More Marketing Dope

Written by Joy Gendusa

Continued from page 1

Think about whatrepparttar benefit of your product or service is and focus on that. If you are a computer maintenance company your product may be "server management and database maintenance" but you will be better off saying that you can help "increase office productivity by allowing easier access to client files". Many times your customers don’t understand your business. That is why they have to hire you. Make sure to explain to them not only what you do, but how it can help them.

When a customer gives you their email address you have one more way to get your message to them.

One ofrepparttar 150480 best ways to supplement Direct Mail Marketing is Direct Email Marketing. However, unlike direct mail marketing, unsolicited email marketing is illegal. You can’t just go out and buy a list of email addresses and start sending to them. There is one way to purchase lists for emailing called "opt in" lists but this method is not recommended becauserepparttar 150481 rate of people onrepparttar 150482 list that actually "opt in" to receiving your promo is very low. This is why you should always collect customers’ email addresses as you are getting their physical addresses.

Also be sure not to slam your customers with too much email promotion. I recommend not sending more than one email per week to each client. Not only will this keep you from angering your customers, it will also keep uprepparttar 150483 interest level and keep your emails from getting deleted before they are even opened.

If your company is planning on emailing specials or a Monthly Email Newsletter you will need to have this list for them to be effective. If you are not planning on contacting customers and prospects via email, you should be!

Joy Gendusa founded PostcardMania in 1998, her only assets a computer and a phone. By 2004 the company did $9 million in sales and employed over 60 people. She attributes her explosive growth to her ability to choose incredible staff and her innate marketing savvy. Visit

Small Business Marketing: Overtaking Your Competitors

Written by Ben Botes

Continued from page 1

Businesses can set different profit rates, for example 15% profit on supplies and materials, 20% profit on labour/time, and 25% profit on overhead. These more complicated approaches to pricing usually emerge in response torepparttar special needs of a particular business.

If your research reveals that similar products or services are available onrepparttar 150479 market at a cost much lower than what you could offer, you may have to either adjust your profit margin,repparttar 150480 return you expect, or decide to provide enough specialized service or selection thatrepparttar 150481 market will payrepparttar 150482 extra. Alternatively, you may be forced to conclude that you cannot afford to make this item or provide this service and look for something else to do.

NOTE: Remember to cost materials atrepparttar 150483 level it costs to replace them - NOT at original prices; include salaries as a business expense; include interest in your business cost calculations -- interest that could have been accrued hadrepparttar 150484 money used inrepparttar 150485 company been invested elsewhere (i.e. a bank); make allowances for future refunds, servicing, bad debts, amortization of capital costs of equipment or machinery.

"Rules of Thumb" in Setting Prices Some types of businesses charge prices according to certain "rules of thumb": For example: price is always twice labour plus materials, or twice materials plus labour depending on which is higher; price is always materials and labour plus 20% for fixed costs, plus 25% for profits.

Calculating actual costs isrepparttar 150486 only proven way to make sure your prices cover your costs. Labour/time charges are to be covered partly inrepparttar 150487 costs of production and partly as a salary inrepparttar 150488 fixed/operating or overhead costs.

In summary, key points to consider in setting prices are: marketing strategy and your immediate goals competitors' prices, andrepparttar 150489 market market demand forrepparttar 150490 product and consumer buying trends need to cover costs and provide an adequate profit.

Step 2 Build a profile of your competitors

Ask yourself what products and services they offer. Do they overlap with yours? What customer needs and wants are they satisfying? What is their unique selling proposition? How do they position themselves? Are theyrepparttar 150491 Savoy or a McDonald’s? Is their mind-set corner shop, high street franchise or old establishment? Are they exclusive and high-priced or a dime-a-dozen? Are they as passionate and knowledgeable as you? How do they market themselves? Where do they advertise? What sales channels do they use – retail, direct mail, Internet, wholesale? What is their sales literature like? How good are their employees? Should you be considering enticing them over to you? Are they growing, level pegging or declining? If so, why? Userepparttar 150492 Internet to get hold of credit reports on them. Find out how many employees they have, and what they do.

Step 3 Develop a strategy

Develop a strategy through which you can stand out fromrepparttar 150493 rest. Two effective strategies are:

Specialization, differentiation, segmentation, concentration

Specialization is your area of excellence or core business. Differentiation is your competitive advantage, i.e.repparttar 150494 reason why customers buyrepparttar 150495 product or service from you. Segmentation involves identifying your customers or market niche. Concentration means focusing allrepparttar 150496 resources ofrepparttar 150497 business, hitting your market niche with your competitive advantage in your area of excellence. Many of us start out believing that business is about selling rubbish products to idiots who do not really need or want them, but are still persuaded to buy them at prices they certainly cannot afford. Apparently, this is notrepparttar 150498 case. If we believe inrepparttar 150499 free enterprise market system, then we believe, and a great deal of evidence suggests, that in order to run a successful business we must concentrate all our forces, hitting our market segment with our competitive advantage in our area of excellence.

Specialization Which product or service would you like to produce and sell? In which area of human activity would you like to improverepparttar 150500 lives of other people? To which area of human improvement can you bring excitement and enthusiasm? What is your area of excellence? What is your core business? For which product or service are you prepared to be a product champion? What would you love to do to improverepparttar 150501 lives of others for 16 hours each day, even if you received no financial reward? What is it that makes you feel valuable and worthwhile? Remember there is a strong relationship between high self-esteem and peak performance. The more you love doing something,repparttar 150502 greater will be your success. All successful businesses specialize in their areas of excellence. Many unsuccessful people drift into areas where they do not haverepparttar 150503 excitement, enthusiasm, energy, knowledge, etc., to establish competitive advantage and find their market segment.

Step 4 Regular SWOT

Conduct a regular SWOT analysis of your competitors to ensure that you stay ahead.

What are your competitors' Main Strengths

Main weaknesses - where are they vulnerable and how can you take advantage?

Which opportunities can you identify?

Does your competitor pose a threat to you, and how will you overcome it?

Ben Botes MSc. MBA, is an Entrepreneur, Speaker, Writer, Coach and academic. He is the founder of and the Co-founder of South African Business Hubs, Business support Hubs and incubators for the new breed of South African Entrepreneurs. Join the Reseller Program and earn 40% referral commission

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