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Competition at your heel

19 Apr

Despite accounting software not being a product that lends itself to flashy marketing campaigns, Intuit QuickBooks, the leader in small business accounting software, is taking a unique approach by linking itself to the silver screen. 

QuickBooks launched a social media campaign, “Small Business Spotting,” to highlight real-world small businesses that have appeared in this year’s Oscar-nominated films, and also produced a small business movie guide that uses Google Maps to track businesses featured in films and trailers. 

Meanwhile, FreshBooks, a rival company that reached unicorn status two years ago, is teaming up with SurePayroll to allow users to sync payroll expenses and liabilities to their FreshBooks accounts. Although FreshBooks faces competition from QuickBooks, which holds 80% of the small business accounting market, the company has experienced significant growth and has plans for strategic acquisitions, sales and marketing, and research and development. As FreshBooks continues to grow and meet market needs, it may just have its own storybook ending as an underdog in the industry.

Anonymous Complainer

18 Sep


So I was researching a company that was offering to sell me certain products. I went to the all-mighty Google and typed the names.. And you know the rest.

So what was funny is they have the anonymous websites that you can post your comments without being identified. How funny is that. Hey I don’t like a company so let me post it under a name or anonymous so no one will know me. HOW FULL OF CRAP ARE YOU. Lets think about his for a min shall we.

Why would you hide your name? Is it that you actually screwed up and you are trying to blame the company for your screw up. Did you forget to read the bill and noticed that your company overcharged you for something and you now what to bitch and complain. Or let me give you another one. You are a moron who did not pay your bill and when they canceled your service you called and bitch to complain and when they asked you to pay for what you owe you threw a fit.

How ironic and self-entitled are you. I never stop bitching about companies who do not do what they are suppose to do. BUT people wake up you gutless individuals. Hiding behind the vale of anonymity. WHY its because you have something to hide and you are too afraid for the company to monitor these sites and post that in fact you are the idiotic that did not pay your bill or did not check your bill etc etc.

Have the guts to tell the company I will be posting here and you are free to tell your side of the story on line as well. How many of you would actually do that. NOOOOO we have to hide because we have something to hide.

Companies give way too much credit for undeserving people. Like I said I will defend the consumer all day long but websites and associations that follow the consumer blindly with out verifying are stupid and should be banned.

Get the guts to stand up for what is right. And if you are right then you are right.


23 Jul


So I love the internet. Where would you have gotten so many experts about everything 10 years ago. I mean i can find an expert on astrophysics for $5.00, or an expert in editing English websites for 1.5 an hour.

You see here is the problem. Ever since the explosion of the outsourcing field everyone is called an expert. No matter what they did in the past they are still an expert in the field. an engineer who graduated from engineering school but has not done engineering in the past 20 years calls him/her self an expert. or someone who can barely read English calls themselves experts in editing English websites.

The problem is how do you filter through all these so called self proclaimed experts. Yes i know common sense prevails but not always. When you try to balance economics and work and all the other factors. Usually when you are hiring an expert its because they would know more than you do about the subject. or example, I wanted to hire someone to map out the software that I wanted to design and launch. I received so many offers it made my head spin. Anything from $8.00 per hour to $60.00 + per hour. so I decided to not go cheap and not go expensive middle sounded good. and beside the person was in north america so hey a bonus that I can actually communicate with them. It turns out they knew very few key words to convince me that they knew what they were talking about. And yes they got fired a short time after they were hired. The upsetting point is that I had to pay them the 6 hours they spent on the project AND i had to start over.

Its easy for people to say Jay you hire them then if they don’t work out you fire them. BUT who is going to pay me for the time wasted on them, who is going to get my money back for the money paid, above all who is going to give me back the frustration spent on this project so far. Its like when you go see a lawyer or accountant. They talk and talk. you give them a retainer to work on your file and if they screw it up or not does not matter at then end they are not responsible. Have you tried taking a stupid lawyer to court. heck they have a whole organization with so much money to defend them you will have your head spinning before you get anywhere. An accountant gives you the statement and tax return you sign them but if they mess it up its your fault. The classic is when they say “oh I am sorry”. Yeah I am sorry but you still have to pay my bill, talk to the government about your screwed up filing etc etc.

References ? yeah right when was the last time you got references from some one on a client they messed up. Heck there are books and videos on how to promote yourself as an expert on anything. I can make a bet that in 30 days I can be an expert on ANYTHING. I would have eBooks, articles, website etc. to make me sound like I was an expert in any field. so who needs school !

I so far have no way of filtering through the “experts” that come my way so if anyone knows of and expert to tell me how to filter through the experts ( OK I’m lost now ) let me know.

As always I welcome your feedback and you can always subscribe to my blog for informative and not so informative articles.

Remember I am an expert at this

7 Key Tactics To Improve Your Business

18 Jul


The freedom of being your own boss and succeeding to the best of your ability are facts of life for the small business owner. There are 7 tactics developed by successful marketers that are sure to make your business as successful as theirs.

1. Create A One of a Kind Selling Point

If you want to stand out from the crowd, create a unique selling proposition that stresses the benefits the customers will receive from doing business with you. Hey, it tells the customer … you get quick service and a discount on shipping.

Why should someone buy from you and not your competitor? I hate to deal a blow to your ego, but it really has nothing to do with you, your product, or your service. Yeah, its a little self-centered, but customers are attracted by offers that point out the things that benefit THEM.

Don’t go out on a limb to create new products and services to get attention. Just, add a special benefit to the ones you already have … maybe it’s quicker service. The most effective things to emphasize are benefits that your competition cannot or is not willing to give.

2. Use Testimonials

Hey, we all know that business owners think their product or services are the best thing going, but it’s what the current customers think about it that really matters to your prospective customers. They’re the ones who see things from their point of view … what they have to say about the business has an impact.

Testimonials play an important part in advertising – especially for small businesses. Yeah, big businesses with well-known names don’t have to worry about it, but small companies can use testimonials as marketing tools to build credibility.

Think about it … how else can we gain credibility than by creating a group of satisfied customers and shouting what they have to say? Let’s look at some ways we can make testimonials an effective part of our marketing campaigns.

3. Upsell

Upselling is one of the most successful marketing trends today. Everywhere you go, someone is trying to get you to buy more. From McDonalds with its supersize options to clothing stores that try to sell you shoes to match your outfit, everyone’s jumping on the bandwagon. Why? It works!

Your customers already know that you have great products and provide satisfactory service. They trust you to come through for them. Think about it … it’s much easier to make sales to someone you already have a relationship with.

Use every opportunity to increase your sales volume within the customer audience you already have. Do you have a product that goes with the one they are purchasing?

4. Make Your Price Seem Smaller

Divide and conquer … The old war tactic works in marketing too! A $365 purchase would only cost $1 per day.

5. Paint The Benefits Pretty

Customers buy because they want to enjoy the benefits of the purchase. A lady might buy a dress because she wants to feel sexy, or a man will buy a book because he finds pleasure in reading. Emotions are the key element that drives purchases.

Use word pictures to stir up the emotions that will instigate the sale. Let them “feel” the benefits, and they’ll be more apt to head for the cash register. Put them where you want them.

6. Create Attention Getting Headlines

The headline is the place to start. How often do you scan the newspaper’s headlines before you decide whether or not to read the article?

A good headline should telegraph its message in twelve words or less. Double-check those headlines. Do they make a promise of a positive benefit, or ask a provocative question? Don’t settle for less than attention grabbing statements.

7. Provide An Offer They Can’t Resist

Is your deal too good to pass up? If not, you need to improve it. Hey, I’m not talking about cutting prices even more … you’ve still got to make a profit. You can make the deal sweeter just by increasing the readers knowledge of the value of the product, or adding bonuses that are perceived as valuable, but cost you little.

Motivate buyers with expirations. Yeah, an open ended offer encourages procrastination … which leads … yep, nowhere. When the customer knows he has until Saturday to purchase an item he’ll pay more for on Sunday, he’ll make it a priority to head for your shop.

For most folks, owning your own business is a dream come true. The freedom of being your own boss and succeeding to the best of your ability are facts of life for the small business owner. There are 7 tactics developed by successful marketers that are sure to make your business as successful as theirs.

If you want to stand out from the crowd, create a unique selling proposition that stresses the benefits the customers will receive from doing business with you. Hey, it tells the customer … you get quick service and a discount on shipping.

10 Tips to Increase Your Referral Ratio

17 Jul

Pointer # 1

Discipline Yourself to a Routine of ‘Asking’.

The reason many of us do not get referrals on a routine basis is since we do not ask for them on a routine basis. Just think what would be the benefit if you asked for 2 referrals from each of your new clients? Now ask yourself if you can afford not to ask for recommendations on a routine basis.

Suggestion # 2.

Establish a procedure to ‘Set the Phase’.

Asking for a recommendation is one thing, but the number of times do you really get one? Carry out a Powerful Regimen after you sign up a new customer, and request authorization for 3 additional minutes to obtain their expert feedback. Ask a collection of concerns soliciting their viewpoint on ways you can be more efficient with your sales process, from preliminary contact to point of sale, with people in the exact same market and parallel titles. You are now setting the phase for your future success. Over time, your contacts will give you a free of cost ‘Masters Degree.’

Idea # 3.

Connect to a “Win-Win” Arrangement.

Be sincere and honest in reference to the significance of referrals for running your company successfully. Tell your story. , If you have a high referral ratio let them understand that and why it is high. Clients respect a good business owner more than a good sales representative. Attempt to select a time when the contact would feel comfy providing a referral to assist your business. That may not be at the point of sale, but upon service execution or time in the future when you have actually proved you delivered exactly what you promised. The important point is you must specify with the contact when it can occur or exactly what standards should be fulfilled for it to take place.

Idea # 4.

Follow through in order to get a regularly high ratio of referrals.

DO NOT ask for a recommendation till (a) the service has been carried out and (b) the customer is satisfied. Just as described in Pointer # 3, you want to minimally set a recommendation foundation at the point of sale and receive a dedication to when you’ll receive one. Now, this is extremely important. Constantly compose in your day time in front of the contact when the expectation is set, and let them understand you are making note of it. Treat it like an appointment for your future success. It’s found business and will give you a greater closing ratio, shorter sales cycle and most notably, even more recommendations! Follow-up and get it!

Tip # 5.

Establish a Referral Program.

Be creative. Give up some cash. Possibly it’s a gift certification to a local dining establishment (ideally a consumer) or a percent off of their next invoice. A business mind will create a few versatile programs that fit your level of buyer. After all, you’re not putting anything out until the referral is sold. The old saying, “money earns money” it is still real. Beside the tax straight off (contact your accounting professional), contacts definitely take pleasure in getting a little something. Measure the ROI and the perk will appear.

Tip # 6.

End up being the Messenger.

Make certain to give the referral presents out immediately on offered referrals. Provide it in person, because it also serves as an exceptional time to prime the pump for extra recommendations. Don’t ignore the power of this basic discipline. I have experienced ‘millionaires’ who reopened their black books after receiving $20 dollar present certificates. After all, it’s not the gesture but the amount. And since you are spending your important time being the messenger, you will without a doubt focus on receiving a couple of more warm leads.

Pointer # 7.

Promote a Grass Roots Chamber Program.

Offer local Chambers a deal they can not refuse. Chambers desire to provide their membership a much better offer, one that their members can not receive from routine street pricing. They are open to donations to help their chamber and are also encouraged to expand their membership. Instead of offering a recurring based off of sales, offer to bring them in a particular number of new members each month. After all, a certain portion of companies you get will not be a member, and if you can reveal them a return on their investment, they will certainly join the Chamber to get it. By assisting others you will see your recommendation ratio reach the sky!

Suggestion # 8.

Determine Possible ‘Bird Dog’.

Hunters to point and fetch game birds for their owners use ‘Bird Dog’. In sales, a ‘Bird Dog’ is someone who has multiple relationships with your possible customers and they are motivated to routinely feed you contacts for your advertising efforts. Research potential business people that may fit into this profile, and take them out to lunch. Clarify your referral program and how it might supplement their core business income stream. For possible ‘Huge Hitters’ be prepared to tailor your referral program to line up with their motivations. Treat them like gold and they will open up their Rolodex.

Suggestion # 9.

‘Marry’ to a Collaboration Partner.

There are businesses that provide service or products in your ‘value chain’ just do not contend straight with your services or product. Those businesses and the expert people that cost them should be a point of concentration for you to determine and get in touch with for methods of collaboration. I refer to this relationship as “Natural Marital relationships.” Contact 3 sales specialists that appear to indicate a ‘natural marital relationship’ for you and them. Detail what’s in it for them. Then ask them exactly what you could sensibly expect gradually.

Suggestion # 10.

Join or Start a Lead Group.

Why not sign up with or reflect on developing a Lead Team of entrepreneurial individuals who are encouraged to get together twice a month to share leads. Find people who are accountable to bringing in the minimum amount of leads each conference as detailed in your team’s company policies. Make sure every member is covered by the 80-20 policy, getting 80 % of their leads from 20 % of the members.

The reason many of us do not get recommendations on a regular basis is due to the fact that we do not ask for them on a regular basis. Now ask yourself if you can afford not to ask for referrals on a routine basis.

10 Tips for a Successful Investment Pitch

16 Jul


Some of the hardest discussions to make is the business pitch. You have a wonderful idea for a company and you need someone to offer you cash to make it happen. The issue is that investor, angel investors, and even abundant uncles are heavily predisposed against you. Why? Due to the fact that 99 % of the sounds they hear seem like sure-fire prescriptions to lose money!

If you are pitching investors to offer you cash for a brand-new endeavor, you need to own up to the following rules:.

1. Discuss exactly what your company does within the first thirty seconds. Several entrepreneurs waste useful time providing tons of information, background and other details– at the same time investors are left scratching their heads thinking “What does this business actually DO?”.

2. Inform your viewers who your clients will certainly be. Paint a stunning, specific photo of these people.

3. Clarify why your clients are going to give you their hard-earned cash.

4. Explain that your competitors are. (And if you explain you have no competitors, which is a specific indicator you are unsophisticated and deserve no investment money!).

5. Clarify why you are the ONE to make this happen.

6. Provide your speech with self-confidence and excitement. Investors desire a founder/CEO to be a chief salesperson; they wish to see that you can encourage the world of your desire– not just them.

7.Explain exactly what superstar you can reach. Investors feel considerably more comfortable understanding you have actually an established game plan to reach your star.

8. Request for a specific quantity of cash. You can’t grumble if an investor gives you $3.25 for a mug of Starbucks coffee if all you do is ask for money.

9. Tell investors specifically what you are spending their cash on (tip: a journey to Maui for you and your pals will not excite).

10. Dress well, act positive, and don’t over pitch.

Finally, make each pitch presentation work as a focus group for your next presentation. When one group of investors asks you a series of questions after you present, list each of those questions and ensure most of them are answered in your upcoming pitch to make sure that the next group doesn’t need to ask them. Keep pitching and keep improving your sound and at some point you could get funded.