Sunday, October 28, 2012

Employee Gifts for the Holidays That Promote Your Company

The holidays are a great time to reward employees and show your appreciation with personalized corporate gifts in the form of promotional products. Today's economy requires a smart approach to employee recognition and gift giving by making sure scarce resources provide the highest return on your investment.

Employees work hard all year by bringing their talent and skills to make your business successful. For many small to large businesses, the days of holiday bonuses are not as possible as they once were. There are other ways to recognize employees and reward them with a meaningful and useful gift while building your business brand at the same time.

Some of the best gift options include custom promotional items such as hooded sweatshirts, outer wear, hats, and other apparel that give your staff a practical and memorable holiday gift. These items also encourage team building and pride in the workplace as well. By including your logo, business name, tagline, or other corporate branding image, you are also marketing your business every time your employee wears the apparel items.

A professional promotional product company is able to copy your logo or other artwork and embroider, use a silk screening process, or other modern mechanisms to apply your message to garments or other promotional items. These custom gifts can extend beyond your employees, too. The holidays are the perfect time to extend custom promotional gifts to valued clients or customers as well. Besides apparel, there are many gifts to select from such as sports bags, duffel bags, backpacks, briefcases, luggage, and more. These items are very popular gifts and offer marketing opportunities to a wide audience when clients or employees use them and others admire them.

Mugs, business card holders and smaller items such as pens, water bottles, post-it notes, and much, much more, make it possible for you to provide gifts that match your corporate or business budget. The holidays and beginning of the New Year is also a time many businesses give out recognition awards to outstanding employees. Recognition awards might be etched glass gifts, plaques, watches - the possibilities are endless! You can customize your recognition or achievement awards so that the recipient is proud to display them. Clients will take notice, as will family and friends again giving you the opportunity to make a positive brand statement to a wider audience.

Promotional holiday gifts, especially when ordered in bulk, are fantastic way to combine the joy of gift giving with the practical impact of building your corporate brand. Whether you are a small, local business or a major corporation with a national client-base, promotional gifts for the holidays are a smart investment that is a win-win for your employees and clients and for your business image.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Tips to Get Your Clients to Trust and Like You

You've heard the term "it's all about networking", you may have wondered what exactly does that mean or you've thought networking is great but what really is it going to do for me. The term networking is key and it is so important. You may think I'm just an internet marketing company what will networking do for me? Or you think I do SEO and write programs shouldn't I network with computers. Well yes but not exactly. Business is built on relationships and people. You can't forget the reason that you got into the business because you were passionate about it and you found a need where others couldn't. You founded your organization based on your passions and what you wanted to share with your future clients, whatever your business is you know you are the one that can provide the best service, the best value and the best product. Now the trick is to get and keep clients, and have them trust and like you and your brand. How do you do this?

1. Jump in and make a splash!
The first part of your project is key to building a successful relationship. In the first stages of the project the client will how you respond to them and also how you will be handling their account. Make this time count. This time also helps you to understand your client and how they would like their account handled. Try sending your new clients a note to explain what you need from them and what you will be providing so they understand expectations and a time frame. Try to create a spread sheet with issues that you want to tackle and handle throughout the project, making a reasonable time line for you and your client to adhere to. Make notes and ask your client to make notes and always include a solution section so that you both understand what is needed.

Why they will adore you: You have fair expectations from both parties Your client understands what you are going to be solving for them You identified big opportunities (issues and solutions) Confirmation they made a good decision by bringing you on

2. Check in, share, and collaborate
Email your point of contact throughout every step. Allow them time to give you feedback and to offer potential opportunities. If your client just wants you to "do the work" or they don't have time to communicate with you about the project along the way you both risk an unhappy party. Let them know you value their time but you want to provide them with a successful product they will also appreciate. Ask them for suggestions and ideas even the most mundane tasks a client can weigh in on, choosing a back ground color or photo, try to give them 3 options if they are super busy. Ask your client if there is anything they are trying to push, and if you can help them push it you can gain even more loyalty points!

Why they will adore you: They will feel included in the process and that their opinions count You delivered pertinent recommendations and confirmed what a great idea it was to bring you in. You helped get one of their objectives pushed through quickly.

3. Respect their time
This is key to building a good relationship. A company can love you and your personality but if you don't respect their time commitments and their business you risk losing them as a client. Set clear time goals, also ask them what their time commitments are currently. Promptly return calls and emails and always try to use the rule 15mins ahead is on time.

Why they will adore you: They will know you value their company and their time Time=$$$$ Neither one of you want to waste either You are courtous and they know they can count on you You reaffirmed their reasons for hiring you over a competitor yet again! WAY 2 GO!

4. CALL THEM- - Call them- call them!
This goes with out saying... just keep up the line of communication and practice follow up calls and emails. Our general rule of thumb is a call every 3weeks to check on costumers and make sure we are fulfilling their needs, and then follow up with an email. We also like to follow up every phone call with an email to reaffirm what we are going to be working on and check in again to make sure we've answered all questions.

Why they will adore you: They know you care Even when they don't understand they know your available to speak with them, even if they don't remind themselves they know you'll be giving them a health check call You go over questions with them and check up on them throughout the duration of your releationship. You'd call someone your dating right well now its like your dating your clients. You keep up the relationship and know whats going on with their company objectivies.

5. Confirm to their work style
Your in business to provide a service, what that means is that the costumer is right. You need to confirm to their work style. If they want you to call them at night-then call at night. If they operate business opening at 3am schedule your calls around them. If they like to follow up weekly or even daily schedule it in your calendar to remind your self. Check with them on the best time to call or email. Check with them how often they would like to communicate with you throughout the project. Keep their business model. Show real interest in their business, if you know NOTHING about spiders but you work with spider web & arachnid then pick up a book and learn.

Why they will adore you: People appreciate when you show interest in what they are doing You are passionate about your product and business model so are they You respect them as a professional and show that you care When you show them you care about their product and are making an effort to understand it they care more about your business and services you can provide them You can upsell more by understanding what their needs are You show them that you are in the business of service and you will do what ever it takes to provide great service

6. Build a relationship with your client and with the company
Relationships build trust and build repeat clients. Take them out to lunch or for coffee, get to know them on a personal level and your professional relationship will soar. They will want to work with you more and trust you if they feel like they are working with a friend.

Why they will adore you: Your now their BFF visiting them in person or taking them for coffee shows commitment They will build a connection with you and learn more about you and your company

7. Go the extra mile- do work they didn't even know they needed, provide something for them they can't get anywhere else
You want to go above and beyond for your client and this means finding out what they need before they even know they need anything. Planing ahead shows the client you care about their business succeeding and not just about making your self and your company a quick buck. You want to keep them as a long term client and you want them to succeed. Make suggestions of what you can do for them. At this point they should trust you and you will have established a relationship so you need to show them that you are looking out for their bottom line. Try to provide them services for free along with their package, they didn't sign up for something extra but it'll only take you 3 minutes go ahead and do it for them. Give them more then they expect and they will stay by your company for years to come.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

How To Grow Your Website Organically

Your website is an important reflection of your business. It is where most people go to look you up before taking the next step to contact and then hire you. Being found on the internet is crucial in today's business world. Not many businesses can brag that they have so much business that they do not need a website to generate more. However, even if you have enough work to keep you steadily employed, there still should be a placeholder on the internet for your business which, at the very least, provides contact information for your clients.

Many services are out there to help you optimize your website for search engines. This is a good resource for businesses that have the capital to spend on professional management, however, there are free methods to organically growing your website, if you take the time. Here are a few steps that you can take to grow your website and help it to be seen as valuable and thus better promoted on the internet.

What determines "value" in website ranking? Value is an intangible quality that search engines attempt to quantify by measuring concrete data about your website:

Does your website have pertinent information about your organization? This is measured by:

Word Content: The words you use on your web pages are noted by search engines and used to help people looking to match what they type in the search box to what's out there on the internet.

Videos and pictures: Providing more information in a variety of methods to your audience improves your chances of being listed higher in searches.
Does your website get a lot of traffic? Measured by:

Visitors to your website: Visitors to your website are noted for the length of time they spend at each page. This helps Google and other search engines recognize that the website you have is valuable because people are reading and lingering at your site.

Links to your website: Demographics are maintained by search engines to see how many other sources find your website valuable and worth pointing their audience toward you with a link. (Coming soon in another article- how to get more links to your website!)

Active websites are more likely to find themselves on the first page of a Google search than inactive websites. This means adding content, such as a blog, editing and updating your website and keeping the content fresh. This also helps keep your customers coming back to see what's new.

Writing a blog may seem intimidating, but there is good news! Figuring out enjoyable topics (for the writer and the audience) is easier than what you may expect. Once you get the hang of it, you'll be taking notes for future topics that you'll want to write and post from every day experiences and activities.

First of all, let's look at the history and use of blogs; this will give us a better understanding of what blog readers (your audience) tend to read more and why.

"The modern blog evolved from the online diary, where people would keep a running account of their personal lives. (source: Wikipedia) Websites, including both corporate sites and personal homepages, had and still often have "What's New" or "News" sections, often on the index page and sorted by date."

Coming from a vantage of why and how blogs were formed, we see that it is a useful tool for communicating with your target audience; in most cases for businesses- you blog for your current and your potential clients.

Take a solid, solitary moment to imagine yourself as someone who may be interested in what your business has to offer. * Think from your customer's point of view. Ask yourself about what your customers have recently been inquiring when they come and see you. What are your customers interested in buying from you? What are the latest trends in what you've been selling the most? What types of questions have your customers been asking you or your representatives?

When you listen to your customers, you will have topics for your blogs readily pouring forth by their questions, purchasing habits and problems. When a customer has a problem, this is a golden opportunity for you to jot down some interesting facts about the case and to share with others in a blog!

Sunday, October 7, 2012

How to Market a OB/GYN Practice Successfully

Marketing an OB/GYN practice is a sensitive subject considering the issues involved in it. OB/GYN marketing is distinctive in nature as the target audience in specific and the topic can be a little bit insubstantial. The reason why OB/GYN marketing is different from other practice's marketing is that women are uncomfortable discussing their issues in open. However, this very reason makes OB/GYN marketing all the more important. You have to be very careful of the fact that you don't contravene delicate boundaries with your marketing efforts. Here's how you can market your OB/GYN practice successfully.

I. One advantage as a gynecologist you get is you don't have to identify the target audience. Having said that, you need to build up credibility for your practice. Why should women trust your practice? Creating a practice logo and advertising through brochures and pamphlets will take care of your brand identity. Women are circumspect of talking about their health problems. So, slipping a brochure in local newspapers occasionally, explaining all the services and procedures would keep your would-be patients informed.

II. Pertaining to their hesitance to discuss issues, the Internet gives them an option to search for a relevant gynecologist. Now, how are you going to develop an internet presence? The answer lies in creation of an obstetrics and gynecology website. Take help of the finest medical website designers available. Tell them to focus on the content part. It's the quality of the content, which will determine the website's traffic. In your website, mention patients' testimonials. This will encourage prospective patients to visit your clinic.

III. It's a known fact when it comes to women's health there is no other way than a female's circle of friends. If you can build trust through effective marketing campaign, you probably would get an advantage of positive word of mouth. If you leave your patients utterly satisfied, there is likelihood they will share their experience with other friends.

IV. Happy, healthy and satisfied patients are more likely to refer you to other women. A good referral base will not only add sustainability to your practice, but also build trust among potential clients. In order to have a good referral base, consider having weekly frequently asked question posts on your website. Encourage patients to discuss issues that they more often than not fail to discuss with you in open.

OB/GYN marketing involves a great deal of innovation and assessment of marketing strategies at regular intervals. When done ethically, medical marketing will your web traffic, increase trust, increase word of mouth referrals, and thus increase the number of patients.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

4 Ways To Use A Mobile App Whatever Your Industry

f you're relatively new to mobile apps, then you might be thinking "what does a mobile app actually do?" or "how can I use an app?".

If that's you, then I hope to clear the muddy water a bit...

An app can do almost anything that you want it to. It really does depend on what you do as a business or what idea you have.

To help, I'm going to share with you 4 things an app can do...

1. Entertain

There are countless games on the app stores at the moment and it's growing. With the success of games like Angry Birds, developing a game app can prove to be a very lucrative investment. However, an app doesn't have to be a game to entertain. It could also play videos and music.

2. Educate

If you teach, coach or counsel. An app can be a great medium to share your expertise to the world and help them in the areas of your specialty.

3. Sell

Just as you sell things in your store and on a website, you can only sell them on a mobile app too; making it extremely easy for your customers to buy from you.

4. Serve

If you're a service based business like a restaurant, hairdresser, spa, nightclub or accountant; an app can give your clients the ability to see your services/events, book them, contact you and even find you more easily from their mobile phone.

A mobile app can also do a combination of any of the above. For example, a hairdresser's app primarily serves, however it can also educate with video tutorials or advice.

Which use you decide to develop your app for, the main thing is that your app should be interactive.

Now, since you're still hear reading this article, I'm going to throw in a 5th way to use mobile apps, something I'm been getting a lot of request for, and it's this...

5. Improve Efficiency

You see, an app doesn't only have to be for customers, it can also be for internal teams. Time is becoming more and more precious and with the availability of apps, you don't have to continue to use paper and pen methods to document information to later "regurgitate" onto a computer.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

3 Marketing Strategies to Stretch Your Dollar

As you start planning your business marketing strategy, there are many considerations to make. How much money do you have to spend on marketing? What's your budget? What are you doing now? What's working? What's not? What can you do that's new?

Here are three suggestions which may help you get the most bang for your marketing buck.

1) Build a website. Almost 50 percent of small businesses in the U.S. do not have websites. Yet, more than 90 percent of consumers search online for businesses, including local businesses, before making a purchase. If nothing else, your website should provide the consumer with basic information about your business such as products, services, hours and location. The more information you have about your business on the website, the more the customer can find out about your business and the more interested that customer will be. Setting up a website does not have to be expensive but you will reap its rewards for many years to come.

2) Establish a Google+ Local Business page. While Google+ is fairly new, it's a powerful online marketing tool. Users can utilize it to make posts, to share photos, videos and articles and to communicate with followers. It also has several advantages over Facebook, including the fact that it lets you separate your followers into "circles." These circles let you target messages for specific groups. If you have a business with different products and services that appeal to different audiences, then you can divide your audience and target your messages rather than sending the same messages to everyone. Another advantage Google+ has over Facebook is that Google+ is not a closed community. You can share posts publicly on Google+ and those will be indexed by the search engines so more potential customers can find your business.

3) Conduct a press release campaign. A campaign is not just sending out one press release which announces a special offer. A press release campaign includes sending out 1 or more press releases over a period of several weeks. Each press release focuses on a different aspect of your business. This could include special offers, new products or services, or what awards or certifications your business or employees have earned. Press releases can also focus on current events and how your business addresses those. For instance, a lawn care business could issue a press release on how to deal with drought conditions.

Press releases distributed online can help drive traffic to your business website. Also, those distributed to local media gets you noticed as an expert in your field and industry. This can lead to media interviews related to your industry and your business. Media interviews are free publicity.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

From Floundering to Fabulous: 3 Tips to Great Marketing That Attracts More Clients

I was out on Saturday evening for sushi after the spa with a girlfriend (it's a popular Saturday evening ritual), and the savvy waiter (savvy because she knows my girlfriend and I are marketing experts) requests us to take a look at her massage therapy "promotional flyer" and provide our feedback. Well... ask and you shall receive.

'It was to our advantage we had already ordered our meals because the waitress was NOT going to like listening to my feedback,' I think to myself.

One of the biggest and most costly errors I see clients making is spending thousands of dollars on crappy marketing material like flyers, yellow page ads, fancy-schmancy websites that do everything but cook your pancakes for you. While all of the above look really good, they don't actually engage your audience to take action and pick up the phone and call you to do business.

ENGAGING with you, creating a relationship with you - and ultimately doing business with you - that is what great marketing is all about.

The truth is, most people will grab your expensive flyer and toss it in the garbage along with all of that nice colorful language that took you not hours, not days, not weeks but MONTHS of preparation. Which is yet just another reason to procrastinate NOT getting out there... "I'm waiting for my flyer to be ready." Procrastination is a whole other mindset topic in itself, so let's stick to the topic - how to create great marketing.

My friend and I shared with the waitress as politely as we could our feedback on her flyer and could see the excitement drain from her face. OK, I wasn't as polite as I could have been but that's just me - you may not like what I have to say but I am always brutally honest. I can't help myself when it comes to marketing and sales. I spent 4 years on the road, day in and day out, on the mop stage doing live product demonstrations from store to store, selling THOUSANDS of mops to all kinds of people in all kinds of situations. It's turned me into a walking talking marketing machine. Some people call it a gift.

1. The bottom line is this... don't waste your time or your money on expensive flyers UNLESS... you know EXACTLY who your target market is and you spell it out on your marketing material literally on the title of your flyer - you know those online opt in pages when you go to sign up for a free teleclass? Take a look at the top of the pages and you will see something like "Attention: coaches, healers, speakers, authors, etc." these pages work so well to grab your attention and sign up because they are qualifying the audience. You want your material to do that too, you want to make it easy for your audience to say "YUP that's me!" and then sign up.

2. Which brings me to another problem I see with a lot of holistic practitioners and solopreneurs marketing material -your marketing is too vague.

I know in the beginning I was guilty of this one too - I think we all are starting out. You need clients - you don't really know who your clients are yet but you know you need them, so you say yes to everyone and your marketing is some kind of open blanket statement like "Life Coach." OK, that isn't even really a statement, but that's how most people start out. You want your message to stand out and grab your audience's attention, and you do that by positioning it in one of these 2 ways:

A. A solution to a problem
For example: Escape the 9-5 work and start your own business
Lose the Last 20 lbs Without Starving Yourself or Yoyo Dieting
Instant Stress Relief Without Harmful Drugs, Side Effects or Medication

B. A benefit
For example: Attract 5 New Clients by Next Week
Look and Feel Fit, Fabulous and Sexy Over 50
5 Simple Keys to Attract Your Soulmate

People are always looking to avoid pain and gain pleasure. It's instinctual - don't fight it, just work with it. There is a reason as one of my marketing mentors Adam Urbanski says: "People buy more pain killers like Tylenol than they do vitamins." And he's right. When people have an urgent problem, they are looking for someone who can offer them a solution. Position your language and marketing to do that and presto - you've created great marketing that attracts clients.

3. Get out there and start making offers to the right audience who can say YES to your offers and then correct your message as you go. Nothing beats getting into action. Most entrepreneurs have this fear of having to be perfect of having to get it right before they get out of the gate but if you study the most successful entrepreneurs, they are those who get out there and test, test and test. Look at the Wright brothers, they failed 100 times before they got the plane off the ground. You have to be willing to test out your message and your offers and self correct as you go. That's been my secret to success.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

5 Tips For An Effective Email Marketing Campaign

Today where almost everyone is online, more and more business owners are switching from traditional mediums of business advertising to online means. From managing a website, to SEO and social networking, email marketing is one of the best ways to introduce your products and services to the online world.

A well planned email marketing campaign can largely affect your business' visibility and global recognition. And by following the right email marketing procedures, you can start seeing the results once your target costumers receive your emails. Email marketing also allows you to adapt to a constantly changing business world which makes the competition for a wider client base more cut-throat than ever before.

If you want to get the most out of your online presence, you should invest more time and energy on making sure that you get your email marketing strategy right.

1. Make sure to put obvious links on your email. Remember that the main purpose of email marketing is to drive traffic into your website. In order to achieve this, you need to include a lot of working links in your email and make sure that they actually look like links. You can also use a strong call to action to help attract your users to click on the links.

2. Tell your subscribers of what to expect. It is important to let your readers know what you plan on giving them and how often. You need to provide enough information on your subscription form so they can properly decide whether they want to be on your mailing list or not.

3. Don't forget to send a welcome email. It's advisable to remind your readers why they are receiving an email from your company and take this opportunity to thank them for their loyalty. You also need to reassure them that they can expect a lot of great things from their subscription. You can start by giving away a special offer or an exclusive content for new subscribers.

4. Make sure to include an easy to unsubscribe option in your email. Assuring your readers that they can unsubscribe from your emails or newsletters anytime they want is a good thing. You need to incorporate easy-to-find links that will allow them to unsubscribe with minimal effort.

Otherwise, when people get frustrated while figuring out how to remove their email addresses from your list it is likely that your email will be flagged as spam. This will affect your reputation and your future emails will end up in the junk folder instead of in the inbox of your potential clients.

5. Keep Your Text Short and Scannable. You can't expect users to read the entire text in your email. They're simply going to scan it for various points that might interest them. So keep it to the point, concise and highlight important messages.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

How To Talk to Women (And Why Your Marketing Has To)

Recently, I spoke to a group of business owners about how men and women make buying decisions very differently. I told this kind-of-funny story about the couple shopping for a BMW 540i:

After months of research, this particular couple finally found their dream car. Striding into the dealership they knew within a few short hours they'd be leaving with 3,000 pounds of fine German steel.

The husband jumped behind the wheel, the salesman rode shotgun. They talked torque and performance engineering. So far, so good. The test drive was going fantastically. But then the wife, sitting in the back, noticed something that really bothered her. It seemed so trivial, but the more she thought about it the more it bugged her. So, wincing inwardly at the scorning that was likely going to come from the front seat, she asked the sales person, "So, what's up with the cup holders?"

The salesperson shot her a pitiful stare. "They're right there."

"Yes," she replied, "but they're so tiny. And those claws look flimsy. There's no way they'd actually hold a coffee mug."

Deathly silence from the front seat. Her husband did his best to keep a straight face.

"Well, that's because Europeans don't eat or drink in their cars," the salesman retorted curtly.

"Yes, but I do," the wife insisted. "And so do my kids."

Another irritated look from the salesman, "Well, you could just hold your drinks between your legs."

Game over.

The salesman went home that day with only moths in his wallet. And the husband and wife team went home without their new car, although theirs was only a temporary set back.

After doing some research online, they found the pathetic cup holders were a common complaint of many BMW owners. The answer was to buy an attachment to fix the problem. Happy to have a solution to their problem, the husband and wife team went back to a different dealership and this time, came home with their new Beamer.

You're not alone if you're reading this thinking that it sounds pretty stupid that a $50,000 deal could be blown because of some flimsy cup holders. But the car salesman made the very common (and very costly) mistake of assuming that the woman didn't have any say in the buying decision. According to the most recent statistics, not only do most women influence 80% of all car purchases, they also buy the majority of cars (including trucks).

Welcome to the New Economy my friend. There are two sexes in the human race and only one of them does most of the shopping.

Women account for 85% of all consumer purchases

91% of new homes
66% computers
92% vacations
80% healthcare decisions
89% bank accounts
93% food
90% insurance, investments and retirement accounts

(Percentages of women that participate in decisions affecting their household's retirement and investment accounts.)

Women also are the biggest online consumers. 22% of women shop online at least once a day.

Source: Mindshare/Ogilvy & Mather

But, here's the rub.

Most marketing is aimed squarely at the male consumer, even though it's women who make most of the buying decisions. Even for products considered traditionally for men like deodorant, men's clothing, and yes, even your 6.6L V8 turbo-diesel Duramax truck.

As a marketer, here's what's most important for you to realize: women make buying decisions very differently from men. Women prefer practical benefits to features. They don't care how many settings a freezer has - they want to know if it's big enough to store frozen pizza. Men on the other hand, tend to love features.

Women are story driven. They want to feel a connection, empathy, with the company they are buying from. Telling the story of a business or a product becomes a very powerful sales tool. Men on the other hand, are more influenced by facts and figures. Give me the info and I'll make the decision. Women want to know who you are first and foremost before deciding whether they'll buy from you. Stories are also very powerful when selling to men, but typically to demonstrate outcome.

For women, it's much more about the relationship. Does what you're offering work for the kids? The rest of the family?

These are just a couple of critical differences you need to take into account when you're creating your marketing. More and more big companies are realizing who holds the purse strings and are scrambling to change their marketing, and their businesses, to accommodate it. Lexus offers free massages while your car is being serviced, and a local rescue repair team in case of breakdown. Ryland Homes completely changed their floor model so the back yard could be viewed from the kitchen and all living spaces.

Final Takeaway

Marketing to women is not about excluding men. It's about gaining a deeper understanding of your target market and, specifically, how to make your marketing message strike a chord and spur action from a prospect, whether they're XX or XY chromosome.

Avoid any marketing campaigns that rely on clich├ęs or stereotypes. A direct mail piece in a pink envelope won't win you new female customers. Ad campaigns that speak exclusively to men will alienate women, and vice versa. Aim instead for gender-neutral design and packaging like Apple's. Steer clear of insults, don't oversimplify consumer preferences, and avoid generalizations about your customers.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

What To Look For When Selecting Business Printing Services

Nowadays most companies are very likely to have their own in-house office printers; rather than a luxury, this is now a requirement for a well-equipped office. Nevertheless while owning your own printer may solve your daily printing needs or perhaps a larger one-off undertaking, the overall volume of printing jobs that have to be carried out in normal offices can often be too much for the hardware. Since most businesses need to produce their your business cards, letterheads, advertisement brochures and leaflets, things can go from bad to worse. That's why most businesses need to look for another solution and consider Business Printing Services.

Hiring Commercial Printing Services is the ideal solution for the daily printing jobs for a load of reasons, but mainly because volume printing is usually the most cost-effective way to print larger runs. Many offices will have their own trusted external printing company who will provide routine or customized print facilities.

It is best to select local Business Printing Services for the individual job in hand because they are going to need the ability to deliver their services without delay whenever you need.

Here are some of the advantages of using external Business Printing Services:

Perhaps you cannot afford to purchase multiple printers or have dedicated staff for the printing jobs. Making use of these services will save a lot to you of time and cash.

You are able to give your print supplier some ideas and they can help you come up with designs for business cards, leaflets an such like. As an alternative, it is usually possible to give them ready made designs and also have them printed.

Lasting relationships are built by long terms users making use of their business printers and that ensures good quality merchandise as well as significant discounts.

Services such as lamination, application of varnishes, embossing, numbering your cards as well as sending them by mail will be often provided. You can usually work out a package deal for the different services and it will certainly save you a lot of hassle.

However, before selecting your printer you have to make sure that they have the ability to offer the standard of work that you need and deliver your jobs on time.

With this in mind, some questions you need to ask your printer before hiring him:

Ask the, what sort of printing they offer; whether it really is offset or just laser printing. These both work very well for routine office printing jobs but digital printing might be required for precise printing like, for example, on business cards.

Find out what sizes of jobs they can handle. While some are content to do short runs of 50 prints others focus on a minimal order of thousands. Select one based on your needs.

Check into their turnaround time at the beginning. Have a balanced perspective with respect to the quality and delivery time before deciding.

Try to perform research on their past clients with respect to satisfaction and ask your printer for references about their previous jobs.

Always ask about returns policy for, if you are not content with the final product, you may have to raise a complaint or return the work. Also, check their quality control procedures in case there are errors in your job.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

How Do You Know When You Finally Have A Good Idea?

Have you ever known a time when ideas have been more important, nor so plentiful? Ideas are everywhere lately! Huge ideas, game changing ideas, groundbreaking ideas. All meant to fuel the ever-rising consumer demand for innovation. Creative problem solving has developed into an everyday activity for hundreds of thousands of eager and impressive business people around the world.

The problem is, most don't have a clue what a "good idea" really is.

All Ideas Are Not Created Equal

Think about it. Simply what constitutes a good idea? That it's a breakthrough idea and essentially modifies the way folks do things? Just like the Kindle did? Possibly you've forgotten the unique Sony Bookman, a monumental failure. Clearly a digital book reader was an amazing idea in 2007 - not so much in 1991.

That it makes use of technologies in highly effective new ways? Was the atomic bomb a good idea? That one continues to be debated.

Because it's less expensive? The Yugo is considered one of the most disastrous automotive introductions in history.

Since it takes something familiar and "improves" on it? Like Crystal Pepsi in the 90s? Neither lasted a year.

Apparently new, better, improved, technologically advanced and all the other holy grails product developers and marketers seek aren't what defines a good idea, at least not all the time.

So what are the characteristics of a good idea? Are they particular to the task at hand? Or are there consistent qualities that apply to just about any idea? More important, can they be defined before idea generation begins, to help lead us to the most important, finest idea possible? Or are they only evident after an idea has been conceived, carried out and tested - suggesting that producing good ideas is pretty much a matter of chance?

There are definitely common characteristics shared among all worthwhile ideas. But generally there shall be more specific qualities that have to be present for an idea to be thought of highly effective for solving a particular challenge.

The Common Parts of Good Ideas

Different/Better - For a good suggestion to be good, it should be at least somewhat different from something else - whatever the new idea is making an attempt to replace. And it should provide some extent of improvement. Otherwise, it's simply a mediocre idea or a bad idea. It doesn't really need to be new (as in never before accomplished - as in "innovative"), just different from what has been carried out before for the particular challenge.

Delivers Value - "Value" is a fascinating word in that it requires two connected elements. First, the idea must do something better - faster, cheaper, easier, more elegantly, more powerfully, more successfully, more efficiently. But that improvement must also be something somebody really wants. All of the examples given earlier (and pretty much every other legendary product or marketing blunder) failed because no person really wanted the improvement provided, or at the very least not at the expense of something else more important. Value is, by definition, something "valued." And it's an integral part of a very good idea.

Doable - A flying automotive or a home teleportation chamber could be nifty. But sadly both defy the currently accepted laws of physics. For an idea to be good, it must be possible. It might seem obvious, but for those who sit through enough brainstorm sessions, you will hear lots of inconceivable suggestions.

Acceptable Cost-Benefit - If the idea costs more to implement than it can deliver in terms of value, it is impractical. This is applicable not just to financial cost, but time, resources, energy, etc. If no one is prepared to pay the price for whatever benefit the idea delivers, it's not a good idea.

Particular Criteria for Good Ideas

After all, each problem has its distinctive aspects and requirements. So in addition to the common elements of fine ideas discussed above, you will need to determine what specific characteristics an idea will need to have in order to be considered "good" - and to do so BEFORE you begin generating ideas.

That is rarely the case in practice. In typical group brainstorms, for instance, unless the session leader has been skilled in advanced brainstorming methodologies, it is unlikely that he or she will have considered the objective selection standards for ideas generated.

By taking the time to do that before ideation begins, and sharing these criteria with the group, everyone is on the same page. The group knows what their ideas will be measured against, and can think about this when generating them. Adding this one, simple step to the brainstorming process can lead to dramatically better results, both in terms of quality and quantity of excellent ideas.

If you're like most people, you're coming up with ideas all the time. Some for challenges or opportunities in business, some for use in your private life. Take a few moments to consider - ideally before you begin thinking - just what a winning idea will look like.

You'll find it quite a bit easier to identify when it finally shows up.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

4 Best Tips For Using Silicon Bracelets For Promotional Purposes

Bracelets have a variety of uses, and product promotion is one of the most popular, as far as companies are concerned. Companies place bulk orders for them to be produced and to bear some certain information as far as the product being promoted is concerned. One may think that this is an easy process but this is not always the case as there are many considerations to be made.

For instance, when promoting different products, the advertising department will need to choose what colours to use and how to distribute them on the bracelets. Here are some tips to help in placing the order.

Length of promotion

The length of the promotion period is one way that is used to determine how much will be ordered. In the case where the commodity being promoted is only purchased seasonally, like umbrellas, there is then no need to make a very bulk order as after the season is done, all remaining promotional products will be useless. It is wise to consider how long the promotion will last and place orders that will be enough to serve the desired period.

The cost of the bracelets

Another thing that is used in the amount determination is cost. The funny thing with these promotional accessories is that the less the order the more the amount you will have to pay.

With this knowledge, it then becomes wise to plan to use the bracelets for a long time in order for you to enjoy the advantages that come with bulk orders. If it is not necessary to place a large order, then find a company that will give you a good price as this will help you save.

Products being promoted

A company may decide that they want to promote a whole brand of products. It is common knowledge that a brand may have as many as 20 products and this then means that the bracelets have to be ordered and made in such a way that they cover all the products. This will involve colour and product names and so a computation of how many for each product needs to be ordered. This helps determine the amount to order.

Other promotional methods being used

Again, a good company does not rely on only one mode of promotion for its products. Firms combine several modes to be more effective in reaching out to the market.

If the firm already has like two or three other promotional modes in place and are regarded effective, then the promotional silicon bracelets do not have to be ordered in bulk, as their purpose is just to add support to the existing advertising modes.