30 Mar

Timeless Tips For Boosting Business

Posted in Synergy Suggestions on 30.03.12 by John Meloche

In yesterday’s blog, we took a look at a Seth Godin article from OpenForum.com. In it, he lists a number of super simple ways that entrepreneurs can grow their businesses. Now, we’ve written about such advice in numerous blogs before. But this particular list highlights some simple tasks that we can all implement in order to be more innovative in our approaches to building business.

Keep a journal. This is an interesting practice that Godin believes will help business owners track their progress. He writes that they should “write down every single thing you do in a day to get new business (and) watch the list grow daily.” Hopefully, this will encourage you to grow the size of that list so you can officially document the growth of your company.

Do something remarkable. These days, people enjoy talking about things that they saw that “wowed” them online. If you can get people talking about you, the news will spread quickly. Especially with social media sites like Facebook and Twitter being used to disseminate news on a regular basis, you will want people on these sites to plug your company.

Ask for the order. In other words, don’t wait to drum up business if you can get it now. Don’t be afraid to ask clients if you can start on their jobs right away instead of putting them off for a month. Be sure that it is okay with your client to begin the work. Don’t assume it isn’t without asking.

Partner. There’s nothing wrong with working with a strong team. In fact, it’s practically mandatory. If you can find a business that will cross-promote with you, you will be able to increase your company’s reach without having to spend any extra money. It’s the old “scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours” theory. And it works!

Treat different customers differently. Contrary to popular belief, Godin writes that not everyone is created equally. In other words, some customers are simply bound to bring you more business than others. He writes that you should “pamper” and “cajole” your frequent visitors so that they know they are appreciated.

Monitor your drop offs. Keeping the last tip in mind, you also want to be mindful of the last time your customers bought from you. According to Godin, if you notice a “rhythm change”, it may be good idea to call that long lost customer to check in with him or her. Show your concern and be genuine. But do your due diligence in ensuring that you haven’t lost a customer.

Don’t panic. Writes Godin: “People need you. They believe in you. They want you to succeed. You’ve already cut your costs, you’re here for the long haul. Be bold, but don’t be obnoxious.” Hopefully, these simple tips will help you grow your business by becoming more innovative – not to mention, interactive with your client base.

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29 Mar

Simple Solutions To Bigger Business

Posted in Synergy Suggestions on 29.03.12 by John Meloche

There is no one way to promote your business, of course. And there certainly isn’t a guarantee that the direction you take to promote your business will pay off. After all, successful business promotion generally requires a combination of things that will help for your company to thrive.

For example, our Synergy sales reps often discuss with their clients the various marketing strategies that they can implement while using their promo products. You can always just hand out promo gifts. But, then again, wouldn’t it be better to hand them out as part of a campaign? Can you throw a special event? Have a contest? Begin an emailing list with those who receive your gifts?

As we mentioned in yesterday’s blog, being innovative is important. On OpenForum.com, Seth Godin writes about a number of simple ways that business owners can grow their businesses. In fact, the “less is more” concept works greatly here, as his tips help to highlight how innovative one can be by practicing the simplest things.

Call your customers and thank them for the business. Seems like a no-brainer, doesn’t it? But how many business owners do this? It may seem time consuming, but if you take out just 15 minutes from each day to make a few phone calls, it will feel like an easy daily task. And it will pay great dividends down the road.

Show up. Again – sounds simple, right? But have you ever worked with a company who made an appointment for a representative to show up at a certain time and they did not? Even when they show up, but are late, it gives a bad impression. Be sure to keep your appointments and prove that you are trustworthy and professional.

Stop assisting the struggling. In other words, it’s important to make time for the first two tips by avoiding working with those who will not support your business. It isn’t fair for you to have to consistently ask for payment once your job is done. Furthermore, making connections with those who do not offer you any new business is a waste of time, says Godin.

Offer your employees referral bonuses. This will help create some momentum in your business. Not only will it encourage the building of a new client base but it will also motivate your employees. In addition, you will be giving your staff the opportunity to feel more closely connected to the success of the company.

Start a blog. Now where have we heard this before? It doesn’t matter who is providing the business advice, he or she always promotes blogging. And why not? It keeps your customers informed and your website consistently updated. It also allows you to generate more website traffic while showing that you are knowledgeable about your industry.

We’ll take a further look at Godin’s suggestions in tomorrow’s blog.

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28 Mar

Innovation Inspires Incredible Interest

Posted in News on 28.03.12 by John Meloche

We are all about being innovative, here at Synergy Marketing Consultants. Our blogs very often comment upon the various ways that business owners may add intrigue to their businesses in an effort to attract more customers. We do the best we can to practice what we preach around here, as well. After all, our innovation is what has helped us come up with the best promo products in the business!

Not long ago, we introduced our new Superior-Touch Polyurethane Palm Coated Gloves as our newest promotional gifts. For only $3.00 a pair, these great new gloves mark one of the most innovative ways in the world to promote your business. Give one of our awesome sales reps a call at 1-877-748-9884 and ask about how you can get up to 150 pairs for free!

What else can you do to be innovative? Setting yourself apart from your competition is key in being a leader in your industry. Focus on your strengths and determine what it is that you do differently than anyone else. Perhaps, your customer service is a cut above the rest. Maybe you have a product that is incomparable in your market. Locate what you are best at and highlight it!

We couldn’t help but think that the people from BannerXpress were thinking “innovation” when they came up with their welcome banner vending machine. Never heard of it before? Perhaps, that’s because, to date, there is only one in existence. It lives at Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport, and offers small, medium and large customizable waterproof banners.

As Lesley Ciarula Taylor reported in The Toronto Star a couple of months back, this cool new vending machine allows people to choose colours and fonts to imprint personal messages on a banner. This way, people can create personalized welcome messages to loved ones arriving at the airport.

BannerXpress was created by Dutch restaurant owners Thibaud Bruna and Oliver Janssen. But how did they come up with this innovative idea? “When I was waiting to pick up my sister, I noticed a lot of people at the airport who make their own banners with bedsheets and markers,” said Janssen, “We thought this would be so much more interesting and fun for people to do.”

Taylor reports that Schiphol Airport will soon not be alone as the only location of a BannerXpress vending machine. The two entrepreneurs are currently taking calls from companies worldwide. People have not only used the banners to welcome guests at the airport but also used it for such things as “car-sale signs, apartment notices and to cheer up hospital patients.”

Now that’s innovative. According to Janssen, the idea was successful because it created something “cheap, on the spot and personalized.” Sounds to us like one of the most innovative promo gifts out there! Why didn’t we think of that?

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27 Mar

Leafs Fans Suffer Another Painful Season

Posted in News on 27.03.12 by John Meloche

Hockey seems to be on the minds of many Canadians these days. Then again, when is hockey not on the minds of most Canadians? In yesterday’s blog, we touched upon the idea of Quebec City working towards bringing an NHL team back to the city. It is proposed that they may be able to do so exactly twenty years after the Nordiques left town for Colorado.

Only time will tell on that front. But we did joke yesterday that Quebec’s currently non-existent hockey club may have a better chance of making it into the playoffs before the Toronto Maple Leafs do. Being headquartered in Toronto, Ontario, Synergy Marketing Consultants is home to many a Maple Leafs fan.

What that entails, inevitably, is that Synergy is home to many a disappointed hockey fan this time of year. With just a handful of games left in the current NHL regular season and the Leafs well out of playoff contention, fans are well aware that another season without a playoff berth has come and is just about gone. What to do about this woeful franchise?

“It’s time to make another change in the front office,” commented one Synergy rep-slash-Leafs fan, “(General manager) Brian Burke was expected to turn things around and he truly hasn’t. We’ve got to shake up the way this organization thinks about winning. It has been far too long since the Leafs have truly been competitive.

Our co-worker is not alone in having these sentiments. Yesterday, on The Toronto Sun’s website, Don Peat reported that a recent Nanos Research and Toronto Sun poll found that less than a quarter of Toronto hockey fans feel that the team is on the right track. And like our esteemed colleague, they feel that Brian Burke’s ability to steer the team in the right direction is lacking.

According to the poll, only 23 per cent of those questioned feel that the Leafs are on the right track. The team’s recent nine home game losing streak is likely one of the factors that has lead to such responses. Writes Peat, “The poll was done a week before the Leafs racked up a 4-3 shootout loss against the New York Rangers Saturday night.”

Nik Nanos, who is the president of Nanos research is himself a “long-suffering Leafs fan”. He stated that the results of the recent poll show are “not a very good endorsement of Brian Burke and the direction (of the team)…I think this speaks to the frustration Torontonians have related to the team.”

Sorry Leafs Nation. We are right there with you feeling your pain. We know it’s not easy cheering a team that continuously lets you down. But we can’t give up hope. Here’s hoping the Leafs make into the playoffs before Quebec City does!

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26 Mar

Quebec City Eyeing NHL Return

Posted in News on 26.03.12 by John Meloche

It should come as no surprise that if there is one thing that we love around here, at Synergy Marketing Consultants, it’s our great promotional products. However, if there are two things that we love around here, it’s our great promo products…and hockey! In recent weeks, we have blogged (or more accurately ‘boohooed’) about the woes of our beloved Toronto Maple Leafs.

Yes, it certainly appears, at this point, as if Torontonians will be experiencing yet another hockey season without a playoff run. With six games left to play in the season and the Leafs sitting in 13th spot in the Eastern Conference (only the top 8 make it to the playoffs) the season is pretty much done. At this rate, Quebec City’s team will be making it into the playoffs before the Leafs do.

What’s that you say? Quebec City doesn’t have an NHL team? Well it is true that the city has been without NHL hockey since the Nordiques left to become the Colorado Avalanche back in 1995. But recent reports are indicating that the city may be on the verge of welcoming the NHL back to the city by 2015.

According to a QMI Agency report published yesterday, Quebec City along with Quebecor Media are planning to build an NHL-calibre arena that will seat about 18,000 people. Upwards of $400 million is planned to be thrown towards the project. It is proposed that the new arena will be located on the site of the old Quebec City Hippodrome.

With the Winnipeg Jets about to wrap up their first NHL season since 1996, hopes are high that Canada will welcome back yet another long lost hockey franchise. But is the NHL looking to expand? Not according to the league’s commissioner, Gary Bettman. The league, which is currently home to 30 teams, is apparently as big as it is going to get.

Said Bettman: “We aren’t talking expansion because we are not planning an expansion. We are comfortable with 30 teams…We don’t like moving teams and, currently, there are no teams available. Maybe one day the circumstances will allow for one but for now, there is nothing available.”

According to QMI, the mere fact that Quebec City is building an NHL-calibre arena makes the city next in line if a current team becomes available for relocation. It just happened in Winnipeg, so it is possible it could happen again for Quebec City. Leafs fans, however, are wishing an NHL-calibre hockey team would return back to Toronto!

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23 Mar

Touting The Twitter Takeover

Posted in News on 23.03.12 by John Meloche

In yesterday’s blog, we began celebrating the sixth birthday of one of the world’s most popular social networking sites – Twitter. It’s hard to believe that just six years (and a couple of days) ago, Twitter didn’t even exist. Now with 100 million users worldwide – a number that is rapidly growing, mind you – it’s hard to imagine a world without Twitter.

So what’s the big deal about a site that only allows you to send out messages that are limited to 140 characters? Quite a lot, evidently. The Toronto Star‘s Alyshah Hasham released an article earlier this week detailing the many wonders of Twitter as it relates to the world of business.

A free source of advertising, Twitter allows companies to personally communicate with their customers. At Synergy, we proudly do just that by having our Twitter account updated each and every day with a link to a new blog. This helps to generate more traffic to our website and promo products catalogue. Of course, that’s not the only way that Twitter helps businesses.

As Hasham points out, the power of word of mouth promotion is made all the more stronger thanks to Twitter. If you get a positive review from a customer on Twitter, you’re pretty much guaranteed that the good word will spread like wildfire. The concept of replying and retweeting helps for messages to be passed on rapidly throughout the online world.

Interestingly, Twitter also helps for business owners to evaluate employees. As Hasham writes, “Being able to see a person’s tweets is a great resource for employers, though it does mean that job seeker’s have to be a monitor for their social media use, and remember that what goes online, stays online for the most part.”

Twitter also helps companies track the competition. It allows you to keep an eye on what your competitors are up to. After all, Twitter’s main purpose is for users to keep followers updated with what they are doing. How does your competition interact with its customers? Can you use this information to improve upon your customer relations?

Twitter, says Hasham, has also become a place where job seekers can go to in order to prepare for interviews. Candidates can follow other employees who work for the company to get an inside scoop on how things work there. They, of course, can openly communicate with would-be co-workers to get pointers, if necessary.

Twitter has undoubtedly changed the way that people of the world communicate with each other. In six short years, it has become a societal norm, providing us with such new terminologies as “hashtag”. The reference has become part of our speech for whenever people wish to underscore a particular topic of conversation or drive home a point. For example, #coolblog!

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22 Mar

Twitter Turns Six!

Posted in News on 22.03.12 by John Meloche

For many people, living without social media is unimaginable. So, it’s hard to believe that just six short years ago, the first-ever tweet was being sent out. It was done so by Twitter co-founder, Jack Dorsey, who didn’t even exhaust his 140-character limit with his tweet: “Just setting up my twttr.”

As The Toronto Star‘s Alyshah Hasham reported yesterday, the company had only five employees back in 2006. Today, they have more than 800 and plan to expand to at least 1,000 by the end of 2012. Just shortly after the first three years of Twitter’s existence, a total of one billion tweets had been sent out by users worldwide.

Just last year, however, 60 billion tweets were made. Think Twitter is growing much? With over 100 million users worldwide, it is evident that tweeting is quickly becoming a staple in today’s world of communication. What was once proposed as a way to keep people updated on what they were up to has become so much more today.

As Hasham explains, people use Twitter to both document and participate in just about everything that is going on in the world. Whether it is commenting on current events, sharing photos or getting involved in popular and sometimes heated debates, Twitter has become the go-to destination for all those who wish to share what is on their minds.

Needless to say, Twitter has also become a hero in the business world. This wouldn’t be the first time we’ve made mention of the micro blogging site’s ability to be an outstanding promotional tool. As you may know, we do have our very own Twitter profile for Synergy Marketing Consultants, which is constantly updated with each of our blog posts.

In Hasham’s article, she points out that Twitter has changed the way businesses work in a number of ways. The site has become the venue for focus groups in that it allows business professionals to comment upon important topics that are relevant to their industry. Tweets give entrepreneurs the opportunity to engage in conversations that are bound to bring attention to their companies.

Clearly, Twitter allows companies to interact with their customers. It has become an incredible new source of advertising that literally costs nothing. The site “humanizes” companies by encouraging feedback from customers and would-be clients. It gives companies a real voice.

In tomorrow’s blog, we’ll take a look at a few more ways that Twitter has dramatically changed the world of business in the past six years. Its extremely simple concept has provided many great benefits to both large companies and entrepreneurs all over the world. Happy Birthday Twitter! And thank you!

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21 Mar

Time For Summer Sizzlers!

Posted in Promotional Products on 21.03.12 by John Meloche

The scent of summer is definitely in the air! Even though today is the day that marks the official end of winter and the beginning of spring, it feels like summer is already here. At least, if you are living in Toronto – home of Synergy Marketing Consultants headquarters – the warmth and sunshine of the past week has made it seem like it’s time to throw a barbeque.

Hmmm, maybe that’s not such a bad idea, after all. Speaking of not-so-bad ideas, your business could definitely use the warm weather to its advantage through a new marketing campaign, don’t you think? On Monday, we blogged about ways that you can invite more customers into your stores by commemorating the spring season.

However, there are also ways to welcome the warmth by offering your clients promotional gifts that will help them to enjoy it even that much more. As we’ve always said, choosing the right promotional gift is an important step in the plan to build your customer base. You want to make sure that the gift is appropriate to your industry and therefore, your target audience.

But, it’s hard to go wrong with our Summer Sizzlers! Check out this section of our website to peruse through a variety of great gifts that are perfect for the warm weather seasons that we seem to be experiencing already. No matter your industry, we are sure that these gifts will delight your customers all summer long.

The Europa Sport Sunglasses are perfect examples of such gifts. An awesome companion to bring along with you whether you are driving or participating in your favourite sporting activity, these shades are equipped with UV400 protection. They also come with a draw string pouch to protect the shades from any damage while they are not in use.

The 16oz Freezer Mugs are awesome for just about any occasion. But they certainly fit right in at barbeques or taking in the games this summer. Without ice, this mug will still ensure that your drinks are kept icy cold. Completely safe to keep in the freezer, these mugs also come in a classy white gift box.

The spring and summer seasons provide opportune times to head outdoors for some exercise. Our Stainless Steel Water Bottles with Straws are ideal ways to keep hydrated while doing so. They are also completely BPA Free so you will be doing your part to protect the environment by using these instead of store-bought, dispensable water bottles.

Call us up at 1-877-748-9884 to put in your order for one of our great Summer Sizzlers today. Remember that each of these great gifts allow space for your company name and logo. Like our many other gifts, these awesome summer items are made to please. They are great ways to thank your customers. And they will thank you for them in return, well beyond the summer.

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20 Mar

Synergy Smarting After Leafs Loss

Posted in News on 20.03.12 by John Meloche

Can it get any worse than an 8-0 drubbing? Well, we suppose 9-0 would technically be worse, right? But after last night’s humiliating loss to the defending Stanley Cup Champion Boston Bruins, the Toronto Maple Leafs have all but sealed their fate. Playoffs? What playoffs? In what began as a hopeful, yet promising start to the season, the Leafs’ campaign is practically over.

“It’s painful,” said a blue-and-white bleeding Synergy rep this morning, “You’d think by now that we could develop a playoff contender. (General Manager) Brian Burke doesn’t seem to know what to do to get this team back to glory. Maybe no one can. I’m seriously starting to hate being a Leafs fan. It’s bad enough I get teased by friends for still supporting this team. Sitting through games like the one last night, though – that’s torture!”

Sports reporter for The Toronto Star, Kevin McGran likened last night’s game to the Boston Massacre. He noted that the Leafs hadn’t been beaten this badly since Wayne Gretzky’s Edmonton Oilers handed the team eight goals in the first two periods of a 1987 meeting. How things have not changed.

“It’s disappointing,” added another one of our heartbroken staff members, “Year in and year out, we cheer for the Leafs only to be bitterly let down. You’d think with the changes to both the team and the coaching staff that maybe there would be some improvement. It’s crazy how some teams worse than us some years become excellent teams the following years. We just can’t seem to get off the ground.”

“They looked bad out there,” chimed in another soon-to-be-ex-Leaf-fan, “The defense was lacking, the goalies couldn’t get it together. You can tell (Leafs coach) Carlyle is already under a huge amount of pressure. I don’t think he’ll be able to turn things around. Not for this season anyway, that’s for sure.”

On TSN’s website, coach Randy Carlyle’s frustrations with last night’s performance was made evident. He was quoted as saying that his team made “one mistake after another. It seemed like we were playing in our boots and (the Bruins) were playing in their skates.” So what to do if you’re a Leafs fan?

“Join us,” gloated a transplanted Ottawa Senators fan, “It’s about time you realize you’re all losers!”. The Senators – the Leafs’ hated Ontario-rival – currently sit seventh in the Eastern Conference. With 84 points, at present, the team seems to be playoff-bound – although nothing is for certain just yet. “If one thing is for certain,” he teased, “It’s that the Leafs will be watching the playoffs from home.”

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19 Mar

Spring Into Action!

Posted in Synergy Suggestions on 19.03.12 by John Meloche

The City of Toronto has been experiencing some excellent spring time weather as of late, and the staff, here at Synergy Marketing Consultants, couldn’t be happier. “It almost had a summer feel this past weekend,” mentioned one of our staff members early this morning, “I saw people outside in shorts and t-shirts. I couldn’t believe it was still March and that I was in Toronto.”

Meanwhile, reports had come out this past weekend from CNN, among other news sources, that there was heavy snowfall in Arizona! We’re not exactly sure what to make of that…but we do know one thing…spring is definitely on its way, here at home! With spring making its official appearance later this week, we thought that we’d “spring” into some exciting ways to have your business enjoy the new season.

Attracting new customers is always something that business owners should be thinking about, of course, but the coming of the new season should bring about a new advertising strategy. On AvocadoConsulting.com, business expert, Biana Babinsky writes of some key ways that entrepreneurs can use the impending spring season to their advantage.

One of the most obvious ways to welcome spring – as well as new customers – is to brightly design your store to give it a fresher, spring-like appearance. There’s no reason that the warm new season should not be celebrated through putting up decorations much like you would for the holiday season. Babinsky writes that such displays will entice customers to drop in to buy items that will “accelerate the arrival of a new season.”

She goes on to note that “springtime is associated with rebirth and a new beginning”, so it’s important to give your place of business that “new” feel that will encourage customers to visit and check out what’s new with your business. Naturally, this should be promoted. Babinsky writes of three ways to achieve this.

1. Feature your springtime product line on the front page of a flyer. It goes without saying that customers will be in need of springtime items at this time of year. Clothing retailers, for example, know this all too well. In addition to new clothes, there are many other products including everything from umbrellas to patio furniture that will garner greater attention. If you have such items, make them feature products in the advertising of your store!

2. Tie your promotions into the season. You don’t have to sell products to take advantage of spring. If you are in the service industry, offering season-appropriate specials is a great way to boost business. Babinsky suggests that dry cleaners, for example, offer discounts on the cleaning of sweaters and winter jackets.

3. Remind your customers that spring has arrived! It’s as simple as wishing your customers a “happy spring”! It may sound like an odd thing to do, but it’s hard to discredit a cheerful voice. Putting people in a good mood is perhaps the best way to generate more business. Babnisky recommends putting out a newsletter commemorating spring including, of course, news about your spring themed products and services. Happy spring!

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