Category Archives: Business
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In addition to the fact that it is essential to be available on Baidu, however it is urgent to comprehend the Chinese interpersonal organizations. In the event that you stick on Western informal organizations, for example, Facebook or Twitter, you will never achieve Chinese buyers. The Chinese web online networking scene is especially unpredictable and very surprising from what you may know. Executing an applicable procedure on Wechat or Weibo needs some information we can help you have. You may discover organizations that will arrange key advertising arranges with a specific end goal to raise your reputation, yet we are had practical experience in advanced showcasing, which is these days achieving a bigger number of buyers than the customary promoting. more data about GMA
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Worldwide brands require a more extensive learning of worldwide advanced showcasing and few advertising organizations oversee both Chinese and non-Chinese promoting components.
Rivalry is all over the place. It is continually intriguing to have encountered experts to direct through all these new advanced patterns. With our associated world going so quick, extraordinary mastery is getting to be distinctly rarer and rarer.
I was an early adopter of accounting software to use on the home computer. My wife and I used the home version for our regular finances. Then we started a business and got Quickbooks Pro. We have stuck with it through every new release. I never had an issue until we started using the version that works across all your devices from tablets to smartphones. I had to call a Quickbooks customer service number to get some help with my smartphone not updating information the right way. It was some kind of syncing problem or something. I am not sure of the technical terms as I am more savvy with numbers than I am with the intricacies of how apps work in the cloud.
I was happy to get a quick resolution from the Quickbooks customer service number I called for help with my problem.
# Begin with a profile book. Libraries and bookstores are loaded with book series that profile a particular type of business. The Globe Pequot Press offers more than 15 titles in its How to Open & Operate a … series. Titles include How to Open & Operate a Communications Business, How to Open & Operate a Bed & Breakfast, How to Start a Home-Based Mail-Order Business, How to Start a Home-Based Carpentry Business and more. Also refer to books that profile multiple types of ventures. Small Business Profiles (Gale Group) provides step-by-step guidelines for more than 100 business ventures. From these types of books, you’ll glean essential information on startup costs and requirements, self-evaluation, financial projections and management, marketing and contact listings to people in the trade.
# Visit your city’s “first-stop” business information center. A first-stop office can provide you with information packages about licensing, permits, your particular business type and running a business in your state in general-the packages are usually free. They also provide you with links to local Small Business Development Centers, Federal Information Centers and special entrepreneurial training and financing programs. Check the government section in your phone book for a center near you.
# Take advantage of industry freebies. Before you dip into your piggybank, make sure you’re not about to pay for something you can get free. Take advantage of free computer access to databases and software at your local Business Information Center. Pick the brain of business veterans through free e-mail counseling offered by the Service Corps of Retired Executives and through the SBA Answer Desk.
# Put your creative energy to work. Your biggest challenge as a shoestring entrepreneur will be to graduate from a cash-dependent to a wit-dependent businessperson. It’s the only way shoestringers make it on a thin budget. Be prepared to create your own funding strategies. Earn extra cash by participating in focus groups, working odd jobs or selling unused items in your home. Solicit the sponsorship support from companies that could loan you items from their product line. Your best creative financing tips will come from seasoned entrepreneurs. Look for opportunities to schmooze with others in your industry, such as through a subscription to an online discussion group. You’ll be able to listen in on their success strategies and ask questions in a nonthreatening setting.
Follow these pointers and you’ll find yourself on the pathway to the business of your dreams.
# First, create the business plan. A plan structures your idea. It lets you think through your market assumptions, product, distribution, management and financial needs. Even if you never need to raise outside money, now may be your only chance to think through everything from top to bottom and know where and how you’re going. You can also work with a lawyer to choose a corporate structure that’s most suited to your operational and financial needs.
# Next, incorporate. That way, start-up expenses clearly belong to your business and not to you as an individual. Incorporating early will also start your company’s legal history, which can make it easier to get credit and raise bank financing later on. Furthermore, lawyer, a specialist in early-stage deals, points out that incorporating limits your liability once you start dealing with customers. In addition, he says you want as much time as possible between incorporation and outside investment to justify a low share price at incorporation. Your founder’s shares are considered income by the IRS, and it’s hard to value them at a penny per share two weeks before outside investors pay $1 per share. But always check with your own lawyer who knows your situation and your state’s tax laws before deciding when to incorporate. Doing this properly at the start can save thousands (if not millions) of dollars down the road.
# Finally, build your site and market it. Your business plan is your chance to identify your customers, value proposition, financials and the response rates you need to be successful. If you begin building and marketing without the up-front thought, you won’t know if your time and money are going toward the right things. A 3 percent direct-mail response rate is incredibly good, but if your business plan requires a 10 percent response to be profitable, it’s best to know that before you pay for a direct-mail campaign.
You’re considering investing valuable time and money into your project, so you won’t want another company copying your products and competing against you.
Patents and trademarks can be used to carve out a competitive market position. Meet with a patent attorney to determine whether your idea is already patented or if your trademark is already in use by someone else. If it is, think hard about how important a patent or trademark is to your business’ success.
Prove marketability by researching every company that makes similar products (competitors), analyzing the profile of customers who might buy the product (demographics), and charting margins, shipping methods and practices of the stores that would sell the product (distribution channels).
Not only will this exercise identify the state of the market, it will lay the groundwork for how you’ll need to introduce and sell your product.
You’ll either have to manufacture or assemble the product yourself, or subcontract all or part of the manufacturing of the product to your specifications. Short-run manufacturers will be able to help you answer production questions.
Once you prove the marketability and have a product to sell, you need to roll out promotional and sales programs. During the “prove” phase, you outlined the competitors and distribution channels for similar products in your industry. Now it’s time to put your findings and marketing/sales strategies to work.
By following your new marketing plan, you’ll have a good chance of getting your product through the right distribution channels you chose, and onto store shelves.
If you follow a solid plan and get your product into stores, you’ve passed the first stage of business success. If the stores reorder, you’re on your way to long-term success. Only good customer service, competitive pricing, high product quality and functional design can assure customer acceptance and profits.
So remember the Five Ps, follow a plan, and you and your partner could very well go down in the history books as one of the 5 percent of inventors who become successes. Good luck.
When it comes to getting major influencers to help with your marketing efforts, you can be embarking down a treacherous path. While it’s crucial to on-board folks who have a lot of sway with your market, you have to be careful not to rub them the wrong way.
In some cases, it can be just as easy to either get ignored by the influencers altogether, or goad them into giving you the wrong kind of marketing. With that in mind, here are four do’s and four don’t’s to pay attention to when you are trying to get influencers to help market your product.
# Don’t spam influencers with follow ups
Yes, you should follow up with your influencer, but don’t be obnoxious about it. This means having a bit of patience, since most influencers are very busy people and may not have an opportunity to reply to your email in just a day or two. If you don’t hear back from the influencer within a week, then it’s probably safe to send a follow up email.
Adarsh Thampy, CEO of LeadFerry, points out that you have to walk a fine line between persistence and pushiness. Thampy suggests you should send no more than two follow ups, with at least a week’s gap in between, to maximize your chances of success. Remember, though, not to be pushy:
It goes without saying. But influencers are humans too. Do you feel like doing something if someone you barely know acts pushy? No. When you face resistance, let it go.
# Don’t forget to build influencer relationships
Remember our suggestion in the do’s section about courting your influencer? This is crucial, because it builds a relationship with them before you even think about asking them for help. Failing to build that relationship first will mean you come across as being spammy and pushy.
Chris Boulas, the founder and president of digital marketing firm Formulytic, has built businesses from $5 million to more than $30 million in revenue, largely on the back of influencer marketing. Boulas points out how you can go about developing a relationship first:
Business is about give and take, so don’t approach influencers with a take-only mindset. Be ready to provide value in return. Do you have a skill, idea or feedback on an influencer’s business? Apply your skill or share your ideas for free and provide value upfront first.
# Don’t forget to set influencer guidelines
How does your influencer reach out to his or her following? Through Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or some other medium? Make sure you have specific guidelines in place for how you should be promoted and especially tagged, to generate the maximum exposure possible.
For example, Lindsay White of Lot801 Marketing points out that Instagram has recently made it possible to tag images. As a result of that, many influencers are only tagging people in the images when they are working with brands. This is a major problem, White points out:
“No one taps on the photo anymore to see who they tagged. But, they will read the captions. If your influencers aren’t tagging you in the caption, you’re missing out on some serious sales and social media followers. Since we’ve made this a requirement when working with any influencers, our sales are about 30 percent higher than if they didn’t tag us in both the caption and photo… along with an increase of about 50 percent in sales.”
# Don’t rely solely on the influencer for buzz
Marketing almost has to take a multi pronged approach, so make sure you don’t get tunnel vision. You cannot rely just on the influencer to generate the buzz that will make your campaign successful. Consider the influencer just a piece of the puzzle, albeit a possibly big piece.
Marc Nashaat, of Powered by Search, stresses the importance of this multifaceted approach. He points out that at the same time you are building your influencer network, you should also be identifying the people or publications that cover your campaign topic or the engagements of your influencer. Do outreach to them to help “seed” your influencer-based marketing campaign.
# Do choose your influencers wisely
First, and probably most importantly, is to choose the right influencers to reach out to. You want to make sure their following is actually part of your market. That way, your message gets conveyed to people who will actually have an interest in what you’re promoting.
For example, in 2010 when author Shel Horowitz published his 10th book, “Guerrilla Marketing Goes Green,” he quickly identified that the appropriate influencers for his market would be newsletter publishers, bloggers, best-selling authors and the like. He reached out to these influencers, and saw tremendous results from the campaign.
Based on a Google search showing 1,070,000 responses for an exact-match search for the book title, I estimate that at least 5,000,000 people were exposed to the campaign (that would be a very low average of five people seeing each page).
Also, remember that bigger isn’t always better. Victor Ricci of Trend Pie says that “targeting the big name social celebrities is nice but doesn’t always have the best results. When looking to get the lowest CPI, engagement is much more important than follower count.”
# Do amplify influencer messages
Influencers are often under tremendous pressure to drive traffic to their message, so anything you can do to help them do that will be noticed and greatly appreciated. You should find an influencer you greatly admire, and start amplifying their content by sharing it on your own social media networks. Be sure to tag the influencer so he or she knows what you’re doing.
Digital marketing entrepreneur Spencer X. Smith found out just how powerful this courtship could be when he began sharing articles by Cheryl Conner of Forbes. He would share her stories on LinkedIn and Twitter, always providing his own thoughts about the piece and how his audience might use it. As a result of his efforts, Conner actually contacted Smith to be the subject of a feature article at Forbes.
# Do offer influencers something to entice them
Sometimes, just building the relationship might not be enough. Many influencers need something a bit more tangible than just you sharing their message, so you need to entice them. This could take the form of a charitable donation in the influencer’s name or something more along the lines of helping the influencer get even more exposure.
For example, Cloudways struggled at first to get influencers to promote its new cloud hosting management platform. They pitched a list of influencers one at a time, and were either ignored or told they were being too pushy. While part of this might be a lack of relationship-building first, what finally worked for Cloudways tells “the rest of the story.”
Cloudways reached out to influencers again, this time inviting them to be interviewed for the company’s blog. This got the attention of several influencers, especially mid-level ones and the response was strong enough that Cloudways has published more than 120 interviews and has created a community that loves the company’s product and talks about it often.
# Do use an evangelical approach
Remember who you’re approaching. Top influencers respond to a different kind of value propositions than regular users. While regular users respond to quantitative value propositions like “cheaper,” “smaller,” or “faster,” top influencers are more interested in qualitative value propositions. This is where you’ll use words like “revolutionary,” “breakthrough,” and “game-changing.” Influencers want to be involved in exciting ventures, so you need to attract their attention with engaging text.
Rick Carlile, the founder of Aegora.com, the Professional Marketplace, used a very evangelical approach in trying to attract influencers to come on board. As a result of his influencer marketing campaign, Aegora.com was able to attract around 500 high-quality signups to the site, a tremendous number in a highly competitive niche.
The fact is, there is loads of research to show that influencer marketing has one of the best ROIs of any marketing plan. According to a study done by SocialChorus, influencer marketing campaigns can capture up to 16 times the engagement of owned or paid media. Influencer marketing agency Tomoson also found that businesses generate, on average, $6.50 in revenue for each $1 invested in influencer marketing. Thirteen percent of those businesses make $20 or more per $1. Influencer marketing is the most cost effective way of advertising and generates a very high ROI.
While social media has created the ability to generate highly targeted marketing campaigns, many businesses have little to no idea how to create and measure what ROI an influencer marketing campaign gives them. To that end, follow these four essential tips to help launch the best campaigns ever:
# Find the right influencers
This cannot be overstated. First and foremost, define your audience. Obsess over them. What details about their lives can you define and utilize in creating the ultimate demographic? You need to know exactly who you are targeting to find the influencers who will reach your audience.
Then, find the influencers who are creating for your audience, in your niche. Ideally they are influencers who can and are catalyzing their fans to click. They are creating high engagements on their page, which will translate to your ROI.
One of the biggest mistakes that businesses make in hiring influencers is always going for the cream of the crop– influencers who have millions of followers. The problem with a large reach is that often, the demographic width of a large audience is too wide for a niche product, and costs too much money for a good ROI. Aim for a mid-level reach with an influencer who most suits your demographic, targeting the audience that will be likely to click-through.
# Utilize your metrics
The idea that social media marketing cannot be measured is highly outdated. There are plenty of tools out there to measure the impact of your influencer marketing campaign’s ROI, and more are coming out every day.
First, start with basics like tracking and measuring your Facebook and Twitter metrics. It’s easy to look up metrics by date, time, location and more, so start there.
Next, make sure your campaign includes monitoring mechanisms. Hashtags and promo codes let you monitor sales, usage and click-through rates, making them invaluable in calculating your ROI. There are also plenty of alternate routes, like link shortener company Bitly. They’ve connected their shortened links to metrics that allow you to see a host of data that was otherwise difficult to track.
Last, use those metrics to isolate and target your audience in an even more keen way. Pay attention to your audience reception. The temperature of your audience’s reaction indicates where your company is soaring — or falling short.
# Play the long game
Traditional marketing is an immediate return that can be seen and measured over a short period. Influencer marketing carries the same weight, but it is a long game. You’re building relationships and trust, and that takes time and effort. Influence is something you earn, not something you buy.
Keep in mind that the demand for your product or service could — and most likely will — extend well into the future, even after you’re done with your campaign. Don’t stop measuring just because you’re done with your ads.
# Reward your influencer
Rewards for your influencer need to reflect the relationship that you’re building between you two. Money is great compensation, but should be mentioned with caution. Influencers can also be paid with product, shout-outs, discounts and even commissions, if that is a good fit. Remember that you are building a relationship where the influencer should leave feeling loved, important and well-compensated for their time, effort and brand loyalty.
In addition, I recommend designating one or two employees to be the initial and continuing contact for your influencers, creating a genuine and ongoing connection. The more like family they feel, the more genuine love they will feel for your business and, by extension, your product or service.
To conclude, there is really no legitimate balk nowadays for not including influencer marketing in your campaigns. With so much information coming at consumers every day, trust, authenticity and word-of-mouth advertising are your best tools when getting your product out there. Keep using the tools, and you’ll see an incredible ROI.
Prioritizing mindshare over market share doesn’t mean you have to ditch your metrics mentality. Mindshare focuses on long-term ROI grown organically from a small group of key influencers. When you build an army of brand advocates, sales will naturally follow.
Word of mouth is one of the most effective ways to attract clients. Even the biggest brands in the world, including Apple and Starbucks, deliberately focus on wowing clients and inspiring referrals rather than mass advertising.
Strive to dominate the thoughts of the few, and you’ll turn 100 raving fans into salespeople. But these niches must be intentional. In the gifting industry, for example, we could essentially market to anyone in business who wants to show appreciation to important clients or colleagues. After narrowing our scope to a few key niches — longstanding financial advisors, professional sports teams and entrepreneurs of fast-growth companies with at least $5 million in revenue — we’ve started to become known in these circles and be referred amazing opportunities.
Today’s digital landscape is crowded and noisy. Staying front and center with a handful of influencers is much more effective than adding to the commotion. But that can only happen when you concentrate on the few vs. the many. Here’s how to shift your focus from market share to mindshare:
# Become your audience’s new normal
Pick your places to stand out in consumers’ minds, then go 5 percent further. Seth Godin talks about this in his book “Purple Cow.” You’re either remarkable or invisible. Your brand has to truly be different if you want to attract raving fans, so don’t hold back.
# Embrace the artifact
Many people consider gifts to be a piece of swag. But swag is simply a tangible reminder of your brand, often in the form of cheap pens or USB drives that go untouched. Artifacts, on the other hand, are meaningful reminders of the relationships you’ve established.
I prefer to give world-class, practical pieces that include the entire family and are regularly used outside the office. Some of my favorites include handmade personalized cutlery sets, leather totes and reclaimed wooden headphones (yes, they exist) — unique but universal gifts that people have never received before.
# Remember that less is more
Dominating mindshare among thousands as a small company is next to impossible. Instead, pare back the numbers, and allocate 80 percent of your resources toward your core clients.
# Show that you’re human
People buy from people, not companies. Connecting with clients outside the office is imperative. The deeper the connection, the more ingrained you’ll be in their daily thoughts. Ideally, you want to invite clients and their significant others to your home, perhaps for dinner.
# Don’t limit your love
Dazzle the entire office, from interns to admins — not just executives and decision makers. Leaders are busy and easily forget. A powerful way to stay on their radar is to build relationships with their staff, especially their assistants. Shower these people with genuine attention, and they’ll make sure the executive is thinking about you as well.
Don’t let short-term metrics cloud your long-term vision for your startup. By nurturing relationships with a few influencers now, you’ll appear authentic and approachable. And when these people get a taste for the exceptional company you’ve built, they won’t be able to help but share the love with others.
There’s a theory in matters of business networking that more is better. Fatten up the ol’ Rolodex and you’ll soon be climbing the ladder/locking down your angel round/scoring clients. It’s not true. Relationship capital—your web of contacts and their web of contacts—like a truffle or a well-appointed wardrobe, traffics in quality, not quantity. Keep your network lean.
Rather than glad handing every suit in the room, focus instead on engaging thought leaders and influencers and offering your own no-strings-attached time and energy. You’ll find the investment pays off in unexpected ways. Here are eight ways to get the most of your own relationship capital.
# Curate. Collecting piles of business cards is not building a network, it’s creating clutter. An effective network is comprised only of people who can help you solve problems. Not simply C-suite bigwigs, but influencers of all types.
# Give. In his book Give and Take, Wharton professor Adam Grant makes the case for increasing your success by helping others. Give referrals and advice freely—literally. When you expect nothing in return, your connections will be predisposed to helping you, and each other. A five-minute favor is all it takes to set up a relationship that could mean a lot down the road.
# Diversify. The shortest path to innovation is insights from people of different backgrounds, industries and levels of experience. Your network should produce not one or two but 10 different paths to your goal.
# Find bridges. Curating contacts and building a strong network can be time-consuming work. Set up your primary circle of connections strategically. Focus on people who are what Cal-Berkeley professor Morten T. Hansen calls “bridges,” those with their own powerful, regularly leveraged networks. Your primary contacts will not always have the solutions you need but, being well connected, they will know people who do.
# Nurture your MVCs. “Most valuable clients,” that is. They are your most important brand ambassadors, essentially another branch of your marketing team, with all the business they refer. Stay engaged with the ones who seem most involved, even if they’re not actually your biggest buyers.
# Engage face-to-face. The next time you’re at a networking event, leave the phone in your pocket. Focus on the other flesh-and-blood humans in front of you. Take periodic coffee meetings with random members of your network. It’s a small investment of time that keeps you on their radar.
# Express gratitude. Always, always say thank you, no matter how small the favor.This may seem obvious but don’t forget to let those who help you, know that they did. It will make your mom proud and cement the value of the helper in your network.
# Use it. The easiest way to optimize your network is to not let it languish. Don’t be afraid to reach out with a phone call, email or quick bite. But don’t over-ask. No one likes a pest.
Obtaining a face-to-face meeting with a prospective buyer is hard to secure, painful to schedule and expensive to attend. And yet, despite the hundreds of millions of dollars being funneled into online presentation tools like WebEx, GoToMeeting and Join.me, nothing really beats an in-person meeting with a new prospect.
Can you imagine Apple unveiling to the press the Apple Watch over a WebEx? Of course not! The face-to-face meeting allows the salesperson to collect context about the buyer, subtleties such as body language and political nuance, that will be beneficial as the sales campaign evolves. The prospect sees that the selling team is are competent and credible professionals who can help the buyer think through and solve the problem at hand.
Below are tips to give your best face-to-face.
# Electronic device etiquette. Turn off your phone. Not silent. Off. If you take notes on a tablet, silence the annoying keyboard clicks. Whoever is presenting needs to make sure that their email client is turned off. It’s highly distracting to have email notifications interrupting your presentation.
# Give Cliff’s notes. Kick-off the meeting by telling the audience exactly what they will learn. Promise them that you have structured the agenda to optimize for their time and that you will conclude your material 15 minutes early. Say that you’ll be happy to stay behind for additional questions. Most times, you will find a few audience members stay behind well beyond the allotted time.
# Manage the introductions. If there is a large audience, eschew the roundtable introductions. They will take far too much of your precious time. Pass around a sign-in sheet to satisfy your needs. Besides, you should already have a rough sense as to the parties represented. Keep in mind the buyer’s team usually already knows each other.
# Be a Boy Scout, be prepared. Upon entering the conference room a few minutes before start time you invariably find that something is broken. Which is why you come prepared with your own projector and mobile WiFi. Something always goes wrong at this step, so prepare for mishaps.
#A Cut the fat. Do not begin the presentation with a slide that says some form of Our History or Who We Are or Our Vision. This is a surefire way to lose your audience. They already know just enough to have allowed you in their building and now want to know about youroffering, not your company.
6. Speak authentically. Be prescriptive about your offering. Talk about it within the context of a broader solution. Be transparent about the strengths and opportunities for improvement of your offering. Suggest a willingness to partner together to fill whatever gaps may be identified.
7. Find the influencer. Many times you will find that the most influential voices on the buyer’s team do not have a corresponding position on the org chart. This is a classic example of hierarchical power versus influential power. Be sure to read the room to identify these folks. They can very quietly hurt or help your efforts.
Getting the first face-to-face presentation involves a ton of hustle. So, don’t blow your only shot to make a solid first impression. Preparation, etiquette and authentically engaging the audience will be your aces in the hole to help you earn a second meeting.