Posted on November 2nd, 2012 by Editor
Promotional items straddle the gap between marketing concepts and advertising strategies, effortlessly. If you want to grow your business quickly and efficiently, but you feel hindered by a small operating budget for marketing, promotional items are the way to go. To make yourself and your company as successful as possible, you have to retain constant visibility. Your customers, both potential and existing, must remember you effortlessly. They mustn’t have to think too hard when they have a need or want for the product or service you offer. It’s about literally branding your business into their consciousness. When you meld everyday items, or useful tools, with your company’s name, logo, or slogan, you’re securing your go-to-itivness with your clients. They won’t have to wonder how and where to get the things they need. As far as cost is concerned, promotional items are still the number one way of achieving all of this with a heightened sense of longevity. It should be noted however, that if you want the best out of the promotional items you give to your clients, you have to make sure that the item matches the utilitarian need of said client. This means that you can’t just thrust things onto them; you have to know them, their likes and dislikes and absorb the details of their accounts in a personal way. It’s just like your personal gift giving process. You don’t buy someone a gift, without thinking. You want them to use the gift, love the gift and think of you fondly when they reach for it. Here are a couple new and improved promotional ideas to pass on to your customers this year:
- The ever popular coffee mug is still a welcomed favorite by clients everywhere. With an excellent opportunity for branding your company on the surface, clients love receiving these because they are in constant use. Even for those who are not coffee drinkers, they enjoy the receptacle in their own ways. Additionally, we’ve seen people put little potted plants into coffee mugs and give them to their clients – how original? Cheap promotional mugs are not that hard to find and won’t cost you that much to buy, especially when done in bulk orders.
- Branded flash drives or memory sticks are all the rave. Even though many people have their own external hard drives, they don’t want to lend them out. And who burns cds anymore for on time use? Promotional flash drives with accompanying lanyards are very popular and very poignantly useful. When clients wear them, use them and share them, you are getting promotion and visibility, in triplicate.
These are just two of the more modern and revitalized promotional items that people are using in an effort to brand themselves. A quick Google search will produce a zillion other ideas for you to choose from. Go with what suits your clients and your budget and make sure that quality is not skimped on at all. Your clients will love your thoughtfulness and your company will benefit.
Posted in the category: Strategy
Posted on October 26th, 2012 by Editor
For all intents and purposes, your company was poised to take the lead this year. You worked with every department, and critiqued and tweaked every plan. You knew intimately at the beginning of this year, exactly where you wanted to be. No major hiccups were reported. You were ready to rake the profits in and share the wealth with your hard-working teams. Except, something is wrong. You’re in Q4 and there’s nothing to rake! In fact, in some cases, you may even have been operating in deficit. What went wrong? Why aren’t your profits where your projected them to be? We’re pretty sure a thorough analysis will point to one particular department, and you’re probably going to be upset to admit it…That’s right; Sales. Your supposedly “stellar” sales team did not perform well at all this year, and now you’re left with no profits to share and a whole lot of “Why?” The biggest misconception when it comes to sales, is that you assume because someone has a good record with a previous company or industry, that they will automatically perform in yours. Many times business owners thrust their hired sales personnel into the fray and just expect them to produce sales from thin air. This is a fallacy, and probably one of the worst things you can do to your sales team. No amount of previous sales success can replace adequate Sales Training. You need to make sure of two key things before you start hefting expectations on your sales team:
1. They must understand every nuance of your specific company and industry.
2. They must be exposed to fresh sales training in order to implement successful sales methodologies.
We often impose lofty expectations on our sales teams and forget that if we want them to be powerful, we must first empower them. Being a savvy seller in one company or industry does not automatically equate a propensity for success in yours. With the right amount of high quality training, you will give your team the opportunity to meet and supersede your expectations. Here are a few things you and your sales team can look forward to from tailored sales training:
a) A good sales training program will not just reiterate the obvious. It will leave your team feeling confident, and will impart modern techniques that they can apply to their jobs every day. They will realize an increase in their skill set, and will be able to perform with cutting-edge accuracy.
b) Sales training will stimulate the creation and development of new ideas that can increase your company’s profitability. Think of it as a brain-storming session where your team is in an environment that helps them view your company and industry with outside-of-the-box perspective.
c) Employees that feel like their company invests in them, will in turn invest their loyalty to the company. Sales teams are notorious for having high turnovers and once people leave, you lose sales and the opportunity to further your business. Sales training makes employees feel like they are a part of something stable, and it makes them want to contribute positively.
Take these reasons to heart, and invest in sales training for your team today. If you want to see better profit margins, invest in your sales personnel now!
Posted in the category: Strategy
Posted on October 4th, 2012 by Editor
If you are one of the thousands of recently opened small business owners in the world today, then the information in this article speaks directly to you and you should probably bookmark it now. If you feel we’re addressing you with a sense of urgency, don’t be mistaken; we are! Small businesses today are poised to be more successful than ever but many of them are withering away quickly from preventable malpractices. While good intentions are noble, in the business of small business, actions need to succeed intent. There is a small but sustainable window of opportunity for you as a small business owner to be a leader in your industry and corner your market but you have to be willing not only to invest the time and work involved but you have to be receptive to some ideas that may seem a little out-of-the-box.
As far as marketing is concerned, the way things are done these days differ exponentially to what we’re accustomed to but we have to be amenable to the changes and developments in the industry is we want to compete. The small businesses of today no longer operate in the same sphere as their predecessors and one of the main catalysts for this change is the internet. The internet has become an entire other universe where people buy and sell in ways unheard of and unimagined before now. To give you an idea of the scope and grandeur of e-commerce, you could very well be living in Canada sitting snuggly in your bed, updating your website, communicating with a web designer from Delhi, while organizing to ship a product to a customer in France. The connectivity and the vast opportunity to realize sales globally are downright astounding. If you want to be a part of this success, try applying some of the advice we’ll share with you now:
Email marketing saves the day!
We all use email to send and source information and to keep in touch with friends, family and associates but are we truly utilizing its potential when it comes to marketing our businesses? Email marketing is not only effective; it is easy and very affordable in comparison to other marketing strategies that you may have to outsource. By directly messaging your existing and potential customers with content that is personalized and dynamic, you are creating a relationship that will translate into sales. Having a website is not enough to succeed in today’s world – you have to develop a longstanding rapport with your customers on an individual level and email marketing is one of the most efficient ways to do this. Why not try iContact.com and see what they can do for you?
Sometimes you have to give a little…
Sales now and in the future depend largely on the loyalty of your existing customers. While it is always exciting when new customers come into the fold, the bulk of profits are the result of your existing customers returning over and over again. That level of loyalty should not go unrewarded. If you want people to stay with you, give them a reason to. Offer discounts on birthdays or give incentives when they encourage and successfully get other people to purchase from you. Promotions and rewards are a very powerful form of marketing!
Business is exciting and small business, even more so because of the level of control and hands-on work you get to do to see your business grow. Sustain that growth by applying these and other essentials today!
Posted in the category: Strategy
While the world seems to spin without any help, the human race still requires a little push to get things going. The business of business has typically been reserved for a select interested few, but with economies that have become instable, more people who were formerly disinterested are now entering into starting businesses of their own. What does it take to be successful? Well, traditionally it was thought that you needed formal education and credentials to even consider starting your own business and while accreditation helps, it is no long necessary per se. Because of things like the internet people are now privy to information that helps them start businesses on their own. There are a wealth of free resources online as well government resources that can help you start your own business. You may not be able to leave your regular 9 to 5 job but you may be interested in starting a side job as a means by which you can supplement your current income. Be it full time or part time, your own business requires a little bit of savvy. Keeping records of everything is important. If you’re not sure how to organize business documents there are software programs that will teach how to do so effectively. Whether or not your business is online, nothing will bring you visibility like creating a website. You can try to do this one your own as there are many free tools online that can help but if you want to go the full professional route, hire someone to build your site for you. Here are a couple of fairly new businesses that have taken off. Use them as inspiration to start your own!
1. Skilled labor crews:
When it comes to the global manual labor force, contactors will tell you that they are having a hard time finding and keeping labourers that are skilled and dedicated to the job at hand. The business opportunity lies in sourcing labourers who are willing to commit to being part of a crew. Called one-stoppers, these crews now comprise plumbers, electricians, roofers, tilers and landscapers just to name a few. When these crews work with companies like www.usstoragesearch.com to clear up home that require renovation or even homes that need to be built from scratch, one-stopper crews are gaining big popularity. If this is something you may be interested in decide what side of the field you want to partake in. You can source crew members yourself via the internet or local newspaper or if you want to be part of the crew yourself, find out where you can get accredited for your particular skill.
While freelancing is not a new concept, the business of freelancing has certainly become the way of getting business done today. Freelancers can work from just about anywhere and are usually less expensive to hire than permanent employees. Some people live off the income they make from multiple projects or they just take side projects to help bolster savings. Use the internet to find groups that will help you network in the freelancing field. From accounting to administration to graphic arts, freelancing provides opportunities for everyone.
Posted in the category: Strategy
Posted on August 30th, 2012 by Editor
The ever growing popularity of the internet is evident in the way in which the working world is evolving before our very eyes. In this day and age is it not impossible to meet people who no longer need to leave their homes to go to work – they simply telecommute or work from the internet. In the past those who had work-from-home jobs seemed limited to tech support positions, call center posts and other jobs that may have dabbled on the seedy side. Companies however are seeing the multiple mutual benefits of allowing their employees to work from home.
For the company, they are able to save money on overhead like renting a physical workspace and for the employees, they are able to spend more time with their families and avoid lengthy and frustrating commutes. Working from home via the internet is not limited to an industry in particular any more and it has brought a wealth of success to those who currently engage in the movement. There has been something of a ripple effect however in terms of people spending this amount of time online as they are also embracing non-work related activities. Due to things like social networking, people who spend time online for work are also developing a desire to share their lives online as well. Social networking online allows people the ability to do things like set up profiles that share their school and work history, thoughts and opinions, likes and dislikes as well as photos and videos of themselves as well. We see this on facebook everyday and micro blogging site like Twitter which are less graphic heavy and focused on short, to-the-point text.
Being online is now like a comfortable room where people can relax, mingle and share life experiences from the comfort of their home. Beyond the pre-fabricated forums like facebook and Twitter, online users are also developing a desire to build their web spaces from the ground up either through the establishment of personal blogs or personal websites. In fact, most professionals are encouraged to set up their own sites because it allows clients and acquaintances to be a part of their lives and have a deepened human connection. This translates to good business. Your online reputation will permeate your personal and professional reputation and will help you secure the future of your career. If you’re not sure where to start or how to develop your online presences, there are many sites that give you information that is tailored to what you’re trying to achieve. Do you want to be an arm of your current company or do you want to have a freelance capacity on the side to drive interest to yourself and the services you may be able to provide? The internet provides means by which you can achieve either or both if you so desire. It isn’t expensive or difficult, but will require a bit of research to get you going. Whatever you decide, have fun and get out there!
Posted in the category: Strategy