Know Why Using Multiple Part Inventory Forms Can Make Your Business More Successful

One of the best ways to get ahead of your competition is to consistently look for ways to do things easier but more efficient. Most of the time, business owners who embrace and make use of innovative ways and tools in doing tasks are the ones who make their companies progress faster. So, do you want to be someone who was able to take businesses to greater heights? Then here’s one tip that can really help you out.Inventory is one of the essential aspects of running a company. This statement is even truer if your company is supposed to handle, distribute, and store a great number of products. People who belong in that kind of industry take inventory very seriously and are consistently on the look-out the systems or tolls that they can use in order to make it easier for them. One of the tools that offer that kind of help are multi part inventory forms.

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One example of a multi part form are 3 part inventory forms. This type of form is usually used by companies that handle a considerable number of products in their storage and also by companies who want to make sure that the documentation of their inventory reaches different key departments. The main feature of this type of form is that when the front page is filled out, 2 exact copies of the original one are automatically created. Companies can absolutely save a lot of precious time, energy, and money because of this type of form. And aside from that it will somehow make the inventory process a little less complicated which decreases the chances of committing any form of mistake.If you want to start using 3 part inventory forms for your business, the first thing that you need to keep in mind is that you need to get if from a reliable supplier. There are now a great number of companies that offer standard or custom 3 part inventory form and that makes it quite hard to know which one of them can really give you a great value for your money. This is the reason why you should take your time when choosing an inventory forms supplier to do business with. When you find a company that can provide you with the best and the most affordable forms, then you are already on your way to making your inventory management system more efficient.

Tips For a Successful Holiday Forum Contest

Once again, the holidays are fast approaching. Thousands of Internet marketers are anxiously searching for some innovative ways to get traffic flowing to their site. A holiday forum contest may be just the ticket. It’s the perfect time of year to start planning and advertising for it.

To start things off…there are a few things you will need to take into consideration before attempting to hold a successful contest.

1. For a successful contest you will of course need to have a good amount of active members that would be interested in participating in the competition. People that visit your forum on a weekly or daily basis.

2. Know in advance what type of contest you want to have. (What your members will actually be doing for the competition). Try and be creative with this…as there are lots of ideas to consider.

3. How will you entice your forum members and prospective members to WANT to enter your contest?

The number one thing that your members will immediately ask themselves is of course, “What’s in it for me?”

Well, there are a number of prize ideas that you could offer:

* If it’s financially feasible, you could offer a cash prize.

*A free advertising package would be an excellent prize idea. You will want to make your free advertising package as attractive as possible. If you have more than one website where the member’s link, button, or banner would appear…that would mean double rewards. And who wouldn’t appreciate free advertising?!

* If you operate a direct selling business…you could give away a product package. And to make your give away even better, perhaps offer additional various mix and match freebies.

* Offer free ebooks or ecourses for your business. Marketers will always appreciate prizes such as these. Plus it would be a big boost for your business.

* If you have a “featured business” or a “featured website” section on your website…this would be a great prize to offer. Have the winner of the contest featured in that section for a full month or however many months you choose.

4. Start a poll thread two or three months ahead of time for prospective entries for the contest including full details and reward offers. Offer two options in your poll.

*YES, Count me in!

*I am not interested at this time

5. Advertise for your forum contest. The best places that I have found and also offers the best immediate results are other message forums. A lot of message forums have a specific section just for contests. Start advertising two to three months in advance.

*Place text links and ads for your contest on all your websites.

* Mass email all your forum members about your contest with all the details and award prizes and encourage them to tell others.

* If you have a newsletter, do a write up about the contest.

* If you own any blogs, post blog entries and include all details and award prizes.

There you have it…some helpful tips for a successful forum contest.

One last thing…Have fun with it and be creative. Don’t have an ordinary event that you see everyday on other forums. Try and come up with something extraordinary or unusual. Most importantly…something that you think your members would have a lot of fun doing.

How to Become a Better Marketer & Tips For Your Business Startup

You just launched your business. You make all the operations, finance, and marketing decisions. But how well do you really know your market? Are you doing everything you can to maximize ROI from your campaigns? Many people think they know their market all too well, unfortunately, that is not the case. In this post, I will discuss the various steps you should consider to better understand your market and hopefully maximize your return. The biggest pitfall is lack of planning because people don’t take the time to layout a map of what they need to do. That is why I’ve developed an outline for you to consider when planning for your own business.

Step 1 – Know Your Environment
The first thing you should do is prepare a situation analysis. You should firstly start by looking at past business and marketing plans. The whole point to this step is to analyze your environment. This includes identifying competitors, the various macroeconomic factors that impact your environment and the various driving forces behind these changes. Typically, the driving forces affect legal, technological, and market related factors, so you should be aware of how these changes will affect your environment and hence ability to sell. The next step is for you to prepare a SWOT analysis of your own company. This is an effective tool to analyze your company’s internal strengths and weaknesses, and your external opportunities and threats you could face. One of the most important parts is to consider your competitor’s strengths and weaknesses since that will ultimately help you identify your own competitive advantages.

Step 2 – Objectives
After you understand your environment, your next step should be to formulate your objectives. Your objectives should be unambiguous and very specific. Each objective should cover three broad aspects: What are you trying to accomplish, what and how much do you need to get there, and a specific time frame. Essentially, this ensures your objectives are SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Time bound). An example would be: Increase online sales by 25% by the end of Q1 09. Knowing your objectives means knowing exactly what you want to do.

Step 3 – E-marketing Planning
After you’ve established where your company is and where it should be going, you must prepare the strategic planning process that will outline how your company will get to where you want it to be, that is, to accomplish your goals. You should then conduct a Market Opportunity analysis which includes demand and supply analyses for segmenting and targeting. The demand analysis evaluates the potential profitability and sustainability of potential market segments. The segment analysis should draw conclusions about the characteristics about your target market, including the demographics, psychographics, and past behavior of consumers with similar products. By doing the Segment analysis, you can determine the level of demand for your product or service and you can better anticipate behavior. You can also tailor your product to conform to your target markets needs you have identified. The next thing you should do is consider how you’re going to differentiate your offerings and how you plan to position your product, services, and brand against your competitors in the target market.

Step 4 – Marketing strategy
The next step is for you to develop strategies regarding the 4Ps. You should outline specific plans regarding your product offering, your value proposition (price), how you’re going to distribute your offering (place), and how you’re going to effectively promote it. One of the most important parts to this step is your value proposition. You must consider the margins you think are fair by deciding how much you are going to charge, and you should also have done some simple financial calculations such as breakeven points, NPV, and IRR so you have a better idea of what price to charge. By taking the time to plan, you can better forecast future cash flows and mitigate capital shortages and also even determine if your goals are realistic. You should charge a price as close to the industry equilibrium or try to differentiate your price based on value added.

Step 5 – Budget
This is one of the most important parts in your marketing plan. Here you should try to forecast the revenue in units and dollars you will receive from each of your revenue streams. Also, don’t forget to consider intangible benefits as they count as well. It is important to be reasonably conservative (especially forecasting near your launch or at the first level of your product cycle) because most of the time revenue is materially less of what was first expected. You should also carefully consider your expenses, including marketing, operating, administrative, technology and other expenses. Expenses are also usually more than you first anticipate, so plan accordingly. You should then calculate the return on investment (ROI) and the internal rate of return. These results will tell you if what your doing has potential and if you should pursue your business idea. Just remember, not all businesses are initially profitable, it may take some time, just ensure you have the required capital to be successful over time.

Step 6 – Implementation
This step is all about what you’re going to do to accomplish your objectives. There are a variety of marketing mediums, including online marketing, direct marketing, website advertising partnerships, etc. There are endless possibilities to begin implementing your plans and to promote your products/services; you just need to choose what’s best for your offerings based on price, value, and simply what’s appropriate.

Step 7 – Feedback
Feedback is extremely important. You should implement various performance metrics to help you evaluate your progress. You can do this effectively by developing a Balance Scorecard with all four dimensions, including the Customer, Internal Financial, and the Innovative/Learning dimensions. For each dimension, you should come up with a goal, and how you can measure that goal. Here are two examples.

Financial Perspective:
Goal: Lower customer acquisition costs. Measure: promotion costs/number of customers

Goal: Improve tech support. Measure: Time to complete calls, number of satisfied callers.

Side Note: If you have a website, it is important to ensure your website becomes noticeable online. You should ensure you optimize your content for search engines (SEO). You can do this by making SEO friendly URLs (the long ones that describe your title/date). You should also note search engines analyze the number of times keywords appear within pages. Search engines also consider the number of high ranking websites that link to your site, so try to partner up! Why is SEO important? Because it drives traffic which can convert into sales. A good page rank can also keep prospects away from your competitors.

Tips For Starting Your New Business

Starting any new venture can be an incredible risk to take, particularly since the odds of success are so low.

Here are three tips when starting a new business to make lasting success more probable:

  1. Look for others who are already successful in your industry
  2. No matter what the business is that you are planning on starting, chances are that someone, somewhere else has already tried it and been successful. So, whenever possible, include these best practices into your new venture, unless they would not apply given your circumstances. On the other hand, if there is a successful business in your niche which is not currently meeting the needs of a group of customers, then that can be a good starting point for a new business venture. While duplicating others’ successes does not always yield the same results, it is much less risky than trying unproven business methods (which may or may not work, and which you may find it difficult to obtain funding for from others).

  3. Look for others who are already successful in other industries
  4. Sometimes the best way to be innovative in an industry is by bringing effective practices from other industries over to the new industry. Sometimes, these new practices do not have to be directly related to the new industry; the more adaption needed for you to make the old process work in a completely new industry, the less likely it is that your competitors will come up with the same innovations independently. This can then lead to a source of sustained competitive advantage, especially if you then patent the methods and processes used for your company.

  5. Look for opportunities that no one else has spotted yet
  6. Often, people within existing industries tend to think of everything within the terms and confines of their own field. The best opportunities can then happen at the intersection of two disparate fields, if you can blend the best of both industries together into a completely new product or service offering. A field which is stagnant, or has large amounts of customers who are dissatisfied and eager to try something new can offer excellent chances for a fresh business offering, which can also be highly profitable.

Thus, by mimicking the efforts of those who are already successful in your field, copying the successes of others in unrelated fields, and looking for opportunities no one else has identified yet, it is more likely that your new venture will succeed.

Copyright 2010, by Marc Mays

7 Clear-Cut Marketing Tips for Revitalizing Your Small Town

Often, many small areas feel that they don’t have a chance at marketing their specialty landmarks and attractions compared to larger venues. Size does not always matter, but innovation and opportunity does.

Sometimes, residents like their small quiet towns and often frown upon an increase of strangers and traffic invading their territory. While this mindset can be a roadblock to revenue growth opportunities and job creation, individual businesses can still take advantage of using modern technology to market to people outside the realm of their community.

Think outside the cubbyhole. What if the largest employer in your small town decides to move their operations to a larger area by shutting down its thriving manufacturing business, leaving many who worked at this factory their entire life unemployed? You have the option of grumbling, complaining and doing nothing or get over the shock and plan how you are going to take what you have, revive it and make it work for you.

Here are 7 simple marketing tips to jumpstart your specialty thinking process:

1. Turn your talent into profits.
Do you have a family recipe that you make for bazaars, church gatherings, school events or for your family? Are you crafty at making novelty items and using the resources around you to appeal to an audience outside your township? Perfect your talent, plan how to promote it and turn it into revenue.

2. Do your homework, research and learn.
Check out books or videos from your library or Small Business Administration office on related topics about how to market to the masses. Network with people who share the same interests and industry with you, through meetings, seminars or conferences.

3. Start producing prototypes.
Give out free samples and ask people to give you feedback on your product. Keep those reviews and use them with the permission of that person, to add value to your product on your website, blogs, newsletters, press releases and other forms of communication.

4. Presentation.
Can you make your product visually appealing so that it will instantaneously turn potential customers into repeat buyers? This is the perfect time to invest in or upgrade your computer, digital camera or camcorder, so that people can see what you offer and make a purchase. Remember, you are trying to reach a buying audience outside of your location.

5. Media.
Even if your local newspaper is six pages long, send a query to your local reporter to ask if they would do a story about your product or service. Use that story as the foundation to get the word out about your town or business on the Internet and through social media networks.

6. Museums, Monuments and historical landmarks.
Many famous people came from small towns that many people never heard of. If you live in the birthplace of someone famous, try working with their foundation to see how you can create a museum, campground or some type of landmark to conduct paid tours. If you have someone who is retired or enjoys conducting walking tours, then this is a great opportunity to teach visitors the history of that person and their birthplace.

7. Specialty Niches.
Is your area famous for fishing, a habitat for a certain species of birds, flowers, trees, gems/stones, mines, barbeque or seafood? Do you have people in your town who are passionate about horticulture and can create a large botanical garden? Did you inherit an antebellum house, nestled on a mountainside or by a lake that you can turn into a Bed and Breakfast, Spa Resort or Tea House? Is there room to add a small gift shop, nature trail or tranquility garden on the grounds?

Growth often comes from setbacks, difficulty and the willingness to step out of the rut and make progress. Collectively, when using the gifts and talents of individuals in your town for a collaborative purpose, you can bring your area back to life with greater benefits. When you remove the distractions telling you that simple things are impossible, you can tap into a treasure trove of opportunities to make progressive changes that affects the masses.