3 Steps to Stay in Control of Your Holiday Spending

Image of a piggy bank with gauze wrapped around him.

Help Your Piggy Bank

The holidays bring out the best and sometimes the worst in us.  We want to celebrate with family, friends and co-workers, which often means shopping for gifts.

But sometimes we experience regret come January when the credit card bills arrive.

This blog post is aimed at reducing that January ‘regret’ and staying in control of our holiday gift spending.

3 Quick Tips to Controlling Your Gift Shopping:

  1. Set an overall budget for the holiday season.  That is, determine how much you can easily spend, after you have figured how much you will spend on your regular, recurring expenses and after you have contributed to your savings.
  2. Next, set a budget for each person on your shopping list.  This may also help you determine where you shop as well.
  3. Lastly, keep track of your spending.  Keep your receipts and enter the information in a system that will compare what you have spent against your overall budget.  If you don’t keep track of your spending, budgeting won’t help.  (An Excel spreadsheet works well, as do a number of other programs or apps, including QuickBooks, Peachtree (or Sage), Foreceipt app, ShowBoxed Receipt manager, and more.)

By considering your budget before you spend, you will be more apt to stay within your means.  Of course, staying within your budget will really help you ring in the New Year feeling GOOD!

From everyone at Wells Fargo Center for Small Business & Entrepreneurship, we wish you a joyful holiday season filled with the things that matter: family, friends, food, and happiness.

To view a short video about this topic, see Brian Tracy’s video here.

Source: Brian Tracy @ Entrepreneur

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Author:Robin Yerian.  Robin studies Marketing and Business Administration at California State University, Northridge.  She has received an honorable mention for her secondary research regarding the millennial generation in association with the national American Marketing Association case competition for eBay in which she provided consumer insights.  Robin is the student assistant responsible for managing client relationships, communications, and social media for the Wells Fargo Center for Small Business & Entrepreneurship at CSUN.
 

 

 

Two Things You Can Do Today to Promote Your Business

Implementing a promotional strategy doesn’t have to be difficult.  Start small.

Here are today’s quick ideas to increase your sales turnover and word-of-mouth…

  • Cross-promote with non-competing businesses who have similar clients.  (Example: A Hair salon might team up with a local boutique to promote each other.  Be creative. Offer a discount to each other’s business, make referrals, or create an event…)
  • Ask for referrals immediately after delivering quality, satisfactory results.  Do not waste time.  When customers are pleased, remember TO ASK for a testimonial and a referral.

More tips can be found in a post by Red Website Design.


To sign-up for business consulting services with CSUN’s College of Business go to WFCSBE.

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Author:Robin Yerian.  Robin studies Marketing and Business Administration at California State University, Northridge.  She has received an honorable mention for her secondary research regarding the millennial generation in association with the national American Marketing Association case competition for eBay in which she provided consumer insights.  Robin is the student assistant responsible for managing client relationships, communications, and social media for the Wells Fargo Center for Small Business & Entrepreneurship at CSUN.

Beginner Tips for Small Businesses: Increase Your Rank on a Budget

Image result for choices: What do you do? What do you decide? Free to use, share and modify image from Bing search.

Want to improve your social media?  Is your business buried by competitors in search?

Here are a few basic tips to help you improve your RANK and keep to a beginner’s budget.

Implement these basics:

  1. Use relevant, easy to understand keywords to describe your business. Keywords from the body of the website should be in the HEAD of the document.  Your web designer will do this for you if you did not design the site yourself.  Use keywords that are in your body AND that people would use for search.  Sometimes customers won’t search your business or product name!  (“Ladies red shoes” is not the same as “Louboutin”.)
  2. Try budget-friendly services to help improve your rank, such as Google AdWords.  Most new sites get $100 free AdWords to try out the program.  Plan the keywords based on what people would search for.  Lynda.com has great tips, as does Google and YouTube.  The key is to make small tests so you understand what works.  Only pay for what works – eliminate the words that people do not search for.  The videos will explain how to test, track and analyze your results.
  3. Google Analytics tracks who visits your site and offers a wealth of information.  If you do not have an account set up, set one up now.  Google will give you a code so that you can track visits to your site and all sorts of other interesting information.  This is important for any small business manager or marketing manager to track.  Increase your click-throughs and learn what works and what does not.
  4. Keep your social media relevant.  If you concentrate on building interactive, engaging posts you will likely get some nibbles eventually.  Like and follow who follows and likes your posts.  Remember to cross-promote others and keep marketing to under 30% of your content.  No one wants an aggressive pusher.
  5. Link building: the more links that track back to your site apparently the better.  They must be valid, relevant links though.  As you blog about your business topics and encourage action among your followers, you will begin to build links to your social media accounts, blog, and website.  This is what you want.  Organic content and local check-ins really help search providers index your site and understand your site’s validity.  Everyone is trying to improve their search, so you are competing for a RANK.  You do this by being relevant and useful.  It takes time, so work on your strategy.

Begin with these small steps and build a budget that is manageable based on your means.  As you see results, you may increase your spending based on the revenue that you increase!

Follow our blog: WFCSBE Blog
Google+:             Google+ link
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Author:Robin Yerian.  Robin studies Marketing and Business Administration at California State University, Northridge.  She has received an honorable mention for her secondary research regarding the millennial generation in association with the national American Marketing Association case competition for eBay in which she provided consumer insights.  Robin is the student assistant responsible for managing client relationships, communications, and social media for the Wells Fargo Center for Small Business & Entrepreneurship at CSUN.