shopping

Pull in More Business with the Power of Coupons

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Don't you just love a good deal? Well, so do your customers! One of the most effective ways to offer customers a great deal is by offering coupons. In fact, Advertising Age (an authority in the advertising business) reports that 87% of all shoppers use coupons. AC Nielson Co., another famous marketing research firm, says that 95% of all shoppers like coupons, and 60% actively seek out coupons before making purchases.

Those are pretty high numbers! The effectiveness of coupons has already been proven, so it may be time to consider adding a coupon strategy to your marketing activities.

Why consider offering coupons?

  • Consumers will break their regular shopping routines to take advantage of good coupon offers.
  • Coupons re-engage your old customers. It gives them a good reason to start buying from you again rather than your competitors.
  • Coupons provide you with an opportunity to sell additional products. Often, customers will use the coupon and then purchase additional items at full price, including impulse purchases.
  • The success of your coupon campaign is easy to measure. Simply count the number of coupons redeemed to see how well it worked. Getting customer feedback can also help you improve future offers to get even better results.

Do What Works

Not all coupon offers are created equal. Some obviously work better than others, so here are some pointers on making your coupon campaign successful:

  • Dollars-Off deals work the best because they are tangible. Customers know exactly how much money they will save.
  • Percentage discounts are more effective when they are higher percentages (at least 25%).
  • People love to get something for free. Buy-one, get-one-free offers are very attractive to customers. You can also be creative with your bonus offers, like "Free Marker Set with the Purchase of Any White Board" or "Buy 5 light bulbs and get the 6th one Free."
  • Be specific in your headline – let customers know up-front what the offer is. For example, "Save $ 20 on any ceiling fan this month only".
  • Use pictures on your coupons whenever possible. It helps customers understand the offer and makes it more compelling. Don't forget to put your logo on your coupon, as well as your contact information.
  • During your coupon campaign, make sure to capture your customers' contact information so you can include them on your mailing lists.

After the sale, be sure to follow-up with your customers and provide them with a steady program of sales flyers, preferred customer discounts, new product information, and of course, MORE COUPONS!

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gift

Giving a Business Client a Gift Basket From the Company

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When searching for the right gift to say thanks to a client consider a variety of options before spending the money in order to accomplish the desired customer result. Sales professionals and business owners who want help finding the right gift for a clients may find the best solution for various situations can be a company gift basket. Many business leaders and sales people give gifts to their customers each year as a token of appreciation and as a subtle reminder to think of their organization the next time the client wants to place a similar order.

The easiest route to take for gift baskets is to get one that someone has already put together. Shopping for a gift basket that is already put together for a on the web is easy and in many department stores during a holiday season. Typical gift baskets that can be purchased include edibles such as candy, cookies, crackers, wine, meat, cheese and so forth. Also flower arrangements can be bought at a local florist or ordered over the internet at anytime. However these gifts are gone after only a few days. They may be appreciated, but will these gifts be remembered months later when the client wants to place a new order? Non-seasonal gift baskets are harder to find unless shopping is done at a specialty shop or gourmet store.

Although food baskets are nice, a client can get too many during the holidays or from competitors during the sales cycle. To insure remembrance, plan a special gift basket and find someone inside or outside the organization to customize it and arrange it in a nice container. If the container is a reusable item for the person receiving the gift basket, then it makes for an even better gift as they continue to use it! Company logo items used in a custom gift basket make an excellent reminder to the client every time it is used. These logo items are often practical gifts that will last for months to come. Often these types of gifts include mugs, calendars, clips, magnets, pens, or notebooks with the company name as the gift-giver imprinted on it along with the website and possibly a phone number. A miniature gift basket can be made by placing several small items in a mug and then wrapping it in cellophane, tying a bow around the top, and adding a gift card or business card. These types of baskets are nice-to-have and do have the desired company reminder aspect. Often customers will appreciate a gift that is both practical and helpful.

For a sales person who is looking for a meaningful appreciation gift to give clients during the sales cycle or when shopping for a holiday season, consider something to go along with the typical company logo item that reminds the client of their willingness to help grow the customer's business as well as their own. Business books are often appreciated by professionals so they make a great addition to any …

women

7 Top Tips From the Business Woman of the Bible, Lydia, for Today's Woman of God

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Lydia was one of the most successful business women in the Bible. You will find her story in the Bible in Acts 16: 14-15. According to Biblical records, Lydia was a business woman who dyed and sold purple cloth, a material used by the wealthy and elite of the day. This meant Lydia worked in a high-priced market with a high-end target market.

But Lydia was more than just a woman who sold luxury goods to the elite and the powerful. From all accounts it appears she was also the head of her household, an employer of others, and a woman of great Christian faith. She was the first European convert to Christianity and the first to establish a church in her home for other Christians. Fellowship times included examples of how to do business and worship as a part of a business woman's day.

As a powerful woman of God, Lydia has much to offer today's Christian business women. Here are seven valuable lessons for women of God from the Bible woman, Lydia.

1. Keep prayer in your daily activities. The bible story of Lydia says she met the Apostle Paul at a place of prayer. She also opened her home to have worship services for others. Keep your implications in order as a woman of God. Remember to pray unceasingly about everything including your business activities by making prayer a priority activity on your daily schedule.

2. Work to please the Lord. Lydia took her responsibility as a Christian business woman to work "as unto the Lord" very seriously. You can show Christian beliefs through your nature and personality without being pushy or unprofessional. Show Biblical principles through your actions and decisions in your business.

3. Design a powerful company. Lydia was a no-nonsense business woman who built a major company in a wealthy market. Nothing says a woman of God has to play small in the business world. Christian business women should be open to working in all types of industries and not shy away from the potential of going big. If you are pursuing big dreams use Lydia as your role model for growth.

4. Try non-traditional opportunities. By being a successful and wealthy merchant of purple cloth Lydia was in a non-traditional business category during her times. Don't shy away from embracing non-traditional business opportunities. Consider working in fields where few if any woman are already excelling and create new paths to success.

5. Find your balance between work and home. Lydia maintained her household even while running a powerful business. Each woman has to find the way to balance, keeping her home in order while running a business. It might mean downsizing or hiring help. Use your business skills to figure out what works for you to get it all done.

6. Learn to grow your business. Lydia's business was so successful that she had to hire employees. Growing a business means eventually needing to hire help. That help might come in the form …

general

How To Create A Business Model

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Could a stranger enter your office and operate your business? They could if you have a business model that defines each step of your business process. Create one by using a simple business template that provides actual business processes.

Start with an outline of what you do each season of business.

Sell ​​Product or Services

Define your product or services within a pictorial scale, including price, value, and description of what each entails. Give your products names that identify, define, and value the individual product or service, and then put them in your product or service journal.

Define Niche Market

Identify your buyers. Who are they? How much will they spend? How often will they buy? Will they return for more product? Are you going to meet them personally, or online? Will your buyers come to you, or do you take your sales to them?

Select Payment Options

How will you be paid for products and services? What finance plans will be available? Decide how you will accept payment and whether your accounting program will be cash or accrual. Will you send invoices, statements, and other billing options? How will you communicate collections?

How Product is Delivered

One of my favorite sections of the business model is the product section. We get to define our product, decide how it's produced, and how to deliver our products. Some products are easy to figure out, others require a bit of finesse.

I specifically remember one product that included ordering a mass production from an auto-supply company, ordering boxes, and then spending hours inserting products in boxes, then shipping them out via USPS at the end of each day. Labeling because my most difficult problem. With each order I was downloading labels for shipping. After one particularly grueling week of shipping hundreds of boxes, my daughter found a "drop shipper" who did all the shipping.

We simplified our Business Model, increased our profit, and cut a huge chunk of labor off the shipping process.

The business model offers you a selection of methods for delivering not only one product, but several products. You can drop ship some, while personally shipping others, and some can even be digitally transferred. The key is to have a plan and know what happens with each product grouping.

Service Delivery Options

Another key component of your business is the overall development and delivery of services relevant to the end game of business transactions. Every business has a certain number of services, but determining how those are performed, delivered, and completed is part of the overall business model.

Functional Business Models can be as complete or as circumspect as you wish them to be, but for more automated systems, or for systems that are operated by non-owner entities, the more complete the Business Model, the easier it is to hire assistants to complete the work.

Creatively put as much effort into your Business Model as you expect to get out of it. The better it is written the more …

fashion

The MAIR Model – A Non-Linear Approach to Business Start Up

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As an entrepreneur and someone whose business involves working with entrepreneurs, I'm always interested in different models of business start up, and an article I read recently reminded me of the MAIR Model. I first came across this when doing and MSc in Entrepreneurship at Stirling University in 1995, and have used it quite a lot since for training both advisors and entrepreneurs, both in my work with support organizations and my consultancy with Eriskay Associates. Since then, it seems to have come in and out of fashion a bit, but I like it for its logical simplicity and the fact that it is not linear (ie step one, step two, step 3 …)

The basic idea is that you explore four 'interactive variables': Motivation, Abilities, Ideas and Resources. Clearly, each has a critical role to play in its own right:

Motivation: I guess that's what separates thinkers and dreamers for actors and doers … The willingness to really go out and work hard, often under conditions of little short term reward and lots of uncertainty, seems to be one of the hallmarks of successful entrepreneurs .

Abilities: We could start a whole separate thread on this – what are the key abilities that make a successful entrepreneur – no doubt a mix of both hard and soft skills.

Ideas: Arguably, these need to be clearly rooted in a market need to be valid, although, there are some business that seem to be product-led rather than market-led … fashion, any Apple product, the Rubik's cube .. .

Resources: Entrepreneurs are kind of hamstrung until they get resources behind them. I guess we automatically think of cash here, but skills, knowledge and contacts can make a lot of difference to.

… but you also need to think about how these factors interact – a good idea is of limited value, without the motivation and resources to turn it into a business and this is where the final components of the MAIR model come into play: Planning and Organization! Arguably, this is the real job of the entrepreneur. Bringing all the factors together to create something that did not exist before, and may just change the world!

As far as I know, the academic origins of this model lie with Gibb and Ritchie (1982), but I have seen references to it dating back to the 1970s, where it was apparently in use at Durham University Business School. It has appeared in a number of articles since, but I am surprised that it has not gained more traction.

By comparison, think about SWOT analysis – it provides a simple mnemonic and a recognized structure for analysing a situation. And, despite it's many deficiencies (the subject of a future article!), It has gained widespread usage. So, why has the MAIR model not achieved the same? Incidentally, one of the other advantages is it's adaptability. In a very interesting article by Pat Richardson et al (The challenges of growing small businesses: insights from women entrepreneurs …

beauty

How to Start a Gift Basket Business From Home on a Shoestring Budget

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Opening a gift basket business in your home can be one of the easiest ways to enjoy doing something you love, while making a nice profit for yourself. According to a recent government study, the home gift basket business is growing by leaps and bounds. If you have a creative mind, and like the idea of ​​selecting unique items for gift baskets that make people happy, then this is a great business idea for you.

Learning how to start a gift basket business begins with coming up with cool ideas for creating gift baskets at home. To make this task easier for you, remember that most gift baskets have a theme like:

* Anniversary
* Baby Shower
* Birthday
* Christmas
* Easter
* Get Well
* Mother's Day
* Retirement
* Thank You
* Valentines Day
* Wedding

When you start out with a theme, this makes it very easy for you to begin finding items that can go inside the basket. Keep in mind that you can buy the same items for each basket that shares the same theme. You can add little touches to make it more personalized for a particular recipient when required.

If you have trouble coming up with ideas for making gift baskets, you can go online and visit various sites that feature them. Use these as guides to making your own unique creations. Once your imagination has been sparked, you should have no trouble coming up with ideas.

Okay, now since you are going to be making this a profitable business venture, you need to switch hats for a moment and think like a small business person. You will need to find customers for your baskets, which means you need to set up a marketing system that works well.

If you already have a large network of family and friends, this is a great way to market yourself without having to spend much money. You can create some attractive brochures using your home computer, make up some sample baskets and take pictures of them, and include the photos in your brochure. Be sure to give your business a catchy name.

Hand out your brochures and let everyone know that you can make any type of basket for their special occasions. You may begin to get inquiries and orders right away.

If you don't have the advantage of a large personal network, you can still get your business going relatively easy. Go ahead and name your business and make up the brochures. You should also set up a simple website to display samples of your baskets. Be sure to put the website address on the brochures.

Go out and visit small gift shops, beauty salons, doctors offices and other small businesses in your area. Ask if you can leave a few brochures with them. When people are waiting around at the counter, or for their appointment, they'll see your brochures and take one home. This can get the ball rolling for you fast.

There …

general

Information Marketing: How To Create An Ascension Business Model

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It is very easy to create an ascension model for an online information marketing business. In this article I am going to explain this model is and how you can easily and quickly build one.

What is an ascension model?

With this model you offer products beginning with a low price and then gradually ascending to a higher priced product.

There are advantages with this model.

As the product creator and in particular for those who are just starting out on their information business, it is far less daunting to think about creating a low priced item than a higher one.

For example, a $ 27 product sounds feasible, whereas a $ 490 product perhaps sounds beyond your capabilities.

By creating low price products first you can build your confidence and also begin to understand what it is you can offer and how much you have to offer.

For your customers, using this model helps them to purchase something of low price and therefore low risk to see what kind of quality you offer.

Obviously your lower priced products must reflect the quality and value that your customers would expect from a premium product. It doesn't matter what the price is – the quality must be the same.

Credibility Tip

Make sure that as you create higher priced products you enable your customers to have visibility of them so that they don't think you are only capable of producing low priced items. This is really important for your credibility and authority levels.

How to easily create an ascension model

One easy way to build this ascending model is to create 4 low priced products on various topics in your niche and then combine them together to produce the high priced product. Another way to do this is to again use those low priced products and combine them into a weekly or bimonthly continuity product.

By using what you already have created and packaging it into a product of higher price you can quickly and easily increase your product portfolio and product price range.

The more low priced products you create, the more ways you will be able to repackage them into new products with varying price points.

Another easy way to create a high end product is to offer coaching and include your other products as training material to be used as part of the coaching program.

Send out a weekly training and then discuss this during the coaching element.

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clothing

Tips for Starting Your Own eBay Women's Clothing Store Business

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Launching your very own women's eBay clothing store is a great way to begin a journey of financial freedom and independence while working from the comfort of your own home. Starting your own eBay women's clothing store requires a bit of planning, preparation and some creativity to get your store off of the ground and running. The more you prepare to run your online store, the easier it will be once you begin to receive orders from those who are interested in the merchandise you have to offer.

Tips for Choosing Your Inventory

Determine what type of merchandise and inventory you plan to stock within your online eBay store before you begin searching for merchants that are right for your business. Create a list of the type of inventory you want to stock along with specific sizes you require for each piece of clothing or good you are interested in. The more detailed you are with your budget and specific about the type of clothing you want, the easiest it is to work with merchants and wholesalers who provide what you need for the industry you represent.

Keep in mind any colors you want to offer as well as size charts from each vendor before you place any order to ensure you keep your customers as satisfied as possible when they make a purchase from you.

Finding the Right Wholesale Suppliers for Your Business

Finding the right wholesale suppliers is also necessary when you are shopping for a women's clothing store on eBay. Finding a wholesaler online that caters to those who have eBay shops is highly recommended to purchase high-quality products and merchandise at a discounted price, especially when ordering in higher volumes. Shopping online to find the right wholesalers is a way for you to save time while also getting more access to hundreds and thousands of items depending on what you plan to sell to your customers.

Avoiding Shipping Nightmares

Avoid shipping nightmares when ordering any of your products wholesale by reading and reviewing all terms and conditions that have been put in place by wholesalers and other merchants you are using to purchase your items. Be sure to read the terms and conditions of all vendors you work with when operating a store of your own on eBay, especially if you plan to order items in bulk. You may also be able to find discounts from various merchants with the more you order in wholesale.

Importance of Pricing Factors

It is essential to factor in the pricing of your items and the markup you want to charge before launching your online eBay women's clothing store. Consider the price you have paid for each item before marking it up and selling it to others. Additionally, it is also important to consider whether you are paying for shipping or requiring your customers to pay for shipping before setting a price for the merchandise you have for sale. If you plan to pay for shipping yourself, it is highly …

women

Women and Small Business

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In the book Women and Small Business author gives all the guidelines and tools need to start, operate and succeed in a business of their own. In the mentioned book she tried in the fist part to explain how has changed the role of women in the world along centuries. In the second part she researched all necessary abbilities of women who like to start up their own business, make differences between women and men owners and gave advices to them.Additionaly, she made some very important questions which need answers for all prospective owners, as following:

What is my reason for starting a business? What type of business can I start? What skills, interests, and personal qualities will I bring to the business? What are my strengths and weaknesses as a business owner? What fears must I overcome?

In the third part she gave Case study based on MS Project which could be on a special use for their business ideas from the very beginning to their realization in praxis. T his information will help them form some opinions about the overall climate and how their idea might fare given current conditions. As they become more convinced of its potential, they can delve deeper into specifics that will ultimately become part of a formal business plan. Everything they discover will contribute to their idea's potential for success Dr Mirjana Radovic pointed that ideas are the currency of entrepreneurs and therefore they must play with many ideas and see which ones bring money and success. The reality is that some businesses may not be profitable enough to provide a living. Other business ideas simply aren't marketable in some trade area or there might be too much competition already. They may or may not have enough capital to get the business off the ground or to secure adequate business financing. So this book provides the tools with which to make decision whether or not to open own small business.

In the fourth part of the study she presented the latest results of researching related to women leaders and their position in the business world, ie how does people look at (divided into sex, ages and level of education) women leaders and if they trust them .She compared results of one of the latest researching in the USA with the results in Serbia and Montenegro. Her scientific task was to make some conclusions and to point out some special characteristics of Balkan region. In the fifth part of the book she wrote about. some limitation in achiving business success-Enterprenurial Phobia, Intuition and Managers desease among women.Finally, she gave some key points of her researching work and presented conclusion with the stress on the future position of women engagement in the business, where was long domination of men.

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gift

Helpful Tips on Business Gift Giving Etiquette in Latin America

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Being prepared for an international business meeting requires information and knowledge of what will be discussed or presented at this meeting. A nice social gesture when meeting an international company for the first time, usually, is giving a gift. Take the time to research local customs before making a purchase, though, as some countries find it insulting to receive a gift. Knowing what to do before you go will not only show that you cared enough to learn about your destination's etiquette, but may also open up all kinds of new doors and opportunities for you and your company.

Many multi-national businesses and their governments have very strict policies when it comes to business associates accepting gifts. Many Asian countries are concerned about corporate corruption and see gift giving as a bribe, so holding off on gift giving until you get to know the company and its policies may be a good idea. You should know that in Malaysia, most businesses require you establish a working relationship with them before giving a gift. Even here in the United States, our government sets a $ 25 spending limit on how much a business gift can cost.

An important fact to know about Latin American culture is that it is predominantly patriarchal, and very rigid divisions between work and home exist. Men are in business, and women are at home. If you happen to be visiting Guatemala, El Salvador, Colombia, Chile, Nicaragua, or Peru make sure you familiarize yourself with the current affairs and political dealings that are going on within those countries and avoid any discussions about these subjects for it most certainly will destroy any business dealings you hope establish with any companies therein.

When first meeting prospective business clients, handshakes are important so be firm but brief, and always make sure you keep constant eye contact throughout the handshake. When shaking hands with a woman, remember to be courteous and allow her to extend her hand first. Expect the person you're speaking with to stand close to you and look you in the eyes, don't move back or break eye contact because you could offend the person talking to you.

Below are some social taboos you should be aware of since using any of the following gestures can cause problems.

1. The "OK" sign made with your forefinger and thumb is an offensive gesture in Brazil.

2. Placing your hands on your hips in Argentina means you're signaling a challenge.

3. Raising your fist to your head in Chile is a sign of Communism.

Latin America enjoys the business lunch and they are usually pretty long, at least two hours or longer. Dinners are considered purely social events and start late at night, usually around 10:00 or 11:00 pm. When at a social dinner, remember to keep your hands above the table at all times when eating and always pass food with your right hand

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