Search Engine Optimization – How to rank higher on search engine pages

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local seo socratic sbc

 

SEO or Search Engine Optimization refers to optimizing ones website to rank highly on search engines, for users to easily find a certain business. Local SEO is for optimizing local business for local searches. For example if you focus on South Beach Miami means that whenever a user search for particular business in South Beach Miami, your business’ website will be on the top page of search engines pages.

 

Content marketing and Search engine optimization

Content marketing on the other hand, is one of the most essential part of Search Engine Optimization or SEO, it is essential to create valuable content that will lead back to your website and business niche, content that is designed and attract users ultimately generate leads and sales.

Blogging is important

Keeping a blog is very important for business to be found and for users to engage. Most businesses have a strong online presence on a regular or even daily basis. Search engines identify unique and valuable contents and blog is the weapon to get seen online and even be a trend on social media. Keeping a blog and regularly update the contents will optimize your website for search engines.

Create a quality video and image

Content is not just words, instead content should be about everything that is written and posted or even displayed about a business or website. Image and videos are also an important part of content but most businesses tend to forget about this or at least prioritize it. However with the new technology, video and image tends to attract more readers and a larger audience along with a great title tag, Meta tags and description. Remember great keywords and local focus, both can improve search engine rankings.

Local business needs to cultivate online reviews

If you want to focus on attracting local clients, you need to focus on cultivating online (local) reviews. You can either hire SEO companies to handle your submission on local listings sites such as Yelp, Google Local, Yahoo Local and many more. You can add your business to these sites and ask your current clients to add a review on your business listing. The reviews you garner, the higher your business will rank when users search for your products and services in your area.

Social media is a must

When a business have a blog with great and valuable contents, the greatest way to promote your content is through social media sites, if your business is not on social media or active on social media sites, you are already losing 70 % of your potential customers to your competitors. Social media is a great tool to connect and engage with your potential clients or social media can be the key to building a brand and enhancing your local SEO effort.

According to Forbes magazine published in January 2015 written by Jason Demens, the biggest problem with local SEO efforts is inconsistency. This article is not referring to inconsistency of posting schedule or branding, rather the inconsistency of your business down on terms of local SEO is inconsistency of your NAP, Name, Address, Phone. Search engines such as Google are very detailed and accurate with it comes to the business’ NAP to categorize business, in which helps the Search Engines find its similar products, services or business name is searched. When there is inconsistency in Business NAP, the ranking can dramatically decrease. 

 

Roderick Hunnicutt

Socratic SBC | Small Business Consulting

2 Wisconsin Circle Suite 700 Chevy Chase, MD 20815
Office: (410) 344-7874
Fax: (202) 318-0689
rwhunni@socraticsbc.com
www.socraticsbc.com

Business growth – The Impact of communication

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Customer satisfaction is essential to maintaining the revenue and growth of a business, when a company has a poor customer communication methods, the company can be missing out on consumer feedback. The better the business owner and employees the importance of customer communication the more likely the company will able to assist the customers and repair the negative customer communication policies or practices.

Proactive customer communication

There are several stages to customer communication; those stages include initial purchase, retention and marketing existing clients. To get proactive communication in place that follows up after initial purchase to ensure customer satisfaction and to maintain contact with clients. Poor customer service after a purchase cannot lead to repeat purchase or recommendation.

Retention

Customer retention means that when customers call your company prompt and courteous service must be in place. Poor customer service and communication system where customers does allow to speak with a person will get frustrated and buy their products elsewhere.

Source of your revenue

Your customers are your source of revenue, if you do not ask your customers for opinion you cannot make your products better or get improvements or upgrades so you can you can increase sales. Poor communication does not allow the customers to input feedback.

Brand message of your company

In the mind of your customers, you get only to be one thing! That one matters the most in your company, that one thing is not found on your website, your online presence nor your employees, but your way on handling your customers questions and feedback. Your customers can help you with your business branding by spreading the good experience they have had with your company from products to customer service.

Rewarding your customers

Offering free goods, discounts and buying opportunities to regular customers shows that you value them and welcomes them. Giving out discounts on their next purchase is also a great way to make your customers come for more products. You can reward your customers in the most creative ways you can think of to make it more exciting for your customers.

 

Socratic SBC | Small Business Consulting

2 Wisconsin Circle Suite 700 Chevy Chase, MD 20815
Office: (410) 344-7874
Fax: (202) 318-0689
rwhunni@socraticsbc.com
www.socraticsbc.com

SEO: Every Small business should know

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Internet marketing including SEO is ways to attract people who are already looking for their products and services.  Internet marketing is for optimal exposure for brand awareness and this should be done creatively and thoroughly. Here are some SEO tips every small business should know.

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User experience

SEO is ultimately about providing the user with the friendliest and fastest and best experience for their customers. Your goal in SEO is to give your customers the best and optimal experience, because a happy customer is a returning customer.

Exposure for brand awareness

Internet marketing is about giving your clients what they are looking for, including SEO. You need to present your company on Search engines, so your potential clients can find you. You might have invested on lots of advertisements online and offline for you company to be visible to the public, however without a marketing plan your campaign would not succeed.

You must also first take a good look at your website if it is optimized, which will automatically increase visibility, credibility and usability all of which increases the traffic to your website. Every small business website should take the opportunity Google Analytics presents; it is a tool that can ultimately track valuable information about your visitors.

Find out which browsers they use, which keywords are being typed, their geographical locations etc. this information will help you discover your target market and determine strategies based on facts.

Strong identity requires strong icon

In additional to advertising what else can you do to build strong brand awareness? The following can lead to repeated exposure:

  1. Extensive distribution
  2. Brand related articles
  3. Product placements in all area of advertising both online and offline
  4. Direct Marketing
  5. Web presence ( especially on social media)
  6. Online and viral marketing online
  7. Business card distributing
  8. Brand related contests
  9. Customer referrals
  10. Word of mouth marketing

Brand awareness, SEO and social media

A while ago SEM and SEO strategies are enough to rank a website on the top of search engines, today this is no longer enough. The internet marketing is about integration, which involves SEO, social media marketing, content marketing and digital or media marketing. Exposure continues to come up in conversation because it is the goal of every business.

 

Social media strategy: Word of mouth worthy

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The best marketing for a brand is word of mouth marketing, once you have established your business online and have gotten a good reputation. You still need to go thoroughly with your posts, tweets and branding strategy. Word of mouth marketing can spread faster than any marketing techniques in social media. Which means that word of mouth marketing can either break or make your business?

What is word of mouth marketing

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Word of mouth marketing is using your happy customers to promote your business, the aim in word of mouth marketing is to provide customers with such amazing and life affirming products and services that they can’t help but share with their friends, family and co-workers. Imagine how it will boost your visibility is one client share your brand to their friends and their friends share it to their friends and so the cycle goes on. Word of mouth marketing can be found in:

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Online reviews
  • Blog posts
  • Brand mentions
  • Forums
  • Old school Chatter

Word of mouth marketing statistics

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These numbers are pretty solid case for word of mouth marketing and it’s kind of cornerstone of every marketing strategies out there.

  • 20 to 50% are results of word of mouth marketing
  • 92% of consumers trust recommendations from friends, family and co-workers
  • Only 10% of consumers trusts brands without reviews
  • 70% of consumers read reviews online
  • 80% of consumers are influenced by friends social share about a brand

5 steps to improve your word of mouth marketing

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Word of mouth marketing isn’t magic, begin your journey with these simple 5 steps to improve your word of mouth marketing.

  1. Give people reasons to brag about your service and friendly staff

Word of mouth is about customers promoting your business to their set of social network, which means that you need to give your customers something interesting to share, might it be an informative article that you write on your blog or simply a product that that have changed their lives. With this obviously your products needs to be strong, and it is important that your staff interacting with your customers and clients is on top-notch.

  1. Be unique

One way to generate word of mouth marketing is to be unique and different from your competitors, you can do this in such a number of ways, and here are some examples:

–          One of a kind product

–          Happy staff

–          Unique company culture

–          Creative marketing ideas

People appreciate what is out of ordinary, if you have a bizarre brand identity you need to be proud of it.

  1. Be an industry expert

It is important for people to trust is you first establish yourself as industry expert through articles, podcasts, webinars and video tutorials. Being an expert requires a lot of effort from you as the business owner.

  1. Create a good name for yourself and your brand

People appreciate a business that is honest and fair, grow your reputation by being respectful of your customers and treating them right.

  1. Be active and engage on social media

Your business, brand, products and services may be well known on social media, but what people really appreciate is having the owner of the company to be seen on social media as well. You can develop a community by:

–          Encourage dialogue

–          Host contents

–          Host webinars

–          Organize events offline and online

–          Loyalty programs

 

Socratic SBC | Small Business Consulting

2 Wisconsin Circle Suite 700 Chevy Chase, MD 20815
Office: (410) 344-7874
Fax: (202) 318-0689
rwhunni@socraticsbc.com

Be organized with your content marketing

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When you are planning your content marketing strategy, it is essential that you become organized with your marketing plan. Whether you have your content in house or outsourcing it, you need to create an organized plan including Keywords research, Meta tags and description and you need to include, how to’s, press release, comparison guide and other content marketing techniques to remain in the competitive ranking.

Content marketing deadlines and content marketing calendar

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Having a calendar that documents content is a great way to ensure timely content creation; this strategy is always overlooked by marketers. Content marketing is about deadline, because there are peak times where certain contents and topics should be published. Small Business owners say that content marketing’s biggest challenge is content creation is taking too much time. Putting together a calendar and setting on goals and deadlines could be the end of your content creation stress.

Content marketing and native advertising are 2 of the most demand in the marketing and advertising industry. Marketers agree that content to be really effective is to connect with consumer’s interest and this will drive business’s objectives such as brand awareness, favorability and visibility.

How to stay ahead of the curve

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You can create your own content by writing your contents yourself or assigning blog topics to one of your most trusted employee. There is also another option of hiring a ghost writer or if you are on a really tight budget you can you just keep your content in-house. Spend a few minutes a day to gather all your resources and find the newest and trendiest topic online. You can also use RSS feeds to gather content ideas or look at social media trending topics. This way you are always ahead of the curve, when you create in advance it allows you to miss a day or 2 if there is something else in your business that needs full attention.

Planning always gets you ahead of your schedule; making time to create daily content does not mean you just write about anything and everything. You need to focus on your niche and target audience, it only takes up 30 to 40 minutes a day to create a content if you have your content marketing plan organized.

Create value for your content

Quality over quantity also applies for content marketing, creating amazing contents for your website visitors to find valuable they will immediately appreciate your company but trust it as well and word of mouth marketing is the greatest marketing of all marketing campaign out there.

 

Guide to social media branding for small business

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Social media is no longer what it was a year ago; Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn were the top of our minds when we say social media. Then came Instagram, Google+, Pinterest and many other to keep your business socialize.

Strategic guide-social-media Social media marketing for Small business

With more social media to cater to different target clients and posting different things, you have to choose your social media carefully. On this blog you will find how to choose the right social media platform for your small business Which social media platform fits your business.

How to make these top social media work for your business

Facebook

Facts:

Facebook was founded in year 2004, today there are more than 802 million users daily, and approximately 82% of daily active users are outside Canada and US.

Small and large businesses are fighting their place on Facebook to get the target clients they need, with all the features’ that Facebook presents to businesses it is essential that you should also explore the opportunities you have on this social site.

Create a fan page that will serve as your customer service, where you can interact and answer inquiries from your clients. The best part of advertising on Facebook is that you can choose your budget rate to gain the visibility you need.

Facebook is ideally for B2C companies, Businesses offering deals, non profit sharing, photo sharing of your products and services.

 

Twitter

Facts: Founded in 2007 with approximately 255 million active users and 500 million tweets per day. 77% active users are from Outside US.

Twitter and Facebook is great rival, but with their collaboration feature of post sharing twitter is one of the most in demand social media site to have for businesses. Twitter is a great place where you can share events, short messages about your business, interact with relevant businesses and share your contents to drive traffic to your website or blog.

Ideally for : Sharing content, events, webinars, products and links. Suited for any type of businesses.

LinkedIn

Facts: Founded in 2003 with 300 million users over 200 countries territories and 67% of Linkedin users are located out United States. 300 million users are students or newly college graduates, Linkedin is the fastest growing network demographically.

LinkedIn are best for B2B businesses, employee recruitment and seeking for professionals.

LinkedIn is a site where you Business can add their skills, and complete description of themselves as a business owner and their network can add recommendation which is a great way to prove to your potential client you are reliable and trust worthy.

You can also grow your network through LinkedIn by joining communities or add contents.

Pinterest

Facts: Founded in 2003, today there are 70 million users and 80% of them are women.

Pinterest is ideally for businesses which h target clients are female, this network requires as well a woman to handle as men does not have the right patience to go over and over and start building boards and followers where most of the shared items are images of either products, ideas of DIY, recipes, fashion tips, make up tips and more.

Ideally for business to consumer reaching females from 25 above, Pinterest is highly visual on topics such as mentioned above.

Google +

Google + is founded in 2011,today Google+ is one of the most active social media on the internet where there are more than 540 million users most of them have a business or part of a business related community. Google+ is essential for your small business where you can collaborate your blog, website and Google profile.

Content marketing works well with Google+ as well, posting your content on Google+ will more likely increase your website traffic than other social media sites.

 

Construct your social media strategy based on your audience and the social media sites, here on this blog; How to build relationship with your customers. You will learn on how you can build relationship with your clients and new potential clients using social media.

 

 

Socratic SBC | Small Business Consulting

2 Wisconsin Circle Suite 700 Chevy Chase, MD 20815
Office: (410) 344-7874
Fax: (202) 318-0689
rwhunni@socraticsbc.com

Track your social media marketing

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We all love social media, its features and options to let us promote our brand and business in a fun and exciting way. The real challenge is to measure your success on Social media and how you can improve your social media marketing campaign. As much as you are having fun connecting with different people and trying to gain their trust to choose your products and services over your competitor, you still need to focus on your sole goal for your marketing campaign. One way to measure success on social media is metrics and ROI. Here are some few other things on how you can measure your success on your social media marketing campaign.

Social media is more than just strategy

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Social media marketing is more than just a marketing strategy to promote your business and brand; it is more of interactions, engagement and information sharing. Do not forget this is the main goal of social media marketing; a good marketing will create integrated tools to support your overall business goals.

In order to have a successful and effective plan for your social media marketing, there should be more than just one person to handle your social media campaign.

How to track your success on social media

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Some people call it metrics and others may call it measuring marketing efforts, whatever you call it, it is an important part of any type of marketing campaign. How do you start measuring your social media marketing?

  1. Goals – first of all you must understand your goal when running social media marketing, and how are these social media channels helping you grow your business.
  2. Increase visibility – Are you using your social media to gain more exposure? You can measure your exposure through mentions, hangouts discussion, tags etc. You want to make sure that you get positive feedbacks and impressions.
  3. Increase sales – Measure your sales through your social media marketing campaign.

Tools to track your social media marketing success

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There is lots of software to use when tracking your social media; most of these tools are expensive. If you want to track your success on social media manually here is the guide:

  1. Have a Google Ananlytics, log in to your google analytics every month and view your page views, Social vs. organic, your top content of the month, your top pages of the month, which social media channel has brought you most traffic for the month.
  2. Social site number – track down your social media sites, which of the social media has grown or lost fans, which posts or campaign has gain more attention than the other. Write down all these things so you later on can manage and rearrange your plan.
  3. Blog – track blog subscribers and email newsletter sign ups, this number are important and because this is where people are interested in have a deeper connection with you. This number is your big chance of converting into sales.

Conclusion

Social media is a powerful tool to use to attracting people into your business and improving your relationship with your current customers. The secret of social media is ENGAGEMENT, social media is not just another advertising board, If you approach social media this way success will rarely be yours.

Socratic SBC | Small Business Consulting

 

2 Wisconsin Circle Suite 700 Chevy Chase, MD 20815

Office: (410) 344-7874

Fax: (202) 318-0689

rwhunni@socraticsbc.com

How to improve our brand awareness through email marketing

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Any successful business has a great team of marketers behind them; they invest in such to get their business on top notch on the world of internet. It is the tough marketing efforts that make business successful brand awareness. The boost of brand awareness ultimately improves sales and profit level.  However lost of successful business still battling with email marketing, how they can initially catch their readers attention as a matter of fact according to campaignmonitor.com effective email marketing has returned $42 dollars to every dollar spent. So in the long run with the correct calculation that is a uge amount on your revenue in the long term.

 

sbc blog

How essential is email marketing?

Regardless the type of business you run email marketing is essential part of your brand awareness. Consumer would like to connect with you privately through email; consumers would like to have your personal advice regarding your products. Some buyers do not feel comfortable discussing such matter through social media so email marketing is the ultimate solution. According to studies people are checking their email more than twice during the day for product and services updates.

Understanding email marketing

Sending out promotional email can sometimes end up in Spam or junk folder, therefore it is essential to understand the links to use and the introduction as well as the subject line to use when sending out emails.

  1. Regular emails – If you send out emails regularly like for example daily emails to your existing and potential consumers will most likely they will mark your emails as spam. To reduce the risk of ending up in a junk or spam folder. You need to send out to them regularly BUT on a limited basis, let say monthly or twice a month.
  2. Links to use – Consumer wants to know what you are selling, not only that but they want to know more relevant topics from you. For this reason your email you should send out to your current and potential clients should include links to direct them to your product page or website.
  3. Offering discounts – There is no use of sending mass email to your all your potential clients, if the content is spammy or more likely too promotional. Instead through your newsletter, you can offer 25% DISCOUNT or buy and get 1 free promo
  4. The use of image in an email – Some businesses use embed image or large graphics through email, this can be very heavy to load when the receiver get the email and might just end up deleting the email before it finishes loading its image. So be careful in choosing your image.
  5. The right time to send emails – There isn’t really a right time to do that, with the different time zones your potential consumers might have, all you can do is hope that they will have the time to read and respond to your email. You can take a look at your social media reports and find categorize the number of visitors and your contacts as well you can send an automated email to 1 category for a certain of time and the second email would be for the second category etc.

Conclusion

Email marketing is one of the toughest marketing techniques out there, there are studies shown on how to attract your customers through email marketing and with a proper study and research you will in time learn to handle your email marketing strategies.

 

 

 

Socratic SBC | Small Business Consulting

2 Wisconsin Circle Suite 700 Chevy Chase, MD 20815
Office: (410) 929-6395
Fax: (202) 318-0689
rwhunni@socraticsbc.com

Why Content and social media marketing go hand in hand

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The virtual age for business taking give importance to true social media engagement by using credible contents. This step enables target audiences to be hooked with your post and make them feel your post is relevant to their lives. For instance, those who are fond of buying shoes and most likely they have a favorite store to do shopping for it. The place where they feel comfortable and well suits their needs. But despite buying the shoes there is something about the brand or its place why they frequently go there. Just as though, readers have websites bookmarked because they want to be updated in such blog site. This is why through the years, content marketing and strategies evolve and it became a social influencer. Let us get to know more details why content marketing go hand in hand with social media marketing.

 

Secures Online Presence

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Successful contents brought the crowd in to its base as they see such posts as worthy to read about. Online companies focus on its presence to either catch up with long term businesses or outperform them. Big social media accounts are your contents other spot to be seen by target clients. People nowadays want something that is fresh, with real kick and informative.

  • Providing strong media presence through content marketing enables your online business a talk about most especially if your readers are dying to know more about its offers.

 

Social Media Matters!

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Although most users are actively involve with socializing over social media accounts and not totally in to an important matter still it’s a crucial tool for online success. .For that alone old and new techniques are being used by social media influencers to help pull out large number of audience.

  • Write down in your marketing plan to who, where, when and how you can publicize your contents. This means to say that you need to undergo target client research from which you’d be sure as a marketer that you give your thoughts to the right persons.
  • Now decide where you should post the created content. Research on top visited blog or content sites and orient yourself on how things go with each site.
  • There is always a perfect timing to post and share your contents to improve online presence. Of course timings vary upon the place so go back to target client research and post on time when your target clients can view it.

 

Include Brand Awareness

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Lastly, remember that your blacks must be related to your offers – both products and services. Content marketing is valuable once it is done according to research-focused approach. You aim to educate your readers and at the same time linger their interest. Visual representations can add colors, value and excitement towards your readers.

 

 

Socratic SBC | Small Business Consulting

2 Wisconsin Circle Suite 700 Chevy Chase, MD 20815
Office: (410) 929-6395
Fax: (202) 318-0689
rwhunni@socraticsbc.com

The Exciting ways to take Small Business Achievements

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Small business nowadays are made big worldwide these days simply because everyone seems to be interested to start one right away. In fact, in progressive countries large percentage of documented companies are actually small businesses. This is because they see this as a profitable option but does not require huge sum for starting up. Also, internet accessibility opens new ideas for those who want to become an entrepreneur. Innovative ideas that certainly the market would love to try out. For this alone people are excited as ever to take small business and expect great achievements in to it.

Why planning is still Important

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In the age of technology some starters disregard the idea for business plan creation. They thought that having to read so many write ups before the actual implementation of small business tasks are enough to achieve all things.

  • Business is an engine that drives record to an economy therefore for every successful venture comes a stronger economy to be offered. The economy rises and doors of opportunities open as well so everything should jive accordingly.
  • In your business plan create divisions for your business goals, implementations, strategic marketing, alternatives, feedback and reports. These elements will help build a manageable small business taking making it an achievement for days to come.

 

Find Inspiration and let this be your Motivation

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Small business achievements do not solely happen simply because of marketing efforts. As an owner, you have to be consistently motivated so that you wouldn’t turn on the wrong track. This means to say that you have to find your own pulse and so as inspiration. Dreams are achievable but never stop dreaming.

  • Inspirations come in many forms like built similar businesses that are successful and why they kept good reputation over time. Also, aiming for expansion is a credible inspiration wherein you voice out your company’s means to those who might see it as an opportunity. Faster small business achievements can happen if others would help out like going over possible franchising and new branch openings.

 

Current and future Problem Solving

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Now this phase must be prepared before the onset of the problem. It is identifiable according to your business type and again research tools will help you prepare for this.

  • As part of legal establishment, complying for documents and permits for strong small business foundation is an achievement you shouldn’t miss. This step does not aim to owe you a lot but to get things done right and on time. Furthermore, it will protect your business like trademark advantage and other commercial rights.

Providing alternatives is the last thing to do wherein you presume what crises your small business could encounter. Alternatives are readily available in case some points in your business plan fail.

 

 
Socratic SBC | Small Business Consulting

2 Wisconsin Circle Suite 700 Chevy Chase, MD 20815
Office: (410) 929-6395
Fax: (202) 318-0689
rwhunni@socraticsbc.com