Online or Offline: Choosing Your Marketplace

The world of business has grown. The walls have been knocked down and geographical boundaries have been erased by the interconnection that the internet providers. Today, even an individual can do business from one location and transact with a customer from clear across the globe. In a way, this levels the playing field between bigger players and smaller business owners. Even with their own limited budgets, small business owners can reach their target customers and generate revenues through various channels. The question now for small business owners is which is more profitable, online e-commerce or offline bricks and mortar stores.

marketplace

There are pros and cons to both. While a bricks and mortar store requires a bigger capital and cash outlay for inventory, it gives customers a tangible place to visit and inspect the goods they want to buy. However, this also limits the store’s customer base to those who are within a certain distance from the store’s location. With an online store, you can reach your customers anytime, anywhere. While you address the accessibility factor, you lose the tangibility aspect that some customers are looking for.

The best marketplace is a combination of both online and offline presence. Although you might not have the capital for a bricks and mortar store, you should at least have a facility to address the need of your customers see you as a real company worthy of doing business with. At the very least, you should have a customer service or technical support facility where your customers can talk to real people about their product inquiries and concerns. You also need a strong logistics and delivery support services especially if you are dealing with fast moving consumer goods. These should be combined with online accessibility that gives your customer the convenience of getting information about your products and services anytime they need it. And with aggressive use of online marketing tools, there is no limit to how far small and medium scale businesses can go.

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Stuart Miles – FreeDigitalPhotos.Net

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How Technology Changed the Lives of Businessmen

Long time ago, businessmen would literally trade their products to gain loyal customers. It took them a lot of time to utilize marketing strategies like advertisement and promotions. One of the veterans in one of the businesses in town even shared that way back in time, the only strategy that they have is to give a free item whenever a customer will buy in bulk.

technology

As time pass by, businessmen learn to give discount coupons and loyalty cards as well as gift certificates and similar items. These marketing strategies evolved so much with the help of technology.

If before, they would rely on printed leaflets and flyers to announce openings and other special events in their companies, these days they are already utilizing the social media. Some companies have their online portals or websites wherein customers can place their orders online and can even avail free delivery.

Social networking sites became their source of market and have become their means to make their business popular.

Inventory and monitoring of businesses these days can never be tiring tasks anymore because it is already being run by technology. With a few clicks of the button, the owner will have an overview of the entire operation of the business and can have access to whatever area he wants to check. That’s how technology changed the life of businessmen.

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Renjith Krishnan – FreeDigitalPhotos.Net

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Common Misconceptions on Network Marketing Business

Among the many business ventures available today, network marketing business could be the least favorite. Why? Because over the years, this business venture has acquired negative reputation and is considered to be unreliable and associated with scams. There had been horror stories about people losing their hard earned money because of multi-level marketing scams. Yet there are also true to life tales of success in this type of business. Here are some common misconceptions about network marketing that aren’t necessarily true.
network marketing

Network Marketing as a Scam

Network marketing is basically defined as a business strategy that pays out distributors not only for the sales they have generated but also for the sales of those they have recruited. It does sounds like a scheme or a fraud that promises compensation for recruiting other than selling real products, however, this strategy is considered legitimate. Avon, Tupperware, Sophie Paris are just some of the top brands employing this strategy worldwide.

Network Marketing is Effortless

Getting into network marketing is the easiest, most effortless thing about it, but succeeding in this endeavor is an entirely different matter. A lot of people fail in this and it’s true that network marketing is not for everybody. You have to put effort in it, research and be able to sell your products. Find a product with a good platform because when you don’t believe in the product yourself, you won’t be able to sell it to others, more so, how will you train others to market the products and generate sales?

Network Marketing’s “Get Rich Quick” Schemes

“Get Rich Quick” schemes especially offered by networking marketing businesses can sound really suspicious. Sometimes though, this is an effective “come-on” for people who want to earn cash without putting in real effort. If the offer seems too good to be true, don’t jump-in, rather take time to know more about the company and its products. You have to realize what network marketing really is about and that earning extra income through this requires you to sell successfully and training your recruits to generate sales as well. So if you have the excellent PR skills and you are good in sales, you might earn more, but don’t expect to have money pouring in without you working hard for it.

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Master Isolated Images – FreeDigitalPhotos.Net

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Cost Effective Strategies to Promote Your Business

Got a business you want people to know about? Any ideas on how you can get word out about your online or home-based shop without spending a lot? After doing your research and weighing all the risk, you’re ready to promote your business, but with just your friends knowing about it is not good enough. To give your business the chance to flourish, you have to get word about it to as many people as possible. Utilizing old-fashioned advertising can be a bit too expensive for small businesses, luckily, there are now cost-effective methods that you can use to promote your business.

Use the Internet

Having your own website can be the perfect tool to promote your business. This has a wider audience reach compared with the traditional print ads method plus they last longer and super affordable! You can create your business page for free in different social media sites and blogs such as Facebook, WordPress or Multiply. Don’t limit yourself with just one platform, the more exposed your business is, the better it will be.

Give out Samples

How will anybody know about your amazing product if you’re going to keep it a secret? This will not do good for your business. Create sample sizes and offer free services if the expenses get too high for you to give out real freebies. This will spread the word for you!

Give out Flyers

Print a stack of flyers containing necessary information about your products or services and distribute them to your neighbors. This is one best way to promote your business and will sure drum up some sales for you. You may also take advantage of community boards in cafes or restaurants nearby to put up your flyers and don’t hesitate to jump into the opportunity of promoting your business when you see it.

Write in Newsletters and E-zines

Creating good reading material about your specific product, service or niche creates awareness and piques interest among the reading public. It also helps establish your position as somebody knowledgeable in the industry. If your work gets published, then you’ll be somebody that people will read and listen to. The combined numbers of your customers and your readers will surely help your business flourish even faster.

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Quick Guide to Saving Money on Small Business Uniforms

Small businesses are often put into an awkward position when it comes to uniforms. Fewer employees should lead to a lower overall cost but, unfortunately, some of the major employment uniform manufacturers offer better deals on bulk orders and charge more for smaller purchases. Some of the biggest manufacturers won’t even talk to small businesses due to stringent minimum order policies.

Small boutique printers are rarely any better. High prices, long lead times, and small selections serve as major downsides – and with a clientele that primarily seeks novelty t-shirts and band gear, these boutiques often lack experience fulfilling professional needs. How can small business owners cope? Is there a budget-friendly middle ground? This short how-to guide will provide a few ways to save money on uniforms without sacrificing on quality or value.

Balancing Quality and Cost

Your overall cost will be determined by the quality of the following features: materials, graphic design, and uniform cut/style. Do not try to pursue the best of all three or you will surely pay too much. Instead, think about the role the uniform and emphasize/deemphasize certain qualities when necessary.

Do not be afraid to order separate (but similar) uniforms based on the various employee positions and their duties. The following three scenarios will explain how careful choices and compromise can lead to valuable savings.

1. Emphasis on Durability

Quality materials are absolutely necessary for uniforms that are often exposed to food, dirt, or heavy wear. The ability to wash and reuse these uniforms more make up the difference in price. Are graphics necessary? Save money on uniforms for behind-the-scenes employees by opting out of graphics and redirecting those savings toward even better quality.

2. Emphasis on Professionalism  

Employees that deal primarily with customers need to look professional. You do not need exceptionally durable materials, but you do need to invest in a uniform with a nice cut/style. Any graphics do need to be nice and recognizable, but save the majority of your graphics budget for situations that call for the “walking billboard” uniform detailed below.

3. Emphasis on Marketing

Sometimes uniforms are necessary for dealing with the public, and you can put that public exposure to good use through clever marketing. Go with a lightweight shirt to save money on materials, and invest in eye-catching color or design instead. A reasonable style will help your business look professional, but don’t blow your entire budget on a uniform that will see a lot of travel or wear.

Searching for Deep Discounts

Check out online resources like CustomizedGirl for custom t-shirts, aprons, and other deeply discounted customized uniform-worthy attire. Online resources are great because they offer a greater selection and can expedite printing when necessary, and you can find the prices upfront instead quote-by-quote. Many online printers also offer newsletters to advertise their best deals so that you can withhold your order until the most cost-effective opportunity crops up.

customized uniform

Order your replacements and extras upfront. By adding a few rounds of replacements to your initial order, you will be able to take advantage of what may be a significant group discount. First-time buyers can often secure additional discounts – so make that first purchase a worthwhile one. Keep in constant contact with your supplier to ensure good deals on future orders. Treat your uniform supplier like any other important business contact.

Uniforms are a useful way to help your business stand out, and sometimes they are the only way to ensure customer trust and satisfaction. Uniforms are an important investment but they do not have to overburden your budget. Get creative and contact your local chamber of commerce for ideas and connections.

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