Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Making Money Without Being Perfect

Making Money Online Without Being Perfect (or Spending A Fortune!)
I've always been fascinated that you can make money in business without being perfect. Like horseshoes, just being close can make you a big winner.
I wish they had taught me this in a business class. I would have succeeded sooner. I've learned this from long experience.
I understand now that taking action makes me money. Trying to be perfect just makes me frustrated!
I think new people are often intimidated as they start a business, especially an Internet business. They're trying to learn everything and struggling to understand mountains of information. In the face of all that, it's easy to be overwhelmed and never really get started.
After all, if you can't understand everything and do a perfect job, you probably  shouldn't get started at all, right? (Sure... just give up on the idea of your own home based business and financial freedom and independence!)
Wrong! Very, very wrong.
The old saying, as I'm sure you've heard, goes like this: "If it's worth doing, it's worth doing right." The implication is that you should not attempt anything unless you can do it perfectly.
I am adamantly opposed to this idea. First, because I know there's a ton of things I do that are less than perfect, but are important to me anyway.
Some I do for pleasure - like playing golf. I'm nowhere close to perfect, but I enjoy the game.
Others I do for business - many of these pursuits don't work perfectly or, sometimes, even well. But, most of them make me money in spite of the imperfections.
My second objection is that the idea of never attempting anything unless we'll achieve perfection simply boils down to never attempting much of anything at all. Truly, achieving perfection in any one pursuit is the achievement of a lifetime.
One of the many reasons I love doing business on the Internet is the huge margin for error that exists. I can make a lot of mistakes and still profit. Your overhead (fixed costs) to be in business online is a $100 or less per month including your web hosting, merchant fees, etc.
To break even, we just have to make back that $100. Of course, all the money above the $100 mark is profit that goes in our pockets.
When we advertise our business, we won't always get it right the first or second time. But, even a bad ad will bring in some money. If you spend $100 to run an ad, you'll rarely lose the entire $100 unless you have a horrible ad being run to a completely incorrect list. A marginal ad will usually make you a profit.
A good ad will bring you huge profits. A great ad will bring you riches.
We all have to work to refine the good ads, but we get to make money even when we are testing and refining.
To make money, we don't need to be perfect. We just need to be taking consistent action to build our businesses.
Yours in success,
Shawn M. Casey

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

5 Ways to Boost Your Business Income

Profit in any business comes from your business turnover multiplied by your margins. In simple term,
Profits = Turnover x Margins
Turnover, in turns, is determined by the number of customers you have, multiplied by the number of transactions each customer had with you and the average dollar sale. Thus,
Turnover = Number of Customers x Number of Transactions x Average Dollar Sale
The number of customers you have depends on your lead generation and conversation rate of these leads. Thus,
Number of Customers = Lead Generation x Conversion Rate
By breaking down the process into small chunks, you will see that your business profit is governed by 5 variables, namely
1. lead generation
2. conversion rate
3. number of transaction
4. average dollar sale 5. margins
These experts worked out the formula and found that by doubling each of these factors, you can boost your business profits by an incredible 67%.
Putting Theory into Practice
When I first learned this formula, it seemed so simple that it was incredulous no one has taught me this before. Yet when I put the theory into practice, the result was truly remarkable. I started by making minor changes and adjustments to my normal practice and within 6 months saw a 20% increase in my turnover.
How much increased profit you can generate for your business depends on your ingenuity and creativity in improving your lead generation,conversion rate of your lead, the number of transaction per customer,the average dollar sale and your margins. Only these 5 factors,nothing else.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

How to Perform a Site Inspection Like a Pro

When a professional meeting, event or conference planner goes to evaluate the suitability of a venue for a client this is called a site inspection. There are three basic areas to be considered:
  • Appearance and accessibility of the location

  • Service and quality of catering

  • Amenities and special features.
  • Without a doubt, choosing a venue for your affair is the most significant aspect of the event planning process. No venue=no event. Choosing the proper setting for your organization is of paramount importance. If you find yourself in a position where you are unable to have a professional planner perform a venue inspection for you, the following checklists should get you started.
    Appearance & Accessibility (Outside)
  • When you initially approach the building, is the fa├žade well maintained and pleasing to the eye? Is there someone available to greet you at the door and direct you where you need to go?

  • Is the location centered and roughly equidistant from the areas from which your guests will be traveling?

  • Is parking available for all of your guests? If not, is there a parking alternative outside the facility?
  • Appearance & Accessibility (Inside)
  • As you move inside, what is your impression of the inside of the facility? Wallpaper and paint well maintained? Carpets and floors clean?

  • Are there tables and chairs lying about from previous functions? At the very least, tables and chairs should stacked neatly and out of the way.

  • How far is the actual room where the event will be held from the entrance?

  • Will the room itself be spacious enough to accommodate all of your guests and still have room for at least ten more should your count unexpectantly increase?

  • Does the room have a built in sound system (if applicable)? Does the facility have in- house audiovisual equipment or will you need equipment from a rental agency?

  • Is the room clean and in good repair? Wallpaper and carpets well maintained? Any visible cracks, stains or tears?

  • Is the room well lit? If you need to darken the room for a presentation, make sure that the lights are adjustable.

  • Is there room for a registration or display table if applicable?
  • Service & Catering
  • What entrance do the waiters use to come in to set up the food? Make sure to stipulate that the catering tables be placed in a position where the waiters and guests will be able to have access, but also in a position where the wait staff will not have to pass in front of your speaker if they need to set-up during your program. (If you don't have a speaker presentation, this, of course, is a moot point.) The facility manager can assist you in making a decision.

  • How receptive was the staff to your request to view the facility? Were they pleasant and courteous? Did the facility manager greet you with a handshake and a smile upon your arrival at the venue?

  • Sometimes catering or banquet halls have an adjoining restaurant. This is a perfect opportunity to sample the facility's cuisine. Observe the attitude of the wait staff towards their customers. Do they seem pleasant and attentive? Are their uniforms neatly pressed? How often do they come back to check on your table? This is a fairly reliable indicator of the service that you will receive on the day of your event.

  • If the facility does not have an adjoining restaurant, you are perfectly within your rights to request a small sample tasting. Most facility managers should be happy to oblige.
  • Amenities & Special Features
  • Amenities may include any number of items such as a built in sound system, in house audiovisual equipment, valet parking, complementary floral arrangements, a mystery dinner theater or any special perk that sets that venue apart from others. It may be helpful for you to make a list of these features, so that you can compare the various sites that you have inspected. No facility is perfect. If you look hard enough, you are bound to find some small flaw in service or in the maintenance of the building. Use the following checklists as a guide for evaluating the facility as a whole. Don't drive yourself crazy looking for every rip and tear! Only you can decide what type of venue is right for your event. If you are fortunate enough to find a venue that meets all of your requirements and fits within your budget, you've hit the goldmine! However, this may not always be the case and some form of compromise may be required. For instance, you may choose one venue over another because it is more conveniently located for your guests, although you may have felt that the other site was more elegant. Only you can determine what factors will come into play when making your final decision.
  • Just remember the basics. The following should never be compromised:
    1. Cleanliness and proper maintenance of the facility both inside and outside.
    2. Convenience and accessibility of location.
    3. Attentive and courteous service.
    4. Quality and presentation of catering.

    Andrea Pellettiere has over ten years of experience in the events and hospitality industry. She is a small business owner and the founder of Eleganza Meetings, Events and Conferences Inc., a full service agency providing a wealth of meeting, event and conference planning resources.

    Wednesday, October 3, 2012

    What is an Acceptable Response

    Many online marketers work odd hours, with no beginning of the day and no real end. How does this impact support and customer service inquiries? Some small businesses are afraid to reply to customer queries off-hours, fearful that the message time-stamp will betray them as a small business. The Internet however is timeless. The fact is customers appreciate a quick response.
    With the globalization of the Internet federal holidays are blurred. Customers expect timely responses and often make little note of the time zone the vendor they are working with. While large corporate businesses have a large amount of resources (staff and money) for sales, customer service and marketing are often tied to traditional methods of communication with customers. Sales are in person; customer service is over the phone and marketing by advertising and mail. Email is often used to funnel customers into these traditional channels of communication. When emailing often the reply back is to call back or a request you show up in person. More so in the past then recently, many companies do not respond to email at all. While communicating by telephone and mail is important, email is part of the fabric of how people interact and companies often do not take this into account.
    As many small main street businesses are offering a more personalized service, email can be more personalized than large corporations are able to provide. Since customers have become accustomed to looking on the Internet to either make or research purchases email is an easy way to communicate. Besides an easy way to get an answer, some customers want reassurance there is a human behind the web page, and not just some wizard speaking out of a microphone.
    Service and forum queries are typically handled by online businesses within 24 hours; rarely do weekends or holidays alter response rates. Customer demands and the 'need' for instant answers have driven the standard. If you do not respond in a timely fashion a competitor will.
    Customers are used to surfing the web and emailing. They want instant information whether it is 4pm or 4am. They want an immediate response. Many companies provide 24-hour customer service.
    While some people expect responses immediately, others will think business is slow if you respond right away. This is difficult to gauge, if the answer is simple respond as soon as possible. If research is required then at least email a response that you are looking into and will get back to them.