|Strategic Planning Information|
Connecting Your Offline Business to Your Online Business
These may sound like no brainers, but you'd be surprised. No matter how high-tech your business has become, there is no doubt you still have some non-electronic aspects of your company. These are things like your business cards, stickers, and work shirts, to name a few.
Check out your business cards first. These should be at the ready whenever possible. Make sure your website is listed on your card: this is a way for a possible customer to check you out on their own. A good tip is to have your website printed in a font that ensures all of the letters look like letters, rather than numbers. For example, "L" can resemble the number one very easily when typed in lowercase. Stick to fonts that clearly allow the eye to distinguish letters from numbers. Also have your website put on your stationary: it is much easier to check out a website than make a phone call these days.
If someone is calling your voicemail looking for a product, you had better have your website spelt out slowly, and clearly on there too. Not having your website on your voicemail will mean the loss of a sale. Our fast paced world has spoiled us and people want things not now, but five seconds ago. So if your website is not on your message, they will simply forget you, and move on to your competitor. Adding your web address to your voicemail will allow perspective customers to find out about your business while you are making other deals, or watching TV.
Stickers are inexpensive and a great way to catch someone's eye when they are least expecting it. Every single package that leaves my office has a label with my web address on it. I even stick the little guys on my bills. Why not, who knows who will see it? I also put my picture on my shipping label. This is something that is not done often, so it helps me stand apart from the rest. I usually put a little bubble saying "Hi" to you personally, for the extra inch.
Another place to attach your web address to might be your promotional handouts. If you send out an annual flyer, or give away freebies, make sure you web information is on there. Some people do this with give away items like mouse pads, or mugs. These along with the packaging on every product you sell, should have your contact information via the web. If your company wears workshirts, or sponsors a softball team, for example, get your web address on there as well. If you produce it: brand it.
Lastly, if you call my office, and I speak to you on the phone, I can gaurentee I will mention that you should visit my website. This is a tactic that I swear by, because I firmly believe that if I can get you to my site, you will stay and look around for awhile. No matter what it is you are looking for, you are bound to stumble across something else. It's like going to the grocery store for just one thing: you always come out with two.
Tom Antion provides entertaining speeches and educational seminars. He is the ultimate entrepreneur, having owned many businesses BEFORE graduating college. Tom is the author of the best selling presentation skills book "Wake 'em Up Business Presentations" and "Click: The Ultimate Guide to Electronic Marketing." It is important to Tom that his knowledge be not only absorbed, but enjoyed. This is why he delivers his speeches laced with great humor and hysterical jokes. Tom has addressed more than 87 different industries and is thoroughly committed to his client's needs.
Business Problem Solving
Is there really anything as a problem? Does chaos or challenge mean you have a problem? I am under the belief that such things as other call problems are indeed the life-blood of opportunity and the louder it knocks the greater the gain. Embrace chaos. In my many years in business I loved a good challenge; let me recommend a good audio book incase you find yourself embattled with what you believe to be insurmountable problems:
A significant advantage of some business ideas is that the venture can break even at what seems to be an easily achievable volume. A technique for quantifying that volume, called break-even analysis, examines the interaction among fixed costs, variable costs, prices, and unit volume to determine that combination of elements in which revenues and total costs are equal.
Family and Friends Referrals Make the Best Franchisees
As a franchisor it is imperative that you seek, find and recruit the best franchisees to maintain a strong franchise system. Your current Franchisees are your very best sales people, sometimes without even knowing it. As a franchisee starts making more money, it will show. Soon they will be moving out of their apartment or home into a nicer area. They will be driving a nicer car. They will be frequenting nicer eating establishments. A female franchisee's husband will tell the guys at work in a bragging way how great his wife is doing and that he plans on quitting his job to help her. A male franchisee's wife will brag to her friends that she is planning a vacation of that they bought a new indoor four-person Jacuzzi. Her friends will entice their husbands and boyfriends to look into the franchise, franchise companies should encourage this scenario and spend more time and money on referrals than straight sales. Sure mass marketing works, but throwing spaghetti at the refrigerator until something sticks is not very becoming of a star rated franchise system. Many times people at the franchisee's old job will start talking, "Hey, did you hear about Skip?, He's really doing well with that new franchise thing he doing." "Yah! Have you seen his new Corvette."
Strategic Planning Fundamentals
Strategic planning is vital while starting a new business or expansion of an business or planning to boost the performance of an existing business. But it requires detailed strategic planning and controlled deployment activities. Strategic planning is used to delivers its value proposition and achieve its mission.
I Always Play by the Rules and It Stinks!
This week I coached a wonderfully lovely woman I'll call Jill. She's a bright woman, very compassionate and sweet. She's at one of the corporations where I am an outside consultant/coach. This was our first meeting but within seconds I could tell she had a lot on her mind.. and her plate.
Do You Have A Customer Identity Crisis?
The trick is to determine what uniquely identifies your best customers. Fortunately, deriving this information is not difficult, and in many cases can be obtained from innocuous questions. Consider a manufacturer of baby goods and the fact that families with new babies often purchase multi-passenger vehicles. This manufacturer could build an effective mailing list by surveying recent car purchasers and noting which respondents had traded in sports cars for SUVs. Your information gathering technique of course will vary, but the identifying information always comprises the same three pieces -- demographic information, geographic location, and purchasing history. Demographic Information
Completing the Annual Planning Process
Imagine an office without a desk, or lights, a computer, or even something as simple as a chair. When the architects and designers started planning a building or office space they knew they would have to make concessions for these items during each of the building activities. As marketers, we take part in many activities, much like a builder or designer does.
What Every Service Provider Ought To Know About Writing A Business Plan
It's easy to lose sight of what needs to be communicated to prospective investors when writing the various sections of a business plan. Successful business owners/entrepreneurs use each section of their business plan to work up interest, to present arguments and, most important, to build trust and confidence.
Have You Identified the Enemy?
One of the most powerful driving forces in human nature is competition. The desire to overcome something or some company, the need to win, the cause, can in many cases be more important than the day-to-day work of the company.
Microsoft Great Plains in Advertising & Publishing ? implementation highlights
Microsoft Great Plains, former Great Plains Dynamics is excellent fit for service oriented business and in this small article we'll give you magazine publisher and advertiser implementation and reporting scenarios. The system we describe is not real, we are putting together industry specifics, based on our consulting practice. In the case if you do not see some unique features of your publishing business ? this just means that publishing industry is diversified and say, regional newspaper publishing is quite different from magazine with narrow specialization.
Mastermind Your Way to Success
What do Mark Victor Hansen, Robert Allen, Anthony Robbins, Andrew Carnegie, Henry Ford, Thomas Edison and Ben Franklin have in common?
The Tables Have Turned - Its Officially a Sellers Market
Private equity firms have raised so much capital over the last 12 months that they are vigorously competing with one another for opportunities to put their money to work. Business owners, who previously would have had to go hat-in-hand to investors, instead find themselves inundated with unsolicited offers for their companies. Companies with solid balance sheets, good management and strong growth prospects are able to tailor deals to their liking, and get solid valuations.
In Business Planning, Competition is Good
When developing the competition section of your business plan, companies must define competition correctly, select the appropriate competitors to analyze, and explain its competitive advantages.
Hunters and Gatherers - Are You Serving Both Their Needs?
The University of Exeter in the United Kingdom recently published research financed by Barclays Bank, which has implications for everyone who is serving the general population.
Regroup - How To Do It And Why It Works
Regroup?is this a new management trend? Not a chance! Regroup is simply an opportunity to end one month's business cycle, recap the performance of your company and outline a plan of success for the new upcoming month. Why does it work? Because it allows each person on your team to assess their performance from the previous month, and make any necessary adjustments for the new month. Here's how it works:
Top 10 Tips to Create A Business Plan! (For People Who Hate Business Plans)
One of the key challenges for any business is to remain focused and invest resources for maximum pay-off. It's said that 80% of a business's activity accounts for only 20% of total profits. In plain language, most of the work we do is unfocused, poorly designed and ineffective. In today's competitive world, no business, whether it's an individual professional or a large manufacturing operation, can survive with that much lost time and wasted effort. A business plan can help, but most small business owners (and some managers/supervisors) hate doing them! In the spirit that any map is better than no map, here are my top ten keys to creating your own map to success:
Shortening Product Life Cycle!
The current state of the available technology at the disposal of designer is the most limiting determinant to what is technically and economically feasible to develop, therefore research into metatechnology such as computer science, whereby interdisciplinary spin off provides advances that both directly increase capabilities, and affects other technologies to dramatically improve system performance, is a necessity, the implication being that despite many of the basic principles being relatively static, the technology used is essentially in a state of constant development.
Sales Planning and Business Plans
Writing a business plan can be tricky when all the books on the subject fail to keep updating their editions. One significant factor is the sales planning in business plans, yet few books show examples of how to explain online sales which will contribute to your over all stores sales in your retail outlet. Additionally many service companies take orders online and dispatch their units from there. Even Dominoes Pizza often takes credit cards over the phone, many companies now allow online ordering.
Planning For The Slow Season Of Your Business To Increase Sales
Every business experiences slower periods. For some, they sell more during the Christmas season while others move at a snail pace. Some sell more during the summer and others less. The key is being aware of your seasons and alternatives available to solve the challenge and change the results.
10 Critical Facts to Put On the Cover of Your Business Plan...
In most business plans, no matter how striking the idea, the covers are critically important. The majority of investors may flip to the executive summary, if they get past the cover, when deciding whether or not they are interested. Exactly like the front page of a daily newspaper, a business plan cover puts the important highlights of the proposal upfront for potential investors to read.
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