29 Oct

Take Advantage Of The Season

Posted in Uncategorized on 29.10.10 by John Meloche

This weekend is bound to be the scariest one of the year! Halloween arrives this Sunday and people everywhere are gearing up in their craziest of costumes to collect candy and party hard. Business owners, of course, have been taking advantage of the season by decorating their shops and providing special promotions suitable for this time of year.

Many business owners are aware that the day following Halloween is the beginning of the holiday season for shoppers. Literally, shopping malls will look like they have gone from spooky to festive overnight. So it’s important to consider what you will be doing to drum up sales for your business this holiday season.

On OneStepHeadlines.com, the marketing solutions firm, One Step Services lists a number of ideas for business owners to make the most of the holidays. Have simple events, the site encourages. Small events are great at drawing people to your business. For example, this weekend you should “display Halloween decorations and play some fun and scary music and you’ve got a party.”

In fact, One Step suggests you even take it further by having a full blown Halloween party. Of course, this would be a great motivator for your staff as well as your clients. The site suggests such activities as “pumpkin carving, costume contests, balloon artists, fortune tellers, piñatas, dancing, games for kids, haunted house, spooky story telling, and a craft center.”

A scavenger hunt may also be a great activity for your clients. Says OneStepHeadlines.com : “Invite local customers to your business at a designated time and place. Hand out lists of what they need to find, give them a time limit and set them loose! Have great prizes for first, second and third place (more opportunities for prizes means more people will participate). This is a great event idea because there is very little cost to you.”

The site goes on to mention that contests and giveaways are practically no-brainers for business owners looking to drum up sales this weekend. However, once the weekend is over, there will still be ample opportunity to make the wonderment of the season something that is further enhanced by your company.

Synergy Marketing Consultants throws the absolute best holiday parties year after year, if we do say so ourselves. Be sure to begin thinking of ways that you can make your business a big part of your clients and staff members’ enjoyment this holiday season. It’ll end up being your best season yet.

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28 Oct

Taxes Terrifying Tourists

Posted in News on 28.10.10 by John Meloche

Being headquartered in Toronto, Canada, Synergy Marketing Consultants often exudes its pride in its nationality. A Canadian company who isn’t afraid to say it, Synergy has often expressed how much it enjoys the many different things that Canada has to offer. It appears as if non-Canadians aren’t quite getting the picture though.

Earlier today, The QMI Agency’s Sharon Singleton wrote about Canada’s decreasing ability to attract tourists. Apparently, high taxes, fees and security costs are making it harder for would-be travelers to visit our great nation. At least, this is the case according to The National Travel and Tourism Coalition.

Singleton notes that the coalition has reported that Canada is no longer in the top 10 ranking in world tourism destinations. In 8th place just eight years ago, Canada is now sitting in 15th. Kind of a bummer, isn’t it? It doesn’t seem to make sense. Not to the average Canadian, anyway.

President of the Tourism Industry Association of Canada, David Goldstein agrees. Said Goldstein: “This is the fourth largest growing sector of the world economy and we’re losing market share in an expanding pie.” The NTTC claims that Canadians taxes, fees and fewer government subsidies have combined for a “stay away” recipe for tourists.

The above-mentioned ingredients add approximately $160 to a trip’s budget when compared to a trip to the United States. In 2009, the “World Economic Forum Travel and Tourism Competitiveness report ranked Canada’s travel and tourism industry 106th among competing nations for price competitiveness,” reveals Singleton.

The tax situation weighs heavily on the minds of The National Travel and Tourism Coalition, as well. Reports Singleton: “The coalition wants the government to implement a fair taxation regime, taking steps to improve the way rebates of HST and GST for foreign visitors are administered and reinvesting fuel excise duties in airport infrastructure.”

And although Canada continues to rebuild strongly from the global recession, reports about the loss of competitiveness in the tourism field comes as alarming news. The coalition’s report encourages major reform to turn around the negative impression that so many travelers seem to have about visiting Canada.

Added Goldstein: “A strong tourism industry is built on three key pillars — product, promotion and access. All three need strengthening, but the weakest link is access.”

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27 Oct

Tim Hortons Opens In Nunavut

Posted in News on 27.10.10 by John Meloche

From time to time, the Synergy Marketing Consultants Blog likes to throw our readers a curve ball by taking a look at some of the stranger news that is out there. Always keeping up with current events, of course, is an excellent conversation starter. There’s nothing better than referring to something of interest that is going on to build rapport with your colleagues and clients.

Well, if your office is anything like our office, you probably have several members of your staff who simply cannot live without their morning coffees. Coffee, apparently, is always a matter of interest. Many people actually state that they wouldn’t know how to get through the day if they didn’t start the day off with their favourite coffee.

For many people in Canada, that coffee comes from the ever-popular Tim Hortons chain. So naturally, we have associates who visit this coffee and donut shop on a regular basis. For them, not getting coffee in the morning is unimaginable. Well, imagine how the people up in Iqaluit, Nunavut feel.

Where, you ask? Canada’s newest territory up north (it’s been around since 1999, you know?) has an entire population of less than 35, 000 people. But that doesn’t mean that they should be deprived of coffee, should it? Well, believe it or not, earlier today The Canadian Press reported that Iqaluit – the territory’s capital – is about to open its first Tim Hortons store.

In fact, next month, no less than three kiosk locations will open up giving residents their first taste of what the rest of Canada considers to be part of its national culture. “The kiosks,” according to The Canadian Press, “will be in the retailer’s NorthMart locations.” It is only a matter of time before residents of Iqaluit become as addicted as the rest of Canada to Tim Hortons coffee!

Said Michael McMullen, executive vice-president of North West’s Northern Canada retail division about the opening of the three new locations: “This delivers convenience and accessibility for our customers, in addition to a great product.” The Canadian Press notes that, at present, there are already over 3,000 Tim Hortons restaurants in Canada.

Admitted Nick Javor, the senior vice-president of corporate affairs at Tim Hortons: “You could say it’s overdue. If we can be in Kandahar (Afghanistan), why can’t we be in Iqaluit? We are excited to finally bring the Tim Hortons experience to the Iqaluit community and The North West Company is the right franchisee to help us deliver value and fresh product to our guests.”

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26 Oct

Prepare To Win The Race

Posted in Uncategorized on 26.10.10 by John Meloche

Picture being in a race. You are at the starting line. Your competitors are ready for take off in the lanes beside you. Your heart starts pumping faster. Your adrenaline is about to get the best of you. You can’t wait for that starter pistol to go off, just so you can show all of your competition who’s boss.

The gun goes off and poof! Everyone is off to the races…literally…except you! Something has gone wrong. You can’t move. Not quickly anyway. Wait a minute! You don’t even have on your running cleats! What’s this? You’re wearing winter boots? How are you supposed to run in these? You weren’t prepared at all!

Sounds like some strange nightmare that might be shown in a comedy film, right? Well, strange analogy or not, it’s one that is pretty relevant to many a business owner. Are you prepared to beat out your competition in the coming months? Or will you be left behind in the dust?

Being a leader in any marketplace means being prepared. Having a plan and knowing how to see it through is essential to not only keeping your business afloat but ahead of the pack at all times. It is important to be innovative by always having your ear to the ground. Being up on the latest technologies and trends is extremely important in today’s world.

As a result, we often blog about the various social networking sites that are on the internet being used worldwide. You don’t need to be tech-savvy to create your own pages. Staying in touch can help you to stay on top. More importantly, however, it’s important to communicate with your target audience to always be aware of their consistently changing wants and needs.

How will you continue to encourage your clients to visit your establishment for your goods and services instead of going to the competition? Are your prices competitive? Are your products superior? Keeping people constantly informed that you even exist may seem like a tedious task, but it’s a necessary one nonetheless.

Keeping in touch with your customers is the name of the game. Promotional gifts help your clients keep in touch with you. Of course, this is why we believe so strongly in our own products. The chief objective of the promo gift is to continually generate more business for the company giving them out.

Don’t get left behind. And never be unprepared. Remaining a leader in your industry requires constant attention to meeting the needs of your customers. Knowing what they are looking for and making sure they know they can get it from you will make you a winner in the long run.

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25 Oct

Toronto Gets New Mayor And Manager

Posted in News on 25.10.10 by John Meloche

With the polls closing around 8 p.m. in Toronto this evening, the city did not have to wait long to discover who its new mayor would be. Just a half an hour later, it was announced that Rob Ford had beaten out George Smitherman as the new mayor of Canada’s largest city.

Taking over for David Miller, Ford ran a strong campaign for the past ten months but it was not one without controversy. Nevertheless, it would appear as if the promises made by Ford throughout his campaign have captured the confidence of the majority of Toronto voters.

As listed on The Toronto Star‘s website, Ford’s campaign promises include targeted tax cuts, the construction of a new subway line and stops, the hiring of more police officers, harder scrutiny of city unions, a review of the city’s operating budget and spending cuts, reducing the ranks of city workers and ending the expansion of bike lanes.

Toronto sports fans are, perhaps, a little bit more excited about another city leader being introduced today. Taking over for the retired Cito Gaston, former Boston Red Sox pitching coach, John Farrell is the new manager of the Toronto Blue Jays. Introduced by Blue Jays general manager, Alex Anthopoulos, Farrell says he has his sights on bringing back a World Series championship to Toronto.

Said Farrell at today’s press conference: “I come here with the same goals as Alex (Anthopoulos) and Paul (Beeston) and that is to win a World Series. (The) goals we have (are) to be top five in runs scored and top five in ERA in the league. History shows those teams compete for the World Series.”

Having helped the Boston Red Sox win a World Series in 2007, Farrell does come to Toronto with some good credentials. In fact, like Cito Gaston before him, Farrell’s new job with the Toronto Blue Jays will be his first as a manager in the major leagues. He also comes with a glowing review from Red Sox manager, Terry Francona.

In an interview with the Boston Herald earlier this year, Francona had this to say about his now American League East-rival: “You spend any time around him, he can be good at whatever he wants. Manager, GM, pitching coach, running a minor league system, you name it. He’s just a special talent.”

So today marks quite the day for the city of Toronto. In one day, it received both a new mayor and a new manager of its storied Blue Jays franchise. Only time will tell, however, if either of these two new leaders will be able to guide Toronto to championship status once again.

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22 Oct

Plenty To Be Excited About

Posted in Uncategorized on 22.10.10 by John Meloche

Don’t mistake our enthusiasm for pushiness. Don’t mistake our confidence as cockiness. We just really love our promotional products and we stand fully behind them. At Synergy Marketing Consultants, we make it our duty to provide our customers with the best promo products that the industry has to offer.

Hence, the name of our website! Therefore, naturally on TheBestPromoProducts.com, we enjoy blogging about the many ways in which business owners may utilize our promo gifts to take their companies to the next level. Of course, as good as our gifts are…and they are really good!…the service they provide your company is all up to you.

Many of our clients have heard our sales staff ask them if they drive a truck or SUV. Business owners who are often on the road provide themselves with numerous excellent opportunities to hand out some of our smaller gifts to the many people they meet in various destinations.

Our hockey schedule pens, for example, are perfect for road trips. Small and lightweight, these pens can be packed in abundance in the back of a van or truck. There should literally be no business connection you make that doesn’t go home with one of these pens. Firstly, they contain the schedules for all six Canadian pro hockey teams.

That way, you know you won’t be offending anybody because one of their favourite teams must be included! Secondly, and even more importantly, these pens have your business name and number printed on them. You obviously want to remain on the minds of your clients and colleagues for as long as possible. Well, at least for as long as the hockey season.

Remember that the objective to handing out these gifts is to ensure that your company is the first one thought of when someone requires the products or services you offer. Our experience has shown us that when properly dispensed, our promo gifts can help increase business for just about any business owner in any industry.

This is why if you have the opportunity to speak to one our reps over the phone, you many notice a sense of energy and enthusiasm that you don’t normally hear. They love our promo products and you will too. If you haven’t given one of our reps a call yet, it’s time you have a chat with one of them to help you decide which promo gift is right for you!

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21 Oct

Allow For More Accessibility

Posted in News on 21.10.10 by John Meloche

In yesterday’s blog, we explored the number of industries that are prepared to boom in the coming years. As a result, we made some suggestions to entrepreneurs who are looking to start businesses or take their current businesses into another marketplace. Evidently, there are a lot of things to consider about how one’s company is being showcased to the public.

The QMI Agency released an article yesterday as well, echoing the sentiment that businesses need to consider the many individuals in our society who are often overlooked. Specifying the disabled, the report acknowledges that many potential customers are being lost by businesses who disregard those with disabilities.

According to the government of Canada, having a workplace that is not fully accessible is simply bad for business. The report reveals that over four million Canadians with disabilities spend approximately $25 billion each year. A staggering statistic indicates that of these Canadians, only 54% who are able to work are even employed.

For the most part, the reason for the poor employment rate for disabled Canadian citizens is that offices and retail spaces are simply not accessible to them. This was a hot topic at the National Quality Institute’s Performance Excellence Summit in Toronto that took place yesterday.

At the summit, it was made clear that employers are missing out on both customers and skilled workers due to their inaccessibility. In fact, Ontario is the only province in the country that currently has legislation deeming it mandatory for all businesses to be accessible to everyone.

Apparently, this will not last for long, though. According to the QMI article, by January, “all public sector organizations in the province must be disability friendly.” As well, by January 2012, “all Ontario businesses in every industry will be required to be up to code.”

It is believed that it will not be much longer after that, that the rest of the country follows suit. If you’re a business owner, it would certainly be in your best interests to consider the accessibility of your office. Does it allow for wheelchair mobility? Do barriers exist for those without hearing or sight? Is your staff willing and able to assist clients with disabilities?

If not, the QMI piece does remind entrepreneurs about one important reason that they should make their workplaces accessible for everyone: “The federal government offers tax incentives for business owners making upgrades for accessibility reasons.”

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20 Oct

Starting Your Business Off Right

Posted in News on 20.10.10 by John Meloche

Many of our clients express concerns about where they should place their money in order to ensure sound investments for their businesses. One of the reasons our promotional gifts work so effectively is because of their relatively inexpensive costs in comparison to other marketing and promotional avenues.

Where to place one’s money is an especially important decision for entrepreneurs are just looking to start their own businesses. In a special to Sun Media yesterday, Rosalyn Cronin wrote of the industries that people may want to consider when looking to get into business for themselves or expanding their current business into a new market.

According to Cronin, new business owners should “think green”. She believes that with environmental awareness consistently growing throughout North America, more consumers are expressing concerns over the impact that companies have on the environment. Consider the products you use in order to run your business.

Cronin encourages business owners to consider cleaning products, energy conservation, paperless offices, recycling and organic supplies for producing goods when starting anew. These are all areas that are ready to expand in the modern-day market. Keeping up with the colour theme, Cronin moves from green to grey.

Be sensitive towards “grey power”, she writes. Senior citizens are a growing demographic, even more so than children in Canada. Services that cater to the older population such as in-home nursing care are only increasing in importance. Providing locations with activities for the elderly are sure to find a large customer base.

Parental outsourcing is another growing industry. These days, parents have so many responsibilities that is it becoming increasingly difficult for them to handle them all. A lot of parents would be willing to pay for extra help with such things as buying groceries, helping the kids with homework, organizing and cleaning the home and of course, babysitting.

Pampered pets is another business that is set to boom. As Cronin writes: “Pets have become an integral part of the family, and family deserves special treatment. Owners now have their dogs professional groomed, their teeth brushed, and even taken swimming. Classes for obedience are side-by-side with social events for pooches.”

Finally, stay local, advises Cronin. Businesses that promote connection within the community are always welcome. From restaurants to wellness centres, such businesses help owners not have to worry about “what time your customer is waking up on the other side of the ocean.”

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19 Oct

Still Striving For Business Success

Posted in Uncategorized on 19.10.10 by John Meloche

In yesterday’s blog, we took a look at BusinessKnowHow.com’s “ten essential rules for succeeding in your own business”. Adding to our history of providing entrepreneurs with helpful business tips, the Synergy Marketing Consultants Blog would like to pick up where we left off.

The helpful business website offers up a number of suggestions on how business owners can be successful. One of those great tips is to “be true to your customers and prospects”. It is important to not make promises that you cannot keep. If you lie or exaggerate about what you offer, you will certainly lose customers as word will spread about your company very quickly.

Unfortunately, bad news spreads a lot quicker than good news. So be sure to work towards providing as much good news as possible so that more it can spread to your future prospects. That being said, it’s also key to “understand the importance of marketing and how to do it effectively”.

Don’t just assume that owning a business is a surefire way to drum up sales. Tip number seven on BusinessKnowHow.com’s list is to “treat your vendors, manufacturers and service providers with respect and let them know you appreciate them.”

Be sure to remember that all members of your “team” are essential to your business’ success. Too many business owners forget to treat their partners with the same respect that they want in return. Put your associates in a position where they will want to continually help you.

“Embrace the web,” says the website. It is well known that many consumers head to the internet as their first points of contact with any given merchant. If your customers cannot find you online, in this day and age, they will be more likely to head to your competition.

“Don’t expect miracles,” says BusinessKnowHow.com. In other words, don’t “sleep” on the tasks that will make your business successful and then expect to achieve success. Don’t forget that behind every company that is doing well is a lot of hard work, time and money going into developing that brand.

Finally, “remind yourself that one is the loneliest number in business.” Says the site: “One product, one service, one main client, and all your records stored on one computer hard drive without regular off-site backups is a recipe for failure. If you only have one product or service you’re missing out on the chance to profit by selling more things to people who already know and trust you.”

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18 Oct

Strive To Make Your Business Succeed

Posted in Uncategorized on 18.10.10 by John Meloche

We, here at Synergy Marketing Consultants, like to see our blog as a friendly wealth of information. Quite often, we utilize our blog posts to communicate to the many entrepreneurs out there who are looking to succeed in their respective marketplaces. Many of our blogs tend to provide advice both from our own experiences and from many other online business sources.

Of course, we don’t claim to have all of the answers. But we are confident that a lot of our tips, when followed correctly, can help business owners achieve great success. In fact, we have proven that taking our sound advice can work wonders for any business. Just ask any one of our clients who have taken the opportunity to hand out our amazing promotional gifts at their business functions.

BusinessKnowHow.com has sometimes been our source of helpful tips for business owners on how to be successful. The website agrees that “although there is no one answer that fits all businesses, there are a number of practices followed by successful, happy business owners.”

As such, they list “ten essential rules for succeeding in your own business.” The first is to “be true to yourself”. BusinessKnowHow.com insists that if a business owner does not actually enjoy being in the field that he or she is in, no amount of money will result in happiness. Running a business you do not like or believe in will “come back to haunt you”.

So be sure to get involved in a line of work that you truly feel passionate about. Take it from us, this will help for those very difficult times to not seem so bad after all. There should be a sense of personal satisfaction in every business endeavor that you undertake.

The site also suggests that you “find a need and fill it”. Admitting that this is a piece of advice heard all too often, BusinessKnowHow.com insists that it is one not to be taken lightly. Especially when you don’t have the budget to spend on convincing customers that they need your products, you want to be sure that you can focus your energies on making your client base know that your business is the best place to go for what it is they need.

“Choose products or services that you can sell for a lot more than it costs you to make or buy them,” the site continues, “If the difference between your cost and selling prices is too low, you will have difficulty growing the business. When profit margins are too low, you won’t have enough money to…do other things needed to expand.”

We will continue to take a look at some of BusinessKnowHow.com’s “ten essential rules for succeeding in your own business” in tomorrow’s blog. But not before we advise you to “make realistic estimates of your expenses…then double them.” As the site says, “most new businesses either forget about marketing, fulfillment, overhead costs, income taxes and self-employment or greatly underestimate them.”

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