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Archive for the ‘Sales’

Using Free Services Is Not Such A Great Idea

January 05, 2012 By: tcarlson Category: Marketing, Sales, Social Media, Technology

I was reading this great blog post about the dangers of using free services to do all your online communication. It covers some great points and I think it is well worth reading.

Here is how the blog posts starts…

We have a great bookstore in my town — the kind of place you picture in your mind when you think of a great independent bookshop.

It’s perfect for browsing, with lots of comfy chairs to relax in. The books are displayed enticingly. There’s a little coffee shop so you can relax with an espresso. They get your favorite writers to come in for readings, so there’s always a sense of event and excitement. They do everything right, and they’ve always had plenty of customers. But they still closed their doors last year. No, not for the reasons you might think. It wasn’t Amazon that killed them, or the proliferation of free content on the web, or the crappy economy…

  • What’s digital sharecropping, anyway?
  • Landlords are fickle
  • Landlords go away
  • So are Facebook and Google bad for business?

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UK Social Media Trends 2011

December 29, 2011 By: tcarlson Category: General Business, Marketing, Sales, Social Media, Technology

The article is good and I would say part 2 ( has the best info. A lot of this is based on the UK market so a bit out of date compered to the trends already happening in North America. That said I would still highly recommend spending 5 minutes checking out these topic headers from the post.

1. Increased Social Media Integration on Websites
2. Email and Social Become More Integrated
3. Internet Tablets Mean Even More Social “On Time”
4. The Social Platform War Continues
5. For Some Marketers, Social Will Mean Just Facebook
6. Businesses Continue to Unlock Existing Collateral, Socially
7. Social Commerce Grows
8. Marketers Will Wake Up to Location
9.  Measurement Will NOT Get ‘Solved’ in 2011

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Holiday Sales Tip and Ideas

December 20, 2011 By: tcarlson Category: General Business, Marketing, Sales, Technology

Check out these tips for getting the stuff off the shelf and out the door this season. This is an edited version of the original post by Charles Wiedenhoft of

Digital Gift Cards

Shoppers are now looking for digital gift cards to bypass the plastic ones they receive. Retailers can benefit from digital gift cards by avoiding postage fees and paper processing. Applebee is selling gift cards on Facebook. Fans who purchase there can personalize the cards with Facebook album photos and audio messages.

QR Codes

Target is using QR codes in an effort to increase sales and awareness for new toys. Users can scan bar codes in the catalog and instantly get product and pricing information from the company’s website. It’s a great way to push a product that you’re having trouble selling or learn a little more about your customer base.

Wish Lists

Mobile-accessible wish lists can make shopping more manageable. You might want to include comment functionality so friends and family could chime in on what gifts they think would be good for the person. After the holidays, companies can encourage wish list owners to purchase items at discounted prices that they didn’t receive as gifts. Geo-Fencing

Shoppers who opt in receive a mobile text message as they get near a store location or other relevant point of interest. This “moment in time” communication shows promise of strengthening relationships with customers through relevance. Companies, such as The North Face, plan to send customers branded text messages about weather conditions as they reach hiking trails. L’Oreal and Starbucks are also getting into the game by offering text coupons at nearby locations for their opt-in users.

Traditional Marketing Ideas
Need more ideas, check out these tried and true approaches.

■Seasonal Creative: Reminding customers that it’s the holidays through visuals is a simple concept that’s often overlooked. Anything companies can do to add little touches, such as creating seasonal versions of a logo or navigation bar, will also remind customers that it’s time to buy some presents.

■Persuasive Page Titles: Gift shoppers are searching for the best deals with keywords like “free shipping” and “holiday sale.” Including these words in page titles ensures search engine results pages appeal to shoppers and encourage them to visit retailers’ websites.

■Mobile Shopping: Some shoppers will do all their holiday buying on their mobile phones or online. Inside the mind of the increasingly value-conscious and progressive consumer, “tech-savvy” becomes synonymous with convenience. It’s not just about standing out anymore. It’s about making peoples’ lives easier through experiences that surprise and delight.

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What Are the Benefits of Starting Up your Own Blog?

December 06, 2011 By: DanielleLC Category: General Business, Marketing, Sales

Blogging is not only great for personal gains but can substantially help your business grow! Blogs are valuable assets for a companies website as:

- You can make money with your blog through websites such as google adense and chitika.

-Blogs assist with branding the companies’ identity and online reputation.

-They give a wealth of information to the public and once your customers start reading and talking about your blog, they pass on your companies name and create free press for you.

-Blogs are also a great way to show the world what you got- go beyond offering your customer’s service, but gain credibility by giving advice, and showing your expertise.  This way customers will feel like they have a stronger bond with you and thus, your relationship will be long lasting.

- By having fresh new content on your website throughout the week or month your website will have plenty more visitors and digital attention. Your webpage will go higher and higher to the top of the search engine and thus, once again obtaining free advertisement.

-Blogging is also a great way to brag a little bit about your achievements, talents and your knowledge within the business. This allows customers to really know how you are capable of helping them and the many benefits there are of working with you they didn’t know of before.

-Also, something as small as the right post on your blog could get you a customer over your competitors!

Creating your own blog is easy and is free! You don’t need to blog daily to be effective- just choose the topics that are most important to you and set a little bit of time aside each week.

This blog is brought to you by the Moss team at, check them out for all of your alternative financing needs.

The Importance of Social Media

November 24, 2011 By: DanielleLC Category: General Business, Marketing, Sales, Technology, Uncategorized

What is the first thing you think of when you hear the word “social media”? Twitter, Facebook, LinkIn, Blogs? Anything online really. The days are gone when companies think of using media advertising through newspapers, radio, television, ads or billboards. The first thing people do now when researching is to go online.  Think about how many times you’ve attempted to look up and research a company but couldn’t find it- what do you do? Go to the next, most comparable company and use their business instead. Having social media sites are powerful revenue driving tools where customers can compare, get information and contact you in just minutes.  Online sites get massive amounts of traffic compared to receiving a catalogue in the mail that may be instantly thrown out or hidden under the newspaper and mail. We are in this new age of technology where people want an abundance of information and they want it now.

Social media sites offer businesses the potential to create profiles and pages to advertise to and connect with their customers. Additionally, the more people who “join” or “like” a page benefits you directly; as you receive free advertising as it gets posted onto their personal social media site, as well as getting higher and higher onto googles first page. Ultimately, you’re communicating to the masses for free! You are able to build relationships, have instant news and updates, receive feedback from customers, receive referrals, advertise and market your product and create “buzz”.
Still not convinced? In total 30 billion pieces of content (photos, links, etc) are shared on facebook each month. So, take advantage of this! Have interactive contests like polls, webinars and videos. Social media is not only free word of mouth publicity for your company but it most importantly creates and strengthens customer engagement.

Not sure where to start? Click here to start building your very own social media sites!

This blog is brought to you by the Moss team at, check them out for all of your alternative financing needs.

5 Trends That Can CHANGE Your Business

November 15, 2011 By: DanielleLC Category: Finance, General Business, Operations, Sales, Technology

  1. Baby Boomers
    Times are changing! This 76 million demographic is altering what products and services are being used today. Boomers have all the power and are why growing industries such as health products, medicine, sales and tech support are at its highest.  Retailers and industries change their business to cater to this demographic, ie- lowering shelves in supermarkets and making accessible entrances.
  2. Travel
    As technology strengthens so do people’s power to receive information. In one click people can be virtually swarmed with local restaurant finders, lowest flight prices, new retail stores, and “why you should work out.” As our curiosity intensifies we want to go out and experience more.
  3. Online Shopping
    E-commerce has gone viral as people are realizing the benefits of online shopping. We spend more money online shopping than we would if we were to go into a store.   There are various discount sites and collective buying sites where you can buy products/ services for a fraction of a price. Additionally, people advertise you through social media sites, thus, no longer giving companies control over their brand message.
  4. Going Green
    Companies are displaying how they are eco friendly left, right and center. Company websites usually have a page or a paragraph on how they are socially acceptable or how they are going green. Being eco friendly is increasingly important to some consumers and might be the swaying point to why they will choose your company over another.
  5. Bang For Your Buck
    Today our consumers are extremely value conscious. Everyone is eager for sales and expect great products for sensible prices. Many companies are now starting discount shops online or groupons categorized by what city you live in.

This blog is brought to you by the Moss team at, check them out for all of your alternative financing needs.

The New Age of Marketing

October 27, 2011 By: DanielleLC Category: Book Review, Finance, General Business, Lean, Marketing, Operations, Sales

BuzzMarketing by Mark Hughes Mark Hughes dives into the world of buzzmarketing where he discusses the six secrets of getting      people to talk about your product or service. His examples and intriguing stories are based on his real life experiences with major companies. This entertaining book surrounds the new trend in marketing –‘buzz’ and explains how buzzmarketing triumphs the traditional means of marketing while only using a fraction of the price.

Mark Hughes has one exceptionally important point in this book and that is buzzmarketing works! I found this book to be truly amusing and was not able to put the book down. As such, his words seem to be truly ingrained in the way I now perceive marketing and have to admit, he truthfully convinced me that buzzmarketing works! So, I am sure you are wondering- What is buzzmarketing? Well let me tell you what I have learned. Buzzmarketing escapes from the traditional path of marketing as it makes you think outside the box. Buzzmarketing captures the attention of consumers and the media to the point where the brand being talked about becomes a form of entertainment and might even become newsworthy. This form of marketing is meant to start conversations and spread the story through word of mouth- creating buzzzz. One of the main points I learned from reading this book was that buzzmarketing thrives on creativity and devising an entirely new formula. What I also learned, is that this can be done with a fraction of the budget, compared to traditional marketing techniques. By marketing a product through a unique and creative idea it becomes the talk of the town- it is in conversations, on the news and in people’s heads. Here is where word of mouth creates buzz as people tell their friends, who tell their family and so on- not spending a single dime to get the word out!

I believe that buzzmarketing can in fact propel a business and give it staying power in the market. When you come up with an outrageous, unique and different way to market a product, the message will be so compelling and entertaining that people will do the marketing for you. For example, do you remember the Pepsi challenge? Of course you remember! And you remember this commercial because it was so outrageous; it stirred up controversy and made headlines. Another perfect instance of buzzmarketing is Hughe’s personal example when his company needed a new and creative way to launch their website, Hughes company went as far as changing a towns name from Hallfa, Iowa to! The media picked up on this outrageous and unusual advertisement stunt and got its press and undivided mind share without spending a dime.

Hughes advice does not only relate to marketing but to life’s ventures as well. For instance, I can try to be courageous and inventive in order to break through the traditional clutter and thus, be different. This can relate to something as small as getting noticed in a job interview to something as important as creating an outstanding project.

To learn more about buzzmarketing visit the website

This blog is brought to you by the Moss team at, check them out for all of your alternative financing needs.

To buy BuzzMarketing click here

Webinars – Getting it right

October 20, 2011 By: tcarlson Category: General Business, Marketing, Operations, Sales, Technology

More and more companies are adding webinars to their marketing mix as a low-cost way to promote their offerings. To ensure that the target audience signs up and watches the presentation until the end, follow these practices.

  • Make sure that there is something in it for your audience to entice them to attend. They need to get a benefit not just a sales pitch, so it is important to make it educational!
  • Send out invites via email and when possible follow up with phone calls for your key target market.
  • Post a notice about your webinar on your website and also on social media sites
  • Require only name, email address and company name to sign up. Make other questions designed to learn more about the audience optional to answer.
  • Master the technology that will be used before the webinar to avoid glitches and problems.
  • Keep the introduction brief.
  • Educate and inform the audience. Share specific ideas they can implement.
  • Create a graphically-interesting PowerPoint presentation that supports what the presenter is saying; don’t expect it to cover everything.
  • At the end, include a 30-second commercial – no longer — for the hosting company’s products or services.
  • Enable attendees to ask questions after the presentation, by chat or live as this gets them engaged.

Done right Webinars can help you reach out to your target clientele and make you a valuable resource to them. This can help you generate sales in the long run.

This blog is brought to you by the Moss team at, check them out for all of your alternative financing needs.

7 Low Cost Ways to Promote your Business

October 18, 2011 By: tcarlson Category: Finance, General Business, Marketing, Operations, Sales, Technology, Time Management

There are many low cost but high return ways to promote your business. Below is our quick hit list of 7 of them.

  1. Treat all business documents, from outgoing faxes and invoices to emails and shipment inserts, as an opportunity to promote the business by adding information about awards, company milestones, web site addresses, and contact phone numbers. You would be surprised how often companies send info out but do not include contact information.
  2. Add QR codes to your marketing materials including business cards – these codes can be linked to your website, a video about your company or any information on your product or services that you would like to share.
  3. Write articles on topics related to your expertise. Submit them to business editors of local or industry publications or e-zines.
  4. Create a Blog and also post to social media  such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.
  5. Identify complementary businesses and promote each other’s companies.
  6. Give a seminar or presentation related to your expertise – this can be sponsored by your company. People are always looking for information and being an expert can help promote your business.
  7. Purchase magnetic signs or license-plate holders identifying the company’s contact information for employees’ automobiles

Word of Mouth Marketing Makes Cents

October 13, 2011 By: DanielleLC Category: General Business, Human Resources, Marketing, Sales

There are more than twenty three thousand new products introduced each year in America and on an average night of prime time TV 128 commercials and promotional messages are presented to viewers. These advertisements are all competing for the same level of attention. Viewers begin to tune advertisements out, exit pop up ads and ignore campaigns. So how do we weave through all this clutter? By listening to people we trust- through word of mouth.

Word of mouth marketing has credibility and has the power of attention, which are key power tools in marketing. If you can successfully wow and captivate your audience then they will essentially be pleased and tell their friends and neighbors. Friends and neighbors have great reliability because they are not trying to pitch an idea or sell an item, so we believe what they say and give them good credibility. Think about how many scams we hear about or come across, no wonder why we don’t believe most of the commercials we watch or automatically assume “that deal” is too good to be true. This proves word of mouth’s importance as we believe what others have to say about a product or service (not to mention it costs you nothing!)

This is also in relation to building a companies brand loyalty. The way people perceive your brand is by the way you treat your customers, how you network and how you conduct your services. If your clients are happy they will continue to use your services and thus, can build you referrals.  Additionally, by helping out other businesses by referring them, they can reciprocate by referring you to other customers which ultimately builds a network. It is important to keep these positive relationships, because if someone receives bad service they are more likely to tell further people then if they received great service.

Not convinced? Check out this website for statistics!


This blog is brought to you by the Moss team at, check them out for all of your alternative financing needs.