Do you know the history of the word “tips”? A simple enough concept, tips are the visible means customers reward wait staff for good service. Although many people mistakenly believe “tips” is an acronym for “to insure prompt service”, the word actually began as a slang term used by criminals to denote giving or sharing. However, for current usage the importance of good service is irrevocably linked with a generous tip. Training your staff to consistently and happily serve your customers and deal with problems is one of the chief goals of many establishments. Here are some tips to help your staff remember the “service” part of food service. Many restaurant owners agree that the attitude of the manager sets the tone for the rest of the employees. If you treat customers as if they are important, their concerns are genuine, and you are happy to serve them your staff will pick up on that outlook and emulate it. For example, one time when I was at a highly acclaimed restaurant a waiter spilled an entire glass of lemonade all over one of my party. Far from being apologetic and fixing the situation, he simply walked off. After we located the manager, he displayed an equally indifferent attitude toward my friend’s plight. Restaurant staff are somewhat like children in that they follow the attitude of the management. “They must be schooled in the importance of service with a smile,” says one restaurant manager. The classic adage, “the customer is always right” might be cliché but if an employee has this attitude they will get much better response than someone who begins with the assumption that customers are finicky, complaining, and focusing on minor issues. Of course you will probably get customers like this, but they are usually the exception, not the rule. If your staff understands this and approaches their job with a friendly and helpful manner you will be much closer to turning your customers into repeat patrons. Does your staff know what to do with an intoxicated person? What about someone who doesn’t have the money to pay for their meal? Or how about a simple problem such as the food being undercooked? Handling problems is an important part of a restaurant’s reputation. If a manager and staff are in control, apologetic, and sincere about solving issues that occur with customers, the business will do well. For example, one time when my mother and I were out at a local burger place, my mother found a bristle off a grill cleaning brush in her burger. After alerting our waiter, who was very apologetic, the manager came over and not only compensated us for my mother’s meal, but also gave us free desserts. We felt as if our problem was important to the staff and they were sincere about gaining back our business.
Each website needs traffic. It is really quite simple. No matter how beautiful your website design, it will only miss in No Man’s Land, where no one ends visit. Of course, if a company is on your site, the need for transport is an absolute necessity, because without traffic, no one visits the site, which means that you are nothing. Your automatic recurring revenue is dependent on the number of visitors, you get as you drive traffic to your website. Whatever site traffic goes, there are many ways to do this. There are some that market participants a guaranteed number of “hits” if you have a specific price per lot of hits. There are some companies who have a bulk transportation for a certain period, say for a month or two, if you have a specific price. Then there is the viral marketing campaigns, where you have a product with the embedded web link, which occurs at the (usually free) to other marketers. After a while, your site link in relation to a lot of other people and if the link is clicked, your site gets traffic. These methods of driving website traffic are all well and good, some offer more than others, and in any case. These methods, in particular lead or “targeted” hit buy will cost you significant dollars over time and may or may not be beneficial for the money. I have found that a tactic will definitely drive targeted website visitors to your site. The method I am talking to more site traffic, the submission of article marketing. It is a powerful, that the strategy at the end, you many back links to your site without you having to lift a finger as soon as your article, the article directories. For this reason, article marketing has become very popular among Internet providers. How does the filing of Article Marketing? Now, all you have to do is to an article on a subject that some informational content to them. The topic of your article should be obvious, what is your site. This is so that people who read your article would read, is also keen to your site, since the content of the article and the contents of the site are on the same or a similar theme. You do not really need to know very much about the topic you are writing articles about, since resources are available, which you can use to provide a basis to have enough in their informational content to your article started. Generally, a 350 to 900 word article is all that is needed. Once you have written the article, you must make it an article directory to be published. There are many items to create directories. After the submission of the article is an article directory to continue to submit to others. At the end of your article, you should use a resource. The resource box contains a brief bio about you as well as a link to your website. […]
A nurse checks a patient’s pulse. She then tends to a bandage on the patient’s arm and attempts to move the patient into a sitting position. Suddenly, a teacher stops her and moves in to demonstrate the proper way of helping a patient to sit up. This is just another day at Centennial College’s Morningside Campus, which boasts facilities that mimic hospital rooms to enhance the education of students in the School of Community and Health Studies. One program that sees students using the mock clinical settings is the nursing program known as Nursing (BScN). As student Paulina explains, “We get a lot of hands-on experience. We make use of simulation labs and we use simulation dummies in the labs. And that gives us a chance to practice on ‘patients’ to really enhance our skills.” However, this is not the only special aspect of this undertaking. It is actually a rather unique nursing program Toronto has to offer. That’s because it is a collaborative program between Centennial College, George Brown College and Ryerson University. As such, students complete the first two of their four years of training at Centennial College before moving onto their final two years at Ryerson. Why is this beneficial? The experience of attending both college and university — and learning from both college and university staff — gives students the practical application that was described by Paulina at college level and in-depth theory at university level. During their time at Centennial College, students of this program partake in about 40 courses throughout which are weaved five themes: primary healthcare/health promotion; reflective practice/critical thinking; meaningful relationships/caring/communication; political/social justice; and personal/professional development. Particular courses, meanwhile, include: Nutrition for Nursing Practice, Theoretical Foundations of Nursing, Assessment of the Healthy Individual, Nursing Implications, Understanding Society, Community Health Nursing, Professional Trends and Issues, and many others. Aside from these and other nursing courses, students also take a series of required and elective courses, selected from other disciplines. These both enhance and support the broad knowledge base required of professional nurses. To ensure that students retain the large amount of information they receive, the program includes a mentorship program and peer tutoring. Lastly, to supplement on-campus lessons, students also enjoy a clinical placement. This opportunity to work in the field gives students the advantage of being able to network and make employment contacts. They are also able to apply their knowledge to the real world and real patients. To receive a registered nurse designation, students must write the College of Nurses of Ontario registration examination. This nursing school in Toronto makes them eligible for this exam. Once students obtain the RN designation, they work with persons and communities of diverse backgrounds, ages and degrees of health and illness, in a variety of contexts. Get Ashley’s full program here: Three weeks may not seem like enough time to make progress. Think again. There’s no level “easy” on this trainer. The only two settings. . .
I accidentally stumbled into a huge fight at one of those small business discussion boards recently. Small business owners were going just nuts about whether business planning is needed, what a small business business plan even is, and who should write such a plan. But before I repeat the comments I shared, let me just say that as a CPA with many business clients in the Seattle area I’ve done a bunch of business planning, have covered the subjects in books I’ve written like the super-sized version of QuickBooks for Dummies, and also covered the subject rather extensively in my book MBA’s Guide to Microsoft Excel (which was used at several big business schools.) With that as background, let me share a handful of thoughts. Not All Business Plans Are Equal So here’s a first thought. People often mean different things when they use the phrase “business plan.” Sometimes they just mean a strategy (which could just as well be described in a sentence). Sometimes they mean a 20-25pp document that “sells” a business to new investors or lenders. And sometimes they mean a long document–a sort of white paper–that describes in massive detail a new venture opportunity, an approach to exploiting that opportunity, and then detailed workplans for getting from “here” to “there”. And that’s the first thing I told the people squabbling online. People use the phrase to mean different things—and that’s confusing. And part of the fight I witnessed stemmed from this miscommunication. New Venture Plans Aren’t Necessary Unless Funders Require It Here was my next point for the flame warriors I encountered. Obviously, if you’re not raising money or you’re raising money from people who aren’t traditional new venture investors and orthodox lenders, you don’t need a business plan that “sells” the business to funding sources—the sort of plan people sometimes call a “new venture plan.” If your father or rich uncle is planning to invest in you business, for example, you may not need a business plan that “sells” the investment. Right or wrong, you dad or rich uncle Joe may write you a check just because you are who you are. What about a White-paper Style Business Plan? Does this mean that you don’t need to do business planning? Well, sort of. Sort of not. I have personally started, oh, let’s say 5 businesses over the last 25 years. Four succeeded rather nicely. One basically failed (ironically, the one profiled in a glowing Wall Street Journal feature!) I did not really create a formal, white-paper-style business plan for any of these ventures. But even though I did not have a formal written document, I truly had done all the research that feeds a white-paper-style business plan… I just hadn’t officially “published” my research results. So I guess I would say that you don’t necessarily need a formal, printed-and-bound white-paper business plan document. But you really should have done all the research that goes into such a document. Enough said.
If you learned how to write a business plan at all, you probably learned how to write a MBA quality 30-page plan designed to attract investors or get a bank loan. In addition, if you are like most of us, after your initial start up you never looked at your plan again. Often with a prospective client, just asking the simple question tell me about your business plan” can lead to all the information I need to coach this business owner to next year. I learn about the vision for the business, the issues, the focus, the employees or lack of and I learn about the customer who buys their product or service. Entrepreneurs are typically great talkers so I wait until after their first breath and say something like is all this in writing” or what do your employees think about the plan”? Really, it is not meant to be an earth shattering provocative question. Somehow it usually is. On a side note, I love entrepreneurs. It could be that I love them because they are often a lot like me. They have great ideas, a positive attitude and have way too much to do! It could be I enjoy them because their business issues are a lot like my own. It could just be that I tend to favor the underdog and want to see the mom and pop organization take market share and win against all odds. Okay, it is probably all three. So when I ask about their business plan, it’s because I have learned that most of my clients don’t have one and that when they take the time to think through their focus and strategy, preferably with their team, everything comes together. When the time is right, I ask my clients What would it be like if you could reference a plan when making choices?” Can you imagine being able to share the whole plan with your employees, affiliates and your coach”? Sometimes I ask, Can you imagine the freedom you will have when it is out of your head and on paper?” or What if everyone understood the business strategy, as well as the business strengths and weaknesses?” These questions along with my simple business plan format usually do the trick and they go to work on a plan. They often report many insights into future mistakes that would have happened had they not written the plan and that having a simple plan in writing has allowed the whole team to collaborate, align and support the business vision. For a simple business plan format go to www.profitconsultingco.com/business.htm or join us for business planning tele class in October. Alicia Fruin Owner Profit Consulting Co. Business coach and trainer
What makes a good leader? Leadership development Ever since we started Impact Factory, lo these many years ago, we have struggled with the whole notion of leadership development or leadership training. Indeed, we have resisted writing about it in much detail because the subject is so subjective. Are leaders born or made? Can you use management leadership training to give leadership skills to someone who is not leadership material? How is it done? Given that we’re being asked to create a lot more leadership programmes of late, we decided we’d take a hard look at just what makes a good leader. Even of you don’t think of yourself as a leader, you will have areas in your life where other people look to you for leadership. So here are some essentials qualities and skills you need to be a good leader in whatever leadership arena you’re in. Leadership training Training is a misnomer when applied to leadership. Any leadership development programme has to include at least a passing reference to the following Introduction to the concept of leadership behaviours Discussion and debate about leadership A widening of the definition beyond traditional leadership stereotypes Personal understanding of individual leadership qualities and strengths The difference between leadership and management A look at how people perceive, their perception is their reality Assumptions and their effect on how people see the world What are your terms of reference and seeing the bigger picture Personal patterns and beliefs A look at the elements that have influenced and shaped the participants Establishing ownership of individual’s leadership behaviours A programme needs to be designed around the development of the individuals involved rather than towards competencies identified as required by the organisation. Leadership style What does a leader look like? No cookie cutter models here. Everyone can develop their capacity to lead, from church committees to local pressure groups to business teams to political parties. When someone is committed to, and practises using their leadership capabilities at all levels in their life, then they can and will develop their own potential as a leader. There is a tendency, in our Western culture, to see Leadership as synonymous with white, middle class, male, in charge. There’s a kind of unspoken template of what leadership is supposed to look like. Now we know that is not true. Leadership can and does come in many different shapes and forms. Good leaders don’t conform to a template. Indeed, leaders are people who don’t usually follow the party line. They have an edge to them, they get up people’s noses sometimes, they make decisions – lots of them – that often others don’t like. They say the things that need saying in a way that others understand. Don’t let the picture get in the way However, it is important to acknowledge that people developing their leadership skills are often hampered by their picture (or other people’s picture) of what a leader is supposed to ‘look’ like. This is when it’s important to understand […]
School in general has become a much more expected and in my opinioned marketed thing than it was in the past. So it is no surprise that the question of the necessity of business school come up fairly regularly. What does surprise me is that people that are business minded are so easily swayed into believing that formal training in business (the quality of which I often question) is necessary to make it in the fast pace business that comes with a globalizing market and the information age that we live in. The question remains, however, and I want to point out two things that will hopefully answer it. They are myths of business school that are often cited but have little evidence to back them up. The first is that you receive an education in business school that will prepare you for the real world. It is my contention however that you really don’t learn the bulk of what it takes to thrive in business sitting in a classroom listening to the lecture. What you do learn is the language of business so that you may pick things up faster but is learning the language faster a justification for the time and expense of formal training. I will admit that most people that go through business school have an easy transition into the real world but my contention is still that this is no because they sat through class. The way business schools have gotten away with this is that they require their students to do internships. This really is a fleecing when you consider that these students are actually out in the real world getting their education, paid horribly, and then paying the institution that requires this slave labor and is taking credit for the education ungodly amounts of money. It cracks me up that the most common complaint especially for those who want to start their own business that they don’t have the capitol. I say, you had the capitol, you just gave it away! The second myth is that business school is a good training for every type of business and every position within those businesses. My contention is that business school is only smart for those who want to become a CEO of a major company. This is only because of the connections that you gain in business school, that land you the high profile internships, which get you in contact with the right people etc. If you want to run a small business with a unique product I would suggest that you spend more time developing your product and less time wasted in school. You will gain the business savvy in a few years once you are up and running any way and you will not have wasted a lot of time and money. My number one example of this is Bill Gates, a fine businessman, one of the richest men in the world, and yet does not have a college degree to his […]
If you are looking to start a credit repair business, one of the first things you will need to do is find people who need their credit repaired. Thanks to the internet, this should not be very hard. All you need to do is find a legitimate credit repair lead company to start sending you some leads. The beauty of buying credit repair leads is that the potential client has committed to having their credit repaired by a professional such as yourself. These people are not merely playing with the idea of having their credit repaired, or just gathering information for research. They are committed. Otherwise, they never would have gone on line and filled out the on line form. By filling out the on line form, the potential customer is saying, “I need help with my credit,” “I need my credit repaired,” and they are seeking out a company or individual to help them out with their credit issues. Unfortunately, there are a lot of people out there that need help with their credit, so the credit repair business is not at all a bad niche to get into. Once your business becomes functional, take serious consideration into buying internet credit repair leads. The benefit to buying internet credit repair leads is that you can buy them relatively cheap, and if your working with the right company, you can get them fresh or in real time. Best of luck. 7 Steps To Build A Startup From Scratch With No Money . . . Www. Youngentrepreneur. Com/. . . /how-to-build-a-start. . . By Matthew Toren – in 194 Google+ circles – More by Matthew Toren . . .
In addition to being the “Season of Sweets,” the period of time between Halloween and New Year’s Day presents a wonderful opportunity for your company to thank your customers. It also is a time that you can drive new business to you. Here is a list of easy and effective marketing ideas to help you promote your business for the holidays. 1. Send a Card: Send a holiday card to all of your customers – depending on your target audience, it can be for Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, or simply “Seasons Greetings.” You can also send a Happy New Year card. But don’t stop there. Don’t forget about your vast referral base. Be sure to send business holiday cards to your friends, family, associates, and vendors. 2. Send your database a gift: Hopefully, you have a list of both clients and prospects. Whether these individuals have purchased from you or not, treat them well. Take the holiday season as an opportunity to send them a gift. It can be as simple as a $5 gift card to Starbucks. Small gestures are what impress people – they work to keep customers loyal and to convert prospects to customers. 3. Offer a “Something of the Month” club: People are always looking for unique gifts to give. Why not help them out and create ongoing cash flow for your company? You can do this type of gift series with almost anything. Seriously. Did you know there is a Bacon of the Month club? You could sell CDs that you record each month, massages, dinners, jelly, or even a teleseminar series. With a little creative brainstorming, I’m certain that any business could develop this type of program. 4. Bundle items as a holiday theme: Sell holiday specials to entice people to buy bundles of products or services. Instead of selling single items, offer a theme. For example, a financial planning company could put together a New Year’s Planning Kit that includes a book, tax software, and a one-hour consultation. A spa could put together a Stress-Free Holiday package of a steam bath, facial, and body lotion. 5. Give a coupon or discount: As both a gift to your customers and a way to boost your seasonal revenue, why not offer a discount or send out a coupon that promotes one or more of your services or products. This could be for a report, a CD, a session, or a special program. Again – be creative! People love discounts. 6. Offer a holiday special: You can encourage larger purchases by offering a holiday special like Buy Two and Get a Third Item for Free. Here is a different variation on this same strategy: Tell your customers when they purchase a certain amount, the will get something for free. For instance, Buy $100 worth of products and get a free CD. These are just a few ways that you can both thank your customers and offer them something special for the holidays. These marketing strategies also help […]
Developing an effective business strategy is crucial for a business in the UK or anywhere for that matter, we live in a business world where competitors always want to stay one step ahead of everyone else and it is your duty as a small business owner to do proper market research in order to come up with innovative ways to promote your business venture or simply improve ideas your competitors may have developed. There is nothing wrong in launching similar marketing strategies to the ones your competitors are running, you must always remember to give it a unique twist or improve the original concept, if the strategy is proven to work then in can perform even better by adding a few custom changes. Remember that copying an idea is not the right way to market your business, you need to differentiate your product and build your unique brand. It is every small business owner’s dream to create their own niche and capitalize on this exclusive monopolization, unfortunately any product, service or spin you give to your business can be duplicated or copied by any of your competitors so it is necessary for you to create a good image and reputation which will set you apart from more generic type of businesses, just think about it as if you were to choose buying an identical product from two different stores which carry the same item, would you buy the product from the store which has a bad appearance or from the one which has a better presentation? The answer is obvious. Being constantly updated about the changes your particular market goes through can help you prepare for market changes which may affect your budget or the way you do business, so don’t get caught of guard and be left out of the loop by these changes. Being aware of news which concern your niche can give you an advantage by learning from others what works and what doesn’t, the idea is to gather as much information about your competitors as possible in order to find their weak and strong spots in order to create an even better business strategy. Regardless of the type of business you run, it is always a good idea to take advantage of the latest technology available to streamline and automate repetitive tasks. Building your brand, differentiating your products and improving profitable business models can help you shape a productive business strategy.
You have an idea, but no money yet. Whether it comes from a loan or from investors doesnt really make too much difference, since theres one thing that they all need to see before theyll give you a cent. This is called a business plan. 1. Whats a Business Plan? Think of your business plan as being like a list of answers to questions that people might have about your home business. You will not get outside funding without one, because the people giving you the funding want to know that youve thought through what youre doing. A business plan says to them Ive considered this from every angle, and heres what Ive come up with. 2. But What Should Your Business Plan Include? What is Your Service? This is the first question every business plan should answer. Just what is it that you plan to do? Tell them that industry youre going to be in, and why youve chosen it. Who are Your Customers? Once you know what you do, the next thing you need to know is who youre going to be doing it for, and so thats the next thing that should be written on the business plan. You should also include your area here. What Makes You Different? You need to say what the key factors are that make your business different to other businesses in its sector. What is it that youre planning to do to make the business succeed? What are Your Expenses? Your start-up expenses include any equipment that you need before you can get up-and-running, while your day-to-day expenses are staff costs and supplies. 3. An Example Note that this is a very short and sweet business plan: in real life, each one of these sections would be closer to a page in length. That said, it is a bad idea to go into too much detail in your plan. Youre not trying to tell the reader everything, just the basics of the business and why they should give you money to help you build it. Always focus on profit. 4. The Catering And Cake Company Nature of Business: The business will be a home-based catering company, producing luxury food for special occasions such as birthdays and weddings. We will provide a comprehensive catering service, with a special line in cakes, that have a higher profit margin than other foods. Target Market: The business is to focus on catering who want luxury but still care about cost. To begin with, our target area is within a ten-mile radius of Anytown, to include the affluent area of Othertown. Key Factors: We will use industrial-quality ingredients but provide bespoke-quality design and service. This will allow us to provide food that looks excellent and tastes acceptable, while keeping costs low. Expenses: Since I will be using my kitchen for the business and making the food myself, there are only two real expenses: the one-off cost of a larger cooker, and then the day-to-day cost supplies. […]
The International Business Brokers Association (IBBA) today has more than one thousand six hundred fifty cooperative business brokers and intermediaries across Australia, Europe, Asia, Mexico, and the United States making it the largest international non-profit association that operates exclusively for the benefit of people and firms taking on the various aspects of a business brokerage, mergers and acquisitions. The most complete package of membership benefits and services, best networking opportunities and most influential group of business brokers are some of what awaits a person who wants to join the International Business Brokers Association. Other benefits include: EducationThe leading educational programming for business in the world is offered by IBBA through world-class courses and workshops and IBBA members can take advantage of the learning opportunities designed specifically for the brokering industry. CertificationIBBA members can get hold of the certification process which is an exclusive offer. Members can take advantage of this and immediately start by completing necessary courses to earn this prestigious credential. NetworkingThe opportunity to meet and network with leading brokering professionals through the semi-annual conferences, workshops and courses, and receptions are all designed to allow its members to further their business and career. Member DiscountsNot only do members enjoy a discount on registration fees for attending bi-annual conferences and taking educational courses, but the association also works in partnership with a number of organizations that provide discounts and benefits to IBBA members such as: BizQuest, Brokerage Concepts, Business Value Express, BV Market Data, The Deal Spectator, and Directories USA.com. The International Business Brokers association also includes different committees that play important roles for the association, here are some of them: Public Relations CommitteeThe IBBA Public Relations Committee aims to raise awareness of IBBA in the business brokerage profession and maintain and supply a stable flow of IBBA communications to the membership. Newsletter CommitteeThis committee aims to foster the professional development and advancement of IBBA members, inform members of the activities of the association, and promote the profession and the association to target audiences. Conference Committee This committees mission is to produce two conferences per year that will offer forum for educational programming, industry networking, certification recognition, and trade shows events for the industry. Education CommitteeThis committee aims to update the current IBBA courses being offered in the bi-annual conferences and to local and regional affiliate groups. They also create and develop new courses to meet professional advancement and educational demands of members. M&A Source Committee This committees mission is to provide M&A Source members the chance to better leverage their time and talents. They also provide the deals database, surveys, networking, hosting semi-annual conferences with expos, and modern educational sessions. Other committees of the International Business Brokers Association include Membership Committee, Government relations Committee, technology Committee, and International Committee. Lance Wallnau – KBA conference (Kingdom Business Association) – 2013 Saturday, Oct. 26, 2013 – morning session. (Part 1 of 5 parts. ) Videos filmed and shared by Steve Martin – to give appreciatio. . .
Starting a new business can be a harried experience. There are a myriad of decisions to be made, the budget needs stretched, the new secretary quits before the end of the first week: the struggles are endless. When starting a business from your home, you can add a slew of unique challenges to the list. Being aware of the potential pitfalls, and preparing for them can provide a way of preserving your sanity. Friends and family members frequently assume that if you are at home, you are available. Nothing can set your work back hours, faster than an unplanned visit from your mother. Setting clear boundaries regarding your schedule and availability for phone calls and visits can prevent misunderstandings early on in the life of your business. If you are choosing to keep your small children home with you while you work, that carefully planned schedule can quickly become fodder for your three year old. Getting up early is often the best way to increase your productivity while those little angels are still slumbering away. Having a contingency plan for days when the work load requires more attention than usual is an excellent way to head off disasters before they happen. Find local babysitters who are willing to come to your home to help out when needed. Recruit friends and family to provide occasional entertainment for short periods of time to allow you to work without interruptions. Anything that helps you keep focused is a good investment in preserving your sanity. So what are some of the perks to having a home based business? To start, you can keep your own hours. Your schedule is as flexible as you are. Need to see the dentist? Make your appointment for whenever. No more waiting around for that first appointment of the day or trying to find an office open after five. Kids have a mid-week soccer game? Not a problem. Better yet, you know that cable repairman that says he will show up sometime between 11 am and 4 pm? You can tell him, Thats perfect. and really mean it because you are home all day anyways. Now you have real freedom to pursuit what you consider important in life such as family, friends and the pleasure of life. especially at tax time. Consulting with a tax expert or accountant early on will arm you with the knowledge necessary to save you time and money when filing your first years business taxes. Working from home means that you can now embrace that chronic insomnia that made you late for traditional jobs and left you dozing off during meetings. Just think of all the money you save by working from home. There is no need to buy that new suit and impressive pair of heels. Your cat does not care how professional you look. You can work naked if the urge strikes you, (just make sure the blinds are closed or you might get unsolicited visits from your neighbors). Finding service providers […]
New and small businesses are often at a disadvantage. Not only do they have to compete with large businesses or much more established businesses that have the resources to provide cheaper services – they have to deal with initial obscurity. In the world of “Roto-Rooter” and “Rescue Rooter”, how is Joe the Plumber able to complete? The answer: easily. Big businesses have one distinct advantage of maintaining their own marketing departments. These groups of people are responsible for maintaining marketing materials, such as brochures, billboards, mail outs, business cards, etc. By making sure the company has a recognizable brand that is reflected in all of the items that customers receive or view, they can stake out their place in their industry. But you can do this too! What these companies manage by paying marketing departments hundreds of thousands of dollars, you can do yourself at a fraction of the price. Nobody ever said that you needed a certain amount of money to begin advertising. With a good printing company, you can accomplish a lot and with less stress. Before you contact your local printing company, make sure they have their own designers who can consult with you and help you shape a marketing strategy. There are many types of marketing materials available out there that can be used affordably and effectively. This includes: Brochures Newsletters Mailing Pieces Door Hangers Post Cards Stationery Envelopes Business Cards Letterheads A reputable printing company will only recommend the materials that you really need. It is also up to you, the small business owner, to use them effectively. For example: a newsletter or door hanger is only truly effective when you include information about coupons or discounts. It’s also a good way to advertise sales and other promotions to help maintain your consumer base. Whatever marketing materials you choose to use must reflect your company’s image in a consistent manner. A logo and color scheme is a great way to start, and an easy way to integrate into your strategy, whether it’s for brochures or stationery. You want to build name recognition. Additionally, you want to create a targeted marketing campaign for any distributed items, such as post cards or door hangers. It helps if, from the start, you think about the kind of customer you want to attract. What type of shopping or spending habits do they have? What neighborhoods can they be found in? Ultimately, you want to stand out from the rest of the pack. Whatever method you choose, be sure to go with an experienced printing company. And, if you’re in the Houston area, feel free to contact AlphaGraphics of Houston. We will provide you with a free consultation about your business, where you will gain invaluable knowledge to create a marketing plan. Our talented in-house designers will bring that vision into a reality, which can be shared with all of your current and future clients.
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