Social Networking Will Globalize Your Business Marketing

Social Networking has the potential for exploding your business into the world arena. The simple process of connecting with another person not only will enrich both your lives, but will set in motion a chain reaction of events that will make your business visible to people and businesses worldwide.The types of social networking you participate in will help define you and your business in a way that will connect with people who are interested in learning about you. This connection then leads to the building of a relationship, which is the essence of business. Maintaining a good relationship will ensure continuing referrals and increased business.Let me share some of what I have experienced. I started my business marketing much the same as many other people. I developed business cards, brochures, cover letters, and direct mailing. These methods were expensive, time consuming and eventually unsatisfying. I experienced little business growth over a two year period of time. I even tried “cold calling”, which also yielded little business opportunity. This was part of an “old school” model of business marketing, which many of you are familiar with. I have termed this the “Interruption Marketing” model. We interrupt people’s lives with a bombardment of unwanted phone call, emails, cards and letters which promptly get disconnected, deleted or thrown in the trash, many times even before they are opened.With the appearance of social networking sites on the web came a whole new world of communicating and connecting with others. This is a very natural, casual, and relaxed way of letting others know who you are and what you are about. For most entrepreneurs, our businesses are an essential part of our beings and talking about our businesses is a natural part of our conversations. Only now, anyone in the world can learn about us. People will be particularly drawn to interest that are the same as ours, narrowing the spectrum of people who might be interested in our business. This is part of that very important business model known as Attraction or Permission Marketing.Some of the sites that will drive clients to your door include Squidoo, Facebook, My Space, Digg, LinkedIn and Twitter. Each of these sites can be used as pillars in the building blocks of your business. As your business grows, they can then be incorporated into paid advertising sites as well.So Relax, Enjoy, and start building your business and your relationships in a way that is comfortable as well as profitable.

15 Ideas To Boost Your Sales Over The Holidays

Most of the time people buy out of emotional reasons. Because of this, things that pull on our heart strings tend to encourage us to buy more than usual.And holidays like Valentine’s Day, Easter, Mother’s Day, Thanksgiving, and Christmas have been known to make us spend the most money of all.My question is, why should the big box stores be the only ones that increase their profits during the holidays?Below, are 15 ways that you can reel in more sales during the holidays – so that you too can profit greatly and receive some holiday cheer.1. Dress up.First we need to catch their attention. To pull the heart strings of our customers to come our way – we need to create a holiday atmosphere at our place of business.Here are a few ideas how we can do this:

Decorate- Add holiday decorations to your store, website, emails, etc. to put people in the holiday mood.
Emphasize family- In your advertisements, emails and specials – emphasize the benefits for the whole family.
Kids rule- Since kids rule during the holiday – add things that will attract children like holiday candy or have someone dress up like the Easter bunny or Santa to greet the kids.
Charity tie-ins- Let all your customers know that a portion of any money they spend will go to a particular charity.
Get creative- use fancy slogans like, “12 Days of Holiday Products.” Or “Treat Yourself During the Holidays…” etc.2. Make holiday offers.People expect offers during the holidays. Why not make them offers they cannot refuse?If you can afford it, give them some of the best offers for the year. This could be:

Discounts of 15 – 40% off.
Bundled items- packages with multiple items for a low price.
Small gifts- provide small items for low prices.
Last minute shopping items- Have great discounts for those last minute shoppers (commonly men).3. Encourage them to come back.The statistic is that there is a 50 – 80% chance that your previous customers will buy from you again. Why not use the holiday as a reason to reactivate a buying relationship with you?Here are a few ideas that can bring your previous customers back into your stores – and get them buying again.

Send them a card- though we may think people get too many of these – your customers appreciate them just the same.
Give them a gift- send them a small token to let them know you care.
Throw them a party- have a holiday customer appreciation party.
Ask them to donate- have a charity run where they have to come to the store to donate toys, gifts, etc.
Send them a gift card for your store- This way when they come to use it, they can purchase other items as well.
Give them a coupon for future purchases- Send them a discount coupon that they can use now or later that will motivate them to buy.Most big stores make most of their money during the holidays: Valentine’s Day, Easter, Mother’s Day, Thanksgiving and Christmas.My question is, why should they have all of the holiday fun?Use this opportunity to increase your holiday profits, so that you too can have a season full of great cheer.

Optimizing Your Travel and Tourism Website

The internet has proven to be an interesting tool for travellers. It has now become extremely easy for internet users to plan and organize business and leisure holidays at a click of a mouse. The internet gives users the freedom to compare rates, get unbiased reviews and make informed decisions on holidays without worrying about being fleeced in foreign countries.Booking hotels, flight tickets and even visa applications are now easily done through the web. The travel industry can take tremendous advantage of this setting to offer to their audiences a wide choice via engaging websites.Give Your Audience a Peak into what’s Out thereBy using interesting design tools and interfaces you can easily create an appealing website for you visitors and give them an opportunity to travel, through your website. Integrating images into your web design is crucial to the success of any travel portal. The use of appealing images is a simple and the most straightforward way to entice visitors to your travel website.Getting Professional HelpAs a travel website it is strongly recommended that you get professional help to apply some interesting effects to your photos to create the best visual appeal. While this may go against most conventional design rules, considering the nature of your website, you could always incorporate some flash photo slideshows which further add to the appeal of the products you are promoting.Blending Static and Dynamic Design StructuresA quintessential travel website consists of some static structure that is complimented with Flash effects to attract the attention of the target audience. You can also make good use of these dynamic tools to promote specific products and holiday packages on your portal. With modern design technology, you can leverage the use of 3D effects, animations and other graphic elements to exhibit your USP.Give your target audience an opportunity to go through a mind-blowing journey through the Swiss Alps, the Canadian Rockies or the glaciers of Alaska by making use of these effects and visually enticing the audience.Incorporate Call to Action ButtonsDo not forget to integrate a call to action feature into your website. Buttons such as ‘Book Now!’ and ‘Compare Prices Now!’ will encourage audience members to take actions you intend them to; allowing you to further exemplify the benefits of your products and packages.Clarity in InformationWhile you design the content for your travel portal, you need to put yourself into the shoes of your audience and recognize their needs. Most travellers are looking for something new and exciting. Travellers want to make the most of every opportunity to learn new things, and expose themselves to different cultures.The information that you provide must be able to communicate these facets of travel. Talk about the various activities, things to see, do, and look out for on your time there. Work towards building the excitement of the place you are promoting.In addition to this, remember to optimize your website and provide easy navigation to facilitate easy decision making and sales conversions.

The Auto Transport Broker and The Piracy of The Truck Driver

Have you ever thought about what it takes to run a profitable business? To tell the truth before owning my own auto transport business I never gave it a second thought. Frankly, I think most people are just like me. Many folks just get up in the morning, drive to work, put in their eight hours and go home. The next day they get up and start all over again; it is like being in a rut.You are probably thinking that is cold! Well, fact of the matter is that is exactly how I used to be. When we hate what we are doing, we just go through the motions. Who cares if there is a profit or not, it does not affect me – we think. All we are there for is to put in our time and collect a paycheck that doesn’t go far enough.You are probably wondering what this all has to do with auto transport and the piracy of the truck driver. Well, as employees we had better start caring about the company profits. Think about it for just a minute. If they do not make a profit, we probably will not have a job for long. Have you ever thought about it that way?Auto transport industry is no different…After talking with a truck driver, today this very point came to mind. Our whole conversation revolved around the economics of running our mutual businesses. There are so many pieces to the puzzle; but, one main reason really took the majority of the talk.Today there are too many auto transport brokers out there not doing their job the right way. Greed has set in and taken over all common sense. Their focus is on their commission today and not that of the customer, trucker or industry. There is no looking at the stability of the business for tomorrow, next week or next year.Doing whatever it takes to secure the order they lie, cheat and bait the customer to earn a few dollars. Now I am not saying it is not right to earn money, not at all. The point is that doing business that way is an injustice to all. How you ask?I could really get on my soapbox here and rant for hours. Instead, let us focus on just one area of concern…the truck driver, or as we call them the owner operator.Owner operators do not work for free either!As a business owner, many expenses occur monthly this is called overhead. There are necessary expenditures that keep the truck, office, drivers and other employees “in business”, or employed.The business owner goes into business to make a profit. Sounds reasonable, right? They know what it costs to replace tires, change the oil and other fluids necessary to keep the big rig safe on the roads. There are permits, fuel taxes and surcharges, insurance costs and fuel costs too. Of course we can not forget there are truck payments, trailer payments, and the savings surplus account for repairs.Next they must price out their loads to cover the driver expense, taxes, meals and sometimes-overnight lodging accommodations. Then there needs to be some sort of profit margin so the company can stay in business for the following month.If the business owner is the truck driver as well, he or she must factor in the personal expenses, too. Most have a husband or wife at home with kids. There is the mortgage, power and water bills, telephone, food, insurance and taxes just like all the rest of us.Auto transport brokers must educate the customer…Part of the job of an auto transport broker is to educate the customer. I do not know about you, but before becoming a broker I knew nothing about the industry. We learned by talking with truck drivers who had years of business experience under their belts. By implementing these principles in my own business we have been able to weather the storm of this new economy when others have not.Let me ask you a question…when is the last time you were able to walk into your local supermarket and tell the cashier what you were going to pay for that loaf of bread? Ha…won’t happen will it? Of course not. The market sets the price us consumers will pay for the product and we either buy it or we don’t, right?When auto transport brokers do their job correctly, the customer will understand how the transport business works. They will understand why the prices are what they are. Sure there will be slight differences between brokers. Healthy competition is expected and good in the marketplace.What is not good is when one sector of the industry turns to piracy. By charging the customer an excessive rate then paying the trucking company less than market rates this upsets the apple cart. It makes for an unbalanced industry and forces good people like you and me out of business.Two years ago, we watched as about 75% of owner operators handed in their keys. Some of these hard-working men and women were our friends. Business owners who had provided our clientele incredible service at equitable prices. We had developed friendships. They are real people, just like us. More than once, I cried myself to sleep after listening to the plight of these people and the causes for their decision.Today something has to change. More honest hearted people need to step up to the plate. Hard working auto transport brokers who own their own business need to get back to the basics. Educate the public that more than just diesel prices drive prices; which by the way is on the rise again.You would not work for free…stop asking these business owners to pay you to ship your car! As a broker we are not for the government stepping in to solve an industry’s problems like is so rampant today.However, as an individual auto transport business owner, I’m taking my stand. Education is key and our clients are well-educated, informed and happy. They are happy because their truck driver has a profitable business driven by fair market value.


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