Marketing Tips for Small Businesses

Let’s look at marketing 10 tips dedicated to small businesses that can help us increase our customer base and our sales.

Specialize in one type of product

The produce or offer only one type of product or service will allow us to be experts or specialists in what we do or offer and, thereby, to provide a product or service quality.

The specialize in one type of product will also allow us to capture more customers, since they, seeing us as experts or specialists, have a high perceived value of our products and we choose rather than competition.

Even the specialize in one type of product will allow us to increase our prices because consumers are willing to pay more if they believe that anyone who produces or offers goods or services, is a specialist in what he does.

Specialize in one type of consumer

This council is a variation of the first, is to direct our products to only a certain type of consumer.

The focus on a specific audience type will allow us to specialize in it and know very well their needs, preferences, customs and habits and, thus offering a product specially dedicated to meet those needs, tastes and preferences, and design strategies or making decisions based on these customs and habits.

Create an identity

Create an identity means giving a unique style to our business or our products.

By creating an identity position our brand in the minds of consumers, which in turn enables us they identify with our brand and recognize it at any time.

Our identity can be based on any differentiation or important feature in our products, in the style or the way we serve in the design or combination of colors we use, etc.

Offer variety

We specialize in one type of product and consumer, and create our own identity or style, but at the same time, we must offer variety.

Consumers are always looking for variety. Can we achieve to be faithful to our products, but eventually left to find variety in them, we will soon leave and go to competition.

To provide variety we offer different alternatives and constantly launch new products without thereby changing the type or style of our current products.

Listen to the customer

Listening to the customer is being permanently attentive to their opinions, suggestions, comments, complaints or claims.

Even, we must try to find this information, for example, using surveys, creating a suggestion box, talking with them and asking what is your opinion about our products, calling them by phone to see how it fared with their use, etc.

This will allow us to tailor our products to their needs, tastes and preferences, and know what we are doing wrong, what we need to improve, what should we remove or change.

Getting the data of our customers and make a database

We should always try to get the data of our clients such as your name, address, phone, email and date of birth, so that we can create a database that will help us better understand our customers, follow them up and maintain contacts with they.

For example, we can send you a thank you card, greeting or greetings, and so seek to win their loyalty, or we can send a printed newsletter by mail or an email newsletter to your email, on our new offers or promotions.

To get your data we can make use of promotions, for example, create a lottery in which to participate have to enter your details, or we can simply solicitousness when you purchase our products or services.

Identify needs, tastes or preferences

We must always seek to identify needs, tastes, preferences, habits or customs of our individual customers.

This will enable us to offer a personalized, for example, offering a product specially designed according to the tastes or preferences of a particular customer.

To detect the tastes or preferences of our clients, we monitor and analyze them, for example, what products they use most are, what their habits, what their buying preferences, etc.

Be attentive to competition

Just as we must be ever vigilant to our market or target audience, we must be ever vigilant to our competition.

We must be attentive to the strategies or actions you perform as well as the emergence of new competitors.

This information will allow us to react quickly, for example, designing strategies that allow us to meet his, or making decisions that allow us to counteract or take advantage of their actions.

Use testimonials

Whenever possible we should not look for testimonials from satisfied customers and then use those accounts as an introduction to other potential customers.

The bigger the testimonies and the more known are the clients that we do, we will cause better impression.

We may publish the testimonies, for example, in our brochures or website, or we can simply mention to potential customers, major customers we have served and the services we have provided them.

Find referrals

Whenever possible we should seek referrals , ie ensure that our customers recommend us and help get other clients.

One way to achieve this is to give our customers discount coupons that give them away to their acquaintances, and offering a product for free whenever it is used three of their coupons.

We should always devise strategies that allow us to get referrals, however, we must remember that the best way to achieve that we recommend, is offering a product or service quality.

IS YOUR COSMETIC PRODUCT REALLY A DRUG?

In June alone, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) refused the importation of over 200 different shipments of Cosmetics from 22 different countries.The two main reasons the FDA cited in refusing entry of cosmetic products were:

  1. The products were “misbranded” (lack of adequate directions for use, nutrient content and/or health claims, anti-ageing labeling claims rendering the product a drug; or
  2. The products were “adulterated” (unsafe addition of a color additive).

Definition of a Cosmetic vs. Drug

Misbranding may come down to whether the FDA believes the product is a drug (which is often based on the products intended use, and labeling claims). It is therefore important to know the difference in the way FDA defines cosmetics and drug products, to ensure you label your products correctly.

A product designed for “cleansing beautifying, promoting attractiveness, or altering the appearance,” is generally defined as a cosmetic by the FDA.

A drug on the other hand, is as a product “intended for use in the diagnosis, cure, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of disease,” or “intended to affect the structure or any function of the body.”

Why Cosmetic Products will be Refused by the FDA

One prevalent reason the FDA refuses cosmetic products is because of the claims cosmetic products makes rendering the product a “drug”. A health claim is one example of a type of claim, specifically it is a claim that the product affects the structure and or function of the human body. If your product makes a health claim it may be rendered and regulated as a drug by the FDA.

In response to the increase use of “health claims” on cosmetic products, the FDA re-published an import alert for skin care products labeled as anti-aging. These products claimed to reverse the effects of aging by controlling or preventing the aging process, which is a claim that the product affects the structure and functions of the human body, and were thus regulated a drug product by the FDA.

The FDA issued a consumer update this March highlighting the difference between a drug and a cosmetic product. The purpose of this publication was to inform consumers about cosmetic products that promise too much. In order to protect consumers from this type of cosmetic misbranding, the FDA has told companies to remove drugs claims or seek FDA approval to market these products as drugs (this is a timely and very expensive process). However, the FDA further admits that there is “no one-size-fits all answer” to whether a claim is a drug claim or cosmetic claim.

Form 766

If your product is on hold by the FDA because it is misbranded, there are affirmative actions you can take. Section 801(b) of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act states that an importer of record may submit to the FDA a written application (using FDA’s Form 766) requesting permission to “recondition” your product. This post-compliance action, if approved by the FDA, will allow your product to be released. As approval is discretionary by the FDA, it is important you take the right steps and hire the right expert to assist you in this process.

FTC

In addition to regulation by the FDA, cosmetic companies are also subject to regulation by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).  The FTC issues administrative complaints when companies engage in unfair methods of competition or unfair and deceptive acts, such as deceptive advertising. The FTC has issued complaints following FDA warning letters to cosmetic companies.

You may recall cosmetics company L’Oréal USA, Inc. receiving a FTC complaint alleging deceptive advertising of its products Lancôme Génifique and L’Oréal Paris Youth Code. The FTC has accepted, subject to final approval, an agreement containing a consent order (proposed order) from L’Oréal. According to the complaint, L’Oréal violated Sections 5(a) and 12 of the Federal Trade Commission Act because they claimed that its Génifique products were “clinically proven” to “boost genes’ activity and stimulate the production of youth proteins that would cause “visibly younger skin in just 7 days,” and would make you look as if you “slept 2 extra hours.” Similarly, L’Oréal claimed that its Youth Code products were the “new era of skincare: gene science,” and that consumers could “crack the code to younger acting skin.” L’Oréal made these claims via print, radio, television, internet and social media outlets. (It is important to note, both FDA and FTC regulate not only the product, but, also all ancillary advertisements, including websites). The FTC’s complaint followed the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) warning to L’Oreal about language used in their advertisements that made the products sound more like drugs than cosmetics.

How Becker & Poliakoff Can Help

Although the FDA has issued import alerts, consumer updates, and labeling guides for cosmetics, there is still no bright line between cosmetic type claims and drug claims. Unfortunately, if the FDA finds your cosmetic product on the wrong side of that line, your product may be detained and later potentially refused by the FDA. The solution is to ensure you use “pre-compliance”, by having all products, ingredients, claims and ancillary marketing reviewed by an expert PRIOR to importation.

 

Protect Your Computer from Spam and Viruses

Keeping your computer running smoothly can be a pain for the inexperienced. From computer viruses to spam emails, there are a lot of factors to consider when you surf the web or browse emails. Likewise, it can be frustrating to figure out which programmes help and which applications actually slow down your computer. Many programmes claim to be beneficial, but in reality simply slow down your computer’s CPU and take up space on your hard drive. Furthermore, it can sometimes seem like spammers and junk mailers find you despite your best efforts to remain anonymous on the web. Don’t worry though. With the right resources and knowledge, you can block spam and keep all your online accounts safe.

First of all, it’s important to differentiate between good protection software and programmes that are more detrimental to your system. There are countless companies and programmes out there, trying to get you to click on their ads or promotions, but you should never be so hasty. If you see online ads, especially with flash animations, you should be sceptical. Don’t simply click on any advertisement you come across; instead read reputable tech websites and cross-reference product reviews to get the real scoop on anti-spam software. Likewise, take a trip down to your local computer repair store and ask them their thoughts on installing specific programmes on your system. Always seek the advice of professionals before you use any suspicious software.

Obviously, some spam-blockers are great resources; you just need to decide which ones are worth your time. Certain spam-blockers and virus protection programmes are offered online for free, but you should be wary of any free virus software. On the other hand, if a programme offers you a trial period, such as Mailcleaner’s antispam blocker software, you can be sure that this is a more legitimate option. After all, if you are good at something, you should never do it for free! Be on the lookout for allegedly free spam-blocking software and instead opt for programmes that offer a free trial period or cost a nominal fee. Likewise, always read customer reviews for the app from third party and unbiased websites.

Don’t forget, there are steps you can take to reduce spam on your account as well. For example, never put your email address on forums, blogs or other open sites that make your information available to anyone. Moreover, don’t sign up for email lists or promotions arbitrarily. Many of those sites can take your information and share it with other business, all of which can flood your email inbox. It might seem like there is a lot to remember when choosing a quality anti-virus and spam-blocking software, but with the right tools and knowledge, you will make a smart and informed decision.

Minneapolis Attorney Makes it 10 Years as a Super Lawyers Selectee

Attorney Charles “Bucky” Zimmerman has never shied away from taking on major cases. So far he has represented a range of clients from famed athletes George Foreman and Jim Brown, to clients in classes action lawsuits against major corporations such as Medtronic, Zicam, Target, and the NFL to name a few. Zimmerman and the firm he founded – Zimmerman Reed – has a proven track record having settled multiple $100 million and above cases.

Of Zimmerman’s many accomplishments throughout his career, he sees his victory against the tobacco industry as one that particularly stands out. In this case Zimmerman worked as part of the Castano group – a group of elite law firms that filed a class action lawsuit against the tobacco industry. This led to a historic settlement of more than $360 billion in June 1997.

Currently Zimmerman is currently involved in representing former players in the NCAA and NHL who have suffered the consequences of concussions while playing their respective sports. Already he has settled a case with the NFL for $765 million involving 4,500 former NFL players who have had concussions. These cases aim to help players who are at greater risk of brain related diseases such as Alzheimer’s, dementia, and other brain related disorders.

Over the past ten years Zimmerman has seen some changes in how law is practiced. “It’s transformed from a profession where professional courtesies were a matter of course to a business where business decisions begin to drive people’s behavior” says Zimmerman. He only seems to be adding on to his list of accomplishments though. With the release of the Minnesota Super Lawyers Magazine, Zimmerman can tack on his tenth selection to a Super Lawyers list. “It’s very nice being recognized for your work professionally and being put into a group with other lawyers who have been similarly recognized.”

Knowing All About Dedicated Server Hosting

When a company or a business enterprise opts for a single dedicated server for hosting their data on the cloud, it is known as dedicated server hosting. Having a customized cloud hosting solution surely comes with its own set of advantages. Companies have complete freedom and control over their hosting solutions. However, before deciding to opt for a solution for dedicated hosting in India for example, there are several points to be pondered upon. We start with these.

What to Know before Choosing a Dedicated Cloud Hosting Provider

Dedicated server hosting always seems ridiculously attractive. There is nothing like having a server all by yourself and hosting data without any sort of interference. What business entrepreneurs should however know is that, having a dedicated server is a huge decision that has to be taken based on specific research and proper understanding.

To begin with, a dedicated hosting solution is extremely expensive. In fact, it may not seem like a feasibly solution for small or even medium sized  companies. Therefore, in case you think of a solution of this nature, you will also need to have the required funds for it. It is important to remember that cloud hosting solutions invite recurring costs. So, carrying out a spending assessment would be vital.

Managing a dedicated server hosting solution will need high level of technical understanding. And of course if a company wishes to go for a fully managed dedicated server hosting solution, the costs for the same could even be higher.

When should you go for a Dedicated Hosting Solution

Ideally, a company must start off with a shared server solution when hitting the cloud for the first time. Being part of a shared server hosting plan will  work well for acquainting the company with the modalities of being part of a cloud server. Once a firm outgrows shared server sharing plans, it can move to a virtual private server before considering a dedicated solution for its own. A VPS solution will work fine for providing the freedom one might need in a cloud hosting plan without having to spend on a dedicated server hosting solution.

Once a company outgrows VPS and still finds its needs unfulfilled, having a dedicated server hosting solution proves to be the only solution left. However, making a progressive change always helps in justifying the selection. However, a dedicated server is considered to be the only solution to start with only when the nature of information to be stored is highly confidential in nature. In such cases no compromise should be done on the choice of server solution.

A dedicated server hosting solution is opted for, the solution provider needs to offer round the clock services. However, whenever you select your service provider for a dedicated server solution, make sure you have access to round the clock support and seamless operation. Consider planning your choice of service provider in such a way so that all your concerns are addressed. You may even wish to seek referrals or ask around for a superior service provider who can match your expectations.

3 Important Tips to Consider Prior to Choosing Headsets for Your Call Center

Call centers are one place where the importance of headsets is realized to the maximum effect. It is nearly impossible for agents to use telephone receivers for endless hours of calling that stimulates the need of quality headsets for call center officials.

Very often, business managers ignore the importance of the right headset or headset adapter that will make sure the calling process becomes seamless and customer care agents face zero difficulties in calling for prolonged durations. This instills mismanagement in the company that often leads to a dip in productivity graphs of the company. Therefore, it is crucial to think and research rather than buying just any type of headset for your agents. Here are some tips in this respect. Take a look.

Few Tips to Buy the Right Headset for Calling Purposes

1. Design Considerations

Steve Jobs was once heard quoting ‘’design is not something you feel or look on, it is how things work’’. Same notion has to be followed while purchasing headsets for calling purposes. Rather than purchasing a headset that is flashy and carries an appealing appearance, you should make the selection as per its functionality. Make sure the headset is easy to set-up, headset adapter comes with a simple design and the headset pc adapter poses no compatibility issues. It is advised here that you look for vendors that have a variety of designs to choose from.

2. Durability Factor

You should always keep in mind that if your investment towards headsets is not one time, it should at least return you the value by lasting for a significant period. Durability is the key factor that you need to take into consideration before you choose just any type of headset. Make sure it is forged out of quality materials and has the capability of withstanding short falls. Also, check whether headsets come with a warranty.

3. Noise Cancellation

Call centers have a bustling environment. Several agents take and make calls simultaneously that generates a significant lot of noise on the surface. This makes it difficult for agents to listen to customers and attend to their problems. Therefore, always choose noise cancellation headphones that are capable of eliminating the surrounding noise and enabling both customers and agents to talk peacefully.

It is a must for you to follow these tips prior to purchasing a headset for your call center, if you want to make sure your process runs smoothly without any glitches. If you have some queries in this regard, feel free to input them in the comment section below.

10 Ways Twitter Can Be Used As An Effective Education Tool Inside A Classroom

How can 140 characters on a micro-blogging website be of any help to students? This is certainly a valid question every Twitter critic has in mind. But, a few teachers have made use of Twitter to keep their students updated and even conduct events! Here are 10 ways in which Twitter can be used as an effective educational tool right inside a classroom.

  1. Tracking Classes, Posting Assignments and Announcing Exams: One of the simplest ways teachers can use Twitter is by setting up an account dedicated exclusively to post due dates, quizzes, tests, sample questions, syllabus changes etc.
  1. Add a Little Technology to Literature Classes: Debates based on following an issue with hash tags is trending in K-12. Expert inputs from extensive researchers can be valuable. Getting students to display their literary creative skills using social media that is a great idea. Foreign students can also be kept engaged in translating news feeds of relevant countries seeing that progressive poetry can be absorbing. Furthermore, students could micro review music, movies, books, hangouts and restaurants, and English teachers can engage their students in compiling and editing stories that pre-exist.
  1. Field Trips and Other Co-curricular Activities: Twitter could be mighty helpful with planning field trips. When, where, tips, reviews of places and activities planned can be tweeted along with pictures that will make parents happy about the transparency.
  1. Play the Stock Market Game: The fundamentals of investing can be taught using real world projects of stock market. Hash tags can be used to track businesses, analysts and markets to help them invest their ‘€˜money’€™.
  1. Posting Puzzles and Summarizing: Problems in paths, physics, and chemistry can be posted on a regular base and students can tweet back the answers. Teachers can also get students to post summaries of what was taught after each lecture. This will help students to remember and track their syllabus in an easy way.
  1. Mathematics: A very innovative teacher came up with teaching his students a fun way to learn the concept of Probability. He would post a general question and track and chart the replies he received. Polls could be conducted and the results could be recorded with different styles of statistics.
  1. Networking with Other Classrooms, Educators, and Industry Professionals: Students can connect with their peers in other educational institutions and schools to exchange methods of grasping different topics. They can also collaborate on projects. They can connect and get advice from professionals on potential career paths so as to get a feel of their chosen career. They would also get a good deal of exposure to the industry and this would help them prepare better.
  1. Become Politically Active: Twitter can be used by teachers to encourage their students in retweeting issues, current affairs and hot topics to spread awareness. Polls can be created and results tweeted to concerned government organizations and NGOs. This, for sure, would excite budding social reformers!
  1. Art: Teachers of Art could ask their students to create projects for designing wall papers for their family and friends. An online art gallery can be created by students of art using hash tags for a certain collection based on period, artist, materials used, and regions etc.
  1. Involve Parents: Twitter helps build a healthy connection between parents and teachers, as they can interact with parents quite easily.

These are just a few ways in which Twitter can be used in the classroom. The potentials of Twitter in education are unlimited. There is a lot of room for imagination and creativity for teachers and students alike.

 

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