Great Gifts for Guys Who Have Everything

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

If you know someone who has everything then you'll know how hard it is to shop for them. In fact I have a few brothers who have everything. For that reason I decided to compile a list of some great gifts for guys who have everything. Each of these gifts are guaranteed not to be owned by your recipient. We know that because we went on a man hunt trying to find unique and original gift ideas. When we came up with this gift ideas we wanted to pick out products that we knew would be loved by all of those guys out there. The gifts we managed to come up with are as follows.

#3 Personalized Rubik Cube

If you know a guy who likes Rubik cubes then you've got a great gift suggestion. The personalized Rubik cube allows you to customize each side of the cube. You can display up to a total of six different pictures on each side. When we first saw this gift idea we immediately knew that it would make a great gift suggestion. Since you don't actually see one of these that often. We think this would make a great gift for all of those family guys out there. On top of that Rubik cube won't cost you that much. You were able to find this gift for only $29.

#2 Pocket Sized Guitar Hero

If you know a man who loves guitar hero then they're going to love this gift. It's the only gift that allows you to get your fix of guitar hero. The pocket sized guitar hero includes ten playable songs. Which is just enough to get you through the day. When we first saw this gift we thought it was one of the more creative gifts out there. After all there are dozens of people who love guitar hero. If the guy you're shopping for is one of them then I would recommend buying this gift. It's the perfect stocking stuffer. On top of that the gift is also extremely cheap. With a price tag of only $9 it's the cheapest gift idea on this list.

#1 Simpson's Ultimate Episode Guide

For our last gift idea we came up with a great gift for all those Simpson fans out there. Since we know that some guys can be immature even into their 40's. We thought that our last gift idea would be great for those Simpson fanatics who want to know as much as possible about the city of Springfield. The book we found covers seasons 1-20 and only cost around $80.

Top Reasons You Should Use Giveaways As Part Of Your Trade Show Exhibit Strategy

Monday, November 24, 2014

When it comes to utilizing giveaways as part of an overall trade show exhibit strategy, there are two very distinctive schools of thought. Some organizations firmly believe that the handouts at trade show booths seem wasteful and useless and have dismissed them as the marketing convention equivalent of a wedding favor. However, other business leaders have determined that these items deliver more than just a passing "freebie" thrill to visitors of their trade show displays and continuously add to the mentality that they are a classic for a reason.

At some point during the strategizing process, you will also find yourself faced with the decision of whether to handout or not to handout. If you're leaning toward eliminating these giveaways in favor of investing your available finances in other convention resources, read on. There are three very compelling reasons why you may not want to ignore the promotional potency of the exhibit.

Trade Show Exhibit Success Requires Visitors

It's no secret that, ultimately, the overall success achieved when setting up trade show booths is directly proportional to the number of guests that visit the stands throughout the show. The more people that can be effectively enticed and compelled into checking out your displays, the more likely your team is to generate leads and close business. While pre-event marketing and advertising as well as state-of-the-art displays may lead you to believe that you've effectively stacked the odds in your business' favor for drawing in a crowd, it's important to remember that your competition has probably done all the same preliminary legwork. Come event day, you may find you need a simple but effective differentiator that helps your organization stand out from the competitive crowd. Enter the giveaway. Offering crowd-pleasing gadgets and other items can truly make the difference between passersby stopping in for a closer look or walking by your stand altogether.

Handouts: Effective Well Beyond The Initial Consumer Encounter

In addition to helping your business initially connect with the wandering masses at the next promotional function, these giveaways also deliver some undeniable fringe benefits as well. Strategically emblazoned with your company's motto and logo, a handout offers potential consumers brand recognition reinforcement beyond your trade show booths and other collateral handouts. Whether they've purchased from you in the past or have never heard of your company before the event, the giveaway will help them mentally connect your brand with your services and wares even after the convention has concluded.

Finally, not only do handouts help keep your brand fresh in the minds of visitors to your trade show displays, it also holds the potential to deliver portable promotional punch to everyone your booth guest comes in contact with. Pens, mugs, executive notebooks, flash drives and the like all have a tendency to make their way around the office. Each time a colleague of your visitor borrows a pen, your company name and logo will appear, offering the ultimate ROI for your team: a potentially endless marketing cycle.

Top Ten Ways to Market Your Network Marketing Business Online

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Are you trying to market your network marketing business online? Or would you like to do it but you don't know what the best ways are? I have been doing it for three years and have tried everything. Here are the top ten ways I have found to be successful in marketing your network marketing business online.

Write Articles- writing articles not only increases your links and search engine visibility but also establishes you as an expert. You want to make sure to write articles and submit them to directories but also to newsletters, and to specific websites. Find websites which focus on your target market and write articles specifically for these websites.

Blog- start your own blog and write a new post at least once a week. Make your posts interesting and useful to your readers. Write guest posts for other blogs as well to increase your expertise and linkage. Invite your readers to comment on your blog and take to heart what they say. Include video on your blog. Comment on other blogs with interesting and relevant comments and include a link back to your blog.

Social Networking- choose one social networking site to begin with and set a goal to meet and connect with as many people as possible. Focus on building relationships and on offering value to others. Avoid spamming and trying to make a sale. Social networking does not offer an immediate payback but the long-term results are well worth it.

Squidoo- This website offers a combination of blogging and social networking and is great for link building. Create a few business oriented lenses and a few lenses based on your hobbies, famous people or other interesting topics. Keep them updated and promote them on your blog and other websites. You will be amazed how much traffic you will get from Squidoo.

Free Ecourse- offer people the chance to opt-in to receive a series of free emails all about a related topic. It can be business oriented or not. Include some business promotion in your emails without being too pushy or sales oriented.

Forums and Message Boards- Visit two or three of these regularly and offer value and start interesting conversations. Build relationships with the regular visitors and include a catchy signature file at the end of all of your posts. Focus on the knowledge that you can share with others.

Niche marketing- choose two or three specific niches within the larger category of network marketing and focus on marketing and building relationships with these people. Create one or more websites targeting these people. Offer value to them on these websites and have a specific plan on how you will reach them as well as what you will offer to them once you have made contact.

Online Parties- these can be great for making sales and additional contacts. You can reserve a room for a short period time for an inexpensive fee and you never know who will show up. It is also important to promote the party yourself for maximum success.

Branding you- make the focus of all of your internet marketing you and not your company and products. Everyone has the same products and the same company but there is only one you. Why are you unique? Find your unique talents that you can use and offer to others and emphasize on those.

Contests and Drawings- everyone loves free and you can create quite the buzz by offering a free contest or drawing. Know ahead of time exactly what the rules will be and stick to them. Make sure to choose a winner and to publicize the winner. Follow up with the rest of the entrants and offer them your products and opportunity.

Networking Through Business Lunches or Trade Shows

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Although the Internet has been a boon to networking over the past decade or so, there is something to be said for a face-to-face networking over business lunches or trade shows. Adding a personal touch that might be missing from cold emails and Twitter, a lunch with a colleague can be an invaluable tool for you to use for everything from job leads to getting advice about a venture or idea. Trade shows offer the chance to speak with peers in your field. They know that you are interested in finding a place of employment.

People are more apt to share more personal details, and are definitely better able to read you as a person when sitting across from you at a business lunch, or spending a little time with you at a trade show. The chance to understand a person's inflections, and gauge their sense of humor (or lack thereof), their personal foibles and idiosyncrasies or how much you might even want to engage with them outside the business milieu can only be had in a face-to-face encounter.

There are certain protocols involved when you are considering networking through business lunches or trade shows. Some are common courtesy: such as not interrupting a vendor while he's currently dealing with a peer or customer. Wait for your opportunity to introduce yourself with a firm handshake and a business card, and get to know the person a little bit before you dive right into a lunch invitation. You might find that after a little personal interaction that you are no longer interested in getting to know someone better, or it might cement in your mind that this is someone to get on your side. Be interested in their products or sales pitch (it's a hard, sometimes thankless job working a trade show), and ask pertinent questions.

Know that once you've proffered a lunch invitation to a potential networking connection, he or she may not want to talk business. Trade shows often carry with them grueling schedules, and lunch may be one of your new contact's only break in the day.

You might consider making initial contact through the trade show venue, then following up with a lunch invitation. Be sure to let your contact know the agenda of lunch; don't lull them into thinking a personal relationship or friendship is on the table when you're really looking for a networking or job opportunity. Be sure to propose a firm date and time, with the offer of alternatives available. When you are networking through business lunches or trade shows do not invite anyone other than the main person (i.e., don't show up with coworkers, or your girlfriend). Be prompt, be appropriately dressed, be courteous, and thank your invitee for their time. Once you have had lunch, remember, it is up to you to pick up the check, even if they insist. You certainly wouldn't be impressed if you were invited to lunch and were expected to either pay or go halves; neither will they.

7 Ways to Market Your Business Online

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Marketing. Does that single word cause you to want to scream or run away? Well, it doesn't need to cause that kind of reaction. Although every business, large or small, needs to market themselves on a regular basis, there is no need to be afraid of it. You really just need to do what is comfortable for you. One thing you can do is market your business online, and it is easier than you think. Here are seven of the most popular online marketing ideas:

1. Have a professionally-designed web site

If you have the skills and time needed to create your own professional site, by all means do it. If not, hiring a professional will be money well spent. It doesn't have to cost an arm and a leg, either. Just keep it simple to educate others about what products or services you offer.

2. Online networking

This is a great way to meet those in your target market, especially if you don't enjoy networking in person. Two sites I can suggest that do not cost anything to join are:

o Ryze Business Networking,

o LinkedIn,

3. Submit articles online

If you enjoy writing, a great way to drive more traffic to your web site is by submitting articles online. Find publications that your target market reads, and submit your articles there. Some sites offer directories of articles that others can use in e-zines or blogs. Submit to as many sites as possible, and don't forget to include a short bio at the end. Reference your contact information, including a link back to your web site.

4. E-zines

E-zines help you keep in touch with clients, customers and colleagues. This is also another opportunity to send more traffic to your site.

5. Blogs

Blogging is becoming much more popular these days. Blogs are less formal than e-zines, allowing you to become more up close and personal, while still promoting your business.

6. Message Boards

Although this also falls under the category of online networking, posting to message boards is a great way to showcase your expertise. Offer a solution to a problem someone has posted about, or offer a helpful tip. The more you come across as being an expert in your field, the more you will build your credibility.

7. Advertise in online publications

This option is not the least expensive way to get your business noticed, but can help if you know your target audience. There are plenty of sources for finding lists of publications that allow advertising.

As you can see, marketing your business online is fairly easy to do. Hopefully these suggestions will get you started in finding more business, and getting the word out there about you and your business.

Shopping Online For The Holidays - Don't Get Ripped Off

Sunday, November 9, 2014

We are quickly approaching that time of the year where the Internet pays off in spades - the holidays. Here's a primer on protecting yourself while buying online.

Avoiding the Malls

I hate going to the malls during the holidays. They are packed with people, elbows are flying and I inevitably get in line behind the person who needs a price check or lost their checkbook. Thankfully, the Internet has largely solved this problem.

Millions of people now do most or all of their holiday shopping online. Frankly, it is hard to imagine how many brick and mortar stores stay in business. While shopping from your desk is great, you need to keep in mind the following legal cautions.

Don't Buy Off An Email

In a few weeks, you are going to get bombarded by emails from businesses. Unfortunately, there is no way to be sure the email messages are actually from the business in question. Phishing scam artists have become masters at kicking out email messages that look extremely authentic. If you get an email message and want to visit a site, do not click the link in the email message. Instead, type the site domain name directly into a browser or find it through a search engine. Doing so will get you to the real site, not a fake.

Credit Cards

Most people have multiple credit cards and use them willy nilly. When shopping online, try to limit all of your charges to one credit card that doesn't have a massive credit line on it. Also, print out all receipts. If a scam artist gets a hold of your credit card information, this should limit the damage. When you receive the credit card statement, make sure to check the charges against your receipts. If you find unauthorized charges, report them immediately.

Delivery Times

Sites selling products online have to comply with "prompt delivery" rules. To this end, sites are encouraged, but not required to tell you how long it will take to deliver products. In addition, they absolutely must deliver within 30 days unless stated otherwise on the site. When ordering gifts, make sure you note how long it is going to take to receive the item. If you are going out of town, make sure you keep the departure date in mind before you leave.

The Internet is a godsend when it comes to avoiding the stress of holiday shopping. Just keep an eye on those credit card statements!

Textile Trading - The Online Approach

Tuesday, November 4, 2014


The Banyan Tree is an Asian symbol of a market, a perfect place for buyers and sellers to meet and trade in the shade. In the early days, traders in the textile community exchanged goods and barter systems emerged. The progression to forming communities across villages and townships eventually led to the birth of marketplaces and trade centers.

The Banyan Tree Theory is the foundation of Business Process Studies across the Online Trading space. It is about creating efficiency, across communities, regions and industries.

The World is flat! Today's World uses high-end technology and communications to bring people closer. Economies are more transparent and the way we do business is changed. With Global economies using synchronized supply chains, instant communication techniques, it is imperative to maintain pace. The flattening and convergence of businesses tools, translates into business functions taken to the Internet.

Imagine if you could go to a textile market where thousands of companies from around the world are selling and buying virtually. Now also imagine this anytime of the day and any day of the week! This is what online trade can do for a global business.

Companies go to great lengths to develop new markets, may it be a new region, a new end-use, or plain simple market expansion. The options available to companies in the business of Fibers Intermediate, Fibers and Yarns were limited. The Internet has proven to be a very powerful medium for market development.

Moving Beyond Paper
The procurement of goods and services is a source of frustration and costly inefficiency in many organizations. Procurement operations are plagued by inefficient product selection and sourcing. They are time-consuming manual ordering processes and involve expensive inventories.

Organizations' purchasing cycles and approval times are lengthy, and they lack the data and resources required to perform procurement in a more cost-effective and strategic manner. Internal process inefficiencies frequently prevent employees from acquiring the goods and services they actually need.

The procurement process within many organizations has continued to rely on inefficient manual, paper-based processes. The traditional procurement method involves high cost in both time and resources associated with processing a typical purchase order, particularly when each step has to be processed manually.

The Conventional Model
The fundamental inefficiencies in organization's procurement systems can only be addressed by streamlining relationships that already exist. There is a strong need to create meaningful collaboration between companies that already work together.

The emergence of the Internet as a means of fast and inexpensive communication, augmented by open standards and exchange protocols, has seen an explosive growth in B2B Textile Portals. Marketplaces like YNFX and Just-Style are designed to allow purchasing to be executed on commodities basis.

Online Trading Approach
For the promise of e-Procurement to be realized, the barriers must be low, both in terms of cost and the disruption to the day-to-day running of the business. Achieving the full potential of online trading, requires a move towards a neutral model that integrates procurement and fulfillment into a single environment for buyers, suppliers and interested third parties.

An effective online textile marketplace should fundamentally provide organizations with a comprehensive and collaborative trading environment - where all participants can trade effectively and economically in a neutral, mutually beneficial environment.

Online Trading connects organizations to a common infrastructure that provides the complete range of services necessary to facilitate commercial relationships and execute commercial transactions.

Today's advanced Internet-based architecture means that no software is installed on-client end. Buyers and suppliers plug in to a solution that allows fast and efficient roll out to all users in an organization, regardless of their location. Buyers and suppliers can trade effectively and economically in a neutral, mutually beneficial environment.

Ebay Information Marketing - The Best Ways to Sell Info Products For Huge Profits

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Ebay is the biggest online marketplace there is, and information products are the most cost-effective and profitable products to sell online. Combine them together and you have a recipe to create your own virtual cash machine online!

Here are two of the best ways to sell info products for huge profits online:

1. Burn Your eBook Into A CD

Have an info product but can't sell it on eBay now due to their new limitations for selling digital products? Fret not! You can always burn your ebook into a cd using a company like Kunaki who will do all the work for you. Kunaki is a cd/dvd publishing company and the best thing about them is that you can order any amount you want. There are no minimum orders. Now you can sell your info product without going the digital route, and you can definitely charge more for it.

2. Package Your Best Info Products Into A Home Study Course

Compile a package of related info products and turn it into a comprehensive home study course to be shipped to your customer. You can even charge $197 or $497 for this home study course. Don't have your own products? You can always compile a package of related themed resell rights products. Now that's easy!

As you can tell, it's not difficult to start an eBay information marketing business that rakes in huge profits. Find a demand and fill it by creating hot information products that are just dying to be bought off the digital shelves.

Know How to Play Pick 4 For Your Chance at Instant Cash

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Many individuals have been attracted and engrossed in the lottery games. These offer lucrative winnings for small wagers. While it is considered to be gambling, there is very little to lose and is well regulated. The chances of developing a gambling problem with lottery is relatively small. To most, it is considered as a form of entertainment while hoping to get a chance to gain some extra instant cash on the side.

There are various forms of lottery games. There is the Pick 3, Pick 4 and many variations of the 6-digit lotto games. The more numbers you play with, the smaller the odds are at winning. This is why the pick 3 and pick 4 are among the most constantly played games. These offer small prizes as compared to the bigger lottery games. However, the chances of winning is bigger. Generally, as long as you are at least eighteen years old, you can have the opportunity to purchase your own ticket at any authorized retailer in your state.

If you would like to know how to play pick 4 to get your chance at winning, this is quite easy. The rules are simple and the stakes are quite small. First, you must decide on four digits that you would like to use as your personal combination. This can be a significant date or perhaps just something that you like. It can be any number between 0000 and 9999. Using the betting slip, you should then diligently plot your chosen numbers and present it to the retailer for them to provide you with your official ticket. In the event that you can not seem to decide on the combination, you do not have to worry. You can opt to use the Quick-pick option that every authorized retailer offers. With this, the computer will randomly provide you with a four-digit combination using a software generator. As soon as you have paid for your wager and the ticket has been given to you, you must inspect it for accuracy and duly sign the back to ensure your ownership of the ticket.

Various combination game plays that you can opt to do for each game. Some offer more chances of winning as your combination can be able to match the drawn numbers in any particular order. However, if you opt for this, the prize at stake would be smaller than that of a straight combination where it should match the drawn numbers in precise order. There are different guidelines on how to play pick 4 combination boxes. You should be diligent in understanding the terms for each one for you to avoid any inconsistencies or inconveniences.

Knowing how to play pick 4 is just as important as knowing when to wait for the results. These are drawn twice each day, seven days each week. There is a midday draw (often after lunch hours) and once each evening. The results are also posted on the retailer's boards as well as in the local papers. So that you can be able to check if you are the lucky winner for that draw. The actual prizes vary on fixed or pari-mutuel rates that you would need to know depending on the state that you are playing in.

Skip Traditional Retailers and Shop Online

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Shopping online rather in traditional brick and mortar retailers is growing at unprecedented rates. Although most traditional retailers also have a website however those that do not are currently have one or even plans of one are losing out on a very large market share.

The primary reason people are turning to the internet for their shopping is pricing. The internet is the never ending source for competition on any given product that is widely distributed. Any person with access to the internet and is somewhat internet savvy cay easily compare pricing for the same product within minutes. Unless the seller itself resides in the same state as you there is often no sales tax charged on your purchase. Currently, the ability to avoid paying sales tax by purchasing from sellers out of state is under review by many states so this bonus may not last for long. The only downside to online shopping pricing is that there are often shipping fees however this is often supplemented by the marginal discount provided on an item.

To ensure your experience is the best while shopping online there are many rules to follow: - Only shop at websites that state a phone number and address for contact. - Never send cash, checks, money orders, or any other form of payment that is not insured. - When choosing shipping always insure the item and understand that shipping times are estimates. - Remember that if there is a chance you need to return the item you will have to pay to ship the item back to the online retailer. - Take caution when dealing with individual and auction type purchases.

Online shopping will surely not replace traditional retailers altogether. Many people are impulsive shoppers and when they want a product they want it sooner than many items can ship or even ship affordably. Retailer websites also assist customers in picking items out and checking inventory before they take the time to do so in the store. This often gives the customers a better experience and the retailers to up sell the customers rather than focus on the initial sale.

When deal hunting look for small business retailers that are willing to take a smaller margin to help their business grow. These businesses truly appreciate your business and tend to go over and beyond for customer service because your purchases are what truly pays their bills. I have personally found the quality of service is much better dealing with smaller businesses than major corporations.

Information Marketing - How To Give Away Free Products And Make A Fortune

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Many people are afraid to give away their products for free. Giving away products for free as a 'loss leader' can be a highly effective strategy for building a targeted subscribers list that you can follow-up with and build relationships.

Giving away a free product allows you to build up a relationship with your subscribers. Especially if your product helps them solve their problems. And that's valuable. Offer a short, lean report that gets to the heart of their problems and offers tons of workable solutions, and you'll have many happy subscribers.

Some other free products you can give away include audio recordings, videos and even complete membership sites. You can have a membership site that has a free subscription, and an upgrade to a premium option, so that's how you can potentially make money with that idea.

Typically you should create a simple website to give away your free product. This simple page should have an opt-in form for visitors to opt-in to your list. Once your subscribers have confirmed their opt-in, you can send them to a One-Time Offer page that offers a paid product that is an upgrade to the free product or that complements the free product well!

You can use this system to build an operational business model that pulls in leads and sales for you. Just send the traffic and your system will be churning these out for you day and night. Give something away for free, and your subscribers will reciprocate you by responding to your emails!

Getting Your Business Cards Online

Monday, October 20, 2014

Instead of going to a local print shop, here are some reasons ordering online is better.

Cost Effective

In most cases, purchasing business cards online is a lot cheaper than buying them from a local printer. In addition, when you order online, you don't have to burn gas driving to and from the print shop. You can order your cards right from your computer and have them delivered to your front door. Shopping online also gives you the chance to compare prices so you get the best bang for your dollar.

Saves Time

After working all day, managing a family and dealing with other obligations, most people would prefer not to spend their free time standing in line just to order business cards. Ordering business cards online makes life a little easier by eliminating the need to go to a local print shop. With just the click of a mouse, you can order all the business cards you need.

Around the Clock Service

If you work unconventional hours, it is almost impossible to squeeze out the extra time to go to a local print shop to order business cards. Unlike traditional printing places, online shops are open all day, every day. There's no need to worry about rearranging your schedule. You can simply order your business cards online, when it's convenient for you.

No Standing in Line

Remember the last time you decided to make a quick run to the print shop and ended up spending your entire lunch hour standing in line? Things like this never happen when you order online. You can buy what you need in minutes and still have plenty of time to enjoy your lunch.

Professional Results

The quality of online cards is just as good, if not better, than the quality of cards made at local print stores. When you deal with online printers, you have a better chance of getting exactly what you want because they have more template and card styles to choose from. If you don't like the templates, online sites will allow you to upload your own business logo for your cards.

No Meddlesome Salesperson

After a long day of working, the last thing you want to do is deal with a chatty salesperson trying to peddle pens, stationary and other junk you don't want. When you shop online, it's just you and your computer. You don't have to be bothered with anyone else.

It's a mistake to ignore the marketing impact printed cards can have. They're the easiest, most affordable way to market your services. Ordering your business cards online will save you the time, money and the hassle of waiting in line and dealing with those pesky sales associates.

¿Necesita Dinero?

Saturday, October 18, 2014
¿Necesita Dinero? Franquicia Gratis para Venta online de Oro puro de 24k. Sin necesidad de inversión, gratis tienda en internet y Comisiones en Euros. Puede contratar Afiliados y Negocios. Regístrese gratis y sin ningún compromiso financiero en http://hrolivarahorroenoro.webs.comH.R.Olivar Ahorro en Oro #AhorroenOro.

The Information Marketing Primer For Helping and Healing Solo-Professionals - Part 8 - Teleseminar

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Your Information Marketing business should include both written and audio content in your area of expertise that addresses the needs of the target audience you have chosen to serve (see part two of this series). Later in this series, I will talk about combining audio and written content for a powerful back-end information product. (Back-end information products are more expensive products that people buy after they have bought your less expensive products.) 

One of the best ways to share your expertise is through audio. I wrote about this subject earlier when I suggested turning your free or special report into a free audio recording. 

People want to buy from people they know, like and trust. Hearing you speak the solutions to their challenges helps people make a deeper connection to you. 

Now, you are going to move from a free audio teleclass that is an introduction to your work to a content-rich teleclass or teleseminar for which you will charge. 

You will follow many of the steps I outlined for doing a free audio (see part five of this series) but there are additional steps and considerations.

Here are the steps to follow: 

  • Decide on your topic. You may choose to do a single teleseminar or a series of teleseminars on the same subject.
  • Give your teleseminar a compelling title.
  • Write your content. It is best to script your beginning and end and outline the "meat" of the teleseminar. Don't have more than five major talking points and be sure to include teaching examples. Remember, make these calls as content rich as you can, answering the "what, why and how" of your solution to a problem or challenge your target audience has.
  • Your teleseminar should be about an hour and no more than 75 minutes. Remember, if you decide to put this audio onto CD's, CD's can hold about 80 minutes worth of audio.
  • Choose a date and a time to hold your teleseminar.
  • If you have not done so already, sign up for a free conference call service like Free Conference Pro or No-Cost Conference. Make sure to print off a copy of your call-in information and the codes that are needed to operate your conference (e.g., codes to mute/unmute lines, record the call and end the recording, etc.). Keep it near you before and during the call. If you can afford it, you can book companies that will host and record the call for you. By the way, most free conference lines will allow you to have up to 200 callers on the line at the same time.
  • Promote your teleseminar (see some ideas below).
  • Have your webmaster create a database to capture the names and email addresses of those who are signing up for the call if you are not using a shopping cart system or a system like AWeber.
  • If you do not have a shopping cart, there are other alternatives to have people pay for the teleseminar like Pay Pal or
  • Only give out the call-in information to those who have signed up and paid for the call. If you will be listing your teleseminar on promotional sites, only provide the sign-up link along with the day and the time of the teleseminar, not the call-in numbers (and if anyone else is promoting the call for you, make sure to tell them this too).
  • Make sure to let people know that you will provide them a link to the recording of the call if they cannot attend live...this will up the rate of people signing up because listening live is not the only option. Also, after the call,  provide the link to everyone who signs up and pays.
  • Send reminders of the call a few days before, a day before and the day of.
  • Make sure to get on the line at least 15 minutes before the call to make sure everything is working well. Expect some people will call-in early and it's up to you if you want to acknowledge them. You will hear the entrance chimes when they come into the conference; these chimes also sound when people exit. There will more than likely be a code to turn these off, so be sure to do so when you start the call.
  • Mute all callers before you begin. When you are first starting out, you don't want to be fielding Q & A, so there's no need to leave the lines open because of the background noise.
  • Remember to turn on the recording for the teleseminar. 

Note: I have a back-up recording system downloaded onto my computer that I turn on the minute I get on the line just in case something goes wrong with the bridge line recording (rare but it can happen). I use EZ Phone Recorder. 

What should you charge for your call? To start, you can charge about $20.00 for an individual hour long teleseminar. If you are offering a series of three calls, you could offer them at a special price of $50.00. 

Promote your teleseminar in a solo email blast to your list, in your E-zine and on your blog. Also post it on teleseminar sites. There are free sites like TeleSeminar Nation and Seminar Announcer and some that are paid sites. Stick to free for right now. There are also ones that offer a basic free listing and a paid upgrade like Also, consider asking colleagues in complementary professions to promote your teleseminar. You can also list your teleseminar on Craig's List.

Assessing Binary Options Brokers Review Sources

Binary options brokers are service providers whose responsibility it is to provide customers with the services that they require. This makes them no different from other service providers in terms of how their services should be judged. Most people would not hesitate to comment on the service that they received at a particular restaurant or in a particular store, and the fact that brokers seem to offer more professional services does not exempt them in any way. In fact, one of the best ways to choose a particular broker to trade with is through binary options brokers review articles.

These are articles written both by professional writers and customers like yourself. Some writers have to review brokers as part of their job descriptions, and this is particularly true for writers of financial magazines or websites. On the other hand, there are some people who are customers of a broker and simply want others to know what they think of that particular broker. In both cases you get an evaluation of the broker and the level of service offered, albeit from very different perspectives.

Professional Writers vs. Existing Customers

Professional finance writers will approach the issue of how good a broker in a very different way from existing brokerage customers. This is because writers are much more concerned with the technical side of trading, and are probably focused on the types of underlying assets offered to customers to trade on and various other technical aspects. Customers, on the other hand, are probably more concerned with the aspects that make up the entire experience. Customers, for example, might find a particular interface difficult to use or understand, and this will probably matter more than the availability of other financial products that they do not trade in anyway.

Online Reviews

Perhaps the most convenient and easily accessible source of broker reviews is through the internet, with a number of different websites catering specifically to people looking for broker reviews. The wide range of reviews can be very useful in forming a clearer picture of which broker is more suited to your particular needs and which might be a waste of your money.

You should use this source of information in conjunction with comparing the features offered by each broker. Once you have narrowed the list of potential brokers down to the ones that offer the features that you require, then you can proceed to compare them further with the use of reviews.

Word Of Mouth

Most people have friends who also trade in binary options. In fact, a great many people start trading because they have been told just how effective it is as a means of augmenting their income. If you have friends who trade using particular binary options brokers, you should ask for their opinions on their brokers. This is probably the best type of binary options brokers review that you can rely on, since you can be sure that your friends are being honest with you.

How To Switch Energy Suppliers - And Save Hundreds Of Pounds

Monday, October 13, 2014
A survey of 53,000 households who changed their energy providers recently revealed an interesting statistic. On average, each of the households had saved over 200 pounds in gas and electricity bills. The survey was carried out on households who had switches suppliers between September 2011 and August 2012.

Let's talk about how to shift energy suppliers and save money on electricity or gas bills. Here is a simple guide to switching suppliers without running into difficulties or paying steep exit fees.

Before The Switch To Your New Energy Supplier

Check with your current supplier if you will incur a canceling fee. Most energy plans have exit fees that are either fixed or linked to your tariff rate. This fee is applicable if you end the contract with the energy company before your plan period ends. If you provide the company with due notice, then you may not be liable for any penalty or payment.

How To Start Making The Move

Step 1:

Keep all relevant information ready. Your energy provider will most likely require your postal code, the name of your current supplier of electricity and gas, the tariff plan under which you are contracted, your energy usage in kilowatt hours or kWh of both gas and electricity, and your bank details or credit card details. Most of this information can be found from your recent electricity bills. The switch can be done even without the electricity bill by working with estimated usage figures.

Step 2:

Enter the details into the on-line form provided by your energy company and the system will calculate your best options depending upon your usage and needs. The results of these calculations along with your most highly recommended options will be displayed, along with the latest deals on offer from different providers in your area.

The results also provide rates charged by different electricity and gas suppliers, and their ratings based on customer feedback. When in doubt, there are guides to energy tariffs that list out the advantages and disadvantages of each type of tariff plan for your easy and quick reference. Go through them to get a better idea about the plan and to choose your ideal provider.

Step 3:

Once you have made the final decision, pick the supplier and tariff plan and then follow the instructions to complete the switch over to a new supplier.

Step 4:

That's it. The switch over will be complete in about 8 weeks. Once you submit the form, your new supplier will take over and follow up on the subsequent steps in the process. You will be requested to provide meter readings and other details. You are expected to settle all outstanding bills with your previous company before making the switch.

Despite many advantages, over 50% of the people surveyed had never switched energy suppliers. If you are one of them and are still locked into an old tariff plan which charges higher rates than what newer providers are offering, then you will benefit from making the switch now and finding a better deal. The process is not all complicated and many have found the moving procedure simple and straightforward.

There are no restrictions to switching suppliers. Even households with pre-payment meters, or those with outstanding debts less than 100 pounds, can switch energy suppliers. Those who change providers frequently should also compare new tariffs and plans against their current set-up every six months and make sure they are enjoying the best deals available.

New tariff structures and plans are announced literally every month by energy suppliers who seek to lure new customers. Taking advantage of such offers could save your household hundreds of pounds in gas and electricity bills.

10 Tips for Shopping Online for Clothing: For a Safe and Pleasant Transaction

As many women would say, shopping for clothes can be lots of fun! We've all had our doses of retail therapy in the past... and with the vast selection available online to us ladies, shopping for clothes on the Internet can be even more fun.

Shopping on the Internet however can be a tricky business, especially if we do not take our precautions and make sure everything is in order. One need not fear though! With a little care shopping online can be a breeze! This article will walk you through ten tips, which if followed correctly, should help make your online shopping experience a safe and satisfactory one!

1. Although shopping for clothes online is a fun experience, it might prove to be a little bit tricky at first because you cannot actually go into a changing room and try on the items before buying them! If you find yourself wanting to buy from a new store, one which you have never bought from before, you might be a little unsure about the size to choose. Most reputable online fashion store do have size guidelines which you should definitely consult to help you choose the right size; however what I suggest doing is the following. When buying items online from a new store take it easy: buy one item first! Once the item arrives you would have an idea whether you have made the right choice, or maybe you need a smaller or larger size. That one item will give you an idea of the sizing of the particular store, so after having 'tested' the sizing go ahead and buy more!

2. I like to describe the feeling I get of a website as the same feeling I get when I meet a new person. There is usually either good chemistry or otherwise. It's really the same with website and online stores. What kind of feeling do you get of a website? Does it look professionally done? Does the design and navigation make your online shopping experience easier... or is it terribly difficult to find what you're looking for? Is there an 'About Us', or a 'Company Info' page? These elements usually give you a general feel for a website, and give you hints on whether to decide either to trust the website enough to purchase from it, or move on.

3. Whilst browsing around the website, look out for signs and logos which may indicate certificates of security and reliability which the website might hold. Common names to look out for are VeriSign and (Better Business Bureau).

4. Before actually making the purchase take a note of the websites customer service email and/or telephone number. Making sure that you have somewhere to refer to queries to should you need to, before actually making the purchase, will help you put your mind at ease.

5. Check the store's privacy policy and customer service page before making the purchase. It is important that you are aware of the store's return policies, delivery charges and shipping times.

So there you have the first 5 tips that can help make you online shopping experience a fun one.

Is an Insurance Broker Also an Agent?

Saturday, October 11, 2014

A professional indemnity insurance broker or agent is one who is familiar with financial planning and receives a commission for guiding you as you seek the best professional indemnity insurance coverage for your needs. Most individuals get a bit confused when they have so many options to consider. They prefer using the expertise of someone knowledgeable in the field. For assistance in choosing the right agent or broker, one can use the Internet to get a list of reliable agencies or professional indemnity insurance brokers in the area.

An insurance broker generally does not work for the insurance companies. They take up individual case studies, make surveys, bring back the best options, and guide you as to the one most suited to your needs. For this, the broker expects a commission. Brokers receive a commission on every sale they make. An insurance agent, on the other hand, works for a company or many companies and receives a commission for every client he or she brings in for the insurance company. Therefore, they try to sell you the product of the companies they work for and can provide up to date information for you regarding those companies.

Since brokers link themselves to multiple companies, they can provide a wealth of useful information as intermediaries in the financial sector. Some insurance brokers belong to big commercial business establishments where they involve themselves in specialized fields to cater to clients with specific needs in a particular area. If they choose to work in a small area, then they take on the job of personally filling in the forms and delivering it to the insurance agency and the client who gives them business.

The work of a broker does not stop with getting a client. The insurance broker has to be available for the client when a situation arises, especially if there is an accident or damage to property due to theft or vandalism. A good insurance broker will make sure his or her services to the client in order to have their continuous business. By having a broker who is always working diligently, the client feels his or her investment is secure and recommends that broker to their family and friends. The broker makes sure that premiums reach the insurance office regularly and on time and keeps the client updated on new policies when it is time for renewal, and informs the client when they can change to a better plan.

Whether they work as a professional indemnity insurance broker or independent agent, a broker's trustworthiness and capability ensures a quick rise to success. An insurance broker ideally is a sales person with good communication and verbal skills. A successful broker is persuasive and positive in their approach. If their disposition is pleasant and they display patience, the insurance broker can go a long way towards ensuring client service and obtaining referrals to pave the way on the road to success.

The Importance of Play in Child Development

Friday, October 10, 2014

Play is universal throughout the animal kingdom - whether it's a puppy chasing its tail, or young birds swooping through the air. The importance of play to youngsters should not be underestimated. Play is an essential part of growing up and researchers believe it's critical to ensure children reach their full potential in life. Research in animals show that brain connections develop during periods of play, and there's no reason to suppose the same is not true of young humans. Parents don't always understand the importance of play however, and in today's competitive world, the temptation is to stop your children "wasting time" and to put the time to what they believe is more constructive use.

For a child, however, there is no more constructive activity than play. When analysing the importance of play, particularly if you're tempted to introduce a more "worthwhile" activity such as flash cards, educational computer games or dancing lessons, you should take into account the following points:

Play allows a young child to be "in charge." Think about this - in their everyday lives, they're small and powerless, always being told what to do, and how to do it. Without an adult around, they're running the show!

Play helps children learn about the world in which they live. They can investigate and discover, test their theories, spatial relationships, explore cause and effect, societal roles and family values. Such is the importance of play, that there's virtually no area of life about which it can't teach a child something.

Play builds self-esteem. Children will often play at something they know they can do well, at which they can be successful.

Play builds social skills. Children will begin playing with inanimate and non-threatening objects, like cuddly toys, bricks etc, so practising their interactive skills. Later, playing with other children will build on this foundation as they learn to share, take turns, assert themselves and begin to empathise with others.

The importance of play with parents shouldn't be underestimated either, as research shows that children whose parents play with them ultimately develop superior social skills.

Play also provides the opportunity for children to work out their feelings. The importance of play in dealing with difficult or unpleasant emotions is immense. A child who's worried about going to the dentist, for example, may deal with the anxiety by setting up a clinic for dolls with toothache.

Play helps with language development. Think of the vast number of words a toddler uses during play, many of them repeatedly, enhancing their language skills.

Play allows children to grow beyond their years. They can pretend to be all sorts of things in play - a doctor, a surgeon, a civil engineer even !!(think of those bricks)

Finally, don't forget to consider the importance of play in stimulating your child's creativity and imagination - making a castle in the sand, or a car garage out of a shoe box, taking an order in their own (imaginary) restaurant or dressing up as a king or queen - these all allow children to stretch the limits of their world and experience the fun in make-believe.

What Is Errors and Omissions Insurance?

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Professionals are accountable for their actions every time they undertake work for a client. This means that even a simple mistake, a misunderstanding or disagreement with a client can potentially lead to an accusation of negligence and an expensive law suit.

If a claim is made, the professional will have to cover the costs of defending the claim. This invariably means, at the very least, incurring attorney's fees, and in the worst case, paying damages and the claimant's legal costs as well. Errors and Omissions insurance is designed to protect professionals against those risks.

Errors & Omissions insurance was previously required only in traditional professions such as architecture, engineering, law and medicine but today it has become a vital form of protection for consultants in any field such as Information Technology, design, marketing, business consulting, real estate and recruitment. Also known as Professional Liability Insurance or E&O insurance, the insurance covers the financial consequences of either an error - something a professional has done wrong, or an omission - something the professional has failed to do.

Claims frequently arise from disputes deriving from confused communication between the professional and client, or a perception that the professional over-promised. Even if there are no obvious 'errors' or 'omissions', this may not stop a client from alleging negligence. This means even the most diligent professionals are at risk from a client claim and the associated cost of defending themselves.

In the event of a claim, professionals will often have to defend themselves against clients with deeper pockets who can easily afford the cost of litigation. An Errors and Omissions insurance policy from a reputable insurer helps level the playing field.

What's more, professional liability litigation is often outside the expertise of the majority of commercial lawyers, which can make it hard for the professional who doesn't have coverage, to find a suitable lawyer. An E&O insurer, on the other hand, will have access to lawyers who specialize in professional liability litigation and negligence lawsuits.

Smaller clients may choose to hire attorneys on a contingency ('no win, no fee') basis. The professional without coverage will have to find a suitable law firm, pay a sizable deposit, and pay for any of their attorney's costs as they arise - whether they win or lose the case - as it is unlikely that the court will award costs in their favor.

Many professionals seek the protection afforded by forming a Limited Liability Company (LLC) - but the company will still need protection against claims of negligence from clients. Errors and Omissions insurance will help protect the company's assets and if it doesn't have assets, the policy will also protect the directors' or officers' personal assets.

Even if the professional individual or firm adopts the best in-house processes and procedures, does the best work, and never makes a mistake, it may not stop a client from making a claim alleging negligence. The coverage of an Errors and Omissions insurance policy will help to minimize disruption caused by a law suit and protect the reputation and finances of the business.

Information Marketing - Infomarketers' Strongest Retention Tools

Monday, October 6, 2014

For Infoprenuers, there are three tools that help you retain customers in your subscription program. Here are some pointers on what those three tools are and how to use them.

As the President of the Information Marketing Association, I host a monthly coaching call for info-marketers who have questions and are trying to launch their infopreneur business. Here is a question from Jay in Boston about Info marketer's strongest retention tools. Since this is a common question, I decided to prepare an article about this challenge to help you.

There are three tools that should be integrated into an Info-Marketing business. Those are utility, savings, and content and personality.

Utility are things that people build into their businesses. Things like the free or toll free numbers that people call for more information. You teach people that strategy and then you help them sign up with the actual provider. If they drop your continuity then they lose the ability to use that system. Or you are actually providing it for them. So they sign up, they upgrade from one price to another and they get all of that built for them. All they have to do is call in and then you teach them how they can integrate it in their business.

The one thing that Jimmy V. and Travis Miller have is that they are providing a radio show ad. So if they go a month or two with those ads and suddenly you drop out the program, the member will have to go figure out how you are going to get radio ads to replace the other things they were getting for their businesses. Where as with newsletters, if you send three or four of those monthly newsletters out and you try not to send a fifth, you have customers calling you, "Hey, where's your newsletter?" While the newsletter is a tool they enjoy, the radio commercials are integral to their business.

The good thing is, what you know, you normally teach the business owner, but you kind of boil it down and you give it to them on a website that they could sit an employee down for a day or two, when the employee is just hired and they learn the process. That will give you unlimited access to this staff-training program. Another good benefit to create is a training program for employers to help your customer get your training implemented. If I hire somebody, I want to be able to sit him or her down in front of that system. So that becomes part of the utility of my business. It becomes part of my employee-training program. And every time I hire a new employee, I have to have that program to help get the new employee accustomed to my business.

Next are discounts. Savings and discounts can come in the form of exclusive access to vendors that they would not have access to otherwise or even know existed. (One of things that we are doing with the Information Marketing Association is creating an insurance program that covers our members in case they give advice that somebody decides they want to sue them over.) So, let's say you tell somebody to implement a particular business strategy and they implement that and don't get the results you promised. A lot times they could file a lawsuit against you. Well, this is what that insurance will cover. Like my personal E & O policy is over $6,000 a year for the premium. Well, this is going to be $400 a year, because it is a group program for the association. I know not all of the IMA members have that type of coverage, but for the ones who do already, that is a huge savings and more than justifies the price of being a member in the Information Marketing Association.

Personality is when people want to know what's going to happen next. Like how after the election, many people were wondering what did Rush say about the election? When Sarah Palin was nominated, what did Rush say about Sarah Palin? Everybody wants to know what they have to say about it. That is what you want to do within your business is have people say, "I wonder what he thinks about that?" So they kind of tune in to hear what you have to say about it. It is these three principles that help make good businesses great and help to establish more buyers, more members and more profit.

What To Do To Avoid A Cra Bank Freeze

Sunday, October 5, 2014
It is not at all uncommon for a tax payer to have a dispute with the CRA, Canada Revenue Agency. In fact this is something that is quite common. One of the worst things that can happen during this time is that you could be issued a CRA bank freeze if the CRA thinks that you are making more income than you are claiming to them. Until the dispute is settled you might not be able to access your bank accounts or use the money that you have earned. This can be problematic for a lot of reasons, the main one being that you might not be able to pay your bills or take care of your necessities without this money.

There are times when you are going to have expenses that are claimed legitimately or when you are going to have income that you do not have to declare. The problem is that if the CRA believes that you are earning additional income and thinks that it should be claimed then they can actually issue a CRA bank freeze so that they can seize their money should you owe it to them. If this happens to you and you believe that it is unfair and unnecessary then the first thing that you should do is make sure to file a notice of objection. This is going to clarify to them that you are supposedly claiming all of your income and giving the honest answers about all of your expenses.

In some instances you might think that you are okay because you have yet to file a return. In fact this is a huge misconception because the CRA can assess your income based on different estimates of your worth. Then they can declare that this is what you owe them taxes for. If you do not have the money that you owe it is still better to file a claim and then to set up a payment plan than to try and avoid filing the claim.

In addition to what they estimate your worth at, if this happens the CRA is also going to issue you penalties. Then they will assess the interest on the amount of money that they feel was owed to them. In the end this is going to be a considerable amount more than what you would have had to pay had you just been honest about your expenses. In addition to issuing the freeze of your accounts, you could end up with a garnishment of your wages or a lien put on your home.

If any of these happen then you must first file a notice of objection in order to get the ball rolling in your favor and to help you clear up these issues legally in court. If you fall into one of these disputes it can be nearly impossible to be objective because of the situation that you are in. You might find that the best thing to do is hire someone who can help you professionally. In addition you will want to make sure that you stay on top of your most current taxes to show effort on your part.

Getting Out the Word - Small Business Edition

Friday, October 3, 2014

At this very moment there are AT LEAST 9 other companies competing for YOUR customers.
How will you convince them to buy from you?

Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers - ever wonder what did he do with them once he'd picked them all? Marketing is the process of picking, preparing, and pricing a product (or service) to promote for purchase. Peter may very well have gone into the salsa business, opened a produce stand, or a restaurant. But how did he draw customers in and get them to buy his spicy product?

The success of any business depends upon its ability to attract, and retain, customers. When you started your company you decided many of the marketing strategies needed to bring a product or service to market. These strategies include how your business solves a problem or fills a need, and who your target market is, then you open the store. Now it's time to drive traffic to your front door.

Promotion is the process and the product of "getting out the word". Rarely does a product or service arise that does not require some type of promotion to generate sales.

There are three major strategies to connect with customers. Although each method can be effective independently, utilize a combination for a well-rounded marketing plan. A multi-channel approach utilizes Advertising (the production and placement of ads) with the personal interaction of Sales, and the least expensive - yet least controllable channel, Public Relations. Armed with all three, savvy business owners construct an arsenal of promotion tools. Your must determine which form of which method to use when and with whom - then evaluate cost effectiveness by a cost per response ratio.

Advertising is, in its most simple form, the practice of informing the public about your goods or services - and compelling them to make a purchase. You control the message - which should be consistent with your identity, the placement - which should be targeted, and the frequency and timing - which should be often enough to remind your customers of who you are and what you do. Many believe that the average person must be exposed to an ad piece seven times to be motivated by it. The message should produce awareness and effectively maintain a positive image of your company, goods and services - while persuading the public that your goods or services outperform competitors.

Getting the 411

When it comes to deciding where to spend advertising dollars, start with the basic Yellow Pages ad. All directory ads have one thing in common - they supply information to a consumer who is ready to buy a product or service. Therefore, directory ads represent the one time when you need not convince the consumer to buy - you just need to convince them to buy FROM YOU. Your ad will be surrounded by competitors' ads for the same or similar goods and services.

So, how do you convince the customer to hire you? First, your ad has to be seen. Second, your ad has to scream experience and reliability. Getting noticed is priority, so make sure your ad is under the heading that is most commonly sought after for your product or service. You don't want an Air Conditioning business listed under Retirement Homes. Often there will be multiple categories for an ad under, so look through the book before you place the call. Multiple listings should also yield a discounted rate.

Size matters! The bigger the ad, the more noticeable it will be, and the more information you can include. Look at competitors, look at your budget and then purchase the largest space you can afford. Content must-haves include products/services offered, years in business, licensing, any seals or other reliability sellers, logo, location, phone number, hours and website address.

As with all your advertising monies spent, keep a record of which promotions return the best - so make it a point to ask new customers how they heard about your business - track and repeat the winners, dump the losers. The directory ad is just the beginning.

What's black, and white, and read all over?

That old riddle is not far off the mark. Truth is, newspaper ads are location driven, and reach a broad audience. The broader the audience, the more difficult it becomes to target your specific customer. Difficult, however is not impossible and newspapers are often a fine tool for getting out the word.

Carefully select the title, section, size, frequency, content and design of your ad - and the offer is crucial, so test a few different ones.

Remember that dailies are short lived - today's news is tomorrow's recyclable. Frequency is often the solution to this challenge. Repeat ads build recognition and credibility. As the number one media for local advertising, competition in the newspaper arena is nearly as fierce as in the case of directory ads, so consult a marketing expert for help with the intricacies of newspaper advertising. A professional advertising agency will design and place ads for you. Leaving the important design decisions to your newspaper sales rep is NEVER a good idea.

Local Yocals

Local magazines, co-op mailers, and freebies are usually mailed or made available on a weekly, monthly, or quarterly basis. They target convenience by hitting small segments of households or businesses within a limited radius - and they're usually more affordable than daily papers. If your product or service is location reliant, this type of ad should be in the mix. Include an incentive coupon or such to drive initial sales. If you live close to your business, watch what comes in the mail daily - examine each piece and think like a it something you normally open and read? What prompts you to buy? If you're not interested in a publication, others may feel the same. Be critical and be selective. Most mailers of this type are printed on a higher quality paper stock than newsprint, and color reproduction is often improved to give you more options for creating an attention grabbing ad. On the downside of these publications, they're often unsolicited and therefore readership numbers are harder to gauge than subscription publications.

Hitting the Big Time

Regional and national consumer magazines and trade journals have a longer shelf life than newspapers. Major magazines have extensive reader demographics, and allowing extremely targeting placement. If you're a local business, most nationals have small target ranges, and if you have a website, in many cases you don't even need to remain local only! Keep in mind that the audience size you select will impact the ad cost just as much as the size and type of ad you place. One drawback to monthly publications - lead time. Often you may wait months to see your ad in print. Research a few publications, compare rates and readership, then decide if your budget allows for magazines - the caviar of publication ads.

Get To the Point, Please

Targeted, response rate driven, and design unlimited, direct mail is often the most attractive form of print advertising for any size business. Costs are controllable and response rates measurable, and repeatable. Choosing your mailing list is the first step. If you've developed a list of prospects, and repeat customers, start there. If not, renting a list is as easy and affordable.

Most direct mail packages include an envelope, sales letter, flier and a response card. The complete package cost will depend on quantity, paper, ink colors, and level of personalization. Professional design is a great way to ensure a consistent look, effective copy, and a better deal with the printer. Most design firms will have a relationship with a local printer. Advertising pros can help ensure your mail pieces are cost-effective and achieve results. Direct mail doesn't have to cost a small fortune. Numerous formats of direct mail pieces offer low cost without sacrificing creative options. Postcards are the most inexpensive form of single mailing, offering a multitude of paper and design options.

Self mailers also offer significant savings over the four piece mailer package. Three or four panel fold outs can be designed to include a letter, response card, flier and envelope all in one. While economical in production and printing costs, one drawback to self mailers is their uncanny ability to resemble junk mail. Make sure the outside copy compels the prospect to open the mailer. In this arena especially, it's highly recommended that you test a small portion of your list, no more than 10% of your names, with any one content. Changing your outside copy can be as inexpensive as a black plate change. Code your tests and mail several at once to different random samples, then record the response rates, analyze the results and go with the most effective. You'll want to see response rates in the 3-5% range to judge any direct mailing a success.

Before responses start coming in, make sure you're prepared to follow up leads quickly. Fulfillment, whether it's information, a sales call, shipping a product, or performing a service, will indicate your company's level of customer service. Don't create a fantastic piece, mail an expensive list and then, fail to follow through. Scale your mailings to fit your company's capabilities.

When creating a brochure or catalog, professional photography and copy writing are critical. Once you gain the interest of a prospective customer, you now have the responsibility to wow them with a fast following of a great piece. Brochures can be bi, tri or quad folded, printed on paper that looks and feels good, and must be designed to close a sale. Testimonials, examples, locations, service guarantees, everything that's good about your company product or service is here on the brochure.

Catalog page counts, paper quality, overall piece size, image quality, four color vs. black and white, photos vs. illustrations must be decided prior to design. It's an extension of your brand, so be consistent.

New Tool of the Trade

The Internet is the most required form of advertising in the new economy. The internet affords even the smallest company the opportunity to compete with the big boys by increasing access to otherwise unreachable markets.

When you're really ready to get out the word about your business, there's no better tool for advertising across town, or around the world, than a website. You cannot grow your business exponentially without a web presence.

It doesn't really matter what type of business you're in, a website will work for you. Your competition is or will be there, so decide now - will it be your place or mine that customers visit for information, service and convenience - and ultimately, to spend their dollars. The capabilities of the web for instant gratification, visual stimulation, and information make innovation achievable for even the smallest of businesses and tightest of budgets. Whether you operate a restaurant, retail store, wholesale company, a hotel, or any product or service oriented company, there is an effective, online marketing plan for you. Look at your goals for the next year, next two years, or next five years. If they include opening new markets, improving customer and vendor communication, or reducing overhead, while increasing sales, then you have no choice but to include the internet in your plan and budget. A professionally designed website will help you achieve your business goals.

Setting goals will help ensure your web development dollars are well spent. You can expect increased revenues to recoup the cost of developing and maintaining your site if you plan wisely. A dynamic, up-to-date site will receive more traffic, and achieve its marketing goals faster, than a minimalist or non-existent web presence. The value added by an internet presence is unmistakable. Many firms stimulate in-store sales via their website, or encourage a completed sale via the site or by Email, fax or phone. Plus you'll increase your customer base via exposure to new markets and via viral marketing. Your site will enable you to respond faster to market trends, new products, customer requests, vendor confirmations, and keep your company on the cutting edge. In today's new marketplace - customers demand this level of response. The possibilities are endless, and the technology is constantly changing, as are the preferences and tastes of the market you serve. Call on a professional to tie together your goals with the latest technology and trends. A professional advertising agency will take the time to discuss your goals, business model, customer base, and budget with you - and develop a complete plan that is consistent with your brand identity, in line to meet your future expectations.

Back IN the Box

Once you're online presence is established, the natural progression is to incorporate Email marketing. Now deemed as one of the fastest growing and best performing advertising forms, Emails can accomplish a multitude of tasks. As a customer service tool, it provides many of the functions of a traditional call center: order summaries, confirmations, shipping updates, billing info, past due and backorder notifications. Customer inquiries can be handled via incoming Email. As a marketing tool, they should coordinate with your marketing mix.

First, keep it all in the family. Don't prospect for customers with Emails and run the risk of blacklisting yourself. Develop your own permission based list of addresses.

ALWAYS have a Reason for the Campaign - while it's important to be in the spotlight with customers, be careful you're not wasting their time. Consumers want information that is useful. So whether you're sending a Newsletter, Coupon, New Product Announcement, or an Order Confirmation - make sure it's news they can use. And try to sweeten the offer - keep Emails specialized and offer deals, info and specials not readily available through other means. Offer "Secret Sales", "Limited Editions" and "First to See" promos. Always offer your best products or your top selling services.

When designing and writing your Emails, mix it up. Keep graphics and layouts ever changing to add interest. Be sure to keep the images small so they're quick to open and draw on the screen. Pay special attention to your subject line. Avoid SPAM trigger words, and write a subject line that's broad and clever. Personalize your messages: use buying habits or preferences to target your efforts. Or, at least use their name. Be clear with your call to action by providing "Click Here" links. Test - Test - Test different ideas and keep track of responses. A professionally Email is critical, employ the services of a writer and graphic designer. Emails greet your customers just as a salesperson would. So, put your best face forward.

Taking Up Cyberspace?

Just like opening a retail store on a busy highway or in a crowded mall is important for traffic and sales, optimizing your website and advertising it on busy, crowded search engines is important too. You pay top dollar rent for prime commercial real estate, and search engine marketing may cost you some coin as well. But if you design and host your site with a professional team, you can bank on high level marketing tactics for drawing traffic to your site. The use of keyword optimization within your site, and externally via pay-per-click ads, viral marketing techniques, and a full-service, well-rounded, marketing plan will ensure your site is not just taking up cyber-space.

SEO (search engine optimization) is cost-effective when handled correctly. The challenge is to find prospects who are thinking about your product/service at the exact time that you're there to sell. Search engines make it possible to target prospects at that very moment. Develop your website with keywords, meta tags, titles and descriptions that coincide with your content, and then submitting to search engines and directories is important to get you noticed.

Add content that's useful and specific to your industry. Search engine spiders will read through all the content and other data to index your site for display when a person types in a search term or phrase. Selecting the top terms is part of the challenge, placement is important and relevance is a must.

Purchasing Pay-Per-Click or Search Words on an engine can be as complicated as brokering stocks, but your professional ad team will weed through the mix and prepare a plan for your business and budget.

Ride the Wave of Air

Any discussion on marketing is not complete without the queen and king of advertising mediums: radio and television. While these venues have long been out of reach for small business owners, the growth of cable TV stations, and satellite radio have opened up more market possibilities and makes these venues more affordable than you might think. Before exploring each medium individually, let's point out two golden rules for the success of radio or television campaigns. First, place ads when people are listening or watching. Second, keep ads placed tightly together for the best results. Repetition is important as it's so easy to switch the station or leave the room during the commercials. Plus, if the audience misses the address, phone number, or web address, they just can't replay the ad. Make sure commercials run close together in a time slot that has an audience in your target demographic.

Radio often allows negotiable rates for ads. You may be able to barter airtime by offering your products or services as contest prizes. Radio listeners are often quite loyal to their favorite DJs, making endorsements very effective - having the personality read your commercial is equal to an implied endorsement and often as effective. Use your radio campaign to support your print campaigns. For example, announcing your coupon in the newspaper or watch your mailbox for our offer. Since radio is not very effective with in-depth, complicated ads, it does boost other marketing techniques quite well. Placement is key, so be sure you know who you want to reach with your ads. Radio sales people will try to sell you a package plan that splits your ads up - BEWARE! Just as placement is key, frequency is super important as well, so although you may be tempted to go with their package since you seemingly get a lot of ad space for the dollar, look very closely to be sure your ad will be heard by the same audience four, five or six times . Concentrating your ads around the same run times on the same station within a short time span will not only get your message heard, it will also make your company look bigger than it is since the audience assumes you're running ads even when they're not listening. Once you've decided on a frequency plan, get your commercial written. Simple, creative, conversational ads with clearly defined benefits and a crystal clear call-to-action are a must for an ad. Stand out commercials get your message across and get the audience motivated.

All Hail the King

TV - the great American pastime is certainly the golden child for advertising campaigns. More people spend more time watching television than pay attention to any other medium. TV offers proven persuasive power - it simply works. But with most golden opportunities, there's a cost involved. And with TV, it's a big cost! Let's summarize what you should expect for your money:

1. Instant validation

2. Target audience reach

3. Diverse audience reach

4. Creative opportunities

Now about the cost...a 30 second commercial during prime time may cost 10 to 30 times more than a comparable radio spot. That's just the cost of the spot, that does not include writing, talent, set design or location, filming, and editing services. Cable TV may offer some bargains as compared to broadcast television. Often you can target a specific niche even better in the cable arena. When you advertise on television, you open up a world of creative possibilities. You're competing with other stations, the refrigerator, the rest room, and umpteen other distractions during the commercials of any show, so it pays to create an ad that grabs attention instantly and remains in the mind of the audience. Don't settle for the TV station's in house production, get a professional agency to help you create the best ad for your money, one that not only captivates, but is in line with all your other marketing.

Like radio, TV ads are fleeting, and you have to repeatedly hit your target market. Count on five to seven exposures for it to stick. Make sure to buy spots during times and programs that suit your product or service. Most stations offer packages, "fringe" time spots, and adjacencies for less than pick and choose times - these may work for you.

If your budget allows the addition of television advertising, by all means, contact a professional. Properly executed, your TV ads can and will be the crowning achiever in your marketing arsenal.

Get Directly to the Point

One tried and true method for growing a business is to employ a sales force. Of course, as the business owner, you are constantly employed in direct sales for your business. You talk to family and friends, people who enter your storefront, or call you on the phone, you pass out business cards to anyone who will take one. What you do every day is a combination of sales and networking: the practice of connecting. Let's say your brother needs his house painted and one of your customers is a painter. Your painter's wife wants a new puppy, and you uncle owns a pet store. These types of personal connections are the backbone of the small business.

Make the Connection

Formal networking starts with joining a club, association, or business group. Some groups are designed specifically for networking, others for business to consumer relationship building, and still, some others are service oriented, so choose with care. When you consider the groups in which to invest time and money, consider who your target market is and whether you will reach that market via that group.

Once you join, explore every opportunity to make connections. When attending events, focus on the quality of relationships rather than the quantity of contacts. Grow relationships since the better contacts know you, the more apt they are to recommend you. A good first impression - firm handshake, good eye contact, active listening - is as important as fast follow up. Show an active interest in the contact whether they're a potential customer, or a potential referral source. Build your network of connections this way and as you do, continue to connect via a newsletter, Ezine or postcard mailing. Send connections timely and business appropriate clippings, or news stories. Build your network well and you'll have an ever increasing sales force at work.

The Host-ess with the Most-ess Business

Hosting events is a fantastic way of keeping in touch with existing contacts and for making new ones. When you look at the cost of hosting an open house, seminar, sporting event, or party, and the buzz it can create in the marketplace, it's a surefire advertising method that's sadly too often overlooked. Seek out co-sponsors and donations of goods or services from contacts. This will not only cut your costs, but it strengthens relationships. When planning an event, keep track of costs and be ready with a follow-up campaign for converting the leads into sales.

There's No Business Like Trade Show Business...

Trade shows are another good way to make sales happen. If you plan to exhibit, you must plan well, execute well, and finish well. Pick the right show, set clear goals, create a dynamic display, and man your space with people who are aware of your goals and can engage the show visitors. Draw a crowd to your booth with demonstrations, contests, and giveaways. Have plenty of attractive, accurate printed materials on hand, and be ready to do business. An advertising agency can help you create the right display, promotional pieces, and printed collateral to make your company shine at the show. As with all forms of networking to build sales, follow-up is key to your success. Make sure you're getting the names and numbers of the prospects at the show, and contact them immediately after the show concludes, whether by email, phone or mail. The better you follow through, the more successful your trade show marketing investment will be.

Use the Force...

Every business needs to gain a edge over the competition. The statement "there's enough business to go around for everyone" is often made by a soon to be out-of-business owner. Sales don't happen by accident. Good salesmanship is critical for the small business owner, since in many cases, he or she cannot compete with big business on selection, price, or delivery. Training a sales team to represent who and what the business represents is critical. Every person who represents your company is a salesperson for you. They must know the company mission, philosophy, rules, policies, merchandise, services, pricing, delivery standards, and target customer. Businesses should employ creative techniques when training for sales. Stepping away from the traditional, expected method of "May I help you?", and into a new, out of the box method of customer contact is crucial to getting the edge. Become memorable, go beyond expectations, adapt the message, use showmanship. The best part of a sales force is that they're people. And people are flowing and adaptable. Once you print a business card, produce a commercial, host an event, it's done. But with person to person contact, each situation can be customized to fit the customer - right at that moment - making your sales team a force that can make your business stand out above and apart from the competition.

Stop the Presses!

While direct, personal sales may very well be the most controllable of all marketing techniques, Public Relations is likely the least controllable, but arguably one of the cheapest ways to get out the word you want people to hear. That's because public relations, by definition, is all about influencing opinions. As a business owner, the opinion you want your buying public to have is that what they need, you have, and you have it faster, better, cheaper than anyone else. Relating to your buying public is part of what you do everyday, but there are some important tools that a PR firm will use to create positive buzz.

Just the Facts

Probably the most basic tool in your marketing arsenal is a press kit. Think of it as a company introduction and overview. Use it to introduce your business to the media and to potential investors and employees. Post a copy on your website. Your kit should be current, accurate, and should include: company statistics (years in business, number of employees, locations, sales figures, client list), history, owners/shareholders bios and photographs, a press release, contact list, and a cover letter. You may want to use your kit to introduce your executives as experts in a particular field, and therefore make them available to the press as a source.

Extra Extra Read All About It

More than just a part of your press kit, press releases are good ways to keep media contacts current on what's happening at your business, and to announce important, timely and newsworthy events. It's important that press releases are written properly. Your subject should be newsworthy, meet the needs of the target paper or reporter, and remain somewhat neutral in tone. Being pushy or self-serving will not get your news published. Keep your information basic, accurate and on one page. Once you have your press release completed, send it to newspapers, magazines, trade publications, TV and radio news sources, and to the publishers of newsletters that cover your industry. Used effectively, press releases are a powerful public relations tool for marketing your business.

It's in the Air

Public relations involves many different ways to promote a positive spin on a product, service or company. Yet one thing these methods have in common is their cost. For the most part, gaining a positive public image can be one of the least expensive ways to market. Attaining news coverage by supplying information is one way, but actually creating the news is a great way to get the word out about your business. Companies and individuals create news every day by using publicity stunts, authoring books, appearing on talk shows, making public appearances, performing community service, and sponsoring events and teams. Most of these methods are free, or inexpensive ways to get publicity.

Tying it All Together

The success of a business depends upon its ability to attract, and retain, customers. We've covered the three major strategies Peter (and you) should be using to connect with customers. However, before you start throwing time and money into advertising, direct sales, and public relations efforts, you have a little more work to do.

Your company, products and services are identified by your brand. Your brand identity includes your logo, your color scheme, your packaging, your trucks, invoices, your store or office environment, and all of the elements that the public sees. It's your image. And in keeping with your brand image, consistency across each and every marketing effort you put forth is vital. Your customer must see your company as a cohesive, well oiled machine that has its act together. Everything from employee uniforms to advertisements, to labels, must portray a consistent look and feel. A consistent marketing strategy across all channels boosts confidence, and revenues. That's exactly what a full service creative advertising agency offers clients -- consistency of brand identity across all marketing efforts.

When a company picks, preps, prices, and promotes products and services using cohesive, targeted advertising, a trained, creative sales force, and grasps every opportunity to encourage positive public opinion, that company has constructed a well-rounded arsenal of promotion to get out the word. Get the customer in the door, deliver what you promise, do it better, faster and more memorably than your competitors, and customer retention levels will soar, as will sales, and profits. A happy customer is a repeat customer. And a loyal customer will tell others about you... and're getting out the word.

Peter, with all his peppers, would be proud.

Can You Afford Not to Have Insurance for Your Business?

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Why should a company have business insurance? Perhaps the number one reason for not having coverage is the financial costs involved. The logic is probably a common one. Why get insurance if it costs too much and nothing has happened to warrant the need for insurance anyway, right? Wrong.

Few things can put you and your company at risk more than unforeseen disasters. You are quite literally one big storm or one major lawsuit away from financial ruin if you don't have some form of adequate coverage for you business -- no matter how big or small it is.

Furthermore, what some perhaps some small business owners or self-employed individuals don't understand is that any business is at risk of being sued for all kinds of reasons. No one can physically protect themselves from every conceivable disaster that can happen at some point in the future. It's why insurance exists. It's why you need business insurance. It's why you need to make the investment in coverage to protect everything you've worked for in establishing and growing your business.

Similarly, one of the greatest risks to some firms is the prospect of being sued for professional misconduct. It's the reason why some businesses need professional liability protections as part of their insurance coverage. Without it, one lawsuit for professional misconduct can not only put your business in serious financial risk, but it can also affect your reputation and those associated with you. Without liability protection, you can be one step away from jeopardizing your professional status permanently.

In fact, if you're a successful and growing business, the amount of people you affect with your activities could be unlimited. The services you provide or even outsource to others could become the subject of litigation without even the slightest of warnings. It is literally impossible for any business to protect themselves from every possible lawsuit without some form of professional liability insurance.

Think about the extent to which your professional conduct can have an impact on others, and the extent to which those activities put you at risk of litigation. You provide direct services to clients. Those clients turn around and use your work in the conduct of their business. This impacts their clients, who use that work to impact others, and so and so forth.

It can literally take years for something to become the subject of litigation at some point in the future. Without professional liability protection as part of your business insurance coverage, a lawsuit can strike and you won't know what hit you. This can be avoided by smart businesses that protect themselves with foresight and the proper coverage.

What some business owners aren't aware of is that some jurisdictions won't even allow you to have a license or conduct business without insurance which can include professional liability coverage. Some businesses won't deal with you unless you have professional liability coverage because they don't want to be the subject of a lawsuit themselves. By getting professional liability coverage as part of your business insurance coverage, you're essentially engaging in good business practice as well a protecting yourself from the risk of litigation big or small.

Now, some business owners or professionals might think that their conduct is above reproach. For that reason, they might think that things like professional liability insurance coverage are unnecessary. If you do everything by the book, and provide the kind of service and professionalism you know you're capable of, some people think that's good enough.

There are two basic reasons why this thinking is flawed.

The first is that you're human. You're going to make mistakes. And all it takes is one mistake and you could be ruined. As much as it might be comforting to think that it will never happen to you, the prospect of it happening should be of enough concern to you. Think about it. It's after disaster happens when you say to yourself, "I should have seen this coming." By getting professional liability coverage as part of your insurance package, you did see it coming and did something about it to avoid disaster.

The second reason you can't rely on your own conduct is that you simply cannot imagine how frivolous or innocent a lawsuit or allegation can be, and how costly it might end up if you find yourself having to fight it. By having business insurance with liability coverage, you almost take all the worrying off the table. It's only at that point that you can truly feel comfortable in relying on your professionalism and conduct. If the truth wins out, then adequate insurance coverage makes that victory a less anxious and worrisome one.

As much as business owners and professionals would like to think that they won't be struck by lighting, or that business insurance is too costly, it's only smart and prudent to ensure that you have the right coverage that includes professional liability. Otherwise, one morning you might wake up and notice you've been served with a notice of litigation, and your business life can flash right before your eyes.