09 Feb

6 Steps To Ensure Your Home-Based Business Success

Posted in Synergy Suggestions on 09.02.15 by John Meloche

Safe real estate“Small is beautiful,” says Rosalind Resnick on Entrepreneur.com. And we, at Synergy Marketing, couldn’t agree more! With small business owners all over Canada making up the majority of our client base, we know just how hard they work and how dedicated they are to their customers. Small business is the backbone of our nation, as far as we’re concerned. And we’re very happy to know that our promotional products help for so many small businesses to grow.

Some small business owners have businesses so small that they don’t even have a business location to speak of. There’s nothing at all wrong with that, by the way. Some of the most successful entrepreneurs in Canada operate from home. And home-based business owners, arguably, have to work harder than their industry counterparts. That’s because they often have it harder. As a result, there are a few steps that home-based business owners should take to ensure success. Here are six.

1. Focus on a single product or service. According to Resnick, it’s important to develop a speciality that your brand can be known for. “Market it, sell it, promote it – do everything you can to increase sales of that one product or service,” she insists. She recognizes that it may be tempting to expose all of the great products and services that you may be able to provide, but it’s a lot less risky to pick a product or two that you know you can execute really well.

2. Find ways to increase sales to your existing customers. It’s very often said that marketing to your existing customers is a lot easier and more profitable than attempting to secure new ones. And this goes double for the home-based business owner. Focus on selling more to the customers that you already have. “One easy way to do this is through volume discounts,” Resnick advises, “Another common practice is to reward loyal customers by giving them a punch card that entitles them to a free product or service for every 10 items they buy.”

3. Hire someone to help you out. Just because you run a home-based business doesn’t mean you have to run it alone. In fact, you could certainly make use of all the help you can get. Resnick suggests you secure the assistance of “an employee, a freelancer, an intern, an independent contractor (or) even your kids. Not only does this free up cash flow by adjusting your expenses to the level of work you bring in, but it also enables you to cultivate a large network of talented people you probably couldn’t afford to hire full time.”

4. Create a website to advertise your company or sell products online. To be honest, this particular tip should probably have topped the list. Not only should all companies have websites, but a home-based business owner practically depends on it. After all, with no official storefront, how else do you plan on getting your products and services to your clients? “Thanks to the Internet, it’s no longer necessary to open a store to reach retail customers,” Resnick reminds us.

5. Join forces with another business to promote your company. Partnering up with someone in a related industry is an excellent idea for an entrepreneur in your position. It’s also “one of the cheapest and easiest forms of marketing that you can employ,” Resnick insists. It also serves as a great form of word-of-mouth promotion as other business owners who have secured relationships with their clients will be deemed as reputable when they are recommending you. This goes a long way.

6. Show off your expertise. To get ahead in your marketplace, you’ll have to show how special you are. Resnick suggests that you send out e-mail newsletters, do guest-speaking gigs or teach a class. “Grassroots marketing techniques cost far less and are often much more effective,” she writes, “Most chambers of commerce and community groups are more than happy to provide a forum to a local business owner who’s willing to share his expertise at no charge.”

And, by the way, don’t forget to order up some great promotional gifts with your business logo on them by calling Synergy Marketing at 1-877-748-9884!

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18 Aug

3 Fantastic Ideas To Grow Your Business

Posted in Synergy Suggestions on 18.08.14 by John Meloche

Depositphotos_25582973_xsAll business owners want to grow their businesses. It’s the tie that binds them all. You see, it’s one thing to run a business, but it’s another thing to run a successful business. So what exactly is the difference between the two? Successful business owners embrace change and continually adopt new ways to grow their brands. They’re constantly thinking of new ideas to reach more customers, learning to be able to address their ever-changing needs.

Growing a business isn’t easy, of course. It takes a lot of planning and working hard to carry out those plans. It takes speaking with customers to learn about what they’d like to receive from the business. Who better than your customers to teach you how to improve things, right? On Bplans.com, Deborah Sweeney speaks to this point by listing a few ways that business owners can grow their companies. Her first point highlights the importance of customer service.

1. Give your sales team a customer service pep talk. “Exceptional customer service is something that separates the okay businesses from the great businesses, the businesses that have a pretty even flow of customers and the businesses that have customers coming back for years and recommending friends along the way,” she writes, “Customers want to feel like favourites or regulars within an establishment and feel like they belong there.”

She encourages company owners to have their staff members “brush up on their conversation skills.” It includes having genuine and friendly conversations with customers so that they feel as though they are friends and not just numbers. Getting to know your customers will go a long way in securing their loyalty. This is a point we’ve made a number of times in our blog. It really is all about your customers.

2. Vow not to complicate things. “Sometimes, employees and business owners will devote too much time into thinking about what direction they want to take a project in, and not enough to the actual project,” writes Sweeney. This is true. Too often, people put so much thought into their planning that they actually forget to carry those plans out by a specific date. This isn’t much different than procrastination.

She admits that “starting a project is the hardest part” so be sure to get your plans off of the ground within a specific timeframe that you’ve set out for yourself. “You can always go back and make some changes and edits,” reminds Sweeney. Deadlines are actually important elements of a good business plan. It’s important to use your time wisely so that you’re carrying out your plans by a certain date.

3. Work on new business only until 11am. To reiterate that last point, Simon Reynolds of Forbes.com writes that “too often entrepreneurs get caught up in all this non sales related activity then suddenly realize the day has ended and the company once again has not increased its revenue.” So just as important as it is to set deadlines for your plans to be carried out, you should set limits on the amount of work you put into your plans each day.

After all, you do still have to tend to the day-to-day requirements of your company for its current customers, right? “One of the best ways to do that is to have a rule that you and the key stakeholders in your company spend their mornings until 11am on income increasing activities,” recommends Reynolds, “Unless you do this important stuff first each day you will usually find it doesn’t get done at all.”

In tomorrow’s blog, we’ll continue our look at some more fantastic ideas to grow your business.

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21 Aug

Taking The Right Steps To Naming Your Business

Posted in Synergy Suggestions on 21.08.13 by John Meloche

namingIn yesterday’s blog, we started up the topic of naming your business. If you’re a new business owner, you may already be well aware of just how hard a task this can be. It’s not quite the same as naming a newborn baby, believe it or not. There are copyright and trademark laws to consider. And there are other factors including what you want to communicate to your audience to keep in mind.

On Entrepreneur.com, there are a number of tips provided to help new business owners decide upon ways to name their new businesses. From enlisting the help of experts to considering the type of message your business wants to send to the public, there are various ways to approach this matter. In today’s blog, we’ll continue our look at the tips listed on the site.

Get Creative. Perhaps, it’s easier to completely make up a word that is all your own. As the site points out, it seems as if every existing word in the world has been trademarked somehow. So why not come up with a “coined name”? Entrepreneur.com lists Compaq and Acura as examples. Both were named by the naming firm, NameLab. Michael Barr, the company’s president, explains how those business names were coined.

“‘Acura’ has no dictionary definition,” explains the site, “but the word suggests precision engineering, just as the company intended. NameLab’s team created the name Acura from ‘Acu,’ a word segment that means ‘precise’ in many languages. By working with meaningful word segments (what linguists call morphemes) like ‘Acu,’ Barr says the company produces new words that are both meaningful and unique.”

Test Your Name. Part of the entire naming process is making sure you can use it after all. Once you’ve gotten down to about four or five names, do a trademark search. Entrepreneur.com admits that not all names need to be trademarked as long as the government gives you the green light to use your name of choice. Nevetheless, you may want to consider trademarking it yourself.

The last thing you want is to have gone through the long process of selecting the perfect name for your brand only to have it taken by someone else. Going through legal battles and facing infringement lawsuits aren’t very much fun. That goes for you or the person you may need to take to court. Do yourself the favour and spend the money now on making sure your name is yours and yours alone.

Final Analysis. “If you’re lucky, you’ll end up with three to five names that pass all your tests,” says Entrepreneur.com. So if you actually have a few ready-to-use names to choose from, how do you make your final decision? Consider what your original criteria was, advises the site. What name best describes your company? What word best connotes how you want people to feel about your business?

Some business owners simply go with their gut. Some do consumer research or testing with focus groups. Perhaps you just need to read each name aloud or write them all down to see what they may look like on big signs. Once your decision is made, your business will be ready to take its first steps into the real world. And you’ll be ready to print its name on the promotional product of your choice!

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