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Are you disappointed in your business website? Does it seem too out of date or not do what you would like it to do?  A great way to update you website is to choose an open source content management system type of website.  You can design them on your own, and they can be updated whenever you need to by you! A couple of good open source CMS choices are drupal and  joomla  I will be talking about the latter, or joomla.

In order to change your website to an open source type, you will first need to find a server to host it that does work with Joomla.  An excellent one is Siteground found here They work specifically with Joomla websites and offer superior features and excellent SSL security, as well as ecommerce  shopping carts and membership logins.

You will want to download a copy of the most recent Joomla zip file first found here: This version gives you categories to organize your topics into, which makes things easier to find when you need to.  Once you have your download, you can transfer it onto your Siteground hosting site.

When you need to change or update your website, you will just go to your secure Joomla admin panel, and update in there. It is that easy.  You can also update your files through a free file transfer service called Filezilla found here:

There are so many choices you have when you use an open source content management system like joomla. You can add hundreds of plug-ins, select from thousands of templates, select your own extenstions of shopping  carts that work for you among many other features. 

Copyright Jeanine Pfeiffer

Once you have your business plan, determined your market, and begun your business, you are ready to bring in money for the business you openned.  There are many challenges to bringing in the sales. However, if you find your target market and do the right research, you will be on the road to success.  Some ways to promote your business are as follows:

1. Advertising: Advertising is the main way to get your product or services noticed, although it should not be the only means in which you promote your product/service.

2. Attend a trade show or expo: Trade shows are excellent places to network and collect business cards on prospective customers.

3. Talk to your competition: Are others in your area providing services similar to yours? Look at what they offer.  Are they successful?  Maybe you can offer something more valuable than them. What types of marketing strategies are they using?

4.  Talk to your prospective customers: Once you know what your competition is, and know what you can offer that your competition cannot, go to different businesses and individuals to find out if they would like to use your product or services.  Find out whether there is anything else you could offer that might make them more willing to buy.  This is quite effective, and much easier and more personal than direct mail.


As a potential business owner, you must first do your research in the industry you are in to have a competitive edge on other companies in your industry.  So how do you do this? You must determine your research by  setting up a business plan, specifying in detail how your company will operate, how you will market your product, how you will stand out from your competitors, for example. Once you have vision of direction you want your company to go, it is only then that you can do your research on it.  I have a free business plan available to download on my

What do you research to gather the market information to get your direction in relation to your busines plan? Look at some ways that you can gain research through some simple ways:

1. Personal experience -what specific products/services gave you frustration and how could you solve it?

2. Look at who your product or service appeals to.  Does it appeal to 14-36 year olds or 45-65 year olds?

3. Does your product or service market a specific activity? Maybe your product appeals to a health concious industry.

4. Talk to customers face to face.  Find out if they have a need. If so, is it that important that a customer would pay for it? How much time and money are you saving people and how might they value your product? Do a survey to ask potential customers if they have ever purchased a product like yours and if they still use it.

5. Find out how large your market is for your product or service.  You can research this by going to the U.S. Department of Commerce and looking at the 'City and County Data Book". This book is updated every three years and contains statistical information on population, education, employment, income, housing, and retail sales. You can also find 'Reference USA' at your local library which lists similar information.

6. Determine what your market share could be.  For example, you can estimate your market by determining what a comparable product/services market share was.  If it was say 10%  and you could sell about that much too, then you could have a viable product.

Make sure that you have reasonable expectations on your product.  Once you do that, you could be on your way to selling your product profitably.

Copyright Jeanine Pfeiffer





When your business success may be in jeopardy, what advice could you as a business owner  benefit from? Some good advice can be learned through these questions.

1. What are your strenghts and how do you wish to distingush your company from the competition?

2. Is your product a low cost option?

3. Does your company provide a value-added service of some kind?

4. How do you communicate your competitive advantage to potential and existing customers?

This last question brings us to the second most important piece of advice: marketing. Marketing is a very important step in getting your small business back on the road to success.

To determine your specific marketing needs, look at these questions and answer them for yourselves:

1. What is your competitive advantage?

2. Where do you make your money?

3. What are you best at?

By determining the answers to these questions, you can ultimately understand where you are most profitable as a small business. If you can see where you want to be in 2 years to 5 years, and the direction your industry is going, you will be understanding your short term potential.

Copyright Jeanine Pfeiffer

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