Small Business Can http://www.smallbusinesscan.com Share ideas, get advice and promote your business today. Thu, 26 Mar 2015 10:36:27 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=306 Take a bus journey that will change your business for ever http://www.smallbusinesscan.com/take-a-bus-journey-that-will-change-your-business-for-ever/ http://www.smallbusinesscan.com/take-a-bus-journey-that-will-change-your-business-for-ever/#comments Thu, 26 Mar 2015 09:02:55 +0000 http://www.smallbusinesscan.com/?p=80513 SME engagement with universities has always been a passion of ours. We think it is underestimated how much universities could add to small business and make them more competitive and future proof. As a result, have been asked  by KTI and the Dublin Universities to look at how they engage […]

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SME engagement with universities has always been a passion of ours. We think it is underestimated how much universities could add to small business and make them more competitive and future proof.

As a result, have been asked  by KTI and the Dublin Universities to look at how they engage with small businesses and particularly the ones that normally would not look at universities for ideas and support.  We decided to book a bus, try to fill them with owner managers and give them access to 3 universities in one day (16 April).

The idea is that this one day will give businesses a flavour of the innovation, research and opportunities that universities have to offer and deliver a informative and interesting day. The day will include a practical information pack,  (non academic) speakers, campus tours and breakfast, lunch and drinks reception. As an outcome we expect that some of the business will start engaging. Part of the follow on of the day, will be us supporting and tracking that engagement.

You can your ticket here. You need to book soon as tickets are running out (maximum 50 are allowed on the bus).

Here is sample of what is available

We blogged about it earlier here and on LinkedIn

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Five Ways to Grow Your Business http://www.smallbusinesscan.com/five-ways-to-grow-your-business/ http://www.smallbusinesscan.com/five-ways-to-grow-your-business/#comments Thu, 26 Mar 2015 09:00:42 +0000 http://www.smallbusinesscan.com/?p=80057 With your competition never giving you a break, it’s important to build and maintain your market share. Here are five ways to grow your business in the modern business landscape. Organize the Budget Making sure that your budget is in order for the next months ahead of time is one […]

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With your competition never giving you a break, it’s important to build and maintain your market share. Here are five ways to grow your business in the modern business landscape.

Organize the Budget

Making sure that your budget is in order for the next months ahead of time is one of the best ways to ensure that you do not run into any emergencies. Talk with financial experts to make sure that you aren’t missing anything with new hires or taxes. Making these simple money mistakes can be incredibly costly, keeping your business from growing.

Learn Your Competition

There are more ways than ever to monitor your competition. Using social media, review sites and keyword monitoring, you can actually see the holes in your competition’s strategy and respond to them in real time.

Learn to Invest

Investing does not only have to do money, but also with the assets in your office. For instance, if you get a coffee maker, then you save your employees the 15 minutes of having to get coffee in the morning. Some of the top companies in the world supply their employees with lunch, a gym and other amenities so that they never have to leave the premises. You may not have these kinds of funds, but you do have the ability to invest with the funds that you do have. The more that your employees focus on work rather than the little annoyances of life, the more productive that your entire company will be. Invest in things that will allow your employees to focus.

Learn Search Engine Optimization

The major search engines account for over 85% of new business these days. If you are a small business that is looking to grow, you need to make Google, Yahoo and Bing very happy with you. The great thing is that good SEO has more to do with a great marketing program then learning some kind of technical system.

Hire Organized and Experienced Employees

A person who has obtained a Master of Science in Projects online is an example of someone who prioritized learning organizational skills. Look for these types of employees, who are able to direct their efforts and talents. Project managers can really make or break a company, so it’s important to hire right. While education isn’t everything, it is important., and therefore should not be overlooked.

The five tips above will certainly give you a leg up on your competition when it comes to growing your business. However, the best tip anyone can give you for growth is to keep up with the changes in your industry and serve the customer the best that you can.

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How to Make a Business out of Selling Liquidated Merchandise http://www.smallbusinesscan.com/make-business-selling-liquidated-merchandise/ http://www.smallbusinesscan.com/make-business-selling-liquidated-merchandise/#comments Thu, 26 Mar 2015 08:00:11 +0000 http://www.smallbusinesscan.com/?p=80228 The commercial landscape seems to be making changes all the time. One business opens its doors while another turns out the lights for good. As businesses come and go, have you ever wondered what happens to all that excess inventory? Instead of wondering where it is being shipped off to […]

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The commercial landscape seems to be making changes all the time. One business opens its doors while another turns out the lights for good. As businesses come and go, have you ever wondered what happens to all that excess inventory? Instead of wondering where it is being shipped off to and stored, it would sure be nice to know how to get your hands on it. With between 10,000 to 50,000-dollars sitting in the bank, you will potentially have all the capital you need to get into the game of acquiring and reselling liquidated merchandise.

What this essentially means is that you would not be left wondering where all that excess inventory ends up anymore, mostly because it could happen to make its way into your company warehouse. You could be fast on the track to starting and running your own merchandise liquidation business. According to SBA.gov, individuals looking to close shop should inventory, assess, and prepare merchandise for a liquidation process. This means that a savvy reseller could really find huge stores of products inexpensively.

Selling Liquidated Merchandise

If you are interested in selling liquidated merchandise, then you should be aware of a couple of angles to this lucrative business model. The first idea is to actively purchase and resell merchandise that failing businesses are trying to get rid of as quickly as possible. This means you have to do the leg work to figure out who is in the process of liquidating their store and then how to unload the product once you have purchased it. This is not difficult to do if you already have buyers lined up. This means you will want to spend a considerable amount of time developing business-to-business relationships to be able to unload product as quickly as it comes in to your warehouse.

Alternatively, once you have gotten to know other people in this industry doing the same thing, you could forge relationships with other purchasers. In this business approach your goal is to convince these individuals to allow you to resell their stock for them. In this situation, you end up with a constant supply of merchandise. All you have to do is be excellent at reselling the product and collecting a commission for getting the job done. Again, forging relationships with other retailers ready to buy at wholesale prices will help to keep the merchandise moving along.

Offering Drop Shipping Options

Another way to generate orders for merchandise you are attempting to resell is to offer buyers the option to have product drop shipped to their customers. In this scenario, other people are moving your product for you and you do not have to pay any hefty marketing costs. With enough people placing regular orders, you will be able to generate excellent resale rates with minimum advertising efforts on your part. There are numerous online sellers who would rather not have to reship product; consequently, if you take care of all the shipping for them, this makes their life easier. This type of symbiotic relationship is really a win-win for everyone involved.

What Type of Merchandise Should I Purchase

When it comes to purchasing large lots of liquidated merchandise from a commercial source, it is important to steer clear of perishable items. Sometimes merchandise does not resell as quickly as you might hope; consequently, perishables are a huge liability in the merchandise resell industry. Items, such as power tools, appliances, mobile devices from Directliquidation.com, and other consumer electronics and collectible toys are prime items that you will undoubtedly be able to get top dollar for from eager buyers.

It is important to consider that items that are trendy today may not be all that trendy in a few months or longer. When it comes to trendy items, it is important to have sound judgment. You have to know that you can move these products in a reasonable amount of time to justify the purchase of such items. This can make clothing items, for example, a difficult prospect. That is to say, unless you truly are quite a fashion buff. In such a case, experience will be a priceless commodity.

Selling Your Inventory Direct Online

One of the ways to move product quickly is through a merchandise liquidation website. Direct sales to customers online will provide you with a much larger customer base. In addition, you can break up stock orders into more manageable sizes and charge a bit extra on the shipping for each lot of product being resold.

This can add up and allow you to accumulate substantial profits in a short amount of time. It is important to not overprice entire lots of product, making it accessible to be purchased by other buyers at a perceived discount. Remember, when it comes to liquidating merchandise, it is best to find the price that moves the product fast while still realizing a significant profit. Product that sits on your shelves for too long of a time is generally costing you money as it is taking up valuable warehouse space.

Liquidated assets from commercial businesses are turned out on the open market every day. Those who take the time to identify commercial interests unloading their merchandise stand to have access to product at below wholesale prices. While there are an endless number of buyers ready to acquire this product at or slightly below retail value, this business is intended for the few who take the time to understand how to take advantage of the vast stores of product that are being offered to the highest bidder.

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Small Business Can Workshop http://www.smallbusinesscan.com/small-business-can-workshop/ http://www.smallbusinesscan.com/small-business-can-workshop/#comments Wed, 25 Mar 2015 17:58:26 +0000 http://www.smallbusinesscan.com/?p=80501 With our recent partnership with The Smart Business Show we are providing you with exclusive discounts to attend the show and also to exhibit. We will also be running a dedicated workshop for our members at the show. Workshop Title: Panel Discussion SMEs and Public Tendering SMEs and public tendering, […]

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With our recent partnership with The Smart Business Show we are providing you with exclusive discounts to attend the show and also to exhibit. We will also be running a dedicated workshop for our members at the show.

Workshop Title: Panel Discussion SMEs and Public Tendering

SMEs and public tendering, is there any point. Public tendering for SMEs is an issue. The opportunity cost are very high and the chance of success is low. What to do?

This workshop will be a panel discussion on public tendering with a number of experts and SMEs on tendering. Lessons learned, what no to do and the stories of success and failure.

Outcomes:

  • A better understanding of public tendering
  • Opportunity to engage with people who have been there and bought the T-shirt

Speakers

Ross McCarthy
Managing Director at Keystone Procurement
Ross is an entrepreneur, business advisor and strategist that has worked with businesses of all sizes for over 15 years.Ross helps businesses achieve their commercial and organisational objectives and has a particular interest in Procurement, Tendering and Bid Management and Project Management.

Tony Clarke
Owner of Kendlebell Naas
Tony and his team at Kendlebell Naas place a heavy focus on delivering exceptional customer service to each and everyone of their clients whether they are in the SOHO , SME or Multinational sectors.

Tony Corrigan
CEO of TenderScout
Tony is Founder and CEO of TenderScout, a competitive intelligence SaaS that accelerates sales and increases revenues from public procurement competitions. Tony’s background comprises software development, enterprise sales, IT management and procurement consultancy. He started out with IBM and set up his first consultancy company, KOMINO in 2003.

Workshop Moderator

Ron Immink
Co-founder of Small Business Can
Ron was hired by Ulster Bank/RBS to develop www.smallbusinesscan.com, a free and open platform where owner managers can create and share the business knowledge.

 

Where and When?

Date: 22nd April 2015
Time: 13.30am
Duration: 1 Hours
Location: Workshop 2, RDS, Dublin
You can register for your place below;

 

Learn more about the Smart Business Show here.

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DCU sustainability hub http://www.smallbusinesscan.com/dcu-sustainability-hub/ http://www.smallbusinesscan.com/dcu-sustainability-hub/#comments Wed, 25 Mar 2015 10:45:59 +0000 http://www.smallbusinesscan.com/?p=80488 Universities can make you more future proof SME engagement with universities has always been a passion. We think it is underestimated how much universities could add to small business and make them more competitive and future proof. 3 universities in a day As a result, we have been asked  by […]

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Universities can make you more future proof

SME engagement with universities has always been a passion. We think it is underestimated how much universities could add to small business and make them more competitive and future proof.

3 universities in a day

As a result, we have been asked  by KTI and the Dublin Universities to look at how they engage with small businesses and particularly the ones that normally would not look at universities for ideas and support.  We decided to book a bus, try to fill them with owner managers and give them access to 3 universities in one day (16 April). The idea is that this one day will give businesses a flavour of the innovation, research and opportunities that universities have to offer and deliver a informative and interesting day. The day will include a practical information pack,  (non academic) speakers, campus tours and breakfast, lunch and drinks reception. As an outcome we expect that some of the business will start engaging. Part of the follow on of the day, will be us supporting and tracking that engagement.

DCU sustainability hub

For example DCU has a sustainability hub. Here is Stephen Daniels, the head of the sustainability hub talking about some of the research:

The hub drives scientific and social science research, technology development and innovation which supports sustainable development in both industry and the environment. Expertise includes advanced manufacturing, environmental monitoring, water technologies and energy systems.

DCU research aims to discover new science and technologies that meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. These discoveries will help companies to design sustainable products and services, miniaturise components, source renewable materials, integrate ICT, reduce the cost of production and transport by using alternative low cost energy resources – resulting in more sustainable businesses. Environmental research is focussing on monitoring and managing renewable resources such as water and developing advanced science and technologies to harness new resources for energy. All interesting business opportunities.

Stephen Daniels

Here is Stephen Daniels, the head of the sustainability hub talking about some of the research

 

Here is a link to event brite if you want to join us http://www.eventbrite.ie/e/visit-3-universities-in-one-day-tickets-15872746813

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Top 5 Tips on Negotiating Your Commercial Real Estate Purchase http://www.smallbusinesscan.com/top-5-tips-negotiating-commercial-real-estate-purchase/ http://www.smallbusinesscan.com/top-5-tips-negotiating-commercial-real-estate-purchase/#comments Wed, 25 Mar 2015 09:00:52 +0000 http://www.smallbusinesscan.com/?p=79264 Most people consider commercial real estate investments and negotiating for property to be tricky business. So you’ve started your own business and are looking to buy a decent office space at a reasonable price? I’m sure you would agree if I said that there are very few things that feel […]

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Most people consider commercial real estate investments and negotiating for property to be tricky business.

So you’ve started your own business and are looking to buy a decent office space at a reasonable price?

I’m sure you would agree if I said that there are very few things that feel better than earning a great bargain. And if that bargain involves landing a hot piece of real estate at a posh location at rock-bottom price, you’ll surely be in seventh heaven.

The trick to bagging a great deal lies in the art of negotiating. Of course, there is a world of a difference between negotiation and effective negotiation.

Most people consider real estate investments and negotiating for property, especially a commercial one, to be tricky business. That’s usually because there is so much to consider.

Factors such as the selling and the market price of the asset, the tenancy, the leasing terms and so on, would make anyone nervous about proceeding ahead. However, you can turn all these elements into opportunities to negotiate a better deal.

This post presents a few tips on the things to consider when working through the complicated web of negotiations and using them to achieve not only a lower price, but also better purchase terms.

  1. Be Aware of the Current Market Trends

Staying abreast of the current local market will make you confident when meeting with the seller/developer. Before you take him to the negotiating table, do a thorough research of the market trends by scanning through similar properties in the area and finding out their prices.

You should also be aware of the period for which the property has been up for sale. If office spaces within a commercial project have remained unsold for a prolonged period of time, the builder will be keen to strike a deal.

Do not be in a hurry and analyze the prices well. Find out what the initial price was and enquire about the current price trends from local brokers, who will be able to give you an idea of how much you can get knocked off. Getting in touch with an existing customer of the builder should get you the real picture of what you can expect from the builder.

Remember, knowledge of the cash-flow situation of the builder as well as the numbers of pending units are the two factors that can play a major role in the negotiation process. Developers who are cash-strapped and have a large unsold inventory will prefer to make the sale to generate cash.

  1. Making an Offer

Developers tend to offer discounts only when they feel that the buyer is serious. Hence, once you get an idea of the discount, make an offer and let him know that you’re looking to buy quickly.

Spare some time to check out other similar properties in the locality and let their developers know you’re looking to buy and will close if you get a good deal so they can offer you their best prices.

Once you’re equipped with the quotes, let the developers know your offer. Make it known to them even if you aren’t sure of its acceptance. Some developers refrain from beginning the negotiation till customers give an offer.

If the sales figures in the area have been heading south and there are large number of available and unsold properties, bring it to the developer’s notice. Selling at lower prices can work in his favor as it will save him the funding cost and procure cash for new projects.

  1. Money Talks

Developers are more responsive to those who can convince them that the cash to buy the property is ready and an upfront payment can be expected.

It makes sense to go for a pre-approved loan and show the related documents to the developer to prove that you’re serious about the deal, which will make him pro-negotiation.

Additionally, if you have excess funds to make a down payment, you can do so and negotiate for further price reductions.

  1. Using Arbitrators

If you feel you haven’t been able to do enough research, or are not sure about the trends in the property market and the projects in your preferred area, you can take the help of a real estate broker. A good broker can crack the deal for you, but his services will come at a cost, which makes it all the more important for him to add value to the buying process.

However, even when approaching developers through brokers, do make it a point to do your homework and price enquiries. This way you can be sure that the broker is working with your best interests in mind, instead of trying to earn a fat commission by quoting higher.

You can also look up a few property websites and check out the packages on offer by several builders, which may include a discount. However, more often than not, such packages do not offer room for further negotiation.

You could also consider combining forces with other prospective buyers as that will help you negotiate better.

  1. Offer a Realistic Price

Whichever method you choose to bring the seller to the table, do negotiate for a rational and realistic price. While they will be willing to negotiate with you, they will not reduce the prices below a certain point. In fact, they’re more likely to offer incentives such as free club memberships, or family trips, etc.

Most developers do not like to bargain, so be prepared to put forth all your points in a single offer and place the ball in their court. If they do not reduce the prices, let them know you will take some time to evaluate their offer and then decide.

Do not rush into the best deal offered to you. Wait for a week or two and don’t be surprised if you hear from developers keen on closing the deal at your price or a mutually agreed-upon lower price.

Conclusion

Buying real estate may be one of the biggest financial commitments you will make. It is, therefore, important for you to fortify your position and have the upper hand in the buying process. This can be done through negotiation. Having strong negotiation skills and using them tactfully can go a long way in helping you secure a property in a way that is more feasible for you, which will not only save you money upfront, but the consequent interest payments as well.

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QRVO Delivering Your Business Message Better http://www.smallbusinesscan.com/qrvo-delivering-your-business-message-better/ http://www.smallbusinesscan.com/qrvo-delivering-your-business-message-better/#comments Wed, 25 Mar 2015 09:00:09 +0000 http://www.smallbusinesscan.com/?p=80495 QRVO, Quick Response Voice Over, is an unusual and yet, simple, piece of technology. The original QR, Quick Response, code, was originally developed by Denso Wave, a Toyota subsidiary, as an industrial function in vehicle assembly operations. The alphanumeric, high capacity barcode, has been re-engineering to now include a professionally […]

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QRVO, Quick Response Voice Over, is an unusual and yet, simple, piece of technology. The original QR, Quick Response, code, was originally developed by Denso Wave, a Toyota subsidiary, as an industrial function in vehicle assembly operations. The alphanumeric, high capacity barcode, has been re-engineering to now include a professionally recorded voice over, and combined with Analytics, offers an abundance of consumer friendly applications.

The QRVO code, can be scanned with Smart Phones and Mobile Devices. There is not a requirement to log in, no URL, no password, and content is nearly immediately available. The content, text, graphics or video, can be a special offer, directions, event/product details, call to action, voucher, notifications.

QRVO codes are effective from stamp size to 48 sheet poster. The client, those in the advertising, branding and promotional sectors can opt to deploy codes on Business Cards, outgoing mails, voucher, loyalty card conventional publications, signage, and packaging.

Clients can include Analytics to monitor the number of scans, and measure, the success or otherwise of campaigns. While the QRVO code remains intact, the content can be altered remotely to match changing market circumstances.

Varied applications

Applications are both wide and varied. In an effort to assuage the negativity about parking charges, QRVO may offer a partial solution.

QRVO codes can be overprinted on parking tokens. The QRVO code can present special offers, discounts to the hard pressed motorists. The initiative may not be a total panacea, but can offer a different, and more acceptable, value to parking charges.

QRVO also offers an information point for the tourism and trekking sector. Visitors can scan information points and, linked to dedicated web content, can log onto local history, Flora and Fauna, and directions to further places of interest.QRVO information points are available as a multi lingual option.

The QRVO can also be included in or on packaging. Producers can utilize video content on a QRVO code to further enhance product details or production processes.

Customer updates and e-zines can now be included on key rings and that information can be regularly updated. The once humble business card now becomes an information point, where additional product or company details are included in an overprinted card. The fashion sector can embrace effective innovation by including QRVO based video on fashion tips, alternative styles and colours.

Signage/Posters can offer text, graphic or video enhancement of the company or its products/events.

QRVO

QRVO clients simply submit the required voice over content and suitable web link or graphic. Our design team will revert with a proof and seek final client confirmation. The finished product is presented in a print ready format. QRVO is non-intrusive, does not require user details and does not impact on data protection requirements.

The original QR code was developed by Denso Wave, Toyota. The current QRVO code was developed in Mayo, to include a professional voice over and added Analytics.

Developer John Moran says “In developing the QRVO code, we looked to Image, Impact, Information and Innovation. We believe we now have a product to meet the criteria. Smart Phones and iPads have in built scan facilities. Users do not require high skill levels. The professionally recorded voice over is consumer friendly. The client has the option to change content and to monitor the effectiveness of the campaigns. QRVO codes can provide a cost and operationally effective information channel.QRVO campaigns can also incorporate Social Networks as an added impact This development has evolved after much trial and error over the past number of years.” QRVO is designed to deliver YOUR business message BETTER.

To see how your company can avail of a free QRVO audit, please forward details to info@qrvo.ie.

Witten by John Moran | QRVO Business Development info@qrvo.ie 087 25 27 407. As part of ‘Use SBC as a channel initiative, QRVO has a special 10% discount on Standard QRVO orders to SBC members and readers.

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Female High Fliers Programme http://www.smallbusinesscan.com/female-high-fliers-programme/ http://www.smallbusinesscan.com/female-high-fliers-programme/#comments Wed, 25 Mar 2015 08:45:46 +0000 http://www.smallbusinesscan.com/?p=80440 The Female High Fliers Programme is an accelerator programme for female led startups which will specifically address the challenges facing female entrepreneurs.  Supported by Enterprise Ireland, this programme will fast track female entrepreneurs, their leadership skills and their businesses. It will include a comprehensive programme of workshops, bespoke mentoring and excellent networking […]

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The Female High Fliers Programme is an accelerator programme for female led startups which will specifically address the challenges facing female entrepreneurs.  Supported by Enterprise Ireland, this programme will fast track female entrepreneurs, their leadership skills and their businesses. It will include a comprehensive programme of workshops, bespoke mentoring and excellent networking opportunities.

All participants need to be prepared to work intensively on their business during the 13 week programme (1 day per week – Tuesday’s), which ends with a DEMO Day at which each company will pitch to a network of investors, mentors and corporates.

Who Can Apply? 

  • Female founders of startups which are less than 5 years old.
  • Individuals and teams (max 3 people) may apply.
  • The company must be female led.

To be selected your company must have excellent:

  • Growth Potential
  • Export Potential

Apply now:  CLICK HERE

For further information: CLICK HERE or call (01) 7006762.

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Creative Offline Marketing Ideas for Retailers http://www.smallbusinesscan.com/creative-offline-marketing-ideas-retailers/ http://www.smallbusinesscan.com/creative-offline-marketing-ideas-retailers/#comments Wed, 25 Mar 2015 08:00:43 +0000 http://www.smallbusinesscan.com/?p=80348 Offline marketing is all the activities that you can think of, from poster campaigns to handing out leaflets on the street, direct mail, outdoor banner stands and other printed kind of media. Many people wrongly assume that in the digital age, offline marketing has had its day. Let’s take a […]

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Offline marketing is all the activities that you can think of, from poster campaigns to handing out leaflets on the street, direct mail, outdoor banner stands and other printed kind of media. Many people wrongly assume that in the digital age, offline marketing has had its day. Let’s take a look at some more offline marketing ideas and how you can use them to promote your business.

The digital age and online marketing are no doubt important. But, putting offline marketing out to pasture could mean that you are missing a beat. Rather than assuming that everyone is online, why not assume that offline and online marketing combined, can be a powerful force for your business.

With this in mind, business owners look at their offline marketing plans and actions; what they see if the ‘same-old, same-old’ of activities. The time has come to add some pizzazz to offline marketing… try these creative ideas:

Shift the focus from selling to customers

Many businesses assume that they need to sell, sell, sell to every customer that crosses their threshold or sends an email enquiry but, by focusing too much on selling, you are losing the customer in the mix.

Offline marketing offer several ways to regain this important but lost ground:

  • Membership packages

Many small businesses assume that these are only for the ‘big boys’ but there is nothing stopping you from developing a membership package. If you have the type of product that can be bought on a monthly or frequent basis, why not create a better and more enticing product for repeat customers? There are many examples of small businesses creating successful membership scheme…

  • Special events

More and more retail and business experts are suggesting that shopping is no longer a single activity; creating an events is a way of revitalising the high street and creating an event at your business is a great way of bringing people in. Be careful that this doesn’t just become a selling forum, make sure you are demonstrating or being informative too.

  • In-store scavenger hunts

Print off gift vouchers or ‘golden tickets’ and hide so many in store on a given day (pick your slowest day), and invite customers to find them. You can release so many per hour and have a range of tantalising offers…

  • Party fun!

Not for the faint hearted but, having an event that is not linked to anything other than to have fun, and introduce prospective new customers to your business, a ‘party’ or themed event is a great way to do it. If you have the budget, you can really push the boat out, with cartoonists on hand, butlers with bubbles and all sorts… invite only (which need to be professionally printed, with logo and money off coupon!)

Hone your demographics

Knowing who your customers are is important but, this can mean that we neglect other groups of customers who actually may like to buy our products. For this reason, take some time over your offline marketing to pinpoint certain customers;

The grey pound

This may or may not be a pleasant term for those of a certain age, but it is becoming apparent here in the UK, that the older customer has the cash that so many businesses are chasing.

The older demographic however, are rarely marketed to but they are also savvy shoppers too, so don’t assume that they will be sucked in with rubbish deals that get them nowhere. It also doesn’t mean that you have to patronise them either… so take care that graphics, photos and language are not alienating this important shopping group.

The green pound

But, there is another marketing strand in the ring that has been shown to be successful with some groups; highlighting how your business is eco-friendly seems to be one way of harnessing people’s attention.

For example, making it clear you only print on recycled paper, your bags are made from recycled materials etc. and telling people about these eco-credentials has started to work as a one marketing hook. People like to feel good when they shop; they prefer taking their custom to a business that has values and it seems that green credentials is one of them!

But, what about competing with the BIG brands?

It can be tough on the high street. Competing with big, powerful brands who seem to have a huge marketing budget, constantly pushes your store in to the shade. It can be easy to become disheartened but there are small business and stores out there who are thriving… and their secret? Concentrate on the customer, not ‘just’ the selling.

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7 Tips for Better Business Travel   http://www.smallbusinesscan.com/7-tips-better-business-travel/ http://www.smallbusinesscan.com/7-tips-better-business-travel/#comments Tue, 24 Mar 2015 09:00:37 +0000 http://www.smallbusinesscan.com/?p=80307 The demands of business can often mean that long periods of travel are an unavoidable necessity. With the potential for travel all over the world, there are a whole host of ways that you can make your business trips as comfortable, economical and hassle free as possible, causing minimal impact […]

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The demands of business can often mean that long periods of travel are an unavoidable necessity. With the potential for travel all over the world, there are a whole host of ways that you can make your business trips as comfortable, economical and hassle free as possible, causing minimal impact on your daily life and routine.

Here are our top 7 tips for enjoying better business travel.

Preparing for your trip

Pack for every occasion 

Social activities such as going out for an evening meal with colleagues or entertaining a client often come hand in hand with business trips. So, it’s important that you pack for every occasion and eventuality.

Optimise your space

If you are travelling with hand luggage, carefully select your outfits so that they are suitable for both work and play.  This way it will allow you to optimise space and minimise the weight of your luggage. After all, when your trying to get from A to B, you don’t need the added hassle of dragging a heavy suitcase around with you!

Facilities 

Travelling for long periods of time can be incredibly lonely, especially if you are travelling on your own. Before embarking on your trip, it’s a good idea to familiarise yourself with the facilities, language and climate of the area that you are travelling to – this will allow you to spend the time out of business hours exploring your surroundings.

Also, it might be worthwhile checking the facilities at the hotel or services apartment that you are going to be staying in as many provide access to a swimming pool and gym area. If this is the case, don’t forget to pack your swimwear, and maybe some lightweight trainers and gym-wear!

Have you packed the right electrical plug adapters? 

When travelling outside of the UK, it’s important that you carry the right electrical plug adapters that will accommodate your new surroundings. If you travel frequently, and use the same suitcase, why not get into the habit of organising your suitcase, making sure that you know where everything is. This way, if everything has a designated place, you will be less likely to leave it behind or forget to pack it.

What you don’t want to happen is to arrive at your destination and not be able to access your emails, data or contacts that you need!

Let your phone provider know that you are travelling

Life doesn’t grind to a halt just because you are tending to business outside of the area or the country. You will still be required to respond to emails, phone calls and other business matters.

With this in mind, it’s important that you arrange Internet access prior to your journey, as depending on where you are travelling to, accessing the Internet can be difficult and costly. Many phone providers offer special bundles that will allow you to carry on using your phone as normal for a small additional cost, but you must make your phone provider aware of your travel plans.

You don’t want to be faced with a huge bill when you return home.

Choose a serviced apartment 

When travelling, hotels are perfect for short-term stays, they are accommodating and have all the facilities that you need. However, for those who are travelling for longer periods of time, they can be extremely restricting in terms of personal space, amenities and privacy.

Choosing to stay in a serviced apartment can be far more cost effective than staying in a hotel, and can be perfect for those travelling for substantial periods of time. Unlike hotel rooms, serviced apartments like the ones Portland and Brown offer provide a home from home where you will find a kitchen, living area, and bathroom – everything that you would expect from a home.

Get in a routine

Travelling can be both challenging and tiring, especially if your body clock is adjusting to a new time zone.

Pair that with the demands of conducting your day-to-day business, and it’s easy to see why people suffer from extreme fatigue and tiredness when travelling. So, it’s important that you adopt good eating habits and sleeping patterns from the offset, and most importantly, grab as much sleep as you can at every opportunity.

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