters into a binding contract by April 30, 2010, the buyer has until June 30, 2010 to close on the purchase.

-The maximum credit amount remains at $8,000 for a first-time homebuyer - that is, a buyer who has not owned a primary residence during the three years up to the date of purchase.

-The new law also provides a "long-time resident" credit of up to $6,500 to others who do not qualify as "first-time homebuyers".  To qualify this way, a buyer must have owned and used the same home as a principal or primary residence for at least five consecutive years of the eight-year period ending on the date of purchase of a new home as a primary residence.  

-For all qualifying purchases in 2010, taxpayers have the option of claiming the credit on either their 2009 of 2010 tax returns. 

-Income limits have also risen for people who purchase homes after November 6th.  The full credit will be available to taxpayers with modified adjusted gross incomes up to $125,000, or $225,000 for joint filers.  Those with MAGI between $125,000 and $145,000, or $225,000 and $245,000 for joint filers, are eligible for a reduced credit.

If you have any questions, please feel free to email me at brooke@ab4you.com.

-Brooke Braithwaite

"That QuickBooks Girl"

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RECESSION-BUSTING MARKETING BOOTCAMP

Come Join Affordable Business Solution's Next One-Day ULTIMATE MARKETING BOOTCAMP!!!

What is it? Our One-day, Marketing BOOTCAMP is an intensive 8-hour, one-day course that is JAM-PACKED with EVERYTHING you need to KNOW in order to DOUBLE your business in the NEXT 12 MONTHS! You will receive an ENTIRE marketing library, plus other tools to help you create & maintain your marketing foundation.

Watch for more info:

 When: Friday, November 13th from 8:00am - 5:30pm

Where: The DXATC Building off of 100 South in St. George

What's Included:

Duct Tape Marketing's UMS Workbook ($399 value)

Marketing Plan Pro Software ($179 value)

8 1- Hour Marketing Lessons Taught Live by Me ($1999 value)

Total Value = $2577

Offered to You at Our UNBELEIVABLE Recession Buster Price of $995!!!

But Wait, That's Not All...

 To sweeten the deal and make it even MORE AFFORDABLE, Custom Fit has pitched in and is offering 40% scholarships for all Washington County Business Owners that qualify!!! That makes your total investment ONLY $597!!!

For More Details, or To Register, Call me at (435) 635-7775 ext. 6 or email me at troy@ab4you.com. If I don't answer, leave me a voicemail and I will get right back to you.  (see video testimonials below)

Topics Covered in our JAM-PACKED DAY:

 1st Hour: Target Market: Determining Who Your Ideal Client Is

* Find & Focus on a Market that Values What You Have to Offer
* Find YOUR Ideal Client & MORE just Like Them
* Understand their Buying Pattern & for Your Product or Service

2nd Hour: Differentiate & Dominate: Developing & Communicating Your Core Marketing Message

* Develop a Core Marketing Message that Differentiates YOU from Your COMPETITORS
* Create a Talking Logo
* Create a Core Marketing & Sales Message for Lead Generation

3rd Hour: Marketing Materials: Developing Marketing Materials that Educate

* Create Content That Educates
* How to Tell Your Marketing Story so it Builds TRUST
* How to Give & Get Amazing Testimonials

4th Hour: Advertising: Every Sale Starts With a Lead

* How to Figure out which Media is RIGHT for Your Business
* Finding Your Clients "Hot Topics" & Using them in Your Marketing
* How to Create Direct Response Ads that are Measurable & GET RESULTS

5th Hour: Referral Marketing: Building a SYSTEMATIC Referral Marketing Machine

* How to Get Better Referrals
* How to Find & EDUCATE Your Referral Sources in Order to Receive BETTER, MORE QUALIFIED Leads
* How to Follow-up with Your Referral Sources

6th Hour: Public Relations: Earned Media Attention & Expert Status & Creating A Selling System

* How to Use Free PR as a Form of Lead Generation
* How to Create PR Tools: pitch letter, news release & publicity kit.
* Create Your Sales System: Discover, Presentation, Transaction

7th Hour: Website Guide: Developing & Promoting Content-based Websites & Blogging for Business & Social Media for Business

* How to Create a Website that Works Day & Night
* How to Get Your Website at the Top of the Search Engines for Your Target Market
* How to Use Blogging & Social Media to Generate Leads in Your Business

8th Hour: Budget & Marketing Calendar: Living by a Marketing Calendar

* Create Your Marketing Calendar
* Moving Forward with Your Marketing Map
* Using Marketing Plan Pro to Keep You on Track


PLUS, IT'S 100% GUARANTEED!!! IF YOU COME TO THE BOOTCAMP & BY LUNCH DON'T FEEL IT IS WORTH YOUR MONEY...JUST RETURN YOUR MATERIALS & WE WILL REFUND YOUR MONEY 100% - NO QUESTIONS ASKED!!!

But Wait, IT GETS EVEN BETTER...

2 FREE BONUSES - "JUST BECAUSE" YOU ARE GOING TO HELP BOOST OUR SOUTHERN UTAH ECONOMY:

Bonus #1: HD Flip Camcorder ($199 VALUE)

Bonus #2: Social Media Pro 5 week class ($395 VALUE) (see description below)

That's a TOTAL VALUE of $594, the same price that you are paying for the ENTIRE BOOTCAMP, just in FREE BONUSES - believe me...THIS WILL NOT HAPPEN AGAIN!!!

About Social Media and Social Media Pro

Social media is not simply today’s trendy marketing play; it’s here to stay and has impacted every aspect of marketing and growing a business. In this course you will be guided step-by-step on the creation of your social media system.

This course is not an exercise in theory, it’s a plan of action created by one of the leading small business social media marketing practitioners. The end result of this course is that you are able to effectively and efficiently integrate social media into your overall marketing plans.

Session One – Creating a Social Media Strategy – Before choosing your social media tactics you need to align your activities with your objectives. One of the best ways to do this is to listen first. In this session we will design your social media listening station.

* Basics of Twitter Search
* Google News and Alerts
* Using Google Reader to Listen

Session Two – Optimizing Brand Assets – Social media sites afford a great opportunity to create outposts for your content. In this session we will look a the best ways to create and optimize profiles and other social media real estate.

* Session 2 Lesson
*  The Google Personal Profile
*  Creating Local Search Profiles
*  Basic Facebook Set-up
*  Embedding YouTube Videos
*  Optimizing Your LinkedIn Profile
*  Optimizing Brand Assets
*  The Basics of Podcasting

Session Three – Blogging for Business – Maybe you have a blog, surely you’ve heard all about them. In this session we will dive deeply into why every small business should consider a blog the central hub of their social media strategy. Session will include discussion of best practices.

*  WP Settings
*  Installing WordPress
*   Blog Posts
*  WP Pages
*  WP Widgets
*  WP Plugins
*  WordPress Themes

Session Four – Social Networking and Networks – Creating profiles on the major social networking sites isn’t enough. In this session we will cover the best practices for creating engagement on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn

*  Twitter Search
*  Twellow
*  Tweetdeck
*  Facebook Fan Page
*  Facebook FBML
*  LinkedIn Profile Organizer

Session Five – Managing the Beast – The burden of attempting to keep up with the set of actions required to participate fully in social media can overwhelm. In this session we will create your social media system in an attempt to bring it all together so you can balance input with ROI.

*  Getting Things Done
*  Twitter Feed
*  My Social Media System
* : Netvibes Dashboard
*   Facebook Fan Box

For More Details, or To Register, Call me at (435) 635-7775 ext. 6 or email me at troy@ab4you.com. If I don't answer, leave me a voicemail and I will get right back to you.

Still Skeptical? See what others are saying!!!

 

Trent Seegmiller, Seegmiller Law PLLC

Matt Dotson, Flitch Creative 

LeRoy DePew, SaintGeorgeNow.com

Clint Barter, Barters Biz

Jake Albrecht, Flitch Creative

Craig Labrum, Hi-Tech Halters

Shane Eagan, Major Mortgage USA

For More Details, or To Register, Call me at (435) 635-7775 ext. 6 or email me at troy@ab4you.com. If I don't answer, leave me a voicemail and I will get right back to you.

Hope to see you there.

-Troy Braithwaite, Utah's Certified Duct Tape Marketing Coach

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Save the Date...November 13th!!!

Due to the success of our 1st RECESSION-BUSTING MARKETING BOOTCAMP in September, we have decided to hold another one on Friday, November 13th!

If you weren't able to attend the last one...YOU DO NOT WANT TO MISS THIS ONE - as it will be your LAST CHANCE TO LEARN HOW TO DOUBLE YOUR BUSINESS IN 12 MONTHS IN 2009!!!

For those of you who did not hear about the 1st bootcamp, click here for all of the details of EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW to decide whether it is RIGHT FOR YOU & YOUR BUSINESS!

DON'T PROCRASTINATE!!!

In order to get A FREE HD FLIP MINO CAMCORDER ($199 value and the COOLEST marketing tool around), you MUST REGISTER BY FRIDAY, OCTOBER 30TH! 

Hope to see you there!

Troy Braithwaite

Utah's Authorized Duct Tape Marketing Coach

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What Did You Do Today?

 We are just wrapping up hour 7 of 8 or our RECESSION BUSTING MARKETING BOOTCAMP and it has been POWERFUL!

What better way to spend a Friday than learning EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ON HOW TO MARKET & SELL YOUR BUSINESS MORE EFFECTIVELY IN THE DOWN/NEW ECONOMY?

It's interesting, because probably about 80% of the small business owners that we come across lately complain that business is slow and they are really struggling during this economic recession. But yet, a lot of them were "too busy" to come to a marketing bootcamp and learn how to DOUBLE THEIR BUSINESS IN 12 MONTHS.

So, what did you do today?

If you were busy MAKING MONEY, great - you're taking advantage of the GREAT OPPORTUNITY that surrounds us in this "RECESSION"! If you were busy doing anything OTHER THAN making money or building your business, you should REALLY sign-up for our next bootcamp that will be held in about 6 weeks...more details to come.

Here's a SNEAK PEAK of just a FEW MINUTES of the Hour 7 Section entitled USING SOCIAL MEDIA IN YOUR BUSINESS: (excuse the bad lighting - the screen over-took the shot & we couldn't waste any of our precious time fixing it!)

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Why we need marketing!!!

One of my fellow Duct Tape Marketing coaches shared this video with me and I thought it was great and had to share. It is starting to become the new vendor-client relationship. Which side do you fall on?

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It is sad to say, but how many of you have had a conversation like this in the past few months? I know I have.

I have had at least one of these conversations a week for the past month.  And let me tell you, it gets old quick. I mean, come on...if you don't want to pay for work that you got done then you should have done it yourself!

The other clip I love is the one about asking people to work for free. Who in their right mind wants to work and not get paid? Sadly, I have really seen a lot of businesses in the construction industry get taken advantage of with the down turn in the economy. It's sad because just because things are slow doesn't mean that the ones left don't have families to feed.

Lesson learned...the key to successful businesses is to create win-win relationships for everyone involved. You shouldn't be trying to put your vendors out of business!

I work with one business owner in particular and his goal is for everyone in and around his business to get rich. It is amazing to see the difference in his business compared to others. When things go wrong, his employees and vendors are more willing to work things out because they all know they are in it together.

On the other hand, the ones that don't run their business like this are in trouble either way. If times get good, they will jump on the first thing that is better then what they have and if things start to go bad they have no loyalty from their customers, vendors or employees.

My goal is to build a company and a life that helps everyone around me meet their financial goals and think on a higher level. If this sounds like your cup of tea, let's do lunch and talk about it - (and, of course, pay for it!)


-Troy Braithwaite
Utah’s Authorized Duct Tape Marketing Coach


Quote of the Day: "Very few burdens are heavy if everyone lifts." -Sy Wise
 

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Finally...A Bail-out for Small Businesses

That's right.  It seems like somebody in Washington finally figured out a great way to stimulate the economy...by helping small businesses!  I mean, we make up more than 95% of ALL businesses and create more jobs than the big guys.  What took them so long? 

The SBA announced today that next month, they will launch a program to give struggling businesses an interest-free loan of up to $35,000. 

It's part of the nation's overall economic stimulus package and the SBA was allotted $730 million to loan out, interest-free.

It's a five year loan, and the recipients won't have to make their first payment for one year. Stan Nakano, SBA's district director in Salt Lake explained, "the whole idea is to help these small businesses make debt payments on existing loans that they already have.  They won't be charged interest on it.  Then, they can hopefully use that cash flow for other expenses, paying employees, suppliers, etc."

Businesses can begin applying for these loans June 15.  These loans are for established businesses only, which have been open for at least two years.

For more info, or to see if your business would qualify, click here.

Pass this along to all of the small business owners you know that have been hit hard by this economy...and then let's all get busy and start stimulating!

-Troy Braithwaite

Utah's Authorized Duct Tape Marketing Coach

Quote of the Day: "Responsible people do not blame circumstances, conditions, or conditioning for their behavior. Their behavior is a product of their own conscious choice."

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Giving Back - Fun Run 4 Kids

As business owners, we know that life is always VERY busy.  And sometimes it is so easy to get wrapped up in our day-to-day routines and forget to give back to the community.

That's why every year, we help sponsor a 5K race called Fun Run 4 Kids. 100% of the proceeds from the race participants are donated to children in Africa in care of the Reach the Children non-profit organization. It is being held this Saturday, May 2nd at Canyon Glen Park in Provo, Utah. All participants need to be there between 8-8:30 am and the race will start at 9:00am. It is a fun family event with a 5K run/walk race for the adults and then several races for the kids based on their age groups.  It is a great time to get together, get some fresh air & some exercise, and give back all at once - now that's multi-tasking!

For any one that will be in the area, we hope to see you there!

For more information, or to register, click here: www.funrun4kids.org

-Brooke Braithwaite

"That QuickBooks Girl"

Quote of the Day: "People who fight fire with fire usually end up with ashes." - Abigail Van Buren

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Invest in Yourself and Your Business!!!!!!!!!!

Today's Business marketing video in " Simple Marketing Tactics that Pay Off Big in a Slumping Market" is Invest in Accountability. This has been one thing that has helped me personally. I have used marketing and sales coaches to help me take my business to the next level. When you are investing in yourself you can never lose. People can never take away knowledge that you have gained.

Here are a few tips from Invest in Accountability:

1.Start a mastermind group

2.Track your time

3. Create an internal board

4.Hire a coach

Today's ACTION STEP- Call me to see if it makes sense to invest some time and money on your business. For anyone that calls me this month and signs up for a coaching package I will give you a free Flip Video HD camcorder. My cell number is (435)669-5996.

-Troy Braithwaite, Utah's Authorized Duct Tape Marketing Coach

 

 

Quote of the Day:"A man's ledger does not tell what he is worth. Count what is in a man, not what is on him, and you would know what he is worth-whether rich or poor."

-Henry Ward Beecher

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