29 Apr

Election Day Is Coming!

Posted in News on 29.04.11 by John Meloche

Election time is nearly upon us Canada. This Monday, May 2nd, Canadians will be called upon to help decide who the next Prime Minister of Canada will be. By now, most people are aware of who the candidates are. The current Prime Minister Stephen Harper is going head to head with opponents Michael Ignatieff, Jack Layton and Gilles Duceppe.

Synergy Marketing Consultants highly encourages all those who are eligible to vote to exercise that right. We do not, however, endorse any of the above candidates specifically. Instead, we believe that everyone should do their parts to voice themselves and help the nation make the decision for who should be the next Prime Minister.

Your vote really matters. We are a proud nation of people in – dare we say it? – the world’s greatest country. Problems with weather aside, Canada is known throughout the world as a classy, clean and friendly nation. We are multi-cultural, multi-talented and well-received in facets of arts, entertainment, sports and education. We are tops in providing jobs and rebounding from the recent global recession.

Most importantly, we are a free nation. Our freedoms give us the ability to choose who will lead our country. Although some may feel as if none of the above mentioned candidates will work towards securing their best interests, not voting at all ensures that your concerns will not be considered.

We advise that, at the very least, you take a quick look at the websites for each party who is in the running. Here…we’ll make it easy for you. Check out Stephen Harper’s Conservative Party, Michael Ignatieff’s Liberal Party, Jack Layton’s New Democratic Party and Gilles Duceppe’s Bloc Quebecois through the links provided here.

You have all weekend to make up your mind. But be sure that this Monday you make your way to the voting booth to cast your vote. If you are unsure of where to vote, be sure to ask around your neighbourhood. Most often, the polls are located in an area closer than you think! For some, it’s located in the school or library next door. For others, polls are in the very building they reside in!

In order to vote, you simply need to be a Canadian citizen and be at least 18 years old on election day. You should have already received a “Voter Information Card” in the mail. As well, you must be able to prove your identity and address at the polls. This Monday, be sure that you vote and help shape the future of Canada!

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28 Apr

Making The Most Of The Royal Wedding

Posted in News on 28.04.11 by John Meloche

It can be argued that the most successful people in the world are those that take advantage of opportunities. And although the term “opportunist” can sometimes have a negative connotation attached to it, for most entrepreneurs, the term is the perfect way to describe them. After all, what’s wrong with answering the door when opportunity knocks?

At Synergy, we work diligently to assist business owners with cost-effective and efficient ways to promote their businesses. With the help of our incredible promotional items, our clients have worked to grow the reach of their companies significantly. And this growth experiences major spikes during special occasions.

Well, it seems as if everyone in the world is talking about a certain special occasion over in jolly old England. Prince William is preparing to marry his longtime girlfriend, Kate Middleton this Friday, and it appears as if the world will be watching. The Royal Wedding is one of those rare occasions when an international spectacle can turn into a business opportunity.

At least, this seems to be the case, according to The Toronto Star. Yesterday, the publication’s website announced that a number of businesses throughout Toronto will be taking advantage of this major news story to promote themselves. Offering special Royal Wedding-themed deals, these companies intend on cashing in on all the hoopla.

Even though the wedding ceremony will kick-off around 6 a.m. local time, a number of businesses throughout the GTA will be celebrating along with the new bride and groom. According to The Star, On The Park Events & Conference Centre will open its doors at 5:30 a.m. Friday morning to offer a live telecast of the wedding on a 17-foot HD screen.

The $25 admission will also include a buffet breakfast, rides in an open-style horse and carriage and door prizes. A number of restaurants will be getting in on the action as well. Fox & The Fiddle will start serving English breakfasts at 5:30 a.m. while playing a live telecast of the Royal Wedding.

Meanwhile, T-buds Uptown Tea Lounge will present afternoon tea and fine foods between 1 and 6 p.m. on Friday, along with the chance to take a picture with a life-size cardboard cut-out of Will and Kate. Some of the proceeds are to go to Children’s Wish Foundation.

What ways will you help for your business to cash in on the Royal Wedding? It is clear that tomorrow will be an opportune time to attract more customers to your establishment. Have a jolly good time!

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27 Apr

Your Business Plan Is Your Future

Posted in Synergy Suggestions on 27.04.11 by John Meloche

In yesterday’s blog, we began discussing the importance of putting together a good business plan. When businesses fail, it often has to do with the fact that appropriate steps were not taken to ensure the company’s success. As well, many would-be entrepreneurs have great ideas but no clear ideas of how to fulfill their dreams.

Tim Berry is a business plan expert. We took a look at one of his posts from his website outlining a number of steps that can be taken to ensure that your business plan is a strong one! Among Berry’s lists of factors that contribute to smart planning, is a point about communicating your plan to the people who plan on implementing it.

The points mentioned in yesterday’s blog outline the plan itself. This point, says Berry, is where we begin looking at the management of the plan. Communicating your plan to your team is imperative. The people in charge of your business need to have a strong understanding of your vision.

In addition, your plan needs to get people committed. Berry reiterates that the process surrounding the plan is the focus here. The commitment of your team is essential to carrying out your ideas. Berry offers up his definition of commitment in this anecdote: “in a bacon and egg breakfast, the chicken is involved, and the pig is committed.”

Finally, your plan is “kept alive by follow up and planning process”. As Berry insists, a plan isn’t a good plan if you don’t revisit it with regular review and course correction. It must be flexible and prepared to go through changes to improve it. Planning, he says, is made up of both “steering and management”.

We would like to add that to put your plan into action, it certainly requires time. Many entrepreneurs get disenchanted by the length of the process. For any business to be successful, years of work is generally required. As is often said, “patience is a virtue”. Be patient and work diligently to see your plans through.

As always, we hope that our blogs have been informative and helpful. Coming from a position of expertise in the field of advertising and promotion, Synergy Marketing Consultants works right alongside business owners throughout the country who are still working to see their plans fulfill their dreams.

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26 Apr

Build A Business Plan With Confidence

Posted in Synergy Suggestions on 26.04.11 by John Meloche

How many people do you know who have great ideas but no plans on how to implement them? As business owners, we are part of a collective union of “go-getters”. We represent the rare individuals who dare to challenge the social obstacles that may prevent success. We stop at nothing, we go all out and we win our battles. This, of course, is no easy feat.

It requires putting a plan into action. And to do so, a lot of money, effort and energy is required. Business plan expert, Tim Berry understands this. And as such, he writes on his website about the various ways that business owners can create successful business plans.

Naturally, a business plan is measured in money, says Berry. So it is important that your business plan fits the need of the specific business you are trying to get off the ground. Business plans should not be generic. But instead, they should pinpoint the overall objective of your specific business.

Are you trying to be the biggest seller of your products? Are you working towards providing the best customer service available anywhere? Do you plan on building your brand online? Answering these and other questions will get you off on the right foot. That being said, your business plan should be realistic.

Writes Berry: “You don’t get points for ideas that can’t be implemented…The plan that requires millions of dollars of investment but doesn’t have a management team that can get that investment is not a good plan. A plan that ignores a fatal flaw is not a good plan.” So it’s important to be specific.

Your business plan should be measurable, says Berry. Outlining tasks, deadlines, dates, forecasts, budgets and metrics are all ingredients of a strong plan. You should also be able to specify a person to be responsible for each task and function you wish to implement. It is important to have a dedicated team around you. If they are not all working towards the same goal, your goal may never be reached.

You have likely heard the phrase, “you are only as strong as your weakest link”. This certainly applies in the business world. Remember too, that you must prepare for the worst. Berry reminds us that since business plans are, of course, created by humans, errors are to be expected.

Since a plan is a type of prediction, there should be room to revise your plans if things don’t go the way you expect. Keep your assumptions visible during the planning process, Berry advises. We will continue to take a look at ways to create strong business plans in tomorrow’s blog!

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25 Apr

Timing Is Everything

Posted in News, Synergy Suggestions on 25.04.11 by John Meloche

As masters of the business promotion game, Synergy Marketing Consultants often discusses with our clients ways in which they can grow their businesses. Although promotional items are always the way to go, there are other methods that are very cost effective for entrepreneurs. This is why our blog often looks at ways to advertise online – generally a free path to further prosperity!

Social networking sites, as we all know, are among the most popular sources for attaining information online. This is why numerous companies have flocked to Facebook and Twitter to promote themselves. However, building your audience through these sites requires some timely techniques.

As Courtney Mills of INeedHits.com explains, each industry has peak days of the week. Ensuring that you hit your followers and friends on your social networking site of choice on the right day will help to boost your reach. Ever heard of the term, “timing is everything”? Well, according to Mills, each industry has a peak time of the week to advertise.

For the entertainment industry, Friday, Saturday and Sunday are big days as these are when consumers are most likely to be looking for something to do. Movies, concerts and other events taking place on the weekend should definitely be promoted during the weekend to attract as many online users as possible.

Interestingly, Mills notes that both the automotive and retail industries have “strong engagements” on Sunday. If you work in either of these fields, you may want to consider paying special attention to your end-of-the-weekend posts on Facebook and Twitter. Not surprisingly, the world of sports is most popular on Sundays as well.

Not every industry is a weekend industry, however. Mills says that the business and finance worlds peak on Wednesdays and Thursdays. The fashion industry also seems to peak on Thursdays but then dips on the weekend. The same can be said for the healthcare and beauty industries.

Restaurant owners are among our most popular clients. Who doesn’t love to eat, right? According to Mills, the food and beverage business peaks on Tuesday and Saturdays. When the week is winding down, the travel and hospitality field will want to plug their companies as well.


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22 Apr

Take It From Us

Posted in Synergy Suggestions on 22.04.11 by John Meloche

Since most business owners are not required to open up their stores today, we’d like to ask them a question. Do you like going into work each day? Most of our clients are very happy going in to work knowing that they are in charge. Then again, some others feel that the strain of running a business makes holidays like today so worthwhile.

At Synergy, we have developed numerous relationships with business owners from all over the country. And if they all have one thing in common, it is that they are happiest when business is going well. What helps for businesses to be successful? Well, to answer that we must take a look at the question from the perspective of those who have control over the success of your business.

Your customers. As we have mentioned in many of our blogs – including those from just last week – your customers are the most important parts of your business. So in order to make your business successful, it is mandatory to make your customers happy. Going back to our original question, if you can make your customers want to come in to your place of business every day, we are sure that you will want to be there as well.

The promotional item is not a gimmick. Instead, it is an investment. The money you spend on purchasing promotional items with your business name and contact information should be returning money to your business exponentially. For it to do that, you have to provide your customers with an experience to go along with that item.

Perhaps you can give your customers a product demonstration when they come into your store. Greeting them by name when they walk in is always a great touch. If you don’t know names, be sure to ask. It helps create a more welcoming atmosphere for your place of business.

Of course, these are pieces of advice that we have given before. But consider that once you have made your customer happy, it is likely that he or she will return. Now providing them with a promotional item will appear as if you are going that extra mile to secure loyalty to your company.

It’s the experience that customers remember the most. And if you make them happy, then business will grow. Now if that doesn’t make YOU happy…we’re not sure what will. So enjoy your day off. But be sure to be thinking about the ways you can enjoy your days when you need to head on in to work.

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21 Apr

Videos Make Business Vibrant

Posted in Synergy Suggestions on 21.04.11 by John Meloche

In yesterday’s blog, we visited the idea of using online videos to help promote your business. More specifically, we suggested the use of the ever-popular website, YouTube to help develop a greater fan base for your company. The site, which allows users to create their own channels and upload their own videos, is a very common destination for internet users.

We discussed a number of ways that you can use videos to grow your sales. With the help of social media manager, Karriann Graf, we listed a few suggestions that we think can be very helpful. Picking up where we left off, Graf suggests that you present case studies through your videos to show how beneficial your products and services can be for your customers.

Let’s suppose what you offer can be presented in a “before-and-after” type of fashion. For example, a fitness gym or a cleaning product. Filming examples of how improvements can be made through your products and services is an excellent way to show the benefits of working with your company. Show how much of an impact you can have on the lives of your viewers, and it will translate into more customers.

You can also do product reviews, says Graf. Talk about specific products that you can show and educate your audience on how effective they are. Discuss the various uses of the product and how it can make your customers’ lives easier. Education should be a major part of your videos.

In your videos, you should be able to answer a lot of questions that you imagine your client base would likely have. Your video, of course, also helps to add that personal connection needed to build trust in a customer base. It should be much more effective than a simple Q&A section of your website.

Have you ever conducted a seminar before? How about doing a “webinar”? Capture a seminar on video and present it on your website and YouTube channel. Show your customers that you are an expert in your field. Gain their confidence and you will gain more leads and sell more products.

Finally, post a commercial. In what is perhaps the most obvious suggestion, Graf recommends calling your customers into your place of business. Naturally, the commercial will not appear as high budget as what you regularly see on television. But if done creatively, your ad will bring more customers to you.

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20 Apr

YouTube Can Make You A Star

Posted in Synergy Suggestions on 20.04.11 by John Meloche

Last week, we did some blogging about how to treat your customers like the stars that they are. As we mentioned, your customers are the reasons you are even in business to begin with. Today, we’d like to talk about an interesting way to make your business a star in the eyes of all of your customers. And you may be surprised at how easy it can be!

Now, the Synergy Marketing Consultants Blog has also been known for commenting upon the way that social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter have greatly helped businesses to promote themselves. We haven’t done as much talking about YouTube, however.

Having been around only half a decade or so, YouTube is arguably the internet’s most popular destination for video watching. So much so, that the website has helped launch the careers of such young pop stars as Canada’s own, Justin Bieber and more recently, Rebecca Black. After launching videos on YouTube, these two teenaged singers became viral sensations, with Bieber going on to become a worldwide superstar.

So why can’t your business become a star in much the same way? Have you ever considered posting videos that reflect how amazing your business is? Karriann Graf is a social media manager and strategist for small businesses and real estate professionals. On her website, she encourages entrepreneurs to consider video marketing to help promote their companies.

One of the ways in which videos can help shine a spotlight on your business is through testimonials. Consider asking your favourite customers to star in a quick one minute video providing their feedback about the products and services you offer. Doing a mini-interview that helps to communicate the benefits of working with your business will make for an excellent promotional video.

Another thing that video is great for, points out Graf, is product demonstrations. She notes that one of the biggest problems for customers making purchases online is their inability to test the items out for themselves. Your video can help to cater to that concern by showing how your product works.

Don’t forget to be entertaining, reminds Graf. After all, many people visit YouTube in order to check out videos that they find are fun. These are often the types of videos that are sent around from friend to friend by emailing links to each other. If you can educate your audience about your business in an entertaining way, you will have come up with a “winning combination” to increase your sales.

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19 Apr

Taking On The McGangBang!

Posted in Uncategorized on 19.04.11 by John Meloche

In past blogs, we’ve made it no secret that we employ a fun bunch here at Synergy Marketing Consultants. We’ve long believed that possessing a highly energetic and jovial attitude helps to communicate excitement for your business. This is why if you’ve ever had a conversation with one of our fantastic sales reps, you’ll likely recall it as a memorable experience.

Now, among the zany characters that make up our office family is none other than our Vice President of Marketing, John Meloche. Known for having a good time, John is also someone who is notorious for having a good lunch! Or perhaps, a bad lunch depending on how you look at it.

Today, John decided to head out for lunch to McDonald’s – a fast food restaurant you may have heard of before. Proudly, John returned to the office with the standard French fries, soft drink and the not-so-standard McGangBang. Yes, you read that right. John had a McGangBang for lunch!

A lot less offensive than the name implies, EatMeDaily.com confirms the McGangBang as a McChicken Sandwich inside a Double Cheeseburger. John’s sandwich-within-a-sandwich, in fact, was taken even one step further. John placed a McChicken Sandwich in between his Double Quarter Pounder!

“Delicious!” was all a full-mouthed John could exclaim when asked about his slightly modified concoction. “That looks so good!” replied a co-worker. “That looks so disgusting!” responded another. The McGangBang, you see, is not officially on the McDonald’s menu. But, of course, it can be created by creatively combining the above mentioned menu items.

How “nutritious” is the McGangBang, you might wonder? NutritionData.Self.com lists the Double Quarter Pounder as containing 760 calories, 462 of which come from fat! It also contains 20 grams of saturated fat which is 100% of one’s daily value based on a 2,000 calorie diet!

The McChicken Sandwich, on the other hand, weighs in at a slimmer 430 calories, with 207 of them coming from fat! It contains 5 grams of saturated fat which is 23% of one’s daily value based on a 2,000 calorie diet. That would make the McGangBang a whopping 1190 calorie sandwich!

Needless to say, Synergy Marketing Consultants doesn’t recommend or endorse this meal. Then again, we don’t wish to dissuade you from having fun coming up with your own concoctions to tantalize your tastebuds! At the time of this writing, John could not be reached for comment about how much he enjoyed his meal. We do, however, wish him a speedy recovery!

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18 Apr

Simple Solutions To Soaring Success

Posted in Uncategorized on 18.04.11 by John Meloche

At Synergy Marketing Consultants, we work within the ‘business to business’ working model. Our clients are business owners, and as such, we work diligently to help them find ways of increasing their own business. Of course, the better we are at our job in growing the client bases of our customers, the better business is for us.

As always, the Synergy Marketing Consultants blog works to assist business owners with tips and advice that can also help propel companies forward. Pushing your company forward doesn’t have to be complicated. So, as leaders in the industry of promotional gifts, Synegy has long championed cost-effective methods to promoting your business.

To do so, SmashBrand.com advises that you keep your marketing strategies simple and straightforward. To put it plainly, growing your business means growing your sales. So, at the end of the day, impressing your customers should be at the top of your priority list. Keep them at the forefront of your concerns so that each of your decisions will encourage them to keep coming back.

How can you meet their needs in ways that other companies do not? One simple method is the “surprise price reduction”. SmashBrand.com notes that when customers bring an item to the register to discover that it is being sold at a price that is lower than what is listed, they become “pleasantly surprised and genuinely happy”.

Perhaps, you can introduce an in-store promotion that communicates that on a daily basis, “surprise discounts” are available. If you legitimately offer such deals each and every day, this will be an exciting feature about your store that is sure to catch the attention of your customers. Not to mention, word will spread that your establishment is the place to shop if you are looking for a good deal.

We mentioned earlier that the concept of growing your business should centre around impressing your customers. Why not use your customers to further communicate that you are in business to please them? SmashBrand.com suggests that you “use your strongest customer relationships in new product development initiatives”.

Writes the site: “Asking your customers to become an active participant in evaluating your new product is a great way to propel your relationship forward…When you take the time to show your customer that your interest lies in getting them the best price and best option on new products, they’ll come to see your company as ahead of the game. It shows that you trust their input and value their expertise.”

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