Sunday, October 31, 2010

Be Happy – Feel Happiness by Overcoming Your Fears.

Have you ever thought how much you are happy? Are most people happier or less most people happier or less happy than you are? Out of 100, about 52% persons say they are “very happy” with their lives, with 43% reporting they are “fairly happy,” 3% said they are “not too happy “ and 2% undecided in US. In Britain, in a survey, only 36% claimed they are “very happy” which is down from 52% in 1957.

Many people who are not to happy or only fairly happy struggle with personal happiness simply because they do not rate their personal happiness as very important. However, our personal happiness is very important and should rate among your top priorities. In fact, it really is not selfish to consider your own happiness as your top priority. You must consider your own happiness as your top priority because:

You Are Important.

It is true. You are an important person. I don’t care about your profession, employment status, or income. But I mention here that you are important. Look back at your past. Think about how different the world around you might be if you had not been born. How has your life impacted others? Don’t dismiss small contributions as unimportant because the truth is that it is often these many small changes that lead to greater good.

Now think about your life right now. How many people depend on you among your family, friends, and community? If you stayed in bed tomorrow, how many lives would be affected by your absence?

Now think about your future. What potential exists for your life to impact the lives of others? Think about your home and family, your friends and community, and your professional life. Don’t think about probabilities but rather possibilities. You have the potential to change many lives just by being you and living your life. You are important because you are the sum total of all these effects: your past, your present, and your future. What you have done, what you are doing, and what you can do in the future are all the elements that make you an important and valuable person who deserves to be happy.

Your Happiness Concerns People Around You.

While your family and friends may not depend on you to make them happy, it is very true that if you are unhappy you can make it much more difficult for others around you to be happy.

There is an old saying that frequently crops up on T-shirts, “If Momma is not Happy, Nobody is Happy” This is often good for a laugh but we all know it is true. If a parent is unhappy then often the rest of the household will be unhappy too. Similarly, only one bad apple spoils the whole barrel, and this is true whenever any group of humans gathers together and if one member is not happy, his/her unhappiness can spread to infect the others in the group.

You deserve to be happy for yourself but you should also strive for happiness so if you are going to spread a mood, it should be a good one.

Your Happiness Affects The World.

How many times have you been simply going through life, not really in a good or bad mood, and then someone took a moment to give you a smile. What happened to your mood? Did you smile back? Another old saying is that smiles are contagious and this maybe a very powerful argument for your own personal happiness.

Can you imagine possessing the power to spread smiles? You do not need to imagine it because you already possess that power. You simply need to get yourself into the habit of smiling. Smile at your loved ones, smile at your friends, and smile at strangers on the street, and soon you will be making a strong contribution to make the world a happier place.

Your happiness is important because you are a significant person, your mood impacts your family and friends, and your happiness affects the world.

But how would you smile if there is some fear in your mind? No, it is not possible. If you smile, you may do it artificially and that acting may not last longer. You may burst into tear as someone touches your aggrieving point incidentally.

For Being Happy, You Must Overcome Your Fears Too.

Free your mind of fear-based emotions such as anger, hatred or jealousy to make place for love and creativity. True freedom is the ability to express who you are…through a natural flow of love and creativity. Freedom is first gained within your consciousness. Then because your outer life always reflects that which is within, you gain freedom in all aspects of your life.

If you are imprisoned with some fear, fear of any kind, you can not give free expression. These blockages of the natural flow of love and creativity are formed by the fear-based emotions that come with the challenges of human existence. Fear is the common factor underlying all disharmonious emotions. For example, fear of inadequacy can lead to jealousy and hatred, fear can lead to jealousy and hatred, and fear can generate an over-reaction of greed while fear of being overwhelmed by life’s challenges can lead to control issues.

Each of us arrives in this world with a life plan, which includes personal and social issues that we intend to work through during the lifetime. It also includes the location and surroundings of birth, as also the friends and associates that we are likely to meet as life unfolds.

The personal and social issues that we adopt in our lives are generally based upon the consciousness. For example, one issue being worked through these days is equality of the sexes. The old reality demanded separation of the power of the sexes into societies based on either matriarchy or patriarchy. The new reality, into which we are shifting, requires an equality of the sexes - an integration of that which was formerly separated into two. Every woman and every man is now playing some part in this massive social adjustment towards equality of the sexes.

As the purpose of the entire human experience is to work through and transform such issues, it is appropriate that we seek a solution to all of these fear-based issues. When enough people pass through the gateway into freedom of the spirit, then suddenly, the whole world will wonder why it hadn’t seen such an easy solution all along.

Society is building up to a critical mass where consciousness will fillip from ‘you versus me’ to ‘you and me’, a shift from competition to mutual cooperation. Every day, more and more people are making this shift to heart-powered consciousness. With a little inner work, these individual transitions to the new reality happen sooner and more easily.

Inner work primarily means daily meditation. When you make meditation your number one priority each and every day, then you are putting in the time that it takes to transform those societal issues within yourself and to work through your own challenges.

During meditation, you also connect to a wider range of your own consciousness. The deeper layers of your own consciousness can provide you with insights that literally catapult you out of issue-based blockages. As you allow these blockages to dissolve into the light of spiritual consciousness, you become free to express your true nature and follow your inner joy.

Spiritual study helps adapt your mind to expanded views of reality. Some concepts in spiritual philosophy also help along this journey into freedom of the spirit. For example, love and fear seem to act like two opposite poles of our duality consciousness. From the viewpoint of unity, love is all there is and fear is an illusion that detracts from the natural flow love through you. Love is a basic component of the consciousness that fills the universe. Love therefore, is always available and ready to flow naturally through your heart. You don’t have to earn or demand it, just let it flow.

Another key philosophy gaining freedom is “Live and let live”. When you allow other people to be the way they are, your energy is not absorbed in anyone’s futile dramas. Instead, you are able to use all of your energy to follow your joy and help make the world a better place. You can recognize, love, and person you know, regardless of their outward behaviour or how much it may seem to need improvement. It is this unconditional love that heals the world, person by person, and there is no shortage of its supply.

Acceptance of yourself is also vital. Accept who you are now unimproved, with your current motivations and be thankful that you are exactly who you are. You planned to adopt a certain package of feelings and circumstances in your journey through life. There is nothing ‘wrong with you at any point along the journey. Things that appear to need improvement are challenges, not faults, so enjoy the ride and gain the most from the experiences that you came to explore.

Thomas Edison carried out over 6,000 experiments before perfecting the first electric light bulb, but he never referred to any of those experiments as failures. Instead, he called each one step closer to success. You must carry on the same spirit. Freedom from fear-based emotions allows true, unconditional love to flow through your heart and true creativity to fill your mind as you pursue your deepest inner joy.

When you see fear as the hollow illusion that it is and allow your actions are influenced not by fear, but by your unconditional love for the people around you and, equally, for yourself. Unconditionally loving yourself means allowing yourself to develop loving relationship where mutual cooperation, not competition or contention, becomes your daily reality.

People’s greatest fears melt away in the face of heart-powered, inner awareness. Your intuitive insight is your connection to the part of your mind that knows each situation, even before it occurs. When you listen to that still, small voice within, you know where you need to be and when. With intuitive insight, you will never become caught up in unfortunate events that are not of your making. For example, if an aircraft is destined to crash, you simply won’t be on it if you need information to bring yourself back to health, you will know where to find the answers that are the best for you. Even the fear of loneliness will never cloud your heart because, with love in your heart, you will never be left wanting for good company.

Love and insight will pour from your heart if you let them. Give yourself the gift of true freedom, the freedom to express who you are through a natural flow of love and creativity. And surely, you will be happier once you overcome your fears.

Be Happy – Feel Happiness by Overcoming Your Fears.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Be Happy – Better Business Means More Money (Part 6)

The world of business is extremely competitive. You want to make sure that growth factor is maintained throughout the life of your company. If you can establish a brand, you’ve already got customers coming to you for your products. By highlighting what makes you unique, you garner curiosity from potential customers, who more often than not will buy from you. Once this happens, it is essential that your product and customer service stands up to the many claims you have already laid out there.

If you can do this, you can keep lifetime customers, and continue to bring in new ones. This is how businesses become successful and stay successful. Longevity with customers really is the key to making money and to making sure you’re a growing businessman and not just another faceless company amongst the many other clamoring for customers’ business.

In some of my preceding posts, I had put up some suggestions for your consideration if they can be helpful to you. Some more suggestions are here in the same sequence.

1. You May Reinvent Yourself.

If you have a brick and mortar business along with your Internet business, make sure the shopping experience is better than anything your customers have experienced before. Free coffee, a nice interior, and entertainment for people while they shop all make it something that they will not forget. When the hub store or main physical store offers a nice memory for shoppers, they will want to tell others they know about your business. This results in a WOW factor that goes above and beyond just a nice website.

2. You Should Never Promise What You Cannot Deliver.

If you have the Unique Selling Proposition, and have created a terrific tagline, you must also make sure that the product itself delivers. Never advertise yourself as something or someone who cannot give customers exactly what they expect. This is why product and/or website development is absolutely essential.

3. Stay Consistent.

Be sure the tone of all of your correspondence, your website, your customer service and the people who work for you all maintain the same code of ethics and keep the same tone throughout any dealings with customers. People will shy away from companies who seem “unstable” because of the way they handle things. Consistency is the key when it comes to interacting with others and with how your company portrays itself.

4. Be Reliable.

While this tip shouldn’t have to be mentioned, unfortunately a lot of smaller businesses have a difficult time with it. You can be above the fold by staying reliable in your communications and your dealings with customers. They should be able to expect email replies quickly every time or be able to reach someone via the 800 number when they call. Reliability builds branding and more importantly, your company’s overall reputation.

5. Don’t Just Try To Corner A Niche, But Instead Create Your Own.

Niche marketing really is the way to go, and it’s what makes certain businesses much larger and do much better than others. There are literally thousands of businesses out there, all claiming that they own the niche they’re selling in. By coming up with a brand new niche, you’ve automatically become number one and have cornered the market.

6. Dream Up A Mascot.

Aflac’s white duck has made them instantly recognizable. This also goes for brands like Frosted Flakes (Tony the Tiger), Puma, and many others. If you can associate an animal or other figure with your business, you’ve branded yourself in a way that no one can duplicate. By making everything about your company unique, you’re stomping the competition while broadening your horizons in terms of customer potential. Mascots make people feel happy and comforted, which is always good for business from a psychological standpoint.

7. Offer An Address.

Never have contact information on your website without offering an actual physical address. Even if you sell exclusively online, never omit a real address so that others can see you are operating out of a real place and not a PO box. Some merchant account providers will not even allow businesses to accept credit cards without providing a real physical address.

This gives people a feeling of confidence and it shows that you are legitimate. Home addresses work just as well as business addresses, as long as it’s something that people can send correspondence to.

8. Accounting Counts.

If you are not a CPA or are not familiar with accounting procedures, it is absolutely essential to get one. You don’t have to pay a licensed CPA if you cannot afford one. Get some good software and use it to track all of your expenses and income. Without this vital part of any business, you’re simply spending money without knowing where it’s going. It is also necessary for tax purposes so keep this in mind as well.

9. Avoid Spam.

While email lists are terrific, and newsletters can get the word out, do not overload your customers with too many emails. People will soon consider this spam, which is an automatic turn off. Instead, try to make all of your email correspondence as thorough as you can and pack as much information into it as possible. Include links so readers can easily get to sales and products pages. Then, limit this correspondence to a few emails per month. Every week or especially every day emails make most people leery and they will usually unsubscribe anyway.

10. Aspire to grow.

Don’t limit yourself to one product or service. While initially this may be great for niche purposes, but as you expand and your customer base increases, it is time for the business to also expand your product line or the level of services you provide. Remember that businesses have to adapt, and so your business should grow, too. People like change as long as it is positive, so there’s nothing wrong with expansion. This goes hand in hand with the positive attitude you should be having. By growing and adapting, you’re showing the world your company is ready, willing, and able to move up and into the clouds.

11. Reserve some private space.

If you’re a small business but you have an office, make sure you either have your own private office or your own office at home. This way, you’re able to focus and function without interference. It is almost impossible to give things your absolute best when you experience interruptions.

Make time and space for yourself as a business owner so you can do the best you can each and every day.

12. Build some back-links.

Try to build up back-links in your website, that way you’re staying at the top of the search results. Learn about SEO and other Internet marketing techniques so you can make sure that your website is as effective as possible, resulting in more hits and more sales.

13. Landing pages result in more sales.

Create a truly amazing landing page. Landing pages are the first thing most people see when they click on the search result link. The landing page should contain a headline, tagline, your logo and/or mascot, as well as bulleted points about your business and/or products. These bulleted points will give customers a breakdown and the specifics of the many benefits you have to offer. With a great landing page, you can turn a simple curious click into a real, tangible sale.

14. Diversify Your Income Stream.

Diversifying your income stream as the way to make more money is old advice, but in tough economic times, it's advice well worth taking. The key to successfully increasing your business income is to be sure the cost of diversifying isn't making your profits negligible or nonexistent. You can rent out part of your business premises. If you own or lease physical business premises, do you really need all of your current space? If not, you can make more money by renting out some of your space to another business.

There are a lot of small businesses that only need a corner or a kiosk. Or maybe you have an unused room that another business could use as office space. And you can make even more money from your rental space if you’re able to throw in some add-ins, such as shared secretarial services or computer workstations.

15. Shift your sales focus.

One of the easiest ways to make more money is often overlooked; getting your current customers to buy more of your products and/or services. Shifting your sales focus to your current customers rather than attracting new customers makes excellent economic sense because your current customers are already converted prospects. They know your company and your products and are easier to sell to.

16. Add value-added services or products.

A carpet cleaner selling bottles of spot remover. A store selling kitchenware offering cooking lessons. A seminar on investment strategies in tough economic times. A farm that sells produce offering a vegetable delivery service These are all examples of adding value-added products that customers and clients might be willing to pay money for.

You can make more money by examining your products and services and brainstorming services or products that your customers might be interested in. Then choose the one you think will make the most money for your business and test it.


There are many other methods to ensure growth of business, thereby making more money like getting more from the business assets. Your business premises, your intellectual property, your products, your services, your customers, your employees are all assets that may or may not be producing as much income for you as they could. You may take a hard look at your business and see if some of your assets are being underutilized. Often the ways our business could make more money are right in front of us; we just have to recognize them.

Be Happy – Better Business Means More Money.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Be Happy – Better Business Means More Money (Part 5)

We are all looking to increase our income in a meaningful way. Often times, that means cutting costs, but that only goes so far until you hit minimum expenses line – then, nothing. So, the obvious solution is to enhance your income. Depending on your skill set, availability, and interests, there are any number of ways you can make extra money on the side, even if you work full-time.

I am serious on this question how we should increase our income. A salaried person can expect only some extra incentive if he is able to satisfy his immediate boss. An investor can expect if the market is bullish. A self-employed person would be able to get ground only if his competitors have failed in his line of expertise. But for a businessman, I think, it is very much possible to enhance his income by increasing his business and with enhanced business, he can expect more money.

In this post too, I may like to share some unique and inventive ways which I understand can be helpful to you in this direction. But their success depends upon your own efforts, good judgment and sincerity to the cause. Even though these measures may not work for you specifically, surely, the thought process and ideas behind each of these ventures may spur your creative juices to go out and start your own venture – quickly and profitably.

1. You Can Become A Carpet-Bagger.

One of good friends told me about an interesting way his brother used to make a killing in college. Each year, when all the students were moving into their dorms, there was nothing nicer than having a nice warm carpet on the floor instead of that cold, hard, terrazzo flooring. While students were mulling about moving their stuff in for the year and waving bye to mom and dad, this entrepreneur was out making money.

What this guy did, was he would borrow his dad’s van, buy tons of carpet remnants from his local carpet store for next to nothing, then drive his van from dorm to dorm selling the remnant squares for like 30 bucks a pop. If he paid $3 each and unloaded 100 of these at the start of a school year, he netted $2700! Now, perhaps September is the best and only time to do this in volume each year, but surely this has your creative juices going right?

Can you think of other big annual events? Items in short supply? Items that are easy to mark up and sell in volume?

2. You Can Become A Shame-Saver.

A guy in my school told our class about his friend, who used to make a killing selling diapers! Yes, diapers! His business model was much more creative. See, there’s a whole set of clientele that wear diapers that aren’t too proud of it – Older Men. As guys get older, they start to experience “leakage” and other various urinary maladies. What this guy did was cater to their market.

When an older guy needs something like diapers, he doesn’t want to walk into the grocery store and pick them up. He’s naturally embarrassed about it and doesn’t want the neighbour rolling up next to him at the checkout while he’s got a big box of these things. If ordering through the internet, these guys also get pissed when the Fed-Ex guy leaves a giant box of diapers on their door-step, or worse, has a neighbour sign for the delivery!

What this cunning guy did, was to develop a website and cater to the “anonymous” crowd by basically buying up entire garages full of undergarments, promising to disguise the packaging for shipping, and then ship out with a mark-up on eBay of a couple bucks per pack (after he got a volume discount from baseline as well). Because of the embarrassment this method avoided, and the recurring customer base he established, older men were willing to pay a few bucks extra per pack, and he was able to turn this into a nice 5-figure side gig for years. By now, I’m sure the word’s gotten out on this business model and arbitrageurs have bid down the opportunities (or companies figured out to ship certain packages with discreet packaging). I understand you too have got some idea to get on.

3. You Can Become A Middle-Man.

Aside from the generic “sell your stuff on eBay” bullet you’ll see on virtually every side-income post, how about doing this in volume? Kinda like the woman from 40-Year Old Virgin with the “We Sell Your Stuff on eBay” store, here’s a common situation.

We all have a ton of stuff laying around our home that we should get rid of on eBay or Craigslist. However, we each know tons of people who are in the same situation who are either as lazy or lazier than we are. What if you went to these people, like your parents, friends, neighbours, anyone who wants to unload their junk while making money effortless; go to them and say, “If I can unload a bunch of your junk and spend the time doing it, would you be willing to give me a cut? I’ll do all the legwork, you just tell me what you want to sell and how much you’d be willing to sell it for”.

This is especially easy for people who live close to you. So, in a single Saturday, you could go through, take hundreds of pictures, upload a hundred ads on Craigslist (free) or eBay (for premium items where you could make more money) and basically act as a broker for all those transactions. You could keep a record to share with your friends and family so they don’t think you ripped them off, but in essence, you make money by “batch processing”. You do all the work in spurts, and collect some residuals. If you can round up 10 people willing to participate, sell $500 worth of their stuff each, and collect 20% of the revenues, then you just made $1000 for dealing with some shipments and people stopping over your place from Craigslist ads. It’s not huge money, and it’s kind of labor intensive, but if you’ve got time on your hands and you’re organized, why not?

You know tons of people that are lazy.
You know tons of people that pay for convenience.
There is a ton of “hidden value” out there in opportunities like this.
You want to make some extra money.

4. You Can Prepare for complaints and how to rectify them.

If you are in a existing business and a customer complains, it is very important to have a game plan in effect ahead of time for how to deal with them. Sometimes, full refunds are not feasible for every little complaint while in other cases they might be. Some companies go above and beyond and give customers oodles of freebies to make them happy. This is entirely up to you, but no matter how you handle it, it is essential that there is a protocol put in place in advance so you can protect both your customer and your bottom line.

5. You Can Mix It Up.

This goes without saying, but don’t just stick to one form of advertising. Banner ads, pop ups, viral videos, flash videos, mailings, email newsletters, and many other methods should all be used in conjunction if possible. If you choose only one method, you’re limiting your leads and the number of people you reach.

6. You Should Be Aware Of Advertising Costs.

While marketing as mentioned in #5 is important, don’t spend more money on advertising than you’re bringing in. Do a very careful assessment of all advertising and make sure it’s fruitful. You can do a wide variety of analysis on your advertising and how well you’re doing, so you can cut certain things or decide where to place more money and where to cut back.

7. You May Tell Your Story.

Write a thorough and entertaining “about us” section for the website. Give people a better insight into your customer, how it was formed, and what you are passionate about. This makes people feel connected to your business and gives them a sense of confidence so they have a background on what you do, and where you came from. This is quite an effective way to reach out to people, particularly new customers.

In the next post, I may like to put up some more suggestions for your kind consideration and act upon if they or some of them are found suitable for you or you think that they can help you.

Be Happy – Better Business Means More Money.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Be Happy – Better Business Means More Money (Part 4)

A businessman always wishes to do his best to enhance his business so that he is able to earn better. Some more suggestions are given below for your kind consideration.

1. Cut overhead costs.

If at all possible, keep the overhead costs as low as you can. Spending too much on things like fuel, office supplies, and long distance calls can cut into your overall profit. Think about ways to save money while still being able to get the job done efficiently. Some businesses will spend way too much money on frivolous things or go all out on a business meeting only to realize they really did not have that extra cash to spend.

2. Use every difficult event as a new opportunity.

When things start to get frustrating, instead of considering them a hurdle, think of them as a new opportunity. It’s easy to get suckered into a state of depression or frustration when things are not at their best, but try to use those times to learn so you can better the business as a whole. Do not forget to thank your customers as well. Thanking customers shows you appreciate their business, and makes them want to stay loyal.

3. Each lead is an opportunity.

Remember to follow up with every lead you generate, whether it is a small, individual customer or a large account. If you ignore your leads, you will miss out on sales and new opportunities. Come up with ways to organize your leads so you can keep track of them as well as contact methods and dates of follow up.

4. Color is your friend.

Think about the color scheme of your website, and do a bit of experimentation. Change up the background color, text color, and other colors on the site. Then, do some tests and see how people are responding. Color actually has a big impact on peoples’ perceptions and how they view things, so keep that in mind when developing your website.

5. Make life easy for your customers.

Make sure your website is easy to navigate, and that things are easy to find. If people can’t find what they’re looking for within the first couple of minutes, odds are they will move on to another website. By revamping and making your site simple to use, you’re doing yourself and your customers a huge favor.

6. Shopping should not be a chore, but should be an enjoyable experience.

Pick out an excellent cart software program that is easy for consumers to understand and use. But the cart should go above and beyond this, and should also have extra features like showing a small photo of their item in the upper area of the website, along with pricing and ongoing price totals. Finding and implementing a great shopping cart will really make a difference for a lot of people in choosing your business over someone else’s.

7. Reward your customers.

They will reward you. Points programs, rewards cards, and other types of similar programs will entice people to become return customers. When consumers are offered something for their purchases, they will usually spend more. Think up some creative ways to offer your customers freebies with a purchase or some kind of rewards program that allows them to accumulate “bucks” or points for a free item. Come up with some unusual and fun ways to promote it and watch your profits rise.

8. Live feeds keep people abreast of the goings on in your business.

Give people the option of subscribing to live feeds or RSS updates if they wish. That way, whenever you post updates, people will get them immediately. Sometimes people do not check their email accounts as often as they are online, but with a live feed, they can see instantly if there is a sale, promotion, or other exciting happening within your company and make a decision to purchase.

9. Up-sell if possible.

When people come to the website to make a purchase, it’s always good to try to up-sell them with either a larger size or additional products, depending on the circumstances. Create a pop up or a new page that will entice customers to want to buy a companion product, multiple products, or a larger size of whatever it is you’re offering.

10. Endorsements are awesome.

While it might seem like a pipe dream to find a celebrity or someone famous to endorse your business, it is possible. Do a little bit of homework and try to sell your business’ idea or products to mass media markets. Once they get a hold of it, follow up with them and find out if any of their clients like what you’re selling. If so, you might be able to drum up a famous face to give a testimonial or tell the world they like your company and your products.

11. Mission statements and philosophies guide the way.

As a business owner, it’s almost a must to have a mission statement written that everyone involved with your company should live by. Think about what you want your company to be, your goals, and your ethical stance. Then, develop a mission statement that identifies who you are as a company. Keep this business philosophy in mind, and apply it to everything you do. This helps to ensure that everyone is on the same page and that you’re staying true to your principles.

12. There is no such thing as bad press.

Use PR to your advantage and try to get as much free advertising as possible. Whether it’s local magazines, newspapers, or mailings, try to expose your business to as many people locally and nationally as possible. Public relations advertising in any format is positive.

13. Research and compile.

Do as much research as possible on the following things: what is your customer base comprised of, what do those customers look for and want in a product or company, what do your competitors use to make them successful, and other aspects. Make notes on your findings, and compile data if possible. Then, use this research to your advantage to key in on the things you can improve upon or change.

14. Nothing stays the same.

Remember, in business and in technology, nothing remains the same, and things are constantly updating. This goes for your website, your products, your contact methods, and the way you advertise. As things change, you should be changing with them so you’re not left behind. Look at trends and pay careful attention to what is working for other companies.

15. Define your benefits as clearly as possible.

Don’t just say your business is open 24 hours a day; say it’s open 24 hours a day, so that the customer can get moving and continue on with their day. By adding a little bit extra explanation, you’re more clearly defining the benefit of your products or services.

We may consider the above. In the next post, some more suggestions may follow.

Be Happy – Better Business Means More Money.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Be Happy – Better Business Means More Money (Part 3)

In the last two posts, I made some submissions for your consideration if they are useful to be acted upon for ensuring better business and surely better business means more income, more money in your circulation and in your pocket ultimately. There are vast opportunities available for getting expansion – what we need is right action at right time. Some more suggestions in this direction are being put up herebelow for your kind consideration.

1. Stay With The Times.

Remember that technology is constantly changing, and so is the World Wide Web. Many businesses have a fatal flaw of not keeping up with the latest and greatest. By staying abreast of what is happening with marketing techniques and websites you can use to your advantage, you will definitely have a leg up on the competition.

2. Hit The Streets.

Online advertising is a wonderful way to spread the word, but actually getting out there does wonders. Make flyers and other printed marketing material and pass them out at events related to your business niche. Attend marketing functions such as business fairs and other networking events. Spread the word to as many people in person as possible, and your company recognition will spread like wildfire.

3. Free Shipping Is Always Appreciated.

If you can offer free shipping even if it’s only on orders over a certain total, then try to do so. One of the main deterrents for people buying online is that they have to pay a large shipping charge in order to get their items. Free shipping motivates people to purchase your products.

4. Think About Your Target Audience.

Do some serious soul searching and try to figure out your business’ customer demographics. Knowing your target customer base will really help you hone in on the product you are offering. It also gives you a better idea of where and how to advertise, so that you’re reaching a group of people who will truly be interesting in buying from you.

5. Give Affiliates New Incentives.

Everyone involved in online selling knows about affiliate programs. You should always try to keep the incentives fresh for your affiliates otherwise they will not stay motivated to help get sales. Affiliate programs are some of the most effective ways to market, so be sure the programs you offer stay fresh and fun. Make it competitive so that they will strive to get as many turnovers and sales for you as possible.

6. Entice Your Buyers.

Think of some ways you can “tease” customers into becoming loyal buyers. Think up creative marketing plans like freebies with purchase, contests, monthly email newsletters, and customer testimonials that will get them thinking about buying from your website. Always know that there are potentially thousands of new customers ready and willing to buy from you, they just haven’t discovered your business yet!

7. Follow Up Vigorously.

When you have new customers, be sure to follow up with them by either sending an email and asking for their feedback, or even better by calling or sending them a personal email or letter. Following up with customers shows you care, and gives them a reason to become repeat customers. It also encourages people to tell others about the business since you’re going above and beyond what many companies do. This in itself lends to more word of mouth advertising, for free. Postcards are another good way to ask for feedback.

8. Check Your Stats.

Be sure to use some kind of conversion rate tracking software or other statistical tracking software to see where your customers are coming from and what they’re buying. These stats can be invaluable in honing in on your marketing strategies, as well as what is working well for your website and what is not. Statistics open your eyes to things you might not have thought about without that tidbit of information.

9. Create A Community.

Don’t just be the judge and jury when it comes to your business. Add a community to your website like forums or live chat that gives the customers a chance to talk to you and talk amongst themselves. This gives them a sense that you really do care about their opinions, and it serves as a meeting place. If your website becomes a common ground for people to talk, they will return often and see what new things you have to offer.

10. Go For The Gold.

While heading towards the individual consumer is often the most common way to market your products, don’t be afraid to go for the gold and reach much larger buyers such as other businesses who might want to buy your product in bulk. Depending on what you offer, you may have something that other businesses can use. Go after some larger accounts and see where that takes you. If you can get bigger buyers, you’ve automatically just gained tons more exposure.

11. Yes Results In More Yeses.

If customers respond to particular offers more than others, the odds are that they will continue to do so. Stick with what works. Don’t be afraid to try new things, but remember that most people are creatures of habit and will come back and buy more if you continue to offer them the same deals or similar promotions on a fairly regular basis.

12. Befriend other companies.

Sometimes, partnering up can be extremely beneficial. Find other niche markets and business who do not sell the same things you do (obviously), but offer something to compliment what you do have. Then, work together and see if you can form some kind of partnership.

Often, customers like to see that companies are working with other companies, as it gives a sense of stability, security, and prominence. Talk to other businesses and see if you can come up with a “you scratch our back and we’ll scratch yours” plan.

13. Revamp, Regroup, And Redo.

If things are not panning out as you expect, it’s time to sit down and take a long hard look at what the business might be doing wrong. Think about all of the places your company is advertising, the things you’re using as marketing tools, the price of your items, and the target audience. Then, strategize so that everything is a bit more pinpointed to how you want it. Often it takes several attempts before a marketing campaign or idea is truly successful.

14. Don’t give up.

In reference to #13, it’s important not to give up. Thousands of Internet businesses fail because the owner simply waves the white flag and is not willing to try something new. Remember that online businesses are constantly changing, so you need to change with the tides. The odds are that if something is not working out the way you planned it is because you are behind the times or not up to par with what your customers truly want. This is why it is so essential to understand the mind of your customer base.

15. Never accept that business simply “slows down.”

While the economy definitely ebbs and flows, as a business owner you cannot afford to have a lax attitude towards your overall sales. If things are slowing down, find out why and then do something to change it. Do not just accept that sometimes business slows down and that things will pick back up eventually. If you have this attitude, you run a very dangerous risk of losing out on new business, or folding completely. People, who just accept that sales are low for the month or even the year, often fall into a pattern of not caring enough about their marketing to try harder, and thus they are losing out on money that could still be coming in.

Be Happy – Better Business Means More Money (Part 3)

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Be Happy – Better Business Means More Money (Part 2)

Yesterday, we had discussed some steps to be considered for ensuring better business. We know that with the growth in business, we would certainly be able to gain more money out of our margin between costs and selling prices. Today, some more steps are proposed for consideration for betterment of our business.

1. Always carry on improvement whenever required.

If you’ve wracked your brain and simply cannot think of something that makes your product or service stand out from the crowd, then you may need to sit down and come up with ways to improve it. Develop your product to appeal to more people, and add something truly unique in order to make it better. Sometimes, things are simply what they appear to be, so you have to literally change the way it’s made, developed, and sold to make it a success.

2. Emotions can be your friend.

Think about what you have, and then take it to a whole new level by injecting some emotion into the equation. Whether it is a very emotional customer testimonial about how the product changed someone’s life, or just inserting some funny humor into your website, emotions are a great way to reach customers. Be wary not to overdo it, but don’t be afraid to get a bit sappy, happy, or even insert a little bit of fear into your marketing scheme. Of course, with the fear, you’ll want to make it so that the customer will fear they cannot live without your product!

3. Don’t be afraid to stomp the competition.

You want to make your competition practically invisible to customers. If this means going all out to ensure that you’re number one, then by all means do it. While it’s nice to belong to a network of similar businesses, in the long run and at the end of the day, everyone wants to be number one. This means your business, too.

4. Cross functions always add appeal.

Don’t just sell your product for its face value. If you can think of other ways it might be beneficial, use that to your advantage and add that to the marketing plan. Come up with ways that everything you sell has a dual purpose so that it reaches an even broader customer base.

5. Freebies entice buyers to make a purchase.

Some companies cannot afford to give away free products, but sometimes this is the most effective way of marketing a new product. Whether it is a free sample, or by giving away a gift with purchase, etc, free stuff often gets people interested in the product and what the company has to offer. Promotional material is also a good way to advertise, but studies show that giving away the actual product itself for free really entices people to buy and learn more.

6. Figure out what people lack or what they need.

As a new business, or one that is already established, a great way to stay ahead of the game is to look for and pinpoint a gap in your particular industry. What is it in your line of work that customers are missing? What has not been sold yet or could drastically be improved upon? The best way to stay unique and be successful is to fulfill a want or need that has not been fulfilled yet.

7. Guarantees offer customers security.

If you can offer a money back guarantee on your products, you’re giving the customers serious peace of mind. While this is not something unique, it’s still a lot more than many sellers can give people, particularly smaller businesses who sell their items strictly online. By giving peace of mind, you’re letting people have the option to back out of a sale later on. Odds are they won’t, but the security in knowing they can get a refund will encourage them to buy from you.

8. Printed material is good.

Business cards, letterhead stationary, envelopes with the logo, pens, and other promotional material all make an impact. When people see something enough, they tend to remember it. If they haven’t checked it out yet, they will once they see it several times.

9. Protect your individuality.

Make sure that whatever your unique product is cannot be easily copied. Whether it is a hard good or a creative endeavor, be sure you’re able to either have it patented or copyrighted against thieves or people who want to try and duplicate what you’re offering.

10. Pack a punch.

Don’t just say you guarantee delivery of something at a certain time, or you’re the best in town. Your Unique Selling Proposition needs to leave a strong impact and should make sense while still sounding excellent. Come up with a way to spin your uniqueness and reach out to people looking for exactly what you are offering.

11. It’s all about the why.

You must remember that customers are asking, “Why should I buy this product from you and not someone else?’ Anyone can offer basic items, but it’s important to remember to consider that most people are wondering what makes your items worth it to them to buy.

12. KISS Factor.

You remember the old proverb, “Keep it Simple, Stupid”. This is true for marketing. If you’re looking for an effective way to reach people, keep in mind that being as basic as possible is often the best way to do it. Too much going on can cause confusion and turn people off. Come up with a logo, come up with a tagline, pinpoint your USP, and then sell the heck out of it. Don’t overdo things to the point where you turn people away. Just get the message out there, and let the product do the rest.

13. Make your website present in the top ten searches by Important Search Engines.

Get a well planned website about you and your products designed and make efforts for its placement in the top ten searches. Many people won’t click on the second or third page of search results.. This is why it’s imperative that your website be the first ten of a search result on the page. Use keywords and SEO (Search Engine Optimization) to help boost your results. Remember it’s all about exposure, and coming up top in Google is about as good as it gets.

14. Keywords are important.

Speaking of Google, sit down and comprise a list of keywords to describe your business. Try to think of as many as possible so they can be included in your web content. The words you choose are the same words people will be typing into the search engine when they’re looking to buy exactly what you are selling.

15. Enthusiasm is contagious.

Be as excited and enthusiastic about your business as possible. People take notice of these things and know what you’re thinking when you project an air of happiness and enthusiasm about the services or products you have. From your body language and facial expressions to the way you speak to others and how your words are portrayed in emails and on the website, it is something that cannot be ignored.

Apart from the above, there are many more methods to increase your business which you can consider according to your circumstances – it depends upon your own priorities. As much you will concentrate over your business activities, your business will grow up and you will get more money.

Be Happy – Better Business Means More Money.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Be Happy – Better Business Means More Money (Part 1).

As a business owner, it’s important for you to stay ahead of the curve. Your profit is equal to your hard work and a whole lot of exposure. In today’s ultra-competitive climate, the business world is more cut-throat than ever before. While the competition is definitely fierce, there are plenty of things you can do to make sure your current customers will stick around, and that potential customers will become life long patrons.

Anyone can sell a product or service, but it takes a special, strategic plan to sell your wares or services in a unique way that no one will forget. You really want to impress your customers and other businesses, so that you’re ahead of the game and have a unique branding strategy.

Branding is what makes businesses stand out. Terms like Kleenex, Xerox, and Whiteout are all household names, but it is because of the branding that their parent companies have worked so hard to establish that we equate them with every day items, regardless of the manufacturer.

Branding helps give your business its own personalized identity, and will help to ensure that people automatically recognize your company and its products. This is what larger corporations have depended on to make them money. But how do you go about branding without overdoing it? Or, how can a business effectively use branding as a way to impress the customers, and crush the competition?

Doing well and making sales is not good enough to become a dynamic, over the top success in business. As a company and business owner, you should want to go above and beyond the call of duty and really impress people with your company’s mission statement, marketing techniques, products, and most importantly, customer service. Excelling is definitely possible with some out of the box thinking and tactics. Simple changes can make a huge difference in the way you look at your business and in the way customers will respond to your advertising.

First and foremost, you must define your business and decide what it is you stand for, what you represent, and how you will make money. Defining your brand and your company is absolutely the first and most essential part of success.

Next, solid communication tactics need to be developed. Here, communication means advertising, special offers, and email or mailed newsletters. It also means how you are perceived by others via your website. You will also need to market and promote your products and your company. All of these elements combined should be fine tuned to your company’s identity, and with what your customers want. Utilizing the Internet to the best and most effective ways possible is also a must.

If you can get creative with the things people are looking for in businesses today, you can easily change the perception of your company through not only your customers’ eyes, but through your own eyes as well. Here are some insightful and helpful tips, tricks, and tactics to help increase your business with the impressing factor:

1. Professional Looking And Professionally Functioning Websites Are Essential.

Don’t simply use a template-style, generic website to sell your products. Today’s Internet savvy shoppers know what a polished website looks like, and they are much more likely to buy from them. They also know what a generic, unimpressive one looks like, so make sure yours is professionally done. You may:

  1. Make it easy to navigate,
  2. Make it look good so people will be attracted to it and want to make a purchase there as well as return at another time, and
  3. Ensure you have a reliable hosting company to reduce downtime, which will result in lost sales.
  4. Have it designed and maintained through some professional if you are not so qualified.

2. Come Up With A Creative Tagline.

Many companies use taglines as a method for people to remember their name. For example, the cereal Wheaties is known as the “breakfast of champions.” The breakfast of champions part of the brand name is simply the brand’s tagline, but it is widely recognized and makes that particular type of cereal stand out. By creating a tagline, Wheaties has developed something unique, and something that will stand out in peoples’ minds.

Brainstorm a few taglines of your own until you find one that really defines your brand or your company. Then, add it underneath your logo on as many different things as you can include the website, business cards, and printed materials.

3. Impress Your Customers With Your Logo.

A logo really does have an impact on the way people perceive a business. Something that is colorful, not too overwhelming, yet creative is what you want. A company name is there to do its job, but nothing has quite the impact like a cool logo.

Think of what your business stands for, what you’re selling, and what people are looking for. Then, work around those ideas to come up with a creative, edgy logo that really stands out among the crowd. Twitter is a good example of a new logo that is already highly recognized due to its creativity and simplicity.

4. Market Outside The Box.

Don’t just offer your customers emails with coupon codes. Think of some new, creative ways to send them special offers. Whether it’s through charity donations, fundraisers, or a word of mouth campaign, there are ways to get people to make purchases without using traditional methods.

Contests always seem to do well, so think of something that relates to your business that will also get people interested in what you have to offer. You have to make everything look appealing to the customer, while still remaining focused on your own goals and getting the word out about who you are as a brand.

5. Stay Fresh.

Don’t ever let your website get dull or stay full of old inventory. Try to update your items and products as much as possible. If the business is only offering one thing or is offering a service, then try to take new approaches to the website every couple of months. Develop a “sister” product for the main product so that people will want to buy its companion. Updating with new content and a new look works wonders for any business, since people are always looking for something new.

6. Viral Videos Mean Massive Sales.

So many brands and companies today have opted to use viral videos as a means to get new business (take the Burger King franchise for example).

Come up with a cool new video, whether it’s funny or just plain outrageous, and then distribute it on the web. Make sure you’re reaching out to the niche group that your business appeals to. Take skateboards for example. You wouldn’t produce a wild skating video and then post it on a needlepoint website, would you? No matter what the video entails, try to stick with the types of websites and businesses you already pander to. People will respond to the video if they know what you’re selling and why.

7. Social Media Works.

Websites like Twitter, Facebook, and MySpace work wonders for businesses. Get your name out there by becoming friends with customers on these sites. You can use the social media networking websites to help spread the word, announce sales, and launch contests. Word of mouth is and will always be the best form of advertising. Thanks to the new social networking sites, you can reach thousands of people in a matter of minutes, which translates into a personal aspect for your customers, and much more business for you.

8. Blogging

Blogging is a super-effective way to get people involved in what is happening with your company. Post an updated blog on the home page and watch how quickly people will respond.

Most people enjoy the voyeuristic aspects of blogs, so use this to your advantage and write about updates, happenings at your company, new products, and upcoming promotions. Make the tone of the blog lighthearted and fun, and try to keep it as updated as possible. While daily may seem impossible, it really is best since it will keep your patrons interested in what is happening on a daily basis, and kind of “reel” them into the inner-workings of the brand.

9. Be There.

Customers want to deal with businesses that have someone there for them whenever they need them. Whether it’s through live chat, personal email correspondence, or by telephone, customer service is the key to success, hands down.

If a customer has a need or a question, they want to be able to know there is someone available to help them whenever they need it. Be sure you make yourself or your company available for customers. This can be a slow process, using emails only initially, but ideally a 1-800 number would be best so that people can talk to a real live person.

10. Positive Attitudes Work.

While it might seem as if things can get overwhelming most days, maintaining a positive attitude is a must. Whether it’s with employees, your business partner, or just with yourself, try to be as positive as you can. Sure, things will be frustrating at times and there will be days when you’re overloaded, but negativity really does reflect on your business. People know when the “tone” of things are not the way they should be. Try to be happy and make sure that attitude reflects in your brand and in your website’s overall theme.

11. Make The Benefits Clear.

Don’t just say, “hi, we’re the Acme Company and we sell widgets.” Customers can get just about any item anywhere they want to. But by defining the actual benefits of that item, people feel much more confident in sticking with you. Highlight the positive benefits of your products, and make sure these are emphasized in as many ways as possible, through advertising, on the website, or with word of mouth campaigning.

12. Don’t Just Announce The Benefits Of The Products Or Services, But Point Out Their Unique Features As Well.

Think of several things that make your product unique. This is what a Unique Selling Proposition is; it not only talks about the benefits of a product, but it also points out what makes that product stand out in a crowd. Is your cereal crunchy or is it extra crunchy and stays that way in milk? Does your glue stick, or does it stick to any surface instantly? Adding these little unique traits to the branding is what draws customers in and makes them intrigued.

13. Look At The Competition.

While it’s obvious you’re focusing on the business and the tasks at hand, don’t lose sight of the competition. See what they are offering, find out who their customer base is, and decide what tactics they are using effectively that you might be able to revamp and use. Knowing who your competitors are as well as what makes them successful will give your business a whole lot of ammunition and a new perspective on how to do things.

14. Make Your Product/Service Unique.

If you feel as if you’re only offering the same old as such, then think of different angles to your product that you might not have thought about before. Brainstorm and write down a list of adjectives that describe your business. Then, take those words and play on them with taglines and features that make your product unique. It might not seem as if you have something unusual to offer initially, but with a little of bit of out of the box thinking, you can put a “spin” on your product so people will be interested in what you’re offering.

15. Surveys can work for you.

Don’t be afraid to ask customers what they think of your company. Use online survey providers or email based surveys to get a feel for what the customers are interested in, what they like and dislike, and any suggestions they can make to improve the site. These surveys can be an invaluable resource to help you get a better hold of your marketing niche and style. Customer feedback is one of the most valuable tools in your arsenal.

Apart from the above, there are many more methods to increase your business. As much you will concentrate over your business activities, your business will grow up and you will get more money.

Be Happy – Better Business Means More Money.