|Small Business Information|
Direct Mail - For Small Businesses
We hear a lot of talk about junk mail nowadays. Many people will tell you that they dump it straight in the trash. But why do you think so many organisations send out so called junk mail - because it works!
I dump most of my junk mail just like everyone else, but every so often I'm attracted and respond to something that comes through the mail. Whatever it is, grabs my interest just at the right time. Sometimes it's a mailing I've seen several times and I've been slightly interested; however, there comes a time when I decide to do something about it.
Research has shown that, on average, people need to see an advertisement seven times before they respond - it's the same with direct mail.
I'm not looking for a new credit card at present; however there are thousands of people who are. These people will respond to a credit card company mailing because they want a new card with a better interest rate or because their other card is at its limit or they want to transfer a balance.
It has to be said that the average response rate for direct mailing is less than 1% and as you'll appreciate, the large organisations send out millions of direct mailers. Small to medium sized businesses can have success with direct mailing by keeping it small, focussed and personal.
Target the right people - You need to have a good mailing list. The best one you can have is the one you've built yourself. You build it with all the contacts you make from your networking and all the enquiry phone calls you receive. (If anyone contacts your business you need to capture all their relevant information. Tell them you'll add them to your mailing list so that they'll receive all the up to date information)
Buy or rent a mailing list - There are many reputable suppliers (and some not so reputable) who'll supply you with a closely targeted list. If you wanted the names of Transport Managers in the food industry in your city - then they can provide it. For consumers, they can supply details of people by zip or postal code, age group, gender, special interests etc. You could probably get the details of female accountants under thirty, interested in fishing and living in a specific area of your city or country. (Not sure why you'd want that, but I'm sure you get the point)
The product or service has to be appealing - It has to have benefits or problem solving abilities for the person you're targeting
It must be clear - easy to understand and be believable
There must be a call to action - There are three things that someone will do with a piece of direct mail - 1. Scan it and throw it in the trash 2. Put it aside to make a decision later. (However later never comes or when it does, most mail will hit the trash) 3. Take action - Phone the free number or tear off the pre-paid reply coupon or complete the order form
It's vitally important that your mailing prompts action immediately.
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The Joy and Hazards Of Finding Your First Office
Q: I have outgrown my home office and need to find office space for me and two part time employees. I am really excited about opening my first official office, but never having rented commercial space before I don't know anything about how this process works. What are some things I should consider before signing a lease? I'm really eager to get started! -- Jay P.
What To Consider Before Buying A Franchise
Here are some useful tips on what to consider before buying a franchise. Before investing in any franchise system, be sure to get a copy of the franchisor's disclosure document. Sometimes this document is called a Franchise Offering Circular. You should read the entire disclosure document.
Are You a Small Business Lone Ranger? Take My 10-Question Quiz To Find Out!
So what exactly is a "Small Business Lone Ranger?" A "Small Business Lone Ranger" is a business owner who does all the work themselves.
QSR Quick Service - Fast Food Restaurants Labor Situation in United States
One of the major complaints in the QSR Quick Service-Fast Food Restaurants Industry is the deplorable Labor Situation. In United States teen labor has become somewhat slim on ethical standards, showing up on time, drug use (both recreational and problematic), work ethic and trainability. Who can we blame? Well we can start by blaming ourselves. What happened? Well it is the latch key kid syndrome, lack of school funding and discipline and many other obvious issues. The ages between 17 and 28 the normal ages of employees of Fast Food Restaurants have a lot to be desired in the inherent customer service realm and desirability for employment.
Marketing Your Small Business - The Top 10 Brilliant Ideas
A Brilliant Marketing Idea... sounds great but what is it? Is it the idea that results in the mailman ringing your doorbell, signaling in a caravan of postal workers with mounds of letters (all in response to your latest advertisement)? Is it the idea that brings a 20% response rate on your direct mail campaign?
(P)Refer to Grow Your Business
(Although this article is geared towards small business owners, the information is just as applicable to a similar personal situation, only the action is slightly different.)
Small Business Marketing - How Important Are Your First Words?
"What do you do?" It just might be one of the most asked questions there is, at least here in America.
A corporate shell could be liken to a house that had been occupied by a family, prior to the family moving out it was a home. But now it is just shell, a skeleton a plain house with nobody in it, but if a family was to purchase the house and moves in, it becomes a home.
FFP vs. CPFF Contracts
SBIR Corner: FFP vs. CPFF contracts:
How To Ruin Your Business
If you're like the rest of us, you've spent a lot of time trying different things to make your online business come together. There are countless methods of conducting a viable marketing career, but there are also as many ways to destroy one as well.
11 Things Small Business Owners Can Learn From Punxsutawney Phil
1. Look Over Your Shoulder ? Of course, Punxsutawney Phil has to look over his to search for his shadow. You should, too, every so often, to check out your competition?and see whether they're gaining on (or leading) you.
Avoiding the Small Business Cash Flow Roller Coaster
A solopreneur I know disappears from my radar screen for weeks on end when she's actively engaged on a project for a client. During this time she is heads down, totally focused, and immersed in delivering her service to her current client. She works long hours each week, sacrificing her personal life, relationships, and self-care to meet her commitments to her client.
How to Give FREE Advice and Make Money
When is advice free and when should you charge for it?
Expanding your business.
Are you a small business owner who wants to expand your business? Do you need to add another professional location to your company to test and explore a new market? Does a prospect of spending thousands of dollars to find a right location, sign a new long term office lease, purchase or lease office equipment and hire new employees holding you back?
Small Business Marketing, According to Seinfeld
What could Seinfeld possibly have to do with marketing a small business? As it turns out, all small business owners could take a few lessons from the show that brought us such popular phrases as "Man Hands" and "master of your domain".
One Of The Best New Business Opportunities May Be Right In Your Home - A New Daycare Business
The day care industry is expanding. There are now more than 100,000 licensed child-care centers and 250,000 licensed family day care homes across the United States.
The Number of Pages in the UFOC in Franchising is Still Growing Today
Today required franchise disclosure documents are over 200 pages generally. How many pages do you think the Uniform Franchise Offering Circular; UFOCs were 35 years ago for these ten-foot tall pillars of the franchising community like Kroc, Monhan and Rosenberg founded their companies? They were of course the founders of McDonalds, Domino's Pizza and Duncan Donuts.
Making Your Purpose Your Business Step #2- Getting From Point A to Point B
In my previous article, Step 1, your challenge for the month was to research where your passion lies. Based on your research you might have discovered that self investigation can lead us to two places; either we find out our answer or we realize we need to ask more questions to get that answer.
Most Franchises Are Small Home Businesses
Many of our nations 400,000 franchisees run their businesses out of their homes and therefore their home addresses and phone numbers are listed in the Unifrom Franchsie Offering Circular's, attachments. Uniform Franchise Circulars, UFOC, are for franchise buyers and they explain the investment involved. It is required by law that they be given out to potential buyers in advance of any sale by 10 business days. How can a franchisor be assured that someone sending an email or filling out a form is a real entity? Most franchise sales people see email addresses all the time that do not match the names they are purporting on the forms. They are suspect.
Dispute Resolution of Territory for Mobile Franchised Companies
Franchisors of home based and mobile businesses need to carefully watch their franchisees who innately try to hunt in their fellow franchisees territories. The most important advice a franchisor should give the franchised outlets in this case is to work it out themselves. A simple policy is best for example here is a possible excerpt from a franchise manual which lays out some basic understandings:
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