28 Sep

Keep Doing Your Thing

Posted in Synergy Suggestions on 28.09.12 by John Meloche

In yesterday’s blog, we took a look at a Lucy Whittington article on BeingABusinessCelebrity.com. She writes that there are some tell-tale signs that business owners are “doing their thing”. Admittedly, the Synergy Marketing Blog may not include enough posts about happiness. We tend to focus on overall business success in the tips we often dole out.

But what is success if you’re not happy? Do you enjoy the work you do? Whittington writes that being excited about your work, missing it when you take a break from it and wanting to tell everyone about it are surefire examples of how it feels when you are truly doing your thing with your business. But what other signs are there?

No one else does it quite the way you do. We mentioned yesterday, that you shouldn’t brag about yourself. But hey, if you’re the best at what you do, you may as well flaunt it! The best way to do that, though, is to take pride in the uniqueness of the work you do. There must be something about you and your business that sets it apart from all the rest.

Highlight that and let it shine to each and every customer who walks through your doors. If no one else does what you do quite the way you do, you know that you’re doing your thing, says Whittington. Be clear on what your way is and stand by it. Your uniqueness will help you to stand out.

You can’t help it. A guaranteed way to know you’re in the right line of work? “You know you’d do this even if you didn’t get paid for it,” says Whittington. Your work should come as second nature to you. It’s so you that you can’t help yourself. You feel like you were made to do what you do. When you can’t help it, you know you’re doing your thing!

But just as much as there are tell-tale signs that you’re doing your thing, there are also some signs that show that you are not! When you feel that you have to force yourself to do something, your work becomes hard. This is not to be confused with “working hard”, Whittington assures us.

But if it feels like you’re pushing to get something done, mainly for the sake of just getting it done, you may be in the wrong line of work. Your work shouldn’t be annoying – another sign that you’re not doing your thing. When your work is simply a drag and no longer a joy to do, you may have to look at doing something else.

Writes Whittington: “When it gets too annoying you’ll do something about it. But for now you might be putting up with the annoying. You’ll be justifying why you can’t give up doing what you’re good at. You’ll tell yourself it doesn’t matter that you’re not doing your thing.”

Here’s hoping your work makes you happy and that you’ll be “doing your thing” for a long time!

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27 Sep

True Success Is Found In Happiness

Posted in Synergy Suggestions on 27.09.12 by John Meloche

Here’s an understatement for you: it’s important to be happy. Why would you do something if it didn’t make you happy, right? But, do you ever bump into friends, ask them how they’re doing and hear “same thing, different day” as a response? We feel sorry for those kinds of people. Who can live such a monotonous life?

At Synergy Marketing, we strive to be innovative so that our customers can experience different things on different days. In other words, we work to make sure that with a growing client base, each of our own clients may experience a new and recharged energy and sense of excitement when they go to work each day.

How can you tell when things are going well? Of course, you can look at your bottom line. If you’re turning a profit, then things must be good, right? But how do you FEEL about the work you do? Does it bring you joy? Or is it a nuisance to get up to go to work every morning?

On BeingABusinessCelebrity.com, Lucy Whittington writes that you really know that you are “doing your thing” when you are experiencing some tell-tale signs. We’d like to explore these signs in today’s blog. Because if you’re not feeling any of these signs, it’s time for you to change the thing you’re doing!

You’re excited! Do you love waking up in the morning knowing what you have in front of you each day? If you look forward to the “work” you have to do, it won’t feel like it is work at all! When you are excited about the work you do, you will excite those around you. Your work shouldn’t feel like work. It should feel your gateway to greater success and happiness.

You miss it. Do you ever feel a sense of loss or longing when you are not working? We all need vacations. And there is always a reason to take a break. Refocusing, recharging and relaxing are all important. But when you miss what it is you do, you know you are doing what you’re supposed to be doing in your career.

You want to tell everyone about it. “When you’re doing your thing, you can’t help yourself,” writes Whittington. Your blogger knows about this all too-well. A self-admitted blabbermouth, your blogger sure can talk up a storm about his business exploits. That doesn’t mean bragging is recommended.

But encouraging others to follow their dreams because you know how happy it makes you to do the same can be very inspiring to other like-minded entrepreneurs. Sometimes, your story is all that may be needed to push someone in the right direction. Moreover, talking about your business will remind you of your accomplishments and motivate you to continue moving forward.

We’ll conclude our look at these tell-tale signs that you’re “doing your thing” in tomorrow’s blog.

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26 Sep

Take A Stand On Standing Out

Posted in Synergy Suggestions on 26.09.12 by John Meloche

In yesterday’s blog, we discussed a few questions that entrepreneurs can ask themselves to help determine ways they can make their companies more unique. On Masterful-Marketing.com, Debra Murphy posed these questions in order to get business owners thinking. It shouldn’t be enough that your company provides good products and services.

Instead, business owners should strive to stand out amongst their competition by providing customers with something they simply can’t get anywhere else. According to Murphy, “The challenge for service businesses is to clearly identify what you do best in a way that is visible to your target…Stand out by really understanding what you do best and exploit it. Or come up with something unique that adds value over your competition that you can offer.”

So how can you do that? Murphy lists a number of suggestions that we’d like to review in today’s blog. As always, we enjoy adding our own two cents to these points in the hopes that such insight will provide encouragement to our clients, colleagues and friends alike. After all, it’s our job to help our clients stand out from their competition!

Create offers that are too hard to ignore. Murphy asks, “Can you package your services to add so much value that people just have to have it?” What must-take-advantage-of-it deal can you come up with? You likely offer similar products and services as other businesses. But can you package them in a way that no one else does? Add value, and you will add customers.

Be known as the expert in your discipline. Sometimes standing out means standing above. In other words, it might be time to prove that you’re a leader. “Author articles, books and other information products,” advises Murphy. Show that you are an authority within your industry. This will gain you some well-deserved recognition for your knowledge and years of experience.

Offer benefits that are free for you but add value or convenience for your prospects. This could be as simple as taking the products directly to your customers’ cars for them after a purchase. It may also include a follow-up phone call to ensure that the product or service is pleasing the client who paid for it. Give your clients the sense that you care. It can go a long way.

“Try not to differentiate on price,” warns Murphy, as you should not aspire to be “the cheapest”. People are generally willing to pay for top-of-the-line products, so you want to ensure that your customer base knows that they are getting quality from you. “Cheap” connotes lower expectations. This is isn’t the kind of “different” you should be looking for.

Writes Murphy: “Cheaper can evoke perceptions of lower quality, less breadth of knowledge, or a less stable business environment. Figure out a better way to differentiate.” Here’s one more tip. Call up one of our experienced sales reps to find out how our unique promotional gifts can help provide your company with a sense of uniqueness. They work! Dial 1-877-748-9884.

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25 Sep

Differentiate To Be Truly Great

Posted in Synergy Suggestions on 25.09.12 by John Meloche

It is pretty evident that Apple Inc. has its proverbial fingers on the pulse of society. It knows what society wants and it certainly delivers. Massive orders of their recently-released iPhone 5 is proof of that. And if it isn’t their phones, it is their iPads and iPods that are changing the way people communicate and consume entertainment every day.

It goes without saying that Apple is an innovative company, continually looking for new ways to impress and dazzle the public. What this means, of course, is big time dollar signs for the brand. And while you may not necessarily be attempting to take your company to Apple-like levels, it’s still important to consider ways that you can stand out from your competition.

On Masterful-Marketing.com, Debra Murphy asks “what makes your business different?” She admits that many entrepreneurs hate being asked that question. But perhaps having a solid answer will help lessen the nervousness that comes when being asked. After all, shouldn’t you want your business to be unique?

“Differentiation makes your business memorable and credible,” says Murphy, “You want a prospect to be able to quickly understand what you do and what sets you apart from your competitors.” Accomplishing this, she admits, isn’t all that easy. It requires a lot of thought, brainstorming and often trial and error. Murphy recommends that you ask yourself a few questions.

Number 1: What do your clients really appreciate about your service? Listen to your customers. When they provide feedback, consider it a free consultation. Whether it’s good or bad, it will help you to shape your company into the perfect business you’ve always dreamed of. Notice what common denominators stick out when you get feedback from your clients. Take measures to change whatever is necessary.

Number 2: Why are long term clients still with you? Is it your products? Is it your services? Or is it (hopefully) a healthy combination of both? What about them, however, make them unique? What you offer should be something that your clients feel they can ONLY get from you. Ask your long term clients about what makes your company their top choice. Highlight their answers. Focus on them going forward.

Number 3: What was one of the nicest things a client ever said about how you conduct business? You can base an entire advertising campaign around this. Not only can you run a contest by asking for testimonials that you may be able to turn into a slogan, but it will help you to truly figure out what separates your company from its competition. It will also make you feel pretty good too!

In tomorrow’s blog, we’ll review a few of Murphy’s tips on how you can ensure that you differentiate your company from all the rest.

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24 Sep

Let The iPhone 5 Craze Begin

Posted in News on 24.09.12 by John Meloche

As a business owner, there is no doubt that you are constantly thinking of ways to have your company grow in popularity. Apple Inc. was recently reported as the most successful company of all time. And this announcement came before the launch of the company’s new iPhone 5.

The new phone – and let’s be honest, calling it a “phone” doesn’t really do the device justice – was finally released this past Friday after many months of anticipation from gadget junkies everywhere. And while some people don’t understand what all the fuss is about (this blogger being one of them), crowds arrived at Apple stores in droves.

As reported by Vanessa Lu of The Toronto Star last Friday, people looking to get their hands on the new iPhone were lined up outside of the Eaton Centre in downtown Toronto waiting for the doors to open at 8 a.m. The iPhone 5 craze was apparently being felt at malls all over the world as well.

As mentioned, the iPhone 5 is no ordinary phone. Lu reveals that it also takes panorama photos and can create 3D images. It can be used to play music and watch videos. But can’t other phones do that as well? Honestly, what’s all of the fuss about? Is the new iPhone 5 really worth the reported thousand dollar cost?

Ava Zack sure thinks so. The 23-year-old showed up at the Eaton Centre as early as 6 a.m. so she could upgrade from her iPhone 4. “I’m a huge fan girl,” she said, “I basically buy on the first day. I’ve been using a Mac since I was 3.” A self-admitted “geek”, Zack was only too excited to leave the store with her new prized possession. And she wasn’t the only one.

Lu reported that “Apple received 2 million orders in the first 24 hours of announcing its release date, more than twice the number for the iPhone4S in the same period when that phone launched a year ago.” The iPhone 5, she notes, is thinner, lighter and has a taller screen. It also has a faster processor and upgraded software.

The new device also has Apple’s new mapping software, although there have been a number of complaints about its inaccuracies. Still, many people are loyal to Apple – as if they work for, part-own or actually have stock in the company. At least, this is what one of our staff members thinks.

“Some people around the office engage in ‘smartphone’ wars,” he laughed, “They actually tease BlackBerry users as if they have some kind of personal problem with Apple’s competition. If you ask me, all of these phones are too expensive. As long as you can keep in touch with you need to keep in touch with, what’s the big deal?”

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21 Sep

Take Your Business In A New Direction

Posted in Synergy Suggestions on 21.09.12 by John Meloche

All week long, we have been discussing ways that business owners can keep their entrepreneurial spirits high during tough times. This requires a strong will. It also requires determination and confidence. But these are traits that can dwindle when things don’t go the way you expected.

So how can we keep spirits up? Anne-Marie Rennick’s article on PowerHomeBiz.com has been providing some excellent insight for us this week. It serves as a reminder to all business owners that that successes (and failures) of their companies are truly in their hands. So there are definitely things that you can do to decide its fate.

Become your own best compass. In other words, keep up with current events. Be in the know. This will help you to be a leader. According to Rennick, by reading media reports and watching the latest trends, you will help yourself to develop the type of gut instinct necessary to know what works and what doesn’t work for your business.

How else can you become an expert in your field without keeping an ear to the ground? It’s important to know what people are thinking. What do they need? What do they want? How can you make it so that each time a customer enters your place of business, you are literally solving one of his or her problems?

Read great books. We’ve been hearing this piece of advice since elementary school, haven’t we? Of course, you can never read enough. There is a wealth of knowledge out there and doing yourself the favour of soaking up as much of it as you can will go a long way. And don’t think you don’t have the time!

Rennick writes that you should choose books that “remind you of the hope, the opportunities and the possibilities (and) read these books first thing in the morning and last thing at night so that you recharge your brain when it is most receptive to this kind of information.”

We hope that this week’s collection of blogs have served you well. As always, the Synergy Marketing Blog works to not only connect with our company’s clients, but help them as well. Remember that our amazing staff is only too eager to provide you with the help your company may need to take itself to new heights.

Our promo products have worked wonders for so many entrepreneurs before. And they can help you as well! Give us a call at 1-877-748-9884 and talk to one of our reps about the various promo products that will best suit the needs of your company. It may be the boost your business has been looking for.

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20 Sep

Take Hold Of Your Future Success

Posted in Synergy Suggestions on 20.09.12 by John Meloche

Running a business can be tough. This is especially true when unexpected circumstances arise. All week, we have been discussing the possibility of an NHL lockout. In 2005, the shutting of the league for a full season impacted many businesses negatively. For a number of them, no hockey meant less customers.

On PowerHomeBiz.com, Anne-Marie Rennick writes that hope should never be lost. There are ways to raise your entrepreneurial spirits during challenging times. We’ve been studying Rennick’s list of ways to do so over the past couple of days and would like to continue sharing her ideas with our opinions added in. So let’s pick up where we left off.

Clean-up. Sometimes, it’s all about starting over. And not necessarily from scratch. A good clean-up can help you feel rejuvenated and energized for the next step of your career. And what is there to clean exactly? Everything, says Rennick. Computer files and programs, accounting, calendars, emails and even your furniture.

A literal clean-up of your business space may also be in order. “Vacuum the dust bunnies,” says Rennick, “Get rid of anything you haven’t touched in three months. Clean, clean, clean.” You don’t have to wait until spring for the traditional cleaning job that most undertake. Do it now!

Make a choice. According to Rennick, “you have a choice in how you react to the events that happen every day.” So, right away, a negative attitude is only bound to bring about more negativity. Of course, it is only natural to be upset about issues that may disrupt the course of your regular business activities. But, perhaps, looking at these issues as opportunities is more advantageous.

Explore new possibilities, says Rennick. With each choice you make, you should be able to “feel the courage and conviction of your entrepreneurial spirit.” You never know. A seemingly bad situation may be just what you need to come up with a great new idea to take your business in a great new direction.

Take the pressure off. Sometimes you just need to breathe. Take a moment to reflect on all of the positive things you have done with your company and use that time as motivation to move forward with new ideas. You’ve come this far, so you know that you are more than capable!

Writes Rennick: “When we are feeling threatened or pressured our thinking is less clear and our actions less rationale. Look at consolidating debts, or cutting back on your inventory orders, or sell unnecessary assets or apply for a credit line when you don’t need it. All of these will help to ease the anxiety that usually lurks somewhere between the bottom-line and the cash flow projections.”

We’ll conclude our look at this list of inspiring ideas in tomorrow’s blog.

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19 Sep

Become A Warrior, Not A Worry Wart

Posted in Synergy Suggestions on 19.09.12 by John Meloche

In yesterday’s blog, we began to take a look at an article by Anne-Marie Rennick on PowerHomeBiz.com. In it, she explores a number of ways that business owners can stay motivated during tough times. There is never a reason to give up on your business. At least, this is the message her article gives.

We just so happen to agree with her. So we’d like to continue looking at this list, in an effort to raise the entrepreneurial spirits of those who may feel like their businesses are about to take some big hits. You know, like in a hockey game? Except, that’s the problem! A possible NHL lockout is bad for many businesses. However, hope should not be lost.

Reconnect with your customers, suppliers and employees. This is so very important. Remember that you are part of a team. And your business cannot function if each member of your team isn’t properly playing his or her position. As Rennick puts it, “you do not operate in a vacuum.”

That means that it’s important to reconnect with everyone who helps your business to prosper. Make a human connection, insists Rennick. This means taking the extra step to personalize your business. Shake hands, make eye contact and smile, she advises. “Provide as much of a sense of stability as possible.”

Get to know the people in your neighborhood. We must admit that we sometimes find it funny when we speak to clients who don’t generally advertise in their immediate surrounding areas. They focus attention on a type of mass marketing that doesn’t necessarily suit the needs of their businesses.

Instead, concentrating on making connections with the people in your neighborhood will help for your company to be a mainstay. Rennick actually recommends that you “join your local Chamber of Commerce, or a networking group and get to know your business neighborhood. You never know – you might find the perfect partner for collaboration.”

Accept 100% responsibility for your survival. In other words, stop making excuses, says Rennick. Look for solutions and stop playing the blame game. It’s easy to point the finger towards others when things go bad. For example, the NHL doesn’t have working business relationships with most restaurants, bars and grills and pubs that we know about.

Meanwhile, many of owners of such establishments are already venting their frustrations about the impending lockout this year. Without hockey, they say, business will greatly suffer. As Rennick writes, “Your desire for success must be greater than the forces that would like to stand in your way. Roar like a lion. Feel your determination. Move boldly forward with the courage of a warrior or warrior princess and the wisdom of the ages.”

We’ll continue to sift through this list of positive ideas in tomorrow’s blog.

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18 Sep

Keeping Spirits Up During Tough Times

Posted in Synergy Suggestions on 18.09.12 by John Meloche

Ladies and gentlemen, fear not. There will be no Synergy Marketing lockout! And while we’re not entirely sure that the National Hockey League will be able to say the same thing this year, we know that business must continue. As we mentioned in yesterday’s blog, many businesses will face great difficulty if the NHL does, in fact, shut down this season.

So, it’s important for entrepreneurs to always consider alternative ways to keep their businesses not only functioning, but profiting. As always, this takes a great deal of work. And promoting your business is a year-round job. There is no off season for business owners. So how do they keep themselves motivated all year?

According to Anne-Marie Rennick on PowerHomeBiz.com, there are a number of ways to keep your entrepreneurial spirit going during challenging times. She lists a number of suggestions that she hopes will help business owners trudge through difficulty. Of course, we hope for the same, and as such, we would like share some of these suggestions with you.

Reflect and reposition. When the going gets tough, sometimes the old things need to get going! Yes, this is a different way to look at the old cliché, but it’s definitely worth doing. As Rennick points out, business owners need to reconnect with their passions and reposition their businesses accordingly.

What this means is that perhaps somewhere along the line, your company lost some of its principles and values. For example, is your restaurant about great food and excellent service? Or is it more about a place to watch hockey? Even if it’s all three, losing out on the third should not negate the first two. Make sure your customers have a good time…all the time!

Collaborate. Working with others can be an awesome venture – if you have the right team. Rennick reminds us to collaborate with others who are doing similar work or those who would compliment the work that you are doing. It’s important, of course, to join forces with someone with a strong and solid reputation.

The objective of collaborating with someone else is to build…not break down. Can you find a way to collaborate with someone so that all parties involved may benefit? Explore your options and see if there isn’t a way to have your company connect with another so that you may both increase profits.

We will continue to take a look at this topic more closely in tomorrow’s blog. And, as always, our great sales reps are standing by to discuss with you the ways in which Synergy’s amazing promotional products can help your company with a new way to increase its customer base. Give them a call at 1-877-748-9884.

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17 Sep

Looming NHL Lockout Lousy For Businesses

Posted in News on 17.09.12 by John Meloche

Another NHL lockout? Don’t say those words around the Synergy Marketing offices! It’s sure to rile up more than one of our usually easy-going employees. Long-time readers of the Synergy Marketing Blog are well aware that our staff is made up of many hockey fans. Then again, what Canadian group of co-workers isn’t?

The passion for hockey, here at Synergy, is pretty much the type that is shared across the great nation of Canada. So, the idea of another NHL season gone missing is immediately placed in the bad news pile. In 2005, the NHL lost an entire season due to an inability for the league and the National Hockey League Players Association to come to terms on a new collective bargaining agreement.

This was not only a horrific circumstance for hockey fans, but a horrible experience for business owners all over the country. Especially for owners of restaurants, bars and grills and other hot spots where fans go to watch hockey games, business was slower than ever. At Synergy, we heard quite a lot of stories from our clients about how the NHL lockout impacted their companies.

“I remember one restaurant owner feared he may be closing,” recalled one of our reps last week, “His pub was known for hosting hockey games on their big screens. With no hockey to show, his customers began dwindling. Thankfully, his business stayed afloat as he came up with other ideas to draw patrons in. But the lockout hurt him pretty badly.”

Last week, The Toronto Star‘s business reporter, Morgan Campbell commented upon the economic impact that a looming NHL lockout could have on businesses this year. “Individual businesses that depend on NHL games will definitely suffer if the season is canceled or delayed,” he wrote.

He also wrote about Mo Regnier, owner of Great Adventure Tours. Regnier has spent a ton of money buying tickets to the proposed Winter Classic (an outdoor game between the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Detroit Red Wings scheduled for New Year’s Day). His plan was to build tours for fans wishing to attend the game.

So how would an NHL lockout affect his business plans? “There’s no question that the strike looming is affecting plans,” Regnier was quoted as saying, “It’s extremely frustrating. It affects the average person, not just the business person, and it’ll take months if not a year to get all the fans back.”

The current collective bargaining agreement that was settled upon, following the 2005 lockout, expired this past weekend. Will a new one be set in place in time for the beginning of the new NHL season? Hockey fans everywhere have no other option but to wait to find out. Both they and business owners alike are certainly hoping there’s hockey.

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