Avoid This When Making Promotional Products

Promotional products can really expand the reach of your marketing efforts and keep your brand in the minds of your potential customers long after your initial touch point. However, many small businesses make mistakes with their promotional product that can end up having the opposite of the intended effects. Be a savvy marketer for your business and don’t make these mistakes.

  1. Using cheap materials. Do you know what cheap promotional products say about your business? They tell your potential customers and clients that you don’t care about quality. When you are choosing your next promotional product make sure it is made from high quality materials that reflect the quality of your business.
  2. Being unclear with your marketing message. The message in your promotional product should convey one or two things about your business. Use one clear image or logo and provide the easiest way to contact you. Don’t confuse the message by trying to fit everything about your business onto one small promotional item.
  3. Providing something useless or ordinary. Another pen? Another bookmark? Be honest with yourself. When was the last time you kept

All About Culture of Improvement

The employee perspective

Late in the afternoon an employee approached her manager as the day came to the close. At the end of the conversation she said, “Al, I know you love me but I also know you will fire me if I don’t do my job.” To which the manager replied, “Yes, I do and I will but we will never let that happen. Will we?” This story gets to the core of the culture of improvement. Each employee has a firm understanding of the expectations to perform and the consequences if they fail to do so. But that is not all. It also includes a knowledge by employees that the leadership will do everything in their power to help them succeed making termination a known possibility but rare in reality.

Leadership must understand the fear which having a job entails. For most this is the means to provide for their families. Any loss of income puts responsibilities of today and dreams for tomorrow in jeopardy. When performance suffers, fear increases within employees requiring empathy and understanding from leadership. Guiding staff members through periods


Tricks To Manage Projects

There are countless resources, guidelines and tips on how to successfully manage projects. But one topic that’s not often covered involves project failures. Not many project managers are ready to admit failure. However, it’s still all too common to see projects fail and that’s why it’s essential to identify and analyse the potential risks and challenges before the project kicks off. By understanding the risks associated with the project’s goals they can more than likely be better managed.

In this article, I’ll identify 4 primary ways to help successfully manage them. Understanding them will hopefully better prepare you for your next one.

Take time to plan: Successful project managers know that they significantly increase a project’s success when they allocate sufficient time to planning. They know the outcomes the project needs to deliver and how its success will be measured. They pay attention to detail and break down big goals into smaller ones. They identify the financial and human resources they need and share their expectations with their project team. They research the costs involved and then set and manage budgets. They know that inaccurate


How To Dress for Success

As the times change so does the fashion industry. Knowing what to wear and when and where to wear it is vital if you are looking to land that dream job. According to an article in The Wall Street Journal, women are dressing very different for work than they did in the past. Before you head out to purchase that work dress or pant suit you should know that the entire dress for success policy has been redefined. Today’s working women wants to be seen in color, style, and more pizzazz in order to stand out from others. Today’s workplace attire is not so much about sophistication as it is about reflecting your own personality based on what you choose to wear. On the other hand, an article put out by Real Simple says that what you can and can not wear to work really depends on where you work. For example, if you work in a corporate office than open-toe shoes are out yet you might be able to get away with open-toes in a business casual office or a creative office. If leggings are your thing you would be advised to keep them out


How To Make A Valid Contract

To ensure that a contact is legally binding, it must be executed properly. It must contain all the necessary elements so it will be considered as valid.

What Makes A Contract Valid

Offer & Acceptance – These are the 2 basic elements a valid contract must have. One party makes an offer while the other party accepts the offer’s terms. Bear in mind that acceptance may take time, whereby the negotiation process will happen until both parties reach an agreement.

Legal Object – The agreement’s subject matter should be legal and both parties must agree to the terms, be mentally capable to carry out the agreement, and be over the age of consent.

Consideration – The element of consideration exchanged in the contract is very crucial. This is not just limited to money. In fact, it can include an interest, a right, or a benefit.

Verbal & Written – There are certain oral agreements that can actually be enforced; however, there are some also that are invalid unless they are put into writing. Those involving a real property, a huge amount of consideration or debts, or contracts that can’t be carried out for some time must always be in written form.

In other words, a


Step to Improve Trust With Your Team and Clients

I was sitting in my doctor’s office. She’d just done an exam for causes of my vertigo (fortunately benign) and was speedily typing her notes into the computer.

A little hesitantly, I said, “I forgot, I have another question”. She immediately stopped typing, and swiveled her chair to face me, expectant. I asked my question, and after fully answering it, she turned back to the computer.

Wow, I thought. That was an awesome example of presence. I felt seen. I felt heard. I felt important to her.

That kind of presence has unfortunately become more rare in the business world, as we all feel pressed for time. We all have many tugs on our attention and time.

How often do you see people attending a meeting and instead of listening to the person speaking, they’re staring at their laps? They’ve tucked their phones out of sight and are busily texting.

As the speaker, how do you feel when you look out and see people not paying attention? How do you feel about those who are looking at you and listening actively?

Our focused attention and engagement, our presence, affects how people see us.

The times we spend together are an opportunity. Like Ralph Waldo Emerson, “what


Tips To Reduce Stress When Planning An Event

There is nothing easy about planning an event. You have to pay attention to a lot of details and to have a truly successful event, you can’t afford to neglect or forget even the smallest element of the occasion. Because of all the work you have to put into planning an event, it can be no surprise that the whole process can really be stressful.

When planning an event, the last thing you want to happen is to be stressed out since this will have a negative effect on your emotional, mental, and physical capacities. To help you avoid or at least reduce stress when planning an event, follow the tips below:

Divide your event into smaller pieces. The bigger the event, the more time and effort you will have to put into preparing for and organizing it. Stress will also become an additional burden if you feel really pressured to meet your company’s standards, client’s requirements and expectations, and to predict the unpredictable. All these may seem impossible, especially if you are new to this line of business. Event planning experts say it will be helpful to divide all duties into separate tasks. Once you have done this, you can


The Reason Behind Partnerships Can Fail

A partnership venture starts out as a brilliant idea between at least two entities. The venture may be based on friendships that you are proposing to extend into a new business arrangement. You agree it’s a good idea, you sign the agreement, get started and the partnership may work well for a while, until cracks start to show. The financial costs of not planning your partnership venture properly before you get to the agreement can easily get amplified by the costs of damage to friendships and loss of reputation. For some time now, I have been talking to people who’ve experienced failed partnership ventures. There were too many similarities and a few shocks. Based on these conversations with people who have experienced partnership failures, I have put together a list of 18 possible reasons why a stated 50% of partnerships fail within the first 2-3 years:

1 Too many chefs in the kitchen. When getting together partners gravitate to others with similar skills. Tradies with similar backgrounds working together are a good example. They may have different technical skills which formed the basis of their partnership, but what they possibly needed was a partner with business acumen. Bringing together


All About Small Businesses to Provide Jobs for Disabled People

The Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990 attempted to remedy the issue of high unemployment rates among this population. This act contains a range of provisions to protect the civil rights of disabled persons, prohibiting discrimination in employment, public services, public assistance, and telecommunications. Researchers note, however, that although more people in this protected group are searching for jobs, few opportunities exist. Here are some of the key benefits for companies that provide jobs for disabled candidates.

1. It costs next to nothing.

While some employers are concerned about the expense of making accommodations for these employees, the U.S. Department of Labor, Job Accommodations Network annual report notes that many requested workplace alterations can be implemented free of charge. For example, those with disabilities may benefit from scheduling flexibility, dress code allowances, or the ability to sit instead of stand.

2. It’s an opportunity for diversity.

The more diversity in a workplace, the more opportunity to bring new ideas, solutions, and skills to the table. Excluding an entire population would do a great disservice. For example, a 2015 White House Report, “Recruiting, Hiring, Promoting, and Retaining People with Disabilities,” notes that disabled persons can help small business owners understand the needs of this


Tricks To Ship Internationally

For any small business operation that is involved in selling physical goods, there is likely to be a need to ship internationally at some point. Even though this can be more complicated than shipping goods within your local country, it is still relatively easy to export your goods and navigate through customs with a little preparation. Here are four useful tips to help streamline the international shipping:

Check shipping restrictions

One of the first steps to take is to make sure that the item to be shipped is entirely legal in the destination country. Depending on the location to ship, there could be different rules in relation to how a parcel should be prepared and the type of materials that are acceptable.

Customs documents

In order to avoid the deployed deliveries on the international items and to clear customs it is essential to prepare the appropriate paperwork. Any items that are delayed by customs can lead to a poor experience for your customers.

The customs documents that are completed in full will result in fewer difficulties. Most forms require information like the value and a short description of the item being shipped. Other information can include an export license for the commercial products. Also,


How To Increase Your Small Business Revenue

We are all looking for ways to increase the effectiveness of our marketing dollars, especially considering how mind bendingly expensive the cost of running a business is these days.

Personalized giveaways, in the form of promotional items with your logo and message on them, are one of the best ways to increase your return on investment. For a relatively small price, you can increase your brand awareness and reach more potential customers and clients, converting people who were not aware of your business into aware and appreciative partners.

Give Away and Get Customers
Do you like getting things for free? So do your customers.

The beauty of a personalized giveaway is threefold:

  • Happy customers
  • Brand exposure
  • Reciprocity

Free gifts make your customers or potential customers feel appreciated. Their first impression of your brand is your generosity and your thoughtfulness. Thus begins a relationship that you can foster into a loyal customer for years to come.

With one free gift, you are also putting your brand directly in front of your customer base and all of their friends and associates. This kind of brand exposure multiplies your marketing efforts without multiplying your marketing dollars.

And as an added bonus, the recipients of the personalized giveaway will usually act in


How Small Businesses Can Learn From Casinos

Exciting games, extravagant lighting, loud sounds, multiple entertainment options and the desire to make big money real quick are some of the things that come to mind when we hear the term ‘Casino’. However, casinos are more than just this. The casino industry can also teach you valuable lessons in order to be more adept and successful as a professional.

Whether you’re running a large corporation, a small business or working at an individual level, vital business lessons can be learnt by studying businesses practices at casinos. You’d be amazed to know the sheer number of factors that are involved in making a casino run successfully. Every decision made is critical as it can mean the difference between making or losing money.

Modern day casinos are built like “cities within cities.” You can gamble, eat, sleep, shop, and get entertained, all without ever having to leave the casino complex. This phenomena is called ‘vertical integration’ for the sake of maximizing revenues.

It takes a keen and watchful eye to learn something and there are indeed plenty of important lessons to be learnt from casinos that can be applied to your own professional repertoire.

Let’s discuss what these important lessons are to help you


All About Based Marketing Offline

People-based marketing has been called the “biggest shift in marketing since digital” by Suneet Bhatt, the chief marketing officer of LiveIntent. People-based marketing allows you to shift your marketing target away from generalized data about a group and more toward the individuals in that group so you can provide the right message at the right time to the right person to cultivate the customer relationship and encourage the buying decision.

What Is People-Based Marketing?

People-based marketing is just what it sounds like. Coined by Facebook in 2014 with the release of its Atlas product, people-based marketing follows an individual ID across multiple platforms and devices online to give you information about your customer and begin to understand them in a holistic way.

Since its introduction by Facebook, many companies are beginning to target people-based methods. You may already be working with some, like LinkedIn, Google, Salesforce, or Oracle.

Taking People-Based Marketing Offline

This revolution in digital technology has been a key component to salespeople as long as there has been something to sell. Developing personal relationships with your customer base is essential to creating and maintaining loyalty in your customers.

Scaling that kind of customer relationship has always been difficult. New technologies online allow you


Tips For Marketing Startups

If Marketing a well-known brand is a difficult task; then for a start-up it is almost impossible. The list of marketing resources is growing every day, and it is up to marketers to make the call on which is the best strategy. There is always limitations when it comes to start-ups; such as finance or time. It is not just one channel that is going to give a successful marketing campaign but a combination of few and how they compliment each other. It is imperative for start-ups to get their marketing campaign right as their resources are mostly limited and have to make the most of what is available.

Here are a few cost-effective marketing tips

Creative Business Cards: Business cards are still one of the old yet effective methods of marketing your brand. The advantage of business cards is that it makes the customer feel special as not everybody has access to it. It is a great opportunity for you to get creative as it will always catch your customer’s attention whenever they see it. There are three aspects of a business card that can be exploited.

Touch: The material of the card is something that can be used to get


Guide To Make Best Promotional Items

When it comes to choosing the best promotional item and promotional product for your business, there are many factors that come into play. Today, we’ll take a closer look at some of the ways to choose the best promotional items for your business or company.

1. Figure Out Your Goals

Depending on your goals, that will determine much of how to approach promotional items and promotional giveaways. Are you interested in reaching a very high number of people quickly, or a more selected group?

If it’s a high number of people, a more cost-effective universal item would be more appropriate than a higher priced item. On the other hand, if it’s a select group of clients, it would be more appropriate to order something with a higher price, but also offers much more value, such as electronic items.

2. Make Sure It’s Relevant to Your Target Audience and Customer’s.

This may seem like a no brainer, but it’s amazing how many business owners lose sight of this when it comes to promotional items and promotional giveaways for their business.

If you own a cleaning business, it would make sense to give away items related to cleaning. This way, they not only remember your brands name,


Secret to Make Your Project Successful

Project management is one of the most interesting and, at the same time, most complicated areas of business. Managing of employees in a project has its own specific features and differs from managing of full-time workers. It would be fair to say that only people can guarantee the success of any project. A project team plays the leading role in the future of a project. And the main aim of each manager is to organize working process as effectively as it is possible. Accurate documentation management, using of a time tracker and analysis of current results – all these things can help to make a successful project.

First steps. Nice to meet you!

In the very beginning of the work on a project there are several important things which should be under a manager’s control. They are:

· recruitment

· setting of goals and objectives

· discussing the ways of project implementation.

Very often employees are afraid of difficulties concerning the work on a project which they are to meet in the nearest future. A manager should discuss all possible problems and try to encourage a project team. People should be inspired by the great results which can be obtained!

But not only leadership skills


Tricks To Make Motifs of Motivation Work

There is a hunger to know more about motivation: what it really is, how it works and how we can optimise motivation in our work, for our teams, and in our whole organisations. A recent book in the topic said the following:

“But if motivation is like electricity, it can flow both ways, its power and intensity can wax and wane, and although its effects are felt, it is itself, as we said, invisible. So the best parallel of all – and the one most frequently used in motivational literature – is with energy; the flow of energy within us. And this fits with the word’s etymology – from the Anglo-Norman term, ‘motif’, which is often translated as ‘drive’. So, drive and energy are two powerful synonyms for motivation. But we need to remember that energy is energy, or put another way, as Hilgard and Marquis put it: “The motivation of behaviour comes about through the existence of conditions (drive-establishing operations) which release energy originating in the organism’s metabolic processes. This energy, in and of itself, is directionless and may serve any of a variety of motivational objectives

The first extra point to make is etymological. Above, we see that the


Tips For Manager

While there are going to be managers out there who employ the people who are the best candidates; there are going to be others who have a different approach. As a result of this, there is a strong chance that they will be employing people for the wrong reasons.

An Analogy

Let’s say that one needed to hire a car in order to pick someone up from the airport, it might not matter what kind of car they go for. The main thing is that it works and that it has enough room for the other person’s luggage.

However, if one needed to go off-road, for instance, it is going to be vital for them to go for a car that can do so. Even so, one could end up going for a sports car, and this is going to set them up to experience unnecessary problems.

The Right Option

It might only be a matter of time before their car gets stuck, and their journey will soon be over. But the only person who is responsible for what takes place will be themselves; as they knew what they were going to be doing.

And when it comes to employing someone, there can be times


How To Promote Your Business

When you hear the words “business insurance,” you might think this only applies to large, established businesses. But in fact, this is an important topic for any sized business – from the largest corporations to the smallest, one-person operation and everything in between.

Whether you’re simply in the beginning stages of getting a business idea up and running, or already own an established business, it’s important to know a few basic things about how business insurance works, and what kinds you might need. Here are a few tips to get you started – or to provide you with a quick review.

1. Property Insurance – understand what it covers

Property insurance covers not only the physical structure which houses your business, but also the contents inside the structure. This could include equipment, office furniture and even inventory.

2. Liability Insurance is a must

No one likes to think about it, but getting sued is always a possibility for a business, regardless of its size. Having the proper amount of liability insurance is of the utmost importance. Liability insurance can help with expenses if your business is sued, but it can also help pay for expenses if anyone is injured due to a faulty product


The Biggest Risks On Your Business

You may be focusing on the wrong indicators in your company. Your revenue may be growing, your profit margins good, and your net profit plentiful, yet you may be close to impending problems. Concentration is one of the biggest risks to your business so you must make it an important part of your key performance indicators. You can measure concentration both in terms of market and customer, and both areas need to be monitored for the reasons in this article.

Why Should You Care About Concentration?

Issues relating to concentration come in many forms. While I want to address both market and customer concentration separately, there are some broad implications you need to consider.
Market Cycles – Every market has a cycle. If you are overly exposed to a cycle this will cause wild swings in your revenue stream.
Pricing – In many industries, the larger the order size the more control the customers have over pricing.
Customer Acquisition – The more happy customers you have, the easier it is to acquire new customers.
Capital – It is easier to attract and lower your cost of capital when you have less concentration risk.
Margins – There is a better chance of


The Reason Why Data Security Is Important

Data security is important because certain businesses maintain data containing exceptionally sensitive information that would create severe liability risks if compromised, particularly data that’s maintained for a financial environment. Information that’s used to develop accounting records, such as stock ownership, profit distribution, profit-sharing, joint venture agreements or salary and wage information must have strict security to prevent unauthorized access from both third parties and internal staff members.

The Role of Financial Managers as it Relates to Data Security

With all the networking and file sharing, who is responsible for securing critical financial data? Corporations often look to a CFO or other financial management level employees to get involved with preventing a breach in their data security.

Securing information on a Private Cloud platform has proven to be more secure than using a public cloud platform. The proprietary data used in accounting and financial environments should be structured to prevent access by unauthorized users in a manner that there is an appropriate segregation of financial information. In fact, some countries have reservations about utilizing the services of corporations that use public cloud platforms. Since other clients utilize the same data center, it also puts external companies like suppliers, vendors, independent contractors and joint