Have you ever bought something on the recommendation of another? This word-of-mouth technique works online as well. Here, it is called viral marketing. Get your own viral campaigns moving by offering free reports.

The reports we are talking about are special reports. They are usually around five to ten pages in length. In them, readers will find a wealth of information on a topic of interest. For you, the topic has something to do with your business niche.

Viral advertising only works when the product that you offer has mass appeal. This means that people will want to share it with others once they see it. It can be a unique twist on an old subject, something funny or something interactive. With reports, they can present a new twist, make someone laugh and provoke thoughtful discussion.

Hey, where can you find a report like that? You are going to write it. You don’t have to be a great writer to produce a free report worth reading. The best tool that you have is the fact that you know a lot about your niche. Your business is your passion and whatever you write needs to convey that passion. The most interesting reports are those that offer something that the reader doesn’t already know or something that they need.

What do you want to accomplish with the free report? It can be a list of potential clients, a bigger sale or even a sign up for something else free like a trial membership or trying out a new product. Your answer to this question leads to your landing page. This is where you advertise your free report and give reasons why the reader needs to opt-in to receive it.

Your free report will touch off a viral storm but you need to let people know about it. It’s like using promotion to help you interest people in a product that will further promote your website. It sounds complicated but actually isn’t at all.

Are you familiar with article marketing? That’s when you write articles about your niche and submit them to article directories. At the end, you’ll include a link in our bio box that leads to your website business. With the free reports, you’ll write articles about the same subject as the report and link to the landing page so readers who like your article and find the free report.

How about your existing customers? They have already bought products from you and know how great you are. Send them an email with the link to your landing page. Do the same for your friends, associates and, if you have an affiliate program, your affiliates.

People like to get free items, but they also want them to be worth their time. Use interesting free reports to jumpstart a viral marketing campaign and drive traffic to your site.

 

The experts all insist that you write a business plan when you are starting out, one that defines the goals of your company and discusses the step by steps that will be taken to ensure its success. However, the business plan can also be used to reorganize an established business as well. If your company has started to falter, your last meeting erupted in tears and shouting or you have started to see a huge decline in productivity it is time to grab the business plan and get things back in order.

Reduce, Reuse and Recycle
 
The old environmental adage can be applied to business organization as well.
  • Reduce: get rid of departments that you do not need or can outsource to cheaper sources.
  • Reuse: allow the employees that remain onsite to fulfill two or more tasks as long as they are still accomplishing both well.
  • Recycle: make sure that all employee concerns are being taken care of but that there is running dialogue between each department to address these concerns. For instance: a problem in the HR department that could become a problem for other departments should be mentioned in a meeting of department heads so that everyone is aware and knows how it was handled in the past and how well it worked.

Streamlining the Work Force
 
While working on your new and improved business plan, it is vitally important to consider where you can streamline operations by using outsourcing. For instance, you can move all of your customer service positions to virtual networks and telecommuting employees to save a bundle in overhead costs. Most people are thrilled to be offered the chance to work from home because it is cheaper in a number of ways. Not only will they stop having to pay for the commute everyday but they typically will not have child care costs, sick days and other expenses to deal with.

Decide what is Important
 
During your planning, you should write the names of each of the existing departments on a sheet of paper. Starting with the one that is most important to your company’s success, number them. Start looking at the bottom five and decide if you truly need to have them at all. Look at how many people are in each department. If the last in importance has the most employees, you really need a restructuring. If there are only one or two people in each of these five departments look at how closely related their job duties are and evaluate whether you can combine them in one department or if all of these employees are still necessary.

Redefine Your Goals
 
In your original business plan, you wrote your goals. Did you meet them? If you did not, were you far off? Do you understand or know why you did not meet these goals? Restate your goals, making new ones in your new business plan. This time you will have a better sense of what works and what does not and you should not only meet the goals that you set for yourself but exceed them.