- Guerrilla Marketing Is a Top Technique for Small Business Success
I think we’re all familiar with visions of tradeshows gone wild, complete with their freak show of bikini-clad babes and indoor carnivals that seem to scare people as much as enthrall them. But the truth of the matter is that exhibits done right can be incredibly effective for those whose marketing budgets are stressed.
The truth is that freak show appearances at these events are really just for gawkers, but the real business is done by those who move out from behind the exhibit table and actually interact with people who pause long enough to look over samples or sales copy. Be genuine with the people who cross your path at these shows. Candidly discuss your plans for customer service and the future and explain earnestly what you can do for them or their business.
Using these strategies will leave an impression on business people who are used to being sold and sold hard, and it’s a perfect opportunity to use some memento of the occasion that they can take with them to plant the seeds of future contact. We started off using very inexpensive items like keychains and ink pens, but the truth is most of our feedback indicated that these types of knickknacks go to prospects children or into the first trashcan on the way out of the show.
And even though our budget was anything but big, we began to invest in logo based giveaways like embroidered hats, stitched bags and the like. Assuming that your logo is attractive, and it you buy these products made with decent materials, you win on two fronts. First of all, your prospect will actually enjoy wearing or using their gift, but perhaps even more importantly, they will be flashing your brand far and wide. Embroidered hats have been particularly effective in this regard, as we have had reports of them showing up on everything from golf course to ball games in the greater metropolitan area.
So the upshot of all this is to always be closing at these events, but do it with a strategic plan in place for follow-up. The shock and awe effects of your competitors at these tradeshows are far less effective than legitimate business discussion and connection. Press your business card into people’s hands the old-fashioned way. Pass out hats or umbrellas at the end of legitimate business conversations, and watch your revenues ramp up.
- Lessons in Business Startup: Flourishing in Floral
Opening a flower shop, like any new business, requires lots of hard work, love, and dedication. And some good information. But flower delivery in Greenville SC IS an excellent business model.
What do you wish you knew when you decided to open a flower shop? Here are some things we have learned. Let us know your tips also!
- Online reputation is critical – Stay on top of Yelp, Google Places, and other review websites. Customers are turning to online outlets to express their praise / frustration – stay in control.
- Low cost/No cost marketing – if often the best – community activity gets free marketing.
- Email marketing – send out coupons and discounts at least every month. Make sure your florist website supports this.
Florist Wire Services
- Avoid Wire Service Lock-In – Don’t get stuck with long-term commitments for florist POS and florist websites. Flexibility is key for any small business.
- Wire Services Ads – your money is going to fund ads running against your business in your local area.
- Statements – Review you statements with an accountant or bookkeeper to see if you’re actually making money.
- Codified Products / Containers – Know your options. Sometimes the minimum purchase of these expensive containers far outweigh the earning potential. Many florists team up to split a box or you can choose to not buy the codified container and instead purchase something similar from your trusted vendor. In that case you can still fill wire-in orders that allow for a keepsake substitution without breaking the bank.
Florist Credit Card Processing
- Big Costs – Credit card processing is an unexciting but critical part of your business. You can save hundreds of dollars a year by choosing the right merchant account. Compare processors.
- Statements – Compare your statements to be sure you’re getting a good deal.
- Contracts – Contracts can be okay, but avoid early termination fees and similar lock-ins.
- Floral POS pays for itself – Good floral software increases productivity and has built-in marketing – you will save on time, labor and get more orders.
- Independent solutions – think independent for your floral software – you will get lower prices and more flexibility.
- Florist websites – Make sure your website looks unique – it’s a critical part of your brand.
Flower Shop Operations
- Delivery Confirmations – are practically expected by customers these days as a part of basic customer service.
- Check your work – Have a checker on all designs that leave the store.
- Handling complaints – create an action plan for your staff so everyone feels empowered to help that occasional sour customer with a smile and grace.
Holidays (Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day)
- Record keeping – it’s essential to predict future years – keep notes on sales, prices, weather.
- Planning – Make a game plan weeks before any holiday for staffing, buying, and marketing.
- Be aware of your competition – See what the wire services and other florists in your area are offering and offer up something unique and/or comparable.
- Keep buckets clean – change water and recut any flowers that haven’t sold within 3 days of arriving.
- Do not over staff – use part timers for flexibility.
- Staff smart – Experienced designers will require a higher wage than a General Shop worker. Schedule designers enough hours to fill orders and create some designs for the display case then let the general help take it from there.
Working with Vendors
- Share information – don’t be afraid to ask other florists who they get their supplies from.
- Check invoices – to be sure you are paying a reasonable price for your supplies and check each delivery to be sure you have received everything you paid for. Mistakes happen!
- Know what you are paying – and what you need to charge with your mark-up . Be sure your staff knows this too!
- Communication – with vendors is key. Let them know when you receive unsatisfactory product or when they deliver in a timely manner. These relationships will help you stand out against other shops.
- Florist Advice – Lean on other florists for advice with free Facebook florist communities. Some are invite-only, so be in touch with other florists to find the most popular communities.
- When the Package Can’t Wait
A quick delivery. It’s one of the first things that anybody thinks about before placing an order for a product or service online. Or, by phone… or anywhere else that an order might be placed.
Whether you’re a private party, or a representative of a multinational firm, you want your orders to be delivered promptly. There are a lot of parcel delivery services out there, but only one parcel delivery service that is trusted by more businesses across the United Kingdom than any other. That courier is Supersonic Sameday UK; if you haven’t heard that name before, then you really should be paying more attention.
- Daily Delivery, Even on a Sunday: Supersonic Sameday UK delivers packages any day of the week; not even Sundays are an issue to them. Their premium service is available 24/7, 365 days out of the year.
- An Unparalleled Network: With a network of qualified drivers all over the United Kingdom, Supersonic is able to offer their 24-hour courier services across the country.
Supersonic Sameday UK is the go-to trusted courier service for more than two hundred businesses across the United Kingdom. They serve organizations of all shapes and sizes, so it’s only fitting to emphasize that they take the same approach to their services – whatever your package transportation needs, Supersonic will deliver the goods on time. Since hanging up their shingle in 2005, Supersonic has built up a solid reputation for reliability, punctuality, and quality service; your goods are in good hands.
- A Prestigious Client List: Supersonic Sameday UK has worked with companies of all sizes across the UK. Their current and former client list includes Virgin Mobile, Second Nature Ltd., and Country Inns. Their website includes dozens of testimonials listing accounts made directly by satisfied clients, relating to the quality of Supersonic’s services.
Supersonic has professional drivers all across the country, with vehicles fueled and ready to depart. Their parcel delivery service is fully licensed and insured, and they take advantage of the latest in transportation and security technology to ensure that your packages arrive at their destinations on time. It doesn’t matter where you’re sending a parcel from, or where it needs to go. This top-notch firm will ensure that it reaches its intended destination intact, undamaged, and as quickly as any transit service could possibly get it there.
The next time you need a package shipped overnight, to any destination in the country, in 24 hours or less, consider Supersonic Sameday UK for the highest-rated and most professionally oriented courier services in the United Kingdom.
- Urgent Care is a Fast Growing Health Care Segment
Stemming from long years of having people wait in emergency rooms for non-urgent, yet much-needed medical assistance, this type of service has come to stay. Immediate care centers have grown and developed in these past years more than any other segment in the world of health services. However, the reasons behind this growth are much more complex than the simple “sick-of-waiting-card”. There has been a general decadence in the quality of health services that has affected every area. Traditionally, people would go to their family doctors in order to get their annual check-ups or other types of physical exams. In recent times though, the appointment issue has become even worse than ER waiting times.
Urgent Care: A practical Alternative
This trend is not likely to be reversed any time soon. For one thing, first-class health care providers can be found in these centers without having to schedule appointments weeks in advance. Moreover, many people are turning to these centers whenever they have to take up a physical exam of any kind (school, work or sport). Last but not least, extended hours and unusual timetables make these places particularly useful to those who work office hours and are unable to schedule appointments then. After all, only 29% of primary care doctors offer after-hour health coverage. Imagine getting your annual flu shot on a Friday evening or getting your pre- occupational physical exam on a Sunday morning? All of this is possible thanks to time flexibility available in urgent care centers. If you consider that attention time in these centers is a rough 30 minutes per/patient, you may feel tempted not to go into ER ever again in your life.
A Question of Trust
Many patients may appear reluctant at first. Nonetheless, they eventually fall for what is evident: most urgent care centers resort to highly-qualified, well-trained health professionals that include specialists in several areas. This makes people feel both confident and comfortable about the attention they are getting. Apart from basic medical attention, urgent care centers offer specialized services, such as X-rays, computer imaging or lab services.
Finally, what is making the trend even more noticeable is the economic factor. On average, immediate care centers are much more affordable than emergency rooms: about 40% less. This is the reason why most health insurance companies are now requesting their members to go to these centers rather than visit the traditional ER. In fact, urgent attention centers are saving insurers a great deal of money.
In the past, insurance companies did not use to have agreements with these centers. These days however, most large insurance companies have signed agreements with most urgent care centers, so every time you visit one of these facilities, your health insurance company gets charged for the visit on a co-payment basis. This type of system has proved to be highly effective since patients are requested to pay only a percentage of the medical attention they get. It is estimated that each visit to an urgent care center will cost each patient between $25 and $50.
As we can see, there are many reasons why urgent care is a fast growing business, and the best is that it hasn’t reached its peak, yet.
- Operating An Online Review Site
Online reviews can be a lifeline to your business; just as they could be crippling agents to your business. Remember, having pages of blooming online reviews could be a gateway for new customers, while even just one bad review has the potential to drive away potential customers.
Advancement in technology has now made the internet an indispensable tool for marketers to advertise, promote and sell their products. Online reviews, have, thus come to stay as a means of making use of the internet in this regard.
But how do you, as a marketer, successfully operate an online review site to promote the growth of your business? This is essential considering that today’s end user (customer) is extremely vigilant and apprehensive when making a purchase.
This explains why they resort to online reviews to help them make informed decisions after weighing the pros and cons of products and services put up for sale.
Your role as a marketer/business owner would be to manage the review site in the most ethical and legitimate way such as would not cause your business to dwindle but to flourish. Handling things the right way will help in turning unpleasant situations into positive reviews. We’ve been impressed by the customer-focused service rendered at the binoculars review site.
So what do you do as a marketer when unpleasant online reviews trickle in? Let’s take a look at how to ethically deal with bad or unpleasant online reviews:
- Answer with Diplomacy
Never attempt to blame or rain insults on your customers because of negative reviews. It is important that you avoid getting into argument; you don’t need to be sarcastic or defensive in answering. Doing so will only cause potential customers to side with the dissatisfied customer.
What you should do in answering is to express how sorry you are for the bad experience the customer has encountered in using your product or service. Let them know their concerns are of high priority to you, and that you are ever committed to addressing problems promptly and efficiently to make them satisfied.
Doing things diplomatically will finally make you win the empathy of potential customers. What’s more, this will subsequently mitigate the damaging effect of the negative online review.
- The Strategy of not Responding at all
This strategy has been adopted by quite a number of businesses which are not ready to attempt answering critics. In this case, business owners avoid taking chances; they are aware trying to provide answers to unpleasant online reviews could be a tricky venture.
Though they might want to be diplomatic about it, they do not attempt doing so for the fear of getting off-track eventually, and getting into the bad books of customers. Well, opting not to respond at all is not an awful approach; you could just let the reviews stand as they are.
- Using Bad Reviews as Pointers to What Has Escaped Your Attention
Reading through bad reviews could help you realise issues you are unaware of. This will help you be on your toes in addressing what has escaped you all that while. It is interesting how customers who have posted bad reviews will later on post good reviews upon realising that issues raised have been professionally attended to.
This is something that happens naturally; positive reviews will follow positive change and future customers will be more confident to patronise your products and services.
- Asking for Reviews
This is a proactive step towards consciously building a strong base of good reviews. Doing this is essential in preventing future surprises where your review site gets flooded with unpleasant reviews. Failing to ask for reviews from silent but happy customers may only give you few positive reviews, causing the bad ones to overshadow the good ones.
A common way to ask for reviews is through email follow up. Even beyond requesting for reviews, it affords you a means of getting the following across to customers: sales information, events, newsletters, announcements and blog posts.
- Don’t Resort to Suing
Last but not least, online marketers are not advised to sue reviewers; this constitutes an extreme reaction from business owners. You may end up with expensive repercussions.
- Consider Hardwood Flooring for a Professional Corporate Appearance
A professional corporate appearance doesn’t always mean running a business that employs hundreds of employees across the country and having multi-million dollar quarterly results. Even small and medium sized business will enjoy the benefits of a corporate appearance without having to spend exorbitant money. If you wish to show a premier corporate look for your business too, read on.
A good corporate look starts with the visuals that could depict the brand such as logos on packing materials, trucks, etc. So, start with having your own logo, color and a universal theme for all your packaging materials, trucks, advertisements and websites. Utilizing the innumerous possibilities of the internet can take your brand to the next level and your own business can reach that place people think are only reserved for corporate companies. You will regularly find hardwood flooring in Atlanta corporate offices because the style and energy efficiency of hardwood are unsurpassed.
A corporation loves to showcase its products and services. When a new customer visits you and ask for the list of services that he can obtain from you, you should be able to show him your portfolio without hesitation. A neat and organized office, accented by new hardwood flooring, can immediately create a premium appearance for your company with the customers who see it.
Associations and memberships with organizations like BBB and NWFA are not reserved for high net worth businesses alone. Every business owner can join those agencies and having the logos of such associations and memberships in your business cards, advertisements, websites and invoices could more than help you to create a corporate appearance for your Hardwood Flooring Atlanta business.
A Corporate business would most probably make use of the latest technology in every way possible. Websites, e-portfolio, email marketing, electronic voice assistance and software for billing, invoicing, etc. could be some of the places where technology can be used best. Having a strong technological impression could automatically uplift your business to a corporate level, when combined with the above mentioned factors.
So, if you are planning to take up a corporate level business and finding it hard to get startup financing for the same, consider choosing businesses like Hardwood flooring Atlanta where it is easy to get low interest loans and easier to make it get a corporate appearance.
Your best bet is to consult a business advisor that could help you in all aspects of your business, right from startup financing to corporate branding.
- A Simple Guide to Asset Protection Insurance for Business Owners
A business will eventually face certain challenges, and anyone taking risks must be ready for anything that may come. Business owners tend to take coverage from a reliable insurance provider specializing in asset protection insurance, for the sake of avoiding future losses. As a business person, proper planning is necessary to stay away from related risks. The planning for asset protection involves securing your business, its elements and anticipating risky events before anything undesirable happens.
How Important Is Asset Protection Insurance?
The typical insurance helps to offer a number of security measures, which are all vital for the business. However, that type of insurance cannot protect your assets from the risks. Basically, the policies are regulated in the type of risks that they cover. The limitation also comes in when determining the method of compensation. In a way, the typical insurance might not be as friendly as such to the business owners. Some of the reasons as to select asset protection insurance are:
They Help Protect Your Business from Unexpected Risks
A normal insurance will be limited when it comes to the types of risks that it covers. Generally, they are meant for the compensation and protection against loss from such events like lawsuit or fire. You might face tough times, and your business can get vandalized or maybe the goods stolen. But if there is no agreement to cover theft whatsoever, there will be no compensation. On the other hand, asset protection insurance helps to keep you away from any risk, and you will be served well in case of any risk, regardless of the type.
It Will Protect You from Economic Recession
A normal insurance is not established to shield you from economic meltdown, especially when you are having financial issues. Suppose you fail to pay your creditors, you might find it difficult to handle the situation. The insurance will not cover you in these times. Asset protection insurance however, will ensure that you are protected in the tough economic times. If you have any financial problem, the asset protection cover will always help you get out of it, or stay away from it.
- Things To Look Consider When Booking Tahoe Vacation Rentals
If you are planning to enjoy your vacation in Lake Tahoe, then it is essential to arrange rental homes in advance. By this, you can enjoy a complete peace of mind without any last minute tension. Just type in the search engine and go through the websites to know about the rental price, features and amenities offered here. The process is hassle free, as you can book instantly from anywhere. Most people know of the stunning beauty in South Lake Tahoe, but the North shore is also loaded with restaurants, community beaches and shops. Drop the 9 to 5 for a Lake Tahoe getaway. The North shore is also the major heart and soul and home to Foothills Farmers’ market and popular playgrounds in Lake Tahoe.
The Tahoe Wine Walk is the major festival, celebrated in a grand fashion every year. This food and wine festival usually takes place in June. On the fourth of July, the Tahoe City and the Kings beach will be decorated with grand fireworks. By hiring a vacation home for rental in Kings Beach or Tahoe city, you can easily discover the entire north shore and experience extraordinary moments of recreational shopping and nightlife.
Drop the 9 to 5 for a Lake Tahoe getaway
Travelers who are visiting the city in summer can indulge in a lot of adventurous activities. Enjoy the luxury landscape views by renting a kayak in the Carnelian Bay. Another best way is to indulge in skiing or hiking in the north shore. North shore has beautiful panoramic views that serves great for mountain biking and hiking.
- 4 Top Qualities to Look for in Private Wealth Management in Toronto
When it comes to private wealth management, it’s very important to screen your choices well. Make a poor choice and you might greatly regret it down the road. Partnering with the wrong company could potentially hurt your investments and even have a significant effect on your lifestyle or retirement.
You rely on wealth managers to ideally grow your investments. If they don’t perform and even worse, lose your precious investments – the outcome could be painful. Therefore, if you have decided to hire a private wealth management in Toronto firm, you’ll really want to list out all of the qualities you’re looking for, so that ultimately you can land with the best choice. In the greater Toronto area, there are lots of choices available, but only not all of them will give you what you’re looking for.
1. Trustworthiness. This is the most important quality to look for. You need to have an assurance that they will not generate major loses for your overall portfolio. They need to have a proven track record in the industry. They need to have people who can back them up. Finding solid recommendations or testimonials always helps, especially if there are a good number of them.
2. Competitiveness. This is also important since your investments will be in a market that includes many others in your same situation. Therefore, you need someone who can assure you that your investments are secure and that they are in it for the long run, not just to make commissions on quickly flipping your investments. Take note that there are a number of other good wealth managers in the industry, therefore, they must be able to work as well (or better), than their competitors.
3. Personal service. This is something that you need to immediately keep an eye on, as you can only build confidence in a relationship, after you’ve had at least a little time in directly working with them. If you have a hard time communicating with your wealth manager, or you feel like you can’t get your message across very well, then you might want to look for other options. It’s always best to discover any issues at the beginning of a relationship, as you don’t want to end up with more problems later on.
4. Decisiveness. Even if you find someone who communicates well with you and is good at making investment decisions, they also need to be strong at making important decisions. There will most likely be times, where they are going to be called upon to make important investment decisions and in a very short period of time. You don’t want your valuable portfolio effected because your wealth manager was slow in making an important investment decision.
Finding the right person can be quite difficult to find, especially since there are many standards to consider. Keep in mind that you have worked hard for the money that you’re saving and investing. This is in a way a form of gambling. You can’t afford to lose your money just because you have entrusted the wrong person.
Start now in researching online for some of the best options. You can even call one of the best private wealth management Toronto firms, which is http://www.etfcm.com/. Once you’re done with finding the right partner, the next step is to work closely with whoever you have chosen, to get exactly what you need. As with everything in life, good research and perseverance will go a very long way toward finding the success you are looking for.
- How to Find Startup Financing for a Tree Service
Starting a business is a hard task to accomplish and finding a financing option for a startup is even harder. And when you plan to start a business that already has a wide market and a heavy competition in your proposed place of business, then be very sure that you are up for some real challenge. One of such challenging situations is when you are planning to start a Tree Service in Greenville SC. Though it is hard to find funds for your Tree Service startup, it is not impossible.
There are some of the most basic yet most important factors of raising funds for a business. If they are taken care of, then you can get your business up and running in no time.
- Qualification: Financial institutes or individual financers will be more than ready to invest their money in a business started by a person who has either a professional certification or enough experience to handle business of his own. If you possess both certification and years of experience to your name, then raising funds for your tree service is comparatively easy.
- Business Plan: Only if you have a clear understanding of your business revenue model, you can make your prospective financers understand the real deal. A deep understanding of the current market, equipment requirement, challenges and opportunities for your business could help you to create a perfect business plan.
- Capital: You should be able to make it clear that you are serious about a Greenville SC tree business when you are proposing the plan to the investors. Investing a considerable part of the business capital from your pocket could do the trick for you.
- Resource: There are so many resources that you can utilize to find funding for your startup tree service, and you should only contact the resources that you think are the right fit for you credit score, capital investment percentage, size of business, equipment requirements, etc.
Train yourself or get certified to be professional tree service provider, understand the market & how you can make a change to earn profit and put in a decent contribution from your part. If you can get all these three done, then finding a suitable investor for your tree service business will be as easy as it could get.