Among the many new responsibilities a sidecar operator must take on is that of financial record-keeping. Once your business starts bringing in money, Uncle Sam is going to want his fair share. It’s a smart idea to hire an accountant to make certain that you know what to track and to set up good practices and procedures from the get-go. Even if you follow your accountant’s advice diligently, however, your first few tax seasons may surprise – even horrify – you as you learn what to expect. The best you can hope is to learn from last year and resolve to do better next year by vowing to make “Tax Year Resolutions.”
Social media marketing has a lifecycle. In fact, I’ve identified a total of six phases of social media marketing as it grows from building your profile to impacting a large community of loyal followers. (Please read, Saturday Sidecar: The Phases of Social Media Marketing – Part I for what you can expect as you begin your strategy). As a social media ‘newbie” you begin with baby steps, establishing your presence and developing your community. Once you’ve laid a strong foundation and implement a well-considered strategy, you’re going to discover that you’ve graduated to the rest of the phases of social media marketing. Here’s how you may feel during those later stages:
Establishing a social media presence for your sidecar is an effective, wide-ranging, cost-effective and interactive way to promote what you do. Like any marketing strategy, it takes time and consistency to catch on and gain momentum, attract and keep active followers and create an engaged community.
Understanding the ‘lifecycle’ of a social media strategy is the first step to attracting and engaging an audience for your sidecar. Here’s a breakdown of the first three of six identifiable phases of a social media implementation and how you may feel when experiencing each one:
If you have been running email marketing campaigns for some time now, you have probably built up an arsenal of quality content in your email archives. You are also probably asking yourself “What am I going to do with all of these files?” In most cases, your email subscribers can refer back to older emails that they found useful but what most email marketers do not realize is they have a valuable content marketing asset in their email archives.
Ad parameters by Google provide you with a way to modify pay per click ads without having to sacrifice losing the statistics associated with the original PPC ad. By using the alphanumeric param1 and param2 you can make your ads look like they are updated on a consistent basis while making them more productive by qualifying potential customers before they click.
Sidecar drivers are, by nature, risk-takers. If we weren’t we’d be content with regular, secure, 9 to 5 employment in exchange for a steady salary and benefits. Sidecar drivers are different – we ask considerably more of ourselves professionally than most people. Our careers mean more to us than just what we do for a living and we’re willing to give a lot more than the average bear for the opportunity to run our own show.
Along with our super-charged ambition comes particular risks. As sidecar drivers, we willingly take on extra responsibility, liability, debt, challenge, emotional burdens and workload for the opportunity to operate our sidecar.
There’s a line for each of us, however, that represents the limit to the amount of risk we can ultimately take – even for the benefit of our sidecar. It’s important for each individual to determine where his or her risk-limit lies.
Sidecar drivers often operate their business on a shoestring, carefully watching every dollar spent. Business expenses are part and parcel of every enterprise but when it comes to spending money on your sidecar, financial outlays may be difficult to justify. While investing in your sidecar is a good thing, you need to be assured that it will net you something in return.
That fact is illustrated in the way most sidecars are outfitted. Rather than state-of-the-art equipment, sidecars are often run with what’s already available to the driver – hand-me-down technology and materials – at least in the beginning.
Technology imbues your business with superpowers – not the least of which is the power to communicate and connect with your customers in new and dynamic ways. Customers of today expect to be able to connect with businesses immediately, communicate with “real” people and make some degree of impact on your business by sharing their opinions. Because of the immediacy of communication made possible by social media, customers expect to be able to get in contact with you, talk to or about you, make inquiries about your business and in general, connect with you whenever and wherever they want. Gone are the days of waiting for business hours to contact customer service! As driver of your sidecar, are you taking advantage of all the possible ways your customers can connect with you and your business?
If you have a hobby about which you are passionate, you’re a lucky person indeed. Passion fuels our lives by providing incentive to do the things we need and have to do: work, chores, errands. A hobby is like the carrot at the end of the stick that keeps us on track, providing a reward for our labors. A passion also affords us a change of pace and focus which is beneficial for all areas of our lives.
Sometimes, however, hobbies can become more. It often happens that the passion for our hobby sparks our inner entrepreneur. Say, for instance, you are passionate about raising tropical fish. While exercising that hobby, you’ve picked up as much – if not more – knowledge about tropical fish as anyone raising them professionally. You’re keenly aware of their requirements for water conditions, temperature, light and food, their habits and behaviors and how to treat them should they contract a disease. As a hobbyist, you are so adept and knowledgeable that people often remark that that you ought to turn professional; you know, start a wholesale business on the side. Or maybe it’s occurred to you on your own that you could make a business of your hobby.
While it seems perfectly natural to consider making the transition from passion to sidecar, it may not always be the right thing to do. Remember, once your hobby becomes work, you’ve lost a hobby. Take some time to seriously consider all the ramifications of “turning pro.”
Google AdWords interface does a great job of providing you with the data you need to determine how well your ad is performing in terms of click through rate, cost per click, conversions and much more. Recently, Google added a new feature to the PPC analytics interface which allows you to collect additional data which pertains to your ad’s position on the search engine results page (SERP).
The Top vs. Side segment was recently added to the AdWords interface to provide you with more data for use with metrics related to the performance of your ads on the side and the top of the search engine results page. One of the advantages of this new option is that it provides you with the data you need to make informed decisions when adjusting your bidding. This helps you to make the most out of your advertising budget while maximizing conversions.