A Private Criminal Defense Attorney’s Hourly Cost

A private criminal defense attorney is always needed by those who are in the criminal case. However, before hiring an attorney, everyone must ask about how much the cost they should pay for the attorney. It is better to hire a private lawyer that will work better for your case, yet you probably should pay them hourly.

The hourly billing of lawyers is the payment given for every hour of their work to handle the criminal case of the defendants. The payment could be up to $150 per hour. Besides, some additional expenses may also need to pay such as the representation course like subpoena fees, copying fees, and many more. If you are a defendant that is interested to pay the hourly billing, there are some advantages and disadvantages that can be gotten.

·         Advantage. The advantage of hiring a criminal defense attorney hourly will be gotten when the case concludes soon after the attorney works to handle all needed things.

·         Disadvantage. If you need a longer time to accomplish the case, then it will be so expensive. The cost may be higher if the attorney uses more time to handle the case. Besides, the hourly paid attorney commonly has made their minimum payment even the case is done sooner before the prediction.

That is why you should choose an experienced criminal defense attorney. An experienced one must have an anticipation of how many hours they will spend to handle the case. You can refuse the hourly charge if you don’t know the great estimation made by the attorney about the exact time spent in the case handling.

Therefore, it is so much recommended to find an experienced attorney that will work well in the case as well as time estimation. If you are not sure that the case will be accomplished soon, it is better to not choosing this hourly charge of attorney hire.

How to File an Uncontested Divorce without NYC Divorce Lawyers Assistance

About an uncontested divorce, you should make sure that both of you agree for everything such as the divorce’s grounds as well as the divorce papers signed by both of you. It also means that you have made an agreement to divide everything and you don’t have to make a formal agreement anymore if everything has been divided. Besides, you also should close all joint accounts of bank and credit card so you will not have loose ends anymore. However, you still need legal advice from NYC divorce lawyers if you have real property or children, especially when you are going to file the divorce.

Make a Health Insurance Plan after Divorce

If you have purchased health insurance as family member through the company where you work, you cannot continue the policy after divorce. It is a consequence for the legal divorce and according to New York law it should be written specifically in the divorce paper. Plan the way that will be taken to continue the health insurance coverage before your divorce.

Get into the Website of New York State Court

In the website of New York State Court, you can download the packet of Uncontested Divorce. All instructions are provided in details inside the forms and they are easy to complete. If you find some difficulties, you can hire NYC divorce lawyers to review the forms only and it will be much cheaper. When the forms have been completed and signed by both of you, then you should file the forms with the court clerk. File the forms in two stages and then pay the court fees for index number purchasing as much as $210. Besides, you also should file a Note of Issue as much as $125. The papers should include a stamped postcard with self-address to ease the clerk notifying you after the signing of the judgment.

File Notice of Entry after the Divorce Judgment Signed

You need 60 to 90 days to finalize the divorce judgment after you file it. The court clerk will send the postcard to you when the divorce judgment is ready. So you can return to the court to take the certified copy and pay the $8 fee to the clerk. Then you should fill out the Notice of Entry form as the part of the uncontested divorce packet. Then you can send the form as well as the judgment to your spouse. After you have filed the proof of Notice of entry complement, the divorce is done.

History of Visual Merchandising

As customers, not many of us know the importance of visual merchandising let alone its definition and how it works. But to those in the retail and marketing, visual merchandising is undeniable one of the most important and necessary addition to marketing efforts in order to attract customers and bump up sales. Visual merchandising is not only a form of art, it has recently also morphed into a form of science – while art plays a significant role in achieving an attractive display, science is needed to ensure the right formula in achieving desired results from the display. Once only known as an art to drape mannequins and arrange a display, visual merchandising has evolved into something that a bit more complicated yet with much greater rewards.

The phenomenon was started in the nineteenth century, where many brands who had been adopting a wholesale approach for their products made a shift to the retail industry. In the beginning, stores at the time dedicated a few spaces to be transformed into various window displays which later would be used to display merchandise. This method worked attracting customers and bumping up sales. However, in the twentieth century, many window displays have become obsolete as most stores or retails once again shifted to a new visual merchandising method which moved the displays indoors and incorporated them into a part of their stores’ interior – this method is still used to promote products or merchandise up to these days.

This type of brand communication generally comes in the form of signage such as posters and images that are displayed in the store. These two visual elements, along with other contributing factors such as store’s decor and assortment display, have proven to own the capability of capturing the customers’ attention and silently talking them into purchasing – not only does this result in an increased sales, it also boosts customers satisfaction. Zen Merchandiser has long been widely known in the industry as a reputable company that provides a wide range of products which are related to visual merchandising – from mannequins, to display cases – even products such as jewelry displays, boxes, shelves, and store fixtures, they have it all! On top of products to support your visual merchandising efforts, Zen Merchandiser also offers valuable services such as searching specific products as well as companies to do your customized display cases that match the budget and the needs of their loyal customers.

Developing an Effective Boutique Business Plan

In this day and age an ever growing number of people are electing to go into business for themselves. Of this group of entrepreneurs, many people are electing to start retail businesses, including specialty boutiques. If you are interested in starting your own boutique, the first step that you must take if to develop an effective boutique business plan.

In the development of a business plan, there are some facts and factors that you definitely will want to keep in mind. Through this article, you are provided a presentation of what you need to do in order to develop the most effective business plan possible.

The first step that you will want to take when it comes to developing an effective boutique marketing plan is to develop a realistic and comprehensive budget. The budget is the foundation upon which the rest of your boutique plan will be built.

In addition to crafting a realistic and meaningful budget as part of your business plan, you will want to develop a time line leading up to the opening of your boutique business. The time line will be crucial in making sure that you have all elements of your boutique business plan moving forward in an appropriate manner and on an appropriate course.

As part of your effective business plan, you will want to develop a list of vendors and suppliers that will be able to supply your business with the merchandise that you will need. You will want to make sure that you do your research as part of the development of your business plan to ensure that you identify and select reliable and reputable vendors.

In order to create an effective boutique business plan, you will want to make sure that you include a marketing plan or scheme as part of the process. Obviously, being able to properly and effectively market your boutique business is fundamental to ensuring the ultimate success of your business enterprise.

In creating an effective business plan, you will also want to identify those areas in which you will want to engage the services of professionals. You need to understand that few people can undertake all of the elements of planning for and creating a boutique business on their one. The most successful boutique business owners are those same individuals that know when it is necessary to engage a professional to assist with some aspect or another of developing or running a boutique business enterprise.

By following the pointers suggested for you in this article, you will be able to develop a meaningful and effective boutique business plan that will serve your interests well. You will end up being able to start your own boutique business in a reasonable amount of time.

Identify Market For Opening Boutique

Once you engage in a bright thought as to what clothes to retail in your boutique store, your subsequent step is to determine if there is a marketplace for your merchandise. Crucial to your start-up time is the information in this area would-be customers and your target marketplace.

By now you must have identified a niche, and how to fill it. Perhaps you must ask yourself more questions as you are planning further:

Describe your ideal customer. Are there enough of these group in your area to keep you in business? Are there sufficient public in the nearby area who would be willing to purchase the items you would promote, at the prices you would need to charge?

There are several ways to grow in this area which includes: (a) check with suppliers on market demands or trends; (b) have a discussion with would-be customers or so called market surveys who will ultimately wear your clothes; and (c) competitor analysis in the same area your boutique located. These groups of public (suppliers, owners of boutiques and buyers) can provide you with first-hand information in boutique business with the intention of checking if there are already other boutique stores nearby which are producing and promoting the same kind of apparel.

In your specialty niche, discover out everything you can, approaching your competition. Check out how other small businesses, and even the enormous ones, fare in terms of craftsmanship, quality of fabric and styling. Can you figure out better, or at least approximate of their levels? If not, you should reorganize your business strategy. They can be able to present you insights and actuality ideas on the subject of consumers buying patterns and more importantly, the valuable ideas of what kinds of clothes consumers are demanding which retail preeminent in today’s trends. When I mentioned, check out your competition means to compare it healthily with the meaning to match your quality to market demands, and not with a primary motive to outbid others as you can by no means be pleased. It can be a win-win circumstances and I like to tell you again that marketplace is enormous.

You can be very well-planned to start-up your boutique business, however as would-be boutique owners need to know with the intention of there are a amount of unique factors in this area the clothing business. Small businesses mug an increasing competition from lofty firms known their marketing muscles and economies of extent. There are furthermore a growing number of boutique stores that significantly tightens the competition. More small and home-based entrepreneurs are interested in opening a boutique business. The motive can be partly due to the prominent margins of this business.

This on top of detail must excite you and must not be a show stopper for you to opening a boutique. Small business needs to come up with the resources to survive with the rapid changes in apparel trends and styles, so focus on tackling these areas than wasting your energy and effort in competing with the boutique next door. There are many boutique businesses are able to overcome these challenges successfully primarily since of having appropriately strategy and mindset, they even grow to be converted into powerhouses in their segments.

These can sound easy but trust me, many boutique businesses disastrous a short time ago because of overlooking the basic strategy and simple execution.

Identify Market For Opening Boutique

Once you engage in a bright thought as to what clothes to retail in your boutique store, your subsequent step is to determine if there is a marketplace for your merchandise. Crucial to your start-up time is the information in this area would-be customers and your target marketplace.

By now you must have identified a niche, and how to fill it. Perhaps you must ask yourself more questions as you are planning further:

Describe your ideal customer. Are there enough of these group in your area to keep you in business? Are there sufficient public in the nearby area who would be willing to purchase the items you would promote, at the prices you would need to charge?

There are several ways to grow in this area which includes: (a) check with suppliers on market demands or trends; (b) have a discussion with would-be customers or so called market surveys who will ultimately wear your clothes; and (c) competitor analysis in the same area your boutique located. These groups of public (suppliers, owners of boutiques and buyers) can provide you with first-hand information in boutique business with the intention of checking if there are already other boutique stores nearby which are producing and promoting the same kind of apparel.

In your specialty niche, discover out everything you can, approaching your competition. Check out how other small businesses, and even the enormous ones, fare in terms of craftsmanship, quality of fabric and styling. Can you figure out better, or at least approximate of their levels? If not, you should reorganize your business strategy. They can be able to present you insights and actuality ideas on the subject of consumers buying patterns and more importantly, the valuable ideas of what kinds of clothes consumers are demanding which retail preeminent in today’s trends. When I mentioned, check out your competition means to compare it healthily with the meaning to match your quality to market demands, and not with a primary motive to outbid others as you can by no means be pleased. It can be a win-win circumstances and I like to tell you again that marketplace is enormous.

You can be very well-planned to start-up your boutique business, however as would-be boutique owners need to know with the intention of there are a amount of unique factors in this area the clothing business. Small businesses mug an increasing competition from lofty firms known their marketing muscles and economies of extent. There are furthermore a growing number of boutique stores that significantly tightens the competition. More small and home-based entrepreneurs are interested in opening a boutique business. The motive can be partly due to the prominent margins of this business.

This on top of detail must excite you and must not be a show stopper for you to opening a boutique. Small business needs to come up with the resources to survive with the rapid changes in apparel trends and styles, so focus on tackling these areas than wasting your energy and effort in competing with the boutique next door. There are many boutique businesses are able to overcome these challenges successfully primarily since of having appropriately strategy and mindset, they even grow to be converted into powerhouses in their segments.

These can sound easy but trust me, many boutique businesses disastrous a short time ago because of overlooking the basic strategy and simple execution.

Some Tips For Opening A Small Boutique

A boutique is a small store selling designer apparel, accessories and offers you specialized services and they’re specially created for people who value versatility, fashion, and comfort. It is very important that you research the market scenario to make sure your product is special, and diverse enough from hundreds of collections that are available in the marketplace.

In order to become a boutique owner you need to understand the crucial details of starting a boutique business. A boutique business involves hard work like location selection, setting up your boutique, setting competent prices, attracting buyers, etc. These are just a few measures that are important for your ultimate success.

First, it is important to understand the world of boutique and retail fashion; the marketplace of boutique business, the day-to-day assignments of a boutique owner and skills you need to cultivate to run a successful boutique.

The next important step is to plan your boutique business. It is important to learn to hone in on a niche market, decide business options, and calculate the start-up cost.

For instance, you will need to decide on your target segment like women, menswear, and children boutique; accessories, special items such as swimwear or sportswear, etc.

To start a business and attract investors, formulation of a business plan is required, disclosing the details of boutique including its name, start-up cost, and target segment.

The location selection will give you greatest chance of success. A boutique location must be selected keeping in view its connectivity with the marketplace. Before opening a boutique you need to identify suppliers locally, nationally and internationally.

Furthermore, to run a business you ought to register your business to have business license and appropriate insurance cover to protect your business possessions. You will also need to hire effective manpower to manage your boutique business.

Moreover, to manage the sales you may also need to advertise and attract a few loyal customers. Buyers buying habits and trends will fluctuate and so will their buying power.

You need to keep track of your buyers and give them something ‘extra’ to keep them loyal customers of your boutique. Furthermore, you can also design truly distinctive clothing and sell your own creation. You can attract customers by creative window dressing and blending your stuff with creative designers and merchandisers.

Boutique business is all about creativity. You can achieve success in boutique world by being a creative fashion insider and offering the latest trends in your community. Every boutique is different as each owner has their own backgrounds, ideas, strengths and weaknesses. The challenge is to understand the market, sense your buyers, analyze latest fashion trends and requirements and stay ahead of the game.

Opening a Boutique? First Things First…

If you know (or think you know) exactly what you want your boutique to be about, with some idea of how to get there, then congrats. You are one very big step closer to manifesting your dream.

One “law of success” that is universally accepted, by people that have experienced success in any and all areas of life, is this: the more clear and specific you are about what you want and how you will get it, the quicker you will reach your goal.

On the other hand, your goal may be slightly “ambiguous”. In other words, you know you want your own business. Even more specifically, you want to have your own boutique. You want to express your unique vision and creativity through your boutique and share it with others, while earning a good living.

But perhaps you don’t know exactly how it will take shape. This is perfectly fine for now, and perfectly normal. Just keep in mind, you must define it, as concretely as possible, in your mind, on paper, in every conceivable way, before you begin to create it.

You need to be able to visualize what you are setting out to do, concretely in as much detail as possible. If you do not, what you end up with is being left to chance – and won’t necessarily be what you want.

So, if your goal is “narrowed down” to something like “I want a really cute boutique with great clothes and a fabulous look and feel”, you are not quite there.

That would be roughly equivalent to going to a restaurant and telling the server “I’m in the mood for a really good tasting main course with a couple of healthy sides.” There could be a million possibilities for what you are served; with a good chance you won’t like it.

So, like the title implies – First Things First. If you are least bit unclear on what your boutique will be about, you need to focus in and define it before you do anything else. So, take out a sheet of paper or open up a word processing document and get ready to brainstorm.

Before you begin your brainstorming session, take a moment to ask yourself a very important question, and give your mind a few moments to generate answers.

Ask yourself “what is my true passion?” Be ready for more than one answer, and there no rules or limits as to how many passions you have in life.

Your are about to create a business and a livelihood for yourself. As important as it is that your business targets a market with lots of profit potential, it is equally important that you base your business on a true love or passion in your life. You will be investing enormous amounts of time and energy into this – and life is too short to do that if it isn’t going to be something you love.

1.1 – Exercise #1 – Brainstorming

Start out by taking a few deep breaths, clearing your mind, and become as relaxed as you can. Don’t hold any stress, preconceptions, or anything else in your mind right now. Just let go and get centered.

If necessary, turn off the phone, put out the cat, go to the bathroom, get another cup of coffee, or all of the above, to ensure that for the next few minutes you will be uninterrupted and clear. Ok, are you ready? Of course you are, or you wouldn’t be here.

Start writing down (or typing) any ideas that you have about what you might want to do with your future boutique. List industries, product types, specific product lines if you have any in mind. List themes that you are interested in (cultural, regional, specific product types, etc.)

Do you want to do fashion? If so, what age group? What style? Is it fashion from all over the world, or focused on a region like France or Italy? Is your theme Vintage? If so, do you feature second hand merchandise or brand new items that are retro? Do you want a children’s boutique? Pets? Wine? Hats? Accessories only? Body and Spa Products?

(Keep in mind, later in the course, you will be analyzing your market to make sure that a market exists for your boutique, and if so, how big it is. But for now, no holds barred, just list anything you think you might be interested in.)

Keep building this list until you have absolutely every possible interest that you feel worthy of pursuing for your boutique down on paper. If you’re ready to stop, it should be because you are staring at the page, cross-eyed, drooling, unable to think of anything else to write..;) Just kidding! Don’t make it painful, just give it your best effort.

Okay, now take a few seconds to rest your brain, and then do…

1.2 – Exercise # 2 – Refine

Go back over the list you just made. Look at your rough ideas and start to hone in. Circle all of the items on your list that you know without a doubt you are interested in. Assign a priority to them, such as putting 5 stars next to those.

Then, start picking the next less interesting items, and give those 4 stars, etc. The point here is to prioritize your ideas from highest to lowest, so that you can see at a glance where your strongest interest lie.

This all may sound “lame” or “obvious”, but once you do it, you may discover things are not as obvious as you think. Many times you’ll discover that what you thought was most interesting to you simply just isn’t, even though it was a few years ago, or maybe something occurs to you that you never gave a chance before, but now you realize you are ready to or whatever.

The point is, seeing things on paper really helps to clarify our thoughts.

Also, by writing things down and then going to the effort of prioritizing them, something else happens that is amazingly powerful – You are committing yourself to what is most important to you, which is key.

For some people this can be tricky. You may find that you are tempted to give everything 5 stars… but “everything” shouldn’t have a priority level of 1 – unless your boutique is actually more like a swap meet.

In other words, chances are, you can differentiate what is more important to you, but it may take some thought and effort to do that. If this is the case, do not resist it. Take as much time as you need with this exercise to really hone in on your priorities.

This is basically an exercise in discovering, or refining, what it is you want from your boutique, which is derived from your greatest passions, interests and maybe even your deepest values in life. After all, what else should your boutique, your business, be than a beautiful, shining reflection of who you are?

1.3 – Exercise # 3 – Synthesize

Ok, by now your list is refined, and you have prioritized your ideas. The next step is to look at this supply of “raw material” and extract patterns or relationships from it that might define your boutique.

That is, you may be a single mom in her 30’s that always loved fashion and you know very well that you want a cute clothing boutique. So “fashion” has 5 stars on your list.

But, you also love your children, and for that matter, you love lots of children, maybe even all children – or almost all 😉 So, you may decide that your lifelong goal of having a fashion boutique is better expressed at this stage of your life as a children’s fashion boutique.

And maybe “Italian” also had 5 stars, and behold, you just discovered that your real dream is to have a children’s boutique featuring Italian designer fashion lines (and one of those exists in the Little Italy district of San Diego, my home town.)

That’s what I mean by looking for patterns. Literally, you can do what is called a “mind map” By drawing lines connecting one of your high priority items with others that feel like they “belong” together, until you have clusters of 3, 4 , or 5 characteristics, hobbies, or whatever.

What should be emerging now are recognizable “themes” that with a little more fine tuning, could define your boutique.

1.4 – Exercise #4 – Crystallize

Just like the name sounds, this is where you take a few deep breaths, and a mental step back from the previous 3 exercises, and allow your boutique’s theme to crystallize. In other words, you are about to decide what your boutique is going to be “all about.”

You started reading this article knowing you wanted a boutique. You may or may not have had any clear idea beyond that what it would look or feel like. By now, you should be on the verge of knowing exactly what it is you are aiming for.

If you don’t know, or are feeling confused or doubtful, or simply having a hard time figuring out what you want to focus on, just relax. Go back to the previous steps and redo any or all of them as necessary to help clarify your priorities.

If necessary, stop at this point and take a day, or however long you need to clear your mind, and come back to it with a fresh perspective. On the other hand, don’t take too long, or make this too difficult. Deep down, you know what you want, even if you’re the type of person that has a million different hobbies and interests (like me.)

Okay, maybe your just coming back, or you’ve worked through to this point. Either way, it’s decision time. This is your “moment of truth.” Take a look at your “clusters” of priorities and see what stands out to you, what seems like it translates to an obvious theme or image that you would love to develop into your boutique.

Maybe it is casual clothing for young people, or high fashion for 40-somethings, or whatever. Don’t kill yourself analyzing it, just discover what your boutique will be, identify it, and then take out a fresh piece of paper, or start a new word document file, and write it down.

More specifically, you are going to write in no more than 3 sentences (one is better) what your boutique will be all about. Something like “To offer the healthiest, most exquisite bath, body, and beauty products from Italy.” Or “To provide unique, fashionable clothing for professional, upwardly mobile women.”

This can be called a “focus statement” or a “mission statement”. It’s not so important what you call it, but it is very important that you do these series of exercises, even if you modify the details or the order in which you do them. The point is, you are mentally focusing your efforts, defining your image, and creating a “snapshot” of what will ultimately be your business – so don’t cut corners here.

1.5 – Your Focus Statement

If you haven’t done so already, take this moment to write down your focus statement.

Congratulations! You just reached a major milestone in making your dream a reality. You took what once was only an idea, mixed up with lots of other ones, randomly swimming around in your head, and you brought it into a physical, structured existence on your page.

As silly and simple as that sounds, there is actually a profound and powerful concept working behind it. On a basic level, your dream has just taken its first step in the process of “materializing” and “manifesting” (i.e. moving from the world of abstract ideas, to the concrete, material world.)

(You may be very excited at hearing this, or you may have no idea what I am talking about. Either way, it’s okay, but trust me – this is more powerful than you may think.)

As you proceed through the steps involved in opening a boutique, your focus statement will effect many of your decisions, and it will play an important role in creating your business plan down the road.

Also, your focus statement will have the effect of tapping into your subconscious mind to work for you “behind the scenes”, helping to guide your efforts and lead you to the right resources as you progress.

If you got all the way here (i.e. you worked through the steps in this article) my recommendation is that you stop and come back to the material tomorrow. This will allow your subconscious mind to do its work. When you do come back, you will be refreshed and ready to start working on the naming your boutique and lots of other stuff. Again, congratulations!

Local Advertising’s Evolution and Why You Should Work With a Boutique Agency

Back in the day, the YellowPages was where it was at. If you could get noticed in the book, you were sure to get customers calling. When I was doing consulting, I spent a lot of time with the sales team at directory companies. I heard stories about how small business owners would line-up outside the YP office, waiting to get their ad in the book. Picture black Friday at a Walmart and that is what they claim it was like. I believe them too, a lot of these guys are driving BMW and Lexus’ around town as a result of the commissions they’ve made in that era. They’ve paid off houses and student loans from the run they had. From what I understand, working for a directory service like the YellowPages felt similar to what working at Facebook or Google feels like today. The business came to you and you were basically an order taker; and a well compensated one at that.

But then everything changed. It was gradual too, so it snuck-up on people and caught them off-guard. The Internet started to gain traction and small business marketing budgets starting to diversify and allocate a portion for online advertising opportunities. They still spent a good deal with “the book”, mostly because the web was still a nascent marketing channel and the opportunities were limited. So YP sales people kept taking orders and continued to make money; granted a little less but still a good income. So, although everyone knew the web was gaining a little, they remained calm. Directories rolled out a few new features to help YP ads stand out. They released a website to increase advertising opportunities and tried to evolve. They just did it so slowly.

Eventually, small business owners started getting calls from SEO companies and PPC experts. They learned about new technology and advertising platforms. They learned how to optimize a website. Long story short, they learned new techniques for marketing online and started to invest more into it. Unfortunately, many of these so-called SEO and PPC experts were simply wannabe entrepreneurs that wanted to capitalize on the opportunity. They all had a great pitch but very few of them could back it up. So they took the SMB’s money and did their best. Sometimes with less than spectacular results.

Despite all of the noise and fakes that were popping up there were some legit companies that knew what they were doing. Many of them were local agencies that had morphed into digital marketing firms, leveraging real advertising and brand capabilities to deliver digital marketing solutions. This was a great era for the local small business because they had access to a real agency and the talent and big picture thinking that comes with that; and since most agencies were just getting their own feet with digital, they were pricing themselves in an affordable way and giving the SMB a great value for the money spent. But again things transitioned and bigger brands came knocking. The traditional clients that the agencies worked with starting needing more and more digital work done. The demand made it difficult for agencies to manage both small and large projects and a decision was made to focus on the big billers. So a lot of agencies abandoned main street and went back to focusing on larger clients and projects.

The next era of evolution was the era where smaller agencies start popping everywhere. Entrepreneurs who worked at the large agencies recognized an opportunity to start a boutique agency that would serve the SMB market. They priced themselves a little lower, applied the same agency thinking and process and started to get to work. This was also the era when web services went big-box and companies like GoDaddy, Web.com and SitePoint started to grow. They got into the web design business, SEO game and provided marketing solutions of all kinds to small business owners. These options continued to grow and grow. Soon, we had too many and that is kind of where we are today. With all of the choices, a lot of small business owners feel paralyzed.

I completely understand too. It seems like everyone wants the SMB dollar but few are providing any real value. You’ve got your freelancers, boutique agencies, big-box web companies, YP sales rep and a bunch of local experts that all claim to increase your bottom line. But who do you trust? I can’t say I have the answer either. I’ve seen situations where a big-box is the right choice; then I’ve seen situations where the freelancer works great. For some, working with a smaller, boutique agency is the way to go. At the end of the day though I still think it comes down to a gut-check.

Because the tactics and techniques that all of these companies will use to market an SMB are fairly universal, we can assume that they won’t change much. What will change is the approach to getting them done. Most companies will provide all the essential tactics to get a campaign going, linkbuilding, web design, SEO, social etc… all fairly ubiquitous in terms of use. But the way they go about servicing and reporting results is where the rubber meets the road.

Service is the differentiator in a digital world. It’s also where a lot of big-box companies drop the ball. Unfortunately, freelancers seem to struggle with this too. In my experience it is the boutique local agency that does the best job. The team of 5-10 smart minds that left the big corporate marketing world to start a small business for themselves. These are the people that know what you are going through as an SMB. These are the people with real skin in the game. They have a reputation to maintain and a business to grow and that can’t happen without them growing yours. So, my advice is to steer clear of the freelancers, big-box service companies and inflated agencies. Find a local firm that you can meet in person and get to know.

Build a Boutique Ad Agency In Your Spare Room: Here’s How

A boutique advertising agency is small but nimble, offering a variety of services to an array of clients, each of whom wants something different. To become a successful service provider, working out of a spare bedroom, takes hard work, innovative, on-going promotion, and quality word of mouth (WOM).

So, if you’re thinking of building a boutique agency, here are some tips to get you off on the right foot. (Oh, and these service providers earn a nice living. At least the good ones do.)

1. Think locally. Act globally. First,farm the local business community for clients. Every small business has a website. Every one of them advertises somehow.

But don’t limit yourself to the locals. Build an attractive website that will be seen by the world. You’ll be amazed that folks from Malaysia call and want some consultation on introducing a new product to the U.S. market and could you advise them.

Sure, why not?

2. Track local media. Don’t get hung up on localization, but a boutique ad agency has a built-in trust factor with local businesses, so that neighborly trust enables you to skip the trust-building phase and get down to business because both you and the client know “ol’ Sam.”

3. Optimize your website for both global and local search. Add your town, state and zip code to “advertising agency Trotwood Ohio.” More and more search engine users are savvy to local search and prefer to work with someone close by.

4. Provide a menu of service offerings. Most clients don’t want to go from here to there. They want a project manager who can take care of the editorial development, the graphic design, the upcoming company picnic. The more services you provide, the more services you sell.

Consider the following:

search engine optimization
content development including blogging and optimized site text
site design
print ad design
graphic arts
multi-media including DVD products
event planning
on- and off-site marketing

You get the idea. It doesn’t take a lot of time, and it doesn’t cost a dime, to call the local Ramada to get a conference room rate for your event planning file, or a rate card from the local press. Valuable information that you can collect during “down” time.

5. Join the Chamber of Commerce. Total no-brainer. Once a month the CoC gets together for a networking lunch. Bring business cards and strike up friendships. Don’t sell. That happens organically as more and more members know who you are and what you do.

6. Join the Better Business Bureau. A trust builder. And it goes without saying, keep your record spotless. People do check with the local BBB and if you have a couple of outstanding complaints, you ain’t gonna land the gig.

7. Advertise your own services, as in. follow your own advice. You should have a small print ad running daily or weekly in the local newspaper. First, you want that name recognition and second, buying ad space in bulk saves you beaucoups bucks.

8. Plan meetings to take place in public places. The last thing you want is your deep-pockets client tripping over a sippy cup on the way to your spare room office. Talk about amateur night, even if you are the best there ever was.

Find the right location for client meetings (their offices) or a local eatery, and always pick up the tab.

9. Build authority and expertise. Enter industry competitions and tout your wins and quietly forget your failures. “Gold Medal Winner, National Design Show” listed on the stationery builds credibility. And of course, such an award is worthy of a press release to the local paper. Get that free ink.

10. Perception is reality. High-end stationery, a professionally designed website, a pricy suit – all say success, and that you “get it.” Create a professional persona and you are a professional, and the owner of a boutique marketing agency.

If you have a computer, up-to-date software, good management skills, and know a graphic artist, a good copywriter, a video editor – you can build a boutique ad agency using local businesses to form your client base.

Do it right, you earn a nice salary working for yourself. Do it wrong and your creative marketing strategies never get heard. It’s a low-cost, low-risk start-up opportunity for entrepreneurs with creative vision.