Business Optimization Consulting

John asks…

I have extensive PPC Advertising knowledge.How can I find people looking for help setting up their campaigns?

I have experience with Yahoo! Search Marketing, Google Adwords, MSN AdCenter and many 2nd Tier Engines. I’d like to start consulting but don’t know where to begin. What do I charge for my services?

AustinBusinessConsulting answers:

There are many companies/web businesses offering PPC consultancy and support. Search engine optimization companies often include this service. I suggest you check out their websites and study their offerings. charges $14 per keyword per month (even if your spend is thousands of dollars) with a $1750 per month minimum.

Portent Interactive charges a fixed monthly PPC management fee, on a sliding scale based on the amount you’re spending on click charges. So if you spend $500-1000/month, for example, you’d pay Portent $500/month.

Other firms charge a percentage based on total click charges. That means you pay for clicks whether they bring you business or not – and anyone can generate traffic.

As for getting customers, then I suppose one way would be to use what you say as your extensive knowledge in PPC in getting customers for your business.

Laura asks…

what are more tips of getting a customers?

our business is related to computers repair and maintenance and selling the inks and toner for computer printers. i like to have more customers to get in aside from telephone i’ve done what can i do. to have some freebies and how?

AustinBusinessConsulting answers:

Depends what is your demographics. Here is what you can try: (I’ll just copy/paste it:

“Get inbound calls from interested resellers with our live lead transfer technology
Skyrocket your sales with the digital calling platform for audio ads broadcasting.
No telemarketers to manage, no lists to buy.

Through efficient digital calling platforms we will deliver high quality prospects to your phone instantly. We are here to help bring interested referral partners to your company enabling you to skyrocket your sales.

By setting up a Live Transfer campaign you can literally cut your prospecting time by 50% + allowing you to close two to three times as many deals on an annual basis. You might like this campaign so much that you will extend it for soliciting not only channel partners, but also clients. You might choose to do it on a regular basis and add this medium to your current marketing mix.

Yes, it’s pay per call advertising! This is how it’ done:

Concept development

Our experts will help you to identify the main point of your lead transfer campaign. The logistic process from lead call to close must be examined to ensure everyone on board is well coordinated to support the launch of your referral campaign.

Receptionists or inbound sales reps must understand exactly how to handle these types of lead transfer calls. This is absolutely necessary and should not be overlooked.
Message recording for calls transfer

We will help you to move beyond simply delivering a message. We will consult with you on creating an emotional reaction that demands an immediate response. Our system uses the highest quality audio capable of being played over telephone lines (64kbps/sec).
Free calling lists for pay per call advertising

Our proprietary in-house database may be used free of charge. We control an internal database of over 220 Million Numbers nationwide. Our team carefully coordinates with you to leverage proprietary data for maximum return on your lead transfers.
Digital calling vs telemarketing

Telemarketing is proven to be inefficient and expensive to maintain. Our system is different – we offer you only solutions with highest ROI potential.

Our data center can provide all the bandwidth necessary for lead transfers while still maintaining a perfect quality message on every call. Our team closely monitors the lead call reports, while our intricate system of checks and balances ensures flawless call execution and transfer on every single phone call.
Calls transfer optimization

We record ALL transferred calls generated by the pay per call advertising campaign for quality control. Together with our comprehensive lead transfer reporting system, we provide an enormous amount of data for analysis by top management. Our lead transfer reporting system provides data on:

* Precisely how many lead calls were transferred?
* What was their contact information?
* How long were the contacts spoken to?
* What hours of the day and days of the week were most responsive?
* What were the most responsive areas?
* What percentage of lead call transfers were spoken to for over a minute or two?

Once your calls transfer results are analyzed, there are dramatic increases in campaign performance that keep most of our clients coming back again and again.
Why do I need live transfer to generate leads?

Can your existing telemarketing campaign…

* Guarantee that you will be charged ONLY for incoming transferred leads?
* Guarantee your agents leads?
* Provide your calling database?
* Clean your list against the national Do-Not-Call List?
* Require no long term contracts and therefore no reoccurring maintenance costs?
* Offer a low cost GUARANTEE?

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Small Business Consulting Jobs

Carol asks…

I have three rent houses but i still have to work a regular job . My question is can i start a small Business?

for my rentals even if i have hired a manger to take care of them and collect rent . with a small business or home office i want to be able to deduct health insurance for my family and anything else i can legally deduct .

AustinBusinessConsulting answers:

You can totally start your own business, but tax wise it might not be in your best interest. Consult your CPA or Tax professional regarding the specifics for your home state. There are many tax benefits on both sides of the fence between holding real estate personally, LLC’s, and Corporations. However, if you just want to create a simple management company that should be alright. If you form a standard C- Corporation health care is 100% deductible that wont be recorded as income, but rather an expense. In California (my home state) LLC’s and S- Corporations aren’t allowed to deduct health care cost because these entities have a flow-through income stream and income is recorded personally not separately as seen with a C- Corporation. The cost of forming a corporation, time, and any fees could out weigh the benefit of deducting the health insurance, but its always worth checking. Consult your CPA and hopefully the cost wont outweigh the benefit.

This book might help you: The Real Estate Investor’s Guide to Corporations, LLCs, and Asset Protection Entities ISBN: 1427797021

Joseph asks…

what is a range of salary expectation for a graduate Human resources/ Business consultant?

I’m going for a job interview if they ask for salary expectations what is the range that is paid in the industry to entry level/ graduate employees in HR/training and business consulting positions? I was thinking along the lines of 45 to 52 k?

AustinBusinessConsulting answers:

I’m not sure where you’re from, but you may be along the right lines. In mid level cities such as Dallas, Denver, Charlotte, Atlanta (not San Fran, NYC, etc.), here’s what I would expect:

Entry level HR: $28K – $45K. Towards the higher end for graduate employees. I don’t think you’re going to get $50K without any experience, and you would probably be lucky to get $45K

Business Consultants can definitely make more than HR. You could easily make $50K for an entry level business consultant gig if you have an MBA.

I think the range you are thinking of is OK to ask for, unless the position is in a smaller town, and it is more HR centric. Then you may want to say $42K – $50K. Either way, in addition to listing a specific salary range, you will want to tell the prospective employer that you’d like the opportunity to work there (if you do), and would just want to be paid fairly for the position.

And since you are entry level, don’t be surprised if they offer much less than you are hoping…and just make that decision if/when it’s offered to you.

You can also check for more detailed information for your area.

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International Business Development Consulting Firms

Mandy asks…

Ways to refine a research my dissertation question?

In what ways could it be argued that the invasion and subsequent war in Iraq violated both International Criminal Law and International Humanitarian Law?

Is this question a good research question or is there ways that it could be refined to make it easier and more manageable for my dissertation.

Any suggestions welcome and thank you for your replies if there is any.

AustinBusinessConsulting answers:

Don’t know if this helps, but look at the Northstar company hired by Bush Adm to audit the Coalition Provisional Government of Iraq in 2004. A husband and wife operating a home-business given a huge Iraq contract which called for CPAs, neither was an accountant, they had no staff or office, and there was no legal tendering process for the contract or competing bids. (Senator Henry Waxman’s words, BBC Doco “Daylight Robbery”) Their main income before hand – designing kitchens. I kid you not.

(second link) “UN Security Council Resolution 1483 (see May 22, 2003) required that the management of Iraq’s funds be “audited by independent public accountants approved by the International Advisory and Monitoring Board of the Development Fund for Iraq.” Similarly, the CPA’s Regulation Number 2 (see June 10, 2003) stated that it had to “obtain the services of an independent, certified public accounting firm.” Instead, the CPA hired North Star Consultants, Inc. (see October 2003), an obscure consulting firm”

Is breaching a UN Security Council Resolution considered a bad thing?

Mary asks…

Do you have a job in finance that involves travel?

I will be graduating next summer and have started looking for jobs. Ideally i’d love to work for a large international company that gives you the opportunity to travel to different countries.
Does anybody have a job like this? Within the finance sector?

AustinBusinessConsulting answers:

The Finance sector is pretty broad.
The jobs that will send you traveling the globe in finance will be in a couple of areas:

. Consider investment banking. You may have to have an advanced degree, not sure about that. You could try to get a job in corporate development or M&A of a large company. There’s a lot of M&A deal flow out there and people do a lot travelling (I can vouch first hand)

. Consider Professional Services Consulting – Like Accenture, or Bearing Point, or Deloitte Consulting or even Infosys or Cognizant. These firms are global, require degrees, often like folks with analytical/financial backgrounds. The work is five days per week travel typically at a client site, usually not as close to where you live. In fact, if you make it known you would like to travel, you’ll be on the road. This can be a great way to start a career as it gives you much more exposure to the business world at a much higher level than you would normal see just starting out.

. Consider applying for a job with a foreign country. If you have a second language, you’ll be in high demand. If you don’t, you could still consider apply for a position in the UK or Australia. If you end up in the UK, for instance, you can travel all over Europe when you have “Holiday” (Vacation). If Australia, you’d have New Zeland and the Southern part of Asia to explore.

Just some thoughts off the top of my head. Hope it helps.

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Web Application Development Consultant

Mary asks…

What is the difference between ICAO JAA FAA and CAA . Thanks?

AustinBusinessConsulting answers:

Those answers are almost right, a few small corrections:

JAA is usually the Joint Aviation Authority – a European-wide regulatory body. I have not flown in Japan, but they may have a JAA as well

ICAO is headquartered in Montreal, Canada. ICAO tries to standardize each country’s respective aviation regulations so that planes can fly from one country to another under similar regulations and safety standards, that are acceptable to all member nations. Boston is right – ICAO provides standards, the countries provide regulations.

From the ICAO web site:

One of ICAO’s chief activities is standardization, the establishment of International Standards, Recommended Practices and Procedures covering the technical fields of aviation: licensing of personnel, rules of the air, aeronautical meteorology, aeronautical charts, units of measurement, operation of aircraft, nationality and registration marks, airworthiness, aeronautical telecommunications, air traffic services, search and rescue, aircraft accident investigation, aerodromes, aeronautical information services, aircraft noise and engine missions, security and the safe transport of dangerous goods. After a Standard is adopted it is put into effect by each ICAO Contracting State in its own territories. As aviation technology continues to develop rapidly, the Standards are kept under constant review and amended as necessary.

In keeping pace with the rapid development of international civil aviation, ICAO is conscious of the need to adopt in its specifications modern systems and techniques. In recent years, extensive work has been undertaken by ICAO in the areas of reporting aircraft accident and incident data, all-weather operations, automation of air traffic services, the application of computers in meteorological services, aircraft noise, engine emissions and the carriage of dangerous goods by air. ICAO has dealt with the subject of unlawful interference with civil aviation and with questions regarding aviation and the human environment.

I have worked as a consultant to ICAO.

Thomas asks…

Starting a business..How do i get a free government grant?

I heard somewhere the government has grants to help people start a new business. I want to start some stuff in the area for kids..Like a game center and dance club that is liquor and smoke free. Does anyone know how to get these loans?

AustinBusinessConsulting answers:

Getting these loans or grants isn’t always easy, but it is possible, and we hope this information sends you on your way. Good luck with your idea.

Five Small Business Grant Resources

Sometimes even the best business concepts don’t come to fruition due to lack of funding. Lending sources may refuse funding for multiple reasons. For example, you could have a strong business plan but can’t qualify for traditional bank financing because you lack sufficient collateral. Or maybe you can’t come up with a sizable down payment, or your business doesn’t have a long enough track record. See How Can You Increase Your Chances of Getting a Business Loan? For more information.

Fortunately, there are grant programs available through government agencies and private organizations. Here are five of the top sources of small business grants:

1. The Small Business Administration. While the SBA does not offer grants to start or expand small businesses, it can help connect you with government resources for business grants. Visit its Federal Grant Resources page for more information [].

2. You can find and apply for more than 900 different grants from 26 government agencies [].

3. State economic development agencies. Each state has an agency that administers business grants. Agency names vary by state, but usually the Department of Commerce or Economic Development Agency is responsible for disbursing business grants. has assembled a list of links to these agencies’ Web sites here []. Find out about Minority Business Loan Programs.

4. Economic Development Directory. This site hosts an extensive directory of more than 2,000 economic development agencies, consultants, and associations worldwide. Links are constantly being updated, providing access to economic development information for business people, real estate departments, consultants, and brokers.

5. The Foundation Center. This subscription service also offers an extensive amount of free information. It also offers a helpful online orientation to grant seeking, which will take you through the funding research process step by step. The subscription fee entitles you to access its directory of more than 80,000 grant makers. []

To get a business loan, and possibly through one of the previously mentioned routes, here’s Five Things You Can Do to Increase Your Chances of Getting a Business Loan:

There are a number of things you can do to improve your chances of securing a bank loan. Here are five of the most important:

1. Have a sound business plan. Having a solid business plan is your best shot at getting a loan. But it also must be a complete and well-presented plan. It’s especially important to polish your executive summary. This one- to three-page summary of your business is what bankers look at first — if they like what they see, they might read on.

2. Invest your own money. Another way to improve your chances of getting a loan is to put some of your own money on the line. Lenders typically like to see that owners have at least a 25 percent equity stake in the businesses they finance.

3. Rent, don’t buy. Bankers also favor businesses that plan to rent rather than purchase a building. That’s because lenders prefer that you invest in assets that generate income, like inventory and equipment. Bankers also frown on high renovation costs.

4. Check out your credit report. Reviewing your own credit report before you start the application process can also put you ahead of the game. Lenders use your personal credit history to help them decide whether you’re a good risk for a loan, so it pays to know what they’ll find. If your report shows a mistake, contact the credit reporting agency and demand a correction. If your credit report shows legitimate late payments or bankruptcies, you should include a letter with your application explaining the circumstances and how they’ve changed. This can soften the impact of these black marks against you. Always be honest about your credit history — covering up problems is the fastest way to get shown the door.
5. Explore local banks. Don’t assume the bigger the bank, the better your chances of getting a loan. Smaller community banks might be more inclined to finance businesses in their areas, and their loan officers are more likely to give you individual attention.

Here’s an article about how to acquire a government contract:

Also see these articles for more information:
Classifying Types of Federal Grants:
What Lenders Look for Before Granting a Small Business Loan:

Bank Loans for Small Businesses:

Here’s the Small Business Association’s Financial Assistance page:

We wish you the best of luck with your idea, especially because it involved providing for children in your community. Good luck.

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Top Small Business Consulting Firms

Richard asks…

Work experience to get in a top 10 MBA program?

I know that in general you need 3/4 years of experience to get in a top MBA school.
My question is: what type of work experience is better appreciated by top business school?

I know that they select people from different background, but I am sure that there must be something they prefer (Management Consulting?, I-Banking?, etc)
Do they prefer big known companies to smaller ones?


AustinBusinessConsulting answers:

You are in the same position as a friend of mine. You do need a solid work experience from finance or brokerage firm.

Thomas asks…

What qualifications do you need for a website/graphic designer?

Okay, i’m in year 10 and i pick my GCSE subjects. :s I want to be a website or graphic designer and i need to know what qualifications i need. I’ve tried to search on my school’s career program but since it’s out of date, i haven’t got a clue. Can anyone help me? :S

AustinBusinessConsulting answers:

Try looking at this websites:

Training, Other Qualifications, and Advancement [About this section] Back to Top Back to Top

A bachelor’s or an associate degree in graphic design is usually required for a job as a graphic designer. Creativity, communication, and problem solving skills and familiarity with computer graphics and design software also are important.

Education and training. A bachelor’s degree is required for most entry-level and advanced graphic design positions; although some entry-level technical positions may only require an associate degree. Bachelor’s degree programs in fine arts or graphic design are offered at many colleges, universities, and private design schools. Most curriculums include studio art, principles of design, computerized design, commercial graphics production, printing techniques, and Web site design. In addition to design courses, a liberal arts education that includes courses in art history, writing, psychology, sociology, foreign languages and cultural studies, marketing, and business are useful in helping designers work effectively.

Associate degrees and certificates in graphic design also are available from 2-year and 3-year professional schools. These programs usually focus on the technical aspects of graphic design and include few liberal arts courses. Graduates of 2-year programs normally qualify as assistants to graphic designers or for positions requiring technical skills only. Individuals who wish to pursue a career in graphic design—and who already possess a bachelor’s degree in another field—can complete a 2-year or 3-year program in graphic design to learn the technical requirements.

The National Association of Schools of Art and Design accredits about 250 postsecondary institutions with programs in art and design. Most of these schools award a degree in graphic design. Many schools do not allow formal entry into a bachelor’s degree program until a student has successfully finished a year of basic art and design courses. Applicants may be required to submit sketches and other examples of their artistic ability.

Increasingly, employers expect new graphic designers to be familiar with computer graphics and design software. Graphic designers must keep up with new and updated software, on their own or through software training programs.

Other qualifications. In addition to postsecondary training in graphic design, creativity, communication, and problem-solving skills are crucial. Graphic designers must be creative and able to communicate their ideas visually, verbally, and in writing. They also must have an eye for details. Designers show employers these traits by putting together a portfolio—a collection of examples of a person’s best work. A good portfolio often is the deciding factor in getting a job.

Because consumer tastes can change quickly, designers also need to be well read, open to new ideas and influences, and quick to react to changing trends. The ability to work independently and under pressure are equally important traits. People in this field need self-discipline to start projects on their own, to budget their time, and to meet deadlines and production schedules. Good business sense and sales ability also are important, especially for those who freelance or run their own firms.

Advancement. Beginning graphic designers usually receive on-the-job training and normally need 1 to 3 years of training before they can advance to higher positions. Experienced graphic designers in large firms may advance to chief designer, art or creative director, or other supervisory positions. Some designers leave the occupation to become teachers in design schools or in colleges and universities. Many faculty members continue to consult privately or operate small design studios to complement their classroom activities. Some experienced designers open their own firms or choose to specialize in one area of graphic design.

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Internet Marketing Austin

Linda asks…

Where should we move to in the U.S.?

My husband and I are in our twenties (25 and 27). We have no children (our pets are our kids… we have two huskies and two cats). We are looking for a change but are not sure where to move to. We had been hoping to take an extended roadtrip across the U.S. to find a place to live, but our business took off (not complaining!) and we have decided it would be unwise to go on an extended trip at this time, so we’ve been trying to research places online instead.

We both work from home and all our business comes through the internet or the mail so we can live pretty much anywhere in the U.S. as long as there is a UPS store nearby. :)

We would like to avoid long cold winters (been there, done that, yuck!). Some snow is ok, if everything else fits. Lots of sunshine is a good thing – we are both much more productive when the sun is out!

Love greenery, love mountains, love water (whether it be ocean or lake or river). We would like to live in a more dog friendly area – or at least somewhere we can bring our dogs on nice hikes.

Housewise, we would like to be able to get a 3+BR, 2+BA home on 0.5+acres with a 2 car garage for under $250k for sure, preferably more in the $150-200k range. We don’t want to live in a big city, but neither do we want to live in a small town. Somewhere in the middle would be great. Being near a Whole Foods or equivalent store would be awesome (within 30 minutes, nearest one now is over 2.5hrs).

Things we enjoy doing: going on beautiful rides, eating out, walking on the beach, hikes with our dogs.

Having grown up in the northeast, we are used to a little more fast pace than we are currently experiencing in the southeast. We haven’t written off the southeast completely… but almost. Greenville, SC has come up several times in taking quizzes online and we have visited the area and it’s ok. Not perfect, but doable.

We’ve sort of been thinking of Colorado, but aren’t sure about the weather and housing prices. We loved the northeast – except for the long cold winters. We really have no idea where to go… any suggestions would be helpful. :)
I should add: we are not hugely into organic food or anything like that, I just love the shopping atmosphere at Whole Foods – everything is so fresh and nice! I always feel more inspired to cook and eat healthier when shopping there. :)

In things we love doing, I forgot to mention that we LOVE cool coffee shops. In Quebec, our favorite place was a coffee shop called Caffuccinos – had awesome drinks & amazing desserts! That place is pretty high up on the list of things we miss the most from up north!

AustinBusinessConsulting answers:

Middle Tennessee (the part of the state where Nashville is) is at the foothills of the Appalachian mountains so it’s hilly and forested. The metro Nashville area has 2 Whole Foods, a few excellent small organic stores, a pretty thriving farmers market culture, and it’s cold (Southern cold) from around November-March. Moving 30 min.- 1 hour outside of the city will get you plenty of farm land close to major interstates.

You might also look around Austin, Texas, which is the headquarters for liberal living in Texas. It’s hot there, but it really is beautiful.
Lots of Whole Foods, great music, and if you leave the city and suburbs you can still afford a house. A great international airport, too.

Most of the major cities in the South have had a huge influx of Northern/Western city people, so things move faster than if you went into the Deep South. But it is a change of pace that takes some getting used to.

Maria asks…

I need hair experts!?

Where can I get hair cream and dry shampoo. I want the highest quality and best brands. How much are they? Where can I get some hair gel. I also want the highest quality and best brands. How much is it also. Can I use all those supplies to make my hair look like this?

BTW, if you were wondering, I am a guy.

AustinBusinessConsulting answers:

It is doubtful that guy uses any of those products. Hair cream usually refers to products like brylcreem and wildroot and is used for neatly groomed and even wet look styles like guys wore up till the early to mid 1960′s before President Kennedy and then the Beachboys and Beatles ushered in the dry look as the standard. Hair gel makes hair hard and stiff and it will not look like that. If a guy’s hair is straight and he wants the sort of windblown somewhat wavy surfer look that guy has, he needs to dry his hair with a towel till damp and then scrunch it while continuing to dry it with a blow dryer that has a heat diffuser attached. A mousse can also be added but like gel, a mousse sets up a stiff hold. Some guys spray their hair with a surf spray/sea salt spray to achieve that look. My guess is that is probably what that guy used. To achieve that look, try using a surf spray, also marketed as sea slat spray, and get a heat diffuser to put on the end of a blow dryer. There are beach styles that involve less effort and fewer to no bad hair days….
Pg 27, two sixteen year old guys with old school surfer/beach haircuts; pg 26, same guys with regular haircuts groomed with brylcreem:

regular haircut:


ivy league(long crew cut):
worn spiked up….


worn down and brushed to the side…


medium crew cut:

short crew cut:

Some barbers consider that all crew cuts should have a flat top, so it is best to not rely on words alone for even a widely recognized style like a crew cut.
Flat top crew cut:

Search the internet for images of football(soccer)star Lukas Podolski for examples of ivy league and crew cut styles. A minute dab of control wax aka butch wax will keep the hair looking well groomed at crew cut and ivy league length. A butch comb also helps with grooming the short pomp styles- the small, flat, plastic, oval, pocket brushes that one finger fits through and barbers sell for about a dollar. A boar bristle military brush is usually available for a few dollars and while too large for a guy to carry in his pocket, is nice to have at home.
Surfer/Beach Hair…….

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Marketing Strategy Consultants

Susan asks…

Do you have recommendation for a marketing firm or consultant to assist me in developing a marketing strategy?

I am starting up a new healthcare service company and need to develop a thoughtful and executable marketing strategy.

AustinBusinessConsulting answers:

I would say to go with these guys if it’s within your budget. They do marketing strategy for health care. Http://

Lizzie asks…

develop a marketing strategy how you would conduct environmental scanning and annalysis what is ment by market?

develop a marketing strategy how you would conduct environmental scanning and annalysis what is ment by marketing concept? What departments of a company does it affect?

Its just a question i wanna know before i go into class or get the jist of it. thankyou for help

AustinBusinessConsulting answers:

The environmental scanning and analysis is the most required & necessary step before developing any business strategy because it make you aware about current market situations.
There are so many techniques for environmental scanning and analysis like SWOT analysis, PEST analysis etc…

Environmental scanning is the process that seeks information about events and relationships in a firm’s environment, the knowledge of which help top management chart the firm’s future. Environmental scanning entails partitioning the external environment into sectors, namely, cultural, economic, political, technological, and so on. This helps establish a firm’s information needs within those sectors. Data are usually collected by monitoring and forecasting changes in important variables identified in each sector. That data are then transformed into consolidated information, which is integrated into the firm’s strategic planning process (Georgantzas and Acar 1995). Environmental scanning is used to gather information from the environment. These information are used to craft a strategic plan that will help an organization achieve and maintain a competitive advantage. In order to be successful, the organization must align its strategies and plans with the information gathered from the environmental scanning.

SWOT Analysis
SWOT (Strengths and Weaknesses, and Opportunities and Threats) is a basic analytical tool in management that has become popular in recent years. SWOT analysis is often used by strategic planners and top management in developing competitive strategies. It is typically used to decide corporate strategies and to make product or market level analyses (Reddy 1994). SWOT is a widely used thinking framework for identifying Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. It enables key factors to be visibly recorded as a high-level summary of a business. SWOT analysis is a summary that is simple but powerful. The technique is commonly used by consultants to document the key factors arising from the review of a particular project or business. The use of SWOT enables an assessment to be made of the overall internal state of a business and the direction in which it is heading, through looking at its Strengths and Weaknesses. It also enables a judgment to be made about aspects of the external business environment, which can affect the performance of the business, through looking at the Opportunities and Threats it faces in the wider world (Elkin 1998). The SWOT analysis on its own is not a strategy. It is merely a tool that helps an organization in making informed decisions. The SWOT analysis is primarily used to identify and analyze the strengths and weaknesses of the organization, as well as the opportunities and threats exposed by the information collected of the external environment. The SWOT analysis is a simple yet useful tool in analyzing both the internal and external environments of the organization. SWOT analysis together with other tools such as PEST (Political, Economic, Social, and Technological) analysis can be used as a basis for the analysis of business and environmental factors.

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Small Business Marketing Austin Texas

Nancy asks…

Business Research?

I currently am a junior at a small university in East Texas. I have a few research oriented courses under my belt and plan on attending either UNT, UT Arlington, or an Ivy League for my doctoral studies.

My question is, are areas such as career/personality or entrepreneurship viable topics for a professor of business? For my short college career, I’ve been really interesting in the individual and career selection and start up businesses/private businesses.

Organizational Behavior is a tertiary topic I also would like to dabble in. I’ve read various journals and abstracts on topics in Finance, Accounting, Economics, and Marketing, and they really bore me. I just don’t have an interest in those fields. Another field that bores me is Operations Management.

Is there any hope to find something interesting with the topics I have listed above?

AustinBusinessConsulting answers:

I’m a little worried that you are bored by so many topics; most people who go on successfully for doctorates have a strong intellectual curiosity, which would mean that even if this is not your area of expertise, you shouldn’t discredit it. Furthermore, all of these areas are related to one another. I’m in marketing, but got the idea for my dissertation from an organizational behavior class that I took.

Okay, having said that, there is no such thing as a doctorate in business which has as its focus career/personality. Within either management/human resources or marketing, you can do work that includes these topics, but it is not a discipline on its own. Entrepreneurship is a little different. It is a discipline which has been emerging for the past decade as one offered in business schools, but I don’t think that any of the better schools actually offer doctorates specifically in that field – you generally get your doctorate in something like Finance and do your research in entrepreneurial organizations to get a position in that area.

The one area you mention in which programs exist is Organizational Behavior. There are a number of schools which offer this, but make sure you go to a good one, because this field is NOT one which is hurting for faculty, so getting a job may be more difficult than in most business fields.

I also want to caution you to look more broadly into your choice of schools for a doctorate, as it can make a huge difference. UNT is generally considered, at least in my field, to be one of the weaker doctoral programs – they seem to put out a lot of candidates, but many of them don’t seem to be very well-trained. UT Arlington doesn’t seem to have a program in my field at all, so I can’t comment on how they are perceived in other areas. As far as the Ivies are concerned a few, like Columbia and Wharton are highly-respected; for others, many other schools, including state schools like the University of Michigan (or, in fact, UT Dallas and UT Austin), have stronger reputations than the Ivies do. Don’t get trapped into looking at the university’s overall reputation and assuming that means a strong Ph.D. Program in business.

Mary asks…

Is a Marketing job available in any U.S. state or are some areas much better for Marketing than others?

I’m about to graduate in a year and I want to start planning where I’m going to live. I currently live on the east cost but I don’t really want to stay on the east coast. I want to go into the field of Marketing and open up my own little cafe business as well. I have been wanting this since I was a senior in high school!

I know I have to go “where the job is available” but that doesn’t mean I can’t have a general state or area. So suggestions please? Where should I go for a marketing job and a small cafe business?

AustinBusinessConsulting answers:

Well, your interests are quite different from one another, but I live in New York City and there are tons of jobs out here, however the demand for jobs is also really high. At times, thousands of people apply for any given position, especially in the field of Business. Texas is probably the state with the best economy and cities like Austin, San Antonio, etc are constantly growing, but it may be hard for someone from the East Coast to live in the MidWest or the South. If i were you, I would try to figure out what areas I like the best and then based on that start my job search.

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Small Business Consultant Blog

David asks…

How to earn money for a school trip to France?

I need about 4000 dollars for my school trip to France next year… I figure without doing anything new I can get about 1,700, but obviously, that is way far off!!! So I need help on how to get money for this, any suggestions will be appreciated!!! Thanks in advance!!!!

AustinBusinessConsulting answers:

1. Social Marketing Consultant

Many companies are looking for qualified candidates who know the ins and outs of Myspace, Facebook, and Twitter to help them with their social marketing efforts. Head over to a job site and search for “social media”.
2. Sell stuff on eBay for Mom and Dad

I am sure mom and dad wouldn’t mind sharing some of the profits, if you sell some of their clutter for them.
3. Freelance Write

As they say on the web “content is king” and everyone wants it. I have a consistent flow of passive income coming in from writing I did for Hubpages and Squidoo. For more on this method, check out How to make money with Hubpages.
4. Have a Garage Sale

If it is something too large or that won’t sell on eBay for some reason, you can always have an old-fashioned garage sale!
5. Write product reviews

There are places like Ciao,, that pay for product reviews – if you have an opinion and can type quickly this might be a good option.
6. Find odd-jobs on Craigslist

Some of these might be landscaping work, or similar odd-jobs, but it might be great summer time work for teens!
7. Bank Account Opening Bonuses

Not sustainable, but it’s a quick way to make money. ING Direct offers $25 for opening a new account and Virtual Bank offers $20. If you do some digging you will probably find many other companies offering cash bonuses for opening accounts.
8. Take online surveys

I am not particularly fond of the whole online survey thing since I had a bad experience using CashCrate. But there are lots of online survey sites and people who do it successfully.
9. Sell Digital Photos

Making money as a photographer has become easier over the last decade. There are now lots of sites looking to buy digital photos:,,,, As with most things, the better you are the more money you will make, but it can be nice passive income if you work at it.
10. Sell Plasma

Not sure how old you have to be, nor how painful it is, but if you are into that sort of thing, it can be a way to make some quick money.
11. Take part in medical studies

I have a couple friends who have almost done this exclusively as a job. They were basically human guinea pigs, but they made some decent cash at it. Sometimes they would have be at the medical facility for up to 48 hours, so your schedule may need to be flexible. Just google “medical studies” + your city to find some options.
12. Tutor or give lessons
Are you great at math, science, or kicking a field goal? Why not advertise your skills to those a few years younger than you? Many parents are willing to pay a teenager to tutor their child in an area that needs development.
13. Create Myspace backgrounds

or Twitter backgrounds for that matter. Just set up a simple site to sell your work, get a paypal “buy it now link” and you are off and running.
Jobs requiring a uniquely mature teenager
14. Create Websites

I can’t tell you how many people have asked me to build them a website since I started this one a couple years ago. I am not seeking the work and people are requesting it, so if you do a little legwork and pursue small business owners, there is a lot of work available. Teens might be great for this, because they would be able to work for less than some higher end website developers, which would put them in the price range that it seems many small businesses are looking to spend.
15. Blogging

Two years ago I wasn’t sure if there was money to be made blogging, but I have since found it to work out nicely. It isn’t something that will provide much income quickly, but if you stick at it, it can. I wrote extensively about how to make money from a blog a few months ago.
16. Design Web Logos

If you have a flair for design, it may be worth trying to make some money designing logos for small business or blogs.
17. Freebie Trading

I first heard about freebie trading from Leslie who made $28K last year doing it part time. It seems like it requires a certain kind of person, but clearly there is potential as a decent money maker.
18. Become a Census Taker

The 2010 census is underway and there may still be census taker positions available in your area. You may need to be 18 to apply.
19. Sell articles

Following in that same vein, you can sell articles you write at places like,,
20. Start an eBay business

Last year I experimented with starting an eBay business to see if there was money to be made. While profit margins can be thin selling on eBay, there are over a million eBay businesses, so it is a viable option.
21. Sell widgets on

If you create any kind of arts or crafts or widgets of any sort, you should check out
22. Join a Focus Group

There are likely to be focus groups in your area that may be willing to hire teens. Google “focus group” and your city to get started.

Lisa asks…

Starting a small cleaning business, Help with choosing the legal structure?

It will just be me cleaning offices, and I don’t know which is better to choose. I will not be hiring people, at least not now. I would like to know which one is better when it comes to taxes? I did do a lot of research on them but still don’t know which to pick. Sole Proprietorship or an LLC, also I live in NY.

AustinBusinessConsulting answers:

Check out the “business” section on NYC.GOV, where they provide tons of free resources and legal advice to entrepreneurs. I think you should check out their articles and speak to a consultant at one of the agencies they work with, before starting your business. You can get tons of FREE resources for your business, don’t pay for anything starting out. I also have a lot of tips on free business resources on my blog:

Good luck!

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Hiring In Austin Tx

John asks…

Do anyone know of any over the road driving companies that are hiring down by Austin Tx? ?

I’ve tried most of the big companies but they all got hiring freezes, in my area( Austin Tx) Thanks for your info.

AustinBusinessConsulting answers:

Swift will hire anybody

Ruth asks…

what’s the average cost of hiring a contractor to paint your garage door?

i’m not sure if it differs by the state, but i’m in austin, tx.

AustinBusinessConsulting answers:

I would imagine it would be by the sq foot being covered and whether its enamel or water base– you may be able to purchase a spray gun and do it yourself for the cost of a contractor if you feel the gumption

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It is so pleasant to work with experts. cccam server in uk to find out more regarding cccam server. rentvest made a real revolution in the industry. Joyetech marka elektronik sigaralar için elektronik sigara joyetech sitesine bakın