How Do You Find Local Online Business Directories in Your Area?

As more people have made the internet an important part of their daily lives, businesses have increased their online presence in order to reach their targeted customers. As well, more people are using local business directories to look up businesses instead of the traditional telephone book directory. When people use a local online business directory, they are usually looking for a particular product or service that they want from their local community. This is why it is so crucial that you get noticed locally online. Locating local online business directories in your area is not a difficult task.

When searching for a local online business directory, it is important to use specific words in your search. This can include the name of the service, location such as zip code, name of the city or town, as well as the state. Most cities have about one to three quality online business directories so it will not be difficult to bring them up in your search. You can also type in the name of your city and the phrase, business directory. This should bring up a list of local online business directories in your area. As well, when it comes to search words, stating something specific such as ‘cavity’ instead of something more general like ‘dentist’ will bring up local directories more effectively. If you are not specific, you will end bringing up sites that are not related to the business that you are searching for.

Customers will find a local business online because when a business lists on a business directory, it will be placed in a geographical portal based on the business address. It will also be placed into a specific business category. When visitors browse the directory for the category and location of the business, the listing will appear. Directory sites such as Google Local and Yahoo Local use this local directory format. To get listed on Google, a business just goes to Google, clicks on the ‘Local’ link, and locates the ‘add your business link.’ For Yahoo, a business will just go to Yahoo, click on ‘Directory,’ then click on ‘Submit Your Site’ at the bottom of the page.

One other source for locating local businesses in your area is the local Chamber of Commerce’s website. Their online directory is a wealth of information regarding local businesses. Traffic generated from the use of these directories is very high. As well, to locate an industry-specific or niche directories, one should go to DMOZ and search for the industry by keyword. Then, one can do a keyword search at Google or Yahoo along with the keyword “directory.” This should return a listing of local directories for your industry or niche. If you want to find local small business directories.

A local online business directory will include all of the essential information such as the business name, address, phone number, website address, e-mail address, and a short description of the business. Local businesses are now aware of the benefits of posting on online business directories so one will find the exact business they are seeking.

How Can a Business Directory Help in Generating Sales Leads?

For any business, generating quality sales leads has always been a challenge. It is the responsibility of every business to generate their sales leads. The traditional methods of sales lead generation are not as effective as they use to be; therefore it has caused many businesses to come up with other methods of generating leads. One such method companies are now engaging in is submitting their business listing to online business directories

Getting your website listed at the top of search engines such as Google, MSN, and Yahoo, is essential to generating sales leads because most people will use a major search engine to locate a business. When you list your business to quality online business directories for a nominal fee, search engines will index your listings resulting in a higher ranking of your business website. This will make your site easier to find. Someone searching for a particular product or service will click on a site that is listed on a first page of search engine results. People using search engines to locate a business are second in acquiring leads with referrals being number one. Listing on business directories is part of website optimization to increase one’s search engine ranking. With so much access to computers and the internet these days, the chances of having internet access when you need to look up a business listing is greater so online business directories have become an even more effective look up tool than listing in traditional phone book directories, as well as cheaper.

The number of people using the internet for local searches has significantly increased making the use of online business directories an essential component of generating sales leads. Quality online business directories offer many services that traditional directories do not provide such as enhanced listings, listings in more than one category, paid premium listings, and enhancement of your listing to include targeted keywords allowing more people to find your business, and an increase in search engine rankings. It is important that you have a professional website that will appeal to visitors.

There are online business directories that allow one to keep track of their visitors with an online tracking site. It allows a business to properly invest their advertising dollars and assess the effectiveness of their online directory listing. You can also list your business in industry-specific business online directories which reaches your targeted consumer. This allows customers to narrow down their search and gives your business a better placement in the directory.

With the development of the internet, competition for sales leads has increased significantly. High search engine rankings will make sure that your business has increased traffic and visibility. Search engine rank is determined by the number of inbound links to a website. Online business directories have become a vital part in generating leads in this new technology dependent world. A business will spread the word about their company, increase their ranking in the search engines, attract more targeted visitors, and the result will be a strong increase in quality sales leads.

Five Winning Strategies For Starting a Business

Do you dream about starting a business, but don’t know where to begin? Does the idea of being your own boss and creating a company that provides great products and services excite you? But all you do is dream, unable to move ahead? You’re not alone. Many women feel this way.

More than twenty-five years ago, I launched my own company, a public relations agency that is still thriving today. I’ve also had the privilege of mentoring many other women entrepreneurs. I’ve seen what works and what prevents women from moving ahead. Below are five step-by-step strategies that can help you launch the business of your dreams.

1. Commit to one business
You must commit to one business. The biggest roadblock to being an entrepreneur is fear of choosing one business and going for it. You can’t get an enterprise off the ground, if you spread yourself thin. Over and over again throughout the years, I’ve met women who have the passion to become entrepreneurs, but they keep spinning in circles, never committing to one business. Look at it this way, once you succeed at building your first company, you can always start another one.

Remember, too, that it’s important to choose a business that you are passionate about. This is not about the latest fad or fashion. It’s about making a commitment to something that will absorb large amounts of your time – and possibly quite a bit of money. So choose wisely. If you want to start an online business, then commit to it. If you want to open a retail store, then go for it. If you want to be a contractor, then move ahead. But don’t hang yourself up by wanting to do all three things at once. Make a choice and commit.

2. Research that business
Today, it’s easier than ever to learn about any business in the world. For the fastest results, look online. Google the type of business you want to start. Find out about professional organizations in the field. Read blogs and bulletin boards by people doing similar things. Learn about sources of help. Read industry articles and buy the magazines or books that can teach you more. Participate in teleseminars. You also need to reach out to business people and others who may be able to help you. You can do this through networking at local events, seminars, business groups, and online through social networks. Make sure you understand the business that you want to start. The more you know about it, the greater your chance for success.

3. Create a business blueprint
Don’t worry about writing a formal business plan at first. Business plans are essential if you want to raise money through venture capital or obtain a commercial loan from a bank or other source. Most people start businesses with their own funds or a personal loan.

What you actually need is a three to four-page business blueprint that serves as your personal guide to navigating the road ahead. Here’s what goes into a business blueprint:
a. A clear description of what the business does and who it serves.
b. A description of how the business will run on a day-to-day basis.
c. A list of your specific responsibilities as the business owner.
d. A list of what other people will do.
e. An estimate of what it will cost to run the business for the first year.
f. An estimate of how you will cover these first-year expenses, either through sales or from some other source.

Once you create a written picture of how the business will function, you’ll be able to move ahead to the next step.

4. Build a team
One of the biggest myths about starting a business is thinking that you’ve got to do it alone. But you can’t create a great business without help. Using your business blueprint as a guide, you’ll need to put together the following three teams:

Professional Advisors: These are the professionals who will advise you on the basics of starting a business such as whether to incorporate; what type of insurance coverage to obtain; and where to work. These professionals will include an accountant, an insurance agent, and possibly a lawyer or real estate broker. Make sure you get recommendations from other small business owners before you hire these experts.

Informal “Board of Directors”: This is a group of unpaid advisors, often made up of friends and acquaintances with business expertise, who will mentor you as you’re finding your way in the business world. Don’t be shy about asking for their advice. You’ll be surprised at how many people are willing to help, if you only ask.

Your Own Staff: This is the team who will work with you on a daily basis to help you build your business. If you’re not ready for full-time employees, think about adding college interns or part-time employees. Don’t make the mistake of trying to do everything yourself. Instead focus on the key activities that will give you the biggest return. Your business will grow twice as fast.

5. Surround Yourself With Positive People
It’s not enough to simply follow the four steps listed above, you must believe in yourself. There will be many times when you’ll question yourself, wondering whether you’re doing the right thing. That’s why it’s essential to surround yourself with positive people. Negative people encourage self-doubt. They drain your time and energy, and undermine your ambitions. Negative people come in many guises, from those who don’t want you to get ahead to others who see the downside of every situation. And they are everywhere. Some may even be family and friends. Try not to share your business dreams with them. Instead, share your ideas with people who are supportive. Positive people will help you build your business. Seek them out for counsel and advice.

Starting a business may seem like a daunting task. But if you are passionate and committed to making it work, then following these steps will help make the journey easier, less complex, and much more fun.