Financial Smarts Blog

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Greetings! Welcome to our “Financial Smarts” Blog.

Sound financial health doesn’t just happen: it requires planning… and discipline… and let’s not forget… KNOWLEDGE! One might say “Financial Smarts.”

We’re hoping that the information in these posts will provide you what you need to improve your financial knowledge, and better manage your money… so that you can make the money you have worked so hard for, work for YOU!

If you find the information helpful, would you please “spread the love” by sharing it with others, using the sharing buttons (available with each post).

One more thing: be sure to check back every few days, as we’ll be posting additional information and tips on a regular basis.

Cheers!

Jim Eastman

The Importance Of Knowing How To Improve Your Credit Score

 

Most people will tell you that knowing how to improve your credit score can keep you out of trouble. However, this is one of the most popular myths regarding credit repair. The most important factor is not maintaining a good credit score – through this is important in its own right – but learning how to manage your finances well.

Learn proper financial management and you are automatically free from all other worries. Another fallacy is that good financial management means budgeting, saving, investing – in general spending wisely.  But there’s more to it that that. You also need to ensure that you are safe on and off the Internet in regard to identity theft.

Identity theft is today one of the most quoted reasons for poor credit, second only to credit card abuse. Learn what it takes to be safe when making financial transaction on and off line!

Make Advertisements Earn For You – Monetize Your Site

As a successful, albeit small scale credit repair home business, you’ll need all the money you can make. One of the greatest income streams when you have a web site is advertising space.

If you know how to market your advertisement space, you can make a small fortune steadily with little effort. Since the space is already there, you need not invest anything more than your time and effort to generate a steady income. Here are a few great, and yet very simple ideas on how to sell your ad space successfully.

(1) Offer Great Deals

Most people can’t resist a good deal. Try putting together deals that save money for the advertisement buyers.

For example, deals such as “Buy two ads and get one free” are hot favorites. Think of deals that will make it very difficult for small or medium sized businesses to pass up the opportunity.

(2) Freebies of Value are Excellent Baits

Nothing works better than a high value freebie. Offer your patrons, especially the repeat ones, some excellent freebies. There are scores of wonderful things available on the Internet that are free if you look hard enough. Try building a network of software providers, wholesalers, free download e-book sites, and so on, from where you can get a perennial source of freebies of high quality and value.

(3) Offer More Value for the Money as a Bonus

Provide the advertiser more for his money. Make the deal too sweat too resist. You can offer better location, a larger ad, longer time on the site, and so on. Or you can allow them to choose what they want, provided they book ads above a certain fee bracket.

Always think in terms of how much profit you can generate for your patron. If you are genuine enough and show a caring nature, more than 90% will make you a regular feature.

(4) Customize Part of the Text to Promote the Ad

Wherever possible, try including keywords that pertain to the advertisement placed on your site. This will help bring in better results, and the advertiser will keep coming back for more owing to the exceedingly good results he gets from your site. Alternatively you may dedicate a page specifically to any advertisers who book ads above a certain price bracket.

(5) Exchange Space Instead of Accepting Payment

When the website of the business that chooses to advertise with you is complementary to yours, it’s best to explore ways to exchange ad spaces rather than to charge a steep fee. In this way, you’ll save a carload of cash in advertising space.

You can have this offer extended to friends, or friends on Facebook, and other major social media networks. In no time your ad space will be the hottest thing to buy for any micro, small, and medium business.

For all these “formulas” to work successfully, there is ONE very important pre-requisite: those to whom you sell the ad space need to believe that your site is popular and highly visible. Therefore, you need to have it ranked well for your particular keyword(s) on the first SERP (search engine results page) of the major search engines. If you have managed this aspect, the sky is the limit for the income you can generate by selling your ad space.

Reduce Costs And Increase Your Profits – 5 Tips That Will Help Your Business

Business is slow all over the globe and people are forever watching for ways and means to reduce costs and improve their profits – preferably with the least inconvenience to the company. Here are 5 excellent tips that will reduce your costs and enhance your profits:

1.    Hire a virtual assistant – there is a lot of talk about this new and very popular trend. Many business – and not only small and medium sized ones – are choosing virtual staff over the regular employee option. This is because a virtual staff costs less, requires no extra benefits (paid vacation, sick leave, medical benefits, etc), involve no administrative costs, and offer the highest quality of work. So, you get the best from both worlds. You get your work done for a very reasonable amount, and without having to worry about any fringe payments/ benefits.

Additionally, when you hire a virtual assistant you free yourself from routine and time-consuming tasks so you could focus on more important matters, such as how to promote your business, how to increase revenue, etc.

2.    Get On To The Social Media Bandwagon – enough with paying through the nose for Internet ad space. Go viral through social media networking instead. Use the social media platform to inform your friends about your business. Used correctly, social media networking can stir interest about a viral marketing campaign free of cost, in no time. Just have something of value posted about your business – and see how the news shoots off to become your most loyal promotion.

3.    Use Free Online Software And Tools – there are hundreds if not more free online tools that you could use from accounting to debt management, and so on. Look all these resources up and use them instead of buying software for your business. Stop wasting your money and time. Instead, use all the free tools that are readily available on the Net. Do a little reverse engineering and develop your own online tools for a fraction of the price.

4.    Attract Customers By Sharing Free High-Value Resources – share your valuable online findings with your customers. Announce each prized find on your social media networking pages and watch your traffic build up overnight. Remember, everyone loves getting something of value for free. Your time invested in searching and finding these free, yet valuable tools, will pay you back many times over. Not only will it make you popular with your customers, but also save you a lot of money and time.

5.    Advertise on Craigslist and Other Free Ads Sites – stop paying so much money for paid ads. You can reduce your costs by shifting to high-value free ad platforms such as Craigslist. There are many ways to promote your business for free. Take time out and search for all these free methods. Eventually, you can hire a virtual assistant or a freelance professional to do this; don’t worry, it’s worth the money invested.

Learn to use – as much as possible, and when worth the effort – free resources available online, and very soon you’ll see a positive change in your ROI. After all, it’s always wise to seek ways to cuts costs and enhance profits.

Do Not Let Your Competition Steal Your Customers – 5 Tips That Will Keep Them Loyal

You struggled hard to get each one of your customers and it would be a terrible thing if they defect to your competition anytime. There are ways to ensure that your hard-won customers do not leave your business to engage with your competitors. Check out these simple tips that will ensure your customers stay loyal to and continue to utilize your business services both now and in the future:

1.    Show Them They Matter To You – After every sale ask them for feedback and suggestions to make the experience a more pleasant and comfortable one for them in the future. Try adding a little extra whenever you are engaging with new and old clients. For example, springing a 5% surprise discount would make a follower out of the hardest-to-please customers. You can have other unadvertised included services/ special prizes/ gifts attached to these sales which will leave the customer immensely pleased. When receiving feedback and/ or suggestions do not take a defense stance as this will make the client reluctant to provide feedback in the future, if they choose to do business with you again. A client wants to feel as if they are being taken seriously and that their concerns are a vital part of the way you do business.

2.    Have a human contact 24×7 (if possible) for complaints and inquiries – No matter how good your auto-response system is, it is very important that your customer can reach a human being when they have a complaint or inquiry. When they are able to reach a human being, most people feel re-assured and happy to proceed with making a purchase. Computers are frustrating when you want to complain about something or express a concern. Take each client seriously and they will take your business seriously. When it comes to a business that provides services a good motto to implement is “the customer is always right.” Most people are much more receptive when the business they deal with is flexible and understanding.

3.    Stay In Touch – Ask for their birth/ anniversary date and send them a simple greeting card or promotional gift on those days. It is a sweet gesture that will warm the hearts of most people and help them bond with your business. You can also stay in touch by sending a monthly/ weekly newsletter. This should be of the highest quality, be informative and also entertaining so people will look forward to receiving and reading it. If this is provided electronically via email or social networks, it will often be “shared” and provide your business with quality word of mouth promotion.

4.    Have A Loyal Customer Discount/ Special Offer – Announce that any customer that buys or uses your services a certain/ predetermined number of times, will be entitled to a special discount on all subsequent purchases/ orders. This will ensure two things: (i) that the customer will be encouraged to come back often to activate this great offer; and (ii) that once he reached the ‘discount eligibility’ he will have little incentive to engage with the competition. It is important, therefore, that you do not make the discount eligibility status too difficult to reach.

5.    Provide Attractive Rewards For Referrals – Another exceptional way to ensure that your customers stay loyal to your business and help it grow is by offering rewards for referrals. The rewards should be dual, i.e. both for the referred person and the person who is referring. In this way both benefit of discounts or rewards and both will be interested in continuing to do business with you in order to avail of the discounts. To make it more attractive, you can have different levels of discounts depending on the number of referrals provided. Say, for 5 referrals you offer a certain reward/ discount, for 15 a higher one, and for 50 a huge one. Keep your customers motivated to work for you and to stay with your business in the long run.

Incorporate one or a combination of any of the above tips and you will ensure that your customers will stay loyal to you for life. Always stay informed of what your competition is offering and offer to match or beat advertised or written quoted pricing. Always listen to the needs of the market and of your clients and you will be sure to beat your competition at every turn.

5 Novel Ways to Promote Your Credit Repair Agency’s Presence On The Net

Today, if your business is not on the Internet, then it is missing a crucial link to success. Only the Internet can put your business in touch with people across the country and the even world with just the click of mouse and a few keys. However, simply having a site on the internet is futile if no one sees or visits the site. In order for a website to be a valuable tool for your business, you have to promote it effectively so that consistent traffic is driven to the site.

Innovative Marketing Is Good For Your Credit Repair Business

There are of course, a million and one ways to promote your business online. While a majority of these ways incur some sort of cost there are many cost free, innovative and novel ways to effectively promote your business. In order to be successful at promoting your business you have to ask yourself some fundamental questions. Ask yourself what attracts you to certain advertising or to a business. Think of what you want people to be drawn to in your promoting. Why? Because that will help you to identify what will work best for attracting the clients that will need your business.

Everyone is bored with the typical way marketing ploys are executed nowadays. Hence, the moment you do something a little differently your business will start drawing attention. Innovation not only attracts the attention of your target audience, it also says that you are working hard to stand out among the sea of credit repair agencies on the internet. This is the way to become a leader in your market.

5 Novel Ways ImageNovel Ideas For Promoting your Business

Big organizations have entire departments/ staff dedicated to advertising and marketing. These businesses understand that marketing is as important as the services provided for true financial success. Their goal for marketing is ingenuity, innovation and creativity. Creativity in any business is big business! Here are a few ideas that are meant to inspire you:

1. Ask for reviews – Look for reputed review websites and list your company there. This is not only a great way to categorize your business with the world at large, but also a huge eye opener for any shortcomings your business may be experiencing. When reading reviews do not be defensive. These opinions are critical to improving the way potential clients see your business and can help you to make the necessary changes to improve your client retention and word of mouth advertising.

2. Squidoo lens – Create an interesting squidoo lens on a case study, guide report, facts on credit repair, etc. Make it interesting to read as well as real and applicable to a majority of people. Ensure the page is relevant and that any information it contains is verifiable and accurate.

3. Get into social networking – Social networking is an important vehicle for recognition and business success today. However, just signing up with as many social networking media sites is not enough. You have to find out what each one entails and ensure that you project information about your business in the best possible manner to that particular platform. Make sure to post consistently and to interact with fans/ friends/ followers. Become a master using social networks as a business tool and your promotion will go viral in no time.

4. Become a tester of blog/ website promotion tools – Another superb and novel way to communicate with and reach your audience at the least possible cost, if not totally free, is by testing promotional tools launched by blogs and website promotion platforms. This method enables you to test sample marketing products and opportunities at the least possible cost and with minimal risks to your bottom line. If the promotional product or tool is effective, you can then recommend it to your customers who also have websites as income producing tools. By doing so you also begin to generate income as an affiliate marketer. As you should be well aware affiliate marketing can be a great avenue for passive income streams.

5. Add a humor page to your blog/ website – Humor is a great promoter for business relationships. No mater how difficult the situation, seeing the lighter side can attract customers and keep them coming back for more. Clients do not want to feel as if they are being preached to about everything they did wrong financially. They definitely prefer to be lighthearted and to engage with businesses who genuinely seem to understand their plight. Most already know where they went wrong. They are looking for comfort, solutions and sustainable financial habits, but they still want to laugh. Poke fun at financial matters so that they feel as if they are communicating with a friend instead of a cold professional entity. Keep your humor fresh, apolitical and to the point. You may even consider paying a ghostwriter to create a custom-made cartoon character that will help your brand building as well.

Do You Need Money? 4 Foolproof Ways to Get Bridging Funds

For most people, their credit repair home business is a “home business” because they lack the funds to go after the big time business set-up. Most businesses started this way need money to grow, to have a chance to bring in profits on a scale that makes the income matter.

It’s not easy to get money from banks when you launch a small business, as they feel small home business are too risky. However, there are many way you can raise money without the help of the formal financial institutions.

Here are few that work like a charm every time.

(1) Borrow From Family Members

This is always a great idea, especially if you have a good reputation among your dear ones. To ensure that no one feels exploited, work out clear cut terms and conditions regarding repayment. They should be clear about when they can expect their money back.

Be careful here, or you might end up with sour relations owing to your loan. In most cases, parents, siblings, and close friends will be happy to help you, especially, if they realize you’re seriously planning to nurture your business. They will also become your die-hard marketers, which is always a great side effect!

(2) Take Out a Secured Loan

For this purpose, you’ll need to have some collateral and/or someone who has excellent credit to back you up with his/her signature as a guarantor. This means that if you fail to repay the loan in the time frame agreed, your guarantor will pay and the bank will also have the right to auction the collateral offered at the time of the loan.

This will not look good on the credit report of the guarantor, even if he pays your loan in full. Hence, be careful about how much you borrow, and about the terms of repayment you agree to. It will not do to put the person in trouble, who chose to help you in your time of need.

(3) Check out the SBA (www.Sba.gov)

The SBA (US Small Business Administration) offers an excellent tool that will help you find loans and grants.

Check it out here:

http://www.sba.gov/loans-and-grants

With the help of this tool you can stumble upon some excellent options laid out for businesses just like yours. The good news is, it doesn’t there. The SBA also offers information on available grants for small businesses, which can be priceless for any small home business.

Check out this site to inquire about grants:

http://www.sba.gov/category/navigation-structure/loans-grants/grants.

Please note that the SBA doesn’t really finance any type of business. However, formal financial institutions will provide financing when recommended by the SBA. This is why you need to understand what the eligibility requirements are for this recommendation, and what type of loans are promoted by the SBA.

(4) Use Your Credit Cards

Another way to bridge the gap when your finances are low, is to use credit cards. However, be very careful when you use your credit cards because the interest charged is very high.

If you’re not paying the entire outstanding amount on the due date, your credit score will suffer. Be aware that even when you pay the “minimum required payment” you’re considered a defaulter. Therefore, even though this is a very easy way to get instant cash, it’s best to avail of this “loan” only when you are sure that you can pay it in full when the bill comes due.

5 Writing Mistakes That Can Cost Your Business

When writing content for your website, pay close attention to the language and expressions which are used. Very often, in the eagerness to promote the business, writers tend to use the wrong words to convey the right message; which instead of drawing in clients can actually make potential clients less likely to utilize your services.

There are many mistakes that can negatively impact the way prospective clients view your business and its’ potential to remedy their financial dilemmas. Here are 5 of the most common mistakes found in web content that could very easily be the fine line between the failure and success of your credit repair business:

1. Don’t focus on your company, focus on the customer needs – Perhaps you want to get across the fact that your business is the oldest and most experienced in your area, you could say “We are the most experienced and oldest credit repair agency in XCity;” however, you must also think ahead as to what potential clients may think in reaction to that sentence. More than likely the reader will be thinking some variation of “Good for you. Why should I care about that? How does that help me with my problem?” Instead, a more effective method to convey this message is by saying, “Get the unmatched benefits of using the experience of the oldest credit repair business in XCity!” This gives the reader a more accurate description of what your business can do for them and why. A statement like this will compel the reader to think that your business is the best option for their financial concerns. The message you convey to your target audience should be one of confidence in your position as a long standing asset and expert to your business market.

2. Do not focus on features; instead highlight benefits – Proper promotion and business practices should always take the same approach. The focus should be on what the services offered mean to and for the client as opposed to flatly listing what you offer. For example, you want to promote the fact that you have professionals working for your business with many years of experience. You could say “We have hired the best credit repair professionals in the country!” However, this statement may leave the reader thinking, “What makes them better than anyone else? What makes you think they are the best in the country?” The statement comes across as being arrogant and invokes a negative response from the reader. A more positive and informative way of wording would be “With over 40 years of combined experience, our nationally recognized professionals will ensure that your financial matters are resolved with your best interest as our only focus.” The alternative wording gives your potential client a clear picture of why they should hire your business and what they will benefit from when they hire your business to assist in their financial matters. When it comes to credit repair many potential clients are leery of trusting strangers with their financial matters. The way you portray and promote your business must ease that fear in order to gain a lifelong client.

3. Get the right message to the right base – Depending on the scope and size of your business, there should be a specific target audience. Decide what types of clients you are seeking to attract and focus your promotions to that audience. For example, if you specialize in credit repair for individuals facing or having completed filing for bankruptcy, focus on bankruptcy related matters. You will attract business faster by keeping your topics specific to your target rather than by speaking on general credit repair matters. You should not be hoping that your target audience sees through all the irrelevant information to see why your business would benefit their situation. Another example- If you are focusing on individuals fresh out of college, who generally start with low credit scores and negative credit records, the language you speak and the way you distribute the message should be appropriate for their dilemmas, as well as, done in a manner that will actually attract their attention. The customer must identify their problems with what your business offers as solutions.

4. Bad grammar and spelling – There is no put off greater than bad grammar and/ or improper spelling when publishing and/ or writing web content. When visitors browse your website, they should feel as if they are reviewing resources distributed by an expert. Your visitor should feel secure that the information that is presented will be accurate, up-to-date, well researched and exquisitely written. This belief will instantly be shattered if the information is littered with improper grammar and/ or misspelled words. The information will take second place to the errors and will discourage potential clients from trusting your business as a professional source. Ensure that you read and re-read everything before it is posted to your website. Have a second and even third reader look for errors, as well. Always run a grammar and spellcheck on the information that you post on the web, however, if for some reason something is missed, make it a top priority to have the error corrected and republished or at least add an update to the piece with the correction. It is vital for your business to prove to your clients that they will receive the best of everything through your services and information.

5. Learn the difference of writing for print and web content– Writing web content is very different from writing for print publications. The average website visitor scans a page for approximately 10- 15 seconds before deciding if they will continue to read the information that is provided. What that means for your business website is that their attention has to be grasped quickly. The easiest way to do that is by formulating paragraphs of just 2-3 sentences which gets the information across effectively. This makes it easier for the eyes to scan the literature and helps the reader decide if the information is relevant to their matter.

Some of the most important things to remember when distributing information on the web is to be accurate, informative, entertaining and an expert in your area of business. Visitors expect to find the highest professionalism from every aspect of your business and the first point that people will notice is mistakes made in written material. The information you provide should encourage potential customers to entrust you with their financial matters, not question your quality of work.

5 Simple Ways to Boost the Popularity and Value of Your Business

People are always looking to get the best value for their money. Don’t let this be misinterpreted as meaning that clients will not pay a higher price for needed services or products. On the contrary, clients who see the value in the service or product will undoubtedly pay the price asked.

So what does this mean for your business pricing? How do you give a fair price and still turn a profit without sacrificing quality? There are several things you can do to encourage your clients to feel as if they are getting a value far exceeding the cost they incur by using your services. Here are 5 simple ways to catapult your business brand and products into newfound success:

1. Highlight the benefits in all your ads – No one really cares about the super facility features that your business enjoys; when dealing with your business they want to know “what is in it for them.” Make sure you paint a vivid picture of what they get from your product/ service. State every benefit as a solution to a problem. Such as: “Repair your credit and finally start building your nest egg!” To do this with the perfection it requires you need to know all about your target market audience, their concerns and the competitions offers and promises.

2. Offer a sample of your available services to potential clients– Most companies offer freebies nowadays; however, the best freebie is that which compels the visitor to come back for more. Hence, ensure that whatever you offer is not only of high value, but also something that truly showcases the benefits and necessity of your business services. This will ensure that clients happily share the information regarding your offer and website with his friends.

3. Do everything to build a brand – People know what they get when they visit McDonald’s or Tiffany’s or Cartier’s. Similarly, people should know your value by your brand. Everything that you do should be a part of the effort to build a brand. Have a meaningful logo; put together an extremely dependable set of people who understand the importance and meaning of ‘total customer satisfaction’ and always keep your target market and audience in mind.

4. Add bonuses to every single product or service – Make your customer feel that they are getting a mind-blowing bargain every time they deal with you. Let them walk away feeling exhilarated about their ability to uncover such an excellent bargain. Offer them value that they cannot walk away from. Give them more than they expect, not only the first time, as most expect that anyway, but every time they come back to you. That will make them feel valued. This is how you build a lifelong customer.

5. Get your business promoted through a high-end affiliate model – When you offer your services and product through an affiliate program you are getting other people to build your business’ brand and market visibility. They may not believe you – as the owner of the business – but most people believe third parties which make seemingly unbiased recommendations.

When using affiliate marketers, try to only use marketers with proven conversion results and trusted websites. A business can lose credibility quickly if promoted in way that appears to be SPAM or which appear on sites known for promoting fly by night, fraudulent companies or offers. Offer highly rewarding commission plans and watch your brand grow exponentially.

Whether you experience financial success or fade into oblivion depends upon how you market your services and products. Contrary to common belief, you do not need much money for effective marketing. What you need is plenty of creative ways to instill in clients minds that your products and pricing are the best value for their money. You want them to understand that they will gain the most from your business because you are a leader in the field and offer the best value for their money.

10 Ways to Successfully Promote Your Credit Repair Business

Do you feel the money that is spent on your advertising overhead is wasted? Are you seeing little to no results? As necessary as advertising is to a businesses growth, it can be equally frustrating when the efforts don’t seem to draw in any new clients or profits. There are numerous creative ways to draw in new clients and keep the interest of your present ones. Here are a few suggestions that are meant to put you into the right gear to zoom ahead of your competitors:

1. Have a photo contest – Invite your readers to submit a photograph on a topic related to credit repair. Ask them to highlight a problem, to poke fun at the realities and/ or difficulties of credit repair or to express their view on a variety of credit issues. Ask your readers to be creative and reward the most creative or most voted picture. To attract the most submissions offer a certificate and cash prize. This is a great way to build your client email/ newsletter list, as well as, get creative new content for your website.

2. Compile an e-book describing some of your most trying cases – With permission from your clients (and names changed for obvious reasons) compile an ebook at regular intervals highlighting some of the most difficult cases your business has taken on. Ensure to detail the entire financial picture, the plan that was outlined, the steps actually taken and the overall outcome of the case. Be sure to be honest and describe difficulties as well as triumphs. Spin difficulties by focusing more on the correct resolution, instead of just on the mistakes that were made. Potential clients want to see that they will be dealing with an honest company. Financial matters are serious issues and can cause a great deal of stress, your job as a credit professional is to ease that stress and provide truly working resolutions.

3. Have a contest for a catchy by-line or jingle – Brand management is a very important and effective way to keep your business fresh in the minds of consumers. Hold a contest for a catchy byline, jingle or brand character. Use the winning submission as part of your business identity.

4. Be charitable – Work in your neighborhood and on-site to generate finances and provide assistance to a favorite charity. The more active your business is in charity, the better your image will be. It is very beneficial to have your business identified with charitable work. As a credit repair agency there are many ways you can benefit and be of assistance to groups/ individuals facing financial difficulties. Consider visiting shelters and providing free financial planning advice or other novel ways to help those who need it the most.

5. Organize a game of soccer/ cricket/ baseball – Your business does not necessarily have to sponsor the event. It is possible to get actual sponsorship from other local businesses in your area. Making it an annual event will encourage members of the community to continuously buzz about your business. You may even consider making an entire field day event with games and other activities and business sponsorships. Incorporating activities for kids will encourage more families to attend the event which help get your business image out to a greater number of potential clients. Ensure that you provide information that will benefit families as well as fun activities to keep potential customers engaged.

6. Organize a seed planting event – Organize an event where people come by and “bury” their debt problems. Explain that the planting of the seeds is symbolic of placing their old, destructive financial habits in the dirt and making way for fresh, new, healthy beginnings. Offer a choice of plants and and pots depending on the persons choice or their magnitude of debt problems. During the exercise give them written information that they can take with them that outlines week by week the things they can do to incorporate better financial habits into their lives. Explain that as the seeds grow they will be making the necessary changes to nurture both their plant and their finances.

The growing plant will serve as a visual reminder of the changes they should be making. Set up a theme such as “bury your debt,” “grow financial freedom,” or “planting the seeds of financial independence,” etc. If you want to make it an even bigger event, invite local eateries, open kiosks for other businesses in the region and/ or get some light entertainment. This event can turn into a great way to promote your business, engage both new and old clients, as well as, get your business to partner with other businesses in the area.

7. Create an advice column – A great way to encourage people to hire your business is to offer quick, free advice. The most effective way to execute this is by creating a forum where people can submit questions and receive answers from you, the expert, or through engaging dialogue with other readers. Depending on where you live, you may even be able to run the column in local papers, leading financial magazines or local magazines. Being seen as a helpful business will engage more potential clients and help your business with client retention. Offer advice that can be helpful but also leave a bit out so that the person is encouraged to seek your businesses assistance.

8. Get your logo and motto on a t-shirt – It is vital to your business that your branding become well known. A simple way to do this is by printing a catchy byline or brand logo on t-shirts, mugs, pens and other useful items. These can be sold or even given away as incentives in your office or online. Ensure that these marketing tools are proudly displayed on the website and in the office. It is a great way to get your name out with inexpensive products that people will want to keep and use. For the best prices find wholesale suppliers online and negotiate directly with a representative/ consultant instead of just ordering directly from the online cart.

9. Offer unbeatable deals – Research competitors and the deals they offer to new and existing customers. Once you know what type of deals your competitors offer you know how best to price your services and specials. You may even consider honoring competitors advertised prices as a great way to steer potential customers to your business. Very often a good deal can make your marketing and business go viral. To take full advantage of this tool, you can consider partnering with another local business and have them sponsor the deal and shoulder some of the cost; this means it would cost you nothing yet still allows your business to gain the most.

10. Interviews/ endorsements – Of course, nothing works as good as a celebrity endorsement, well that is except real people with real problems who are more than happy to share their success stories. Have clients record short videos that can be proudly displayed as key feature stories on your website. Before potential clients agree to hire your company they want to know that will get the best service from you. They want to know that your company has handled similar cases with great outcomes. Be proud of those accomplishments and boast about them on your site. Offer clients a free service or product for their videos in order to get the greatest number of submissions.

To be successful you really need to break out of the mold; the more creative you are with the advertizing and marketing, the more successful your credit repair agency will become. Do not let the fear of potential failure force you to keep repeating the same noneffective marketing strategies. Try new things and reap the rewards of a financially successful business.

Why do you need to increase your credit score?

I have been asked this question many times. Why do you need to increase your credit score? The answer is simple- a good credit score offers you the best options in financial matters. You can get a loan, mortgage, credit card and most other benefits even if you have a poor score. So why bother? Here are three of the top reasons why you should worry when your score is low:

1. Wasting your money – Loans for individuals with low credit scores are available, true. However, these loans come at a price- higher interest rates. This means you actually use more of your hard-earned money in order to pay back the loan. This extra money could be used to purchase something else or put towards retirement savings.

2. Always under scrutiny – A poor credit score says tells the credit bureaus that the person is someone who cannot handle finances responsibly. This makes creditors wary and you will always be under greater scrutiny. You will also need more collateral and/ or a co-signer when applying for a loan.

3. You cannot make a mistake – High scorers can skip payments infrequently and be forgiven, but not a consumer with a low credit score. Many creditors panic if a low credit scorer misses a payment or shows any deviation of the repayment terms. In response, the creditor can alter the terms of your agreement by raising your interest rates.