Success Tip : Making Your Business Look BIGGER to Your Customers

Comments (20)


IT'S EASIER THAN YOU THINK NOT TO LOOK SMALL! Certain things will make your company look and feel small to investors and customers. By avoiding these easy to fix traps, you can go a long way in making your company appear more mature. First you must understand that every piece of paper and every word or graphic you present to your customers or potential investors will cause them to judge your professionalism. No detail is too small. No mistake is unimportant when you are building your reputation. The following details are especially important: - You need to have an effective website with minimal text that tells the customer what he needs to know without making him dig for it. Don't have typos and poor grammar on your site. Make sure your text can be read easily and can be printed off your website. Your website should be easy to navigate and have only that information which your customer needs to move to the next step, which is to contact you directly. - You must have well-written and tightly focused sales collateral, which easily and quickly spells out your products and offerings. There should be no typos or grammatical errors. Don't underestimate the importance of this. You should hire a professional writer to write your sales and marketing collateral. - You need formal, graphically designed company stationary and logo. All communications should represent your company's own particular style. - Every presentation you make to your customer should be well crafted on a PowerPoint design template that has been created specifically for your company. - Even if your organization is small, it should be organized to look big. This means you should not have a flat organization. A flat organization, by design, keeps a company from growing. On your website you should have bios for each of the company's officers. The more officers your company has, the more mature you will look. You might want to consider contracting with professional consultants to fill important VP slots until you can hire someone permanently. PACKAGE YOUR INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY Growing a small business is extremely difficult. During the early days, months, and years; as your business begins to grow; you string together ideas, products, and services to create an enterprise that reflects your own special talents. Somehow you must package this collection of offerings and present potential clients with a reason to buy from you. At some point, hopefully sooner rather than later, you need to take a step back and analyze the packaging to make sure it clearly reflects who you are today. COMPETE WITH THE BIG BOYS As you grow your sales revenues and begin to measure yourself against the competition, winning your fair share of the market has its challenges. Larger competitors have the advantage of mature sales and marketing organizations. Even when they have inferior products, these competitors' larger look and feel often sets them ahead of you with customers. Customers may be "sold" on the competitor's "packaging", and buy the wrong product for the wrong reasons. Your challenge is not only to help them understand that your product is the better solution for their needs, but also to sell them on the viability of your organization. Unfortunately, perception is everything, and if your packaging makes you look small it really doesn't matter if you have the best product, sometimes it doesn't even matter if you have the best price. Buyers are often reluctant to do business with a company that looks small and/or immature. One thing you might want to consider is partnering with a consultant who is willing to serve as your Vice President of Sales and Marketing on a temporary basis. By doing this, you round out your organizational landscape and reap the benefits of decades of experience without having to pay a VP's salary and benefits until you are financially ready to do so. ANALYZE YOUR SALES AND MARKETING INFRASTRUCTURE TO BECOME MORE COMPETITIVE The first step in becoming more competitive is to perform a complete, objective, analysis of your sales and marketing infrastructure. It will be extremely difficult for you to view your business dispassionately and perform an objective assessment. For this reason, you will probably want to look at contracting with outside professionals to perform your assessment. These industry experts have decades of corporate experience in building successful sales and marketing strategies to help them understand your challenges and how to address them. An outside consultant can provide you with a comprehensive analysis that culminates in a gap analysis and steps to address the holes in your sales and marketing efforts moving forward. Once you have this assessment and know where the gaps are, you can begin to build a sales and marketing plan that will enable your company to effectively win against any and all competitors, big or small. You can either perform the steps to execute the plan internally, or hire outside expertise to perform those functions that you don't have the knowledge and experience to perform. This straightforward and easy to implement process will get your company on the fast track to more sales. GETTING STARTED: DON'T HIRE PERMANENT EMPLOYEES! The catch 22 is this: you need help to compete with the big boys, but you can't afford to hire and maintain the type of staff your bigger competitors have. How do you compete? Eventually, as you reach your sales and revenue goals and meet the growth expectations you have put into place, you will be able to hire the expertise you need for all aspects of your successful business. However, hiring permanent personnel is not usually the best option in the early stages of your business plan. Permanent employees will cost you much more in the form of benefits and taxes and must be paid month after month, even during times when their roles are not needed. By contrast, outside consultants can be engaged on a project by project basis and generally offer you more expertise than you would be able to afford on a permanent basis. In short, hiring an outside resource provides the expert sales and marketing knowledge capital that allows a "small business" to look and feel like a big company, without accruing the costs that come with being big. By engaging a trained consultant on a project basis, your company gains the added freedom to refocus resources in other areas as your needs change. START WINNING IN THE MARKETPLACE Sales and Marketing Pros can guide you through the process of giving your company the look and feel of a much larger organization. SMP's Opportunity Maximizer Workshop performs a full-scale assessment of your sales and marketing infrastructure and provides you with a gap analysis and steps to close the identified gaps. SMP also offers part or full time Advisory Services, allowing you to just pick up the phone and request help as you need it. SMP is ready to work with you and your team to package your business so that it embraces the future. Wouldn't you like to put your competitors in the position of having to explain why their offerings aren't as good as yours. Once you take away their size, all they have left is their products...and you know you have them beat by a mile there. It's time to let your customers know that too. Contact Bob Decker at 952-955-1200 or visit www.salesandmarketingpros.com for more information.

About the Author

Mr. Decker is the Principal of Sales and Marketing Pros (SMP), LLC, founded in 2003 to foster venture incubation, market entry, and growth services to
technology and services companies.
Prior to founding Sales and Marketing Pros, Mr. Decker was a Senior Sales and Marketing Executive with IBM Corporation. He holds a Bachelor in Business Administration
Degree with a marketing major from the University of Notre Dame.

Comments

Matthew S 16.05.2007. 19:50

Any tips for a 26 year old thinking of starting a State Farm Insurance agency? I have 1 year of experience in insurance working as a claims adjuster for one of the biggest p&c insurance companies and I am interested in trying to start my own agency. I know that I want to own my own business some day and I am just looking for the best oppurtunity to be successful. I am just worried about all the responsibility that comes with owning your own business (paying rent, managing employees, keeping your customers happy, etc.) I want the financial rewards that come from owning your own business but just am not sure I'm ready to take that leap. Any suggestions to tell if I could make it? Any suggestions to predict my success?

Matthew S

Admin 16.05.2007. 19:50

State Farm, like most 'captive' companies or 'direct writers' (agents sell for one company exclusively) , has a very good training program for new agents. The agent training program (in most states) is 6 months or longer in duration. It involves classroom training and field (agency) training. You have to be successful in selling bank and life insurance products(along with home and auto) before you get assigned an agency. They will start most new agents out with a salary or draw and pay some of the office expenses as they start their business.
Your best chance of success is getting a a small customer base or 'book' to start with. If you start up without any customers it's called a 'scratch' agency. At State Farm they told us that 25% of scratch agencies succeed.
Other companies have similiar programs for new agents. I think you should have a lot of options in your area.

Admin

ultrasuperman1001 17.01.2011. 04:42

How can i start my own business fixing computers? i currently work at The Source but i am getting alittle tired so i want to start my own business fixing computers. i am currently 20 and i plan to go to peoples houses or work out of mine to reduce leasing costs. so my question is how can i get my name out there to the point where i can leave the source and do my computer business full time? and please dont say radio, tv or internet ads because at the moment i dont want to spend money

ultrasuperman1001

Admin 17.01.2011. 04:42

If you are in the IT field and trying to find clients to help you build a new company, perhaps you've said to yourself, "I want to start my own computer business ... but I HATE to sell!"

Sales calls are an art form. Many new to the computer business have never had to sell anything before and will see sales calls as intimidating. But with right anti-sales approach, and if you get the right perspective and understand the most likely outcomes of your prospective client appointments, you are already on your way to becoming a sales call expert.

The following 3 tips can help those that say, "I want to start my own computer business ... but I don't like sales.

Don't Sell. How can you "sell" yourself without selling yourself? With sales calls, you need to get creative. The trick is, guide the prospect's decision. Ask him/her questions that seduce the person into hiring you. When your marketing activities are highly-targeted and your leads are highly-qualified, your prospective client appointments become more about a mutual interview than any kind of traditional selling. An effective sales call does not involve standard selling at all. In fact, approaching this meeting like a mutual interview will typically end with prospects pushing YOU to take them on. On the surface, this may seem like a minor difference, but it can be a very powerful positioning strategy.
Know What a Bad Sales Call Looks Like. Often, there are two negative situations that can arise from sales calls gone wrong with new prospects. However, these negatives can truly be a blessing in disguise. Why? You should view these missteps as warning signs of a potentially bad if not disastrous client ... or simply someone that will waste your time and is not actually interested in your services. The first negative outcome of a sales call will be a prospect that is just picking your brains and has no intention of paying for services. In this situation, the prospect is viewing the sales call as an opportunity to get free advice. This type of prospect has probably never had professional IT service before and is not about to pay for it. The other bad outcome of a sales call is a prospect that is just shopping prices and views the sales call as a solicitation for bids. This prospect will not be interested in your services either and will just want to know what it might cost for you to do what he/she thinks needs to be done. Look for warning signs of either of these scenarios and cut these prospects loose as soon as possible.
Be Prepared for Successful Sales Calls. Many that say "I want to know how to start my own computer business" don't have a clue about what to expect when it comes to sales calls, either bad or good. Once you've weeded out the time-wasters, look for signs of prospects that are interested and will make good long-term clients. One common scenario is that you get a call from a prospect that needs emergency service. Many new to the business mistake these types of calls for one-shot-deals that have no long-term potential. This can be a big, short-sighted mistake, as many new client relationships start with emergency service and fixing something that is broken. These emergency service opportunities help you prove yourself as you fix the problem right away, calmly and professionally, and show you know what you are doing, and are like-able and trustworthy. You end up with a couple hundred dollars in service revenue. But more importantly, you now have a new paying customer who may very well become a loyal long-term client in the future. The other positive result of a good sales call is an IT audit, sometimes called a technology assessment. So be prepared to clearly outline the benefits of the work you do and "seduce" your prospects into getting the ball rolling with something small to start. Look for these two signs of success and start to build relationships with prospects that are willing and able to pay for your professional services and solutions.

Admin

H C 18.07.2008. 22:25

How do you start an on-line business? How do you set up a site and create paypal or site to recieve payments and what do you have to do to set up shipping with UPS or Fedex? Any reccomendations or tips would be helpful thankyou :)

H C

Admin 18.07.2008. 22:25

How exciting!! This business will be just like a new baby: all yours. Never do anything to endanger it or risk losing it. Make sure you keep records on everything to protect yourself and supply good customer service. Happy customers can bring you more customers and more $$$.

Ok...

First of all, I would secure a good CPA and at least have a lawyer on standby for questions. Sign up with the local BBB (Better Business Bureau). Looks good on your web site and shows legitimacy.

With PayPal, go on-line and sign up for their service. Be prepared to give personal info. They do everything for you and should be able to answer all your questions.

With UPS, FedEx, DHL, you can go to each office or go on-line and create an account. They'll walk you through everything else.

Good luck! I hope you're a big, big success. ? ?

Admin

blue 19.10.2010. 03:04

What are good personal fundraising ideas? I'm a 16 and a junior in high school and I've been nominated for an oppurtunity that is unfortunately $2,000. Any ideas for personal fundraising?
(An example would be my friend is knitting beanies and selling them for $10 each except I can't knit...)

Thank you!

blue

Admin 19.10.2010. 03:04

Okay, I'd suggest you go to Rewarding Fundraising Ideas (RFI) to find loads of good ideas you could use. It's a great website that has some excellent advice and tips on running those ideas profitably.

Remember though, that before you do any fundraiser it is going to take effort and motivation on your behalf to make it successful. No matter how great the fundraiser is, it won't just provide success unless you put your mind and effort to it. You should also not try do too many fundraisers at once... Pick the ones that will work the best for you and then run those as well as you can!

Here are a few ideas you should look into when you are at Rewarding Fundraising Ideas...

-The Online Magazine Fundraiser - This is always the first fundraiser I suggest. It is one of the best and hassle-free fundraisers you can do! Many people and groups are raising between $2000 - $5000 with this fundraiser while I've seen others raise over $20,000. If you only have time to do one fundraiser... This should be the one you do!

-The Credit Card Fundraiser - Another really hassle-free fundraiser that will work really well alongside a magazine fundraiser! Get people to apply for a credit card online and you'll earn $15 for every approved application.

--By promoting both of these fundraisers together you increase your likelyhood of getting a positive response... Someone may not want to apply for a credit card but they may be interested in the magazines, or vica versa, or maybe they'll want to do both!

-Get Paid Guides - Many people make money online by completing surveys, receiving and reviewing advertising emails, and also just by surfing the net. There are loads of companies on the net that are doing research and also trying to gain exposure and they all pay for it! A get paid guide is a single website that finds and lists all those websites that are offering paid surveys etc. There's usually a once off membership fee but you can generally earn that fee back by doing a couple of surveys!

-Lollipop fundraiser - This is one of the easiest and profitable fundraisers around. Most people will generally buy a lollipop from you as they are really cheap. A lot of Schools and organizations are having great success with this simple fundraiser! (In fact, any food fundraiser, like Cookie Dough, Popcorn, or Candy Bars, will usually always work... People need and love food!)

-Discount Fundraiser Cards - Another winner! You raise money while saving money for your supporters through the discounts offered on the cards.Win-Win for both of you! And the businesses Win as well as they get more customers to their shops!!!

Raffles - A fundraiser that will always work really well. It is also the best fundraiser to add to any type of event. What you must make sure you have is some really great prizes that people actually want to win. That way they'll want to buy as many tickets as possible, to have as big a chance to win!

Events - Generally any sports event will work well as people love getting involved in sport even if it's not to raise money for a cause. Consider a Dodgeball compo or a mini soccer tournament! You could also consider doing a sponsored challenge like a cross country walk or a sponsored cycle.

Whether you do a sponsored challenge or not, you should start a facebook page to promote your challenge, your cause and your other fundraisers!

Set up a method for people to donate online (Paypal offers a really good online donation/payment solution) and then link to it via your facebook page. Then invite all your friends, family and contacts to join the page and take part by sponsoring you a small amount ($2 - $5; Compare it to something like a couple of cokes or a few beers. Something so small that they wouldn't even miss it if they didn't get it)! Write a emotive invitational letter that makes people feel like they are already involved. Also encourage them to forward the invitation on to all their contacts.

You should also advertise your other fundraisers, like your magazine fundraiser, on your Facebook pg! Try to also keep people interested in the page by updating it often and keeping people in the loop of how your fundraising is going etc.!

You'll find some other fundraisers at RFI that might work well for you so have a good look around!

And good luck with your fundraising, I hope it works out!

Admin

Shamrocks 06.04.2006. 20:31

What is the best way to market an on-line Irish gift shop? We are a non-profit organization that started our on line shop one year ago. It is growing, but we are going to redesign the site. We'll be adding more items and want to know what we can do to get our website out there. Please check it out and give any suggestions. wwww.emmetsburgirishgifts.com.

Shamrocks

Admin 06.04.2006. 20:31

Getting more visitors is one thing; and turning those visitors into buyers is another thing. If you are running an online store, you need to do BOTH.

To get visitors to your website:

1. Offer the best products. Sounds like a no-brainer, but your products are your best advertisement - if visitors love your products, then they will go back and spread the word to others.

2. Make it easy for users to recommend your site. Viral marketing is very important -- and easy to tap on the Web. But give your users the tools. Get a Recommend this Site script from websites such as cgiscripts.com and similar directories of scripts. Some even go as far as giving incentives to those who recommend the site to their friends.

3. Rank well in the search engines (organic search results, not the pay per click). SEs can be a big source of traffic. The key is to create the best content in your niche. If you have good content, other websites will gladly link to you and offer your site as a resource to their audience. Check the on-page factors and be sure to get linked from authority sites in your topic area.

4. Send out press releases. While outfits charge as much as $650 per release, there are free press release submission places on the Web. Press releases allow you to (a) attract media attention; (b) get more back links to your website without sending each website an email request; and (c) get more visibility especially if your press release gets in Google News or Yahoo News. Some sites that accept free press releases are PRWeb.com, PowerHomeBiz.com

5. Advertise only if it will get you targeted traffic. Whether you use pay per click advertising or buying text links or buying banner ads, carefully monitor your return on investment. If possible, get metrics to tell you whether the PPC traffic is actually converting into sale. Google Analytics can show that to you if you are using Google Adwords.

With regards to getting the visitors to buy more stuff, here are some tips from the article "10 Ways to Convert Visitors to Buyers" http://www.powerhomebiz.com/072005/conversion.htm :

1. Provide quality products or content. Good conversion rates start with quality and a great value proposition.

2. Grab their attention immediately. Put your most important and succinct statement of what your website offer above the scroll (e.g. sales pitch, order button)

3. It?s about the customer, all the time. Visitors will respond to your offer only if you can successfully make the case that your website exists for them, to provide them what they need and offer a solution to their problem.

4. Design your page specifically for your target audience.

5. Make it easy for them. Make the ordering process easy. An indicator of how well your process works is the ratio of abandoned shopping baskets to total orders ? if this is higher than 10 percent, then it indicates that the online ordering process you have implemented is ineffective, or takes too long.

6. Improve your site's copy. More than a tool to inform users of what the site is all about, the best type of web site copy explains to a visitor how your product will fulfill their wants, needs and desires.

7. Think active! Use active voice to keep your customers motivated and fully engaged in the sales process.

8. Increase trust factor. Trust is a key element of success on the Web. Visitors purchase only from websites they know will safeguard their information, provide them with quality service, and offer them products that are value for their money.

9. Build customer loyalty. Loyalty marketing is a proven technique to increase conversion rates and improving bottom line.
10. Study your metrics carefully. You must have a set of key performance indicators that you can look at every day to understand the pulse of your business.

Admin

Rakkaus 19.08.2008. 18:37

Where can I find a job as a music/band photographer? Does anyone know where I should start to look? I've been photographing bands for a few years now (live shows) and this is something I would like to pursue as a real job. Does anyone have any tips, advice, anything? Thanks

Rakkaus

Admin 19.08.2008. 18:37

Just keep doing it. You'll work for free for a long time. Intern for any publication you can. Find a local magazine (here in Tampa we have Creative Loafing and Orlando has ReAx). Find the equivilant in your area. Offer to intern and cover the scene for them. Rub elbows make friends. Print business cards and use craig's list to get "customers."

Make friends with writers that are covering the scene and offer to go with them or meet them at shows to photograph the bands. They will include your pics with their article, you're published, you get a line on your vitae (i.e. Publication Résumé) and they get a photographer.

Later when you apply for a job as a photographer they will want to know where/when you've been published. You have to collect a ton of examples before any real job takes you seriously.

Don't be afraid to take other jobs photographing too. You have to make a living. Do things to get by, weddings, parties etc and keep doing the band photography in your spare time. Build a portfolio.

Bands rarely hire a photographer. Your pest bet is to work for music periodicals and aspire to Rolling Stone. It takes years of work and time. Like all jobs, they want to hire a sure thing. Someone who has already had success and already been publised someonewhere. Start small and free and work up to big and expensive.

Admin

MMNR 21.09.2010. 21:41

I might go on a people to people trip this summer but first I need to fundraise any ideas? This summer I might go on a people to people trip with my school. Italy, France, and Spain. I'd really like to go but it costs about $7000. I need ideas/websites for fundraising that are not like car wash, bake sale, etc. If you can help thanks. If you've been on a people to people trip tell me about it.

MMNR

Admin 21.09.2010. 21:41

Okay, I'd suggest you go to Rewarding Fundraising Ideas to find loads of good ideas you could use. It's a great website that has some excellent advice and tips on running those ideas profitably.

Here are a few ideas you should look into when you are there...

-The Online Magazine Fundraiser - This is always the first fundraiser I suggest. It is one of the best and hassle-free fundraisers you can do! Many people and groups are raising between $2000 - $5000 with this fundraiser while I've seen others raise over $20,000. If you only have time to do one fundraiser... This should be the one you do!

-The Credit Card Fundraiser - Another really hassle-free fundraiser that will work really well alongside a magazine fundraiser! Get people to apply for a credit card online and you'll earn $15 for every approved application.

--By promoting both of these fundraisers together you increase your likelyhood of getting a positive response... Someone may not want to apply for a credit card but they may be interested in the magazines, or vica versa, or maybe they'll want to do both!

-Get Paid Guides - Many people make money online by completing surveys, receiving and reviewing advertising emails, and also just by surfing the net. There are loads of companies on the net that are doing research and also trying to gain exposure and they all pay for it! A get paid guide is a single website that finds and lists all those websites that are offering paid surveys etc. There's usually a once off membership fee but you can generally earn that fee back by doing a couple of surveys!

-Lollipop fundraiser - This is one of the easiest and profitable fundraisers around. Most people will generally buy a lollipop from you as they are really cheap. A lot of Schools and organizations are having great success with this simple fundraiser!

-Discount Fundraiser Cards - Another winner! You raise money while saving money for your supporters through the discounts offered on the cards.Win-Win for both of you! And the businesses Win as well as they get more customers to their shops!!!

Raffles - A fundraiser that will always work really well. It is also the best fundraiser to add to any type of event. What you must make sure you have is some really great prizes that people actually want to win. That way they'll want to buy as many tickets as possible, to have as big a chance to win!

Events - Generally any sports event will work well as people love getting involved in sport even if it's not to raise money for a cause. Consider a Dodgeball compo or a mini soccer tournament! You could also consider doing a sponsored challenge like a cross country walk or a sponsored cycle.

Whether you do a sponsored challenge or not, you should start a facebook page to promote your challenge, your cause and your other fundraisers!

Set up a method for people to donate online (Paypal offers a really good online donation/payment solution) and then link to it via your facebook page. Then invite all your friends, family and contacts to join the page and take part by sponsoring you a small amount ($2 - $5; Compare it to something like a couple of cokes or a few beers. Something so small that they wouldn't even miss it if they didn't get it)! Write a emotive invitational letter that makes people feel like they are already involved. Also encourage them to forward the invitation on to all their contacts.

You should also advertise your other fundraisers, like your magazine fundraiser, on your Facebook pg! Try to also keep people interested in the page by updating it often and keeping people in the loop of how your fundraising is going etc.!

I hope you have great success with your fundraising. Good luck!

Admin

netman888 06.04.2006. 14:58

How to get more vistors to visit my website and buy more stuff? Array

netman888

Admin 06.04.2006. 14:58

Getting more visitors is one thing; and turning those visitors into buyers is another thing.

To get visitors to your website:

1. Offer the best products. Sounds like a no-brainer, but your products are your best advertisement - if visitors love your products, then they will go back and spread the word to others.

2. Make it easy for users to recommend your site. Viral marketing is very important -- and easy to tap on the Web. But give your users the tools. Get a Recommend this Site script from websites such as cgiscripts.com and similar directories of scripts. Some even go as far as giving incentives to those who recommend the site to their friends.

3. Rank well in the search engines (organic search results, not the pay per click). SEs can be a big source of traffic. The key is to create the best content in your niche. If you have good content, other websites will gladly link to you and offer your site as a resource to their audience. Check the on-page factors and be sure to get linked from authority sites in your topic area.

4. Send out press releases. While outfits charge as much as $650 per release, there are free press release submission places on the Web. Press releases allow you to (a) attract media attention; (b) get more back links to your website without sending each website an email request; and (c) get more visibility especially if your press release gets in Google News or Yahoo News.

5. Advertise only if it will get you targeted traffic. Whether you use pay per click advertising or buying text links or buying banner ads, carefully monitor your return on investment. If possible, get metrics to tell you whether the PPC traffic is actually converting into sale. Google Analytics can show that to you if you are using Google Adwords.

With regards to getting the visitors to buy more stuff, here are some tips from the article "10 Ways to Convert Visitors to Buyers" http://www.powerhomebiz.com/072005/conversion.htm :

1. Provide quality products or content. Good conversion rates start with quality and a great value proposition.
2. Grab their attention immediately. Put your most important and succinct statement of what your website offer above the scroll (e.g. sales pitch, order button)
3. It?s about the customer, all the time. Visitors will respond to your offer only if you can successfully make the case that your website exists for them, to provide them what they need and offer a solution to their problem.
4. Design your page specifically for your target audience.
5. Make it easy for them. Make the ordering process easy. An indicator of how well your process works is the ratio of abandoned shopping baskets to total orders ? if this is higher than 10 percent, then it indicates that the online ordering process you have implemented is ineffective, or takes too long.
6. Improve your site's copy. More than a tool to inform users of what the site is all about, the best type of web site copy explains to a visitor how your product will fulfill their wants, needs and desires.
7. Think active! Use active voice to keep your customers motivated and fully engaged in the sales process.
8. Increase trust factor. Trust is a key element of success on the Web. Visitors purchase only from websites they know will safeguard their information, provide them with quality service, and offer them products that are value for their money.
9. Build customer loyalty. Loyalty marketing is a proven technique to increase conversion rates and improving bottom line.
10. Study your metrics carefully. You must have a set of key performance indicators that you can look at every day to understand the pulse of your business.

Admin

Aaron 04.05.2010. 10:41

I need ideas for craft show booth design for my jewelry.? I will be attending my first big xmas craft show displaying my handmade artisan jewelry. I could sure use some ideas for creating a warm & inviting booth which effectively displays my jewelry. I would welcome your ideas & experiences.
Thanks!

Aaron

Admin 04.05.2010. 10:41

How to set up a profitable craft booth !
Submitted by: Natalie Goyette

In the hustle and bustle of getting ready for a craft show, invariably the one area that usually sees the least amount of effort is the craft show booth. Come on, admit it you haven't really given much thought to how you are going to arrange your crafts and design the booth so that it is easy and appealing for customers to come in.

But, when we equate traffic with potential profit at a craft show, it is very easy to see that an increase in traffic will most likely come to a booth that has appeal to it. And once you get the buyers in, your booth needs to make them want to buy.

Here are 5 things you need to do to your craft show booth:

Clean it - Many people are turned off by clutter and disorganization. In fact, they would probably take one look at a dirty and disorganized craft show booth and form an opinion on the craft itself. It probably won't be a good one, either.

Access to crafts - Humans are sensory beings; if you have potpourri, it needs to be sniffed. If you have a pot holder, people need to be able to touch it and inspect it. Appealing to more than just the sense of sight is a great way to help make a sale. Encourage craft show goers to handle your crafts with care!

Good flow - Create a pattern for people to enter and exit the craft show booth - a path that takes them by all of the major items and provides space for congregation among popular crafts in your booth. The flow should be easy and free, and of course it should end up with them passing by the till, where hopefully they have made a purchase.

Price and merchandise - This is a two-part tip: first, you need to make sure that the price is available for the customers to see. It should be on a tag that is on the craft, or it should be on a sign around or above the crafts. Never make people guess -and often (unless they MUST have the item) they won't ask. They'll just walk by. Second - when laying out the merchandise, tease the people walking through. Show a crocheted hat on top of a "head", or get those fake birds to demonstrate how they eat from your wooden birdfeeder. Merchandising is all about putting a product it is natural environment and when people can imagine it there they have an easier time imagining the craft in their home.

Make check-out easy. If you have to have two tills working, automated debit card and credit card machines, then you should do it. If sales are being turned away because people are waiting to pay, then you are losing money. If you expect a lot of business at a craft show, make sure you are prepared to handle the glut of sales you can make. There is nothing worse than watching person after person pick up your craft, see the lineup for the till, and then put the craft back down and walk out of the booth.

Craft show booth creation is time and energy well spent. You can increase your profit by making your booth more appealing, more convenient, and even more efficient for a buyer. You don't want customers to walk away and get their craft from the next booth just because it is cleaner and the crafts are easier the access. Think of the customers first, and you can't possibly go wrong!

Natalie Goyette shows you how to make your craft show business profitable in her best selling ebook: Craft Show Success Secrets. Visit her site: http://www.craftshowsuccess.com/

Admin

Aaron 07.10.2010. 15:31

Really good fundraising ideas to raise 20,000 in 6 months ? Want to go to africa to help poor families with my work :) need ideas please :)

Aaron

Admin 07.10.2010. 15:31

Okay, I'd suggest you go to Rewarding Fundraising Ideas to find loads of good ideas you could use. It's a great website that has some excellent advice and tips on running those ideas profitably.

Remember though, that before you do any fundraiser it is going to take effort and motivation on your behalf to make it successful. No matter how great the fundraiser is, it won't just provide success unless you put your mind and effort to it. You should also not try do too many fundraisers at once... Pick the ones that will work the best for you and then run those as well as you can

Here are a few ideas you should look into when you are at Rewarding Fundraising Ideas...

-The Online Magazine Fundraiser - This is always the first fundraiser I suggest. It is one of the best and hassle-free fundraisers you can do! Many people and groups are raising between $2000 - $5000 with this fundraiser while I've seen others raise over $20,000. If you only have time to do one fundraiser... This should be the one you do!

-The Credit Card Fundraiser - Another really hassle-free fundraiser that will work really well alongside a magazine fundraiser! Get people to apply for a credit card online and you'll earn $15 for every approved application.

--By promoting both of these fundraisers together you increase your likelyhood of getting a positive response... Someone may not want to apply for a credit card but they may be interested in the magazines, or vica versa, or maybe they'll want to do both!

-Get Paid Guides - Many people make money online by completing surveys, receiving and reviewing advertising emails, and also just by surfing the net. There are loads of companies on the net that are doing research and also trying to gain exposure and they all pay for it! A get paid guide is a single website that finds and lists all those websites that are offering paid surveys etc. There's usually a once off membership fee but you can generally earn that fee back by doing a couple of surveys!

-Lollipop fundraiser - This is one of the easiest and profitable fundraisers around. Most people will generally buy a lollipop from you as they are really cheap. A lot of Schools and organizations are having great success with this simple fundraiser! (In fact, any food fundraiser, like Cookie Dough, Popcorn, or Candy Bars, will usually always work... People need and love food!)

-Discount Fundraiser Cards - Another winner! You raise money while saving money for your supporters through the discounts offered on the cards.Win-Win for both of you! And the businesses Win as well as they get more customers to their shops!!!

Raffles - A fundraiser that will always work really well. It is also the best fundraiser to add to any type of event. What you must make sure you have is some really great prizes that people actually want to win. That way they'll want to buy as many tickets as possible, to have as big a chance to win!

Events - Generally any sports event will work well as people love getting involved in sport even if it's not to raise money for a cause. Consider a Dodgeball compo or a mini soccer tournament! You could also consider doing a sponsored challenge like a cross country walk or a sponsored cycle.

Whether you do a sponsored challenge or not, you should start a facebook page to promote your challenge, your cause and your other fundraisers!

Set up a method for people to donate online (Paypal offers a really good online donation/payment solution) and then link to it via your facebook page. Then invite all your friends, family and contacts to join the page and take part by sponsoring you a small amount ($2 - $5; Compare it to something like a couple of cokes or a few beers. Something so small that they wouldn't even miss it if they didn't get it)! Write a emotive invitational letter that makes people feel like they are already involved. Make sure you convey the importance of the cause that you are embarking on. Also encourage them to forward the invitation on to all their contacts.

You should also advertise your other fundraisers, like your magazine fundraiser, on your Facebook pg! Try to also keep people interested in the page by updating it often and keeping people in the loop of how your fundraising is going etc.!

I hope you have great success with your fundraising and that you get to Africa to help those families... You're doing a great thing! Good luck!

Admin

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