The More you GIVE the More you GET
Why give freebies?
We have all seen freebies at trade shows and we have all probably seen the person that goes from booth to booth collecting as much of it as possible. There is always someone that only goes to get the free stuff, but then again there are also people that go there to learn about new products or services. These people may be genuinely interested in what you have to say. Even if they are, there must be an element of what is in it for them (we call them WIFM - pronounced Whiffem ? What Is In It For Me).Perhaps the type of freebie you offer should be in the form of a free consultation for a limited time, say one-half hour. Or you may want to give out special premiums to potential new clients. The problem is that you need to weed through the potential business and those that just want something for nothing.
Instead of giving away freebies at the trade show desk, you could give attendees a business card that can be used to redeem their freebie. This will drive the customer traffic back to where you would like them to be. For example, a car dealership I did some work for always went to every trade show in the area. They had great give-away items but found that not many people came back to the dealership for a test drive leading to an eventual purchase. To rectify the problem, they gave a business card with the event name, the gift to be given and an explanation that in order to claim the gift, you needed to go to their store and do a test drive. By the way, the gift, was a nice set of steak knives in a butchers block. The result was that 20% of the people attending the show actually went to the dealership and did a test drive and out of that they sold 25 cars; a much better return for their freebies!
Freebies do not need to be expensive steak knives sets; they can simply be pens with your name on it. Whatever you choose, make sure it is something that can be used and not thrown away. Do not pick a silly cheap toy that will break after one or two uses. Gift certificates may work better than freebies.
Bette Daoust, Ph.D. has been networking with others since leaving high school years ago. Realizing that no one really cared about what she did in life unless she had someone to tell and excite. She decided to find the best ways to get people's attention, be creative in how she presented herself and products, getting people to know who she was, and being visible all the time. Her friends and colleagues have often dubbed her the "Networking Queen". Blueprint for Networking Success: 150 ways to promote yourself is the first in this series. Blueprint for Branding Yourself: Another 150 ways to promote yourself is planned for release in 2005. For more information visit http://www.BlueprintBooks.com
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The FTC- Mighty Federal Trade Commission has unilaterally decided to change the franchise rule. They changes are sure to hurt American business, Franchisors and the over 400,000 Franchisees in the United States today. These regulatory changes even if mere interpretations and opinion cause events which have unintended consequences. Such changes are rarely forgotten as one simple stroke of a pen by a Federal Trade Commission attorney who does not understand the real world of franchising can wipe out several quarters of profits.
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How many hours do you work a week? When was the last time you took an uninterrupted holiday? Do your staff have a better job than you? Now ask yourself, Do I Own a Business or a Job- with Overheads? Are you happy about the answers to these questions? If not, read on.
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You've heard marketing and advertising gurus quip, "Sell the sizzle, not the steak." Advertising initiatives best reach their target audience with benefits and the "wow" effect, not the value or features of their product or service. This may work well to get customers in the door. But once they're in, you better have some substance. How can you ensure you uphold the integrity of your business and still maintain the "Wow Effect"? It just takes well executed strategic steps for business AND personal development:
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The Workers? Compensation Situation in this Country is Nuts, Arnold in CA Takes Action
The Workers' Compensation situation in this country is unbelievable. Why, well because of lawsuits and attorneys mostly. The costs of workmen's compensation on the business community is part of the reason for the slow return of high paying blue collar jobs in this country and the demise of the manufacturing sector. The system covers some 122 million workers nationally, but it is regulated state by state, not nationally and there is nothing close to being a Federal Oversight on this, not that I or anyone else cares to add another layer of bureaucracy to an already broken system.
Technology Community Helps SMBs Focus on Their Core Business
If you're starting your own business or currently work for a start-up, you wear a lot of hats. Any disruption in your business can eat up hours of your time and kill your productivity. Many start-ups are so focused on getting their business off the ground, that they overlook technology considerations that can help increase their productivity and enhance their efficiency. Unlike mid to large corporations that have dedicated IT personnel, start-ups typically do not have in-house IT resources to evaluate and deploy new technologies to pre-empt unforeseen issues, such as virus attacks, and streamline processes to increase efficiency gains. This is due partly to time and partly due to budgetary constraints. Small businesses want to focus on the next sale, not the next purchase. Largely for this reason, many small to medium businesses (SMBs) are categorized as laggers on the technology spectrum -- classified as conservative IT buyers and slow adopters of new technologies. This profile make it seems as if SMBs are risk adverse, when in actuality, SMBs are more risk takers than corporate employees ? after all, they've started their own business or are part of a start-up where the P&L is felt throughout the company.
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Bookkeeping?the "dreaded" word is something we all have to worry about. Business owners rarely go into business to deal with the financial aspects of running a business. It's easy to understand why! Who wants to do all those boring record keeping functions? Not many. Therefore, one of the first things most entrepreneurs do is hire a bookkeeper. Though hiring a friend, relative or anyone who isn't experienced with the basics of bookkeeping may be a recipe for DISASTER!
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Encouraging Your Customers to Pay On Time
Nothing can drive a business down faster than customers who don't pay their bills as agreed. When you sell to customers on credit you are making an agreement with them. You will provide them with goods or services in exchange for their payment within the terms you agree upon. Period.
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