31 Jan

The Fantastic Functions Of Facebook

Posted in News on 31.01.12 by John Meloche

In yesterday’s blog, we happily announced the official launch of the brand new Synergy Marketing Consultants Inc. Facebook page! Well, it may not have been the launch of a new page – but we did create a new URL that makes it a whole lot easier to find us on everyone’s favourite social networking site: facebook.com/synergymkt.

Ensuring that our Facebook page is regularly updated will be a big part of our 2012 initiative to keep our clients and online followers constantly up-to-date and informed about all that is going with Synergy. However, we always encourage you to feel free to contact one of our awesome reps at 1-877-748-9884 to get the latest scoops on our amazing promotional products and the specials that often become available.

On Techipedia.com, Tamar Weinberg reinforces our belief that staying up on your social networking is an important part of running a successful business in this day and age. She points out that having a memorable title, or easy-to-remember URL, will make it easy for people to find you on Facebook is pretty important. Point taken!

This is something that any fan page can accomplish once it has reached a minimum of 25 fans. Remember to customize your page as well. Of course, you may upload a profile picture. We suggest that you use your company logo to make your online fans familiar with the image that represents your brand.

As well, Facebook allows you space to fill out a description section so that you can inform visitors to the page about all of the relevant details about your company. As Weinberg suggests, “Don’t shy away from giving your community the information needed to find you elsewhere both online and offline.”

On our page, we decided to keep it fairly simple and to-the-point. Our company overview states that “with over 25 years of industry experience in promotional marketing and sourcing great promotional products and business gifts, we have developed relationships with suppliers across the globe. We supply promotional merchandise to some of the largest corporations in North America.”

We also filled out a mission statement: “We have learned it is always easier to keep a customer then to find a new one. With this philosophy in mind we have set out to help our customers and welcome inquiries for sourcing unique and custom promotional products that will set you apart from your competition.”

Of course, we hope you enjoy each and every visit to our Facebook fan page and also hope you have just as much fun creating and customizing your own. Utilizing social networking websites to grow your business is no longer an option in these modern times. It’s a necessity. Good thing it’s free to do!

Comments Off on The Fantastic Functions Of Facebook

30 Jan

Find Us On Facebook!

Posted in News on 30.01.12 by John Meloche

We’ve just made it easier for you to find us on Facebook! Now, we have to admit that we have been so busy around the Synergy Marketing Consultants Inc. offices in recent months, that it’s made it difficult for us to practice what we preach when it comes to our social networking. We’ve often blogged about how important the use of such sites as Facebook can be for your business.

Firstly, we have recently updated our Facebook profile to include a link to each and every one of our blogs. Because all blogs will be posted to our Facebook page, it will now allow you to post your comments and opinions about what we write. Secondly, like we mentioned, you can now easily find us on everyone’s favourite social networking site by logging on to facebook.com/synergymkt.

This short form moniker for our company is also used as our official Twitter name. So whether you are “liking” or “tweeting” don’t forget to look us up under “synergymkt” and you’ll find us right away! These sites are two of the best ways to keep in touch and stay updated about our latest products and newest happenings with Synergy!

On Techipedia.com, marketing specialist and self-professed “tech geek”, Tamar Weinberg discusses how important the use of Facebook and Twitter is for business owners. In fact, she points out a growing trend in television advertising that highlights this belief. Many companies, she notes, display their Facebook URLs over their company websites in television commercials!

Clearly, there is a shift in the way that businesses are promoting themselves online. And as many consumers now see it, if you are not on Facebook or Twitter, it’s almost as if your don’t exist! Weinberg goes on to outline how creating a Facebook profile for your business can help it reach new levels of success.

One of the first things that should be known about the widely-popular site, says Weinberg, is the difference between a profile page and a fan page. Profile pages are for personal use and should be indicated by your first and last name. A fan page, however, can be created in conjunction with your profile page to represent your business.

Our fan page, for example, is clearly named “Synergy Marketing Consultants Inc.” and has our company logo as its profile picture. Once established, there are some “do’s and don’ts” recommended by Weinberg that may contradict some previous tips you may have read about using Facebook.

“Don’t use a Facebook Group,” she writes, “They are outdated (from Facebook’s early days) and do not support Facebook Markup Language (FBML) or Facebook Apps, so they are not as interactive and thus do not make as strong of an impact.” We’ll take a further look at Weinberg’s advice in tomorrow’s blog.

Comments Off on Find Us On Facebook!

27 Jan

Steps To Secure A Soaring Business

Posted in Synergy Suggestions on 27.01.12 by John Meloche

In yesterday’s blog, we took a look at Ryan Starr article published by The Toronto Star that listed a number of rules to keep small businesses afloat. This list is especially important for entrepreneurs who find that they are constantly working within the constraints of a tight budget.

By following these rules, we believe that business owners may not only run their businesses in cost-effective ways, but that they will also be able to more easily turn profits. After all, making a profit is the name of the game right? We ended up at rule number four yesterday, so let’s pick up where we left off, shall we?

5. Get help. Sometimes, all you need is a helping hand to take your business to the next level. Don’t be too proud to ask for assistance. For example, some very business-savvy entrepreneurs are quite simply horrible at accounting. Hiring a bookkeeper in such a case will pay off for you in the long run.

6. Borrow early! Don’t go to a bank looking to secure a loan if you are in desperate need of money. The bottom line is that they will see you as too high a risk to allow you to borrow. The best time to secure additional working capital is when your business is doing well. Consider alternative methods of funding such as merchant cash advances as well.

7. Inspect inventory. Being efficient is the key here. You don’t want to tie up all of your money in too much inventory, but you certainly don’t want to be without an adequate amount either. Writes Starr, “These days, just-in-time shipping can help ensure you don’t have excess stock just sitting there.”

8. Reduce overhead. Go through your expenses and see what you can do to cut costs. Is everything on your list necessary? Contact your service providers to see if you can score better deals for your phone and internet services. See if you can negotiate a better deal on rent. Perhaps, putting the money you save into improving the look of your business will help generate greater profits.

Mark Cahsens is the owner of a toy and sporting goods manufacturer in Oakville, Ontario. Following the above mentioned rules has helped Cahsens to hold on to sufficient funding to help run his business. He hasn’t had to go to the bank for money, and he finds that both his supplier and customer relationships have improved as well.

Said Cahsens: “I encourage my suppliers to extend terms (up to 120 days in some cases), so, effectively, I’m receiving money from my customers before I have to pay my suppliers.” It is our hope that you too may be able to follow these business rules and enjoy the success that your business deserves. Good luck!

Comments Off on Steps To Secure A Soaring Business

26 Jan

Rules To Renew Your Roaring Business

Posted in Synergy Suggestions on 26.01.12 by John Meloche

Over the past couple of days, we have been blogging about ways to keep your customers satisfied. Naturally, doing so is a super important part of running a successful business. We should know, here at Synergy, as we work at keeping the customers of our customers satisfied! But obviously, there is more to it than just making customers happy.

After all, making decisions for your company that may hurt your bottom line is certainly not beneficial. At the end of the day, it’s all about making a profit. And this can be tough to do if your company is having a cash flow problem. This is one of the reasons that Synergy is so excited about its amazing promotional gifts. They serve as very cost-effective ways to promote businesses.

A few months back, Ryan Starr tackled the issue of small businesses operating on small budgets in a special to The Toronto Star. Obviously, poor money management is bad for business. So with the help of a few business experts, Starr devised a list of rules for entrepreneurs to follow in order to keep their business affairs running smoothly.

We’d like to take a look at this list and add our own two cents worth in our continued effort to help strengthen small businesses all across Canada. These rules, we feel, make sense for businesses of all sizes, but they should certainly come in handy for business owners who may need to carefully work within a tight budget.

1. Plan ahead. Essentially, this is something that should become a regular part of every business owner’s new year. At the beginning of the year, writes Starr, you should forecast what you believe the following twelve months should look like. At the end of each month, you should take a look at your progress and keep your goals updated.

2. Make better deals. This is especially important when dealing with your suppliers. If you’re working within a modest budget, you’ll want to negotiate favourable payment terms with your suppliers that may be based on the times that you get paid by your clients. That way, you’re never strapped for cash.

3. Mind your money. It’s in your best interest to send invoices promptly. Of course, the quicker you send them out, the quicker you will be paid. As well, don’t forget to monitor your receivable accounts every day to ensure that your customers are paying you on time. This is especially important if the payments you make to your suppliers are determined by the income you receive.

4. Ditch deadbeats. Sometimes, in order to run a successful business, you need to cut ties with those who are not helping you to make a profit. If you have clients who continually pay late, it’s time to let them go. This is a problem that you don’t want, right? So why have it? We’ll take a look at the second half of these list of rules in tomorrow’s blog.

Comments Off on Rules To Renew Your Roaring Business

25 Jan

Soaring To Top Levels Of Customer Satisfaction

Posted in Synergy Suggestions on 25.01.12 by John Meloche

In yesterday’s blog, we took a look at an Om2Marketing.com article that described the act of pleasing customers as an art. Naturally, this art requires a number of factors but also provides a number of benefits when pulled off correctly. The article also noted that there are three levels of customer satisfaction. We’d like to visit that concept in today’s blog.

The first level of satisfaction deals solely with the product that a customer is looking to buy. If he or she is satisfied with a purchase, that experience only conquers one level of the customer-pleasing art. This is because the purchase provides little opportunity for the business to provided added value.

The second level of satisfaction is when an opportunity arises for a business to add advice, information or services that serve as add-ons to the product being purchased. This helps for the customer experience to be a deeper one. Instead of simply being satisfied with the brand being bought, the customer can now attach an emotional value to the visit of the store.

The third level of satisfaction deals with the customer’s feelings towards the service he or she receives. This is when a person is able to attribute his or her affiliation with a store to the experience had during a visit. When customers enjoy doing business with you specifically, you have helped them to reach a true sense of customer pleasure.

On Om2Marketing.com, it is explained that to reach the third level of customer satisfaction, one must consider a number of factors, yet again. The first is tangibles which include the appearance of your store, equipment and personnel. The second is reliability which refers to how dependable and accurate your staff members are shown to be.

Responsiveness is another key factor. Are you and your staff willing to help customers promptly? Assurance is also important. This demonstrates how knowledgeable your staff is. Empathy is an important factor as well. When your staff shows a caring attitude towards your customers, it connotes that you are willing to give individual attention to each person who enters your store.

Mastering the art of customer-pleasing means implementing each of these factors in your approach to those who visit your place of business. As the site writes, “Your true aim should be not just to create positive satisfaction but rather a very high level of satisfaction (‘delight’) because this level has a disproportionately favourable effect on what customers think of you and leads them to keep buying from you.”

Comments Off on Soaring To Top Levels Of Customer Satisfaction

24 Jan

Become A Customer-Pleasing Artist

Posted in Synergy Suggestions on 24.01.12 by John Meloche

At Synergy Marketing Consultants, we are in the business of pleasing customers. In addition, we are also in the business of helping businesses please their customers. So, for us, we are kind of working double duty. In other words, in order for our company to be successful, we need to make sure that customers of our customers are happy!

We talk a lot about pleasing customers around here. Since it’s such an important aspect of our business, you can forgive us for constantly thinking up ways to please our clients. It certainly isn’t the easiest thing in the world to do. There is an art – if you will – to bringing satisfaction to your customer base on a regular basis.

On Om2Marketing.com, you’ll find a pretty interesting article entitled “The Art of Pleasing Your Customers”. It insists that to get the art down pat, business owners must be committed to considering a list of factors that go into customer-pleasing. Clearly, this is an art made up of many layers that, when working together, can produce great results.

According to the site, these factors include “targeting customers carefully, knowing what your customers need, ensuring a competitive offer, promoting your business distinctively, delivering excellent service, and keeping track of customers’ satisfaction and opinions.” But, first let’s pinpoint exactly what it means to “please” a customer.

When a customer is satisfied, it means that he or she is able to leave your place of business with a perceived experience of the product or service that is actually better than what was originally expected. If this is achieved, chances are that the customer will continue to return to the business to spend more money.

There’s nothing like repeat business to show that you have been successful in pleasing someone who has visited your store. As the site points out, repeat business also saves you money as regular customers are cheaper to advertise to and serve than those who have not yet visited your store.

Furthermore, they provide you with the perfect recipients of promotional gifts. Satisfied customers are obviously the most likely to pass on the good word about your business to their families and friends. Your promo gifts will serve as excellent reminders for them to do so.

But, there are, however, various levels of customer satisfaction. What level are you trying to achieve? In tomorrow’s blog, we will revisit the Om2Marketing.com article to go over the three levels of customer satisfaction to see if we can help you reach the level that you are looking for!

Comments Off on Become A Customer-Pleasing Artist

23 Jan

Merry Monday

Posted in Synergy Suggestions on 23.01.12 by John Meloche

Good morning everyone. On behalf of Synergy Marketing Consultants, we’d like to wish you all a very merry Monday! What’s that you say? You hate Mondays? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. For many people, Monday is the perennial worst day of the week. After a relaxing weekend, most find getting up for work a tedious chore.

But never fear, your incredible Promo Blog is here! We thought it might be good idea to fill you in on a few ways that you can make today – and every Monday – a day that you actually look forward to. No, we can’t change your work schedule for you. But we certainly try to change your attitude towards the most hated of all the days of the week.

On DivineCaroline.com, there are a list of to-do’s that may help you get over the Monday blues. We figured we’d take a look at that list for some pointers in order to come up with one of our own. After all, we actually love Mondays, here at Synergy. It gives us the opportunity to get back to speaking with our clients about the wonders of our amazing products. But let’s not digress.

Breathe. Sometimes the best advice is the simplest. The website – dedicated to empowerment of women – advises that you simply take some time to breathe deeply for a short while right after waking up. It helps both relax your mind and get the oxygen adequately pumping throughout your system, readying you for the day.

Think Positive. It’s easy to get annoyed at having to wake up to go to work. Try rearranging your thoughts and focusing on the good things that await you this week. Prepare yourself for positive outcomes and they will more likely become actualities. As DivineCaroline.com puts it, “if you think good things, good things will happen.”

Shower. Many people like to shower the night before in order to give themselves more time in the morning. And while there is nothing wrong with this, you may want to grab yourself a quick one in the morning to help wake you up. Feeling fresh and re-energized is definitely a great way to start your week.

Play Music. Why not pump some tunes as soon as you get up in the morning? Put on something with a good beat that will literally compel you to sing and dance yourself all the way to work. They say that “music soothes the savage beast” and it also soothes the soul. Don’t be afraid to wake up the kids with some music too! Why not get your entire home off to a rockin’ start?

Eat Breakfast. Don’t forget the most important meal of your day. Beginning the day with a good breakfast will make all the difference in the world. Be sure to avoid sugar so as to not have yourself crash from a sugar high during the day. But don’t deprive your body of the fuel it needs to get throughout the day. It needs its fuel, so fill it up first thing!

Comments Off on Merry Monday

20 Jan

Great Gifts To Grow Your Business

Posted in Promotional Products on 20.01.12 by John Meloche

Synergy Marketing Consultants prides itself on providing the best promo products in our industry. For years, our clients have been proving that handing out promo gifts to customers is a very cost-effective way of growing customer bases. Keep your company on the minds of your favourite customers by handing out one of our great gifts to them.

But with so many gifts to choose from, which is the ideal choice? Our amazing sales reps are standing by to discuss just that with you. Every company is unique and therefore, they all have unique client bases. Picking the right gift means considering the ways in which you want your customers to feel about your business. Let’s take a look at a few options.

It’s cold out there! But what else were we to expect in the middle of January, right? Our Translucent Ice Scrapers make the perfect gift for this time of year. During the icy cold winters, it’s important for drivers to be able to get that ice off of their windows before driving off. These gifts are sure to come in handy all winter long!

Speaking of it being cold out there, it’s important to bundle up. And our 100% Acrylic Winter Toque with Cuff will help your customers to do just that. Allowing embroidery for up to 5000 stitches, these toques are great ways to boldly promote your business throughout the cold winter months.

Believe it or not, it’s also important to protect yourself from the sun during the winter. Especially when the sun’s UV rays are bouncing off of the white snow, it can be damaging to your eyes. The Europa Sport Sunglasses are stylish ways to stay protected while looking cool in the cold!

We all need key chains don’t we? But the Xcaliber 5 Function Rosewood Knife With Key Chain is more than just your average key holder. Complete with knive, nail file, can and bottle openers, this promo gift does it all. It’s the perfect example of a practical and handy gift that will be used regularly, guaranteeing your favourite customers don’t forget you!

Even in today’s world of technology, pens are still used every single day. Our Paper Pens are awesome! Not only are they the perfect writing utensils but they also serve to protect the environment. Made up recycled materials, these nifty pens remind us all to reuse and recycle. Not to mention, they offer daily reminders about your business!

Comments Off on Great Gifts To Grow Your Business

19 Jan

Continuing Customer Service Commitments

Posted in Synergy Suggestions on 19.01.12 by John Meloche

In yesterday’s blog, we took a look at a list of customer service tips from Laura Lake of About.com. This list serves to assist business owners with their service practices so that they may develop longer lasting customer relationships. Customer service is sometimes greatly overlooked, even though it ranks at the top of the list of things that customers expect and want from establishments they do business with.

Watch Your Tone. At Synergy Marketing Consultants, we do the bulk of our business over the phone. So, to us, tone is everything. Lake agrees. She writes that one should always smile when responding to a customer whether the conversation is held over the phone or not. Coming across pleasant and helpful is always important.

Find The Answer. It’s much better to tell a customer what you can do for him or her versus what you cannot do. If you do not have the answer, it’s best to never respond by saying “I don’t know”. Instead, be both honest and helpful by saying, “I’ll find that out for you right away.”

Admit Your Mistakes. There is nothing wrong with owning up. You can’t be perfect all of the time. Customers will appreciate it when you admit to making a mistake, especially if you are doing all you can to remedy the problem. Chances are, you will have earned their trust, coaxing them to continue doing business with you in the future.

Keep Them In Mind. Just because your customers may sometimes be out of sight, says Lake, there’s no reason for them to be out of mind. Following up with your customers and showing them that you care is an often-neglected aspect of top-notch customer service. Lake suggests you create a follow up program to check in with your customers after they make a purchase or a visit.

Go Above and Beyond. Going the extra mile for your customers always leaves a good impression. Writes Lake: “Customers always recognize the extra effort, because as of late the extra effort is forgone do to automation. The personal touch is missing in many areas of communication with customers, so be willing to go the extra mile and create a lasting impression.”

At Synergy, we do our best to leave a good impression each and every time we interact with our customers. Give us a call at 1-877-748-9884 and see for yourself. Well, actually you’ll hear for yourself just how important good customer service is to us. Enthusiastic, knowledgeable and friendly, our staff members are standing by to leave you with both a lasting impression and a great way to get your business to the next level!

Comments Off on Continuing Customer Service Commitments

18 Jan

Creating Superior Customer Service

Posted in Synergy Suggestions on 18.01.12 by John Meloche

Yesterday, we blogged about our commitment to customer service, here at Synergy Marketing Consultants. At some point, we are all customers. And being treated with respect is a big deal when it comes to making decisions about where to shop. For our staff, this is especially important for us to do over the phone, as this is where the bulk of our business is conducted.

Some businesses, however, neglect to make customer service their first priority. At least, this is the case according to some members of our staff. “I was in a restaurant just the other day,” recalled one of our team members this morning, “And I had to ask our waiter three times to bring some water. I felt like I was being ignored. I won’t eat there again.”

Giving a great impression goes a long way in securing customers for the long haul. Giving a bad one pretty much seals your fate. Customers are a lot less likely to revisit an establishment where they received bad service than they are to revisit a store where they bought a faulty item. Simply put, customer service counts for a lot.

On About.com, Laura Lake tackles this issue by listing several tips that can help business owners improve their customer service. By implementing these tips immediately, believes Lake, business owners can quickly turn around the impressions that customers have of their companies. With some help from these tips, we’d like to offer our own version of that advice.

Make a Good First Impression. Pleasing a customer off the bat is paramount. Putting your best foot forward at your very first opportunity is a crucial step (pardon the pun) towards securing a long-lasting customer. Remember that your first impression may be through a phone call, email or face-to-face visit. So always be prepared to be at your best.

Do Unto Others. To keep things simple, provide the type of service that you would want if you were a customer. It’s as easy as providing respect and courtesy much the same as what you would expect in return. Think about the things that would make you return to a store and offer those pleasantries to those visiting your store.

Be Proactive. Reminds Lake, “Don’t just wait until someone asks you for help, be willing to be proactive and ask your customers how you may be of service to them.” This was a big point of contention when the subject of customer service came up among the members of our staff this week.

“When I walk into a store and I am not acknowledged, it turns me off,” admitted one member of our team, “If they act like they don’t even care that I am there, why should I give them my business?”. Good question. We’ll look to answer it as we continue to provide customer service tips in tomorrow’s blog.

Comments Off on Creating Superior Customer Service